Posted in book review

Book review: The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt

Plot – 4
Writing style – 4.5
Characters – 4
Romance – 4

In which an eighteen-year-old Mexican boy was mistaken for another Latino by an American girl who was traumatized by an incident with an involvement of an infamous Mexican gang.

Plot – I always state this whenever I review ya novels, I am not much of contemporary reader but let me tell you this, this book over here is golden.

The issues it deals with are prominent. It’s my first time reading a novel that has something do with with an Latinos getting deported due to their dark pasts in there homeland. To be honest, it felt refreshing reading this because it somehow broadened my view in such things.

That life outside my room is not rainbows and unicorns. That I should be taking myself for the privellage I have.

Of course, I do have some issues with the book itself but nothing major, let me assure you.

I do only wished the author somehow focused as well with the female protaginist’s said trauma and case.

Also, while reading this, I was shocked due to how cruel La Salvador was explained. I can’t really say if the author kinda exaggerated the whole La Salvador’s state, the gang fights and all because I personally didn’t witnessed it. Haven’t even step a foot in Mexico though I would love to someday.

This is the type of novel that is worthy of being a movie.

writing style – it hooked me the moment I read the first chapter. I mean, it’s direct to the point. No unnecessary and boring introduction. No sipping coffees or whatever.

Fast paced, that’s for sure. Read it in one sitting.

The climax was fine with me. Not too dramatic but not too dull. Smooth.

characters – they’re amazing. To tell you the truth, I think the novel was not lengthy enough for us to get to know the characters deeper.

1. Gretchen – The female lead’s character was especially not much given attention. Sure, there was character development. It’s just the lack of seeing who she really is.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like her because she’s straight to the point. Determined. When the secrets were spilled, she freaked out a bit but immediately get ovee it and tried fixing things up. That’s the type of ya heroine I need.

Like I said, I wished the author somehow focused as well with her case, not only with the male lead’s.

2. Phoenix – I feel so bad for all the things he’d been through. He’s a great brother. Smart. Patient.

I also love reading his point of views. How he complain about the overpriced cheese and all that. I mean, I completely agree with me.

romance – it was not the type of romance where you’ll find yourself blushing. I mean, of course, you’ll laugh at some point but the whole love story itself was touching.

Both characters themselves found each other to heal. To help one another in overcoming all the tragedies.

Somehow, they felt natural despite the fact it’s kinda insta-love. How first, they only see each other as friends. Someone to trust.

Anyways, as long as it is not love at first sight, I am fine with it.

Marie Marquardt is an author of young adult novels, a college professor, and an immigration advocate.

How are these all connected? After many years as a researcher, service provider, and – most importantly – friend with immigrants to Georgia, I felt frustrated. I often spoke to groups about immigration and the need for immigration reform. I offered clear, rational explanations and data on why our immigration system needs to be repaired. And then I realized something: people only begin to care when they meet and get to know someone who is living inside this broken system. It’s been my great honor to have those very relationships over decades.

Posted in book review

Book review: Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

Sam is a geek movie-buff with a ragtag group of loser friends who have been taking abuse from the popular kids for years. But when the super-cool Camilla moves to town, she surprises everyone by choosing to spend time with Sam’s group. Suddenly they go from geek to chic, and find that not everything boils down to us and them. With their social lives in flux, Sam and Camilla spend more and more time together. They become the best of friends, and Sam finds that he’s happier and more comfortable in his own skin than ever before. But eventually Sam must admit to himself that he’s fallen in love. If he confesses his true feelings to Camilla, will everything change again?

Well, it’s a bit cute, I must say.

I don’t read contemporaries but when u stumbled upon this on Good reads, the synopsis intrigued me so I said, why not?

Personally, I am not a fan of highschool romance because ugh, those things don’t really last. In short, I ended up not really enjoying the novel. Sorry.

Although, the two main leads are cute or whatever you want to call it. Call me a butch but their relationship would probably won’t last.

And if so, they’ll just have a divorce.

Melissa Keil is the author of The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl which made the Inky Awards 2015 shortlist. The awards are presented by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria for local and international fiction, poetry, anthologies and graphic novels written for young adults.

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Book review: Dreamfall by Amy Plum

Plot – 5
Characters – 4
Writing style – 4
Romance – 5

In which a group of sleep-deprived teenagers got stuck in their nightmares together.

This is one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read, no joke. I can’t even read this when I am alone because it gives me chills.

