Title:Some Kind of Wonderland Author:Tara St. Pierre Standalone Genre: Contemporary, [Young-Adult] Heat Rating: Cool Page Count and Format: 175 pages, Ebook Published: June 10th 2021 Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Trigger warning: Divorce
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Sometimes we all need an escape down a rabbit hole.
Since her parents’ divorce, Allyson’s only source of comfort and refuge has been within the pages of Alice in Wonderland, which her father used to read to her every night. Now a quiet and shy teenager, she auditions for her school’s production of the story, despite having no previous acting experience. But no one knows Alice like she does—she’s memorized every word—and she believes that getting the part is the only way her father will return for her.
Instead, she is enlisted as an assistant to the stage manager, and she runs afoul of the drama queen cast in the role she desires. Shuffling between a full deck of actors, a fidgety time-obsessed director, and an over-caffeinated costume crew, can Allyson navigate the bizarre world of high school theater? And how will her mother feel when she finds out it’s that story?
As fiction merges with fact and her present reality uncovers past memories, what curious things will Allyson discover—and how much will she grow—along the journey through her own kind of Wonderland?
Some Kind of Wonderland was such a good read. Allyson has always been daddy’s girl, but after her parent’s divorce, her father moved far away after remarrying. Allyson’s refuge has always been Alice in Wonderland, of which she shared special memories with her father since it was always her go-to bedtime story as a kid.
When her school announces the drama of Alice in Wonderland, she tries out for the main character in the hopes of bagging the role so that her father would finally come to visit her. Luck doesn’t seem to be on her side since she ends up as a production assistant rather than the main role. Allyson’s character development was one of the aspects I really liked. She develops from a shy girl to someone learning to take opportunities. She tries to be an understudy in hopes of getting the chance to play Alice, a character she has really immersed herself into.
Her desperation and longing for her father broke my heart. She missed the hell out of him and just wanted a chance to see him again. She also matured throughout the book.Her belief about her father coming to her show if she only plays Alice to understanding what she is currently missing out on. It was heartbreaking when she finally realised the relationship with her father was never going to the same again.
Since this book narrates Allyson’s point of view, I was also wary of her mother initially. She had never been close with her mother and after the divorce, she had somewhat distanced herself. I would have loved it if the mother-daughter relationship was given more focus, but both of them trying to understand each other better was portrayed beautifully.
The story alternates between the past and present; however, the flow was seamless. I actually liked how the past was incorporated in each chapter as it gave a little more detail about the character’s past and didn’t feel like an info dump. Overall, I loved taking this journey with Allyson, which was full of friendship and family values.
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
The Ask and the Answer (book 2)
We were in the square, in the square where I’d run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her – But there weren’t no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men…
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…
Monsters of Men (book 3)
As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.
The Choas Walking trilogywas on my 2020 Accountability list. This series has been sitting on my shelves for quite a few years and I finally wanted to cross them off my list. I knew this was a good series from all the glowing reviews on Goodreads, I just honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it this much since I had grown out of the dystopian genre.
An engaging & investing plot
One of the biggest advantages of this series is that it has a good balance between the plot and the characters. Neither was too heavy. The book starts off with introducing our main protagonist Todd Hewitt who is the only boy in town (a blink away from becoming a man when he turns 13). and Prentisstown is where the adventure begins.
From the very beginning, there’s this lurking feeling that something’s wrong.
Well, what do you expect? The town has no woman. Literally NONE. They have all died in the Spackle war (as told in the first book).
Here comes another interesting aspect. The Spackles. The alien race who were the actual residents of the “New World” which the humans have colonised. Their history and backstory were really intriguing. As the book proceeds, a lot of new info pops up. It never feels like an info dump, rather it pulls the story forward. I really loved the worldbuilding, from Prentisstown to New Haven, everything just keeps getting better and better (or the worse, which is literally true in this case).
The best part of the book is the story is constantly moving. With the characters and there is no dull moment.
Then there’s war. And BOOM (which was brutal, tragic but also epic!!).
So yes, it was not a merciful adventure at all. 🙃
The noise is the showstopper of the book.
All the men have “the Noise”. It’s constant chaos and the writing style prominently depicts that.
The Noise virus affects every man in the “New World”, so basically, there is zero privacy since everybody can hear everybody’s thoughts. Image how horrifying that would be in real life. Just thinking about it gives me the creeps.
