Book Review · Books

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett [BOOK REVIEW]

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett is a book I won through ReadersFirst, published by Corvus. And to be honest, Beneath the World, A Sea wouldn’t have been my first choice, because I don’t often go outside my comfort zone. I am so glad I did though, because I really enjoyed this book a lot!

Synopsis:

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett is a story told mainly by Ben, the policeman. The story is also told from other people’s points of view as well, all connecting to Ben in one way or the other. 

A number of people go on a journey to Submundo Delta, all with different missions and plans in mind. During this trip, they have to go through a place called Nus, where no one can remember their duration of their stay there. 

In Submundo Delta, the people that live there are called Mundinos. However, there are also creatures that live in the forest, called duendes. And the duendes want to get closer to the Mundinos, which results in them getting killed vigorously. 

Ben is sent there to investigate why the local people are killing the duendes. During his investigation, he meets different people and gets a chance to have some weird encounters with the duendes themselves. 

My Thoughts of Beneath the World, A Sea:

Beneath the World, A Sea is very philosophical and deep science fiction, and definitely not for everyone. It touches on many topics, but mostly the topic of self-discovery. Who are we? Who are we really? How do we get to be the person we actually are? Are we hiding any hidden intentions? Are we just performing a play and not letting people see behind the curtain? What if there is a place we can truly be ourselves? And we don’t remember it after? Would we be murderers, or samaritans? 

This book will make you wonder, all while maintaining the story and introducing interesting characters. Ben is trying to discover who he really is, Hyacinth seems to somehow know everything he’s about to experience, Rico has a relationship with the duendes like no one else, Jael is extremely smart but chose to do something else with her life, Justine had her heart broken and never had the courage to leave… Beneath the World, A Sea is a unique experience with fantastical elements in it. It is also very well written, with intriguing plot twists and a very unexpected ending. I especially loved the intrigue that involved a certain diary. It kept me hooked until the very end. 

Even though a very unique and niche book that won’t appeal to all, I warmly recommend it, as I think this is the perfect book to get you out of your comfort zone and take you on a unique adventure.

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Book Review · Books

Postscript (PS, I Love You #2) by Cecelia Ahern [BOOK REVIEW]

Postscript (PS, I Love You #2) by Cecelia Ahern [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★★

I am so glad I had the chance to read Postscript by Cecelia Ahern as part of the bookstagram readalong. Thank you to Cecelia Ahern, Harper Collins and Tandem Collective UK for the gifted copy and this amazing opportunity. 

Synopsis:

When Holly lost her husband Gerry, he left letters for her to read after his death, all of them signed with PS, I Love You. These letters helped her go through the process of grief, get back on her feet and start to love again. 

Now, years later, a mysterious club wants to meet her. And if Holly can find the courage to discover more, she’ll learn what living fully truly means. 

My Thoughts of Postscript:

First of all, this is an emotional read, so aside from the book and a bookmark, you’ll also need tissues. Postscript will take you on a journey of self-discovery and teach you to love life again. 

Without spoiling too much, I want to say that this book is incredible. It touches on the subject of death, and what people who know they’re dying can do to ease the pain for their families, but to also stay remembered a bit longer. Just like Gerry did for Holly. And through other people that Holly meets, she discovers a part of Gerry she never knew existed before. 

“We don’t often remember how we met, we often remember how we parted.”

