Book Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

28374007Title: Three Dark Crowns

Author: Kendare Blake

Series: Three Dark Crowns#1

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 398

Date Published: September 20th of 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 of 5)

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Three Black Witches are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends.
Three Black Witches, all fair to be seen.
Two to devour,
And one to be queen.

I have heard a lot about Three Dark Crowns from almost everyone I follow on Goodreads and on Booktube–most of which are good things. So, with all that hype I was a little daunted to read this. The typical questions such as: What if I don’t like it? What if I hate the characters? What if I end up not liking Kendare Blake’s future books anymore? started to go after me. But, alas, Kendare didn’t fail me again. Her writing is still beautiful, better actually in my opinion! Plus, that cover spoke to me on a level I cannot even begin to explain to you.

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Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers // Thoughts

11422Title: Redeeming Love

Author: Francine Rivers

Series: None

Genre: Christian, Romance, Historical Fiction

Number of Pages (Paperback): 464

Date Published: May 9th of 2005 (but first published in 1991)

Publisher: Multnomah

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does … the One who will never let her go.

Rate: 5 of 5

Get a copy: Book Depository (Paperback, Hardcover, CD-Audio)

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Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) by Sarah J. Maas

General Info

18006496Title: Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass, #4

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 648

Date Published: September 1st of 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Rate: 5 of 5

Get a copy: Book Depository (Hardcover, Paperback, CD-Audio), Wordery (Hardcover, Paperback, CD-Audio)



Review (No Spoilers)
“‘We do not look back, Chaol. It helps no one and nothing to look back. We can only go on.
There she was, that queen looking out at him, a hint of the ruler she was becoming. And it knocked the breath out of him, because it made him feel so strangely young–when she now seemed so old. ‘What if we go on,’ he said, ‘only to more pain and despair? What if we go on, only to find a horrible end waiting for us?
Aelin looked northward, as if she could see all the way to Terrasen. ‘Then it is not the end.‘”

I have six pages of notes and I’m not someone who writes notes that often so by all means, expect me to babble on and on and on and on. I’m sorry, in advance.  😛 Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?

It’s alright, Sarah, I didn’t need my heart anyway. I spent the entirety of the fourth installation of the Throne of Glass series shifting between these two: a.) “Fuck you, Chaol. Go to hell.” and b.) “AWWWWW. MY BABY CHAOL WHY DO THEY DO THIS TO YOU?!”. Pretty much what happens. But on the other hand, I’ve finally finished an SJM book that has a satisfying/expected ending (yasss).

I finished this in five days and I can’t quite believe it because this is such a humongous book–648 pages! I honestly thought I wouldn’t finish the book according to my schedule because it’s so thick but holy cows it is impossible to put down. All I want to say is thank the heavens for text-to-speech availability in my reader!!! But it’s worth it since this is such an epic book! There are some storylines that I’m not too happy about but that’s the beauty of reading–you are not in control of what’s happening and you’re simply a tale listener and you just have to listen to this story that an author has weaved.

I gave this a five-of-five rating because there are so many actions going on in here and it’s true what the synopsis said. If you’re looking for action, oh boy, you don’t get one serving–you get a feast-ful. This is, indeed, a crescendo to the series. For the first time in a while, I can finally see the beginning of the ending of the series. And not in a bad way, I just feel that it’s already moving to a close. Precisely the reason why I refuse to pick up the fifth book just yet! 😛

So, we have aptly observed that there had been many pairings in the previous books. There are various ships to choose from and all are from Celaena’s point of view. Moving along the series, it has been quite confusing. But guess what! There are more ships! You think you’re okay with one? Well, how about six or seven? I KNOW. There are so many swoon-worthy characters in this book series, and by jolly, why not? When reading SJM, I should really make a note of being the neutral shipper because I can’t get this heart of mine broken in every book. Next time, I’ll just be there. Kidding, of course, pffft.

Setting aside that aspect of the book, let’s just take a minute and appreciate how SJM is perfecting the art of painting really kick-ass female characters. Because there is so much girl power here! I won’t be mentioning all the girls’ names because it would be a spoiler but upon counting them, I have seven favorite characters. On the subject of characters, the existing characters that we have known in the previous books are transported again to a common setting and they finally interact with each other again! Chaol, Dorian, Celaena/Aelin, Rowan, Aedion are all present–some sprinklings of new characters can also be noted. The nature of the characters are excellent but what’s more remarkable is the smooth flow into what appears to be a flawless interaction between them. It would somehow surprise you since most of the time their qualities clash. And by the way, I am also happy to tell you that I have finally learned to get around Aedion’s character! 😛 Meanwhile, Dorian. Okay, I didn’t really like Dorian’s character from the start but, damn, that guy needs a solid r&r ASAP–he’s gone through a lot. Also, there are so many villains. I had been perturbed half the time by the sheer amount of them. I was very worried for our beloved cast because they have so many against. So, let’s pray that SJM don’t kill any of them soon enough.

