Mistle Child (The Undertaken #2)

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In life, in death: family remains.

Silas Umber has finally come into his own as the Undertaker of Lichport when a mysterious invitation calls him beyond the marshes to Arvale, the ancestral manor of the Umbers. There, his extended family endures, waiting for a living Undertaker to return and preside over the Door Doom, an archaic rite that grants a terrible power to summon and bind the dead in judgment.

As Silas assumes the mantle of Janus, the Watcher at the Threshold, deep below the earth in the catacombs and sunken towers, grim spirits grow restless at his arrival—hungry for freedom and eager for vengeance against a family with a long history of harsh judgments. Now, Silas must right an ancient wrong and accept that even a house of ghosts can be haunted by its past—for in matters of family, we are who we were.


 

Rating: 4.5/5

This book was the sequel to “Death Watch”, and I must admit, I liked it infinitely more than its predecessor. Probably due to the fact that this book was a lot shorter (333 vs 536 holy crap). It felt like more action was packed in this book, and aside from that, I was really glad to know more about Silas’ family. I can’t imagine having such an extensive family network. I see about 50 relatives every Chinese New Year, and I can barely keep track of all of them, much less a family of a few hundred. Their dining hall must be of at least this size and length in order to accommodate so many family members:

rehost%2f2016%2f11%2f12%2f6efc6cdb-c13c-4af0-ad4d-d5fec7ae5fa0 (Yes, I’m well aware that that’s the Hogwarts hall)

The book sometimes gave me the creeps, with its really vivid descriptions and Gothic feel. It didn’t help that I also read parts of the book at night. Can you just imagine reading this in the middle of night when the house is completely silent and dark?

There were bones in the corner, partially covered in rags, rotten and threadbare, perhaps once a garment. Next to the bones lay the desiccated corpse of an infant.

This scene was also proceeded by screams AND SOME WEIRD FEELING THING WHICH DID NOT HELP THE WHOLE CREEPY VIBE AT ALL. As you can tell, this book did a great job of freaking me out, which made me love it even more.

The only problem I had with the book was with Silas. I couldn’t relate to him most of the time, and I didn’t like him the rest of the time. He was just so… Infuriating. He didn’t listen when the elders tried to warn him (specifically, Mrs. Bowe). He made a promise to Cabel Umber before he knew what it entailed. HE WENT TO GO REVIVE BEATRICE. USING SOME ANCIENT DARK SPELLS.

are you kidding me

DARK SPELLS ARE NOT TO BE MESSED WITH. THEY ARE FORBIDDEN FOR A GOOD REASON. THEY GIVE YOU YOUR HEART’S DESIRE, BUT THEY ALWAYS HAVE A PRICE. AND THE PRICE MIGHT BE TOO HEFTY TO PAY. If I can understand this basic logic, I don’t see how Silas can’t understand it. Yes, it might give him Beatrice, but it will take away something else precious that he has. He has no clue what he will have to sacrifice in return, but he still decides to do that crappy thing anyway.

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It’s never a good thing when you like everybody else except for the main character. In fact, it is extremely ill-advised for authors to write about someone who is just generally… An annoyance to read about.

In conclusion, the book is creepy but also good, the main character sucks, the supporting characters are lovely (especially Silas’ grandfather), the writing is LOVELY and y’all should read this book. I’ll most definitely be picking up the final book of the series.

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The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)

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London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?


 

Rating: 4/5

Hmm… It was a little bit underwhelming for me, probably because I had heard raving reviews of the book. The main problem that I had with the book was that it was a little bit too draggy. Upon seeing the words ‘a novel’ on the cover, I fully expected it to be a single book with lots of action scenes packed into its (nearly) 500 pages. [I forgot it was part of a series ok 😦 I’m really blur] I barely saw any action throughout the first half of the book and I thought that it was really strange. I was also slightly panicked, because I was wondering how the author could cram so many answers in the second half of the book. However, at nearly 70% into the book I realised that it was actually the first book of a series, so I became a bit less panicky, and started to enjoy the book a little bit more. In the end, I still found that the author didn’t resolve enough problems for my liking. For such a long book, it should have given us more answers.

