Hello everyone! I haven’t been posting much here lately, mainly because I’ve been in a reading slump for like two weeks now, and haven’t read a single book so far, so I thought why not catch up on the book tags I have yet to do instead. So here I am! I was tagged to do the This is My Genre, Tell Me Yours Book Tag by Lauren from Comma Hangover -you can check her blog out, and also her answers to this tag-, so thank you Lauren for tagging me!!

This is my genre tag

The tag was created by Drew @  TheTattooedBookGeek.

Question 1: What is your favorite genre?

I don’t think this will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or follows me on Goodreads or here, but my favorite genre is Fantasy. Any type of fantasy will do to be honest, whether it is High Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, YA Fantasy or Urban Fantasy, I will read it and I will mostly love it. It is my go-to genre since I was a teenager, and it all started with Harry Potter. Ever since, I have read so many amazing book series, some of which have become my all time favorites.

Question 2: Who is your favorite author from that genre? 

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It’s hard to answer a question just like this one, because how can someone even choose ONE single author out of all the ones we’ve read?! And more so, when your favorite genre has so many sub-genres which you equally love. But for the purpose of this tag I will choose someone who I also don’t think will come as a surprise: Brandon Sanderson. My love for that man’s writing will never end. And my love for his books will never cease to amaze me. The way he can create such intricate and elaborate storylines and MAGIC SYSTEMS is beyond me. His incredible and unique world building is also something for which he is known, and because of all this, I can say he is one of my favorite Fantasy authors. The Mistborn series are currently my favorite books out of the ones I’ve read from him so far.

Question 3: What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

I guess it’s the endless possibilities when it comes to world building, which is the reason why I rant a lot about it when there’s a lack of it in books. I love the universes and places Fantasy authors create; it’s one of my all time favorite things to read about. But I guess it’s also about the magic systems. It’s never the same in all the books I’ve read so far. Each author, in each book, is able to come up with so many different varieties and systems of magic, that you are just amazed at their creativity.

Question 4: What is the book that started your love for the genre?

It was Harry Potter. I was lucky enough to have grown with the Harry Potter books ever since they first came out. I remember my mom had gone out to do some grocery shopping, and when she came back she gave me the first book, which at that time, it wasn’t famous at all. She said something along the lines of ‘look what I found, it looks interesting, doesn’t it?’, and  right then, I had no fucking idea what those books would mean to me once I started reading them. I still remember every year how we had to wait for a next book to come out, and especially here, where we had to wait for the Spanish translations to come out, which was torture. So, yeah, my love for Fantasy started with Harry Potter, even if now I’m more interested in reading High Fantasy book series.

Question 5: If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

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I guess for this I’m going to have to pick one book from each sub-genre, because they are all very different. If you are into Dark Fantasy, maybe try a book from Mark Lawrence like Prince of Thorns or a book from Joe Abercrombie, which I haven’t done yet, but I’ve heard amazing things from his books. If you are looking for something to get you started on High Fantasy you could choose The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson or The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. And if you are looking for a YA Fantasy book, I’d recommend The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo.

Question 6: Why do you read? 

I mean, have yall seen the news lately? The world is more and more fucked up, and I think reading is a way of escaping all of this. It’s just something I’ve always found comfort in doing, ever since I was young. The possibility of reading about someone else’s experiences in other worlds, even if it’s just for a little while, is amazing.

So, I’m not gonna tag anyone, because I don’t wanna impose anything on anyone, but if you read this and you like this tag, please feel free to do it and link me your post so I can read your answers. I’d love to see what genres you love reading and which books are your favorites! Until next time!

Roar by Cora Carmack

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“In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.
Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.
Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.”

Goodreads | Book Depository


I finally have the time to sit down and write a review for a book that restored my faith in the YA Fantasy genre. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres of all time, but when it comes to YA novels, I’ve always felt that there wasn’t much creativity to keep me interested. I’ve tried reading Truthwitch to no avail, same thing with Falling Kingdoms. Every time I pick up a YA Fantasy book, I brace myself for the disappointment that I expect based on previous experiences. But then Roar came along and here I am praising it and hyping it up because it deserves EVERY SINGLE adulation this book gets. TRUST ME.

Cora Carmack is a well-known New Adult author, and since I had never read one of her books before, I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this one up. I was afraid I was gonna find myself in yet another fantasy cliché storyline, the same hyped up book with little depth to its world-building and characters. And since she had a background in NA, I was scared that it wasn’t gonna be a fantasy novel AT ALL. And while I think that Roar has a lot of romance that could have been done away with, the novel in itself is something that should be talked about more.

