Books, graphic novel

Snotgirl, Vol I: Green Hair Don’t Care by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung

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Who is Lottie Person?
Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? Enter a world of snot, blood, and tears in this first collection from New York Times Best Seller Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim, Seconds) and dazzling newcomer Leslie Hung!

Collecting: Snotgirl 1-5

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I am a huge fan of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comics such as Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and Seconds. I first saw images of Snotgirl on my twitter feed around last year and I waited to read Snotgirl unti the first volume came out. I preordered my book immediately. I had high hopes in Snotgirl, trust me, I was hyped for Snotgirl. I’d assume that Snotgirl was going to have the same fun, same charm, and same comedy style as Bryan Lee O’Malley’s previous books.

Snotgirl feels different from all of O’Malley’s previous works. Far different from what I’d imagine. Snotgirl tries to be mature and satirical, when in fact, it’s not funny at all. I feel that Snotgirl is far more darker comic that tries to have moments of lightheartedness. This comic makes you think about about adulthood and it’s sad reality. This is one of my favorite moments from Snotgirl:

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Tangent: I found this quote very relatable to my life. No one tells you how to be an adult, you have to work on your own and realize that not adulthood can suck, but you have to continue to try pushing yourself to do what you want to do. Push yourself until you can achieve your dreams. You have to realize that you have the ability to do anything even if you’re accomplishing goals late into adulthood.

Lottie Person is a fashion blogger whose life is a mess. She tries to stay relevant in the fashion blogging world as she’s aging in her industry. She’s a beautiful diva on the outside. One can assume she has no flaws based on her outward appearance. She has blogger friends who aren’t really there for her, and she does not have any real friends she can depend on besides her personal assistant. Lottie Person is living a facade. She conceals her envious personality from others. She feels jealous when she cannot catch up with others. Besides, Lottie has another secret that she has hidden from everyone else which is her uncontrollable allergies…hence Snotgirl.

I felt that Lottie was an unreliable narrator because it is hard for her to recount some events from her life. Some of the events from the story made it hard for me to trust Lottie. For example, she is given new allergy medication that makes her forget what she is doing. I have a feeling the medication she is taking will play a larger part in creating chaos and destruction as the story progresses. All I can say is that Lottie made it hard for me to like her, but she seems very realistic. She represents the hideous nature of being too warped into social media, that’s my take on it. I have no idea where the story is going, but I will pick up Volume II when it comes out. I love the murder mystery of Snotgirl because the comic made it hard for me to trust Lottie or her toxic friendship. Lastly, I love the way the characters are drawn. I love art style. Overall, Snotgirl was too hyped for me, but it presented a story which I do want to continue. The only character that really stood out was Lottie, and I would like for the supporting characters to have more development.

Final Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️  (3.5)

Books

Beauty And The Beast (2017)

Beauty and the beast 2017

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Growing up as a little girl, I watched every single Disney movie that I would get my hands on. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales. Belle was such as relatable character growing up. I absolutely love the original movie. When Disney announced the live action of Beauty and the Beast, I was more than thrilled!

Beauty and the Beast was well casted. Luke Evans was a perfect Gaston. I couldn’t get over how he portrayed Gaston. I was living for him. I had chills when the mob song played! Gaston was extremely interesting in this version. Just listen!

I also adored how the movie focused on the secondary characters such as Plumette and Lumiere. Also, the diverse cast of characters were a great addition to the movie! Emma Watson did a fantastic job at portraying Belle, though I would have liked another actress to have portrayed Belle, but that’s just me. Dan Stevens as the Beast was perfect! I love how Belle and Prince Adam had more in common in this version. Many cute scenes were added. I cannot stop gushing at how Belle and Adam had chemistry! Though I do miss scenes like this:

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The dance choreography and costumes stole the show for me. I loved the costumes especially Plumette’s costume! I loved that this version of Beauty and the Beast added more side stories for everyone. No plot holes in this one! Yay! Finally that issue was resolved. I do want movie focusing on Gaston and his time on the war! I would have never guessed that storyline. I prefer Le Fou in this version of Beauty and the Beast. He had his story, he was not not just comic relief, he had his own witty lines! Yes!