Ohmygosh, the characters!
There’s a lot of them. However, I could remember each of them because each of them was distinctly fleshed out.
Some characters you want to kill, brutally. Some you wanna hug them to death.
Okay, so I literally love Todd to death. He is a stubborn kid who believes everything will be okay when he turns 13. But then, he meets Viola.
Todd was told there was no woman left on “New World.” Viola is literally the first girl Todd actually sees. Then his world takes a massive 180-degree turn. I am a huge romance fan. Like, I want a bit of romance in my every read but I really didn’t mind the lack of romance in this series although there’s a teeny tiny bit in the last one. I really, really enjoyed the character development of both Todd and Viola. I rooted for them from the beginning and they grow up so much throughout the whole series.
Then there’s Ben and Cillian, Todd’s gay dads who you immediately fall in love with. However, Mayor Prentis and Mistree Coyle are the two characters to look out for. I just literally wanted to strangle them both, they are super awesome characters. 🙃 You just have to listen to them talking, it makes your blood boil.
I did really hate Prentis Jr at the beginning, but he became a grey character and well my feelings are complicated. Also, a special shoutout goes to Manche, I loved that dog to death.
If you haven’t read this series, please do. It makes you are riding a hurricane.
The writing style
The central factor of the book. There’s a thing about Ness’s writing style which captures you from the very beginning. It was the same when I read A Monster Calls. PLUS, the way the “Noise” was represented, I um, loved it. VERY MUCH.
Also, who’s excited about the movie?
I am excited to see Tom Holland as Todd, although he doesn’t look a bit like 13. Actor age-wise, it’s the same for almost every book to movie adaption but this one, may I can compromise happily 🙂 I heard the movie’s coming this year (hopefully)!
So, I was thinking about adding a K-pop song at the end of each review that matched the vibe of the book. 😀
I mean, you guys can give it a try once, maybe? You don’t know, you may end up falling into this blackhole (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAA…)
Okay, so for the Chaos Walking trilogy, I felt it matched a lot with BTS’s ON. Although this song takes a lot of inspiration from various movies, the journey shown in the MV definitely matched Todd and Viola’s one. So here goes:
So guys, have you read this series? Are you excited about the movieee?
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Nimona is my very first venture into graphic novels. My friend bought this in the book fair and I remember reserving my spot for borrowing this book! 🙂
Here are some of my reasons why you should pick up this book!
First of all Nimona, our protagonist is a badass chicka. On top of that, she is a shapeshifter with amazing fighting skills. She is full of humour and a bit, how should I phrase it… spontaneously edgy. Her character will keep you entertained from the very first page until the end. The book starts with Nimona pledging her apprenticeship to Blackheart, in a very comical manner, must I say!
Balister Blackheart reminded me a bit of Dr Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. xD Weird reference, but Blackheart felt like a responsible and mature villain. The kind of villain you end up rooting for.The relationship between Blackheart and Nimona is another cherishable factor of this story!
Ambrosius Goldenloin, (please take a moment to appreciate the name XD) “the hero” felt a bit shady at first but as the book proceeded we get to see two sides of the story making it more interesting.
The plot is definitely engaging.One side we have Nimona trying to wreak havoc, then Blackheart trying to babysit Nimona instead of villain-ing. And then there’s the tension with Ambrosius, a hint of bromance which I definitely wanted more of! And the disability representation! The root evil of the story is depicted pretty much from the start so there’s no surprise there but it’s the execution that keeps you engaged. Also, there’s a tiny plot twist at the end which made me root for Nimona and the story even more!
The overall pace of the story is pretty steady. What I can say, the story does not provide scope to be bored. You just keep on turning the pages and it’s a quick read.
One word. It’s awesome.The quirkiness and humour are transparent through and through.
Natsuru Nanao, a 6th grader who lives alone with his mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with the reserved and driven Rio Suzumura. Natsuru plays hookey from soccer camp that summer, and instead of telling the truth to his mother, he spends all his time with Rio and her kid brother at their rickety house, where a dark secret threatens to upend their fragile happiness.
