25 Dec 2018

Review: Ice Cream Castles (Hot in the City #1)

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:

When uptight Eli crosses paths with world-weary Naomi, culture clash ensues. After a strained encounter, the pair later discovers that what they share in common outweighs their differences. ICE CREAM CASTLES is a May-December romance that explores grief, understanding, and acceptance, with a passionate twist. It will leave you wanting more.

The two characters are total opposites, never meant to work together. But opposites attract, right? 

This Novella is a quick read in between books. You'll spend an hour or two with it. The novella brings two unlikely people together from different phases of lives. The other trying to live in the aftermath of a bad divorce and the other grieving a great loss and a recent betrayal. 

Opposites attract might be the key to this book. But most of the time they were too much different to work at all. Like, if you're that different to start with, how is it possible that you can find a common frequency together. Eli is a neat-freak, so to say. Order and cleanliness are the cornerstones in his life, staying on schedule and deep in the middle of his comfort-zone are what he strives for. Naomi lives in the middle of chaos, in her apartment and in her social life. How can they work together when their living styles are so far from each other.

Ice Cream Castles is a quick read with less than a hundred pages. It's a nice read. I just couldn't connect with the story at all.

20 Dec 2018

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1)

'' ''How do you keep creating, despite what you lost?'' ''

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

From Goodreads:
Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated--scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

No one has survived the events of the war unscathed. Almost everyone lost someone or fought in the war themselves. The nightmares are an everyday occurrence and there's no running away when the monsters live inside your own head.

The Winter Solstice is just around the corner and the Night Court have their hands' full preparing for it. The memory of the war is still fresh in their minds. The preparations for the happiest festival of the year is the right distraction for the painful process that has begun; healing.

The novella doesn't bring any new twist into the series. It's just a bittersweet continuation for A Court of Wings and Ruin and the bridge between that and the next book. There are a few points where you get to know a bit more of the characters' backstories which give you a better understanding of their actions.

I don't know yet if A Court of Frost of Starlight is a must read before the next full book comes out since it's not out yet. But all fans of Maas' writing this is a must-read just for the feels only. This book really brings out the goosebumps, gives a glimpse of the dark, and most of all brings hope to the Void.

18 Dec 2018

Review: Secrets of PEACE (Secrets of PEACE #1)

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
Nearly 30 years ago, the PEACE Project rose from the ruins of a global war to take power over a new America. Providing stability in exchange for absolute authority, the Project controls every aspect of citizens' lives through each of its five units:


Raised in the Project since infancy, eighteen-year-old Zira has been trained as an assassin under the stern guidance of unit E-2's Chairman Ryku. After she makes a careless mistake on an assignment, the chairman partners her with Jared, the best operative in her unit. Their partnership transforms into friendship as they work together and learn to rely on each other. But when misinformation causes a solo mission to backfire, Zira's deepest loyalties and strongest relationships are tested in a place where even a hint of doubt can be perceived as treason.

The life she knows is falling apart, and nothing will ever look the same again.

They are taught to follow the teachings and values of the PEACE Project blindly. Never question, only complete the tasks you are given. When you have never questioned anything in your life and are thrust into a situation where the only way to survive is to question everything.

11 Dec 2018

Review: Chosen (The Last Guardian #1)

'' ''There was a war,'' Breahn said, ''a long bloody war between Dragons, Oluan, and humans.'' ''

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
Magic and Power... Dragons. These are the things of books and movies... of other worlds. They aren’t real. They can’t be real.

Mia wishes for the days when she truly believed that. Days when her biggest worry was whether or not she’d be accepted into the university of her choice. But that was before...

Before her reflection started playing tricks on her in store windows. Before she was unceremoniously ripped from her family and friends and dumped in a place she can’t escape from. A place where no one can reach her. Nethea,

Thrust into a world where Dragons exist and magic is Power, Mia must find a way to accept the role she’s been Chosen to fulfill. A role that seems more and more likely to claim her life as she uncovers the staggering odds stacked against her. If she can do it...if she can rise above the grief and anger that plague her heart and save Nethea from the dark fate waiting in the claws of a monster... Then maybe, just maybe she’ll get to go home again.

Can Mia find the will and the courage to defend and protect a world she doesn’t belong to? Will she take up the heavy mantle of the Guardians of Nethea?

She really didn't want to get pulled into this, but they didn't give her a choice. Now she must fight for them or the hope for the return becomes nigh.

20 Nov 2018

Review: The Replacement (The Replacement #1)

'' It's been one year since I met Merrick. Six months since I knew I could not live without him. Three months since we started to run. Three days since they caught me. ''

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
Angelica was willing to do almost anything for Merrick, until they were caught. Her punishment for breaking Lymerian law is unthinkable, but at least she will live. In fact, she might live forever. This YA Sci-fi novel is the first in a series by debut author Bianca Sierra-Luebke.

