A Curse so Dark and Lonely Book Review (Spoiler Free)

acursesodark

“I’m always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.” 

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Published: January 29th 2019 by Bloomsbury YA

Pages: 484

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

Ok. That ending had me shook! OMG!! It’s going to make an interesting set up for the next book and I will definitely be reading the sequel! It took me some time to get used to the characters, but after a few pages, I found myself glued to the book eagerly anticipating what’s going to happen next. If you have not picked this one up, I highly urge you do because it was an awesome twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale!

Summary (from GoodReads):

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Characters

Harper – Expressive; Compassionate; Strong; – What can I say? I really enjoyed reading Harper’s perspective. She is a strong character but I liked her since she was different from the typical YA leads since she exhibits a balance of strength and emotion. She loves her family – her brother and mother  – and is persistent to find them. Despite having Cerebral Palsy, she is still a determined individual and that’s what makes her so inspiring.

harper.gif

Rhen – Strategic; Disheartened; Trapped – Rhen was just the sweetest. In the beginning we see him to be a tortured soul whose glimpses of hope are constantly being depleted and we can’t help but feel for him.

CU4z.gif

Grey – A character who slowly grew on me. Initially, it was hard to discern his qualities due to his stoic personality; however, as time went by he slowly started to reveal layers of his character and it made me appreciate him even more.

grey.gif

Final Thoughts 

I will admit that it took quite some time for me to get into this novel. I am not sure why but it did progress quite slowly in the beginning. However, within the 100 page mark, I noticed a lot of interesting dynamics and plot elements being introduced and this caused me to grow more intrigued. Since this book was described to be a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, I already had preconceived notions on how the plot would play out but I was surprised to see the different elements which were being introduced into the story. I found it to be refreshing since it offered a new look into a world which was build within this fairy tale backdrop.

acsdal.gif

I also appreciated the hilarious banter between the characters! It brought a lighter atmosphere to the novel’s dark ambiance. The novel also intertwines the themes of inner strength and resilience against the most overwhelming and gruesome tribulations. It was amazing to see these characters go through this incredible journey to become the best version of themselves. The romance was a slow burn and I loved seeing the progression of their relationship and how they grew to be bit more open with each other. It made everything quite believable. The only reason why I could not give this book a complete 5 star rating was because I ended up questioning a few plot details here and there and I did have a couple of questions on certain issues. But overall, I really enjoyed it and I personally think this is the best Beauty and the Beast re-telling out there!

Have any of you read A Curse so Dark and Lonely? What did you think of it?

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

sign

Advertisements

Throne of Glass Book Review (Spoiler Free)

tog.jpg

Author: Sarah J. Mass

Published: August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Pages: 406

Genre: YA Fiction; Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

“You could rattle the stars. You could do anything, if you only dared.” 

I am so late this series, it’s really SAD hahaha I do believe that this was originally a loose Cinderella re-telling that eventually took flight with it’s own unique storyline in the future books. Overall, I did find this book to be a great start to the series despite some minor flaws. Regardless, I am positive that I will continue with the series and I cannot wait to learn more about our characters and the adventures to come 🙂

Summary (From GoodReads):

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

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

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

Characters:

CelaenaStrong, Determined, and Quite Hilarious – As soon as I read the first few pages of Celaena’s introduction, I knew I was going to enjoy her character. While it is true, she can be a bit rash and arrogant, I found it refreshing to see these qualities in a female lead. I think these characteristics add to her personality and make her more interesting to learn more about. Sarah definitely incorporated a lot of layers to Celaena’s character which gave her more depth. While being feared in a country for being a ruthless assassin, there were moments which she surprised you. For example, she was pretty much a book nerd and I found myself fangirling! Sorry but I just love it when our characters love to read! I honestly found myself to grow more curious about her and I hope to see more of her growth in the future novels.

