Book Review: My Not So Perfect Life – Sophie Kinsella

New review here we go.

yes I’m doing this in English class because I’m not bothered to work on my World Literature essay, and I have no notes on me to come up with a proper topic!


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Name: My Not So Perfect Life
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Bantam Press
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Synopsis

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.

Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.

But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?

Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.

Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?


Book Cover Comments

I kinda wanted the other cover, but some how it was this one!

Aesthetically very pleasing. I totally love the fonts used, and the little illustration of Katie was adorable. I can’t stop noticing how the placement of everything is just amazing. Gods.


The Actual Review

I didn’t realise it at first until I started reading this book.
That I purchased an Adult Fiction.
I usually go for YA, and I’ve actually never tried adult fiction before, so this is a totally new thing to me. It started off a bit slow, but it caught up really well later on, and it was super interesting and fun.

So this book would be more reflecting on real life situations and not so much beautiful falling in love whatsoever contemporary YA books, and the real life situations are on point.

Katie and Demeter both have troubles going through their lives, how their family affects their job, vice versa, relationship issues, as well as their love for their families. You’ll see how it all plays out when you read the book.

The unravelling of these two’s lives and their troubles, and how their relationship changed throughout the book was really interesting to see. While reading this book, I kept getting The Intern feels. Yes, the one featuring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro. And then I rewatched The Intern after I finished the book.

I super love that the company this entire job surrounds is a brand logo/illustration company, and how Katie’s skills tie in with what she does back in the countryside when she goes there. And that’s the first domino tile that kickstarts everything.

The description of the countryside farmhouse seems pretty luxurious, honestly. I kind of want to go there and experience nature, because I’m a 100% nature person. And the elements and activities provided in the program of the hotel-camp business that her dad set up seems really fun as well. There were also a lot of humor inserted into the events that happened during the visiting of different guests.

Btw, there’s a heck ton of gossip and shade going on, and this is a really key point to the plot in the book. Why, I won’t tell you, but it’s how every bad turn on either Katie or Demeter, not spoiling you, started to happen, and what I like is that the book ended in a “solving mystery” way, which just makes things more interesting.

Last but not least, the cute sweet love involved in this book. Geez whenever Katie and her crush has interactions, my heart flutters like hell, and these two takes intimacy up a level. Totally love it. And the ending totally broke my heart :)


My Not So Perfect Life is a perfect chill read on a hot summer day or a cool autumn afternoon, suitable for anyone looking for a bit of the real world out there, a little bit of The Intern and a little bit of love.

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J. Maas

I think I’ll just have to start writing up this review before A Court of Mist and Fury, before all the feelings disappear.

I’ll leave the spoiler review for my YouTube video, because I’m literally speechless right now.

Btw this is spoils for ACOTAR and ACOMAF, so read at your own risk. I’ll try to stay away from ACOWAR spoilers, but some major general concepts and details are required.


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Name: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: May 2, 2017

 Synopsis

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


Book Cover Comments

Feyre in her wonderful Night Court dress designed by darling Charlie Bowater, holding a i-assume-it-is-Illyrian blade, the mountains behind her and the mist shadows surrounding her on the US cover, and the thorns surrounding her on the contrasting seafoam green background on the UK cover. Stunning

Ugh my mosquito bite itches.


The Actual Review

“One life may change the world.”

There is literally nothing to say how beautiful this book is. How beautiful the first trilogy was.

“I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that i do not love with everything I am.”

So much went on, my heart was mended and broken over and over again. This is the first final book of a series that I have read from Sarah, and she did not disappoint me at all. In fact, she might have done too well. I might not have cried as I just don’t cry a lot, but my mind and my heart is a tattered mess right now.

“I am yours, and you are mine.”

Feyre began with finding herself in Spring Court in order to set things in motion to prepare for the future. But little did she know that some actions she made might have mended the situation permanently, but not some far future plans.

