The Mirror & The Maze by Renée Ahdieh

Goodreads Synopsis: The city of Rey is burning. With smoke billowing, fires blazing and his people fleeing, Khalid races back to defend his city, and protect his queen. But Khalid is too late to do either. He and his men arrive to find the city in ruins, nothing but a maze of destruction, and Shahrzad is gone. But who could have wrought such devastation? Khalid fears he may already know the answer, the price of choosing love over the people of Rey all too evident.

overall feelings copy

If you didn’t already know, this short story is available on amazon for free. I suggest you read it before The Rose & The Dagger. What I appreciated about this short story was that it was longer than the previous short story, I’m talking about The Crown & The Arrow. In The Mirror & The Maze, it takes place right after the cliffhanger of The Wrath & The Dawn.

Much of Rey was still burning. Now it was no longer a ruined labyrinth but rather a maze of destruction. A maze to mirror his thoughts – lost. Directionless.

Khalid returns to find his city burning.

Everything and everyone he loved was in that city. His cousin. His uncle. Shahrzad. Everything. Khalid had left everything in Rey.

Shazi is no where in sight. Khalid has a duty to fulfill as a leader, he has to make sure that everyone is safe. Khalid knows that he has to put his people first, it’s his responsibility, even though in his heart, he wants to find Shazi. I loved reading in Khalid’s perspective, and it makes more more excited to read the final book. I felt that this short story could have been the first chapter of The Rose & The Dagger.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐⭐

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Goodreads Synopsis:’Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.’
‘Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?’

If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.

Commentary: First of all, Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a good day today! I know that I did.

I had no idea that Rainbow Rowell had a new story until I noticed it on Tumblr. I wanted to check it out for myself, and it is much shorter than I had anticipated. The story starts off with Elena, a huge Star Wars fanatic that loves the classics. She has a secret of her own. She has never seen the prequels of Star Wars, but that doesn’t make her less of a fan. She decides to camp outside of the theater for the Force Awakens, that’s pretty much the gist of Kindred Spirits.

My only complaint about this story is that it’s so short. This story could have been longer. I really enjoyed the characters, but they didn’t grow on me. I did like Gabe and Elena’s friendship and how it progressed. The ending was really adorable, but once I finished I wanted more! I read this story in less than an hour during a car ride. I do recommend reading Kindred Spirits because it was cute and nerdy, and really realistic. If it were me, I would have camped out as well.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Waiting Room by Alysha Kaye: Book Review

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆  Goodreads Synopsis: Jude and Nina are the epitome of that whole raw, unflinching love thing that most people are jealous of. That is, until Jude dies and wakes up in The Waiting Room, surrounded by other souls who are all waiting to pass over into their next life. But unlike those souls, Jude’s name is never called by the mysterious “receptionist”. He waits, watching Nina out of giant windows. He’s waiting for her. What is this place? How long will he wait? And what will happen when and if Nina does join him? The Waiting Room is a story of not just love, but of faith, predestination, and philosophy, friendship and self-actualization, of waiting

Commentary: The author of The Waiting Room, Alysha Kaye,  reached out to me on twitter and asked me to check out her book. It’s the first time an author has reached out to me and I was beyond excited to read her book! ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧

Now this book has different points of view, it could get confusing at times. The main characters are Jude and Nina, a couple who are very much in love until Jude dies from a car accident. I really like the premise of the book. I really liked how people get reincarnated every time they die instead of being sent to heaven or hell. Jude and Nina are a special case. Jude can’t go on to his next life without Nina, those two are inseparable. I did get a tad emotional because Jude had to wait so long for Nina in the waiting room. He waited fifty two years and stayed loyal to her even though she remarried and had kids with her husband David, now that’s love. ʕ•̫͡•ʔ❣ʕ-̼͡-ʔ

I loved Jude’s friendships with the workers of the waiting room, especially Ruth and Joe. I really liked how Ruth took several decades for her to warm up to Jude. They had like a mother-son relationship. She became a important person to him. I also liked how much she changed throughout the book. I was happy for her when she finally got to experience a new life since she has been working for the waiting room longer than all the other employees combined. ( ິ•ᆺ⃘• )ິฅ✧

Because of Jude and Nina, the waiting room changed completely because of their love story and actions. The waiting room was bleak and boring, but over time it changed for the better. People were encouraged to share their stories of their past lives. It became a place of recovery. The changes made to the waiting room were positive because people became far more excited to change and be the best person they could be for their next life. Nina was far more fulfilled in the waiting room than her actual life because she was able to all sorts of people. She felt completed by her project.

Jude and Nina are always meant to be with each other, no matter the situation. They are soul mates after all. I really liked reading about their different lives they had. Each one was unique in their own way. Though, their journey was not always perfect, Jude and Nina always managed to find each other. What I liked is that Jude and Nina have faults, they felt realistic to me. I liked how they were able to resolve their differences. There is only one made location in the book, and that is the waiting room. Sadly, this book was too short for me! I would have loved it if it were longer. The last chapter feels a bit rushed compared to the previous chapter. Also, the book starts off with Jude already in the waiting room. I would have loved it if the author did build up their romance before the tragic event. Despite everything else, I found this book to be very enjoyable. ʕง•ᴥ•ʔง

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ 

The Tailor by Leigh Bardugo: Book Review

Because I am a doll, and a servant. Because I am a pretty thing and a soldier all the same

Commentary: Genya is one of my favorite characters from the Grisha trilogy. I was surprised that there was a short story on her perspective and I had to read it. I couldn’t hate Genya, even though she betrayed Alina. Prior to meeting Alina, Genya has been suffering while living at the palace. She was once loved by the Queen, but now hated. She felt guilty for lying to Alina in the beginning, but then she did what she had to in order to survive. The Darkling, I couldn’t hate him in this story because he was willing to help Genya. He was compassionate, but at the same time manipulative. He did use Genya, since she had connections to the palace. This short story focuses only on the first book. It was a really quick read! I wonder if Genya will be forgiven in the second book. Lastly, the book is free to read online! 🙂

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️