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!

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // A diverse book which lived up to the hype!

Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 447 pages, Ebook
Published: February 28th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterwards, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


Hi guys!! I am still pretty much AWOL, I know. As much as I would like to blame everything on my schedule, I am kinda lazy too! XD So umm yay to me not being for once!

I also just realised I have not done a wrap-up in 3 months!!! I love doing wrap-ups!! And I haven’t done them since May!! Oh! What has the world has come to! I also veeery dramatically failed in Camp NaNo this July. I mean… I didn’t even write. *facepalm*

Anyway, one can only hope. So I am hoping to bring myself back on track this month!

Okay, enough blabbering. Now let’s move onto this review, shall we?

I believe I am the last person on planet Earth to pick up this book. I haven’t seen a single blogger who hasn’t read this yet. (Any minority out there?!) Hehe… if you get the reference!

Sooo this book was eye-opening and absolutely heartbreaking. Hell, I did not realise this book was going to be so realistic. I mean I know this was going to be a serious one but this one just hit it in the feels. The Hate U Give tells the story of a young black girl named Starr who has a pretty normal life. Well, at least on the outside where she maintains two different kinds of avatars. She is someone different when she goes to her school while a different person with her kind of people. Everything turns up and down for her when her friend Khalil is shot in front of her eyes without any reason. Even after his death, the injustice does not stop and that’s when Starr decides to speak up. But telling the truth comes with a whole lot of prices.

“Once upon a time there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug.
He lived, but not nearly long enough, and for the rest of my life I’ll remember how he died.
Fairy tale? No. But I’m not giving up on a better ending.”

This book is pretty character-centric. I absolutely loved the diverse representation. And a realistic portrayal at that. It really deals with some sensitive topics like racism and I felt that the author did an absolute justice to that. Well, this book is pretty much more than that. It brings out the injustice, unfairness a certain amount of people have to deal with even if it’s the 21st century just because they are of a different colour or have a different faith. Unfortunately, it’s a sad truth which exists even today. And for the fear of being judged, Starr, our protagonist of this book maintains a different facade when she’s at the “white” school as quoted by some of her friends. (Frankly, quoting those made you racists too! Stupid people! But well that’s how the world functions I guess.)

“I’ve taught myself to speak with two different voices and only say certain things around certain people. I’ve mastered it.”

Starr is not a biggy for parties but she decides to go with her step-sister. There she meets her childhood friend Khalid with whom she hadn’t talked for quite a long time. It’s on their way home when the calamity strikes. Even it was a book, I felt everything happened at slow-mo. I knew what was about to happen next but it still shocked me to the core. I actually had to put the book down for a few minutes before I could pick it up again. The thing is Khalid even didn’t do anything wrong but him being black was what got him killed.

“People like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”

I fiercely wanted justice for Khalid but I could understand Starr’s reluctance too. Especially after she and her family were personally attacked. And those of you know me already, can understand how badly I wanted to go after that with a frying pan. Anyway, I want to highlight a few things which I absolutely adored in this book. The family rep!! Like a huuuuuge thank you to Angie Thomas for representing such an awesome functional family which we rarely get to see in YA. Starr’s parents were thankfully normal and mature, unlike some books where parents are even more childish than the main characters. She had a two brother, although one was a step-brother who was annoying as hell but it was clear how much Starr cared for them.

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Starr’s boyfriend was a white guy. And he was such a damn gentleman! I mean he had his shortcomings but Chris really was a pillar of strength to her. Thank god, he wasn’t a douchebag! I was very much afraid he was going to turn out that way. I also didn’t like Kenya, Starr’s step-sister at first but she slowly grew on me. I don’t think without her motivation Starr would have gotten the courage to speak up. Ms Oprah was pretty awesome too.

“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”

The ending of this book hurt like hell. I mean I kind of knew this book was not going to be all rainbows and sunshine in the end (I still hoped?) But yes, it definitely left me with hope. (J-Hooooooooooooooooooooooooope!! Sorry!! Sorry!! That was absolutely inappropriate and unnecessary. But that has become a habit like breathing!!!) Anyways, I loved the fact that how everything made their family more unified. I even enjoyed the small aspects like Uncle Carlos and DeVante’s story. I mean I was not a fan of Carlos in the beginning but as I got to know him more, I understood he was a genuine person as well. I loved Starr’s character development. She grew up so much from a scared girl to a matured person who’s able to let her voice shine for her!

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

So why did I give it a 4 star? It’s because the beginning was pretty slow. I almost put it down but then again this book was received too much hype for me to shut down my curiosity. I am glad I listened to that voice and continued with it. Overall, The Hate U Give was a pretty fantastic read. I adored Starr’s parents to the moon and back, especially her father. I mean usually, parents encourage to stand up against wrong but when it’s something that big, they usually fear for the children’s safety. But Starr’s father went beyond that. Even after getting personally harassed, he not for once told Starr to back down. That man earned my respect! Her mom was no less by any chance. Now. let’s come to the writing. It felt a little weird in the beginning because the author wrote in a different accent but once I got the hang of it, it didn’t matter much. Whoever still has not picked this up, really needs to asap!!!

