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Friday, September 25, 2020

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin (Serpent & Dove #2) Book Review


This is the sequel to : Serpent & Dove. The first book of this soon to be trilogy. 

For those who don't know it is the romance between a witch and a witch-hunter whom fall in love when she (Lou) is hiding as a human. They get married and a bigger storyline and romance ensues. It is supposed to be set in a France historical inspired setting. 

This book was fun and entertaining and it took me a while to truly figure out how I felt about it after I read it..., I loved Serpent & Dove it had truly taken me by surprise and made me happy and I fell in love with Lou & Reid's romance. I love their banter and how funny they are together, these books are also steamy and the best part of the story is definitely their romance.  I also love the friendship between Coco and Lou, however we got a lot less of it in this installment, which disappointed me a lot. 


we got to see Bas again, and it felt really anticlimactic to me. Okay so he loses his memories, chases them because hunting witches with a bounty is cool and then when he remembers we don't really get to see a real conversation between him and Lou even though she saved him from the tower in the first book and then got married to Reid to save Bas her lover ??? Understandably she has moved on and Reid is conflicted about the lie she had told him, but it just left me unemotional when it should've been this big reveal and scene, that he lost him memory to save Lou and Coco so the witch hunter would not find them and kill them. 


During this book, while the writing was beautiful, while it was a fun and easy read it was lacking the "je ne sais quoi" the first book had. Everything felt or perfect pace or spending too fast. The setting pace at the beginning was my favorite, I liked that she let the characters absorb and digest what they had lived through in the first book. Everything from the 120 pages mark felt like it was going slightly too fast..., there was these big cumulating events meant to add pressure and stress to the story that simply did not have enough time to give us the impact it tried to do. Reid almost dying so many times that only the last one really felt a little bit more emotional. So much could've been solved with communication in this book which is one of my pet peeves when I read a fantasy book, especially on the romance aspect. If they had just sat down and talked I feel the real important moments of the storyline would've had bigger impact in the story. Honestly I felt sadder at the 375 page than what was mean to be the real sad moment at the end. I would not recommend this book as a fantasy because of that, this is more of a romance with fantasy aspects to me. 

I loved however the side-character we got to meet and his reveal at the end of the book, Claud Devereaux, I hope we get to learn more about him in the last book. I even would not mind a book or duology based on his story origins and all that. Also when he said "she could've been ours"... I also really enjoyed the caravan and the two brothers that were in it, there were a lot of great atmospheric scenes in this book. 

A big part of the book I was mad at Reid and then at Lou, and back and forth. I liked that however, I liked that I could understand both of their own views on what was happening. I loved learning more about Reid's past, his memories and one of the things that made him feel so guilty. The werewolves were super interesting. I loved also Coco's family, the only thing about that that disappointed me on both accounts was again how fast the alliance came to be when the other parties were supposedly supposed to be soooo against it !

 One of my favorite scene was when Lou was like we will lose them in three blocks max, and then she loses them in two and she's like "I always aim to please" in her thoughts.

A few of my favorite quotes:

"In truth, there had been no choice at all. There never had been. I loved her." -Reid

""I'll do anything for the ones I love, Reid. You know that."" -Lou

""You're never going to accept me."..."...You will always be a witch hunter. I'll always be a witch. And we'll always bring each other pain."" -Lou

"You will lose the one you love." -Coco

""... if given the choice, I never would've left you. I would've forsaken everything (...) to keep you."" -Madame Labelle

Overall the use of French was worse in this one than the first book. 

4/5 stars Bookarina.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.
This comes out : 27 April 2021

This book was something I was looking forward to a lot. Unfortunately, my expectations were much better than this book actually was. 

I have a lot of issues with this book, one of the main ones is that it is for teens and it contains a very unhealthy, abusive relationship that is passed off as not much or "okay to do".

