Air Awakens by Elise Kova Review

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Book: Air Awakens

Author: Elise Kova

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ALL OF THE STARS

Goodreads Blurb

The world was alive around her, and each gust of air was like the whisper of a lover upon silk.


Let’s do this!

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Air Awakens… Where to start…

This follows the life of Vhalla Yarl, a seventeen-year-old library apprentice who has been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers and all of those who belonged in it, and she’d been happy to oblige and keep to the quiet of her books. But when she unknowingly saves the life of Crown Prince Aldrik Solaris, which is to say, one of the most powerful sorcerers of all, her life takes a drastic turn, and she’s forced to decide to embrace her true nature and leave all that she’s ever known, or ignoring this newfound part of herself, as she discovers that she herself has a power of her own; the rare elemental magic of a Windwalker.

This book was great. So, so, so great.


The World and the Magic Within Its Pages:

I love the way this world and the magic in it has been built. How, while having its own unique complexity like most Fantasy books, it keeps a certain type of simplicity that allows readers to take it all in and grasp every concept quickly, creating a bond between the reader, the book and the author from a very early stage in the reading experience with this book, and thus allowing this bond to get stronger and stronger as the pages turn, as well as facilitating the establishment of a stronger connection to the characters.

The world in this book works in the way of a compass. It is divided by four regions, North, South, East and West, and each region means a specific affinity for every sorcerer. The people of the North tend to have an affinity with Earth, the people of the South tend have an affinity with Water, those of the West generally have an affinity with Fire, and finally, those of the East, like Vhalla, tend to have an affinity with Air.

That means that Waterruners are most likely to be Southerners, Firebearers are almost always Westerners, Northerners tend to be Groundbreakers and Easterners tend to be Windwalkers.

Learning about this world was a pleasant experience; I learned along with Vhalla and Aldrik was as much my teacher as he was Vhalla’s.


Vhalla Yarl:

Vhalla Yarl is a very human character.

Here’s why:

You see, when presented with the fact that she had this amazing, unique ability and the chance to learn more about it, to nurture it, and to train to become a skilled Windwalker, Vhalla… Refused. She refused and she hesitated again and again, and she wouldn’t accept not being given a choice. And this, I feel, is a very human characteristic.

We, humans, don’t like being used, don’t like being controlled, and we don’t like being told that we’re wrong. We don’t like to be faced with facts that are a complete contradiction to everything we’ve known, and thus it takes us time to grasp and accept these facts, or we just don’t accept them, no matter how much truth they may hold. In addition to this, it affects us greatly when we extend our trust towards towards someone that ultimately ends up abusing of it, and losing it.

It felt completely real, Vhalla’s reluctance to trust the Tower of Sorcerers because 1) she’d been taught to fear these people, and to stay as far from sorcery as possible, thus the possibility of anything good coming out of it seemed scarce, and 2) because she extended her trust to “her Phantom,” and he didn’t value it enough to keep it the first time around.

Ultimately, Vhalla was looking out for herself. She was smart, and strong, and brave, because throughout all of it, she thought of herself. She learned to embrace herself as a sorcerer and as someone who has the power to make a difference, and she made sure that this was her choice.

This, combined with her wittiness and her undying love for reading (which I obviously found incredibly relatable), was what made me feel so connected to her character, and what made her into one of my favorite literary characters.
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Crown Prince Aldrik Solaris, an Outcast on the Spotlight:

*dreamy sigh*

How do I even form coherent thoughts about my dear, fiery,
temperamental prince?

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Yeeeeah, about that…

Prince Aldrik is misunderstood, and I’m glad we got a main character who could see that, and understand that (even if it took her, and me, a while), regardless of the perceptions of him that next to everyone had embedded into her mind.

Aldrik is what you could call… An outcast on the spotlight.

It’s hard to be a sorcerer in a world in which these are outcasts, but it’s even harder to be a sorcerer when you’re constantly on the spotlight. And even harder, you might say, when you happen to be the Crown Prince.

It’s quite an odd combination.

It was little more than the corners of his mouth curling up, but it lit his eyes in a way that Vhalla had yet to see. It made her wonder if she had ever really seen him before. It made her wonder if anyone had ever really seen him before.

That, right there, is one of my favorite quotes from this book. Just like Vhalla, I admit I failed to understand Aldrik at the beginning of this book, to see him, and it was little details like these that allowed me to truly see him, and to grow fonder and fonder of him.

A little too fond, you might say. Hehee.

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At first, I thought he was a complete asshole.

Then I understood why.

Then, I learned that he cares for those of his kind and those he loves, even if it’s in his own way. I learned that he’s passionate, and feels very deeply and very strongly. I learned that he’s simply a misfit under a microscope whose reputation has already been decided without reasoning, and is constantly reminded of this shallow, false perception that follows him around, wherever he goes, inevitably.

*sigh*

The rest is history.

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Indeed.


Vhalla and Aldrik, the definition of OTP:

Look, I don’t have much to say about Vhalla and Aldrik’s relationship except, I SHIP IT.

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It was pleasantly subtle and yet almost palpable, and I love that it was comprised of little significant moments, that slowly built their relationship.


Supporting Characters That Added a Little Something More to This Story:

 Roan and Sareem:

I think… That the presence of these two characters in Vhalla’s life made it clearer for me to see how lonely the life of a sorcerer could be. They were a nice asset to the story, presenting a stark contrast between Vhalla’s past as a library apprentice, and Vhalla’s future as a sorcerer.

Sareem was kinda giving me some Gale vibes though, trying to escape the friend-zone and all. I loved him as her best friend, and he truly was sweet towards Vhalla, if a tad bit cheesy, but I’m kind of glad their relationship ended the way it did. I couldn’t take him as a love interest, and even less after his reaction to Vhalla’s sorcery.

*clears throat*

Sorry?

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Larel:

Larel holds a dear place in my heart. She was the constant that Vhalla needed in the midst of the mess that her life had become. She didn’t pressure Vhalla into making a decision, she simply presented her with facts, with the truth, and more importantly, she was there. Vhalla needed a friend and a guide, and Larel provided her with her friendship and guidance without asking for anything in return.

I genuinely feel that there is a lot more depth to her character than we get to see in this book, and I do hope I get to see more of her in the next books.

(Fritz)nangle:

Fritz is, and I’m quoting Elise on this one, “such a cinnamon roll. Too Precious. Too pure.”

Even though he didn’t appear in this book as often as I’d liked him to, he gave me so many Kenji vibes (I’m a sucker for Kenji), and I just… *struggles for words*

FRITZNANGLE MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS, OKAY?

Prince Baldair:

Oh, Prince Baldair, why must you be so charming?

I admit I thought I would strongly dislike Baldair, since he’s such a flirt and all. I was wrong.

There’s something so disarmingly good-natured and easy-going about his character, and he’s so sweet too, how could anyone not like him?

It was as though the golden prince wore everything on his sleeves, and his cerulean eyes promised nothing but the truth.

Master Mohned:

Do you wanna know how I imagined Master Mohned?

Are you sure?

Well, you asked for it.

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*cackles*

oOPS!


The Magic of Simplicity in Writing:

I talked a little about this on my last reading update, and I mentioned it earlier on this post, but I really, really enjoyed the simplicity in the way this book was written. I enjoyed it a lot. It allowed me to quickly fly through it, and it almost made me feel as if I was being presented with some sort of reality, instead of a fragment of fiction.

