Truly Devious Book Review (Spoiler Free)

truly devious

Schools may be famous for many things: academics, graduates, sports teams. They are not supposed to be famous for murders.

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publication: January 16th 2018 by HarperCollins

Pages: 416

Rating: 5/5

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read novels of various genres and I am so excited that I picked up this one! Truly Devious completely strays away from the typical fantasy novels I usually reach for and it definitely surprised me!

Summary:

Amidst a late April night of 1936, a business tycoon’s named Albert Ellingham found that his wife and daughter were kidnapped and the only real clue was within a mocking riddle signed as Truly Devious. And now present day, Stevie Bell, a girl who wishes nothing more to have a successful career as detective, ventures into the Ellingham Academy as a student. She has one goal in mind: to reopen and solve this cold case. In a sudden twist of events, the past returns to the Academy and the students are surrounded by a death which has them shocked and bewildered – Was it an accident or was it murder?

Characters: 

Stevie – Goal-oriented, Diligent, self-driven – Don’t we all love a smart female lead? I was really thrilled to read about character like Stevie who is able to notice quirks that maybe we as readers may sometimes miss. I definitely found her relatable since she also seems grounded with her awkwardness in social situations despite having a brilliant and intuitive mindset.

Janelle – Smart, Kind and Driven – Janelle was a such a pleasure to read about and I loved that the author included diversity within the novel. Although we did not see too much of her within this book, I definitely found her to be a character who values relationships and her friendship with Stevie.

Nate – Distant, Secluded, Writer – As with Janelle, I felt that we did not see too much of Nate in this book and he did not have much layers to his personality as we see with Stevie. However, I did find him to be a great friend to Stevie even with his grumpy personality.

Final Thoughts: 

Written in a dual past and present day perspective, this novel is surely a thrill for fans of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. I would say that the present day narrative does flow slowly; however, the author does this for a reason as she tries to enable the reader to understand the present day characters, environment and circumstances. The flashbacks were interesting to read since we get glimpses of secrets and twists to the cold case. The author did create a good balance of when and how to switch from the past and the present so we as readers understand the case well enough to follow with the present timeline.

There is also a moment in the book where a major plot event occurs and after that, I couldn’t help but fly through the pages. I just could NOT put it down. That was how addicting it was! The author kept you on the edge of your seat and offered many twists and turns that had you scrambling to figure out who the culprit could be. AND THAT ENDING!!

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Overall, I think Truly Devious is a wonderful read for anyone who loves mystery novels and the second book is definitely on my 2019 TBR!

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Wolf by Wolf Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“Her self-reflection was no reflection at all. It was a shattered mirror. Something she had to piece together, over and over again. Memory by memory. Loss by loss. Wolf by wolf.” 

Author: Ryan Graudin

Publication: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, October 20th 2015

Pages: 388

Rating: 5/5

Plot:

Set in an alternative history during the year 1956 where the Axis Powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan hold significant control over the world, Wolf by Wolf details the journey of a young girl named Yael who vows to restore unity to the world through destroying the one man responsible for her people’s suffering: Adolf Hitler. After her heartbreaking and terrifying experiences within a death camp, Yael tattooed five wolves on her arm to serve as a reminder of the ones she lost, each representing a significant part of her character. Through cruel and painful experimentation, Yael develops the ability to skinshift – allowing her to exhibit the facial features of a character she chooses to imitate. As a result, she proves to be a brilliant candidate for the Resistance to take part in the imperative mission to bring down Hitler. By winning the annual Motorcycle Tournament under the character of the previous year’s champion Adele Wolfe, Yael would be given the opportunity to dance with Hitler himself at the Victor’s Ball. But the mission seems to grow complicated as Luka, Adele’s former love interest, and Felix, Adele’s twin brother, enter the picture. Even with the growing relationships with the other candidates, Yael must prove herself to be as ruthless and daring enough to bring down Hitler and his regime.

 

Characters:

Yael – Strong; Smart; One of my favorite aspects of Yael was that she was very goal oriented from the start and her passion and determination for her mission is truly remarkable.

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Adele Wolfe – Passionate; Strong; Although we see Adele Wolfe for a limited time within the novel, we can already see that she is strong and capable of standing on her own.

Felix Wolfe – Protective; Supportive; Smart; Felix was enticing from the start. He loves his family and will do anything he can to keep them together.

Luka – Extroverted; Bold; Strong; Adele’s former love interest who has a strong passion for winning the game despite knowing that Adele (Yael) is participating.

 

Final Thoughts:

If you have not read this book, please pick this up!

