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?

Review: Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh || A satisfying conclusion || Blog Tour

Welcome to my tour stop of Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. You can find the full tour schedule here.


Title: Obsidian and Stars
Author: Julie Eshbaugh
Series: Ivory and Bone, book 2
Genre: Prehistorical, Fantasy, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 368 pages, Ebook
Expected Publication: June 13th, 2017 by HarperTeen
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher for this blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

After surviving the chaotic battle that erupted after Lo and the Bosha clan attacked, now Mya is looking ahead to her future with Kol. All the things that once felt so uncertain are finally falling into place. But the same night as Kol and Mya’s betrothal announcement, Mya’s brother Chev reveals his plan to marry his youngest sister Lees to his friend Morsk. The only way to avoid this terrible turn of events, Morsk informs Mya when he corners her later, is for Mya to take Lees’ place and marry him herself.

Refusing to marry anyone other than her beloved, and in an effort to protect her sister, Mya runs away to a secret island with Lees. And though it seems like the safest place to hide until things back home blow over, Mya soon realizes she’s been followed. Lurking deep in the recesses of this dangerous place are rivals from Mya’s past whose thirst for revenge exceeds all reason.

With the lives of her loved ones on the line, Mya must make a move before the enemies of her past become the undoing of her future.


Obsidian and Stars definitely was an interesting conclusion to this series, one that I definitely enjoyed. You can read my review of book 1: Ivory and Bone, here.

After the betrayal and the fight with the Bosha clan ended, everything finally seemed at place. Mya is ready to be betrothed to Kol but then the unthinkable happens, Chev, the High Elder of her clan as well as Mya’s brother decides to announce Lees’s, their sister’s marriage with Morsk, someone she despises. Mya sees the only option out is to take her sister’s place or run but when more trouble comes their way, how will she face them alone?

The plot managed to hold my attention from the very start and I finished it in two sittings. Ivory and Bone ended on a calm tone with the two clans, Manu and Olen coming to an understanding. I loved Mya and Kol together and I loved the chemistry between them. But soon enough Mya has to take a tough decision in order to save her sister from marrying Morsk which kick-started another new adventure.

When Mya and Lees run away, the end up on a totally new land where they find Noni, a runaway from the Tama clan. I loved how it didn’t take Mya a second to accept her as her own when she saw how much trouble the little girl was in. She defended her with all her power and proved how much worthy she was off. And I equally loved Kol, who stood by her side no matter what although sometimes it felt Kol wanted their relationship to succeed more than Mya but I was glad to be proved wrong in the end.

This book was indeed a little bitter-sweet but I loved the way everything was executed. The action and the adventure kept me on the edge and I was so eager to know what happened next. And how things ended, I couldn’t have been more satisfied.

“That’s why I like the blackest nights-the darkest, obsidian skies of winter. When the world is coldest and darkest, the stars shine brightest.”

Overall, Obsidian and Stars was a great read. The plot was executed neatly and the characters kept me engaged throughout the book. I loved the romance between Mya and Kol. The writing was smooth and easy to read and it was fast-paced throughout the book, I didn’t feel bored, even for a second. I am definitely looking out to read more by this author.

Recommend it?

Yes.


Author Bio:

JulieJulie Eshbaugh is the author of the upcoming Ivory and Bone (HarperCollins, 2016). She used to have trouble staying in one spot, having lived in places as varied as Utah, France, and New York City. Julie eventually returned home to the Philadelphia area, where she now lives with her husband, son, cat and dog. Her favorite moments are when the unexpected happens and she cheers loudest when the pitcher gets a hit.

Author Links:

Website || Goodreads || Twitter || Pinterest || Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon || B&N || Book Depository || Kobo || iBooks


Giveaway!

•1 finished copy of OBSIDIAN AND STARS by Julie Eshbaugh  (U.S. Only • Giveaway Runs Through 6/17)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


So guys, what are your thoughts on this book? Have you started this series yet?

Review: The Man Who Won the World by O.E. Boroni

oeboroni_book1Title: The Man Who Won the World
Author: O.E. Boroni
Series: The Man Who Won the World, book 1
Genre: Historical, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 295 pages, Ebook
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

4 stars

Blurb (from Goodreads):

When you refuse to conform to the world you were born into, do you then create your own?

