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  • The One About A Girl In A Satellite: Cress by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

    Hi everyone! I’m back with another book review!

    This is the third instalment to the Lunar Chronicles, and it is just as good as the first two!

    There are some spoilers coming up, so if you don’t want to know the details then please stop reading here and come back when you’ve read it.


    Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

    by Marissa Meyer

    Edition: Hardcover, 552 pages

    Published February 4th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

    ISBN: 0312642970 (ISBN13: 9780312642976)

    Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3

    Literary Awards: Geffen Award Nominee for Best Translated YA Book (2019), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2014)

    In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

    Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

    When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


    Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.” 
    ― Marissa Meyer, Cress

    From the very first chapter, we are introduced to a new character, Cress, who has apparently been living in a satellite for years. Cress works for Levana and has been given the task to find Cinder and her very attractive accomplice. This book mainly centres around introducing Cress, but we also get a healthy does of the other characters— Cinder, Kai, Scarlett, Wolf and Iko. This book is a stunning Rapunzel retelling that is every bit as perfect as I expected it to be. A stunning retelling of repunsel This book was packed with action, planning and romance! It was so easy to get swept up into this world and never want to leave.

    Let’s talking about the characters. With a fairly big cast of characters, Marissa Meyer does such a good job of giving each character a spotlight throughout the book. The characters are such an integral part of the plot, and they are an absolute joy to follow in this book. Cress is such a great addition to the group. I kind of love the fact that she already had a little crush on Throne even before they officially met.She’s unafraid, soft-hearted and just the most empathetic character out of all the gang. Considering the fact that she has spent most of her childhood living in a satellite, and her only friend is a screen device, she is the kind of character who is up for the challenge. Also, her adoration for planet Earth literally made me “awww” aloud. She must be protected at all costs— by Thorne preferably.

    Speaking of Throne, let’s talk about him. I said in my review of Scarlett that I loved Thrope, but this book he was a bit frustrating to be completely honest. I still love his character in general, but the way he was with Cress in the romance department was what made me deduct brownie points from him. If you read Scarlett and thought the romance was slow, then this one would feel even slower.The fact that the first thing Throne says to Cress is: “Is that all hair?” which if you’ve seen Tangled the first thing Flynn Rider says to Rapuzel is something along the exact same lines. I love all the references and similarities between Cress and Throne, and Rapunzel and Finn from the Disney film Tangled. The references to Rapunzel and Tangled in this book make me so happy I cannot even explain.There were a lot more hurdles and muddled feelings to get past before the two actually confessed their feelings. I will say that it was worth it regardless.

    (also thinking about how one of the last things Throne saw before he turned blind was Cress. I’m fine. Really.)

    “I promise, I will not let you die without being kissed.” 

    That last scene between Crescent and Dr. Erland kind of had me feeling all of the feels. I understood why he had to do what he did, but it made my heart hurt when Cress never truly got to hear him explain his actions, or spend some time with her Dad. I hated every scene where Cress was upset or hurt.

    “Please be safe, My Crescent Moon. I love you. I do love you.”  (brb crying)

    4 stars.


    Do you read YA Fantasy? Any recommendations?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • A Disrupted Reading Week | Weekly Reading Update (20/6/22-27/6/22)

    Happy Monday, friends!

    My week was pretty much spent doing everything BUT reading. I did not finish any book this week, so this reading update will be pretty much bare for the most part. However, I did start one book as I am writing this blog post, and have yet to finish it. 

    Instead, I have been trying to keep up with writing some blog posts in advanced. 

    Hopefully, next week will be much better and I’ll actually come to you with a reading update. 


    Things That Happened This Week

    • Started Shopping For Graduation Dress

    It’s still surreal that I am graduating Law School as an undergrad already. The last 3 years have flown by so quickly (thanks 2020 *ehem*)

    • Heatwave.

    Blog Posts That Were Posted This Week

    June 20: A Bare Reading Week | Weekly Reading Update (13/6/22-20/6/22)

    June 21: FairyLoot May 2022 YA Box Unboxing | Bookish Review

    June 22: Worth the Hype | Top 5 Wednesday

    June 24: 5 Star Predictions #2 | On the Shelf

    Books I Finished/Started This Week

    Finished
    Currently Reading

    What I Want To Read Next

    Blogging Plans For Next Week

    • Top 5 Wednesday Post  
    • Weekly Reading Update Post 
    • Featured Book Review/ Book Release Date Blog Post

    How was your week? Did you get any reading done? 

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • 5 Star Predictions #2 | On the Shelf

    The more books I add to my tbr, the more 5 stars predictions! As such, I thought it would be fitting to add another post to this new series!

    As the title implies, I’ll be listing a couple tbr books that I predict are going to be 5-star reads. This could be because it’s a highly recommend book, maybe it’s because of intriguing synopsis, or it could be because it’s from an author I’ve read from before and really loved their previous work. I’d like to think that I know myself pretty well to predict what a good book would be before I’ve even read it. That being said, I am a “mood-reader” so that may sometimes affect my reading— really this is just a test to see how well I know my reading tastes! (lol)

    You can check out the first instalment of this series here: 5 Star Predictions | On The Shelf

    Forget Me Not by Karissa Kinword 

    • This is one of the latest additions to my tbr. The only reason why I predict this book to be a 5-star read is because a lot of my bookish friends online (especially on Goodreads) have all rated this book 4-5 stars. I also heard the romance here is worth reading, so that is another plus!

    Goodreads synopsis:

    After years of forming an intimate bond with a mysterious man every time she closes her eyes to dream, a young woman, Eliza, forces herself to find a fulfilling life outside the confines of her own mind. Along with her partner Logan, she roams the safely discovered planets and moons of a newly traversable galaxy by inter-galactic transport, centuries after the evacuation of humans from Earth to a new home, Otera.

    Silas, the unknown man in Eliza’s dreams has spent most of his life as a contract pirate, formally known as a Mako, mining the unexplored lands of dangerous moons to earn a living. Having dreamt about a woman he’s never met every night for as long as he can remember, Silas has never allowed himself a relationship that reaches beyond physical: confident that one day, he would find the woman in his fantasies somewhere in the universe. With Silas returning to the Otera following a final job for a man to which he owes a debt; and Eliza heading back home after visiting the Glade moon with her partner– the two come face to face as both of their connection pods land on a transport vessel heading in the same direction.

    Forced into the same proximity for the duration of travel, they struggle to understand what it means for them to finally meet when the universe seems to be pulling them both in different directions. Eliza, attached to, and traveling with her long-term partner. And Silas, fulfilling a dangerous deal with a crime syndicate with whom he has a past.

    When the pair bond over their shared love for forgotten Earth-age classic literature, and the ways in which each have fallen in love with the other in their dreams, Eliza is torn between the life she’s always known on the Otera with her partner, and the infinite possibility of a future with the man she knows is her soulmate.

    Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart #1) by Stephanie Garber

    • I recently started the Caraval series by the same author and really enjoyed the first book (currently waiting for my copy of Legendary to arrive so I begin the second book). I really love how imaginative the author is, and I absolutely adore her writing. I cannot wait to start another one of her series.

    Goodreads synopsis:

    From Stephanie Garber, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of CaravalOnce Upon a Broken Heart is the first book in a new series about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after.

    Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.

    But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

    Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

    • I’ve had this book on my tbr for a while, and I have heard lots of raving reviews about it. The only reason why I have not read it is because I want to lower my own expectations before diving in. I also haven’t read a YA mystery/ thriller in a while, and I’ve heard this one is one of the best in the genre.

    Goodreads synopsis:

    Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully. 

    When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

    Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

    As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

    With heart-pounding suspense and relevant social commentary comes a high-octane thriller from debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. 

    Eliza and Her Monsters by  Francesca Zappia

    • The synopsis alone makes me want to rate this 5-stars. I am so excited to read this– the drama, the romance…everything!

