Search

justlovemybooks

Book Blog (Romance & More)

Author

Emily

College student, avid reader & total nerd

📝Review📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟 ~ Again, but Better ~ Author: Christine Riccio ~ Genre: #YA #Contemporary ~Expected Publication: May 7th, 2019!

41147279

Again, but Better

Christine Riccio

Genre: #YA #Contemporary

My Rating: 3.5

Cover: 5

Publication: May 7th, 2019

Read: March 9th, 2019

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 384

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41147279-again-but-better

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Again-but-Better-Christine-Riccio/dp/125029925X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2RKBEUE5G7MP6&keywords=again+but+better&qid=1552335560&s=gateway&sprefix=again+but+be%2Caps%2C139&sr=8-1 

Synopsis

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal — but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change — there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic – the possibilities are endless.

Icon_Transparent

📝My Review📝

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

3.5 Stars! I have a lot of thoughts so get comfortable.

Again, but Better was a book that I was highly anticipating. I have been watching Christine’s videos for years and I always genuinely enjoyed her content. So of course I was going to support her debut novel. That being said my opinion is not biased at all. I have the ability to separate artist from art. But overall I generally enjoyed this book. Contemporary is my least favorite genre so this book was already at a disadvantage but there are certain one’s that I enjoy! I feel like Again, but Better would have received a higher rating if it wasn’t for the writing/ language used and the overall plot. Before I get into that I want to remark that the second half of this book is what saved it for me, it was much more enjoyable and actually had a plot. The first half…eh not so much. Also this book has a “magical” element to it and I really did not expect that so I found that really fun and fresh!

Okay onto the critique’s…

Did I think this book read as a fan-fiction of Christine’s actual life? Yeah I really did. Just knowing so much about Christine from her videos I realized that her and the main character Shane are literally the same person. Unfortunately Christine was not able to separate herself from her character very well and that really took me out of the reading experience. They have all the same interests, quirks, personality traits, appearance, awkwardness, etc… I just really did not enjoy that. Eventually I got used to it but I really should not have to do that. This book was also full of references to her favorite things: Lost, Harry Potter, Taylor Swift, Dan Brown, etc…It became too much eventually and I groaned every time a reference was made.

The writing was not good. I’m sorry Christine, I understand it is your first novel so there is room to grow but it was just really unprofessional. I really hated that she used “like” in sentences. Her prose read very “immature teenage girl.” Fun? No it was annoying. Again I got used to it but I shouldn’t have to. We were also constantly told about things that happened but almost never shown. This book is in serious need of editing. I think Christine should write is again, but better. *buh dum tss* Get it? Not funny? Okay moving on.

Social Anxiety rep! Not great! I have social anxiety so seeing Shane claim she has it…really did not sit well with me. To me it really felt like she was trying to make social anxiety a cute and quirky thing. It’s not. It is an absolutely crippling form of fear that actually ruins people’s lives. Some people can never get over it. Social anxiety can manifest in different ways for everyone who has it but the way it was portrayed in this novel was not correct. Shane does not have social anxiety, she is just socially awkward. If she did have social anxiety she would be constantly thinking and obsessing over all the dumb stuff she said and did and running through a million different scenarios of how it could have gone. Social anxiety isn’t just “I’m awkward and say weird things LOL peace sign!!!” It is a crippling mental illness that actually prevents people from functioning “normally.” A lot of people like to claim they have social anxiety when most really don’t. Just a lesson for the future, don’t claim you have social anxiety unless you have been diagnosed by a professional. I am very passionate about social anxiety representation because, like I mentioned, I have it and it has been a struggle and a battle every day. I care so much about how it is presented to the general public because it is a mental illness that was slowly killing me for years before I decided I needed to seek out help. I don’t like when people turn social anxiety into a “cute” thing because it’s not cute…it is a spiraling rabbit hole that is extremely hard to climb out of. So just to wrap it up, I am not happy with the “social anxiety” scenes in this book.

The plot was pretty much nonexistent. Nothing really happened throughout the book except for stupid teenage melodrama (even though Shane is 20…I think?). A plot and a purpose arrived in the second half of the novel but that is all spoilery so I can’t talk about it but it was very entertaining. The first half was not good though. It took me weeks to get through the first half of the book I never wanted to pick it up.

