Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so excited to talk about the third and final book in Tahereh Mafi’s fabulous Shatter Me trilogy. I freaking loved this book so much. It gave me all the feels, there was so much character development, and it was just fantastic. I highly recommend this entire series because I love it so much. This is a dystopian series, but it doesn’t really feel like dystopian. It feels like a mixture of dystopian and fantasy, and its just great. But since this is the third book, this review will spoil you for the first two books in the series, but will not spoil you for the third. So if you haven’t read the first two books, then I suggest you leave, read them and then come back and we can discuss them together! So goodbye for now!

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout Shatter Me and Unravel Me, don’t read any part of this review.***

Now let’s get into the review!

Synopsis:

“With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.”

My Thoughts:

Wow. This book broke me and put me back together and just made me feel so many things…I absolutely loved this book. I think it was a fantastic finale to the series. Like I am super critical about finales because most finales are too rushed and aren’t very great. I’ll be honest. I would say I do not like the majority of the finales of series that I have read, especially for Dystopian series. Like the endings to those series are always so bad, and this finale to a Dystopian series was just absolutely fabulous.

I’m still kind of numb from reading this just because its’s kind of late, and I just marathoned the last 200+ pages of that book in one sitting with no breaks. My brain is a little bit foggy, but this book just hit me right in the feels on multiple occasions. I teared up several times, for happy times and then also very frustrating, angry and sad times. This definitely hit me in all of my feels, and I just really loved the emotional aspect to this book and this series.

But we really need to talk about Juliette. The amount of character development this girl has gone through over the course of this series is kind of crazy. In the first book, she was kind of still not okay. She wasn’t in the right mind. She was suicidal, terrified, paranoid, and very weak. She trusted no one but Adam, and that kind of hurt her. Adam made her weaker. He liked her being weak because he wanted to be the hero and the protector, but we will get into that in a minute.

And then in the second book, she is finally starting to use her powers a little bit more, and she is working on her trust issues. She learns to trust a lot of great people who want to make a difference in the world. And then in this book, she was very strong, and she was not backing down. She was learning that you definitely cannot assume things about people when you don’t know them because those assumptions tend to be very misguided and often quite hurtful. She learns who she really is, what she can do, and she learns to become emotionally vulnerable, and that it is okay to be vulnerable at times. This strong, passionate woman in this book is so different from the girl we came to know in the first book, and it was just a powerful and very beautiful transformation.

Now we have to talk about Warner. I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but I have been a die-hard shipper of Warner and Juliette (I really don’t know what the ship name is, but I love these two regardless). Now you wouldn’t really know who Warner truly is if you didn’t read the Destroy Me novella that occurs between Shatter Me and Unravel Me. But you get to see who Warner truly is versus how everyone perceives him. He is the epitome of someone who could actually kill you, but is in fact a cinnamon roll. I freaking love him, and I will ship these two until the day I die.

But Warner is actually a really good guy when you actually know him. We come to know the lengths to which he will go to help Juliette and some other people I can’t name because spoilers. But just know that there is a reason to everything he does, and he truly does care very deeply for Juliette and, unlike Adam, he doesn’t want to protect Juliette and to hide who and what she truly is. He wants her to embrace every part of herself and be able to protect herself. He wants her to embrace her strengths and annihilate her weaknesses. He just wants to see her be the best and strongest version of herself that she can possibly be, and I just love that. Also, the man is freaking hot. Just saying…

Now let’s talk about Adam. I am going to be completely honest here. I spend the majority of this book wanting Adam dead. Like the turn that his character went through in this novel was crazy dark and pretty violent. I did not like his character at all. He would not listen to a thing Juliette said. He analyzed things before knowing the facts, and he just became crazy violent, had severe rage issues, and just couldn’t understand why Juliette would trust Warner. But that’s kind of his fault because he wouldn’t let her explain anything at all. I just hated him, and he didn’t even become tolerable until the last forty or fifty pages of the novel. And I suspected just because of his absolute hatred of Warner that he was in cahoots with someone in this novel, but turns out he wasn’t. But I will never trust his character ever again after this novel.

