Title:Some Kind of Wonderland Author:Tara St. Pierre Standalone Genre: Contemporary, [Young-Adult] Heat Rating: Cool Page Count and Format: 175 pages, Ebook Published: June 10th 2021 Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Trigger warning: Divorce
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Sometimes we all need an escape down a rabbit hole.
Since her parents’ divorce, Allyson’s only source of comfort and refuge has been within the pages of Alice in Wonderland, which her father used to read to her every night. Now a quiet and shy teenager, she auditions for her school’s production of the story, despite having no previous acting experience. But no one knows Alice like she does—she’s memorized every word—and she believes that getting the part is the only way her father will return for her.
Instead, she is enlisted as an assistant to the stage manager, and she runs afoul of the drama queen cast in the role she desires. Shuffling between a full deck of actors, a fidgety time-obsessed director, and an over-caffeinated costume crew, can Allyson navigate the bizarre world of high school theater? And how will her mother feel when she finds out it’s that story?
As fiction merges with fact and her present reality uncovers past memories, what curious things will Allyson discover—and how much will she grow—along the journey through her own kind of Wonderland?
Some Kind of Wonderland was such a good read. Allyson has always been daddy’s girl, but after her parent’s divorce, her father moved far away after remarrying. Allyson’s refuge has always been Alice in Wonderland, of which she shared special memories with her father since it was always her go-to bedtime story as a kid.
When her school announces the drama of Alice in Wonderland, she tries out for the main character in the hopes of bagging the role so that her father would finally come to visit her. Luck doesn’t seem to be on her side since she ends up as a production assistant rather than the main role. Allyson’s character development was one of the aspects I really liked. She develops from a shy girl to someone learning to take opportunities. She tries to be an understudy in hopes of getting the chance to play Alice, a character she has really immersed herself into.
Her desperation and longing for her father broke my heart. She missed the hell out of him and just wanted a chance to see him again. She also matured throughout the book.Her belief about her father coming to her show if she only plays Alice to understanding what she is currently missing out on. It was heartbreaking when she finally realised the relationship with her father was never going to the same again.
Since this book narrates Allyson’s point of view, I was also wary of her mother initially. She had never been close with her mother and after the divorce, she had somewhat distanced herself. I would have loved it if the mother-daughter relationship was given more focus, but both of them trying to understand each other better was portrayed beautifully.
The story alternates between the past and present; however, the flow was seamless. I actually liked how the past was incorporated in each chapter as it gave a little more detail about the character’s past and didn’t feel like an info dump. Overall, I loved taking this journey with Allyson, which was full of friendship and family values.
Title: Ugly Love Author:Colleen Hoover Standalone Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult] Heat Rating: Warm Page Count and Format: 337 pages, Ebook Published: August 5th 2014 by Atria Books Source: Purchased Trigger Alert: Abusive/toxic relationship
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
Never ask about the past. Don’t expect a future.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.
Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly
I read Ugly Love way back in 2016 and I don’t remember loving it? The plot was cliche which was maybe the biggest turnoff for me. It was the same old, friends with benefits and the girl immediately fall head over heels for the guy. The guy runs but then ultimately surrenders to love. This trope has been used way too much, too often.
It definitely isn’t one of my favourite Co-Ho books but all the same my heart was broken and mended in this book. Miles is the epitome of Tsundere character arc and most of the time I really hated him, mostly because of how he treated Tate. Although I don’t remember this much of the story, I remember the feeling while reading about Miles which was not pleasant.
Miles never learns from his mistakes and the comparison with the past stuff was frustrating to read.
I felt the relationship between Miles and Tate became increasingly toxic with Tate being very dependent on Miles.
So, I would only recommend this book (not actually) to those who love this particular plot arc. (Does anyone anymore? Occasionally perhaps?)
Title: November 9 Author:Colleen Hoover Standalone Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult] Heat Rating: Warm Page Count and Format: 307 pages, Ebook Published: November 10th 2015 by Atria Books Source: Purchased Trigger Alert: Abusive/toxic relationship, manipulation
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?
Okay, so where to begin with this one.
I feel guilty for liking this book.(This is not a first for me, I have loved a book, screamed how good it was and then suddenly bam!! It hits me. And I am like what the fuck did I just read? Does it happen to you or is it just me?)
