ARC Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo // F.C. Yee

30116958The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
F.C. Yee
Release: August 8th, 2017
Page Count: 336

 

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo’s every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

I cannot get this book out of my head. That was how amazing it was. I loved The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book I related to so much. I saw myself in this book and that really hit home.

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  • OMG. One of my favorite things about this novel was the humor. YES HUMOR IN YA. Finding good humor that actually makes me laugh in YA is so rare. Every single YA book I read is terribly dark. It’s like the characters just don’t understand what funny means, Every YA character comes from a troubled past where her touch kills, or her true love dies with her kiss or she’s got a year to live. Like how terribly dark is that? Yet here we are…Genie Lo, a hilarious main character that had me cracking up several times throughout the novel.
  • The plot was amazing. This story is one of those books that starts off with a bang. By the end of the first chapter you’re intrigued. I read this entire book in one day. It was that amazing. I haven’t done that for a book in a very long time. The entire plot of the novel was either funny, or something insane and crazy yet amazing was happening.
  • Yet another thing that I absolutely loved was the Chinese -ness I guess of the entirety of the novel. We have the cliche Chinese mom. And the grades. Ah yes, the asian need for good grades. It made me laugh how well Yee portrayed the stress and anxiety that comes with college work and getting good grades.
  • On a personal level, Genie Lo was a character that I related to so much. For one, I’m Chinese so that was one of the biggest things. But not only that, I play volleyball too. Genie’s experiences playing volleyball, I know them, it’s all very familiar to me. And finally, Genie is pretty explosive with her emotions. While I personally would never act the way she does (punching someone, etc.) I can understand her rage and annoyance at times throughout the novel.
  • Finally, I LOVED LOVED LOVED Quentin. God what a monkey boy. Seriously, Quentin’s character was hilarious and he and Genie together added so much to the story. Not to mention, that budding romance between them was spectacular. Seriously, it had me giggling into the late hours of the night.

Continue reading “ARC Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo // F.C. Yee”

ARC Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass // Melissa Bashardoust

32768509Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Melissa Bashardoust
Release: September 5, 2017
Page Count: 400 

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass was definitely one of those unique novels that while it was a generally slow paced novel, it still told a gripping story that hooks the reader onward. A feminist retelling of Snow White, Girls Made of Snow and Glass takes a unique turn on the meaning of family and the cost of secrets.

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  • The characters of this book were definitely the one thing I felt stood out. Both of the characters undergo such intense character development throughout the novel. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps as I’m writing this. Our “evil” stepmother Mina was fabulous. Such a perfect representation of a conflicted character. I also really loved Mina’s character because I felt she truly represented a human being. While in many fairy tales, the evil character is purely that. Evil. But personally I don’t believe that a person can be only evil and reading from Mina’s perspective you can see that even though Mina is placed in that role of a bad guy, she isn’t. She is conflicted. She is human. As for Lynet, the same thing applies. Even though Lynet was written to be placed into the role of the good guy, she reveals many human emotions that definitely not something one would consider as good. For instance, Lynet displays her selfish character several times throughout the novel. The characters were definitely the heart of the novel.
  • The world building within this novel while it was restricted and not a very large world, I certainly felt like the author did a really good job at working with what she made for herself. The world felt very real and quite magical.
  • I really liked how this book wasn’t just about one thing. Does that make sense? Like most books have a moral or they’re solely focused on romance or it’s focused on that main white cliche chosen one. While this novel, I felt was a good collaboration of everything. It had magic. There was family. Tidbits of romance. There was love. And in the end I felt that all of these things wrapped up together to be one complete piece tied up quite nicely.

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  • Like I said at the beginning of this review, Girls Made of Snow and Glass is one of those slower novels. This is only the negative thing I found about this book. The first 50 pages of slow I felt was purely introduction, a layout of the story, of its characters etc. However after that, the book still wasn’t fast paced. For the most part, this book had little to no action scenes and don’t recommend it for a reader who lacks patience and really likes books with fight scenes or anything fast paced like that. The rest of the story was intriguing enough to keep me reading, it wasn’t a story driven by action. It was a story driven by the characters and the morals of the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. To be completely honest, I did expect to be amazed, which I wasn’t exactly wowed. However I did really enjoy it. It was a good book. It took story and spun it in it’s own way creative way. Girls Made of Snow and Glass was its own unique yet still classic fairy tale.