This is a story about a man who founded his own kingdom.

All Choi Jiyong knows is his carefree days hawking vegetables at the Namdong market and his service as a jolly hand at a riverside tavern.

But one day, it all changes when he saves the life of a mysterious girl.

Suddenly, he is plunged into a world of political rivalry, deadly turmoil, and incomprehensible tragedy. However, what he thinks is just an end to life as he has known it, becomes the start of his journey towards a destiny that has been ordained in his name: his hand will bring to its knees, dynasties that have been since the beginning of time.

This is a tale of supernatural forces, of love and of guilt, of revenge and of truth. Wars will arise and kingdoms will fall, kings will become victims, and slaves will become gods.

Author’s note: This is a historical/period romance novel set in Korea in the 900’s.


My Thoughts

My first thought after I finished this book was “HOW COULD IT END LIKE THIS??!” I so want more! I couldn’t believe it just ended, I was desperately trying to scroll through to see if there were any more pages but in vain. Nonetheless, it was a unique and powerful read and I loved every second of this book.

Choi Jiyong is happy working as a simple farmer whereas his brothers have the opportunity to go to school. One day when he saves a mysterious girl, his whole world turns upside down. He is thrown into a completely different world from his. Will he be able to wade through the difficulties or will his world get destroyed before he even realizes?

The plot was really good. I enjoyed the story so much from the very start. The story is set in Korea and is told in multiple POVs, it was a little confusing at first but as I read on it became easy to understand. Jiyong leads a simple life who is satisfied being only a farmer. But everything changes when he saves a mysterious girl from the market. I enjoyed Haekang’s character, she was smart and caring.

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All the characters were layered and I enjoyed how each of them was depicted. The dynamics of the story constantly changed which kept me on edge. I really hated what Emperor did though he was warned by his own people. As a result of this consequence, he faced what he had coming. But in the midst of all these, it really broke my heart what some of the people had to go through. King Taejin was pretty diplomatic but no better.

One thing which sometimes threw me off were the Korean terminology, it was sometimes confusing but I loved the way how the words were attached to the glossary at the end. Despite this, the writing flowed so smoothly, my attention never wavered throughout the book. There’s something about Boroni’s writing which draws me in. It felt very real like everything was happening in front of my eyes.

Overall, The Man Who Won the World was a fantastic read! I really enjoyed how the story was executed and the characters were pretty interesting to read about. The writing was beautiful and the pace was even throughout the book. I seriously can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Recommend it?

Yes.


Lets Chat

So guys what did you think about this book? Are you interested in reading this one? Have you read any other books by this author? If so, how was your experience so far?

Cover Reveal: The Man Who Won the World by O.E. Boroni

Today, I present you the cover reveal of the new historical romance by O.E. Boroni!

oeboroni_book1Title: The Man Who Won the World

Author: O.E. Boroni

Series: The Man Who Won the World, book 1

Genre: Historical, Romance

Expected Publication: January 31st, 2017

Blurb (from Goodreads):

When you refuse to conform to the world you were born into, do you then create your own?

This is a story about a man who founded his own kingdom.

All Choi Jiyong knows is his carefree days hawking vegetables at the Namdong market, and his service as a jolly hand at a river-side tavern.

But one day, it all changes when he saves the life of a mysterious girl.

Suddenly, he is plunged into a world of political rivalry, deadly turmoil, and incomprehensible tragedy. However, what he thinks is just an end to life as he has known it, becomes the start of his journey towards a destiny that has been ordained in his name: his hand will bring to its knees, dynasties that have been since the beginning of time.

This is a tale of supernatural forces, of love and of guilt, of revenge and of truth. Wars will arise and kingdoms will fall, kings will become victims, and slaves will become gods.

Author’s note: This is a historical/period romance novel set in Korea in the 900’s.

Teaser Quote:

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Author Bio:

I currently live in England. My days are spent in the Project Management field while my nights are spent with books. I’m either reading them or writing the ones that I want to read. My favorite things and in this particular order are books, Korean dramas, ice cream, and people who smile through everything. I consistently tell people that these are the four things they need to be happy but do they believe me?

No! Well I believe me, and you should too.