I absolutely adored every moment of the movie. I watched the movie with my husband, and I cried like a little girl. This movie was a tear jerker for me. I was so happy with the new changes added to Beauty and the Beast. I did spoil the movie for myself. I didn’t see spoilers on Tumblr. I got the Beauty and the Beast novelization so I already knew what was going to happen! Seeing it was better than reading it! Can’t wait for other Disney Princess movies to come out!!

Books, netgalley, YA

ARC: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

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goodreads-synopsis

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

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I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me an ARC of Blood Rose Rebellion. All opinions are my own.

Let’s talk about Blood Rose Rebellion. What a book. I literally don’t have any words to describe this one. My first warning sign should have been for fans of Red Queen, but I did not want to immediately judge the book. I was in the mood for historical fiction. I saw Blood Rose Rebellion on NetGalley and it had a unique synopsis. Now, I’ve never read a YA fantasy/historical fiction book set during the Hungarian Revolution. It was something new. Something exciting. Something fresh. Blood Rose Rebellion was not. Well, once again I have no words to describe how I about this book.

What I appreciate is that the author took a lot of time educating herself with Hungarian history. Kudos to her. But though her hard work was put into her book, I cannot say this book was terrific. It was very underwhelming.

Anna Arden is manipulated easily. People tell her what to do and she does it! She does not think for herself! Throughout the whole story, she was manipulated by her peers and friends. It was frustrating reading about a character who could not make up her own mind. She was foolish when to came to deciding on who was right or wrong. She did not take time to analyze the situations presented to her. I really had a difficult time warming up to Anna because she was so reckless and destructive to everyone around her.

Folks: EVERY DECISION ANNA MADE RESULTED IN HORRIBLE EVENTS TAKING PLACE!

A lot of tragedy could have been avoided if the girl had used her reason. Besides having a puppet mentality, she was driven to do certain things because of boys. Not saying that being boy crazy is a bad thing, but she put any guy she liked on a pedestal over her family. In the beginning she is head over heels for a man named Freddy. Though Freddy is a jerk and an irrelevant love interest, Anna would do anything for Freddy. She even sabotaged her sister’s magical debut. I found myself not liking the relationship Anna had with her sister. No sisterly love whatsoever. Instead, both sisters competed for a guy who did not chose either of them. As I mentioned Freddy is irrelevant compared to the other love interests.

Talk about boring love interests. By the way, one of Anna’s love interests is her second cousin. So yeah, there’s incest in this book. I was not a fan of both love interests. The love interests were not fleshed out. It seemed like all the boys were attracted to Anna, and I was shaking my head. No, no, no, no. Another case of a special snowflake that everyone loves, but I just hated. The romance was pointless because the guy characters were as bland as toast. Neither guy was great for Anna. And she was not great for them.

Many characters are introduced throughout the book. Luckily there was a glossary at the end of the book that served as a reference guide when I felt lost. The only likable characters from Blood Rose Rebellion were her cousin Noemi and her grandmother who were the voices of reason. Those two characters wanted to keep Anna in check from committing dumb decisions. Yeah, they tried in keeping her safe, but did not succeed. Unfortunately.

By the way, this book starts off really slowly. Nothing was happening and then everything became extremely dark near the end. The book had great concepts such as introducing demonic monsters and incorporating true historical events into the story. The mythology was cool as well just because it was new to me. But even though all those story elements were great, it did not work with Blood Rose Rebellion. Too much information and explanations that dragged on and on. Oh my goodness, I had to put this book down several times. I felt that I was mostly skimming through some of the chapters.

The most entertaining sections were the overly dark chapters that were added too late into the game. After reading Blood Rose Rebellion, I am not picking up the other books in the series. I can see potential of more books, but after reading this book with no plot and flat characters, and a pointless romance, I would just stop and move on with my life. I did not like it, but maybe anyone else will.

Final Rating:⭐️⭐️

Blog, Books

Where Have I Been?

Hey, it’s been a while. The last time I posted on my blog was around the end of December, and since then, I have not been active. I went away due to my wedding that happened in January. I was busy finalizing my family for the wedding and finishing final touches to the wedding. January was a stressful month for me. I had other priorities at the moment. When my wedding day finally happened, I was happy and relieved; I’m not going to lie. Wedding planning at the beginning, but when it gets closer to the date that’s when everything becomes stressful! I’d recommend getting help! You can’t plan your own wedding alone! I was blessed with my sister-in-law who became my wedding planner and coordinator. I could have not done it without her, my family, and friends! And now, I’m married to my best friend, my husband. The wedding was a lot of fun and I will always cherish it. I will upload a couple pictures from my wedding a bit later this month.