What I just don’t get is how SJM manages to write four books in this series and there still are so many things to uncover?! Talk about world-building. Maas really is an excellent world builder and honestly, who doesn’t like that? The other books feel like such a lifetime away from this one and it’s kinda disorienting. Seriously, so many things change in this series. This book is just the definition of moving forward–no more looking back.

There are mixed (and angry!) reviews of this book but I get it, I feel like some things were sacrificed for a pairing but I still loved the book despite me not thoroughly liking that said pairing. I am trying to understand as to why the author decided to make this happen. I choose to believe that perhaps Sarah J. Maas has something more up her sleeve for this series.

That ends my spoiler-free section of this review! Do read it and come back, will ya?


Thoughts (Spoilers everywhere! Sorry for all the gifs :P)

*So much shit happening but Aelin is finally home and my heart is so happy.

*I’m not happy about this Chaol and Nesryn thing. PFFFFFFFT. Nesryn is the new Sorscha. But for Chaol. PFFFFT. Nesryn liking Chaol (and vice versa) UGH KILL ME NOW. Pffft death to Nesryn, positive she’d be dying. I’m so sorry I just don’t like her character.

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*I seriously think there will be something up with Dorian and Manon in the future? I’m not sure but I’m throwing this fearless prediction out there.

*I’m still not fully sold on this Rowaelin thing but what am I to do? Chaolena is already in the grave. Like, that ship crashed so hard. It doesn’t have holes–it’s already the mayor of the Mariana Trench.

*That epic witch/fae fighting doe! The crossover between Manon and Aelin got me like “Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh I’ve been waiting for this in so long! Finally!” And by jolly, did it kick ass.

*I didn’t even understand how SJM managed to turn Lysandra’s character around like 180 degrees. She becomes one of Aelin’s dearest friends and she’s an echo of Nehemia. (Lol, I had to google Nehemia’s name because I honestly forgot.) It’s really remarkable how their friendship has transformed from something so lethal into something so beautiful. It’s so real, too. Like that’s how I talk to my best friend and all that jazz.

*Chaol couldn’t walk?! FUCK.

*I was hoping, nay, expecting a Chaol/Rowan battle for Celaena…but I was disappointed. Oh well.

*I hated Arobynn’s death. It was too swift for my taste. He should’ve suffered a little longer. Granted, he did choke on his own blood. But still. (I’m aware this makes me sound like a very icky person and perhaps a violent one, but come on, if you knew Arobynn you would be like me too psssh.)

*I cannot wait for Rowan and Aelin to happen. Ya know, THAT. The night. Oh my lord. Good luck, Aelin. Girllllll, you gonna need that luck.

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*I wonder, what could’ve happened if Nesryn didn’t interfere when Aelin saved Aedion when she was about to chop off Dorian’s head? (Even their names are so the same, my gulay, I’m just so confused.)

*I thought Kaltain would get to be free and help Aelin towards her efforts but I guess her dying and taking down a third of Morath is good, too. I just was expecting more from her character since she has been alive for four books now but, again, oh well.

*Magic is freed, oh yeah.

*Lysandra and Aedion PLEASE! Fave Aedion and Lysandra moment:

“…Aedion found Lysandra leaning against the hallway door. Tears gleamed in her eyes even as she smiled.
She gazed at the closed bedroom door, as if she could still see the prince and queen inside. ‘That,’ she said, more to herself than to him. ‘That is what I am going to find one day.’
A gorgeous Fae warror?‘ Aedion said, shifting a bit.
Lysandra chuckled, wiping away her tears, and gave him a knowing look before walking away.”

Dear me!!!! My heart oh my god they’re for each other!

As jessethereader said, Lysandrion! Yessss! (I formulated my own ship name and the name I came up with is Aedra. I know. I suck.)

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*I hope Mort’s still there–he’s so adorable.

*The return of Fleetfoot!

*There was something heartbreaking with the last time Chaol, Dorian and Aelin were together. It’s the end of an era.

*Ugly crying on this scene:

“…the captain merely squeezed Aelin’s hand and said, ‘Can I see it?‘…red and gold fire danced through his room, bright and glorious and elegant.
Chaol’s eyes had been lined with silver when the flames winked out. ‘It’s lovely,’ he said at last.”