So what is this story about and why is it so good? The actual plot and world-building is AMAZING. As you can get from the synopsis, the story follows our main character, Aurora Pavan, the heir to the Pavan throne which for generations has been kept by Stormlings, people who are born with the magical abilities to control storms -strong enough that they are able to destroy entire villages and towns-, and steal their hearts in order to defeat them. Yes, the literal heart of a storm. But when Aurora shows no sign of possessing any kind of powers, she knows the people are bound to realize that she is no Stormling and that she can’t protect them, yet her mother comes up with a possible solution to their problem: marrying her off to a Stormling prince form another kingdom.

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But not everything is as it seems. This Stormling prince appears to have an ulterior motive in this marriage proposal, and Aurora finds herself alone and tired of pretending to be something she is not. Until one day, she stumbles upon a black market where a plethora of magical items are being sold to whoever has enough coin to buy them. Items that can give ANYONE, regardless of who they are, magical abilities. Abilities such as controlling Storms. So it appears to be that not everything regarding magic is as Aurora was always told, and she realizes that maybe she has a way out, another chance to become the protector of Pavan without having to marry.

As a character and unlike many other characters in this genre, Aurora doesn’t have any power at all, literally and metaphorically speaking. She has to undergo massive character development throughout the story, where she not only grows as a person but also as a leader. She comes from a privileged position without having any merit to being where she was, yet once she takes on her other persona, Roar, we can finally say she has every right to become the protector of the Pavan kingdom.

Now, I want to talk about the rest of the characters. From the beginning we are made to believe that Cassius Locke, the betrothal, is the antagonist. It is hinted that he has a hidden agenda in marrying off Aurora, but we don’t know what those motives might be. All we know, is that his entire family traveled to Pavan with him to witness his wedding, but once Aurora is found missing and Cassius is left in charge of Pavan, they seem to resemble the Lannisters in their thirst for power.

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And then we have Locke, the storm hunter. Yes, he has the exact same last name as the Royal family. Coincidence? apparently, yes. There is a whole tragic backstory that I will not get into because SPOILERS, but let me tell you that it was extremely obvious from the very beginning that our second Locke was going to become our love interest in this story. I do have to say that I had certain problems with this character. He was overprotective of Roar, to the point where it became annoying, and just the way he treated Roar most of the times like she was this fragile thing that could break at any time bothered me a little bit. He definitely grew on me though, and the relationship. as expected as it was, felt real and well developed. I seriously can’t wait till he finds out the truth about who Roar actually is, because I think his mind will probably be blown.

There is also a mysterious and unknown greater evil, besides the Storms, that is hinted at throughout the book, and about whom we don’t have any sort of information, but which leaves you hooked and wanting to read the second book in this series to know what is going on.

I think that Cora was able to mix all of that which is typical in a NA book together with a unique worldbuilding and magic system here. Roar is the story of Aurora going into a journey of self-discovery, someone who grows into the powerful leader she was bound to become and whom Pavan deserves. If you enjoy reading YA books and you also love fantasy, you should give this one a chance; you will fall in love with the unique world-building Cora created and with Aurora’s journey.

Another Readathon?!

A few days have passed since Booktubeathon, and I am still exhausted by all the reading I got done during that week, so when I heard about this other readathon that is happening this month I thought to myself, ‘are you really that insane to get into YET ANOTHER ONE when you just finished one of the most exhausting weeks ever?’. And the answer is YES, I AM INSANE BECAUSE I WILL BE PARTICIPATING IN TOME TOPPLE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

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I had heard about Tome Topple before, since the host of this readathon is one of my favorite booktubers out there, Samantha, but I have never had the strength to commit to it since, like it’s obviously stated in the name of this readathon, what you have to read are tomes. HUGE ASS BOOKS. And so I’ve always felt intimidated by this, which is kind of ironic since the majority of the books I own are huge ass books, but anyways. I am doing this, this is happening, so let’s get into all the info about Tome Topple in case you guys decide to join in!

• All the books you decide to read MUST have 500 pages or more.

• It runs from midnight on August 4 to midnight on August 17.

• There are also going to be reading sprints on Twitter and challenges on Instagram which are always fun, so check the links out in case you want to participate on that as well.

• The challenges you can complete (though not obligatory) are the following ones:

⇒ Read more than 1 tome

⇒ Read a graphic novel (over 500 pages)

⇒ Read a tome that is part of a series

⇒ Buddy read a tome

⇒ Read an adult novel

So these are the books I think I’ll try to read on Tome Topple

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If I get to read at least 2 of these, I would be completing three challenges (read a book that is part of a series, read an adult novel and read more than 1 tome), so I’m totally fine with that. There is no way I can find a graphic novel that huge, and I don’t have any buddy reads for these books. If you are reading any of these ones and want to buddy read, let me know down below, I’d love to! Are you participating in Tome Topple? What are you guys reading?!

New Releases | August

Another month starts, and we have more releases to come! There are some of this month’s books that I am DYING to get my hands on. So, here are some of the ones that I’m looking forward to reading if I ever have the time during this month.

