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? 

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? 😛

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

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

Synopsis:

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


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

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

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

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

The fangirling!

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

The romance!

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

The character development!

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

The backstory!

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

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

Overall,

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

Recommend it?
Yes!


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

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Recommend it?

Yes.


Hello hello! Anybody remember moi?

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

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

 

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Cinder & Ella

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

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

Happily Ever After

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommend it?

Yes.


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

Review: Gemina & Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff // The ultimate recipe for space disaster and inter-galactic battle!

  

Title: Gemina & Obsidio
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files, book 2 & 3
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 659 & 615 pages respectively, Hardcover
Published:  October 18th 2016 & March 13th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers respectively
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Gemina

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illumina continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair is struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Obsidio

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion? 

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. 

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.


My ThoughtsThe Illuminae series was probably my most anticipated read for 2018 and I finally managed to complete that by 2018! This trilogy did not let me down and wow, it was such an explosive read. One of the facts that I loved about this trilogy is how the plot and characters interconnected with one another at the end. For me, I have always found it fascinating to see how the thread comes together at the end and this series does this quite accurately along with leaving a little hint of mystery at the end. Anyhooo, you can read my review of book 1, that is Illuminae here!

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

*A bit spoilerish!*

In Gemina, we get to see the Hanna and Nik’s story. Their characters are literally polar opposites, the spoiled princess and well… the drug supplier? That sounds literally crazy if I just put it out like that that. LOL. Anyway, although Hanna seemed like a spoiled brat, she was a pretty badass chicka. Her ability for making awesomesauce strategies won me over in no seconds. Nik and Hanna’s constant banter was my favourite thing in this book apart from the visual-worthy action. It was a continuous treat and it was so much fun to read… apart from the bloody mess which was most of the book. The action in this book is so well defined, we even get a few comic-like pages which were absolutely awesome.

While I was reading a few reviews after finishing up with Gemina, someone said that the virus-thing was much more horrific than the alien thingy in this book. Although I was completely dedicated to these aliens… err, I mean that slimy stuff creeped me out but yes, the first book had its own charm with everything being new and sudden. (It was still scary!

In Obsidio, we get the final showdown between our beloved characters and evilish BeiTech! On top of that, we get Asha!! Kady’s cousin! Yohooo. Although Asha’s character was my least favourite was she was humanly fierce and I admired her for that. She desperately wanted to save her baby mouse, and the rest of Kerenza, well whatever was left of it. BiTech people were really, really plain trash. I kinda wanted to see a more detailed punishment for them at the end. The ending did feel a bit rushed, however, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Although there were some portions which scared the living hell out of me, at the same time, I couldn’t stop reading either!

But when it comes to scary, AIDAN takes home the price ladies and gentlemen. With the advancement of technology, the possibility of such things actually coming true made the situation more horrific. AIDAN gave me the chills!! And what’s up with it being so obsessed with Kady? My goodness… The level of creepiness I had to deal in this book.. yet it was the best! Okay, the moment I thought AIDAN has redeemed itself, he just goes on a murder spree. Again. *sighs* Yet without AIDAN nothing would have been possible either. AIDAN is such a character you love to hate, similarly hate to love. Weird. I know. But that’s what AIDAN is

If you loved the formatting of the first book, I am damn sure you loved these two as well. One of the things I love about series is how the characters all unite in the last book. This book was no different, albeit the circumstances were pretty rare. Anyhooo, the characterisation and development of the plot throughout this series is pretty phenomenal. The fast pace and the storytelling were engaging and on-point throughout the whole series. I am definitely looking forward to the second trilogy of these authors together! I have a feeling it’s not going to let down as well!

Recommend it?

Must-read!!


Let's Chat

So, guys have you read the Illuminae series? How was your experience with it? If you haven’t picked it up yet, are you excited to read it? Share your thoughts with me!

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series by Jenny Han // Fluffy, cute and mushy!

  

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: Ebook
Published: April 15th 2014 (book 1), May 26th 2015 (book 2), May 2nd 2017 (book 3) by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

P.S. I Still Love You

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next-door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is one of the most hyped up series out there and I think it was one of the reasons I was afraid to go into this series wholeheartedly. On top of that, I did not exactly enjoy the first book of the Summer trilogy and hence my reluctance. I also think that I have kinda grown out of young-adult contemporary as I don’t find it relatable anymore. However, when the movie released and the hype re-started, I knew had to pick it up! And I am glad I did. This series was such an adorable and fluffy read!!