A tiny problem I had with the book was that I didn’t really like Lady Helen. I can’t exactly articulate why I didn’t like her very much, but I just didn’t feel a connection with her. She was really a bit too… ‘meh’ for me.

poker-face-png-24 (As I said. Meh.)

Apart from those problems, I really, REALLY liked the book. I’m a huge fan of supernatural stuff (angels, demons, monsters etc. I LOVE ALL OF IT) and while the demons didn’t make a HUGE appearance in this book, I like how disgusting they look whenand how there are different types of demons. It’s not just a demon king and a bunch of demons who all look and act the same; it’s a demon king and different categories of demons who all behave differently and act like INDIVIDUALS. That doesn’t happen in very many books, I think. At least, from what I can recall, I don’t think that I’ve ever read a book where the demons behaved like individuals. (Did I mention that the demons look like HUMANS so you can’t tell them apart from ordinary humans? That’s really cool, guys.)

stars in eyes

Aside from that, the dynamics between the demons and the people who hunt them is very different from most other demon hunting stories (e.g. the Mortal Instruments, Vampire Academy [those aren’t demons but they ARE the monsters]). It’s not “KILL YOUUUUU DIE BITCH DIE”, but more like a careful negotiation of the situation. If the demons aren’t hurting anyone, the hunters tend to leave them be, and at most, give them a warning. That’s hardly a common sight in most books.

Finally, the friendship between all the ladies is ON POINT, especially the friendship between Lady Helen and her maid. They support each other wholeheartedly, and they’re always there for each other.

In conclusion, just read the book. It’s good. I’ll definitely be reading the next one.

To hope or not to hope

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Sorry I haven’t been posting, school has been a mess recently with all the tests and exams. I decided to post today, because well, I’m heartbroken. Again. It seems to be a sort of permanent state of mine.

I would describe myself as a dreamer. I daydream way too much, believe in things and people way too much, and hope way, way, WAY too much. That is probably why I’m so sad whenever reality hits me in the face.

Today, I was talking to one of my closest guy friends. He’s been there for me a lot, and sometimes, when I have problems, he’s the first one I’ll go to. I would trust him with my life, and I would like to think that he trusts me with his too. It’s the perfect friendship, except for one little problem: he also happens to be my first love. I fell for him crazily 6 years ago, and even though we had a big fight 5 years ago and didn’t talk for 2 years afterwards, we made up.

Unfortunately, it seems like I didn’t deal with all the feelings I had for him. I just shoved them into one corner, and pretended for years that they never existed. However, the more I came to open myself up to him, the more those feelings emerged. Of course, I never admitted it to myself, but just pretended again that those are just feelings of brotherhood.

What utter bulls***.

Recently, I came to admit to myself that maybe, just maybe, I was still a little bit in love with him. But it wasn’t until today, when I just casually mentioned that we were way too comfortable with each other, that I realised that I might really, ACTUALLY, still have feelings for him. Because his reply of “We have a history, and cause of that there’s no way we are getting together.” hurt me. It actually, really, hurt me and I was surprised that it did, because I didn’t realise that I had been hoping. Again.

Again and again, I hope. Again and again, I get disappointed.

I don’t understand why I keep hoping. What’s really the point. Most of the time, I just end up getting disappointed. I feel like such an idiot, but I just can’t stop hoping. It’s ridiculous, but I do it again and again, and keep dreaming that one day, the ending might somehow change. That I might somehow not end up sobbing my eyes out on the floor. That it might somehow end with me having a smile on my face.

To hope or not to hope, that’s the question.

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1)

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the girl in the steel corset

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one… except the “thing” inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch…

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on even if it seems no one believes her.