“You do not fear. You do not falter. You do not yield. You go in, and you come out again.”

And that, reader, is for you to find out what exactly I am talking about.

“It is a new world, and we must decide how we are to end this old one and begin it anew.”

In this book, war looms ahead, and everyone, not just the Night Court, every single court must choose their side, Hybern or Prythian, whether they should involve the humans, call in old debts, whether to summon terrible beasts to fight with them. And the entire process of the war planning was heartbreaking. All the High Lords, all of the shrouded mysteries and secrets revealed, when we reunite with old characters in the book, when we see whether courts will join forces together, what they can offer.

“We’re all a broken, in our own ways – In places no one might see.”

There is one High Lord that I still love so much, and I knew that the hope I held for him throughout the past few books was not wasted. He is broken and shattered, but some day, I hope he finds happiness.

That was who had been running alongside us. Trying to find us.

*sobs*

“There are many types of strength beyond the ability to wield a blade and end lives.”

Many characters grow and bloom in this book, I won’t mention what, but honorable mentions must be Elain and Nesta. You’ll see why when you read it. Both of them, shook from fear back in ACOMAF, have to face their new life of adapting to what they have become. And when they find courage and friendship among those around them, so that they can hold on to something to continue living, and face the future given to them…

I understood why it had come to help me, again and again. Not just for kindness … but because it was a dreamer.

In this book, we will encounter some great great characters, those where the High Lords and Lady will ask for their help, so that they can save Prythian from the hands of Hybern and the power of the Cauldron… And when these great great characters put on their best effort to assist them, oh…

“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”

Honorable mention 101: Suriel bb

“It’s a rare person to face who they are and not run from it – not be broken by it.”

There is one thing that this book reminded me about:
Don’t be afraid of who you might be deep down. Everyone has their beautiful sides, their outer shell, their inner self, their fear, rage sadness, the ugly side of them. But it is all a part of you. Learn to love yourself for who you are, and do not show fear, for your greatest enemy is yourself. Embrace the darkness in you, for where there is light, there is darkness. Embrace it, and even do not let it scare you.

“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.”

Gods I feel like I’m in

oh shit.

WHY DIDN’T I SEE IT
SAILOR MOON
IS THIS ON PURPOSE
HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST
I THINK I’M A GENIUS
I’M SORRY I’M EMOTIONAL AND HIGH RIGHT NOW

AFTER I FOUND MYSELF INSANELY QUOTING FROM SAILOR MOON IN THAT PARAGRAPH ABOVE, (and quoting ACOWAR of course, not directly though) I SAW THE HUGE CONNECTION BETWEEN SAILOR MOON AND ACOWAR. HOW DID I FORGET THAT??????!!!!!!!! YOU, READER, CAN FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF OF MY DISCOVERY. BECAUSE IT IS FUN.

“Leave this world… a better place than how you found it.”

That’s it. I’m gonna reread Sailor Moon. No doubts bout’ that. No doubts. I think it’ll help mend my tattered mind right now. And since Goodreads established the reread system, it’ll count into my Reading Challenge 😏😏😏

And none of us dared to speak as he dropped to his knees before her chair, took her shocked face in his broad hands, and kissed her soundly.

I’m staring at nothing right now. I don’t have anything else to say how perfect this ending is.

“I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don’t know. I don’t really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life.”

At every end is a new beginning.
The road ahead might be smooth, might be bumpy. You might encounter troubles, you might find something that will make your day.
But know that nothing in this world is of coincidence. Everything is the inevitable.
And that…
Everything is a gift.

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

Since ACOWAR is out, I thought I’d do a written review of ACOTAR and ACOMAF since I reread it :)


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Name: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: May 5, 2016

 Synopsis

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


Book Cover Comments

The two editions don’t have much of a difference, but one is more sophisticated background, and the other one simplistic. Both are really unique, and I really like it as how it progresses throughout the rest of the series.

