How do I choose my books? // A Discussion

Hey Guys!

Today I’m going to be discussing how I decide what books I want to read! For me, it’s quite a lengthy process!

Synopsis:

For me, if a book does not have a good synopsis then I’m not going to read it. The synopsis is one of the main ways to get a reader to get interested in a book. If the synopsis is boring then I’m not going to pick the book up. I’m looking for an intriguing story that grabs my interests and makes me want to grab a copy immediately.

A great example of this would be the Synopsis for The Girl’s I’ve been.

Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.

For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:

#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.

#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:

#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.

The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…

This is a great example of a synopsis because it makes me interested in what will happen. We are told that there is a bank robbery, that she was the daughter of a con artist, and that she just got into a sticky situation with her girlfriend and ex-boyfriend. This spawns questions in my head, like “I wonder what will happen” and “How will this all fit together.” By leaving some of it a mystery, we want to know what will happen to make us more likely to pick up the book.

Author:

If I discover a book by an author that I enjoy their other books, I most likely will pick it up. Why? If I have liked their content in the past, I will pick up all of their books because I enjoy their writing style and storytelling. I also enjoy following their journey of seeing how their writing progresses. It is usually typical for a writer to improve their craft the more they write. I love Marie Lu and Sarah J Maas books, so if they release a new book, you would be correct if you said I would buy it.

The same could be said for why I don’t choose certain books. Some authors I’m not a fan of their storytelling or writing, so I tend to veer away from their books. But some authors are problematic and support things that I don’t. So I tend not to read their books due to have different opinions and morals.

Cover:

I know I shouldn’t use the cover of a book to judge whether or not I should read a book. But I’m so guilty of it. Many times if I see a pretty book cover, I’m bound to be interested in it. I have learned the hard way that even if a book has a beautiful cover doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best. Looks at Ash Princess

But some books have pretty covers, and they turn out to be fabulous books. The same could be said for books that don’t have the prettiest book cover.

Recommendations:

Many times I ask my fellow bloggers and Goodreads friends for some good book recommendations. I trust them to give me good Recommendations, and most of the time it happens. So yes, this does help me choose my books because sometimes I have no idea what I want to read and recommendations help me figure out what books I want to read.

They also help to guide me on what books to stay away from. I also trust them to keep me away from beds books, which they do and I am glad they do.

Thanks to all my fellow bloggers and Goodreads friends for giving me Recommendations!

Good Reviews:

This option I rarely use, but sometimes I do employ it. If I see people posting reviews raving about how this book is so good and that you should read it. Then I’m going to add it to my list. This also works the opposite way. If I see a review that is ranting on a book negatively, I’m going to try to avoid it. I only really read reviews from people I trust will be honest and open about a book.

Thank you for reading this post! What discussions would you like me to do in the future?

See you all next time!

The Girls I’ve Been Review

Hey guys!

Today I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe! I hope you all enjoy this review and feel free to discuss with me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for checking out this review!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Nora O’ Malley has been lots of different girls. Her mother is a con artist who targets criminal men, taking Nora for the ride. But on one of her mother’s con, she falls for the mark. Nora decides to pull the biggest con, which is an escape from that life. Ever since then, Nora has been playing a normal life. But she’ll need to dust off her skills after three problems start to arise.

  • Her ex walked in on Nora and her girlfriend, Iris. They are all friends, but Wes didn’t know
  • The day after Wes finds them kissing, they have to go to deposit money they raised at a fundraiser
  • As soon as they enter the bank, two robbers start robbing it

“There is no normal. There is just a bunch of people pretending there is. There’s just different levels of pain. Different stages of safe. The biggest con of all is that there’s a normal.”

The story jumps back and forth between the last four years of Nora’s life. During the chapters that feature the present, the book tells us how much time has passed since being held captive, what the working plan was and what items they had to help them. I thought this was a nice detail to add because it tells you quick information that will be helpful in the future and reminds you what is going on. This story focuses on one theme: Survival. It’s a story about how you may go through some of the worst moments, and how in the end, that will make you stronger. It also throws in a surprise theme of how you should keep those you care about close. Not only does the author do a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat, she throws in Nora’s complex relationships showing how they are affected by the present but also the past.

“What didn’t kill me didn’t make me stronger; what didn’t kill me made me into a victim.

But I made me stronger. I made me into a survivor.”

Often, when I’m reading YA books there tends to be some pacing issues. But let me tell you, I thought the pacing was brilliant. I never felt bored while reading it and wanted to know what will happen next. The author creates this fast-paced story by having short chapters and fast dialogue scenes. A smart move for the author to do because it grabs your attention. The author also does a great job of balancing dark and heavy scenes with humor and thrilling parts. By balancing out the story with humorous and thrilling elements it helps to not make the story dark and depressing.