Plot – hands down to the author for this. It is utterly genius. This is the type of novel you want your friends to talk about when alone in the dark.

The plot twists seriously got me, it’s been ages since I was actually shook from the revelation. Man, the last 20 pages were amazing!

Writing style – fast paced although there’s some boring moments. Right from the page 1, this whole thing got me hooked.

Read it in one sitting.

Characters – I love them all, okay? Especially the flirt even though the revelation about him.

I just wish we get to know more of their backstory and the messages about their nightmares.

Romance – minimal romance which is okay for me since the plot was really just amazing.

Although I have to be honest, at first, I kinda despite the whole romance because all they do were flirt to each other instead of really paying attention on how to survive this shit.

It kinda intrigue me that Sinclair is a psycho but I just hope he’ll remain his romance with Cats although I don’t think that’s possible.

Since the day one, I already have a feeling CAta is gonna end up with Fergus which is kinda okay with me because they’re cute together. However, isn’t it a bit, I don’t know, awkward that they only ended up together because they have no choice? Fergus’ romantic interest in book 1 was actually imaginary while Sinclair was a psychopath which means he’ll probably kill them in the sequel.

Amy Plum is an American and French young-adult fiction writer, best known for her Die for Me series.

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Book review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Plot – 4
Writing style – 4.5
Characters – 3.75
Romance – 4

In which ten years ago, a six-year-old princess witnessed the death of her mother and how her kingdom fell. Now, at the age of sixteen, known as the Ash Princess, Theo swore vengeance.

Plot – The plot to be honest was good but I guess it’s mostly because almost all the cliches or elements of a typicsl ya fantasy novel are in this one.

Truth be told, just after a few pages in, the plot already resembles The Falling Kingdoms though I have to say, I prefer Ash Princess than Falling Kingdoms.

1. First, the rightful queen was held as a political prisoner.
2. She has the enemies’ prince as a romantic-interest.
3. She also has a rebel as her other romantic-interest.
4. Maids as rebels.
5. The evil king murdered her own wife.
6. The late wife was a bit cray-cray.
7. Correct me if I am wrong but I think in the Falling Kingdoms, the evil king also tried to woo his political prisoner just like in this one.
8. There’s such thing as magical stones or whatever you want to call it.
9. Winter was the climate of the original place of the enemies.

And so on and so forth.

writing style – surprisingly, I do enjoyed the writing style. Fast-paced. Read it in one sitting. The twists and turns are passable though they’re a bit boring since I’ve read like a dozens of twists like that.

One thing I commend the author is her ability to make things emotional. Look, I am not the type of reader who cries at ya fantasy novels but in this case, I cried a little.

characters – I mean, they’re okay but not just the type of characters you’ll remember. Like I said, they’re generic. They’re like carbon-copies of every ya characters.

1. Theo – I can’t say whether I love her or loathe because like I said, she’s a typical ya heroine. Though of course, I still shall appreciate her determination and bravery even though her stubbornness sometimes makes my blood boil.
2. Soren – if you ask me, he’s too good to be true. He’s definitely this good golden boy with an evil father. He’s too lovesick and dreamy if you ask me to the point he doesn’t serves much in the plot except fr being the heroine’s romantic-interest. Though I have a feeling he’ll do something remarkablein the sequel.

romance – thanks to this novel, I realized how much I don’t really like love triangle. I mean, love triangle is fine with me as long as it’s clearly impossible for the other guy to end up with the heroine. Wanna know why? It’s because I don’t want to get my heart broken, my ships usually failed to sail.

One thing I find disturbing was the fact the heroine was okay with kissing two guys alternately.

Who are you? America Singer?

In one chapter, she was kissing the prince, scratch that, more like making out with him and then the next chapter, she let the rebel kiss her.

Also, the romance was insta-love which is a big no-no for me. Felt realky bland.

Will I read the sequel? I seriousky don’t know. Truth be told, right now, I do want to read the next installment but considering the sequel will come out in 2019? I don’t think so because like I said. The novel itself was not really remarkable.

Laura Sebastian grew up in South Florida and attended Savannah College of Art and Design. She has written a play published with Playscripts, Inc., and lives in New York City, where she spends her time writing fantasy novels, babysitting and interning in publishing. Ash Princess is her debut novel

Posted in book review

Book review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Plot – 3.5
Writing style – 4.5
Characters – 3.5
Romance – 3.5

In which a seventeen-year-old girl moves to California to live with her dad and to meet her online friend.

plot – I was not a fan of films, whether it was released back in the 50s or like yesterday. That is why I was kinda hesitant to pick this novel up for I fear I might not understand a thing. Fortunately, despite my very limited knowledge about films, I still ended up finding the book okay.