I’d most definitely recommend this book to any new reader, or non-reader (or avid reader), as the way this book is written allows readers to get a full grasp of this world fairly quickly, and thus keeping you at the edge of your seat.

Props to Elise Kova for being such a fabulous writer.


Overall Thoughts:

This. Book. Was. Phenomenal.

I loved every single part of it and, quite frankly, it’s going right up on my favorites shelf. The world was flawlessly put together, the characters were rich and believable, the romance was just right, the story was so simply, and yet intricately, carefully woven, and the ending was fantastic, giving way for this series to grow into something far, far greater.

I 100% recommend that EVERYONE give this book a try aaaaand that concludes this review.

I hope you enjoyed it, and that it made you want to pick this book up.

Happy reading!

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Adriana (4)

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The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd Review

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Book: The Madman’s Daughter

Author: Megan Shepherd

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Horror

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Emotions were a puzzle, something to be studied and fitted together carefully. But the edges of this puzzle didn’t fit within the lines knew.”

•••

PLOT:

This book follows the life of Juliet, a girl whose father, once the best surgeon in all of London, was accused of butchery, called a monster, a madman. She’d thought him dead, as he’d vanished from her life altogether, but one small event leads her to find her childhood best friend, crush, and her family’s former servant, Montgomery James, through who she finds out that her father is, in fact, alive and well, living on an island off the coast of Australia, where he’s able to continue his studies and experiments in peace.

With this new piece of information, the fact that she’s orphaned and broke, and the fact that she’s committed a crime that may just get her into jail, she decides to finally take on the task of finding her father and to find out if the accusations were truth by herself, and thus asking Montgomery to take her with him to the island. Reluctantly, and after much begging, he agrees and embark on a journey towards this mysterious island he and her estranged father call a home.

She has no idea what she’s gotten herself into, and once she’s there, there’s no turning back.

•••

WARNING:

I highly recommend this book to all readers (as long as they don’t have a weak stomach), so if you haven’t read this book yet, I’d advice you go read it and then come back and read this review.

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This review contains a fair amount of spoilers, read at your own risk.

•••

OUR MAIN CHARACTER, JULIET MOREAU:

Going from a girl who purposefully closed her eyes to the ugly truths and realities about herself and her life, to a girl who, even though it troubles and frightens her, knows, accepts, and almost even embraces herself, her flaws and the inevitable morbid darkness within her, her character growth, in my opinion, was outstanding.

I’d grown fond of her character from the beginning of the book, as you could say she defied normalcy and sexism in her era, learning and knowing more about anatomy and medicine than a lot of men. Were she in a world in which women were allowed to take on these careers, life would’ve probably been a piece of cake for her. But she lived in a world in which women were degraded and only allowed to take on minor jobs, “fitting for a woman.” Regardless of this, thanks to Montgomery’s help, she still decided to secretly learn all of these things.

Another reason why I liked her character is the incredible amount of depth and darkness that there is to her character. Even in the beginning of the book, when she still tried to ignore these things, closed her eyes and mind to them, I could tell that there was a LOT more to her than a servant girl with a dark, twisted past, that she herself carried a lot of that darkness within her. And somehow, her constant battle against herself, being good and wanting to do good, while at the same time feeling inescapably drawn to the dark, the morbid and to do the not so good, makes her all the more real to me.

 •••

MONTGOMERY VS. EDWARD:

Where there is YA, there is almost always love. And where there’s love there are often love triangles. This book was not the exception. Now, I have a love-hate relationship with love triangles, as they frustrate me and confuse my feelings, frequently ending in me just choosing not to choose any side what so ever. Luckily though, the way this love triangle was executed, I had a clear vision of who I chose over who.

giphy (12)Montgomery James.

Montgomery is such a kindhearted, caring and compassionate, that no matter how much Edward loved Juliet, how he constantly protected her, how he was such a gentleman, I couldn’t help choosing him over Edward.

There’s a wild, carefree, untamed purity to him that makes him worth a million times more to me than Edward would ever be.

And this, combined with the fact that he always strives to make things right, and the fact that no matter how much he truly loved Juliet, he still chose to care for those who didn’t have anyone to care for them, that he chose to put others’ needs before his, are the reasons why I’d choose him today, tomorrow, and over, and over, and over again.

•••

LOVELY DOCTOR, LOVELY EXPERIMENTS:

8572402Even though this book follows the life of Juliet, the root of the plot is none other than her father and his experiments. I had no idea whatsoever that this was gonna be the case when I picked up this book, nor I had any idea whatsoever about how gruesome, morbid, twisted and disgusting this book was going to be. I mean, I knew it was a horror book, but I didn’t know WHAT type of horror book it was.

Let me just tell you that it’s not the oh-my-God-I’m-pooping-my-pants kind of horror book. It’s more the oh-my-God-I’m-going-to-throw-up kind of horror book. It doesn’t have anything to do with ghosts, or demons, or anything paranormal, but with everything mad (pun intended), abhorrent and shockingly disturbing. It’s not as much terrifying as it is horrifying.

I was truly shocked when it was finally revealed that her father, Dr. Moreau, was, in fact, guilty of butchery, and even more than that, rivaling God by attempting to create humans, better versions of them, using different animals, cutting and sewing them together whilst they’re alive, thus torturing them to the point of driving away all malice and violent instinct from them, forcing them into submission. And the thing is, I knew. From the moment Balthasar appeared for the first time, I knew. I knew wHAT HE WAS DOING BUT I COULDN’T HELP BEING SHOCKED, I COULDN’T HELP GAGGING. IT WAS ALL SO, SO CRUEL AND REPULSIVE AND THE FACT THAT HE FELT NO GUILT OR REMORSE WHATSOEVER ABOUT WHAT HE WAS DOING MADE IT SO MUCH MORE HORRIFYING.

I COULDN’T NOT FEEL LIKE THROWING UP EVERY TIME THESE EXPERIMENTS WERE EXPLAINED, OKAY?

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•••

BALTHASAR:

Can we please take a moment to appreciate Balthasar’s innocent soul?

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BALTHASAR IS THE MOST INNOCENT, PURE, LOYAL, GENTLE, SWEET CHARACTER TO EVER WALK A FICTIONAL WORLD.

“He speaks. He thinks. He’s capable of compassion. Why, he even carried a garden slug outside this morning so the chickens wouldn’t eat it. Didn’t you?”

Balthasar nodded.”

He carried a garden slug outside so the chickens wouldn’t eat it. HE CARRIED IT OUTSIDE SO IT WOULD BE SAFE. Mytumblr_nsxgw8sp661rysqxno10_250 soul can’t handle so much innocent gentleness, it melts. IT MELTS.

I’m so attached to this man/creature that I just… I don’t even want to think about all the tragic possibilities that could happen in the rest of the books.

I just want Balthasar to be happy.

IT IS ALL I WANT, OKAY? I WANT BALTHASAR TO BE HAPPY.

•••

TRIPPY AF:

This book could feel so weird and trippy sometimes. For example, that part when that moose or whatever, Ceasar, was standing in the middle of the village, all goosfraba and peaceful, with all of the half-regressed creatures being weird and creepy… And then they say that he’s actually the preacher of the village… I FELT LIKE IT WAS ALL A CRAZY, DISTURBING DREAM OR HALLUCINATION, OKAY? IT IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF WEIRD DREAM I WOULD HAVE.

