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Monday, March 29, 2021

Inside Affair (Prime Time Series book 1) by Ella Frank Book Review & Series Thoughts


This book was a much anticipated read for me, I loved Ella Frank's trust series and her Preslocke series. The prime time series had been compared to me as giving the same vibes as Trust, and it wasn't.

I waited to have the whole series before reading it, while it was the right move, contrary to the other two series by her I have mentioned this truly felt like one book, separated in three which was very annoying because they are not 1 or 2 dollars each, it comes up to a hefty price for what feel like one book that you won't own physically.  Now did I have a good time, yes a 3.5 stars overall good time, not a WOW CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS I LOVE THIS time, more a OK WAS NICE. The "second book" felt long to me and dragged out, the conflict in it that is a reveal at the end of it and continues in the third book felt also un-realistic with how that specific character had been acting in the previous appearances. Yes the hurt, confusion, no for the immature length of it (with A LOT OF TIME SKIPS).

The overwhelming feeling I had while reading this series was how little I actually knew about these character, yes I related to the feelings our MC was feeling in regards of his stalker and how powerless and scared he was. However after having read the series I did not feel any particular way. I was annoyed by the very "cutscene" cliffhanger moments, it wasn't suspenseful as much as stopping in what felt the middle of a paragraph. Like "OH and here we stop" ?

This is not her best series, and I have found myself enjoying her older work more, if you want to read from her read the other two series I mentioned before, to this day I am still super in love with these books. 

In the fist volume of the series I found myself annoyed with certain aspects of the book, how naïve our MC was and how they had so much chemistry for people who supposedly never got along, it felt like a 180 turn when a couple pages after our MC were kissing each other and being lovingly together. I would've enjoyed more character development and more time to get to know them, together and apart as people. It did not feel as though I knew them more by the end of the series and certain aspects were never mentioned again, his family is not okay with them together, they re-meet (childhood best-friends brother) and his dad is like "all good I like him now" as though he had not said "you guys aren't good for each other" (paraphrasing everything btw).

This series left me indifferent and unsatisfied, I get why some people like it, but again not my favorite from hers and not a series I will be recommending or re-reading.

Overall, 3.5 stars.

first 3.75 stars

second 3 stars

third 3.5 stars.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Sleepless vol.1 & vol.2 by Sarah Vaughn, Leila del Duca, Alissa Sallah & Deron Bennet Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review


This is a graphic novel/Comic series that ends in two volumes. Which is a much appreciated thing, in between the current reads I have. 

The reading of this series happened in an effort to read more of the physical books I have had on my shelves for a long time, le me tell you I need to read more of them ! Now on to the review.

I picked up these novels because the covers were beautiful, also because Sleeping Beauty is one of my all time childhood favorite stories and somehow I had gotten it in my head that it was a sort of retelling. Spoiler alert, not really though, it wasn't.

I enjoyed the first volume more than the second, to me it was a really high 4 stars, I am trying not to give single volume half stars and failing … It felt like an historical fiction in the era of Kingdoms, Saxons and such. Which I really loved, it was a very immersive read and the format in which the story was told, the pacing and the scenes were really well done. I loved the political intrigue of the story and the romance between Poppy (illegitimated daughter of the king) and our ML Cyrenic, her oath bound sleepless knight/bodyguard. The pet fox was super adorable, the magic really well integrated and a surprisingly wholesome and dark high-fantasy/historical graphic novel. Nothing in the story felt out of place, I loved the mystery aspect of it. 

The one thing that sort of disappointed me was the predictability of the novel, in the end nothing was really out of this world or original compared to other classic bodyguard/lady he must protect compared to traditional harlequin historical romances (similar to time travel, in the aspect that there are also magic elements in some historical romances). Which is not what I look for when picking up a graphic novel that is meant to be a high-fantasy in an historical setting, a classic fantasy as many would consider the setting to be. However the art was truly enjoyable, it was fun to stop and just admire the beautiful composition the artist had made and the choices in tones of colors. 

Overall they were a fun read, and a much recommended read for fans of historical romances, as I think this would be a good introduction to graphic novels or a slight fantasy (for what I usually read) as this is really heavy on romance, in my opinion. 

4/5 stars for  vol.1


3/5 stars  for vol.2

for a 3.5/5 stars overall.

beware the cliff hanger at the end of the first volume, also the second volume has a huge separation and so not as much interactions for a while.


Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Gatekeeper of Pericael by Hayley Reese Chow Book Review !


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author (of which I am thankful for, thank you again !), this in no way affects my review my thoughts are my own. 

This book was a peculiar read for me. There is  a lot I enjoyed in this book, like the magic and world building. However, somehow, I found myself unable to connect to the characters. Maybe it is because I am difficult in middlegrade books I read and enjoy ?

Our main character is the gatekeeper of the gate that connects our world to the world of Pericael. The story truly begins as he is the last line of defense when an evil shaman decides to attack Pericael. The shaman steals souls of children and by accident Our main character Porter and his cousin Ames go through the gate and must hide in order to read the gate once more and run away with their soul intact. They end up getting together with the children of the village leader (a village in Pericael called K-something).

 One of the characters is blind (Conri, long story short it was to save her life and is a side effect of that event) and while the rep excited me I found it detrimental to the community, while I cannot speak on it as I am not blind myself, the representation felt like an attribute or something to make them different rather than an actual badass character that happens to be blind (say like Toph in avatar the last air bender, she is so badass and funny and using her power of the earth to navigate the world through the vibrations of the ground). The whole time she is described as looking or making eye contact, which can happen but not without the person first talking or making sound, it is inaccurate to say a blind person is always making with no feedback eye contact and is looking at something. I wish it had been more realistic. While I can get the, she is a fierce fighter, it is unlikely that without someone describing or her knowing a place perfectly (even if she can see shadows and light to a degree) that she could fight right away or always save people ? She isn't affected at all by her disability, while it is very likely she can be highly independent, I wish there had been a spirit/mythical creature guide, animal guide or something that made for an explanation for the fights in unknown territories that were told as if she could see.  So why make her blind if there are no instances of rep with blindness ?

