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 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

From A Far Land By G. David Walker | Book Review

Hey Guys! I am Max and I will be manufacturing a book review for a novel christened “From A Far Land” by G. David Walker today. From A Far Land is the first book in the Jaben’s Rift trilogy and I would like to take this section of the article to thank the author for sending this novel to me for review. So, without further ado, let us get into the review section of this article!

Disclaimers:

  • 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:

Jason Bennett never intended to change the world, his own or anyone else’s. But when an ordinary family vacation sends the teenager to Teleria, an extraordinary world of might and magic, his arrival sets the wheels in motion on events that will change that world forever.

In Teleria, Jason is thought to be Jaben, a paradoxical figure from ancient prophecy destined to save or doom the world. Through half-truths and misunderstandings, Jason gets caught in a dangerous tug of war between the ruling Circle of Nine and one of his own ancestors from three hundred years in his past. Adding to his dilemma, he finds himself at the centre of a conflict between two of the Altered, a small group of godlike beings, one of whom is secretly aiding Jason’s ancestor, violating a Covenant that has kept Teleria safe from their influence for over a millennium.

Unable to return home, Jason must learn to use the power he isn’t convinced he has, keep from triggering a war between the Altered that could devastate the planet, and survive the plans of some among the Circle who believe the prophecy calls for his death.

Not quite the summer vacation he had in mind.

My Introspection:

While I was reading this novel, the mutated human beings bore some semblance of another series from my childhood called “Beast Quests” which I did not particularly enjoy. I was reminded of that series because of how the mutated human beings are described in the novel. For Example, “The Manarach Species are human/spider hybrids, with human torsos, arms, and heads on hairy, pony-sized spider bodies.” (From the appendix of the novel). I thought the mutants were not entirely original, however, I truly enjoyed the addition of these species or races in the novel as it gives the novel a little flavour by sprinkling around different types of species with different cultures and behaviours. 

The pacing of this novel is tremulous and it dangles on a precarious thread of going too fast and going too slow. The beginning of the novel has a consecutive progression in terms of pacing and I thought it was flawless but when the protagonist reaches Teleria through an antiquated portal, I could not help but notice a radical transformation in the pacing as it begins to slow down and the pacing crawls when the novel reaches the war scenes which I will comment on later in the review. It picks up its speed again when [something] happens and crawls again when the war scenes occur. Thus, I did not enjoy the pacing of this novel.

I did not derive satisfaction from the war sequences in this novel. I thought the sequences did not have the right balance of atmosphere and the writing style in this section feels like a chunk of words bundled up in a knot. I thought that these segments of the novel could have been better if the politics that have played a role before these sequences have a wider and more complex structure to its core as I was not particularly intrigued by the politics instituted in this book.  

The characters in this novel are charming and each of them outshines one another. I thought the protagonist and Lenai have the best character growth throughout the novel as they have more page time. There are a couple of characters in this book that I wish did not exist as they are not really essential to the plotline but it is pleasant to see how they view the war and the politics in this novel. I particularly enjoyed the dialogues between the characters because the author did a fantastic job of capturing the essence of youth and the banters between them are hilarious. Heck, even the thoughts that they have are witty. Thus, I really enjoyed the characters and the amazing dialogues that the author has established in this novel.

Next, we are going to converse on the world-building and the atmosphere formulated in this novel. I thought the world-building was not described as vivid as it should be because I still find myself questioning some objects or histories of the world. For example, why did the humans mutate differently when they were exposed to the same radiation or whatever that blast of energy was? In addition, the atmosphere in this novel is mercurial at segments such as the war sequences but other than that I thought it was well-situated, for example, when the characters are bantering or conversing, the atmosphere is either blithesome or iniquitous and I thought the author did a great job on setting the mood. 

The plot twists that are bestrewed throughout the novel are predictable as they are revealed a little too early in the novel. However, I thought the ending of the novel was phenomenal. 

In conclusion, I am proferring this novel with a verdict of 50%. I thought this Young Adult Fantasy novel was moderate at best as it does not have anything remarkable to it. However, I recommend you to pick this book up if you are in a mood for a Fantasy novel that contains charming characters with great dialogues. 


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for From A Far Land By G. David Walker! 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

Tweet Cute By Emma Lord | Blog Tour

Hey Guys! I will be hosting the blog tour for Tweet Cute By Emma Lord today! I am so thrilled to execute this blog tour because I fell in love with the novel while I was reading it and it was such a joy seeing how the plot advanced throughout the whole extent of the novel. So, I would like to take this time to thank Wednesday Books (St. Martin’s Press) for sending me an E-copy of this novel and inviting me to join this sumptuous blog tour!

Before we get into the review, I would like to furnish all of you with some essential information:

Release Date: 21st Of January 2020

Genre Of The Book: Contemporary Romance

Number Of Pages: 368

Without further ado, let us get into the review section of this novel!

