Book Review: Stitched #1 by Mariah McCourt

31451222Title: Stitched #1

Author: Mariah McCourt

Illustrator: Aaron Alexovich

Genre: Children’s, Comics, Fantasy

Number of Pages (Paperback): 96

Date Published: May 2nd of 2017

Publisher: Charmz

Synopsis*:

Crimson Volania Mulch has a problem; she just woke up in a crypt and, besides her name, has no idea of who, where, or what she is. Welcome to the Cemetery of Assumptions, a vast landscape of stones, mausoleums, and secrets. Home to monsters and mayhem, it may also hold the answers to her unknown parentage.

Crimson is a resourceful patchwork girl and determined to find them. Along the way, she meets the mysterious Wisteria, who has a tendency to change and a witch named Parameter whose spells tend to go awry. And two boys, Simon and Quinton, who make her feel something besides lost and confused. She must battle ghosts, zombies, and monsters in order to learn where she came from and who her real “mother” is. But will she do it alone, or will she have help from her new friends and unexpected crushes?

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

I want to thank the publisher for making it possible for me to have an access to the book in exchange for an honest review, via Netgalley.

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Before I start with my review, I just want to tell you all that today marks my one year anniversary with this blog! My blog is one year old! Time blows by so fast and I cannot believe it has been a year since I actually decided to make these little notes on all the books that I read! What a year! Anyway, here goes my review for Stitched #1!

This might have been the cutest thing I have read in a while. Though the fact that I am still fond of children’s books still holds, I am also feeling that I’m shifting quite a bit into the Young Adult genre as of late. So, what I’m saying is, I may be veering away from children’s books as much as I can because I feel like I’m already too old for the genre. Crazy, I know but I’m glad my reading taste is also evolving.

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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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Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

23403402Title: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic, #1

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction

Page Number: 400

Date Published: February 27th of 2015

Publisher: Titan Books

Synopsis (through Goodreads):

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

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I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.

Back in the old days of yore—2015 to be exact—I gave up on this book after several chapters in. Whether it was the sheer fact that I was under so much pressure in college or just that I didn’t really like the premise of the book, I may never know. I’ll leave that aspect to the past. But no kidding, dramatics aside, really I just forgot why I DNF-ed this this when it first came out because it is so good! (And yes, I’m totally beating myself up for doing that! 😣)

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REVIEW // Mer by Joelle Sellner

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33825562Title: Mer

Author: Joelle Sellner

Genre: Graphic Novel (Comics), Fantasy, Young Adult

Date Published: April 19th of 2017

Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors

Number of Pages: 128

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Twilight meets the legend of Atlantis in this gripping graphic novel from writer Joelle Sellner and artist Abby Boeh. After the death of her beloved mother, Aryn’s father has moved her family to a new town hoping for a fresh start. At first things seem to be going well—Aryn is making friends and has even caught the eye of one of the hottest guys in school. But there are dark forces moving under the surface that Aryn cannot see; and her new crush may not be … human.

Rate: 3 of 5



Thoughts bannerAs a reader, I haven’t really been exposed to much graphic novels that I really am not sure where to classify such type of books, ergo, I all flag them down as “comics”. Which is really weird. So, please, forgive me if iI flag a graphic novel as “comics” the next time–I’m still wading my way in through the genre. 🙂

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Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents, #3) by J.K. Rowling

31538647Title: Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide

Author: J.K. Rowling

Series: Pottermore Presents, #3

Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories, Young Adult

Number of Pages (Kindle Edition): 79

Date Published: September 6th of 2016

Publisher: Pottermore

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

‘The Ministry of Magic felt strongly, however, that to construct an additional wizarding station in the middle of London would stretch even the Muggles’ notorious determination not to notice magic when it was exploding in front of their faces.’ – J.K. Rowling

Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world.

Hogwarts An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide takes you on a journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’ll venture into the Hogwarts grounds, become better acquainted with its more permanent residents, learn more about lessons and discover secrets of the castle . . . all at the turn of a page.

Rate: 4 of 5


Hogwarts is teeming with secrets.

Now THAT’S a Potter book–at last! Since I am a Potterhead, it is with a little sadness that I’ve already finished the short stories series released by Pottermore. I was actually holding it off for the longest time but oh well.

I enjoyed this very much because I have always loved the air of mystery that Hogwarts imposes right from the start of reading this series. That’s also the reason why my favorite movie of the series is the Sorcerer’s Stone because there was such a massive world-building effort.  To get a glimpse on the mysteries and to have answers on the questions I’ve been itching to ask in so long about Hogwarts was so satisfying. Additionally, I loved the approach of this book because instead of characters, the magical things of the wizarding world was cast into the limelight. This has the cohesiveness I was looking for. Although I might say, I’m very confused with Cursed Child all the more with this time-turner section tackled. I’m just SO confused. Blasted Cursed Child. 

