Books I’ve Been Wanting To Read

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We all know that I haven’t been reading much lately, I’ve read three books so far this year and it’s almost the end of March. I used to read 3 books in a week back in my glory days (sighhh).

Before I start with the post, I wanted to write about where I think my blog is going from here on out. Nowadays, usually if I have free time (which is rarely), I watch TV or I go out with friends or I sleep. I find myself picking up books less and less. And I was never one for audio books though I should listen to more of them. But I don’t want to not blog here so I might start writing more non-book related content (about my personal life, movies and shows I like, songs I love, etc).

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Okay, so on to the actual post! I have a MASSIVE TBR list so here are some books, new and old, that are on my list.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshThe Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history—but only if they can stay alive.

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Homegoing by Yaa GyasiHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer.

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36086513Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when—as the eldest daughter—she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens—after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.

Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal—especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.

two lines36307634King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

two lines39988431The Kingdom of Copper by S.A Chakraborty (The Daevabad Trilogy #2)

Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabadand quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family and one misstep will doom her tribe.

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid the unpredictable water spirits have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

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Any of these on your list? What book have you been dying to read?


Review: “Queen of Air and Darkness” by Cassandra Clare

4.5 stars

Warning: the following contains spoilers for previous books of Cassandra Clare including The Mortal Instruments series, The Infernal Devices trilogy, all the short stories, and the first two 

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks.

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

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“As we all have an infinite capacity to make mistakes, we all have an infinite capacity for forgiveness.”

OH MY GOSH SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK I CANNOT CONTAIN IT!!! Leave it to Cassandra Clare to always hook me with her books. At this point, I’m a Shadowhunter reader for life, as long as she keeps writing, I will keep reading, I’m too invested in these people to turn my back now. Leave it to Cassandra Clare to give me yet another heartbreaking and page turning story. I could not put this book down but that’s not surprising seeing that this is my favorite Clare trilogy to date.

The book starts back up pretty much right after the events of Lord of Shadows in the Council Hall. The first few chapters are quite somber in the wake of Livvy and Robert’s deaths. All the characters have their own little ways to deal with their deaths which is a part of the catalyst that starts off this book. There isn’t much I can say about this book without spoiling it because at this point, I just want to rant about this book, not actually review it.


SPOILERS SPOILERS LOTS OF SPOILERS Don’t read past this unless you want to be spoiled!

As feared, the new Inquisitor is not someone sympathetic to Julian and Emma’s case, he isn’t sympathetic period. Horace Dearborn, leader of the Cohort, becomes Inquisitor in the wake of Robert’s death. That puts him, Zara (UGHHH I HAAAATE HER SO MUCH) and Manuel in charge of the Clave.

Julian, who I was afraid was going to go completely crazy and try to raise Livvy from the dead, goes to Magnus and turns his frikkin emotions off *insert side eye here*. The poor boy’s got no chill. So for half of the book, we have a Julian who’s basically a robot. And if you thought Julian with feelings was ruthless? Wow Robot Julian really one ups him.

And then the different storylines start of our main characters. Horace finds out about Julian and Emma being in love and sends them on what pretty much is a suicide mission: to retrieve the Black Book from the Unseelie King and bring it back to Idris. Ty decides he is going to try and raise Livvy from the dead with Kit’s help and Kit reluctantly agrees. Helen and Aline are back home and are now trying to run the Los Angeles Institute while Helen tries to get along with the kids. Drusilla is lonely and is always trying to be taken seriously by her older siblings and their friends but is usually left with Tavvy to babysit. And you have the threesome: Mark, Cristina and Kieran who are all just really confused about their feelings. Like really confused.

So Emma and Robot Julian are now in Faerie with a map that shows them where the Unseelie Court is. And then comes the idiot Dane Larkspear who was one of the guys sent to kill Julian and Emma but is instead killed by Robot Julian who under normal circumstances probably wouldn’t have killed him. I don’t know though, both Julians are pretty brutal when it comes to people who threaten their families. They keep going but do they end up in the Unseelie Court? No. Julian takes the two of them to the Seelie Court because he wanted to make a deal with the Seelie Queen.