(Wow. I did not realise how big this review was. Thank you to those of you who have made it till the end. Sarangheeeoo!)

Recommend it?

Yes.


So guys, have you read this yet? Well, that might be an understatement. I think I was the only one yet to read this book!! Is anyone out there who still haven’t picked this up? Then, is it in your tbr?

Also, who’s excited for the movieeeee???

Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo // Gorgeous action and stabby stuff!

Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Standalone
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 368 pages, Paperback
Published: March 6th, 2018 by Hot Key Books
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


This was one gorgeously stabby book.

“In my heart, I’m as wild as the ocean that raised me.”

Princess Lira is the heir siren throne, also known as the Prince’s bane because of speciality in stealing the hearts of princess rather than normal sailors like the other sirens. But when she performs a deed against her mother, she is cursed to become something she hates the most. A human. Meanwhile, Prince Elian is a pirate who specialises in killing sirens and is more interested in spending his life at the sea rather than become the next ruler after his father. Prince Elian sole aim is to hunt down Prince’s bane while Lira gets the order to bring Elian’s heart if she wants to return to her kingdom. Both of them start out in the same direction but when Lira gets the opportunity to bring justice against the unfair decision taken by her mother, a.k.a the Sea Queen, she changes her path in reaching the desired goal but along the way things start to change as they get to know each other.

Refreshing plot

The plot of To Kill a Kingdom was really unique. The twists and turns continuously surprised me The only thing that didn’t make it a 5 star read was the pace at the beginning.

“And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.”

I felt that the beginning of the ultimate journey of the plot took too much time. I mean, I wanted the protagonists to met a lot earlier than it happened in the book. Other than this fact, I have no other complaints. When the characters finally meet, it’s with a BAM! It felt like world war 3 was about to break out but as the book proceeded, so the did the plot in a neat manner.

Stabby book in a neat manner! Ha!

World-building

Oooh also the world-building was pretty good. I loved how the author eased us into this whole new crazy world. I have seen and read sirens as malicious creatures who lure their prey with this voices.

“Everyone is a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with the colour of discovery.”

But this was on another level. It was like, they enjoyed killing for fun. Which was very disturbing indeed. But somehow I could never hate Lira for her actions. Of course, she did a lot of wrong stuff but she still had humanity left in her.

Character Development

One of the main factors that worried me from the starting of the book was how would the romance develop in the book since both the protagonists had one goal in mind, that is to kill one another. But the character development in this book really surprised me. The characters were complex and they were fleshed out in such a thorough and detailed way that left me speechless.

“How strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes mine.”

I was like, how could those two ever fall in love with one another but surprisingly they did and wow, boy did I love it! Lira’s redemption was portrayed pretty well too. Well, if you can call it that. Also, the sea queen aka Lira’s mother was a straight up *********!! She sooo deserved what she got served in the end.

Action! Stabby stuff!

The action was one of the aspects which I enjoyed thoroughly. One thing or the other was constantly happening. There were numerous other characters who contributed equally to the story. The politics was also kind of intriguing but the last battle was the one which was spectacular. It didn’t end in a second which I have seen in many other books. The build-up was steady before the stuff went down. In a good way!

Overall, To Kill a Kingdom was pretty fantastic. Although I think the beginning took up more time than necessary but it was still engaging. The characters were the ones who kept me glued to the book and the pace was somewhat fast. The writing flowed smoothly as well and I was satisfied with how everything wrapped up in the end!

Recommend it?

Yes!


Soooooo guys, have you read this yet? If yes, then what did you think about it?

Duology Review: Wolf by Wolf & Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin // Which made me fall in love and then shattered my heart!

  

Title: Wolf by Wolf & Blood by Blood
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf By Wolf duology
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 400 & 496 pages respectively, Ebook
Published: October 6th 2015 & November 1st 2016 respectively by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Wolf by Wolf:

Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

Blood for Blood:

There would be blood.Blood for blood.Blood to pay.An entire world of it.
For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.
Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?


My Thoughts

Okaaay, so I finally read this duology!!!!

In a million times I hadn’t expected it to end like that. Like seriously? How could it end like that?!! I am still pretty much upset about that fact but I cannot deny the fact that this duology was epically fantastic!

First of all, the plot of this duology was fresh and unique.

Sassy heroine? Check.

Full on adventure? Check.

Killing Hitler? Double check!!

I mean, I wanted to read this book for soooo long but for some reason I didn’t pick it up. So one day while going to work, I just started the ebook and I was hooked!!

“These were the names she whispered in the dark.
These were the pieces she brought back into place.
These were the wolves she rode to war.” 

Yael has only one mission and that is to assassinate Hitler. Although Hitler does not make public appearances anymore, but the winner of Axis Tour which is an annual motorcycle race hosted by Germany in collaboration with Japan, gets to meet Hitler in the winner ball. Yael is a face changer which was one of the many projects done under the reign of Hitler. Due to all those experiments she lost everybody but she gained one deadly advantage. Now posing as Adele Wolfe, the winner of the precious year’s race, Yael takes her entry. But Adele’s old flame Luka and her brother Felix pose a major treat to her mission. It’s up to Adele weather she wants to utilize her brain or heart for reaching the end of this mission.