 Of the three short stories releases, I enjoyed this the most–this is a very nice close to the Pottermore Presents series. Although, I’m quite sure there will be more because, erm, Rowling hello? 

Do I recommend it? Yuppsss! This is perfect for all the Potterheads out there! Great, now I want to reread Harry Potter again.


*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents, #2) by J.K. Rowling

31538614Title: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists

Author: J.K. Rowling

Illustrator: MinaLima

Series: Pottermore Presents, #2

Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories, Young Adult

Number of Pages (eBook): 71

Date Published: September 6th of 2016

Publisher: Pottermore Limited

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

No Muggle Prime Minister has ever set foot in the Ministry of Magic, for reasons most succinctly summed up by ex-Minister Dugald McPhail (term of office 1858-1865): “their puir wee braines couldnae cope wi’ it.”’ – J.K. Rowling

Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com with some exclusive new additions. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world.

These stories of power, politics and pesky poltergeists give you a glimpse into the darker side of the wizarding world, revealing the ruthless roots of Professor Umbridge, the lowdown on the Ministers for Magic and the history of the wizarding prison Azkaban. You will also delve deeper into Horace Slughorn’s early years as Potions master at Hogwarts – and his acquaintance with one Tom Marvolo Riddle.

Rate: 3 of 5



Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists includes the background of well-known characters such as Dolores Umbridge, Quirinus Quirrell, etc. and includes a glimpse on the name inspirations behind them. Peeves’ story is thrown in somewhere there. I finished this in one sitting because it is just a compilation of short stories–it’s the perfect book to sit down with a cup of coffee and a plate of cookies!

Now, this is a rare occurrence, i.e. I don’t really have anything significant to say about this. It’s a solid it’s okay. It’s a work of Rowling, so in that aspect I can see the excellent writing and such but I guess I didn’t really particularly cared for the characters (or some magical things) discussed together with their background stories. I mean, sure, a chapter on Umbridge is nice but I mean, I don’t really care. I would be sugarcoating this if I didn’t say that I just picked this up for the sheer want of getting immersed again to the wizarding world. I desperately wanted to redeem my thoughts on Harry Potter ever since I read Cursed Child. (Read my review here: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (HP #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne) Perhaps, I need to reread the Harry Potter series again? 😛

On the other hand, the chapter on the Ministers for Magic was particularly fun. I liked how the composition of the Ministers across time has been so diverse. Some of the stories were also hilarious.

I was particularly looking forward to the chapter on Peeves but I was extremely disappointed because there was hardly any information about him. Of all the stories in this book, I was so excited for Peeves only to be let down. 😦 It feels like his chapter was just a filler chapter.

Of the three Pottermore Presents series, this is my least favorite because I seem to be having the impression that the short stories were just thrown in together whereas I was looking for some kind of cohesiveness. However, for the Harry Potter fan, you should definitely read this!

But wait, wait, wait. Don’t go yet. Is it just me that missed that that blasted quill thing of Umbridge’s was really her invention?! LIKE WHAT HOW DID I MISS THAT.

Do I recommend it? Yup
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*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo


23437156Title: 
Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: Six of Crows #1

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 465

Date Published: September 29th of 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Rate: 3.5 of 5

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



Thoughts (No spoilers!)
‘Any other impossible feats you’d like us to accomplish?
The barest smile flickered over Kaz’s lips, ‘I’ll make you a list.’

I should start with stating that I haven’t read The Grisha Trilogy  prior to reading this because I didn’t know they were interconnected by any way until I was ten percent into the book. I alternated between reading the eBook version, the audio book, and the text-to-speech function of my reader so I didn’t really had the chance to stare at the cover, which I profusely do with a physical copy of a book. I saw that little scribbled thing that said “A Grisha Novel” on the cover of the book from a post in Instagram. Needless to say, I had to scramble my way through my panic that I had just effectively spoiled myself to the Grisha Trilogy. My panic was short-lived since I saw a question on Goodreads regarding the matter of reading this before the said series and the author stated that it won’t really be a problem. And so, I resumed my reading the book and yes, I do have the full intention of reading the next book of this duology and yes, I will be reading The Grisha Trilogy soon.