And the tattoo on Feyre’s hand is really pretty.


The Actual Review

I actually don’t even know what to say about this book.

Like its just so entwined into my mind, I’m not even too sure what to talk about it.

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”

Ok let’s begin with “this story is inspired by Beauty and the Beast”. Yes I see it. It’s nice how the entire plot line is inspired from it, as there are some retellings where only part of it is inspired from it. Ok this is just complete B.S.

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

ACOTAR started off pretty dull, until Tamlin comes in and interrupts Feyre’s life. As we see Feyre slowly adapting to the her surrounding and situation in the fae land of Prythian, learn to accept those around her, oh, everything is just sweet and romantic. (and that’s what Sarah wants us, plotted us to be in in preparation for next book.)

“I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all.”

There are many sweet moments that Feyre and Tamlin spend together will make me fawn over everytime I read it. (yes ACOMAF readers despite it being Tamlin) Tamlin still has a special place in my heart during his time in ACOTAR.

I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.

Feyre is a really special character in the sense that, she had to be extremely independent since a young age, her sisters being, cruel, peculiar, just somewhat ignorant in my opinion. I don’t think I’d like my sisters (not that I have any) to leave all the work of living to me, but we’ll change our opinions on Nesta and Elain soon enough. They come off real different during ACOMAF and ACOWAR. Well attitude wise not so much, but still.

“We need hope, or else we cannot endure.”

Because the blurb didn’t say much, and I don’t want to spoil any of you who haven’t read it, but the last quarter of the book takes place somewhere else in Prythian, where the darkness lurks, where Feyre has to face some pretty terrible things, all in order to save her love, Tamlin.

I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.

But will that love be her savior, or her poison?

And the things that she has to do in order to save Tamlin…

And when you reread the books and find all the details entwined into the book that leads to ACOMAF and ACOWAR…

“Ah. The Suriel told you nothing important, did it?”

SURIEL BB IS THE ULTIMATE BAE OF THIS BOOK BECAUSE THE SURIEL IS LEGIT A BITACH GOSSIP QUEEN- SURIEL IS THE BEAST THAT KNOWS LEGIT ALMOST EVERYTHING AND BASICALLY A TRUTH TELLER!

If you find this review very boring, just go watch my youtube review. It’s probably better over there than this BS for the sake of OCD, so that ACOWAR won’t just be a review here, and ACOTAR and ACOMAF will accompany it. Yes I’m shallow I know. Shhh.


Ok update as of 22 May, 2017.
Let’s do a little more BS because I guess I’m a bit more in the mood.

“I came to claim the one I love.”

So let’s talk a little bit about Spring Court, and my initial thoughts on it.
Okay, who wouldn’t find Spring Court pretty, when Joanne is obsessed with flowers and just super likes nature? In Spring Court, the main people we get to see are Tamlin and his second, Lucien, who originally hailed from the Autumn Court as the youngest child of the High Lord of the Autumn Court.

“Because I’d want someone to hold my hand until the end, and awhile after that.
That’s something everyone deserves, human or faerie.

Lucien was kind of a douche in the beginning cus he just generally hated Feyre, but kind of gave up hating on her for unknown-reasons-cus-i’m-not-supposed-to-spoil-you-even-if-you-know-what-happened-reasons. And then Tamlin was just genuinely kind. I just saw so much charm in him because I like happy endings and sweet couples. Ahhh, if only life could be a dream.

As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it.

Feyre had to face quite a ton near the ending, where everyone think is where the exciting part is, aka when Beauty saves Beast from whatever curse is on him. Yes need I remind you this is a partial retelling. And this is all just the first step into how she’s broken into tiny little pieces, and the step into how she will heal all together in the second book. P.S., what happened to Feyre is somewhat significant to book 3 ;)

“Everything I love has always had a tendency to be taken from me. I tell very few about the wings. Or the flying.”