blackwidow.gif

DorianCharming, Playful, Jovial – Another character who I loved to read about! Plus, he likes to read too! Hoorayyy! I loved how his relationship with Celaena grows throughout the novel. All of his witty moments were a pleasure to read about as well! One thing I did appreciate with Dorian was seeing a bit of character growth by the end of the novel and I hope to see more of his strength in the next book.

dastan

ChaolBlunt, Skilled, Professional – I wish we had more scenes with Chaol since we couldn’t see much of his personality or backstory since he remained professional throughout the novel since he was Captain of the Guard. I felt that he was a bit restrained and was not in a position to share more information about him or his past/experiences with Celaena. Due to this issue, there was not much layers to his character so it was difficult for me to relate to him. I hope we can learn more about him in the future novels.

chaol.gif

NehemiaIntelligent, Brave, Strong – Besides having a great story line, relatable characters, and relevant themes/morals, an aspect I also enjoy seeing in books are strong female friendships. In the case with Celaena and Nehemia, their connection and growth over the novel is worth noting.

nehemia.gif

Final Thoughts: 

In terms of the story line, it does resemble previous YA fiction, such as the Hunger Games with engaging in a competition, but I noticed that it did not focus too much on that aspect. The author did add an element of mystery to the story when she mentions the disappearance/slaying of the other competitors and it tends to peak your curiosity. This is where the story gains momentum, builds on the world and really pulls you into the novel. In addition, there is a bit of a love triangle but it was not overbearing as with other YA literature.

The writing was well done that everything flowed together and Sarah did her best to create cinematic images where you can visualize the scenes in your head. I also loved the playful banter between the characters which helped to lighten the atmosphere amidst the dark moments within the novel. In addition, Sarah also did a great job in adding complexity to the different relationships as the story progressed and it will be intriguing to see how these relationships grow in the upcoming novels.

Have any of you read Throne of Glass? What were your thoughts on it?

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

sign

 

 

A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review (Spoiler Free)

adsom.jpg

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” 

Author: V.E Schwab (Victoria Schwab)

Publication: February 24th 2015 by Tor Books

Pages: 400

GoodReads

Rating: 5/5

Alright FAM, I did it! After prolonging this for ages, I finally read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab and OMG this is a masterpiece. A STUNNING MASTERPIECE. Although I would say that it takes a few pages (60-70 pages) for the plot to thicken but OMG once it does, you are in for a fantasy thrill ride since the pacing just keeps you on the edge of your seat! Even when I reached the half point of the novel I knew this would become one of my favorite books of all time and yes, it has! As of now, I still have yet to read the other books in the series but so far, this is a phenomenal start. I am so happy I picked this one up!

Summary:

Within the A Darker Shade of Magic, there exists parallel Londons identified as Red, Grey, White, and Black and each world/society is very different from one another. Red London is the world which thrives with magic, White London suffers due people’s urge to control magic and Grey London is the world where magic does not exist. The fourth parallel universe is called Black London and this world used to exist long ago but it has been closed off from the rest of the Londons.

Kell is from Red London and he is an Antari or beings who have the rare ability to jump between the different worlds. His role is to serve the Maresh Empire as an ambassador to deliver messages between the leaders of the different worlds. Kell also tends to smuggle tokens from one world to another until one day he smuggles something which he is not supposed to and this sparks a magical but also dark adventure across the different worlds.

Characters:

Kell – Reserved, Understanding; Protective; Sassy, A sweet darling OMG – it is impossible not to like him; Kell was such an interesting character to read about. You could almost feel the loneliness he goes through each day but even though he carries this burden, he is very protective and shows his empathy and care for those around him.

Lila – Brave, Ambitious, Cunning; Lila was an absolute pleasure to read about. She is so fierce and adventurous and always tends to get into dangerous and crazy situations but she is smart enough to know when to run and when to fight back.

Prince Rhy – Overconfident, Charming, Adorable lol; We do not see a lot of his character in this book but I hope to see more of him in the future since although he is a Prince and tends to be spoiled at times, he has a lot of empathy as well and you can’t help but love him.

