Review: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare // Why did it have to end?

Title: Queen of Air and Darkness
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices, book 3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Slightly warm
Page Count and Format: 912 pages, Paperback
Published: December 4th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Source: Purchased
Trigger Alert: Death, Betrayal, Violence

Blurb (from Goodreads):

*SPOILERS*

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.


I finally finished this trilogy! That means I can cross The Dark Artifices from my accountability list! Yayie! 😀 I reread this entire series and it has been a great boost up for my slump. I am completely out of my reading slump and I have to say, it is such a relief!!

THIS BOOK IS THE DEFINITION OF ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.

A lot happened, like really a lot but oh god, I am in love with this book and the characters. This book was huge, more than 900 pages but I don’t think there was a single dull moment. I was thoroughly engaged.

Something or the other kept happening. Julian and Emma’s parabatai bond was slowly destroying them, their love for each other. Everything was a mess. It was a good book. I could not go to sleep because of it. Such joy. 🙂

It would not be sufficient to say how much I love Julian and Emma. Especially Jules. His character keeps developing and Cassandra Clare has done a tremendously good job in fleshing out all the characters.

The Blackthorn family is one of the topmost reason to read this book! My heart went out to all of them. Each of them was going through heartbreak and they had to grow up before the normal time period. And Emma was like a protector of them all.

I was apprehensive about Mark in bok 1 and I think I quite hated Kieran, especially because of the whipping incident. BUT, my feelings have completely done a 360-degree flip. Like, ohmygoodness, these two needs to bundled up and kept safe. And who is the candidate who can do this? Cristina!! I wish the world had more Cristinas. She is kind, wise and everything. *spoiler start* No wonder, Mark and Kieran fell head over heels for her. I was pretty surprised by the polyamorous representation, one because I haven’t read about it much, second, I was not completely aware of how this relationship worked. But this representation definitely made me aware and I was soooo happy for those three!! *spoiler end*

Mark was such a great brother. He really picked up the saddle. And Julian, I cannot stop gushing about him. Aside from being the world’s greatest brother and almost pro at single parenting, his ability to handle people and plotting and scheming mind was goddayum.

With this one, I have realised one thing, I like politics (only fantasy tho…I mean bookish stuff) and this book had so many themes and sub-themes (honestly, how does Cassandra Clare maintain this amount of coherency while writing her books?), politics was a consistent one. I was so soo irritated with the Cohort and especially Zara. (Who doesn’t want to strangle her?) They never learn their lesson BUT BUT Julian’s ploy, the big battle (although the giant stuff was sudden, not weird at all!), it was epic!

The climax was so satisfying in this book. In many books, the ultimate war sequence is over before it starts. However, in this book, it was elaborate and so many things were going on. I LOVED, LOVED IT!!

I LOVE CROSSOVERS!! I have always loved them, I remember when I was a kid and they had these crossover power-rangers episodes and I used to freak out with happiness. I feel the same happiness every time Clary (Maybe unpopular opinion but I love Clary to death!) and the rest of the gang along with Jem and Tessa shows up!

I have to say, I want more of the Fae world. Every time the gang went to the fae, things got more interesting and honestly, the fae not being able to lie yet their twisty words gets me every time. *spoiler start* Although the name of the book indicates Annabel, I felt her part of the story was cut short? Like, there was scope, but it randomly ended? *spoiler end* Also, Kit!!!! That smol little precious boy, oh my my, I hope we get to read more of him soooon. (Also his friendship with Ty…)

Also, what’s with the prologue? O_o Do l have to live with the anxiety that the prologue gave me? Overall, this book was everything! And I need more… 

Recommend it?

OHMYGODYAAAS!


So guys, have you finished this trilogy? What are your overall thoughts?

Which Cassandra Clare book series is your favourite?

Daydreaming Discussions: Book Slumps and Accountability List!

Hey there guys! Welcome to Daydreaming Discussions. This is a monthly feature created by me where I discuss anything bookish related or sometimes it might be about any non-bookish things as well. Also, be prepared for a lot of ramblings and rantings and you’re very welcome to be a part of the discussion.