Nora O’Malley is different from any character I’ve read. She is someone you don’t want to mess with but throughout the book, you will come to love her character. Nora has been through some rough times, but we see her persevere and keep going. She has been through so much pain and hurt, but we see her evolve to eventually breaking past her barriers. Wes and Iris are complex and incredible side characters. Both of them have their own stories that we get to see in the book as well. Many times in YA books, we don’t get to see the side characters’ backgrounds but in this book, we get to know all about them. The only criticism I have about these two characters is that I wished we got to see more of them in the present. We got so much information about them in the past, but not much in the present.

I am someone who survives.

The relationships between the characters were incredibly complex, with many layers to untangle. Nora and Wes are exes, but they are still friends. They still care about each other so much even though some events happen that rattle their relationship. I loved seeing that they were still friends, and I feel like this doesn’t happen a lot in YA books. I would love to see this in more YA books because this happens in real life. I was disappointed that we did not get to see Iris and Nora’s relationship more. We get so much of Wes and Nora’s, so it made me wanting more from the other one. I wish that their relationship was expanded upon more and we got more scenes between them.

The ending was a little underwhelming. I expected more out of it, and to me, it felt open-ended. I would have liked to find out what happened rather than not knowing. I expected it to have more of a solid ending to mark the end of Nora’s story. But her story still has more to it.

TW: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assaults, Child Molestation, Gun Violence, and Lots of Crime

Content warnings from the author: bit.ly/2NcdmLP

Trope Themed Thursdays: Redemption Arcs

Hey Guys!

Today for Trope Themed Thursday I’m going to be talking about some great books that feature Redemption Arcs! I hope you guys enjoy this post! Spoilers Ahead!! Synopsis are from Goodreads!

Let’s get started!

Renegades

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

One of our main characters, Nova, has a well-developed character arc throughout the series. She begins hating the Renegades wanting to take them down and bring the anarchists back to power. As she begins to go undercover in the Renegades, she realizes that maybe they aren’t so bad and that everything is not always what it seems to be. This book handles the redemption arc so well, and it did a great job of developing it throughout three books. A must-read for good villain redemption arcs!

Vicious

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the arch nemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

Here is another fantastic book that features a good redemption arc. In this book, we see that Victor gets the redemption Arc. As the book progresses, we see Victor start to undo the wrongs in his past and become a better person. We see him became a fatherly type figure to Sydney, and he wants to end Eli once and for all. All he wants to get rid of this evil force of Eli but does not make the best decisions. He still uses his villainous ways but rather for the right reasons.

An Ember in the Ashes

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

I could not do this topic without mentioning this book. I do mention it a lot, but I enjoy this book so much! We are talking about Helene, of course. She is one of my favourite characters of all time. As we see time pass in this series, we see Helene, who is loyal to the empire and is somewhat the villain to the main characters. But in some ways, she isn’t, but she is portrayed to be because she is on the wrong side. We eventually see her swap sides and start to realize that maybe the empire isn’t so great.

Heartless

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

So I kind of feel like this is a reverse redemption arc in a way. In this book, we see how the Queen of Hearts becomes the Queen of Hearts. So you may be thing how is this a redemption arc? Well, I put it on because it’s like a reverse redemption arc. This book shows us who the Queen of Hearts was before. The story helps to give the Queen of Hearts redeeming qualities and shows what drove her to madness. Which causes you to be sympathetic and, in return, makes Cath’s transformation into the Queen of Hearts somewhat understandable.

Throne of Glass

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.


Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. 

We are going to be talking about the one and only Manon Blackbeak. We are introduced to Manon as one of the most powerful witches of the Blackbeak Clans and is loyal to only her thirteen. She becomes one of Aelin’s most formidable foes. But as the story progresses, we see Manon join Aelin’s side to fight against the evil forces realizing that is what she has to do. We also start to see her warm up to those on Aelin’s side, and she starts to become a real hero.

What did you think of my choices? What are your thoughts on Redemption Arcs?

If you have any tropes that you like me to do, feel free to leave them in the comments!

If you like that.. You’ll like this

Hey Guys!

I’m going to be doing a new series on my blog called If you like that…You’ll like this! In this series I will be mentioning popular YA books and be recommending books that are similar to them! I’ve seen this done on booktube so I thought I would bring it to the blogsphere! I have no idea if this has been done before by the way. I hope you guys enjoy this!

Let’s get started!

