CHAOS WALKING TRILOGY BY PATRICK NESS: BOOK REVIEW // A MERCIFUL ADVENTURE?

Title(s): The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking trilogy
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: Paperback
Published: Candlewick Press
Source: Purchased
Trigger Warning: Violence, war, death (of loved ones)

Blurb (from Goodreads):

The Knife of Never Letting Go (book 1)

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is. 

The Ask and the Answer (book 2)

We were in the square, in the square where I’d run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her – But there weren’t no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men…

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…

Monsters of Men (book 3)

As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.


The Choas Walking trilogy was on my 2020 Accountability list. This series has been sitting on my shelves for quite a few years and I finally wanted to cross them off my list. I knew this was a good series from all the glowing reviews on Goodreads, I just honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it this much since I had grown out of the dystopian genre.

An engaging & investing plot

One of the biggest advantages of this series is that it has a good balance between the plot and the characters. Neither was too heavy. The book starts off with introducing our main protagonist Todd Hewitt who is the only boy in town (a blink away from becoming a man when he turns 13). and Prentisstown is where the adventure begins.

From the very beginning, there’s this lurking feeling that something’s wrong.

Well, what do you expect? The town has no woman. Literally NONE. They have all died in the Spackle war (as told in the first book).

Here comes another interesting aspect. The Spackles. The alien race who were the actual residents of the “New World” which they have colonised. Their history and backstory were really intriguing. As the book proceeds, a lot of new info pops up. It never feels like an info dump, rather it pulls the story forward. I really loved the worldbuilding, from Prentisstown to New Haven, everything just keeps getting better.

The best part of the book is the story is constantly moving. With the characters and there is no dull moment.

Then there’s war. And BOOM (which was brutal, tragic but also epic!!). 

So yes, it was not a merciful adventure at all. 🙃

The NOISE

The noise is the showstopper of the book.

All the men have “the Noise”. It’s constant chaos and the writing style prominently depicts that.

The Noise virus affects every man in the “New World”, so basically, there is zero privacy since everybody can hear everybody’s thoughts. Image how horrifying that would be in real life. Just thinking about it gives me the creeps.

Likeable characters

Ohmygosh, the characters!

There’s a lot of them. However, I could remember each of them because each of them was distinctly fleshed out.

Some characters you want to kill, brutally. Some you wanna hug them to death.

Okay, so I literally love Todd to death. He is a stubborn kid who believes everything will be okay when he turns 13. But then, he meets Viola.

Todd was told there was no woman left on “New World.” Viola is literally the first girl Todd actually sees. Then his world takes a massive 180-degree turn. I am a huge romance fan. Like, I want a bit of romance in my every read but I really didn’t mind the lack of romance in this series although there’s a teeny tiny bit in the last one. I really, really enjoyed the character development of both Todd and Viola. I rooted for them from the beginning and they grow up so much throughout the whole series.

Then there’s Ben and Cillian, Todd’s gay dads who you immediately fall in love with. However, Mayor Prentis and Mistree Coyle are the two characters to look out for. I just literally wanted to strangle them both, they are super awesome characters. 🙃 You just have to listen to them talking, it makes your blood boil.

I did really hate Prentis Jr at the beginning, but he became a grey character for me in the end. Also, a special shoutout goes to Manche, I loved that dog to death.

If you haven’t read this series, please do. It makes you are riding a hurricane.

The writing style

The central factor of the book. There’s a thing about Ness’s writing style which captures you from the very beginning. It was the same when I read A Monster Calls. PLUS, the way the “Noise” was represented, I um, loved it. VERY MUCH.

Recommend it?

Yes!

Also, who’s excited about the movie? 

I am excited to see Tom Holland as Todd, although he doesn’t look a bit like 13. Actor age-wise, it’s the same for almost every book to movie adaption but this one, may I can compromise happily 🙂 I heard the movie’s coming this year (hopefully)!


So, I was thinking about adding a K-pop song at the end of each review that matched the vibe of the book. 😀

I mean, you guys can give it a try once, maybe? You don’t know, you may end up falling into this blackhole (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAA…)

Okay, so for the Chaos Walking trilogy, I felt it matched a lot with BTS’s ON. Although this song takes a lot of inspiration from various movies, the journey shown in the MV definitely matched Todd and Viola’s one. So here goes:


So guys, have you read this series? Are you excited about the movieee?