    Goodreads synopsis:

    Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

    In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

    Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

    But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

    What are some of your 5 star book predictionsAny recommendations for books that YOU rated 5-stars?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • June 22: Worth the Hype | Top 5 Wednesday

    Top 5 Wednesday was started in November 2013 and is a very much active group on Goodreads, so head over to Goodreads to join the group and keep up with all the topics for the month. I thought it was such a fun idea to have weekly books related prompts that I could answer and share with all of you.

    This week’s prompt is basically an excuse for me to mention my favourite book– not that I am complaining!

    June 22nd: Worth the Hype:

    There is always a new popular book that it seems everyone is raving about and saying how great it. Sometimes that hype can push us to try it and other times, not try it at all. For this prompt, let’s talk about those “hyped” reads we did try and indeed felt they were worth the hype!


    1. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson 

    I picked it up because of how many people have been recommending this book to me, and they were right! This is one of the best YA mystery/thriller books out there!


    Goodreads synopsis:

    Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

    Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

    But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

    Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

    This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

    2. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

    I read this book alongside some of my online bookish friends (we even made a discord!) and most of us ended up rating it 4-5 stars respectively– I rated it 4 stars myself. This book ended up being so much better than I expected it to be.


    Goodreads synopsis:

    The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…

    – Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
    – Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
    – Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
    – Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
    – Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

    When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them. 

    3. The Hunger Games by  Suzanne Collins

    I’ve probably included this book/series multiple times in a lot of blog posts, but for good reason– this book is one of my all-time favourite book series. It was one of the reasons why I regained my love for reading during high school.


    Goodreads synopsis:

    Could you survive on your own in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

    In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love. 

    4. It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey 

    My favourite contemporary romance of last year– it was THAT good. I’ve been recommending this book to everyone and their mother.


    Goodreads synopsis:

    Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

    Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

    Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

    5. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

    This was such a great light fantasy romance. There’s witches, magic and second chances.


    Goodreads synopsis:

    Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.

    That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.

    Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.


    What are some of your favourite books that are worth the hype?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • FairyLoot May 2022 YA Box Unboxing | Bookish Review

    Hey, friends.

    It’s that time of the month again. Another month, another Fairyloot box review! I have been so excited to receive this book ever since the spoiler was posted on their official account.

    FairyLoot’s theme for May 2022 is CLOAK & DAGGER!

    Here’s what they say about what this month’s box features:

    “We are so excited to reveal the May theme for our Young Adult monthly box and it is… CLOAK & DAGGER!

    Clandestine missions, midnight meetings and unlikely alliances… this is one of our favourite set ups for a high stakes fantasy book!

    You can expect items inspired by From Blood and Ash, Red Rising, Daughter of the Moon Goddess and our featured book of the month. We are thrilled to reveal that this box will include a CERAMIC MUG and the next foil bookmarks in our mythology collection by @gracezhuart!

    Our featured book of the month is inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights. It follows a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, mythical lamp. This FairyLoot exclusive edition will have an EXCLUSIVE COVER, SPRAYED EDGES, FOIL ON THE FRONT AND BACK OF THE HARDCOVER, ARTWORK ON THE ENDPAPERS by @jhocaaa and is SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR! It will also come with a letter from the author.

    Due to capacity issues at the printers, the delivery date for our featured book of the month is expected to be delayed and we currently anticipate that we will have to ship the May box out in early June. We are working with the publisher to improve this date, but already wanted to make our customers aware of this delay.”

    The gorgeous theme art was made by @taratjah and text by @blanca.design

    Ceramic Mug

    This mug is gorgeous! I love all the little details, the design and the colour scheme. This mug is inspired by Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan and features Xingyin, Liwei and Wenzhi

    Art by @Kudriaken

    Wooden Tea Strainer

    This is my favourite item– a tea strainer for loose leaf tea! The tea strainer separates into two parts, which makes it easy to wash and clean. This stunning wooden tea strainer features a quote from the book of the month!

    Design by @Blanca.Design

    Hair Scrunchies

    I love hair scrunchies, and I am constantly losing mine so having another set to add to my collection is always welcomed. As much as I love scrunchies, I will acknowledge that this item might not be everyone’s cup of tea nor is it very gender neutral. Some people might not even find any use for it.

    Scrunchies are inspired by the From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

    Design by @ Jezhawk

    Bottle Opener

    This fancy-shmancy bottle opener is inspired by the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. I don’t really drink drinks that require bottle openers, but I am sure this’ll be useful one day.

    Design by @IronandInkDesigns 

    Collectable Mythology Bookmarks

    This month’s box includes new additions to the Fairyloot exclusive bookmark Mythology collection! This month’s bookmarks feature Loki and Kumiho. As a reader, you can never have too many bookmarks. I love that this is an on-going FairyLoot series.

    Artwork by: @Gracezhuart

    Tarot cards of the Month: Brie, Sebastian and Finnian from These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

    Illustrated by: @arz28

    Book of The Month: The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

    This FairyLoot exclusive edition comes with an exclusive cover, sprayed edges, artwork on the endpapers by @jhocaaa, foil embossing by @artbyemmilinne and is signed by the author. The author letter features artwork by @artbyemmilinne 

    Goodreads synopsis:

    Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp that has the power to revive the barren land—at the cost of sacrificing all jinn.

    With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan’s oldest son to find the artifact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen, and confront a malicious killer from Loulie’s past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything—her enemy, her magic, even her own past—is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.

    Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One NightsThe Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.


    Final thoughts on this month’s box: 

    • Scrunchies aren’t very gender neutral, or useful for some people.
    • I wasn’t too impressed with the customisations of the Book of The Month. The naked hardcover is really pretty underneath the jacket, and I do love the foiling. In addition to this, the sprayed edges (despite the beautiful colour!) is a little lacklustre.
    • Favourite item: The Tea Strainer! I had plans to buy a tea strainer to try my Fortum and Mason loose leaf tea, and now that I have one, I can finally drink it.

    FairyLoot February Box: 9/10

    What are you favourite things to receive in book boxes

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • A Bare Reading Week | Weekly Reading Update (13/6/22-20/6/22)

    Happy Monday, friends!

    My week was pretty much spent doing everything BUT reading. I did not finish any book this week, so this reading update will be pretty much bare for the most part. However, I did start one book as I am writing this blog post, and have yet to finish it.

    Instead, I have been trying to keep up with writing some blog posts in advanced.

    Hopefully, next week will be much better and I’ll actually come to you with a reading update.


    Things That Happened This Week

    •  My Sister’s Been Revising For Her Exams

    My sister has her Year 12 exams this Monday, so she’s been cooped up in the study room for the most part of the day. Everyone wish her luck, please!

    • I Did Some Online Shopping…Including A Book Or Two

    Unfortunately for my wallet, I’ve been browsing online (lot’s of sales going on these days!) and may have bought a few new clothes for the summer, a book and pre-ordered a 2023 book release (book haul soon!) and some supplies for my new hobby– gardening!

    • A Green Thumb?

    I watched one(1) gardening video on Youtube and all of a sudden, it’s all that is on my recommendation page. As a result, my brain gave me the brilliant idea of perhaps trying my hand at the whole gardening thing. I ordered some supplies and essentials online, and have already sowed my first seeds– tomatoes and peppers! Let’s hope they grow.

    Blog Posts That Were Posted This Week

    June 13 2022: A Distracted Reading Week | Weekly Reading Update (6/6/22-13/6/22)

    June 14: The One About My New Favourite Crime Novel Series: Perfect Remains by Helen Sarah Fields | Book Review

    June 15th: June 15th: Heart-Racing Reads | Top 5 Wednesday 

    June 16: The One About A Magical, Mysterious, And Enticing Game: Caraval by Stephanie Garber | Book Review

    Books I Finished/Started This Week

    Currently Reading

    What I Want To Read Next

    Blogging Plans For Next Week

    • Top 5 Wednesday Post  
    • Weekly Reading Update Post 
    • FairyLoot May Box Unboxing/Review (transferred from last week..again!) 

    How was your week? Did you get any reading done? 

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • The One About A Magical, Mysterious, And Enticing Game: Caraval by Stephanie Garber | Book Review

    Hi everyone!

