Book Review · Books

Scythe by Neal Shusterman [BOOK REVIEW]

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman is my favourite read for 2019 so far! I had this book on my TBR shelf since last Christmas, I don’t even know why I waited so long to read it!

“2042 is the year we conquered death, and also the year we stopped counting. Sure, we still numbered years for a few more decades, but at the moment of immortality, passing time ceased to matter.”

In a perfect world, where immortality exists, the only way to die is to be gleaned by a scythe. Citra and Rowan are both living different normal lives, when they both have separate encounters with Scythe Faraday that will change their lives. They are both chosen to be his apprentice, a role neither of them wants to have.

“Every child is told from the day he or she is old enough to understand that the scythes provide a crucial service for society. Ours is the closest thing to a sacred mission the modern world knows.”

They have no choice, but to learn the art of gleaning – a word that has replaced killing many centuries ago, as it sounds better. Citra and Rowan are on their way to find out about the world of scythes, and what it takes to be one, and take on the terrifying responsibility of choosing their victims.

In a  perfect world though, corruption still exists, and Citra and Rowan will have to join forces to defeat it. But one day, they are told that one of them has to kill the other…

Neal Shusterman is a maestro with his words and world building. He managed to create this dystopian world where good and evil exist, where we have beaten immortality and a big machine called the Thunderhead controls everything – apart from death. Because death is an act that must be performed by another human.

Every scythe must reach of quota of number of people to glean, and within that number there must be diversity and percentages met (a few fisherman, one Latino woman, one child, etc.) Each scythe has all the weapons available and all means in order to perform the gleaning, and it is up to them to choose the ways to do it. Some scythes are compassionate, and some scythes are brutal. And every day, all the scythes have to write an entry in their diary of their day, and this information is available to the public. And through Scythe Faraday, Scythe Curie and Scythe Goddard, we learn different personalities and see this responsibility, this gift (or is it a curse) from different points of view.

“Was there ever a time when people weren’t plagued with boredom? A time when motivation wasn’t so hard to come by?”

It is a great responsibility, deciding who lives and who dies, and performing the gleaning itself. That is why not everyone becomes a scythe. Not everyone can handle this responsibility.

I loved how through Citra and Rowan we learn a lot about the Scythe world, but also learn a lot about compassion and caring, about love and respect. And even though Citra and Rowan have different qualities, we can see them connect over at least one – compassion!

With an incredible plot, incredible world-building and unexpected plot twists – this is a book that has left me speechless many times. I don’t often highlight pages and quotes in books, but I did here. It left me wanting for more, and I couldn’t put it down until very late in the night. I was so engrossed by the whole Scythedom world, that I cannot wait to read the next one!

If you love Young-Adult Series, dystopian worlds, many amazing characters, love stories, quotes to remember for life and a little bit of spookiness – this is the book for you. This is what you have been waiting for all along. Go and grab it!

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Book Review · Books

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu [BOOK REVIEW]

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Graphic novels are not usually my first choice of books. But after seeing the book cover, I couldn’t resist the urge. I just had to read Mooncakes.

Mooncakes is a cute paranormal story, filled with magic, love, family… In a paranormal city, Nova, a teen witch goes to the woods and follows a white wolf. It turns out that the wolf is her high-school crush, Tam. It would all be lovely, but Tam is in life danger and needs help. The two girls help each other and their connection grows throughout the book.

The scenery of the cosy home of Nova’s grandmothers and the lovely bookshelves gave me a wonderful feeling of comfort. I loved their warm house, the lovely relationship they had and the love you could feel through the pages.

I enjoyed Mooncakes – it was adorable. If you like graphic novels, cute art and a little sparkle of magic – this book will not disappoint you.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Lion Forge, for sending me an E-Arc copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Geek Girl: All Wrapped Up – Holly Smale [BOOK REVIEW]

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Geek Girl: All Wrapped Up is a Christmas special and a spin-off from the Geek Girl Series, written by Holly Smale. It is cute and full of Christmas spirit and I only have one regret – I wish I read it in December.

In this book, we follow the lovely and geeky Harriet again. She is stressed about her first date, but her friends come to the rescue. They have an action plan on how to make this boy fall in love!