See What I Have Done
August 1st

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

These Things I’ve Done
August 1st

Before:
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After:
It’s been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn’t racked with guilt over her role in her best friend’s death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn’t half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey’s brother, every day. Not just because he’s a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she’s betraying her best friend one final time.

The Good Daughter
August 8th

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Little & Lion
August 8th

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

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A Map for Wrecked Girls
August 15th

We sat at the edge of the ocean—my sister Henri and I—inches apart but not touching at all. We’d been so sure someone would find us by now.

Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.

I’d trusted Henri more than I’d trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I’d follow.

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. 

For the first time, I was afraid we’d die on this shore.

To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present? 

Dress Codes for Small Towns
August 22nd

As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer
August 29th

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

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I’m dying for that Wonder Woman book to come out because LOOK. AT. IT!! And, Leigh Bardugo has become one of my favorite YA authors after the Six of Crows duology, so I need to own that book NOW! How about you? Which books are you mostly looking forward to this month?

Recap of My First Readathon

Phew! That was an INSANE week that just passed by. I am so happy that I decided to participate in my first readathon ever, because I think I have never read so much in such little amount of time in my life. I couldn’t complete all seven challenges on time (I only had 3 chapters left of my 7th book BUT THE CLOCK STRUCK MIDNIGHT AND I WAS SO MAD BECAUSE I WAS LITERALLY SO CLOSE TO MAKING IT UGH) and I am a little upset about that, but all in all, it was a rather successful Booktubeathon for me. So, here’s a little recap of what I was able to finish.

PROMPT #1: READ A BOOK WITH A PERSON ON THE COVER

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★★★

So, this was my first book of the readathon since I wanted to start with a quick read, and what better than a graphic novel for that? Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I expected. The author of Paper Girls is the same on as Saga which is my favorite graphic novel of all the ones I’ve read so far, but I felt that for being the first Volume, there was very little explanation as to what was happening. I loved the art style, the fact that it is set in the 80s, but in terms of plotline, it was hard to follow or even understand what was actually going on. Maybe I’ll give Volume 2 a chance to see if things get further developed, but this one was a bit disappointing.

PROMPT #2: READ A HYPED BOOK

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★★★

For this one I decided to go for the sequel to Every Heart A Doorway, which I had absolutely loved when I read it a while back, but again, I feel like I expected a lot more from it that what I got. One of the reasons why I think that happened to me was because this one only follows the story of two of the main characters from the first book. Even though seeing their backstory and what they went through before the events of the first book was interesting, I didn’t enjoy it as much as EHAD. I kinda wanted to see more about where the characters were instead of a story about the characters’ past.

PROMPT #3: FINISH A BOOK IN ONE DAY

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★★★★

Oh god. THIS FUCKING BOOK BROKE ME. It is a very short novel, no longer than 180 pages, and yet it was so emotionally draining, I was bawling my eyes out by the end of it. It is a simple story about a kid in foster care who gets placed into a new family who wants to help him get better, but soon they realize that what he has lived in his short life is something he can’t let go of that easily. This short book restored my faith in humanity, because I’d like to believe that people like that family exist in real life. GO READ THIS!

 

PROMPT #4: READ ABOUT A CHARACTER WHO IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM YOU

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★★★ 

This was bittersweet. The conclusion to this series was not what I expected, because I kept feeling like this book could not have happened at all and we would still be in the same exact place as when the previous book ended. There was no actual plotline unlike the previous two books, and the only thing I felt I was getting was some sort of goodbye to the characters, which I guess is what the author intended to do. Even if I liked how Jenny Han wrapped everything up, I can’t help but feel bittersweet about this one. I was expecting much more than what I was given, and I found myself being annoyed plenty of times at Lara Jean which had never happened before.

PROMPT #5: READ A WHOLE BOOK OUTDOORS

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★★★★

THIS BOOK. Yes, it had a lot of cliché moments, yes it had your typical high-school character tropes, but it was so much more than that! The characters went through so much character development throughout the story, the mystery about what had happened to Simon kept me on the edge of my seat at all times, I had no clue as to who had been the one behind Simon’s murder (okay, I only guessed like half of it, but seriously it was such a good plot twist, I still think about it lol), and the romantic relationship was AMAZING, I was screeching like a high schooler by the end of the book. Give this one a try if you enjoy YA thrillers, because it will blow your mind. Especially for the characters, I loved the idea that appearances are only that; what goes inside someone’s life can be completely different from what you see on the exterior of a person. I LOVED THIS ONE!

