Book Review: Pushing the Limits – Brooke Cumberland

Hell to the no I am head over heels
This book was honestly so good that I finished it in two sittings instead of three
#proud

Btw, note that this is a new adult book, recommended for audiences 18 & above (yes I’m 17 but close enough)


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Name: Pushing the Limits
Author: Brooke Cumberland
Publisher: BC Books
Release Date: September 16, 2015

Synopsis

From USA Today Bestselling Author comes a new adult student/teacher romance…

He’s my art professor.
I’m his student.
With an electric connection and undeniable chemistry, I know it won’t be long until one of us cracks.

When the opportunity arises to pose naked for the entire art class, I can’t help the thrill of knowing he’ll be watching me.

While they all look past me with their eyes narrowed and concentrated, drawing only the lines and angles of my body, he sees right through me down to my vulnerability.

He sees more than just the physical aspects–he sees me.

That’s when I see the struggle in his features as he tries to stay in control.

How do we keep our distance when everything seems to be pulling us together?
What feels so right can only go wrong if we keep pushing the limits.

Recommended for 18 & above due to explicit sexual content, language, and adult content.
*Pushing the Limits is a 102,000 words standalone.*


Book Cover Comments

One song

TOO HOT
HOT DAMN
CALL THE POLICE AND THE FIREMAN


The Actual Review

I super super super super love it.

I love this insane brewing romance between the student and the professor. (roll credits!) The relationship was definitely more relatable for me because the age range is lowered compared to the erotic fiction that was my first adult series ever. Which is on my top reads of 2017 of you’re so curious.

Image result for erotic friend fiction
Tina’s collection of Erotic Fan Fiction. I JUST HAD TO!

The relationship took its time to build up, and the entire relationship was fully merged together over a years time. I do enjoy the pacing of it, it kept me wanting to read more and to know what happens next. With new adult and adult fiction, the plot tends to have some sort of serious problem between the two characters and end up having a fight period, which ended up in growls of frustration for me because Aspen and Morgan are absolutely adorable and I just want them kissing each other 24/7-

Onto the steamy scenes, god bless Brooke Cumberland for creating such masterpieces because I totally love it. I basically give in to romance, and when you put in the steam, see you in heaven. Or hell. Or in my grave. I die thanks to the steamy scenes and no one can stop the butterflies from churning in my stomach. Not that it really ever stopped throughout the book. The butterflies just love the air in my stomach.

But despite me going towards this book because I’d do anything for a good romantic read, Brooke really opened a new perspective in these types of books, and that ties into our darling Aspen and Morgan’s personal backgrounds. I would say the steamy scenes are the rewards after the toughness, and that the toughness inside the book really is a good part.

Brooke brings up sensitive issues about depression and neglection in this book, and I really appreciate it and feel whatever our characters are going through because my form of depression is really similar to whoever-in-the-book had depression. I really like how I could connect it on a really personal level, and reading this book just gives me more of that spark of hope to look ahead. And wish for a prince on a white horse like Morgan. I’m still waiting for my Prince Charming :) I adore how Morgan sees Aspen on a different level, how he sees through every single one of her barriers and opens her up, so that the wound might slowly heal, and how Aspen offers the exact same for Morgan, both of them being by each other’s side when they most need it.

Aspen and Morgan each have their own sufferings, events from the past haunting them, and Brooke did her best to use her own words and methods to deliver her way of coping with it. You can never forget the bad things in life that ever happened to you, but what you can do is accept it and move on along with it. All these memories are an important part of your life, and all you need to do, is not evade it, and stop blaming yourself, but embrace everything you have.

I don’t think I really made sense there but I do hope you get it, dear reader of this post. I too am going through some hardships in life, and one actually happened today. So I want to thank you, Brooke, for lightening my night and ending my day with a big bang, and because I’m going through such tough times, the encouraging words from your book really helped me tonight.


So yea, readers. Push the limits! (roll credits) Start reading these beautiful and sweet and sexy and hot and heartbreaking and heartwarming and tear-worthy new adult novels. Pushing the limits was an absolutely beautiful read. Not only the toxic romance between Aspen and Morgan, but also the healing and the sharing.