I just–why can’t they make it work?! SARAH PLEASEEEE MAKE IT WORK.

*I honestly thought Chaol would die and tbh I would be down for it, at least that way I know Chaol really has no shot on Aelin and I can wrap my head around them not being together anymore.

*I hated how Aelin was like: “Lol sorry Chaol I didn’t know what I was saying to you when we got to the docks for Wendlyn. People change ya know, just forget it.’ And I’m here like, “No Celaena! No one talks shit around here! Take that back!” You can apologize to my heart.

*I partially hated Chaol here because he’s just a bitch to Aelin and wtf he says Dorian’s imprisonment is Aelin’s fault?! What the actuality…I feel like Chaol changed so much and wtf really happened while Celaena was gone?!!!

*I don’t get how Rowan and Aelin can talk through their minds–I don’t get it, just how? As far as I can remember, this wasn’t really tackled in the books?

*Rowaelin is just too fast. I mean, I won’t object to it if it did happen in the future–but it’s just too fast. My ship has sunk, like so hard. And I know this is the next big thing, but I may have preferred it if SJM developed their relationship or friendship or whatever they had for a book and then moved to have them together. Because, Chaol and Celaena just didn’t have that kind of closure and I need closure. I’m still hoping for #Chaolena, I will never stop hoping. NEVER.

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*I was actually down for Aelin to put down Dorian (sorry)

*Heart attack: When Arobynn thought he already got Aelin in a leash and I was like SHIT.

*Honestly, Rowaelin’s were friendship goals and I felt SJM was just too swift on developing this to a romantic thing #chaolena forevs

*Chaol and Aelin are like the ultimate exes now and it breaks my heart 😦

“You and I are nothing but wild beasts wearing human skins.”

*It’s funny cause Lysandra said this, and she actually is a shapeshifter LOL.

“‘You bring my court into this, Chaol,’ Aelin said with lethal softness, ‘and I don’t care what you were to me, or what you have done to help me. You betray them, you hurt them, and I don’t care how long it takes, or how far you go: I’ll burn you and your gods-damned kingdom to ash. Then you’ll learn just how much of a monster I can be.

*YOU LOVED EACH OTHER !!!! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?!!!!!

*Ansel of Briarcliff: another name, wtf

*Arobynn is such a grade-a, premium asshole. But lol no, Rowan is a much bigger asshole mwahahahahahahaha *evil laughs through eternity*

*My favorite is Asterin’s story! I have no idea what it is with me but I like these kinds of tales and I didn’t even know that witches were capable of loving. 😦 The witches be like: “Feelings? Feelings? What the hell is that?! Is that a thing?”

Sorry, this is just too hard. This is my favorite part of the book. I’m sorry, I know it’s so minor, but I loved this. Which, made me ugly cry so much.

“‘I’d fly overhead every few years, just…just to see.‘ She wiped at her face. ‘He never married. And even when he was an old man, I’d sometimes see him sitting on that front porch. As if he were waiting for someone.‘”

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*And finally the SICK BURN OF 2017!!!!!!

“‘Should I thank you for putting on pants?’ Lorcan said…
I didn’t want you to feel inadequate,’ Rowan replied…”
Do I recommend it? Ohohohohoho yahasss.
Be my friend on Goodreads!


*Cover image and Synopsis via GoodreadsGifs via Giphy.

 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

7718597Title: The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Illustrator: Dave McKean

Genre: Children’s, Fantasy, Fiction

Series: none

Awards: Newbery Medal, Hugo Award for Best Novel, etc.

Date Published: September 28th of 2010 (first published on the 30th of September, year 2008)

Publisher: HarperCollins

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy – an ancient indigo man, a gateway to abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible fleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will be in danger from the man Jack – who has already killed Bod’s family . . .

Rate: 5 of 5

Get a copy: Book Depository (Hardcover, Paperback, CD-Audio) National Bookstore (Paperback), Kobo (eBook), Audible (Audio book)


As you may well know (I’m totally assuming on this but whatever), I reserve my five-of-five ratings for those types of books that really blew my mind. It may not be a certain simple work of literature or a complex one or a swoon-worthy one, but rest-assured I’ll be giving five-of-five for those books that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. These are the types of books that I had the delight of reading with all my heart and that maybe something that people should take a chance on. I mean, if we have the same tastes. Suffice to say, I rated this book a whooping five-of-five so you may have a hint now of how nice of a book this is.