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Synopsis:

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and a constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

My Introspection:

“Just two days ago Paige and I were blasting “Shake It Off” so loudly on a three-way Skype call with our dad that he threatened to start singing himself if we didn’t quit. At that point, considering he has neighbours on both sides of him, it was our civic responsibility to shut it down.” 

Although this novel contains mild references of Taylor Swift, I thought that the referencing here is done better than it did in Again, But Better By Christine Riccio because the author did it subtly and it is, one way or another, relevant to the plotline. For example, the line above shows how loving the father is to her daughters and I live for that kind of relationship. I thought that Young Adult novels rarely showcase the relationship between parent-n-child and this should be a trend because I love these types of relationship so freaking much.

In this novel, we have two main protagonists: Jack and Pepper. Jack is Ethan’s twin and he is constantly in the shadow of his brother and he thinks that he is not good enough and ultimately, it traverses to the point where he thinks that he is unworthy of anything. The fact that he thinks that his brother is destined to perform transcendent acts in the world and he is predetermined to be left behind with his father’s shop perturbed me because all these pent-up insecurities are really relatable and I was really emotionally attached to these tiny moments in the novel. 

Pepper is the other protagonist of the novel and I loved her character growth throughout the length of this book. She inaugurates with that 4.0 GPA and she has that ‘gotta-beat-everyone-in-school’ stance and slowly but surely, she evolves and the readers are able to get a glimpse of why she is stressing herself out with this motto. Her personal life is also illustrated to the readers and we could perceive how both her studies and her family issues are stressing her out. I was so enraptured when her chapters roll by because she has that snarky and malicious but yet, funny and kind personality combination that I cannot look anywhere else but the page and Pepper’s character development throughout the novel is phenomenal, she gradually grows out of her competitive standpoint and starts helping other people out with their homework. Not only that, she becomes more empathetic of the people around her which ultimately, makes her a better person.

For both of these characters, I thought the author did a very superb job in portraying study stress and creating a very solid yet messy in the sense that some of them could not get along family dynamics. I can literally feel the stress that they are feeling reverberating through the screen of my Kindle while I was reading the novel. I am glad that I read this last December because I really needed a character to relate to due to my own study stress (which is still an ongoing battle) and not only did I associate to one character but two which is totally perfect.

The pacing of this novel is like you are moving through the breeze or rather, you are one with the breeze. It is paced like a thriller and I thought it was very well done as all the information can be retained and none of it will be left stranded in the unknown. Personally, I read this in 2 days and I brand myself as a slow reader. Therefore, if you are a fast reader, you would be able to complete this novel in a day or so.

“”Good, good. You should get to know him. Invite him over sometimes” My jaw drops. I know she went to high school in the nineties, but that does not excuse this fundamental misunderstanding of how teenage social interaction works.” 

I loved the romance in this novel. Although it does not happen until the 50% point in the novel, I thought that it was worth the wait because the author builds up the romance subtly and deliberately creates the tension between both of our protagonists to make us root for their relationship to become a thing. I am glad that the author did not take the insta-love route. If she did, I would not have enjoyed this novel as much because one of my recent pet peeves is love at first sight and oh my goodness, it is ridiculous. What if the person turns out to be a killer!? What would you do!? Oops, I got carried away. Well, moving on.

I thought the writing style for this novel was eloquent, elliptical and idiomatic. The author is able to articulate the thoughts of the characters by making it accessible for the readers to understand and I loved how elliptical and at the same time, eloquent the writing style is. It accommodated me gallantly. In addition, the author has this colloquial way of writing that adds a nice touch to the novel.

However, I did not get attached to the characters in the first 20% of the novel. I found the beginning of the story to be a little bland, lack-lustred and uninspiring but everything changes after that first 20% because I started to savour the novel even more and towards the end, I started bawling because it touched me in areas that I did not know existed and yeah, it was a pleasant experience to feel so much anger, sadness and happiness for a romance novel.

In conclusion, I am proferring this novel with a verdict of 80%. I thought it was a solid novel and it definitely deserves all the hype that it has gotten. Do give this novel a try if you are interested in what I had said. 

Early Praises:

Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” – Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters.

“Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist.” – Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight.

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favourite’ from page one.” – Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest.

Book Excerpt:

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”

Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”

“Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”

Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”

“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”

“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”

The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.

The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.

“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.

“So . . .”

“So.”

Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.

“So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”

“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”

“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”

“I didn’t—”

“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”

“So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”

“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”

Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.

“You’re sure?”

I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.

“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”

“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”

Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.

“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”

Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.

Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.

“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.

I raise my eyebrows at her.

“We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”

“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”

Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.

“I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”

Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—

“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.

I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.

“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”

She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.

I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”

Author Bio:

Emma Lord

 

Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theatre. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.

 

Buy Link: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/tweet-cute/

Social Links:  @dilemmalord (Twitter/Instagram)

Tweet Cute_Blog Tour Banner Onsale

Bookish Fun!