    I am back with yet another book review. I have been trying to keep up all the books that I have read, but have not published a book review on this blog (and there are still quite a few, so expect a book review or two every week for next couple of weeks lol)

    A little introduction before we jump straight into the book review. I have had Caraval on my bookshelves ever since it came out– I’m pretty sure I pre-ordered the book from Book Depository. I even bought the exclusive FairyLoot Collector’s Edition Box to celebrate the release of the third and finale book Finale– all while I had not even started the series! Honestly, what was I thinking?

    Anyway, now I can officially say that I have read (and reviewed!) Caraval by Stephanie Garber

    and it was magical!

    (Spoilers ahead!)


    Caraval

    by Stephanie Garber

    Edition: Paperback, 407 pages

    Publication Date: September 29th 2016

    ISBN: 1250095255 (ISBN13: 9781250095251)

    Series: Caraval #1

    Literary Awards: Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2020)本屋大賞 for 1st place in Translated Fiction (2018)Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction & for Debut Goodreads Author (2017)

    Goodreads synopsis:

    A legendary competition.
    A mesmerizing romance.
    An unbreakable bond
    between two sisters.


    Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

    But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

    Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

    Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.


    “Welcome to Caraval! The grandest show by land or sea…what happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you, but don’t let any of it trick you. We will try to convince you it’s real, but all of it is a performance…dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people won’t wake up.” 

    Caraval by Stephanie Garber follows Scarlett, a girl who is arranged to be married to a man she has not met, when she receives two tickets to the magical and exclusive performance of Caraval. Scarlett is excited at first, but then she remembers that she has to stay and marry in order to get herself and her sister, Donatella, away from their cruel father. When Donatella runs away to Caraval, Scarlett has no choice but to follow her. All Scarlett needs to do is win the competition, find her sister and arrive back home to get married to a stranger. There it begins, a heart-pounding journey filled with unexpected performances, and show-stopping entertainment that readers are treated front row seats to.

    I don’t think I have ever described a book as magical, but this one will be the first. This book was magical. Everything about it from the characters, the plot, and the setting. The author did such a phenomenal job in describing all the details, from the costumes and the sights and smells. It was almost like witnessing the book come to life in your head from the words on the page alone– that was how vivid the imagery was. As soon as the very first chapter begins, readers are instantly transported to a world where magically changing dresses and granting wishes are true.

    An interesting motif that was quite persistent throughout the book was the use of colour symbolism. The colours red, purple, gold and blue were the most common colours featured in this book. The colour symbolism in this book was used to express feelings and emotional connections. For example, the colour purple has connotations of “death”; meanwhile gold was said to have connotations of “hope and dreams”. Because the story is told from Scarlett’s perspective, all these motifs are synonymous with her own emotions. (I also love how her name is Scarlett– a colour too! We’ll be discussing this later on because I have so much to say lol)

    The deliberate mention of colours could also be synonymous to talk about the smells. The author uses colours to describe the smells of other characters. For example, Scarlett said that she can see the purple of her father’s perfume whenever he is near. I did some research and it is called Synesthesia. Synesthesia is is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. This phenomenon is scattered throughout the book and it can have numerous meanings to readers. It was quite fun for me to point it out whenever it appeared.

    The characters were all quite likeable in their own right. There is quite a big cast of characters (literally lol) but it was not hard to keep track of who was who. Let’s start with the secondary characters first. Legend, we literally know very little of, since his entire personality is being mysterious and unseen. Julius was a sweet. I thought he was a bit arrogant at first, but I did come to love his interactions with Scarlett. Scarlett was a great main character– she is independent, full of wit and brave. She sparkles with this unselfishness and care for others. It’s why Donatella trusted her to do what was expected. Her name is literally a colour symbolism– “Scarlett” stems from a vibrant shade of red. It has connotations of roses, courage, passion, and love; which I think Scarlett embodies. She loves her sister, and would evidently do anything to protect her sister.

    Let’s talk about Donatella and her plan because she deserves an entire paragraph. I found it quite stupid, to be honest. I just feel like there is no guarantee that you could expect someone to love you that much, that they could just wish you back to life. It was unrealistic for me, but this is fictional and it does not have to make complete sense. In a world where characters can just rise from the dead after a “performance”, everything is possible at this point. The last scene was just full of revelation, after revelation, and it was a bit overwhelming at one point. I guess that would be my only my only critic.

    The romance. The romance was a bit insta-lovey, which I did not really mind as I was far too invested in the main plot. I liked how the main focus of the book remained on Scarlett’s journey to win the competition and find her sister. Even if there was a love story developing, the main plot line was still front and centre. The author made sure to remind readers that Scarlett still needed to find her sister– that her purpose of being in Caraval is to take her sister home. Regardless of that, I did like the romance between Scarlett and Julius. It was cute and they shared lots of heart fluttering moments. (I’m pretty sure I highlighted and tabbed some quotes that I loved which happened between Scarlett and Julius). That being said, it is still hard for me to forget that the relationship between Scarlett and Julius was built on lies initially. Honestly, I loved the small bit of angst during the last couple of chapters of the book. I did like that Julius explained it to Scarlett clearly at the end, and I hope they make an appearance in the next book of the series.

    Speaking of lies, that was also a big element of this book. I’m pretty sure every single character in this book lies– major and minor characters. Caraval exists purely because it’s a competition that is built on the fear of illusions and reality. Scarlett was warned earlier on that Caraval is a performance. Because of this, not only does Scarlett end up questioning everything, but the readers (like me!) do too. I was constantly waiting for a plot twist. I was hesitant to trust any new character that was introduced (!!!) and expecting a shocking revelation to come up on the next page. You could argue that this was a smart tactic to keep the mystery around Caraval and Legend until the very end, which it did. I was hooked until the very last chapter– regardless of how unbelievable some aspects may be. I enjoyed every bit of it.

    I cannot wait to start reading the next book in this series– Legend. From the synopsis alone, it seems like the next book will focus on Donatella’s story. I’ve placed a Book Depository order for my own copy of the Legend, and now all that’s left is to wait.

    4.5 stars.


    Have you read Caraval by Stephanie Garber or any of her other books?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • June 15th: Heart-Racing Reads | Top 5 Wednesday 

    It’s that time of the week again! Top 5 Wednesdayyyyy~

    Top 5 Wednesday was started in November 2013 and is a very much active group on Goodreads, so head over to Goodreads to join the group and keep up with all the topics for the month. I thought it was such a fun idea to have weekly books related prompts that I could answer and share with all of you.

    June 15th: Heart-Racing Reads

    Its always nice to have a nice, calm “slice-of-life” story, but then other times we might pick up a book to get us on the edge of our seat and make us feel like we can’t stop reading for any reason. Let’s share some reads that got our hearts pumping and had us on edge! It could be from the excitement, fear, a combination, or something different altogether! 


    1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

    I recently read this book, and loved it so much. For being a Young Adult Fantasy book, I was surprised by how many twists and unexpected surprises there were in this one book alone. It was such a fantastical read and I would highly recommend this book if you are on the hunt for a magical YA fantasy book.

    Read my book review here:


    Goodreads synopsis:

    A legendary competition.
    A mesmerizing romance.
    An unbreakable bond
    between two sisters.

    Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

    But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

    Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

    2. Lady Killer, Vol. 1 by Joëlle Jones (Writer/Illustrator),  Jamie S. Rich (Co-writer),  Chelsea Cain (Introduction)

    This graphic novel is crazy (in the best way!). If you read the synopsis, it’s pretty clear what the book is about. If you want to read a girl boss, female killer– then this graphic novel is for you! Highly recommend it. Plus the illustrations are stunning!


    Goodreads synopsis:

    Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother—but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer for hire! A brand-new original comedy series that combines the wholesome imagery of early 1960s domestic bliss with a tightening web of murder, paranoia, and cold-blooded survival.

    * New original series by Joëlle Jones!

    * Dark comedy, gritty action, and killer laughs!