The Lymerians have been living in secret on Earth for centuries. Angelica is their newest replacement, taken to ensure the survival of this long-lived race and to discourage falling in love with a human. Yet Angelica is not like the previous replacements. Even her Architect is unusual. Clara, commander of the Slayers and deadliest of the Lymerians, is chosen. When she steps forward, their fates are sealed. The Laws of Liturgy are binding. As Clara and two Guards descend into the dungeons with Angelica, the entire race wonders what kind of Lymerian will return when the transition is complete.

Full of deception, heartache, and despair, this dark novel is for readers that love a great twist. Bit by bit the story unfolds, changing everything you thought you knew the page before.

You have to read until the very last sentence to get the idea of what the book is about. So buckle up, be patient, and bring snacks.

13 Nov 2018

Review: The Artisan Heart

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

From Goodreads:
Hayden Luschcombe is a brilliant paediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife Bernadette, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending the lavish parties organized by Bernadette.

When an act of betrayal coincides with a traumatic confrontation, Hayden flees Adelaide, his life in ruins. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia’s southern mountains, where he finds his childhood home falling apart. With nothing to return to, he stays, and begins to pick up the pieces of his life by fixing up the house his parents left behind.

A chance encounter with a precocious and deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter, and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Likewise, Hayden, protective of his own fractured heart, finds something in Isabelle that awakens dormant feelings of his own.

As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future.

This is one of those books you know is going to have a happily ever after. Still, you are perched on the edge of your seat until the very end.

6 Nov 2018

Review: Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares

'' The Wraith That Walks is cruel and cold, 
He lives among the skies of old.
In night he dwells, in blackness deep,
Outside your room to slowly creep.
He knows just what you've seen and done,
He'll nibble at your bones for fun.
So watch each move and step you make,
Lest next will be the last you take. ''

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
When Ewan Pendle began his second training year at Firedrake Lyceum, he thought it might at least be easier than the first. Now that he knew he was a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who alone can see the real Creatures which inhabit the earth, he hoped things would maybe go a little downhill from here … How wrong he was.

Ewan is summoned by Alice Blazely, the would be assassin who he and his friends Mathilde and Enid helped capture last year, the cunning woman using her final wish after being sentenced to death for her crimes to request a private meeting with Ewan. Alone together in a deep and dank cell, Alice reveals a secret which could turn Ewan’s world upside down – again. Does she hold the answer to deciphering Ewan’s disturbing reoccurring dreams? Can he ever trust the woman who wanted to see him dead?

As if a shocking revelation from a new foe wasn’t enough to handle, Ewan must also tackle a sea monster in the Thames, deal with the evil Rosethorn twins, come face to face with a shadow troll in a London alleyway and bargain with a crafty dragon, and attempt to find a treasure lost for over a thousand years …

As the summer ends, Ewan’s year long initiation into the world of creatures and the Lenitnes is finally over. But it’s then when monsters of all shapes and sizes really do start leaping, clawing and flying at him thick and fast!

The adventure continues after Ewan has spent his summer at Firedrake. The new year brings around challenges for him as their studies as cadets advance into more clique-specific studies.

30 Oct 2018

Review: The Helm of Darkness (War on the Gods #1)

'' 'When the world is taken back, and monsters rule the trees, blood of a demigod will spill. Two mortals will rise, two from the Before, reborn from sacrifice. And when the sky is black and green, and the heavens cry, they will lead a war. A war on the gods.' ''

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
Andy and Zoey are two normal teenagers living in the modern day—that is, until they’re knocked unconscious in a freak storm sweeping the United States.

When they wake up, the world they know has been tossed away. Their city is in ruins, strange creatures walk the earth, and worst of all, everyone is gone. They stumble across Diana and Spencer, two kids around their age who possess incredible magical abilities, and who claim to be the demigod children of Greek gods. Not only that, they also claim the year is 500 AS, five hundred years after the gods conjured a massive storm that destroyed most of humanity and helped them take the world as their own once again.

Andy and Zoey are soon handed an impossible task: To save humanity. To lead a war on the gods.

They’ll have to battle monsters, death, and their own inner demons to survive and to protect the people they love.

This middle-grade fantasy will begin by telling a story about the two most average mortals from the Before. The Before when the world was as we now know it, not the one where an apocalyptic storm killed almost entirely the population on earth. The Storm was caused by the Greek Gods, taking revenge on the humans who had forgotten all about the Greek Gods, causing them to fade away piece by piece.

16 Oct 2018

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1)

'' Why is it so hard to say no to him? Is this what it's like to be in love with somebody? ''

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

From Goodreads:
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Looking for the perfect beach read? The book to read on your commute home? The companion for rainy-days and cups of tea? You've found it. And the best part? It's a trilogy.