If I ever got stung by a tracker jacker, I bet I’d hallucinate something like this.

LIKE THAT EPISODE IN PHINEAS AND FERB IN WHICH CANDACE KEPT HALLUCINATING WITH THAT RANDOM ZEBRA AND THE COLORFUL, TRIPPY BACKGROUND. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THESE PARTS FELT LIKE.

(I hope you know what I’m talking about, otherwise I’ll end up sounding just as insane as the part itself)

•••

UNEXPECTED UNEXPECTEDNESS:

I had talked in a previous post about how I’ve grown fond of thrillers and these types of books. I just really, really enjoy that tense, uneasy, on edge, sort of panicky feeling that these types of books give me, which is why I simply could not get enough of this book. I was (still am) completely infatuated with this story, its plot and its characters.

There are so many things happening so fast that I just… THERE IS NO ROOM TO BE CHILL, OKAY? Every single time, just when I thought the worst was over, nOPE. Something worse happens. Plot twists here, plot twists there, plot twists everywhere.

I NEVER KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT, WHAT TO THINK, WHO TO TRUST, IF I COULD FINALLY BREATHE AGAIN.

*screeches*

P L O T  F R E A K I N G  T W I S T S

E V E R Y W H E R E

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•••

YOU MEAN… EDWARD ISN’T HUMAN?:

Now THIS was a plot twist I didn’t expect. At all.

I’m still upset with myself for not realizing it before. I should’ve known earlier, IT MADE SO MUCH SENSE! The possibility of him being “the beast” simply never crossed my mind. IT. MADE. SO. MUCH. SENSE. How he recognized her that first time he saw her on the Curitiba. How he knew all about Dr. Moreau and his experiments. His private conversations and his “agreement” with the doctor. How he was never present when the attacks happened. How the villagers attacked him that one time they got their hands on him. How he’d ask Juliet if she was sure Ajax was “the beast.”

*continues to remember every single detail and potentially unnoticed clue*

*feels more and more stupid every time*

HOW HAD I NOT NOTICED??!?!!??!?!??!giphy (8)

And then the fact that her father wanted Juliet to marry him to test if his creations could mate with humans…

Jesus Christ.

*shivers*

•••

ONE LAST PLOT TWIST:

“Let’s make the ending a plot twist as well,” Megan Shepherd thinks to herself as if there weren’t enough plot twists already. “In fact, let’s make the WHOLE book into one massive plot twist.”

After making this decision, Megan Shepherd proceeds to pour a cup of tEA TO HER BEST FRIEND SATAN HIMSELF, FEELING DELIGHTFULLY PLEASED WITH THE PAIN SHE WILL FURTHER CAUSE TO HER READERS.

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What on earth was that ending?

WHAT ON EARTH WAS THAT?????

I totally understand where Montgomery’s coming from, and I greatly admire and appreciate that he chose to stay behind to care for the ones who need to be cared for, I love him for it. BUT… You mean to tell me that I waited sooooo long for them to finally get to be together for once and for all, and all that waiting was for nothing? That all that planning, all that looking forward to escaping the island with him was for nothing?

HOW DARE YOU??????????

After finishing this book I legitimately did nothing but stare into infinity and beyond, trying to process that one last plot twist. I couldn’t cope.

THE BOOK LITERALLY ENDS WITH JULIET HELPLESSLY DRIFTING AWAY INTO THE SEA, LOOKING AT MONTGOMERY AND THE ISLAND FROM FARTHER AND FARTHER AWAY, KNOWING SHE COULDN’T DO ANYTHING TO GO BACK, WHILE MONTGOMERY STARED BACK WITH THE SADDEST, MOST GRIEF-STRICKEN LOOK IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO BE OKAY AFTER THAT?

I CANNOT.

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•••

Bottom line is, I’m obsessed with this book. If you, for some masochistic reason that I can totally relate to, got this far into my review without having read this book, I 7294264282% recommend you pick this book up. Not if you have a weak stomach, though. In that case, do not read this book, under any circumstances. If you doooooon’t, then yOU HAVE NO EXCUSE. READ IT. NOW.

 I’ll be watching. Waiting.

(I just need someone to discuss this book with, please have some mercy)

READ IT NOW, I SAID.

BYE.

FAREWELL.

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Adriana (4)

The Rose Society by Marie Lu Review

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Book: The Rose Society

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ALL OF THE STARS

Goodreads Blurb

“We are both drawn to stories,” he says in a soft voice, “and every scar carries one.”


 What has Marie Lu done to my soul????????

I’m dead.

FIRST OF ALL, if you haven’t The Young Elites (how many times will I have to ask you this, why on earth haven’t you read The Young Elites?), do me a favor, stop being a little piece of poop and leave this post, lest you read a spoiler and bring hell upon me wHEN I CLEARLY JUST WARNED YOU.

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I lied.

I AM NOT CALM.

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When I started this book, I was simply an innocent soul, overly excited to finally be able to continue reading one of her favorite stories, if not her favorite. Now… I’m deeply, emotionally scarred.

I have so many feelings and I don’t know how to organize them into coherent opinions.

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Let’s see… Where do I start…

WHERE WE LEFT OFF:

The Young Elites ends with Adelina being kicked out of The Dagger Society, thus causing her to have a… I guess you could call it a freak out. Violetta, her sister, finds her in the midst of this freak out, while she’s madly cutting her hair with a knife, sobbing. They have this beautiful sister moment in which they promise to protect each other, to stay together, for they are sisters, and they need to trust each other.

The Rose Society starts about three weeks later, when Adelina and Violetta are out in the island of Merroutas, searching for other Young Elites, for allies. Or one specific Young Elite. Magiano.

MAGIANO:

MY FIRST AND STRONGEST THEORY WAS TRUE. I KNEW HE’D BE THE ONE FROM THE MOMENT HE WAS MENTIONED IN THE FIRST BOOK.

Right away, when Adelina and Violetta see the gambling operator and she mentions his heavy purse and that he surely hasn’t lose in a long time, I knew it was him. How else would he win over and over again if he wasn’t cheating and/or tricking people.

We find out his power is mimicking other Elites’ powers! ISN’T IT AWESOME?! Oh, how useful he proves to be. Oh, how I love him.

He’s… God he’s perfect. He’s such a playful, mischievous, joyful soul. I’m a person who’s naturally drawn to joyful souls. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a “bad boy,” but I personally prefer someone who’s filled with joy and happiness and everything related. And Magiano is exactly that. It’s like he can’t help laughing, or smiling, or joking around, or filling with delight and excitement, I love that. I love his appearance, from his slitted, cat-like, golden eyes, to his long dark braids. I love his whole demeanor and personality, and how he cares so much for Adelina and is so protective of her.

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“And … sapphire.” My voice fades into a whisper. “For the angel of Joy.”

“Joy?” Magiano smiles, gently this time.

“Yes.” I look down, overwhelmed by sudden sadness. “Because I can see so much of it in you.”

He’s truly stunning, and I cannot believe Adelina can’t see how good he is for her, constantly pushing him away, refusing to let him in. He brings calmness and brightens up her life, he’s able to lift up some of the darkness in her soul, and he’s the only person with which she’s felt her power be completely still and not missed it.

How can she be so blind?

