Book Review · Books

Her Crown of Fire (Molten Crown, #1) by Renee April [BOOK REVIEW]

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Her Crown of Fire is the first book of the Molten Crown series.

Rose Evermore is a girl trying to survive high-school. But she suddenly has dreams that can predict the future and she seems to be able to control fire.

Curious about the power she possesses, she finds herself in the fantasy realm of Lotheria with her best friend Tyson. When she arrives, she is welcomed as a fire mage at the academy, while Tyson is forced to hide in order to survive.

With a lot of plot twists and new power discoveries, Rose and Tyson are in trouble and have to find a way back home.

I enjoyed this book, and I loved the characters.

It is quite difficult for me to find characters I actually feel for in young adult fantasies, but I loved Rose and Tyson. Both characters were full of energy and wisdom. I especially loved the way Tyson developed into a man during his time in Lotheria.

Aside from Rose and Tyson, we also met many side characters which were instantly lovable, such as Laela, Orin and Amisha. They all had something about them that made them special, and I loved every scene that they were in.

I wish that the academy had a more welcoming feeling about it. But given the circumstances, I also loved the mystery and danger that is surrounding it. I loved the the scenes when they talk about their classes and magic, and I loved the runes class. It gave me a Hogwarts vibe.

I enjoyed reading this book, and I cannot wait to read the next book of this series. If you love young adult fantasy, magic, danger and adventure, followed by incredible friendships, you will absolutely love Her Crown of Fire!

Thank you to the team at White Plan Publishing, for sending me an ARC paperback copy, in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou [BOOK REVIEW]

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Love, Heather is one of the most disturbing YA novels related to bullying I have read! 

Please be aware that this book has bullying and assault triggers. 

Stevie and Lottie have been friends since they’ve known about each other. And when Lottie starts to hang out with the popular kids, Stevie wants to fit in too. One thing leads to another, and Stevie gets bullied by them, which quickly leads to the whole school avoiding her.

Then Stevie becomes friends with Dee, and they start plotting a revenge on the popular kids, which very quickly gets out of hand. The ” Love, Heather ” pranks are now spreading without anyone being able to stop them.

Stevie’s family is a bit of a troubled one. Her mum and dad are divorced, and her dad doesn’t have the interest to see her often, being busy with his new missus. Her mum is starting to date other men too, often not spending time with Stevie. Lacking her family love, Stevie sees Lottie’s family as hers. Very understandably, given the fact she has spent countless days and nights there. Lottie’s family is not perfect either though. They have their own problems, and the most recent one is Lottie’s mum transitioning into a man.

Stevie as a character

Stevie is a person that makes you want to feel for you, but you can’t. She is supposed to be sympathetic and she is supposed to be a victim. However, most of the time I found her quite annoying and attention seeking. It is also important to mention that she is not alone and could reach for help, but she didn’t, despite people often asking her whether she is feeling okay and if there is anything they can do to help.

The world was always revolving about Stevie, and she couldn’t understand how other may feel as well. A scene where she tells Lottie how to accept her mum’s transition comes to mind. We all know that Stevie cares about Lottie and her mum, but Lottie is way closer and more affected in this situation. There are times where it’s not our place to say things, and leave people to cope in their own way, and Stevie was not able to achieve this state of mind.

Powerful!

While I couldn’t connect to Stevie on many levels, I absolutely cherish this book because it brings up bullying in a very powerful way. It is very emotional and very intense, every bit of reality hits hard and makes me angry for all the children out there that are getting bullied every day. I was once that kid. I was a Stevie too! And it sucks to see it happen again and again, and realise how cruel life and people can be sometimes, when no one gets punished for what they have done.

I loved how this book showed how small things done in consecutive way can have enormous effect to a person, or a group. How the small things we say today can hurt us badly. And I hope people will read this book with the hope of spreading the knowledge and standing up to bullies, before things go out of hand.

Thank you to the team at Netgalley and the publishers at Crooked Lane Books, for sending me an e-copy of Love, Heather in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Reverie by Ryan La Sala [BOOK REVIEW]

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I wanted to love Reverie by Ryan La Sala so much!