*A bit spoilerish!*

Lara Jean has a unique way of confessing to her crushes. She writes them letters instead of actually voicing her words. It’s her way of ending a love story from growing out her control. However, when her letters get revealed to her crushes, she takes the help of Peter who was also one of the crushes to tone down the rumours. However, things take a 90 degree turn when she finds herself falling for Peter Kavinsky. (I am addicted to uttering Kavinsky as Lara Jean was… dang!)

Character-centric plot

The plot of this book was whole-heartedly character-centric which paved the whole path of the novel. One of the most ground fact of this trilogy was the character-growth which we got to see as the novels proceeded. Of course, there was teenage angst and drama but it was pretty realistic which made me fall in love with the characters. This series had all the classic cliches, the mean ex-girlfriend, a soccer-team main lead and a geeky best friend. The thing is although this series had its ups and downs, it played the cliches perfectly to get the right combination of drama along with swoon-worthy romance. Apart from Peter and Lara Jean who dominated the series, the Song family, Josh as well as John Ambrose McClaren (This guy!!!! I loved him to bits!).

The first book follows all the letters of Lara Jean getting busted which leads up to making a pact with Peter to avoid the necessary embarrassment. Lara Jean takes this step, especially to avoid Josh who she has been in love with since forever, who also happens to be her elder sister’s recent ex-boyfriend. Josh is a character whom I liked in the beginning but he kinda faded away and completely disappeared in the 3rd book. I knew he had college and stuff and it kinda felt like Lara Jean and Josh’s so many years of relationship vanished, just like that (I wanted closure *sniffs*). Anyhooo, Peter and Lara Jean along with their romance grew to something so much bigger. Their fake relationship grew into something real without their knowledge which made things complicated. However, it was also the one thing to root for in this series!

Lara Jean… ah! Our main protagonist was so effing relatable! Of course, there were times I disagreed with her but most of the times but I couldn’t help but fall for her. Yes, she was a bit judgemental and anxious almost all the time, however, these flaws were the characteristics that made her, her. Although I won’t say this series had the best character-development Lara Jean seriously had some major transformation. She went from the shy girl to voicing out her words. Most importantly, I genuinely admired how she took the decision while choosing school even is she had to do long-distance!

Diversity

Hello! Dang! This book has it all! The Song girls are half Korean making them a biracial family. There were some unforgettable moments in the book, especially of Korean cuisine which I sooo wanted to try! And I was pretty green with envy with the mention of their visits to Seoul. Can they please, like, take me too?

The Song family

The family dynamics was one of the best aspects of this trilogy. The Song girls had lost their mother as a kid but Margot, Lara Jean and Kitty have been thick as thieves. They have always tried their best to maintain a beautiful relationship with their dad which I loved so much. The family focus of this series was not at all overbearing but equally balanced with the romance and drama. Although Lara Jean was the protagonist of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, Margot and Kitty played quite a vital role. I sometimes felt like Margot who was the elder sister was a stuck-up. But when I thought of myself in her shoes, I could understand where all the hesitancy and her strictness was coming from. Lara Jean was the middle one while Kitty was the smol bean. However, Kitty was quite mature for her age and there would not have been “books” if not for her (If you know what I mean… XD) And their father was such a sweetheart! He had such a wonderful relationship with his Song girls and they were his first priority!

Cheesy romance

Ah! The romance of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky was epic! Actually, it was pretty simple yet unique due to which this series was such an engaging read. Peter had an on and off relationship with Gen who also used to be Lara Jean’s best friend once upon a time. However, this on and off thing paves the way for Peter towards Lara Jean. I loved how their relationship evolved. It was so cheesy yet so cuteeeeeeee! Oh my goodness, it was really so sweet I thought I was going to have diabetes!

We also had the classic love triangle which I actually enjoyed! (I know right? Me? I enjoyed a love-triangle! XD) John Ambrose McClaren was so precious. I definitely fell for the 2nd lead and there were times I thought he was the perfect one for Lara Jean. Although I was all in for Peter, John Ambrose McClaren definitely gave a tough competition. Peter, on the other hand, was a jokester and kinda tried to maintain a strong facade, however, he was a complete softy. He was so effing cute. My god! He and Lara Jean were the complete opposites, however, somehow they were the perfect fit.