    3. Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

    Read my review here: The One With The Dreamiest Fisherman: Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey | Book Review


    Goodreads synopsis:

    King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

    Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

    Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

    4. Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

    Read my review here: The One About Choosing Between Duty & Love: Defy The Night by Brigid Kemmerer | Book Review


    Goodreads synopsis:

    The kingdom of Kandala is on the brink of disaster. Rifts between sectors have only worsened since a sickness began ravaging the land, and within the Royal Palace, the king holds a tenuous peace with a ruthless hand.

    King Harristan was thrust into power after his parents’ shocking assassination, leaving the younger Prince Corrick to take on the brutal role of the King’s Justice. The brothers have learned to react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion–it’s the only way to maintain order when the sickness can strike anywhere, and the only known cure, an elixir made from delicate Moonflower petals, is severely limited.Out in the Wilds, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her neighbors die, their suffering ignored by the unyielding royals. Every night, she and her best friend Wes risk their lives to steal Moonflower petals and distribute the elixir to those who need it most–but it’s still not enough.

    As rumors spread that the cure no longer works and sparks of rebellion begin to flare, a particularly cruel act from the King’s Justice makes Tessa desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds upon her arrival makes her wonder if it’s even possible to fix Kandala without destroying it first.

    Set in a richly imaginative world with striking similarities to our own, Brigid Kemmerer’s captivating new series is about those with power and those without… and what happens when someone is brave enough to imagine a new future.

    5. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

    One of my favourite thrillers. That’s all you need to know.

    Read my review here: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena | Book Review


    Goodreads synopsis:

    A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

    It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

    So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

    Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

    Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm–and one another. 


    What are some of your favourite Heart-Racing Reads?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • The One About My New Favourite Crime Novel Series: Perfect Remains by Helen Sarah Fields | Book Review

    I have not read a thriller in a looooong while, so I am very excited to share that I recently started a new thriller series!

    I first stumbled across this series by Helen Sarah Fields when NetGalley kindly granted my request to read the latest book in the series. It was only when I began reading the book that I realised the book is the 7th book in an on-going series. To be honest, at the time I was tempted to put the book aside and begin reading the book from the very start. However, I was far too intrigued by the synopsis that I decided to dive straight in.


    Perfect Remains

    by Helen Sarah Fields 

    Edition: Paperback, 374 pages

    ISBN: 0008181551 (ISBN13: 9780008181550)

    Published January 26th 2017 by Avon

    Series: D.I. Callanach #1

    On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.

    In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness…


    Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

    It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

    Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer. 


    Perfect Remains follows newcomer Detective Inspector Luc Callanach at the Scotland Yard. He appears quite stoic and seems to be there for one thing, and one thing only–to solve cases. When a missing person’s case turns into an ongoing murder investigation, Callanach decides to use this opportunity to prove to his colleagues that he is not one to mess with. It’s not long before the mystery surrounding the murders escalate, and missing person report lands on their desks, it becomes a race against time to find the perpetrator before a dead body is found.

    Wow. This book was a rollercoaster ride. It was fast-paced, suspenseful and had me gripped from the very first chapter. The very first chapter starts off in the presence of an unidentified and unfamiliar man, who has kidnapped a lady against her own will. This book is more of a crime novel/police procedural than a mystery– I would even classify this as a psychological thriller. The scene set is gruesome and almost harrowing, and I knew then and there that I would be spending the rest of the day with this book. The author’s ability to paint a detailed picture of the horrifying scene is almost too uncomfortable to keep reading at times. The author definitely does not hold back from describing the gore that other crime novels I’ve read often stray away from going into as much depth as Helen Fields does.

    I think what’s particularly different about this police-procedural crime thriller is that from the very first chapter, we learn that killer isn’t killing the victim he has abducted– plot twist! Readers find this out by the end of the first chapter, and one might think that this revelation very earlier on would take away from the suspense or intrigued for the rest of the book. However, the author manages to keep things interesting by volleying the perspectives between D.I Luc and the perpetrator. By creating two different POVs (Point of View), the reader is given a front row seat of the killer’s sick and twisted doings as well as an unobstructed view of Luc and his team’s plan to solve the case and catch the monster. Readers are treated to a front row view of an fierce game of cat and mouse– and it is intense.

    The plot is solid. It’s fast-paced and ensures that readers are glued to the storyline with it’s rapid switch in POVs and the focus on the main storyline without introducing any unnecessary minor subplots. That being said, there was another case revolving around newborn babies which was being investigated alongside the main plot, and then solved about halfway into the book– it was interesting regardless and gave the secondary characters some of the spotlight. I loved how the killer always seems like he is one step ahead of the police, and I was almost holding my breath every time the police unravel a clue or come close to catching him. I think the author’s writing style really compliments the genre of this book. In thrillers or crime novels, I prefer lots and lots details– the more, the merrier. I think in order to capture the crime and the suspense of a novel of this genre, it’s important to be as descriptive as possible– and Helen Field’s is great at it. She is so good at describing the crime scene, the killer’s sick acts of torture, and the little details throughout the book that might seem insignificant but add so much to the reading experience of a crime novel.

    The characters are also really well written. My first impressions of Luc were that he is very stoic and curt, his first day on the job proved that he was there to work and not to play “Mr Nice Guy” to any of his colleagues, which I respect. He’s a pretty typical detective character, mysterious all the same, but I understand that this is only the first book in the series so I hope we get to see more of his personality outside of the synonyms of “standoffish”. In addition to Luc, another character that seems to be a recurring one is Ava. She is also a detective (holding a more senior position than Luc, correct me if I’m wrong), and it’s immediately clear that she is highly respected in the field. She’s got a knack for wit, and was easily able to crack through Luc’s hard cold exterior. Ava is dedicated and passionate about her job, and I truly hope to see her occupy a bigger role in the next books in the series. There also seems to be hints of a possible relationship outside of just being work buddies, but that could also just be me reading too far into it. I would not be mad if they do cross that line, I do love mixing business with pleasure (*wink wink*).

    As for the perpetrator, he was written so well I had the creeps from the very first chapter. He is everything you would expect from a stereotypical killer– he is arrogant, lack of remorse, and psychopathic. Not only is he creepy when he’s torturing with his victims, but there also seems to be sense of foreboding that follows him that makes it so even if he isn’t stalking or killing, you feel like he’s going to act impulsively or dangerous at any minute. The character is part of what keeps the suspense up throughout the book. I only wish that we got to see more of the aftermath of the crime, and a deeper understanding of why the killer acted the way he did.

    If the next few books are just as good as this one in characters, plot and murders then Helen Fields will certainly have a gem in her hands. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a close to perfect police procedural/crime thriller series that can have the potential to keep you up at night without the need for caffeine.

    4. 5 stars.


    Have you read Perfect Remains by Helen Sarah Fields or any of her other books?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • A Distracted Reading Week | Weekly Reading Update (6/6/22-13/6/22)

    Happy Monday, friends!

    My week was even more busy than usual. Not only was I having to revise for two (2!!) exams this week, but I was also trying to find time to get some reading done. I was determined to catch up with my Goodreads Reading Challenge, and hopeful that I could be back on track by the end of the month. Where it stands at the moment, I am currently 5 books behind schedule– so lots of catching up to do!


    Things That Happened This Week

    • Had My Last Two Law Exams

    I had my last two law exams this week– Environmental Law and Evidence Law. It went okay, I don’t want to jinx myself or get my hopes up but I think I answered it well. I think this means I finished Law School?

    • I Finished Law School

    Aside from graduation, I think this marks my last week as an undergraduate law student! I might write a whole post dedicated to my experience during the last three(3) years but I am glad (and kind of surprised lo1!) to have finally reached the end. All I can say is that there were many, many moments where I doubted that Law School was right for me, but I made it!