Wolf by Wolf was such an intriguing read. This book depicted the whole journey of the Axis Tour. I didn’t think reading about a motorcycle race would be this interesting actually! But it was so much more than that. This book kinda reminded me of the Hunger Games but this was definitely more fun. The participants in the race had to use various strategies to stay ahead in the race and although violence was not legal, it was definitely allowed as long as it didn’t get capture in the cameras. This definitely added a dangerous element to the book. Well aside from the fact of assassination which was a total suicide mission!

*Major Spoilers*

You can read the highlighted parts though!

*Proceed at your own risk!*

Blood by Blood was much more intense compared to book 1. The major twist at the end of Wolf by Wolf was expected but fairly surprising at the same time. Of course, that was going to happen! But what followed after was unexpected as hell. In book 1, the death of T actually quite shocked me as much as it did to Yael. I didn’t expect to actually feel bad for that guy. He might have sneaky and self-centered but he was just a guy who wanted to win like the others.

Book 2 started with a major bang where Yael broke out after the attempted assassination attempt. I particularly grew attached to Luka in this book, who unlike Felix gave Yael a real chance. Although romance was not a major aspect of this book, but it existed and I loooved the little moments between Luka and Yael. Another one of the major unexpected surprise about her fourth wolf made me tear up!

“Fear is not an excuse,” Yael told him. “Fear is being human.”

Whiiich brings me to Yeal’s past! The experiments done on her made me flinch every time. I couldn’t imagine Yael had to go through so much. But she grew up as a strong woman. Of course, she had her demons from the past but she knew how to fight them. She fought as fiercely as she cared. I loved her character so much. I mean, even after going through hell, how could she be so selfless?

And Aaron-Klaus. I really loved Aaron-Klaus. His death tore me apart too but one of the last revelations gave me some closure. So many deaths. There were too many deaths.

The development of characters throughout the duology was refreshing to read about. I was not a fan of Luka when I got first introduced to him but he slowly won me over. I didn’t think it would get my heart ripped apart in the end. And Felix, I really admired him. He just went from the best brother category to straight in my shitlist!! I mean, did he care about anyone beside his family? Ever? Whatever Yael might have done, she always protected him and Felix couldn’t even trust her this much. And Adele’s a real bitch.

I read Iron to Iron because I wanted to know what went wrong between the two of them. maybe Luka just misunderstood Adele but oh no! That was so not the case. Her shitty character was perfectly revealed in the novella. And on top of that, she added fuel to Felix’s doubts. I wouldn’t have cared if she died. I mean for that shit, Luka had to die!!! Freaking die!!!

I died too along with that.

“The wolves of war are gathering. They sing a song of rotten bones.”

Overall, Wolf by Wolf duology left me into pieces but I do not regret picking it up. This duology earned a place in my heart, forever! The plot was witty and executed in a unique manner. I loved some characters and hated some others with passion. I was really rooting for the resistance the whole way and although their fate was bittersweet, this book ended with hope. Hope for a new world.

Recommend it?
Yes!


Sooo guys, what are your thoughts on this duology? Did it break your heart like it did mine? Or is it still waiting in your tbr?

Review: Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar // An intriguing mix of fantasy and romance // Plus Interview & Giveaway!

Title: Heir of Ashes
Author:  Jina S. Bazzar
Series: Roxanne Fosch, book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Trigger Warning: Abuse, Violence
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 409 pages, Ebook
Published: April 15th, 2018
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Roxanne Fosch had a perfectly normal life at the age of twelve. Cool, popular, pretty, smart. Her dreams of a perfect, successful and prosperous future seemed well within her grasp.
By the time she was twenty-two, she had become a commodity. A fugitive. She was being hunted.
As Roxanne embarks on the dangerous quest to search for half-truths about her past, she discovers she’s not just an abnormal human, but a rarity even among her Fee peers.
She is hunted by scientists, keen to exploit her extraordinary abilities, as well as other beings far more dangerous whose plans for her she cannot fathom.


This book… you know guys, I have found quite a few hidden gems among the self-published books and this one is definitely one of them!

Roxanne has been sheltered her whole life, kept in a cage for experiments for many years until she escapes the clutches of the scientists who experiment on a preternatural creature like her. She may be vulnerable being completely alone out in the world for the first time but she knows how to take care of herself. Roxanne is constantly hunted though she has no idea about her origin or what she actually is. Her path coincides with Logan, a werewolf who becomes an ally but he is not someone without motive. As their paths continue to clash, it is up to Roxanne to decide which path she wants to head on.

An Intriguing Plot

I seriously did not expect I would end up falling in love with this book! Seriously, it was sooo damn awesome. roxanne reminded me a bit of Logan from X-Men but that’s where the similarity ended. The plot book was completely new and unpredictable journey. I mean, there were so many elements threaded together in such a way that it created an awesome storyline.

“When one faces pain on a daily basis, one either learns to live with it or let it consume him.”