If you enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses, you will like The Cruel Prince

Comparisons:

  • Both have fairies, whimsical places, and lots of scheming
  • Both have lovable characters that you will fall in love with
  • They are fast paced and well written
  • Both contain great storylines

If you enjoyed Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you will like Felix and the Happily Ever After

Comparisons:

  • Both are LGBTQ+ stories
    • Simon is Gay and Felix is trans
  • Both have a forced coming out
    • Simon is blackmailed, while Felix gets pictures of him shown to the whole school
  • Fantastic Friend groups // lovable characters
  • Deals with discovering yourself

If you enjoyed Six of Crows, you will like The Gilded Wolves

Comparisons:

  • Both involved a group of friends going on a heist
  • Lovable characters and great group relationships
  • Unique worlds
  • Note: Don’t go into this book expecting it to be the same as Six of Crows, because their are many differences as well

If you enjoyed Truly Devious, you will like A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Comparisons:

  • Both deal with a smart female main character who loves mysteries and know what to search for
  • Both deal with a character who has to solve a mystery involving a murder
  • Features a romance
  • Have thrilling mysteries that will have you captivated

If you enjoyed One of the Good Ones, you will like Let Me Hear A Rhyme

Comparisons:

  • Both include celebrating the legacy of a friend who was killed
    • Steph wrote music while Kezi was a social activist
  • Both deal with how racism is still present in our society
  • Both include 2+ Point of Views
  • Both deal with how their friends’ work impacted the world

If you enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, you will like Everything Everything

Comparisons:

  • deals with teens that have illness
  • Has a message of live your life despite your illness or you can overcome your illness
  • It’s not about their illness but rather the characters
  • Sad stories but also has fun lovable scenes
  • Great Writing

Thanks for checking out this post! See you next time!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hey Guys!

I got nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Rania @ Rania’s Rambling Reads! Thank you, Rania, for nominating me, and I’m so excited to get into answering some questions! I hope you guys enjoy this post!

Let’s get started!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer all the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your blog post.

What’s one book that you wish you could read for the first time all over again?

That’s a difficult question to answer. I have many great choices, but I think I would have to go with Vicious by V.E Schwab. When I first read it, I remember enjoying it so much because it was dark and gritty. It was a story that I knew was not going to have a happy ending and that this book was going o throw me for some unexpected twists.

What’s your favorite color and why?

Blue. I don’t know really why. It just appeals to me.

Beaches or mountains?

I have never been to the mountains, so I would have to say beach. I like collecting seashells and sticking my feet in the water. It’s so relaxing when you’re at the beach.

What do you love about yourself the most?

My determination. I love when I put my mind to something, I will get it done and do it well. I would also say another thing I love about myself is my kind heart. I always am willing to help people out and support them in times of crisis. It makes me upset when I see people who are currently suffering, especially during these times when I can help them.

What has been your best moment this year so far?

Starting a blog! I have loved being able to make creative posts as well as interacting with my book blogger friends. It’s been a fun activity to do to express my creativity.

If you had to be on a reality tv show, which one would it be?

I would say Big Brother. It seems like so much fun, and I would love to participate in the scheming and challenges. I was thinking Survivor, but then I was thinking maybe not because you hate being in the forest, so I don’t think you will survive living 39 days in a jungle.

If you could change your name, what would you change it too?

Honestly I really like my name! So I don’t think I would change it!

What’s your spirit animal?

I would have to say a dog. I’ve always loved dogs and have felt connected to them ever since I was younger. I don’t know what breed exactly would be my spirit animal, so I kept it broad.

Fairies or pixies?

I don’t really have a preference. I don’t really know what the difference between them is. I guess fairies since I don’t know what pixies are.

Would you rather go to space or to the bottom of the ocean?

Space! I would love to explore planets and study different environments. I would also want to explore all of the galaxies and see what makes them different from the Milky Way. I think it would also be cool to discover ways on how to could possibly live on different planets like they are trying to figure out with Mars now!

What’s your favorite holiday to celebrate?

Christmas! I love to get presents for my friends and family! I love being able to spend quality time with them and getting to relax from my busy schedule!

People I Tag:

  • Ella @Ella isn’t Reading
  • Susana @Susanalovesbooks
  • Phoenix @Bookwithwings
  • Alex @ The Scribe Owl
  • Jan @ The Doodlecrafter
  • Saima @ Storieswithsaima
  • Maeve @ Books by Maeve
  • Elli @ Ace Reader

And anyone else who wants to do it!

My Questions:

  • What is your favorite type of food?
  • Do you believe in Horoscopes and Zodiacs?
  • What is your favorite book trope?
  • What is your favorite thing to do outside?
  • What is your favorite type of music?
  • What is your favorite TV Show?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What quality is most important to you that a person should have?
  • What is your favorite thing to drink?
  • Do you believe in ghosts?
  • Are you an introvert or Extrovert?

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoy this post! Thanks to Rania for nominating me!