I also disliked how Conri was always saving the day , our MC was just there, but not hero-ish or as cool or powerful as I had though a gatekeeper, which is a very serious job, should have been and it bothered me. While I in no way wanted them to be saving the day all the time it made me wonder all the time why Porter was the gatekeeper, it seemed like nothing set him apart, rather why wasn't Conri the gatekeeper wouldn't she have been perfect for the job, Porter could've been a gatekeeper in training ???

 Overall packed with action and roughly a 4-5 hour read.

3/5 stars


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Book Review

 This book was sort of dissapointing, in the sense that it had been a five star prediction of mine and that for most of the book it sat between a 3 - 4 stars. 

It took me over half of the book to really get invested in the characters, the story in itself and the storytelling are nice and I enjoyed the writing style a lot (which is why I want to pick up more of her books).

TW: rape (non-descriptive), war, death (also of children), hunger, torture.

I loved that the author could write powerful scenes without describing it in details, it brought another layer to the story and while sad, or horrifying it did not read as "this is too much I can't read that" type of moment as those scenes tend to be. I would've liked more towards the end, it felt like the story wrapped up too quickly with how slow the rest of the book had been progressing. I found myself, after my read, missing the fact that there had been no scene where One of our MC now an old woman would've talked with her child (not to spoil anything) in the "present" when she is old. 

Overall, it was a beautiful mix of past and present throughout the novel and a well paced change of point of view between Viviane and Isabelle. I loved the familial relations and there are many quotable excerpts in this book. While not a five star I truly enjoyed my time with it in the end. While I was unfortunately not sobbing there was a tear or two that fell in the last 200 pages. 

4/5 stars 


Monday, March 8, 2021

Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book; it in no way affects my opinion, my thoughts are my own.

This book was one of my most anticipated book of the year, when I received the e-mail saying I would be getting the chance to read it I was so excited. 

This, to me, was reminiscent of "Sex Education" , the show on Netflix as both main character give advice anonymously to other students. While this is not a new favorite and did not hit the mark as much as her first novel did. This was a truly funny and heartfelt novel that made for a great time when I read it. It took me a while to put my thoughts of this book in writing as I couldn't and still can't explain properly (or as much as I wanted to) what made it work and not work for me. 

I loved how the author handled the manipulation Darcy ends up doing to Brooke as often, these things are brushed aside for an happy ending. There is a lot of LGBT+ rep in this book and topics touched in this book, it touches a lot of things that highschool-ers might have to, or have had to deal with. Family, Friendship and School problems, mixed with relatable characters. As always the writing style was wonderful and made for a quick read (if you  liked the first book and love "Sex education" this is the book for you).

A part that truly connected with me was the "Am I gay enough, Am I enough ?" questions asked throughout the book, as a bisexual woman/person this is something I have dealt with and sometimes still struggle with. This book beautifully addressed internalized bi-phobia, while not completely in my opinion, enough that it touched me. 

Something, that is a pet peeves of mine, that I truly disliked was the miscommunication. I hate it when problems wouldn't have happened or could be easily solved by having a conversation. I get that talking about things is hard, feelings aren't always clear, however when it can prevent people getting hurt or a misunderstanding I cannot stress enough how much characters being unable to have a meaningful conversation annoys me. They are not 10-14 years old, they will be adults soon and should know by now that sometimes you need to have those conversations even if they might not be pleasant to you. Don't do it if you can't talk about it, when it affects someone else is my philosophy. 

I also hated the blackmailing, but hey the story had to start somehow so I can't fault that. One part that annoyed me again as a bi person who hates that stereotype is how she has feelings for two people and doesn't sit down to have a conversation with her partner about it. As if a bi person cannot be monogamous or have a healthy relationship. When I was in highschool, figuring out myself, this is one of those things that was detrimental to me, I kept thinking "I can't be bi" I have never wanted to be promiscuous or thought of not telling my partner if I felt something for someone else. 

Overall, however, I did really enjoy the book other than those small issues I had with it. It was a fun book that did make me smile at some of the funny dialogs and in the end while not a book I will re-read, contrary to her first novel, one that I did enjoy. 

4/5 stars 


Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Sigil : part I by Shakeil Kanish & Larissa Mandeville ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book and it does not impact my review of this book. My thoughts are my own. 

When I was so generously contacted by the one of the authors to review this book I was super excited, this is right up my alley and is a new author's first book ! A dark fantasy, LGBT, own voices POC novel; how could I be anything but super excited to read it ???

I really enjoyed this book, while it wasn't a new favorite or anything like that it was a really enjoyable time and a quick read. I loved the modern cultural references, like the magical world of the author we will not mention. The writing was super immersive and the mystery kept me on my toes. I cannot wait for the sequel, as I feel a lot of the questions I still have will be answered, about the world and the story itself !

I loved how action packed it was, there was never a moment where I was bored, though I would've like something to make it stand out more, it is a beautiful story told by own-voices authors. It is a wonderfully delightful debut novel that is worth reading if you enjoy funny characters, action, sarcasm and fantasy !

 A wonderful indie read  I am so glad the author reached out to me as I will keep on checking the next books they write !

4/5 stars