Also, didya listen? 😛

Review: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare // Why did it have to end?

Title: Queen of Air and Darkness
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices, book 3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Slightly warm
Page Count and Format: 912 pages, Paperback
Published: December 4th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Source: Purchased
Trigger Alert: Death, Betrayal, Violence

Blurb (from Goodreads):

*SPOILERS*

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.


I finally finished this trilogy! That means I can cross The Dark Artifices from my accountability list! Yayie! 😀 I reread this entire series and it has been a great boost up for my slump. I am completely out of my reading slump and I have to say, it is such a relief!!

THIS BOOK IS THE DEFINITION OF ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.

A lot happened, like really a lot but oh god, I am in love with this book and the characters. This book was huge, more than 900 pages but I don’t think there was a single dull moment. I was thoroughly engaged.

Something or the other kept happening. Julian and Emma’s parabatai bond was slowly destroying them, their love for each other. Everything was a mess. It was a good book. I could not go to sleep because of it. Such joy. 🙂

It would not be sufficient to say how much I love Julian and Emma. Especially Jules. His character keeps developing and Cassandra Clare has done a tremendously good job in fleshing out all the characters.

The Blackthorn family is one of the topmost reason to read this book! My heart went out to all of them. Each of them was going through heartbreak and they had to grow up before the normal time period. And Emma was like a protector of them all.

I was apprehensive about Mark in bok 1 and I think I quite hated Kieran, especially because of the whipping incident. BUT, my feelings have completely done a 360-degree flip. Like, ohmygoodness, these two needs to bundled up and kept safe. And who is the candidate who can do this? Cristina!! I wish the world had more Cristinas. She is kind, wise and everything. *spoiler start* No wonder, Mark and Kieran fell head over heels for her. I was pretty surprised by the polyamorous representation, one because I haven’t read about it much, second, I was not completely aware of how this relationship worked. But this representation definitely made me aware and I was soooo happy for those three!! *spoiler end*

Mark was such a great brother. He really picked up the saddle. And Julian, I cannot stop gushing about him. Aside from being the world’s greatest brother and almost pro at single parenting, his ability to handle people and plotting and scheming mind was goddayum.

With this one, I have realised one thing, I like politics (only fantasy tho…I mean bookish stuff) and this book had so many themes and sub-themes (honestly, how does Cassandra Clare maintain this amount of coherency while writing her books?), politics was a consistent one. I was so soo irritated with the Cohort and especially Zara. (Who doesn’t want to strangle her?) They never learn their lesson BUT BUT Julian’s ploy, the big battle (although the giant stuff was sudden, not weird at all!), it was epic!

The climax was so satisfying in this book. In many books, the ultimate war sequence is over before it starts. However, in this book, it was elaborate and so many things were going on. I LOVED, LOVED IT!!

I LOVE CROSSOVERS!! I have always loved them, I remember when I was a kid and they had these crossover power-rangers episodes and I used to freak out with happiness. I feel the same happiness every time Clary (Maybe unpopular opinion but I love Clary to death!) and the rest of the gang along with Jem and Tessa shows up!

I have to say, I want more of the Fae world. Every time the gang went to the fae, things got more interesting and honestly, the fae not being able to lie yet their twisty words gets me every time. *spoiler start* Although the name of the book indicates Annabel, I felt her part of the story was cut short? Like, there was scope, but it randomly ended? *spoiler end* Also, Kit!!!! That smol little precious boy, oh my my, I hope we get to read more of him soooon. (Also his friendship with Ty…)

Also, what’s with the prologue? O_o Do l have to live with the anxiety that the prologue gave me? Overall, this book was everything! And I need more… 

Recommend it?

OHMYGODYAAAS!


So guys, have you finished this trilogy? What are your overall thoughts?

Which Cassandra Clare book series is your favourite?

Review: Nimona and The Gods Lie // The only Manga Edition I possess (kind of!)

Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Standalone
Genre: Fantasy, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count & Format: 272 pages, Paperback
Published: May 12th 2015 by Harper Collins
Source: Borrowed
Trigger alert: Fire, mentions of betrayal

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!

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!

  • The characters!

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!

Nimona, de Noelle Stevenson | Resenha - Eu, Astronauta Eu, Astronauta

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!

Review – 'Nimona' by Noelle Stevenson – Dundee Comics Creative Space

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

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 pace

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.