    • Celebrated 1 Year Since Stark Came Home

    Our rescue dog from Bosnia arrived home exactly one(1) year ago from today (June 12th 2021). Its been such a wild, hectic year full of love, long walks and dog treats– and we would not have it any other way. (yes, he is named after Iron Man. We’re Marvel fans hehe)

    Blog Posts That Were Posted This Week

    June 6 2022: An Unrushed Reading Week | Weekly Reading Update (30/5/22-6/6/22)

    June 7: The One About Making Tom Valeska Mine: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Throne | Book Review

    June 8th: Favourite/Best Endings | Top 5 Wednesday

    June 9: How To Bookstagram | Reading Between The Lines

    June 10: The One About A Sapphic Vampire-Human Love Story: The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling

    Books I Finished/Started This Week

    Book Review Soon!
    Book Review Soon!
    Book Review Soon!

    What I Want To Read Next

    Blogging Plans For Next Week

    • Top 5 Wednesday Post  
    • Weekly Reading Update Post 
    • FairyLoot May Box Unboxing/Review (transferred from last week!)

    How was your week? Did you get any reading done? 

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • The One About A Sapphic Vampire-Human Love Story: The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling

    Hi friends!

    I am proud to announce that I have been on top of reviewing all of my recent reads, and have a couple of book reviews ready to be published soon. This one is about a vampire and human, sapphic love story. I received this book as part of a FairyLoot box. I do love the idea of receiving not just one special edition book, but TWO (2) books in one box. The more books, the merrier.

    Let’s get onto the book review!


    The Coldest Touch

    by Isabel Sterling 

    Edition: Paperback, 384 pages

    Publication Date: December 7th 2021 by Razorbill

    ISBN: 059335043X (ISBN13: 9780593350430)

    Goodreads blurb:
    Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost.

    Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she’s been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers.

    At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire’s help.

    The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren’t the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can’t seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother’s mysterious death? 


    This book follows Claire, a vampire who works for a mysterious supernatural agency called the Veil. Elise just wants to be a normal teenager, but after her brother dies and she develops mystery death powers, she feels like her world is crumbling. Claire is out for vengeance against her maker, but before she can be granted that she has to teach Elise to use her Death Oracle powers so Elise can begin working for the Veil. 

    I will admit that I had not even heard of this book before I unboxed it from the FairyLoot box. My initial reaction to the synopsis was doubt– I am not really the biggest fan of vampires (never read Twilight btw! but I have watched all the films lol). Reading about vampires and other paranormal beings falling in love with a human has never really appealed to me. That being said, I was quite intrigued by idea of Elise’s (our non-vampire main character) powers. I thought the concept of being able to witness how someone would die is fascinating (and scary!), so I had high expectations to see how they would implement this in the story.

    Aside from the romance plot line, there is also a murder mystery subplot going on– which we all know I loveeeee my murder mysteries, so I really enjoyed that aspect of the book and how it all eventually ties in together by the end. One thing I thought was slightly lacking is the explanation about how the Veil works, the history, and the how Death Oracle came to be.

    There was a lot of representation and a diverse cast of side characters, which is always appreciated. These characters include: a white bisexual main character, white lesbian main character, a Black bi/pansexual male side character, Black female, a non-binary side character, and an adopted Korean American. I just wished that the side characters had more scenes and given more depth. Hopefully there is more to this world and we would have a chance to see these other characters’ stories. Speaking of spin-offs or perhaps a new book to add to the series, I would happily read a book dedicated to Wyn. I think they were my favourite character from the book and would love to see where their story takes them.

    3 stars


    Have you read any Vampire/Paranormal books? Any recommendations?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • How To Bookstagram | Reading Between The Lines

    Happy Thursday, everyone!

    I am back with another addition to the Reading Between The Lines, and this week’s topic is one that I am sure most of you will be familiar with.

    Reading Between The Lines where I can just talk (ramble!) about random, book-related topics. This will be an opportunity to open up discussions to various issues about books, the book community and everything else in between. As I mentioned, I would like this to be sort of like a discussion, so please feel free to share YOUR own thoughts and opinions in the comments below. I look forward to hearing what you all think about the topics we talk about during these blog posts!


    Bookstagram.

    If you are someone who is active on social media, you would have most likely heard the word being tossed around. In almost every social media platform, I can guarantee that there is at least one community of readers within the network. For example, reddit has a community dedicated to everything and anything about books; meanwhile, Facebook also has a private group where people can join to talk about bookish boxes– as well as to sell and trade books.

    This topic will focus on the book community on Instagram– Bookstagram. Let’s begin with establishing what exactly is “bookstagram”. According to the Wiktionary:

    Bookstagram

    1. The community of book and reading-oriented accounts on Instagram, characterized by artful photos of books.

    Bookstagram” because “books” + “instagram” = bookstagram

    I have my own bookstagram account (started it a little under a year ago), and I have really enjoyed engaging with other readers in the community. I love taking pictures of books, and sharing reading updates. I am certainly not complaining when my feed is just filled with stunning book editions and gorgeous bookshelves because there is nothing more “eye candy” for a reader than pretty, pretty books. However, one of the best things about the community is being able to connect with other readers, authors and share the love for books. It’s no lie that most of my book recommendations come from Bookstagram these days.

    But, how do you bookstagram?

    The answer is simple:

    1. Make an Instagram account
    2. Start posting pictures or reels about books
    3. follow your favourite authors and other bookstagram

    Simple. Once you’ve completed these three steps, you are practically part of the community.

    However, there are some additional steps that you can take to really enhance your bookstagram account and have a better chance at engaging with other readers in the community. I have compiled a little list of tips and advice for any bookstagram newbies or anyone looking for some tips to upgrade their bookstagram game.

    Tip 1 : Use bookish hashtags.

    Including hashtags in the caption (or in the comments) of every one of your posts will increase engagement, and you will have a better chance at meeting fellow readers. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet a reader with similar reading tastes and you’ll be sharing book recommendations in no time!

    Here are some popular ones (feel free to copy and paste):

    #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookish #bibliophile #readersofinstagram #bookshelf #bookworld #readstagram #instaread #booksbooksbooks #bookblog #bookoftheday #booklife #bookgram

    Tip 2 : Ask Your Followers Questions

    Community and engagement is important in bookstagram. One of the best things about leaving a question at the end of your caption is that you encourage your followers to enter into conversation – which is the whole point of bookstagram. Here are a few to start you off:

    • What was the last book you read?
    • What was the last book you DNF’ed?
    • What’s your favourite classic?
    • How often do you buy books?
    • Where do you like to read?
    • Standalones vs Series?
    • Hardback vs Paperback?
    • Is the book cover important to you?

    Tip 3 : Post What You Like, When You Like

    Remember this is YOUR account. When it comes to figuring out when to post, it is really up to YOU. If likes and follows matter, there are some websites which estimate when the best time to post on instagram is (I heard late afternoon/evening is the best time for high engagements) Otherwise, anytime is a good time.

    There are some Bookstagrammers who post every single day, while there are others (like me!) that share whenever the inspiration strikes and have no posting schedule lol. If you’re looking to increase followers, I would recommend starting with 2-3 posts per week to gain momentum.

    Tip 4 : Theme or No Theme

    If you care about aesthetics, you can choose to have a “theme” on your account. This just means that all your pictures are similar in style, filter or format. Some bookstagrammers like a warm tone filter, others have a particular stylistic choice when it comes to their posts. My account’s theme consists of using the same filter on all of my pictures there is some consistency throughout the layout of my bookstagram. Apps like Lightroom on mobile and VSCO Cam are free, and perfect to use for creating your own filters.


    Do you have Bookstagram? Any other tips to share?

    Let me know in the comments below! (also comment your account so I can follow you!)

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  • June 8th: Favourite/Best Endings | Top 5 Wednesday

    Top 5 Wednesday was started in November 2013 and is a very much active group on Goodreads, so head over to Goodreads to join the group and keep up with all the topics for the month. I thought it was such a fun idea to have weekly books related prompts that I could answer and share with all of you.

    Unfortunately I missed out on last week’s prompt due to my busy revision schedule and was unable to post my take on the prompt in advance. Anyway, here is this week’s Top 5 Wednesday prompts:

    June 8th: Favorite/Best Endings

    It’s a great feeling when a series starts strong and ends strong. In honor of today’s prompt, let’s spotlight those books that have some of our favorite or best endings we’ve read in fiction!


