Book Review · Books

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth [BOOK REVIEW]

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth [BOOK REVIEW]

Before I dive into the lengthy review of Divergent by Veronica Roth, I have to say one thing. I truly need to stop watching the movie adaptations before I read the books. It happened with the Divergent series. Then it continued with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. It also happened with The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. I need a special app that won’t let me watch a movie adaptation, unless that book title is on my “Read” shelf in Goodreads.

About The Book:

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth [BOOK REVIEW]


Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s

Pages: 487

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★★

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit.

So she ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs. Shocked by her brutal new life Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.

The hardest choice lies ahead.

My Thoughts:

Even having watched the movie first, Divergent was such a fun experience. I loved diving into this dystopian world, getting to know Tris. I wish I read it sooner. This book just proves that Young-Adult fantasy is still a favourite genre of mine, no matter how much older I get.

The factions were really interesting to me, and I was curious to see which faction I would belong to. Funnily enough, I am pretty sure I am a Divergent. And also, I think actually, all of us are too. You can never really fit into just one faction. We all carry a little bit of every trait, one more than the other. Humans are also curious by nature. We want to explore different things, learn new things. Our choices, wishes and goals in life also change all the time. And I loved how Veronica Roth took this topic, this ideam and expanded it into its extreme. By that, giving us a dystopian world with a brave female lead.

“Working together, these five factions have lived in peace for many years, each contributing to a different sector of society. Abnegation has fulfilled our need for selfless leaders in government; Candor has provided us with trustworthy and sound leaders in law; Erudite has supplied us with intelligent teachers and researchers; Amity has given us understanding counselors and caretakers; and Dauntless provides us with protection from threats both within and without.”

I especially loved Tris’s journey with the Dauntless. Also her dilemmas, and the need for her to make a choice of what feels right and what people expect of her to do. I was also very in love with Four. He is my book crush right now, and I cannot help, but adore him.

“We believe in the ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”

Everything about the book, from storylines, to world building, to character development was so well executed. Every little thing had its own meaning, nothing felt excessive or out of place. It gripped me from the very beginning and kept me hooked until the very end. I still have to buy and read the rest of the series, and I cannot wait to start the next book.

I definitely recommend you pick this up if you love dystopian fantasies. Divergent is popular for a very good reason, and definitely deserves the hype.

About The Author:

Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Divergent series (DivergentInsurgentAllegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection), the Carve the Mark duology (Carve the Markthe Fates Divide), The End and Other Beginnings collection of short fiction, Chosen Ones, and many short stories and essays. She lives in Chicago.

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Book Review · Books

Brambles (Dauntless Path #0.5) by Intisar Khanani [BOOK REVIEW]

Brambles (Dauntless Path #0.5) by Intisar Khanani [BOOK REVIEW]

I am so glad that the author, Intisar Khanani, sent me an ARC e-copy of Brambles. Brambles is a prequel to Thorn, and is a part of the Dauntless Path series. I absolutely adored Thorn, and you can read my review of it HERE. When I heard there is a prequel, I was immediately sold!

About The Book:

Brambles (Dauntless Path #0.5) by Intisar Khanani [BOOK REVIEW]


Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 40

Format I read it in: Uncorrected Proof – ebook

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Synopsis:

In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.

She betrayed her own.

Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.

A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.

My Thoughts:

In Brambles, we get to meet princess Alyrra before she is betrothed. We also meet her family and Valka as well. As short as this book was, it was filled with a lot of emotion, as well as a good moral story of doing what is right. Valka enjoyed messing up with the servants and ruining their lives, and when Alyrra stood up to her, it was at this point that everything changed.

Alyrra did what was right, but it was interesting to see her brother and her mother’s reactions. Clearly, their reputation was much more important to them than integrity. It is also in Brambles that we witness Alyrra’s brother and how cruel he can be. And most importantly, it is here we witness her first connection with the wind.

If you have already read Thorn, Brambles will be such a delight for you. It has Easter eggs hidden in it, and it also shows us a different side to the characters in more depth than we get to know them in Thorn. It is also lovely to see Alyrra’s life before she needs to move to the city, and how she behaves when nobody is watching.

But at the same time – if this is the first book you decide to pick up from this series, it is a perfect introduction to the story that’s about to follow. You’ll get to meet Alyrra and find out more about the circumstances she lives in. Intisar Khanani beautifully created a loop of content, that no matter which book you choose to read first, it will be a delight nevertheless.

