Friday, January 10, 2020

Favorite reads of the year

Hello everyone today I will be sharing with you my top 10 reads of the year. These are in somewhat of an order but in general it is around the numbers that it would be. The top 3 though are solid. I am very busy at the moment with midterms and college applications so this will be a quick post as well as with my most disappointing reads which is coming soon. Due to time, there are going to be no images in this post and I apologize for that and the hiatas that I have been on. I hope to come back and be more active on my blog in March or April. Without further ado here is the list!

10) Becoming By Michelle Obama - This is Michelle Obama's memoir which I really enjoyed. I really admire her as a person and it was nice to see what her life was like and her perspective on things in the white house.

9) The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima- I thought the first half was slow to be honest but by the end I fell in love with the characters, writing, story, and word that I am currently obsessed with the series. I did also read book two and really enjoyed it as well and cannot wait to continue on with the series. I can see Cinda Williams Chima becoming one of my favorite authors.

8) Lock Every Door by Riley Sager- I have been really wanting to pick up an adult mystery thriller and decided to try this one. I really enjoyed it and few through it. I found the story interesting and the concept intriguing and I cannot wait to read other books by this author.

7) Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson- This is a book I heard good things about so I really wanted to give it a try. It is a standalone fantasy book and I fell in love with the world and characters especially Nathaniel and Silas. Her first book which I read I think two years ago was a disappointment so I am really glad I enjoyed this one.

6) The Prince and thee Dressmaker by Jen Wang- I usually do not read graphic novels but I picked this one up to complete one of the challenges for a readathon I was participating in and surprisingly fell in love with it. I love the characters and the story. It was just so cute and wholesome and I really recommend it.

5) Vicious by V.E Schwab- I read other book by V.E Schwab before but this one is my favorite, or maybe my second favorite. I really enjoyed her writing and how unique the story was. Also the characters were some of my favorites and I really want to read the sequel.

4) Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim- This book took me by surprise on how much I loved it. The characters were amazing and I love the story line. The first half of the book is sort  of a dressmaking competition and the second half is a journey adventure type and it was so much fun to read.

3) American Royals by Katharine McGee- I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. This book had so much drama which is exactly what I wanted to read at the moment. This book was just a whole lot of fun to read to be honest.

2) Archenemies by Marissa Meyer- This is the second book in the Renegades series and I also loved this one. I am really hoping to get to book 3 in 2020 and am so excited to see what happens next. This book gives me so much comic book vibes (Marvel) which makes the book even more amazing.

1) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Ried- This is a book I loved so much. Evelyn Hugo was such an interesting character to read about and I was sucked into the story immediately. I just wanted to know more about her life.

Those were my top favorites of the year. Thank you for reading and let me know your favorite book(s) of the year!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Last Magician [ spoiler free ] Review

The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1)Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Series: The Last Magician #1
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Date Read: 10/8/19

The Last Magician is a book that I heard pretty good thing about but not exactly much about it. All I know is that there was a time travel element and a girl travels from the modern New York to 1902 New York.

So basically the main character is suppose to steal a book from the past without ruining the future. This mean without messing with the past too much basically.

When I started this book I thought the beginning was slow. There were quite a few POVs and the one I really only cared about was the main characters. The others were so boring that it was hard for me to continue reading. However, I will say the story picks up around the halfway point, or at least it did for me, and I started to fall for the other characters and actually really enjoyed a lot of their prospective.

I wished the magic system was explained a little more in this book because even after finishing it, I still do not understand this magic system that much. I have caught on a little but for the most part I was confused. However, for some reason, the story itself still managed to make sense and the book was still good.

Overall I do recommend this if you are a fan of time travel book, but definitely keep in mind that this book has a slow start. I will probably continue on with the series but am not positive yet.

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Roaring 20's Book tag

Hello everyone, today I will be doing the roaring 20's book tag. The tag questions really stood out to me as the questions sounded interesting. The creator's are Monica from monica kim, Sara from sarawithoutanH, and Emma from emmmabooks. They are all linked at the bottom of the post. The three of them are all hosting a Diviners readalong which I will not be partaking in because of school, but I do hope to join in when they read the last book. As you could probably tell, this tag is based on the Diviners series as the books take place in the 20's. Let's get on with the questions.

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1)
1.Roaring 20s - a 2020 release you can’t wait for
I feel like there is one answer for this one. At least for me. I am way to excited for Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare. This book does take place in the shadowhunter world and if you did not know, I love the shadowhunter world (as long as we are not taking about the TV show) and I will basically read any of her books that take place in it. I will not be sharing a synopsis for Chain of Gold since I do not want to spoil any of her previous series since they are all mostly connected in some sort of way. I also graduate high school in 2020 so moving on.