Roxanna is on the run after escaping from the clutches of the scientists who have been experimenting on her for ages. She finally succeeds in executing her plan which she had forming for many years but trouble follows her like a shadow. Roxanne’s is curious about her heritage and her mother from whom she was taken by the scientist. I seriously hated those “so-called” scientists without a conscience who didn’t think a second time before hurting Roxanne just for their experiments. I loved the fact that despite what everything she had been through, she was tough and didn’t give up without a fight.

This book comprises a lot of supernatural creatures staring from vampires, werewolf, mages and even hybrids like her. The author managed to input all these different creatures in a single plot without creating a complex atmosphere. These supernatural characters usually blend in with the common people but for Roxanne, it is a whole new world. I loooved the action sequences! She was a woman who was fully independent and could handle herself. I was really afraid for Roxy when that weirdo powerful magician (the forgot the name!! Dramman maybe… whatever, that guy was hella creepy!) took her hostage and the trip to the other world was such a treat!

The history of Roxanne’s character was another intriguing aspect of this book. I had plenty of questions about the whole thing but everything became clear when I read The Curse which is a prequel to this book but I felt it was more suited to read it after finishing this one. It was a short read but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Layered Characters

Roxanne was a character not devoid of flaws yet despite everything, she seemed the most human to me as compared to the scientists. Her path crossed with Logan for the first time after she escaped the experiment lab. Logan was among one of the pursuers who were after her but unlike the others, he grew to care and respect for her. It took some time for me to warm up to Logan but he won me over in no time! One thing that I liked about Logan was that he was at least straightforward about why he needed her in the first place. Though I hated that he still kept secrets from her because whatever there is between them grows deeper as the plot proceeded. Roxanne also grew as a character which I thoroughly enjoyed.

“How can a monster tell if he’s a monster if he’s never known anything else?”

Oh, and how can I forget about Frizz!! I just love this kind of supernatural pets in books! They kind of turn up out of the blue but stays in your heart. I am very much excited to see Frizz in the sequel! 😀

Character development

When Roxanne first escapes, she is a complete mess. But slowly and steadily she learns to balance herself with the help of Logan. The development of the romance between Logan and Roxanne left me in awe. It was slow-build and it was more of a warm bond of trust than complete whirlwind romance. The two finally had someone to lean on although they would never admit that and they shared a certain level of intimacy. I loved the chemistry between them and after how the book ended, I can’t wait to see what happens to my precious characters!!

Overall,

Heir of Ashes and The Curse both were fantastic reads! There were so many elements to the plot yet I was never confused. I loved how the author neatly threaded everything in the end. I am curious to find out about the new life that she was offered and the society of the hunters but I can sense something big coming!! The pace felt a little here and there but it didn’t put me off the edge. I was completely engaged in this book from the very beginning. I seriously would have missed out on a lot if I passed on the opportunity to review this book!

Recommend it?

I went too long without a BTS gif!! XD

Yes!


Interview

I had the wonderful opportunity to review the author of this book! Here goes!

Hey there! I’m so glad to have you on my little blog today!

1. How did you come up with the intricate idea of your debut novel, Heir of Ashes?

A: I guess the idea to Roxanne’s story took root in my mind without any prompting of my own. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to write, how the story would begin, a notion about what I wanted to include in the middle, and a silhouette of an end, not to the first book of the trilogy, but to the trilogy as a whole. I had all these jumbled scenes running rampant in my head, ideas and actions for the entire trilogy, and to prevent myself from going insane, I shut them out and focused only on Heir of Ashes.
I can’t say there was anything special about it, except that the urge to write kept getting stronger, and once I gave in to the urge and started writing, the ideas became more solid and all I could do to keep up was keep on typing.

2. How would you describe your female protagonist, Roxanne Fosch?

A: Roxanne is a very complex person – naïve, kind, compassionate. She’s also had a horrific experience that left her somewhat jaded, mean and unfeeling at times. But deep inside, she’s just another girl trying to lead a normal life.

3. What is your writing process? How do you develop your plots and characters along with working with your external difficulties

A: There isn’t a particular process to my writing, except that I consider the story as a whole, a beginning to the story, a notion of the middle and the very end. I try to pick my scenes this way too, though I can’t say I always know what I want. Sometimes I sit and imagine how I want a particular scene to start, what I want in it, how I’d conclude that scene. Sometimes the images don’t flow like water though, and I need to relax, read a book, bake, and listen to music. Well, I guess I have a process after all. To be fair, a lot of times the story just keeps on flowing and I barely have any time to consider what’s next.
If I happened to think about a scene that I’d like included but that didn’t fit yet with the story, I’d add a note to the end. I had a lot to delete as I finished the first draft, but these notes served me well.
I’ll assume external difficulties here mean me being blind, and I can’t say that it affects my writing in a negative way, except when I’m editing. I need to focus hard then and make sure the words I used are the correct words – for example, then and than, its and it’s, be and bee, by and buy, and all the words that sound the same or sound alike. I had the auto correct on when I wrote the first draft too, and it didn’t always agree with what I wanted, so it would just go on and change the word to what it thought fit better. Of course, the auto correct wasn’t always right.
And then there were the randomly capitalized words.
That part, the editing part, was a nightmare, and I know a lot of those went unnoticed by me. Some of them were caught by the editor, and still, the person who did my last proofread bears testimony to how many of those the editor and I missed.