I absolutely love hearing from my readers so feel free to leave me a message at any time.

Author Links:

Website || Twitter


Lets Chat

So guys what do you think about this cover? Have you read any other book by this author? Are you interested in reading this one?

Review: Spindle by Shonna Slayton

Title: Spindle

Author: Shonna Slayton

Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Historical, [Young-Adult]

Heat Rating: Cool

Page Count and Format: 400 pages, Ebook

Published: October 4th 2016 by Entangled: Teen

Source: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: PicsArt_1444558655390

Blurb (from Goodreads):

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger.

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness—and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.


USEEEEEEEEE

I had such high hopes for this book but I’m sad to say it disappointed me on a massive level. Spindle isn’t exactly a retelling but it’s more like a sequel of Sleeping Beauty. I was immediately intrigued by the blurb but I lost interest in the story pretty soon.

Briar works in a spinning mill to keep her family stable. But one of her frames doesn’t work really well and when she gets a spindle as a gift from a peddler she snatches the opportunity. One by one, all the girls in the mill start falling sick due to the sleeping sickness. Briar notices those are the girls who meddled with her particular spindle. When Briar learns the truth, will she able to save everybody or will she succumb to her prey like everybody else?

The plot held so much promise but sadly it felt flat for me. I was bored to death. The story was followed after a lot of years after Sleeping Beauty’s tale but even if she woke up, the curse was not fully destroyed and somehow it could point its way to Briar. But nothing much happened throughout the entire book, I even considered DNF-ing it but I somehow trudged through. When I reached 50%, the plot started thickening, it felt like the story was finally moving but it lost its pace again until the last 10% of the book.

Briar is a caring and hard working girl who is doing everything to save her brothers and sister after her parents’ death. I loved her relationship with her siblings. After she replaces her old spindle with the new wooden one gifted by a peddler, the girls in her floor start falling sick and when she learns the truth she is horrified. I liked her will to save the other girls even if it meant she would lose her job. But the twists and turns were predictable and I was able to guess them pretty much at the beginning.

I didn’t know what to feel about Henry, he seemed sweet but kind of clingy though my opinion about him changed later. Fanny was the one character I loved immediately, she was so full of life. Though the last few chapters were a bit interesting, the ending felt rushed and everything happened all of a sudden, it didn’t feel real.

Overall, Spindle was sadly a disappointment. The plot failed to hold my interested and the characters were okay. I couldn’t feel any chemistry between Henry and Briar either. The writing was smooth and easy to read but the pace was too slow for my taste. 

Recommend it?

No.


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Sooo guys what do you think about this book? Is it already in your tbr? Are you looking forward to reading it or have you read it yet? Share your thoughts with me!

Review: The Curse of Damini by Debajani Mohanty

Title: The Curse of Damini

Author: Debajani Mohanty

Standalone

Genre: Contemporary, [Adult]

Heat Rating: Slightly warm

Page Count and Format: 200 pages, Paperback

Published: July 14th 2015 by Patridge India

Source: I received a printed copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: PicsArt_1444558511051


Blurb (from Goodreads):

The world seemed not enough for free spirited Renuka, when she married the highly educated Shashank hailing from the mightiest Zamindars of Bengal. However, soon her life turned upside down when a neighbor revealed her of their sinister past.

It’s a mysterious supernatural curse cast on their family almost a century back. Generation by generation, Damini’s enraged curse had passed on, declining their family clan from hundreds to a handful few. Who would be Damini’s next victim? And why innocent lives are at a stake for a crime committed by an ancestor a hundred years back? Renuka would not settle until she finds an answer and in her quest she struggles to eradicate all the evils that come in her way. Would she ever win a battle against an unseen enemy? Would the wrong done to Damini be ever avenged?

Set against the nostalgic era of 1940s, the story narrates the arduous journey of Renuka Pal, the protagonist, from a rash teen age freedom fighter to the seasoned writer of the 21st century India. In this thrilling saga of death, betrayal and power plays the narrative would cover a large chunk of twentieth century history. The passing of time, historical events and the changing country is so well-woven to the story that one would hardly differentiate between fact and fiction.


PicsArt_1443945753901

This book… was simply wow. I didn’t think I was going to love this book this much! But I could relate to so much which made this book a great read!