Trope Themed Thursdays: The Chosen One

Hey Guys!

Welcome back to another Trope Themed Thursday! Today we are going to be talking about some books that feature The Chosen One Trope! All the synopsis are from Goodreads!

I know some people are not the biggest fan of The Chosen One Trope but if done in a new and fresh way, it can be exciting to read! Nowadays we see author write books that make us question The Chosen one trope and they explore it in new ways!

Let’s Get Started

Legendborn

After her mother dies in an accident, Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories. She decides to stay at a residential home for high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill campus. While she is there she witnesses a flying demon harnessing human energies, A secret society called the “Legendborn” that hunts down demons and a teenage boy that calls himself Merlin, who tries to wipe her memories. It ends up failing and allows Bree to see that there was a Merlin at her mother’s death. Wanting to know more Bree joins the Legendborn to unravel the secrets of her mother’s death.

This book handles The Chosen One trope so well, and it doesn’t seem obvious who it is. We see lots of characters that can be “The Chosen One,” but you don’t find out until the last few pages. It challenges that typically Chosen One trope in that anyone of any race, gender and sexuality can be chosen. It makes a statement that anyone can be thrown into that position. Besides nailing the “Chosen One” trope, this book has an interesting magic system, unlike any other book that I have read.

The Hunger Games

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Even though we know from the beginning Katniss is the Chosen One, it turns this “Chosen One” trope into something you don’t want to be. Since Katniss is “The Chosen One” and all eyes are on her, it puts her in even more danger than before. I think this book turns “The Chosen One” trope on its head and makes it into a more negative aspect.

Arc of a Scythe

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

In this scenario, you don’t want to be a Scythe. If you are chosen to be a Scythe, you have to take someone’s life and learn the art of it. That sounds horrible. So they aren’t lucky to be The Chosen Ones rather, it is a curse than a blessing. This book does a great job of not making this trope seem like all the other ones and adds some fun twists to it!

They Both Die at the End

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day. 

Usually, if you are “The Chosen One,” you have to go on some dangerous journey or have to do something that maybe you aren’t fond of. But in this book, Mateo and Rufus have been chosen to die. They are chosen to die at any time on September 5th. The two of them tried to live the best day of their lives before it’s time. It’s a cute story that takes The Chosen One Trope in an unexpected direction compared to the other ones listed above.

An Ember in the Ashes

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, it’s most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

To me personally, this trope focuses on two characters in this story, which would be Elias and Helene. When they were children, they were chosen to be elite soldiers called Masks who would serve the Martial Empire. We see one character stay on that path while the other one strays away. We see how one finds being chosen as a mask as an honor, while the other finds it horrible. It is interesting to see this contrast of how different people view things that they were hand-picked for.

What did you think of my choices? What are your thoughts on the Chosen One Trope?

If you have any tropes that you like me to do, feel free to leave them in the comments!

The Marvel Avengers Book Tag

Hey Guys!

Today I’m going to be doing The Marvel Avengers Book Tag! Credit to whoever came up with this tag, if anyone knows please let me know! As you may know, I am a huge marvel fan and when I saw this tag I knew it would be up my alley!

Let’s get started!

Iron Man – A book that made you laugh out loud

The Gilded Wolves made me laugh so much due to three characters, which were Enrique, Hypnos and Zofia. I loved when the three of them interacted in a scene, and it always ended in me laughing hysterically. A combination of Hypnos’s Playful attitude, Enrique’s charm and Zofia’s smarts helped to create a fun relationship between the three of them.

Captain America – A book that sends a positive message

The Fire on High has a positive message which when you encounter hardships, that shouldn’t stop you from going after your dreams. Instead, she used her fire so she could reach her goals. Emoni is a teen mom who has always wanted to attend culinary school. Throughout the book, we see Emoni getting to handle being a teen mom while also pursuing her cooking dream.

Thor – a book with a character’s strength you admire

If there is any character’s strength, I admire it’s Helene Aquilla. She is not only a skilled warrior but her passion for those she loves never falters. She is always willing to sacrifice herself to protect her family, and if something doesn’t seem right, she doesn’t go through with it. She has been through hardships, but that doesn’t stop her from helping her family.

Black Widow – a book with a kick-ass female protagonist

I have two picks for this one who has to be Inej and Nina from the Six of Crows series. They both are skilled fighters and know to handle themselves. They don’t need no man’s help to survive in a place like Ketterdam. Nina accepts herself for who she is and would not change a thing about her. Inej can climb six stories without a net and cares for those around her.