Whenever she’d push him away, whether consciously or not, and she’d describe the disappointment in his face, where
there’s normally joy, my heart would break into a tiny million pieces. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And whenever he’d get close to her, being sweet and gentle and patient, and whenever he’d appear out of nowhere to protect Adelina, my heart would melt into a warm, sweet puddle. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.content_10858134

“Something flickers in the darkness─and an instant later, Magiano appears before me, drawn out by the sight of my blood. His pupils become slits as he looks at Teren. “Keep your filthy blades off her,” he snaps. “It’s rude.”

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Just thinking about this makes me so angry. He’s pERFECT AND HE LOVES YOU AND CARES FOR YOU! HE BRINGS
LIGHT TO THE DARK, SHITTY HOLE THAT IS YOUR SOUL! HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT!?

*takes deep breath*

I’M NOT FINE. I’m fine.

BACK TO THE STORY:

So, Adelina and Violetta find Magiano and ask him to join them, and he, playful as he is, decides that they will have a little competition, for he doesn’t work with the unworthy. If he wins, he won’t join them, but if THEY win, then he’ll join them. The mission is none other than stealing the humongous diamond that the king of Merroutas, the Night King, uses as a pin.

Fast forward a little bit and they have gained an audience with the king, disguised as dancers. Adelina has woven an illusion over the damaged side of her face. They are stunning. They catch the attention of the king, and when they reach him, SURPRISE, Magiano seats beside the king, pretending to be some sort of mercenary, with the intention of stealing the diamond pin first. They make eye contact. She creates the illusion of a diamond pin. He falls for it, and takes it. He gets an idea.

“This dancer is new to the city, my friend. I’ve seen her perform before. She’s very good─she is court-trained, I hear.”

Clever little mimic. Little does he know that Adelina was, IN FACT, court-trained. Trained by the greatest consort there has ever been, Raffaele himself. She dances and walks with such grace, flirts at the right moments, she’s got the king in the palm of her hand (and Magiano too *giggles*). She weaves the illusion of wine intoxication over the king, he believes himself to be drunk, he’s infatuated with Adelina. She takes the real pin.

One little slip, Adelina loses control of her powers. OOPS! Fast forward, she took her chance and killed the king, Magiano has disappeared. Mercenaries are fascinated with her, astonished, they’ve realized who she is, they pursue her. Magiano reappears and he rescues their butts.

They’ve won themselves an ally.

Fast forward, she receives a note from a mercenary. He offers them transportation to the outermost lands of Estenzia.

While on their way to meet with the mystery mercenary, Adelina has a little… Extreme insanity moment, in which her illusions start to affect her. She sees her father, she sees Enzo, burning the place to ashes, she sees herself being dragged to the underworld, and she can’t seem to realize that these are her own illusions. Violetta takes away her powers, she’s dragged back to reality.

ADELINA’S ILLUSIONS:

Throughout the whole book we see how much Adelina’s illusions are affecting her, and how, stubborn as she is, she refuses to let go of them. We have all these little episodes in which her illusions keep tearing her apart and making her suffer, or making her more ambitious, and more drawn and attached to the darkness within her, and it’s honestly quite exhausting, reading from such a dark, raw, insane, torn apart point of view. I was so, so, so mentally exhausted when I finished this book, and it was solely because Adelina’s point of view is a LOT to take in.

And the thing is, I WANT TO HATE IT BUT I LOVE IT. SO MUCH. I CAN’T.

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A NEW ADDITION TO THE ROSE SOCIETY:

Fast forward, they reach the ship. TURNS OUT, the mercenary is actually that one boy, now a guy, who Raffaele had talked about. The boy who could not control the rain. The one who had been kicked out of the Daggers, supposedly killed.The Rainmaker. And THIS, my friends, is the Rose Society.

Now, I really liked Sergio’s character. I liked that he had something against the Rose Society because I think that made the whole joining Adelina’s side a whole lot better and it was worth more. I loved the explanation of how his power worked. The whole gathering threads of moisture in the air to create storms, and the huge amount of concentration it took.

“He’s calling the rain,” she says as she approaches. “Weaving it, you might say.”

It may not seem like it, but I believe it to be a very unique power. It’s not just simply making a storm, as one would think. It’s putting it together. I love it.

SERGIO AND VIOLETTA:

Sergio and Violetta are OTP.

It’s impressive how even when Violetta attracted the attention of so many men, HER attention was attracted by Sergio. It’s very cute. They’re very cute. I ship it.giphy (1)

I wish we could’ve gotten to see more of them, and from their point of view. I wish we DO get to see more of them in the third book, although who knows if that’ll be possible with the way this book ended.

Nonetheless, the Rainmaker and the Puppet Master are OTP.

ROSE SOCIETY:

You know, I think this part was my favorite in the whole entire book. The one moment in which The Rose Society came to be, officially. It was so simple, which made it so much more beautiful and valuable in my eyes. And the fact that everyone contributed something to the pledge was so lovely, it made my heart swell up with pride and happiness and love for these characters.

“I pledge myself to the Rose Society,” I begin. “Until the end of my days.”

One by one, the others call out the same thing, murmurs at first that turn into firm words.

“To use my eyes to see all that happens,” says Sergio.

“My tongue to woo others to our side,” says Magiano with his savage smile.

“My ears to hear every secret,” Violetta continues.

“My hands,” I finish. “To crush my enemies.”

“I will do everything in my power to destroy all who stand in my way.”

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THE DAGGERS… PLUS MAEVE:

We also learn that the Daggers have made an alliance with Maeve and her Elites, aaaaaand that they want to bring Enzo back. NOPE. I loved Enzo with a fiery (pun intended), bUT THE DEAD SHOULD STAY DEAD! Bringing him back to life was seriously asking for trouble, specially if we take Maeve’s brother as an example. And even more so, when his life had to be tethered to someone else’s. NOPE.

Then there’s the Maeve factor. She’ll do whatever the hell she wants to get what she desires. And even when Raffaele wasn’t keen on the idea of bringing Enzo back, she did it anyways. AND THUS THE REASON WHY I’M NOT MUCH OF A MAEVE FAN.

I mean, how the Daggers, except maybe Raffaele, don’t realize that Maeve is simply using them to get to the throne of Estenzia is beyond me.

And then Adelina heard of their plans. Oh boy. This just… Adelina’s plan was incredibly clever. Brilliant. BUT I JUST DIDN’T WANT HIM ALIVE!

REASONS WHY ENZO SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE:

  1. Magiano. Magiano should Adelina’s ONLY love interest, and having Enzo back created some sort of love triangle that I didn’t appreciate very much.
  2. Almost every single thing Adelina did was biased by her past feelings and love for Enzo, thus making her more stubborn than she already was, and more blind to the fact that Enzo will never be the same, that he’s not there anymore.
  3. Whoever gets to keep Enzo will ultimately use him to get to the throne. No matter how much they deny it, this is all
    about getting to the throne, not about Enzo’s well being. BECAUSE IF IT WERE ABOUT ENZO’S WELL BEING, HE WOULD’VE STAYED DEAD. The only person in this book who truly cared about Enzo’s well being was Raffaele, but of course, his opinions and concerns didn’t matter. OF COURSE.
  4. If bringing back Enzo increased his power tenfold, then it’s obvious that he’ll be a danger to everyone! There was no predicting what he would do. And even with the tether to Adelina’s life, he’s ultimately too power, thus being able to control her and go against her, even if she’s the one that’s supposed to have the power over him.
  5. Having Enzo back just made the whole grudge between both sides of Elites a million times worse! They’re basically destroying each other over a dead guy! Over a throne too, but you know.
  6. Magiano.
  7. Believing Enzo would simply join Adelina’s side was stupid from her part. Completely stupid. He created the Dagger Society, for crying out loud! She couldn’t just expect him to ditch his friends, his family, to join her, past or no past.
  8. MAGIANO.tumblr_inline_mq3e38DGWq1qz4rgp

TEREN SANTORO:

MY PREDICTION. I KNEW IT. SOONER OR LATER ADELINA WAS GONNA USE HIM AS AN ALLY.

