ARC: The Revolution of Jack Frost by K.M. Robinson

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goodreads-synopsis

No one inside the snow globe knows that Morozoko Industries is controlling their weather, testing them to form a stronger race that can survive the fall out from the bombs being dropped in the outside world—all they know is that they must survive the harsh Winter that lasts a month and use the few days of Spring, Summer, and Fall to gather enough supplies to survive.

When the seasons start shifting, Genesis and her boyfriend, Jack, know something is going on. As their team begins to find technology that they don’t have access to inside their snow globe of a world, it begins to look more and more like one of their own is working against them.

Genesis soon discovers Morozoko Industries is to blame, but when a foreign enemy tries to destroy their weather program to make sure their destructive life-altering bombs succeed in destroying the outside world, their only chance is to shut down the machine that is spinning out of control and save the lives of everyone inside the bunker–at any cost.

commentary

*✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚* *✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚**✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚*

Thank you Netgalley for an arc of The Revolution of Jack Frost for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

*✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚* *✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚**✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚*

Initially, I was going to wait to review the book closer to the publishing date, BUT, The Revolution of Jack Frost proved to be cliched af! I’m disappointed in it. Here’s why:

I made predictions about the story and its progression as I began the book…I DID NOT THINK THAT MY PREDICTIONS WOULD COME TRUE…

damn

♦️ Dystopian World ✔️

♦️ Lack of World Building  ✔️

♦️ One dimensional protagonist  ✔️

♦️ No buildup to a romantic relationship  ✔️

♦️ Government Facilities  ✔️

♦️ Test Subjects  ✔️

♦️ Too many random characters  ✔️

*✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚* *✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚**✭˚・゚✧*・゚*✭˚・゚✧*・゚*

The Revolution of Jack Frost proved to be the MOST cliched book that I read in 2018. I didn’t want to be a Negative Nancy, but this book can be avoided. I was hoping this arc was going to be a Jack Frost retelling, but not this…because this book is extremely predictable. The reading process was not fun, and it was quite dreadful to continue the book. I almost dnfed it, but I managed to finish it…(╬ಠ益ಠ)

The concept was interesting, but I felt that Jack should have been the main protagonist…out of all these randomly selected characters introduced in this series, Jack was the ONLY one to get some sort of personality! The story is told in Genesis’ pov, and SHE HAD NO PERSONALITY BESIDES BEING THE GIRLFRIEND OF JACK…I know more about Jack than I do about Genesis. What’s the point of having a MC when the reader hardly knows anything about their interests, ideas, quirks????? Sadly, this book left a bitter taste in my mouth…

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Most disappointing Jack Frost retelling ever…but the prologue have the best opening.

He was a force of nature. He could warm your soul like the sun and then bury you in ice the next second. He was more destructive than any other universal element or could ever be. It was his way, to be like a hurricane crashing upon the shores, or lightning splintering everything in its path. He was a force. But he was my force. And in the end, it didn’t matter, because he disappeared, just like the weather always does. Here for one brief moment and gone the next. His name was Jack and his love for me was like a flood, now frozen over.

Final Rating: ⭐ (1.5)

Publishing Date: November 6th, 2018

The Graces by Laure Eve

thegracesbookreview

Goodreads Synopsis

Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.

Commentary

I finally decided to pick up The Graces by Laure Eve. I had the book on my reading list for almost a year. I was in the mood to read a story with a creepy atmosphere, and I am such a big fan of stories that have witches. I saw the rating on Goodreads…it was lower than I had anticipated, but I decided to read it. I tried not letting the ratings bother my reading, and everyone has different experiences when reading. When it came to finishing the book, now I understand why The Graces has low ratings.

I’ve read some terrible books this year, but River is possibly the worst snowflake offender for 2018. River mentioned so many times that she was not like other girls…Okay, River is the definition of a “pick me” character:

Urban Dictionary:

  1. A person who begs for the attention, acceptance and approval of a certain group in different things they say. In most case, it’s to attain the attention, acceptance and approval of the opposite sex.

