Book Review · Books

The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries #1) by L.J. Smith [BOOK REVIEW]

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I had The Awakening and the Struggle (the first and second books from the Vampire Diaries series) on my shelf for years.

When I say years, I mean it. It all started when I was in high-school, around 6 years ago, and I was in love with the Vampire Diaries TV Show. When I found out there are books as well, I begged my mum to buy them for me. And once I had them, I never got to read them, because teenage logic…

I recently noticed the Vampire Diaries books sitting on my shelf, forgotten, and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to read it in October, because of the whole spooky vibe. So there it is now – even thought the wheel didn’t choose it, I did, because it deserved the attention!

Elena Gilbert is a popular girl in high-school and she always gets what she wants. Boys want to be with her, girls hate her, or want to be her best friends. And when this new boy Stefan comes into town, all mysterious, Elena wants him. But Stefan is hiding a deadly secret that Elena might now be ready for just yet. And her life, as well as the life of everyone living in Fell’s Church is in grave danger… Elena finds herself between two brothers – one who came for a new life, and the other, who came for revenge…

Reading this book, while already knowing what the plot it, I thought I found find it boring. But no. I still enjoyed every single page of it, and I still devoured this book in one day.

From the first chapter, this book is intense and captures your attention. It is written in third person, but it also contains diary entries that belong to Elena and capture her deepest thoughts that she doesn’t dare share with anyone else.

I loved Elena!

Her character is exactly what I was expected and what I have known to love – brave and fierce, and also willing to sacrifice her own happiness and safety for the people she loves the most. 

Elena’s friends, Meredith and Bonnie are the friends every girl needs. Funny and caring. A few pages in, and you will get to love them too.

Stefan – the mysterious new guy in school. The guy that tries to stay away from the girl he really wants because he’s a danger to her. A little bit of Twilight vibes, but we can get past that. Because there is one thing that Twilight didn’t have, that you can find reading The Vampire Diaries…

DAMON

Even though we only get a glimpse of him in this book, we can feel his presence throughout the whole book. We can feel his connection with Elena, as weird and spooky as it may be. All that danger that he carries with him, we all want to see whether there’s anything good in him at all. His story is the most intriguing one, I think. His hunger for revenge makes you really understand both sides of the story and choose a side for yourself.

So, are you team Stefan, or team Damon?

I loved reading this – it was an amazing experience and it reminded me of my high-school days, of those innocent happy memories. My teenage life didn’t include vampires, but hey – it was still awesome!

Pick the Vampire Diaries up if you love Young Adult spooky books, if you loved Twilight and if you love vampire, love and mystery stories in general.

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Book Wrap Up · Books

October TBR – The Spooky Edition!

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Hello, my lovelies!

October is my favourite reading month of the year, as I love Halloween so much and I love all the spookiness that it brings with it.

As I have announced in my September TBR Update, I have changed the way I am choosing my books – if you haven’t read this update yet, please go and have a look.

This month, I am using only the first spinning wheel (acquisitions) and with a slight twist this time – on top of the prompt I land on, I also have to choose a book that has a spooky vibe. This could be anything: mystery, thriller, vampires, werewolves, etc.

All the books that are currently on my TBR can be found HERE. This is the list that I will choose from when spinning the wheels.

My TBR for October

I always start with 8 books on my TBR, because this is what I read on average. If I happen to read all of them, I will add a few more books at the end of the month. If I don’t manage to read the books from last month, I don’t unhaul them. They go into the next month’s list automatically, which leaves me with less spins. This month I have 2 books that are extended, which leaves me with 6 spins.

These are the 8 books I am planning to read for October:

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   1. Reverie by Ryan La Sala

Reverie is one of the two books I didn’t manage to read last month, and because I don’t unhaul books I haven’t read, they go into the next month’s list automatically. Last month, I chose it because I spun Netgalley and Boyfriend pick, and my boyfriend picked it because he knows I love magic and fantasy. I have already started reading it.