Most Anticipated Reads Of 2020

Hey Guys! I am Max and today, I will be manufacturing one of the most celebrated series on my blog and that is called the “Worst, Best and Most Anticipated Novels of [said] Year”. I have decided to start off the series with my Most Anticipated Reads of 2020 before moving into the juicy section that is the Worst Books of 2019 because that is where I will rant and spill some hot tea of the books that had, unfortunately, landed on that list. If you would like to take a look at the order of articles in this series, I will record it down below:

  1. Most Anticipate Reads Of 2020
  2. Worst Books Of 2019
  3. Best Books Of 2019

[Ps.] Not all the books that are recorded on this list will be 2020 releases but I promise, a majority of the novels on this list are 2020 releases. 

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

*

1. The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes By Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

Synopsis:

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

Me:

The news of this novel blew up all over my Instagram story, twitter and Goodreads feed and I cannot help but feel invigorated by the energy inundating this series once again. Suzanne Collins, an author who had us waiting for her next novel since The Hunger Games trilogy ended, has finally resolved to bestow another book of hers in The Hunger Games series/trilogy(?) to us and I could not help but feel a flutter of joy in my tummy. I can’t wait!

Release Date: May 19th 2020

2. The Boatman’s Daughter By Andy Davidson

The Boatman's Daughter

Synopsis:

A “lush nightmare” (Paul Tremblay) of a supernatural thriller about a young woman facing down ancient forces in the depths of the bayou.

Ever since her father was killed when she was just a child, Miranda Crabtree has kept her head down and her eyes up, ferrying contraband for a mad preacher and his declining band of followers to make ends meet and to protect an old witch and a secret child from harm.

But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda’s peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.

Me:

That synopsis! It sounds fucking phenomenal and I cannot wait to read it! Apparently, the genre of this novel is supernatural-thriller and I am- *gulps* I am so excited for it because one of the television series I am watching now called Nancy Drew is shelved under that genre as well and I am so obsessed with the way the story is crafted in the show. Thus, I have high expectations for this novel (which is a bad thing but still…).

Release Date: February 11th 2020

3. Bone Crier’s Moon By Kathryn Purdie

Bone ​Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace, #1)

Synopsis:

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first, she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

Me:

First of all, the cover of this novel is gorgeous. Second of all, the synopsis sounds really badass and that is all I really need to know to get bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about a novel. 

Release Date: March 10th 2020

4. The Deep By Alma Katsu

The Deep

Synopsis:

Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near-fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .

Me:

The synopsis for this novel sounds like it could be a supernatural novel and I am here for it! I hope I get an ARC for this *cries*

Release Date: March 10th 2020

5. Follow Me By Kathleen Barber

Follow Me

Synopsis:

Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.

Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbour with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.

But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.

Me:

This sounds… like a nightmare. I want it to haunt my dreams.

Release Date: February 2020

6. Strange Exit By Parker Peevyhouse

Strange Exit

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Lake spends her days searching a strange, post-apocalyptic landscape for people who have forgotten one very important thing: this isn’t reality. Everyone she meets is a passenger aboard a ship that’s been orbiting Earth since a nuclear event. The simulation that was supposed to prepare them all for life after the apocalypse has trapped their minds in a shared virtual reality and their bodies in stasis chambers.

No one can get off the ship until all of the passengers are out of the sim, and no one can get out of the sim unless they believe it’s a simulation. It’s up to Lake to help them remember.

When Lake reveals the truth to a fellow passenger, seventeen-year-old Taren, he joins her mission to find everyone, persuade them that they’ve forgotten reality, and wake them up. But time’s running out before the simulation completely deconstructs, and soon Taren’s deciding who’s worth saving and who must be sacrificed for the greater good. Now, Lake has no choice but to pit herself against Taren in a race to find the secret heart of the sim, where something waits that will either save them or destroy them all.

Me:

The synopsis of this novel sounds like it is from an episode of Black Mirror and that is wild and creepy. I love the concept of it and I cannot wait to read it! (I know I sound like a broken record but I am genuinely excited to read all of these novels okay… Don’t judge)

Release Date: January 14th 2020

7. The Woman in Apartment 49 By Ross Armstrong

The Woman in Apartment 49

Synopsis:

She’s watching you, but who’s watching her?

Lily Gullick lives with her husband, Aiden, in a brand-new apartment opposite a building that has been marked for demolition. A keen bird-watcher, she can’t help spying on her neighbours.

Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars, and soon her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead. Convinced of foul play, she knows she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat.

But can Lily really trust everything she sees?

Me:

One word, YES. 

Release Date:  February 18th 2020

 8. Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

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Synopsis:

For years, rumours of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Me:

If you have been following my recent posts on Instagram (it’s okay if you haven’t), you would know that I bought Where the Crawdads Sing recently in Australia from a bookstore named Dymocks and I am so excited to read this book ever since I got it but somehow, I have not gotten around to reading it? Therefore, it is my goal to read it in January.  


And that concludes my ‘Most Anticipated Books Of 2020!’ Be sure to let me know what your Most Anticipated Books Of 2020 are down in the comment box below! I hope you all enjoyed this article 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 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!

*

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

Image result for THE GIVING TREE GOODREADS

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!