I just want to briefly touch on Kenji. Can we just appreciate his character for a minute? Can we? I freaking love his character. I love his friendship with Juliette, and I just love him as a person in general. He’s funny, he’s warm, and he is just a really great friend to Juliette. Now I’m not saying he doesn’t do a stupid thing here and there, but he is just a really great guy, and I kind of want a Kenji in my life because he is just such a great person and a great friend. I just love him.

Obviously I am going to touch on Warner and Juliette a bit. I will say I spend the majority of this book just saying, “Just make out already!” because I was kind of getting frustrated with Juliette and Warner not saying what they are feeling (that’s more on Juliette, though), and just being together. But when they did get together, it made me all kinds of happy, and I literally have not been able to stop smiling because I love them so much, and I am just so glad they ended up together because they both deserve each other. I just love them.

Overall, I think the plot was very interesting, there was a crazy amount of character development, and I just really, thoroughly enjoyed the last installment to this trilogy. And I absolutely loved Tahereh’s writing, as always. Just the way she says things in this novel just hit me right in the heart, and I just love her writing style. But I am so happy I finally decided to read this, and I am looking forward to reading more works by Tahereh Mafi.

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. What is your current favorite dystopian series? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to come at you with a review of Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves. But before I even start to talk about this, can we just sit back and admire this cover. Its absolutely gorgeous! This is the first book in a fantasy series that I had heard some pretty decent things about, especially on bookstagram, and you know me. I am in love with fantasy, so I picked this one up. This book is actually a 2017 release; it came out on March 28, 2017, but let’s just go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.”

My Thoughts:

I would love to say that I absolutely loved this novel. But ultimately, this book fell kind of flat to me. Now it has a lot of potential. I think it started out pretty strong, and it was an interesting concept. I was really intrigued by the world and the magic system. That’s what originally intrigued by this novel, and it was why I wanted to read it. However, while the concept was super interesting, the execution of it wasn’t the best in the novel.

Let me explain. The magic system was pretty much mixing Catholicism with a little bit of magic. There was a government that was controlling the magic use and who was allowed to use it or even have it. Similar to your first communion, your confirmation evaluates how in tune you are with magic and how much you even have. I loved this concept because not only was it displaying the flaws in government control, and it was a different take on magic, different from anything I had read before. And while I did love the magic system, I had a problem with it being more like background noise. It just isn’t even part of the main focus. Next to all the drama that unfolds in this novel, it just wasn’t a big deal or even something that was explained a lot or touched upon, really. That was just really disappointing to me.

But I would say the main reason I just had such a problem with this was that nothing actually happened over the course of this novel. This is over four hundred pages with a plot that didn’t really go anywhere. It felt like a lot of filler. Pretty much the entire thing was nothing but filler. It felt like there was a lot of build up with no end result. Like we were waiting for this fantastic ending that just never came. The ending was very disappointing to me.

I also had a problem with the characters. I think that our main character Anna does go through some character development, but I had a huge problem with her character. The thing with this society is women are viewed as inferior, just something to look at it or to do tricks, and people who don’t have magic (like Anna) are treated like heretics in that society. Anna spends almost the entire book trying to do what is proper in society’s eyes. She tries to find a husband and tries to fit into society while ignoring those who want to fight back against this government and against this tyranny. Those who want a better world, and it just seemed like she didn’t care. This book just didn’t challenge that portrayal of women hardly at all, and as a feminist, that was something I had a big problem with.

I also just was not a fan of the romance. I didn’t get Anna’s appeal to Gabor. Like was it just that he’s a gypsy? Like I just don’t understand. His character, like many of the characters in this story, was just very one dimensional, and I did not feel any chemistry between them. I just never understood why she was so drawn to him and because of that, I just could not get behind the romance in this story.

One thing I did enjoy was the writing, however. I loved the simplistic style that Rosalyn had, and it did make it a little bit easier to get through the book. While it didn’t have the vivid descriptions and imagery I was expecting, I did enjoy how it made the book easier to read.

Overall, this book was just not for me. I didn’t like the plot or the characters. But I did enjoy her writing style. I’m not saying you all would not enjoy this. I think this book was just not my cup of tea. If you think this synopsis sounds interesting, then go for it, but I personally just did not enjoy this novel.

3-stars

But there you have it! That was my review of Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves. What is your favorite book you have read thus far in 2017? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today! Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for review by Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, opinions, and feels on this book were my own.