That was really where you see how different emotionless Julian is with the real Julian because Julian would never have kept such a dire plan from Emma. And she says the same to him.


The focus on alternative dimensions kind of took me by surprise. I liked being in Thule and seeing how the world would have turned out if Clary hadn’t killed Sebastian during the Dark War. But I also thought the mention of several alternative dimensions opened too many doorways for this world. I always commend Cassandra Clare for expanding the Shadowhunter world so well and bringing up alternative dimensions could end up going very wrong.

I’m guessing The Wicked Powers series (focused on Kit and Ty) will involve alternative dimensions somehow.

Mark, Kieran and Cristina

“The sky was a road and the stars made pathways; the moon was a watchtower, a lighthouse that led you home.”

I understand Mark being in love with Kieran through their shared history and after everything they have done for each other. I also understand Mark and Cristina being in love, they have had their moments. Cristina was the first person Mark connected with after he came back home from the Wild Hunt. Kieran and Cristina I’m still not sure about, to me it seems like it’s more that they’re attracted to each other and not that they are in love with each other.

Helen and Aline

“But even if they fit differently now, they still fit like sisters.”

Oh I felt so bad for Helen for most of the book. She’s finally home and trying to take care of the kids but the kids are lashing out because she’s not Julian. Helen was trying so hard with the kids but it’s understandable why they were weary of their older sister at first.

I absolutely loved Aline and how she always stood up for Helen. We don’t know much about her yet except for the fact that she is Helen’s wife but I loved whenever she was in the scene.

Thule Livvy

“I whisper your name, Ty. I whisper the most important thing:
I love you. I love you. I love you.”

OH MY GOSH this broke my heart!!!! Especially since it’s kind of the opposite in Thule and Livvy is the only one of them who’s survived. Like I said before, I liked spending time in Thule with Livvy. I missed her! Is that weird to say about a character? Thule Livvy helped heal Julian’s heart a little bit as well otherwise he would have blamed himself for her death for the rest of his life.


“Making promises you can’t keep is worse than making no promises at all.”

I SO CALLED IT! The minute they started talking about the First Heir in Faerie, I knew Kit was the descendant. And he’s got fairy magic!

Kit as a character I’m not really attached to yet. I like him but I don’t love him. I did understand him in this book not being able to say no to Ty and going along with his plan. Especially since Kit was hoping the plan will fall through.

Tessa was so excited when he agreed to go live with her! I’m happy for her but also heartbroken for Ty who’s lost both Livvy and Kit now. But we know the fifth series is about him and Ty so maybe they will both be in a Scholomance together?

Julian and Emma

“Sometimes when you start a war, you want to make pancakes.”

I love these two characters individually. Julian is great, I love him when he’s with his siblings and his family dynamic. Julian is probably the male Shadowhunter MC I started liking the quickest (yes, even over Will. It took me two and a half books to start loving Will). I also love how savvy Julian is with others, I love clever characters who outsmart their opponents and Julian is it.

I thought his plan for Livia’s Watch was genius (I started tearing up when he announced the name of the rebellion). It was also nice to see him take charge even among heroes like the original TMI characters, and it was also great to see them take Julian seriously.

“Faith isn’t never having any doubts; it’s having what you need to overcome them.”

I also love Emma, she’s my favorite out of the three Clare female MC’s we’ve had so far. I never liked Clary and I didn’t start loving Tessa until Clockwork Princess. Emma I liked right away from the get go of Lady Midnight. I will say however, in this book especially, it seemed like every decision she made was based on the fact that she loves Julian which got old for me.

“As long as you exist and I exist, I will love you.”

I do ship them and I’m happy that Julian and Emma are together but their relationship was probably my least favorite of the book. Maybe because I got very tired of Julian pining over Emma for the past two books and vice versa.

I was more invested in pretty much every other relationship but theirs in this book. I got tired of their love story especially after Magnus takes the spell off of him, it’s just them pining after one another for pages and pages on. Even Kieran and Cristina, whose relationship kind of just showed up from nowhere, was a more interesting dynamic.


