Be Careful What You Wish For… || ARC Review » Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

 photo 27969081_zpszgi4ba28.jpgLabyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1

Genre(s): Paranormal, Action, Fiction
Release Date: 9/6/16
Stars: 4 STARS

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Goodreads Description

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova is a fresh burst in YA. Full of diversity and a great spice of Latin American tradition, Labyrinth Lost was unlike any other book I’ve come across in YA. The story surrounds bruja Alex who dislikes her powers, and when come time to fully embrace her powers, she instead decides to get rid of them. In doing so, she dearly messes up the canto, or spell and sends her entire family to the equivalent of purgatory, or Los Lagos.

One of my favorite things about Labyrinth Lost was the setting and the culture that stood out so well in it. I could so easily picture Los Lagos, though through majority of the story, the land is barren and dead, I could still picture the descriptions of ancient places so well. Oh my gosh, I just loved how well the culture was blended in throughout the story, it was everywhere. In the characters, the world, the rituals, all of it! It was truly amazing and it was probably the best part of the entire novel.

The character development was honestly okay in my opinion. I really enjoyed reading about Alex, Nova and Rishi but at the same time I felt they weren’t very deep. The diversity was good, totally shippable and totally saw it coming, but the characters were just not very deep in my opinion. I felt they definitely could have had more to their characters.

The plot was quick and very well done. In my opinion, the main thing that makes a book good, is the story. A book can have the best character development, the best setting/world building, but if the story itself is lacking, plot wise and story wise, then what is there to tell. Labyrinth Lost kept me up at night way too late, it hooked you in and refused to let go. Really well done with pacing. My only bug about it was the end. I felt the ending was a bit rushed, it felt almost as if everything had happened way too fast and easy. I remember asking myself at the end: That’s it? That’s how easy it was? I wanted there to be more of a challenge in the end.

Overall, Labyrinth Lost was an engaging read that kept me hooked throughout. A well told story with beautiful world building and great character development. Not to mention the diversity! I highly recommend Labyrinth Lost to any reader who enjoys witches, action, adventure and of course, diversity!FullSizeRender (20)

Have I convinced you enough? Have you read Labyrinth Lost yet? What did you think? Let me know down below in the comments!

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Being in Love with Books You Can’t Remember ft. Ashley from Fictional Living

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I remember being in 4th grade and listening to my teacher read us The Chronicles of Narnia. More specifically, he read The Magician’s Nephew. Everyday, for a small-allotted amount of time, we would hear a chapter or two before leaving for the day.

I can probably remember it so vividly because I enjoyed it more than I even realized. It fueled this fiction-loving passion that I had yet to discover. It was adventure and magic and imagination.

I looked forward to those days of reading. I loved that book.

The thing is: I can’t remember that book. There was an attic leading between houses, right? And ponds…or were they rings? Something transported someone…somewhere? I think there was a horse.

The truth is, as much as I can say I loved The Magician’s Nephew, I barely remember a an inkling about it beyond a few key words. And it’s not just Narnia that gives me this problem. Books I read as early as last year are getting harder for me to recall when I’ve read so many books since then.

I can’t remember plot lines, character descriptions, or betrayals. I’m constantly looking up book talks to jog my memory. It’s frustrating. I feel like I’m betraying these books or that I can’t talk about enjoying them because I wouldn’t be able to tell you my favorite character or quote right off the top of my head.

So can I still say that I have strong feelings for these books? Am I allowed to profess my undying love for literature I can’t remember?

I want to say yes. Though I can’t recall details about The Magician’s Nephew, I can tell you how it made me feel. I felt like magic was real, like I could have adventures and travel to other worlds.

I had fun listening to my teacher read it. I let it take me to Narnia and back home again. And I think that’s enough to still call it love.

I don’t find any shame in not remembering books. As readers, we submerge ourselves in so many worlds and stories, are we really expected to remember every single one? And is our opinion invalid simply because we haven’t read the book in a really long time?

Of course not.

But no matter what the book was about, if it contained your favorite ship or a quote you live by, the remembering isn’t always about the written words or the plot lines. Sometimes, the lasting memories are the feelings we experienced while reading these tales. Sometimes, it’s remembering how it felt to be a tiny little 4th grader falling in love with a book for the very first time. And that’s good enough for me.

FullSizeRender (20)By Ashley Artrip

Instagram: @fictional_living
Twitter: @FictionalAshley
Blog: fictionalliving.com

A Lack of Magic || ARC Review » Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

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Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Standalone 😦

Genre(s): MG, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 8/30/16
Stars: 4 STARS

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Goodreads Description

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit—and with a liar by her side in land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

 Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi is a young adult novel with younger characters. Everything about the story screamed YA, from the relationships, to the speed of the plot, the only think making the story middle grade was the characters. I loved Furthmore. At first, I definitely thought the book would not suit my tastes but I might as well give it a shot, by the time I was done I was in love with the book.