4. What were the difficulties you had to face while writing the characters?

A: I guess it was keeping their reactions in synch with their personalities and still make them sound real enough.

5. Give us a sneak peek of the sequel to this book. What can the readers expect from it?

A: In the second book, Heir of Doom, Roxanne is learning how to be more dependent upon herself. There will be a healthy dose of preternatural here, as this is now the circle she runs in, but not all are friendly towards her. She will be deceived, lied to, she will uncover more truths; learn some of the ins and outs of the clan. There will be a newfound friend, perhaps even a love triangle.
Frizz will feature more prominently, as well as the Sidhe people, like Lee, Queen Titania and Oberon. She will need to travel through the worlds, and this time her decisions will affect not only her life but the lives of others as well.
Alright, that was a big sneak peek.

6. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

A: Hmmm, I’m not sure what unique would be as I’m not sure what other writers do, but once I finish a draft or a scene, I turn on the automatic reader and listen to what I wrote. It’s amazing how many things I’m able to fix through this process, how much I’m able to cover. True, if I keep repeating the same scene over and over, it eventually turns into a lullaby and I have a hard time staying awake.

7. Which books or authors is your inspiration?

A: A well-written book never fails to captivate me, but when I need inspiration, I turn to Nora Roberts.

8. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

A: Believe in yourself. Don’t try to compare yourself with other writers, you are not them.

It was great having you on my blog today! Thank you so much and I wish you much success in the future.

It was my pleasure, Poulami.


Author Bio:

Jina was born and raised in Brazil, where she had a joyful and fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. She became blind at the age of twenty-three. She has since lived in the United States and Brazil, though currently resides in the middle- east.

Like most authors, Jina had always been an avid reader, a fan of the fantastic, but was denied the joy of books when she became blind. Once she discovered screen readers, she picked up the habit of reading again but discovered that reading was no longer enough, so she started writing her own book.

When she’s not writing in the Roxanne Fosch series or her blog, she’s writing articles for Conscious talk Magazine, where she works as a columnist.

Aside from the written word, Jina loves to spend time in the kitchen, cooking and baking for her three kids and anyone who happens by.

Author Links:

Goodreads || Blog || Twitter

Purchase Links:

Smashwords || Amazon

Giveaway!! (INTL)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


So guys, what do you think about this book? Have you read any previous book in this series or any other book by this author?

Book + Movie Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline // A thrilling and engaging watch and read!

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Series: Ready Player One, book 1
Genre: Dystopia, Science-Fiction, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 374 pages, Paperback
Published: April 5th, 2012 by Arrow Books
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.


Wow. This was one hell of a book! I mean seriously! It took some time for me to get engaged but once I was in, there was no going back! 🙂

In the dystopian world of 2044 where poverty, sickness had taken over the world, the only way for people to escape the harsh reality is through OASIS, a virtual game where one can do whatever they want, go on quests or simply for just entertainment. When the founder of this game, James Halliday dies he leaves a message that whoever can cross the 3 hidden gates and solve the riddles will get his entire fortune. And then the frenzy begins. But when Wade’s life, the person to cross gate 1 real, becomes a threat as well as his virtual one, the game takes a whole new different meaning. Now, he is not only playing for winning but also fighting for his life.

Okay, so this was a hella awesome book! Like literally! Though I have to say that the pacing, in the beginning, was slow and I felt a little bored but gradually things started taking an interesting turn once Wade crossed the first gate. This game was a lot like virtual roleplaying games, just on a much, much higher level. I have done writing roleplays but I had never played one, so that definitely was an interesting aspect.

But one thing, I won’t say it bothered me but I felt it was too much, Wade knew everything about gaming. I mean EVERYTHING. Yes, sure he is a geeky person (and I like geeky people, in fact, I prefer them) but his complete knowledge about every possible game and how he mastered one game after another so quickly felt a bit unrealistic. Though I obviously don’t have any experience in this field.

But despite the flaws, I loved Wade. He was geekishly adorable. (Also that effing risk he took!!!! Like seriously!!!!! Spoilers, so I can’t say it but who has already read will know… he was foolishly brave? xD) After Halliday’s announcement, hell broke loose but it soon died out because nobody was able to find the key to the first gate. After a lot of years, when Wade comes out of the maze and overnight becomes the most popular person as well as the enemy number one for one company whose ultimate motive is to buy OASIS. Oooo those people, a.k.a the Sixers were really disgusting. I loathed them, especially their leader Sorrento who was prepared to go down to any level to win the game, even if he had to take innocent lives.

Anyway, the other characters were pretty interesting as well, especially the top 5 who were able to cross the gate first. I liked Art3mis but Aech was my favourite. The part which I loved the most was the action in the game. I didn’t feel it was just a game anymore, like Wade’s it had invaded my life as well. The final showdown was just EPIC!! It kinda reminded me of the mixed power rangers episodes. xD (In a gooood way! I loved PR!!) Also, there were many 80’s pop culture references which I didn’t get but it didn’t bother me much.

