Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love // Maurene Goo

31145133I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Maurene Goo
Release: May 30, 2017
Page Count: 336

Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo was a cutesy fun novel that follows the story line of senior Desi as she sets up the steps of her favorite k-drama’s in order to win over the man of her dreams. While this novel was certainly light and full of that lovely drama I basically live off, it did have some fatal flaws. While I enjoyed this novel, it was not as fabulous as I anticipated it would be, however it held many positive aspects I enjoyed as well.

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  • I really enjoyed the cute and fun aspect this story incorporated. While our main character certainly had that “dark past” we often see in YA contemporary, it wasn’t a focal point of the story that actually drove the plot
  • The main characters were fabulous. While I’m not Korean, I’m Chinese, I felt that Goo did a very good job at portraying Desi’s home life and her relationship with her father.
    • Not to mention, Luca was spectacularly gorgeous! 😉
  • I really liked the concept of the K-Drama’s throughout this novel. I love K-Drama’s myself and I thought it was really funny how Desi was trying to win Luca over through similar K-Drama tactics. This idea I felt was super unique, Goo did a good job.
  • Goo is a great writer, while the writing wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever seen, it was good and that made for a story that was entertaining

Continue reading “Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love // Maurene Goo”

“Remember, it’s only a game.” || ARC Review » Caraval by Stephanie Garber

 photo Caraval_final20cover201_zpsy4iavhbc.jpgCaraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Untitled #1

Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Action
Release Date: 1/31/17
Stars: 5 STARS

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Goodreads Description

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber easily lands in the top five books read this month. Starting on the first page, the reader is whisked into a story where everything is questioned. The audience doesn’t quite know what is happening yet, but it is written in such an amazing way that it keeps the reader hooked. Caraval gave me the chills, by page one, I knew Caraval would be phenomenal.

The plot of Caraval was stunning. Extremely well paced. There wasn’t a single part in the entire plot that I felt I was waiting. The entire story kept me on my toes. Don’t even get me started on the twists. Garber is clearly the queen of plot twists because the plot twists were so well done. I didn’t see a single one of them coming. The romantic plot was also spectacular, it is clear that the romantic aspects in the story isn’t the main plot. But when romantic parts appear in the story, it made me as the reader squeal. In a good way, of course.

The descriptions were out of this world. Every single page of Caraval played in my mind like a movie. I could picture every single bit of magic Garber wove into the story. Everything, the smells, the sights, Garber definitely has a talent in world building. The setting for the majority of the book, Caraval was a mystical place, Garber gave me the shivers and made me want to hop right into the story.

Our main character, Scarlett was lovely. Headstrong and definitely feisty was one character that I just adored. She cared for her sister dearly, and she is quite an admirable character. I’m very glad she wasn’t the type of character to fall right over into the “hot guy’s” arms. Julian, our “hot guy” of the book was spectacular. I loved him, Scarlett might not have fallen over on to him, but I surely did. Julian’s character was mysterious, he was caring, and the twists surrounding his character were just spellbinding.

Overall, Stephanie Garber’s, Caraval is definitely a book that any lovers of fantasy should read. Any of her next books will be an instant read. Her writing stunned me. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. Caraval had no cons. It kept me hooked all the way. FullSizeRender (20)

Have you pre ordered Caraval yet?

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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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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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Am I Not Merciful? || Review » Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

23395680Illuminae
Authors: Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Series:
The Illuminae Files #1
Genre(s):
Science Fiction, Action
Release Date: 10/20/15
Stars:
3.75 STARS

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Goodreads Description

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is a fresh breath of science fiction in young adult books. Though I felt the story and concept as a whole wasn’t very unique, a pretty original story. AI gets too smart and tries to take over. But the execution was what made Illuminae so interesting and different from every other science fiction novel out there.