I could feel myself slowly growing more satisfied when Teren got farther and farther apart from Giulietta, because it meant he would turn to Adelina, or vice versa, sooner or later. And, I mean, Teren is not a good character. He’s very hateable, in fact. BUT, he’s a very interesting and intriguing character. This may be an unpopular opinion but I really, really want to see more of his character. Like really badly. I want to know more of him, of his past, of his reasons to feel the way he does and do the things he does. I want to know if he’s really as bad as he seems.

THE FINAL WAR-BATTLE-END-OF-THE-WORLD-CHAOTIC-MESS:

Here’s a compilation of Jack Sparrow gifs that expresses my feelings throughout this whole part quite adequately:

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There were so many things happening here and there, so much death, so much destruction, sO MANY FEELINGS, that I felt like my brain was going to explode. It was so fast paced and chaotic. I pretty much felt like I was there, right in the middle of chaos. My body was a lump of poop comprised of feelings, and angst, and tension, and I just… WHAT EVEN IS LIFE?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?

THE ENDING AKA WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT:

Can we just take a moment to talk about the ending? WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!

OKAY, VIOLETTA, LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. So what you’re telling me is that basically all Elites are bound to die young because of deterioration from their power? What? What??? BUT WHAT ABOUT MY DEARLY LOVED WICKED FREAK, ADELINA? AND THE NEW-FOUND LOVE OF MY LIFE, MAGIANO? WHAT ABOUT RAFFAELE, AND SERGIO, AND EVERYONE????WHAT?????? giphy (2)

WHAT DO YOU MEAN ALL ELITES ARE BOUND TO DIE YOUNG?

I can’t. I can’t deal with this anymore. My heart. My soul. Nope.

The worst part is that Adelina is deteriorating faster than the others because she keeps exploiting her powers more and more, letting the darkness eat away at her soul, slowly making herself go mad. SHE’S THE CAUSE OF HER OWN INSANITY ANd I don’t know if it’s because I’m reading from her point of view and she’s in denial, but I refuse to believe this. In my heart, I know it’s true, I know it, bUT I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT WILL HAPPEN.

THERE MUST BE A SOLUTION, I JUST NEED TO FIND IT.

And then she just… She just… The ending… Violetta… It’s as if Marie Lu wants to make it incredibly evident that Adelina’s going insane (AS IF I DIDN’T KNOW THAT ALREADY). So insane that it’s driving her apart from her friends and family. *sobs*

It completely shatters my heart to see Adelina end up in such a dark state of isolation, and the fact that she doesn’t realize it’s her own fault. IT SHATTERS MY HEART, I TELL YOU.

“I force a smile onto my face. In the silence, I sit alone on my throne and wait eagerly for all the satisfaction and triumph to hit me. I wait, and wait, and wait.”

“But it doesn’t come”

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Look, I wish this review had been more organized and coherent but I’m still a wreck because of this book and I simply cannot be civilized about this at the moment. I probably forgot so many important things that I wanted to talk about in a civilized manner, but I just can’t get my shit together. I CAN’T. Maybe I’ll take it upon myself to write a shorter, more civilized review of this book, but for now, THIS IS WHAT YOU’LL GET. RAW EMOTIONS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY STILL SORE SOUL.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.

GOODBYE.

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Adriana (4)

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart Review

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Book: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“They know that tragedy is not glamorous. They know it doesn’t play out in life as it does on a stage or between the pages of a book. It is neither a punishment meted out nor a lesson conferred. Its horrors are not attributable to one single person. Tragedy is ugly and tangled, stupid and confusing.”

This review isn’t going to be very long because, like almost everyone else, I think that going into this book without knowing anything about it, or more specifically the plot, is the best way to go into it. So I’m going to give you a VERY brief summary and then I’m just going to talk little bit about the subjects that this book deals with and my overall feelings about it. Shall we?

•••

The Sinclair’s are a very wealthy, beautiful, seemingly perfect distinguished family. The Sinclair’s own Beechwood Island, an island off the coast of Massachusets, which is a vivid example of just how wealthy this family is. However, to Cadence Sinclair, heir of the island, its simply the place she’d spend her summers with her cousins, the Liars.

The Liars seem perfect, the Sinclairs seem perfect. That’s far from the truth.

The subjects that this book deals with are way deeper and darker than anyone that hasn’t read the book would expect. It deals with loss and the ways people cope with it and it deals with how utterly rotten and broken, twisted and sick, a family can be on the inside while seeming perfectly pristine on the outside. It deals with indirect racism, and acceptance. It deals with how prideful and vain people can come to be. It deals with a grand number of ugly truths in life that can only be truly seen and understood when ones takes a deeper look at what’s below the surface.

The way this book is written is incredibly clever and enchantingly stunning. I found myself needing to catch my breath sometimes because I just couldn’t handle how beautifully written this book is. The way everything is presented, how much raw emotion and feeling was put into every sentence, the fact that the characters are not ones you connect with, but ones you feel for. Everything. I loved it, and it’s surprising how so many people missed the beauty in this book and how it’s written and the story itself.

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The way this book is either entirely predictable or completely unexpected. For me, well… Let’s just say I was kind of, maybe, possibly crying in denial for about twenty minutes. Twenty minutes in which I had to put the book down and try to breath and make sense of what was happening. You see, this book is a kind of puzzle that you piece together throughout the story, but still feel like there’s something missing. Until the end. Then you just wish you’d never tried to solve it in the first place.

It was wonderfully heartbreaking.

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Overall, this book is an infinitely gorgeous piece of art. One that I think everyone should read, because even if you completely dislike it, like a lot of people do, there must be at least one thing that you can learn and take from this book. I really believe there’s no way you can read this book without taking something from, after you get over the shock of it, that is. I hope you liked this review, and REMEMBER, if anyone asks how it ends, just LIE.

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Adriana (4)

The 100 by Kass Morgan Review

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Book: The 100

Author: Kass Morgan

Genre: YA Dystopia/Sci-Fi

Rating: ★★★.5

Goodreads Blurb (for some reason the description is in a language that is foreign to me but I put the link anyways in case any of you understands it.)

“The rain was only water, and there was no such thing as a clean start. That was the thing with secrets – you had to carry them with you forever, no matter what the cost.”

I decided to read this book because I’d started watching the TV series of it and completely loved it. This is what I stumbled upon:

No one has been to Earth for a couple hundred years after the nuclear war. Everyone lives in space in a huge ship called the Colony that divides into three, Walden, Arcadia and Phoenix. That is, until they start running out of air, and the Colony decides to send a group of 100 confined teenagers to Earth in order for them to explore and see if it was once again habitable, as well as save air.