This is the first Gaiman book that I actually completed. I tried to read Coraline and Neverwhere before but I didn’t finish them. The first work of Gaiman that I have picked up was Neverwhere, I think I got as far as a third of the book. That was the era when I was just not into fantasy, I wasn’t really into very complex characters and plot lines that time I guess–I was perhaps fifteen, sixteen (?) and was loving chick lit back then haha. I borrowed it from my cousin and she said that it is very good. So now, I’m a little guilty for not reading it to the end. Haha. The second Gaiman book I tried reading just in the latter parts of 2016 was Coraline. It was actually in my Goodreads TBR list but I ended up removing it because uhm I really don’t know. I’m not really sure why because I’m particulary fond of Children’s books but ugh IRDK. I had mini reading slumps sprinkled all throughout 2016 so maybe the book just took the runt of that slump.

I think the reason why I really liked this book was that there is a different allure to the notion of this book: a child–very much alive–growing up with ghosts and the like. There’s a certain appeal and contrast to the notion that is the living trying to breach the divide that is death. (Does that make sense? haha) There’s a nice contrast to it because a child living with people that are dead. (I just made the ghosts sound like zombies lol) It’s extraordinary how this is often flagged as a children’s book but opens with a rather bloody murder scene and then later on morphs into the setting of the graveyard. I loved the air of mystery.

Okay, characters. Let’s start with Nobody Owens. I’m gonna put it out there: WHO NAMES THEIR KID NOBODY?! Like nobody does that. (Wink, wink. I know excellent pun right. Right?! Say yes.) It is a witty name and really kick-ass name but wow parents please don’t name your child that please. LOL, kidding. I loved his character because he is just so innocent and cute, which is really not something that you would expect from a boy that was raised up from a grim place such as the graveyard. Again, the contrast of his character to the setting is quite extraordinary. Second, Silas. What is up with him? Mr. and Mrs. Owens, there wasn’t really much time for me to love their characters because they weren’t really thereMs. Lupescu, on the other hand, is a character that I actually liked. She’s so stern and strict–I love it. And also, is it just me or do you guys ship Ms. Lupescu and Silas?! No? Just me? Okay. Lastly, Scarlett Perkins, her character kinda irked me a bit. There were qualities in her that I didn’t particulary liked but maybe the thing I wasn’t really keen into is that she’s too trusting. There were many characters mentioned in the book that I won’t be including, e.g. The Sleer, Indigo Man, Jack, Mrs. Perkins, Liza Hempstock, etc. because I won’t be able to bring justice to the rest of the characters. But what I’m going to say is that the author did an excellent job on outlining the characteristics of each person in the story, simple and straight-forward but endearing all the more. 

I’m trying to rationalize the elements of the book such as the ghosts, ghouls, etc. and I’m telling you I’m having a hard time. I can’t flag it as Bod’s hallucinations or it’s just Bod is really crazy or something on that line. There’s just so many elements to be rationalized. For example, how the hell can a child climb a crib or let alone stroll around outside in the cold air and even managed to climb a hill all on his own?! I mean…how the hell can people not see him?! I mean it’s night…but still. Haha. BUT, I’ve come to the conclusion that that is just the nature of this book. It’s just the universe in which the characters walk in, and that I should really just leave it at that. 😛 I’m having a hard time to process it because the story of this one is really in touch with the real world (not like all the High Fantasy I’m currently reading–okay, okay all the Maas books I’m reading haha). So that’s the reason why I’m feeling the need to rationalize this one but ehhhh I should just let it go.

The part of the book that is my favorite are the last two pages. I really bawled my eyes out right there. I even read it over and over, perhaps eight times. This was the part that got me into heaving sobs. I’m in that part in my life where I’m trying to be more independent and to start my own life away from my comfort zone and it just struck a nerve. I found a little part of me in Bod in the latter part. Reading this book just felt like perfect timing. As I have said before, some books just come to your life in the right time as long as you want to take a chance on it. (I totally made reading books some kind of a love life problem hahahaha.)

thought this book has a movie out already but apparently not. After a quick Google search, I found out that it was picked up by Disney but then let go after four months and then was forwarded to another person to make and currently is still in the works. So, I’m looking forward to that!

This book was just so simple and classy yet has a certain dimension to it that comes alive through Gaiman’s writing. There’s just a classic tone to it that you can’t help but be lulled in the story. And not to mention, McKean’s beautiful, beautiful illustrations. It’s such an easy read yet something that is also so inspiring. I’m going to go ahead and say that this is amongst my favorite books to date.


Do I recommend it? Hell yaz.


*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, No. 2) by Sarah J. Maas

17927395Title: A Court of Mist and Fury

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, no. 2

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult

Number of Pages (Kindle edition): 626

Date Published: May 3rd of 2016

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Synopsis (via GoodReads): 

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.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Rate: 5 of 5

Get a copy: Book Depository (Hardcover, Paperback)


My year is off to a great start! (Although, I am kinda in a mini book slump because I am still not over this book ahhhh.)