 

Rating: 3.5/5

This book is going to be kind of hard to review, because my feelings about it are so mixed. In the first half of the book, I was completely captivated by it, and I loved every page. In the second half, the facepalming started, and I… Well, it just wasn’t quite as pleasant as the first half. Therefore, I’ll just talk about the good points and bad points separately in this review.

Good points:

  1. Once I started reading the book, I knew that I’d love Finley. She has so much fire in her (well, the darker and more reckless side of her anyway), and I really like that in my female heroines. She completely kicks ass.
  2. The “superpowers” are so cool! Even though they’re not superpowers so much as a kind of evolution, I still think that they’re really interesting. The explanation for their presence was also given (and it wasn’t some haphazardly put together one), which I really appreciated. I would really like to be able to throw someone across the room.
  3. None of the love interests were douche-y. In YA books, there’s a tendency for the authors to create one super nice love interest and one asshat love interest. In this case, both of them were really sweet. There was no such thing as “I really like you so I’ll be a total dick to you”. Yes, Jack Dandy was still a bad boy, but he was a decent human being towards Finley. I might like asshats, but after reading so many books with guys like that, I really need a break. The romance in this book provided that break.
  4. The romance wasn’t overwhelming. There are certain books where the romance takes up like 50% of the book, which frustrates me, because I hate romance novels. I’d much rather read a book in the perspective of a psychotic murderer who enjoys describing the innards of his/her victims than read a romance novel.

excited dance

The good points are pretty darn solid, y’all. But then there are the bad points that just undo some of the good impression that I have of the book. And we shall go into them now.

Bad points:

  1. It’s love interests, which means that there’s more than one love interest. Have I mentioned that I hate love triangles? Furthermore, Jack Dandy was mainly just there as a love interest! He had barely anything to do with the plot, for goodness sake.
  2. The plot is not only extremely predictable, but also very slow. I knew who the Machinist was once that mannequin showed up on Jack’s doorstep. I also knew what he planned to do with the mannequin once it was reported stolen. THERE WAS NO SUSPENSE ANYWHERE. Furthermore, they take FOREVER to figure out what I knew instantly. Predictability can be forgiven, but making your characters exceptionally slow when they’re not supposed to be cannot be forgiven.
  3. Sam. TSTL. Enough said.

banging head against wall (This GIF is selected for the sole purpose of Sam.)

Overall, the writing was decent, although more showing was needed, instead of telling.
There was a little bit of humour present, which made reading the book easier. Griffin’s character fell a little flat for me, especially because a significant amount of his thoughts involved Finley == Considering the exceptionally slow pace of the plot (they seriously took forever), I wanted to give the book 2.5-3 stars. However, I appreciate the strong female characters in the forms of Finley and Emily, and so decided to raise the rating up to 3.5 stars. Sort of recommended.

If the city of London was a body, Whitechapel would be the groin; a great unwashed area that only showed itself under the cover of darkness, and only for the most salacious of entertainments.

Just Some Crazy Thoughts

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Hi guys. It’s 2am here in Singapore, but here I am, because my brain is driving me crazy. I’m hoping that writing might help me feel less crazy, which is why I’m typing out this post. This was actually the original intent of my blog – for me to somehow release all the tension in me by writing a bunch of really depressing posts. Oh well, I guess that it’s just as well that I’ve started writing book reviews. But I digress.

I’m an adrenaline addict. And I’m addicted to a specific kind of adrenaline – the kind caused by self-harm. So I guess that means that I’m indirectly addicted to self-harm. When I was at an exceptionally low point at my life, I used it as a coping mechanism, but now I can’t seem to stop. Every time I’m upset, every time I’m angry, every time I’m frustrated, I just feel the need to take the blade to my skin. If I may say so, I think that I’ve been doing exceptionally well so far. I’ve only relapsed twice ever since I recovered (which was nearly two years ago). But today, the urge is especially strong, and I’m scared that I’m not going to be able to resist it. Which I guess is why I’m talking about it now.