Hulk – a book that made you incredibly angry

Ahhh, Gone made me so mad. I wanted this book to be good. There were three main problems with this book. The plot was so slow and took me forever to get through the book. The writing was very simplistic and just felt very bland. We are told that the main characters are around 14 years old, but that doesn’t seem right. Most of them act like they are 17 or 18, which makes no sense because most 14-year-olds are immature and still in the process of finding themselves out.

Hawkeye – an underrated book you think more people should pay attention to

One of the Good Ones is such an underrated book that I believe all people should read. It deals with the subject of why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed. Kezi Smith is a social activist that dies at a social justice program. She is immortalized as “One of the Good Ones” and shows that society only favors those who are doing something good for the world.

Loki – a book with a twist or surprise that tricked you

I don’t know if this was predictable to some people or not, but I wouldn’t have guessed the ending. SPOILER WARNING NOW – I was not expecting Henry to make Addie’s Story into a book. I thought this book was detailing her life, but we find out this is the book Henry wrote. I thought the ending would be Henry and Addie would have to split apart, and they would have to go on with their separate lives. But I did enjoy the ending and thought it was cute. 

People I tag…

(Sorry if you don’t watch Marvel Movies!)

Jan @ thedoodlecrafter

Katie @ Whispering Pages

Brooke @ The Reader’s Game

Ritz @ Living, Loving and Reading

Mash @ Mashlovesbooks

Cherry @ Letters to the Lost

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! See you next time!

Aesthete Blogger Award

Hello Guys!

I was nominated for the Aesthete Blogger Award by Booksy @ Booktastically Amazing (Thank you for nominating me!), where I will be answering some questions! I hope you guys enjoy this post!

Here are some of the rules:

  • Use the official logo/graphic of the award and display it on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Show some love to the one who nominated you!
  • Mention the creator (Asmita@ the Fictional Journal) and link it back to the original post.
  • Tell me a something about this world that you admire.
  • What is your favorite form of creativity?
  • Nominate 7 lovely people and notify them by commenting on their posts; spread some love!
  • Ask your nominees 4 questions.
  • Share something you created. (can be anything!)

Tell me a something about this world that you admire.

Something I admire about the Blogsphere is how creative everyone is! Every day I love seeing my fellow bloggers’ posts because I never know what to expect! Everyone has such pretty blogs, and this community is so supportive. Everyone is so kind, and I love being to share my interests in books with my fellow bloggers!

Something I admire about the world is how easy it is for people to connect these days. Even before the COVID-19 Pandemic, you could find unity online over common issues and find people who have the same interests as you. I love how people are coming together over problems facing our world like the BLM Movement, Climate Change, LGBTQ+ Rights, and much more. It’s so inspiring to see, and it gives me so much hope for the future.

What is your favorite form of creativity?

I would have to say the writing because with being a blogger, I write a lot. I mean, why would I be a blogger if I didn’t enjoy writing. I’m not the best writer, but I love trying to get better and improve on my craft. Another form of creativity that would have to come close is drawing with chalk. I’m the best drawer, but it helps me to relax. I love using tape to map out my designs because it makes them precise and clean (It would drive me crazy if it wasn’t perfect.)

Booksy’s Questions:

What is your meaning of being a reader. Why do you read?

To me, a reader means that you love to read and have a passion for it. You don’t have to read one topic to be a reader. You can read anything you want from articles, Fiction, nonfiction, audiobooks, ebooks, and whatever floats your boat.

I read because it helps me to relax and takes my mind off things that are bothering me. It takes me away from the world and lets me experience a world somewhat different from mine. I get to read about fantastical adventures and read about characters, who inspire me to keep growing as a person.

Have you ever thought of writing a book? And if so, how’s it going so far?

I have had thoughts in the past about writing a book. I even did for a while, but then I gave up on it. I realized that it wasn’t me for me and that I would rather, read a book than write one. Reading has always been my number one passion, and writing is a little further down the list.

Are you an artist? Do you draw, sing, dance…

Yes, I’m a musician. I having been playing the clarinet for seven years now, and I have been in a band for all those years. I’m not going to pursue being a musician, but rather it’s a hobby for me. It’s something fun for me to do.

What is one thing you live for and would sacrifice a thousand lifetimes to still have?

I would say, my family. They mean everything to me, and I would do anything for them. They are here to support me and always love me no matter what will happen. I’m the person I am today because of them, and I’m grateful for them.

Nominate 7 lovely people:

  • Ahaana @ Windows to the Worlds
  • Mash @ Mashlovesbooks
  • Saima @ Stories with Saima
  • Ella @ Ella isn’t reading
  • Saniya @ sunnysidereviews
  • Cherry @ Letters to the Lost
  • Ritz @ Living, Loving and Reading

My Questions:

  • How did you get into reading?
  • What book cover describes your personality?
  • Do have any special talents?
  • What’s your favorite thing about your life?