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)2.“That’s the berries” - a new release you loved
I have been really bad at reading new releases but I think I am starting to get better at it. I think my favorite release for the year that I have read so far has to be Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. This book surprised me in the best way possible. We follow a girl who goes in her brother's place to compete to become the imperial tailor. In order to do so she must disguise herself as a boy as females are not allowed to compete. The first part is very much like project runway. The second part is more of a quest which I really enjoyed. Definite and underrated book and 2019 release.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)3.“Now you're on the trolley!" - now you're right - a series that took a book or 2 to get good
For this question I am going with the Shatter Me series. I did not like book 1 that much (2 stars) but I really did enjoy books 2 and 3. The series, at least in my opinion, improved a lot as it went on. Overall I did think it was over hyped though I did read it after my dystopian phase. I did enjoy the series overall as a whole but will not be continuing it on with the series (extended trilogy) as I sadly do not care enough but it was good or what it was and enjoyable.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)
4.“Bluenose” - killjoy (a book that put you in a reading slump)
A book that put me in a slump was Illuminae and that was because I had no motivation to read the book. I wanted to love it but I just could not get into the story and I did not care for the characters one  bit. Forcing myself through it did make me a bit slumpy. I do want to give this author duo another chance though because Aurora Rising sounds epic.

Furyborn (Empirium, #1)5.“Hotsy Totsy” - attractive, a book with a beautiful cover
A book that I think has a gorgeous book cover is Furyborn by Claire Legrand. I really enjoy colors like the combinations of bright colors on a dark background so naturally this cover really stood out to me. I am glad to say that I did enjoy this book a lot and do recommend it. I still need to read the sequel though and I do hope to get to it soon.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)6.“Let’s blouse!” - let’s get out of here - a book you DNF’d
One that may surprise a lot of you is Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I did not like the first book Six of Crows but I wanted to give the sequel a chance but sadly I just could not push through. I do want to give the duology another chance though because it receives nothing but praises and I want to be part of the hype. Also I kind of want to read King of Scars and I need to finish this first before I can read it.

Archenemies (Renegades, #2)
7.“Zoozled” - a book that caused an epic book hangover
I want to say Lord of Shadows as it is my go to answer, but I think I am changing my answer to Archenemies by Marissa Meyer the second book in the Renegades trilogy. That ending. It just made me want to read more. I am hoping to get my hands on Supernova, the third book, very soon. If you are looking for a good good vs. evil story, definitely check this series out. 

And that was the Roaring 20's book tag. I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and I will hopefully see you in my next post. 

*Tag creators:

Some of the Readalong info (Taken from Emma's video description)
- readalong dates -
The Diviners: Oct 26-Nov 31
Lair of Dreams: December
Before The Devil Breaks You: January
King of Crows: February

- liveshow dates -
The Diviners: December 12
Lair of Dreams: January 9
Before The Devil Breaks You: February 13
King of Crows: March 12
Times TBA - follow each of the hosts for more info!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Sorcery of Thorns ( Spoiler Free ) Review

Sorcery of ThornsTitle: Sorcery of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
My rating: 5/5 stars
Date Read: 9/11/19

Sorcery of Thorns is a book I heard many great things about and was very excited to read it despite not liking the author's debut book An Enchantment of Ravens. I do recommend that you give this book a chance even if you were not a fan of An Enchantment of Ravens because I also saw many reviews that felt the same way as I did.

This book follows a girl name Elisabeth who has grown up in one of the great libraries. After being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Elisabeth is blamed for a crime that she did not commit and as a result will eventually have to team up with a Sorcerer despite the fact that she has been raised to believe that they are bad.

I really enjoyed this book so much more than I did. I was hooked around thirty pages into the book and pretty much flew through it. Sorcery of Thorns is a standalone fantasy book so it is absolutely perfect for fantasy lovers who do not want to commit to a new fantasy series.

I used to say I am not a fan of romances in books (especially in fantasy) but lately I am finding myself enjoying a lot of the ones I read recently including this one. Honestly it is one of my favorites that I have read. I really liked the love interest and he is probably my second favorite character behind Silas who is his demon servant.

The world was great and the characters were great although I am not going to lie, Elisabeth was sometimes annoying because of some of her actions but overall really enjoyed it and I found myself reading a lot later into the night then I should have been.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Spin the Dawn ( Spoiler Free ) Review

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)Title: Spin the Dawn
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Series: The Blood of Stars #1
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Date Read: 8/26/19

Spin the Dawn is sold as Project Runway meets Mulan and usually when books are sold as similar to Mulan, it is not, but this one, I could see the similarities and I do agree with this sales pitch of the book.

We follow Maia who is the daughter of a tailor and when a royal messenger summons her father to compete for the position to become the imperial tailor, she poses as a boy and takes his place. She is also given the impossible task of sewing 3 dresses, made out from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars.