9 Oct 2018

Review: The Unexpected Inlander

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
Agent Christopher Rockford has been the best assassin in the agency for eight years, and he loves his job. He loves his solitary lifestyle. He loves eliminating criminals. He loves his comfortable life as a member of society’s wealthy coastal upper class.

But in pursuit of a target, he meets Jenna, a mysterious civilian who belongs to society’s lowest and most shunned group. Being around her is fun and intriguing, but it forces him to see things through her eyes—causing him to reconsider the world around them and The Order he so obediently serves. As he falls in love with her, he fears telling her the truth about his profession may cause him to lose her.

But Jenna has her own secrets to keep.

I feel kind of betrayed by this book. It's a funny feeling, really. I went in with zero expectations like I try to do with each and every book I read from a new author. The synopsis promises the reader an assassin in love with his job. And that we get, but we also lose him quite shortly after the beginning.

Review: Between the Shade and the Shadow

'' ''Between the shade and the shadow lies a bond. Two minds intertwined. Two hearts beating as one. Two creatures who breathe and bleed together. And the stronger the shadow, the stronger the bond - the stronger the bond, the stronger the sprite that emerges.'' ''

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
In the deep heart of the forest, there are places where no light ever shines, where darkness is folded by pale hands and jewel-bright eyes, where the world is ruled by the wicked and kept by the wraiths. This is where the Sprites of the Sihl live.
But Sprites are not born, they are made. On the path to Spritehood, spritelings must first become shades. They do so by binding a shadow: a woodland creature, who guides them through their training. Together, they keep from the light and learn to enchant living things, to bind them, and, eventually, to kill them.
Yet, not all spritelings are born with malice—they must earn it or they are condemned. What happens then to the spriteling who finds a shadow where she shouldn’t? What happens if that particular spriteling wasn’t born with malice at all?
Ahraia was that spriteling. She ran too close to the light and bound herself to a wolf, a more powerful shadow than any that came before it. Now a shade, her shadow marks her for greatness. But a test is coming, and the further they wander out of the darkness, the deeper they wander into danger. Ahraia’s time is coming and what awaits her at the end of her test will either make her or kill her . . .

I have to begin with saying that I did not finish this book entirely. Most of the time, I had trouble keeping up with the surrounding world so much, that I couldn't concentrate on the plot. Here's the reason why:

2 Oct 2018

Review: The Lion of Ackbarr

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Mika is to be married to a foreign boy she has only met a few times, despite her family mourning the recent and unexplained disappearance of her twin brother, Kaylan.

Forced to live in a strange land, far from her home in Cassai, she is resigned to her life as a lady until the day she discovers her new family dead around her. Mika escapes the city and disguises herself to travel to Ackbarr, certain she will discover the real reason for her brother’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, her dreams are filled with a predator stalking the forests of her homeland. Dreams that make her wake, trembling with the feel of iron blood filling her mouth.

Was I uncomfortable reading this book? Yes.  Was it necessarily a bad thing? Yes and no.

25 Sept 2018

Review: The Gilded King (Sovereign #1)

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

On first sight, you might not understand what the book is about. Or anything about the characters' true natures, which I realised quite late in the book. Was it carelessness or something else, I don’t know. But being clueless for the better part of the beginning really took a toll on the plot.

18 Sept 2018

Review: One of Us Is Lying

'' ''Everybody's got secrets,'' he says. ''Right?'' ''

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

From Goodreads:
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he's doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it's no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you'll go to protect them.

Withdrawals from the Gossip Girl series? Fret no more, this book is here to lift you from that awful pit of desperation.

11 Sept 2018

Review: Love & War (Alex & Eliza #2)

'' ''It is not just these men who need you, Colonel, nor even your country. You have a wife now. You have a future.'' ''

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

1780. Albany, New York.

As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon's over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington's right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided--much like the colonies' interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza's relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama

The love story continues. The wedding was six months ago and the happy couple still lives in Pastures, the Schuyler estate. They haven't really had the time to spend time together since the war requires Alex's presence.

4 Sept 2018

Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1)

'' ''I've had enough of being around all these crazy rich Asians, all these people whose lives revolve around making money, spending money, flaunting money, comparing money, hiding money, controlling others with money, and ruining their lives over money'' ''


From Goodreads:
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

Imagine the richest of the rich, then make them even richer. You're probably half-right how rich these people are. Weekend in Paris, coming home with a half-a-million spent on a few additions to your wardrobe? That's not even a sliver of their wealth spent.

28 Aug 2018

Review: Fated Loss (Red Rose & Black Ash #1)


From Goodreads:
For two years, her memories were lost.
For two years, she believed a lie.
For two years, thousands of lives rested in her hands. But she didn't even know.

Because she can't remember her past, Rose Kristal thinks she is an ordinary girl until her sixteenth birthday. On that day she discovers she is far beyond ordinary. On that day she remembers what she had forgotten. Now with thousands of people in peril, Rose needs to take back what has been stolen from her.
Second by second, time ticks down and challenges pile up as Rose struggles to reclaim her kingdom from a vile tyrant. One who is determined to vanquish her. And to make matters more complicated, she is falling for a kind guy with a deadly secret.
But Rose's biggest fear—losing the one she loves to the prophecy.

