The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki

Natsuru Nanao, a 6th grader who lives alone with his mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with the reserved and driven Rio Suzumura. Natsuru plays hookey from soccer camp that summer, and instead of telling the truth to his mother, he spends all his time with Rio and her kid brother at their rickety house, where a dark secret threatens to upend their fragile happiness.

Add to Goodreads

I kept seeing this manga being advertised on my Amazon recommendations, and I decided to check it out. I read this manga in under an hour. I do recommend checking out the The Gods Lie from the library rather than buying it.

When it came to The Gods Lie, I was captivated by the cover and the title. The title is what drew me in. I did not anticipate finishing the manga in less than an hour. The Gods Lie felt rushed. There was not enough material for me to be satisfied. I felt that The Gods Lie could have had at least five more chapters to have a solid, well rounded story that could have been memorable for readers.

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What I liked from reading The Gods Lie was the unlikely romance between Natsuru Nanao and Rio Suzumura. I felt that there relationship was cute, but I did not like that how rushed the romance was given this manga was five chapters long. So the romance was very fast paced for me. It felt as if they became friends and suddenly they fell in love with each other. I also liked that The Gods Lie dealt with maturity, especially for Rio Suzumara’s case. Rio had to be the adult in her family despite being a pre-teen. While her classmates were enjoying their youth, Rio had to be an adult. She had to tackle the responsibilities that were literally thrown to her. In addition, Rio and her younger brother had to deal with abandonment from their father. Rio had to be both mother and father to her younger brother without the help from any other relative. At the same time, Natsuru learns about Rio’s situation and becomes her protector. Natsuru learns to love Rio despite their differences.

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As for the twist, I did see it coming. The manga does give small hints about the twist. So when it was revealed, it was sad but not shocking to say the least. The ending had a hopeful ending for the protagonists. T Originally I was going to rate The Gods Lie a four out of five, but after much thought this manga is a solid three.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

T5W: Books I want to Reread

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and has passed down the torch to Sam from Thought On Tomes, our current host for T5W.  Go join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

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This week’s topic is Five Books I want to reread. Now, I thought long and hard about this since there are several books that I want to reread so badly. Sometimes I look at my shelf and I want to pick up my favorite books so badly. I’m not going to include series, all the books are standalone. Here are my picks:

  1. The Bell Jar: I read The Bell Jars years ago and I always recommend to everyone. I loved the book so much and I want to actually analyze this book this time around
  2. Fahrenheit 451: A classic, and it has been one of my favorite books. This book makes me cry.
  3. Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl: I read it for my US history class, and boy this tale was powerful.
  4. Song of the Hummingbird: Strong female protagonist that I mostly felt sorry for her circumstances.
  5. In the Time of the Butterflies: A powerful tale of sisters that will leave you in tears.

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

i'm not your manic pixie dream girlAuthor: Gretchen McNeil

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Links: Amazon | Goodreadsgoodreads-synopsisBeatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically-guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win her boyfriend back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity, and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?he-he1

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Imagine the movie you really like right, and it gets a sequel that no one asked for, but the sequel is sort of good. I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil felt like that to me. It’s a standalone, contemporary, young adult novel that was released earlier this month.

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According to Urban Dictionary, a manic pixie dream girl is:

A Manic Pixie Dream Girl or MPDG, is a term coined by film critic Nathan Rabin after seeing Elizabethtown. It refers to “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” A pretty, outgoing, whacky female romantic lead whose sole purpose is to help broody male characters lighten up and enjoy their lives.

Guys, I really didn’t know how to feel bout this book. Let’s start with the cover art. Not my favorite, and yeah, I judged the book by the cover. My sister looked at the book and said it looks bad. She didn’t read the synopsis. Anyways, I decided to read it. Honestly, this book is extremely cheesy…to the max. Like an extremely cheesy version of a Disney Channel Movie. (Not bashing on Disney Channel Movies, I actually like watching them.) As for my reading experience, oddly enough I couldn’t put this book down. It became a guilty pleasure despite how stereotypical it was.