4/5 STARS

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ARC Review: The Hazel Wood // Melissa Albert

34275232The Hazel Wood
Melissa Alberts
Release: January 30th, 2018
Page Count: 368

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

This book was delicious. This book was magical. This book was unlike anything I have ever read before. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert was haunting and creepy and gave me goosebumps in a way I had never experienced from a book before. I did not go into this novel expecting to experience fear. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert was a gripping and suspenseful novel that makes you question what lies behind the pages of a book.

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  • The pictures! I loved the little pictures at the beginning of every chapter. Every single one was clearly well thought out to fit the chapter and left an air of mystery before delving into the next chapter.
  • The characters + lack of romance. Our main character, Alice Crewe (or Prosperine) has anger management problems and can to put it be simply, be unlikable. It is very clear that Alice is not like other girls, and while this is cliche, the writer writes it in such a way so it doesn’t sound cliche. Our other main character, Ellery Finch is a super fan, and together he and Alice make quite the pair. However, going back to Alice’s “not like other girls” personality, such a personality is often paired with a boy who likes said girl because “she isn’t like the rest”. This is simply not the case in this novel and I really loved this aspect in it.
  • We are all human. (Right?) I really liked how all the characters had their flaws, had their own unique personalities. They weren’t cookie cutter characters set to fit into a predetermined role.
  • THERE ARE PARENTS. Okay, well there is one parent. Ella Proserpine is Alice’s mother and the drive of the story. Usually parents are nonexistent in YA and it was nice to see such a strong powerful mother-daughter bond.
  • The writing was fab. OKAY IT WAS FABULOUS. Albert’s writes a novel that comes right off the page. I have never once in my reader career have come across a book that genuinely affected how well I sleep. That’s how good The Hazel Wood was.

Continue reading “ARC Review: The Hazel Wood // Melissa Albert”

ARC Review: Whichwood // Tahereh Mafi

31563982Whichwood
Tahereh Mafi
Release: November 14, 2017
Page Count: 368

A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi, a companion novel to Mafi’s Furthermore was absolutely breathtaking in it’s own dark morbid way. Let’s just say that even though Whichwood  was the very opposite of Furthermore it was still amazing. I loved Whichwood.

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  • The characters in Whichwood were truly the heart of the novel and really made up what this story truly meant. While the plot was still gorgeously written, Laylee’s character has a terrible life and she’s the definition of a pessimist. SHE CLEAN’S DEAD BODIES. I would be a pessimist too. Anyway, I found Laylee’s character to be really unique, heartbroken, sad, lonely among a variety of other things.
  • I really liked the friendship included in this novel as well the mistakes. There were so many mistakes in it! Let me clarify, Alice makes mistakes, and I really found that represented people really well because PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES and I really think that’s important. As for the friendship aspect, I felt that Mafi portrayed the idea of what true friendship is vs. the idea of wanting to help but not really wanting to help if you know what I mean.
  • The concept of this story was really unique. And dark. But mostly unique. A young girl who has to wash the bodies of the dead, rip people’s fingernails off and do many more disgusting things. As disgusting as it was, I LOVED IT!
  • One of my favorite parts of this novel was the message regarding family. Laylee has no family, people in town avoid her. She has no one. But while she doesn’t have a blood family with her, she does have her friends which I found really sweet and important: friends are family too.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Whichwood // Tahereh Mafi”

ARC Review: An Enchantment of Ravens // Margaret Rogerson

Processed with VSCO with m3 presetAn Enchantment of Ravens 
Margaret Rogerson
Release: September 26, 2017
Page Count: 304

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Unusually, An Enchantment of Ravens is a fantasy novel on the shorter side, yet it still proves to stand among some of the biggest YA bestsellers of fantasy such as Sarah J Maass’ Throne of Glass series, and Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone series and spin off Six of Crows duology.

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  • I loved how unique the magic system in this novel was. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have read lots of fantasy novels that star the fae within them and I have never read a book before where the fae are unable to create things. I’ve never read a novel where the fae must rely on mortals.
  • The romance was definitely a slow burn and wow was it fabulous. Together Rook and Isobel’s characters just fit perfectly and yeah let’s just leave it at that and say they’re perfect and deserve to be happy together forever.
  • It was short! And I don’t mean this in a bad way, like I said at the beginning of this review, while this novel is short it certainly doesn’t make it any lesser than some bestsellers out there. The length of the novel ensured for a well paced plot that was constantly moving without any lag time.
  • The author’s writing was amazing. The tiny details the author incorporated into this novel was amazing and really painted a picture of the world she envisioned in my minds eye.

Continue reading “ARC Review: An Enchantment of Ravens // Margaret Rogerson”

ARC Review: Hunting Prince Dracula // Kerri Maniscalco

33784373Hunting Prince Dracula
Kerri Maniscalco
Release: September 19, 2017
Page Count: 448 

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.