It is a thrill ride and it had me hooked from the start. One of my favorite aspects of the entire novel is the writing and storytelling – it is absolutely amazing and so well done. The setting does shift from the past to the present many times within the novel but I never felt as if it slowed the pace or left the plot lagging. It was done at the appropriate moments to add depth to the character and progress the story. By revealing her past experiences, we learn why Yael is the way she is and what are her weaknesses/regrets/strengths. It was through these areas of the book where I found her to be relatable since she is a strong character; yet she also had her own monsters/vulnerabilities’ within her which made her seem more human.

I have also developed a strong appreciation for the historical fiction genre. As with writing any novel, research is crucial to develop a thorough world/setting. However, with historical fiction it is imperative to maintain accuracy to previous events in order to provide credibility to the reader. While Wolf by Wolf is an alternate history novel, I truly appreciate the author’s efforts for creating a work of literature while maintaining a believable world and an accuracy to history. Previously I have read Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anna Blankman which had a sense of mystery and intrigue entangled with the historical fiction genre which made it a compelling and brilliantly crafted read. This was the first novel that really helped me to venture into a new genre and through reading Wolf by Wolf, I will definitely be picking up more in the future!

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Have any of you read Wolf by Wolf? What are your thoughts on it? And if you have any historical fiction recommendations please let me know 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I’ll see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Legendary Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“Your future can be whatever you wish. We all have the power to choose our own destiny.” 

Author: Stephanie Garber

Published May 29th 2018 by Flatiron Books

Pages: 451

Rating: 5/5

I loved the first book, Caraval, and OMG I love this one even more! Everything about the setting, the plot and the characters are so rich and dynamic that you can’t help but be glued to the pages. LOL I even had to rush to class since I was busy finishing up this novel 🙂

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Summary:

After the events of the first Caraval, Tella is required to repay her side of the initial bargain she made to save her sister from a terrible arranged marriage. Her contact requires her to once again enter Caraval to retrieve Legend’s true name. This time the game is more darker, mysterious and real than she ever imagined. As determined as she is to win the games, Tella realizes that there may more at stake than she ever realized. Stephanie Garber dazzles with this electrifying sequel which adds additional layers to the original story and heightens the stakes to the point where you can’t help but be thrilled by this novel.

Characters:

Tella – bold, brave, intelligent – I personally did not enjoy Tella’s character in the first book but she definitely earned my appreciation in this sequel. I think everyone can find certain qualities in both Scarlet and Tella which they can relate to and the more I read from her perspective, the more I understood her and ended up really liking her character.

Dante – the tall, dark and handsome HAHA – Just as I enjoyed reading about Julien in the previous book, I really liked Garber’s portrayal of Dante in this novel as well. Garber can seriously write some great male leads 🙂

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Favorite Quotes:

“Once a future is foretold, that future becomes a living thing and it will fight very hard to bring itself about.” 

“. . . she liked to say that love trapped and controlled and ripped hearts apart. But the truth was she also knew love healed and held people together . . . “

“There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. Only those who persevere can find their true ending.” 

Final Thoughts:

Garber once again weaves the mysteriousness and potential danger throughout her writing as she did with the original Caraval – but this time the imagery and detail is exquisite and very well done. You can tell that her writing improved from the last book. She keeps the reader hooked from the very beginning with stories from Tella’s mom and she slowly starts revealing details which sets up the plot of the book. It does not lag from the start and this is one of the strong points – it had my attention from the very beginning. Do not get me started on those cliffhanger chapters . . . I honestly could not stop reading.

The plotline within this sequel is a little more intricate because of the addition of the multiple characters and the folklore of the Fates. Speaking of the folklore, I loved how she gave a story/background to each Fate. It was interesting how she pointed out the different magic that the Fates had yet each of them had a flaw. With sequels, additional story lines are added  to thicken the plot but sometimes it would be overwhelming and difficult to follow but everything seemed to flow flawlessly with Legendary. Every single character, new and old, were placed perfectly and the new setting at the palace definitely added to a darker tone of the novel.

We are automatically thrown into a web of mystery from the start of the novel and cannot help but keep asking questions. I was constantly curious about the characters, the additional story lines, and ultimately, where the line of reality/fantasy exists in the game. We are all told to believe Caraval is only a game. But as we venture deeper and deeper into the story, we can’t help but question: Is this really just a game? 

Have any of you read Legendary yet? What are your thoughts on it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you soon with another bookish post!

SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD 2.0

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Thank you to the wonderful Ellie over at Capitol Books for nominating me for this tag! If you guys haven’t done so already please go follow her, she is the sweetest 🙂 You can check out her answers HERE

RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions to answer.