As I have already mentioned in my Geek Girl review – I love Harriet’s personality. Her geekiness is something that I didn’t read much about while growing up and it makes me happy that it slowly starts to be available to teenage girls.

Geek Girl: All Wrapped Up features Christmas and I loved all the facts about different Christmas traditions all over the world, all the Christmas jokes and recipes in this book. When reading, I could feel the Christmas Spirit on every page and it was wonderful.

There isn’t a big story line or any twists happening, but Geek Girl: All Wrapped Up is a lovely festive addition to the original Geek Girl series. I can’t wait to read the next book and see what Harriet is going to do next. Something mischievous, I am sure!

I have also written review for a few other books by Holly Smale. Check them out on the link below:

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Book Review · Books

The Swords of Silence by Shaun Curry [BOOK REVIEW]

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I was born and raised in a country where religion is sacred. I was surrounded with Christianity all my life. However, while I have learned lessons of love, respect and hope, I am not a believer. I do believe that we need to be kind to each other, respect each other and hope for a better tomorrow, but I don’t believe there is a God out there who decides our faith. My review is based on how I felt while reading and I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion and should be respected for that.

The Swords of Silence features father Joaquim, who moves to Japan in the 1620’s, to share the religion of Christ. However, the brutal regime in Japan forbids any other religion than Buddhism. The Shogun is determined there is no more Christianity in his country. Throughout the book, we follow Joaquim’s journey, where he manages to get captured and escapes several times, with the help of God.

This book perfectly captures the regime in Japan during this time.

The true terror and the brutal punishments if you ever dare make a mistake. The world of no mercy. But this book is also a product of divine inspiration and has great elements some of us consider fantasy.

Many of the scenes in The Swords of Silence that featured escaping were unrealistic and resembled the Bible stories. We had walking on water, moving of mountains and a big storm in the sea that only affects the enemy ship, even though they are only metres away from father Joaquim’s ship.

There is one scene though, that I was absolutely in awe with, and that was the scene with the duels. As a person who trained karate all my life and is very familiar with the rules of a duel, honour, respect and combat in martial arts – this scene was perfectly set and accurate. It brought all the emotions and it was brutally realistic. And it is because of this scene that I will give this book three stars.

The Swords of Silence is a great book, and I love the fact that the author captured moments in history that were true and brutal, and not many people in the world know about. A story that will make people aware of what was happening in the past. Even though I am not a believer in God, I stand by that people shouldn’t be mistreated, bullied, or in this case – brutally murdered for what they believe in. Everyone has the right to believe in anything they believe in.

If this book was more realistic with the events and scenes, I would have given it five stars for the message it shares with the world.

True fact: Around 1% of the population in Japan claims Christian belief or affiliation. Most large Christian denominations are repressed in Japan today.

Thank you to LoveReading UK, the publisher Harper Collins UK and the author, Shaun Curry, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

One in a Million – Lindsey Kelk [BOOK REVIEW]

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Contemporary romance in a world of social media. One in a Million is a nice addition to a library, for those of you who enjoy this genre.

Annie is working hard to get her own marketing business moving. She doesn’t have time for anything else, especially love. And now that her ex-boyfriend has proposed to someone else after 6 months, she has to pretend that it doesn’t mean anything to her.

She makes a risky bet to turn a random person internet famous in a month. It seems like an easy thing to do, but when it turns out that this random person is one of those that want nothing to do with social media, this bet turns out to be mission impossible. Not to mention that this person is also brutally honest and savagely rude.

The plot was predictable and flat. I knew what was going to happen and the ending was too obvious and without any major twists. 

Knowing the subject of this book, I was expecting at least some character development from both main characters:

  • The man who never uses social media realizes that online presence is extremely important in today’s world, especially if you are trying to sell a book and promote what you are doing.
  • The woman who is addicted to social media realizes that aside from the online world, she needs to focus on the real-life experiences and friendships.

The realizations from both sides never really happened. The characters mentioned and discussed this, but the never changed their actions or behavior, which I found very disappointing.

One in a Million is a wonderful chill book, one of those books you can read by the pool or on the beach. It is the perfect book to cheer you up, but it didn’t seem to have any real value to it, and for me it was a predictable and a boring experience.

If this genre is something that you usually read and enjoy – please pick it up, you are probably going to enjoy it! This book just wasn’t for me, that’s all.

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