Heart Bones and Without Merit by Colleen Hoover: Book Review // I lost my way in this Co-Ho edition

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? 

Meet the Book Blogger tag!


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.🤞

Anyhoooo, thanks to the lovely Marianna @ Marianna’s Corner for tagging me. Do check out her awesome blog if you already haven’t!

The rules for the tag:

    • 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 Illuminae by 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!

I tag:

  • 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.

Verity and Regretting You by Colleen Hoover: Book Review // Co-Ho: The Intense Shock Edition

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.

Utterly mindblowing!

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?

CHAOS WALKING TRILOGY BY PATRICK NESS: BOOK REVIEW // A MERCIFUL ADVENTURE?

Title(s): The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking trilogy
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: Paperback
Published: Candlewick Press
Source: Purchased
Trigger Warning: Violence, war, death (of loved ones)

Blurb (from Goodreads):

The Knife of Never Letting Go (book 1)

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 trilogy was 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 they 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.

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

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.

Likeable characters

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 for me in the end. 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.

Recommend it?

Yes!

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?

Also, didya listen? 😛

Anybody home? // Trying to come back to the blogosphere once more

 Source: Freepik

I tend to disappear more than I want to. 😦

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?

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?