Train Wreck by Elise Faber | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so freaking excited to discuss this fantastic book! I loved this so much. I literally could not put it down, and I read it in only a few hours. I was not expecting much from this, and I just absolutely fell in love with this book. This is probably going to be one of my favorite books of the year. However, this book does contain mature content as it is an adult novel, so if you aren’t comfortable with explicit sexual scenes, you probably should express caution when reading this novel. But enough with the gushing. Let’s get into the review!

Synopsis:

“train wreck
noun

1. A chaotic or disastrous situation.
2. An utter catastrophe or mess.
3. A devastating calamity or source of trouble.
4. Pepper O’Brien.

As the daughter of a famed film producer, Pepper O’Brien is Hollywood royalty.

Also, her life sucks.

Because, unfortunately for her, the old adage is true: money can’t buy everything—including grace, true love, or the ability to not screw up every single opportunity her life has brought her.

After her latest disaster, Pepper moves across the country to start over but, as usual, her life has other plans, namely in the form of Derek Cashette, her former teenage crush and now ridiculously handsome friend of her older brother.

Derek is determined to salvage the train wreck of her life and Pepper’s determined not to let him. Her life is her problem and, dammit, why can’t she be her own hero?

But sometimes fate has other plans. Or maybe it’s hormones. Especially when her rescuer comes with a killer smile, a chest Thor would be jealous of, and a butt that any girl just wants to—”

My Thoughts:

OH. MY. GOD. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO DAMN MUCH.

This is a book that I was really interested in, but I wasn’t sure if I would actually love it because I usually do not fall in love with books I am sent for review. They aren’t usually books I would personally pick up myself, but this book was freaking fantastic. It just really made me emotional, and I loved the story line, the characters were well-developed, and I just really loved this book. It definitely took me by surprise. I just marathoned this in a few hours, and I am so glad that I got the chance to read this!

Let’s just talk about the characters for a minute. I really loved Pepper’s character. I just appreciated how she was a natural disaster; she was definitely a train wreck. But that’s what the press and her family treated her like. They were not nice people. They pissed me off 100% of the time. But she had been searching her entire life for something that she had a passion for, something she was good at. And she just stumbled upon it by accident. And that is just really beautiful to me. Its something that I really enjoyed, and I just loved how she overcame what others had forced her to believe for her entire life. It was really amazing just to watch her grow so much as a character, and I loved that!

Now we need to talk about Derek. Immediately, I shipped them like a vengeance. And I was frustrated when Pepper kept making excuses for why they couldn’t/shouldn’t be together, but it made it all worth it when they actually got together, and it just made me all kinds of happy. But there is this section of the book towards the end where Derek does one of those annoying character things where he is trying to do something to help Pepper and to help their relationship, but he just doesn’t tell her that is why he’s doing it, so all she can see is that he is being a distant, cold asshole because she doesn’t know why she is doing that. And that really frustrated me to no end, and I really just wanted to slap him across the face multiple times. But it all worked out in the end, so its okay. But he still should have gone about that whole situation differently…

Now let’s talk about Samantha and Rylie. That little girl was so freaking cute. I absolutely loved her, and when Derek would interact with her, I definitely understood why Pepper melted into a little puddle because it is such a turn on (like, it makes me like a guy 10x more) to see a guy be so good with kids. But I also loved how we got some real insight into Samantha’s life as well as Derek’s and Pepper’s. Elise made these character real to me. Like they felt like real people, which I loved. We got to see how unhappy Samantha was, which was understandable. Her husband was a fucking asshole. But one complaint I do have is we never got resolution on Samantha. Like what went down with her and her husband? Are they working things out? Getting a divorce? How is Rylie handling everything? I NEED TO KNOW.

