Some Kind of Wonderland by Tara St. Pierre: Book Review // A trip to the land of melancholy

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.

You can also check out my reviews for the author’s previous books- Just a Few Inches and Mirror Me!

Recommend it?

Yes.


So guys, what do you think about this book? Have you read it yet?

REVIEW: HEIR OF FURY BY JINA S. BAZZAR // CLOSING THE FOSCH FILES

Title: Heir of Fury
Author:  Jina S. Bazzar
Series: The Roxanne Fosch Files, book 3
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: Ebook
Published: April 29th 2020 by Shadow City
Source: I received an eARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Three years has passed since Roxanne left. She’s obeyed and fulfilled Remo’s every wish.His latest command, however, will send her back to Earth. Aware her presence Earth-side is furthering Remo’s plans, Roxanne delves into an impossible chase against time, the preternatural community, and herself.But she might already be too late, and Roxanne experiences firsthand that when desperate people are pressed against a rock, they’re willing to commit just about anything. 


Okay, so… I loved this trilogy. I really did but somehow I was underwhelmed by the conclusion.

We see the consequences of the decisions made by Roxanne in book 2 that led to her present condition. She has become more ruthless and although she is unable to take direct action against Remo, her only goal is to stop him somehow from destroying everyone she loves alongside her world.

This book had a whole lot of action and impending doom kept me on my toes!

However, the pace was a problem for me in this book. I felt it was too slow-paced for almost entirely the book except for the last part of the book. Most of the information was necessary for understanding a lot of aspects of how the world functions in this trilogy. The thing is, it felt like too much info-dumpy in some cases which kinda made me lose interest. I think it was one of the reasons it took me some time to finish the book. Also, I felt that the whole book was a bit stretched and the ending too soon.

Despite this, kudos to world-building! I definitely loved how the author intricately built up these two different worlds.

Roxanna with her new powers is unstoppable, she tries her level best to save her near and dear. Zantry, Mwara and Vicky, I loved each and every one of them. And my heart broke for the characters who did not make it till the end.

Overall, this book was a fun read despite the hindrances and worth a read!

Recommend it?

Yes.


I guess not many people remember moi. I do hope everybody is doing okay and staying safe?

But… do tell me what books have you been reading in the lockdown?

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Recommend it?

Yes.


Hello hello! Anybody remember moi?

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

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

 

Review: Comeback by Lyn Ashwood and Rachel Rose // A K-pop Novel!!

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:

It’s Kpop!


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. 

Love stuff

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:

The relationship

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!

Recommend it?

Yes.


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?

 

Review: Good Girl by Piper Lawson // A bit of a let down

Title: Good Girl
Author: Piper Lawson
Series: Wicked, book 1
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count & Format: 200 pages, Ebook
Published: October 16th 2018
Source: I received an eARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

I’m a good girl. Jax Jamieson is a legend.

The day I wrote my first computer program… he launched his third platinum album.
The night I drank my first beer… he spent in jail.
The day he tried to get me fired… I ended up on his tour.

I’m a college junior with my whole future ahead of me. And he’s the vice I’d give it all up for.

Haley and Jax’s story continues in Bad Girl and concludes in Wicked Girl! A new adult romance series from bestselling author Piper Lawson. If you like nerds, hot rock stars, friends-to-lovers, enemies-to-lovers, pet skunks, home reno shows, flip phones or existentialism? You’ll love WICKED. 


Soooo… the thing is, I usually end up head over heels with Piper’s characters. Not only are the sassy but they have a realistic and hardcore edge to them. But this book kinda fell down from that level of expectation. I felt that this book had nothing new. The surprising element was missing which was a big let down.

In Good Girl, we get to see a rockstar romance. Jax is one of the most popular rockstars, and Haley is one of his massive fangirls. She is out of the world happy when she bangs an internship at the record label company and is sent to tour with her favourite rockstar as tech support. Although I did not warm up to Jax the moment I met her, Haley was someone to root for. I have to say one thing, the female characters are the best parts of Piper’s novels. You just cannot help but root for them.

Haley’s initial facade of Jax dissolves quite early because of his behaviour but she slowly gets a glimpse of the man behind the facade. The chemistry between the characters is palpable as the plot proceeds, however, it was not as explosive or eh…. you know what I am trying to say! Anyway, the mystery part of this novel was what kept me intrigued. I enjoyed the plot and I am definitely up for knowing more!

Overall, Good Girl was an okhay read. The plot felt too common, however, the characters saved the day along with the mysterious twist. I enjoyed the writing and the plot was steady throughout the book although some parts did feel a bit choppy. But I am still interested to know what new turn this story takes.

Recommend it?

Yes.


So guys, what did you think about this book? Have you read it yet? What is your favourite book from Piper? 

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Gabby

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

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

He was my soul mate. 

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

Until he changed. 

And I believed I was no longer good enough. 

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

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

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

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

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

Or had fate already decided to alter our forever?


My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Recommend it?

Yes.


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

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