Rose & Thorn by Sarah Prineas Book Review

Title: Rose and Thorn
Author: Sarah Prineas
Publisher: HarperTeen; HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 2016
Genre: Retelling
Rate: 4/5
Synopsis:
After the spell protecting her is destroyed, Rose seeks safety in the world outside the valley she had called home. She’s been kept hidden all her life to delay the three curses she was born with—curses that will put her into her own fairy tale and a century-long slumber. Accompanied by Griff, the handsome and mysterious Watcher, and Quirk, his witty and warmhearted partner, Rose tries to escape from the ties that bind her to her story. But will the path they take lead them to freedom, or will it bring them straight into the fairy tale they are trying to avoid?
I received an advanced review copy (arc) of this book from HarperCollins International. So much thanks for giving me the chance to read it before it can be released to the public. As I always love and cherish their books to the deepest parts of my heart.
            I’ve not yet read enough retellings (of the fairytales) to say I’m really into retellings. I’ve probably have read a two or more. This particular book is about a retelling of Sleeping Beauty in the most exact and realistic events possible that we could relate to this modern times. As it has been said it retells the story in a “big, bold way.”
            Yes, it does in fact. I’ve loved fairytales all my life but after reading this book I think I kind of understand something that I wasn’t able to before not yet reading this book. It is basically a story of a girl who had been protected and is now fighting against the default tale we know. Here the Stories (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the beast, etc.) is meant to happen again and again and again in an unending cycle experienced by different persons.
            Rose, our main character (MC) is trying and fighting to escape her destiny or might as well say it her enemy(the Story itself). She wants to make her own choices, make use of her will and love who she wants. She doesn’t want to be another girl who will sleep for another hundred years. The love interest here is my favourite kind; the guy who shuts people out because they think of him as unfeeling and is not capable of love. Find out how these two will find their way to each other.
            This book is just of the medium pace but I find myself wanting to read the following chapter after the next just because. This book has all the most significant and topics of this present time, abuse, sexuality, love. And yes I’ve never read a fairytale come to life retelling as bold as this one. Might as well grab one if you see it in a bookstore somewhere.
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A Torch Against The Nightby Sabaa Tahir Book Review

Title: A Torch Against The Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill; Penguin Random House
Publication Date: August 2016
Genre: High Fantasy
Rate: 4.5/5
Synopsis:

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire. Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom. But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

I received a review copy of this book from Penguin Random House Global. So much thanks for sending me a copy of the book I requested. As I always love and cherish their books to the deepest parts of my heart.
            How could I even begin to review a book I loved so much as this one. It’s really hard to summon the words. But I must.
            I love the voices of Laia, Elias and Helene in my head while reading this book. They are so real and vivid. As if I’m really hauled to the Empire and Serra and witnessing everything with my own two eyes. The heartbreak and hopelessness that leaks on every page is so palpable I really can’t honestly find the air to breathe. I’m awed and at the same time loathed the brutality of it all. I hated like I’ve never hated anyone before the antagonist, the Commandant, the Emperor, and the Night Bringer.
            I was so frustrated throughout the whole book though because Helene just doesn’t deserve that too much pain. My heart is breaking all over again for her just as I’m writing this but I know she’s stronger than any character I’ve ever read and she’s going to withstand it all, have her revenge, and finally be loved. She needs to be loved. She must be. For all she’s gone through. All those power, authority, fierceness, and loyalty spent on the wrong things and wrong people are too much to handle even for me.
            Bleeding hells. I love Elias Veturius too much, it hurts. He’s so committed and loyal to the girl (shh it’s Laia lol) who honestly is too stupid sometimes but I can’t really blame her because one can be desperate for care and love especially in dire times. It was Elias’s fault in the first place so how could I hate Laia, she just loved and care too much which is definitely the flaw on her armor.
Fault me perhaps but I needed more Laia and Elias from the beginning of the book. I was definitely starving for the both of them but circumstances just couldn’t keep them together. It hurts. I’d say this book is a too excellent sequel except for the romance part because I definitely felt deprived. Well crafted, well organized an definitely make you feel the feels! Btw look out for plot twists! They’ll gonna catch you unguarded,
Sabaa is a very very very good author and writer and I really really really hope to meet her in person one day (and Renee Ahdieh as well, her soul sister). I just love them and their books so much. Hope you come to the Philippines soon. Seriously if you haven’t picked up An Ember in The Ashes and A Torch Against The Night, you’re missing out the best books of the year. So go on then! Read these first before the others on your TBR list! I’ll leave you guys with an aesthetic.
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Also I made some fanarts for A Torch and An Ember and they’re actually available on my RB shop! Just click the images below.