“Don’t remain silent about what you want, or you may never get it.”

Awww Dru is such an underrated character! She’s old enough to want to be in on the action but young enough where everyone tells her not to. She always ends up babysitting Tavvy and though she loves doing that, she wants to feel more useful. I love that Kit tried to include her in their plans because he saw how lonely she felt.

I don’t think she got the praise that she deserves when she freed Jia and the Rosales brothers from prison. Dru was pretty badass in this book. I also love how she chose to stay back from the fight to be with Tavvy, that shows a lot of character growth in her part. I can’t wait to see what the Wicked Powers has in store for her!

Magnus and Alec

“Be good, my archer boy. Come back to me.”

Reading about Thule Magnus and Alec KILLED me!!! Magnus is my favorite character in this saga and one of my absolute favorites of all time. Alec killing Magnus and then killing himself?? Even in an alternative dimension, WHYYYY CASSANDRA!!!!

Loved the conversation when Julian and Emma were explaining what happened to them and Magnus got very angry at Alec for doing killing himself yelling about what would happen to their children. And Alec being like, we didn’t have children in that world!! 

I was scared for Magnus in this one, we’ve never seen anything this fatal happen to Magnus ever (I guess other than Edom). I didn’t think Clare would kill him off but after Robert and Livvy, I was concerned.

Alec being Consul was unexpected but I’m so glad! He has earned it and he would make a fine leader. This also means we will definitely be getting more Malec in The Wicked Powers series so YES!

“And when one day people look back on me and what my life meant, I don’t want them to say, ‘Alec Lightwood fought in the Dark War’ or even ‘Alec Lightwood was Consul once.’ I want them to think, ‘Alec Lightwood loved one man so much he changed the world for him.’ ”

WE FINALLY GOT A MALEC WEDDING YESSSSS. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT FOR A DECADE. It was perfect! Jace accompanying Alec. I love that Catarina and Ragnor were fighting to see who gets to accompany Magnus. And the vows!!!! I was full on sobbing the entire time. It was beautiful!

Ending with the Cohort

Am I the only one who kind of wishes that they just let those stupid kids kill themselves? They’re so extra I cannot. Never have I ever wanted to punch a character in the face so hard than I did Zara frikkin Dearborn. I HAAATE HER SO MUCH.

Though I do love the idea of the new Shadowhunter Academy being in Luke’s farm. And the new Council being in New York! Alec will pretty much have to build the Shadowhunter council back up from and I’m sure he’ll do a great job. I’m very excited to see how the new government looks. 

Have you read this? Are you going to? Who is your favorite character in this series?


My Year in Review: 2018

2018 Review

Life Updates: 

Am I really posting my 2018 review in the middle of January? Yes, yes I am.

I obviously have not been around at all lately. I think I probably posted a total of 12 posts in 2018. A part of the reason was definitely the much dreaded blogger burn-out that many bloggers have faced but most of it was due to school. I recently transferred universities and a new school + a demanding workload = the worst semester I’ve ever had. I was emotionally exhausted every day and had very little time to read and no time to blog.

School just started again so I’m afraid the same thing will happen again where I am only posting once a month or maybe not at all for two or three months. Hopefully I’ve learned a thing or two from last semester and will manage my time better.

Reading Updates: 

Like I said before, I have not had much time to read last year. I’ve been trying to make up for that by reading more Manga since they take less time and are still enjoyable.

**Note These are just the books that I have read in 2018 and not necessarily books that were published last year.

Favorite Fantasy

Favorite Sci-Fi

Favorite Contemporary

Favorite Manga

Have you read any of these? What was one of your absolute favorites of 2018? How’s 2019 going?


Review: “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” by Hank Green

4.5 stars

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

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The book that finally got me out of my massive reading slump, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. Going into this book, I was hesitant. I love Hank Green as a person, I’m an avid follower of the Vlogbrothers and everything they do for charities every year. And of-course I’m a fan of Hank’s brother, John Green’s, books. So when Hank announced his book, I was nervous that I wouldn’t like it. That was all for naught though because An Absolutely Remarkable Thing was absolutely remarkable.