PROMPT #6: READ A BOOK YOU BOUGHT BECAUSE OF THE COVER

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★★★★

UGH IF ONLY I HAD SLEPT ONE HOUR LESS I WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FINISH THIS ONE ON TIME! Yes, I’m still mad about this but at least this readathon made me finally pick this book up, because boy, THIS WAS LIT. AMAZING. I have no idea how this book isn’t on everyone’s radar because it’s the most unique YA book I have read in a long time. And I read a lot of YA. The concept of this world where different types of storms are everyone’s worst nightmares and that there are people born with powers who are able to control them and KILL THEM by stealing said storms’ hearts BLEW MY MIND. I really want to make a proper review for this one because I need to make this book justice, but the only thing I will say is that I was hooked from the beginning and I hate my life because I have to wait until 2018 to read the sequel.

PROMPT #7: READ SEVEN BOOKS

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★★★★★

Lastly, but definitely not least, we have The Roanoke Girls. This book still haunts me. That is how enthralling this story was. It was fucked up, more than you can imagine, but I’ve always been a reader who loves these dark and twisted tales, so while it was extremely disturbing, I couldn’t help but to want to keep reading. The writing is spectacular, and the characters are so messed up that reading this almost felt like when you see there’s a train wreck and you can’t help but stare at it, and you know you shouldn’t but you still do. There were times when I had to put the book down for a while because I felt physically sick about what was going on, but once I finished it, I couldn’t help but stare and think how much of a fucking genius Amy Engel is.

 

Quick overview of what I accomplished during this Readathon:

✔ Read 6 books in total (technically 6 books and 3/4 of my 7th one)
✔ Completed 6 challenges
✔ Read a total of 1881 pages

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So there is my wrap up for this Booktubeathon! I think I’m still gonna make individual reviews for the ones that I loved, because I have way too many feelings that I need to express and share. I am extremely beat after last week and the only thing I want right now is to sleep 24 hs straight, so somewhere along this week I think I will be posting my reviews. Did you participate in the readathon? Were you successful with all the challenges? Let me know down below, I’d love to see what you guys read!

Let’s Get Down To Business!

Hi everyone! I hope you are having a lovely weekend! Since I have been slacking so much on reading lately, and after I heard Booktube-A-Thon was happening next week, I thought why not join in and get some reading done once a for all! I am so excited to be participating this year, which will also be my first year EVER that I do a readathon, so I’m also kinda scared since I have no clue how I’m gonna be able to read all the books I have planned in seven days. Booktube-A-Thon is a seven-day readathon that runs from Monday 24th to Sunday 30th of July, and there are also seven reading challenges for people who participate in it to complete, though they are not necessarily obligatory. Personally, I will try to do my best to complete all of them, but reading 7 books in 7 days is kinda hard. Let’s see the books I intend to read, shall we?

PROMPT #1: READ A BOOK WITH A PERSON ON THE COVER

I’m gonna start the readathon with a graphic novel, because there is no way in hell I will be able to read 7 entire novels in just a week unless one of those is a graphic novel. I’ve heard mixed things about this, but since it’s from the same author as Saga, one of my all time favorites, I’m gonna give it a chance.

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PROMPT #2: READ A HYPED BOOK

This one is easy. Even though I have a like a dozen of books on my TBR that have been hyped like crazy all over Booktube, Goodreads, and here, I have to pick the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway. I’m eager to see what’s gonna happen in this one, since I really enjoyed the first one when I read it.

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PROMPT #3: FINISH A BOOK IN ONE DAY

Since it’s nearly impossible for me to finish a book in one day unless it’s a graphic novel, I decided to go for one of the shortest books that I own, which also happens to have amazing reviews on Goodreads.

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PROMPT #4: READ ABOUT A CHARACTER WHO IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM YOU

The final book of this trilogy has been out for months now, and I have yet to read it. So, I decided to choose this one for this category, since the main character is a half Korean teenager, and I’m neither of those, so I guess that counts for the ‘very different from you’ part of the prompt. I’ve heard mixed things about the conclusion to this trilogy, so I’m hesitant to see how the story is gonna end. I hope it doesn’t disappoint!

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PROMPT #5: READ A WHOLE BOOK OUTDOORS

Okay, since down here we are in the middle of winter, I’m only gonna do this if there happens to be a reasonable temperature during the week. There’s no way I’m gonna freeze to death just to complete this category, so here’s to hoping it’s a bit warmer during the week!

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PROMPT #6: READ A BOOK YOU BOUGHT BECAUSE OF THE COVER

This is one of my favorite covers of this year releases. JUST LOOK AT IT, it’s so breath-takingly stunning! I have never read a Cora Carmack book, but I’ve always seen people talk about her New Adult books, so it’s not only gonna be a first time for me reading one of her books, but also her first Fantasy YA novel.

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PROMPT #7: READ SEVEN BOOKS

I’ve been meaning to read this one since I came across this cover on Goodreads and fell in love with it. It seems like a really intriguing and creepy story, and I can’t wait to be able to finally read it. I’ve heard it deals with a lot of very harsh topics, but that the writing is incredible.