Overall

This trilogy was a fluffy and fun read. I enjoyed it thoroughly and although a few parts might have slowed me down but I was glad I was able to binge read this trilogy. It made me realise how much, book binging is fun!  The writing was simple yet maintained an uninterrupted flow and the pace was mostly steady throughout the series. Apart from these, I also loved the fact, how this book ended with a positive note while hinting towards the many more adventures of the future.

Recommend it?

Yes!


So guys, what did you think about this trilogy? Have you read it yet? What is your favourite book in the series?

Review: When Forever Changes by Siobhan Davis // A unique twist on love triangle

Title: When Forever Changes
Author: Siobhan Davis
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Heat Rating: very warm
Page Count and Format: 427 pages, Ebook
Expected Publication: September 30th, 2018
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Gabby

Looking back, I should have seen the signs. Perhaps I did, but I subconsciously chose to ignore them. 

From the time I was ten, when I first met Dylan, I knew he was my forever guy. Back then, I couldn’t put words to what I was feeling, but, as the years progressed, I came to recognize it for what it was—soul-deep love. The kind only very few people ever get to experience. Dylan was more than just my best friend, my childhood sweetheart, my lover. 

He was my soul mate. 

We were carved from the same whole—destined to be together forever.

Until he changed. 

And I believed I was no longer good enough. 

Until he shattered me so completely, it felt like I ceased to exist. 

And I’d never experienced such heart-crushing pain.

Until he leveled me a second time, and I truly wanted to die.

But I had to stay strong because I wasn’t alone in this cruel twist of fate.

I look to the sky, pleading with the stars, begging someone to tell me what I should do because I don’t know how to deal with this. I don’t know how to cope when my forever has changed, and I can’t help wondering if I had seen the signs earlier, if I’d pushed him, would it have been enough to save us?

Or had fate already decided to alter our forever?


My Thoughts

When Forever Changes was definitely a refreshing take on love-triangle. If you know me, then you know much I hate love triangles, however, I dunno what but I can’t help but fall for the love-triangles she has written! This was a beautiful and heartwrenching story, albeit there were a few eye-rolling moments but it did manage to win my heart in the end!

Dylan and Gabby have known each other since forever. In fact, they were each other’s forever until Dylan changed. Not only did he start acting out of his character but broke Gabby’s heart as well, a thing that Gabby didn’t think was ever possible. Slater on the other hand always harboured feelings for Gabby and when Dylan left her with pieces, he helped Gabby to pick them up. However, things take a turn for the worse when Dylan’s truth is revealed. It only breaks Gabby all over again but shatters all three of them.

When Forever Changes starts out with Dylan and Gabby’s relationship. I was not invested in this book at the beginning, I think especially because of Dylan’s douchey character. Gabby worshipped the ground he walked on and her thoughts and Dylan’s characters were not matching up. Of course, the reason behind it comes up later but like Gabby, it never mended that part of the heart he broke. Slater, on the other hand, I fell for him immediately. He was not only considerate but also patient and sweet. After Dylan, it took Gabby a lot of time to get back on track and that’s when she realised Slater have been there for her all along.

Dylan and Slater’s love was both different and it was the most precious thing to Gabby. However, she made a lot of stupid decisions, like unnecessary pushing Slater away when proper communication would have made the circumstances more bearable. Gabby expected a bit too much, even after her worse decision-making skills. I kind of semi-guessed the plot twist but I was still hit hard. It was such an unexpected situation where I fell in love with the three all over again. It was heartwrenching yet there was hope. Although this book ends on a bittersweet note, the ending had me pretty satisfied.

Overall, When Forever Changes was a pretty memorable read. I loved how the author dealt with the love triangle. It was quite different from the usual ones I have read until today and for that, I think I will always remember this book. The writing was smooth and easy to read and the pace was moderate throughout the book although I felt some parts could have been a little faster. Anyway, I am gonna wait eagerly till her next book comes out!

Recommend it?

Yes.


Sooo guys, what do you think about this book? Are you excited to read it? Have you read any previous book by this author?

**Yeah, September did not turn out as I planned it to be. My life is kinda all over the place now but I am not giving up on blogging!

Monthly Wrap-Up: May to August // Where I rant about being behind everything! Oh my!

Heeeeeey guys!!! How are you all doing??

I am like sooooooo behind everything. Freaking everything. From reading to writing to blogging. I can’t even properly go on blog hopping.  I feel sad that I am unable to do these stuff like before. Not like I was a steady writer ever. Anyway, adulthood sucks. Seriously. I finally managed to jot down a schedule for September. Hopefully, I will be able to follow that. I have accepted that I can’t post like before but I am going to try as much as I can.

