Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Smoke in the Sun,” by Reneé Ahdieh

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4.5/5 Stars

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Wow, once again mind-blown by the beautiful Reneé Ahdieh and her amazing writing. Even though half of the time throughout this books I had no idea what she was saying because many of the words used to described things were in a different language–though there’s an intensive glossary in the back–I didn’t get lost, not even once.

Here we follow the story of Mariko and Okami as they were dragged to the place following immediately after the ending of the last book A Flame in the Mist. In this book, we get different perspectives from various different characters and its written in the third person. Following the ambush of the Black Clan, Mariko has to figure out a way to save Okami and has to find a way to become someone of importance for the Black Clan. There’s political turmoil from within, family’s betrayal, broken hearts, and desperate cries. But at the end, we find our joy.

Mariko is not the same girl we started with in the first book, though in the first book she always seemed full of conviction, in this book we see it being part of her core. Spending time with those men in the woods taught her to believe in herself and to become stronger than she’s ever been before. We see her beeing tested throughout this book time and time again, yet Mariko’s resolved never faultered. She believed in a cause, and one cause only, and she would go to unknown lenghts to regardless of the consequenses, to save her people, to save Okami. She make sure they followed through. That’s something I admired from her in this book, in this story she had to make a choice for herself, could’ve chosen an easier route, but yet she didn’t. She choose to fight, and I truly apprecite divergence.

Ahdieh manages to bring one more time her beautiful writing in this one, and every once in awhile throughout this book I felt like I was reading a beautifully written folklore book that a grandma from Ireland was reading to her children. You know, the kind that passes by generations and that have the kids enthralled all the way to the end of the story. I honestly think she did a great job with world-building and the fact that she used the characters native language throughout this book made the story more diverse, made the story different. The way she portrayed the characters never felt lacking of anything. Renee made you feel the way the characters felt when you read them, if that makes any sense and each of thier thoughts were easy to follow.

If I do have to complain about anything I would say that the book felt a little bit rushed. There are moments throughout this book that I think she could’ve prolonged and/or moments that she could’ve added. There’s still some questions that I need answers to. Some scenes, especially in the last fifty pages or so felt rushed, and the book itself wasn’t very long, so I wouldn’t have mind if she were to add a couple pages to end just so that it can be more solidify. The didn’t necessarily end with a cliffhanger which is why I am confused as to whether there’s going to be another book or not.

Anyways, I would recommend this book if you liked her one, A Flame in the Mist, if you like Mulan, if you like Asian characters, if you like Mulan, oh, an if you like Mulan! There are some sensored sexy scenes in this book, so I would recommend it for ages 14 and up!

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Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Legendary,” by Stephanie Garber

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I just finished reading Legendary by Stephanie Garber and OMG it was such a huge improvement from the first one. If you read my review on Caraval which I wrote about more than a year ago, you know I did not like that book at all. I felt like it lacked character and purpose and the actual main character Scarlett truly pissed me off.

In this book, we follow the story of Scarlett’s sister, Tella. Donatella decides its time for her to play the game of Caraval herself this time instead of participating because in doing so she would finally be reunited with her mom who left them a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still the conniving lies, mysterious people, and treatures adventures full of pain, loss, and sacrifice, but somehow in this book there seem to be more of a purpose. In this story, the players of the Caraval tell Tella that this time Caraval is much more than a game–the game is real this time and maybe that’s why I liked it even better.

We immediately see the differences between the two sisters in this story. Where Scarlett’s decisions were all made out of fear, Tella’s were made out of finding out what came next, her fear pushed her to be more. There wasn’t one time throughout this whole book where I felt annoyed by Tella’s decisions if anything I found myself agreeing to many of the decisions she made and found myself nodding along with her statements while playing the game. Tella is a super strong character, stronger than Scarlett for sure, but after reading this book, I do have to give Scarlett some credit because she did play out of love for her sister when it was her turn in the past book.

We are introduced to more characters in this book, there are some that we already know and that we get to know more intimately, and we are introduced to the Fates in this story who are some sort of immortal beings that ruled the earth centuries ago, who are also apparently evil creatures. Oh, and you won’t believe who’s Tella’s love interest on this one, it made me laugh with her at the end so hard LOL!

The reason I wanted to read this book was that of the letter on the last page of Caraval, the one that Tella’s friend wrote to her, and Garber didn’t disappoint. I have to hand it to her, that women can write! Her world building was beautiful–the way she describes the places and buildings throughout the book made me want to read every single detail of it (because sometimes I do skip details LOL), her descriptions were life if you were able to read music without actually listening to the sounds. The story felt so alive, she made you feel as if you were in the story with the character. Hell, I found myself playing along–participating in Caraval–with Donatella trying to figure who is Legend (which we do find out who he is in this book but I won’t tell you muahaha imagine evil laugh here) trying to find a way of not dooming the whole to the hands of the fates, trying to save herself and also trying to find her mother.

There are many things going on in this book but never once did I get lost nor did I feel like I should put the book down because it got too overwhelming–if anything every chapter of the book made me want to finish it faster, hence why I finished the book at 3 a.m. (not ashamed). Congratulations Stephanie on this beautiful masterpiece, you managed to make me truly enjoy this book and I cannot wait to read the next one, especially with that little teasing note that you left at the end of this one! How dare you?! LOL

I would recommend for ages 13 and up! Read if you liked Caraval, Ace of Shades, Six of Crows, and Crooked Kingdom! You’ll truly enjoy this one!

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Ash Princess,” by Laura Sebastian

2/5 Stars

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Hey, well guess what? Finally got around reading Ash Princess and unfortunately, this book didn’t do it for me. It felt like one of those books that I’ve read before somewhere else. I finished it and I was like, “Meh, I’ve read it before,” which sucked because I really wanted to like this book. TThe cover alone dragged me to it like a moth drawn to a flame, it’s so pretty and if you ever get to hold it in your hands you can feel the 3D feel of the cover.

Here we follow the story of Princess Theodosia, a princess whose mother was killed right before her eyes by the evil King and that now has to work to gain her kingdom back. She’s been in captivity for over 10 years given the title of Ash princess by the man who stole her kingdom. The story itself seems repetitive, there’s a damsel in distress, she has powers, she’s hopeless, defenseless, and abused. There’s promise to this story though, I feel like the author has great potential and her writing is incredible. I just wished she’d written a better story. However, Theo was incredibly strong, the things that she went through because of her people–for her people–are things that I haven’t read in any other books.

The king is as cruel as any king can be–but I’ve yet to read a fantasy book following this kind of line that had a king that was nice.  He was ruthless and mean and he took anything he wanted. He makes Theo wear an ash crown for each time there’s a reason to celebrate something, shaming her in front of her people, hence the title and the crown on the cover. Then there was Soren, the heir to the throne, which I believe has good intentions for the kingdom and for Thora but we’ll see how it develops. And then there’s Blaise, a friend from Theo’s past and he’s sure a keeper–or is he?

I do think that honestly, that true enigma in this book is her friend Crescentia, whom I think the next book is going to be about, and if my suspicions are confirmed, then I wouldn’t mind reading the next book.

I didn’t care much about the “world-building” but since her whole life was inside the palace, there wasn’t much to build. There were some words thrown here and there from her Astrean language that were hard to interpret and also, what kind of name is Kalovaxian for a group of people? But anyways, it just felt like another princess whose kingdom has been taken away and now she must battle to get it back.

I would recommend this book if you liked Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, and any other princess need to save her kingdom book out there! For ages 13 and up!

I’m also trying to be more active in my book social media, so if you guys could give me a follow that would be awesome! @deniareads is my username

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Listen To Your Heart,” by Kasie West

4/5 Stars

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This book was too cute, just like any other of her writings. Kasie West is truly an amazing author and every time she comes out with something new I cannot wait to read it. This book is one of those books that I consider remedy for the heart. You read anyone of her books and then she has you feeling like if you just ate cotton candy. You feel fluffy filled with glee.

In this book we follow the story of Kate who lives near a lake and for the most part–hates people. Her best friend Alana convinces her to join the school podcast program but never did she think she was going to be one of the people hosting it. In this book Kate gets over her fer of being shy and thinking she sounds over the mic, and finds true courage behind the spotlight. There’s adventure, there’s a guy named Diego, there’s another one named Frank and there’s a lot to laugh about in this book.

Kasie’s books are always filled with that bubbly sweet and innocent romance. I can recommend this book if you like Morgan Matson, Jenna Evans Welch, and Stephanie Perkins. If you are over 12 years-old and plus, you would really enjoy it too.

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Love & Luck,” by Jenna Evans Welch

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So, first off,  let me start by saying I’m finally out of school! At least for the summer. It’s going to be a crazy one and I’m so excited. This is the first summer in forever where I’m not taking classes–which means that I going to read all summer, I’m going to catch up on TBR pile and I’m going to bring it down! I’m also trying to be more active in my social media, so make sure you follow me on that @deniareads

3.5/5 Stars

Now, enough about me ranting, let’s get to the review, ’cause we all know that’s what you are here for. Do you like sour candies? The really sour sour kind? Like at first when you put it in your mouth, the candy is so sour you can barely handle it, but after a few minutes the really sweet flavor of the candy starts coming through, but it takes you a long while to get to that sweet part of the candy. Well, that’s how I feel about this book.

This book follows the point of view of Addie and her journey through Ireland. She’s going through a recent heartbreak and that’s literally what the book is about. Her brother Ian keeps pestering her to tell her mom about something that happened before school ended. In the story Addie tries to fix her relationship with brother because of that situation. This was my sour moment. I think that the author dragged their issue way too long throughout this book when she totally could’ve fixed it in, like, the first three chapters, but instead we get a whole 200 pages of them fighting and honestly it was so hard to get through it. I really wanted to like this book because I loved her other book, Love and Gelato, it was amazing, and Jenna is amazing. She’s like the sweetest person ever. But, Oh God, this book.

However, there were some sweet moments, I like the part of the heartbreak and how this book guides Addie through it and helps her deal with her pain. The book gets better in the last 50 pages. I also loved how Jenna describes places, I feel like she’s my own tour guide that took me through Ireland for a couple of days, but the trip was kinda moppy because of Addie and her heartbreak and her fights with her brother. I would like to travel with Jenna though, I feel like she would be the perfect tour guide as I mentioned above.

I would recommend for all of you who liked her first book, which is also correlated to this one, because this is Lina’s best friend that we meet briefly in Love and Gelato. But, anyways, read this book if you like traveling, have a broken heart and love Ireland. 14 years old and up.

Non-Spoiler Book Review |”Leah on the Offbeat,” by Becky Albertalli

4.5/5 Stars

This book was soooooo funny! From page one till the end, I was cracking tf up! Like, I promise you’ll be crying too! (Tears of joy, of course).

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From chapter one, Becky reminds us of what a great author she is. I love how she can keep up with the current teen-lingo, I love how modern her writing is. This book is focused on one of the characters from Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, the sequel to that book actually. It’s focused on Leah, in case it wasn’t obvious from the title. She’s the funniest most sarcastic, most savage teen I’ve ever met. I love her. Sometimes I did think that she was too much, but I still love her.

The gang at Creekwood Highschool is back and its now planning to go to their senior prom–and everyone is heading off to college so there’s this sort of nostalgia throughout the whole book. Leah has a crush and people don’t know she’s bi, so she’s fighting her desire and there’s a lot of drama between the friends, but in the end, everything fixes itself and everyone’s happy.

I truly enjoyed this book. It was so cute and funny. I’d never laughed so hard reading before, it was truly an awesome book. There’s mild cursing, and a lot of sex talk, just FYI, but nothing too explicit. Like a fourteen-year-old could read this.

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge | Day #2

I’ve meant to post this earlier but I’ve been incredibly busy–actually, I’m posting at work. I’m on break. LOL. This is the second day of the challenge and I’m loving it. I want to thank Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall for tagging me. It is quite a challenge to choose between which Bloggers to tag and which quote to post but here it goes:

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

I read the Selection by Kiera Cass a long time ago, but a quote that stuck with me was:

“It is always the fear of looking stupid that stops you from being awesome.”

I tag the beautiful Anna @ Reading Peaches , Melanie @ Mel to the Any, and finally the amazing LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks

Thank you for reading. I’m out! XOXO.