Holland – A very complex character with layers and I found myself on the border at times. There were moments where I would pity him and other moments where I would have nothing but anger towards him but he is a very interesting character and I did like reading about his role in this book.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, there are so many things to love about this novel: Those nail-biting action sequences, the witty banter between the characters (seriously though, the moments with Kell and Lila – I couldn’t help but laugh out loud), the mystery and intrigue of the parallel worlds, the unpredictable and dark magic system, the list is endless.

The writing is also so well done! It had the perfect blend of details to paint the image of the various Londons but also simplistic to keep the plot fast paced. Victoria also adds a lot of heart and raw emotion to the book which is why she does exceptionally well at storytelling. The world-building is spectacular. When sculpting a world within fantasy novels, one of hardest things to do is to make your world/society believable but Victoria does this effortlessly. Everything is explained so well that there is no confusion at all.

All the characters have multiple layers to their personality and some of them tend to be not fully good or bad – they would sometimes operate in the grey area but you still can’t help but cheer for them. I think this is partially why the characters are so well loved in this series, they have their strengths but also some flaws as well but that it what makes them human and relatable to readers.

In all honestly, this book definitely lives up to the hype. I strongly recommend it!

Also, if you all are up for a bit of fun, check out Buzzfeed’s Quiz:

Which London Do You Belong To? 

YAYY MEEE ❤

red london.JPG

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

sign

Children of Blood and Bone Book Review (Spoiler Free)

tomi

“No matter how much I crave peace, the gods have other plans.” 

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Published: March 6th 2018 by Henry Holt Books

Pages – 525

GoodReads

Rating – 5/5

OH 

MY

GAWD

If you have not read this book . . . please do. IT IS PHENOMENAL!

Children of Blood and Bone had serious hype before the release date and one of the reasons why was it already received a movie deal! I am so excited on how it will play out in the big screen! Everything about the book is so special – the characters, the plot, the world, the magic system, the deeper message and themes – and I can safely say that this book is probably the best read of 2018 so far and it has also been added to my top books of all time!

Summary: 

A long time ago, the land of Orïsha was filled with magic but ever since the Raid where countless Magi were targeted and killed, magic was never seen again. Zélie Adebola is a divîner – a maji whose abilities lie dormant – and she harbors a hatred for King Saran and the Noble class who brought her family and her people to a state of destitution. When Zélie suddenly has the opportunity to bring magic back and the downfall of the monarchy, she is determined to embark on the perilous journey. Accompanied by her brother and a rogue princess, Zélie must outrun an adamant prince who wants to destroy magic once and for all.

Characters: 

Zélie – A fierce warrior who had my attention from the start! Although she is seen to be character who jumps into trouble with her fiery personality, Zélie holds a lot of love for her family and would do anything to keep them safe. As bold as she is, her limits are tested and she faces numerous challenges throughout the book which kept me at the edge of my seat but also broke my heart at some moments as well.

Amari – I LOVE AMARI; OMG she is probably my favorite character since I was able to relate to her so easily. Despite starting off as a scared princess, her character grows throughout the novel and eventually becomes a strong leader/warrior while still maintaining her values and morals and I LOVED THAT!

fistjlawTzain – Ok, another one of my favorite characters! Tzain is basically BF goals OMG! He is strong, courageous and caring to those he loves and you cannot help but love his character. I can’t wait to see more of his character in the next book.

fang

Inan – “Broken little prince” Inan is a complex character and I love how Tomi added multiple layers to his personality. This is what made him so interesting to read about since we are provided his constant internal struggles such as trying to live up to the expectations of his father.

Final Thoughts: 

The plot of this novel is very dark and intense but that makes the journey so gripping and powerful and it forces the reader to think of how the world parallels our own with the themes of racial violence and oppression. The writing style is amazing! Everything from the descriptions of the world, the history details and epic action sequences was brilliantly executed! It was very fast paced to the point I had difficulty placing the book down. I am so mesmerized by this world and I cannot wait to learn more about it in the upcoming sequel.