Btw the villain in this book is pretty legendary. I mean, in the end she’s just trying to protect the one she loves, in this case, heartbroken and p much died, so she went mad and bonkers. *gods I see all the Sailor Moon references of how in the end, the villains only want to protect EERRR MAHHH GAWDDDD ETHICS AND MORALS MY MIND IS EXPLODING*

“I stepped out of the shelter of my savior’s arm and turned to thank him. Standing before me was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.”

Anyway this book just broke my heart right after I read it, and then I decided that there was nothing I can do except to send a package to SJM because ilysm cus ToG Series also broke my heart, and I made my twitter fan account, aaandddd I reread ACOTAR the next week to celebrate the release of ACOMAF~

“Because,” he went on, his eyes locked with mine, “I didn’t want you to fight alone. Or die alone.”

Btw get ready to meet dead hot High Lord of the Night Court Rhysand and his legendary banter and kindness. Secrets remain in this supposed-non-spoiler-review until ACOMAF.

His eyes locked on mine wide and wild, and his nostrils flared. Shock—pure shock flashed across his features at whatever he saw on my face, and he stumbled back a step. Actually stumbled.

 

Honestly guys this book is amazing. For those of you who think ACOTAR is a waste of time because of what ACOMAF and ACOWAR is gonna be, shut up and learn to embrace everyone and stop being so judgemental. BE FORGIVING.

Book Review: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

 

And here I am… reviewing the legend of legends…

aaaand being behind book blogging schedule!

Note that I will be commentating on the new covers, since that is the edition that I have and will go for.


Name: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 1, 2015 (1st published Mar 27, 2007)

Synopsis

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it’s hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary’s mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon.

But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…


Book Cover Comments

Guess what.

I love it.

Shiny surface, not as creepy as the other edition with a male chest in my face-opinion, the bronze color scheme is lovely. And then there’s wonderful Jace holding a sword and touching some cards. Does it mean something hmm? hmm? hmm? ;)

Btw the new editions’ spines are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous.


The Actual Review

I never thought about reading this series, because I know how many books there are, and I was always so scared to start it because I know how much potential there would be. But here I am, thankful of my friend who basically forced me to read it by buying it as my Christmas present.

Even in the first book and it took a little bit of time to get into, Cassandra Clare’s writing was pretty amazing. The new edition comes with a forward that introduces just a little bit to what the Shadowhunter Chronicles would be like. Just how she decides to combine nephilims, vampires, faeries, all these magical creatures into one cauldron, mix it all up and pour it into one book? That was pretty amazing.

While the general plot concept was somewhat cliche about how a girl embarks on a journey to find her missing mother without knowing anything about her existing past or abilities whatsoever because her mom hid it from her (Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier or Passenger by Alex Bracken), this series didn’t disappoint me at all. Book one begins with a lot of world and character introduction, concept building, so on and so forth. And through Clary, I get to know a lot of basically everything. Now the fact that this book was written in the old ages, there is bound to be a triangular relationship of some sort. But hey, who doesn’t like cliche plot lines? Honestly though, Clary and Jace are pretty cute, and I really want to know what happens next, because there was a plot twist regarding these two’s relationship that makes everything much more intriguing.

Other characters in the book include Simon, Clary’s best friend, Izzy and Raphael who are Jace’s companions, as well as the nephilim’s mentor. Being a regular human introduced into this gang of shadowhunters, Simon naturally felt lost, and Clary somewhat was using him as an advantage to access the human world, because I mean, Clary pretty much lost her house. There was a bit of annoyance and jealously that arose from Simon, in which I haven’t seen for awhile in YA novels, so he was a pretty fresh characters. The relationship between Clary and Simon as best friends, but including an unrequited love was pretty classic as well, but their existing bond could perhaps make them have more interesting development in the future.