She finds a diary in her locker at school. Deciding to read, she first finds something unbelievable, a diary about fairies! And then she sees it, the entry is signed with her name, a name combination not so often seen.

14 Aug 2018

Review: The Stolen Generation


From Goodreads:
Between 1972 and 1993 the Global Sector Council forced single mothers to have abortions.When those babies were aborted, their souls were stolen and attached to lab made children. Those children, together with a group known as the Rebellion are now fighting back. Freya 'Freddie' Faith Raner takes us on a whirlwind adventure as she and her soul sister search for their soul mother, look to over throw the global government, and make friends, and enemies, along the way.

A dystopian novel set in a parallel universe which split from our own timeline in the aftermath of the Second World War. Utopia isn't all that it seems, in a world where religion has been abolished, LGBT people have rights the world over, and food, shelter, and education are taken as given.

I try not to rely on the information given to me in the synopsis. The same info should be in the story as well. And here I am, reading the synopsis again and realising why the setting was confusing me from page one.

7 Aug 2018

Review: Save the Date

'' ''Charlie?'' He looked up at me, his expression grim. ''I think we have a problem.'' ''


From Goodreads:
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.
Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

Nothing is going according to plan. Almost every chapter could either begin or end with the sentence ''I think we have a problem.''

3 Aug 2018

Review: The Last Cleric (The Blackwood Saga #3)


From Goodreads:
Trapped in a world where wizards rule, the Blackwood brothers from New Orleans have become entangled in events that threaten to upend the Realm.
Oldest brother Val, sentenced to die in wizard prison, is forced to undertake a quest for the Congregation to try to win his freedom—but which might cost him his soul.
Reunited with an old companion, Caleb must overcome his personal demons as he braves the dangers of the Barrier Coast to warn his ancestors of the coming invasion.
And in a distant unexplored jungle, Will must find his warrior spirit as he and Mala lead a party of adventurers in search of the Coffer of Devla, a fabled artifact thought to reside in the lost pyramid of Yiknoom Ukab K’ahk, the most powerful sorcerer king who has ever lived. Used to annihilate the enemies of its possessor, the coffer might be the only hope for the struggling revolution.
Yet even if Will’s expedition is a success, prophecy holds that the coffer can only be used by a cleric of Devla.
And no true cleric has walked the Realm for centuries . . .

The third instalment doesn't 't leave anyone cold. Keeping the readers on the edge of their seats the entire length of the book requires talent and maybe a little bit of magic, and Layton Green has them both.

The brothers are back at again. Separated to walk their own paths for a while, two of them by choice, the eldest not so much. Their journeys are full of life-threatening battles with the dangers of the world they currently have to call their home.

The character development in the books published so far is astounding. Looking back to the first book The Brothers Three there has been no downhills nor lulls in their development. Neither has there been any of those in plot development or in the writing style at all. I enjoy the way all the books are written and especially the way The Last Cleric was written. There is no gap between the previous books, they are respected and honoured and brought up in the third. The story flows throughout all of them creating a continuum which promises there is much to come.

The cliffhanger, in the end, left me craving for more. I have to know what happens next, I need to. You got me hooked in this series, Layton Green, and I couldn't be more grateful.

27 Jul 2018

Double-Review: After Sunrise (Never Lose Sight #1.5) & Out of the Dusk (Never Lose Sight #3)


After Sunrise on Goodreads:
After receiving a call from his commander, Sergeant Brett Parker rushes overseas to the military hospital, where two of his Marine brothers are recovering after an IED explosion decimated the rest of their unit. Struggling with survivor guilt, Brett's thoughts are dark and tortured until he encounters the beautiful brunette in the cafeteria. Lauren Cage always dreaded getting "the call" every military family fears. Flying to Landstuhl, Germany to her wounded brother's bedside, she battles the grief threatening to overtake her. Being in a foreign country is intimidating for a young woman traveling alone, but when she meets one of her brother's best friends and comrades, her anxiety subsides. After five emotional days, Brett is forced to return to war and Lauren goes home to New York. For over a year, they secretly burn up the internet with a scorching love affair neither time or distance could deny. When entanglements from the past threaten to pry them apart, Brett is faced with a personal dilemma and is forced to embrace his heart's desire.

