Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Four Dead Queens,” by Astrid Scholte

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date:  February 26, 2019
  • Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • Publisher: Putnam
  • Product #: 9781984814128
  • Pages: Hardcover, 432

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This story was very interesting, to say the least, but it was hard to get through.

Now, before you jump into conclusions, I want to say that this 3 starred review is not a bad review, nor because I said that this book didn’t do it for me doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I just felt like the overall story wasn’t interesting to me. The storyline was great, the actual characters we very well developed, and yet, the story fell flat to me.

In this story, we follow the young character Keralie, who ran away from her parents to become a thief under the command of one of her good friends. In this world, there’s a nation divided into four quadrants, each of which has its own queen. The queens live in one palace all together, and from there they rule their respective quadrants. There’s an assassin in this story trying to kill the queens and Keralie has taken upon herself to stop the killings from happening and warn the queens before its too late. With the help of her friend Varin, they set into an impossible task of sneaking away from dangers and trying to save their lives at the same time.

“Loving someone means risking your heart being broken,” … “But those moments you are together triumphs over any darkness.”

As for the logistics of the book, there was a lot going on and too much information to process in the first 5 chapters. I was so overwhelmed by the time I reached chapter five, I had to stop reading the book for a couple of hours and rest my brain for a little bit because of information overload. The writing of the author was odd too. She would use weird words to describe her characters’ physical appearance, which at often times it made her writing seem a little careless. On the other hand, there were times where her writing excelled. She wrote some very powerful and emotional scenes where she could really make us feel what was going on.

The characters were well written, but I still feel like there was much going on. You see, besides Keralie’s POV, there were other POVs throughout this story. The most important ones were the POVs of the queens. Each had their own dedicated chapters to them, but those chapters were so full of information that it was hard to process everything at once. Something that I appreciated about Keralie was how funny she was. She managed to stay upbeat and always looking forward, despite all of her problems. Her connection with Varin was very cute and I absolutely loved their chemistry.

Scholte spends a lot of time in world-building, which I think its a great thing because of the way her world is structured. Her story wasn’t too long but there were times when the story seemed to drag on forever. And I don’t know why, but the ending seemed a little bit rushed to me. I feel like authors struggle with this a lot, they focus so much in giving us a great beginning that they forget about the ending. Although the ending in this book was okay, it still felt rushed but there wasn’t a major cliffhanger that left you feeling incomplete.

Yes, there were some things that fell flat for me in this story but other ones that didn’t. There are many things to look forward for in this book, so please give it a try!

If you like Three Dark Crown, Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, Six of Crows, The Gilded Wolves, etc., then you’ll most certainly enjoy this book. If you are 12 years old and older you can read this book. And as always I want to thank you for taking the time for reading my post, I truly appreciate it.

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Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee,” by Jeff Zetner

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  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date:  February 26, 2019
  • Genre: Ya, Contemporary, Fiction
  • Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
  • Product #: 9781524720209
  • Pages: Hardcover, 400

What a great book, you guys. I loved it so much.

Let me start by saying I have never laughed as hard reading a book as I did reading this one. This book was awesome you guys! I couldn’t stop reading it once I started it. We have a little bit of everything going on in this book. There’s your adorable romance, there’s your invaluable friendship, there’s your crazy story, there’s your down moments, but above all, there’s your love.

Those who don’t work hard for a long time will have a hard time for a long time

Josie and Delia are best friends that host a show on channel six that airs every Sunday (I believe)  from 11 pm to 1 am. Their show is about critiquing old horror movies while playing a role in front of the camera. They have been doing this show together for over a year and a half now. Delia struggles with the lost of her father and the fact that she and her whole family have mental issues. Meanwhile, Josie struggles with deciding what to do with her life after high school, her decisions lie within staying in town helping Delia with the show or moving on and working on her career as being a TV show host.