The characters of Furthermore aren’t necessarily extremely unique or outstanding or deep in a specific way, but they are definitely memorable and while reading the story I learned to love them. Alice was someone I really loved especially because I feel like she was one of those characters we can all somewhat relate to in some way. Lacking all color, Alice has no magic and is an outsider. I have to assume we’ve all felt left out at some point and Mafi writes Alice in a way that causes me as the reader to sympathize. Oliver on the other hand was someone I wanted to smack repeatedly. Though I did love his character, had this been a YA novel, I could see, Oliver definitely would have been the love interest. Oliver was a really well developed character, he had his quirks and his downsides and that was really the best part, seeing how human he was and how he he did indeed mess up. 

The plot was well done, though the plot is where this book lost it’s last star. The beginning I found to be a little slow, maybe the first 50 or 80 pages. The middle of the story was perfect, well paced, a good piece of action/suspense here and there and BAM perfect! Then we have the ending. The ending was mainly the part that made my eye twitch. The ending was rushed, so so rushed in my opinion. It felt like all the work they had been doing was in a way, for nothing because the solution was solved so quickly.

Finally, the world building. I have the feeling Furthermore is loosely based on Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Especially since our main character is name Alice. The world Mafi created was stunning and spectacular. It was very creative and I could picture Furthermore in my mind like a movie. The cover of the book also helps tons too.

I did not like Mafi’s first trilogy, Shatter Me. I read the first book and disliked it. That is mainly why I was uneasy when I was going in to reading Furthermore. But in the end, I did end up very much enjoying it and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a light fun read. Furthermore is also kind of funny, and though the characters are only 12 and 13, I suppose you could imagine them to be older!
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Have you read Furthermore yet? What did you think? Let me know down below!

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Summer Blogger Promo Tour! featuring an Interview with Mish from Chasing Faerytales

Hello everyone! Today we have Mish on BlankSlaters as our final stop for the Summer Blogger Promo Tour. Firstly, I want to thank Mish so much for answering the interview questions! I hope you enjoy her answers. Secondly, I want to thank you guys for following the SBPT tour across all the blogs! Welp, let us get to the interview! Enjoy! 🙂


You are a very successful blogger in terms of followers and views, did you ever imagine your blog could ever become so large and successful?

First of all, I am flattered you think my blog is successful! And most certainly not! I am generally talkative, but I was still unsure about whether I will be able to build connections! Every single feat or achievement makes me want to do a happy dance! 😀

What are your top three favorite books? Add in a quick explanation as to why you love them!

Such a cruel question! ;D

  • Vicious by V.E.Schwab – MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOK, HANDS DOWN! I love villains, superheroes and morally gray plot and characters! This book has it all! With an amazing narrative as well!
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – War. Death. Sadness. The most beautiful writing style ever!!!
  • Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke – It deals with depression and insecurity, and I love it to death!

 

What is your biggest accomplishment in blogging?

Making so many friends – both bloggers and authors! Also the fact that I have become brave enough to work with publishers and fly to a country in the other end of the world all alone to attend a bookish event! 🙂

 

What is the biggest mistake you made when you first started blogging?

None, I am a super human, like that! *flips hair* Haha, no, I am kidding! One of the biggest mistakes I made was requesting and downloading a shitload of ARCs from Netgalley with overexcitement! I still have to read some of them! 😀

 

Many bloggers I know aspire to be a published author in the future. Do you also aspire to be a published author in the future or do your interests lie somewhere else? If it is something else, tell us about it, if it is a published author, tell us about what you’re writing or anything regarding writing and you!

Well, being a published author has been a dream since I was a really small kid, but after I have started blogging, I have developed a desire to work in publishing! It would be my dream career!

 

What has been your top read this year? (The book can been released in 2017

THIS SAVAGE SONG! Well, it is not a surprise to anyone who knows me, because it is written by my all time favourite author, Victoria Schwab! The book is all about monsters and humans and has two adorable main characters. SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS BOOK!

 

What is your favorite genre and why?

Fantasy, hands down! I guess I’d like to see it as an escape from reality!

 

Give us one tip for the newbie book bloggers!

Do what you want. Go with what your heart and mind says. Make mistakes. Learn from them. And most of all, have fun!

 

These two last questions are pretty random and have nothing to do with books or blogging! So what is your favorite animal?

Wolf! I’ve always been obsessed with wolves. Especially their eyes!

 

What is your favorite musical artist?

It’s hard to pick one person! But I love Sia, Adam Levine, Adele, Hozier and Halsey!


Mish’s Contact Info

Blog: Chasing Faerytales
Twitter: @chasingfaes
Instagram: @CapturetheRead
Goodreads: Mishma

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What did you guys think of the interview? Were some of her tips helpful? Let me know down below in the comments! (PS sorry for the absence, I haven’t been feeling the blogging vibes lately.)

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Classic Friday // Currently Reading

classic fridays

How long on average does it take you to read a medium sized book?

It takes me about 2 to 3 days to read a 300-400 page book. Definitely longer during school, but when I have all the time in the world like in the summer, it takes me about 2-3 days, maybe 4.

Is your current read amazing, okay, or not very good? Tell us why!

My current read is The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco and so far it is amazing. I just started it and the writing is splendid and I love it so much! I hope it continues being amazing.

What do you think about the main character so far?