Thank you again to Booksy for nominating me! I hope you guys enjoyed this post! See you next time!

The Cost of Knowing // Arc Review

Hey guys!

Today I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on The Cost of Knowing by Brittany Morris! I hope you all enjoy this review and feel free to discuss with me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for checking out this review!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.

It’s hard to for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.

And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes.

With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present.

Alex Rufus is trying to do the best he can in his life. He tries to be the best employee, he tries to be the best boyfriend for Talia, and he tries to be the best brother for Isiah. But Alex always manages to come up short. For Alex, it’s hard for him to stay in the present when every object he touches shows him the future. When he touches his car, he sees it totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the edge of breaking up. When Alex touches a photo of his family, he sees Isiah’s incoming death and everything changes.

Everything about this novel was so authentic. In this book, we see issues addressed that are currently going on in our world. We see the realities of not only being black but what it’s like to be a black man. We see how African Americans get profiled and how many assumptions are being made about them off the bat. I love how the author isn’t afraid to put this issue on blast and show people what it is like for African Americans.

Going off what I said in the previous paragraph, we also see this book emphasized toxic masculinity that is placed onto black men. In this book, Morris allows the boys to act like kids instead of having them grow up so fast. We see Alex struggle with this feeling like he needs to work to be a provider for his family and that if he did not, he wouldn’t be a man. By the end, Alex realizes that he doesn’t need a paycheck to provide for his family, but he can do it in other ways. He learns that the family doesn’t just need financial support, but also emotional support and that is what makes him a true man

One of the things that bothered me while reading was that every time Alex had a vision; he had to cancel it. After a while thus became annoying because each time he cancelled it. And every time he cancelled it, we got the details on how it worked. Like for example, whenever Alex was working at his scoop’s visions popped up. It did bring down my reading experience, but It also helped me to understand what Alex was going through.

My favourite thing about this novel has to be the relationship between Alex and Isaiah. Throughout the story, we see that at the beginning of the book that they really don’t know each other. Isaiah stays in his room all day while Alex is out at work and hanging out with Talia. Once Alex finds out about Isaiah’s imminent death, he tries to make his relationship better before Isaiah is gone. We see them bond over a rapper called Shiv and see them hang out together. It is such a sweet relationship, and you can see how much they care for each other.

I love Alex as a character, and the author did such an accurate job portraying his anxiety. A great example of this is when Alex worries every second of ways Isaiah could die. Based on this, you can tell his anxiety is focusing on Isaiah’s death, and it’s hard for him to take his mind off the subject. You could tell that Alex cared so much for his loved ones and was willing to do anything for them. He had so many regrets about the things he could have done. As time passes, he learns to make peace with past regrets. Isaiah was so young but had such a burden on his back. He was a twelve-year-old kid, that has to deal with many problems that no kid that age should have to deal with. I loved how he would eat pizza bits and fruit loops. I loved how he wanted to be a rapper and when it came down to his death, it made it even harder to deal with.

The last act of the book feels rushed. The entire story makes it clear what is coming next. When I was reading it, I got confused about what happened. It went by super fast, and it quickly became misleading on what was happening. When it really shouldn’t because we know what happens. In the last act, there is so much that has to happen that everything feels cramped within the few pages. But there is a scene at the end of the book dealing with past ancestors that is so beautiful, so it made the ending somewhat better.

Overall, this was a good book with a few problems here and there. I would recommend you to check it out if you think this will be up your alley!

TW: Blood, Mass Shooting, Gun Violence, Racism

Thank you to NetGallery for providing me an ARC of The Cost of Knowing in exchange for an honest review!

Ash Princess Review

Hey guys!

Today I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on Ash Princess! I hope you all enjoy this review and feel free to discuss with me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for checking out this review!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

The plot of this book is unoriginal, and nothing interesting happens. It’s a predictable plot, and you can guess what happens. Theo teams up with rebels. They then come up with complicated schemes to tear down the Kalovaxians. She escapes the castle and forms an army. The plot just seemed like any other YA Fantasy book, which was a disappointment. I wish it had unexpected twists that you would not be expecting. But it doesn’t.

The love triangle in this book was unnecessary and cheesy at times. For contender one, we have Blaise, who is Theo’s childhood friend from birth. For contender two, we have Soren, the Kalovaxian Prinz, who has a soft heart. We did not need this at all. I think it would have been better if Theo didn’t have a love interest, let alone two. I feel like it would have been more empowering to show that she doesn’t need a man, but she can survive. But no, we have to get a love triangle.