The characters were so full of life. Josie and Delia have the most amazing friendship ever, it’s so unique that people think they are sisters all the time despite either one of them not looking like each other. They made me laugh so hard throughout this entire story. There’s a scene in the book (not spoilers I promise) where there’s a fight going on, like a professional looking fight, there’s a ring, boxers, etc., and Delia shouts:

“Make him feel like every day is Monday”

I don’t know why, but I laughed so hard during that scene I had to stop reading and wipe the laughing tears under my eyes. Josie and Delia make me feel so happy and despite the fact that they have their own problems, they still find their way back to each other.

Delia’s mom has mental health issues and that is something that Delia struggles with too, but something that I loved seeing in this story was the fact that Zetner didn’t make her hate her mom. Delia loves her family, however broken it may be. And her mom turns out to be one of the coolest moms out there despite her issues with herself. I also have to say that Delia is my favorite character on this book. Not only does she have a name similar to mine, but she feels so real throughout this entire story. I have a story similar to hes and her character hit home for me. Moreover, people said that this was the one book from Jeff Zetner that wouldn’t make you cry and they lied. I cried like a baby. There were moments in this book that I suffered through and it honestly was my fault for thinking that I wasn’t going to cry.

I get lonely sometimes, but so does everyone else. We’re all looking for some sort of salvation in something.

I read this whole book thinking that this book is 100% Zetner. I can see him liking mix martial arts, old horror movies, and fart jokes. Yep, all of that is in this book. If you want to die laughing, then please read this book. If you like Adam Silvera (but not in his everyone has to die way), Becky Albertalli, David Levithan, etc., then you’ll for sure love this book. If you are 10 years old and older, you can also read this book. And as always, I want to thank you guys for taking the time to read my post. I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “What If It’s Us” by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

4.5/5 Stars

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Wow, this book was incredible. I can’t believe I procrastinated that much. I want to punch myself in the face, I should’ve read it as soon as it came out but I don’t know what’s wrong me. Anyways, Becky and Adam should be writing in DUOs from now on.

This book was a perfect combination of everything you need in a fiction/romance YA novel. This is a perfect story about relationships, friendships and just so much more. There’s a lot of cultures mixed in with this book and I cannot get over how Adam always tries to bring his roots in his writing. I love reading about Puerto Rican culture, seeing since I’m Dominican most of our things are kind of similar.

Both authors did a great job in developing the story, we got an excellent look at Ben and Arthur and neither character felt poorly written to me. I absolutely loved the relationship that Ben had with his best friend Dylan, to the point where I wished I had a Dylan, lol.

Arthur and Ben met because destiny wanted them to meet and well, from the incredible encounter in the city of New York to all of their “first-dates”, this book was great. I also liked that this book is very modern and talked about many subjects that are true to us as millennials and generation z. Never once did I get lost throughout this book and never once did I feel overwhelmed. Something else that I like to point out is that every time I’ve read a book about gay characters, there’s always focus on their coming story, which, don’t get me wrong, I love. But I always wonder what comes after the coming out part. That’s something that I really appreciate about this story, how it doesn’t focus on that. It focuses on two teenagers who are very new at love and that are trying their best to be together for however long they can.

The humor in this book will have you falling off your chair. I laughed so hard throughout this entire book, cried a little even. But it was so worth it. I would recommend for all those gays out there that feel out of place, that are afraid of finding love, of committing to friendships, of a new beginning. Anyone fourteen years and older can read this book. Also, read this book if you are a fan of both Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, or as I like to call them Silvertalli. Read this if you like Jennifer Niven, John Green, has nothing to do with magic but I have a feeling Harry Potter fans would love this, as well as fans of Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and many other musicals.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

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.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

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.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

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.

Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Turtles All the Way Down,” by John Green

3.5/5 Stars 

I read this book a couple of months ago when it first came out, I just never got to write down a review for it. I’m just so lazy you guys. LOL. (Don’t judge).

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I was actually expecting so much more from John Green, he’s such an amazing author, but this book was not all that. I like the subject that the author wrote it on, I feel like mental health–especially the kind that our main character had–is not talked a lot about in YA books.