Out of the Dusk on Goodreads:
After many long years as a Marine, Brett Parker knows the meaning of war. Hardened and tired of death and destruction, he prepares for the most important mission of his career: to win back the woman who has his heart. He was certain he would never hold her again—until a promise to his dying mother takes him on a journey to reclaim the love he lost.
Lauren Terrelli would never forget the boy who broke her heart. Finding happiness after Brett was hard enough; losing it again almost destroyed her. Unexpectedly widowed, Lauren’s sole focus became her bakery, but a voice from the past changes everything.
Lauren soon learns Brett is not the same man she knew all those years ago. As his world spins out of control, hers begins to right itself for the first time.
Brett is ready to fight for his Beauty, but the demons in his head are far worse than he could ever imagine. Is he strong enough to let Lauren lead him out of the dusk? 

16 Jul 2018

Review: Onions

'' ''Have you read all these books?''
''Yep, at one time or another. I encourage you to read. The more you read, the more you know, the more confident you'll become and the harder it will be for people to take advantage of you.'' ''


From Goodreads:
When twelve-year-old "Onions" arrives at his new foster home in Lozen, Arizona, he brings with him only a skateboard and a lot of anger. After he spots an old lady and tries to snatch her purse, he learns the first of many lessons Sandrine, a retired circus performer, will teach him. From Sandrine he learns about the magic of books, the challenge of playing the trumpet, and, most of all, the importance of never giving up. Onions is a moving and inspiring story for all ages and everyone who believes in miracles… and love.

The message is clear: You can achieve anything if you try hard enough and you have the right people guiding you forward.

9 Jul 2018

Review: The Never Dawn (The Never Dawn #1)

Deep down below where the dirty waters flow,
Where the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow,
You can hear the screams as the Shovellers cry,
For a breath of clean air and an open sky,
Deep down where the dirty waters flow.


From Goodreads:
All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he's only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah's people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy.

But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside. 

You have never questioned anything. You have never had a thought of your own. And then, you start having both.

5 Jul 2018

Review: My Lady Zane

'' ''Take this and open it as you wish, to know that I am with you. I have fallen for you, Betty Zane. I will wait for you, always.'' ''


From Goodreads:
Letters from the States came often and, sometimes, more than five at a time. Marines do love to get mail. Not email. The real thing. Good old U.S. Post mail. Handwritten. Had to be. It was 2003 and Sergeant Leah Ann Sullivan read her mail every day, addressed to her 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, which was just south of Fallujah, Iraq. The mail was from her grandmother, with whom she was very close. One hell of a story was laid out in those letters. A love story in the time of the American Revolution. Leah never knew she had such history in her family. Leave it to Grandma, always so full of great stories. On Leah's breaks from her duties, the letters brought her back to a time when America was young A time when the country was undiscovered and her ancestors had to protect Fort Henry and their colony. There was a lot to lose in the 1700s, around the Ohio Valley. Local tribes wanted their land back, and the British knew how to take advantage of that. Betty Zane was the girl who had to grow up fast on the frontier. She was raised by her four brothers. Her older brother, Colonel Ebenezer Zane, taught her how to protect herself, use her instincts, and shoot a long rifle. Then, Betty fell in love with Zach. Their love was immediate and deep. She never stopped loving him, even when she was forced to go to school in Philadelphia. All she wanted to do was to come home and marry the boy she loved, a boy who was becoming a man and who helped transform Fort Henry into Zanesville. Betty would find a way. But the Shawnee Warrior with the scar on his brow was out to take everything from the Zanes. He lost his brother because of Betty and her brother. He lost the respect of his tribe. He was losing his land. He found his opportunity with the British Captain Pratt and the American traitor George Girty. They were just as determined. They conspired to take down the Zanes and Fort Henry. But they threatened the wrong girl. A girl who was becoming a woman, who loved her man and her country, and would do anything to save them. The letters told Betty Zane's story well, and Grandma knew what she was doing. The stories stirred something within Sergeant Leah Ann Sullivan at just the right time. Her Captain has assigned her to lead a mission. A "Red Eye Op." Now it is her turn. She is about to find out just how damn tough she is. Who is the ruthless enemy in the dark of the Iraqi desert, taking out her fellow Marines? Who are the two unknown soldiers who have compromised her team? Will she have the time to tell the Marine named Vargas how much she cares for him? With her Captain's faith, and a team who has put their trust and respect in her, Leah is about to embark on her own journey. A journey of self-discovery and intestinal fortitude, and high risk. One that takes us to the ending of a true story, about a female warrior in the past that will forever change who this warrior is in the present.

If you know how the movie Dear John begins then you know the beginning of this book. Minus the love interest.

3 Jul 2018

Review: Alex & Eliza (Alex & Eliza #1)

'' But that was the thing about Alex, a nameless orphan from the Caribbean, who had written his way up to General Washington's side, he was nothing if not determined. ''


From Goodreads:
Their romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.
1777. Albany, New York.
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

The love story most of us weren't aware of before it popped on the surface a couple years back.

1 Jul 2018

June Wrap-Up & July TBR

Lazy month. I woke up on the 28th of June to the realisation that the month was almost over. How is it possible that one month just can slip through the fingers of time so quickly. This month's wrap-up is skinny. Skinnier than usual, both in the number of books and pages read.