This book follows the life of 4 teenager’s, three of which were confined. There’s Clarke, who was a medical student, one of the best, until trusting her boyfriend (at that moment) with a little too much information ended in her confinement. Then there’s Wells, son of the chancellor, Clarke’s ex, who got himself confined on purpose with the resolve to find Clark and ultimately get back with her. We also have Bellamy, the Waldenite whose sister got taken away simply for being born, as only one child is allowed per family. Bellamy, who plans to infiltrate the 100 that are going to Earth, for his sister is there and he wants only to take care of her. And finally, we have Glass, who was confined for committing an “unforgivable crime,” who found no other choice than to break up with Luke, her Waldenite boyfriend, her “forbidden love,” in order to save his life. Glass who plans to escape the 100 and finally explain to Luke the reason why she’d been confined, the reason why she’d broken his heart without explanation, as she thought being sent to Earth meant death, and she was gonna be executed when she turned 18, anyways.

•••

CHARACTERS:

Clarke, from the book is pretty much the same as Clarke from the series. Very serious, driven, always caring for the well-being of others. She has that same still-coping-with-the-loss-off-my-parents thing going on as she does in the series, except that the reason for death of her parents in the book was very different, and that both her parents had died in the book, instead of just her dad. *shrugs* There’s not much depth to her character, maybe a little, but not much. I really don’t have much to say about her apart from the fact that I like her character.

Now, we got to see a little more of Wells in the book that we do in the series. He has that same betraying-Clarke-without-meaning-to thing going on, just like in the series, but we get an inside look at the situation from his point of view and learn about his actual intentions and why he did what he did. We also learn that his mother had passed away, and that he has grey eyes? You see, this may seem incredibly irrelevant, but it just messed up my whole vision of what Wells looks like. In the series he’s black and doesn’t have grey eyes, and he’s not exactly the most handsome guy out there, but then in the book the ONLY thing they mention regarding his physique is that he has grey eyes and that he’s incredibly handsome. So I didn’t know if I should imagine him black with grey eyes, and much more handsome, or as someone completely different than from the series, you feel? Do you understand what I mean when I say that it threw me off balance?

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Then, Bellamy. Sweet, wonderful, Bellamy. You know, I’ve always had a soft spot for Bellamy, even in the series when he was being a complete ass, but reading from his point of view and seeing just how much he cares about his sister, and learning how his mind works, and being able to see things as he sees them, it just made me love him even more. He’s a beautiful soul inside one hot piece of a body. I think I would’ve loved this book a gazillion times more if it were told only from his point of view. *sigh*

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Lastly there’s Glass, a completely new character to me, one which I didn’t expect to like so much. I mean, I wasn’t extremely all over her character, but I did really enjoy her chapters and learning about her. I guess it also may have had to do with the fact that her character was foreign to me and I was learning of her for the first time, whereas with the rest, I already knew of them because of the series.

RELATIONSHIPS IN THE BOOK:

Okay so, if you watch the series, you know how the love triangle was more between Clarke, Finn and Wells more than anyone else? Well the love triangle in this book is between Clarke, Bellamy and Wells, since Finn’s character isn’t part of the books. I was never much of a fan of Wells to begin with, and although I completely adore Bellamy and enjoyed his relationship with Clarke, I couldn’t help but feeling like this was a case of “insta-love.” I mean, they didn’t know each other before going to Earth, and it’s not like they spent a lot of time getting to know each other on earth. They were stranded on a possibly toxic planet, for God’s sake. Who has time for love when surviving is the #1 goal? It was kind of like… Flirting a couple times and then POOF! There you have it folks, insta-love. Enjoyable, but unnecessary and completely unbelievable.

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Now, Glass and Luke’s relationship I really, really liked. There was nothing extraordinary about it, but you could tell they did love and care for each other, and they had spent quite a long time together, so it felt more genuine and real.

WRITING AND PACE OF THE BOOK:

The way this book was written wasn’t particularly special or mind-blowing. *shrugs* It wasn’t as fast paced as I would’ve liked it to be but it wasn’t slow either. And even though the writing wasn’t spectacular, it was nice, and there were some quotes that I really loved, so I’ll give it that.

BOOK VS TV SERIES:

Although I did really like and enjoy this book, I think I agree with almost everyone else. The series is definitely a lot better than the book. It’s not that the book was bad, it was great, it just pales a little bit when compared to the series. But then again, who knows? Maybe if I’d read the book before watching the series I would’ve preferred it over the series. Maybe…

OVERALL FEELS:

This book was good, but it wasn’t something from another world. I enjoyed it but it didn’t blow me away. I gave it 3 and a half stars because even though it wasn’t amazing, I did really enjoy my time reading it. I don’t know, if you’re a picky reader then I don’t think this is the book for you, but I’m a fairly easy to please reader, so I guess it just depends on the reader’s preference. If you’re curious about it, give it a try! It’s not bad in the least, just not breathtaking.

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Now, if you could just please sign and support my petition for this book to be re-written from Bellamy’s point of view that’d be great, thanks, bye!

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Adriana (4)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Review

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Book: An Ember in the Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It’s damaged but it’s there. Don’t let them take it from you.”

This book is told from dual points of views.

Laia, a scholar girl living with her grandparents and brother, under the rule and oppression of the Empire, the kingdom that had conquered and took over the Scholars. Her whole life she’d lived freely and peacefully, or as freely and peacefully as one can live under the rule of a tyrant kingdom. That is until one night. The one night that made the rest of her nights matter, the one night who filled them with purpose.

Even though Laia had her suspicions, it was normal for her older brother, Darin, to come home late from wherever it was he’d been spending most of his days. But there was something about this night… It seemed rather off. Darin comes in through the window, his sketchbook falls to the floor, he quickly nudges it under his bunk. This could’ve seemed normal, but it wasn’t. Laia knew what was in that sketchbook, she understood. Her brother smelled of the enemy. Something. Was. Off. For almost two years she’d wonder where her brother ran off to everyday, but she never asked. Until that night. What she saw was dangerous, and she should not, under any circumstances, tell anyone about it, her brother told her. Was he working for the Empire? The Martials? Would he really go so low as to betray his people? Laia pondered on all of these questions, but she never got a straight answer.

Raid. The sound of pounding on the door. Martials. A mask. Raid.

“Hide the sketchbook. That’s what they want. That’s what they’re here for.”

Not understanding why this is happening, as raids are done when someone has done something that goes against the Empire, and refusing to believe that it’s actually happening, Laia hides the sketchbooks and makes to run away through the backyard with her brother.

A mask. No way out.

THIS is the night that makes the rest matter. The night her grandparents died by the hands of the Empire, the night her brother was taken, the night she did nothing to save them. This, her guilt, her grief, is what fills her with a purpose. Saving her brother.

•••

Elias, a soldier, the finest in the Blackliff Military Academy, a mask in training, the Commandant’s son, heir to Gens Venturia, wants nothing more than to leave the Empire. He’s never felt comfortable with the way Martials treat the scholars, or anyone that gets in their way. All of the violence, all of the oppression, all of the tyranny, all forced upon him from a very young age. He’s never agreed with this, never done anything about it, until he does. He decides to flee after his graduation.