Overall, Ready Player One was definitely worth the read! I have never been a gamer myself, but I didn’t enjoy it any less. Despite the initial slow beginning, the plot picked up soon enough and I was emersed in a whole new different world. I felt there was a bit of info-dump here and there but other than that the facts were really awesome!

Recommend it?

Yaaas!


Name: Ready Player One
Genre:  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, etc.
Release Date: 29 March 2018
My Rating: 

                              

I went to watch Ready Player One at the beginning of March with my ARMY friends. This movie definitely surpassed my expectations. I finished the book before going to the movies and as much as I had loved the book, the movie was equally awesome!

First of all, the cinematography was awesome! The execution of the first clue was indeed handled a different way from the book but I think it was more awesome and had a certain impact on the audience. The bonus features like the huuuuuge monsters were such a surprise! Never in a million years had I expected that but I should have because it was a Speilberg movie after all! There was only one in the book but in the movie, there were so many, we were screaming with joy. Inwardly. (Obvio!) I loooved the friendship between the five. Whereas in the book, the main focus was on Wade, Artemis and Aech but the movie focused on all the top five. Oh, and the revelation about the characters was such a great twist! Not only that it had quite a lot of other surprises in store for us and I have to say I loved each one of them!

Also, this sequence was pretty funny!! XD It depicted the video game aspect with the real world!

The aspects of the movie which were executed differently were kinda pretty tame in compared with other books to movie adaptations because it stayed pretty true to the book. I think there were only two major differences. I guess they were necessary to maintain the pace of the movie. The romance was a small factor in the book but it was cute!! Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the action sequences and the acting! And I had a great time watching it with my friends, I seriously didn’t want it to end!

Recommend it?

Yes!


Soooooo guys, have you read this yet? Are you excited for the movie? Or have you already seen it? Then what did you think about it?

Review: Seducing Kaden by Siobhan Davis || Where the Romance brew even without the Seduction

Title: Seducing Kaden
Author: Siobhan Davis
Series: The Kennedy Boys, book 6
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Trigger Warning: Marital rape and abuse
Heat Rating: Warm
Page Count and Format: 460 pages, Ebook
Expected Publication: April 30th, 2018
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Kaden
The woman I love will never be mine because she already belongs to another.

I’ve tried everything to forget her, but it’s impossible when she occupies a starring role in my dreams. I’m obsessed, and my eyes are glued to her shapely curves whenever I see her around campus. It doesn’t help that she looks as miserable as I feel, and I wonder if she misses me as much as I miss her.

Short of putting a bullet through the skull of that gangster she’s married to, I’m stuck in a hellhole of my own making.

Until fate intervenes, setting us on a collision course we can’t avoid.

Evelina
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of falling in love. The all-consuming sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of love I swooned over in movies.

It didn’t take long for that fairytale notion to come crashing down around me. Now I’m trapped in a marriage I despise with no discernible way out.

The only light in the dark is Kaden Kennedy—the one true love of my life. He doesn’t know he is, because I’m forced to love him from afar, condemned to toss and turn at night, crying over everything I want and all I can never have.

Seeing him day in, day out, destroys me, but there’s no other choice; I had to push him away to keep him safe.

Because if my husband ever finds out I’m in love with one of my students, I won’t be the only one in danger.

While you don’t need to read the earlier books in this series to enjoy Seducing Kaden, it is highly recommended. This book is a contemporary new adult romance, and it is only suitable for readers aged eighteen and older due to mature content, sexual situations, and language.

[A student-teacher forbidden romance from USA Today bestseller Siobhan Davis. Standalone with an HEA and no cliffhanger. This story includes details of an extramarital affair, so if you don’t like cheating or controversial storylines, then this book isn’t for you.]


This booooook!! I was so eager to read Kaden’s story and forbidden romance is most top most favourite tropes. Though this book is not a light one and it deals with some important issues, I enjoyed it from the first till the last bit.

Kaden and Evaline have a chance encounter before Kaden discovers that she is her new professor in college. The attraction between them is instant but neither can give their feelings a chance because of their condition until both of them can’t resist anymore. Eva dropped her chance at happiness because of her husband who is aligned with illegal business and is a sadist but meeting Kaden for the second time brings back all the beautiful memories they had once shared together and this time Kaden doesn’t want to give up either.

Seducing Kaden was a second chance romance book which tells the story of Kaden and Evalina. The plot flashes back to the past and the present where it defines the start of their relationship and the present situation. Although the plot was predictable, the storyline flowed smoothly and the romance kept me engaged throughout the whole book. The attraction between Kaden and Eva is instant and both of them can’t deny the obvious attraction between them. One of the things that I loved about both of them was the mutual respect they had for each other. I felt really bad Eva’s situation, she was forced to live in a hell with no way out but after meeting Kaden, she began to hope for the first time in his life.

Although cheating is an element in this book, anyone would feel relief about this fact after knowing Eva’s bound condition. God, she had to go through so freaking much. Her husband was one hell of a onster whose clutches she couldn’t escape at any cost and even if she tried her loved ones would have to pay the consequences. It was actually quite difficult for me to read some of the parts. Anyway, Kaden treated Eva like a perfect gentleman, he was thoughtful and caring and did his best to protect her. The plot could have been a little more dynamic but it was still enjoyable.