I am pretty much going through a life slump, losing interest in everything I love and cherish. Reading and blogging are two of my utmost favourites and although I was sad that I was neither blogging nor reading, I couldn’t bring myself to start those things again. But deep down I knew I didn’t want to give up on these either, so I started again. At an extremely slow pace but nonetheless started again. So bear with me guys, don’t give up on me just yet.

I am listing down some of the techniques I think that work that helps in getting out of a slump:

Reread your favourite books

I am currently following this and it is actually helping. I have started with The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare and am currently on the second book now. I had already read book 1 and 2, so originally I intended to start with book 3 and I realised I forgot some of the key events. So, I thought rereading would be a good choice. I have always been a fan of the Shadowhunter world and diving back into this world is making me feel good. After finishing this series, I plan to start with The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. Pretty much same story, I have forgotten major events in book 1 and 2 and I love this series to death. So will be rereading it!

So if you are in a book slump, try this out. It might be just for you.

Read a standalone

A standalone does not come with the baggage of a list of books. I also tried this with books such as Landline by Rainbow Rowel and Batman by Marie Lu and Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas. Expect Landline which I found a bit slow, I loved the rest of the standalone and it kinda motivated me to start with the rereading.

Read a feel-good or lighter book

Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا's review of Between the Sheets

Try one of your favourite genres. If it’s romance, you can try lighthearted books like What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertali, Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne… and there are a thousand others. Like, go pick up the mushiest mushy book you can find or… a stabby book or a creepy one. Take a peek at Goodreads or try one of your favourite authors. It usually works like a charm.

Take a break

Take A Break GIFs | Tenor

I did that. It was a long time. I didn’t want to do that anymore. So if you are not feeling like reading, give yourself a break and pick it up when you feel like it. 🙂

Since I have started with The Dark Artifices series, I thought I might well as list out the series I want to finish by the end of this year. I am personally not big on standalone and these series have been in my physical shelf for quite a long time now. So this is basically my accountability list. I genuinely hope I will be able to tick these off my list by December.

My Accountability List:

1. The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

2. The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff

3. The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness

This series has been waiting in my shelf for waaaaaaaaaaaay too long. 😛

4. The Warcross duology by Marie Lu


So guys, are any of you in a slump right now? What method works the best for you if you are in a slump?

Are any of these books in your to-read list? What do you feel about rereading? Also, what are the books you plan to finish by the end of this damned year?

Review: Nimona and The Gods Lie // The only Manga Edition I possess (kind of!)

Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Standalone
Genre: Fantasy, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count & Format: 272 pages, Paperback
Published: May 12th 2015 by Harper Collins
Source: Borrowed
Trigger alert: Fire, mentions of betrayal

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.


Nimona is my very first venture into graphic novels. My friend bought this in the book fair and I remember reserving my spot for borrowing this book! 🙂

Here are some of my reasons why you should pick up this book!

  • The characters!

First of all Nimona, our protagonist is a badass chicka. On top of that, she is a shapeshifter with amazing fighting skills. She is full of humour and a bit, how should I phrase it… spontaneously edgy. Her character will keep you entertained from the very first page until the end. The book starts with Nimona pledging her apprenticeship to Blackheart, in a very comical manner, must I say!

Nimona, de Noelle Stevenson | Resenha - Eu, Astronauta Eu, Astronauta

Balister Blackheart reminded me a bit of Dr Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. xD Weird reference, but Blackheart felt like a responsible and mature villain. The kind of villain you end up rooting for. The relationship between Blackheart and Nimona is another cherishable factor of this story!

Review – 'Nimona' by Noelle Stevenson – Dundee Comics Creative Space

Ambrosius Goldenloin, (please take a moment to appreciate the name XD) “the hero” felt a bit shady at first but as the book proceeded we get to see two sides of the story making it more interesting.