As we know, Theo was kept alive by the Kaiser, which doesn’t make much sense to me. Yes, they do explain why but the reasoning makes no sense. If you keep Theo alive, she could rally the people of Astrea to revolt even if you beat her and degrade her. She is still going to inspire hope for the Astreans to gain their land back, so why do you even risk the chance of having that happen. If you want to stop the reinstatement of a rightful monarch, you would kill the monarch. It makes the Kaiser look dumb for making that decision and diminishes his character.

I wasn’t a fan of Theo. She practically lives in luxury for the most part. She gets to wear fancy dresses, go to events in the palace, and have Cress as a friend, who is a Kalovaxian. I’m not diminishing her punishments and the ridicule she faces. I’m just saying that besides that, she is living in luxury. After the first girl said she would help Theo escape, the girl betrays her. Since then, She has done nothing. Her people are dying in the thousands from the mines, but she does nothing. She doesn’t do anything till she sees Blaise and then plots to take her throne back. But she can’t even carry out the plans because she cares too much for the people they want her to kill. She is too indecisive, and her inability to care out plans causes her to be annoying.

I wish we got more from the spirit gems. In the book, we are told spirit gems that give the user powers, and they are more powerful if you know how to use them. The Kalovaxians don’t know how to use them and instead use them for basic needs like warmth and beauty. Theo knows how to use them (Which how does she if Astrea was destroyed when she was six and has not allowed the possession of one since.) She has swiped them before, and there are hundreds of them in the castle. I don’t understand why she doesn’t take one and use it. As the queen, she can’t use them because she won’t make it to the afterlife. Honestly, Theo wouldn’t you want to save thousands of your people in exchange for going to the afterlife? It seems like a no-brainer. There are still many questions I have about the spirit gems like…

  • How were they made?
  • Why were they made?
  • Why are they important?
  • How do you become a guardian and who decides what spiritgem each one uses?

The author also has a tendency to repeat the same words to describe the character’s reactions. I’m not exaggerating but it’s a lot! Here is a list that shows most of them. Credit to Bhavya for the list!

Smile
“I’m fine,” I say instead, forcing a smile she sees through immediately.
“You’re right,” I lie with a smile.
“I tell her with what I hope passes as a demure smile.”
“I paste a smile on my face as well.”
“Crescentia adds with a dimpled smile.”
“I give her a reassuring smile as Søren helps her off the ship.”
“I don my most innocent smile and link my arm through Erik’s.”
“Kaiser’s orders,” he says with a tight smile. “I’m sure he has his reasons.”
“He always does,” I reply, hoping my smile looks more natural than it feels.
“I force a high, false laugh, keeping my smile frozen and speaking in Astrean for extra measure.”
Elpis is bewildered. “Smile,” I tell her”
“I look up at the guard and give him my sweetest smile, though it doesn’t seem to do much good. His face remains frozen.”
“Søren grimaces, but his eyes are smiling”
“I tighten my smile so that it looks vaguely forced”
“All it takes are wide eyes, tentative smiles, and a wolf at my heels.”
“I shrug, but my smile is feral.”
“Her eyes linger on me a moment longer before her mouth curls into a tight smile and she clasps her hands in front of her.
“Her smile is wan.”
“Her mouth twitches into something that might be a smile.”
“but he was a gangly boy with an easy smile.”
“I smile pleasantly at the barrage of courtiers”
“I say, forcing a smile.”
“Blaise must see where it’s going, because a grim smile stretches across his face.”
“The thought of it causes a smile to rise to my lips.”
“I smile.”
“I give Elpis a smile of thanks”
“Cress smiles, relief flooding her face”
“Have you ever seen him smile?”
“My father doesn’t smile much either.”
“I force a smile.”
“Her smile is sweet but false.”
“Her words rankle, but I try not to show it, forcing a smile instead.”
“Her smile grows somewhat warmer as she calls for Elpis to come dress her hair.”
“She glances at the pin in my hair, set with simple pearls, lips pursing thoughtfully.”
“I add with a smile.”
“He smiles, relieved.”
“With a gracious smile…”
“her eyes boring into me no matter how many reassuring smiles I give her.”
“but I force a smile and try not to let him see it.
He manages a smile, but he still doesn’t look at me.”
“but he catches my look and smiles.””
“He shakes his head and smiles. It’s the first time I’ve seen him really smile,
“He shakes his head and forces a smile.”
“Søren softens, a small smile tugging at his lips.
“He smiles and passes me the fork.”
but Crescentia’s smile”
“Her smile faltered.”
“but I resisted and after a moment she nodded.”
“I smile at her”
“I don’t answer him except to nod.”
“If I were alone, I might smile.”
“I say, hoping for a smile.“
“she says with a smile so sweet I know it must be fake.”
“Art’s smile turns feral”
“Her smile is cruel and mocking.”
“but I get the feeling he’s nodding.”
“giving him a dimpled smile here”
“… watch Crescentia as she gives the Kaiser a dimpled smile”
“Crescentia turns our way and her blinding smile grows wider.”
“I tell her with a forced smile I hope seems natural.”
“she replies with a smile that feels like a blow to my heart.”
“her mouth is smiling as she nudges me toward him.”
“She smiles slightly, her shoulders relaxing.”
“… taking my hands in hers and smiling.”
“She gives me a smile so sad…”
“… fair eyebrows arched over a bemused smile.”
“An uncertain smile tugs at her lips…”
“Her smile lingers for a moment…”
“She has the same smile as Søren.”
“Elpis gives me a small smile.”
“…. she murmurs, her smile rare and wide.”
“… I say, smiling.”
“Her smile is genuine, relieved.”
“After a second, she gives me a smile”
“Cress’s smile softens into something more natural.”
“I ask with a bland smile…”
“I glance up at him through my eyelashes and summon my sweetest smile.”
“His smile broadens and he leans back in the chair, which creaks under his girth.”
“Søren’s open smile on the boat”
“I can’t help but smile.”
“A small smile works its way to Elpis’s mouth,
“He breaks into a lopsided smile when he sees me.”
“Even with the wall between us, I know she’s smiling.”
“I nod, fighting a smile.”
“Cress’s smile is beatific as she does just that, picking up the book of Elcourtian histories.”
“I’m going to miss her smile.”
“Her smile is a brittle.”
“She smiles and gives my hand a squeeze before releasing it.”
“She smiles, relieved.”
“She looks back to me, pale eyebrows raised, smile tentative.”
“I try to smile at him”
“He means it as a comfort and I smile at him and pretend to be comforted,”
“I am rage and hurt and hatred, but I force that aside and give him a small, tentative smile,”
“He smiles like a wolf closing in on its prey”
“…and I will smile”
“… and though he flashes a smile at Søren””
“I say with a half smile.”
“Heron smiles”
“When I comply, a smile ghosts across his face.”
“ She was smiling bigger than I’d ever seen her.”
“She smiles and it is wild and triumphant, despite everything.”
“Crescentia was pretty and sweet and always smiling.”
“I say, twisting my mouth into a cruel smile.”
“Her mouth tightens and she mirrors my mockery of a smile.”
“I hope my smile looks more real than it feels.”
“I can’t help but smile.”
“… my smile slides away.”
“and he almost smiles.”
“He’s smiling”
“he says with a tired smile”
“Then wave, at least, and smile”
“… it doesn’t have the warmth my mother’s smile always held.”
“I tell her, pasting on the fake smile I always wore at court.”
“We do,” she says, matching my smile.
“… her smile has gone feral.”