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Book Review: The Dazzling Heights – Katharine McGee

Ok I planned on leaving a chunk for Saturday so I wouldn’t have to sleep insanely late, but its 2am I’m writing up this review right now because this book is too good to forget, and I must have my thoughts fresh.


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Name: The Dazzling Heights
Author: Katharine McGee
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 29, 2017

Synopsis

All that glitters is not gold.

New York City, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amid high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets…

Leda is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays hidden—even if it means trusting her enemy.

Watt just wants to put everything behind him…until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Will he do what it takes to be free of her for good?

When Rylin wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being there also means seeing the boy whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.

Avery is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. She’s desperate to be with him…no matter the cost.

And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who arrives in New York determined to cause a stir. And she knows exactly where to begin.

But unbeknownst to them all, someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, just one wrong step can mean a devastating fall.


Book Cover Comments

Ok I never realised that this book is the “silver”. And after looking at it 500 times, I am absolutely mesmerised. I love how these two towers play a pretty big role in the book, and we actually get to visit these two towers. The meaning behind it is also pretty sick BUT ALSO SADDENING ARTOIJGDFR FEELS

Font is gorgeous as ever, and just that black tower………..
the secrets behind it…………..
its name…………..


The Review

“Fanaa.”
“It means destroying yourself for the one you love.”

Ok no I’m absolutely dead in fact I can’t even wait to do a BookTube review on The Dazzling Heights so I can go down the complete spoiler route, but I have two Video reviews overdue DX

“I dreamed that I lost you.”

There’s one clear proof to why I know I am so addicted to this book: during the two sittings that I finished this book over, I ignored the percentage I set myself to read per night, and just kept flipping the pages till I felt like stopping. That was today basically. I got past 66%, and then i was like “ok this is not enough I need more” and then i was like “ok guess what I’ll just finish the book 2am is nothing for me”——
SO HERE I AM!

She just hoped their love was enough to keep them safe.

WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?
Can I just say that The Dazzling Heights is even worse than The Thousandth Floor? How everything is deeply entwined together and all the secrets, lies, relationships, everything? The web woven from the previous book is now filled with even more intricate detail and sophistication.

There was nowhere they could go that was safe.. Maybe love wasn’t enough after all. Not when every last obstacle was arrayed against you… When the entire world was keeping you apart.

The amount of suspense Katharine put into this book is unbearable, especially during the story arc at the end. The Dazzling Height’s ending actually matches The Thousandth Floor in terms of the general concept, mirroring roles (OMG MIRRORING ROLES MIRROR-CEPTION soz I’m dying here I know you can tell) and the final chapter’s results? But I like how it ended despite knowing what’s to come. That kept the suspense the entire time, making me wonder exactly who will die. (This was explained in Katharine’s “The Dazzling Heights Secrets” Vid)

“Live. With or without, here in New York or on the damned moon, I don’t care. Just live, and be happy, since I can’t. Promise me that.”

And then the god damn brewing romance. Some of you might know by now, but I have a very soft spot for romance. Not only did Katharine hit the right spot, she sent butterflies down my stomach into my belly, and basically ripped my heart out. IT WAS THAT BAD PEOPLE. I WAS NOT READY FOR ALL THE RELATIONSHIP EMOTIONAL TURMOIL AND BEAUTY LIKE HOLY HELL (I had six pink tabs for some sweet scenes I deemed worthy of tabbing)

“It’s killing her.”

During my review of The Thousandth Floor, because I saw it more as a drama book rather than the sci-fi, let’s spend this paragraph talking about the sci-fi aspects of it, since its a major chunk in the book as well!
I LOVE IT.
There are so many cool things that Katharine came up with, from this cool form of transportation in a small distance, to how other cities around the world function, as well as a lot of new cool technology that I won’t spoil you, cus I just want you to first hand experience it. I remember while reading the book, at one point I basically went :O
The technology introduced from the previous book is, of course still here, and is super super awesome, because we also have a super quantum computer hacking into systems and basically doing all the cool stuff. Yes, super quantum computer is a legend. ALSO THE 360 RECORDING DEVICE

For once, she didn’t really feel like admiring her own reflection.