April as a main character is not perfect. She’s a character with a lot of flaws, most of which she will admit to having and it made her that much more relatable. She has commitment issues, she’s reckless, a little impulsive, but she’s lovable despite her flaws.

April May, after a long day at work, encounters this giant statue in the middle of a New York street. She first walks right pass the statue but then decides she would be more appreciative of street art so she gets her best friend Andy to take a video of her fake interviewing the statue she then named Carl. Little did she know, there were hundreds of other Carls who appeared at the exact same time in other cities around the world. Her video quickly goes viral because she is the first to upload a video with Carl and thus starts April May’s adventure.

This was also a very real despite being science fiction. The book talks about the effects of social media and all the positives and negatives that come from it. It talks about the effects of fame and how it can be addictive and lonely and how much it can change a person over time. We get to see April’s rise to fame. April May goes from a person who really isn’t into social media to someone who thinks obsessively about every video and every tweet she sends out. I thought that was relatable to everyone who has ever grown even a small following online, you end up thinking about what kind of posts will get the most likes, what will end up the most popular, etc.

We also see how April’s rise to fame affects her relationship with the people around her. Her relationship with her girlfriend Maya is probably the best example of that. It’s also a good juxtaposition to see how the people who knew her before she was the famous April May react to her as opposed to the people who met her after her video went viral.

I am so glad I loved this book. Hank did an incredible job balancing the sci-fi aspects with every day life. The book works well as a stand-alone but there are a few questions left unanswered which paves the way for the sequel.

Mini Review: “A Reaper at the Gates” by Sabaa Tahir

3.5 stars

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

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**Note: A Reaper at the Gates is the third book in the Ember in the Ashes quartet and the following review will contain spoilers for the first two books. 

A Reaper at the Gates is the long awaited sequel in the Ember quartet. I liked this book but I have to say, I am a bit disappointed. A Reaper at the Gates didn’t captivate me as much as the first two books did. It was one of those books that I liked well enough but did not feel compelled to pick back up once I put it down.

Helene is definitely the shining light for me in this book. Her chapters kept me engaged while Laia’s and Elias’ did not. And we also get to learn more of the backstory for Harper and he has started to become one of my favorite characters.

There are a few things this book does really well:

  • We get a better glimpse of the world the books are set in, how vast it is, the different types of people. We get to go beyond the Empire to Marinn and see what the other nation is like
  • All three main characters go through a lot of character development in this book. Most of the book has the three MC’s separated so they all have their individual story lines so they each shine through in their own ways
  • We learn more about some side characters I’ve been wanting to get to know better
  • The villains. Sabaa is really good at creating multi-dimensional villains who aren’t evil just to be evil, they all have their reasons behind doing what they do. We learn more about the Keris’ and the Nightbringer’s backstories and because of that, I can never completely hate either of them

Things that could’ve been better: 

  • Some new magical elements were introduced (like a warlock leading a navy against the Empire) and the characters, who were so distraught by the presence of anything supernatural in the first book, didn’t seem to bat an eyelash. And yes, maybe they have just gotten used to their world being weird and unnatural by now but I wasn’t buying it. It seemed like Tahir started adding magical elements for the convenience of it to further the plot without giving a good enough explanation
  • This one is more of a personal preference: I was hoping the main characters would have more interactions in the book but it was mostly just the three of them going through their individual story arcs. This gave them opportunity to grow as individuals but the chapters just started to drag on towards the middle

Have you guys read the book? What did you think?

Updates on Reading and Blogging


So yes, my updates have been very infrequent lately. I’ve published I think 3 posts in the past four months. It’s not entirely because I’ve been busy – I haven’t been so busy that I haven’t had any time to blog. I did have time but I didn’t feel like posting anything. I’ve also been in a semi-reading slump so that probably had to do with a lot of it.

I thought about quitting my blog a few times this summer, mostly because I had time but wasn’t posting. I would start a post, stare at the screen and then close it because I just didn’t feel like writing. But every time I finish a book, I want to come on here and write a review because this has been my life for the past five years and I don’t want to stop.

