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.

11 Apr 2018

Review: Soul Catchers (How to Survive the Afterlife #2)

'' ''Well, you'll need some hastily painted signs, a few repetitive one-verse songs, and long, bushy beards.'' ''


From Goodreads:
As the demons gather to debate John's disappearance the scattered parts of his soul plan revenge on those responsible. All that stands in his way is his newly acquired Tourette's Syndrome and an increasing list of pursuers. Demons, Satan, and a gang of deceased dictators all want a piece of him. Fortunately there's plenty to go around.

Meanwhile the pigeon, Sandy Logan, contemplates his unfulfilled ambitions. What if he ruled Hell? All he needs is an army to spark revolution. While the demons are distracted, his dysfunctional army will attempt to pull off the greatest heist in the Universe.

On the Isles of Scilly a pale girl with bleached white hair sits on the grass studying a puzzle book. She isn't like her pirate obsessed brother. It's proving to be the hardest puzzle of all. Young fingers trace the letters on a black stone. They find a J, O, H, and finally, N. Yet the name is the second most interesting thing about it. Mysteriously chiseled on the headstone are the words, 'God Protects the King.'

The story just gets better and better with every page you turn. Tony Moyle keeps the reader laughing from page one until the very end. It's not all comedy, though. You'll be surprised. There are many riddles and puzzles mixed in the reader will have a field-trip with. You think you know the answer, but are you willing to bet on it?

Might contain mild SPOILERS as this is the second book in the How to Survive the Afterlife - series. The first book's, The Limpet Syndrome, Review and link to Goodreads.

4 Apr 2018

Review: First Crush, Last Love

'' He needed her to give them a chance-the chance he threw away ten years ago.  ''


From Goodreads:
Back in high school, Lee Archer had the power to make Jessie Baxter’s cheeks flush and her heart race. But the popular athlete never wanted to be more than just friends. Ten years later, after a failed marriage and with her journalism career on shaky ground, Jessie’s come home for her high school reunion—and Lee still has the power to make her knees weak and her pulse pound.
Lee's teenage years were filled with more trauma and drama than anyone guessed. Though his damaged past has helped make him a successful police detective, it's hurt every relationship he's tried. But seeing the grown-up, stunning Jessie might just change his commitment-phobic mind.
Jessie’s psycho ex-husband had her convinced no one would ever love her, but Lee is ready to step out of the friend zone and into her heart. Can she learn to trust again before she loses her chance to turn her first crush into her last love?
Elizabeth McKenna’s novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the joy of finding true love at last.

Sometimes it takes a little time to get to the point where everything is alright. Where the nightmares of the past have made way for the dreams of future. Oh god, how sappy does that sound? 😅

2 Apr 2018

Review: Rebel Song (Rebel Song #1)

'' ''But only if you promise me something.''
He nodded.
''Stay alive.''
''I will.''
Easier said than done. ''


From Goodreads:
A reluctant hero
A determined princess
The revolution that stands between them
The once prosperous European kingdom of Arelanda has been plagued with poverty and corruption since the failed rebellion tore it apart. Now, rebels stir again in the capital’s underbelly, vowing to depose the monarchy and overturn the unjust government.
Seventeen-year-old Rogan Elwood, son of a rebel leader executed for treason after the first rebellion, has borne a tainted legacy his entire life. As he is pulled deeper into conflict, Rogan must face his calling in the future of the rebel cause—waging his want for peace against his desire for vengeance. Everything changes when he falls for Elyra—beautiful, idealistic and determined to bring Arelanda a better future. She also just happens to be next in line to the throne—if the corrupt Minister General doesn’t beat her to it.
Caught in the midst of a budding civil war and surrounded by enemies on every side, Elyra and Rogan must fight to save themselves and their country—and choose between each other and their duty.

We have seen many heroes and heroines beat the impossible. We have seen them thrive during the hardest of times. And now we have seen what it actually is when you can do nothing but wait for the inevitable.

1 Apr 2018

March Wrap-Up & April TBR

The first of April. April Fool's Day. Spring is here, almost all the snow is gone already. The time of spring cleaning, less puffy winter coats, natural light more than a few hours a day! Even though the year begins on New Year's Eve, I still find the first days of spring more symbolic. The colour green returns, birds fly back, and people hatch from inside their heavy winter gear. And if you're wondering 'what in the world is she rambling about', spring begins in March! Nope, not in Finland. We're lucky if even half the snow has melted around Easter time. And that's only in the South.

I could say that I am satisfied with the result I got in March. Only a couple hundred pages less than in February. Of course, I aimed higher. My March TBR had a few books that I could not get to, so they are the first ones in the line for April. Two of which I have already started reading.