I don't care that the abuser is a woman or a girl in this instance, it is not okay and as a teen everyone is not as mature as to understand that this is abusive, unhealthy and not a game to be playing. Furthermore it promotes it as a joke and the abuser is our main character. YES OUR MAIN CHARACTER. 

So this goes as follow: 

Grace our main character is fifteen, I want you to keep that in mind while you read this because she acts like 5 or 17 nothing in between, starts the book by crying because she had a crush on a teacher who she discovers is now engage. (This is so, like I can't compute of course he is not interested in you, you are a minor: HEY if a teacher is interested in you that's illegal, he or she is an adult you are a kid). Like this girl was for sure that they were meant to be and soulmates, like her grasp on reality is seriously damaged. She ends up insulting the fiancée to her face, mind you and then telling the teacher he is doing nothing with his life and blah blah blah... She keeps saying how mature she is, only is interested in men (which girl you are a teen ew) and acts out in that teacher's class now as a way to cope ?!! Again she is 15, she then says that in a couple of years they'll be together, but like she still wants a relationship with a 30 years old man. In her head she even talks about how the broke up , her and the teacher, she is seriously stuck in that delusion of hers. This girl needs psychological help, this is not okay. She also ends up bullying her roommate for no reason, like no reason at all. She also hates another girl (Anju) because she briefly had a crush on Wade, slut shaming her and humiliating  her in front of everyone. She like only makes up with that girl because they like the same band ??? After this girl called her out on how she is basically abusing Wade. Also there is this poor random older girl who feels emotionally forced to share deeply personal things with Grace, because Grace see's her as perfect and decides that she's a role model even though this girl introduced her to smoking, once again she is 15.

Any who, other stuff happens, One guy is bullying Wade, honestly don't care that much about the names, she proceeds to save Wade, by shooting her Derek with a slingshot, mind you it could potentially permanently damage someone in real life, and then saying it was nothing and not letting him sit at lunch with her. In this novel she is basically also emotionally abusing him the whole time, being extremely jealous of his friendship with Anju, and using it to emotionally manipulate and control him. Also, doing actions in front of everyone just to hurt him. She also, got Wade's skateboard taken away and threw cereal with milk at him because "I am so mature but cannot talk about emotions" when they broke up. (And she only regretted the skateboard incident at the end BTW)

And as  if this was not enough already, thankfully they don't get back together, but everyone is no longer in contact, Wade=ignores everyone and Grace=no longer interacts with Georgina.

Overall, I hated it, I do not understand how this was even approved as a YA book, because to me it is not appropriate for the age range and it could be damaging to some teens who will think this is okay because the main character never apologizes and only really feels bad about the skateboard and not all the people she abused, bullied and hurt. 

Extremely disappointed by this beautiful cover.

unfortunately, 1/5 stars


Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot illustrated by Cara Mcgee Book Review


This was a nice comic from DC. I picked it up for two reasons: first because it is about a super hero and second because it was written by Meg Cabot who wrote the Princess diary's (a childhood favorite of mine). 

While I did not love it as much as I wanted to, it was quick and overall wholesome read. I would not recommend you go into this comic if you have no prior knowledge of Black Canary as it isn't explained in details. I however really like it when I though about it as a companion to Black Canary's story rather than a whole other story. 

We follow our main character Dinah a 13 years old (who really comes across as being much older in the story), she and her two best friends have a band, which they have yet to name. They want to partake in a band competition at school and Dinah has this weird thing where objects often explode around her. She also dreams of becoming a police officer like her father, but her parents are strongly against it. After a fight about it, she goes outside and wishes for an adventure, a mysterious figure overhears her and she ends up getting much more than what she wished for !

I wanted more about the friendship and honestly the story should've been much longer and it would've benefited from it. I really loved the illustrations and the whole color choice ! The villain reveal felt much more like a Scooby Doo episode than a DC villain comic, on the other hand it made it more accessible to younger kids if they want to read it !