I think she is definitely super cool. I don’t know much about her yet since I’m only like, 2 percent into the story, but otherwise, I am liking her.

What genre are you reading right now?

I am reading (another) fantasy! I love love LOVE fantasy novels so it isn’t much of a surprise to you guys most likely.

What is your favorite thing about your current read?

Definitely the writing, like I said before, so far the writing is splendid and I can picture every single happening within the book as I read it.

Is this your first book by this author?

Yes it is! I believe this is Rin Chupeco’s first novel!

Is it a standalone or part of a series?

I believe it is a series, because it says book one of The Bone Witch but on the other hand on goodreads, it doesn’t list any other books.

Why or how did you choose your current read?

I needed to review it!

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You guys should definitely join in on Classic Fridays! They are so much fun to do, and well, me and my BBCP group invented it!

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SJTR Blog Tour // Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

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28962906Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Untitled #1
Genre(s): Mystery, Suspense
Release Date: 9/20/16
Rating:
5 STARS

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Goodreads Description

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

This is my post for the Stalking Jack the Ripper blog tour! Surprisingly, this is my first blog tour ever so this is very very exciting for me. I’ve decided to do a review today about this stunning and absolutely fantastic novel.  Let’s get on with the actual review now! 🙂


Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco is a young adult novel unlike any I have ever seen before. The concept is something that is rarely seen in YA, and I myself have never truly seen it before in any of all the books I’ve read. Stalking Jack the Ripper is about Audrey Rose, a lady living in Whitechapel in Victorian England, an intelligent woman who secretly is interested in forensic medicine. She is determined to unearth the mysterious Jack the Ripper with the help of the charming yet frustratingly arrogant, Thomas Cresswell.

The characters of Stalking Jack the Ripper were no doubt, the heart of the entirety of the story. Audrey Rose (Wadsworth) and Thomas (Cresswell) are two charming characters with a personality that make me laugh out loud. The character development of these characters is fantastic, together they vaguely remind me of Sherlock and Watson, but they aren’t. That is the best part, they have such fun traits reminiscent of classic characters, yet they clearly aren’t and it really is just so awesome. I don’t know how to describe it in any other way.

The setting of the story is Whitechapel, London was written so vividly. Though there wasn’t much worldbuilding as Whitechapel, London does indeed exist, Maniscalco still did a great job making sure that the readers knew exactly where they were. Part of worldbuilding isn’t only description, a big part of it is also the way people act, and the activities characters participate in. Throughout the story, Maniscalco is sure to remind the reader the era the story takes place in with the old fashioned tea time or perhaps a proper scolding from one character to another about what is appropriate in front of a lady.

Stalking Jack the Ripper has a plot that keeps the reader enticed and wanting more. Written in such a way that begs for the next page to be turned. This book has a plot that keeps the reader wanting more. Not to slow and not too fast either. Though, of course there are moments when the pacing speeds and slows, overall, the plot was outlined in a way that keeps the flow pretty even. As for the romance plot, I felt it was AMAZING. Like there was hardly any romance in the entirety of the book, but the whole time I was reading I literally wanted to smash Wadsworth and Cresswell’s faces together. Like literally just wanted to grab them and BAM. I ship it so hard so don’t even try and fight me on this.

To wrap up this crazy long review, I want to talk about Kerri Maniscalco’s writing! Her writing was phenomenal if you haven’t gathered that from this review. She has a lot of talent and I cannot wait for the second SJTR book. Everything about Stalking Jack the Ripper was wonderful and amazing and this book is definitely a solid five star read no doubt.

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Be sure to check out the other stops on tour! Are you looking forward to reading this fantastic book? Have you read it yet? Let me know down below in the comments!

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Summer Blog Promo Tour! Featuring Kaitlin from Next Page Please!

 photo N1VwnSkI_zpsdx88yf6i.jpgHello friends! We are nearing the end of summer with the second to last blogger for our tour! Wow, this has been so much fun interacting with all of these amazing bloggers. Today, Kaitlin from Next Page Please and I decided to do the First Line Challenge! Many Booktubers have done this challenge and to mix things up we decided to do a video! I had a lot of fun making this.

If you don’t know what the First Line Challenge is, let me explain. Basically, you read the first line of a book and the other person has to guess what the book is based on the first line. You can option up to three lines to guess what the book is before the round is over. Usually, since it is a challenge, the whole thing is competitive, but Kaitlin and I decided to not have any points. It was more for fun.

Hope you enjoy the video guys and please laugh at Kaitlin and I’s weirdness. This was our first time on camera for both of us and it was very nerve racking. 🙂

Click HERE to watch


Like I’ve said in all the other SBPT posts, thank you so much Kaitlin for doing this video with me. It was so much fun to do. Please go follow Kaitlin’s blog if you haven’t done so yet. Her blog is BEAUTIFUL if you didn’t know and she writes really thoughtful reviews and discussions.
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Kaitlin’s Contact Info

Blog: Next Page Please!
Twitter: @NextPagePlease_
Goodreads: Kaitlin (Next Page Please!)
Instagram: nextpageplease_

 

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Thank you for reading guys! Until next week!

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