River is the living embodiment of a “pick me” character. River is introduced as the new girl who can’t make friends, and a bit of a loner. Though she has a hard time adjusting to her school, she is entranced by The Graces. The Graces happen to be popular siblings attending her high school, both rich and mysterious. It is rumored that the Graces are witches. River is madly in love with Fenrin, the only male sibling. River tries to be a cool girl with a non-conformist attitude, but she desperately wants to fit in with the siblings. Most importantly she wants to be like the siblings. Her life revolves on pleasing the siblings and pretending to be something she is not.

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River’s home life is not great. Her father mysteriously disappeared, and her mother ignores her daughter’s life. River is given independence, and most of her life revolves around the Graces. She cannot live without them. River gets accepted into the group, because she becomes the best friend of Summer. River tries to be different from all the other friends of the Graces. River tries to be so cool that she makes it known that she is not interested in Fenrin, though as a reader, you know that she loves him. The love is pretty much one-sided. Because all the girls love Fenrin, the Grace siblings do not have permanent friends.

River is the only person that gets accepted into the inner circle, and rises to popularity. Although River is dear to the siblings, she is not fully accepted.

“The Graces had friends, but then they didn’t. Once in a while, they would descend on someone they’d never hung out with before, making them theirs for a time, but a time was usually all it was. They changed friends like some people changed hairstyles, as if perpetually waiting for someone better to come along.”

Summer is the goth, Fenrin is the hot dreamboat, and Thalia is the manic pixie girl. All the siblings are best friends with each other. Each character had dark secrets, and the friends were not as united as I had assumed. The siblings aren’t aware of the privilege and status they have. The Graces manipulate people and cause damage to the people that get involved.

The magic of the book is never really explained. Though the Graces are considered witches, the magic system is based on the intention of words. It reminded me sort of The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman. The Graces never really indicate whether they are witches. Each sibling has a different belief. Summer believes in magic, Fenrin doesn’t care, and Thalia is frightened by the supposed curse on the family.

This book is messy with drama. River is accepted into the lives of the Graces. She gets involved with drinking and partying. All the characters are messy. There are ridiculous events that happen in the book. Even though I don’t like the characters, I found them to be entertaining, and the book was laughable. Like I mentioned, the romance is one-sided. Fenrin is a tease and a flirt. River sees signs of Fenrin being interested in her, but he never acts on it. Fenrin doesn’t have permanent relationships with women. I felt that Summer might have had romantic feelings for River. I would have liked to see a romance between the best friends rather than Fenrin and River. There was one character that I did not like because he was there, and his name is Wolf. I did not care for him, but he plays a crucial part in the story, which I never saw coming.

“It was easy to romanticize tragedy, like you suddenly transformed into some sort of Byronic hero, sitting in darkened rooms with crystal glasses of whisky, hair tousled and artfully lank from all those sleepless nights starting at the walls and cursing the gods.”

I couldn’t take the book seriously. It reminds me a lot of Twilight, but with witches instead of vampires. Fenrin and Edward are similar, but Fenrin is not a stalker like Edward. Neither is Wolf like Jacob. River is an unreliable narrator, and a try hard. There were a couple of twists that did make the last half of the book more enjoyable. I initially rated this book 2-stars, but I did like it more than I imagined. I do look forward to reading the sequel for this series. The second book will be in Summer’s perspective from the synopsis on Goodreads. I am looking forward to reading about this problematic siblings and their angst.

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.25)

 

ARC: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

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Goodreads Synopis:

When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.

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Commentary

“Darkwood might be progressive, but your society on the whole has a long history of classifying people by their race or religion or sexual orientation or gender and using those classifications to subjugate particular groups. It is surprising that a bunch of small-minded government leaders think cloning is the first step onto a slippery slope of Armageddon and the demise of the human race as we know it?”

Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for The Similars for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This contains a lot of spoilers!

The main protagonist of The Similars is Emma Chance, who has a difficult time adjusting to her best friend’s suicide. Her school life changes when six clones are enrolled in her school. Though Emma does not have prejudice against the clones, there is one clone that stands out of the six. Levi is the clone of her best friend Ollie, and it shakes Emma’s world. It is clear that Emma is still processing the death of her friend, and having Levi at her school, does not allow her to heal mentally. She is reminded of Ollie, even though he is not alive. Though the physical similarities of Levi and Ollie are the same, their personalities are different. Emma goes through a wild school year with the Similars and the dark secrets in her school.

This world is an alternate future where clones barely have rights in the United States, and the rest of the world. This book reminds me of immigration due to the prejudice and discrimination that the Similars encounter. The subject of the book was the most unique aspect that I really liked, but as for the rest of the book, I didn’t like the execution.

I thought Emma Chance was an okay character. Emma is vulnerable, especially the scenes involving her getting emotional over Ollie.

“If I’ve learned anything these past few months since Oliver died, it’s that pills don’t take away your grief and pain on their own. They mask it, briefly. But it’s all worse when you emerge from the pharma haze and realize your best friend is still gone.”

Emma tries adjusting in her school year, and depends on medicine to get her by because the pain is raw. She loved Ollie, and as for Levi, she gives him a hard time. Levi’s presence makes it hard for Emma to move on because he is a reminder of what she lost. I have to admit, that Emma is lucky person given that she eavesdrops and uncovers so many secrets without getting caught. There were no high stakes in the book because Emma was able to get away without getting hurt. Emma’s curiosity leads her to ask many questions about the clones and her surroundings, but no one wants to reveal the truth.

As for Levi, he is a bookworm and treats Emma with some disdain. Emma mistreats and criticizes him, and he does not allow himself to be a pushover. It would have been great to know Ollie’s personality to compare the two. The romance of Emma and Levi was a slow burn, love hate relationship. Though I do want to categorize it into a insta-love relationship since Emma is drawn to Levi because of his similar appearance to Ollie. But, I was not amazed. I would have preferred no romance to be honest.

I felt that most of the clones had dull personalities. I hoped that the author does expand their personalities in the next book because it seemed like all of the similar were the same…just different names. Levi was the only one to have a personality, and I didn’t care for the other similars.

A lot of events of the book were highly predictable for me, and these are some of the reasons:

  • Mean girls and cliques…
  • Love triangle between Ollie, Emma, and Levi…
  • Petty drama and 20-year grudge…
  • The school using the clones for medical research…
  • Surprise…not really Ollie is alive
  • The clones were created to get revenge for this 20-year grudge…
  • It was obvious who the villain was at the halfway mark…
  • Emma is not she is…she in fact is a similar

This book tried being a lot of things…and left me unsatisfied. The twists and turn were too predictable. It was hard for me to read the book because I made a lot of guesses that came out being true. It was a bit frustrating to read, the world building could have been better, and I don’t want to pick up the next book.

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Publishing Date: January 1st 2019

Final Rating:  

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Manga First Impressions: Perfect World Vol. I by Rie Aruga

Perfect World.jpgNetgalley Synopsis: Perfect World is Rie Aruga’s touching drama about the romance that develops between an abled interior designer and her first love, whom she reencounters one day only to find he is wheelchair-bound.

26-year-old Tsugumi Kawana reunites with her first crush from high school, Itsuki Ayukawa, at a get-together between an architecture firm and the interior design company she works at. He sends her heart aflutter, until she realizes he’s now disabled, and in a wheelchair. At first she feels she couldn’t date a guy in a wheelchair, but then her feelings begin to change…

commentary

“Don’t just go and decide…that I wouldn’t be happy with you. Stop deciding…everything by yourself. Even though…There’s no one that could replace you…”

**Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for giving me an e-book copy of the book for an honest review. All opinions are my own**

The story introduces Tsugumi Kawana meeting her first love as an adult after being separated for many years. Though the times have passed, Tsugumi feels the same emotions as she did many years ago. Itsuki  is a changed man, he is no longer the same person that Tsugumi has known physically. Itsuki is now paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury during his high school days.