After the wedding, came my honeymoon with my husband. We headed out to Portland and Seattle. I explored the Pacific Northwest and loved every moment. I had weather shock! I’m a Californian and it is usually warm down here. I was not prepared for colder weather, but my body got adjusted to the cold weather. And I survived. It wasn’t snowing, nor was it too rainy like I’d imagine it to be. I will say is this, the coffee was amazing!! I went to several coffee shops throughout my trip and explored the city, mostly by transit. I went to several bookstores, and did end up buying books. My honeymoon was a lot of fun. I got to spend every moment with my husband. I want to go back to the Pacific Northwest again!! It was a lot of fun. Next time, I want to go during spring or summer.

I am still getting adjusted to my new living situation. Let’s just say that it is definitely an upgrade. At the moment, I’m at school. Last semester in community college!! I’m taking four classes. I’m trying my best not to procrastinate this semester and pass my classes. When I don’t feel motivated, I watch study videos on YouTube and peruse studyblr on Tumblr. It works for me! Besides that, I’ll start university this coming fall. I am excited and a bit scared, but I will be hopeful about starting upper division courses!! I did get accepted to the university I always wanted to attend. I am so, so happy that I can finally be one step closer to achieving one of my life’s goal! I know that it will be tough, but I will get my BA.

Other than that, I have read a couple books over my absence. Though I have read some books, I had a reading slump. I dropped the books that I was reading such as Heartless and Prince of Fools. Those books were not bad!! But I didn’t feel like reading. I will pick them up again for this month. I have noticed that I find myself reaching for other genres at the moment. I have gotten a bit bored with YA, but that does not mean that I will drop that genre entirely. The books that I have read so far are We Should All Be Feminists, This Is Portland, Snotgirl, and Beauty & The Beast. I have not worked on my reviews yet, but they will be up soon! In order to be more efficient with my time management, I will create a new blog schedule so I can utilize my free time and update my blog more often! I started bullet journaling in order to be more organized. It has helped tremendously when it comes to school, but I will also apply it to blogging. Sorry that I kinda went away without making a post about it. But, I am back and I feel motivated to continue my blog! I have a feeling that 2017 will be a great year for blogging!

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Books, Fantasy, Romance, YA

Aisuru by Anma Natsu

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goodreads-synopsis

“You told me before that you’d never regret meeting me. Do you still feel that way now?”

Eighteen-year-old Sakura has spent her high school years living in self-imposed isolation. She’s carefully perfected her role as a cold, stuck up snob at school to keep her classmates, her teacher, the world at a distance so they will never learn the truth: about the night her father’s mental illness tore her world apart, leaving her an orphan and living on borrowed time.

To help her get through the pain, the kind man who adopted her would spin fantastical stories about his childhood friend Kazuki, a magical yokai from another world. Harmless fairy tales to take her mind off things, or so she always thought…

Until the night she finds Kazuki lying wounded in her garden. With the handsome yokai now sharing her house, a jealous young tengu living in her cherry tree, and new friends pushing their way past her walls, Sakura’s stoic acceptance of her fate is slipping.

But is she only opening herself up to further heartache and regret or is she opening the door to a happiness she never imagined possible?

 

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I received Aisuru  on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect of Aisuru. I haven’t seen many reviews on the internet, but I decided to go ahead and read it. What got me to read the book was the synopsis since it sounded like a blend of contemporary and fantasy. I was intrigued by the characters, especially Sakura. Aisuru reminded me a bit of Inuyasha and Kamisama Hajimemashita, just the whole human-yokai romantic relationship, but that’s just it.

What I was expecting was an action-paced book filled with a lot of magical scenarios and political drama. Now what I got was different than what I expected. It was good, but it wasn’t bad. I was a tad disappointed that most of the book focused on Hakodate, Japan rather than the magical kingdom of Throklana.