    1. Falling by T.J. Newman

    This was such as satisfying conclusion to an action-packed, heart-pounding thriller. One of my favourite thrillers of the year!

    Full book review: The One That May Have Instigated A Fear Of Flights: Falling by T.J Newman | Book Review


    Goodreads blurb:

    You just boarded a flight to New York.

    There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

    What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

    For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

    The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

    Enjoy the flight

    2. Rescue Me by Sarra Manning

    Such a cute ending to an even more wholesome story.

    Goodreads Review: Rescue Me by Sarra Manning


    Goodreads blurb:
    Margot and Will cross paths at the local dog rescue centre where – after a series of misunderstandings and a lot of consternation – they agree to foster Blossom (a staffy with a giant head, soft, floppy ears and kohl-rimmed brown eyes) together: one week on, one week off.

    Margot and Will don’t get off to the best of starts: he thinks Margot is demanding and needy and Just So Much. And she thinks Will is emotionally unavailable, slightly brittle and very mistrustful. They’re both right.

    But the more they bicker, the worse Blossom behaves, and they realise they have to form some sort of truce in order to dog-parent (or “pawrent” as Margot calls it, to which Will rolls his eyes) her together. It’s almost as if Blossom has plans of her own… 

    3. One for Sorrow by Helen Sarah Fields 

    This was one of those books where it ends on a cliffhanger, but a good cliffhanger! The kind where you want to keep on reading the next book. (I ended up purchasing the previous books in this series, and starting them soon!)

    Full Book Review: The One About A Lone Bomber: One for Sorrow by Helen Sarah Fields | Book Review


    Goodreads blurb:

    One for sorrow, two for joy
    Edinburgh is gripped by the greatest terror it has ever known. A lone bomber is targeting victims across the city and no one is safe.

    Three for a girl, four for a boy
    DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach face death every day – and not just the deaths of the people being taken hostage by the killer.

    Five for silver, six for gold
    When it becomes clear that with every tip-off they are walking into a trap designed to kill them too, Ava and Luc know that finding the truth could mean paying the ultimate price.

    Seven for a secret never to be told…
    But with the threat – and body count – rising daily, and no clue as to who’s behind it, neither Ava nor Luc know whether they will live long enough to tell the tale…

    4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer 


    Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. 

    She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

    5. These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan


    From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.

    Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

    Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

    Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart


    What are some of your favourite book endings?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • The One About Making Tom Valeska Mine: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Throne | Book Review

    Disclaimer: If you loved this book, good for you! This review is not a criticism of your reading preferences. It’s a reflection of how I felt after reading this book.


    99 Percent Mine

    Sally Thorne

    Paperback, 368 pages

    Published July 4th 2019 by Piatkus (first published January 29th 2019)

    ISBN; 0349422893 (ISBN13: 9780349422893)

    Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

    Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

    When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

    Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.


    99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne follows Darcy as she navigates the restoration of her grandmother’s cottage, and figuring out her feelings for her twin brother’s best friend, Tom. In hindsight, this book should have everything I could ever ask for in a romance novel: girlboss, childhood friends-to-lovers and the falling-for-my-brother’s-bestfriend trope (if this isn’t already a thing, then I am officially making it a thing). Unfortunately, this one falls flat and I am forced to rate this book so much lower than I had expected to rate it.

    First, let’s talk about Sally Thorne’s writing. I am a bit familiar with the author’s work, having read one of her more well-known novels titled ‘The Hating Game’. I have read and review this book (check out the book review here!), and unfortunately it was a miss for me too. Spoiler alert from my book review of ’The Hating Game’: my review basically outlines the fact that I did not enjoy the repetitiveness and overly cliche aspects of the book. As a result, I made sure to tone down my expectations going into this one, but even that was not enough to defuse my disappointment for this book.

    One of the areas which have to be addressed is the romance. Romance is essential in any romance book— shocker! If the romance isn’t good then I am going to say the book isn’t good. If I wanted to read a sub-par romance, then I wouldn’t reach for a book which relies on the romance between the two characters. Darcy and Tom’s romance was as basic as it could get. There wasn’t much yearning or “will-they-won’t-they” action going on. Now I’m going to sound a bit hypocritical in the next bit, but hear me out:

    The romance was too predictable. Obviously, there is only so much an author who writes romance can bring to the table– similar to film producers and their rom-coms. Once you’ve read about 10 romance books, you would have read almost all of the possible tropes and plot lines there is. It’s rare to bring something unique to the table when almost every scenario has been done before. That being said, most of the time, I read or watch romance books and films because there is a high chance that I get a happy ending– the predictability and certainty of romance films and books is what makes these kinds of content fun for audiences.

    However, it does get pretty boring if it is not done right.

    And this book is an example of that.

    It could be because I haven’t taken a liking to the writing style, or the characters, but there was nothing to be excited about. My entire thought process throughout this book was whether or not I cared if they get together– which is the worst thought to have when reading a book about two people falling in love and getting together. I found myself caring less about the character’s love story, and caring more about how many more pages there are left of this book.

    On a more positive note, I did enjoy the last couple of pages. Once Darcy and Tom got together, I will admit that they make a cute couple– I enjoyed their little moments together. Speaking of little moments, I love when authors (especially romance authors) leave readers a little peek at the future of the couples. I thought the epilogue was really sweet and left a momentary fuzzy feeling inside me as I closed the book.

    It was an “okay” book. I would still recommend it if you are a fan of the author. I’m glad I read another Sally Thorne work, but I’m not scrambling for another one right now.

    2 stars.


    Have you read 99 Percent Mine by Sally Throne or any of her other books?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • An Unrushed Reading Week | Weekly Reading Update (30/5/22-6/6/22)

    Happy Monday, friends! We are officially in the first week of July 2022!

    Reading wise, I would say that I had a productive week in terms of how many books I read, as well as blog posts that I have already written out and are waiting to be published. Outside of reading, it’s been a hectic last few days of revising, exams and the celebrations (more on this in the life update section of this Weekly Reading Update post)

    I hope you all had an equally good reading week last week, and I cannot wait to hear all about what you have done during the last week– book related or not.


    Things That Happened This Week

    • Scheduled Reading time

    I have figured out how to get more reading time during the week…by setting out a schedule. I managed to squeeze in time to read in between revising by being kinder on myself and not revising for 6 hours straight. Because the next couple of exams are slight less stressful (aka they are modules I actually like and can comprehended) I’ve been giving myself more breaks in between revision.

    • Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

    Not to be a royalist, but Britain celebrated the fact that our Queen Elizabeth has dedicated 70 years of service. I think regardless of what occupation you are in, being in the same job/position for 70 years is pretty impressive. I was in my university town at the time, but my friends and I had our own little backyard picnic and the weather was absolutely lovely!

    My parents told me there were big crowds in central London, and from the pictures I saw online, it was hard to dispute!

    • Sister Came Over For A Visit

    Sister came all the way from London (with a small, but heavy luggage) to stay with me for a couple of days. I showed her around my little city, ate some delicious food, and she was a great help with the weekly groceries (it’s what little sisters are for for eh?).

    Blog Posts That Were Posted This Week

    June 2, 2022: June 2022 Book Releases | Most Anticipated

    Books I Finished/Started This Week

    Book Review: Goodreads
    Book Review Coming Soon!
    Currently Reading

    What I Want To Read Next

    Blogging Plans For Next Week

    • Top 5 Wednesday Post  
    • Weekly Reading Update Post
    • In Between The Lines Blog Post (New Blog Post Series!)
    • FairyLoot May Box Unboxing/Review

    How was your week? Did you get any reading done? 

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • June 2022 Book Releases | Most Anticipated

    It’s nearly June already? Where did the time go? 

    But a new month means new book releases! 

    I think this is the longest list of book releases that I have ever complied on this blog. I’ve got lots of new books to look forward to this month, so please bear with this long, long list. 

    These are all books that I have added to my tbr. So, if I have missed any June 2022 releases that you are looking forward to, let me know in the comments below and I would love to check it out!