Ok right now I’m listening to probably the perfect song for this book: Sweet Lies by EXO. Here’s a snippet of the translated lyrics:

Sometimes the truth
Hurts more than lies
We’re scared of getting hurt
We turn away from the truth

I don’t wanna hurt you either
So bitter
This is the only way we can be
No matter what I do
So again I
Do it again because I have no choice

So I tell her sweet lies, sweet lies, sweet lies
The sweetest lie in the world
I tell her sweet lies, sweet lies
If this is what you want, I’ll give it all to you

And the song’s slow and heavy mood is basically the perfect song for a book full of drama. I swear I’m still dying internally right now. I basically told my mom: “OK MOM ABSOLUTE SILENCE BECAUSE KATHARINE’S BOOKS ARE TOO MUCH TO HANDLE”.
So just like last review, I’m going to talk a bit about the individual characters as well, and then I’ll wrap up otherwise this review is getting too long.

And then there was nothing more.

Leda started off crazy. She was basically off the charts. It is because of what happened in book 1 that basically led to her current breakdown, but as she starts to untangle the knots that she and the others have created in her life, what will her path lead down to? And light spoilers, but Leda has a brewing relationship, and despite all oddities of the relationship, I totally ship it. Leda’s path in this book was full of healing and untangling, and I end up just loving her so much.

He might set himself free—or he might destroy life as he knew it.

Watt is firstly, simply a child that needs to learn about the real world and stop relying on super computers. Yes. Secondly, he totally killed me. The first intentions of some of the actions Watt chose to do, and how those developed later, and how friendships were brought together and then a whole super bunch of stuff developed… I love how Katharine adds a tone of humor between Watt and Nadia, and I love how these two partner in crime is basically the bloodhound that sniffs out all the puzzle pieces together. Btw I also love Watt as a character. I love the choices he made.

Gods I’m hungry (TIMESTAMP: 09/23/2017 2:22AM)

Rylin needs to get her crap together and go for the boy in which they broke each other’s heart. These two are like absolute baes that I want to see together again, and of course Katharine needs to add a little bit more drama at the end…. BACK ON THE MAIN TRACK! Super cool how Rylin got sent to a high-class school. Rylin learns something about herself that she never knew, and also a bit of that self realisation and acceptance that the levels of the Tower don’t define who she is. Rylin got super awesome near the end of the book when she and Leda’s relationship started thickening!

How strangely the world worked sometimes, that the two of them were off to find risotto together, forming a bizarre sort of truce under the soft, glittered sky.

AVERY IS MY ULTIMATE GIRL AND BAE THAT KILLED ME. I PERSONALLY LOVE AVERY’S PERSPECTIVE THE BEST SIMPLY BECAUSE I WILL DIE FOR ROMANCE. LIKE I’M CONSTANTLY DYING WHENEVER AVERY IS DYING, SEEING HER RELATIONSHIP WITH HER LOVED ONE GETTING MORE AND MORE TANGLED AND COMPLICATED. AS AVERY BEGINS TO SORT OUT THE FUTURE AND LOOK TO WHERE THE THREAD ENDS, AS THE RELATIONSHIP SENDS BUTTERFLIES DOWN MY STOMACH!?!?!?!?! I still feel sorry for Avery though. Its also because of who she is, the girl on the Thousandth Floor, that gave her a lot of restrictions and perceptions from the others. BUT EITHER WAY I LOVE AVERY AND I JUST WANNA GO COMFORT HER HELLO

Except this was the only way it could be.

Calliope. OH WOW. I did not expect to like her in the end. From the synopsis, you can obviously deduce that Calliope will be the one to stir up some drama. Ok she basically did but that’s only with one perspective, but Calliope’s background is real complicated… that’s when I started falling for her. When Calliope’s time spent in New York began to change the person who she was, when her time spent in New York made her rethink on her past.. a path of realisation.. But hey I still hate her for causing drama #SorryNotSorry

She couldn’t wait to find out what she, as a New Yorker, was really like.

The Dazzling Heights never lets you off the hook on the rollercoaster of self destruction. Until the very last moment…
Until more secrets have been revealed…
Until the spiderweb is more complicated than ever…
Until all that glitters is not gold.

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas

Hello.

This book review is overdue since I reread ACOMAF which was back in April or May or something.

I never managed to write up ACOMAF because I finished ACOWAR so quickly that I had no time to write up ACOMAF.

And then I just didn’t have the time.

And now I have too much time on my hands because I have another 30 minutes before class.

Caution: mild spoilers!