The tone of this book is a complete 180 degree from Nimona but it’s good in a different sort of way. This was very first Japanese manga, so I was unaware that you had to read the book from backwards. I was warned, no worries there but I just wanted to say that I found it fascinating! xD
The story revolves around Natsuru and Rio, two people of two different threads find them together in unpredictable circumstances.
We have Natsuru who lives with her mother. On the other hand, we have Rio who lives with her younger brother after the death of her grandfather, in the hope that her father would return soon. Rio has a pretty big secret and she takes care of her brother all alone.The reflection of burden and maturity is reflected in her character. It is only with the presence of Natsuru that she seems to smile.
The story starts with the mention of summer vacation where Natsuru is supposed to go to a soccer camp which he does not. Instead, he chooses the spend the whole summer with Rio and her brother. And the fregging cute kitten they rescued might I add! A beautiful summer romance develops between the two which definitely makes you want to root for the characters.
However, the story is told in a short period and therefore, the pace is mildly quick. Natsuru’s struggle to change the reality of Rio, his ability to empathise shows his maturity at such a young age. It brings a smile on the face of the reader although the ending is quite bittersweet. It quite broke my heart. And with the beautiful art, it’s hard not to get totally immersed with the journey of our main characters.
So guys, have you read any of these two mangas?
If yes, what were the aspects you liked the most?
Have you read any other mangas so far? Recommendations?
Title:What If It’s Us Author:Becky AlbertalliandAdam Silvera Series: What If It’s Us, book 1 Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult] Heat Rating: Cool Page Count & Format: 437 pages, Paperback Published: October 18th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books Source: Purchased Trigger alert: Cheating, panic attack and anxiety, emergency hospital visits
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited. But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play? But what if it is?
I bought this book from the book fair in January and finally picked it up last month. I really wanted something short and sweet and this book exactly delivered that!
I might a rare specimen who haven’t read Adam Silvera’s books yet. I have always wanted to but somehow I have never picked it up. (Maybe because loads and loads of tissues are required for the books and I’m just afraid? Dunno…) Am I the only one though?
Anyhooo, onto this book with the most epic meet-cute moment ever!
Arthur & Ben and their whirlwind romance
Arther is the hyper kid who is always on zero chill modes and is crazy about Hamilton. He is in New York for the summer with his parents and is a firm believer of fate.
Then there’s Ben. He recently had his breakup and has to face his ex practically every day because they are in the same summer school. In my opinion, he felt more realistic and grounded though Arther made it more fun.
Their meet-cute happens in a post office where Ben is waiting to send belongings or gifts back to his ex. He sees him and goes like-
Arther fumbling trying to come up with witty stuff and failing to do so was epic! In the midst of his awe-ness, he forgets to get his contact number.
This was one of the most awesome parts of the book. Of Ben and Arther trying to find each other. Through wacky methods. Arther takes the cake for this because he came up with so many ideas! 😂
Despite the odds, I loved how both of them didn’t give up on each other although they knew little about each other. Their romance was like a roller coaster. They fell hard and fast for each other and damn it was sweet! Although Arther went over the board a few times which irked me a bit I guess that was how his character was.
Also, the miscommunication was waaaay too much which made Arther more overdramatic. It was fun at first but not always. This was why the book became a bit boring in some parts.
The epilogue kinda-ish chapter. I personally felt, there wasn’t much need for it. My overall reading experience would have been much better if that chapter was not there. [Mild spoiler]I mean we were left with a bit of open interpretation already at the end so specifically, another chapter just to get to the same point was unnecessary. There was no sense of closure[mild spoiler end]
We get to loads of friendship in this book. As well as friendship breakups and makeups. Again. Lack of communication was so prominent among both sides of the friendship whether it was Ben or Arther. Like Ben, I was also a bit too irritated by Dylan. Though I was glad to see them all sitting down and making amends.
With Ben and Arther’s universe colliding with each other, their families also did. In a good way. I was so happy to see cool parent representations. This is actually one of my pet peeves since many YA books have immature parents.
The families of both the boyos had their own stuff to deal with but it made them more realistic families. Also, how adorable was the get-together dinner?
I sooooo loved it!!
It was an enjoyable read with plenty of swoon-worthy moments. The writing was captivating and thoroughly engaging. For me, it was a pretty good one-time read.
So guys, what did you think about this book?
What did you love the most about this book?
Have you read other books by these authors? Which one is your favourite so far?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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…
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.