I am just going to briefly say that I hate every member of Pepper’s asshole family. Like whenever something even remotely goes wrong, they blame her. Derek punched Andy? Oh, that had to be Pepper’s fault when she was the LITERAL VICTIM. But that was her brother who blamed her. And the wedding dress thing. It pissed me off so much when she took it upon herself to try to fix the ruined dress that someone else ruined, and her brother immediately blames it on her. Says it had to be her. She’s the screw up of the family. The amount of verbal abuse these people unleashed on Pepper just made livid, made sick, and I wanted to just bitchslap all of them…

Okay, but Derek and Pepper are the cutest couple ever. Like I loved them so much. Derek cares about her so much, though sometimes he has a funny way of showing it, and she cares about him so much, but she will not allow herself to continue to be hurt by him when he was distancing himself from her, so she stands up for herself and tells him to stay away from her. We, of course, know that everything worked out, but their relationship was not all unicorns and rainbows. They had rough patches they had to work through, which made the relationship really realistic to me. They had to go through a lot of shit to be able to be together, and I just appreciated the realness of it.

But this book also made me super emotional. I definitely was crying during the really sad parts. And this is pretty rare for me because I am not a book crier. Nope. Not me. And I really cried when I was reading this book. And whenever Derek would distance himself from Pepper, it literally was causing me physical pain. Like this is really weird, but during super sad and upsetting parts (and when I am super connected to the main character), my left hand actually has pain shooting throughout all of it. And it was probably the most intense I’ve it in a while. I was very upset, and it hurt so damn much to have to go through the pain she was going through. And the ending just made me cry because I was so happy. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. I have never happy cried in my life, until this book. That’s a pretty powerful thing…

I think this book is just so absolutely amazing. It deals with important topics, has beautifully developed characters, and I absolutely loved the story line. This will definitely be one of my favorite books of the year, and I am so excited to read more from Elise Faber in the future!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Train Wreck by Elise Faber. What is your current favorite contemporary novel? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! So I finally read another novella in the Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy series! This is like a real accomplishment for me. I haven’t read another novella in probably six months…But this means I am one step closer to finally being able to read Lord of Shadows! Fingers crossed I can finish all of these very soon. I have around seven more to go. But this novella is definitely my favorite of the novellas that I’ve read so far, and that is definitely because of the characters we see in it, but no spoilers. Just know I really enjoyed it, and I am really excited to read the next installment to this novella series! Now this review will contain spoilers, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, then I suggest you leave, read it, and then come back and we can discuss it together! So goodbye, Nonspoiler People!

All right. Now let’s get into the review!

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, don’t read any part of this review.***

Synopsis:

“Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale, his former parabatai, and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.”

Plot:

This started out pretty slow, but then it actually got really interesting. I didn’t really care about the tree exercise in the beginning of the novella, but I loved seeing Jace. He is still sassy and sarcastic, and I love him so much. But what really made me excited was seeing Tessa again. And she told this really interesting story about Jack the Ripper. As we all know, he was a serial killer who was decently active in the late eighteen hundreds in London, England. He targeted prostitutes, cut them up, you know. The works. But Tessa told us about how that is the mundane version of history while the true story involves the Shadow World.

As it turns out, no one could identify the “man” who was killing the working girls because the “man” was actually a Demon who could change its appearance. So they tried going undercover for a bit with Tessa and Cecily being glamoured as prostitutes, but that didn’t really work. So they went home after another night of finding nothing and they find Bridget, who was watching all of the children, unconscious. They soon piece together that the Demon they had been hunting followed them home and hid the children.

Because the Demon is very child-like and loves to play games, the ghost of Jessamine Lovelace (who resides in the house), convinces it to come play with her dollhouse in her room. So they go in there and she gets it to admit the children are in the walls, which means the chimneys. So they retrieve all of the children and Jessamine tricks the Demon into playing a different game: hide and go seek. The Demon is to seek first so when it closes its eyes, Will kills it with his seraph blade. And thus ends the true story of Jack the Ripper and why he did go dormant for so many years and never killed again. Why he never was caught. They ended the string of killings.

After dinner and everything, Simon and George head down to their room where Jace is waiting. He desires to speak with Simon alone, so George goes in the room and shuts the door. Simon had earlier told Jace to talk to Tessa about his family, so he did, and he learned some things he didn’t know before about his family. Simon tells him that he owes him, so he goes in his room and writes a letter to Isabelle, giving it to Jace to deliver to Isabelle. So he gives it to Jace and that is essentially the end of this novella.