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Name: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: May 3, 2016

 Synopsis

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.


Book Cover Comments

I absolutely love the shade of blue used in ACOMAF’s cover. It also adds to the Night Court element, and Feyre’s warrior like outfit is to die for. Also, i spy a tattoo.


The Actual Review

Five months later and here I am trying to write a review on a reread that was read five months ago. Oh, how time flies.

No one was my master— but I might be master of everything, if I wished. If I dared.

I remember the first time I read ACOMAF, I slightly stumbled along the way because I didn’t expect the path change in terms of how the ships went. I understood why Sarah made that decision but never sort of accepted it due to the way of how I read books and “cast” my characters.

“I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”

During the beginning of ACOMAF, Feyre is trying her best to adopt to her new life of being immortal and being full fae, but at the same time, repression and inequality brews in the Spring Court, and that’s where Tamlin starts receiving a shit ton of bad nicknames. Sarah really wanted to boost the concept of a healthy relationship by having Tamlin as a contrast role, discussing the issues of a non-healthy relationship. However, I think that is the case because Tamlin was just so broken from Amarantha.

But I would glow—for him, I’d glow. For my own future, I’d glow.

I believe that no one is alike, and Tamlin’s sufferings will never compare to that of Rhys, but I’m sorry to inform you, dear reader, that I do have a soft spot for Tamlin.

I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.

Feyre later on travels to the Night Court back and forth, and permanently stays in the Night Court. Both Feyre and Rhys continue to have a brewing relationship, and as they understand each other more, I notice that by being beside each other and communicating, the two are secretly healing each other.

“To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.” 

We also get to meet Rhys suicide squad, a.k.a. the Inner Circle of the Night Court. The members of the inner circle are all so baddass, I just can’t. If I could, I’d have all of them for brothers and sisters even if it means getting annoyed everyday. But their loyalty to Rhys is something that I found very, beautiful. Despite the years of ups and downs that they’ve had and all they’ve been through, they believe in their leader.

“There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

The city of dreams, Velaris, is absolutely gorgeous. This is where part of the Night Court is, and the most frequent spot that we’ll be visiting. Velaris is basically a city of rainbows as well, and I can just imagine it as a simple village with the mood like hanging tons of fairy lights in a garden. The secret behind Velaris, the construction of it and the purpose of Velaris really brings out the charm in Rhys, and the charm in the Night Court, what makes it so special, and naturally why Feyre and us readers are attracted to it.

And all around us, as if the world itself were indeed falling apart, stars rained down.

As fae, Feyre also needs to learn the new powers that she has gained after she is now immortal. Its super cool to know that Feyre has basically so many different types of power. Like, this is the fantasy girl that i want: someone who has basically any abilities. Ok putting that aside, these powers also helps build the relationship and bond between Feyre and Rhys, as well as the Inner Circle.

I became darkness, shadow, and wind.

You’ll also get to see a lot of revelations in ACOMAF, in which all of them are mind blowing. Especially after you get to PART 3, THE HOUSE OF XXXX (yes i forgot i’m sorry). There’s a huge secret that Rhys already knew, and that Feyre is about to find out, and what happens in the end? Well if you haven’t read the book go read it yourself, but if you’ve read it:

;)

Ah yes the kisses and the smut.
I LOVE IT.
No I’m not going to deny the fact that I do enjoy these intimate scenes. To me, they really represent the bond flowing through the hearts and minds of two people, and the passion they share for each other…
Credz to animes that I’ve watched as a child, romanticising romance so much that I have a soft spot for romance in books :)

“I want you to know… that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you.”

Really, by the time you get to the end of ACOMAF, you can’t wait to pick up ACOWAR and just read it. The end of ACOMAF I would say is as devastating as Empire of Storms. Innocent people gets dragged into this whole drama while the dangers continue to rise in the kingdom of Hybern.

“You forgot that strength, and that you can burn and become darkness, and grow claws. You forgot. You stopped fighting.”

A Court of Mist and Fury was just an emotional rollercoaster ride. I really enjoyed it the first time I read it, and I enjoyed it even more the second time I read it. There was just a lot of feels and emotions, many realisations and healing.

Reunited – Colleen Houck

Ah.

The end of a series.

I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book this far along my road of reading, feeling such devastation and emptiness.