  • The plot

The plot is definitely engaging. One side we have Nimona trying to wreak havoc, then Blackheart trying to babysit Nimona instead of villain-ing. And then there’s the tension with Ambrosius, a hint of bromance which I definitely wanted more of! And the disability representation! The root evil of the story is depicted pretty much from the start so there’s no surprise there but it’s the execution that keeps you engaged. Also, there’s a tiny plot twist at the end which made me root for Nimona and the story even more!

  • The pace

The overall pace of the story is pretty steady. What I can say, the story does not provide scope to be bored. You just keep on turning the pages and it’s a quick read.

  • The Art

One word. It’s awesome. The quirkiness and humour are transparent through and through.

Recommend it?

Yaaas!


Title: The Gods Lie
Author: Kaori Ozaki
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count & Format: 216 pages, Paperback
Published: September 20th 2013 by Vertical Comics
Source: Borrowed
Trigger alert: Death, secrets, child neglect

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Natsuru Nanao, a 6th grader who lives alone with his mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with the reserved and driven Rio Suzumura. Natsuru plays hookey from soccer camp that summer, and instead of telling the truth to his mother, he spends all his time with Rio and her kid brother at their rickety house, where a dark secret threatens to upend their fragile happiness.


The tone of this book is a complete 180 degree from Nimona but it’s good in a different sort of way. This was very first Japanese manga, so I was unaware that you had to read the book from backwards. I was warned, no worries there but I just wanted to say that I found it fascinating! xD

The story revolves around Natsuru and Rio, two people of two different threads find them together in unpredictable circumstances.

We have Natsuru who lives with her mother. On the other hand, we have Rio who lives with her younger brother after the death of her grandfather, in the hope that her father would return soon. Rio has a pretty big secret and she takes care of her brother all alone. The reflection of burden and maturity is reflected in her character. It is only with the presence of Natsuru that she seems to smile.

Weathering With You—Trailer – Cinema Anime

The story starts with the mention of summer vacation where Natsuru is supposed to go to a soccer camp which he does not. Instead, he chooses the spend the whole summer with Rio and her brother. And the fregging cute kitten they rescued might I add! A beautiful summer romance develops between the two which definitely makes you want to root for the characters.

However,  the story is told in a short period and therefore, the pace is mildly quick. Natsuru’s struggle to change the reality of Rio, his ability to empathise shows his maturity at such a young age. It brings a smile on the face of the reader although the ending is quite bittersweet. It quite broke my heart. And with the beautiful art, it’s hard not to get totally immersed with the journey of our main characters.

Recommend it?

Yes!


So guys, have you read any of these two mangas?

If yes, what were the aspects you liked the most?

Have you read any other mangas so far? Recommendations?

Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera // Cuteness overloaded

What If It's UsTitle: What If It’s Us
Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Series: What If It’s Us, book 1
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count & Format: 437 pages, Paperback
Published: October 18th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Source: Purchased
Trigger alert: Cheating, panic attack and anxiety, emergency hospital visits

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?


I bought this book from the book fair in January and finally picked it up last month. I really wanted something short and sweet and this book exactly delivered that!

I might a rare specimen who haven’t read Adam Silvera’s books yet. I have always wanted to but somehow I have never picked it up. (Maybe because loads and loads of tissues are required for the books and I’m just afraid? Dunno…) Am I the only one though?

Anyhooo, onto this book with the most epic meet-cute moment ever!

Arthur & Ben and their whirlwind romance

Arther is the hyper kid who is always on zero chill modes and is crazy about Hamilton. He is in New York for the summer with his parents and is a firm believer of fate.

Then there’s Ben. He recently had his breakup and has to face his ex practically every day because they are in the same summer school. In my opinion, he felt more realistic and grounded though Arther made it more fun.

Their meet-cute happens in a post office where Ben is waiting to send belongings or gifts back to his ex. He sees him and goes like-

Arther fumbling trying to come up with witty stuff and failing to do so was epic! In the midst of his awe-ness, he forgets to get his contact number.

This was one of the most awesome parts of the book. Of Ben and Arther trying to find each other. Through wacky methods. Arther takes the cake for this because he came up with so many ideas! 😂

Despite the odds, I loved how both of them didn’t give up on each other although they knew little about each other. Their romance was like a roller coaster. They fell hard and fast for each other and damn it was sweet! Although Arther went over the board a few times which irked me a bit I guess that was how his character was.