Jace is a pretty cocky character to be honest. But hey lets just say this hot guy kinda got attracted to Clary, and chemistry just happened. And the way how he puts himself before others, acts without thinking, the way he just knew what he had to do in some situations in the book for the sake of Clary and not really himself, to save others around him, was pretty sweet of him.

We also get a brief introduction with Magnus Bane!!! Yes he is so significant because he literally has a book for himself (Bane Chronicles in which I have not read yet) He’s a pretty funny character in my opinion, with the way he hosted his heck of a party, but at the same time, really mysterious, because he has so much hidden power, and he only displayed a fraction of it in front of Clary and her friends.

So talking about roll credits, City of Bones refers to Bone City in the book (lol I’m just repeating myself), a place which Clary and Jace would visit, gain a knowledge to a really key information to discover the past of Clary, and how the plot moves along. I won’t spoil you (most of you here reading my review has probably already read City of Bones but whatever) because Clary’s past and family tree is what drives the conclusion to this first book and therefore leading to the plot twist that happened 75% of the way, but yea.

So that’s pretty much it because I can’t think what else to write, but I know that I must get City of Glass as soon as I finish my May Book Haul. And yes, I CANNOT WAIT FOR MY A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN TO ARRIVE. Sarah J. Maas 4evvaaa

Book Review: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire – Rosamund Hodge

THIS WAS ACTUALLY A REALLY WOWEE READ BECAUSE OF THE MAGIC

Honestly where is the next god damn book


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Name: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: September 27, 2016

Synopsis

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .


Book Cover Comments

I think its so cool how the female POVs are highlighted on the cover: Runajo and Juliet. And Juliet’s red dress really contrasts well. The circle in the middle of course signifies something, and no I will not spoil it :)


The Actual Review

It’s a bit difficult to type with an injured hand wrapped in a cocoon-thick amount of bandages.

I really really enjoyed this book. Rosamund Hodge did not dissappoint me with her retelling of Sleeping Beauty – Cruel Beauty (you can read its review here!), and now a retelling of not a fairytale, but such a famous play – Romeo & Juliet?

Let’s begin this review by talking about the retelling elements. Unlike Cruel Beauty which wraps up Sleeping Beauty from beginning till end, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (a.k.a. bscf) did not begin from the beginning. Instead, it begins at around where Tybalt was killed, as the relationship between Romeo and Juliet was pre-established through the reader’s knowledge. With their relationship served as a base core for the character’s mindsets and behaviours, the two pairs – Romeo & Paris // Juliet & Runajo begin their journey.

Before jumping in to the individual pairs, the world building is very very rich. The city of Viyara, the different classes and the clans, how each of them has a different belief, and the religion and history that this city was built on. This serves as such a key point for our main characters, in order to discover ways to save their city – the last place they know with civilisation. Together, they go through learning about the secrets and lies of different people, the corrupted structure of their society, both upper and lower classes, human behaviour of selfish and greed, many more.

The magic in this book is also very rich. Mainly used by the sisters (where Runajo is) who operates the island by feeding it blood to last longer and to maintain it, more secrets and histort unravels as Runajo and Juliet seeks a solution to end all this madness, to give the world another day of hope. The runes, ancient libraries, terrible looking creatures in which I made them cuter to not give my head nightmares, ancient spells written to create bindings and seals, oooh and necromancers. The roles in Juliet’s family, how Juliet is more than what she is, the spells put on her since birth, and the importance and role of Tybalt and Paris.

Romeo and Paris are stuck together in more than just one way. Not gonna spoil you here btw :P Their bond is really special in the sense that they’ll have to deal with each other’s existence way more than anyone would want to, and in the beginning, they come from opposing families. Realising that they have the same objective in mind, they travel along their journey to find a solution to save what they want to protect, and to repay themselves to the kindness they owe.

Juliet and Runajo are also really special, as their relationship, was also unintended. And it could be even worse than what Romeo and Paris are going through. But through all of this, they learn the thoughts of each other, they help each other out, become each others friend, discover pasts, and go through lies and betrayals. It’s really interesting in how this book really really heavily focuses on building a partner-in-crime, a sister, a brother, a friend.