I just want to spend this top paragraph talking a little bit about my current emotions regardless of book plot or not.

Colleen’s Reawakened Series meant a lot to me. It was like how Lilliana found Amon in the Met. Me and my dad found Reawakened during August 2015 in a bookstore in New York (haha). It was really as if I reawakened. That part of me that loved to read was brought back after so many years of running away and ignoring those fears of mine. The book was on my mind for months after I read it. I fell in love with it instantly, and I could honestly say that a part of my soul is now with this book series.

As I am typing this, I am wearing the pendant that I made because of this series. From the moment the school trip supervisors talked about silver jewellery making, the first thing that came to my mind was Reawakened. The book that left me devastated at that time. I’m so glad that I made the pendant. I will never regret it even as great books come and go. Reawakened Series will always have that special place in my heart. (You’ll get to see the pendant I designed, shaped, forged by a pro Silversmith at the end of this post)

Now then, on to the review!


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Name: Reunited
Author: Colleen Houck
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: August 8, 2017

Synopsis

After surviving her otherworldly adventure, Lily wakes up on her nana’s farm having forgotten everything. Her sun prince, her travels to Egypt, and her journey to the Afterlife are all distant memories.

But Lily is not the girl she once was. Her body is now part human, part lion, and part fairy. And if that isn’t bad enough, she must now harness this power of three and become Wasret: a goddess destined to defeat the evil god Seth once and for all.

With the help of her old friend Dr. Hassan, Lily departs on her final voyage through the cosmos and across the plains of Egypt. On the journey, she will transform into the being she is destined to become.

It is time for Lily to find her sunset.


Book Cover Comments

Honestly if it wasn’t for the synopsis, I wouldn’t realise how the three books represent sunrise, sunshine and sunset.

At first I had some opinions about the cover, because I felt that the design seemed rather simple compared to the sophisticated and intricate designs of the first two books. But as I hold this book in my hands and flip through each page, I knew that this was the perfect cover. It truly resembled a sunset.


The Actual Review

I won’t be including any quotes in this review due to myself being in a rather emotional state, and I can’t bring myself too much time and effort to do so.

Really. The six characters in the story go through their vast journey in finding themselves, finding their sunrise, their sunshine, and their sunset.

I wouldn’t say that Colleen’s writing would be suitable for every reader, as her writing tends to lean towards the pure happy ending. And while the ending is slightly bothering me a bit right now, its just that simple essence of romance and the joy of adventure that made me fall in love with her books. As long as you don’t mind a maybe slightly more cheesy plot and ending, then definitely read the book.

Lily, Tia and Ashleigh learned to realise their destiny and what lies ahead of them. While I still love Lily the most, I myself have learned to embrace Tia and Ashleigh. Without them, Lily wouldn’t be the girl that she is now. She has changed so much from who she was. The different sides of Lily, their destiny, what they have to do in order to save the cosmos. When the final battle came, I was constantly in the pit of devastation of the choices that these three have made, the paths these three have chosen, the loss these three had to go through, but I am forever glad about the beauty of what lies ahead, of how Colleen decided to end this story, because that was how I wanted it to be. It’s also because I connect with this book on a different level, that a lot of my thoughts and emotions fused with Lily. While I will never understand the sadness at the very end, her hope for the outcome in the ending is the exact same as mine, and she did get her beautiful sunset.

The counterparts, Amon, Ahmose and Asten. I have embraced them since the beginning of the series, and I love them equally while I have to say I learn towards Amon. Book three was really special in terms of the experience of the three men. Reawakened was a first love found in Amon, Recreated harbored the love of Asten and the feelings of Tia, and the new exploration among the stars, and Reunited brings the love of Ahmose and the emotions of Ashleigh, and the love blossoming under the moonlight. Its really different to see each boy grow and change, the secrets behind the language of their eyes, their love, just, everything. In the final book, there’s also a lot of interaction due to the fact that Lily harbors the souls of three girls, and really, it was a painful time to watch all the disagreements. But with that ending, I’m truly happy that it turned out this way.

There are actually many unanswered questions in this book. Most of them actually is about the relationships between the characters, mostly the gods, and exactly what happened. I tend to find myself falling down the rabbit hole, getting completely lost in certain lines and reading over and over again to see the clues to it. Alas, it might have been mentioned in the other books and I forgot about it, but nonetheless, these revelations helped progress the plot.