So, I’m assuming, since you’re reading this pseudo-review of mine, that you have read the first book in the series which is A Court of Thorns and Roses. If not, what are you doing in life?! Meanwhile, for all my friends that have or is about to read A Court of Mist and Fury, let me just tell you of all my feelings for this monster of a book because I’m gonna tell you, I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS AND QUESTIONS AND JUST MORE FEELINGS. If I talk about all my feelings for this book, this post will easily go on for like two days. I’ll give you a heads up as to where in this rambly post the spoilers will start appearing because just OH BOY. Can you tell that I love this book so much?! I mean, despite the fact that I have rated it 5 of 5, it’s fairly obvious. I mean, how dense can you be not to notice that?! I’m just kidding but holy massive crap I haven’t been this excited about a fantasy series since Harry Potter. Okay, on to the review. I’m just going to list five points so that this won’t be as boring as all hell like this introduction part. I’m gonna disclose this early on, be prepared for the apparent number of gifs in this post, but come on, I like the book so much, give me some slack haha. Okay, let’s go!

First of all, and easily the most noticeable conclusion upon finishing this work of wonderful artistry, THIS. IS. SO. MUCH. BETTER. So much better than ACOTAR, to be honest even though I gave ACOTAR five stars I was still kinda on the fence on the whole Feyre and Tamlin thing. As I have said, they loved each other way too fast, and way too hard. And I didn’t understand why exactly. Perhaps just the fact that Feyre has been basically alone all her life and she was just so focused on her family that she was so enamored to the first person who actually wanted her. And as much as I love all the action packed in the first book, I felt like that just came to life in the latter parts of the book. But,this one. Oh man, this one. I still loved the pacing of it–the sweet assurance that the story would go on and on and on was what I especially liked. The highs and lows in the story was pleasantly placed throughout the work that I didn’t really feel that there was a chapter of lulling in it. The story development is stellar, I tell you. It basically nullifies ACOTAR, but the good kind. Trust me.

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My second favorite aspect is the character development. Not only that, but also the new characters. I actively hated Feyre in the first book but she has already grown in me in the second book. She became so empowered, so independent, so strong, so her–so womanly. And don’t get me started on RHYS. Because, oh when you get me started on Rhysand we can go on for DAYZZZZZ. Days, I tell you! And if for some reason you still don’t notice, I am a hardcore member of this fandom already. I am so invested with the characters and the story progress that my heart will actually break if something happens in the third book, A Court of Wings and Ruin aka ACOWAR, which will be released this year in May! If you think you’re one team in ACOTAR, well well, prepare to move camps. Because oh, my sweet summer child, you will see a massive change.

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I was sucked in this storyline development so hard that my heart was basically ready to burst whilst reading this wonderful, wonderful work of art. I haven’t felt this way in a story in sooooooo long. You know that feeling where you’re not really feeling like you’re one of the characters in the book but you feel like you’re just somewhere in there just floating around in their universe and you’re just observing what’s happening around? Well, that was what I felt in this. It was hard assuming the role of Feyre even with her point of view in the majority of the pages. But this is just utter perfection in words. Just. Ugh. I LOVE IT.

Fourth, this is so action-packed and is so not boring. You know those type of books where you know the action part is vital but in your head you just want it to be over already because the writing kinda sucks and you really don’t care where the character gets punched or kicked or whatsoever, yeah, that wasn’t the case here. Maybe because of the so interesting battle stances of the characters that gives it more dimension. And I don’t know, maybe just the sheer fact that you literally don’t know how one action scene will play out?!

Lastly, as it is not surprising, the ending made me thirst for more. Really, this series should just go on and on forever and I’ll be fine. I’ll read it until I’m 90 I don’t care. This is how good it is. I cannot handle how Sarah J. Maas just lefts us dangling there and just waiting for closure. Because damn it, I need closure. But also I need more stories. So, yeah, I need closure but not necessarily now ya know? HAHA.

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And now the spoiler-full part has come. And so my friend who hasn’t read ACOMAF yet, please exit quietly and come back after to share these thoughts with me! Alright this is it! 

I have questions. Many, actually. But here are the ones that are just at the top of my head upon writing this. I’ll edit this as soon as some thoughts come into me in the future. Some thoughts of mine are in here somewhere, too.