The story deals about the free-spirited girl named Renuka and her journey from a teenage freedom fighter to womanhood where she experiences the various spices of life. We come to know about the British Raj, struggles of India’s independence, the Hindu-Muslim riot and the partition of Bengal which were cleverly interwoven with the main storyline.

I fell in love with the story and I absolutely loved the main protagonist Renuka. The story starts at the time before India has gained its Independence,  Renuka is just a teenage girl fighting to contribute as much as she can towards the freedom of India. This book highlighted the male dominated patriarchal society at its extreme which still somewhat prevents in India. It was so appropriately depicted and also the zamindari system and its injustices were highlighted as well.

Renuka is a not a person devoid of flaws but she is an idealistic woman with whom I could relate so much because of the values she believed in. I loved how she handled everythinh maturely or tried her best to do so. The plot was interwoven with the curse of an ill-fated girl named Damini which was handled realistically and were depicted really well. Shashank, Renuka’s husband was a really great guy, he was loving and caring and stood by his wife no matter what. He played an important part in her life, and he provided her the courage that she needed to go on without faltering. All the various other characters and episodes played an equally important part in this story.

Overall, The Curse of Damini was a great read! The plot kept me hooked from the very beginning and I loved the characters. So many important parts of India’s history was highlighted and I loved reading about them. I also loved the fact that there was a glossary at the end of the book which would be helpful for the people who doesn’t know Bengali. The writing was smooth and easy to read, I didn’t feel bored for even a second and the pace was even throughout the book. Overall, this was a pretty fantastic read that I enjoyed reading very much!

Recommend it?

Yes!


So guys, what do you think about this book? Do you want to read it? Or have you given this one a try? Share your thoughts with me!

Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh || Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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Welcome to my tour stop of Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. You can find the full tour schedule here.


Title: Ivory and Bone

Author: Julie Eshbaugh

Series: Ivory and Bone, book 1

Genre: Prehistorical, Fantasy, [Young-Adult]

Heat Rating: Cool

Page Count and Format: 384 pages, Ebook

Expected Publication: June 14th 2016 by HarperTeen

Source: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher for this blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: PicsArt_1444558511051


Blurb (from Goodreads):

A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.


PicsArt_1443945753901

This was a very different and unique read and it made me want to want Ice Age! (And then I kind of watched it…)

Kol is an part of the clan where their most important job is to hunt for food. Along with that their mind plagues of the fear of their future because there’s hardly any female left in their clan. When the leader of the Olen clan comes to visit them along with his two sisters, hope surges in their heart but will the violent history of these two clans allow anything to happen together? And along with that when new dangers arise, how will they deal with it?

I enjoyed the plot, I was curious about Kol’s story from the beginning and I was invested till the very end. But one thing I can say for sure, that this book might be a hit or miss among the readers and fortunately for me, it was the former. Kol’s clan mainly depends on mammoth as their food. And it really made a think a lot about Ice Age because this story takes place during that time as well. I really enjoyed learning their way of living and how they survived in the open. The Olen clan brought an interesting factor and I liked the suspense created about the history between these two clans and how they became enemies.

I pretty much liked the character development that took place throughout the book. Kol was a great character, although he fairly misunderstood Mya and her motifs in the beginning. But that was definitely not his fault because there’s was a mystery surrounding Mya’s character and she came off as rude and stubborn in the beginning. I also liked how the plot changed course due to Lo’s character, it was an interesting aspect to read about. I loved the family aspect of this book as well. But there was not much fantasy element in this book and neither much romance though it didn’t bother me much.

Overall, Ivory and Bone was a good read. The plot and the characters kept me interested from the beginning and the writing was a bit different but smooth. The pace was slow in the beginning and it picked it’s pace towards the end. I’m definitely interested in reading the next book in this series.

Recommend it?

Yes.


Author Bio:

JulieJulie Eshbaugh is the author of the upcoming Ivory and Bone (HarperCollins, 2016). She used to have trouble staying in one spot, having lived in places as varied as Utah, France, and New York City. Julie eventually returned home to the Philadelphia area, where she now lives with her husband, son, cat and dog. Her favorite moments are when the unexpected happens and she cheers loudest when the pitcher gets a hit.