But one thing was certain for me, Ben did not sit well with me from the very beginning, but I somehow tricked my mind into liking him?I dunno. He is one of those sweet talkers who will say garbage to you, pull down your self-esteem and then give you tips to build confidence. So, basically, a manipulative person.
Fallon already has insecurities regarding her body because of her burn marks and Ben’s unwanted heroic interference and the comments that followed later were deeply disturbing. It felt like the author had tried to portray Fallon as deep and poetic but in fact, he just was a creep.
I was going through Goodreads when I saw a reviewer particularly highlight this line, “But it’s your own fault people feel uncomfortable looking at you.” It made me go back and read that part again and just as I said, a manipulative sweet talker. He gives this big ass explanation about how she hides when her body is to be praised. Um, objectifying much? There were quite a lot of similar instances now that I think about it. 😦
This book was high on insta-love, a trope I am not fond of. One of the things which bothered me was that Fallon was uncomfortable a lot of times, however, she barely voiced it. And Ben didn’t help much either. He proceeds to do a lot of things a lot of times without consent.
That plot twist (I mean obviously, there’s got to a random plot twist since it’s a Co-Ho book, which I am usually a fan of but not this one.) I mean, how did this book end on a happy note? How? Even if Fallon accepted all of Ben’s behaviour, I don’t see how that plot twist not expose how problematic Ben was. It was the whole reason her life turned upside down in the first place and then things were just okay?
Also, I couldn’t understand Fallon forgiving her father who treated her like shit, which was very evident in the first chapter.
I felt this book romanticized on a lot of problematic aspects, so yes I will not be recommending this one.
Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….
(Contains exclusive content: Songs from Griffin Peterson)
When I first read the book, I remember bawling my eyes out and absolutely falling in love with it. This book had a special place in my heart buuuuuut when I reflected back on the story a few days ago, I sure found a lot of problematic aspects.
The foremost being cheating being shown as okay. I didn’t process when I read that first (how dumb can I be?). Cheating was romanticized in this book which was definitely, definitely not okay.
A highly unpopular opinion. I actually liked Sydney. Her and Ridge bonds over writing music (and the tracklist they write actually has real music to go with which was awesome). Their attraction was genuine and I was rooting for them from the beginning.
But helloooooow? Ridge conveniently forgets to mention he has a girlfriend. (Like bruh, how does someone forget that?) Hellow not-so-cool plot twist.
After things are out in the open, both characters feel guilty. Enter tragic backstory of the Ridge’s girlfriend and how he can’t break up with her despite falling for Syndey (This book vibes with Hindi (Bollywood) serials -_-, my desi fam will get the reference.)
There are some aspects of the book which I vaguely remember but Ridge’s girlfriend wholeheartedly forgives him and even tells him that they don’t belong together (which if my memory serves me correct, Ridge did a lot of things to peruse her). I know falling out of love is normal but it kinda felt weird how things span out between these characters.
The ending wraps up everything in a neat and tidy bun. I honestly don’t know what to feel about this book anymore. So read at your own risk!
Being a huge fan of Co-Ho, these books let me down big time. If you have read these books, what did you think about them?
What cliches do you think are the most repetitive in contemporary romances?
Title:Heart Bones Author:Colleen Hoover Standalone Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult] Heat Rating: Slightly warm Page Count and Format: 338 pages, Ebook Published: August 19th 2020 by Hoover Ink, Inc. Source: Purchased Trigger Alert: Death, addiction
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Life and a dismal last name are the only two things Beyah Grim’s parents ever gave her. After carving her path all on her own, Beyah is well on her way to bigger and better things, thanks to no one but herself.
With only two short months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go during the interim. Forced to reach out to her last resort, Beyah has to spend the remainder of her summer on a peninsula in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan is to keep her head down and let the summer slip by seamlessly, but her new neighbour Samson throws a wrench in that plan.
Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.
She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things. Which means they’re drawn to each other. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to continue denying, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realize is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea.
Heart Bones is a story about hope and faith.
Beyah Grim’s life is literally grim with an addict mother who suddenly passes away and a father with whom she barely has any contact. Beyah keeps her mother’s death a secret while she calls her father who readily agrees to make her a part of his life.
