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!

A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“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 ❤

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

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Children of Blood and Bone Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“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.

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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!

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