I really love how Colleen adapted a lot of Egyptian mythological elements into this book. While some elements do not exactly belong in the category of Egypt, the book wouldn’t have done justice without them. As the minutes pass by, I recall how two years ago, if I were to have 3 sons and a daughter, I’d name them Amon, Ahmose, Asten and Lily.

Harnessing the power of Wasret was not easy. Wasret was a guiding light for the three girls and the decisions that they decide to make in order to defeat Seth once and for all. In this book, we also get to touch upon Wasret by seeing through her perspective when she is in complete control of Lily’s body. While she indeed is a mighty being, Wasret was an interesting character for me to “imagine”. She is one that lacked sympathy and emotion, and at many times did not understand the pain of the hearts that makes up a part of her. But seeing Wasret as such a powerful being, I just can’t help but sit back and awe. And it somewhat reminds me of how even the strongest would have something that the weak has and they don’t. And Wasret continues to nurture and grow alongside the three girls in this book.

 

I don’t think I have anything else to say. My mind is too frozen to really continue to say anything, but I will keep on saying how simple and beautiful the ending was. There are so many possibilities I see from Lily’s perspective, of her future and of everything, and thinking of these just makes me smile.

 

 


Reunited closes off the Reawakened series with the most simple and sweet ending, one that I wouldn’t have it any other way. The romance, sacrifices, journey and decisions that each character went through, and came out nurtured and grew greater than they were before, it makes me smile at the thought of that. And finally…

The power of love.

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Book Review: Dark Breaks the Dawn – Sara B. Larson

3:30am in the morning lets do this

how am i ever going to go on a day without feeling sleepy, and then waking up at night like a vampire because I’m probably one

Note that I have unfortunately made this review mildly spoilerish, but its really not if you know the story of Swan Lake well, and the fact that this is a Swan Lake retelling. You’re gonna be expecting one or two elements from the story you know to appear in the book either way.


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Name: Dark Breaks the Dawn
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release May 30, 2017

Synopsis

On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.


Book Cover Comments

As you all know (or if not) this is a Swan Lake retelling, and we can see THE ONE AND ONLY symbol that represents the theme we have on the book cover: a swan. Surprise!

Just kidding.

After finishing the book, I see the significance of those red vines thorns whatever they are. And ooo this book IZZZ gonna thrill you.

And the stone plays an important part in the story!


The Actual Review

First impressions:

Is this book like, a heavy Sarah J. Maas influenced book? Cus all I see is:

  • conduit stone (ACOTAR check)
  • Lorcan (TOG check)
  • inner circle (ACOTAR check)
  • one or two plot points (CHECK)
  • spider silk (TOG check)

That kind of bugged me during my first reads at the book, but at the same time, this book was so attractive and so addictive, I couldn’t stop turning the pages and eventually lost track of time. And no, despite all the references that I believe are to be from SJM books, (or not?) the entire plot to Dark Breaks The Dawn was completely unique. I really loved this story. And I have to say, it was a haunting experience to read.

I’ll explain the “haunt” when I get to the end.

Evelayn, our heroine, super strong. I totally love her. She’s a really unique girl, because of how strong she can be. She fights down her tears, she puts up her stance and her status in front of her audience, and the bravery that she has is just absolutely stunning. Sara lets all of Evelayn’s emotions flow through the text, and that vulnerability that Evelayn has despite all of the chaos in her life, leading her to put up wall after wall is just what we needed to complete her.

And with Evelayn being said, we must not ignore the R-O-M-A-N-C-E in this book. Ok slightly spoilery here but you’d be expecting it anyway, is how Evelayn just kind of clicked in with Tanvir. Their mutual attraction was so strong, and Sara’s romance game was gigantic. If a reader feels the heart flutters, then that means Joanne the book reviewer will pretty much, if not, love the book. (Yes people I love romance) The build up in their relationship, opening up to each other and then in the confession is just TOO MUCH TO TAKE HAHAHAHHAHAAHAHA (i went nuts yes i did)

This world that Evelayn is in obviously has magical powers, and I believe it would be beneficial if the book explained the term that the people with the magical ability was called, since it confused me so much. 25% into the book and I finally had a grasp on what exactly it was. I would have loved a little bit more elaboration of the powers and the magic system, cus it was a little confusing, and we come across these difficult to pronounce/read terms.