He spent months preparing for this, planning it out. All for nothing. The day of his graduation, the augurs arrive with the news that Elias Venturius and his fellow soldiers, Helene Aquilla, Marcus Farrar and Zak Farrar, are to compete for the throne and the Empire, as they’ve foretold that the current king and his gens is bound to fall, and there is no heir to the throne. They are the chosen ones. Elias does not want part in this but he has two choices: to flee and turn into everything he’s ever hated, or compete for the throne with the possibility of gaining freedom of body and soul.

“You seek to run. You seek to abandon your duty. But you cannot escape your destiny.”

This is the beginning of two separate stories colliding and coming together.

•••

LAIA, THE WILD DANCE OF A TRIBAL CAMPFIRE AND HELENE AQUILLA, THE COLD BLUE OF AN ALCHEMIST’S FLAME AKA GIRL POWER.

Laia is a character that while broken and bruised, never lets herself defeated. She found her purpose, something worth living for and never let it go. And something that I appreciated immensely about this book, I think Camila had already mentioned this in an earlier review, is that Laia is no hero. She’s simply a girl who’s lost almost everything, and refuses to lose the little she has left. And while she’s a strong, persevering character, she’s also weak and broken, defeated and alone, she’s human. And not alone in the literal matter, although it could be, but in the personal matter. Her grief, her guilt, its hers and hers alone. She cannot give it to someone else, or share it. It’s something she had to bear with and bearing with such strong feelings can wear anyone down. But regardless of all of these things, Laia has a fire inside her, a flame that was ignited that night, and that’s what made her stand out. No matter what situations were thrown her way, she’d found her purpose and she would not let it go. She fought, she suffered, she got up, again and again, she survived.

Broken but never defeated.

She’d never cease to amaze me, taking on things that I never imagined she would, constantly proving wrong everyone who underestimated her, everyone who underestimated her will to do anything, ANYTHING, it took to save her brother, and her desire to live. She was brave, strong, and relentless.

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Helene Aquilla is an impressively accurate description of a powerful woman. She’s this kickass, strong, cutting-edge, razor-sharp girl, that feels and hurts, like any other human. She like Laia and Ilyaas, had a constant inner battle between her feelings and her duty and loyalty to the Empire. She’s a soldier, loyal to no end. Even though she had desires of her own, she’s put them aside and focus on her duties and beliefs, and that I find admirable. To be so faithful, so loyal to a culture and belief, to an empire, that she’d be willing to keep setting aside her dreams, and herself, again and again, and do things that she doesn’t necessarily agree with, it’s truly admirable.

And she’s so skilled at being a warrior. If you know me, you’d know that seeing/reading/hearing about females doing things that normally men would do makes my heart swell up with happiness and pride. Whenever I read about battle scenes in which she participated and excel at it, or about how she could beat any of the guys in a duel or fight, or just for Ilyaas to say she looked like a warrior princess, I love that. It makes me feel excessively proud of being a woman, even though I’m not nearly as accomplished as she is.

I really wish I could’ve read from her point of view. I really hope I get the chance to do it on the second book, I’d really like to take an in depth look of what goes on in her mind. From what I could tell, it’s a never-ending thunderstorm in there.

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Notice how even though both Laia and Helene were described to be incredibly beautiful women, they didn’t need to use it to their advantage, not once, because their brains, their abilities, their strength and their souls were what made them stand out.

It was a true blessing to have been able to read about two strong, independent, realistic female characters, even though there was only one actual female lead.

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ELIAS VENTURIUS, ALWAYS VICTORIOUS:

EVEN THOUGH THIS MAY SEEM IRRELEVANT TO YOU, I REALLY LOVE ELIAS’ TRIBAL NAME. Ilyaas Ansaif. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before but I have a thing for names. A name fetish, you could call it. I love knowing people’s names, and calling them by their names and just names in general. Naturally, when I found out Elias’ actual name was so rare and beautiful, I decided I no longer wanted to call him Elias Venturius and took to calling him Ilyaas Ansaif.

Ilyaas’ character has so much depth, sometimes I think even more than Laia and Helene themselves, even though each character has their own unique profundity, and intricacy to their situations and struggles.

His mind is like a constant war that refuses to be quelled, forced to choose between what he feels and desires and what the world expects of him. And it amazed me how intact his soul was, and how even after all this time of struggling between doing what’s right and following the rules, he’d still grieve for the fallen, and feel for the weak and oppressed.

And on top of that, HE’S SO HOT AND MASCULINE AND NO ONE EVEN DARE SCOLD ME FOR GIVING IMPORTANCE TO THIS WHEN THERE’S SO MUCH GOING ON BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT, OKAY?!

*breathes*

Something that I really appreciated about Ilyaas’ physique is his skin tone. Normally, and I say normally because it’s a stereotype, a guy with eyes and hair like Ilyaas’ would have fair skin, BUT Ilyaas has BEAUTIFUL TOASTY GOLDEN SKIN, AND IT’S JUST… I LOVE IT! I LOVE ILYAAS!

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KEENAN:

THE OTHER MALE CHARACTER that I really, really, really loved and appreciated was Keenan. My gorgeous red-headed rebel (YES, MINE!). I’ve explained my thing for red-heads before, no need to explain it again, just… Keenan’s hair, Keenan’s personality, Keenan’s everything, I love him.

I feel the same way about him that I feel about Helene. I would’ve loved to read from his point of view, and I hope I do get to do it in the NEAR future. Although there’s a huge difference between Helene and Keenan. With Helene, what you see outside gives you an idea of what goes on inside, but with Keenan it’s so incredibly hard to tell what he’s thinking, or feeling, since he’s so guarded and I really wish to find out.

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RELATIONSHIPS, OTPs, AND WHATNOT:

I really don’t want to go into much detail about this because 1) the romance in this book, even though greatly enjoyed and appreciated is not very relevant to the story as much as the connection between them and 2) because I’m learning/trying to be as non-spoiler-y as possible, so I’ll just say two things.

There are three possible OTPs in this book, for me at least.

Helene and Elias. Laia and Elias. Keenan and Laia.

I. SHIP. ALL. THREE. OF. THEM.

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Each pair had its distinctive qualities, and each of them were complemented perfectly by each other. Anyone (within those OTPs) could’ve ended up together and I still would’ve been pleased.

And the other thing I’ll say about the relationships in this book is that they’re not the focus of the story at all, and with a fantasy book I always prefer for the whole focus to be on the plot and not the relationships in it. So I really appreciate that it was there, but that it didn’t overpower.

SETTING AND CULTURE:

Before going into this book I’d heard and read a couple of times that the setting of this book was inspired by ancient Rome. I can totally see it. It reminds me a lot about the wars between the Greek and the Romans, and how the Greeks, once so great and powerful, were conquered by the Romans. I’m a huuuuuge history bluff, so reading this book felt like my much needed dose of history and my favorite genre, fantasy, rolled into one. But even with it’s impressive similarities to ancient Rome, this world had a culture of its own, and I treasure that.

OH, and the maps in the book are gorgeous. I love it when books have maps because it gives you a sense of direction and placement throughout the story and it helps visualize the world even better. The map of Blackliff was a huge lifesaver for me. Well not lifesaver, I could’ve read and understood the book without it, but I do like, as I said, having a sense of direction and placement in a story, so being able to envision the school so clearly was wonderful.