I hate the character names. Pilot? Babe? Shane? Atticus? Sahra? The fact that all the character’s names were so weird really distracted me. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE FACT THAT SHANE’S LAST NAME IS PRIMAVERI. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU CHANGED ONE LETTER FROM PRIMAVERA. While I pretty much liked all the characters…well I didn’t dislike them, I wish there was more of Atticus and Sahra.

Last critique is the portrayal of Italian families. Okay listen the portrayal of Shane’s Italian family really isn’t inaccurate, lots of Italian families are like that…mine included. But no one has to see that you know? It made me kind of uncomfortable to see my own family drama reflected in a book. This is a personal preference but still I could have done without the psycho Italian and overbearing family members.

Fans of Stephanie Perkins, specifically Anna & The French Kiss, will really enjoy this book. I think lots of contemporary fans will find it enjoyable. I generally enjoyed it but yeah I found it cringy as hell at times so it is not going to rank very highly for me. But everyone has different tastes and I genuinely know that a lot of people will enjoy this more than I did. I am also a very critical reader so many of the issues I had with this book probably would not bother other people. This is only Christine’s first novel, she has so much room to grow as a writer and I am eager to see that growth.

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

📝Review📝 ~ 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 ~ Spin The Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) ~Author: Elizabeth Lim ~ Genre: #YA #Fantasy #Retelling ~ Expected Publication: July 30th, 2019!

36683928

Spin The Dawn

(The Blood of Stars #1)

By Elizabeth Lim

Genre: #YA #Fantasy #Retelling

My Rating: 5

Cover: 5

Publication: July 30th, 2019

Read: February 17th, 2019

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 400

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36683928-spin-the-dawn

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Spin-Dawn-Blood-Stars-Elizabeth/dp/052564699X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3C865TPTI8ZZC&keywords=spin+the+dawn&qid=1550421203&s=gateway&sprefix=spin+the+daw%2Caps%2C131&sr=8-1

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/224554-the-blood-of-stars

Synopsis:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Icon_Transparent

 

 

 

📝My Review📝

I received an arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

I loved this book. It was fresh, original, unique, and nostalgic of other tales. Spin the Dawn is the amazing story of Maia Tamarin and how she fights to become the Imperial Tailor and the amazing journey she goes on to create the dresses of legend. The plot was constantly intriguing, I never wanted to put the book down. This book is a Mulan inspired retelling but other than the fact that Maia has to disguise herself as a boy the similarities stop there. Spin the Dawn was its own original tale but like I mentioned some aspects of it reminded me of other stories. The plot was consistently moving, it was a nonstop battle to the finish. My only critique is that I think the romance leaned towards insta-love and that is not my favorite trope at all.

I really loved the characters. Maia is a wonderful female protagonist. She consistently worked hard no matter how many people undermined or teased her. Her talent as a seamstress knows no bounds. I think she got in her head a lot of the time but she was always strong enough to pull off the tasks required of her without Edan’s help. Now let’s talk about Edan! His character archetype is what I like to call the “Nikolai Archetype,” meaning that his character personality and actions are similar to that of Nikolai from the Grisha trilogy. These characteristics include sarcastic, snarky, never takes anything seriously, fun, sly, secretive, very attractive, has some type of eliteness to them, mischievous, evasive of questions, usually lonely, and lastly has a 99.9% chance of being my favorite character in the book. Another character like this who Edan reminds me of in River Shara from Even The Darkest Stars. He was a wonderful character and as the Lord Enchanter there was no shortage of antics from him. He loved to tease Maia but also supported her along the way. Lady Sarnai is the character I am most interested in. I think she has a big role to play and I want to learn more about it. She acts cold and vicious but it is obvious to see that she is just a girl upset over being given to the emperor as a way to barter peace. More is going to come out of that storyline and I cannot wait to learn more about it. Emperor Khanujin is interesting and I can’t really figure him out. He seems calm and peaceful but I can see those hints of his thirst for great power. I wonder what will happen with that.

Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Renee Ahdieh, Naomi Novik, and Heather Fawcett. Specifically fans of Uprooted and Even The Darkest Stars. I really loved this book and I cannot wait to read more. Even if this book doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I encourage you to try it out. I am sure that you will find it worthwhile. I certainly did.

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

📚Emily’s Top 10 Books Read in 2018📚

There were so many great books that I read in 2018…but there were some favorites that stood out above all the rest. Here are my top 10 books that I read in 2018!