  2. Blood Shadow (Blood Never Lies #1) by Dianna Hardy

Blood Shadow is book 2 from my extended reads and the spin for this last month was Giveaway and Highest rated. I know it’s a story about vampires and werewolves, so it also fits the spooky category.

   3. The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell

Spin: Readers First

This book features an asylum with some of the most dangerous murderers there, psychiatrist that tries to resolve a mystery murder, and also a murder happening outside, putting everyone involved in grave danger. I am ready!

   4. Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou

Spin: Netgalley

I am not entirely sure what the plot is about, apart that a few teens start an online prank that blows out of proportion. It has also been described as dark, coming-of-age thriller, so I think this fits the spooky theme perfectly.

  5. Dracula by Bram Stoker

Spin: Purchased

The classic Dracula, a book I have had on my shelves for a long time now, but haven’t read it yet. I know right? Such an embarrassment. But I think that October is also a perfect time to read this, so here we go 🙂

   6. A Darker State (Karin Müller #3) by David Young

Spin: Giveaway

A mystery / crime novel, where a teenage boy’s body is found and the main character of this book (and series), Karin, is investigating the mystery. I haven’t read the previous books of the series, but it one of those that you don’t have to read the in order, as they are all standalone mysteries, it is just Karin that stays the same.

   7. Death in the Dojo by Sue Leather

Spin: Purchased

This will be a re-read actually, as I have read this book a couple of years ago. This is a mystery that takes place in a Karate dojo (training room) and as a karate lover myself, I enjoyed this book a lot. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to come back to this lovely book!

   8.  The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue

Spin: LoveReading UK

I was kindly sent this book by the team at LoveReading UK, and I will be participating in the Ambassador Buzz around mid November for this book. It is a book that solves a mystery of a disappearance of a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her teacher that happened 25 years ago.

And that’s my October TBR! I hope I will manage to read all of these books, and I hope that maybe I can squeeze in one or two more, before the end of the month?

Make sure to follow me on Instagram, so you can stay up to date with my current updates during the month

What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review · Books

The Die of Death – Kenneth B. Andersen [BOOK REVIEW]

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WELCOME TO THE OTHER SIDE

The Die of Death is the second book from The Great Devil War Series, written by Kenneth B. Andersen. If you have read my review of the first book, The Devil’s Apprentice, you would be familiar with Philip.

Philip is a good boy, but he ends up in Hell by mistake. And on top of that, he is chosen to be the Devil’s Apprentice. Even though he’s always be good, he is not good at being bad. A danger occurs in Hell and the Devil is dying. When Philip solves the mystery, he returns on Earth to continue his normal life. 

But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, they need Philip’s help. Death’s Die has been stolen, the one that decides when each person is going to die. Because of that, immortality is now spreading. Philip goes back to hell to solve the mystery, but during his adventures he discovers some horrible truths…

I really have no clue why it took me quite a long time to get to the second book, but I am so happy that I finally got to read it, and endeavour this story.

It is so unique and I am in love!

The chapters just flow through – even better than the first book – and within minutes you are captured in this world, full of good and evil, or decisions being made that question your moral time and time again, in a very understandable way for young adults as well.

The story of the Die of Death, and the scenes related to it were my favourite. I love what Kenneth created, and how Death rolls a dice at the beginning of each life, that determines how many years each person gets to live. I loved how everyone had their own hourglasses and the mysterious snake that guards them.

We get to see the Purgatory in this book too. Only for a moment, but it was wonderful to read about it. It reminded me so much of Dante’s inferno, and I loved it! There was also the theory of reincarnation, told by a dog – a scene that was quite powerful! We even got a glimpse of Heavan, a few mentions here and there, that made me want to know more.

I like Philip as a character, but Satina was my hero! She has the best comment on everything, and they make such a good team with Philip. Also – did you know Hell has its own newspaper? It’s called Hell Times! So cool!

I loved this book. I cherish it. And I can’t wait to see what happens next and I highly recommend it to you – especially this month, as it’s Spooky October already! 

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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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