I rarely ever talk about my depression. When I was at my worst, my classmates would probably have seen it, but I’ve never said anything to most of them out loud. I never even told my best friend (outright, anyway). As for the few that I told, some of them were my close friends (they knew the cause), but they drifted from me during that period. Some of them I told because my depression could affect our group project. Besides those few close friends, the only other people who knew were my parents, form teacher and family doctor. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone else. Especially after those close friends left, I felt that if I told any other people, I would lose them too. So I decided to keep everything to myself. And all the sadness, rage and pain buried me alive.

At the start, the self-harm was just to cope with a little loneliness. Initially, it was manageable. Those close friends were still there. I could still cope. But when they left, it was like a dam had broken, and all the loneliness and pain came rushing out,  drowning me in a wave of misery. I couldn’t take it. I desperately needed something to help me float, and that something happened to be self-harm. It was my life raft, so I clutched onto it for dear life, not realising that it was on fire. After floating along for a little while, just glad to not be drowning, I realised that I was also on fire. And I was burning. Badly. I needed to put it out quickly. But the only way to stop being on fire was to get into the water, and I couldn’t do that. Not again. Between the fire and flood, what was I supposed to choose?

I very nearly chose to crush myself against a fallen tree. It felt like the simplest way out. Compared to being burnt to death on the raft or being drowned in the river, it seemed like the least painful way out of an impossible situation.

I have no idea as to how I managed to survive. Whether it was sheer willpower or plain cowardice, I have absolutely no clue. Sometimes I wish I had gone, but then I say to myself, “You’ve already made it this far. It’s not like you’re back there again. Your situation is much better now.” And I guess I’m right. I am in a much better place now. I won’t be revisiting that charred life raft. Not today.

Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club #1)

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am i normal yet

All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?


 

Rating: 5/5

First of all, I would like to thank Ms. Bourne for writing such a wonderful book. Most YA books don’t make you hurt from the inside out. But I’m glad that this one did. It seemed like it cried out for me, and all the other people like me, who used to/are still being tortured daily by their own heads.

This book covered the two topics that I’m most passionate about: feminism and mental illness. I would say that I’m not really a true blue feminist (yet), but more like a fledgling feminist (is there even such a thing?). It’s hard to undo some of the social conditioning e.g. that rape has something to do with clothing and etc. The extract below shows one of the many double standards that exist in the world, and this is one of the feminist issues that I’ve completely gotten my head around to.

“I just can’t believe he said that,” she said, taking the chocolate and popping it into her mouth. “I don’t want to be tied down. I hate that. That they think girls are just obsessed with having relationships. What do they want us to do? Shag them but not expect anything in return?”

“Er, yeah, basically,” Lottie answered.

“No, that’s not right either,” I said. “They call those girls sluts.”

They nodded in agreement.

“So we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t, basically?”

I can completely empathise with the problems surrounding mental illness, though. It’s like the book said exactly what I think in my head most of the time.

Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks. “Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I’m so OCD.”

NO YOU’RE FUCKING NOT.

“Oh my God, I was so nervous about that presentation, I literally had a panic attack.”

NO YOU FUCKING DIDN’T.

“I’m so hormonal today. I just feel totally bipolar.”

SHUT UP, YOU IGNORANT BUMFACE.

……

People actually die of bipolar, you know? They jump in front of trains and tip down bottles of paracetamol and leave letters behind to their devastated families because their bullying brains just won’t let them be for five minutes and they can’t bear to live with that any more.

People also die of cancer.

You don’t hear people going around saying: “Oh my God, my headache is so, like, tumoury today.”

HAHAHA the last part is kinda funny. But when I hear people use the word “depressed”, my face gets all frowny and scrunched up, kind of like this:

scruched up face

Being sad because you didn’t do well ≠ depressed. Moping after a breakup ≠ depressed. Okay, I admit, sometimes those things lead to depression (a failed relationship caused my depression). HOWEVER, in order to actually be considered depressed, your sadness would have to negatively affect your life for an extended period of time (two weeks at least, if I’m not wrong). Binge eating ice cream for two days because you just broke up with someone doesn’t make you depressed.