Icon_Transparent

 

10. Even The Darkest Stars

(Even The Darkest Stars #1)

26958226

By Heather Fawcett

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26958226-even-the-darkest-stars?ac=1&from_search=true

 

9. Shadow of The Fox

(Shadow of The Fox #1)

36672988

By Julie Kagawa

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36672988-shadow-of-the-fox?ac=1&from_search=true

 

8. Isla and the Happily Ever After

(Anna and the French Kiss #3)

9627755

By Stephanie Perkins

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9627755-isla-and-the-happily-ever-after?ac=1&from_search=true

 

7. Roomies

34466910

By Christina Lauren

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s romantic novel.

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34466910-roomies?ac=1&from_search=true

 

6. Kingdom of Ash

(Throne of Glass #7)

33590260

By Sarah J. Maas

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33590260-kingdom-of-ash?ac=1&from_search=true

 

5. Royals

35997816

By Rachel Hawkins

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35997816-royals

 

4. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

(Harry Potter #3)

5

By J.K. Rowling

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5.Harry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban?ac=1&from_search=true

 

3. All The Wandering Light

(Even The Darkest Stars #2)

36099148

By Heather Fawcett

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.

If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the fall of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect the Empire. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36099148-all-the-wandering-light?ac=1&from_search=true

 

2. The Cruel Prince

(The Folk of the Air #1)

26032825

By Holly Black

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032825-the-cruel-prince?ac=1&from_search=true

 

1. A Court of Mist and Fury

(A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

17927395

By Sarah J. Maas

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17927395-a-court-of-mist-and-fury?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟~ Wildcard (Warcross #2) ~ Author: Marie Lu ~ Genre: #YA #ScienceFiction ~ Available Now!

29386918

Wildcard

(Warcross #2)

By

Maire Lu

Genre: #YA #ScienceFiction

My Rating: 5

Cover: 5

Publication: September 18th 2018

Read: September 19th 2018

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 341

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39508596-wildcard

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Wildcard-Warcross-Marie-Lu/dp/0399547991/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545500638&sr=8-1&keywords=wildcard+by+marie+lu

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/175090-warcross

Synopsis:

All bets are off. This time the gamble is survival.

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems—and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Icon_Transparent

📝My Review📝: 

Did I finish this entire book in less than a day? Yes…yes I did.

Where do I even begin? Amazing. I cried, laughed, and cried some more over this book and I am so happy with it. The plot was great and not at all what I was expecting. I am so happy with everything that happened even though it was a classic bittersweet Marie Lu ending. I waited an entire year for this book and I was not disappointed at all. The stakes were so high in this book I could not put it down.

Emika and Hideo are some of my favorite protagonists. It was good to see her struggle with her feelings for Hideo because it made everything more realistic. She still cared about him and she fought to get to the boy she loved inside. Hideo totally redeemed himself in this book. I always understood his reasons behind why he did what he did but it’s a fine line and a tricky subject to debate.

I still wish there was more of Asher, Hammie, and Roshan. They were there but noticeably absent. Speaking of, Ren wasn’t in this book at all. I was really curious to see what would happen with him but I guess his story arc ended after he got arrested in Warcross. I would have loved to know how he joined up with Zero in the first place. Tremaine played a pretty significant role in this book and it was nice to see his character grow from Warcross.

Zero/ Sasuke was such an interesting character! I didn’t see any of the twists that happened with him. He deserved so much better. Jax was also an interesting new character. If it wasn’t for her everything probably would have gone even worse than it did. Her character always seemed so lonely, probably due to her upbringing. She was a total badass though no doubt about it.

Wildcard can be described in one word: wild. Everything was so crazy in this book but that is what made it so enjoyable. I never knew what turn the plot was going to take. I loved everything about this book. Marie Lu will always be one of my favorite authors and reading this book really solidified that.

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

📝REVIEW📝 ~🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟~ Warcross (Warcross #1) ~ Author: Marie Lu ~ Genre: #YA #ScienceFiction ~ Available Now!

29385546

Warcross

(Warcross #1)

By

Marie Lu

Genre: #YA #ScienceFiction

My Rating: 5

Cover: 5

Publication: September 12th 2017

Read: September 18th 2017

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 353

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29385546-warcross

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Warcross-Marie-Lu/dp/0399547967/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1545492338&sr=8-1

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/175090-warcross

Synopsis:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life.

The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Icon_Transparent

📝My Review📝:

MY HEART IS BLEEDING PURE JOY AND SADNESS.

Marie Lu does it again, she makes me fall completely in love with her books then tears my heart out of my chest. I loved everything about this book from the characters to the world. I have never read a book like Warcross, it is so unique and something new in the vast lands of YA literature.

The characters made this book shine even more. Emika was a brilliant and badass main protagonist. Asher, Hammie, and Roshan were amazing side characters, my only critique is that I wanted more of them! Now that leads me to Hideo *swoon alert.* I am really in love with that man, don’t worry Emika you are not the only one suffering now. Hideo was sweet, charming, funny, smart, kind, LITERALLY EVERYTHING. 

I’m not going to lie, I did predict a lot of the plot twists but that did not lessen my enjoyment of this book at all.

I am so excited to see where this story goes and what Sasuke is going to be like outside of his Zero personality. I also can’t wait to see Emi and the gang kick some ass in the sequel! 

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

📝REVIEW📝 ~🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟~ To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #1) ~ Author: Jenny Han ~ Genre: #YA #Contemporary #Romance ~ Available Now!

15749186

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

(To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)

By

Jenny Han

Genre: #YA #Contemporary #Romance

My Rating: 4

Cover: 5

Publication: April 15th 2014

Read: September 1st 2018

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 355

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15749186-to-all-the-boys-i-ve-loved-before

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/All-Boys-Ive-Loved-Before/dp/1442426705/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1545445731&sr=8-2

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/121588-to-all-the-boys-i-ve-loved-before

Synopsis:

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.

Icon_Transparent

📝My Review📝:

Overall I enjoyed it but I prefer the movie.

The characters were not as likable and everyone just seemed so childish it really threw me off. I feel like my expectations were too high. Here is a rundown of my character thoughts.

Book Lara Jean < Movie Lara Jean
Book Peter < Movie Peter
Book Josh > Movie Josh
Book Margot < Movie Margot
Book Kitty < Movie Kitty
Book Chris < Movie Chris
Book Gen < Movie Gen
Book Lucas < Movie Lucas

I did really like the book even though it was different than what I expected. I will continue on in the series because I want to see what happens with John Ambrose McClaren, that was left so open. Also I’m not the biggest fan of book Peter Kavinsky so I won’t be heartbroken if that isn’t the way it goes. He was supposed to be this sort of perfect boyfriend character but in reality he was kind of an asshole and not very nice. All the characters were just meh. I highly recommend the movie but the book was good too.

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

 

📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟~ Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack The Ripper #2) ~ Author: Kerri Maniscalco ~ Genre: #YA #Historical #HistoricalFiction #Romance #Mystery #Horror ~ Available Now!

33784373

Hunting Prince Dracula

(Stalking Jack The Ripper #2)

By

Kerri Maniscalco 

Genre: #YA #Romance #Historical #HistoricalFiction #Mystery #Horror

My Rating: 5

Cover: 5

Publication: September 19th 2017

Read: September 10th 2018

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 434

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33784373-hunting-prince-dracula?ac=1&from_search=true

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Prince-Dracula-Stalking-Ripper/dp/031655166X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545325217&sr=8-1&keywords=hunting+prince+dracula+hardcover

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/180612-stalking-jack-the-ripper

Synopsis:

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Icon_Transparent

📝My Review📝:

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did!

Audrey Rose and Thomas are back at it again in this exciting second installment in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. Where the first book read more like a true crime story, this one felt more like fiction. Hunting Prince Dracula was very rooted in folklore and mythology which made it more exciting to me. The writing was significantly better, there was much less repetition, and Audrey Rose was not as annoying as she was in the first book. Another thing that I really liked about this book was that it was barely predictable at all. Unlike the first one (where I guessed the killer right away) I wasn’t able to accurately guess the events of the book. I loved all the surprises and plot twists.

Thomas Cresswell really is the most extra, ridiculous, and outrageous man I have ever read about but damn do I love him. This book really made me fall for him. And then all the stuff we found out about him in this book…mind blown. I feel like he really came into his own in this book. In the last one he felt like an imitation of Will Herondale but in this book he felt like his own character. I also loved meeting his sister Daciana, she is just as crazy as he is.

The only thing that really bothered me about this book was the constant attack on Audrey Rose’s gender. She was constantly under scrutiny because she was a woman who wanted to study medicine. It was extremely annoying and as a woman myself it angered me. BUT this is historical fiction, that’s how things were back then so I’m not going to dock a star because the author was accurate to history. Audrey Rose also does a great job of sticking people in their place and defending her rights as a woman.