    The Woman in the Library

    by Sulari Gentill

    Goodreads

    Edition: Paperback, 288 pages

    Expected Publication: June 7th 2022 by Poisoned Pen Press

    ISBN: 1464215871 (ISBN13: 9781464215872)

    Goodreads blurb:

    In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

    The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

    Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling read with The Woman in the Library, an unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.


    Stuck with You (The STEMinist Novellas #2)

    by Ali Hazelwood 

    Goodreads

    Edition: Kindle Edition, 127 pages

    Expected publication: June 7th 2022 by Berkley (first published March 8th 2022)

    ASINL: B09M2QWMB9

    Series: The STEMinist Novellas #2

    Goodreads blurb:

    Nothing like a little rivalry between scientists to take love to the next level.

    Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn…

    Logically, Sadie knows that civil engineers are supposed to build bridges. However, as a woman of STEM she also understands that variables can change, and when you are stuck for hours in a tiny New York elevator with the man who broke your heart, you earn the right to burn that brawny, blond bridge to the ground. Erik can apologize all he wants, but to quote her rebel leader—she’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.

    Not even the most sophisticated of Sadie’s superstitious rituals could have predicted such a disastrous reunion. But while she refuses to acknowledge the siren call of Erik’s steely forearms or the way his voice softens when he offers her his sweater, Sadie can’t help but wonder if there might be more layers to her cold-hearted nemesis than meet the eye. Maybe, possibly, even burned bridges can still be crossed….

    To read Mara and Hannah’s stories look for the novellas Under One Roof, available now, and Below Zero, coming soon from Berkley! 


    Stealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1)

    by Alyson Noel

    Goodreads

    Hardcover, 400 pages

    Expected publication: June 28th 2022 by Entangled Publishing LLC (Teen)

    ISBN: 1649371500 (ISBN13: 9781649371508)

    Series: Stolen Beauty #1

    Goodreads blurb:

    My life goes completely sideways the moment I meet the mysterious Braxton. Sure, he’s ridiculously hot, but he’s also the reason I’ve been kicked out of school and recruited into Gray Wolf Academy—a remote island school completely off the grid. I never should have trusted a face so perfect.

    But the reality of why Gray Wolf wanted me is what truly blows my mind. It’s a school for time travelers. Tripping, they call it. This place is filled with elaborate costumes and rare artifacts, where every move is strategic and the halls are filled with shadows and secrets.

    Here, what you see isn’t always what it appears. Including Braxton. Because even though there’s an energy connecting us together, the more secrets he keeps from me, the more it feels like something is pulling us apart. Something that has to do with this place—and its darker purpose. It’s all part of a guarded, elaborate puzzle of history and time…and I might be one of the missing pieces.

    Now I have all the time in the world. And yet I can’t shake the feeling that time is the one thing I’m about to run out of…fast


    Love & Other Great Expectations

    by Becky Dean

    Goodreads

    Edition: Hardcover, 384 pages

    Expected publication: June 14th 2022 by Delacorte Press

    ISBN: 0593429443 (ISBN13: 9780593429440)

    An American girl embarks on a competitive scavenger hunt in England—and along the way, meets up with a bookish British boy who can’t help her with the clues . . . but might make the trip take some unexpected turns.

    Britt Hanson has always preferred scoring goals on the soccer field to analyzing dusty old books. But when an injury ends her dream to play in college, she jumps at the chance to compete in a scavenger hunt in England that takes her to the locations of classic novels—the prize money would change her life!

    There she meets bookish and very British Luke Jackson. He can’t actually help her with any of the clues (against the rules), but something about Luke compels her to invite him to join her. She wouldn’t mind getting to know him—and listening to his accent.

    To win, Britt must outwit three smart competitors who aren’t afraid to play dirty while solving clues and traveling around the English countryside. Along the way, Britt learns that sometimes you have to follow the map and other times, you need to throw caution to the wind and see where the cobblestoned road takes you. 


    Home Field Advantage

    by Dahlia Adler 

    Goodreads

    Hardcover, 304 pages

    Expected publication: June 7th 2022 by Wednesday Books

    ISBN: 1250765846 (ISBN13: 9781250765840)

    In this sweet and funny new f/f romance from the author of Cool for the Summer, a cheerleader and the school’s newest quarterback are playing to win, but might lose their hearts in the process.

    Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.

    The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.

    Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.


    Dahlia Adler’s Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what – or who – you truly want.

    Counterfeit

    by Kirstin Chen 

    Goodreads

    Hardcover, 288 pages

    Expected publication: June 7th 2022 by William Morrow

    ISBN

    0063119544 (ISBN13: 9780063119543)

    For fans of Hustlers and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, the story of two Asian American women who band together to grow a counterfeit handbag scheme into a global enterprise–an incisive and glittering blend of fashion, crime, and friendship from the author of Bury What We Cannot Take and Soy Sauce for Beginners.

    Money can’t buy happiness… but it can buy a decent fake.

    Ava Wong has always played it safe. As a strait-laced, rule-abiding Chinese American lawyer with a successful surgeon as a husband, a young son, and a beautiful home–she’s built the perfect life. But beneath this façade, Ava’s world is crumbling: her marriage is falling apart, her expensive law degree hasn’t been used in years, and her toddler’s tantrums are pushing her to the breaking point.

    Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s enigmatic college roommate from Mainland China, who abruptly dropped out under mysterious circumstances. Now, twenty years later, Winnie is looking to reconnect with her old friend. But the shy, awkward girl Ava once knew has been replaced with a confident woman of the world, dripping in luxury goods, including a coveted Birkin in classic orange. The secret to her success? Winnie has developed an ingenious counterfeit scheme that involves importing near-exact replicas of luxury handbags and now she needs someone with a U.S. passport to help manage her business–someone who’d never be suspected of wrongdoing, someone like Ava. But when their spectacular success is threatened and Winnie vanishes once again, Ava is left to face the consequences.

    Swift, surprising, and sharply comic, Counterfeit is a stylish and feminist caper with a strong point of view and an axe to grind. Peering behind the curtain of the upscale designer storefronts and the Chinese factories where luxury goods are produced, Kirstin Chen interrogates the myth of the model minority through two unforgettable women determined to demand more from life. 


    On a Quiet Street

    by Seraphina Nova Glass 

    Goodreads

    Kindle Edition, 302 pages

    Published May 17th 2022 by Graydon House

    ASIN: B09FGTCN7V

    The perfect neighborhood can be the perfect place to hide…

    Who wouldn’t want to live in Brighton Hills? This exclusive community on the Oregon coast is the perfect mix of luxury and natural beauty. Stunning houses nestle beneath mighty Douglas firs, and lush backyards roll down to the lakefront. It’s the kind of place where neighbors look out for one another. Sometimes a little too closely…

    Cora thinks her husband, Finn, is cheating—she just needs to catch him in the act. That’s where Paige comes in. Paige lost her son to a hit-and-run last year, and she’s drowning in the kind of grief that makes people do reckless things. Like spying on the locals, searching for proof that her son’s death was no accident. And agreeing to Cora’s plan to reveal what kind of man Finn really is. All the while, their reclusive new neighbor, Georgia, is acting more strangely every day. But what could such a lovely young mother possibly be hiding?

    When you really start to look beyond the airy open floor plans and marble counters, Brighton Hills is filled with secrets. Some big, some little, some deadly. And one by one, they’re about to be revealed… 


    The House Across the Lake

    by Riley Sager

    Goodreads

    Hardcover, 368 pages

    Expected publication: June 21st 2022 by Dutton Books

    ISBN: 0593183193 (ISBN13: 9780593183199)

    It looks like a familiar story: A woman reeling from a great loss with too much time on her hands and too much booze in her glass watches her neighbors, sees things she shouldn’t see, and starts to suspect the worst. But looks can be deceiving. . . .

    Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake.

    Everything about the Royces seems perfect. Their marriage. Their house. The bucolic lake it sits beside. But when Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she discovers the darker truths lurking just beneath the surface of the Royces’ picture-perfect marriage. Truths no suspicious voyeur could begin to imagine–even with a few drinks under her belt.