Title:Comeback Author:Lyn Ashwood and Rachel Rose Standalone Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult] Heat Rating: Cool Format: 312 pages, Ebook Published: June 8th, 2019 by Ashwood & Rose Source: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My Rating:
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Emery Jung is living his dream. Known by his stage name M, he is loved by millions of fans around the world as a member of the rising K-pop group NEON, but all fame comes with a cost, especially when one slip up can have viral consequences.
Alana Kim is trying to forget. After a tragic loss sends her spiraling, she escapes to her family in Korea, abandoning her love of music along the way. However, her plans are derailed when she literally runs into M, the famous K-pop idol.
When their paths collide, Emery and Alana must work together to prevent a scandal from ruining NEON’s success, sparking a journey of friendship, love, and healing. Unfortunately, fame and love aren’t easily compatible, especially in the world of K-pop.
I am reviewing a book after eons!! I did read a few books during my hiatus period. Hopefully, I can post them one by one, soonish! Anyway, I am gonna jump straight in!
Reasons to read this book:
If you’re a Kpop fanatic like me, you are bound to fangirl throughout this book. There are so many relatable moments where you can identify yourself as the female protagonist! And in general, it’s just, well Kpop you know. 🙂
Journey of a Kpop boy band
Neon of Solar Entertainment is the main focus of this novel. There are a total of 5 members in this boy band and it definitely reminded me of my boyos. Being a hardcore ARMY (I stan other groups too!), I could relate many instances, the struggle they daily have to go through, the thin line of balance they have to maintain every single time they are on-stage/on-screen.
Most importantly I loved the relationship between the boys. Treating each other like family is one of the most precious things I love about Kpop bands. The thing is… this is how we fandom become family as well.
The dream of being a staff in a Kpop band!
Tell me you haven’t thought about what it would feel like to work as their stylist?! I know I have. LOL. The main protagonist of the book exactly has this role. Alana is a Korean-American girl who works as a stylist for a girl group called LilyRed. However, after a scandal blows through she joins Solar Entertainment where Alana’s friendship with Emery grows. I liked the flow of how their friendship evolved into something meaningful.
Those who are into the Kpop world know how significant the impact the word “dating” has. Basically, it is a forbidden word in the Korean music industry. In the first few years of a band’s contract, they are basically forbidden to date. After they cross like 5 years into the industry, then they are allowed I guess but it’s still considered scandalous since Kpop fans usually hate when their favorites are taken. This is something I have come to understand now. However, those people are still human beings and they deserve to live a normal life, at least have a love life, they do deserve that. But I won’t disagree there are some serious fanatics who take this to the next level which makes it really difficult for our favorite artists to enjoy some amount of normalcy. Anyhooo, Emery falls for Alana who he finds to be really genuine. Emery finds out she used to be a fan of their band, he finds himself sharing stuff with her. And well… stuff happens.
They fall for each other. xD This brings about some internal tension among the boyos. Although I did like how this was dealt with.
Things I wanted more of:
Although I liked how the relationship between Emery and Alana developed but I was not head over heels over the romance (Ya guys know how much I dig romance). Somehow, I felt something, the chemistry was lacking. However, it was something most of Kpop fans have imagined once in their life I suppose. I did get to live that through this book which I definitely loved.
More positive representation of the fandom
I definitely loved the fandom name of NEON. It was GLO!!!! However, I wanted more of how NEON felt towards their fans. I felt the representation was too negative in some aspects. The positive parts of the fandom were definitely shown but I wanted more from the band’s perspective too. Though I can understand these idols have to present themselves in a certain way in front of their fans but still, they show us a big part of their lives. This is something I was not satisfied with, in this book.
Overall, apart from these aspects, Comeback was a pretty enjoyable read! The flow was steady through the book and the characters were fleshed out pretty well. The Korean culture was depicted really well and I am definitely glad I picked this book up!
So guys what do you think about this book? Are you a Kpop fan? Are you interested in reading this book even if you are not a Kpop fan? If you stan a group or groups, leave a comment down below! Also, any recommendations?
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!
So guys, have you duology this yet? Or any other book by this author?
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):
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.
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.
The 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!
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!
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!)
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!
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!
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.
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.
So guys, what did you think about this trilogy? Have you read it yet? What is your favourite book in the series?