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Beatrice is known as the “math girl” in her school. She has a passion for math and hopes to win the scholarship to MIT. She and her group of friends aren’t popular.  There’s Gabriel who is the ambitious, “nerdy” journalist friend, who happens to be hated by jocks because his article fired the football coach. There’s also Spencer who is sarcastic, moody, and an artist. It’s obvious that he is in love with Beatrice but the girl is oblivious. She starts dating Jesse who constantly drops hints that she should be more outgoing and try to more social. I thought he was somewhat sweet, but I still didn’t trust him.  Beatrice hopes for a better senior year. Unfortunately, she and her friends are still being bullied by the most stereotypical jock bullies who are irrelevant.

Beatrice the genius she is, comes up with a wild idea that will guarantee popularity for her friends and stop the bullying. Beatrice applies math to solve her situation. She knows numbers like there’s not tomorrow. The formula is useful for Beatrice because she decides to use it as an experiment in order to win the scholarship for MIT.

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Only she and Gabe are thrilled about applying the formula for instant popularity, while Spencer is against the idea. Long story short, all three friends apply Beatrice’s math formula. Gabe, who is gay by the way, becomes the most stereotypical version of himself by being super flamboyant, and Spencer doesn’t do much to his image besides advertise his art to people. Beatrice becomes a stereotypical version of herself by offering free tutoring to the popular folks, but she’s the only one that does not become popular.

Remember Jesse? Beatrice’s boyfriend. There’s a new girl in school that is a manic pixie dream girl. Her name is Toile Jefferies, and she steals Jesse away from Beatrice. Beatrice applies the same formula to herself and becomes a manic pixie dream girl, who ends up being Toile’s rival.

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Alright, so I summed up pretty much what happens during the first half of the story. Beatrice becomes Trixie who becomes one of the most popular girls at school. Beatrice becomes confident and far more outgoing in her Trixie persona. Everything seems to be going great for her and her friends, but what Beatrice did not expect her formula to fail her. Spencer is the voice of reason throughout this whole ordeal. He constantly reminds Beatrice that what she’s doing is foolish. He was a jerk, but the boy was being honest. He didn’t want to “change”, but did it to support Beatrice.

What ends up happening is that Beatrice becomes obsessed and competitive towards Toile. Girl literally forgets that the reason she changed her persona was to win her boyfriend back. Although Trixie is popular among the students, she almost loses her friends in the process by constantly hurting them even though she feels she’s doing the right thing. I called the ending and I didn’t stumble upon spoilers if you’re asking, it was very obvious from the moment I started the book.

What I liked from this book:

  • Spencer. The made the most sense from the cast of characters. Yeah, there were moments where he was a jerk, but he was being honest.
  • Supportive friends: It took Beatrice a while to understand she was hurting everyone, but her friends still loved her despite everything.
  • The romance: I admit that it’s not so great, but Beatrice realizes who she loves and she doesn’t get with him till the very end.
  • The comedy: This book reminded of Mean Girls. Ha ha. There were some moments that had me laughing. I enjoyed reading Beatrice’s pov, especially the situations she put herself into.
  • The rivalry

What I didn’t like:

  • Jesse….bye-felipe
  • The nerdy rival…I forgot his name, but he was so unnecessarily extra. Hated that he got a happy ending because he was a pie-hole.
  • How stereotypical the book was. This book is geared to a younger audience. I rolled my eyes a lot, but I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would.
  • The cover

Overall, I was mildly surprised by I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Final rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

 

That’s What He Said Thursday | Spencer

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That’s What He Said Thursday is a bookish meme hosted by Chapter Break. For more info on what this meme is all about click here.

This is my first That’s What He Said Thursday post. I will be posting one quote each Thursday. I know the hosts are doing it monthly. Anyways, my version of this book meme will be a quote from the book or books that I am currently reading. Let’s hope I can keep this up since it is a quote!

i'm not your manic pixie dream girlThis week’s pick is from I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil. Here’s my quote:

You ran into Jesse and after one look at you he expressed his undying love?

I’m not a huge fan of Beatrice/Trixie from INYMPDG, but Spencer is the best character. Anyways, finished the book because I couldn’t go to sleep and this was the best line he had. This is not a spoiler. Beatrice transforms herself into Trixie, the typical manic pixie dream girl in order to win her boyfriend Jesse back. Spencer says this to Beatrice when she tells him that she encountered Jesse in her new makeover.  He’s sarcastic and he’s very snarky! He’s the moody artist with the sensitive heart. ❤

WWW Wednesday Sept 28 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. I’m out of my book slump and I’m back. Ha ha. Summer makes me lazy and it’s when I read the least amount of books. Now that I’m taking a couple classes, I’m feeling more productive. I’m taking my sweet time when it comes to reading. I’m doing good with my Goodreads book challenge.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl: I already know how it will end. Haven’t read any spoilers for it and I’m halfway done with the book. It’s so stereotypical!! It’s so cheesy, but it’s a guilty pleasure. Aha. Review will be posted either Friday or Saturday if I finish my research paper. Ha.