Also, the miscommunication was waaaay too much which made Arther more overdramatic. It was fun at first but not always. This was why the book became a bit boring in some parts. 

The epilogue kinda-ish chapter. I personally felt, there wasn’t much need for it. My overall reading experience would have been much better if that chapter was not there. [Mild spoiler] I mean we were left with a bit of open interpretation already at the end so specifically, another chapter just to get to the same point was unnecessary. There was no sense of closure [mild spoiler end]

The friendships

We get to loads of friendship in this book. As well as friendship breakups and makeups. Again. Lack of communication was so prominent among both sides of the friendship whether it was Ben or Arther. Like Ben, I was also a bit too irritated by Dylan. Though I was glad to see them all sitting down and making amends. 

The family

With Ben and Arther’s universe colliding with each other, their families also did. In a good way. I was so happy to see cool parent representations. This is actually one of my pet peeves since many YA books have immature parents.

The families of both the boyos had their own stuff to deal with but it made them more realistic families. Also, how adorable was the get-together dinner?

I sooooo loved it!!

Overall,

It was an enjoyable read with plenty of swoon-worthy moments. The writing was captivating and thoroughly engaging. For me, it was a pretty good one-time read.

Recommend it?

Yes!


So guys, what did you think about this book?

What did you love the most about this book?

Have you read other books by these authors? Which one is your favourite so far?

K-drama review: Her Private Life // Adorable mix of romance and fangirly-ness!

Show Name: Her Private Life
Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Adult]
Director: Hong Jong-Chan
Cast: Park Min-Young, Kim Jae-Wook, Ahn Bo-Hyun, One, Kim Bo-Ra, Park Jin-Joo etc.

Synopsis:

A dedicated professional, Sung Deok Mi lives for her work as an art gallery curator. Devoting herself to her work, she is exceptional in every way, save one. Beneath that cool, professional facade, Deok Mi carries a dark secret. A secret she desperately wants to keep from the world. A secret that has driven lovers away. A secret that rules every moment of her personal life…
Sung Deok Mi is the ultimate Cha Shi An fangirl.
The devoted manager of a Shi An fansite, Deok Mi eats, breathes, and sleeps for Shi An. He is her sun, her moon. Her entire universe revolves around him.
This is the secret Deok Mi must hide from the world.
And hide it she does. At least until Ryan Gold, the art gallery’s new director, saunters into her life. A once-famous painter, the former artist turned director considers himself an indifferent being, unconcerned with the lives of others. But when he uncovers Deok Mi’s secret, everything changes.


Sooo… this half-finished draft was sitting on my… draft list for a while. I had watched this drama for a few months and absolutely loved it!

This drama was a breath of fresh air and oh so adorablyyy fangirly!

Sung Deok-Mi (Park Min-Young) is totally a double agent! Her professional life is defined by her work as a curator at an art gallery. However, on the other side of this the curtain, she is a full-time fangirl and owner of a fansite for an idol group member, Shi-An (who is totally adorable btw!).

Her professional life and personal life has a distinct boundary and only her best friends are aware of how massive of a fangirl she is. Oh! I can’t begin to tell you guys about how the fangirling was relatable. On so many levels! Her perfectly balanced life is hampered when Ryan (Kim Jae-Wook) starts as the director where Sung Deok-Mi works.

The fangirling!

First thing first! The fangirling was ohmahgod sooo relatable! I could totally see myself in Sung Deok-Mi’s shoes. Her love for Shi-An was so adorable. In fact, she was among one of the first fans who started stanning Shi-Ah during his early debut days. She is the sole creator of a famous fansite that even Shi-Ah loves! I was totally fangirling over the interactions between these two!!! I think it’s one of our dreams to meet our idols and she got to do that, seeing that it made me so happy! And as the main protagonist of the drama, I definitely fell head over heels for Sung Deok-Mi. She was not only a genuinely awesome person but also kept on trying to do her best at everything, for everyone. I really admired her for that.