The number of books and reviews I have written this last 4 months doesn’t even compare to how much I usually do. Moi is sad. *sighs* I NEED TO GET BACK TO BEING A BOOKISH DRAGON!

It’s time to dragon up!

Anyway, ehm! Onto the actual post!

Books I’ve read from May to August:

Young-Adult

  

     

  


Books I’ve read from May to August (link to my reviews):

4/5 stars

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar

Wolf by Wolf & Blood by Blood by Ryan Graudin

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

American Panda by Gloria Chao


Other Stuff:

  • I wrote the movie review of Ready Player One with my BTS A.R.M.Y buddies. It was a blast and the movie itself was awesome. Lived up to my expectations and proved to be much more!

K-Drama Reviews:


Life Update:

Well, nothing much to say besides that I am behind everything. Thank goodness for Love Yourself “Tear” followed by Love Yourself “Answer” I was able to survive these past months! The MV “IDOL” is soooo freaking awesome. And damn those underneath meanings! The other songs… oh my oh my! I can’t even!

I finally purchased Scrivner!!! I had my discount code since Camp NaNoWriMo April but due to bank issues, the transaction was being possible but finally oh finally I was able to buy it a few days ago. Hopefully, now I can be productive as well as organised in my writing. I sooo need to complete Crown’s Bane and The Boy Who Touched the Moon.

I alsoooo finally got Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. I also got a few others but no big hauls. Anyway, work life has its up and down but it’s okay so far. Some days are fun, some days are not. Well, that life. But it has sucked up all my time. I am not going to stop that from returning to my bookish world.

See you guys month! Lemme know if you have discovered any good books or tv shows or k-dramas in the comments below! ❤


So guys, how have your months been? Bookishly awesome or meh? Been busy or on hiatus anyone?

Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao // A combo of refreshing and realistic

Title: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 320 pages, Ebook
Published: February 6th, 2018 by Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfil the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes to a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.


My Thoughts

American Panda was such a heartfelt read! There were some aspects I could really relate and Mei is bae! ❤

She is an early college student aiming for a doctorate degree when all she wants to do in dance. But she doesn’t have the heart to tell her parents about it as her brother already walked on their family. She develops a crush on Darren Takahashi who is actually Japanese. Another no go from their parents who only want Mei to marry someone of their choice who is also specifically Taiwanese. A breaking point comes into Mei’s life when she is forced to make a choice about how to live her life, according to her own will or her parent’s.

The plot of this book was refreshing and relatable. American Panda is a more of a character-centric novel which focuses on the life of Mei. Mei is a hard working above average students who are working towards a career path to be a doctor. Apart from being a germophobe, she manages to fall asleep in the core subject of medicine, a.k.a biology. She goes by the rule of her parents as she does not want to disappoint them at all cost. A chance encounter with his brother changes her aspect of living life. Her opinion finally clashes when she sees her brother’s life through her own eyes rather than their parents’ words.

“If I lied, the real me would disappear.” 

Her rebellion starts in a slow process but it takes a turn as she experiences a whole new world. Her crush towards Darren slowly intensifies. Mei actually tried to do everything possible to do that she had been taught. She really tried but the heart wants what it wants. Of course, Darren is by her side but she gathers the courage to stand up for herself. And on boy, she does! The most surprising as well as beautiful moment was Mei’s reuinon with her mom. I wish her dad felt the same but well things take time. Sometimes the broken pieces can be mend together and sometimes it’s just better left alone. Mei felt like whole different person when she danced. She truly felt like herself. I can totally get this point. All parents want their children to have a stable career but that doesn’t only come from money. Happiness is the other factor which goes hand in hand.

“I couldn’t go through life as a shadow.” 

Overall, American Panda was a beautiful lesson that one should learn about both sides of the coin before judging. The plot was fresh and kept me engaged. Although I couldn’t identify it but I felt something was missing but the characters made up for it. This book was not only diverse but also shone light on various cultural aspects. The pace was kinda slow and steady in different portions of the book an the words flowed smoothly. I will definitely be anticipating her next book.


Sooo guys, have you read this one? If yes, what are your thoughts on it? And if that’s still a no, are you think of picking it up anytime soon?

Also, yeeeeeah. I have no excuse of abandoning my beloved blog for so long. I am just too lazy and tired after coming back from work. But that’s a lame excuse. I am tryiiiiiiiing guys! Hopefully September will show its magic!