Falling Kingdoms: It takes me a while to read Fantasy. I really like Magnus, but not sure how I feel about it yet.

What did you recently finish reading?

Maybe Someday: Started off great…and I didn’t love it. Problematic characters, but interesting story. Hopefully the next CoHo book I pick up is better than this one.

Labyrinth Lost: Overall fun and loved the diverse cast of characters!! Loved it, and looking forward to the other books in the series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Yasssssssssss!! I have my copy of Crooked Kingdom on my shelf and it’s begging me to read it!!! I got the target edition of the book and it comes with a poster! Avoid tumblr like the plague.

T5W: Gateway Books For Historical Fiction

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and has passed down the torch to Sam from Thought On Tomes, our current host for T5W.  Go join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

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This week’s topic is Gateway Books. I mostly review Young Adult on my blog, but one of my favorite book genres is historical fiction. I’m a history major, and I’m a sucker for historical fiction. Trust me. When someone asks for a book recommendation, I will recommend these five books. You’ll need tissues for all these books. Here are my picks:

  1. Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See –  This book has a special place in my heart since it was the first book I’ve purchased from Barnes and Noble when it came out. I read it in one sitting. I cried. The friendship is strong in this book.
  2. Honolulu by Alan Brennert- Honolulu was such a such a lovely read. The main character was strong and she endured so much! It has a happy ending, but I did shed a couple  of tears when I read it.
  3. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini  My english teacher from high school let me borrow her copy of A Thousand Splendid Sun. This is the book that destroyed me. I read it in a day and I was bawling my eyes out. Just thinking about it, makes me feel a bit sad.
  4. In The Time Of The Butterflies by Julia Alvarez -This is a powerful tale about sisters who rebelled against the Trujillo dictatorship. I loved reading each pov and it was beautifully written.
  5. Atonement by Ian Mcewan – The movie and the book had me crying. It takes place in one of my favorite eras which is during WWII. I kept picturing the cast of the movie when I read the book.

Owlcrate Box September 2016

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Bookstagram: @thereadingbelle

I received my Owlcrate Box a couple days ago and I was so excited for this month’s theme which was darkness. I couldn’t resist temptation and gave in. Ha ha. Anyways, in this month’s box I received:

  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • A Fortune Teller
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children pencil pouch
  • A bookmark
  • A candle
  • An Owlcrate pin
  • A bath bomb
  • An episode book
  • A book preview (the passport)

Even though I haven’t read Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, I loving the pencil pouch. I’m currently using it for school and it’s very spacious. As for the bath bomb, I can’t wait to use it soon! Lastly, I loved the candle. It smells absolutely amazing! I might purchase it if the seller puts it on Etsy.

The Book

three-dark-crownsGoodreads 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.

 

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth LostAuthor: Zoraida Cordova

Website: zoraidacordova.com

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Praise for Labyrinth Lost:

“Zoraida Cordova’s prose enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic.” -Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight

“Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine’s journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family.” -Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix

“A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante’s Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary.” -Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper

“Labyrinth Lost is a magical story of love, family, and finding yourself. Enchanting from start to finish.” -Amy Tintera, author of Ruined.

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I received Labyrinth Lost in exchange for an honest review on Netgalley.

When it comes to young adult books, there is a lack of diversity when it comes to the main characters. I was so thrilled that I finally encountered a Hispanic, urban fantasy, young adult novel that not only has a diverse set of characters, but is also LGBT! Let me just say that the book community needs more diversity! I cannot stress that enough. Also, it’s Hispanic Heritage Month and Labyrinth Lost was the perfect choice for me, a Latina.