4/5 stars 


Friday, September 18, 2020

The Beginning after the end by Turtleme Webnovel and Manhwa


Divergence (The Beginning After The End #7)

This series started for me as a manhwa I was reading online, slowly but surely I fell in love with the characters and the storyline. We follow what we call an isekai, that means other world. Our main character was a King, King Grey reincarnated into the body of a baby in another world where he takes upon the name of Arthur. In that world there is magic, awakenings that give a person their magic and martial arts. There are three races, the humans, the elves and the dwarves. You follow arthur as he deals with reincarnation and figuring out his place in the world, his powers and why he was reincarnated with all his memories. 

I highly recommend the manhwa, it has beautiful illustrations and is in full colour, it also follows perfectly the novels (which you can read as chapter on tapas by paying or buy them directly as volumes on amazon). I picked the story up at the second novel and I really enjoyed it, while the writing style isn't the best, or the most detailed (I felt more immersed in the manhwa) it is really fun. The novels have multiple perspectives which is one of my favourite things in fantasy novels and the storyline gets more complex as you get further into the novels. 

I love to see Arthur grow and I hope the other characters will get an accidental reveal that he was a king, the enemies are strong and while I want him to stay on the side of the war his current family is on, I also hope he is 

Personally, so far, my favourite volume was the volume four. 

Overall I would give this series a 4/5 stars. 


Friday, September 11, 2020

Guardian's Grace by Rebecca Zanetti ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.

This the 12th book in a series, and I do believe it is one where you benefit from having read the previous books as there seems to be a bigger storyline that you follow throughout those books. 

You follow Andare a vampire and Grace a newly turned vampire, five years after he saved her life by turning her and then left her. They are mated but not a couple, Andare is a warior of the seven a secret order composed of vampires, demons, shifters and others who protect the "realm" and inhabitants of the world in a way against vampires who can only act during night time (Andare's type are like humans, in the sense they sleep at night). It is this big war type thing and honestly as I had not read the previous books a lot of it didn't seems as big of a deal as it was supposed to be or should've been if I had read the rest of the series. 

For the romance, it felt flat, they haven't been together or fully mated in the five years there bond was created but we are supposed to believe they get together super quickly even though Andare is always "I don't fall in love, emotions are not me" and her supposedly super independent, believing with reason, that he does not care. And then thrown together when he once more saves her life, oh they have no real conversations but are suddenly in love ?

Like okay, mates but they never completed the bond, he has an idea (a false one) of who she is in his head, but we are supposed to believe all this time he was in love with her but wouldn't accept it... Yeah, no.

I did enjoy that Grace defied what was expected of her, though sometimes she came across as childish, not understanding how much she was putting everyone around her in danger. There is this moment when he and his fellow seven go do a dangerous mission and she just decides to skip the plane that was getting her to safety to go where she was put in a coma before Andare saved her life by mating her. I get wanting to remember her lost memories of the attack, but there has to be a limit on how thoughtless she can be in putting others in danger, ESPECIALLY since a little time before she did that they got attacked because of her..., it was selfish and I just disliked her more at that moment. Also she is in danger because she is this all important key (one of three) which people decided she did not need to know even though it affects her and puts her in a more delicate position in which she should be even more protected. 

In the end I wanted a more building romance even though they were mates, since 5 years had passed and Andare's ex had come, I wanted her actions to have thoughts put behind them and for her to act like the adult she was. While the sex scenes where steamy, I couldn't help but feel like they happened too soon especially since so many conversations were left to hang in the air unresolved. 

Overall, a 3/5 stars.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Feel The Fire By Annabeth Albert ARC Book Review


Feel the Fire (Hotshots #3)

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review. 

Feel the fire was everything I wanted when going into this novel and more. One thing however is I am not a fan of one of the main character having kids, especially in a steamy novel. But since I knew that going into this it didn't bother me as much. 