The romance!

The interaction between Sung Deok-Mi and Ryan was a treat to watch! They started off as adversaries and were forced to make a deal when a notorious saesang-fan stared a controversy. The romance was gradual and the angst. Oh God. I absolutely loved the angst though it made me tear up quite a bit! However, I loved every itsy bitsy thing about the romance between these two. It was such a healthy relationship and I loved how they balanced each other out.

The character development!

Cindy! Okay, so the saesang fan (if you don’t know what a saesang fan is- it’s basically a fan who is borderline obsessed with their favourites and would go to every extent to get information about them). I talked about earlier how she started a controversy, however, her character development was one of the best in the drama. Cindy turned out to be a spoiled brat who only wanted to be loved, especially by her mother. However, the bitterness within her started to dim down since she started working with Sung Deok-Mi in the gallery. She was a character that never failed to surprise me.

The backstory!

A k-drama is not complete without a heart-wrenching backstory (99% of the time!). This trope is definitely cliched but oh well, it’s one of the formulas that K-dramas have been using for eons and Her Private Life is not devoid of it. Ryan along with being a director is well known for maintaining masterpieces but ever since he came face to face with a piece painted by the artist Lee-Sol, he has not been able to pick up the brush.

We get to know more about Ryan’s life as the show moves forward. One thing I liked about this secondary-plot is that it was not forced upon the audience. This aspect of Ryan’s life was gradually introduced where the audience were eased into the story. Though the sub-plot still felt a tad bit unnecessary, I liked how all the treads were connected at the end.

Overall,

Her Private Life was worth the hype! I really enjoyed the show throughout and the side characters added a complete depth to the story. Especially her best friend Lee Sun-Joo (her fangirling partner!) and Nam Eun-Ki added different layers to the story. The cute moments, the funny moments and the over-dramatic moments made the drama such a treat to the eyes and the heart!

Recommend it?
Yes!


So guys, have you watched this drama? Did you find it adoooorable? What do you love best about this drama?

REVIEW: HEIR OF FURY BY JINA S. BAZZAR // CLOSING THE FOSCH FILES

Title: Heir of Fury
Author:  Jina S. Bazzar
Series: The Roxanne Fosch Files, book 3
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: Ebook
Published: April 29th 2020 by Shadow City
Source: I received an eARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Three years has passed since Roxanne left. She’s obeyed and fulfilled Remo’s every wish.His latest command, however, will send her back to Earth. Aware her presence Earth-side is furthering Remo’s plans, Roxanne delves into an impossible chase against time, the preternatural community, and herself.But she might already be too late, and Roxanne experiences firsthand that when desperate people are pressed against a rock, they’re willing to commit just about anything. 


Okay, so… I loved this trilogy. I really did but somehow I was underwhelmed by the conclusion.

We see the consequences of the decisions made by Roxanne in book 2 that led to her present condition. She has become more ruthless and although she is unable to take direct action against Remo, her only goal is to stop him somehow from destroying everyone she loves alongside her world.

This book had a whole lot of action and impending doom kept me on my toes!

However, the pace was a problem for me in this book. I felt it was too slow-paced for almost entirely the book except for the last part of the book. Most of the information was necessary for understanding a lot of aspects of how the world functions in this trilogy. The thing is, it felt like too much info-dumpy in some cases which kinda made me lose interest. I think it was one of the reasons it took me some time to finish the book. Also, I felt that the whole book was a bit stretched and the ending too soon.

Despite this, kudos to world-building! I definitely loved how the author intricately built up these two different worlds.

Roxanna with her new powers is unstoppable, she tries her level best to save her near and dear. Zantry, Mwara and Vicky, I loved each and every one of them. And my heart broke for the characters who did not make it till the end.

Overall, this book was a fun read despite the hindrances and worth a read!

Recommend it?

Yes.


I guess not many people remember moi. I do hope everybody is doing okay and staying safe?

But… do tell me what books have you been reading in the lockdown?