The Secret Heart of A Note by Stacey Lee ARC Review

Title: The Secret Heart of a Note
Author: Stacey Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegen; HarperCollins
Publication Date: December 2016
Genre: Cute Contemporary
Rate: 4.5/5
Image result for the secret heart of a note
Synopsis:
Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.
I received an advanced review copy (arc) of this book from HarperCollins International. So much thanks for giving me the chance to read it before it can be released to the public. As I always love and cherish their books to the deepest parts of my heart.
Did you know that heartbreak smells like Blue Berries and love smells something sweet and cold (but I won’t yet tell what it is) you’ll know it when you read it.
I never really thought the sense of smell and plants could be very, very interesting. That is just what Miss Stacey Lee did with her book. She put in the sense of smell as the top sense of a person (to be specific; an aromateur) and made the scents of plants as an indication of someone’s feelings and personality. I’ve read books in which the MCs (main characters) can see colors or auras of people and associated them with how they feel, but I’ve never really encountered a book like this one on the sense of smell except a bit on werewolves and some characters that could turn into some animal form. I adored this book because it was extraordinary and because I’m partial to reading very original concepts.
            So Mim here is like the girl in which the future generations are dependent to and their spider web-thread-aromateur linage. She’s her mother’s apprentice while having high school. She could smell your unique scent or notes (as called in this book). Their nose is like a thousand times more powerful than the ordinary noses. She’s fighting for the life she wants and what her mother and basically the whole universe is expecting her to live. It’s either fall in love or lose your power in her case her extraordinary sense of smell). I’ll leave it there for you guys to figure out. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything.
            This book has the perfect blend of fluffiness, lightness, romance and so much interesting facts about plants. This is another book you could read in one sitting if you’re industrious enough or no other stuff to do. It is also one of the most adorable books I’ve ever read in the history of YA. And right now I just so badly want to know what my scent is and what my heart notes are. Let me guess I probably smell like despair, broken dreams, and hopes and it could be like antiseptic or some banana or coconut lol. Anyway read this book when it comes out (on December!) You’ll love it as much as I did. I just know.

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The Rose and The Dagger Book Review

Title: The Rose and The Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Rating: 1001 Stars

 
What can I say? I just keep on daydreaming about Shazi and Khalid even now that I’m done reading it and have even read another book.
So, feels. I can’t say anything but feels. I’m dumbfounded, dumbstruck, speechless. Everything I was expecting from this book and more have been laid out on the pages of this book. Someone asked me on twitter if this is duology or series is good. It’s more than good. Good times a thousand and one.
Shaharzad is the queen of all queens in YA. I loved that as a queen she’s too fierce for her own good but still the fiercest of all anyways. She’s determined and very firm in all her resolves. Her loyalty for love is a thing of beauty in here. She was the first one who saw through all the layers and walls of Khalid before seeing the beautiful and broken boy inside him. She’s smart and strategic. She’s sacrificial and loves unconditionally. All girls must have to be like her. She’s the real perfect epitome of a queen. She deserves to be respected and more.
Khalid. All I need are more Khalids in YA books. All people thinks of him as the murderous monster boy king when in fact and deep inside he’s just a beautiful boy with a broken past. He has all the right reason for doing what he did and maybe he might have did wrong in the past but he rights it because he found peace and love in Shazi. As I have a thing for beautiful monsters like him I can’t help but swoon and feel fierce love and admiration for him.
The Perfect Balance. Do you ever read a chapter so many times you think you can even write that chapter yourself or direct a scene from it. Seriously this chapter got all the feels out of me. I just can’t. So much tension. So much romance. So much love.
After all those days that my book is delayed from the mail, it’s worth it. It’s so worth it that I didn’t read my kindle copy before my book arrived. This is my ultimate favorite series and I love it fiercely it hurts so much.
I just want to thank Renee for this book. For the characters she wrote that will stay in my heart and consciousness forever. And can I also say I think she is so very lucky to have her husband Vic. Which is probably who Khalid is based from. Thank you from the moon to the moon, Renee.
I don’t know what you are doing with your life if you’re not reading this series yet because obviously you’re missing a lot. You’re missing the best thing in YA ever. Most of all you are missing Khalid. I’ll miss him though, but I’ll probably just reread the books when I miss them. And I’m probably going to name my kids Shazi and Khalid when the time comes.

A Season for Fireflies ARC Review

Title: A Season for Fireflies
Author: Rebecca Maizel
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 16, 2016
Rate: 4/5 stars

This advance reader’s copy is generously given by HarperCollins International and Epic Reads. All the thanks, book shimmy and publisher love for my favorite publisher ever!