Beyah was epically hesitant with her father and his family. Which was pretty normal according to me after all she has been through. Her father, on the other hand, is extremely rich and the new lifestyle comes as a pretty big shock to her. Although there were ups and downs,the family dynamics of the book touched my heart.I was glad to see no cliched evil stepmother or stepsister. Instead, we were given a family who was willing to try their best to include Beyah in their life.
Samson is introduced as the playboy by Beyah’s step-sister who bytheway is pretty awesome. Like Beyah, I thought she was going to be portrayed as one of those mean girls, but her being compassionate, smart and kind. When it came to Samson, I was hesitant as well, however as the book proceeded, I fell in love with him, just like Beyah. He is a layered character who sometimes frustrated me but also made me root for him.
The plot twist is another thing I did not see coming. As usual. However, Beyah’s understanding and faith warmed my heart. The ending just brought a HUGE smile to my face.The hope, ohmygod the hope this book made me feel. This book was worth the 3 AM reads so definitely recommend it.
Title:Without Merit Author:Colleen Hoover Standalone Genre: Contemporary, [Young-Adult] Heat Rating: Slightly warm Page Count and Format: 385 pages, Ebook Published: October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books Source: Purchased Trigger Alert: Addiction, attempted suicide, physical and mental abuse, cheating
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.
The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.
Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.
Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.
The blurb speaks out the truth. The Voss family is terrifically not normal. Not at all.
It felt weird reading this book since the family dynamics were so messed up. Such a contrast to Heart Bones, that I felt out of place reading this. My mind was a mess. Merit is the epitome of the rebel kid. She has so much anger and frustration which is evident in her every action. I didn’t like her siblings much, I understand the lack of relationship among them but leaving her out of everything did not feel right, not when she hasn’t done anything. ALSO, Merit’s father lives with his new wife while his ex-wife lives in the basement?! Like how is that relatively possible? The chaos does not stop.
Sagan was weird. NO, every character in this book was. He kisses Merit by thinking she is her identical twin, and later he just gives some justification which I honestly cannot remember right now, but it was based on- we were always friends. Um, okay, if you say so. Though I was glad he stood by her side when no one else was.
The biggest issue I faced within the book was that I didn’t quite understand what was going on. The story felt stuck along with the characters and I was bored. Then all of a SUDDEN, everything comes crashing down with the plot twist. The things which did not make sense in the beginning finally begins to clear up from this point onwards. I honestly sped read the pages since nothing was happening before this and everything was happening at once.The abuse came to light which broke my heart. However, I was relieved to see how the aftermath of the consequence and every else was wrapped up. Although I was not a fan of the characters, I was thrown aback by the plot which held my attention after the big revelations.
This book focused on quite a few heavy issues, however, portraying them all at once did not play to the advantage of this book. This book is not thankfully not heavy on romance since it’s the last thing you need. Second chances and hope are the key messages to take away from this book,however, it might not be everybody’s cup of tea.
Hey guys? Have you read these two books or either? Do you read Co-Ho’s books? If yes, which one is your favourite? Any recommendations?
Hey, y’all! I have decided to do a tag after five thousand years of slumber.
Fate never seems to be on my side. I just tried to come back and boom, I fell extremely sick. Well, I was pretty much able to do nothing. At all. I was constantly dry coughing and had trouble breathing. Those weeks seems a blur right now but I hope I never have a repeat of that, ever again in this lifetime. 😭 I am quite alright now, thankfully.🤞
Nominated bloggers can nominate ten other bloggers.
Use the same questions from the tag.
Okay, let’s shart shall we?
1. Who is your all-time favourite book character? Okaaaay, so this is a no brainer for me. This title definitely goes to Magnus Bane, the all-time favourite glittery warlock from the Shadowhunters series(can I say that? He appears mostly in all books) by Cassandra Clare.
2. If you were stranded on a desert island, which book would you take with you? (Survival books do not count) I would take books that I haven’t read yet. Wait, what? Only one book? Maybe between The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon or House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. Haven’t read any of these two so it would be a good choice hopefully. (Not that I would last a day.)
3. What’s your most unpopular book opinion? Not liking The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater maybe. The book has great reviews and quite a lot of bloggers love it. I have tried picking up the book three times now. Somehow, I don’t find it engaging and always end up dnf-ing it.