This book was Hot and Steamy, a romance between fire behaviour specialists. One a dad of two teen twins (Tucker). I love second chance romances, especially between characters who were together when they were teens themselves and when they have a palpable chemistry such as Tucker and Luis had. They cross path long after their old romance when they are now both adults and forced to work together investigating an arson. When Luis is asked by his agency to go back to his hometown where he discovered he was gay and his childhood love broke his heart. 

They develop a mutual respect for one another and discover the chemistry and love they held for one another has not diminished in the least, together they make sparks. They begin a relationship, both seeing the unfortunate expiration date it has as their lives are in two different places, Luis in LA and Tucker in their hometown. They both want everything, they now have to work out and see if it is possible to have everything together. 

This novel was well written as they always are with her books, I easily fell into the story but while I did find that their love felt real I did not enjoy their romance as much as some of her other books. I also went into this expecting some intrigue and suspense because of the arson and unfortunately I did not. Overall the novel was well thought out and the author wrote something believable though not as romantic as I desired. I loved that Tucker was demisexual (because representation) and that it felt similar to how my experience with demisexuality is. I also liked that the author did not take a long time to clear the air between our two main character and how open they were with each other, especially in regards to Tucker's old wife, which prevented a lot of unnecessary misunderstanding. 

All in all I really enjoyed this novel and I cannot wait to read more of Annabeth Albert's books !

4.5/5 stars


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Stardust by Neil Gaiman Book Review

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This was a buddy read with one of my friends whom I used to work with. We have similar and opposite tastes in our reading choices in equal measures and so we wondered how we would feel about this one. 

The beginning started great, I have to be honest I did not understand why we had to read over a dozen pages on the father of our main character if we were to follow the son as one of the point of views in the story. 

The novel in itself was interesting, while I did not enjoy it as much as I loved "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" I did like it. The writing was hard to get into, a lot of info that while interesting was not always useful to the story, even over 70 pages into it I had a hard time getting into it. The story really picked up for me when I got around the 100 pages mark, when I finally felt like I cared about the story and wanted to know how it was going to end. (Yes it is a movie, but I've never seen it)

The ending felt very open ended, which is not one of my favourite kind of endings when a book is a standalone, especially in fantasy or sci-fi. I WANT A HAPPILY EVER AFTER AND A PROPER CONCLUSION.. Sorry got taken by the emotions there. It's like at the end of a wonderful love story where the ending is like "They hold each other's end, not knowing what the future holds" like NO, I need them to be happy, married (if possible) and to witness it, I need my OTP's to have their happily ever after. Anyhow, I did enjoy it overall, while it took me an eternity to get through it even though it is only 257 pages (Mass market paperback edition).

Would I recommend it, yes if you enjoy books written in a poetic kind of way and a slow, very slow paced action. (Like slower than "The Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb" kind of slow) Also if you enjoy something that feels more like a magical realism book than a fantasy book. 

3/5 stars. 


BTW: My friend loved it so, do with that what you will (She mainly reads horror or thriller books)

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Joy To The Wolves by Terry Spear ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review !

The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the title, I love puns and so when I saw a werewolf romance novel with a christmas pun I simply had to know more about it. 

I went into it not knowing too much about it, just the basics, a werewolf detective, christmas and a main character who is on a farm and becomes wrapped up in all this when a reindeer calf or a bambi as I like to call them, showed up on her property. 

This is really all the information you need, it read fast and was funny it felt like something that could become one of those cutesy christmas movies which is exactly what I was looking for when I picked this up. Is it a book that will stay with you for the rest of your life, probably not, is it a hell of a good time that gives you all the christmas vibes you could want, YES. Their chemistry was undeniable, from the moment they meet until the end of the book it felt like they were presented in a way that truly made me believe they were made for one another. 