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So, these are all the books I intend to read during this readathon! I can already see myself failing to read them all but it counts to at least try, right? You can check out the official Youtube channel for the Booktube-A-Thon HERE to see all the challenges and more info about the people hosting it. I’ve read there are a lot of giveaways that are also going to be international, so that’s always nice to hear! Are you going to participate? If so, what are you going to be reading? Let me know in the comments!

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Hello everyone! Since I have seen so many people doing this tag, I decided why not try it myself as well! We are already in July, half of the year has already passed, and this tag was perfect to see out of all the books I had the chance to read, which ones have stood out for me for various reasons. So let’s get into it!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017

26114523So far, there’s only been a couple of books that have gotten a 5 star rating from me, and I feel like I haven’t read quite so many books that I’ve absolutely loved so far, but The Summer That Melted Everything has got to be one of the very best I’ve read in 2017, if not the best, at least for now. This is such an underrated book; I haven’t seen many people read or talk about it, and I think it’s such a shame because this book broke me, and it left me emotionally drained. It’s about how we as human beings tend to be prejudiced against those who are not like us, how discrimination can ruin people’s lives, and how the mob mentality can lead us to committing horrible acts. But it is also about friendship and acceptance, and having to live within one’s skin. The issues that this book tackles make it extremely relevant to today’s day and age.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2017

10803710Of course Sanderson had to fall into at least one of these categories. It’s true that so far this year I haven’t read that many sequels, but out of the three that I’ve read, The Alloy Of Law definitely takes the prize of best sequel. Even though this is technically the first book in a new trilogy, it is counted as the sequel to the original Mistborn trilogy, so I may be cheating a little bit with this one, but I honestly don’t care lol. It’s set in the same world as Mistborn, but we follow a different set of characters and we get to see how the world has evolved after 300 years. The plot is intriguing, the characters are lovable and the new threats are very different from what we had in the first trilogy. And I don’t know why, but this book kept giving me a lot of Legend of Korra vibes 😂

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To

I have like a dozen of new releases that I STILL haven’t had the chance or time to read, but I will limit myself to just two that I’m really excited to read about, one because Laini Taylor is one of my favorite authors, and the other one because I have only heard amazing things about it.

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Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year

How the hell am I supposed to choose just ONE when there are dozens of books that are coming out the rest of the year?! I’m gonna cheat for this one and pick at least two that I HAVE to read before this year ends. (Not gonna include Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson because I haven’t read any of the other two first books)

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Biggest Disappointment

Oh boy, I have so many that fit this category, but I’ll stick to two for this one as well. Dark Matter may be a controversial choice, because everyone on Goodreads seems to have loved it, yet for me it was just below average. The story was interesting, the idea of parallel universes and parallel lives is so intriguing, but the way the book executed the idea was just so underwhelming. The dialogues were awful and the ending was extremely predictable. And as regards Lola and The Boy Next Door, I think my dislike towards Stephanie Perkins’ books is well-known by now. I think this one was slightly better than Anna and the French Kiss, but it was still an awful book for me. When it comes to contemporaries, I think Perkins’ are the worst books I’ve read among that genre.

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Biggest Surprise

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For this one I have to choose Trust by Kylie Scott. I have heard so many things about her Dive Bar series and the other one whose name I can’t remember, and yet I never picked them up. So when this one was for request I snatched it as fast as I could, and I’m glad I got it because DAYUM SON, this one was amazing! I love New Adult and all the angst and drama of relationships that typically abound in this genre, but this one was very different in many ways. The main character was also not your typical NA female and I loved it! I’ll definitely pick more of her books in the future.

Favourite New Author

Penelope Douglas a.k.a Queen of Angst and Smut in New Adult. I had heard so many things about the book Bully for so long, that I just couldn’t help but pick it up and my mind was blown. She has a way of creating so much drama and angst between characters, and also incorporating topics that are relevant to what adolescents tend to go through while in school. Her characters are realistic and flawed, and the stories she comes up with are addicting AF. After reading my first book from her, I just had to pick another one, and I’m really craving reading her other books as well.

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Favourite New Crush

Okay, the only one that comes to mind right now is Wax from The Alloy of Law. I just fell in love with this new character immediately, and yes, he is older, probably in his late 30s but I just can’t help it: he is hot, a badass who can shoot people with perfect aim, and he is an absolute adorable puppy on the inside. To be honest? He can get it any day.