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Book Review – Postscript (PS, I Love You #2) by Cecelia Ahern – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I am so glad I had the chance to read #Postscript by Cecelia Ahern as part of the #PostscriptReadalong. Thank you to the author @official_ceceliaahern, @harpercollinsuk and @tandemcollectiveuk for the #gifted copy and this amazing opportunity. 📖 When Holly lost her husband Gerry, he left letters for her to read after his death, all of them signed with PS, I Love You. These letters helped her go through the process of grief, get back on her feet and start to love again. Now, years later, a mysterious club wants to meet her. And if Holly can find the courage to discover more, she’ll learn what living fully truly means. 😢 First of all, this is an emotional read, so aside from the book and a bookmark, you’ll also need tissues. Postscript will take you on a journey of self-discovery and teach you to love life again. Without spoiling too much, I want to say that this book is incredible. It touches on the subject of death, and what people who know they’re dying can do to ease the pain for their families, but to also stay remembered a bit longer. Just like Gerry did for Holly. And through other people that Holly meets, she discovers a part of Gerry she never knew existed before. Holly is an incredible character that shows amazing character development. Her life is emotional and her choices make you wonder what you would have done if you were in her place. I also really loved Ginika and Jewel, as well as Denise. Cecelia Ahern has this amazing skill – to make you care about all the characters in her book, no matter how little they may be featured. I even found myself adoring Phillip, who only appeared in a few pages in the book. Postscript is emotional and raw. But it’s also real and relatable to so many people, unfortunately. And I like to think that Holly gets the closure she needed and now she is able to finally fully move on. A true masterpiece that I wholeheartedly recommend.

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Holly is an incredible character that shows amazing character development. Her life is emotional and her choices make you wonder what you would have done if you were in her place. I also really loved Ginika and Jewel, as well as Denise. Cecelia Ahern has this amazing skill – to make you care about all the characters in her book, no matter how little they may be featured. I even found myself adoring Phillip, who only appeared in a few pages in the book. 

Postscript is emotional and raw. But it’s also real and relatable to so many people, unfortunately. And I like to think that Holly gets the closure she needed and now she is able to finally fully move on. A true masterpiece that I wholeheartedly recommend. 

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Book Review · Books

The Breaking (Northern Witch #3) by K.S. Marsden [BOOK REVIEW]

★★

The Breaking by K.S. Marsden is the third book in the Northern Witch series. Thank you to the author, K.S. Marsden, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read my review of book one – Winter Trials.
Read my review of book two – Awaken.

Synopsis:

Mark thought being a witch would be easy, but it has ruined everything.

Now, he has to fight for his friends and the guy that he loves.

Which would be challenging enough, without school being a living nightmare; more demons than he can handle; and witches that have strayed from the light.

My Thoughts:

Continuing where the previous book left off, The Breaking followed up nicely with the story of Mark trying to save his lover. It is a very heartwarming story that also contains fantastical elements.

I enjoyed that Mark’s friends Harry and Sarah got more time in the book. Their scenes were very interesting to read, and I was really invested in their plotline as well. I loved the moments when the band was in the spotlight – the scene in London when they appear on the stage is my favorite one!

I loved the travel to London and the adventurous spirit that Mark showed, alongside with the suspense and dangers that arose from that trip. The introduction to new witches was intriguing, and I was curious through the whole book. The demons were my favourite, and I couldn’t help but care for them. I think that at some point, I cared more about them than I did about Mark, and I’m not even sorry to say this. 🙂 

To sum up, I wanted a bit more fantastical elements, aside from the demons. I wished there was more magic involved in The Breaking, and I was a slightly disappointed on the cliffhanger at the end of the book. But then I realised another book was coming out, so hoping the next book will conclude some of my predictions. I am hoping for more character development in the next book as well. But I also really enjoyed this book, and I admired the adventures that Mark went through in this book, compared to the first two. There was a bit more intensity and it felt as if there was more at stake this time, and Mark had more to lose, which I loved reading about.

If you love magic, witches and teenage gay romance, I definitely recommend this series to you. 

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

Improvement by Joan Silber [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

I really enjoyed Improvement by Joan Silber, because it was unlike any other book I have read. I fell in love with the characters in this novel. 

Thank you to the teams at ReadersFirst and Allen & Unwin (Atlantic Books), for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

This is a story about a young single mother living in Harlem and her eccentric aunt. They end up making some decisions that have unexpected implications to the world around them. 

Reyna doesn’t have a perfect relationship with Boyd. She is beside him while he is in prison for three months. Their relationship became even stronger. 

Kiki, Reyna’s aunt settles nearby, after an adventurous journey in Turkey in her youth. She admires her niece, but she is worried about four-year old Olvier. 