  • The Art

One word. It’s awesome. The quirkiness and humour are transparent through and through.

Recommend it?

Yaaas!


Title: The Gods Lie
Author: Kaori Ozaki
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count & Format: 216 pages, Paperback
Published: September 20th 2013 by Vertical Comics
Source: Borrowed
Trigger alert: Death, secrets, child neglect

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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.

Weathering With You—Trailer – Cinema Anime

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.

Recommend it?

Yes!


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?

Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera // Cuteness overloaded

What If It's UsTitle: What If It’s Us
Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam 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]

The friendships

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. 

The family

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!!

Overall,

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.

Recommend it?

Yes!


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?

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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

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


This was one gorgeously stabby book.

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

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

Refreshing plot

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

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

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

Stabby book in a neat manner! Ha!

World-building

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

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

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

Character Development

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

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

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

Action! Stabby stuff!

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

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

Recommend it?

Yes!


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

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommend it?

Yaaas!


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

                              

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

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

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

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

Recommend it?

Yes!


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

Review: 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?

Duology Review: The Crown’s Game & The Crown’s Fate || Where the Crown lost its Fate in my Heart

Title: The Crown’s Game and The Crown’s Fate
Author: Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown’s Game duology
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 416 and 427 pages respectively, Paperback
Published: May 17th, 2016 and May 16th, 2017 by Balzer + Bray respectively
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

The Crown’s Game:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air.

They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

The Crown’s Fate:

Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.


As much as I love the beautiful colour combination of this book, I am disappointed to say that it didn’t live up to my expectations. I did have high hopes for this duology although the premise was unique but it still failed to make an impression.

When Vika is finally called for the role of an Enchanter, she learns there is another one in Russia, Nikolai and she has to fight him. Whoever stays alive until the very end, becomes the Tsar’s Enchanter. But when feelings come into the way, things become complicated and Pasha who is the heir to the tsardom best friend life falls into a dilemma because one is the girl he is falling for and the other is his best friend.

Soooo, the plot was kinda like the mini-hunger games except with only 2 participants and it involved actual magic! We are introduced to the two enchanters Vika and Nikolai, both whose characters I enjoyed individually. But can someone tell me when did the romance happen? Yes, they felt a certain kind of kinship because they both shared a magic which was a burden at that current point but other than how did the love happen, they didn’t even get to spend much time together as they had to plan for the next attack against each other. The romance was a big downfall in this book.

The book takes place in Russia, a different kind of Russia where magic still exists but other than some of the town descriptions, I found the world building very lacking. There was a lot of scopes but it didn’t live up to that point.Though I did enjoy the magic, it was pretty intriguing but I wanted mooore!! The plot twist at the end of book 1 was a little surprising due to which I wanted to continue book 2. But I thought it was going to creepy and stuff! It was but I didn’t feel the chill in my bones.

No, I am not being over-dramatic. Or I might be. It’s just in my DNA!
(Haha… yeah I couldn’t stop without a reference!!)

The pacing of both the books felt a little slow but book 2 was a bit more. The fact surrounding Nikolai didn’t hold much mystery and oh well… Also, unfortunately, Pasha wasn’t an interesting character either. And there wasn’t much character development in book 2 either but I’m glad at least he could hold down the fort. He mostly acted like a puppet like his sister told him to do and he was just, I don’t know he was not a memorable character. He was still okay until book 1 but his decision betrayed me but after that how much he repented didn’t matter much to me.

Overall, The Crown’s Game dulogy was an okay read, I wanted more of the magic stuff. It was there but I needed mooooore of it!! The writing flowed smoothly. And overall it was still engaging enough for me to finish the duology. Although most of the stuff had let me down, I’m still glad I gave it a try.

Recommend it?

Yes.


Sooo guys, what do you think about this duology? Have you finished it or are you still halfway? How was the experience for you??

Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli || Where Every “Side” was Relatable!!

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: Paperback
Published: April 11th, 2017 by PUFFIN
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love- she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness-except for the part where she is.
Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny, flirtatious, and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?


Can I tell you guys how much this book was relatable? Like on a cosmic level, surpassing the intergalactic milky way and crash landing on my heart.

Okaaaaay, that was too much but it’s the truth.

I think I am the probably the last person on this planet to pick this book up so late. Being an International blogger plus being broke sucks. Big time.