This book takes place in a fantasy world that is inspired by East Asia and there are quite a few cultural references that I recognized and really appreciated when reading. As an East Asian myself, I defiantly want to read more fantasy books inspired by it.

The romance in this book is hate to love and I really enjoyed it. I usually find myself thinking romances are eh or not necessary but I really ship this one and I love the banter between the two characters. I really wanted them to be together but at the same time I wanted them to not be because I loved the bickering and wanted more of it.

The ending left me wanting more and I really wished I read this later because now I have to wait a year till the next book comes out and I need to know what happens next like now. I am glad I read it and highly recommend this book and will be continuing on with the series.

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Contemporary Book Recs

Edit: I was suppose to post this in July, but completely forgot. Whoops. So here are contemporary recs in October even though most of these are cute summer reads.

Hello everyone! Today I will be recommending some of my favorite contemporary reads since summer is here, or at least it is summer where I live, and I love reading contemporary during this season. I really enjoyed all of these and hope that if you pick any of them up that you will too!

Love, Life, and the ListThe first book I am recommending is Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West. Kasie West is a pretty well known for her fluffy YA contemporaries. Based on all the book I have read by her, they are either a hit or miss for me. Love, Life, and the List is my personal favorite and I absolutely devoured this book when I read it. We follow a girl name Abby who enters her artwork into this art show but gets rejected because apparently her art does not have enough heart. She creates a to do list in order to gain experiences and improve her art work throughout the summer. This book also has the friends to lovers trope which is quite a popular trope that people really enjoy. If you want something quick and easy to read, this is definitely the perfect book to read, especially for those who are wanting to get ahead of or catch up on on their reading challenge.

Along for the RideThe next book is an older release and that is Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. Like Kasie West, Dessen is also another very popular YA contemporary author, yet I do not hear people talking about this book that often. In this book we follow the main character Auden as she spends her summer with her father and stepdaughter in a town called Colby. Auden is a straight A student and lives with her mother who works at a university resulting in Auden's life being very academic based. This book has a cute romance while also dealing with self discovery. I love how Sarah Dessen books are always realistic and the things that happen in them feel like they could happen in real life.

PrideAnother recommendation I have is Pride by Ibi Zoboi. This is a modern day Pride and Prejudice retelling that takes place in Brooklyn New York. We follow Zuri who is Afro-Latino. The rich Darcy family moves across the street and Zuri is not very happy about that. Her sister starts falling for one of the brothers and Zuri cannot stand the other brother Darius. There are so many similarities to the original story of Pride and Prejudice while at the same time having enough differences to make it its own story. It is a diverse read for those who are looking to diversify their reading as well.

Since You've Been GoneThe final book I am recommending in this post is Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Morgan Matson is such a well known contemporary author and this one is one of my favorites of her works so far. I have read all of her books that are released so far and they are all really good. Since You've Been Gone follows a girl name Emily who is an introvert and is known as the friend of her best friend Sloane who is extremely extroverted. Her best friend leaves with no traces except for a to-do list for Emily to complete over the summer. She decides to complete the list in hopes of it giving her clues to where Sloane went. This was such a cute book and I actually ship the ship which does not usually happen.

Those are some of my contemporary book recommendations. If I were to recommend all of my favorites then this post would be very long so keep an eye out for part two in the future. Thank you for reading and I hope to see you in my next post!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Ace of Shades (Spoiler Free) Review

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game, #1)TTitle: Ace of Shades
Author: Amanda Foody
Series: The Shadow Game #1
My rating: 4/5 stars
Date Read:  8/4/19

Ace of Shades was such a surprising read for me, in a good way. I read her debut novel last year and enjoyed it (3 stars) and I wanted to give her second book a chance as well since I heard even better things about it and the concept seemed very intriguing. Turns out I really enjoyed it and had such a fun time reading it and now want the sequel, which thank goodness is already out.

This book follows Enne Salta who travels to the City of Sin to find her mother. The only clue to her is the name Levi Glaisyer, a street lord and a con man. The City of Sin is sort of reminds me of Vegas. I found the world unique and interesting as well.

Out of all the characters my favorites were Levi and Lola. Enne was extremely annoying in the beginning but she grew on me more and more as the story went on. In fact, all the character became better people.

I wished the Shadow Game was explained better as I found the game to be a little confusing. I wanted to know the rules and what it was in general. In the beginning it is just referred to The Shadow Game with little information other than no one survives it. At the end of the book we do learn a lot more about it but I do wish it was explained better.

When I first started reading this book, I will admit I was a bit bored and the story was slow. It took me about 50 pages before I became fully invested in the book. But once I was hooked, the book was hard to put down.

Overall I do recommend this and it is definitely and underrated read. I think Foody's world building, characters and writing were improved from her debut and do recommend you give this one a try even if you did not like Daughter of the Burning city.

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