Mouth Pursing/Pressing
“She purses her lips.”
“I purse my lips and turn the question over in my mind.”
“I say, and do my best impression of stone-faced Søren, furrowing my brow and pursing my lips.
“Her mouth purses before curving into a grin.”
“she says pursing her lips.”
“… jaw tight, eyes hard, mouth pursed…”
“She nods, pressing her lips together thoughtfully.”
“I press my lips together.”
“I press my lips together to keep my protest down.”
“She pauses and presses her lips together…”

Tight
“Kaiser’s orders,” he says with a tight smile
I keep a tight hold on my smile.
“What is it you want from me, my lady?” she asks me, her voice tight .”

Grunt
“He gives a grunt that I interpret as acceptance, but it isn’t a promise.”
“He grunts in response and I have no choice but to take that as assent.”
“he grunts…”

Wrinkling Nose
“I wrinkle my nose.”
“I tell him, wrinkling my nose.”

Nod
“I nod toward my vanity”
“She nodded”
“She nods, her eyes solemn.”
“She nods, pressing her lips together thoughtfully.”
“My throat tightens so much that I can’t speak, only nod.”
“She nods once at me before turning her attention to the Kaiser…”
“I nod, trying to look placated”
“The Kaiser nods to the guard behind me”
“I nod.”
“I nod my thanks…”
“I nod even though I’m not sure he’s right.”
“He nods.”

Shakes Head
He shakes his head and smiles.”
He shakes his head and forces a smile.”
“He shakes his head.”
“Søren shakes his head.”
“He shakes his head.”

How did the author and editors notice the repetition of the same words?!?!

I would have liked to know more about them, and I feel like we only got the bare minimum about them. It’s an intriguing concept that I wish was expanded upon more.

It just felt like any YA book to me. Bland characters, a reused plot, and a magic system that was somewhat different but still felt similar to others. There was barely anything fresh and new. The characters felt like other characters I have read about before, and the plot was recycled from countless other books.

TW: Slavery, Blood, abuse, torture, and rape (non-graphic)