I really like Evie. She feels so real, and she feels like someone I know (with OCD and GAD). Her OCD and GAD did not consume her, did not become her everything, did not become everything this book was about, and I appreciate it. However, there are times where even I found her frustrating. Her absolute refusal to tell ANYBODY about her thoughts, for instance. I understand why she doesn’t want to tell her friends. But a professional? Why not? If I think that I might relapse, I’d just tell a professional and talk it out, so I’ll be sure that I DON’T relapse. And I’m a pretty stubborn person with a lot of pride. Every time I ask for help, it’s like a chunk of my soul is being taken out. Her denying that she has a problem is not going to make the problem go away. In fact, in the case of mental illnesses, it makes it worse. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d much rather take my medicines and talk to someone now rather than wreck myself and end up in a hospital later. But maybe that’s just me being way too logical about the problem.

I could go on and on about how amazing this book was, but that’ll take forever. It was everything that I expected and more. The friendships, the romance, the heartbreak – it all felt like it could have happened to anyone in this world. This book is beyond precious, and we really need more YA books like this. Recommended to everyone, especially those who’d like to know more about mental illnesses.

Mental illnesses grab you by the leg, screaming, and chow you down whole. They make you selfish. They make you irrational. They make you self-absorbed. They make you needy. They make you cancel plans last minute. They make you not very fun to spend time with. They make you exhausting to be near.

The Circle (Engelsfor #1)

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the circle

On a night after the apparent suicide of high school student Elias Malmgren, a blood-red moon fills the night sky. Minoo wakes up outside her house, still in her pajamas, and is drawn by an invisible force to an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of town. Soon five of her classmates–Vanessa, Linnea, Anna-Karin, Rebecka and Ida–arrive, compelled the same force. A mystical being takes over Ida’s body and tells them they are fated to fight an ancient evil that is hunting them. The park is a safe haven; the school, a place of danger. The six are wildly different and definitely not friends…but they are the Chosen Ones.

As the weeks pass, each girl discovers she has a unique magical ability. They begin exploring their powers, but they are not all firmly committed to their mission–to discover the truth about Elias’s death. Then a horrible tragedy strikes within the circle. Newly determined to fight the evil forces, they begin to learn magic from The Book of Patterns, an ancient work with a will of its own that reveals different things to different witches.

In this gripping first installment of the Engelsfors Trilogy, a parallel world emerges in which teenage dreams, insanely annoying parents, bullying, revenge, and love collide with flirtation, dangerous forces, and ancient magic. An international sensation with rights sold in 24 countries, The Circle is razor-sharp and remarkable from start to finish.


 

Rating: 4/5

Whenever I hear that a book has been translated from another language, I get really excited. Because I have this strange expectation: any book that has been translated must be really good. Maybe it actually isn’t all that weird, as you would expect that only good books that many people love (like the Hercule Poirot series) would be translated, right? But it turns out that Twilight has apparently been translated into 37 other languages too ._. Oh well, maybe my expectations are unrealistic after all.

However, I’m really glad to say that this book didn’t let me down. I expected to be thoroughly enraptured and captivated by this book, and that is exactly what it did. My face was probably like this the entire time I was reading.

engrossed reading

This (close to 600 pages long) book is mainly about those six girls slowly developing magical powers and learning to work together. Along the way, we get to see them grow and develop as teenage girls too. Some of them have bullying issues, some have eating disorders, some have messed up families. You get to see how so many different types of people with different lives interact and bond with each other, and I appreciate that very much.