It took me a total of four times to get myself to read Illuminae. The main reason being the formatting. Don’t even get me started on how much the formatting drove me CRAZY. But eventually I did get used to it. I loved the characters, I was surprised how well executed they were since the entire book is made up of files and documents. I felt I could really see into Kady’s character even though the book wasn’t really from a specific perspective. Kady and Ezra’s relationship was great. I really enjoyed the fact that the book had romance, but Kady and Ezra already had an established relationship. The book wasn’t about them meeting and eventually falling in love, they were already in love the entire time. This is something I honestly don’t see very often in YA so that was definitely a nice twist.

The plot of Illuminae was up and down. The first 200 pages were really slow, interesting definitely, but not fast paced. Then in the middle shit hits the fan and you burn through 150 pages just like that and then the plot falls again. The end though was spectacular, I really enjoyed reading the end. Though the plot could have been eased out more and spread out if you know what I mean.

One of my biggest problems with Illuminae was the formatting. It didn’t bother me a huge ton to the extent of me not liking the book. In fact, the formatting was very interesting and pretty to look at. But sometimes because of the formatting I did get lost in the story. There were parts when I was very confused.

Overall, Illuminae was a great book, better than I thought it would be and I definitely had mixed feelings regarding AIDAN. 3.75 Stars out of 5, I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction, and if you haven’t read Illuminae yet, GO GO GO!

FullSizeRender (20)Thanks for reading! Have you read Illuminae yet? Did you love it? Tell me below in the comments!

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Me Before You Movie Review

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Me Before You is based on the book Me Before You  photo Me_Before_You_film_zpsd0psx5us.jpgby Jojo Moyes. The movie is most certainly a romantic comedy with a twist of sadness. The story follows 26 year old Louisa Clark. a woman with an eccentric sense of style and an optimistic personality. With her family getting desperate for money, Louisa is ready to take any job, even if the job is taking care of quadriplegic Will Traynor.

I will be honest, if you are looking for a tear jerker, go see The Fault in our Stars. I also want to let you guys all know that I didn’t read the book before I saw the movie. And don’t go off on me either, I really wanted to see the movie, and the movie came out right after finals so I just didn’t have any time to read it. Me Before You is a happy movie with a sad ending. The movie made me laugh several times and I and was very funny and light hearted.

The acting was fantastic. I cannot even begin to tell you how well the actors  photo Emilia2BClarke252BMe2BBefore2BYou252BIncredulity252BDisbelief252BOne2BEyebrow2BRaised252BCFC252BCFC2Bwith2BSmile252BCentral2_zpsgofq2ts2.pngacted. Emilia Clarke as Louisa Clarke was amazing. All of her facial expressions were so well done and realistic, that along with the emotion she put into her voice. Sam Claflin was also an amazing actor. His character has a lot of aspects to it, as Will Traynor’s character struggles with being happy. Will was once a very active person, but now since he is paralyzed from the neck down, he’s depressed. Sam did a really good job with this as well.

The writers of the show did a really good job with the writing, but also appropriately plotting the story. Sometimes, romantic comedies can get a little slow and sleepy if you know what I mean which can definitely make the movie boring. Me Before You was a romantic comedy that had perfectly placed comedic lines that kept the story going.

To be perfectly honest, I thought The Fault in our Stars was a whole lot sadder than Me Before You. Why? Because Me Before You is a happy story with a sad ending, like I said before. The Fault in our Stars is about two teenagers dying of cancer. I loved Me Before You so much. Definitely gave me the goosebumps and all the feels! I rate this movie 5 stars! FullSizeRender (20)

Have you seen Me Before You yet? If so, what did you think? Tell me below in the comments! Thanks for reading guys! 🙂

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“To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.” || Review » A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

 photo 17742222._SY540__zpsasxtguzc.jpg
A Court of Mist and Fury
Author:
Sarah J Maas
Series:
A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: 5/3/16

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

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

 I want to start this review off with a warning. Because this book was so fantastic, I am dividing up this review into two parts. The first half will be spoiler-free and the second half will include spoilers. Don’t worry about accidentally being spoiled, I will be sure to let you guys know when the spoiling begins!