Alright, basic plot of the book is that Sakura is dying and has less than a year of life left. Sakura tries to be an ice queen to those around her. Most of her classmates have invented rumors about her due to her cold personality. Though Sakura puts on an act, she is actually sweet and caring. She has hidden her illness from everyone; she wants to be treated like a normal girl. She wants to do many things in her life, but knows she can’t achieve those goals. When I was reading Sakura’s pov, I did tear up. Sakura was very accepting of her fate in the beginning of the story. As chapters progressed, it became harder for her to accept her death. Though Sakura has little character growth in the book, she at least tried to live as a normal girl. She got to accomplish some of her goals on her bucket list. One of my favorite moments of the book was the introduction of Sakura’s classmates that eventually became her friends. I have to say that this book did really great when it came to friendship.

I was actually surprised that this book was a bit dark at some times. Sakura’s past was extremely sad, especially what happened to her parents. Though she was adopted into a loving home after the traumatizing events of her childhood, she grew up mostly independent. That’s one thing that I really liked about Sakura, she always did her best no matter her limitations.

Moving on to Kazuki, I felt okay about him. Kazuki is the yokai prince who is supposed to take over the kingdom while his father is on his pilgrimage. Kazuki never wanted to be king. He is the oldest sibling, but he knows that his younger brother is far more capable of being the next crown king. The author didn’t really give a great description of his features besides his long claws and white hair. So I imagined him like this that whole time:

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Though Tomoe is a far more better character than Kazuki, just saying.

Kazuki was a good guy, but a horrible leader. Here’s the thing: his kingdom is in turmoil and his brother turned against him. What does Kazuki do? Reside in the human realm and leaves his kingdom in hands of his advisors. He abandoned the throne, and though his duty is to the kingdom, he never really does anything to contribute anything. I can see why he is fascinated with the human world, but it annoyed me that it wasn’t till 75% of the book that he decided to take action. As I’ve mentioned, he was a good guy…he did have some cute moments especially with Karasu. Now Karasu was one of my favorite characters in the story. He is a yokai as well and very devoted to his master. He initially hates Sakura and doesn’t trust her whatsoever. I found Karasu to be an adorable jealous little brother. He had a sad backstory that I wish got expanded more!

Anyways, I thought that Aisuru was going have a lot of action, but I got more of a contemporary vibe. Most of the book was spent on Kazuki and Sakura doing normal errands such as cleaning, or cooking. It seemed that this was going to be a book filled with insta-love, but I am glad that the author tried to build up the romance. There wasn’t much tension between the two characters and the kiss happened out of nowhere.

As for the whole plot, I thought it could have been great if there was no conflict in the yokai realm. Since most of the book took place in the human realm, it felt a bit too much to have two conflicts because Sakura was the main focus throughout the book. The conflict in Kazuki’s realm was ignored till the end!! But, despite Aisuru’s flaws, I did find myself enjoying the book. The book did have a villain! Surprise, surprise it wasn’t the brother. I assumed it was another character…since the villain didn’t get introduced till 50% of the book. I won’t give much away, but just wow.

What I liked:

  • Sakura’s pov
  • Karasu
  • The ending was cute

I feel that Aisuru could have made a good graphic novel since the author is inspired by Japanese culture. I was mostly thinking of anime when reading this book!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

miriam-michelle

Books, Fantasy, YA

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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goodreads-synopsis

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

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I received Three Dark Crowns in my October Owlcrate box. I didn’t have an opportunity to read it back then, but I finally got around to reading it and well, it was an interesting story…Most people loved it, but I felt it was okay.

Alright, so Three Dark Crown is about three identical sisters who have been separated for years and each one has an equal claim to the throne. The catch is that only one can be queen, and the other two sisters have to be eliminated. Each sister has a unique magical gift, so the readers are led to believe. Mirabella is the strongest rival for the throne. She controls the elements, and she has a strong following of priestesses. Though she seems most likely to become queen, she cannot bring herself to depose of her sisters because she is the only one to have childhood memories of her two sisters. Then there is Katharine who is a poisoner. She can handle any poison…or so readers are led to believe. She’s the most fragile compared to the other two sisters. The poisoners group wasn’t well explained…but what I got is that before they (the poisoners) were healers. It makes sense. For example, removing poison from patients. Maybe I’m reading too into the book. Anyways, moving on. Lastly, there is Arsinoe who does not have a gift at all. She’s supposed to be a naturalist. A naturalist is someone who controls both plants and animals. She constantly admits to other characters that she won’t make it when it comes to the tournament.