My favourite character is probably Vanessa. She doesn’t have a nice, ‘proper’ family like Minoo’s. She’s not popular like Ida and Rebecka. She’s not as impulsive as Linnéa. She’s not desperate for love and admiration like Anna-Karin. She hangs out with drug dealers. She parties hard. She is loyal to her friends. She loves her brother. I could go on and on about her, but I feel like she’s the one I can connect to the most, and that’s why I love her so much.

Even though there are many good things to say about this book, there are certain things that annoyed me to no end. The superficial judgment for example:

Felicia’s eyes search for something to comment on. They land on Vanessa, who’s standing by the salad bar. ‘What the hell is she wearing?’ Felicia snorts.

Julia and Ida start giggling hysterically. Vanessa is dressed in a pink shirt and a skirt so short it’s essentially a belt.

‘I don’t know what she’s doing here,’ says Ida, staring at her almost covetously. ‘I mean, what’s the point of her being at school now? It’s not as if she’s going to do any more with her life than squeeze out a few kids.’

are you serious

I know she’s supposed to be the queen of nastiness and all, but she does that. A LOT. To the point where I really wanted to reach into the book and punch her in the face. A girl’s dressing does NOT tell you ANYTHING about her character, and you cannot judge someone SOLELY based on the way they dress.

The other thing that irritated me beyond belief was Minoo’s pining for Max. I get the whole pining thing, I really do. But her pining was on a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. I have pined over many guys, but I definitely haven’t intentionally gone to find out where they live! Some of the dialogue that occurred between Max and her were also unbelievably CRINGE-WORTHY. Here’s an example right now:

‘What do you want to know?’ Max asks softly. ‘If I meant what I said? Because I do. I love you, Minoo. I’ve loved you since the first day I set eyes on you.’

‘I love you, too,’ she says, and it feels so natural. ‘But I know now that it’s not possible. What I have to know is… can you bear to wait for me?’

EEEEEBLURGGGGGGGG. THAT’S SO CRINGE-Y. She can’t love him, she barely knows him!!! She only knows him from school, and he never really talked to her in school! HE’S ALSO REALLY OLD. Oh goodness me. It’s really just. I can’t, guys, I can’t.

Overall, the plot is really exciting, the characters feel real, and there’s just enough action. Minoo and Max’s ‘romance’ is wayyyyy cringe-y, the superficial judgment is annoying, so one star deducted for those. Recommended for anyone loving anything magical and witchy!

Beware the Wild (Beware the Wild #1)

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beware the wild.jpg

It’s an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp—the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn’t return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance—and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.


 

Rating:  3.5/5

My favourite reviewer read this book and liked it, so I read it based on her recommendation. It was, surprisingly, below expectations. I liked the setting of the book, and it did creep me out at certain points, but I expected something much, much darker and scarier. I was definitely not scared enough.

As the synopsis of the book said, Sterling’s brother, Phineas, ran into the swamp one day and a girl, Lenora May, came out in his place. No one remembered Phineas afterwards, except for Sterling. She was desperate to save him, but when nobody else remembered, she couldn’t do anything. Until Heath told her that he believed her. They started forming a connection and blah, blah, blah, and then they save Phineas! Yay! It is basically EXACTLY as the synopsis says.

It is extremely difficult to bore me. When I’m bored, it’s usually because the book is really, really long. But this book was short and still managed to do so. I was really bored in the middle of the book because there was so much ANGST going on. The plot was also really quite draggy in the first 60% of the book and the romance was boring. It was all really BORINGGGGGGGGGGGGG. The author attempted a twist in the book, but I saw it coming from 100000000 miles away :/

bored face

Sterling was kind of a brat, and I couldn’t really see much of her personality besides her love for her brother. Heath felt kind of one-dimensional, so I couldn’t really empathise with him. My favourite character was actually Lenora May, because she wasn’t completely filled with anger, and because she was also quite sweet.

The last 30-40% of the book was pretty decent as it had more action scenes (and also less angst), which managed to (kind of) redeem some of the bad parts. Overall, plot was completely predictable, way too much angst in the first part, romance was boring, but the ending was decent. Wouldn’t recommend it too much, but if you don’t mind the lack of action scenes, it’s a decent book.