Tsugumi reconnects with Itsuki because the two work together and get closer. Itsuki lets Itsuki know that he is not interested in her neither is he interested in romantic relationships. He understands that he is a burden and does not want that to happen to anyone in a relationship with him. He tries his best to adapt with his disability and pursues the same passions such as basketball and architecture when he was a young boy. Tsugumi believes she knows Itsuki, but with each encounter she learns a little about him everyday.

Itsuki is sickly, he constantly goes to the hospital. He tries to make the situation light about his condition. He reminds Tsugumi that she doesn’t have to stay by his side. Rather than leaving, Tsugumi doesn’t abandon her first love. Her feelings grow stronger each time she sees Itsuki. She learns to become more empathetic being with Itsuki though he is not interested in her romantically. She tries to help Itsuki bring closure in this first volume concerning his first love. The author shows that the stakes are high if Tsugumi continues to pursue Itsuki. She will get her heart broken because of his condition, but that doesn’t stop her.

“It was a night we felt we had connected. But the happiness felt that night…was delicate…as the snow melts, and disappears.”

I thought this first volume was sweet and ended in a cute way. I prefer Itsuki over Tsugumi. He understands his condition. He is fiercely independent, but he has flaws. He doesn’t let people in. He has emotional borders due to the event. He hasn’t completely accepted the fact that he is disabled. He still lives with his disability, but he is not a poster child of it as Tsugumi believes he is. Despite his conditions, he tries his best. The best chapter of this first volume was Itsuki’s interactions with Haruto, a teenage boy that recently became disabled.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ARC: Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova

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goodreads-synopsis

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…commentary

**Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for giving me an e-book copy of the book for an honest review. All opinions are my own**

In Labyrinth Lost, the first book in the Brooklyn Witches series, Alex was the original protagonist. The black sheep of the family due to not having magic like her sisters. After the events of the first book, the point of view shifts to Lula Mortiz, the eldest sister of the family. In Labyrinth Lost, Lula was a confident witch with healing powers, but she undergoes a transformation in which she “loses” herself. Though this book deals with Lula, I love the maturity Alex gained from her experiences with Los Lagos. She seems more mature than the previous book. It is a shame that this book did not include a lot of Alex and Rishi moments.

As much as I loved Labyrinth Lost, I completely fell in love with Bruja Born. This book is about the process of healing for Lula because of her scars, both mentally and emotionally. Lula has found herself in a dark place, and only she can get herself. What I loved about this book is that Lula had an encouraging support system of her sisters and family that loved her even when she didn’t feel like herself. This is a beautiful journey of self discovery especially after losing her dearest boyfriend and the events of Los Lagos. Lula no longer feels joy and her connection to magic has severely changed. She is also learning to adjust to having her father back into her life after disappearing for many years. What I really loved about Lula is that she was raw, emotional, and mostly flawed. The author does not present a special snowflake, but rather someone relatable. It’s refreshing to read about realistic characters rather than Mary Sue type characters. She makes a lot of mistakes, along the way, but it serves to improve herself for the best. I could relate to Lula’s experiences of re-experiencing self love. The author portrayed Lula’s emptiness so realistically despite being a work of fiction.

One of my favorite lines in the book. This shows the sass and the protection Lula has for her sister Alex:

You really think I’m going to betray my sister for you? Boy, bye.