Anyways, onto this beautiful, relatable unrequited book. Uh… I literally felt I was in Molly’s shoes. Except for the twin sister part (which I had always wanted… ask my mom if you don’t believe me) and the romance part. Anyway, you get the point. I don’t know what Molly would say if she knew about my life. I dunno whether to laugh or cry at that but I’m okay guys. I’ll live. 😂😂

The Upside of Unrequited is a character-centric book which revolves around Molly along with her family and friends. There are so many things that I loved about this book and it really made me want to feel more comfortable in my own skin.

The Family Rep!

There are sooo rare YA books that mention parents and a good one at that. Molly and her sister, Cassie has the two best freaking moms in the whole universe along with their little brother, Xavier (who’s sooo cute!!). I loved the bonding between the moms and Molly and Cassie, it was filled with genuine warmth, love and care. I mean you could literally feel the vibe radiating from the pages dude…

And I adooooooored the relationship between the two sisters, God knows how much I long for that but I really loved that they were sister cum best friends. Of course, they had to go through up and downs in their twiny relationship but in the end, they mattered to each other the most and that was enough. And that brings me to the character growth was which tremendous and I absolutely loved it! The readers can see how Molly grows throughout the whole book and finally finds a firm place to stand on.

Body Positivity!

One of the things that I loved the most about Molly was that she was comfortable in her own skin. She calls herself fat (I PREFER THE WORLD FLUFFY THOUGH) in the book, but she doesn’t have a problem with that. But when other people body shame you, how much you’re okay with yourself, it’s still going to hurt a little bit. I know from my own experience (See! I told you I related with this on a cosmic level). There are so many body positivity movements but there are still people who body shame, when will they understand how much they lower the self-confidence of the other people. Do they even care? I dunno.

But I am proud to say I finally have a group of friends (ARMYs) who love and support me for who I am. But yes, I’m trying to lose my weight as I earlier said in another post because of my health-related issues, not because society thinks I do not fit in their norms. God! I told you I hate society! Anyway, I digress.

But one thing I can’t help but agree is that Molly’s thinking process is quite similar to mine. She sometimes overthinks simple things, is awkward at times and seriously bad at taking things anywhere with boys (I am living example of that) but her thoughts about guys never liking her back because she was fat, I somewhat agreed with it. I know, I know, I don’t believe that because I have plenty of beautiful examples of couples but I think there’s still that 1% doubt because I haven’t come across a guy like that till now. Even for a friend, and that is seriously disappointing.

This world needs more feminist boys too.

The Romance!

It was kind of exciting to see Molly finally admitting she actually liked a guy instead of just keeping it on her crush list. Cassie’s personality was the total opposite Molly and when she met Mina, they just clicked though I could feel what Molly was feeling, she wanted something like that but she didn’t want to float away from her sister too. I loved the fact how maturely, in the end, they talked it out. Anyway back onto the adorable romance.

Reid was such a goofball. It was definitely hard not to fall for him. (Why are there no goofballs here? Moi needs some goofballs in life.) I guess when you like the person and finally feel comfortable with the other, it’s easier to be open with them. That’s how Molly and Reid’s friendship started out. Goooood, I wanted them together from the first moment they met but it took some time. A loooot of time but I was perfectly okay with it. Those two are one adorably beany couple I love to death!!

Overall,

The Upside of Unrequited was a beautiful and relatable book which touched my heart. I fell in love with the characters, they were layered and dynamic and I loved how each of them was there for the other. I was seriously beautiful. Although there were some cliched moments that didn’t matter much because the sweetness of this book consumes you (on a cosmic level yo!). The writing flowed smoothly and was easy to read and the pace was even throughout the book. I am definitely, eagerly wait for Becky’s next book!

Recommend it?

Yes!!


So guys, have you read this book yet? What did you think about it? Is it in your tbr?

Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde || Where the Geeky Queens were an absolute blast!

Title: Queens of Geek
Author: Jen Wilde
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 288, Paperback
Published: March 14th, 2017 by Swoon Reads
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.

Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.


Soooo, the reason I’ve been absent this whole week is basically that I was unable to use my right hand and typing with one hand is… oh well! I am an accident magnet, you guys sure know that. I hurt my once dislocated right shoulder and baaaamn!! I mean hurting my foot just wasn’t enough, I had been suffering from it the whole of 2017, I had to hurt my hand too. -.- Right hand at that. I couldn’t do anything with it and it was immensely painful. Anyhooo, physiotherapy has been helping and it’s quite healed. Hopefully. It doesn’t turn the opposite way. Hopefully.