With howls and groans and pleading, dear,

The swamp will call you near,

Beware the songs it sings to you,

Beware the things you hear.

All the Truth That’s in Me

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all the truth that's in me

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family.

Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas.

But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.

This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.


 

Rating: 5/5
It takes a lot for a book to render me almost completely speechless. If I remember correctly, I’ve never been speechless about a book in my life. I’ve praised, ranted and cried over books. But I’ve never been left incapable of words before. That was how hard this book hit me.

This story is written in the second person’s narrative, with “you” being Lucas, the love of Judith’s life. Being a diary of sorts, it jumps occasionally between the past and the present. With the second person narrative and the time changes, I would usually get befuddled, but in this case, they somehow work.

I really cannot express my feelings for the book in words. When I read the synopsis, I thought that I’d be reading something entirely different. Exactly what, I cannot say. Just not this dark tale which left me depressed the rest of the night.

I have to say, this book is not typically something that I would read. I only read it because of the great reviews that it had. And I’m not disappointed, at all. Throughout the book, I felt Judith’s hope, her despair, her joy, and I went on that emotional journey with her. It’s a really rare thing when the author manages to capture her audience so deeply, that they actually feel like they become part of the story.

In hours, all I know will be consumed.

All that have mocked me, ignored me, spat upon me since my return. They were once my neighbours and friends, even if I am no longer theirs.

Even they are worth a sacrifice.

The story is set in the past, maybe in about the mid-1800s? (That’s what my friend thinks, anyway.) Then, one’s maidenhood was still considered to be of the utmost importance, even if the lady had been forced against her will. A lady who was not deemed to be ‘pure’ would be the lowest of the low, and she would be ridiculed and cast aside. If you are unable to read about the social stigma and all the accompanying actions of the people, I would suggest that you avoid this book, because it hits you really hard, right smack in the face.

I was drawn into the book within the first 10 pages, and I couldn’t stop reading. I loved the brother-sister relationship of Darrel and Judith. The love story didn’t bother me, although I usually dislike romances that take up a huge part of the plot. Recommended to all.

“Get your learning while you canh.”

Darrel paused to shift his weight off his crutch for a few seconds’ rest.

“I will,” he said, charging forward again. “For as long as I have to. But you don’t have to keep going for my sake. If Lucas will keep driving me, you don’t need to go.”

“I wantt to learn,” I reminded him.

He gave me a sly look, his freckled imp’s face smiling like it once did more often.

“Don’t see why it matters so much now,” he said, poking me with his crutch. “What does a housewife need with reading?”

And he took off hop-stepping before I could wallop him.

 

Out for Blood (Drake Chronicles #3)

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out for blood

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends-or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?


 

Rating: 5/5

happy dancepuking rainbows

Most accurate portrayals of me during/after reading this book.

I’m so glad to say that so far, this series hasn’t disappointed me. The plot twists might have been way too predictable, but the plot itself is decent, and the characters are amazing.

In this third installment of the series, we don’t focus on the vampires as much as we do on the vampire hunters, the Helios-Ra. Students in the Helios-Ra academy are falling sick, but there is more to the illness than meets the eye. Hunter decides to get to the bottom of it, but to do so, she needs the help of the gorgeous, flirtatious Quinn Drake. Through their interactions, their relationship develops from friendship into something more.