Reverie has a wonderful cover that draws you in immediately. The plot mentions a boy and a fantasy world that revolves around dreams. Everything I hoped this book would be – it wasn’t.

Kane is a gay teenager who is trying to pick up the pieces of his life back together after an attack leaves him with no memories of the past. He is in the search of who he is and who he was, and he discovers an alternate reality that he was involved in.

Reveries are worlds born from a person’s private fantasies, and once they manifest they can only be unraveled by bringing their conflicts to a resolution. Reveries have rules and plots, magic and monsters – anything you could wish for. And one wrong step can twist the entire thing into a lethal nightmare maze.

Sounds complicated already?

What if I told you that this is only from the blurb and the book doesn’t really explain these things at all?

Kane is an unraveler, together with The Others. Or at least he was, until one of The Others purged Kane of his memories. And here we are now, with Kane trying to solve the mystery and fight against evil.

I jumped into this book very eagerly, and was disappointing immediately, within the first couple of pages. The reveries and their whole concept were quite confusing, to the point of me not knowing whether the characters are now in a reverie, or in their real world.

Reverie had an amazing concept and it could’ve been done way better than this. I am just disappointed. It all seemed a bit messy and felt like it wasn’t thought through…

I didn’t connect with any of the characters, except for Kane, for the below reasons. And that was it… I didn’t care about any of the others, and there were quite a few characters.

One thing that annoyed me about Reverie, was the exaggeration of the #OwnVoices.

I am not against it, on the contrary! I love equality and I love diversity, and I share love everywhere and to everyone, and if you know me in real life, you will know this about me. We are all equal and different at the same time, and that is the unique thing that connects us all.

However, this book keeps mentioning that Kane is gay. And Kane is a lovely character. He is smart and he is brave. His memories were lost and is desperately trying to find out who he is, who he was, who are his true friends, who is good and who is evil. He doesn’t take for granted on what people tell him. He is AMAZING. Kane was so much more than just gay. But the author kept trying so hard to put an #OwnVoices hashtag on this book, that is was quite aggressive and off-putting. I love books that feature #OwnVoices, but Ryan, please – a little bit of modesty would’ve been nice.

I keep feeling this pressure of trying to write a book review that will not offend anyone, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I need to say that sometimes, there can be such a thing as “too much OwnVoicing” in a book. And we shouldn’t be afraid to point it out!

I am really sad about this one, guys. Honestly, I expected it to love it so bad, and now I feel down. I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you think you will love it, please pick it up. You are valid!

Thank you to the team at Netgalley and the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, for sending me an ARC e-copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review · Books

The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries #2) by L.J. Smith [BOOK REVIEW]

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The Struggle is the continuation of the Vampire Diaries Series by L.J. Smith. The second book that features the life of popular girl Elena Gilbert and her endeavors with the mysterious vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore.

The Struggle continues where The Awakening ends; Elena is looking to talk to Damon, knowing that he has something to do with Stefan’s disappearance.

I felt like there was more action in this book, compared to the first one. It made me more engrossed with the story and I was very excited for all the twists.

Elena was obviously the main character in this book, alongside Stefan and Damon. I am not sure how I felt about Elena in this book. She seemed to ignore everyone for a while and just be her selfish self – which resulted in getting people in trouble.

On the other hand, I really loved the history of Stefan and Damon. The memories from hundreds of years ago. The author manager to portray the time very well, and I was easily transported into another world, another time… I think these scenes were definitely the favourite part of this book.

I wish we saw more chapters with Bonnie and Meredith. Even though best friends, it didn’t feel like they were too involved in the story. We didn’t get to know them properly and it has already been two books. I really hope book three will let us meet these two characters better.

I am happy with the book in general.

The scenes, the plot, the twists – they were all very carefully put together. Elena’s love choices are opening up, letting us wonder which brother she might choose. Making us choose sides (team Damon here!). This battle between the love and hate of the two brothers definitely seems interesting.

The ending was everything I was hoping for and now I can’t wait for the next book. The Awakening and The Struggle were only an introduction and the real adventures are yet to begin!

I recommend it to all of you that love young-adult, teen romance and vampire stories. It will keep you on your toes for sure!

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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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