This book follows the story of Aza, whom with her best friend Daisy try to solve a murder mystery. Aza has a mental problem (and I don’t know if I’m explaining it right, so don’t roast me, LOL) that she lets her thoughts consume her. It doesn’t sound bad, but in her case it is. I’ve never read anything like it but, again, it’s not John Green Material. When you read John Green you expect to cry for two weeks after you read the book, to always have a box tissue next to you and your soul to be destroyed for the rest of your life.

When I read this book, I was like “meh.” And don’t get me wrong–it was an interesting story and it has a lot of potential and I’m pretty sure a lot of you would love it, but again, I was expecting more from JG. Aza was a very interesting character, to get inside her head and experience her illness was mindblowing and I recommend everyone to read just because it is a good thing to be aware of this situation.

I feel like most of us can relate to Daisy, Aza’s best friend. There’s a scene in this book (I don’t think this is a spoiler) where Daisy hardcore judges Aza and the way Aza reacts and teaches her about her illness at the end of the book really made an impact on me. I can see myself easily falling into the zone that Daisy was in when she said what she said, and I appreciate the effort the Green put into explaining how that illness feels like.

Finally, if you’re interested in mental health issues, a dab of romance and an interesting friendship, oh! and murder mystery, give this book a try. I would recommend for readers 12 years and older.

I’m Out! xoxo.

Books

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.

 

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Hunting Prince Dracula,” by Kerri Maniscalco

Again, an amazing, intriguing and intense story by the wonderful Maniscalco.

4.5/5 Stars

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In this story, we follow Audrey Rose and her friend Thomas to Romania, where they are to compete for a spot in a prestigious forensic studies school. The twist in this story is that they are going where the infamous Dracula lived—the school is situated in his castle.

A quick history lesson for you guys, Prince Vlad Dracula reigned in the Country of Romania around the 1600s and when he died people believed he turned into a vampire. This book was written in a late 1800s perspective and I find it fascinating the way the author makes these connections and chooses these myths and folklore to create an amazing story. Maniscalco manages to fuse both, history and fiction in a way that will have you at the edge of your chair with goosebumps all over your body.

We meet a variety of different characters and I must say that I despised the headmaster of the school, but there were some interesting developments throughout the story. I also loved how she incorporated a romance that, in that period of time, would have been seen as wrong and unforgiving—but that didn’t stop the author from bringing that aspect in, which I found very brave. You’ll see what I’m talking about once you read the book.

In other words, if you like solving mysteries, page-turning thrillers, murder investigation, and you are curious about Dracula, then this is the perfect book for you. With the right amount of romance, action, and suspense, Maniscalco will have you craving for me after each page. I cannot wait for the next to come out, “Escaping Houdini,” I’m so excited.

I recommend it to 14+ years-old.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Stalking Jack the Ripper,” by Kerri Maniscalco.

4/5 stars

This was a very interesting story that dealt with postmortems, forensic sciences, and cadavers–I mean, who doesn’t want to read a book like this? Maniscalco brings us this very intriguing story (that I consider more of a spinoff) about Jack the Ripper and A little bit of history behind Jack the Ripper, for those of you who don’t know, he was a serial killer from England that murdered women in the late 1800s. Anyways, back to the story, Audrey Rose is our main character and she’s full of curiosity and an insatiable passion for the forensic sciences.

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Nathaniel is her brother whom she loves and her father is crazy, oh and her uncle is a forensic scientist that she apprentices under. The book was written in the time period of the late 1800s so you can imagine all the formalities and social classes and royale tea parties and all that jazz. Maniscalco writes beautifully and very detailed scenes that include customs from that era. Those were one of the aspects that made this book very interesting. Thomas was another interesting factor in this book–he plays our love interest, but he’s infuriating as he is charming. He managed to get in Miss Wadsworth neves as much as he managed to get on mine (LOL), but he was very cute and I look forward to reading more about him in the next books.

The fact that she decided to incorporate Jack the Ripper into this story makes it even more interesting, and I cannot wait to read the next book. I honestly was kinda skeptic about reading this book because it was a James Patterson publishing and I could care less about James Patterson in general, but that’s why I didn’t give it a try. However, I truly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read more books by this author. I would recommend this book to anyone 14 years and older.