Let’s talk about the romance first, shall we?

pikachu heart eyes

EEEEKK. GUYS, THEY’RE TOO CUTE. I’ve always had a thing for bad boys like Quinn, so it’s no surprise that I really, really, REALLY like him. He’s also not the obnoxious “I’ll treat you badly so that you’ll go away because I bring danger to you blah blah blah” type, and so I like him even more. Hunter is a kickass hunter (hehehe that pun) who doesn’t need Quinn to be her knight in shining armour because she can take care of herself. She knows that she shouldn’t be falling for him so hard, but she can’t help it. What I like about this romance is that they don’t try to deny their attraction, like so many other books in other series. He doesn’t go, “Oh it’s too dangerous to be around me so I’m gonna ignore you and be mean to you/blow hot and cold towards you” (Ok, fine, he did that once but he got over it soon enough), and she doesn’t go, “BOOHOOHOO I’m a hunter and you’re a vampire so we can never be together but I’m so attracted to you *swoons*”. The only time Quinn was hiding from Hunter (and he was literally hiding in his room), she kicked down his door, then he got over it. In my opinion, that basically makes them a perfect match. CERTAIN OTHER AUTHORS, PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE ROMANCE NOT ANNOYING.

The sibling relations in this book are so cute, I have honestly no words to describe them. I know that I mentioned the sibling relations in my reviews of the 1st and 2nd book, but I just can’t get enough of it. And since I can’t describe them, I’ll just quote some of the paragraphs from the book.

First, we have Solange and Quinn.

“Sol, all that’s normal. Lucy smelled good before I turned and now she smells even better. But I haven’t tried to eat her face and neither will you.”

“She’s not safe in this house.”

“Safer than out there,” I argued, even though I agreed with her. “Look, you used to eat hamburgers.”

She blinked, confused. “So?”

“So, did you ever walk through one of the farms at a field party and suddenly try to eat a cow?”

“Um, no.” Her chuckle was watery but it was better than nothing. “And, ew.”

“Exactly. You can crave blood and not eat your best friend.”

“You make it sound so normal. And I’m totally telling Lucy you compared her to a cow.”

Then, there’s Sebastian and Quinn.

“Quinn.” Sebastian raised his eyebrows. “You walked right by that girl. What’s wrong?”

“I did?” I looked over my shoulder. A vampire with short brown hair and beauty mark at the side of her mouth winked at me. I winked back. Then I turned back to Sebastian, horrified. “I didn’t even see her.”

“You’re off your game.”

“Shh, keep it down, will you?” I straightened my shirt. “I have a reputation. I’m going back. She’s cute.”

“Forget it. She flirts with everyone.”

“So?” I grinned.

“Just come on. Mom and Dad are in the back room. And we can’t handle any more disgruntled exes.”

We really need to see more of Sebastian. Marcus and Duncan, too.

Finally, there’s Kieran (sister being Hunter) and Quinn (sister being Solange).

Yup. I was totally, completely, and irrevocably into this girl.

A thump on the door had us both jumping.

“Hey, get off my sister,” Kieran barked from the other side.

“Get lost, Black,” I called out. “And she’s not your sister.”

“May as well be.”

“Well, you stop kissing Solange and I’ll stop kissing Hunter.”

Why are they all so cute. They are literally the definition of #siblinggoals.

Overall, the plot is decent, the romance is really cute, and #siblinggoals. It more than makes up for the completely predictable plot twist, occasional grammatical error and some really cheesy clichés. Recommended for everyone who just wants to have a fun time reading.

“I feel like I’m in the witness protection program,” Lucy whispered. “You guys need suits and dark glasses.”

“I’m not wearing a suit even for you, sweetheart,” I whispered back.

“You’re no fun.”

As the silence stretched uncomfortably, she started to hum the theme song to Mission: Impossible under her breath.

Solange smothered a startled laugh. “Are you nuts?”

“Your brothers need to meditate. They’re all stressed out and their chi is bunching up. That can’t be comfortable.”

“I don’t even know what that means,” Nicholas hissed at her. “But there’s this whole stealth thing we’re going for. You’re not helping.”

Lucy grinned at Solange. “He’s so cute when he tries to be all Alpha male.”

“This is serious, Lucy.”

“She reached and pulled a piece of his hair. “I know that. But we’re barely off the driveway.”

“If you don’t stop talking I will hide all of your chocolate,” Nicholas promised.