Another aspect of the book which I enjoyed was the strength and growth of the female friendship which we do not tend to see a lot in YA novels. Zélie and Amari do have a rough start due to the clash between classes but then they grow to understand and respect each other. I loved watching the relationship grow and it was refreshing to see this in the YA genre. The romance was a slow burn and did take a back seat to all the politics/action and I also loved that since it did not slow down the pace of the novel.

Overall, with so many unexpected twists and turns, Children of Blood and Bone is a fantasy which you will not be able to put down. It definitely lived up to the hype and I am so happy that we as readers were given something so diverse and special to read about.

Thank you Tomi! ❤

Have any of you read Children of Blood and Bone?  What are your thoughts on it?

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

sign

172 Hours on the Moon Book Review (Spoiler Free)

172 hours

“In space, no one can hear you scream.”

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Supernatural, Horror

Author: Johan Harsbad

Published April 5th 2012 by Atom

Pages: 368

Rating: 4/5

Originally written and published in Norway, 172 Hours on the Moon is a Scandanavian thriller which is downright terrifying. Despite the extremely slow start to the novel, it quickly picks up pace by the second half of the book to the point where is it difficult to put down. The timing of when I read this book is something I have to point out since its quite hilarious . . . and embarrassing for me lol I actually started to read this before my first solo trip to Italy and the events in the book completely paralleled closely with what happened in my life which made it even more creepy. Because here, we have characters who are leaving their homes to a place where they are all alone and have no one else close to them which did resemble my situation so I ended up putting this book aside to give my heart a break. Not to mention I was reading this at night because I’m a crazy like that 🙂

tangled.gif

Summary:

172 Hours on the Moon is a science fiction thriller where three teenagers win a week long trip to the moon with NASA. This is the organization’s attempt to increase the public’s interest in space travel and also create some sponsors for the program. In terms of my criticism, I found the whole premise of the story line to be a bit far-fetched since the idea of placing kids in outer space seemed unbelievable. Even astronauts require years of training before they can fly to outer space but the kids had to undergo a couple of months. I find that a bit strange. And why did it have to be teenagers? I think it would have done well even if the characters were adults. I assume the age range for the three main characters was probably small since this was targeted to be a young adult book. I also did not find myself having any interest for any of the main characters since I did not find them to be relatable at all. There was also a small romance aspect within the book which I thought was completely unnecessary since it did not progress so there was no need.

Despite these flaws. the only reason as to why I kept reading was because I knew from other book reviewers that the plot does not become interesting until they land on the moon. With that being said, if I did not know anything with regards to the book when I picked it up, I probably would not have finished reading it. But once they do land on the moon, things start to escalate pretty fast and so much to the point where I thought I was reading a completely different book!

lion.gif

Coming to the actual core plot of the novel – this was absolutely fantastic. I am not sure why the author prolonged everything just to come to the moon since I found the prologue to be quite dull. I have noticed that the author had done a bit of research for this novel and it was even more evident through his interview in the last few pages of the book. For example, I loved how he incorporated a bit of the Japanese folklore into the story since it ties in very well within book, especially towards the end. Oh my gawd . . . THAT ENDING THOUGH!!! Still get chills thinking about it!

raven.gif

All in all, I think the entire thriller/suspense aspect of the story made up for the lackluster character development. I did manage to finish this book after my trip from Italy of course. Overall, in terms of ratings, I gave this book 4/5 stars!

Have any of you read 172 Hours on the Moon? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know below!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon!

 

sign.png

The Blogger Aesthetic Award

blogger-aesthetic-748px3

Hello everyone!! I have been in artistic mood lately so I thought it would be a perfect time to create this post. I wasn’t tagged by anyone to do this but I saw this award at ChicNerdReads and I absolutely loved it! This is a great way for me to learn more about my fellow bloggers!

The Blogger Aesthetic Award was created by Liam @ Hey Ashers!

The Rules:

  • Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favorite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  • Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  • Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  • Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  • Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).