Review: Heir of Doom by Jina S. Bazzar // Divulging into the Fosch Files

Title: Heir of Doom
Author:  Jina S. Bazzar
Series: The Roxanne Fosch Files, book 2
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count & Format: 374 pages, Ebook
Published: February 20th 2019 by Creativia
Source: I received an eARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

She no longer has to run and hide, but other problems have surfaced. Her clan has other plans for her, and even the combined might of the hunters might not be able to save her.

To survive, Roxanne will have to choose between being labeled a traitor and cast out as a rogue – or join hands with the darker powers to save her life, and the lives of her friends.

To achieve her goals, she’ll have to risk her life. But can she control the powers she’s still learning to use, and fears so much?


Heir of Doom was packed with action and it definitely kept me engaged throughout the read. Book 2 continues with Roxanne’s journey as she has joined the hunters and is training to become one of them. But her mixed-breed status of being half human and half preternatural lead to her being discriminated against in every context.

And dayum. It was tragic to see Roxanne getting no better treatment. Nobody trusted her outside and the scenario was pretty much similar with the hunters as well. In book 1 she gets kidnapped and experimented by the scientists and although her situation changes after the escape and joining the hunters, she does not get the deserved respect. She only has a countable number of trustworthy people among the hunters and none of them had the high power to actually do anything that would benefit. I would say, it was a reflection of real-life politics, of what actually happens most of the time. It really, really made me angry and sad at the same time. Nonetheless, I loved her fierce personality and her consistent urge to improve!

The first part of the book was a bit slow which gradually changed in the second part and for the better. But I would say, the pacing did not affect me much since all the new characters and the hunting part, definitely made it more interesting. I had a love-hate relationship with the fae characters and the introduction of Mwara sparked my interest since she was the actual daughter of her “evil” step-mother. But most of all, I absolutely adored Frizz!!

The plot twist was a shocker! I did not expect that to happen when the truth about her lineage was revealed. Also, a lot of questions get answered in this book and obviously, there was Remo! Tada! Our beloved villain. The twist after twist that ensured made me gawk which also kinda made me wanna tear through book 3 immediately. And sadly I had to wait…

Recommend it?

Yes.


Hello hello! Anybody remember moi?

It’s been a year. I tend to disappear but well… *awkwardly waves*

How is everybody, especially how are you guys dealing with the COVID-19 situation? Share with me and I’ll try my best to not disappear again. 

 

Review: Comeback by Lyn Ashwood and Rachel Rose // A K-pop Novel!!

Title: Comeback
Author: Lyn Ashwood and Rachel Rose
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 312 pages, Ebook
Published: June 8th, 2019 by Ashwood & Rose
Source: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Emery Jung is living his dream. Known by his stage name M, he is loved by millions of fans around the world as a member of the rising K-pop group NEON, but all fame comes with a cost, especially when one slip up can have viral consequences.

Alana Kim is trying to forget. After a tragic loss sends her spiraling, she escapes to her family in Korea, abandoning her love of music along the way. However, her plans are derailed when she literally runs into M, the famous K-pop idol.

When their paths collide, Emery and Alana must work together to prevent a scandal from ruining NEON’s success, sparking a journey of friendship, love, and healing. Unfortunately, fame and love aren’t easily compatible, especially in the world of K-pop.


I am reviewing a book after eons!! I did read a few books during my hiatus period. Hopefully, I can post them one by one, soonish! Anyway, I am gonna jump straight in!

Reasons to read this book:

It’s Kpop!


If you’re a Kpop fanatic like me, you are bound to fangirl throughout this book. There are so many relatable moments where you can identify yourself as the female protagonist! And in general, it’s just, well Kpop you know. 🙂

Journey of a Kpop boy band

Neon of Solar Entertainment is the main focus of this novel. There are a total of 5 members in this boy band and it definitely reminded me of my boyos. Being a hardcore ARMY (I stan other groups too!), I could relate many instances, the struggle they daily have to go through, the thin line of balance they have to maintain every single time they are on-stage/on-screen.

Most importantly I loved the relationship between the boys. Treating each other like family is one of the most precious things I love about Kpop bands. The thing is… this is how we fandom become family as well.