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Though the setting takes place in Brooklyn, magic plays a heavy element to this sequel. New lore is introduced in this urban fantasy such as casi muertos (neither living or completely dead, somewhere in between. Others would say they are similar to zombies), vampires, and witch hunters. Magic is always has a price. Lula learns this the hard way. Resurrecting the dead is not possible, even with Lula’s healing magic. She gains a new ability, but pays the ultimate price. The stakes are really high in this book. I loved the action scenes, and the magical alliance between different magical folks. This book presented a showdown and really delivered! I really hope that the author continues this series. I would love to see the Mortiz sisters once again. And I hope that Rose gets a perspective too!

Rating: 4.5

Mini Book Reviews: Graphic Novels Edition

HeathenSynopsis: Heathen Volume One collects the first four issues of the acclaimed fantasy series from creator Natasha Alterici. Aydis is a young Viking woman, who after being banished from her home, sets out on a mission to right the wrongs of a corrupt god. Her first move is to find and free the cursed Valkyrie Brynhild. Gods, demons, and creatures of lore, Heathen is packed with fun intriguing characters and lavish artwork. The trade features an oil painting cover, cover gallery, and a forward by award winning lesbian fiction author Geonn Cannon.

Commentary:

Warriors don’t fight for themselves, they fight for those who cannot fight on their own.

When I first read Heathen, I did expect myself to fall completley in love with the story. I got this book from Netgalley when I was randomly looking for comics. This is a tale about Adysis, a viking woman set on a journey. The artwork is beautiful, and it is easy to get immersed into the world. Adyis is courageous, living in a patriarchal village in which she does not follow the norms of women. Adyis is a rebel in her own right, and the storyteller of this book. I love how Adyis converses with the Gods and acts like it’s not a big deal. She is not frighten by the power they hold over the world. She remains true to herself and her beliefs, despite encountering many challenges along the way. Although Adysis is the main protagonist, the story is told in two persepctives. Brynhild was cursed and released by Adyis, and she is forced on a journey to save Adyis. You learn that the gods are not to be trusted, especially Odin. Honestly, I love the diversity of this viking lesbian comic. For only 4 chapters in this volume, it is packed with mythology and diversity. I cannot wait for the second volume of Heathen!

 taproot.jpgSynopsis: Blue is having a hard time moving on. He’s in love with his best friend. He’s also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart’s content. But something eerie is happening in town, leaving the local afterlife unsettled, and when Blue realizes Hamal’s strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him, even if it means… leaving him.

Commentary: I may have been watching a lot of Voltron lately, but Blue and Hamal remind me of Hunk and Lance. I could not unsee it with the character designs.

As for the story, Taproot is about a gardener and a ghost falling in love with each other. This is a story about growth between two male protagonists who live in a divided world. I found that Blue and Hamal did balance each other out. The story was quite interesting, and there some elements of creepiness. Though, I don’t want to spoil Taproot, I felt it ended far too shortly. The second half of the book felt like an extra story rather than belonging to the plot. The artwork was definitely my favorite. A quick and easy read, though I wish the story were longer.

Joyride Synopsis: Earth sucks.
The stars have been blocked out for so long that people have forgotten there was anything else besides the World Government Alliance watching over them. Uma Akkolyte is a girl who shoots first, leaps before she looks, and is desperate for any means to leave her planet behind. And so she does. When Uma jacks an alien spaceship and punches through the stratosphere she sets forth on an adventure with an unlikely crew who are totally not ready for all the good, bad, and weird the universe will throw at them.
From writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (Batman and Robin EternalGrayson) and artist Marcus To (NightwingNew Avengers), Joyride is a rebellious love letter to the sci-fi genre, exploring what happens when nothing stands between a group of teens and their freedom amongst the stars.