Author Links:

Website || Goodreads || Twitter || Pinterest || Instagram

Purchase Links:

Goodreads || Amazon || B&N || Bookdepository || iTunes || Kobo


Giveaway!

Win a pre-order of IVORY AND BONE by Julie Eshbaugh (INT)
Win a pre-order of IVORY AND BONE by Julie Eshbaugh (US Only)

*The international prize will be gifted through Bookdepository while the US Only pre-order will be gifted through amazon.com. So make sure you can receive the copy before entering the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Check out the details & prizes here.

Review: Under the Trees by Ashley Maker

Title: Under the Trees

Author: Ashley Maker

Standalone

Genre: Historical, Romance, [Young-Adult]

Heat Rating: Cool

Page Count and Format: 135 pages, Ebook

Published: March 21st 2016 by Ashley Maker

Source: I received a digital copy of this book from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: PicsArt_1444558655390


Blurb (from Goodreads):

Desperate to prevent an abusive arranged marriage, Princess Araya flees to a neighboring kingdom, only to land at the mercy of the impulsive Crown Prince Thoredmund, who provides refuge in a secluded forest and teaches her survival skills. Her surprise at the unexpected hold the prince has on her heart mirrors his shock at falling for the one girl he can’t have.

As the young couple’s feelings for each other grow, the fragile alliance between the two kingdoms threatens to break apart. With a vengeful duke and an enraged king fast on their trail, Thor and Araya must decide how much they’re willing to risk for love.

Even if staying together means starting a war.


PicsArt_1443945753901

I really, really hate to give such low ratings to a book but what can be done! I was pretty excited to read this book but unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this much as the story felt flat for me.

Princess Araya flees from her kingdom when she is  forced to marry to an abusive duke. Prince Thoredmund on an impulse lets her cross the border to his own kingdom for safety without knowning her identity. Later when he finds the girl he recognizes her in an instant but after hearing her side of the story he decides to help her. As these two begin to develop feelings for each other, hiding becomes more difficult, especially if anyone comes to know the truth nobody can stop starting a war between these two kingdoms.

The plot had potential but it felt flat for me. The story was pretty short, therefore everything felt underdeveloped. Princess Thoremund decides to help Princess Araya when he learns the truth about her escape even when he knows that if anybody finds out a war is going to break out due to some previous circumstances that had led an embittered relationship between the two kingdoms. The setting was beautiful but it could have been more developed. I wanted much more things to happen and I was waiting constantly but nothing much actually happened throughout the story.

Princess Araya was an okay character but I did like Prince Thor, he was loyal and brave. The relationship between Araya and Thor developed pretty fast, there was a case of insta-love but I couldn’t feel any chemistry between them and there wasn’t much romance either so the confession part felt pretty sudden. All the characters were predictable, hence I lost interest pretty fast. The plot twist was good but once again I was underwhelmed.

Overall, Under the Trees was an okay read. The plot had potential but I felt it was underdeveloped. The characters were okay but predictable. The writing was smooth and easy to read. But overall, I failed to enjoy this book.

Recommend it?

Maybe.


So guys, have you read this book yet? How was your experience? If you haven’t, do you want to give it a shot? Share your thoughts with me!

Review: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Author: Elise Kova

Tittle: Air Awakens

Series: Air Awakens, book 1

Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, [Young-Adult]

Heat Rating: Cool

Page Count and Format: 287 pages, Ebook

Published: August 27th 2015 by Silver Wing Press

Source: I received a digital copy of this book from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: PicsArt_1444558511051


Blurb (from Goodreads):

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik— she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.


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I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time and the hype surrounding it was crazy. And frankly, I loved the blurb, so I definitely wanted to give it a try. I’m so glad I did because I really, really liked this book.

Vhalla Yarl is a seventeen year old library apprentice who she loves being surrounded by books. After she unexpectedly ends up saving the life of Crown Prince Aldrik, she learns that she possesses an elemental magic that was supposed to have been extinct centuries ago. At first, she tries to stay away from anything related magic because they were taught to fear it and hate it but her urge to learn more helps her understand the true nature of everything. While some find her magic very useful, others feel that she is dangerous and her power needs to be eradicated immediately. Would she be able to cope up with everything and leave her old life behind and start a new one as a sorcerer?