 QUESTIONS:

  1. HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU READ THIS YEAR?

    My current total as of today (October 7th, 2016) is 35 books. 2016 is the first year where I actually wanted to participate in the GoodReads challenge. My goal for the year is 40 books, which compared to a lot of other avid book readers is probably not much but I wanted to start with a reasonable goal and then work my way up year after year. By the looks of it, I think I am on track yayyy 🙂

  2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE OF BOOKS?

    Definitely Fantasy and recently, Sci-Fi

  3. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PAST TIME APART FROM BLOGGING?

    Besides blogging, I love reading (obviously lol), watching Asian dramas, listening to kpop . . . wow I’m such a hermit lol

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  4. WHO IS YOUR ONE TRUE BOOK LOVE?

    JUST ONE??? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME????

    . . . Well if I had to choose, I would probably pick Captain Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles. He is just so funny and so sweet at times despite his flirtatious character and I adored his scenes so much! /faints

    Merida_faint

  5. WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?

    Kung Fu Panda 3 lol

  6. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT?

    Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

  7. HOW OFTEN DO YOU BLOG?

    I try to update my blog weekly with new content but sometimes life gets in the way and it is not possible 😦  So I am trying to be ahead of all my blog posts and schedule them to post at least weekly so the blog remains active.

  8. DO PEOPLE IN YOUR REAL WORLD KNOW THAT YOU’RE A BLOGGER?

    Not everyone. Only a few of my closest friends.

  9. DO YOU HATE THE WORDS BLOG AND BLOGGER?

    Of course not! I love those terms! Being a blogger is something I am quite proud of since I am originally quite introverted but by having a blog I am capable of sharing my thoughts and feelings with the entire world and also meeting more avid readers like me 🙂

  10. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CURSE WORD?

    LOL I usually don’t curse that much. I don’t know why. It’s just a habit but I still can get irritated from time to time, I mean we all are human so we tend to get upset/angry but someone/something would have to make me really aggravated to make me drop the F bomb.

  11. WHAT’S YOUR AVERAGE READING TIME?

    It depends on the book. Some books I can finish in a day and some would take me a week. The time it takes me to read doesn’t necessarily correlate to the length of the book as one would think. For example, it took me a week to read Six of Crows but it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy the plot. I actually loved the story and characters so much that I actually took my time reading it.

I nominate:

Theresa@TheCalicoBooks

Megan@bookslayerReads

Anushka Anand@Living In Pages

Misty@Mistybookspace

Gretchen@ChicNerdReads

Lia@LostInAStory

Saffy@FictionalGirl

Amber@EscapeLifeInThePages

Danielle@Books,Vertigo and Tea

Barefoot&Pregnant

Kelly’s Book Blog

Sorry if I tagged you and you have already done the tag! If you guys haven’t checked out these blogs, please do so. They are all so wonderful🙂

My Eleven Questions: 

  1. Name any book character which you can relate most to. What quality of them do you believe most resembles you?
  2. Who’s the best book boyfriend/girlfriend?
  3. What’s currently on your TBR?
  4. Name your favorite vacation spot you have ever traveled to.
  5. Who’s your favorite pet in a book?
  6. What is your favorite fairy tale or Disney movie when you were a child?
  7. What is you typical coffee order at Starbucks?
  8. Who is your favorite Marvel character?
  9. Why did you want to start book blogging?
  10. Name a unique quality about you.
  11. Do you have a favorite manga?

Have fun everyone! And please link your answers in the comments below 🙂  I would love to read your answers! 🙂

Thank you!

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Thank you all for the support! This is so exciting! Yayyy!

I’m pretty new to book blogging and bookstagram so this is an awesome milestone for me! Ever since I have started, the entire community has been so welcoming and supportive so thank you all. As a way to give back to my followers I will be hosting a giveaway on my instagram coming soon so keep a look out for it! 

Thank you once again for the support and I will continue to make more great posts for you lovelies! 