The dream of being a staff in a Kpop band!


Tell me you haven’t thought about what it would feel like to work as their stylist?! I know I have. LOL. 
The main protagonist of the book exactly has this role. Alana is a Korean-American girl who works as a stylist for a girl group called LilyRed. However, after a scandal blows through she joins Solar Entertainment where Alana’s friendship with Emery grows. I liked the flow of how their friendship evolved into something meaningful. 

Love stuff

Those who are into the Kpop world know how significant the impact the word “dating” has. Basically, it is a forbidden word in the Korean music industry. In the first few years of a band’s contract, they are basically forbidden to date. After they cross like 5 years into the industry, then they are allowed I guess but it’s still considered scandalous since Kpop fans usually hate when their favorites are taken.
This is something I have come to understand now. However, those people are still human beings and they deserve to live a normal life, at least have a love life, they do deserve that. But I won’t disagree there are some serious fanatics who take this to the next level which makes it really difficult for our favorite artists to enjoy some amount of normalcy.
Anyhooo, Emery falls for Alana who he finds to be really genuine. Emery finds out she used to be a fan of their band, he finds himself sharing stuff with her. And well… stuff happens.

They fall for each other. xD This brings about some internal tension among the boyos. Although I did like how this was dealt with. 

Things I wanted more of:

The relationship

Although I liked how the relationship between Emery and Alana developed but I was not head over heels over the romance (Ya guys know how much I dig romance). Somehow, I felt something, the chemistry was lacking. However, it was something most of Kpop fans have imagined once in their life I suppose. I did get to live that through this book which I definitely loved.

More positive representation of the fandom

I definitely loved the fandom name of NEON. It was GLO!!!!
However, I wanted more of how NEON felt towards their fans. I felt the representation was too negative in some aspects. The positive parts of the fandom were definitely shown but I wanted more from the band’s perspective too. Though I can understand these idols have to present themselves in a certain way in front of their fans but still, they show us a big part of their lives. This is something I was not satisfied with, in this book. 

Overall, apart from these aspects, Comeback was a pretty enjoyable read! The flow was steady through the book and the characters were fleshed out pretty well. The Korean culture was depicted really well and I am definitely glad I picked this book up!

Recommend it?

Yes.


So guys what do you think about this book? Are you a Kpop fan? Are you interested in reading this book even if you are not a Kpop fan? If you stan a group or groups, leave a comment down below! Also, any recommendations?

 

I maybe considered permanent hiatus? Future blogging plans?

Hi guys! Remember me?

I am sorry I disappeared out of the blue. Things definitely got hectic after I started working,. I don’t know how so many people here manage their jobs, life, and blogging together. It is definitely tough but I did not want to give up on it when I first started working. But as time passed that hope dimmed. Bit by bit. I think I last posted in February and my blogging schedule has been a bit random before that as well. Personal life has not a blast as well. It’s not all down but I am fighting with myself at the moment. The saddest thing is that I barely read these days. I did not think a day like this would ever come. I um… really want to get back again but I do not know how to. Can somebody show me the way?

I think I had almost given up hope for blogging but a few days ago I met my brother. He kinda convinced me not to give up even if it’s posting twice or thrice a month. I think I am going to do that. I definitely won’t be able to post as frequently as I used to but I am going to give blogging another try.

Please help me out, guys. What do you guys want to see the most?

My Daydreaming Discussions, K-Drama reviews or Book reviews? Or any other recooooooommendations?

What do you guys think?? Lemme knooow please!!

 

 

Review: Cinder & Ella and Happily Ever After by Kelly Oram // My personal favourite contemporary retelling of Cinderella!

Title: Cinder & Ella and Happily Ever After
Author: Kelly Oram
Series: Cinder & Ella duology
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 254 & 342 pages resp., Ebook
Published: October 2016 & April 11th 2017 by Bluefields respectively
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Cinder & Ella

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

Happily Ever After

The end of one story is often the beginning of another. Hollywood heartthrob Brian Oliver and his Cinderella princess Ellamara Rodriguez have finally found love outside the digital world. But leaving their anonymity behind creates a whole new set of obstacles for the nation’s new favorite sweethearts. With the stress of Brian’s fame, Ella’s disapproving family, and the pressures of a new relationship weighing down on them, the It Couple quickly begins to wonder if they can hold on to their newfound joy, or if maybe happily ever after is only a fairy tale.