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It had plenty of adventure and action with a dash of romance. Vhalla comes to know that she is a sorcerer after she unknowingly saves Prince Aldrik’s life. She, along with the others have been taught that sorcerers are evil people. So when she comes to know about her true self, she freaks out but due to her thirst for knowledge she discovers the truth about everything. I really loved how the plot was executed while keeping everything else in a perfect balance. But I wish there was bit more action. Everything towards the end really took a bizarre turn, I definitely wasn’t expecting that but I like where things are heading. There is already a forbidden relationship vibe in this book and after how it ended, I have no doubt that the next book won’t have some good dose of angst and mind blowing chemistry between Vhalla and Aldrik.

The characters were pretty great. They were flawed and felt so real. Vhalla is a strong protagonist and I really liked her. She took no bullshit, even when it came from the Crown Prince himself. I liked her no nonsense attitude. I definitely loved Prince Aldrik. He admitted he was not a good person, he had his fair share of faults but you can’t help but love him. At first he comes off as cocky and a douchebag but we slowly realise that’s not all to his character. I absolutely loved the relationship and the banter between these two and the sexual tension was perfectly done. Although there was not much romance but somehow I felt satisfied.

Overall, Air Awakens was definitely a fantastic start to a series. The plot was neatly executed and I fell in love with the characters. The writing was simple and beautiful and the pace was fast throughout the book. I’m really excited to read the next book and can’t wait to see how everything spans out.

Recommend it?

Yes!


Soooo guys, how many of you gave upto the hype and read this book? Or are you still waiting to read it? If you’ve already read it, how do you feel about it? Share your thoughts with me!

Review: Princess of Athelia by Aya Ling

Author: Aya Ling

Tittle: Princess of Athelia

Series: Unfinished Fairy Tales, book 1.5

Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Retelling,  [Young-Adult]

Heat Rating: Cool

Page Count and Format: 80 pages, Ebook

Published: November 15th 2015

Source: I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author.

My Rating: PicsArt_1444558511051


Blurb (from Goodreads):

Kat has now moved into the palace, determined to make the most of her time with her beloved prince. Being princess, however, is no bed of roses. She must learn how to behave like a royal, prepare for the upcoming engagement, and defend herself against hostile relatives. And knowing that her time with Edward is limited, Kat isn’t so certain that she wants to be princess anymore…


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Time for a little recap: The Ugly Stepsister (book 1) is a unique retelling of Cinderella where Kat ends up in the story world as one of the ugly stepsister after accidentally tearing the pages of her book. She could only go back to her realm if the happily ever after occurs, so she plans a mission to make Cinderella and Prince Charming, i.e. Prince Edward fall in love but she falls in love with the prince instead. You can read my review for The Ugly Stepsister here.

This book takes place between the time when Kat moves to the castle as the to-be bride of Prince Edward till her departure from that realm after her marriage kiss in The Ugly Stepsister. This book was indeed short and sweet. We learn more about this realm, i.e. how the story world was actually created and how things function here. Kat had to face real difficulties here as she had to learn and be accustomed to the manners of a princess and be prepared for the royal wedding, it was pretty fun to read because she’s the total opposite instead of a princess material. As much as she wanted to be back to her mother and sister, she also didn’t want to leave Edward behind. It was a tough choice she had to make but she made it nonetheless.

This book reminded me why I loved Kat so much, she’s one of my favourite female protagonists. The social issues were present in this book as well and she continued to fight for them. And Edward, was as charming as ever, he was caring and so supportive of Kat. I loved their romance so much, it was just so sweet! I already knew how the first book ended, so I braced myself for the ending but I’m really very exited to see what happens in the next book!

Overall, Princess of Athelia was a short but a great read, it was fast paced and the writing was smooth and easy to read. Though I’ve already had a glimpse of the next book but I literally can’t wait to read the whole finished product! It’s going to be epic! 😀

Recommend it?

If you loved The Ugly Stepsister, then definitely yes!


So how many of you have read this novella? Have you started this amazing series yet? If yes, how’s your experience and expectations for the next book? And if not, are you going to start it? Share your thoughts with me!