Stars Above Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: February 2nd 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 400

GoodReads

Rating: 4.5/5

Below is a quick recap of all the chapters within this collection of novellas

  1. The Keeper – Honestly, I will say that I didn’t completely enjoy this specific story since I thought it was just extra details and it didn’t really make me feel for any of the characters that much. It did give more background with Scarlet which I appreciated. In the second book we don’t really dive into her character – she was just searching for her grandmother – and we didn’t really get anything else or why she is so attached to her but I think this story shed more light on it. Maybe its because we didn’t see too much of their interactions in the second book and as a result, I couldn’t really understand their connection that well.
  2. Glitches – This story basically delineates how young Cinder first arrived at New Beijing and how she started her life with her Stepmother and Stepsisters. It slightly tugs on your heart and you start to see how Adri’s hate for Cinder began to grow.
  3. The Queen’s Army – This was a short story revolving around Wolf and how he was recruited into the Queen’s Army. I did enjoy reading about his character, the training process and how much he fought to not lose himself in the process.
  4. Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky – You all know how much I love Thorne and this was just absolutely hilarious to read. Of course you will find the occasional witty, flirtations dialogue from Thorne and it also gives us a small background on his character when he was younger. Usually we see Thorne as a light hearted, fun character but in this story, we dive deeper into his character and discover why he makes certain choices
  5. After Sunshine Passes By – Sweet, Precious Cress. She is one of my favorite characters in the entire series and I loved the transformation she goes through within the Lunar Chronicles to be brave. This story truly does capture her innocence and it crushed my heart a bit. She must be protected at all costs!
  6. The Princess and the Guard – Heartbreaking. That’s all I can say about this one. It is definitely one of the darker chapters within this collection of novellas and we see how both Winter and Jacin grew up together and how their friendship evolved into something more. Tension also starts brewing with Queen Levana and Winter and we see her cruelty and jealousy for her stepdaughter in more detail. I grew to appreciate Winter a lot more after reading this novella so I am thankful that Marissa gave us more background of Luna.EMOTION.gif
  7. The Little Android – WHY DON’T YOU JUST TAKE MY HEART OUT ALREADY? DAMN THE FEELS WITH THIS STORY! I honestly had my doubts when starting to read this since it introduces new characters (with a a small appearance by an old character) and it was a re-telling of the Little Mermaid. Prepare yourselves before reading this. This is NOT the Disney version. I still thought it was quite moving and Marissa Meyer has a way of making you feel for her characters which is why I love her stories.em
  8. The Mechanic – Another one of my favorites since this story is basically the first meeting of Cinder and Kai in New Beijing but in Kai’s perspective. When I first read the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder), Kai automatically captured my attention in the first chapter so it was pretty interesting to read from his perspective. Very cute!
  9. Something Old, Something New – Swoon worthy! The Final Epilogue where we finally say goodbye to all these awesome characters. It had me feeling all sorts of FEELS!

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If any of you guys read the novellas, feel free to share your thoughts below!

Follow me on Instagram! 🙂

 

The Versatile Blogger Award

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Hello lovelies! Happy Sunday! I hope you all are having a great day. Recently I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and I would like to thank the lovely Ellie over at Capitol Books for nominating me! I am so excited to share my answers!

To start off, here are the Rules:

THE RULES

  1. Show the award on your blog (image widget)
  2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
  3. Share 7 different facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice *ERMAGAWD*
  5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination(hyperlink)

7 DIFFERENT FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I have a Bachelors Degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a Masters in Business and Science.
  2. I am originally from Chennai, India and I came to the US when I was about 5 years old
  3. Besides hip hop and pop music, my other favorite type of music genre is Kpop; I really love the choreography, fashion and the infectious energy from the performances. Dancing is something that I love to do as well so when I see something with a good choreo, it automatically catches my attention 🙂
  4. The longest I have stayed up to finish a book in one sitting is 4AM and that book was An Ember in the Ashes. My mom woke up early that morning and walked into my room and was like “What the heck are you doing?” lol – If you guys enjoy a high intensity, action packed and suspenseful thrillers, you should definitely pick up this book since I absolutely loved it!
  5. My favorite Disney film of all time is The Lion King – which always makes me cry like a baby but I CAN’T HELP IT!!! *SOBS*
  6. I used to write so many fantasy stories with pirates, faeries, kings and queens back in the fourth grade. I even wrote a middle grade trilogy involving four kids, magic and solving mysteries around the world.
  7. I loved watching Anime when I was young. Some of my favorites were Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptors, Digimon, etc I used to love Cardcaptors so much I used to pretend I was one lol

I nominate the following bloggers:

E.C. Orr 

BarefootAndPregnant

Rand0mbookgirl

Georgiana Darcy

Sammie@Bookshelves&Biros

Sam’s Little Corner

Sam’s Life In Books

Anna The Bibliophile

Miss Elizabeth

The Littlest Book Elf

Midori Reads

Bound To Be Me

IceBreaker694

Amanda@MyBookOpinionsSite

ALoveLornVirgo

If I nominated you and you’ve already been nominated, I am really sorry about that.

Please do give these blogs a follow, they are absolutely amazing 🙂