Prepare for a bunch of giggly girly feels in this review! Hunting Prince Dracula, sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s #1 NYT Bestseller, Stalking Jack the Ripper was stunning. I was amazed at how much I loved Hunting Prince Dracula. Bloody, dark and full of mystery, Hunting Prince Dracula was a sequel that you will not want to miss.

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  • The romance was amazing. And the funny part is, there was really barely any romance. But you know we all ship Wadsworth and Cresswell together…right right right? This entire novel murdered my soul with Cresswell’s subtle teasing. Let’s just say the TENSION WAS REAL and it certainly unleashed the giggles.
  • The suspense of this novel was really done well. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, but did I? This novel was dark and haunting and it truly makes you rethink what lies within the dark.
  • Oh Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell, how I love you. These two characters are such sweethearts and I love them with all my heart. Maniscalco did a wonderful job fleshing out these characters even more so than they were in the first book.
  • The plot was fantastic, from page one I was hooked. There was never a dull moment for this novel.

I would have a negatives portion for this novel, fortunately, there are none. The only real negative was the fact that I can’t get the next book RIGHT NOW. Overall, Hunting Prince Dracula was absolutely fabulous. It was so good. I honestly can’t really describe it in any other way. Kerri Maniscalco is a true artist of words.

5/5 STARS

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ARC Review: The Cruel Prince // Holly Black

26032825The Cruel Prince
Holly Black
Release: January 2, 2018
Page Count: 384

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 years old 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.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was absolutely lethal. I’ve previously read Black’s previous works such as Black Cat and did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I was definitely tentative going in to this book, however The Cruel Prince proved to be quite magical, full of deadly fae and lots of bloody betrayal.

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  • The characters were fabulous. Especially the bad guys. They were woven amazingly. Holly Black wrote them in such a way that really made you hate the bad guys. That’s how real they were. The acts some of these characters committed were brutal and nothing even close to petty. All of the characters, fae or no are spun to in such a way that leaves everyone to have both a good and evil side.
  • I’ve seen many representation of the fae world. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the fae were seen as the brutal beings lots of folklore portray them to be. I felt that Black stuck to the traditional “fae” very well in her world building. The fae within this novel are truly ugly and cruel beings.
  • NO ROMANCE. NO ROMANCE. NO ROMANCE. Do you want me to say it again? Okay, well, there is romance, but it doesn’t really count since there are only maybe 15 pages of it spread out across the entire novel. Seeing a YA novel without romance is so refreshing. I love cheesy romantic novels to death but c’mon…
  • The plot for the most part was relatively well paced, 4/5 of the novel was really well paced, I finished it in a day once I got past the slow parts in the beginning. Every ending for every chapter hooked me in.
  • Diversity! The Cruel Prince had Bi representation in it!

Continue reading “ARC Review: The Cruel Prince // Holly Black”

ARC Review: Godsgrave // Jay Kristoff

godsgrave-jay-kristoffGodsgrave
Jay Kristoff
Release: September 5th, 2017
Page Count: 384

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff was just as bloody and fantastic as the first in the series, Nevernight. I can easily say that Nevernight was one of my favorite reads of 2016, and luckily I received an ARC from the publisher. While Nevernight was fantastic, Godsgrave quickly surpassed my expectations and was in fact better than Nevernight.

*Note there will be spoilers from NEVERNIGHT

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  • The writing was absolutely gorgeous. Like Nevernight, Godsgrave wasn’t a fast paced novel. But the style it is written in creates a darker and more slow burn novel. It is slow, but gripping all the way through. It is also important to note that because it is a slower paced novel, it does take awhile to read.
  • Character development was pretty amazing to watch. We see Mia struggle and learn to become comfortable with herself. We see Mr. Kindly and Eclipse with their friendly banter, (I’ll be honest with you Mr Kindly and Eclipse are low key my favorite characters) and of course we see the new allies Mia makes throughout the novel.
  • The plot was well done. The end murdered my soul, tore it to pieces and left me crying and begging for more. Kristoff is definitely a master at creating plot twists.
  • I believe this series is borderline YA and NA, either way it had sex in it. We don’t see a lot of sex in YA but it’s nice to see some realism in YA books.
  • LACK OF FOOTNOTES. The first book had so. Many. Footnotes. I wanted to cry when I saw a footnote that was half a page long. Godsgrave definitely held back on the footnotes and that was a definite positive.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Godsgrave // Jay Kristoff”