Commentary: Confined to Earth, Uma seeks adventure and freedom away from the strict rules enforced on Earth. Uma is the leader of this misadventure in space. Uma seeks thrill and excitement. She brings along her close friend Dewydd and Catrin is forced to tag along in this space adventure. The adventure unites the characters despite coming from different social and economical bacgrounds. Uma is the leader of the group and captain of her crew, because she is the one who planned the adventure. Overall, this comic does reveal background information of all three characters. Uma loved her life prior to the takeover, and she idolized her mother. Dewydd is the youngest in his family, and his older brother overshadows Dewydd and his accomplishments. Catrin is overall a badass, and she is not your stereoytpical princess. As I mentioned, the story is fast paced, and I would have liked to seen more explorations of different worlds for this first novel. I really liked Catrin because of her relatable grumpy mood, but makes an excellent friend. I loved how carefree and fun loving Uma is despite consequences. I like the one sided love that Dewydd has for Uma. Overall, this first volume was a fun volume and I hope the following volume allows for more character growth. It does remind me of a teen version of Guardians of the Galaxy. For the following volume, I hope that the stakes are higher. The third chapter of Joyride is my favorite because you learn the background stories of Uma and Catrin.

ladystuffSynopsis: A collection of Loryn Brantz’s vibrant and relatable Jellybean Comics about her everyday experiences as a lady 

Home manicure tips, awkward seduction techniques, scoping out the snack table, and—most important—prioritizing naps: Lady Stuff reveals these womanly secrets and more. In sections like “Grooming and Habitat Maintenance,” “Mating Habits,” and others, these brightly colored, adorable comics find the humor in the awkwardness of simply existing.

Like the work of Sarah Andersen, Gemma Correll, and Allie Brosh, Loryn Brantz’s Jellybean Comics are accessible and funny; lighthearted takes on the author’s everyday experiences and struggles being a woman.

Commentary: I’ve seen Loryn Brantz’s comics used by Buzzfeed. Most of the work included in this short book has been used by Buzzfeed. I was hoping for new material. The comics are okay for me. If I were a consumer, this comic book would not be the one for me. If it had contained new material, I would have rated this book higher. Unfortunately, this book didn’t make me laugh. It was average to say the least. This book is not about womanly secrets. It’s not relatable. For one thing, this humor is beyond awkward. I was getting second hand embarrassment from reading this. I know that I’ve mentioned Buzzfeed, but this feels like reading Buzzfeed the Book if one were to catergorize this.

20 by Vastal Surti

20 by vastal surti

goodreads-synopsis

‘It’s really hitting me where I live. Prose poetry about what it feels like to be young and have the whole world caught inside your throat.’ – Lena Dunham

The story of a young model and an introspective writer, “20” is a novel about loneliness, love, hopes and dreams.

One night as she is driving back home from a show, she almost runs over someone. She holds her breath, and through the fog they see each other for the first time. Love begins to form in the space between them, in precognitions and thoughts, lights and intimacies. Seasons change. They come to know more things about each other. Life wraps them in its embrace like a haze, in a vacant space bigger than their eyes can see.
Fans of Haruki Murakami will enjoy this atmospheric and deeply felt debut.

commentary

I received 20 on Netgalley for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

Reading 20 by Vastal Surti was an experience. 20 is the type of book that you have to read the whole way through. The writing is beautiful and poetic. It mesmerized me. But is 20 a book that I will remember reading as time passes by? It’s hard to say for now. I can recommend this book on a rainy day with a nice cup of coffee.

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“Sometimes I was filled with such loneliness. My teenage years were so difficult. I try to please everyone, and I distance myself. Nothing seems real sometimes. I search for meaning in mundane events. I seek identity in empty relationships. All my life I have tried to find a place in this world…”

When reading 20, I was amazed that the protagonists remained unnamed. It felt that I was glimpsing into the life of a young adult who was suffering through her moments of depression. The books deals with themes of isolation and depression, and feeling alienated in the world. If I can sum it up in a phrase it would be this: the struggles of being a young adult, not really feeling complete as an adult.

“She carried a thousand lights inside her heart, and a thousand lights carried her.