1. Nesta and Cassian has got to happen. Imagine all the banter and witticism that’s gonna be thrown around. Think about all the burns and savage lines between these two. Secretly hoping that they, too, are mates. Is that wishful thinking? I mean, if Lucien is already mates with Elain. And Feyre to Rhys. It’s just so damn easy if that happens…

EDIT: Holy shit. I just read the additional chapter from the Target exclusive and OMG Nessian is supposed to happen like right now!!!!! Ahhhh, somehow I’m more excited about how their characters will merge and become a thing–are they mates? Who knows? And I thought this bit about Mor is a thing of the past–why does Cassian feel the need to tell her things?! I LOVE THIS AHHHH.

2. Which brings me to my next point! ELAIN AND FREAKING LUCIEN!!! I’m just so excited as to how this will play out because oh man I can just feel it in my bones that Lucien will work with Feyre in the Spring court because let’s face the obvious, she is his only ticket to find Elain again. Oh, Tamlin, my sweet Tamlin, you’re gonna get destroyed. And also! That “You’re my mate.” thing that Lucien said, I CANNOT. My heart was all over the place after this line!!!!! AHHH.

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3. Now commences my questions on this whole mating thing:

*First off, where do I get a mate of my own? 😛

*Does it mean that there is only one mate for each faerie?

*Do humans in this universe have their own notion of “mates”?

*Did Rhys actually wait for hundreds of years for Feyre?

*What happens if your mate has died without you finding him/her? Do you go on life alone eternally? (That’s kinda sad if it is.)

*How do they just sense it?

Edit: *Who is Tamlin’s mate? Oh boy, good luck to you giirrrrrl.

4. And the most important question of them all:

Whose wings are the biggest among Cassian, Azriel and Rhys? 

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MEHEHEHEHHEHE.


Do I recommend it? Oh! Hell! Yes! Come join the fandom now my lovely, lovely friend. Holy crap, I don’t know how I housed my thoughts on these so little ones that I have mentioned here because oh man it’s so good. Please pick up a copy now because it is so awesome. PLEASE I IMPLORE YOU.

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(Synopsis and Cover image via GoodReads; Gifs via Giphy.)

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

21412272Title: A Sudden Light

Author: Garth Stein

Series: None

Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 416 pages

Date Published: September 30th of 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Synopsis (via GoodReads page here):

When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, The Art of Racing in the Rain.

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.

A Sudden Light is a rich, atmospheric work that is at once a multigenerational family saga, a historical novel, a ghost story, and the story of a contemporary family’s struggle to connect with each other. A tribute to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, it reflects Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation, and his rare ability to see the unseen: the universal threads that connect us all.

Rate: 5 of 5

*Get a copy from Book Depository*


This is the first book by Garth Stein that I have read and I would certainly be going back for his other works. When I picked up a copy of this book and upon reading the synopsis, I wasn’t really that sold into the plot. This may be attributed to the fact that I have just finished reading something of a paranormal tone. So in that sense, I wasn’t really too eager to jump into all this again. But alas, I liked it! And I don’t really give a rating of 5 of 5 to any book. But this work is just so diverse in nature, ranging from historical fiction to family to divorce to a child’s voice to intergenerational communications to environmentalism to sexuality, etc. It’s just so profound and multi-dimensional. So many things were discussed that I didn’t know I would love. One good example is that of the paranormal/ghost character in the book. As I have said, I wasn’t so eager (and maybe even close to skeptical and thus rolling my eyes and saying, “Seriously, a ghost character again?”) about the paranormal dimension of the book at first. But what seems to be something I was tired of reading leapt into a new form and was made to be so real. And for that, I commend the writer because it’s not easy to get immersed and find yourself to actually rechecking your state of mind on the reality of ghosts.

I guess, I was just really sold into this novel since it has ranged its ideas into a very, large scale yet somehow still coming off as a cohesive work and just going to a central ending. The closing of the book got me teary-eyed (okay, I was crying shut up) but I must say, I was somehow guessing it to happen.

The characters were unusually well-thought of. It amazes me as to how so much character were outlined in each one. Each person had their own sense of mystery enshrouded around them. Whilst reading the book, there’s this weird sense of dread that I was waiting to happen…And I loved that sensation because that’s the main goal, the epitome of the Mystery genre. But then again, in my opinion, this book can fit in several shelves and not just one.

Do I recommend it? Oh boy, certainly yes.


Since I have so many things I can’t seem to say about this book, I’ve opted to pick three sets of questions from the suggested Discussion Questions at the back of the novel. Maybe that way, I can channel some qualms and some ideas I had whilst reading it. (I must tell you now, there might be some spoilers ahead.)

*What sort of woman is Serena? Why do you think she never left Riddell House? In what ways does she control the family narrative? What are some of her redemptive qualities?