4. What’s your weirdest bookish habit? Sniffing books is pretty much a norm in this community so I don’t, ahh yes, I remembered I do have the habit of turning to the last page to take a sneak peek. I don’t usually read the whole thing, just the last line or so. I have tried stopping myself, it just doesn’t happen.
5. What character would you bring to a family event as your fake partner? Can I cheat and say Magnus Bane again? CanIcanICanI? Because he is the beeeeeeeest! Family events would comprise of relatives, not a huge fan of those and I tend to get easily bored. I believe Magnus would be the perfect choice, he would throw glitter and add some drama. 😅
6.What made you decide to start a book blog? It was random. If I remember correctly, it was 2 or 3 AM when I decided. Though I have to say I was very much inspired after seeing so many book blogs, so much fangirling. I fell in love with this community and just wanted to a part of it. I didn’t have anyone with a similar book choice when I started this book and this place provided me with the chance to shout my heart out about books. Still does.
7. What about reading and books do you love the most? Losing myself in the stories, being with the characters, sharing the journey. I fell in love with reading around the age of 9-10 and since then it has been one of my biggest route of escape from reality.
8. What is your field of study/desired profession/current profession? Like Marianna, I want to work in publishing as an editor as well!!!
9. What are some book recommendations that became your favourites/obsessions? I can’t remember much but I think I was recommended Illuminaeby Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. And boy oh boy, did I love the book and whole series!
10. What is the book you shove down everyone’s throat? The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. I (still) haven’t finished the trilogy but it’s EPIC!! It just is!
Whoever wants to do this tag!
Hillow guys. How have you been?
We may have another lockdown in India, I dunno but everything’s a mess with the elections and the numbers are skyrocketing. I don’t know why wearing a mask is such trouble for some people. 😭 The election rallies where nobody wears a mask is definitely one of the major reasons for the increasing number of COVID cases. And also the airport scams where the authorities have actually allowed people to pass through without the one-week mandatory quarantine by getting bribes. What is even happening?
The whole country has to suffer for some people. Is the pandemic ever going to be over, with this attitude?
It’s very very frustrating and I am pretty hopeless at the moment. Everything is stuck. Life is stuck yet trudging through somehow. I haven’t felt this hopeless in my life the way I feel right now. 😦 How are you guys coping or has everything started to be better where you reside?
I haven’t been able to read or watch anything. I am trying but stopping halfway through. I don’t have the motivation to do anything and having to force myself to work. I have been trying to write a blog post for days which was definitely hindered by my illness, but half drafts are sitting and here I am, just wanting to vanish.
Definitely need some good book recommendations so I can stay rooted.
Title:Verity Author:Colleen Hoover Standalone Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, [New-Adult] Heat Rating: Warm Page Count and Format: 324 pages, Ebook Published: December 7th 2018 by Hoover Ink, Inc. Source: Purchased Trigger Alert: Death, Betrayal
Blurb (from Goodreads):
*I would recommend blindly going into this book*
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
This book is a complete mindfuck. I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling when I read the last few pages and closed the book.
The plot twist was completely off the curve. Colleen Hoover has a habit of randomly throwing a plot twist when you least expect her to and it’s one of her elements I love. It’s always a knee jerk reaction. And this book completely blew the roof. To this day, the last chapter haunts me.
Lowen is the main protagonist of this book who is a struggling writer. She finally gets a break when she is offered to write Verity Crawford’s, a successful author’s remaining books since the author is in a coma for years after an accident where her daughter died. Lowen’s discovery of an unfinished biography of Verity changes her perspective about a lot of things. CoHo managed to develop such an utterly disturbing and layered character with Verity. This book has an alternative chapter of Lowen and Verity’s journal and ohmygod, it was, very much troublesome.
The novel takes place in Crawford residence where she slowly begins to develop feelings for Jeremy, Verity’s husband. The feeling is quite mutual and I enjoyed the chemistry between them. The build-up between the characters to a slow-burn romance was is definitely one of my favourites part of the book. The suspense throughout the book kept me on my toes. There’s always this lurking feeling and the author managed to create a creepy environment that matched the tone of the book. And there are bread crumbs throughout the book which further adds to the mystery.
