3.5 stars · arc · book review

ARC Review : Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Title : Kingdom of the Wicked
Author : Kerri Maniscalco
Series : Kingdom of the Wicked #1
Genre : YA fantasy
Release Date : October 27th, 2020
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

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3.5 stars · book review

Review : Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Title : Maybe This Time
Author : Kasie West
Genre : YA contemporary
Release Date : July 9th, 2019
Publisher : Point

⭐⭐⭐½

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One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

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3.5 stars · book review

Review : The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Title : The Lady Rogue
Author : Jenn Bennett
Genre : YA historical-fiction, fantasy
Release Date : September 3rd, 2019
Publisher : Simon Teen

⭐⭐⭐½

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The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

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3.5 stars · blog tour · book review

Blog Tour : Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen (+Giveaway)

for tour schedule, click here

Title : Fake It Till You Break It
Author : Jenn P. Nguyen
Genre : YA contemporary
Release Date : May 28th, 2019
Publisher : Swoon Reads

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⭐⭐⭐½

Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve have had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time—and then they’ll be free.

The only problem is, maybe Jake and Mia don’t hate each other as much as they once thought…

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3.5 stars · blog tour · book review

Blog Tour : An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley (+Giveaway!)

check out the tour schedule here

Title : An Affair of Poisons
Author : Addie Thorley
Genre : YA historical, fantasy
Release Date : February 26th, 2019
Publisher : Page Street Kids

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⭐⭐⭐½

After unwittingly helping her mother poison King Louis XIV, seventeen-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: they’re not heroes of the people, as they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included. Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her hunger tonics and headache remedies cannot right past wrongs or save the dissenters her mother vows to purge.Royal bastard Josse de Bourbon is more kitchen boy than fils de France. But when the Shadow Society assassinates the Sun King and half the royal court, he must become the prince he was never meant to be in order to save his injured sisters and the petulant Dauphin. Forced to hide in the derelict sewers beneath the city, any hope of reclaiming Paris seems impossible—until Josse’s path collides with Mirabelle’s, and he finds a surprising ally in his sworn enemy.

She’s a deadly poisoner. He’s a bastard prince. Together, they form a tenuous pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?

Continue reading “Blog Tour : An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley (+Giveaway!)”

3.5 stars · book review

Review : The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Title : The Thousandth Floor
Author : Katharine McGee
Genre : YA dystopia
Series : The Thousandth Floor #1
Release Date : August 30th, 2016
Publisher : HarperTeen

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NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

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3.5 stars · book review

Review : Love & Gelato by Jenna Evan Welch

Title : Love & Gelato
Author : Jenna Evan Welch
Genre : YA contemporary
Release Date : May 3rd, 2016
Publisher : Simon Pulse

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“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Continue reading “Review : Love & Gelato by Jenna Evan Welch”

3.5 stars · arc · blog tour · book review

Blog Tour : Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

to see the rest of the tour, check here 

Title : Wesley James Ruined My Life
Author : Jennifer Honeybourn
Genre : YA contemporary
Release Date : July 18th, 2017
Publisher : Swoon Reads

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Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a home, her dad’s gambling addiction has flared back up and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend—until he ruined her life, that is.

So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn’s going to do is forgive and forget. She’s determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once—by getting him fired.

But getting rid of Wesley isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to just get over it.

When I saw the title, like any other people who came across this book, I was expecting a hate-to-love romance. And fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed! This book was super cute and funny, just as expected.

Basically, Quinn and Wesley used to be best-friend. But one day, when Wesley was about to move to another town, he did something that Quinn thought made her parents got a divorce. Since then, Quinn blame Wesley for that fateful day and continue to hate him. Fast forward 5 years, Wesley is back in town, and turns out they have the same summer job! And thus, the rivalry begin. I actually like Quinn, eventhough I think her reason for hating Wesley is kinda silly. She’s pretty nice and she will admit when she has done something wrong. And we are both obsessed with everything London! I can definitely relate with her about that. As for Wesley, he seems like a decent guy and I wish there’s his POV in this book since I feel like I haven’t really know him enough.

What I love most in this book is (obviously) the banter. They bicker and tease each other like an old lady all the time and yet I can’t get enough of it! It’s just so funny and entertaining and I kinda wish I have someone to hate just so I could bicker like that 😂 And of course, all the banters just make me ship them more. Another thing I love that I haven’t mentioned is the setting where Quinn and Wesley works, Tudor Tymes. It’s basically part restaurant/part theater and I found that the idea is refreshing. It just sounds so cool and I wish it’s a real place here!

In conclusion, Wesley James Ruined My Life is a cute, adorable, and light reads. Not just romance, this book also has a great female friendship. If you’re looking for something fun to read in the summer, this is your perfect book!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Honeybourn works in corporate communications in Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s a fan of British accents, Broadway musicals, and epic, happily-ever-after love stories. If she could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, she’d have high tea with Walt Disney, JK Rowling, and her nana. She lives with her husband, daughter and cat in a house filled with books. Wesley James Ruined My Life is her first novel.

