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 All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series by Jenny Han // Fluffy, cute and mushy!

  

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: Ebook
Published: April 15th 2014 (book 1), May 26th 2015 (book 2), May 2nd 2017 (book 3) by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

P.S. I Still Love You

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next-door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is one of the most hyped up series out there and I think it was one of the reasons I was afraid to go into this series wholeheartedly. On top of that, I did not exactly enjoy the first book of the Summer trilogy and hence my reluctance. I also think that I have kinda grown out of young-adult contemporary as I don’t find it relatable anymore. However, when the movie released and the hype re-started, I knew had to pick it up! And I am glad I did. This series was such an adorable and fluffy read!!

*A bit spoilerish!*

Lara Jean has a unique way of confessing to her crushes. She writes them letters instead of actually voicing her words. It’s her way of ending a love story from growing out her control. However, when her letters get revealed to her crushes, she takes the help of Peter who was also one of the crushes to tone down the rumours. However, things take a 90 degree turn when she finds herself falling for Peter Kavinsky. (I am addicted to uttering Kavinsky as Lara Jean was… dang!)

Character-centric plot

The plot of this book was whole-heartedly character-centric which paved the whole path of the novel. One of the most ground fact of this trilogy was the character-growth which we got to see as the novels proceeded. Of course, there was teenage angst and drama but it was pretty realistic which made me fall in love with the characters. This series had all the classic cliches, the mean ex-girlfriend, a soccer-team main lead and a geeky best friend. The thing is although this series had its ups and downs, it played the cliches perfectly to get the right combination of drama along with swoon-worthy romance. Apart from Peter and Lara Jean who dominated the series, the Song family, Josh as well as John Ambrose McClaren (This guy!!!! I loved him to bits!).

The first book follows all the letters of Lara Jean getting busted which leads up to making a pact with Peter to avoid the necessary embarrassment. Lara Jean takes this step, especially to avoid Josh who she has been in love with since forever, who also happens to be her elder sister’s recent ex-boyfriend. Josh is a character whom I liked in the beginning but he kinda faded away and completely disappeared in the 3rd book. I knew he had college and stuff and it kinda felt like Lara Jean and Josh’s so many years of relationship vanished, just like that (I wanted closure *sniffs*). Anyhooo, Peter and Lara Jean along with their romance grew to something so much bigger. Their fake relationship grew into something real without their knowledge which made things complicated. However, it was also the one thing to root for in this series!

Lara Jean… ah! Our main protagonist was so effing relatable! Of course, there were times I disagreed with her but most of the times but I couldn’t help but fall for her. Yes, she was a bit judgemental and anxious almost all the time, however, these flaws were the characteristics that made her, her. Although I won’t say this series had the best character-development Lara Jean seriously had some major transformation. She went from the shy girl to voicing out her words. Most importantly, I genuinely admired how she took the decision while choosing school even is she had to do long-distance!

Diversity

Hello! Dang! This book has it all! The Song girls are half Korean making them a biracial family. There were some unforgettable moments in the book, especially of Korean cuisine which I sooo wanted to try! And I was pretty green with envy with the mention of their visits to Seoul. Can they please, like, take me too?

The Song family

The family dynamics was one of the best aspects of this trilogy. The Song girls had lost their mother as a kid but Margot, Lara Jean and Kitty have been thick as thieves. They have always tried their best to maintain a beautiful relationship with their dad which I loved so much. The family focus of this series was not at all overbearing but equally balanced with the romance and drama. Although Lara Jean was the protagonist of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, Margot and Kitty played quite a vital role. I sometimes felt like Margot who was the elder sister was a stuck-up. But when I thought of myself in her shoes, I could understand where all the hesitancy and her strictness was coming from. Lara Jean was the middle one while Kitty was the smol bean. However, Kitty was quite mature for her age and there would not have been “books” if not for her (If you know what I mean… XD) And their father was such a sweetheart! He had such a wonderful relationship with his Song girls and they were his first priority!

Cheesy romance

Ah! The romance of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky was epic! Actually, it was pretty simple yet unique due to which this series was such an engaging read. Peter had an on and off relationship with Gen who also used to be Lara Jean’s best friend once upon a time. However, this on and off thing paves the way for Peter towards Lara Jean. I loved how their relationship evolved. It was so cheesy yet so cuteeeeeeee! Oh my goodness, it was really so sweet I thought I was going to have diabetes!

We also had the classic love triangle which I actually enjoyed! (I know right? Me? I enjoyed a love-triangle! XD) John Ambrose McClaren was so precious. I definitely fell for the 2nd lead and there were times I thought he was the perfect one for Lara Jean. Although I was all in for Peter, John Ambrose McClaren definitely gave a tough competition. Peter, on the other hand, was a jokester and kinda tried to maintain a strong facade, however, he was a complete softy. He was so effing cute. My god! He and Lara Jean were the complete opposites, however, somehow they were the perfect fit.