Our main character Brooke, who is also a werewolf, was funny, quirky and so much fun to read about. She's one of those main characters you easily get attached to. Her love interest Detective Josh, is HOT, I mean the way he's described makes us all need a little water, if you know what I mean... Mix them together and BOOM! sparks fly.  Well, not at first as he is "not interested" and his twin is much nicer to Brooke when he arrives to interrogate her for their missing reindeer calf that she has called in as found. I love that the romance was not an instalove as it often is with these types of books, while I do want that sometimes, it was a nice change of pace to have them meet and be not enemies, but a type of annoyed-to-lovers romance ! The side characters were attaching and the dialogue between our couple funny, they just were so sarcastic with each other, especially in the beginning and then just had funny moments happen with normal dialogue. 

The plot is interesting and engaging which is not always the case with these types of books and left me pleasantly surprised because, both the romance and the kidnapping case we are following intrigue us. We start the book with when Brooke was forced to once more, after taking over her parents antique shop for three years and then selling it, do the same with her aunt's as she died and put in her will that she can't sell it for three years. This is not what Brooke wants, it is not her dream to own an antique shop and so she takes over to respect the will of her aunt and things happen until our main characters meet ! They meet very early on which was lovely as the romance was the main interest for me in this reading experience. Equal part mystery, romance and funny this book was a quick read that left me wanting more of their story. A perfect Christmas read for all fans of werewolf books !

Overall 4/5 Howling stars !


The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell Book Review

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I picked up this book because I loved the how to train your dragon movies a lot and it was based on the books she wrote. Also because it came highly recommended by people I follow both on booktube and instagram. 

This was unfortunately disappointing to me, 32 pages in and I could not for the life of me bring myself to read more of it. Granted I did not get far into the story, however I kept getting out of the story because of the way things were written in the images. I kept having to stop to re-read things a few times to try and decipher what was written. 

I really wanted to love it but unfortunately this wasn't for me.

1/5 stars


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Frostheart by Jamie Littler Book Review


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This book was a wonderful surprise. I have a weird relationship with middle grade, I either love it or cannot finish/or hate it. I started this one after hearing so many good things about it. 

The main elements that caught my attention were the fact that Ash’s guardian is a Yeti, he has powers and he is going on an adventure to look for his parents who are pathfinders. Pathfinders are people who travel between the strongholds/villages to bring supplies and sometimes discover them. All the people in that world are in danger of being killed by leviathans, creatures that hide under the snow and ice to kill people; they also roar/sing to communicate. 

Ash is a young boy living in one of those village, his parents left him when he was young to go do their jobs but never returned. No one really knows what happened to them, long story short the village takes care of him and after a couple incidents,  when he was singing a lullaby (singing is feared and illegal) his parents used to  sing to him, he comes under the care of a Yeti called Tobu. The story picks up when Ash uses a power even he didn’t know he possessed to save a ship of pathfinders that is on their way to their village being attacked by leviathans. He is a song weaver, they are feared, scorned and believed to be evil as they can communicate with leviathans understand their song and in the belief of the non-song weavers can be controlled by them. He is then cast out of the village and leaves with the pathfinders he saved. 

This story was fun and a quick read, I really enjoyed Tobu and Ash. I loved how different each characters were and how they interacted with one another. Unfortunately, I disliked Lunah the most, I just could not bring myself to enjoy her she got on my nerves like argh so annoying. I wanted to like her so much, thankfully she was eclipse by the rest of the character and I could easily ignore her ! 

I loved where the story was going and how we were introduced to life outside the village, the images throughout the book truly enhanced my enjoyment of the novel. For a book a little over 430 pages it was really fast paced thanks to it having over 40 chapters. I really enjoyed the way the storyline was set up for the most part, I felt however that at the beginning the story took too long took for us to get into the catalyst of the story, I did not believe that the playing with friends was necessary, we could’ve easily gotten his want to sing from the night if he had been punished for something that did not require 4 chapters to conclude in certain ways, I would’ve preferred to have him singing the lullaby and hearing the leviathans and getting the explanation then. The ending was good I loved how it set up for the next novel, though I am not sure if I will pick it up yet. But oh well, when the storyline picked up and the novel concluded I did enjoy it! 

Overall this book was a 3.5/5 stars,

one if the rares I enjoyed but did not love.