THE WRITING AND THE FEELINGS IT PROVOKED:

THE WRITING of this book is simply stunning. I feel like I’m always blabbering about the way books are written, but I can’t help it. It’s something I value so much, and this book did not disappoint. It was remarkable and always left me deep in thought and/or admiration towards Sabaa Tahir. It feels so real and personal, just how a good book’s supposed to make you feel. Let’s just say I highlighted the shit out of this book. I ADORE THIS BOOK’S WRITING, IS WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY, OKAY? Forget about my blabbering and focus on the fact that I’m in love with the way this book is written.

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OVERALL THOUGHTS:

THIS BOOK is a roller-coaster that only goes up, my friends. Actually no, it’s an insane ride with ups, downs, twists and turns, I just really wanted to quote Augustus Waters, is all. This book is suuuuper action-packed and it will keep you on the edge and guessing throughout the whole book. You’ll fall in love with the characters, you’ll feel for them and you’ll feel WITH them. You’ll get so invested in the plot that you’ll have a hard time transitioning from it to another and getting it out of your mind. It’s a beautiful, formidable piece of art and awesomeness, and I’m so immensely excited for the sequel, A Torch Against the Light. The ending of this book leaves space for so much development and amazing things that I can’t wait to have my jaw-drop because of how great it is (will be).

I HOPE you decide to give this book a try, if you haven’t already, because I guarantee that you’ll love it. For me, it lived up to all the hype and exceeded it. And well… If you end up not liking it then you and I will need to have a serious discussion about this, hahaha. GOODNIGHT, MORNING, AFTERNOON OR EVENING!

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Review

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Book: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Asscrown,” I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn’t proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it.
Noah matched my pace. “Don’t you mean ‘assclown’?” He looked amused.
“No,” I said, louder this time. “I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses,” I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity.
“I guess you nailed me then.”

THERE IS NOTHING NORMAL ABOUT THIS BOOK! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! The book starts with our main girl, Mara Dyer, and her two friends, Rachel and Claire, playing Quija on Rachel’s birthday. While Mara refuses to play, her two friends go ahead and start the game and, naturally, the first question they ask is, “how am I going to die,” cause who wouldn’t want to know how they’re going to die, right? RIGHT?

The piece settles first on the letter M. Murder? Maybe? Then it settles on the letter A. Matches? Mauling? Next, R. Silence. Complete and utter silence. Finally, A.

WHAT?! Surely it’s just asking for Mara to play, right? No biggie. No worries.

Six months later, both her friends were DEAD.

Turns out both her friends, and her boyfriend (well, ex-boyfriend) had been found dead in the remains of the Tamerlane State Lunatic Asylum, and our beloved Mara was found unconscious. When she wakes up, BAM! PTSD. She’s lost her friends, she’s lost her boyfriend, and she can’t remember how, much less why it happened. The result of this is a horrible case of PTSD that leaves her hallucinating and maybe, just maybe, losing her mind. And THIS is the beginning of a long, insane journey that isn’t even done for me yet becAUSE THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST BOOK.

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ATTEMPT #745284643 AT BREAKING DOWN THE ENIGMA THAT IS MARA DYER:

Here’s the one question about Mara that I kept pondering over and over in my head throughout the whole book: PTSD or supernatural? You see, reading from a psychotic girl like Mara’s point of view kind of feels like a dream, very hazy and hard to tell apart from reality. You read all of these thoughts and about all of these things happening, things that seem impossible, but at the same time, they seem so real, like a very vivid dream, but still just a dream. And so you read all of these things and you wonder, is it really her mind coming up with all of these things, or is it really happening? Is it something else, not entirely from this world? Sometimes its like I wanted to believe it was actually happening, as impossible as it seemed, because somehow the idea of her making all of this up disturbs me to no end.

On the other hand, sometimes Mara appears to be… Normal. A normal girl who is capable of joking around, of smiling genuinely, of crushing on someone, a girl who has talents, who is capable of loving. She’s the perfect balance of normalcy and insanity.

Mara Dyer is a puzzle, one that evolves, expands and contracts, and one that needs to be solved.

THE AMAZINGNESS THAT IS NOAH SHAW:

*sigh*

Noah, my friends, was my rock throughout this whole book. Were it not for him I’m not sure I would’ve been able to get through this whole book, as being in Mara’s mind can become very dark and burdening real fast. I’d often find myself trying to solve Mara, and figure her out, but thanks to Noah, I had something else to think about from this book, something light (but with the perfect amount of depth) and much more enjoyable.

Noah is the perfect guy for someone like Mara. Complementing her in all the right ways, and caring for her regardless of her state of mind or her mood swings. He was patient and he was gentle, and he understood her, in a way. And that’s just what she needed, someone patient who understood.

On top of that, he’s immensely charming and charismatic. He shines light to the dark tunnel that is this book whenever he jokes around or is simply present in the book.

*cough* he’s also VERY hot and British *cough*

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ROMANCE IN THE BOOK:

The romance in this book… I don’t have a lot of coherent thoughts about it other than it was perfect. It was slow and steady but not TOO slow, just right. You see, when you have a book as dark as The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, a little bit of romance is just the right thing to lighten up the burden that reading this book could feel like. Only that we got a lot of romance, slow and steady, but a lot. And I was more than okay with that! I LOVE ROMANCE, OKAY? And I certainly loved Noah and Mara’s relationship. It was hilarious, and light, and cute, yet at the same time so intense and deep. I loved their bickering and teasing. I laughed every time and found myself looking forward to these little moments quite often. And I loved their deep, serious moments. The ones in which you knew, YOU KNEW, that Noah had come into Mara’s life to stay. It was perfect, I loved it, 10/10.

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HOW IT ENDED:

YOU WANNA KNOW HOW THIS BOOK ENDED? CLIFF FREAKING HANGER, THAT’S HOW IT ENDED. The book was already hard enough to figure out, but the end just took a veeeeery unexpected (and yet somehow expected) turn that just messed everything up even more. I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t WANT to think, I felt insane and insanely lost. The way this book ends just leaves so much space for SO MANY possibilities that I literally have no idea as to what to expect from the next book.

THE WRITING AND ITS SIDE-EFFECTS:

The way this book is written is truly admirable. It’s not so much because of how “beautiful” or “mesmerizing” it is as much as because of how it makes you feel. The way this book is written makes everything feel as if almost every single word, sentence, paragraph, page and chapter were written from a very intense, chaotic place, so much so that at times I felt like I was truly insane. You don’t know what to expect, you’re not sure how you should feel, you don’t know what to believe and what not to believe. I felt what Mara felt, I felt like I was seeing everything that Mara saw, or hearing the things she heard. You don’t always fully understand what’s going on, it’s scary and exciting. Utterly confusing, completely astounding. It’s amazing how Michelle managed to write this book in such ways that made it feel so real to me.

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Being inside Mara Dyer’s mind like:

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK:

Entrancing, spine-tingling, powerful, breathtaking.  I loved this book to bits and I wish that everyone would give this book a chance, as a lot of people seem to be scared to go into this trilogy because of how dark and creepy it can come to be at times. IT’S SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! TRUST ME ON THIS! It’s the kind of book, messy as it is, that you won’t forget.

I really, really, really hope you decide to give this book a try, if you haven’t already aaaaaaaand have a VERY goodnight, morning, afternoon or evening, depending on where you are.

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