    Like Casey, you’ll think you know where this story is headed.

    Think again.

    Because once you open the door to obsession, you never know what you might find on the other side.


    What are some of the June books releases YOU are looking forward to?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • A Reading Week Where I Had Exams | Weekly Reading Update (22/5/22-30/5/22)

    It’s been a while since I posted a Weekly Reading Update. If you are a regular reader, you would already know that I have been busy revising for may final law exams and I have not had any free time to dedicate to reading books. Most of my reading these days consist of law cases, legislations and legal definitions– unfortunately.

    To be honest, most of my free time was spent napping and taking breaks from staring at a screen or textbook.


    Things That Happened This Week

    • I am currently 10 books behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge

    I haven’t been too active on Goodreads these days simply because I refuse to see just how far behind I am on the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Once I have more free time, I plan to catch up ASAP

    • Law Exams, Law Exams and more Law Exams

    Had my commercial law exam today, and despite studying for it, I was honestly struggling. I plan to stay far, far away from the commercial law sector from now on.

    Blog Posts That Were Posted This Week

    May 25th: Colors of Spring | Top 5 Wednesday

    Books I Finished/Started This Week

    What I Want To Read Next

    Blogging Plans For Next Week

    • Weekly Reading Update Post
    • June Most Anticipated New Book Releases blog post

    How was your week? Did you get any reading done? 

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • These Books Sound Cool | New On The Shelf

    Hi everyone! I am here with yet another installment of On the Shelf. I am really glad to see you all enjoying these little series’ that I have put up on the blog.

    On The Shelf is a new series on my blog where I would list the latest additions to my TBR (To-Be-Read pile)— on NetGalley, Kindle, and my physical bookshelf. I thought this would be a fun idea because I add lots of new books to my TBR/wishlist, new books that I had not heard of yet, and I love seeing what books other readers have discovered recently. 

    You can check out the first blog post of this regular series here

    While I have not been reading these past few weeks, I have been keeping up to date with recent book releases, new recommendations, and occasionally scrolling through Goodreads for new books to add to my tbr.


    The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

    The Best We Could Do, the debut graphic novel memoir by Thi Bui, is an intimate look at one family’s journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent — the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through.

    With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home. The Best We Could Do brings to life her journey of understanding and provides inspiration to all who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.

    Homicide and Halo-Halo by  Mia P. Manansala

    Things are heating up for Lila Macapagal. Not in her love life, which she insists on keeping nonexistent despite the attention of two very eligible bachelors. Or her professional life, since she can’t bring herself to open her new cafe after the unpleasantness that occurred a few months ago at her aunt’s Filipino restaurant, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen. No, things are heating up quite literally, since summer, her least favorite season, has just started.

    To add to her feelings of sticky unease, Lila’s little town of Shady Palms has resurrected the Miss Teen Shady Palms Beauty Pageant, which she won many years ago–a fact that serves as a wedge between Lila and her cousin slash rival, Bernadette. But when the head judge of the pageant is murdered and Bernadette becomes the main suspect, the two must put aside their differences and solve the case–because it looks like one of them might be next.

    The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill 

    In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

    The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

    Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling read with The Woman in the Library, an unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all. 


    What books have caught your attention recently? Any recommendations for me?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • May 25th: Colors of Spring | Top 5 Wednesday

    Top 5 Wednesday was started in November 2013 and is a very much active group on Goodreads, so head over to Goodreads to join the group and keep up with all the topics for the month. I thought it was such a fun idea to have weekly books related prompts that I could answer and share with all of you.

    I am so excited to have a prompt that features one of my favorite things about books– the covers! I think, for someone like me especially, the way a book looks matters. If I am browsing through rows and rows of books, where the spine if the only thing visible, I will most likely gravitate towards an eye-catching spine or a spine with cool lettering or designs. If I am looking at a table of books with their front covers facing up, I will usually pick up the book with the most interesting/prettiest cover before I turn it around and read the synopsis. Sometimes it decomes the deciding factor of whether or not I take it straight to the counter, or leave it back on the shelf.

    May 25th: Colors of Spring

    While summer may be steadily approaching, let’s hold onto spring a little longer and celebrate sharing the “colors of spring”! These could be pastel colors or maybe colors you personally associate with spring (or a combination!). Whichever it may be, let’s feature some cover love that make us think of spring!#


    1. Serendipity by Marissa Meyer, Elise Bryant, Elizabeth Eulberg and more

    When I think of “Spring” I think of flowers. In particular, I think of spring as being very prevalent in pastoral imagery that is flowers, meadows and nature.

    This cover is just flowers. You cannot get more “spring” than this.

    Goodreads synopsis:

    Love is in the air in this is a collection of stories inspired by romantic tropes and edited by #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer.

    The secret admirer.
    The fake relationship.
    The matchmaker.


    From stories of first love, unrequited love, love that surprises, love that’s been there all along, ten of the brightest and award-winning authors writing YA have taken on some of your favorite romantic tropes, embracing them and turning them on their heads. Readers will swoon for this collection of stories that celebrate love at its most humorous, inclusive, heart-expanding, and serendipitous.

    Contributors include Elise Bryant, Elizabeth Eulberg, Leah Johnson, Anna-Marie McLemore, Marissa Meyer, Sandhya Menon, Julie Murphy, Caleb Roehrig, Sarah Winifred Searle, and Abigail Hing Wen. 

    2. A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

    The colours on this book cover just scream spring. The different shades of pink, pastels… it’s defiently fitting for this prompt

    Goodreads synopsis:

    For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu. When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.

    But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.

    3. This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub 

    What if you could take a vacation to your past?

    With her celebrated humor, insight, and heart, beloved New York Times bestseller Emma Straub offers her own twist on traditional time travel tropes, and a different kind of love story.

    On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn’t just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it’s her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could? 

    4. Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

    1957, south-east suburbs of London.
    Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and — on the brink of forty — living a limited existence with her truculent mother: a small life from which there is no likelihood of escape.

    When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more Jean investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys: Gretchen is now a friend, and her quirky and charming daughter Margaret a sort of surrogate child. And Jean doesn’t mean to fall in love with Gretchen’s husband, Howard, but Howard surprises her with his dry wit, his intelligence and his kindness — and when she does fall, she falls hard.

    But he is married, and to her friend — who is also the subject of the story she is researching for the newspaper, a story that increasingly seems to be causing dark ripples across all their lives. And yet Jean cannot bring herself to discard the chance of finally having a taste of happiness…

    But there will be a price to pay, and it will be unbearable. 

    4. She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott, Alyson Derrick 

    Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand…not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just…hasn’t actually talked to her yet.

    Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.

    As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other. 


    What are some of your favourite Spring book covers?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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  • 5 Star Predictions | On The Shelf

    I thought I’d start yet another series on this blog:

    A 5-Star Predictions Book List!

    As the title implies, I’ll be listing a couple tbr books that I predict are going to be 5-star reads. This could be because it’s a highly recommend book, maybe it’s because of intriguing synopsis, or it could be because it’s from an author I’ve read from before and really loved their previous work. I’d like to think that I know myself pretty well to predict what a good book would be before I’ve even read it. That being said, I am a “mood-reader” so that may sometimes affect my reading— really this is just a test to see how well I know my reading tastes! (lol)

    So here are 4 books I’m predicting (& praying!) to find some 5-star worthy magic with


    The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty –

    So many reader friends and online book friends have recommended this book to me, constantly raving about how amazing this book series was

    I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston –

    The synopsis sounds like exactly like something I would enjoy. I am desperately hoping to love this book as much as I predict it to.

    The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin –

    I have had this book in my tbr for the longest time, and the only reason why I have not picked it up yet is because I have veryyyy high expectations for this book.

    YA + paranormal + mystery = this book is for me.

    The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune –

    Another book that fellow readers, who have very similar reading tastes that I do, have rated this book very high (I think most of them rated this book 4-5 stars)

    What are some of your 5 star book predictionsAny recommendations for books that YOU rated 5-stars?

    Let me know in the comments below!

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