My Thoughts:

I thought this started out as being pretty slow and boring, but quickly became super interesting. I really enjoyed the story line with Jack the Ripper actually being a demon, and it was so amazing that we got to see almost all of the characters from The Infernal Devices be in this novella. I have missed them all so much, and I just loved seeing them again. And Will and Tessa were my everything. They were so freaking cute, and I loved seeing Will with the kids, and just…my emotions were all over the place. I mean, we got to see Jem and Cecily and Gabriel and Bridget and Jessamine, and it just warms my heart.

And Jace! I loved seeing my favorite sassy Herondale in the story! He is still as sexy and cocky as ever, and still so in love with Clary. And he still gives Simon crap and picks on him, and it just reminded me how much I miss his character. And it made me really happy to see Simon actually does care about Isabelle, and he is trying to make himself worthy of her. I just would give anything to see her reaction to reading that letter…

But I thought the whole story line was super compelling and interesting and I loved it so much. I loved the writing and the way this novella was told. It ended up really capturing my attention, and I think this was a solid installment to this novella series. Really looking forward to reading the next one!

4-and-a-half-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of the third book in the Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy series! What is your favorite Cassandra Clare book? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to come at you with a review of More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. This is a book that has been on my TBR for what seems like forever, and I finally picked it up and read it, and I absolutely loved it. This book wrecked me, put me back together, and caused me a lot of emotional trauma, and I just fell in love with this book. It is by far my favorite LGBTQ+ book I’ve read thus far, and I guarantee you this will be on my favorites list for this year! But enough with the gushing and fangirling. Let’s get into the review!

Synopsis:

“In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?”

My Thoughts:

Wow, this book surprised me with how much I ended up loving it. For me, this tops History Is All You Left Me in terms of enjoyment because these are both phenomenal books, but this one takes the cake for me. I didn’t have many expectations going into this. A lot of people really enjoyed it, but I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot. This book blew my expectations out of the water, and I just got really attached to all of these characters, and I became emotionally invested in the story, and I just really enjoyed it.

Immediately, I did not particularly care about Aaron. I wasn’t as emotionally invested in his character until we started learning some more stuff about his past. From his asshole father and everything that happened to Aaron and his family. After some truths are brought forward, I started becoming much more emotionally invested, and I really felt for his character. We learned all these difficult truths about him and just all the shit that he has been dealt is so cruel, and it is just obvious that at some point he was going to break and he did, a couple different times. Even in the end, he didn’t get the ending that he really deserved, but I guess that’s how life works…

I have a lot of mixed feelings about Genevieve. She is another character that I never really cared for in the beginning, and that kind of continued throughout the whole book. I just did not connect to her character for some reason. Something with her just did not click with me. I do think she did something that was wrong just like there was something wrong that was done to her. I think both parties learned their lesson, even if it did take a shit ton of time. But I did not cry for Genevieve, and I do not appreciate her getting involved with someone in the story. If anything, they definitely should have waited a little bit. I think it was rushed and that really hurt Aaron. I just was not okay with it. But I digress…

Thomas is a character whom I immediately liked and continued to like for the entire book. Is he gay? Its sort of a mystery at this point. Its pretty murky. Could he be gay in the future? Possibly, yes. I honestly think he could be bisexual. Anyway, he is just one of those characters that is just instantly likable to me. He is just a really nice guy. He is hot, but isn’t arrogant. He genuinely cares about Aaron just like he cares about those around him. He has had some shit in his life, so his life isn’t perfect and he just seemed really real, and I just loved that about his character.

Just as an aside, I really loved his whole family, even if I had a weird vibe about Eric. He still genuinely cared for his brother. I loved his mom because she did accept Aaron for who he was, even if she made a pretty bad decision. I hated pretty much all of Aaron’s friends, especially Brendan. The douche gave me weird vibes. Asshole vibes…And I actually did like Collin, even if I thought he made a lot of bad decisions. He still was an all right guy in the end.