Little does Kiki know that Boyd is pulling Reyna into a smuggling scheme, violating his probation. When Reyna refuses to assist and takes a step back, her resistance sets a series of events that affect the lives of loved ones and strangers around them.  

My Thoughts: 

Improvement is a book that intrigued me a lot! And it’s one of those books where you can’t really discuss the plot in fear of spoiling things. I feel like mentioning any other characters apart from Kiki and Reyna is a spoiler. It’s definitely one of those books you just need to go in blind, and enjoy every minute of it.

“The point was to ask for strength. Improvement wasn’t coming any other way.”

The book starts with a little bit of Kiki’s story, and then Reyna and Boyd’s relationship. Then a plot twist changes everything, and we have other character’s points of views introduced.

Kiki’s stories and adventures in Turkey are so colourful. Her beloved rugs and her courage never seize to amaze me. Her travels and the people she met all taught her something. The choices she made shaped the Kiki we know and love today. The cool eccentric aunt, with many trinkets in her small and crowded place.

Reyna’s innocent, but not so innocent life is beautiful as well, and her character development is beyond amazing and admirable. I love how much she cares about everyone. She is trying to fix the world, even though sometimes, the world may not need her help. 

Very beautiful and inspiring!

All the other characters that we get to know share a personal story, each of them carry a burden, share love and worries, and care about someone. And to each of them, something happened, to make them be at a certain place at a certain time, and become the people they became today. 

The novel is so wonderfully thought out, and it’s amazing how Joan Silber managed to capture this. How one decision of one person can change the life of so many, without them even knowing it’s happening. Get your “what if” questions ready, because you will definitely be wondering after this book, and for each character. 

Improvement is definitely a book you should pick up. It makes you learn so much, even when you’re not ready for it.

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik [BOOK REVIEW]

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

I was so excited to read A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik.

A Deadly Education is the first book in the Scholomance series. It was supposed to be everything I love – magic, magical school, a bit of romance. And it left me so disappointed and just empty within. I have no words of how sad I am to be writing this review. I am crushed, but I have to be honest to myself and to the people reading my reviews.

Synopsis:

A Deadly Education is indeed a story about a deadly magical school. This school, Scholomance, is a school for students that are magically gifted. There are no teachers and students are left alone to master skills and attend lessons. They are also forbidden to walk the halls at night, because deadly monsters are lurking from every corner. And the ultimate graduation test is a deadly game of survival by fighting these monsters. 

The students’ magic works based on either mana (the good magic) or malia (the bad magic). 

El is our main character in this book, who can use malia to defeat all the monsters, but that would involve killing the other students. Survival also means working on strategies and making allies with other people.

And then we also have Orion Lake. He has many friends and admirers and he keeps saving El’s life. And she’s not impressed and hates him. 

My Thoughts:

I feel like A Deadly Education was a great idea about a magical school that has a “Hunger Games” type of graduation, but somewhere in the middle the plot got lost and we got a weak story. 

First of all, I hated El. I don’t usually hate characters, but God, I really despised her. Not only was she incredibly rude all the time, but she was very entitled, self-centered and very selfish. I hated the fact that she always thought the world revolved about her. Furthermore, she kept pushing people away, especially her so-called friends and Orion. 

Then we have Orion Lake, who is portrayed as the hero, saving so many lives. Which he is. But he also is this person that can’t speak for himself, and seems like he does whatever other people tell him to do. 

And the romance between them was very non-existent. There wasn’t any form of attraction that I felt, only El’s rudeness. I don’t know how it escalated in the end to a romance, because I didn’t see it. El was even then being rude to him. 

This is such a hard review to write, as I know this book is widely popular. But for me, it didn’t hit the mark in any way. I wish there was more to it than just the deadly monsters and strategies for a graduation that was so talked about. And I wish the romance was real. But I’m still keen to read the second book, just to find out whether it will redeem itself, at least a bit. If you’re looking for a magical school, I’d suggest Hogwarts.

This ain’t it.

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