23 Jun 2018

Review: TwoSpells

'' ''You see, the books within TwoSpells are doors to other worlds. Ya' can go anywhere, anytime that the writer had imagined. It's a true sanctuary for witches and warlocks and wizards of all kinds.'' ''


From Goodreads:
Sarah and her twin brother Jon are heirs to an ancient magical realm and its most valuable treasure, an enchanted library. The library endows readers with the supernatural means of crossing into the uncharted inner-sanctum of the second dimension, inhabited with peculiar and sometimes perilous creatures.
The children are emboldened with a wondrous mystical gift that no other being has ever possessed. But fate intervenes and triggers a disastrous inter-dimensional war that disrupts the fabric of time and space spanning multiple universes, tearing destiny a new and savage pathway.
The two must rescue their world from a phantom hybrid alien race controlled by a demented dark-wizard, Jeremy Sermack. They will either assimilate or be exterminated.
Will they be the saviors the prophets spoke of, or will they retreat to the perceived safety of their distant homeland?

What was supposed to be a vacation at their grandparents' house turned into a magical adventure full of strange creatures and dangerous twists.

11 Jun 2018

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

'' ''You were right,'' -- 'That girl I knew did die Under the Mountain.'' ''


From Goodreads:
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

I have stalled long enough. At first, it was only of the fear of having to wait a whole year before the publication of the next book, A Court of Frost and Starlight. Then it was out of fear of what was going to happen in the book. I had heard rumours, rumours of something terrible happening in the book, and I didn't want to know if it was true. Finally, I put my big girl pants on and read it. Slowly, to be honest, but I read it. I had around forty heart-attacks, felt like there was nothing that could make me feel better, and after the last page, descended into the worst book hangover ever. (EDIT 25.06.18: I am still suffering from it.)

2 Jun 2018

May Wrap-Up & June TBR

I just ordered twenty-four new books. And they should be here in a week. Pray the - I don't even know who anymore - that I have enough shelf space.

I read a manga this month. I haven't read any manga for years. It was a nice change, and even though I really enjoyed the change, I know that my heart belongs in the world of words only, not in the world of graphic novels. Although, illustrated editions are always welcomed.

Only reading five books in a month, without any of them being overwhelmingly long, was new to me. Next month I have to do better. As for this month, here are the books I read.

Good Morning Call #1
Yue Takasuka


166 pages

Protected (Ariya Adams Trilogy #1)
Anna Applegate


258 pages

Dragon's Heart (Dragon Lore #1)
Eden Ashe


198 pages

By the Light of the Moon (Rise of the Arkansas Werewolves #1)
Jodi Vaughn


272 pages

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3)
Mary E. Pearson


679 pages

One thousand five hundred seventy-three pages I managed to plow through in the month of May. I should feel proud, right? It means almost 51 pages a day, on average. But I did not read consistently during the month. I read nothing in the beginning, then a lot during the second week. Suffered through the slight reading slump caused by The Beauty of Darkness and then began reading A Court of Wings and Ruin. Two massive, intimidating books followed by each other at the end of the month is a lot to ask. Both books were so emotionally wrecking, that only a true masochist would be able to read them without falling to pieces. There was still a hundred pages left when May turned into June. I finished ACOWAR today. And I feel empty, like a shell of what I used to be.

I've been thinking about it, should I set myself another near-impossible TBR? I know that if I don't set one, I'll be doing a lot of rereading and won't be shortening the ever piling TBR. If I will, I'll be too stressed out to actually read. So, I will be doing it half and half this time. My goal is to finish all the books from May's TBR, which are:

TwoSpells, Mark Morrison
My Lady Zane, Steven M. Sullivan
The Last Cleric, Layton Green
The Never Dawn, R. E. Palmer
Onions, Cy Young

And then everything on top of that is an added bonus. To meet my Goodreads Reading Challenge pledge of 120 this year I should read 11.3 books each month. It used to be ten books a month, but since I am eleven books behind schedule, the number has grown.

I am flying full hours the entire summer season. Which means less consecutive days off, but still plenty of hours to read. The summer season has brought old acquaintances back, mended deep gashes, and grown hope and stability for the future. I hope to keep it that way, even though sometimes staying still, present in the moment, is the hardest thing one must do.

26 May 2018

Review: The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3)

''  Find her. Don't come back without her. Alive or dead, I don't care. Kill them all. But bring her back. ''


From Goodreads:
Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.

With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.

In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.

'' My life had been patched together with lies from the day I was born.
How does it feel?
Old. I was tired of lies. ''

In case you didn't notice, this is the third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles. This piece of text with mindless gushing and fangirling and whatnot review will contain spoilers.