But I absolutely loved the story line, and I loved getting the point of view of a character who is just realizing or coming to terms with the fact that he is gay. He finally acknowledges it, and that is a really powerful moment in the story. And then shit hits the fan from there. But I did really enjoy the plot of the book, even if I thought it was more of a character-driven story. And there was this thing that happened, and it kind of wrecked me. I did not see it coming. I didn’t. I should have seen the signs, but I didn’t, so good job, Adam. You fucked with my mind. Like I put the book down and was like, “ARE YOU SHITTING ME RIGHT NOW.” Totally screwed with my head and made me question the meaning of life. Kudos to you, man.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I am super excited to read more from Adam in the future. I think this is a really important book that everyone should read. I am just so glad I finally got off my high horse and read this baby because it was fantastic!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. What is your current favorite book featuring a lot of diversity? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Son of War by Raye Wagner | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to come at you with a review of the companion novella to the Sphinx series, which just released on April 27, and that is Son of War by Raye Wagner. Raye did send me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review, but as always, all thoughts, opinions, and feels are my own. But this is very short, so I flew through this, and I enjoyed it even more than I expected to. This had been on my radar for a while since I am such a big fan of the Sphinx series, and I am so happy I got the chance to read this. But let’s go ahead and jump right into the review!

Synopsis:

“Demigods were meant to be the heroes of Olympus. . .

Xan was trained by his father Ares to be ruthless and lethal. As a kynigόs, he spends his time hunting monsters that prey on naïve mortals and foolish demigods. When the arrogant sons of Apollo tag along on a routine assignment, an easy kill turns deadly.

Forced to recuperate at a conservatory, Xan is surrounded by the abuse and selfishness of the resident demigods. All he wants is to escape.

Xan may be the son of the god of war, but his fighting skills are no match for the destiny the Fates have woven for him.”

My Thoughts:

While this was fairly short (only 75 pages), I ended up really enjoying this. I never even thought about it, but there were a few missing stories, if you will, from the Sphinx series in regards to my favorite character in the series, Xan. We never really knew why he was the way he was prior to meeting Hope. We never really received insight into his background before Hope entered his life, and while this novella does not answer every single question I have about him, it does shed light on a lot of things that I have been wondering about ever since we met Xan in Demigods and Monsters.

One thing I really enjoyed about this novella was the insight into the characters we see in the Sphinx series, particularly in Demigods and Monsters. If you remember, Obelia was a character whom I despised in that book. God, I could have choked her. But seeing her as young and still completely enamored with Athan, she actually was a character I didn’t hate. She was young, naive, and still learning the ropes of being a demigod. We really get to see her before the stain of how Athan played her really taints who she is, and I ended up really enjoying that insight into her character.

Nothing has changed with the sons of Apollo. I still fucking hate them. They are still assholes. They are still idiots. And what they did to try to sabotage Xan’s standing as a hunter, that just pissed me off. But I really can’t complain because that indirectly resulted in Hope and Xan crossing paths with Hope, and as many of you know, I am a hardcore Xan shipper. So like I still hate them for what they did and just them in general, but their actions resulted in one of my all time favorite OTPs. So I can’t complain.

I just need to talk about Dahlia. I loved her in the Sphinx series, and I love her in this companion novella. She cared about Xan so much, but she also really cared about the conservatory and the demigods that really needed good training, and that really came across well in the story. She was also sassy, and just really three dimensions and dynamic, and I ended up really enjoying her character.

The backstory with Xan really helped me to understand how he got to where he is, I think. We got to see what Athan was talking about as well as the other demigods who knew that his whole purpose was to hunt monsters, and he ended up falling in love with one. They never believed it, couldn’t believe it, and that just really shows how knowing Hope has changed him for the better. She has changed his perspective on monsters, and this just really helped solidify that because we actually saw what he was like pre-Hope. He just had no interest in helping other demigods. His entire reason for existing was hunting and killing monsters, and because of certain circumstances, we saw him grow as a character by the end of the novel, which was really satisfying to see.

Overall, this was a rocking fantastic novella, and I really enjoyed it. I loved all of the insight into Xan and the other characters we got, and I am so glad we got to learn more things about him and his past. It was just a lot of fun to see what he was like before he met Hope. I loved the story line, the characters, and the writing. I just really, thoroughly enjoyed this!

4-and-a-half-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Son of War by Raye Wagner. What’s your favorite mythology? (Greek, Roman, etc.) Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Splintered Souls by Raye Wagner | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am very excited to be coming at you with a review of Splintered Souls by Raye Wagner. This is a novel that was sent to me for review by the author, so thank you so much, Raye, for sending this my way. I really enjoyed this, much more than I was expecting to. This is a standalone novel set in the same universe as the Runes series by Ednah Walters, but you do not have to read that series to read this book (as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t read that series, but read this book), though I have heard pretty fantastic things about it. But let’s just go ahead and jump right into the review!