Also, not that you care but the sole reason why I gave this a shot was due to my undying attraction towards my Youtube crush. In his case, he really do loves this. So long story short, I am not into contemporaries but decided to forget that for a moment for the sake of flirting. Yikes!

Anyways, one thing I noticed was that there was not a climax. I mean, of course, the revelation was considered as the climax but it just felt to bland to me. The fact that it was the boy who ascertained the secret first caught my attention. Why? Because I am tired of narrators discovering it first. For once, I want the persona to be clueless.

writing style – like I said, I am not really into contemporaries but somehow, I found myself kinda enjoying the novel. But how, you may ask. T’was because of the writing style. It was child friendly. Well, totally not because there was mature contents but hey, you get what I mean.

Fast-paced but boring, I admit. It was a descriptive but not too descriptive. The dialogues were okay, let myself chuckle and wince at some and shrug at most.

characters – cute but unremarkable. In short, they’re typical ya characters. All those family problems and dark past.

However, I do managed to see character development which I appreciate, by the way. Also, I cannot hell myself from experiencing culture shock at some parts *ahem, sex at a very young age*

Romance – not insta-love, thank the heavens for that. The romance was somewhere between aw-I-want-that-kind-of-love and will-surely-end-up-with-divorce.

Nevertheless, I just find the book okay. Truth be told, I was a bit disappointed considering I’ve heard great things about this.

Will I recommend it? Well, if you’re into summer love slash surfing whatever then this book is your soulmate.

Jenn Bennett is an American author of novels for teens and adults. Her notable works include Alex, Approximately, Starry Eyes, and The Anatomical Shape of a Heart. Her books have received critical acclaim and award recognition.
Posted in book review

Book review: Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

Plot – 5
Writing style – 5
Characters – 4
Romance – 4

In which Olivia was forced to disguised herself as a boy ever since her late mother gave birth to her. Now, at the age of eighteen, with the help of her uncle whom she tried to steal from when she was still a street rat, Olivia is now a fine young lady.

plot – One thing I am impressed was that the author began the story in the interesting part already. Where Olivia Twist was already adopted by her uncle. Thank the heavens for that because it would absolutely be boring if we began on any unnecessary scenes.

I have to admit, I dived right into Olivia Twist without any knowledge about the original story of it. What? Sorry but I am not a huge fan of classics. Anyway, despite that fact, enjoying Olivia Twist was an easy thing to do.

What I also happened to admire about the novel was that it was action-packed. No dull and unnecessary moments. We wouldn’t want to read about how the protagonist prefer this to that, right? That oh, the weather is nice today. That oh, the birds are chirping outside her bedroom window.

The climax was an A+ for me since I really didn’t expect that. Though the said twist only lasted for like a couple of paragraphs, no problems though.

The “revelation” was immediately ascertained after 10 chapters or so which was good, by the way. Truth be told, I loathe it when girls who disguised themselves as boys took sooooooo long to spill out their “big revelation”

Writing style – somehow, the writing style reminds me of The Lady Jane’s which personally, I really do love since The Lady Jane is one of my favorite reads of all time.

Fast-paced. Read it in one sitting. The writing style was friendly.

One thing I am not, let’s say, satisfied was the dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, they’re hilarous and enough to turn your cheeks as red as a tomato. The thing is, most of the times, they felt a bit bland.

However, I applaud the author for her skills in writing monologues.

characters – they’re adorable and all but not to the point they’ll make it up to your favorite fictional characters.

Olivia – she is the type of character that you’ll find yourself wanting to be. What a strong independent woman, indeed. She has a heart made of gold. She’s like this straight-outta-Disney-movie character.

Jack – husband-material. Hopeless romantic. He resembles Flynn Rider. You know, that hot thief from Tangled.

Most of the times, I do enjoy his monologues. Truth be told, I find his character okay at the very beginning but as I read, I learn to appreciate him.

I would be lying if I say I was not annoyed at one point because he seriously got pissed off when Olivia decided to keep her virginity for her future husband. Uhm, like, what the hell, who are you to complain? Wrong move, man.

It would be really amazing if the author added more scenes with the orphans. I just want to get to know more of them.

romance – As long as it’s not insta-love, I am totally fine with it. Olivia Twist’s romance was somewhere between am-I-watching-disney-movie and am-I-reading-an-awful-Victorian-romance?

