Shadows On The Moon by Zoë Marriott: Book Review

“People trust their eyes above all else – but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there”

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆Goodreads Synopsis: A powerful tale of magic, love and revenge with a strong female lead set in fairy-tale Japan; this is “Cinderella” meets “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to recreate herself in any form – a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama, or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens, or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to capture the heart of a prince – and determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even love.

Review: A fantastic reimagining of Cinderella. Suzume has gone through many hardships at such a young age. The death of her father and cousin haunt her. She is forced to live with her stepfather, Terayama, and mother, Yukiko. In this story, there are no wicked stepsisters and the Shadow Ball is not a charming escape to a better life. This story is about revenge, love, and magic.

Suzume, I loved her! She is content with being plain looking. She had to endure so much pain. Her mother was very submissive and loyal to Terayama. Suzume couldn’t talk to anyone about her feelings and resorted to cutting herself in order to cope. She has a gift of shadow weaving, she is very talented with her gift, but she was never aware of her powers. She is very determined, angsty, and stubborn. When she makes a plan, she wants to see it happen. She doesn’t believe she deserves happiness and believes that the only way to atone for her sins is to avenge her fallen family. Though Suzume has to change her identity several times, she knew how to adapt and stay strong in order to survive. ≧ω≦

Otieno, is Suzume’s love interest. From the moment he saw her, he knew that she was “the one”. He is not the prince, instead, he is close allies to the Moon Prince. He is also a talented shadow weaver. He became involved in Suzume’s life when Terayama almost tried to kill her in order to get Otieno and his family’s attention. He is Suzume’s opposite, whereas Suzume believes she does not deserve love, he does. He is optimistic about their future and may I say, he has a lot of patience with her. Though Suzume tries to avoid him, he always finds a way to be with her. Lastly, biracial couple. Yassss!!! ✧٩(•́⌄•́๑)

The magical fairy of this story would be Akira. Akira was the former Shadow Bride, who meets Suzume in jail. I really loved Akira, she was my favorite character. She was sassy and lovely. She was a legend among young children since the typical Shadow Bride isn’t a courtesan. I really loved her relationship with Suzume. I thought it was so cute how the two of them decided to stay sisters.

(☞◣д◢)☞ Lord Terayama was my least favorite character. He got what he deserved in the end. I liked how the author gave him a backstory. He wasn’t just some random background character that her mother remarries. He plays a crucial role in Suzume becoming a revenge fueled girl.  But Suzume’s mother, I was disappointed with the most. She tells her daughter that she loves her, but would rather listen to what her new husband says. She feels threaten when the attention is not on her. There were moments that showed how motherly she was, but most of the time, she wants to move on and forget all about the past. She never protects Suzume, ever. If I could describe her in one word it would be coward.

The Moon Prince isn’t the love interest, one would think since this is a Cinderella retelling. The Shadow Ball isn’t the dreamy party of the year. In fact, the Shadow Ball is an event for one girl to become the prince’s Shadow Bride. The winner of the Shadow Ball is to be with the prince, but could never marry for the rest of her life. I loved the world that the author created. It would have been cool if the author went into more detail about the moon kingdom. After reading the final chapter, I wanted more. I wanted to know the fate of Suzume and Otieno. But for now, I’ll just imagine that they got their happily ever after. ╭(♡・ㅂ・)و ̑̑

Shadows On the Moon did remind me of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I would recommend this story to fans of the Lunar Chronicles and pretty much anyone who loves a good revenge story. It’s a standalone book too. There are no frustrating love triangles!!!

Quotes:

Better naked and alive than decent and dead, I thought.”

“You see, that is why it is so easy to fool people with our illusions, Yue. In this world, illusions are usually much kinder than the truth.”

“Real love is hard because it requires one to know and accept another person with all their faults.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.25)

Book Trailer

Read the first chapter for free. ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

The Duff by Kody Keplinger: Book Review

Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you.