There might be less romance than you expect, but every few chapters, there are scenes that shares the stories of Romeo and Juliet, and you just can’t help but sweetly heartache over it.


A voyage of four, each pair finding friendship in its unexpected way, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire unravels the blossoming of the relationship between the four, weaving the lines of connection to the plot, and leads up to a great cliffhanger for readers to wait for book two, when Viraya will be saved.

 

 

Book Review: The Mirror King – Jodi Meadows

 

Better write this up before I finish my current reading and take a nap XD

I’m glad this book was at Switzerland with me even though I barely read it :) Books deserve to travel and collect my memories too ;)


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Name: The Mirror King
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher(s): Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: April 5, 2016

Synopsis

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.


Book Cover Comments

Slightly annoyed that Tobiah is so cute but Wil is average XD (in my opinion, sorry I’m judgemental) I love the dawn/dusk, the way the lavender blends with the yellow, and the fact that we have the very important location in this book: Wil’s castle in Aecor, the place where she was born in, and the bridge that connects the two lands, and the river beneath it that will mean everything.


The Review

The Orphan Queen was pretty amazing. But the Mirror King? Lords above heavens I cannot describe how amazing this was. Every single aspect of it was absolutely magnificent and wonderful.

“There’s this truth about mirrors. It’s inescapable. But they can lie, too. They can distort the truth, even hide the truth. They create illusion.”

In the previous book, we have Wilhelmina going through struggles with identities. And now, it is the struggles with politics, social issues, and managing a kingdom itself.  Wilhelmina has to think over and over again, what could be better, was she ever ready for this, and I think it is all that self doubt and questioning that Wilhelmina had that really inspired me, inspired me thinking about how much alike everyone is in real life. And in the end, no one is ready for anything, but we’ll just have to do our best.

“I’m not trying to rescue you, but I am trying to help you succeed. There’s a difference.”

The politics in this book are hella complicated. The unpredictable thoughts of the crowds, the sides they take, what they choose to believe and not, lies, deceiving words, riots of dissatisfaction. The desire of different people, the same final objective but different paths that leads to even more conflicts, oh, it just makes everything so exciting to watch.

“Sometimes we hate others for the things we hate in ourselves.”

The romance in this book is just insanely firey. The secret moments and seconds where Wilhelmina and Tobiah will forget everything around them, and drown themselves in even just a little bit of the ocean of love, the separation that causes readers’ hearts to ache, the choices between listening to their heart and respect.

“No matter the masks we wear, we always end up together.”

And in this book, we get even closer to the heart of what the wraith is, and we get an even better taste when a wraith creature, who follows the orders of Wilhelmina acts interestingly. And the way that this wraith has changed from the very beginning of the book, all up to the very end where we all have to let go of this wonderful story. The wraith boy is absolutely magnificent and beautiful.

“Chrysalis.”

Mirrors are a trendy topic in this book, and the impacts it makes on the wraith. The wraith boy also constantly talks about mirrors, and I feel like this whole book was a mirror itself, in a way where the characters get to see what they really look like inside, listening to their heart, and how the mirror is a very mysterious being, both exciting and frightening at the same time. The reflection of one’s self.

“Mirrors are both truth-speakers and liars.”

The revelations and truths in this book were astonishingly shocking. Some things you never ever saw it coming, the suddenness and the greatness of that revelation, how much it could change, *gods all the feels*.


This book was a perfect read, and it was absolutely beautiful. From the characters, to the world, politics and everything else.

 

Book Review: The Winner’s Kiss – Marie Rutkoski

Last time I wrote the review for Winner’s Curse, I was slow on book blog schedule.

Last time I wrote the review for Winner’s Crime, I was slow on reading schedule.

And when I’m writing this review for Winner’s Kiss, I’m very slow on reading schedule.