Tips:

My Aesthetic:

IMG_3789.JPG

 

I TAG 

Megnificentbooks

Sydney @ Sydneysshelves

Teacher of YA

LitThis

Elizabeth @ Itsmisselizabeth

Sam @ River-Moose Reads

Lindsey @ Paradisbooks

And anyone else who would like to do it! Have fun everyone!  🙂

~Ash

Top 5 Urban Fantasy and Epic Fantasy Books

Hello everyone! It’s time for the final post for the Entangled Teen Event, Team Urban vs. Team Epic Fantasy which is to name your top 5 Urban Fantasy or Epic Fantasy books. I really can’t pick favorites with genres especially with these two since I randomly switch back and forth between both of them. So please enjoy my picks (in no particular order) for the Top 5 Urban Fantasy and Epic Fantasy Books.

entteen-urbanbattleepic300x300opt1

GoodReads defines Urban Fantasy as a “subset of contemporary fantasy, consisting of novels and stories with supernatural and/or magical elements set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings–as opposed to ‘traditional’ fantasy set in imaginary locations.”

Top 5 Urban Fantasy

raven

The Raven Cycle – One of the most unique YA novels out there! The concept of fortune tellers, ghosts and other paranormal features made this series such a delight to read. But the final piece of puzzle had to be the characters who were all amazing to read about and you can not help but grow attached to them over time.

angelfall

Angelfall – I absolutely love the incorporation of the fallen angels into the post- apocalyptic genre. It was so unique and thrilling I just could not stop reading!

harry-potter-uk-edition

Harry Potter – Although the world of Harry Potter is an independent world of its own, there is still some crossover between the real world and the wizarding world which is why I added this into the Urban Fantasy category. I think its safe to say that this series is beyond phenomenal from its characters to the plot lines and the world building!  This series was practically my childhood.

percy

Percy Jackson – I only started reading Percy Jackson after a fellow blogger recommended it to me and I absolutely loved it! It was amazing to see the imaginative incorporation of mythological creatures into the real world

hushhush.jpg

Hush Hush series – Another fallen angels series which I quite frankly enjoyed! I loved how the author maintained the mysterious aura throughout the series with the usage of paranormal beings/occurrences

entteen-urbanbattleepic300x300opt2

According to GoodReads, Epic Fantasy is defined as ” set in invented or parallel worlds and takes some elements from High Fantasy but in a bigger and more epic way (e.g. the stakes are greater; the land/world is in peril; the conflict shakes all who dwell in the world of the story).”

Top 5 Epic Fantasy

An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes – A brilliant and electrifying debut set in a brutal world inspired by the Roman Empire. It is so fast paced and the stakes are so high in this novel that you end up on the edge of your seat at certain moments! A great thrilling read!

Six of Crows

Six of Crows – Set in the Grishaverse, this book follows a group of thieves and spies from the slums of Ketterdam who try to pull off an incredible and almost impossible heist. Six of Crows is set in a world inspired by Russia during the Tsar’s rule but it also incorporates a magical system of the Grishas. This book was amazing and the characters are so well developed as much as the world itself, it was such an enjoyable read!

acotar

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Now I know this is slightly more New Adult but I wanted to add this onto the list since I believed it fit well within the Epic Fantasy genre. Believe it or not, this is my first Sarah J Mass book and despite the slow start, I ended up enjoying this book at the end. This is set in a complete fantasy universe despite switching from the human and fae worlds and Sarah does a fabulous job in developing her world to make it seem so believable and from what I am hearing, the second book only gets better and I can not wait to pick that one up!

falling.jpg

Falling Kingdoms – Described as the Young Adult version of the Game of Thrones, the world of Falling Kingdoms is merciless, intricate but also magical. We even dive into the political tensions between the various kingdoms, assassins, and other magical beings as well.

Throne-Of-Glass-Series-660x344.png

Throne of Glass – Of course we have the ever so popular Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas who is the Queen of writing Epic Fantasy since she has such amazing world building and character development skills!

What are your favorite Urban Fantasy and Epic Fantasy books?

~Ash~