Imagine if the most important mountain in this world was named Eyjafjallajökull.

Then no one except the Icelanders would be able to pronounce it right 😂

Plot. Oh yes the plot. It was well spread, everything wasn’t rushed and was just right, the build up to the semi-climax of the book, so well passed halfway, and you might have predicted, would be something to do about war. I mean, its up there in the synopsis. Though I felt like during the war part, some parts were rushed, and I’m definitely not a big fan of like, huge big blows of power, because I feel like its like

Oh. It finally happened.

or like

Wait thats it

or like

It happened in a blink of an eye

And then the part after the battle is the part that is the most important. Because the story continues to build up to the final climax at the very end of the book. And that is why reading this part was very haunting. Because I knew there was more to come, and yet the language and events in this part of this book seemed fairly chill in order to hide it (IMO). Then the climax came along at the very end of the book.

#cliffhanger

Then the Swan Lake element hits.

Look at all dem spoilers in this review.

I always wondered where was the true Swan Lake element that we all know, and there it is. And the book ends.

Me after I read past page 301:

great.

another year of longing for the next and final book of the series to come out to learn more about everything and to resolve everything.


This was definitely a great read of July. The fact that it wasn’t a blastingly lengthy book made it simple and easy to read, and the romance in the book was extremely rich and absolutely lovely. Not to mention that oh so great cliffhanger at the end :)

Book Review: Spindle Fire – Lexa Hillyer

Whew, finished the final part of the book on the plane back to Hong Kong simply because I had nothing better to do, and I slept too much throughout the day.


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Name: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release April 11, 2017

 

 

Synopsis

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.


Book Cover Comments

Despite the sort of dull blue/green/grey, the contrast it had with the rest of the graphics, in which is in an ice blue shade was really cool. The designs for the castles and whatever symbolism it had was really nice as well. I also liked how its the opposite of book 2 (coming out in 2018)’s cover, as the background color is ice blue, and the font for the title (Winter Glass btw) is in that dull blue/green/grey. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)


The Actual Review

OK like are you serious this book just killed me.

Let’s kick off with the Sleeping Beauty retelling element. I super duper duper love how we get a mix of both old and new, from the classic Aurora tale of falling asleep, to the fact that Aurora actually wakes up in a totally different world? Also the fact that the so called fairy godmothers you know in the classic tale ain’t that fairy godmother like anymore. Lexa changes the entire concept of some of the most well known characters, well unfortunately basically all of them, and unfortunately villainising almost everyone we used to know to make a whole new Sleeping Beauty. I thought I saw elements of Disney’s live action movie, Maleficent, in the book. Maybe I do, but my speculations can’t be confirmed till I read the next book, in which I’m dying to.

Then we have the two sisters.

It is really interesting for Aurora and Isabelle to have a part(s) of them tithed to the fairies, and so that makes our characters very interesting. Whereas all the previous books that I’ve read so far has pretty much completely normal characters in terms of body criteria, Isabelle has her sight tithed while Aurora has her sense of touch and voice tithed. Imagining these characters and putting myself into their shoes was a completely different experience, and the tithes make a great role in their own personal development.

Yes, personal development.

I am so proud to see the character growth of both Aurora and Isabelle. Aurora, in her sleeping world, has learnt the worth of herself and found out the things that she can do. She broke so many boundaries that she couldn’t do as a princess and in the real life world, and in her sleeping world, she had the courage and bravery to believe in what she thought was the correct way, and went ahead. And throughout the story, she broke so many mysteries and solved so many riddles that lead to the final ending which was satisfying.

#TwilightMoment #SpoilerAlert

Isabelle’s main issue was self worth, because (SPOILER ALERT) she is basically the bastard daughter of the king, and you could technically call her Aurora’s shadow in people’s eyes. Isabelle has constant worries over her own worth when comparing herself to Aurora, and through her journey of trying to find a way to save her sister and by encountering a very special (AHEM) someone, Isabelle has learnt to be a little bit more selfish for herself, to believe in the worthiness of herself, and that she is beautiful in her own way.

Ok maybe not that last line, but she’s getting there.