I’m a mood reader and a mood blogger. So I guess my blog will continue to be infrequently updated. I spent too much time and effort on my blog to completely abandon it.

I just wanted to post something so an update in my reading life.

I also have not been blog hopping much so please comment a link to your favorite post you’ve written recently and I will go check it out! Or leave a link to your blog in general and I’d love to go visit.

Recently Read

Currently Reading

Reading Next

What have you guys been reading? What are you planning on reading next? What’s your favorite blog post you’ve written recently?

Mini Review: “Leah on the Offbeat” by Becky Albertalli

4 stars

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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** NOTE that since this is the sequel to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, it will contain some spoilers from the first book

Leah Burke – she’s spunky, confident, and unrelenting. I loved Leah in Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and she did not disappoint in her own book. That said, Leah is not perfect. She’s highly opinionated and at times that can come off as rude and obnoxious. But she also usually calls herself out for her behavior or her friends do.

In Leah on the Offbeat, Leah is trying to figure out her feelings for Abby Suo.  She’s also trying to figure out when and how to tell her friends she’s bisexual – she knows they will be supportive but it’s also a huge step for her and she doesn’t know if she’s ready to take it just yet.

The romance in the book is pretty cute – especially when we know how Leah feels about Abby sooner than she herself does. I think a dual perspective would’ve been better for the book just so we could get a glimpse of what Abby was thinking during some of their  scenes together.

The highlight of the book for me was definitely Simon and Bram. THEY ARE THE ABSOLUTE CUTEST TOGETHER and my heart melted every time those two were together in the book. It was so nice to revisit these two after the first book!

Have you read this book? Are you planning to?

Diverse Characters Monday #5 – Laia of Serra

Diverse Characters Mondays tpbg

Diverse Characters Mondays is my self hosted weekly meme/feature celebrating my favorite diverse characters. Or at least it was supposed to be a weekly feature except I only post them once in a blue moon nowadays.

If you’re not familiar with “diverse” characters (which I’m sure most of you are), they are a character who is not a white allocishet able person (note that this is in no way a definite definition of a diverse character and feel free to comment or email me if you think I need to add/change anything). 

If anyone wants to participate, please do! If you do decide to do this, leave the link to your post down below and I’d love to check it out! Your post can be as long or as short as you like.

I just reread An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night in preparation of the third book coming out later in June. Because I’ve already written book reviews for both books, I thought I should dedicate a post to the wonderful Laia of Serra. If you haven’t read this series yet, please go do yourself the favor.

Laia of Serra

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Found on Pinterest but I could not find the source

There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose.

Laia is a Scholar, a group of people who have been conquered by the Martials. Her life is turned upside down when during a Martial raid, her brother is captured by the soldiers and her grandparents are killed. To get her brother out of jail, Laia makes a deal with Scholar rebels to spy on the Commandant, the head of the best Martial training school and the most dangerous woman in the Empire. Laia is to be sent as her slave and gather whatever information she can about the Commandant and her school, Blackcliff Academy.

Laia goes through incredible development in An Ember in the Ashes. She starts off being frightened and feeling helpless in a dire situation. She doesn’t think she is smart or capable enough to do what she sets out to do. We see her gradually get bolder and more confident.

As long as there is life, there is hope.

There is an emphasis in YA that a “strong” female protagonist has to be a good fighter or have a super-power that makes them more powerful than everyone else. And while I love my fighter girls (Helene and Inej and Nina and Lada among others), Laia is a nice change from that idea. Laia is a strong female character because of her resilience and determination, because of her ability to survive horrors and come out of them stronger than before.

Laia remains hopeful and optimistic. She learns to believe in herself and those around her. Her emotional strength is what keeps her going when the world is against her. She learns from her mistakes and lets those mistakes be a reminder for the next time she faces a similar situation.

I’m SO EXCITED for the next book! I need to find out what’s next in store for Laia and the gang.

Have you read the Ember books? Who is your favorite character?

Review: “The School For Good and Evil” by Soman Chainani

4 stars

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.