19 May 2018

Review: The Dragon's Heart (Dragon Lore #1)


From Goodreads:
The dragon-shifter king will do anything to keep his mate alive…even if it means war.
After millennia as king of the dragon-shifters, Daniel Ashborne wants a little peace and quiet, especially from the beautiful Hollywood starlet who haunts his memories. His escape tactics end abruptly when he is called to the ER to save the one woman he wants to forget, but who now bears his mark.
Shelby Kincade’s life and movie career were nearly destroyed when Daniel vanished a year ago. Now he’s back, claiming they have been accidentally mated. Getting over him once was hard enough, but she must choose either the life of her dreams or the man she can’t live without.
With peace finally on the horizon between the dragon-shifters and the Hunters, an assassination attempt on the dragon king and his mate shatters everything. Tensions rebuild as Daniel and his loyal team of shifters try to discover who put out the hit. Enemy and ally lines are crossed, but in the end–after the battle ash has settled–no one could have foreseen who has plotted for their own gain.

You cant trust anyone, not even your own feelings. Betrayal at every turn and nothing is what it seems.

15 May 2018

Review: Protected (Ariya Adams Trilogy #1)


From Goodreads:
She thinks she’s a normal college Senior. He knows she’s anything but.
Ariya Adams has no idea she’s descended from blood so powerful and rare that her life is infinitely more precious than any ordinary woman’s—especially to James Rymer.
James enters her life and stirs up feelings she can’t explain. He becomes a part of her world almost overnight, but Ariya senses he’s hiding something, and she’s determined to figure out what it is.
When “normal” becomes a thing of the past and fantasy enters Ariya’s reality, she’s soon faced with dangerous revelations, the least of which is that everyone she loves has been keeping secrets from her. With a paranormal evil she’s only beginning to comprehend threatening her and her friends, Ariya will have to choose between duty and love. Through it all, she’ll learn to never underestimate the power of blood.

It all begins with tall, dark, and handsome. Then comes the danger, and Ariya finds out she has been living a lie for her entire life.

10 May 2018

Mini-Review: Henderson (Hotel #1)

'' ''Do you love him, Holly?'' -- ''Better question. Do you think Benjamin Henderson loves you?'' ''


From Goodreads:
Holly Claire has been a faithful a committed employee. She's given herself to the job a hundred percent. Literally, body and heart. Her secret love affair with her sexy as hell boss, Benjamin Henderson, Hotel magnate, has never granted her any special privilege before, but she never expected it to be a handicap to her receiving promotion either.

Henderson is the first book in the Hotel Series, a three-part novella series following Holly from heartbreak to love.

She has worked hard to reach the place where she is in life. She worked hard to reach a new level, to gain more freedom in her life. Then, all she had worked for, all she wanted for a long time, was taken away from her. No wonder the woman is on a war-path.

Holly's character is someone any of us can relate to. We have all worked hard to gain something in life, and at least once, that something has been taken from under our eyes and there has been nothing that we could have done at the moment. Holly faces the same situation, she tries to get over it, in her way. She is strong, independent, maybe a little impulsive.

You can tell that this novella is just the beginning of Holly's story. There is so much more to know about her, I feel like the events of Henderson only scratched the surface. And the best part: It's available at the moment on Radish!

7 May 2018

Review: Rescuing the Prince


From Goodreads:
During the afternoon fantasy parade, a dragon swooped down and carried off my boyfriend. I am not making this up.

So begins Leah’s adventures that lead her to another world. At home in California, Leah’s boyfriend Gerry is her rock and motivation. Now, trapped in another world without him, she must find her own courage. During her quest, Leah impersonates a missing princess, learns magic, and meets new friends and allies, including the shy, handsome Tolliver. But in the end, does she have what it takes to defeat Gerry’s fearsome captor, the Dragon Rider?

Your boyfriend has just been kidnapped by a dragon. Even for an amusement park worker that is too much. Leah has been portraying Cinderella with her boyfriend being the prince charming for some time now. She has seen it all, from young dreamy-eyed children too tired parents looking to distract their children for just even a second. She worked in a fairytale. But as all fairy tales, this one has a twist, too. 

2 May 2018

Review: Aftan Whispers (Estalia #2)

'' ''Over there, they've got a saying. Those together last the longest.'' ''


From Goodreads:
He didn't know how savage the world was - until he met Deni.

As the days grow darker in the Estalian Empire, young Tyler stays positive by helping others. But when he meets a girl on the run with enemies in the highest places, Tyler's life gets complicated fast. Deni isn't afraid to kill, and she’s got a secret that could tear apart the sky.

In a mortal chase that takes them from a besieged city across the war-torn countryside, Tyler soon discovers that the Empire’s guardians are their most dangerous foe. Worse still, Deni is faced with a terrible choice: remain hidden and save herself - or expose herself to prevent the oncoming darkness.

If you're looking for a visceral ride packed with steampunk machines, stunning action sequences and ambiguous moral choices, you’ll love Phil Williams’ latest post-apocalyptic adventure.