Goodreads Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Commentary: This book was a guilty pleasure. I really thought this was going to be a stereotypical book, but it wasn’t. Bianca is such a relatable character, and it is quite refreshing to know that she is snarky, moody, and sassy. Bianca had her faults, and she wasn’t afraid of being herself. She had a lot of chemistry with Wesley, since their first meeting. I was not expecting her to kiss Wesley, nor have sex with him. I was not bothered by the sex, and I loved how it was not described in an explicit way. In a way I did relate to Bianca though I did not distract myself like she did. Bianca needed a way to distract herself from her problems. Now, the problems that Bianca faced were really sad. Her family was breaking apart and she did not know what to do. She tried to keep the balance in her family, but it was too much for her. I did find it sad how she tried to keep her father’s drinking problems to herself. She was breaking apart and Wesley was the only form of stimulation that could take her away from her conflict. Secondly, I just found it so hilarious how she kept denying that she had no feelings for Wesley. She tried telling everyone how much she despised him, when in fact she was starting to develop feelings for him. As much as I loved Bianca, I just have to say that she was a terrible friend. Her friends, especially Casey, were constantly worrying about her, but she found it easier to hid and avoid reality without telling them. Casey was constantly reaching out towards Bianca, and she did have her reasons to be angry at her. Luckily, their friendship was saved once Bianca confessed to her what was really happening. I really liked the overall message that everyone is a duff, and I was glad that the name was embraced by the end of the book.  In addition, I liked how Bianca was a regular average girl instead of being gorgeous like her friends. When Bianca finally got with Toby, how both of them used each other in order to move on from their ex partners. I knew that Toby wasn’t over his ex-girlfriend, and I was glad that he and Bianca ended their short relationship in happy terms cause I did like Toby. I also liked how there wasn’t really a love triangle. Lastly, Wesley was a lovable jerk that was changed his ways because of Bianca. I loved how they didn’t have to impress each other just to be happy. I enjoyed their love-hate relationship and the letter that Wesley wrote to her was very sweet and authentic. I was so happy I picked up this book. It was funny, and the characters were relatable. I am excited to watch the movie adaptation. I heard that the book and the movie are nothing alike, but nonetheless, I heard really good reviews! I hope to see it soon and maybe I’ll do a review.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5)

Jackaby by William Ritter: Book Review

“I have a gift that is, as far as I have found, unique to me. It allows me to see truth where others see illusion – and there are many illusions, so many masks and facades. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”  – Jackaby

I won an advanced reader’s copy of the novel through a goodreads giveaway. For anyone interested in buying the book, it goes on sale September 16, 2014. Winning a free book did not influence my opinions. The Cover: Did anyone feel the cover? It’s so soft and it feels very different from your typical paperback. I loved the cover of the novel, it was quite beautiful. I loved the  details of the cover such as the woman in red. It is one of my favorite covers of 2014. The Plot: Abigail Rook is not your typical Victorian socialite, she seeks adventure and travel,  and would rather get her hands dirty be seeking a husband to maintain her. She arrives to New England after having a disappointing experience excavating dinosaurs.  Abigail seeks a employment right away because she is in need of money and meets Jackaby, her future employer who is a detective. The people of New Fiddleham view Mr. R.F. Jackaby as a maniac since he deals with the supernatural. Naturally, he is talented in his work, he is compassionate and kind to supernatural creatures. The duo works together in order to solve the mysterious murders in New Fiddleham with some help from the police force. The Characters: Abigail definitely proved that she was not your stereotypical girl, she worked hard for her job. Jackaby, I had no complaints about his character. For some reason, I kept imagining Matt Smith as Jackaby because he reminded me of the eleventh doctor. At the same time, Jackaby really reminded me of Sherlock since he sees what others can’t see.  Then there is Charlie Cane, who I thought was adorable, I thought he was human until the middle of the book. The side characters were great, I would have loved it if Jenny the ghost had a bigger backstory, the same going for Douglas the duck. The Villian: I knew it! I loved how he was a creature rather than a person! The Romance: Thank the heavens that there was no love triangle in this novel. It would have ruined the novel for me that is. I didn’t not like how some of the characters in the novel tried to ship Jackaby and Abigail, I did roll my eyes during those parts. Jackaby and Abigail make an awesome team, I loved their friendship. The only two characters that developed some feelings for each other were Abigail and Charlie Cane. I did want to them together, but it’s okay that they did not become a couple. I would like to see the author wrote more stories about Jackaby. The novel is relatively easy to read and it is only 299 pages long. I would recommend this novel for anyone wanting to read a short mystery book with a hint of fantasy. For a standalone novel, I thought it was really good and I would really love more of Jackaby’s adventures. My rating is a 4 out of 5 😀