I believe I finished this book in one sitting, so if you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend you to!
Title:Regretting You Author:Colleen Hoover Standalone Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult] Heat Rating: Warm Page Count and Format: 363 pages, Ebook Published: December 10th 2019 by Montlake Romance Source: Purchased Trigger Alert: Accident, Death, Betrayal
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.
Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.
While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.
This book broke my heart. This is what Colleen Hoover does every time and I go back to her because of it. I was putting off this book since I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it like the rest of her books but boy, oh boy was I wrong.
The story introduces us to Morgan and her three friends. One is her boyfriend Chris who becomes her husband, the second is her sister and best friend, Jenny and her boyfriend, Jonah. The story takes a time leap of 17 years where we see Morgan as a stay-at-home mom and Jonah almost out of the story since he went (read: ran) away after Morgan’s pregnancy news.
From the initial first chapters, the chemistry between Morgan and Jonah was palpable, however, when it came to their significant others, not so much. The two meet again when Morgan’s sister Jenny announces her pregnancy.
When the two met again, my heart broke again! Their connection was something else, yet they stuck with someone, out of duty/comfort? Though, I kinda get it. Missed timings. 😦
The story takes a tragic turn with Chris and Jenny’s accident. It spins off Morgan and creates a further rift between her and her daughter. Clara is going through her own turmoil after losing her father and her aunt (who I was not a fan of from the very first introduction despite her being described as a loving sister) who she adored. Morgan was trying to prevent her daughter from making the same mistake and the chaos between the two spiralled out of control. Miller was her only comfort and I loved the slow-budding romance between the two.
I loved Clara and Miller, however, for me, it was Morgan and Jonah who stole the show. The plot twist broke my heart. The secrets broke my heart. I don’t know how Morgan handled the heartbreak, I was a blubbering mess while reading this. I could feel what was coming but I was not ready for the impact. However, the development arc of Morgan and Clara’s relationship was one of my favourite aspect of the book. I really loved how the ending connected everything, so yes please go read this book!
So, on my last review, I said that I would do a K-pop match vibe for my reviews. Do give this a listen!
For this edition, I feel there are a lot of elements in both the books with resonated with Red Velvet’s song. Also, it’s one of my absolute favourites.
Have you read any of these books? Do you usually pick up contemporary romance? Any recommendations?
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
The Ask and the Answer (book 2)
We were in the square, in the square where I’d run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her – But there weren’t no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men…
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…
Monsters of Men (book 3)
As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.
The Choas Walking trilogywas on my 2020 Accountability list. This series has been sitting on my shelves for quite a few years and I finally wanted to cross them off my list. I knew this was a good series from all the glowing reviews on Goodreads, I just honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it this much since I had grown out of the dystopian genre.
An engaging & investing plot
One of the biggest advantages of this series is that it has a good balance between the plot and the characters. Neither was too heavy. The book starts off with introducing our main protagonist Todd Hewitt who is the only boy in town (a blink away from becoming a man when he turns 13). and Prentisstown is where the adventure begins.
From the very beginning, there’s this lurking feeling that something’s wrong.
Well, what do you expect? The town has no woman. Literally NONE. They have all died in the Spackle war (as told in the first book).
Here comes another interesting aspect. The Spackles. The alien race who were the actual residents of the “New World” which the humans have colonised. Their history and backstory were really intriguing. As the book proceeds, a lot of new info pops up. It never feels like an info dump, rather it pulls the story forward. I really loved the worldbuilding, from Prentisstown to New Haven, everything just keeps getting better and better (or the worse, which is literally true in this case).
The best part of the book is the story is constantly moving. With the characters and there is no dull moment.
Then there’s war. And BOOM (which was brutal, tragic but also epic!!).
So yes, it was not a merciful adventure at all. 🙃
The noise is the showstopper of the book.
All the men have “the Noise”. It’s constant chaos and the writing style prominently depicts that.
The Noise virus affects every man in the “New World”, so basically, there is zero privacy since everybody can hear everybody’s thoughts. Image how horrifying that would be in real life. Just thinking about it gives me the creeps.
Ohmygosh, the characters!
There’s a lot of them. However, I could remember each of them because each of them was distinctly fleshed out.