Synopsis:

“Aricela Topaz trusts no one.
At seventeen, she learned that promises are nothing more than lies, honored only by the weak or naïve. And Aricela is no longer either.
After Narcos destroyed her innocence, they took her life, but Aricela escaped her childhood village with a new purpose. As Valkyrie, she is charged to take the souls of fallen warriors and athletes to Valhalla to await the final battle. But souls need to trust her before they’ll follow, and Aricela has no trust to give.
When collecting failures, instead of souls, draws the attention of the Norns, they give Aricela an ultimatum. If she can’t collect, she’ll be stripped of her powers and sent to Hel.
But when she meets Chase Adymn and Kai Cipriano in the small town of Kayville, everything changes. Forced to face the myths of her past, Aricela will also have to decide the fate of her future.”

My Thoughts:

Wow, I really enjoyed this story. I think I read this in like an hour. It was really short, but I absolutely loved it. Because it was so short, I do think that some things moved a bit too quickly, in my opinion, but that did not hinder my enjoyment of the book at all. I also just wanted more. I wanted more of the story, more of the world, and more of Raye Wagner’s beautiful writing. I can’t tell you even one character that I had a problem with. I actually really loved all of the characters. I loved the world, the setting, the story, just everything about this book.

I have to say that I immediately fell in love with Aricela’s character. She was a strong female protagonist with a pretty dark and disturbing past. She had her guard her up because she was burned so much from trusting people in the past. Understandably, that made her just not want to be around people in general. But these people were actually very kind people who just did not let up, so she ended up trusting them, loving them, and kind of being part of their family, and I absolutely loved that.

Chase was a pretty complicated character for me. I struggled in the beginning to decide if I liked him because of the way he ended up treating Ari. However, when it was revealed what he has gone through, it totally became understandable why he was acting like that. And of course we know he was really drawn to Ari, not only because of the thing in the book that is revealed (I am so not giving that plot twist up) but also because of them both having pretty painful pasts, and I really loved learning more about his character. I also just really loved him and Ari, but I am getting more into that later.

Nysse was literally my everything. I loved her character so much. I loved her friendship with Ari and the things we learn about her. She is just a genuinely good person, a good friend, and I loved how she was totally shipping Chase and Ari. Like she was totally on board with that. I also just loved how sweet and compassionate she was, and I just really enjoyed her character. I also really enjoyed Kai’s character, especially how flirty he was with Ari, and she just always shot him down, which was hilarious. He was just a really kind hearted and enjoyable character. I liked him a lot.

Larissa could be considered a bit of a side character, but I still really enjoyed her character. She kind of seems like a best friend and possibly a surrogate mother to Ari, which I loved. I really loved how much she really cared about Ari and that she always had her back. She always believed in her, and I just really loved their relationship and their friendship. If Ari had no one else, she definitely had Larissa, and I absolutely loved that.

I just need to briefly talk about the relationship between Chase and Aricela. While it may seem like instalove, it is totally excusable for a reason that I can’t talk about because spoilers, but I also don’t care because I shipped them like nothing else. I don’t think I have ever shipped something as fast as I shipped these two. Whenever they interacted, it just made me grin and I fangirled and squealed, and I just love them to pieces. They care about each other so much, and I just ended up falling in love with them and their relationship.

I need to briefly discuss the plot as well. While I definitely feel like this was more of a character-driven book than a plot-driven book, I really thought the plot was interesting, and when I found out what was going to happen, I was really upset. The plot and the characters both actually reminded me why I love Norse Mythology so much. But everything worked out in the end (mostly), and I ended up really enjoying it.

Overall, I loved the characters, the plot, the love story, and the world. The writing was fantastic, as always, and I am so excited to read more things by Raye Wagner. (Son of War comes out on April 27, and I am so freaking excited to read it!) I thought this book was a nice introduction for me into the Runes Universe, and I am really anticipating reading more books set in this world.

4-and-a-half-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Splintered Souls by Raye Wagner. What is your favorite fantasy novel/series incorporating mythology? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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