Anyways, obviously, Olivia and Jack are truly madly in love with each other. Enough to get themselves kill just to save each other’s asses.

The ending was too good to be true but hey, I am not complaining since I am a sucker for happy endings.

Lorie Langdon is co-author of DOON, a YA reimagining of the musical Brigadoon, available now from Blink/Harper Collins!

A few years ago, she left her thriving corporate career to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word.

Posted in book review

Book review: The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

Plot – 4.5
Writing style – 4
Characters – 4
Romance – 4

In which a seventeen-year-old ballet dancer began to doubt her very existence due to the unknown past she kept on seeing. Along with the kitchen boy, they unravel the mystery about the ballet school.

Plot – The Midnight Dance has a unique plot, I must say though there plot holes are present.

I really am a sucker when it comes to human experiment which this book has though doesn’t much focuses on. Still, the plot was pretty clever.

One of the things I really do appreciate is that there are no huge quarrels between the students. I mean, of course, there was the annoying teacher’s pet slash two-faced-witch but that’s it. All she can do was roll her eyes heavenwards and be extra jelly.

The ending was okay. Happy ending. However, there are still unanswered questions.

Writing style – I have no problem with the author’s writing style. It isn’t too descriptive but I began to grew bored as I read, simply because of the happenings for it’s a bit cliche.

Anyways, despite my issue with the flow of the story, it’s still a fast-paced novel. Read it in one sitting.

The chapter 1 was pretty much boring so prepare yourselves.


Penny – she’s somewhere between okay and dull. Not the annoying type but not really remarkable.

She belongs to the cliche heroines category. She’s seriously the perfect heroine. The one with the *kinda* dark past, dauntless, kind, not into fashion, and lastly, every bachelor has their eyes on her.

Crickets – he’s my favorite character among all. My only complaint is that, the author didn’t really pay attention to his character. How old is he? What about the memories with his late mother? What occupation does he want to pursue after the tragedy? Obviously, he’ll be the one to inherit all the money but what the hell is he going to do with the money?

I guess that’s for us to find out.

Romance – the romance was insta-love which I always hate but in this cases, I do not detest it because both characters already shared memories before the tragedy. They’re were childhood friends.

I do only wish the author wrote childhood memories. Not just one scene which barely last a half a page.

Nikki Katz

Author | Editor | Consultant | Freelance Writer | Rocket Scientist | Reality TV Addict | Avid Book Reader | Social Media Nut … Not necessarily in that order 🙂

Posted in book tag

Reader Problems Book Tag

Like the previous book tag I’ve done, not a single soul on planet Earth tagged me so since I am a shameless reader, I decided to still do this.

1. You have 20,000 books in your TBR, how in the world do you decide what to read next?

In that case, I would just burn all my books and stoo reading since I don’t really love books. Kidding! Well, I would close my eyes and read the 1st book my hand lands on, yep, that’s what I always do.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you put it down or are you committed?

When I was still a beginner, I would forced myself to finish all the books despite the fact I am hating it simply for the reason I don’t want to waste cash and effort. However, now? Nah, I’ll just put it down. Lufe is too short to read boring books.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re behind on your reading challenge, do you try to catch up? And if so, how?

Based on my experience, I decided to ditch all my plans even though I don’t have one in order for me to just finish it. Luckily, I already finished my 2018 reading challenged. My goal was 40 yet I managed to score 97.

4. The covers of a series you love do not match, how do you cope?

Of course, at first, I would be a bit annoyed but you know what, that’s life so I am just going to shut up and accept it. Besides, who am I to complain?

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book that you do not. Who do you bond with over your shared feelings?

Well, I am the type of readers who usualy ended up reading the book that everyone loves so what would I do? Move on and rant a little over the internet. A bit immature, I know.

6. You’re reading a book in public and you’re about to start crying. How do you deal?

I would pretend as if no one is watching me and just finish what I am reading because if I stop reading now and just continue it next time then I would not experience the same emotions.

7. The sequel to a book you loved just came out but you’ve forgotten a lot of what happens. Are you going to reread it?

This always happens to me and no, I would not reread it. I will just read its summary somewhere over the rainbow, I mean on some random sites, I guess.

8. You do not want anyone to borrow your books, how do you politely say no when someone asks?

I’ve experienced this so many times and you know what I always do? I sometimes would say yes if and only I know they needed it but if not then I would say, “Oh, my copy is currently at my cousin’s,” and yep, it always works.

