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

A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Book Review

I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all.

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Goodreads Synopsis: A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Commentary: I really felt the book was a bit overrated, it wasn’t necessarily bad nor my favorite. I kept seeing so much love for this book. I really tried to love it, but I felt it was okay.

It’s a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Tamlin was the hot fairy who can turn into a wolf That was my problem with the book. Sure Tamlin was cursed, but he was handsome, and not a beast. (一。一;;)

The book was a bit boring during the first half. It felt more like a Cinderella story because Feyre had to do everything for her family and her sisters were very ungrateful, especially Nesta. I really felt sorry for the protagonist because without her, her family would have died. I just hated how her family didn’t appreciate Feyre risking her life in the woods. Anyways, she kills a wolf who happens to be a faerie and is forced to live with the fae due to the Treaty between faeries and humans. The action scenes were amazing.

The first half of the book, I did not like and then, when I got to the second half, that’s when everything became exciting. There was a reason why the Spring Court had masks on their face. There was a reason why Tamlin tried so hard to make Feyre fall in love with him. Feyre risked her life to save Tamlin and the Spring Court by going through three difficult trials and the ending didn’t end in a cliffhanger. It ended on a happier note.

I really hated Amarantha. What a villain. She seemed unstoppable too, and made life worse for Tamlin and Feyre. I loved that Feyre was ready to fight and prove her love was real. I really liked Tamlin and Lucien, they were great characters. I really like Tamlin and Feyre together, they had chemistry. Overall, those two are perfect together. There were some steamy scenes as well that made me blush. Tamlin did all he could to keep Feyre safe. I was satisfied with them, but I also feel that Rhysand and Feyre have chemistry as well. I didn’t like Rhysand at first, near the end I loved him. He’s sassy and manipulative, and overall awesome. I felt he was more of the beast than Tamlin. I can’t wait to see what happens in the second book. Although, I would have preferred it being a stand alone, there is still much more the author can write about. Lastly, I wonder what kind of power Feyre now has since she is a faerie. (˃̴̀ᄇॢ˂̴́ ∗)

Would I recommend this book? It’s hard to say. It was only entertaining near the ending. Would you continue reading the series? Yes.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️(3.5) ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: Book Review

When she wound her fingers in his hair to draw her body against his, he stilled for breath, and she knew, as he knew, that they were lost. Lost forever. In this kiss. This kiss that would change everything.

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Goodreads Synopsis: Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Commentary: I’ve been in a reading slump for quite a while, I’ve been mostly playing on my 3DS since my pharmacy externship ended. I tried reading books to get rid of my slump, but most of the books I’ve read were amazing. I started reading The Wrath And The Dawn because I saw a read along on Tumblr and was excited to join it. Guess who doesn’t have a slump anymore?! This book was amazing! I was hooked from start to finish. I was not disappointed by it at all. The main character, Shahrzad is badass, sassy, cunning, and intelligent. Because of her storytelling skills, she has been the only bride that has not been executed. She was determined to find out the truth, no matter what. I loved how she had a conflicted heart when she starting falling for Khalid since he had killed her best friend. Overall, I loved the romance aspect of this book, it was well written. I loved the dynamic in her relationship with Khalid. He kept calling her ‘his queen’ and didn’t treat her like an object. I ship her Khalid, so badly. Forget Tariq. There were many cute moments in the book, my favorite one had to be when they went out to the town as regular citizens. Shazi and Khalid are perfect for each other. Khalid is very likable and he’s such a nice guy. He’s not the monster that everyone makes him out to be. You can’t always judge a book by its cover especially when it comes to Khalid. It broke my heart when Shazi discovered the letters to the parents of his dead brides. Tariq is a bit foolish. He doesn’t have Shazi’s best interest in mind, while Khalid does.  Tariq thinks he really knows Shazi and thinks that she is suffering from Stockholm syndrome since she protects Khalid. I just thought that was hilarious how he thought had to justify Shazi’s change of heart. Pobrecito. I’m so glad that Shazi wasn’t too conflicted about both boys, you know she loves Khalid more than Tariq. By the time I got to the end, I was a bit mad that Shazi left with Tariq. I’m Team Khalid all the way. (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و

The secondary characters were just as great as the protagonists. I’m really hoping that Jalal and Despina get together for the second book. I just really loved how Jalal and Despina both shipped Khalid and Shazi together. They were supportive and really great friends to the main characters. Hoping they get more developed in the next book.

‘m hoping that in the second book, The Rose And The Dagger, is more magical than this one. I really don’t like Shazi’s father. I feel that he is becoming greedy with his magical powers and I don’t trust him at all. I feel that he will cause more harm towards the protagonists. Also, I hope that Shazi’s powers get fully explained! Lastly, The Rose And The Dagger is already on my to be read list on Goodreads. Kudos for the author for including a preview for the next book and for including a glossary. (۶•̀ᴗ•́)۶

I had lots of fun reading this book. I really recommend this book. It’s diverse, magical, and it’s a fairy tale adaptation.

Quotes:

“You are not weak. You are not indecisive. You are strong. Fierce. Capable beyond measure.”

“Tonight is a night to turn heads. Make them remember you. Make sure they never forget. You are the Calipha of Khorasan, and you have the ear of a king.” Despina put her hand on Shahrzad’s shoulder and grinned at their shared reflection. “More important, you have his heart.” She bent forward and lowered her voice. “And most important, you are a fearsome thing to behold in your own right.”

“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

“I know love is fragile. And loving someone like you is near impossible. Like holding something shattered through a raging sandstorm. If you want her to love you, shelter her from that storm…And make certain that storm isn’t you.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ✧*。٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و✧*。 ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

La belle et la bête (2014): Movie Review

*Minor Spoilers*

I love fairy tales so much! I haven’t watched many fairy tale adaptations besides the Disney movies. I loved watching Beauty and the Beast, and when I heard there was going to be a live action adaptation for it, I was beyond excited. Now, I stumbled upon this movie when searching for Beauty and the Beast. I saw the trailer and it looked amazing. Luckily, the movie was available online with subtitles. La belle et la bête was beyond beautiful. I loved the ost, the characters, and the scenery was beyond gorgeous. The ruined castle was absolutely stunning. This film has two timelines which is the present and the Beast’s past. When Belle dreams, she is able to catch glimpses of the Beast’s past life. I really liked the Beast’s backstory, it was very unfortunate what happened to him and his dead wife. The Beast wasn’t portrayed as vain prince, but he was a ruler who was obsessed with hunting. His love of the hunt eventually brought his downfall. I found Belle to be quite sassy and very curious. I felt that there should have been a bit more romantic scenes between the protagonists (minor complaint). Nonetheless, the dresses that Belle wore were gorgeous.

Look at these beautiful scenes. I cannot get over how amazing the scenery was.

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I loved how magical this film was. There was a bit of nudity, but I didn’t feel it was explicit at all. It was such an enjoyable film to watch. Lastly, the film is available to watch on YouTube! For anyone who is interested in watching it, I will post the links down below. I highly recommend this film!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trailer: 

Film: