Tag Archive | book

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

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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 | “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

March TBR Pile | 2018

I just went and looked at a couple of blogs and saw this trend floating around. I was honestly kind of depressed and jealous because many of these bloggers read about ten to fourteen books a month! I wish… I mean I used to read that many books a month, but working full-time and going to school full-time barely gives me time to breathe.  I really miss reading like that though. However, I’m going to try to push my limits this month and read at least 8 books, silently prays and these would be:

“High Voltage,” by Karen Marie Moning

I’m super excited about this book! Anyone that knows me knows that I would die for Karen Moning. She’s one of my favorite authors ever and I’ve been waiting for this book forever. I’m excited to see how Dani and Ryodan develop in this book. I cannot wait!

“Children of Blood and Bone,” by Tomi Adeyemi

I’m already reading this book, and it’s like your own personal bible. It is so big! But I’m loving it! I want to finish it today (though I doubt it because I have to go to work soon). But this book is full of action, love, mistrust, and lots of magic. I cannot wait for its release and for y’all to read it. I also love Tomi Adeyemi, so there’s that! I really am enjoying this book and cannot wait to finish it just to write a review on it.

“Hero at the Fall,” by Alwyn Hamilton

This book I’m super excited about! I absolutely loved the other two, and I sincerely can’t wait to see the adventures that Hamilton is going to bring us in this new book. I received an e-arc for it but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, and I want to read before Tuesday the 6th because High Voltage is coming out then and I’m not going to be reading anything else until I finish that one, LOL. Anyways, Traitor to the Throne left us with a huge cliffhanger and if I don’t get to read this before the end of this month, shoot me! (HAHA, see what I did there? No? Then you need to read this series).

“Restore Me,” Tahere Mafi

I don’t know what is there to say about this book/series that you guys don’t already know. I loved the first three book in the series and even the novella and when I heard that Mafi was coming out with a fourth book, I about died! Now, it is not on the top of my priorities because I was actually happy with the ending of the last book–like I would have been fine if she decided to end it there. However, we have been blessed by the Lord with a fourth book and I am no one to not the gifts that the Lord brings upon us, so Mafi: here I come!

“Obsidio,” by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I still haven’t finished Gemina yet, which is the second book on this series, but I plan to finish it at some point to tackle this bad boy. I enjoyed the other ones very much and the only I haven’t finished the second book is because I’m clearly stupid and very lazy. I love the visual stimulation that these books brings. They are most certainly a different format than anything I’ve ever read and I’m so excited to read the last one! (At least I think it’s the last one).

“Tiger’s Dream,” by Colleen Houck 

So, when I first started this series, I read the four books in five days. I remember making a big deal on snapchat about it (add me: deniamartinezz LOL). But anyways, I heard that she was coming with a fourth book as soon as I finished reading the series and that was a couple of years ago and the book never came. Now, I’m going to tackle this book to ground to finally get it on my hands and add it to my collection because I truly enjoyed the series.

“To Kill A Kingdom,” by Alexandra Christo

I just found this book while browsing on Goodreads and I found it pretty interesting. It also has kind of the same font as the Six of Crow does on the front cover, so that’s what called my attention to it. I read the description of the story and I’m kinda interested in it now, so why not give it a try.

 

For my last book, I like to keep it open. Since I work in a bookstore, there’s always a new book that catches my eye and then I’ll be like, “Oh! That seems interesting!” and I’ll give it a try. So yeah girls, this is all I have for this month, I hope I get to read them all and probably squeeze a few new adult romances as well as romance in general because I love that genre. I hope you girls can relate to any of these book and please let me know if you are as excited as I am to read any of them!

I’m Out! xoxo.

 

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Shuffle, Repeat,” by Jen Klein

4/5 stars

This was a beautiful book with an amazing story. I think it has DUFF and Easy A vibes. I enjoyed reading this book a lot, more than I expected, and this is my first book by this author and I’m very satisfied with it.

26067503This book follows the story of June and Oliver. June’s mom and Oliver’s mom arrange for both of them to ride together to school. June doesn’t like this arrangement, but there’s nothing she can do about it. June and Oliver know each other, or knew each other–but then they grew up, and high school happened. June believes that High School traditions are stupid and can’t wait to go to college to leave all of that stupidity behind. Oliver, on the other hand, believes that high school is all there is and that you need to make your high school years the best because you will remember them forever.

Since they have different opinions about high school, they argue most of the time, and to pass the time they listen to music on their way over to the school, hence the title. This story is full of fun, humor, lies, friendship, and future. I would recommend this story to anyone who’s having conflicting feelings about high school or college, and how two strangers can overcome anything, and find the truth in their hearts. 14 and up could read this. Enjoy!

 

 

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Stranger than Fanfiction,” by Chris Colfer.

5/5 Stars.

This book was one of the most amazing reads I’ve read this year. The whole book is full of life, each character has its own world full of situations that are presented in the real one, in each one of our lives, and it’s so good to see yourself in each one of these characters. It’s hard to find a book where you can find a part of yourself in each one of them, but in this book, it was like so easy to identify with them.
Chris Colfer is an amazing author, and this book is written in the third person. It tells the story about four friends that are going on a road trip as a goodbye trip before they go to college, and as a joke, they invite one of their idols, from a tv show they all love, to join them on the trip. Big surprise happens when Cash Carter, tv star from the famous tv show “Wiz Kids,” decides to join them on their trip, and it will forever change their life.
Cash Carter is the superstar of the friend’s favorite show, they met because of this show, and now they are best friends because of it as well. However, when he joins the group of teenagers, they get the shock of their life when they realize he’s nothing like he is on tv. I mean, of course, they knew he was a character from tv, but the way he acted throughout the whole journey was so different from what they thought that it change their lives. He’s an interesting character fed up with all the “fame” and fortune of being an actor of a big show. He says that there are certain expectations with being an actor that people want him to follow, and he has for most of his life; however, he’s fed up with it, and decides to join four strangers in this random adventure.

31694016I love that Chris gives us a famous person point of view. We get to see how Cash is tired of people every time they meet him, they don’t want to meet Cash Carter, they want to me the character that he plays on the show, and that bothers him a lot. Sometimes we don’t realize that famous people get tired of being behind the camera, and easy for us to judge because well they have everything we don’t, but if you are an actor who;s has grown up behind the lens of a camera, you get tired of it and, well, I imagine that this is how Daniel Radcliffe must’ve felt growing up with Harry Potter, he had gotten tired at some point, and the only thing we did was judge him because of it. I do love this perspective on the book, it most certainly changes our views on that industry.
Topher—the random guy that’s super tall but is not because he plays basketball. He was the mastermind behind the trip and their driving in his mom station wagon. He has a disabled brother, and well that impeding him from going to the school he wants to go, and he decides to stay to help his mom with his brother. I’m mentioning this because it’s a very important factor towards the development of the book, in his life. Oh, and he also has a crush on Sam.that bothers him a lot.
Next, there’s Sam—you see there’s something about her, and I don’t want to give anything away because her secret we don’t see it coming until she tells us what it is. Chris Colfer manages to implement real life situations to these characters, and well, Sam’s secret, is a situation that we see happening every day in our lives, and that many teens deal with what Sam is going through, and that before the YA books didn’t use to talk about. I love the way the author portrayed Sam, and there was a scene in this book where Sam and Cash are on top of a roof, and the way Sam explains her situation to Cash to me is just so amazing, and I wish that teens and people from around the world realized this too. Sam even though she’s afraid, she’s super strong, she’s full of fear, and she keeps going. So, to all the teens that are going through her situation, please understand that you are not alone and that there’s always someone out there who understands you.
Joey is the son of a pastor, a very well respected pastor, loved and adored by their community, and well, his father condemns everybody that doesn’t follow the rules of God. Joey has a secret that is not is as bad, but in his circumstances, he faces challenges because of it. He’s afraid of what his family might think, and he’s afraid that his friends won’t accept him. This, again, is a situation that we see happening a lot in the YA community, and thank God more authors are talking about on the books. Chris doesn’t sugar coat it, and that’s one of the things that I loved about this book, how real it is. Not everything in this book is all fun and games, and things don’t end up well for all of them, but yet somehow they managed to find each other and stick through their friendship despites the secrets and lies, and that’s what every squad should be about.
Mo is a really interesting character. Her secret is not as big the other ones but is a secret nonetheless, and once again, it has to do with a parent perspective. Her father wants Mo going to a school she doesn’t want to go, and she’s faced with the challenge of refusing him, and he refusing to pay for education, or accepting his decision and being miserable for the rest of her life. There’s a scene in this book where she and Cash are in a car together driving like crazy, and Mo tells Cash that she never wanted to go to that school, the only reason she’s doing it, is because her father wants her to, and Cash is like “you can’t live your life the way other are expecting, you are supposed to live your life the way you want,” he didn’t say those exact same words, but it was something similar. And well, that scene stocked to me and made me realized that not everyone is going to be happy on how you go in life, things will be different, but you got to make sure that is the way you want it to go, not to please others.
In the end, we get to see why Cash Carter is living the way he is and behaving like crazy in this trip, and it makes me sad, but what he does in the end for this group of strangers is stranger than fanfiction.

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Goodbye Days,” By Jeff Zetner.

This book is highly underrated and I feel like the story line is needed to be read everyone, not just teens, adults should read this book too. I gave this book 4 stars out of 530649795 just because it was a little slow to start. This is the first book I read from Jeff, and I have to say I’m really impressed.
Goodbye Days follows the story of Carver, who sends a text that kills his three best friends in a car accident. Apparently, he was waiting for them, and they were driving to meet him, and he sent the text to see where they were, and well, texting and driving is not a good thing. I felt bad for Carver throughout this whole book because the people blamed him for the deaths of his friends, even himself, and he suffers so much. They are taking him to trial because of it, looking to press criminal charges against him. And need I remind you that he’s only 17, so the stress level that he’s feeling is so overwhelming that he starts having panic attacks. I think that the only thing that helps him get through his depression are Jesmyn, one of the best friends widowed-girlfriend, his sister Grace, and his therapist Dr. Mendez.
His sister acted the way I would have if my brother was going through a situation like this, God forbids, she’s the older sister that every kid should have. She was the one who recommended the therapist, and I believe that kids should realize this, that if you have a problem going on in your life, and it’s best if you talk it out with someone, don’t be afraid of getting help, it would make you feel so much better, you just gotta give a chance.
In the midst of losing his three best friends, one of the fathers of the friends is a Judge, he’s the one pressing charges to Carver. The sister of one of his best friends hates him to death because she blames him for the death of her brother. And not to mention that he just keeps remembering his friends on the different stages of his life.
He decides is a good idea to have some sort of goodbye days to his best friends, a sort of way of letting go, and he does so with each of the families. This book is incredibly sad, I cried like a baby, please be careful when you are driving out there, DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE, because I would hate for something to happen to you over negligence just like it happened to Carver.
This book teaches us a lesson, and I just hope that we learn it before it’s too late.

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Traitor to the Throne” by Alwyn Hamilton.

Wow!, I don’t know what to tell you about this book. It was amazing. I just can’t believe it finished and I still have to wait another year to read the next one. Like the Alwyn doesn’t have anything else to do rather than torture us! I gave this book 4.5 stars out of 5.29739361
This book picks up right where Rebel of the Sands ended, and on this one, we see Amani become more powerful than ever, she’s strong, she suffers, she makes tough decisions–but that’s one of the things that I love about this book. That even though this a whole new universe presenting a situation where none of us would ever imagine being in, Amani still gets to be a teenager and learn from her mistakes.
Also, I felt like Jin and Amani didn’t get much quality time, the time that they got to see each other was either through stolen time or very little time because of everything that was going on around them. In the end, I felt bad for them.
The other characters in this story are so full of life. The author introduces us to a couple of new characters that are joining the rebellion, and we lose a couple more to it as well, but the book never stops having a life. Also like that even though, as I mentioned earlier, this book presents the world where we could never imagine our generation in, there are a lot of real world situations going on in this book, and I love how the character incorporated them to this modern and twisted tale. Something that she doesn’t let us forget, is that the rebellion is formed by a bunch of teenagers, and these teenagers even though they have super powers, they face the same problems that we do on a daily basis. They are filled with anxiety, they deal with a lot of stress, they have to make tough decisions, and they suffer because of them, but yet, they keep fighting, they don’t let anything bring them down, not even at the brink of desperation. These kids are super strong, and they think of each other as a family, I can’t wait for the next book in this series because I know that they are going to come back more badass than ever.
A new dawn. A new desert.

If you guys want to catch up and refresh your memory, here’s the link for my review of the Rebel of the Sands book.