9. You have picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over this reading slump?

I would reread my favorite book, read bookish memes or watch two movies in a row, for some reason, after that, I am in the mood to read.

10. There are so many books coming out that you are dying to read, how many do you end up buying?

I would probably buy zero, to be honest. Why? Because I would read just stick to ebooks which are free (I know a site, shhhh!)

11. After you purchase all of these books that you’re dying to read how long do they sit on your shelves before you get to them?

Well, back then, during ny beginners stage, it would sit for like months.

Posted in Book Recommendations

5 Books to Read if You Want to Cry

If you’re someone who doesn’t really cry even during the most “emotional” scenes then this one is for you.

1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

If you’re into World War Two stories, feminism, violence, and rebellions then The Nightingale is a perfect read for you.

I’ve read this very book while I was in school and tell you what, I seriously did cry in the corner amd my friends would look at me strangely. That’s the problem with reading in public, guys.

2. My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

If you’re into proffesor and student relantionship, family matters, and true love then you’re destined to read this fella.

I’ve read My Oxford Year last summer, I sobbed hard as I read the last few chapters of it and tried very hard to stop myself because I don’t want to wake my sister up. Nevertheless, the plot itself, if you want to read the synopsis is so much more than that.

3. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

If you’re the type of reader who loves history, friendship, and LGBT stories then what are you waiting for?

Of all the books I’ve read, this is the least expected book that I would cry very, very hard. I was seriously sobbing so hard to the point I forced myself to stop a minute.

4. A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

If you’re someone who loves grumpy slash hilarious old man, has a thing for annoying cat, and emotional past then this is the perfect book for you.

To be fair, I don’t know what possessed me to give this fella a shot, I mean, I usually only read YA novels but boy did I did not regret it. After finishing the book, my tears were flowing down my cheeks yet I still have a smile on my face due to how beautiful the book was.

5. If You Come Softly

If you’re into books that tackles about kids experiencing racism and short story then this book will surely be you’re next favorite.

I would be lying if I said I absolutely love the book. I mean, I have issues with it, so many yet after reading the plot twist, I don’t know what happened to me and what the hell just happened to the point I have to read the shocking part for at least three times. After digesting what happened, my tears already fell. And nope, I did not sobbed.

That’s it, folks. Now, after reading all these books, if you still haven’t cry even a single tear then let me ask you, are you a child of Satan? Are your heart made of stone? Kidding! Haha, anyways, hope you like my book recommendations.

Let me know the books that made you cry!

Posted in book review

Book review: Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

Plot – 4.5
Characters – 4.5
Romance – 5
Writing style – 5

Story about a hilarious 21-year-old girl got abducted by an immortal man who spreads plagues for trying to kill him.

Well, I heard lots of great things bout this novel so I would be lying if I say I don’t have high expectations but no worries for it managed to meet them.

Plot – first of, I applaud the author for writing a ya novel that involves the Holy Bible or God in short. I mean, not only is it hard to tackle, it’s also a very sensitive issue that may trigger some.

Anyways, like I said, what made this novel unique is that, not often do we stumble upon books that deals with the bible that have a touch of romance to it.

Although I have to say, most of my questions about God failed to answer but hey, who am I to complain? I only originally came here for the romance. Haha.

Characters – one thing for sure, the author made leads who actually are not dumb like usual ya leads especially heroines. As if the author truly knows how readers hate it when the heroine began acting so stupid just because there’s a handsome guy in front of her. How she didn’t do her plan because he’s a pretty boy. Duh.

Going back, the characters are so hilarious and sweet. And you know what made me drawn into the heroine? It’s that she’s 21 years old and not 16 years old. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being 16 because I was 16 once, like last year but my point is, it’s soooooo annoying to read characters who are sooooooooo young for their roles.

Romance – I like it. No need to explain. I mean, I enjoy reading their quarrels.

Writing style – I read it in one sitting. I cannot put in down. Fast paced.

Found in the forest when she was young, Laura Thalassa was raised by fairies, kidnapped by werewolves, and given over to vampires as repayment for a hundred year debt. She’s been brought back to life twice, and, with a single kiss, she woke her true love from eternal sleep. She now lives happily ever after with her undead prince in a castle in the woods.

… or something like that anyway.

When not writing, Laura can be found scarfing down guacamole, hoarding chocolate for the apocalypse, or curled up on the couch with a good book.