The world building was weak. I had many thoughts when reading this book since the author didn’t explain much. There were references to the mainland, though the story takes place in the island of Fennbirn. All that I know is that the people of the mainland don’t have magical gifts. Other than that, I want to know if the islanders of Fennbirn were exiled into the island, and what type of mythology they have to explain the gifts. There were some references to a goddess, but the author didn’t elaborate on it. Yeah, I know I’m going a bit off topic, but I honestly want to know what type of world the characters are living in.

Moving on to the three queens. I was initially drawn to Katharine because she’s the most physically weak, but she’s sweet. I really liked how she started becoming more confident throughout the book. As I kept reading, I ended up liking Arsinoe much more than Katharine and Mirabella. Here are the reasons why Arsinoe is the best from the three sisters.

  1. She is very supportive of her best friend, Jules.
  2. She is hardworking
  3. She is tough and brave

Other than that, I wasn’t a big fan of Mirabella. Now, one of the most interesting characters is Jules. She’s the strongest naturalist on the island. I really love how Arsinoe respects her friend, and doesn’t have jealously at all. There is something special about Arsinoe, but I’ll just wait and see for the next book.

As much as I liked the book, it did have its faults.

  • Information overload during the beginning: Since there are multiple povs in this book, it took me a while to get used to all the characters. So many characters were introduced.
  • Weak world building
  • THE WORST LOVE TRIANGLE: I’m just going to leave this gif here…

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  • It was boring: I understand that this is the first book in the series, but there were several dull moments. A lot of flirting happened during most of the book. I felt the book focused a bit too much on the romance. I assumed the sisters were going to be far more scheming…but the minor characters took care of that. The book finally got exciting near the end with an awesome cliffhanger.

Three Dark Crowns had moments of creepiness, which I highly enjoyed. If you are in the mood for a spooky book, I’d say go with this one. Have patience for Three Dark Crowns…a lot of patience till you get to the second half. That cliffhanger was really good!!! After finishing the book, I’m not sure who will become the next queen. I’m not sure how many books will be in this series, but I am looking forward to the next installment.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Books, Contemporary

ARC: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

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goodreads-synopsis

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

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I received an ARC on NetGalley.

This review will contain spoilers!

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So the story starts off with Lane Roanoke. She has a detached personality and can be very cynical. Her mother commits suicide and she is adopted by her grandparents in Kansas. Lane was never close to her mother, and she was relieved when her mother died. Initially, Lane had no clue that she still had family. When she arrives in Kansas, she instantly forms a bond with her cousin Allegra. Lane’s life is transformed. Lane is not used to living in a loving home. Though everything seems perfect in the household, there seems to be a lot of things off with her new family members especially Allegra. Lane never stays as a permanent member of the Roanoke clan and leaves immediately as the summer comes to an end. As the years go by, Lane looses contact with her immediate family. One day when her grandfather calls her about Allegra, Lane knows that she has to return no matter the consequences.

When I first saw the title of the Roanoke Girls, I thought it was going to take place during the Roanoke colony. This is not the case for the Roanoke Girls. As I read the synopsis I was intrigued by the mystery, and decided to give it a go. What I read was dark and this book is not for younger readers. Also, don’t read it if you’re triggered easily by rape and incest.

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As I’ve mentioned, the mystery of Allegra’s murder had me intrigued. But, the author revealed shocking secrets in the beginning chapters…thus making it obvious who was the killer was. The book would have been stronger if the author had revealed the incest and pedophilia secrets till the very end of the story. By the time I was halfway done with the story, I knew where the story was headed. There weren’t that many suspects to pick from.

The main story is told in alternating perspectives between adult Lane and teenage Lane. There are also chapters including the povs of the other fallen Roanoke Girls who have died. I really liked that the other perspectives of the Roanoke Girls were told, though their chapters were short. Other than that, it felt as if Lane had not changed at all in her adult years. Lane’s character stayed consistent throughout the book. Though she became a bit more destructive as an adult.

One thing I can say is that the characters were not likable especially Lane. Lane is distrusting and angry, and resentful all the time. Lane is extremely bitter at how her life played out. Though she didn’t suffer as much as her cousin Allegra did, Lane is very hesitant to change. She still sees herself as destructive due to life events. Honestly, I found it hard to like Lane. She made it difficult to feel sympathy for her due to her actions. Instead of moving on, or at least getting a form of therapy to cope with life, she chooses the destructive path.