How do I place the character of Serena? Perhaps, somewhere between outright crazy and just a passionate family woman. The simple reason why she never left Riddell House was because she had to take care of her old man because no one else will–with the Alzheimer’s kicking in and a house slowly falling around them. But what I really think the reason for her never having left Riddell House was that she was waiting for her long gone love–her brother, Jones. And I know it’s so twisted and incestous, but that’s what she is.

Serena had the control over the family narrative mainly because, I think, after all those years staying behind their ancestral house, she has uncovered little secrets, little trinkets here and there that made her so familiar to Riddell House compared to her living relatives. She knows most nooks and crannies, and not just in the house, even in the emotional and historical value of their family. Obviously, she controlled the thinking of Grandpa Samuel through giving her caffeine tablets, which is so twisted. But then again, that’s her narrative in the story.

Despite the fact that she is all these crazy things, I think the best quality that she had is that she loved the Riddell family. Sometimes, even dangerously so. She loved her father so much that she never left. She loved her brother so much that she waited. She loved her aging father so much she pretended to be her mother dancing in the night. And that’s love, that’s passion. And as crazy as she is, you can’t say that she wasn’t concerned for the family that she had.

*Why was Benjamin so conflicted during his lifetime? Is his internal conflict a result of his upbringing or education or sexuality? How much of it is a product of the place and time in which he lived?

Benjamin was the epitome of an enlightened soul, I think. He was so conflicted because he knew the truth and he was well aware that their family wasn’t doing the right thing. Just that simple notion is burden enough. Factor in the parental pressure of continuing a business empire, an arranged marriage, a boyfriend that’s under wraps because his father might know and not to mention society’s judgement, etc….Imagine being subject to all that. It would be hard, it’s like standing in between the extremes of a spectrum. I guess the only thing that got influenced by the time was just Ben’s sexuality. That’s it, everything else could easily apply today.

*The “eternal groaning” is one of the characteristics of Riddell House. How are Riddell House and The North Estate used as characters in the novel?

The Riddell House was like a character in some ways because it was like a silent observer through time. Trevor (the main character) found echoes of old relatives and past times from little bits in the house, yet he also found trinkets of modern-day things. As pertaining to the “eternal groaning”, I bet it was just a representation and a mere characterization to perhaps accentuate the fact that Riddell House–and the North Estate–is an old entity. It has seen so much, many things have happened in and around it and this “eternal groaning” is just a confirmation as to how much it knows, through the ages, through the generations.


Cover image and Synopsis via GoodReads

 

Bakit Baliktad Magbasa Ng Libro Ang Mga Pilipino? (Mga Kwentong Barbero ni Bob Ong)

7315992Title: Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro Ang Mga Pilipino? (Mga Kuwentong Barbero ni Bob Ong)

Genre: Humor, Non-Fiction

Author: Bob Ong

Illustrator: Klaro Karmeo de Asis

Number of Pages (Paperback): 201 pages

Language: Tagalog

Date Published: June of 2002 (first published, 2001)

Publisher: Visual Print Enterprises

Synopsis (via GoodReads): 

Ano ang lasa ng Toning Water? Bakit sa ilalim ng overpass tumatawid ang mga Pilipino? Na-dagitab ka na ba? Saan makakabili ng aritificial fresh flowers? Sino sila Ciriaco, Procopio, Espiridiona, Troadio at Maxima? Paano makipagkaibigan sa bangaw? Ano ang nagpapaalat sa itlog na maalat? Kay Jesus ba talaga napupunta ang mga lumipad na lobo? Ano ang alam ni Claire Danes na hindi mo alam? Talaga bang “best buy” ang mga Pinay? Pagod ka na bang maging Pilipino? At bakit ka nga pala baliktad mabgasa ng libro?

Ngayong N K K B S K N T L G, eto na ang sequel…dahil may El Filibusterismo ang Noli Me Tangere, may New Testament ang Old Testament, at may Toy Story 2 ang Toy Story.

Rate: 5 of 5


Ang hirap palang maglitanya tungkol sa isang libro sa Filipino. Pero, Filipino ang salita ng librong ito, kaya magta-Tagalog ako or at least Tag-Lish. (Teka, bakit ko ba pinapaliwanag ang pagta-Tagalog ko?) Kaya eto ako, hirap na hirap maggawa ng review sa librong ito. Bwakanang magaling, ang hirap. Dapat siguro magbasa pa ako ng mas maraming Tagalog na libro, at magsulat sa Tagalog nang hindi ako ganito nahihirapan sa sariling wika ng aking lahi. Nakakahiya.