Overall

This trilogy was a fluffy and fun read. I enjoyed it thoroughly and although a few parts might have slowed me down but I was glad I was able to binge read this trilogy. It made me realise how much, book binging is fun!  The writing was simple yet maintained an uninterrupted flow and the pace was mostly steady throughout the series. Apart from these, I also loved the fact, how this book ended with a positive note while hinting towards the many more adventures of the future.

Recommend it?

Yes!


So guys, what did you think about this trilogy? Have you read it yet? What is your favourite book in the series?

Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao // A combo of refreshing and realistic

Title: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 320 pages, Ebook
Published: February 6th, 2018 by Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfil the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes to a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.


My Thoughts

American Panda was such a heartfelt read! There were some aspects I could really relate and Mei is bae! ❤

She is an early college student aiming for a doctorate degree when all she wants to do in dance. But she doesn’t have the heart to tell her parents about it as her brother already walked on their family. She develops a crush on Darren Takahashi who is actually Japanese. Another no go from their parents who only want Mei to marry someone of their choice who is also specifically Taiwanese. A breaking point comes into Mei’s life when she is forced to make a choice about how to live her life, according to her own will or her parent’s.

The plot of this book was refreshing and relatable. American Panda is a more of a character-centric novel which focuses on the life of Mei. Mei is a hard working above average students who are working towards a career path to be a doctor. Apart from being a germophobe, she manages to fall asleep in the core subject of medicine, a.k.a biology. She goes by the rule of her parents as she does not want to disappoint them at all cost. A chance encounter with his brother changes her aspect of living life. Her opinion finally clashes when she sees her brother’s life through her own eyes rather than their parents’ words.

“If I lied, the real me would disappear.” 

Her rebellion starts in a slow process but it takes a turn as she experiences a whole new world. Her crush towards Darren slowly intensifies. Mei actually tried to do everything possible to do that she had been taught. She really tried but the heart wants what it wants. Of course, Darren is by her side but she gathers the courage to stand up for herself. And on boy, she does! The most surprising as well as beautiful moment was Mei’s reuinon with her mom. I wish her dad felt the same but well things take time. Sometimes the broken pieces can be mend together and sometimes it’s just better left alone. Mei felt like whole different person when she danced. She truly felt like herself. I can totally get this point. All parents want their children to have a stable career but that doesn’t only come from money. Happiness is the other factor which goes hand in hand.

“I couldn’t go through life as a shadow.” 

Overall, American Panda was a beautiful lesson that one should learn about both sides of the coin before judging. The plot was fresh and kept me engaged. Although I couldn’t identify it but I felt something was missing but the characters made up for it. This book was not only diverse but also shone light on various cultural aspects. The pace was kinda slow and steady in different portions of the book an the words flowed smoothly. I will definitely be anticipating her next book.


Sooo guys, have you read this one? If yes, what are your thoughts on it? And if that’s still a no, are you think of picking it up anytime soon?

Also, yeeeeeah. I have no excuse of abandoning my beloved blog for so long. I am just too lazy and tired after coming back from work. But that’s a lame excuse. I am tryiiiiiiiing guys! Hopefully September will show its magic!

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommend it?

Yes.


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

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

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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

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


This was one gorgeously stabby book.

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

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

Refreshing plot

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

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

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

Stabby book in a neat manner! Ha!

World-building

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

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

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

Character Development

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

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

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

Action! Stabby stuff!

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

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

Recommend it?

Yes!


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

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

  

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Wolf by Wolf:

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

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

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

Blood for Blood:

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


My Thoughts

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

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

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

Sassy heroine? Check.

Full on adventure? Check.

Killing Hitler? Double check!!

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

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

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

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

*Major Spoilers*

You can read the highlighted parts though!

*Proceed at your own risk!*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I died too along with that.

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

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

Recommend it?
Yes!


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

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

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

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Daughter of the Pirate King –

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

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

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

Daughter of the Siren Queen –

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommend it?

Yaaas!


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

Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson & Sarah Rees Brennan || Hilarious, Beautiful and Glittery!

Title: The Bane Chronicles
Author: Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson & Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 467 pages, Ebook
Published: November 11th, 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

It is not easy being Magnus Bane. As a warlock, he’s often called upon to fix the problems of others. His life has been long, and his loves have been many. And Magnus has a way of making sure he’s in the right place at the right – or perhaps wrong – time. The French Revolution, Prohibition, the first great battle between Valentine and the New York Institute…

Magnus was there, and usually in the middle of it. Magnus will never be able to tell all of his tales. No one would believe him. But these eleven stories shed a little light on his often inscrutable character. They are stories he probably wishes had never got out.


Soooo, Magnus Bane is not only my favourite warlock but also my favourite character in this entire freaking universe and cosmic galaxy! He is just out of this world awesome and an amaaaaaaaazing person!!! And hilarious 24/7!!