Lane could have avoided the pain and trauma of that summer if she had spoken. If she had said something to the authorities, Allegra’s death could have been prevented. But no, Lane chose not to speak to anyone. She felt that there was no person that she could have trusted. In a way, I feel that even Lane played a part in Allegra’s demise.

As for the other characters, I can say the same thing: none of them were likable, except for Cooper. Like Lane, Cooper also had a horrible childhood. Cooper suffered more than Lane, but he chose to better himself and not end up like his abusive father. Cooper became wiser as the years went by and tried several times to get Lane to open up.

When it came to the big revelation, I was not surprised at all. Most of the time, Lane spent her time having sex than looking for clues. When the killer confessed to the murder, it happened instantly. All I can say is that the Roanoke girls suffered from abuse: sexually and mentally. The Roanoke girls had no help from anyone. All the girls suffered a sad fate, which was death. I really despised the grandfather and the grandmother, but more the grandfather. It was such as sad book to read, but there were so many frustrating moments that could have been avoided if characters had helped out.

Despite all of it, the ending was a bit sweeter than I had anticipated.

Book Release: March 7th 2017 by Crown

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️

miriam-michelle

Books, Romance

12 Dares Of Christmas by Leigh W. Stuart

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goodreads-synopsis

Lauren Hall has one wish for Christmas this year—raise money to build a new, no-kill animal shelter for the town of Sycamore Cove. And she is prepared to do anything to make it happen. Even dare a man she just met to perform a strip tease for the local knitting society.

Gabe Nicholson has one wish too—obtain the job of a lifetime to launch his career. Only his wishes get snowballed when his best friend’s little sister hands him a pair of stripper pants and a bottle of eggnog-flavored body oil.

It’s all sugar plums and mistletoe until a scandal caused by Lauren’s fundraiser threatens to ruin it all. With Gabe’s work opportunities disappearing before his eyes and Lauren’s fundraising efforts tanking, their game of dares stands to burn them both. Unless it ignites a spark of Christmas magic.

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I received 12 Dares of Christmas on NetGalley.

Hey guys, are you looking for a cute romance book just for the holidays? Let me tell you that 12 Dares of Christmas is not the book for you! It wasn’t the synopsis that got me to read the book, but the cover. I thought to myself, “this book looks cute.” Oh, was I wrong.

Normally, I don’t read romance books, but I decided to give it a chance. I was in the mood to read a Christmas book. I didn’t imagine an erotic filled book. That was not what I was expecting. Oh Lord.

I’ll keep it short: Avoid it.

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You see, the main characters don’t have a chance to slowly fall in love. I assumed this was going to be a slow burn romance. Nope, that’s not the case. Instead you are presented with a lot of sexual dares and most of the time I was skipping ahead to see how this travesty was going to end. Did I get attached to the characters? Not really.

All I know about the two protagonists is that both want new job opportunities. Lauren works hard for her causes such as raising money for a new animal shelter. She doesn’t have much of a love life because of her over-protective brother. Some of the things she does are a bit questionable…such as hiring a male stripper to entertain older women, but she has a good heart. Gabe is the “sexy” best friend of Lauren’s brother. Gabe knows that Lauren is off limits because of her over-protective brother. Gabe doesn’t really know Lauren, yet fate brings them together. When Lauren finds herself without a stripper, guess who becomes one by default. Yes, Gabe does. Their lives are intertwined because of that event.

The two characters fall for each other instantly. It is a book about lust and sex. There were some stereotypical situations…and I hated the dares…there I said it!

Final Rating: 💔  (0.5)

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Asian Dramas, Television

Why I Dropped The Empress Of China (Drama)

Hey, and good day! In all the years of blogging, I have not reviewed an Asian drama yet on this blog. I occasionally watch Asian dramas, mostly Korean and Japanese. I’ve never watched a Chinese drama until now. The Empress of China has been on my radar for a couple years, and I finally decided to watch it. I made it halfway through the drama and let’s just say that I am highly disappointed.

Alright, this drama is based on the first and only female emperor, not empress, of China. Her name was Wu Zetian. I haven’t had the chance to read any historical books on her, and I’ve only watched a documentary based on her life. I’m not an expert on her biography, but she is an interesting historical character. From what I’ve learned, she was suppose to be evil and cruel as described by historians. Clearly, she’s painted in a bad light. She’s also a controversial figure.