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Favourite New Characters

Since I have already fangirled about Wax, for this one I’ll pick two characters that are relatively new to me. I had the pleasure to meet their stories last year, so I’m gonna cheat and count them as new, and they are Damen and Laurent from the Captive Prince trilogy. Now, I know that many people think this series glorifies and romanticizes a slave/master relationship, but if you have ever read these books, you’d know that nothing could be farther from the truth. Laurent is a character that grows on you, and by the end of this series I was an emotional mess because of his story. I would protect Laurent with my life if I ever had to. And Damen. Oh, Damen, the biggest cinnamon roll that could kill you with his bare hands if he wanted to. I’m so fond of their story and the character development both go through these 3 books, that their story will forever hold a special place in my heart.

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 *I love my children so much, I just cry thinking about them, I mean look at them!!*

Books That Made You Cry

I cry very easily with books and TV shows as well, but especially with books, so if I had to choose one for this out of all the books that have made me bawl my eyes out, I would have to choose We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. THIS BOOK WRECKED ME! I couldn’t stop crying when I was reaching the end, and I had to constantly stop so that I could dry my eyes out. This book touched me on an emotional level, and the main character’s struggle with grief and depression was so real and relatable, it felt like I was going through the same hell as she was. I also cried with Bully, even though I kind of anticipated the twist by the end, it was still heartbreaking. And I couldn’t leave Thirteen Reasons Why out of this category, for obvious reasons. Again, another book that broke me.

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A Book That Made You Happy

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. This book. I have no words that could possibly describe everything I felt while reading this masterpiece other than pure happiness. Even though I cried as well, the book just filled me with a feeling of happiness and joy that I haven’t experienced again yet. Their love story is the purest I’ve read in YA contemporaries, and every time I see anyone talking about Ari and Dante it makes my heart happy 😍

Most Beautiful Books You’ve Bought So Far This Year

Hands down all the UK editions that I’ve bought and received of Brandon Sanderson’s books. My goal is to own all his books in these editions, because they are the most beautiful thing I have seen in my life. These are some of the ones I’ve bought this year:

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What Books Do You Need to Read Before the End of the Year?

HAHAHHAHAH SO MANY! Literally, my TBR keeps growing bigger and bigger each month that passes, and I have no clue how I’m gonna be able to read them all. I really wanted to read all of the Game of Thrones books before the new season started, but that’s just not gonna happen since it’s already started lmao. So, these are the ones I really, REALLY want to read before the year ends (plus a re-read of the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series)

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Phew, this took me forever to finish, but it was really fun to think about the books I’ve read so far this year and the ones I’m planning on reading for the second half of the year. I’m not gonna tag anyone, but if you want to, feel free to do it as well! Until next time!

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

4 Stars

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Synopsis

“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.
In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…
And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.
Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.
We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?
Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?
F*ck it. I need to meet her.
I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.
Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.
He could be gone forever.
Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

Goodreads


“Do you notice that, too? How all of us just want to get through life as quickly and easily as possible? And even though we know that without risk there’s no reward, we’re still so scared to chance it?”

I have just finished reading this book and I’m trying to put my thoughts in order, so I can write a semblance of a review for this book. Because it was THAT good. Just a few days ago I finished reading my first Penelope Douglas book, Bully, and I knew after finishing that one in a day that I had just found a NA author that I would absolutely enjoy reading. And I wasn’t wrong. But while Bully was a great book, I don’t think it compares to the story that Punk 57 tells us.

In Punk 57 we follow the story of two pen pals, who started writing each other because of school but who continued on doing so for 7 years. Ryen and Misha were paired up when they were in elementary school because of a mistake from a teacher thinking she had paired up two girls, when in fact she had paired up Ryen with a boy named Misha. From there, their friendship developed into becoming best friends without even personally knowing each other. And that’s how they wanted to keep things. In paper. In letters. Until Misha suddenly stops replying Ryen’s letters, and she begins to wonder what happened that made him break the promise they had made each other of always keeping in touch when they were kids. After three months of Ryen not knowing what happened, her life is turned upside down when there is a new hot and mysterious student in her school that seems to always be picking on her.

Now, like I’ve said before, this was my second Penelope Douglas book, and I have to say that the issues regarding bullying were so much better addressed here than in Bully. Ryen had a rough childhood because she never seemed to be able to fit in with kids -and we know how mean kids can be, so her way of self-preservation was to become one of those mean kids. Maybe that doesn’t make sense to us readers, but for her, it was her way of dealing with the shit that she had to undergo. And so she grows up to be one of the mean girls who pick on people because now she is finally not alone. But she knows that what she is doing is wrong, she knows that deep inside, she was never like this, and that she doesn’t enjoy doing things like this. And Masen, the new student, makes her realize that.

I loved the push and pull between the two characters, and how they constantly got in each other’s faces, and how they seemed they couldn’t get enough of each other either. There was an attraction that went both ways beyond the annoyance that they showed towards one another, and boy, did it show in the steamy scenes. I LIVE for the smut this woman can write. I can probably count with one hand how many New Adult books include scenes where a guy goes down on a girl, and not only mention it, but they are also detailed and lengthy scenes, and it is so fucking stupid that I have to be here thanking an author for writing something that should be as naturalized and included as women giving men head is in these types of books. So kudos to you Penelope!