I think this book has the best setting in the history of all contemporary books I’ve read. What I’d give to see all those fireflies. At my place you even barely see a single one, on fields on a damp dusk.
At first I thought I could finish reading this in a short time but I got distracted but as I went with the story I found it good. I hated that Penny disregarded Kylie as if she wasn’t there when it was her worst but I cannot blame her because it’s not her fault. I like her litchensomething in her skin looks pretty cool in my imagination.
Also it’s good to know that hierarchies in high school can be broken by a person who by some circumstances can like the queen bees and the theater geeks in this book. I adored Wes and Penny’s love story. The love story that is meant to be first love, and how to act on it and feel it. People tend to block things and feelings out which I often do an also tend to ignore people without anything as much as an explanation, I tend to shut people out, like Penny but this book woke me. Now I’m thinking it’s not as bad to show people how you feel rather than hiding it for yourself because it’s—should I say deadly in the case of Penny so might as well.

And look at that dreamy orange cover. That’s like the color of falling in love or first love or a love so radiant it would feel like making a terrarium of fireflies. This is one gem of a love story you shouldn’t miss. It’s sweet and on point. I hope you get to read it.

Emmy and Oliver Audiobook Review

Title: Emmy and Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: Harper Audio
Narrator: Phoebe Strole
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Rating: 5/5 Stars
This is the perfect book for a childhood love story. Like, that story wherein you fall in love with your childhood neighbor best friend. Which I bet doesn’t happen it real life but it’s still like, cliché.
But this book kinda makes you feel that magic without making it mainstream or anything like that. Oly is this kid next door who got kidnapped by his own father. (What kind of parent does that?) But it happened and he kind of left everything like his mom, his childhood crush, and his best friends without a trace for 10 years and then boom one day he’s back and reclaiming the places in everyone’s heart, especially Emmy.
It’s a kind of complicated thing with the parent who hauled him away because he just wants to be with his son. (Maybe some parents do that after all) Oly loves him even if everybody judges him to be a criminal. We just have no right to judge because people have their own reasons why they do what they do and maybe it’s twisted but still it can be justified.
Emmy is the kid who get’s over protected by her parents because of what happened to the kid next door and maybe that’s what Em made her do the things she does secretly like surfing and applying for college when her life is all planned out. Maybe some of us don’t want our lives handed to us in a silver platter. Maybe we want to work some things with destiny or fate or what our heart truly desires.

I love this book. It’s a refreshing read. And most of all I love that Phoebe Strole narrated it. (Boy, do I ever listen to Phoebe a lot. I love more than love her voice.) Please reconsider and listen to this wonderful audiobook.

Get your audiobook here: Audible

The Fall of Butterflies ARC REview

Title: The Fall of Butterflies
Author: Andrea Portes
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publication Date: May 16, 2016


This advance reader’s copy is generously given by HarperCollins International and Epic Reads. All the thanks, book shimmy and publisher love for my favourite publisher ever! 

All thoughts in this review are my own.

You know with every Andrea Portes’s novel that from the first page you read you would not expect a happy ending with rainbows and unicorns and stuff like that nope. She straightforwardly tells you it’s not like this in this book. Change your perspective. This is what I love in every book she writes because it’s very authentic and original. Unlike any book you’ve ever read.
Willa’s narration is a very witty one. Her thoughts are very smart and even if not well thought she manages to think straight connecting those things up. And even if it isn’t very organized, that is how people think, like, in real life. If you put your literally exact thoughts in a book this is what it will look like or (read like). She’s this girl-a misfit (like in most of Andrea’s books) in a new town-searching for the right place and people to fit in. And thank God, she found it for herself. Because that’s what people do in life, get lost and the maybe by any chance find their way back.
What’s better than a book full of feels? Books which have the characters you relate to the most. It’s like really scary. Like this thing really happens to you sometimes and you’re scared because you think you are the only person experiencing it or doing it but somewhere even in a fantasy world there may be someone like you. And there’s no such a great thing than a book that can put your thoughts in the exact words you can never string together.
Remy is the kind of person I only allow myself to get attached to be honest. I’m like Willa, in some significant ways. Willa is the person in the background and Remy is the “thing”, that expensive painting and Willa is the wall she hangs in. Remy takes things to make her feel like she’s in love with everything and everyone but it come with a cost and that is, her slowly slipping away from everything. If this book didn’t make me think of things to try because of Remy I would be kidding you. But thank God again I’m not like her nor I’m like the guy in this book. I’d take this pretty ordinary life of mine, thank you. But it’s tempting though but I’m not giving in.
I had been wondering what the title means as I read page by page and now I think I get it. Sometimes butterflies aren’t meant to always fly or flutter or sip nectar in the garden. Some get pinned in science experiments, some fall to the ground unnoticed. Butterflies can never fly as high as an eagle because if they do they would fall to the ground and die. Better be content in the garden they are right now.

Another excellent book by Andrea! And look at that gorgeous cover. Just stare at it for a moment. I know you’re tempted. Give in. You got to get yours.

Pre-order your copy here: Amazon\B&N