I read Cinder & Ella for the first time in 2016 but never got the chance to write a review despite utterly falling in love with it. Lo, behold! Kelly announced its sequel in 2017 but well I finally got to it this year. I also had a sudden craving to reread the first book, therefore I didn’t give up the chance to binge read it and holy hell, it was fun! When you reread a book after a long time, there is a kind of excitement to go back into the familiar world. At the same time, you wonder if you are going to love it as much as you did before. Thankfully, my experience was quite good, I would say even better than the first! I won’t lie, this book set my standards so high, I wasn’t fully able to love Geekerella or similar books like that because I had already read this. This book was albeit cheeeeesy and fluffy but well it earned a special place in my heart. Well anyhooo, onto the review…

Cinder and Ella had virtually met through Ella’s blog where she posts hilarious books and movie reviews. Cinder a.k.a Brian is a teenage heartthrob who longs for something real. Despite reading “not so awesome” comments about his acting skills in her blog, they strike up an unusual friendship. They also share their love for the Druid Prince Chronicles where Brain is actually playing the role of Cinder. Although they have never met, they share a lot of bond and harbour mutual feelings. However, before anything begins, Ella faces a big accident where she almost becomes a cripple. Losing her mother and sending to live with her dad and her step-family is a cherry on top. The only shining light in the darkness is Brain with whom she gets to reconnects with after a year.

So… I fell in love with the story of Brian and Ella all over again. Ella’s pain and heartache all over made me ache for her again. Although Ella’s a pretty self-dependent person, her injury does not let feel that way. She is left nearly more than half burnt after the accident and hence is forced to live with her step-family. Mostly, the whole family starts up on the wrong foot which creates quite a few misunderstandings between the family members. But thing that I loved the most this duology is the relationship between the sisters. This relationship was particularly not rainbows and sunshine at first but I completely loved how it evolved as the series moved forward. However, the same cannot be said for the father. I mean… he tried to redeem himself but it just didn’t feel like he was trying 100%. I mean even if he did, he always said the wrong things at the wrong time and always questioned Ella instead of being just with her and supporting her.

On the other hand, Brian was a complete sweetheart. He was patient, supportive and loved Ella with his whole heart. However, while reading this for the second time, I basically realised he had no flaw. Neither did Ella. Not much. So yeah, although these characters were outstanding but sometimes they just felt a little too bland. Although I could resonate with Ella a lot since I react pretty much the same way she does in certain situations. Despite these flaws, I enjoyed their relationship right from the very start. Brain definitely had me swooooning! Oh, I also enjoyed the complexity of the situation since they have been online friends forever but in real life, only for a few weeks. I definitely enjoyed how the author handled this situation and it didn’t feel rushed at all. 

I noticed one thing about the dad department in this book. Mostly, both of them were douches and didn’t live up to my expectations. Okay, although Ella’s father was a not a complete douche but he still was… I mean if you get what I mean. In the first book, we get a glimpse of the limelight that Brian is always in due to his career as an actor. This was especially highlighted in the sequel as well since we get to see its impact on Ella. Although there were vulnerable moments, I was so glad to see them fighting for each other along with sharing equal love and respect.

Overall, Cinder & Ella and Happily Ever After were both an awesome read. It was a great duology with a filled with romance, comedy as well as heartwrenching emotions. This book made me laugh out loud on various occasions and even made me cry my eyes out. However, I am so glad I picked up this series, although it was on a whim. All the characters were uniquely distinguishable and I adored each and everyone (mostly) of them. This rhythm of this book was pretty steady and it followed a slowly yet simple writing style. Due to these certain factors, I was able to enjoy this series far more!

Recommend it?

Yes.


So guys, have you duology this yet? Or any other book by this author?