I super duper love how the book works. The majority of the POVs switch between Aurora and Isabelle, so alternating chapters of these two POVs, with occasional cameo appearances of some fairy lords, fairy princess, the “fairy godmothers” whatever whatever whatever. They told a story of their own, they shared snippets from the past that helped explain the rest of the book and solve some mysteries, and during some points, I was in absolute shock.

What else is there to say?

OH RIGHT. THE FINAL THING.

ROMANCE.

DAMN YOU LEXA HILLYER YOU TOOK MY BREATH AWAY FOR ROMANCE. 100 POINTS TO YOU.

LIKE HOW MANY SHIPS TO WE HAVE GOING ON IN THIS BOOK? FIVE THOUSAND? AND LIKE, ALL THE JEALOUSY AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JEALOUSY IN THIS BOOK IS JUST JUST JUST TREMENDOUS, AND LIKE HOLY LORDS AURORA AND THE SO CALLED STRANGER SHE MET, AND AS I “SPOILED” YOU ABOVE, ISABELLE MEETS SOMEONE AS WELL, AND THEN YOU PLUG IN THIS EXTRA CHARACTER IN AURORA’S STORY, AND THEN AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHHH

#ded

Ok also the fact that many roles overlap and many roles kind of mirror each other. You’ll see what I mean when you compare our heroines to some other existing sisters in the book. And then cue the jealousy and how that brings down hell and storm and whatever whatever.

#stillDed

#StewardnessJustGaveMeCARAMELITAiceCremeYUSSSSSSS

#YesI’mTypingUpMyReviewOnThePlaneLIT

So in conclusion (The crappest way to end an essay or whatever I know) if you die for crazy romance that gives you beautiful butterfly heartaches, a great mystery, alternative worlds and mirroring roles and images, definitely pick up Spindle Fire. This was totally worth the purchase when I was at B&N Orange County back in California. It’s such a good read, and the last line is definitely to die for.

Book Review: All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

Right. One month.

I’ll try to document the two week trip to America, and then the other missing two weeks? School. HELL.

WHO’S SCHOOL HAS THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF SCHOOL MORE STRESSFUL THAN EXAMS?

MINE.

MMMIINNNNEEEEE


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Name: All The Bright Places
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Ember / Knopf (1st ed)
Release Date: September 6, 2016 / Jan 6, 2015 (1st ed)

Synopsis

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might kill himself, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—six stories above the ground— it’s unclear who saves whom. Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. . . .


Book Cover Comments

It’s cute.

A very contemporary message-bringing book book cover.


The Actual Review

I had a lot of high expectations because of goodreads choice awards and what everyone said.. but… no.

I just didn’t really click with ATBP. I think the greatest problem that caused all of this was because the perspectives really confused me. I dunno, just felt like at the beginning there was so much going on, I lose track of the characters.

And thats the reason why I never read Harry Potter. Firstly I can’t pull up so many character faces in my mind. And secondly, I watched the movies. And thirdly, too much going on. Ok I sidetracked.

Also, at certain points, we lose Violet’s perspective completely, and that part just confused the heck outta me. I had absolutely no idea what was going on.

 

Tbh half of the time I had no idea what was going on in this book. It was somewhat really hard for me to catch up onto what was going on. There are parts where it gets really interesting, but because of my low-hype throughout the book, it became awkward. I think in general, the build up of Violet and Finch was just really mellow, and I get why, because this is kind of Jennifer Niven’s biography in a sense, since she’s sharing a personal experience of hers but in this form.

Also, I think I never understood what the story surrounds until I got to the ending. I always thought it of (mild spoilers btw) “There’s a reason to live on, you might still suicide but hold on” instead of what the book is, which is “the survivor of the incident, as in the sidewatcher”. I think this stumped me up. Also I just have to say, the ending felt rushed to me, everything just happened. And because of that misunderstanding, it didn’t leave me a good impression.

Like ok I get this is for a good cause, at occasional times its really sweet, the message its giving readers I understood because I can associate with it, but I just didn’t really dig into it. Also I personally like to know everything, I’m nosey, so when there are one or two things that the author left out on purpose, it itches. I’m sorry but I’m a real pandora right here.

 

So overall, this is just my opinion and my reading experience, you might like it you might not, it really depends on how the book hits you and if you understand whats going on.