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Alex is a bruja who loathes her magic, and she is one of the most powerful brujas in her family, but she hides her magical abilities from everyone. Many say that it is a blessing, but not for Alex. Alex wants to live a normal life, but she hates the complications of having to live a double life of being a bruja and a teen. An event triggers Alex to use her magic, and she can no longer hide her magic from her family. Preparations start for Alex’s Deathday, which is similar to a quinceañera. Alex tries to get rid of her magic, and it all backfires on her. She instantly looses her family to another dimenison by using her magic.

Alex grew on me. I’ll admit it.  I didn’t like her early on, but the more I read, I noticed how much changed Alex for the better. She’s responsible and studious, and only wants a normal life. She doesn’t want to be seen as a freak in school and tries her best to conceal her magical ability. She learns to become powerful from the event she faces, especially when she crosses to Los Lagos. Alex does whatever it takes to save her family. She wants to redeem herself from her mistakes. On the journey she learns to accept her fate, and she becomes far more wiser because of it.

Moving on to the love triangle. Alex is best friends with Rishi, and has romantic feelings for her. Rishi has no idea that Alex is a bruja. Rishi is makes Alex feel comfortable and safe. There is also Nova, a brujo, who has a love-hate relationship with Alex.  Nova is the opposite of safe. He’s somewhat of a bad boy. What I loved is how the love triangle reminded of Pearl and Greg from Steven Universe.

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I loved how Rishi and Nova didn’t get along at all. They seemed to be competing over Alex which I loved. Personally, I preferred Rishi over Nova, but that’s just me.

One of the best aspects of the book is not the romance, but the love Alex has for her family. I loved how Alex’s family plays a huge role in her life. They weren’t just background characters. Throughout Alex’s whole journey, they helped her in any way they could. I loved how all the women in Alex’s family were strong. Especially the part where Alex was speaking to her dead great-grandmother. Also, may I just say that Alex’s family was very accepting and forgiving.

Reasons to read Labyrinth Lost:

  • Diversity. Diversity. Diversity.
  • LGBT
  • Brujas
  • Awesome mythology
  • Good character arcs
  • Strong female characters
  • Fantastical creatures

As for the whole journey, I loved it. Labyrinth Lost reminded me of Alice in Wonderland and Pan’s Labyrinth. A perfect spooky package. If possible, I would love this book to get adapted into a movie, preferably an animated movie. I had high expectations for Labyrinth Lost and I was so pleased that I loved the book. It has a special place in my heart, and this is the book that has helped me get out of my book slump! This book is ideal to read for Halloween and Hispanic Heritage Month!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5)

Book Giveaway: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Hey guys, I have something to share with you. On July 30th, I went to Barnes & Noble to pick up my copy of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. It was my first time waiting for a book. I mostly read while I waited for July 31st. Here are a couple of pictures from my experience

There was a muggle wall where people could write on what Harry Potter means to them! It was so cool reading what others had to say.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

I just had to take a selfie with my book. I was so happy!!! I was pooped out after I got my book. I went home to sleep. Ha ha.

Now, I have two copies of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. I preordered my first copy on Barnes and Noble, and as for the other copy, I forgot I preordered it on Amazon. I’m giving away my extra copy and this is my first book giveaway on my blog!!!

The Book

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child(2)

This book giveaway is only local (United States only)! Good luck to those who enter!!

book giveaway via Rafflecopter

T5W: Unlikable Characters…

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and has passed down the torch to Sam from Thought On Tomes, our current host for T5W.  Go join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

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This week’s topic is Unlikable Characters...Now every now and then, a book has an unlikable character. Here are my choices:

  1.  Tamlin (ACOTAR & ACOMAF) – Alright, if you have read  ACOMAF, you would understand why Tamlin is on this list. I don’t want to go into spoilers here, but I really can’t seem a redemption arc for Tamlin. He went from boring to unlikable.
  2. Bella (Twilight)  – I’ve tried rereading Twilight and I couldn’t. First time around, Bella was okay for me, but as the years, literally years, gone by I’ve changed my mind.
  3. Tris Prior (Divergent) – I’ve only read one book, and I didn’t like Tris at all. I thought she was a bit too whiny, but a lot of people like her.
  4. Eva (Kissing In America) – When I read Kissing in America, I was amazed by how many foolish choices the protagonist made…I liked her at first, but the more I kept reading, the more I found Eva to be unlikable.
  5. The Narrator (Sick Pleasures) – The short story was really depressing…the narrator did not help at all.