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Back to the bullying theme, in this book it is one of the main focuses of the storyline, since Ryen’s entire persona seems to be built around the fact that she’s insecure and unsure about herself, so in order to cope, she lashes out against other people. As a reader, at the beginning I didn’t like her, because I couldn’t understand how she could do to others what she hated was being done to her. But then you get inside her head, and you start understanding a little bit better the reasons behind her actions, which doesn’t mean it’s condoning her behavior. It just means we are able to get a glimpse of why she acts the way she does. She is a realistic character and teenager, who knows she is not doing what is right, but who is afraid of standing up for herself and others.

There are also other storylines that involve Misha that I don’t wanna get into because I feel like if I start writing about them I will end up spoiling things. But this book is more than just two characters getting it on; it’s a story about grief and not knowing how to cope with it, it’s a story about how real friendship can endure even the worst hurdles. It is also a story about second chances: a second chance at doing what is right, at righting the wrongs that you’ve done in life, and moving on, and a second chance with that one person who stood by you through the highs and lows of life.

If you like New Adult, you should definitely pick up a Penelope Douglas book, because let me tell you that you are going to fly through her books, they are THAT addicting.

Trust by Kylie Scott

35369208Synopsis

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

Publication date: July 18th


I have a lot of things to say about this book. When I first requested this on NetGalley I honestly thought it was going to be a New Adult book because I’ve heard a lot about this author and her book series on Goodreads, and usually, what I’ve heard about them have been amazing things. So I said, why not try this one out? I’m glad I did, because this book was AMAZING for so many reasons.

To start with, this is not NA, since the characters are still in their teens and in their last year of high school. Yet, this book reads entirely like a NA book! You are completely hooked since the very beginning with a very tense and shocking scene: a robbery gone wrong. Like I’ve said, this book reads like NA in that it has that same easy and fast pace, where you are completely immersed into the characters’ lives, and once you stop and put the book down, you realize it’s already over. That’s how interesting this story was.

Trust breaks the mold so many times that I don’t even know where to start! I think this is the first book that I’ve read where our main character Edie is overweight. Like, actually overweight, IN A BOOK THAT IS ALMOST NA! The fact that I was surprised to find a MC like this in this book says a lot about what is messed up about representation in books. Especially representation in NA/YA. While I was reading this book I sat there thinking ‘this shouldn’t even be brought up as something odd or rare’ BUT IT IS, AND IT PISSES ME OFF SO DAMN MUCH! Why can’t we have this sort of diversity in YA/NA? Why does it always have to be the perfect petite girl with the perfect measurements of 90-60-90? And I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that either, but the fact that 99% of the times female characters are described as ‘skinny but with big boobs’ does bother me. THIS RIGHT HERE IS WHAT WE NEED. We need more characters that represent what people in real life are like and look like; we SHOULD be exposed to characters that are more heterogeneous. And it saddens me to think that finding a book with such a character is a rarity when it shouldn’t be. I’m sick and tired of reading about characters that always have the same complexions and body types. SO THANK YOU KYLIE SCOTT FOR GIVING US THIS BOOK.

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The characterization of all the characters was extremely on point, and I felt like I was actually watching the lives of these teenagers unfold before my eyes. After the robbery gone wrong, Edie starts suffering from PTSD -as expected- and I have to say that Kylie Scott did not shy away from anything while writing about it. It’s not a boy’s love that ‘magically cures her’ like we see countless times in books, rather the fact that she actually goes to a therapist, she is prescribed pills for her panic attacks and for her trouble sleeping, and while she doesn’t forget overnight what she went through, she tries to move on from that horrible situation. Her life was turned upside down that night, so it’s pretty reasonable to see her act out against her mom and at school as well. And I think it was brilliant to have this sort of exchange of experiences between the main characters, Edie and John: while Edie used to be the well-behaved girl who did great in school, John was one of the town’s weed dealers who didn’t give a crap about school. But after that night at the drugstore, they switch to each other’s behavior. Having a near-death experience can do that to you, so Edie starts flanking out at school and trying to do new things for the first time, while John realizes he has been wasting his life away and becomes the responsible one.

Now, I loved their friendship and how slow-burn their romance was. It was realistic, the fact that two people get to know each other, get to break down their walls before anything else can happen, which is usually what doesn’t happen in YA. Their feelings for each other are developed in what feels like the perfect amount of time, until they realize that maybe what they feel is something other than just friendship. And if there is one scene from John that I want to point out, amongst the NUMEROUS times he stood up for Edie, is when he left a period care package on Edie’s doorstep because she told him that she couldn’t meet up due to the pain she was feeling… I’m sorry, but where the fuck are guys like John in real life BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I WANT ONE!