Overall, Seducing Kaden was an engaging read. I think I would have enjoyed it more if there were some surprising elements, but the ending left me satisfied. The writing was smooth and the pace was even throughout the whole book. It was a pretty quick read in fact which was an added bonus. I also loved the fact that how this book paved its way for the next Kennedy book! I am definitely excited to read that!

Recommend it?

Yes!


So guys, what do you think about this book? Have you read any previous book in this series or any other book by this author?

Duology Review: Daughter of the Pirate King & Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller || Full of Pirate-y Awesomeness!

Title: Daughter of the Pirate King & Daughter of the Siren Queen
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King duology
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: A bit warm
Format: 320 & 342 pages resp., Ebook
Published: February 28th, 2017 & February 27th, 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Daughter of the Pirate King –

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Daughter of the Siren Queen –

Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.


Okay, wow. This duology was pretty great, especially book 2. All the piratey awesomeness was sooo worth it!

Alosa is sent on a secret mission by her father who is the Pirate King to retrieve the pieces of the map of lost treasures. She allows herself to be captured by the enemy in order to do so but Riden, the first mate of the enemy ship is too clever to fall for her tricks. And when feelings come in the way things start becoming complicated. Along with that when Alosa’s learns a hidden truth, her whole world turns upside down. It’s up to Alosa to choose her destiny and fight for it or give up everything.

*A biiiit spoilerish. Proceed at your own risk!*

The plot of this duology was pretty awesome and kept me on the edge the whole throughout the series. In book 1, Alosa cleverly plans her own capture to fulfil her goal to retrieve the map. Despite her well thought out plan, her journey was not an easy one. She had to face betrayals and plenty of struggles along the way. But the torture at the end of book 1 broke my heart. It was really cruel and disgusting how they made use of her powers of being a half siren.

“I am me because I choose to be me. I am what I want. Some people say you have to find yourself. Not I. I believe we create ourselves to be what we want. Any aspect of ourselves that we do not like can be altered if we make an effort.”

As a character, Alosa was pretty badass and cared a lot about her crew and treated them like her own family. Her faithfulness to her father despite his cruel treatment felt a bit weird but I guess she was brain-washed like that and I was glad when she finally understood the whole truth. She justified her father’s behaviour a lot and that showed how much she was psychologically affected. Sure, it made her a kickass pirate but she didn’t deserve to be treated like that by her own father. The nature of the Pirate King became more clear in book 2 as we get to see him up and close.

I enjoyed book 2 a looot more than book 1. It’s because of the fact that though as a heroine I loved Alosa and her feelings for Riden was only a facade at first which slowly started to become real as they gradually got closer to each other. This was the only factor that bothered me a little because she was basically using him. But this changed in book 2 which made me very, very happy because I basically wanted to bash their heads together. IIt took a little for me to warm up to Ridden but as the book proceeded, he managed to win me over! He was sweet and caring but stubborn like Alosa too!

“I may not have been born in the sea, but I was born to rule it.
I am the daughter of the siren queen.”

Anyway, book 2 had a lot of more action than book 1 which I really enjoyed. I enjoyed how the pace was build up and finally executed in such a unique fashion. I seriously didn’t see the twist coming. I thought that there was going to be something like that but not in the exact way it happened and I was glad to see Alosa get closure. IThe final showdown was pretty epic, it reminded me a lot of Pirates of the Caribbean. 🙂

Overall, Daughter of the Pirate King duology was a great read! I don’t think I have read many pirate books or any pirate book in fact and I enjoyed this journey so much! I had a great adventure along with Alosa and I definitely enjoyed the character growth. The plot was executed neatly and it was fast paced throughout the series which made it a pretty quick read!

Recommend it?

Yaaas!


Soooooo guys, have you read this duology yet? What did you think about it? Do you have any good pirate book recs?? Or good siren ones?

Review: RISE by Piper Lawson || Where the rising feelings of a second-chance romance didn’t disappoint

Title: RISE
Author: Piper Lawson
Can be read as a Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Adult]
Heat Rating: Warm
Format: Ebook
Expected Publication: 10th April, 2018
Source: I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Falling is easy. Getting up is a b*tch.

When we met, we were lost.
Most seventeen-year-olds are.
We lifted each other up off the ground each time we fell. Until the day I let her down.
Now I have everything. A Bentley, a profile in GQ, a movie option and the company my best friend and I co-founded after school.
Until our paths cross ten years later at a gallery. The backdrop might be the same but we’ve both changed. I know it the second I see Sam standing in front of the canvas my best friend bought.
She’s more than the girl who used to draw comic book characters on my arm after class. The one I had inside jokes with. The one who taught me to be a rock when someone you love is being thrown around by the waves.
She’s beautiful. Confident. Edgy.
Sam should’ve been my first everything. God knows we both wanted it.
Now I have a second chance.
This time I won’t let her down.
This time, we’ll rise together.

Riley and Samantha’s story is a sexy second-chances romance that will give you all the feels. It’s an interconnected standalone with secondary characters from PLAY and NSFW.