Btw this spoils you if you haven’t read the other two books, so read at your own risk!


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Name: The Winner’s Kiss
Author: Marie Rutokski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR),
Bloomsbury (my edition)
Release Date: March 29, 2016; March 24, 2016 (Bloomsbury)

Synopsis

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?


Book Cover Comments

 

The only thing I’d like to know, is why each cover needs a different dress color instead of having a unified system XD

Also finally, the dress flows onto the spine.
Btw this is the only one where model Kestrel ain’t holding a sword lmao
This sounds more like a trivia than a comment but anyhow…


The Actual Review

 

Even more plot twists.

This plot twist was even more heartbreaking than The Winner’s Crime. Well I can’t spoil you, reader, but as you know if you’ve read the synopsis, is that Kestrel was sent to the work camp, and something grave happens to her. Something that turned her into like those around her, all the other victims who fell to the tortures and the toughness of the work camps. And we surround this plot point and open the rest of the story. And it is this event that breaks readers’ hearts the most.

“What am I now?”
Sarsine held both of Kestrel’s hands. “Whatever you want to be.”

I think whats so special about what happened in Kestrel just really proves that Kestrel’s love and Arin’s love knows no ends, and no matter what barriers were put between them, through this ultimate test of love, Kestrel finds her way back to Arin, and Arin finds his way to her.

“Will you come with me?”
“Ah, Kestrel, that’s something you never need to ask.”

It’s probably predictable in the fact that Arin and Kestrel will reunite. So let’s continue now that I’ve slightly spoiled a predicted plot point! But hey, when you’re so deeply immersed in both Kestrel’s torturous mine life and Arin’s torturous feels, you completely forget that you just predicted that plot point.

“If I die, you’ll survive. If you die, it will destroy me.”

The Winner’s Kiss plays even more with warfare and strategic thinking. I super love those detailed scenes that Marie Rutkoski was able to write out: what steps should you take when in battle, strategies or weak spots to hit so that the enemy might falter, falling into one’s trap, but at the same time, they are falling into the trap that you said.
TRAP-CEPTION
jks lmao

“You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.”

Other points for plot, is that the first half of the book is heart ache worthy. Then the second half of the book is strategical thinking full points. It was really really well written, and despite me not caring too much about warfare IRL, I couldn’t help myself but getting sucked into how the characters plan their moves to try to take down Valoria and the King.

It was the horror of someone who’d been dealt a winning hand, had bet her life on the game, and then proceeded (deliberately?) to lose.

We also get to know more about the characters from the Eastern country, in which, I forgot to mention because I was going through amnesia, were already introduced in the second book. Roshar, prince of the Eastern country in which I have forgotten it’s name because I’m a terrible person, accompanies Arin on his journey. I find him really hard to understand, since he just has so many sides, and not even I am able to get an idea on all of it.

“You could offer her a seat,” Arin said.

“Ah, but I have only two chairs in my tent, little Herrani, and we are three. I suppose she could always sit on your lap.”

And surrounding Roshar’s world is a mysterious person who will play an important role in the final parts of the book, and that person was totally unexpected. This person was introduced in book 2, but I had no idea that person was pretty much faking their identity like so, and bringing out his/her full potential when wanting to protect the person he/she wants to protect.

“I tried so hard to live in your world,” she told him. “Now it’s your turn to live in mine.”

And this person he/she wants to protect, in my sense, is a little bit stubborn at times, but I feel so sorry for this person, for the fact that some decisions throughout this book was out of kindheartedness and loyalty, and in some ways, I’ve figured as I’m typing this, this person is very similar to Kestrel’s relationship with her father.

“You will be lonely, but you’ll become strong.”

A very shocking and amazing conclusion, The Winner’s Kiss ends the beautifully written strategy, full of romance, strategical thinking, warfares, web of lies, politics, and a little bit of faith in one’s religion.