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Another thing that I loved about this was the female friendship. Edie and Hang meet each other once Edie transfers from a private school to her local public school, and the friendship grows from then on. The way the girls would stick up for each other every time something offensive was done to them or said about them gave me life. LITERALLY. How many times do we have to read about females being pitted against each other? Or for them to be jealous of each other? Well, not here!

Like any YA book, there is a lot of high school drama and angst, because what is a YA romance book without angst, amirite? Yet, it wasn’t the type of unbearable drama where you can’t help but roll your eyes at how annoying everything is; this however, was drama represented accurately: there was bullying addressed, teachers having prejudices towards certain students, miscommunications that caused problems, and more.

If there is one thing I didn’t quite like that much was something that happened towards the end, because I was kind of expecting it, but at the same time I found it a little bit unrealistic. But overall, kudos to Kylie Scott, because she nailed everything else in this book. So please, if you like NA or romance in general you should totally check this one out, because it deals with a lot of important issues teenagers can go through in a very mature way. And this might have been my first Kylie Scott book, but it certainly won’t be my last one.

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Final rating: 4

*I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review | The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia #2)

32600602Synopsis

Not long ago, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive those spirits and assume the royal throne. Since then, the new queen has kept the peace and protected the humans of her land. But now for all her power, she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. And if she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her beloved realm will run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people. 

Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. He did it once when he discovered Daleina, and he’s certain he’s done it again. Yet for all his appeals to duty, Naelin is a mother, and she knows her duty is to her children first and foremost. Only as the Queen’s power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened—even as ominous rumors trickle down from the north—does she realize that the best way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything. 


*There may be spoilers from the first book, so if you haven’t read it and wish to do so, you shouldn’t read this review.

This second installment in The Queens of Renthia trilogy was significantly better than the first novel in this series. The story picks up right where we left off: Daleina became the Queen of Aratay, all the other heirs are dead, and the spirits are once more back under the Queen’s control. This balance, however, doesn’t last long once the Queen starts showing signs that she might be suffering from a mortal condition and that her power might be weakening.

The first positive thing I have to say about this is that a lot of things that were only hinted at in The Queen of Blood were given detailed explanations here; the world-building was further explained, the characters felt more developed and not as two-dimensional as in the first one -even if I still think we could have been done away with one particular romantic relationship. And even though no one knows how women are the only ones who can have an affinity towards spirits and have the power to control them, the magic of how that control is enforced was a little bit more developed, since this was mainly the focus of the book’s plotline.

We are also introduced to new characters, some of which I really enjoyed reading about. Naelin gets to share the main character status just as Daleina does, and even though her whining about not wanting power annoyed me at the beginning, it is understandable taking into account she is a mother of two kids and she only ever wanted to be left alone. In the end, I think she came around and understood that it was selfish of her to think that way when the people of Aratay needed the protection that she could offer.

Now onto the problems I had while reading this. The romantic relationship that came out of nowhere in the first book and had no foundation or development whatsoever. It’s hard to believe the love Daleina and Hamon claim to have for each other, when we haven’t been given any kind of reason for us to believe in it. The only reason I could find for this to still be a thing in the second book was because they needed the help from Hamon’s mother. That was it.

Another thing I think was completely ridiculous was how Daleina’s sister became a master at preparing and identifying poisons overnight. Even if she had the best poisoner teacher in the whole fucking world, there is no way you can make me believe that a teenager of 14 years old is going to master the arts of poisoning in just a matter of three days. Like, no. It’s not gonna happen. Try again.

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And the most important of them all, the poisoner’s reveal that wasn’t much of a reveal. Seriously?! The author was basically pointing with a finger at the person who ended up being the poisoner with the hints she was giving all throughout the book. It was way too obvious. And the worst thing was that she started doing that since the middle of the book!! I had to sit there and stare like-I-was-in-the-office style every time the poisoner tried to hide the OBVIOUS signs of guilt on it’s face. It took everything away from what could have been an extraordinary climax when the reveal was done. But no, you could see who it was from a mile away.

Like I’ve said, this was still much better than the first book, especially because a lot of questions I had were explained here, and the characters felt more well-rounded as well. But that wasn’t enough. My attention wavered more than once while reading this, because I wasn’t fully invested in what was going on with the characters. I still had a lot of issues with this series that go beyond whether or not I like how original this YA fantasy story is. Do I recommend it? Sure, if you are the type of person who reads YA fantasy and is tired of seeing the same kind of plot being used over and over again, then you may find the premise for this trilogy interesting and unique. Personally, its uniqueness was not enough to catch  my attention.

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Final Rating: 3.5

*I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.