I still find it amusing how the author managed to create such a compelling and intriguing prequel in only 40 pages.

Rating:

★★★★

About The Author:

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to publishing her novels, Intisar worked as a public health consultant on projects relating to infant mortality and minority health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.

Intisar is the author of the Dauntless Path books (Thorn, The Theft of Sunlight), and her indie epic fantasy series, The Sunbolt Chronicles.

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Book Review · Books

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare [BOOK REVIEW]

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★★

I was reading Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare as part of the Tandem readalong on Instagram. I love Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series, and it was such a unique experience to read Chain of Gold while chatting to people about it at the same time. Needless to say, I loved the book, and can’t wait for the second book, Chain of Iron, to come out. Huge thanks also to the team at Walker Books, for the copy of the book!

Synopsis:

Chain of Gold is the first book of the Last Hours series, and it’s set in Edwardian London. We meet shadowhunter Cordelia Carstairs, a warrior trained to battle demons. When her father is awaiting trial for a crime he may have committed, she and her brother travel to London in hope to prevent the family’s shame. Cordelia’s mother wants her to marry into a suitable house, but Cordelia is more determined to be a hero than a bride.

While in London, Cordelia meets her childhood friends, James and Lucie Herondale, and their world of ballrooms and picnics. Cordelia and Lucie are promised to be parabatais when they get older. And Cordelia also has to keep her love for James a secret, who is promised to marry someone else.

But a shocking series of attacks happen in London, and these monsters are nothing like the ones Shadowhunters have fought before. These demons can walk in daylight, damage Shadowhunters with poison and are impossible to kill. With London under quarantine, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

My Thoughts:

I loved Chain of Gold so much! It was everything I expected it to be and more! The story line is a very exciting one and as soon as I got familiar with all the characters and plot, I couldn’t put it down. I have read The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices series prior to reading this book, and the Shadowhunter world felt very familiar to me. I knew some of the names, but it didn’t make much of a difference.

If you have read the Infernal Devices series, many characters will be known to you. But at the same time, if this is your first Cassandra Clare book, you’ll still be able to enjoy it. The first few chapters explain the Shadowhunter world quite well, as well as the Downworlders. In fact, if this is the first book you pick up, it will probably make you want to read the other books as well.

The writing is a masterpiece.

Cassie Clare, as usual, doesn’t disappoint. As soon as I start reading any of her books, I am immediately transported into this fictional world. I also loved the group of friends. It reminded me of the group of friends in the Mortal Instruments series, because of how close they are, and how they are not afraid to sacrifice each other to save one another. They are so unique and different, but that makes them all click nicely together.

“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.”

Cordelia was one of my favorite characters. Her bravery and her strong will. I mean, not everyone can wield Cortana, and she managed to do that!

“Ah, the famous Cortana. A sword that bears no runes, yet can kill demons, they say.”

I also loved Lucie’s creative mind and ability to find good in everyone. Also, her amazing ability (not saying anything else). James and his ability to think fast, to lead the group and to be the first one to go into a battle. Anna’s ability to discard the rules and live life as she wants. Matthew and Thomas, as well as Alastair and Christopher, all with their own troubles, but always there for their friends, ready for anything. Jesse. Oh God, Jesse. That boy made me love him so much, especially during the last few chapters. And not to forget, the amazing Jem, also known as Brother Zachariah. He was a true gem in this book, and his advice was priceless to James many, many times.

“We do not get to choose when in our lives we feel pain.” said Matthew, “It comes when it comes, and we try to remember, even though we cannot imagine a day when it will release its hold on us, that all pain fades. All misery passes. Humanity is drawn to light, not darkness.”

It’s always hard to write reviews without spoiling anything.

With Cassandra Clare’s books, it’s exceptionally hard! But I will say this – it’s another YA fantasy into the Shadowhunter universe, and it’s full with magic and intrigue. You’ll start caring about these people, and their lives will be in danger and each chapter will leave you wanting more. There are demons, ghosts, magic, warlocks, faes and vampires. And always shadowhunters, saving the day. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series, and I hope you’ll join me too!

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy [BLOG TOUR]

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy [BLOG TOUR]

★★★★

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy is the first book I read this year, and my first 5 star as well. I am now confident that 2021 won’t be that bad. I knew I was going to enjoy it, I just didn’t expect to enjoy it this much. Huge thank you yo Kaleidoscope Tours and Scholastic Press, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Synopsis:

Niamh just moved to London, with the hope to pursue acting, meet friends and have fun. When she starts making new friends and these women keep getting attacked and murdered, she realises that this might be all somehow connected to her. Because all women that are being attacked look very much like her.