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With a title like The Empress of China, I expected that the drama was going to focus on her Wu Zetian’s reign as emperor. This drama is very  long, and it’s not till the very end of the drama when she finally gets that position. I made it to episode 54 and then I skipped to the last episode. At first, I didn’t mind the length, but I wanted Wu Zetian to become an emperor already. I can understand why some time was spent on her concubine days, but I had enough.  Most of the drama was filler and it focused on the relationships Wu Zetian has with both emperors. The drama focuses a lot on her time as a concubine rather than her reign…which is rather unfortunate.

Now, I would call this drama something else: Scheming Concubines would be a far more accurate name for this drama. So the emperor’s consorts are so evil towards each other and to the concubines. Wu Zetian is a special snowflake for most of the drama. She is clever and intelligent, good and kind, and she is overall perfect in the eyes of the emperor. The other concubines are extremely jealous of her. Wu Zetian is a victim and most of the time the other women are trying to kill her. Though Wu Zetian is not alone in her struggle. She has a best friend named  But because she is so perfect, it causes jealously towards  This drama is far more fictional and it focuses far more on the romance. I’ve read this this drama was very costly to produce, and it is one of China’s most expensive dramas, but was this drama any good?

The beginning was entertaining, but I felt it became repetitive for me. Far too much time was spent of Wu Zetian the concubine than Wu Zetian the emperor. What I really liked about this drama was the costumes. The gorgeous costumes everyone was wearing. Absolutely amazing. This drama is very pleasing towards the eyes, but the storyline kills me.

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Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️ (2.5)

Books, Manga

Manga Classics: Emma

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goodreads-synopsis

Just in time for the 200th Anniversary, Manga Classics: Emma brings Jane Austen’s classic tale of youthful folly and romantic exuberance to a modern audience with this beautiful, new manga adaptation. The impulsive match-making of Emma Woodhouse delivers both humor and heartache through the gorgeous artwork of manga-ka Po Tse (Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice). – Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

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(Artwork from book)

Book is available on NetGalley.

Emma is an upperclass young lady that loves being a matchmaker. She has fun pairing her friends, but not everyone approves of her hobby. Though Emma has good intentions, she doesn’t realize she causes harm when she tries to matchmake. She constantly finds herself bickering with her brother in law, Mr. George Knightley who feels Emma shouldn’t matchmake at all. When Harriet arrives into town, Emma becomes friends with Harriet. Harriet lacks Emma’s confidence and reputation, and Emma sees her as a project in the making. Emma is independent and feels that she cannot marry. She is better off alone or so she thinks. Because Emma tries to matchmake, she gets herself involve in many situations. This manga edition of Emma is quite hilarious.

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I have not read Emma by Jane Austen, but I know the gist of the story thanks Clueless. With this manga edition of Emma, I knew that I was going to get condescended story. Though I this edition is quite short, I found it to be light hearted and funny. Starting off with the drawing style, honestly I was not much of a fan at first. The more I kept reading, the more I felt that the drawing style suited this story. I even learned to love it by the end.

As for the characters, Emma was by far my favorite from the cast of characters. She is independent, helpful, fun, and childish. Despite her good qualities, Emma is also prejudice when it comes to people of lower standing. This can be proven when Mr. Martin is introduced, and Emma declares to Harriet that she doesn’t associate with people of lower standing.

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For most of the book, she is very clueless…ha ha ha. See what I did there. All right, moving on. Though Emma finds herself in many situations, she isn’t very socially aware of what she is doing. For example, Emma tries to pair Harriet to Mr. Elton, but she does not realize that Mr. Elton is deeply falling in love with her until he confesses his feelings for her. Though the poor doesn’t have a clue, she has a good heart. As for Mr. Knightley, he deeply cares for Emma but doesn’t reveal his feelings for her. Most of the time, he is concealing his true feelings for Emma.

The manga version of Emma tries to stay as close to the original work, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance. If this book had a couple more chapters, I am sure that it could have been better executed. I did like all the romantic pairings, except for Mr. Elton and Mrs. Elton since they are downright deplorable. If you feel intimidated by reading classic books, I feel manga editions of the book are better since it is easier to understand language and plot wise.

Final rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

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