Spoiler Free Review!

All of Sarah J Maas’ works have never failed to impress. With her popular debut series, the Throne of Glass series, Maas has a large fan base. So big, that no matter what she publishes next, her dedicated readers will be sure to pick up the nearest book store. A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book to Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and though the first book of the series was fantastic, A Court of Mist and Fury was mind blowing. Easily, one of Maas’ best works so far.

Maas’ is infamous for the sudden changes in many of her characters and many readers have trashed her for that (something totally not right) and many readers fight and find evidence for the sudden changes. In ACOMAF, Maas’ presents many new changes within her characters. Changes many people were upset about. But in the end, they fit the storyline really well and really turns the tables on the whole plot. Feyre, the main character, has new challenges, not physically, but mentally. Throughout a good portion of the beginning of the book Maas sets the scene with Feyre’s struggles. Though I enjoy the fact that Maas adds this to Feyre’s own character development, there are other developments later on that I found very hasty of Maas to do. I will get back to these later on.

The male characters of the story, Tamlin and Rhys, are both two very different characters. Tamlin, once a handsome and charming High Lord of Spring is shown to be overprotective of Feyre. Definitely essential to the drama of the entire plot and I found it very effective in keeping the plot going keeping the plot a faster pace. Rhys, is completely opposite of Tamlin. Dark and handsome, Rhys is the gentler type that all us bookworms have been swooning over. I really enjoyed reading about his side of things, in the first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses Maas’ writes Rhys to be in a way, the bad guy. I loved hearing Rhys’ side of things in ACOMAF.

The plot of A Court of Mist and Fury was well paced. The beginning and end, both perfectly well paced. Though it could have done some good if there were more scenes with action in the middle. The book is not a short book and there were times when I felt bored.

The romance was to die for. Every single bit of it was written just so fantastic. Maas weaves such a perfect relationship between Rhys and Feyre giving them amazing chemistry. Regardless if you shipped Feylin before, you were shipped Feysand by the end of ACOMAF. Though, I do have to say that A Court of Mist and Fury is definitely no young adult book. Though the series is listed as young adult, the explicit sex scenes in the book are definitely written like that of an adult novel. My experience with new adult novels has been a dull one, but ACOMAF definitely makes an amazing new adult novel.

Overall, A Court of Mist and Fury is an amazing book, definitely a 5 star read and my new personal obsession.

THIS PART OF THE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Let’s start off with Feyre. Feyre has definitely become one of my favorite characters of Maas’ because of her total badassery. In ACOMAF it is revealed that Feyre not only is a High Fae, but she also contains a drop of power from each of the seven High Lords. Like what even?! Feyre is clearly an extremely powerful Fae. In ACOMAF, that is demonstrated clearly, in ACOTAR 3 though, I am definitely excited to see Feyre whip out her abilities and beat some ass.

I’m sorry this portion of the review is so hectic, but seriously, I have some intense thoughts. Okay lets move on to Rhys. Who knew he was such an adorable cinnamon with a kind and gentle heart. Rhys has definitely been added to my list of book boyfriends. I seriously died whenever he went and comforted Feyre from her nightmares.

I’ll be completely honest with you…I wanted to KILL Tamlin. Tamlin was driving me nuts with his overprotectiveness and how he constantly tended to make things better with sex. Like that’s how he made it up to Feyre. I just found it absolutely ridiculous that he could think that.

Did anyone else die in the end? Because I did. At the end of ACOMAF, my heart was racing and there were goosebumps all over my arms just because Feyre becomes a High Lady. Excusez-Moi?! That was amazing. I don’t know, it just feels so iconic and powerful on Feyre’s name Jeez, I seriously cannot wait until she beats Tamlin’s ass.


What did you guys think of ACOMAF? Did it become one of your favorite books? Let me know in the comments below! 😉

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