My Thoughts:

Last One to Die is suspenseful from the very beginning, because Niamh knows that she’s in danger. She just doesn’t know what/who the danger is. Trusting people is hard and so is making new friends again. And as the book goes on, the intensity increases and the stakes get higher.

It’s so hard to write a spoiler-free review for this book, because I want to share everything I felt while reading it. Niamh was a character I really liked, and she was very easy to relate to as well. I went in for a YA thriller and I got a supernatural horror that kept me on my toes.

The friendship with Jess, the family closeness and the love interest scenes were a wonderful addition to the suspense we get, like breathing a bit of fresh air as well. I loved it when scenes made me giggle or give me the butterflies. It was very light as well, which helped break the scary moments and make you believe everything was good, before another plot twist happened.

I also loved the history element too.

The library, the museum, the old scary stories that happened in the part and brought eeriness… These were some of my favorite scenes in the whole book.

This is one of those books where you’ll have a theory, be eager to know the villain, and see your theories change at least three times. I made so many prediction, and got it correct in the end, but even then I still had to wait until the end to confirm it and get a satisfying explanation.

If you love YA thrillers, with horror elements and supernatural moments, don’t miss this one. This trope is now on my books. It might even be my favorite genre if my next reads are good as well. Cynthia Murphy as an author is also now on my list. I will make sure to read the next book she writes! I couldn’t recommend it enough!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

After (After #1) by Anna Todd [BOOK REVIEW]

After by Anna Todd [BOOK REVIEW]

After by Anna Todd is the perfect teenage romance book.

★★★★

I know I’m late to the After party. But hey, better late than never! I started After by Anna Todd in the evening, then stayed up all night because I had to finish it. And then, I begged my teen sister for the second book. She kindly agreed to give the book to me. I hope she doesn’t change her mind just to torture me. We’ll have to see how this unravels. 

Synopsis:

Tessa is just starting college, and she’s got everything planned. In one year, her boyfriend Noah will join her as well. But then she meets her wild roommate Steph as well as the incredibly rude guy with a British accent, Hardin. And everything changes!

My Thoughts:

Tessa is a good girl and she doesn’t do parties and short dresses. And she goes to a party with Steph and something changes. She can’t look away. Harding is doing something to her and she can barely resist. But she has a boyfriend. And also, everything she has a good moment with Hardin, two bad ones follow. Hardin is toxic, and Tessa hurts him in return as well. Also, their communication has to improve. Not the mention how the whole boyfriend situation was handled. 

Honestly, I thought my opinions would be conflicting. But they’re not. I really enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to the second one. Also, I know Hardin is based on Harry Styles, but while I was reading the book, he didn’t once cross my mind. I also often have fantasies about celebrities, I just don’t happen to write them. Honestly, it’s not a big deal. 

My only worry was that teens might see Hardin’s toxic side and think that’s how a girl should be treated. But that would mean underestimating the girls out there. Even in the book, Tessa was aware Hardin’s behaviour was not okay, which is why she reacted the way she did. The facts she would return only meant that she had feelings for him. Their relationship has more issues than good parts, but in all honesty, when I think about my high school days, it was that way for me too. I didn’t handle things well. Sometimes I didn’t communicate well. I trusted people I shouldn’t have trusted. And that’s the beauty of this book. 

After by Anna Todd is the perfect teenage book.

It reminded me of my days of high school and uni. Attending parties I shouldn’t have and trusting people that didn’t deserve my trust. Handling relationships badly and having terrible ability to communicate. And this book brought all the excitement back and more. Fond and not so fond memories that reminded me that I have lived at the fullest. 

In the next book, I do hope that their relationship improves. I hope Hardin grows up and Tessa communicates to him, instead of hurting him back. Also, I hope Tessa fixes her relationship with her mother as well, even though her mother needs to work on her own biases as well. I also hope that the dramas continue as well – I really love them. 

After by Anna Todd was a very refreshing read for me, because I don’t usually read teen romance anymore. I really hope I read it sooner, and I think I should get back to this genre as well. It kept me intrigued and hooked all the way through, and I certainly recommend it. 

P.S. If you want a good boy Hardin, watch the movie instead of reading the book. But don’t expect too much. It could’ve used a more “”bad boy” looking actor as well. Sorry, Hero, it’s nothing personal. You’re just not the Hardin I imagined. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
| Amazon US

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