I really loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next one. Seeing Audrey Rose and Thomas in America is sure to be a fun adventure.

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟~ Shadowsong (Wintersong #2) ~ Author: S. Jae-Jones ~ Genre: #YA #Romance #Fantasy #Historical #HistoricalFiction ~ Available Now!

30694168

Shadowsong

(Wintersong #2)

By

S. Jae-Jones

Genre: #YA #Romance #Fantasy #Historical #HistoricalFiction

My Rating: 4

Cover: 5

Publication: February 6th 2018

Read: July 18th 2018

POV: First-person single perspective & third-person dual perspective

Hardcover: 379

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30694168-shadowsong?ac=1&from_search=true

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Shadowsong-Novel-Wintersong-S-Jae-Jones/dp/1250129133/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545324488&sr=8-1&keywords=shadowsong+s.+jae+jones

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/204065-wintersong

Synopsis:

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

Icon_Transparent

📝My Review📝:

What a satisfying conclusion.

I absolutely adore this story and the world that S. Jae-Jones has built in these two books. I feel as though these two books are some that I will always come back to. They are timeless and magical. That being said, I enjoyed Wintersong much more than I did Shadowsong for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, this book was very confusing at times. There were moments when I would shout, “THIS MAKES NO ******* SENSE.” And sadly I am still confused about some things. Second, there were a lot of unanswered questions. We still really don’t know why or how the Goblin King became the Goblin King. His past is still very much a mystery. We also still don’t know how he came to find Liesl in the first place. Also a lot of stuff about Liesl’s family history was hinted at but never explained. Thirdly, I was able to guess the ending and most of the twists at least halfway through the book. The air of mystery and surprise was lacking. Finally, there was a severe lack of the Goblin King in this book. He was barely in it, he appeared at most maybe ten times. Due to his absence there was also a lack of romance in the book. The reason I could not give this book 5 stars is because I felt like there was something missing from it, and that something was the Goblin King. He was such an amazing character in the first book and it is really sad that he took a backseat in this one.

All in all I did really enjoy this book and it is one that I will be thinking about for a long time. Especially because I FINALLY know what the Goblin King’s name is.

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

📝REVIEW 📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟~ Undead Girl Gang ~ Author: Lily Anderson ~ Genre: #YA #Contemporary #Supernatural #Paranormal #Magical Realism ~ Available Now!

35707056

Undead Girl Gang

By

Lily Anderson

Genre: #YA #Contemporary #Supernatural #Paranormal #MagicalRealism

My Rating: 3

Cover: 5

Publication: May 8th 2018

Read: June 8th 2018

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 305

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35707056-undead-girl-gang

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Undead-Girl-Gang-Lily-Anderson/dp/0451478231/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545323675&sr=8-1&keywords=undead+girl+gang

Synopsis:

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.

Icon_Transparent

📝My Review📝:

Interesting story but it did not have enough to capture me.

Undead Girl Gang is more about friendship than anything else. Mila brings back three girls from the dead, one being her best friend and two being girls she hates, in order to solve the mystery surrounding their deaths. The premise was cool but the execution was not the best. The story fell a bit flat for me and I feel like there were many questions left unanswered. I was able to guess the big mystery of the book pretty early on. On top of that I did not find the characters all that appealing.

I really did not like Mila. She was funny at times but her attitude really infuriated me. To me it really seemed like she was pretending to be someone that she wasn’t. Riley was disappointing, I thought she would be a fun character but she was bitter and moody the whole novel. I get that she’s dead and has a right to feel that way but it was a total buzzkill since Mila described her as being so full of life all the time. June and Dayton were okay, they had a lot of character development and that was great but it didn’t make me love their characters. Xander was also just okay, I liked him but he was always just described as being super hot so there was really nothing to dislike.

I was expecting more from this book I’m not going to lie. It was a highly anticipated read of mine but it fell short. I assume this is a standalone but I wouldn’t mind reading another book about Mila and the town of Cross Creak. I want to see how Mila moves forward from everything that happened at the ending. The one thing I really loved about this book was how it focused on the friendship between the girls more than anything else. They went from adversaries to friends for “life.” Their friendship was beautiful and I am glad that they were able to come together in the end.

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stardustleia

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverlandsreads/

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