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In the world of The School for Good and Evil, two kids – one Good and one Evil – are kidnapped every year from a village to go study in the School for Good and the School for Evil respectively. The brightest students who graduate from the School for Good go on to become the princes and princesses of fairy tales. The brightest from the School for Evil go on to become the villains, the nemesis of said princes and princesses.

Sophie, tired of her mundane life, tries to be Good so she can be kidnapped and live out the rest of her life in a fairy tale. She does charity work, feeds the poor, gives advice, tries to always look like a beautiful princess. She even made friends with the village outcast Agatha, a Gothic, grumpy girl who lives in a graveyard and doesn’t like talking to other people. Sophie is sure that this year, it would be her and Agatha who would be kidnapped. Sophie for the Good school and Agatha for the Evil one.

When Sophie is dropped into the School for Evil and Agatha in the School for Good, she is sure it’s a mistake and spends the next few months trying to correct the mistake so they can attend their respective schools. Meanwhile, Agatha hates the School for Evil and her ultimate goal is to go back home with her best friend, Sophie.

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. Both Sophie and Agatha go through two incredible journeys of self discovery. They both find out more about themselves than they knew before – and not all of what they learned were things they liked.

This book tells a compelling tale of good vs. evil and what makes someone truly good. Is it their actions or their intention behind that action? Sophie, who is always trying actively do good, doesn’t understand that the intention behind an action counts just as much as the action itself. I did’t like Sophie but that was the point of her character. She is selfish, vain and manipulative and wants her happy ending without caring for others. Agatha on the other hand only cares about her and Sophie’s safety, she just wants to go back home with her best friend.

The dynamic between the two girls was also very well done, they both have different priorities so they hold on to their relationship in different ways. For Agatha, Sophie and safety are the priorities. To Sophie, a happy ending is her priority. And because of their individual concerns, they both have different things they want to get out of their friendship, love and companionship vs loyalty and support.

The School for Good and Evil was a solid introduction to the series. I’m excited to see what’s next in store for Sophie and Agatha.

Have you read this one? Is it on your TBR list?

Books My Soul Needs

Soul Needs

So my life right now is basically me waiting endlessly for sequels to come out. WHY DO THEY TAKE SOOO LONG (Rational part of my brain: because books have to be drafted, edited, revised, edited, revised and edited again and revised again). YEAH BUT WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LOOOONG

My friend over at Empire of Starlight did a “Books My Soul Needs” post which inspired me to do my own. So here is a list of my most anticipating books that will come out later this year.

Darkest Legacy

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Release Date: July 31st, 2018

I am SO SO EXCITED for another book in The Darkest Minds world. TDM is one of my absolute favorite trilogies so when I heard Bracken was publishing a stand alone in Zu’s POV, I was overjoyed. I’ve been wanting her to revisit this world for so long and it’s finally coming true! And I’m sure we’ll get to see Ruby and the rest of the gang show up and it’ll be nice to see how they’re doing five years after In the Afterlight.

(Also, the TDM movie is releasing later this year and I haven’t been this excited for a book to movie adaptation since Harry Potter. If this movie isn’t good, I’m going to cry for days in despair).


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Release Date: December 4th, 2018

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL FREAKING DECEMBER!! HOOOOOWWWW!! This series is killing me! It’s so good! Cassandra Clare outdid herself with the The Dark Artifices, it’s definitely her best series to date. The characters are amazing, the plot gets better and better, and she keeps developing the Shadowhunter world in a way that doesn’t feel forced.


Bright We Burn (1)

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Release Date: July 10, 2018

The third book to the Conqueror’s Saga trilogy. And I Darken is my favorite YA historical fiction: these books are adventurous, action packed and full of complicated characters. And after the ending of Now I Rise, the stakes are higher than ever and I NEED to know what will happen.


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Release Date: June 12, 2018

The third book to the Ember in the Ashes quartet. I’m so excited for this book! I love the Ember world and there is still so much left to explore. The characters are all complex and well developed, there are some surprising plot twists, and the action scenes are awesome.

Honorary Mentions

Do you guys agree with any of mine? What are some books you’ve been dying to read?