Some characters you want to kill, brutally. Some you wanna hug them to death.
Okay, so I literally love Todd to death. He is a stubborn kid who believes everything will be okay when he turns 13. But then, he meets Viola.
Todd was told there was no woman left on “New World.” Viola is literally the first girl Todd actually sees. Then his world takes a massive 180-degree turn. I am a huge romance fan. Like, I want a bit of romance in my every read but I really didn’t mind the lack of romance in this series although there’s a teeny tiny bit in the last one. I really, really enjoyed the character development of both Todd and Viola. I rooted for them from the beginning and they grow up so much throughout the whole series.
Then there’s Ben and Cillian, Todd’s gay dads who you immediately fall in love with. However, Mayor Prentis and Mistree Coyle are the two characters to look out for. I just literally wanted to strangle them both, they are super awesome characters. 🙃 You just have to listen to them talking, it makes your blood boil.
I did really hate Prentis Jr at the beginning, but he became a grey character and well my feelings are complicated. Also, a special shoutout goes to Manche, I loved that dog to death.
If you haven’t read this series, please do. It makes you are riding a hurricane.
The writing style
The central factor of the book. There’s a thing about Ness’s writing style which captures you from the very beginning. It was the same when I read A Monster Calls. PLUS, the way the “Noise” was represented, I um, loved it. VERY MUCH.
Also, who’s excited about the movie?
I am excited to see Tom Holland as Todd, although he doesn’t look a bit like 13. Actor age-wise, it’s the same for almost every book to movie adaption but this one, may I can compromise happily 🙂 I heard the movie’s coming this year (hopefully)!
So, I was thinking about adding a K-pop song at the end of each review that matched the vibe of the book. 😀
I mean, you guys can give it a try once, maybe? You don’t know, you may end up falling into this blackhole (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAA…)
Okay, so for the Chaos Walking trilogy, I felt it matched a lot with BTS’s ON. Although this song takes a lot of inspiration from various movies, the journey shown in the MV definitely matched Todd and Viola’s one. So here goes:
So guys, have you read this series? Are you excited about the movieee?
I last popped back in September and I really, really wanted to be consistent but I am appalled at how inconsistent I can be. Although, there were multiple reasons (not trying to give excuses here, but I genuinely lost all motivation) that pushed me back.
My work life. I switched into freelancing which did give me a lot of freedom, however, took it away as well. I dunno. Work pressure is weird in freelancing and I couldn’t balance my time for blogging. I felt like I was always tired and even if I had the time, I couldn’t get up to do anything. Though I feel after a little less than a year in freelancing, I have started to get the hang of it.
My mental health went haywire. The pandemic was definitely to blame along with a variety of personal reasons which drained me of any energy. I struggled a lot with motivation to do basically anything so I had to take help. A lot better now but it’s life. It’ll keep throwing curveballs and I have to learn to work alongside it.
Multi-tasking. This has always been an issue for me. I have tried scheduling posts and it has worked but then it hasn’t. So I am going to try to post 3-4 times a month and if not possible, I am not going to beat myself up for it.
I got back into reading. My biggest letdown in 2019 was I barely read. The pandemic did provide me with the chance to pick up my reading habit as well. Definitely not aiming for 100 books like I used to, however, will definitely be happy with a half-century! Or less. I am just so glad I have started reading regularly again.
Trying to be more self-aware and empathetic. This year has definitely taught me a lot. Thankfully, I have pretty awesome friends who have been a great support system. So being more kind and understanding adds up to the list as well.
So basically I am a work in progress! Hoping to be consistent this time since I cannot for the love of anything, leave this blog behind.
If you have stayed and read this far, a genuine thank you from the bottom of my heart. 💜
Hello from the other side. If anybody’s still out there, how have you been doing?
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):
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 Artificesfrom 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? Do l have to live with the anxiety that the prologue gave me? Overall, this book was everything! And I need more…
So guys, have you finished this trilogy? What are your overall thoughts?
Which Cassandra Clare book series is your favourite?
Hey there guys! Welcome toDaydreaming 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 withThe Dark Artifices trilogyby 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 withThe Nevernight Chroniclesby 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
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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 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 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.
One word. It’s awesome.The quirkiness and humour are transparent through and through.
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.
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.
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?