Anyway, onto this beautiful beautiful book.

First of all, I love the fact that the author is a Winchester girl and I absofreakinlutely loved the Supernatural references!

I had read a few books where going to a con and having a grand adventure is the main theme. This is the first book I actually enjoyed that stuff. I finished this book in a couple of hours, it was that good. And it was the perfect book to start my year with.

Queens of Geek is narrated in alternative dual POV of Charlie and Taylor who along with Jamie finally gets to fulfil their dream of visiting a convention known as SupaCon. Although Charlie meets her douche ex-boyfriend at the Con, she also gets to meet her crush. On the other hand, Taylor and Jamie have always liked each other but they had never taken a step forward thinking it might ruin their friendship. This adventure might prove that taking some risks are worth it.

Engaging Plot

This book was fun from the very beginning. And sooo effing adorable! I couldn’t get enough of it. The best friend trio aka Charlie, Taylor and Jamie visits SupaCon together to have the time of their lives.  Ah, don’t we all have this dream, I can’t waaaaait for mine. And thus begins the awesome adventure of the trio. I loved the convention as a whole, meeting new nerdy and awkward people like themselves, fangirling about fandoms, everything was so relatable although I haven’t experienced that as a whole. Taylor was especially there to meet her favourite author and that is a big dream of mine too!!

Awesome Characters

Aaaaaah! All the three characters were so freaking awesome! I loved the diverse representation and how the mental health issues were approached in this book.

Charlie is a bisexual, an outgoing person and a YouTuber who recently came into the limelight after appearing in a movie. Taylor is the total opposite, she is autistic and has anxiety issues. But I loved how both these characters balanced each other. I absolutely loved the friendship between these two! I absolutely loved the Girl Love!!! This is something we need mooooore. Jamie was another great character and an awesome friend. SupaCon really brought them more together.

The Adventure

The most fun part of the book was about understanding that some risks are worth taking. Charlie has never been with a girl before and she finally gets to meet the Internet sensation Alyssa Huntington who is also her crush. After meeting her she realises her feelings maybe not one-sided. Although things might have gone a little to fast between these two but I enjoyed it nonetheless. These two were sooo cute together and although I understood about Charlie’s insecurities about having an open relationship in public as a celebrity because her previous relationship already left a sour experience but I’m glad that everything came into the front and she was indeed brave in deciding to face it head along.

“You can’t pick and choose whose equality you support. That’s not equality.”

Also, I absolutely loved how she handled that freaking douche ex-boyfriend of hers. He really had the audacity to flaunt himself despite everything, I loved how they all put him in his place. Charlie was upfront and firm in her decisions and I absolutely admired her for that.

Taylor was the opposite. An adorable cute little potatae (like myself). Although she had no insecurities about her weight, but the hurtful comments were still offensive. And that my friends, was effing relatable.

“My bottom lip starts to quiver, but I keep going. “I fight every day, and too many times it’s just not enough and the fear wins. I’m so fucking weak and everything is so fucking intense and sometimes I really hate it.” I gasp, covering my mouth with my hands as the tears pour out of me. I didn’t mean to say all that. I feel exposed. Tears fill her eyes, too. “Can I hug you?” I nod, unable to speak. She walks around the table and hugs me.”

I could also relate how she was frozen when meeting new people or doing something in public. My body usually goes ice cold even in the hot and humid weather when I am in that kind of situations. Although I think I am getting better little by little. But it’s still frightening. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being an introvert but really want to overcome my anxiety problems. Aaaaah!! Anyways, she was indeed lucky to have a friend like Jamie by her side, aside from Charlie. The chemistry between them was sooo obvious and I was rooting for them since the beginning!! They were super duper cute!!

Overall,

Queens of Geek was an amazing read. It was fun, full of beautiful friendship and romance. I didn’t expect it to love it this much but reading this book was an awesome experience in itself. The writing was beautiful and the words flowed so smoothly, I didn’t realise when the time passed by. The pace was even throughout the book and the dual POV definitely kept things interesting. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from Wilde.

Recommend it?

Do I need to say more?? 😀


Sooooo guys, have you read this book? If yes, how was your experience? What was the first book you started your 2018 with???