This was a beautiful story of second chance romance. We finally got to see Riley’s story.

Riley and Samantha a.k.a Sam were pretty close during their high school. They both had feelings for one another yet they never got to confess. They fell in love with the right person but at the wrong time. Now after years later, they come face to face again and both of them realise they still have feelings for each other though Sam is reluctant at first. But Riley had already lost Sam once and he is not ready to lose her again.

Layered characters!

First of all, Riley was a very refreshing character. For once a male protagonist didn’t go sleeping around the entire city, he was a serious-relationship type of guy which I absolutely loved. I really want to see more protagonists like this! Riley and Sam’s friendship had clicked the moment Sam joined the same school as him but it was pretty obvious they had mutual feelings for each other but Riley had to take a step back due to Sam’s circumstances. They completely lost contact after that. When Riley goes to run an errand in place for Max, his best friend and co-owner of their gaming company, he is both bewildered and overjoyed to see Sam again.

This book is essentially character-centric and the author does a fantastic job of developing an angst-filled romance with a layer of humour, and that’s why there’s never a dull moment in this book. Sam is a pretty talented artist and Riley is an absolute charmer and he pursues Sam to work with him in his upcoming game to movie adaptation. Though I have to say I loved Riley more than I loved Sam. I understood her initial reluctance but I felt that was a bit too much.

A heart-racing Romance!

Nonetheless, the chemistry between both the characters were pretty palpable and I loved how it slowly developed into something strong. Though the pace in some portions felt a bit off but the characters were enough to move the story forward. I also loved that the characters of the previous books in this series made an appearance and there was also a pleasant surprise!

Overall, RISE was a fantastic read. The plot flowed smoothly and it was executed neatly. The characters managed to make me in love with them and their story and I sooo can’t wait to read more by this author!

Recommend it?

Yes!


Sooo guys are you excited to read this book? Have you read any previous books by this author?

Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys || Poignant and Heartbreaking…

Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Standalone
Genre: Historical, [Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 391 pages, Paperback
Published: February 4th, 2016 by Puffin
Source: Borrowed
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across East Prussia, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. 

This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.


Salt to the Sea had a predictable ending yet the whole story was unpredictable as hell. I spent the whole afternoon crying after finishing this book. It was raw and realistic and knowing that this actually happened made it more heartbreaking.

“Guilt is a hunter.
Fate is a hunter.
Shame is a hunter.
Fear is a hunter.” 

The book is narrated in 4 POVs of Joana, Florian, Emilia, and Alfred as we follow their journey during World War II to the German ship, Wilhelm Gustloff that would take the refugees to a safe land. We see a world torn in war and the people who suffer the most are the innocent ones. It was not an exception here as well.

“What had human beings become? Did war make us evil or just activate an evil already lurking within us?”

The book started off slowly, letting us sink into the war-sicken world where everyone was ready to do anything for their survival. Florian was a soldier on the run with a secret, Joana a nurse threatened by guilt and Emilia, the youngest of the three but pregnant and Polish, if anybody found out about her real identity, she would be dead in seconds. The three of them along with a few others make their journey to their only ray of hope, the Wilhelm Gustloff not knowing about the terrible fate they were going towards. It’s a no-brainer how this book was going to end, but it still hurt like hell!

“War had bled color from everything, leaving nothing but a storm of gray.”

There were various other characters but the shoe-poet left an impression even after I turned the final pages. His words of wisdom were something that should never be forgotten. But Alfred was a character I detested, I didn’t like his chapters but his role becomes prominent in the last quarter of the book. He lived in his own world, he was dumb and self-centred and he got what he deserved in the end.

The war was described vividly through the eyes of the common people and what they had to face. People were being killed mercilessly and there was danger in each step. Everyone had a heartbreaking story, but Emilia’s just broke my heart. Even though that wound was something never to be healed but Joana made her realise the importance of life.

“When the survivors are gone we must not let the truth disappear with them. Please, give them a voice.”

And I will be eternally grateful to the author for giving them a voice.

Everything speeds up in the last quarter of the book. I was actually pretty afraid to move forward because I was dreading the ending. Everything just turns upside down. Every single thing. The sinking of Wilhelm Gustloff just broke my heart, I had to stop so many times because I just couldn’t stop crying. The Germans had done terrible things to the Russians but killing a shipload of innocent people, in turn, was not the answer. Actually, war is never the answer. It only takes, it doesn’t give anything back and you are left with a hollow and emptiness forever. And it’s the 21st century now, people still don’t get it.

Overall, Salt to the Sea was an eye-opening experience since I was unaware of the incident which was the most disastrous in maritime history. What made this book a fast read was because each of the POVs was pretty short, rarely 1 to 2 pages and we got to see the 4 characters and the things going around them from their respective point of views which made the story progress with an equal flow. I think this is a book everyone should read in their lifetime.

P.S. The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is the deadliest disaster in maritime history, with losses dwarfing the death tolls of the famous ships Titanic and Lusitania. On January 30, 1945, four torpedoes waited in the belly of Soviet submarine S-13 which ultimately led to the demise of more than over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board.

Recommend it?

Yes.


So guys, have you read this yet?Is it in your tbr?