I had very high expectations with Six of Crows because I saw that almost all of my Goodreads friends who have read this book had such a good time–most actually rated it a 5 of 5! Naturally for myself, I looked forward to reading it and having such a magical experience reading it and I am very sorry to say that I wasn’t that wow-ed with the developments in the book. Now, now, I am partly attributing it to the fact that it took me a a while to get immersed within the story because I had a hard time familiarizing myself with the new terms and names flying around. But, I do want to add that I didn’t hate this book. I see the great writing, the great characters, the great world. And perhaps, in another world where I have finished reading The Grisha Trilogy before picking this up, I would have appreciated this even more because I think there would be a certain edge with what I would have known with the environment of Six of Crows. I was ready to give this a solid four-star rating, however, the slow progress and the sheer amount of time I spent trying to know the world threw me off since it took me about half the book to do so.

The plot is very smart and just by reading this you just know there’s something more waiting for you to see with the direction of the story–that there’s a background somewhere there. There such an established air to the story that you just know. It really irritated me as to how easy the characters got away with their schemes. They’re a bunch of teenagers breaking into an Azkaban-like prison and you’re telling me they can just go in, distract a few people and they can go home smoothly? I don’t buy it. So, I was a little irked with that aspect. But then again, I appreciated that this book didn’t end the way I was expecting it to be so that’s good. 

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I loved the notions of pairings in this book because it did not tell the story around the love interests but rather the love interests works its way around the story-line. Though I do love the romance aspect with my fantasy books, I appreciated the fact that the pairings were not put in the limelight as other novels do, which makes the experience of reading this book such a fresh one.

I want to throw the light to the excellent character-painting of Leigh Bardugo because I loved the diversity of the crew. There was a certain edge for every character in the story and they have certain qualities that they put into the group that it just melts into the story. The character interactions were very good as well and they mixed together flawlessly. There are six primary characters in the book namely: Kaz, Jesper, Inej, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan. Of these six characters, the only one I didn’t thoroughly appreciate is Wylan. I felt like he was just a glorified extra and I didn’t really see the merit of his existence in the group. My favorite character of all is Nina, with Jesper as a close second. I liked Nina’s character because she’s such a woman, you know? A strong, confident woman that needs no man. She’s teeming with life and a carefree attitude that I just loved her demeanor in the story. Not to mention, she’s so brave and well, gorgeous, hello? I loved each character’s mystery and how the story lies in the characters itself.

I liked that even though I haven’t read the predecessor novels before, I still had the chance to immerse myself with the universe of Six of Crows. The world-building efforts of the author, especially for those who have this as their first Bardugo book, is much appreciated and the said world is much clearer now. I’m very excited to plunge my way to the second book and also The Grisha Trilogy.

P.S. I pictured the Ice Court as the Northern Water Tribe from Aang hahahaha.

Do I recommend it? Yup!


Notes (Spoilers awaiting! If you haven’t read the book, well, dude…you’re treading murky grounds.)

*Is there a Jesper and Wylan thing happening? BECAUSE I AM ALL FOR IT TO HAPPEN.

*To say that I loved the Nina and Matthias pairing is a huge understatement I’m just so invested with their running relationship. Ugh, I just love them. There’s such a contrast to their natures that they make such  a fine couple. Kiliiiiiiiig. I want more of Matthias and Nina because omg ship. This is my fave Nina and Matthias moment:

‘Stay,’ she panted. Tears leaked from her eyes. ‘Stay till the end.’
‘And after,’ he said. ‘And always.’
‘I want to feel safe again. I want to go home to Ravka.’
‘Then I’ll take you there. We’ll set fire to raisins or whatever you heathens do for fun.’
‘Zealot,’ she said weakly.
‘Witch.’
‘Barbarian.’
‘Nina,’ he whispered, ‘little red bird. Don’t go.’

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*I had difficulty using the text-to-speech function of my reader because damn the words on this book are just crazy. Let me give you an example: my text-to-speech says Inej’s name as “I.N.E.J.”. I was so irritated I had to read it.

*I wonder what happened to Nina?! Will she get better? DON’T KILL OFF MY FAVORITE PLEASE.

*I thought Wylan was really unnecessary (or would he be a key character in the next book? No no no don’t answer that.)

*Why doesn’t Wylan have his own chapters?

*What’s the point of the individual chapters when the writing isn’t even in their voices?

 *I’m just a little frustrated with this Kaz and Inej thing. How hard is it to tell Inej you like her, huh Kaz? But then again, he is a very complex character, one I would want to know more of. He has went through a lot (omg that bit where he used his brother to get to land my heart is just it hurts ouch).

She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.
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*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads; Gifs via Giphy.