This is the second book in a series called Estalia. You don't have to read the first book to read this one, they can be read independently. But I do recommend reading the first one, it could shed light on many questions the Aftan Whispers left unanswered.

30 Apr 2018

April Wrap-Up & May TBR

I remember writing in the last Wrap-Up & TBR -post about the beginning of spring and how it's a beautiful time of the year. Guess what. It started snowing the next day. And that day was the April Fool's day. You got me there, Finnish weather, you got me and everyone else in Finland who thought that we were finally getting rid of the winter.

For the month of April, I haven't been reading that much. I read at the beginning of the month and then nearing the end of the month. Somewhere in the middle, I just didn't have the feeling to pick up a book at all. Instead, I turned to the archnemesis of reading: Netflix. I binge-watched Gilmore Girls and The Crown. It's amazing how addicting it is. You know when you watch a series on Netflix and at the end of the episode, there's the 15-second countdown before the next episode begins automatically. Well, I have my laptop connected to the TV (for the larger screen) and when the countdown begins, and I am lying down on the sofa, it is impossible to get to the laptop to press stop before the next episode begins. I tried many times, and then, I just gave up, submitting to the fate of watching until I almost fell asleep.

But you probably came here for the books, not the tragic story of my Netflix addiction, so here they are: The books I managed to read through in the month of April:

29 Apr 2018

Review: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2)

'' Betrayed by her own,
Beaten and scorned,
She will expose the wicked,
For the Dragon of many faces
Knows no boundaries. ''


From Goodreads:
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

Two years, four months. That is how long ago I read The Kiss of Deception. Two years and four months I have been in its grip. Two years and four months I have waited (I really don't know why) to read the second book in the series. And I am as shaken as I was the after the first book. I am supposed to begin reading the third book after I finish writing this review, but I don't know if I can. The Heart of Betrayal destroyed me and I am not sure if I am ready to be shattered into pieces again.

27 Apr 2018

Review: Looking for Dei


From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

All the way through, the plot kept me interested. (And then there's the but.) But I didn't like any of the characters. I didn't like the way the narrative jumped from one person to the other. And what bothered me the most, is that there seemed to be separate smaller plots that had nothing to do with each other, and towards the end, they were mashed together.

24 Apr 2018

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)

'' ''You are stronger than you imagine. I see it. In time, you'll see it, too.'' ''


From Goodreads:
I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?

I have put off reading A Shadow Bright and Burning for too long. I have deprived myself from the reading experience, the excitement, the feelings. Or, should I say, The Feelings.

20 Apr 2018

Review: Pen & Xander

 '' ''What you've gotten yourself into...'' she smiles, nostalgic, ''is the most faithful and fucked-up family you will ever meet.'' ''


From Goodreads:
Pen Prado has a passion for cooking. Specifically, cooking her father's food in her father's restaurant. It's the heart of their immigrant neighborhood, a place where everyone belongs, and second chances are always on the menu. Except for Pen. Despite the fact that there's something almost magic about her food, her father can't imagine anything worse than her following in his footsteps. And when Pen confesses to keeping a secret from her family, he fires her, ensuring she never will.

Xander Amaro is undocumented but that doesn't stop Ignacio Prado from offering him a job at his restaurant. For Xander, it's a chance to make amends and to sever his toxic relationship with the druglord, El Cantil--a man whose been like a father to him since his own disappeared. Soon after, his mother abandoned him too, leaving behind a void that not even his abuelo can fill. Until he meets Pen.

Both seeking a place where they feel like they truly belong, they end up finding each other, and in the face of tremendous fear and self-doubt, they end up finding themselves.

This book is about finding where you belong and learning that feeling something, feeling everything is okay.

12 Apr 2018

Review: The Dead Kids Club

'' We grow up surrounded by people paid to lie to us until we become paid liars ourselves. ''


From Goodreads:
Her boring life is about to get a killer upgrade.

In her small town of Cold Meadow, Virginia, life seems to be going exactly the way Danielle Donovan wants. She’s captain of her cheerleading team, getting ready to head off to college on the sunny west coast, and she is the most adored girl in her school. Suddenly, Dani’s life is thrown off course when her friend, the resident trouble magnet Scotia, turns up missing after a party thrown at Dani’s house. With the police sniffing around and rumors spreading faster than they can be contained, Dani and her tight-knit group of friends soon find themselves as suspects in Scotia’s disappearance. Though Dani swears she is innocent, she starts to question the possibility of those closest to her being guilty. From her laid-back best friend Gage Mitchell to the human firecracker also known as Frankie Carson, Dani is forced to question everything she knows about her life and those she loves if she wants to ever see Scotia again, and more importantly, avoid being the latest missing person.

The Dead Kids Club is a roller coaster of twists with the intensity of Gone Girl and the comedic edge of Heathers that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

I cannot even begin to express how much I loved this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page until the last one, and it still has me in its grip, a few weeks later.