The book did get repetitive for me, but I was able to connect with the characters. The book is relatable, no doubt. It’s an experience. But, I do feel it can be a bit forgettable as well. The first half of the book was stronger than the second part of the book. The second half felt a bit rushed.

I keep drinking coffee again and again. I don’t even like it that much anymore, but I can’t stop. It’s like becoming obsessed with someone you don’t even like. It gives you nothing but seems like everything.

As for the romance, it did feel one sided. The girl protagonist was more into her partner, and it felt that her love interest was not reciprocating his feelings back to her. The protagonists found each other by chance. Both characters were experiencing moments of not really feeling their lives until they found each other.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

miriam-michelle

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:⭐️⭐️

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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One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

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Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Links: Goodreads | Amazon 

Goodreads Synopsis: Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren’t betrayal enough, he’s about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn’t support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

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I received One Paris Summer in exchange for an honest review on Netgalley.

Over the weekend, I finished reading One Paris Summer. Now, I didn’t have high hopes for this book, but I was in the mood to read a contemporary book. One Paris Summer is about siblings who are forced to go to Paris for their summer vacation. Sophie, the protagonist, loathes the idea of going to Paris. Why? The reason why she doesn’t want to travel to Paris is because her father left her. Abandoned. Gone for good.
It is understandable why Sophie feels bitterness towards her father. Did he even try to win her or her brother back? Not really. One Paris Summer was jammed packed with a lot of drama. Much more than I had anticipated. I’ve seen some comparisons to Anna and the French Kiss since both books are set in Paris and contemporary. Anyways, Anna and The French Kiss is a delightful, fluffy read while One Paris Summer is a bit more dramatic.

As for the characters, I really liked Sophie. She was stubborn most of the time, and she wasn’t allowing herself to enjoy Paris, let alone learn the language. She constantly feels betrayed by her father. He left without saying goodbye, left the country to live abroad, and remarried. Sophie’s father never bothered to even email or call his children. I found myself annoyed at the actions of the father. Worst YA father of 2016, calling it already. Her new stepmom is surprisingly not evil, but a kind lady who wants Sophie and her brother to feel like family in her home. Life would seem great, but Sophie has an evil stepsister that makes Sophie’s summer vacation nearly impossible to enjoy. Sophie doesn’t have a backbone. She endures all the malice coming from her sister. Sophie doesn’t have anyone to defend her expect her older brother. I like how much the book focused on Sophie’s relationship with her brother. At first, they were the typical siblings that didn’t get along, but as they moved to Paris for the summer, they had to team up in order to survive. He is a good older brother towards Sophie; he cares for her and stands up for her against Camille. He may be a bit overprotective when it comes to guys.

As for Camille, I actually liked her. She was bitter to no end, and was the only “villain” in this book. She was a walking cliché. She is extremely good looking and a “boyfriend” stealer. She is manipulative and makes Sophie feel like a constant outcast. She controls her group of friends to go against Sophie and her brother. Camille was very petty throughout the whole book. She doesn’t get any character growth till the very end of the book.

Moving on to the romance, I wasn’t a huge fan of it. Alright, so it is very instalove. Sophie is a crybaby, and she becomes very emotional especially when Camille is involved. She meets the mysterious stranger and instantly feels a connection towards him. The love interest randomly shows up whenever Sophie cries, but he does have a crucial role in this story. Mathieu is Camille’s ex-boyfriend, and he is instantly drawn to Sophie. He keeps mostly to himself, and tries to avoid the wrath of Camille. He is sweet to Sophie, but Sophie takes his kindness the opposite way. She thinks that Mathieu will hurt her in return. As the story progressed, there were some cute interactions between Sophie and Mathieu, but there was a lot of drama between them. Honestly, I would have been happier if Sophie was single.

Lastly, I thought the world building was beautiful. It felt like I was experiencing Paris. I liked that the author was very descriptive. I would actually like this book to be made into a movie only to see Sophie’s musical abilities. Other than that, Sophie was the most likable character.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)