“You’re sarcastic twelve hours a day, but you’re almost never spiteful. You have a good heart under all the glitter.”

And yes, I am guilty of this starting this so freaking late! Anyway, this book is best to read after finishing The Infernal Devices trilogy and The Mortal Instruments series or after book 5 of TMI series.

First of all, this book is hilarious and made me fall in love with Magnus all over again. He’s really a sarcastic yet an awesome warlock full of glittery magic who’s ready to help his friends in need in any situations no matter what but doesn’t show his vulnerable side to just anybody.

The story begins in early 1700’s and goes all the way to present time that we get to see him in The Mortal Instruments series. In this book, we get to see the friendship between Magnus and Catarina and also dear old Ragnor Fell. As much as I adored Catarina and Magnus’s friendship, with Ragnor it was a bit… ehh you can say complicated! XD But entertaining as well! Especially their conversations were pretty much hilarious.

Among the 11 stories, The Rise Of Hotel Dumort and The Last Stand (also I think that this story was in the wrong order) felt a bit bland compared to the rest but Magnus’s wit and sarcasm made up for it.

“Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate.”
“I’m a very open-minded sort of fellow!”
“Ragnor is not,” Catarina said. “When he found out that you were feeding us guinea-pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke.”
“So ended our love,” Magnus said.

Ooooh oh, we also get to see how Magnus’s love affair with Camille begun in the first place and how everything went up in flames later on. Magnus struggled to find a place which he could call home because whereas his friends came and went, he went on living endlessly being an immortal. He never showed how much it affected him but I feel like I have known Magnus forever, it’s… I can’t exactly explain but you understand the pain. I also loved the one where he saved Raphael! And we also get to see the one and only disgusting Herondale there ever was!! And baby Clary!

The most amazing and funny stories were the ones which involved him and Alec. Ah!! My favourite OTP of the century!! ❤ What To Buy The Shadowhunter Who Already has Everything was pretty hilarious. Magnus’s even calls in a demon (for a different reason) but it ends up giving him dating advice! XD It was hilarious! Also, this was the only demon I liked! Also, in The Course of True Love, we get to see Magnus and Alec’s first official blunderous date which turns awesome because of some unforeseen events!

This was one of the most badass kiss of this century!

Last but not the least, this book ends with The Voicemail of Magnus Bane. This is the incident which happened in book 5 of TMI series when Magnus breaks up with Alec but I kinda forgot about the reason. I think I know but I am not totally sure about it. (If anybody 100% knows please let me know in the comments below!)

“Trust. It is like placing a blade in someone’s hand and setting the very point to your heart.”

Overall, The Bane Chronicles was a very pleasant and an awesome experience! Nothing can go wrong where there is Magnus Bane… um, well not exactly but one will never be bored as long as he is present! I enjoyed the narrative style and the pace was even throughout the book. I love the Shadowhunters universe so freaking much, so much that I never want it to end!!

Recommend it?

Why is that even a question!


Soooooo guys, have you read this yet? Are you a fan of Mr Bane? Also, have you started with Shadowhunters season 3??

Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour || Where I felt only Okaysh…

Title: We Are Okay
Author: Nina LaCour
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 240 pages, Ebook
Published: February 14th, 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.


First of all, the cover is beeeeeautiful!

Second of all, I have no idea how to write a review for this book.

But imma gonna try.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anybody since her grandfather passed away. She is angry at the world, angry at herself, she hasn’t even spoken to her best friend Mabel who had sent her endless messages. When Mabel finally comes for a visit during the holidays, would Marin be finally able to open up and move forward?

That’s basically it.

This book didn’t have any solid plot, it was basically character-centric. Marin isolated herself from the world after her only companion since childhood, her grandfather passed away. This book mainly dealt with grief and how every individual handles it differently. But a certain fact about the grandfather part was a bit confusing… (if anybody knows please tell me what that was. -_-) Anyways, I wish there was some kind of plot development because the whole thing kind of stayed at once place throughout the whole book.

“The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren’t ready.”

This book was diverse. Marin is a lesbian and in the course of time, we get to know that Mabel is a bisexual. The two had a lot of history together since they were best friends since childhood. I would have enjoyed if there were more interactions instead of inner monologues. But this book was kind of peaceful? I don’t know exactly how to convey this feeling but I felt at peace after finishing this one.

“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”

I enjoyed the flashback parts of this book where the actual romance takes place and I definitely loved the friendship between Mabel and Marin. Even without communication and a past history, some things never change. Although Marin had a hard time confronting her present, she finally did open up her heart, slowly.

“I learn that I am a tiny piece of a miraculous world.”

Overall, We Are Okay was a different kind of read. This book is not for everybody, especially because of the writing style which may not suit everyone’s taste. The pacing was slow due to which I felt bored at sometimes.But I am glad I could make it to the end!

Recommend it?

Yes.


Sooo guys, what do you think about this book? Have you read it yet? How was the experience for you??

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??