Paano nga ba ako magre-react sa isang libro na inilathala nang ako’y pitong taon pa lamang, ni walang kamuwang-muwang sa lahat ng isinulat dito ng may-akda? Natutuwa talaga ako sa mga libro ni Bob Ong. (Sino bang hindi natutuwa sa ABNKKBSNPLAKo?!? Hindi ako, hindi ang halos lahat ng kakilala kong nabasa na ito, hindi ‘yung pinsan ko na literal meron lahat ng libro ni Bob Ong. Kitams? Anyway…) Sa kalahatan, gustong-gusto ko talaga ang mga libro na politikal na may halong katatawanan. Seryoso, pero medyo hindi. Pilipinong Pilipino.

 

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Maginoo, pero medyo bastos, ika nga. Mwahahaha.

Alam mong totoo kapag galit ka na. Galit ako habang binabasa ko ito. Gusto kong itapon, gusto kong magwala. I hated how it spoke of truths in the Filipino culture. Nalungkot ako na pagkatapos ng ilang taon simula nang ilathala ito–labing-tatlong taon na–eh totoo pa rin ang ilan sa mga isyu na nandito. Eto ang dahilan kung bakit gusto kong nagbabasa ng mga ganitong libro, it makes me ache and look at the details of things. It makes me angry, it makes me hurt. It’s so good, it hurts. 

Nakakangalit na nakakaiyak. Ayaw kong basahin yung mga tingin sa atin ng mga banyaga, ang mga incidence na ang mga Pilipino ay itinatatwa ang kanilang sarili upang hindi ma-identify bilang isang Pilipino, sa halip ay sinasabi na sila ay Thai o kaya Malaysian. Nakakalungkot. Whatever happened to Filipino pride? (Pero take notes ha, merong pagkakaiba ang “pagmamalaki” sa “pagyayabang”, ha? Maging proud–pero hindi conceited. Please understand the fine line that separates those two.)

Sa lahat ng linya na talaga namang tinamaan ang pagka-Pilipino ko, dito ako talagang nagalit:

Talaga bang “best buy” ang mga Pinay?

Literal na ang sakit nitong marinig. “Best buy”? The hell, ano to? Best buy? Buy 1 Take 1? Promo? Discounted? BWISET. Ano to? awkjdbaskjfbadskfsbdakfslfmsdlgknsgkjaebfe.

Ang dami ko pang gustong sabihin tungkol dito. Madami pa akong rant. Pero just the fact na marami akong masasabi tungkol dito eh nagpapatunay lang na mabisa itong librong ito. Malay mo ito ang layunin nito–ang galitin ang Pilipino para magbago? Heck, the title is an echo of our culture. The packaging is a little preview in our thinking. Aba, oras na yatang magpakatotoo tayo sa ating sarili.

Alam ko sa bawat kultura merong mga bahid pero kapag naharap ka na sa isang libro na animo’y pina-ring bind ang lahat ng baluktot sa kultura mo medyo nakaka-insulto. What’s so bad about eating balut? What’s so bad about being pango? What’s so bad about being kayumanggi? What’s so bad about being short? What’s so bad about it all? What’s so bad about being Filipino? SO MANY THINGS TO CHANGE, I KNOW. And I’m sure a whole lifetime will not cover it all. We have our ways set, BUT, everything can be taken with baby steps. At least, that’s a start: wanting to change. Sobrang dami ko pang gustong sabihin, but I’m afraid I’m already being whiny about this.

Nakakangalit ngunit totoo. Medyo masakit. Para bang panggising. Applicable pa rin pagkatapos ng 13 taon. Relatively less naman. Merong mga isyu na nandito pa rin sa Pilipinas, pero sa tingin ko mas kumonti na. Kumbaga, medyo um-okay na ng very, very light ang ating bansa. We are growing steadily economic-wise, there are a mass of educated people, our literacy rate is at 97.5%! Everything is better in the long run scenario, I guess.

We don’t need affirmation and encouragement from any one, nor the other races. We are our own self.

Keber kung anong sabihin nila?

I want more of these, honestly. MORE. And also, I KNOW, this is not a review as it is a rant about the contents of the book. But this is a touchy subject and it just made me feel contempt, anger, shame, love, defense and appreciation for my people. Whilst also laughing through it all. It’s so true that it’s funny.

Do I recommend it? Ay ateng, please, please, please basahin mo na.

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P.S. Pasensya na sa Tag-Lish, ha? MWAHAHA.

P.P.S. Walanjo, ang haba nito. Good luck kung may magbasa nito. Lol.


 

 

*Cover image and Synopsis via GoodReads; Gifs via Giphy.