GIVEAWAY
Win a copy of Wesley James Ruined My Life (US/CA only, sorry intl peeps!)
ends July 27th, 2017

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3.5 stars · book review

Review : Summer Days and Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins

Title : Summer Days and Summer Nights
Authors : Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Jon Skovron, Veronica Roth, Jennifer E. Smith
Edited by : Stephanie Perkins
Genre : Contemporary
Release Date : May 17th, 2016
Publisher : MacMillan

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Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.


Given the title, one would expect that this book will be filled with adorable, cute, and funny love story set in summer. Or, at least, that’s what I’m expecting. But since the world is not a wish-granting factory, some of the stories in Summer Days and Summer Nights are actually sad and depressing and tear me up a bit. Surprisingly, I still like it more than My True Love Gave to Me. Here’s the review of each story :

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo – 4.5 Stars
I didn’t expect to like this one! It was really weird and confusing at first, and I almost mark it as DNF. Fortunately, I decide to give it a try and guess what–it became one of my favorites from this book! This story is about Gracie, who one day accidentally saw a monster-like thing in a lake and decide to prove it with her new-found-friend Eli–who may or may not have a secret on his own. This story happens in the span of 3 or 4 summers, so of course no insta-love. Also, the ending took me by surprise, I really didn’t see it coming! Still, I think it’s beautiful and wrap the story nicely.

The End of Love by Nina LaCour – 3 stars
I have mixed feeling about this! On one hand, it’s actually pretty great and it’s a f/f romance (one of the few in this anthology). On the other hand, it’s not that memorable, and I’m already struggling to remember what is it about a few days after I finished it.

Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray – 2 Stars
The concept is actually unique. It’s about the last night of Cinegore–a horror cinema–before it’s going to be closed and crushed. What I don’t expect is, there’s actually some fantasy in it, and I feel like it didn’t match with the whole concept.. Also, the characters seem fun, but I couldn’t connect with them. So yeah, this is my least favorite story.

Sick Pleasure for A and U by Francesca Lia Block – 4 stars
This one is definitely the saddest story in this anthology, but personally, the most beautifully written. Originally, I thought it didn’t have a sad ending, but now that I’ve read it, a sad ending really fit and made the story more realistic. It’s about a girl name I (yes, the alphabet) who meet a punk-rock boy name A and have a whirlwind romance with him. When I finished it, I kinda sit for a while and stare at the wall and think about how there must be many people who’ve done it. The only problem I have with this story is probably the name ( I wish it has a real name), but still, I really enjoyed it.

In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins – 5 stars
THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE, OBVIOUSLY! Not gonna lie, this is the first story that I read right after I got the book. Stephanie Perkins never fail to made me feel all giddy after reading her story. This story is actually a continuation from her story in My True Love Gave to Me (which is also my favorite from there), so I’m really excited to meet North and Marigold again. Although it didn’t like what I’d expected, I still love this story a lot, and of course the ending is perfect.

Souvenirs by Tim Federle – 4 stars
I didn’t expect to love this one! It’s about break-up day for Matt and Kieth, so yeah it’s pretty sad, but Tim Federle manages to make it not so sad. I really love the narrator, Math! He’s that kind of guy that’s shy in act but could make sassy jokes in his own mind (like me). I enjoy reading from his POV. As for Kieth, well, I have mixed feelings about him. He’s funny and easygoing, but his ‘funny’ is that kind of funny that could hurt other people feelings, including his own boyfriend Matt. That’s why I don’t really ship these two, but I could tell that Kieth really care for Matt. The ending, as expected, is sad, but also beautiful.

Inertia by Veronica Roth – 3.5 stars
Honestly, I’m not surprised that Veronica Roth set her story in dystopian world. At first, I’m a bit skeptical with this story, because love story are rarely set in dystopian world (this is probably the first I’ve ever read). But I’m so glad I didn’t pass this one because it’s also one of those sad (not that sad, though) but beautiful story. It’s basically about Last Visitation–in which a person who’s about to undergo an operation where there’s only a small chance they will survive, ask for someone close to ‘relive their memories’. In this case, Matt Hernandez ask for his former bestfriend, (girl), to do the Last Visitation. The memory itself is actually just okay, but the fact that they’re reliving it–that Matt is probably going to die–made me tear up a bit.

Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron – 4 stars
This story is probably the only story that’s close to my expectations when I heard the words ‘summer love story’. It sets in a resort, with 3 romances going on at the same time. All the romances are cute and Love at the Last Resort is just the story I need after reading some sad love stories.

Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert – 1.5 stars
I skimmed this one because I couldn’t connect with the characters. Basically, it’s about a girl named Rashida (or was it Rashika? I couldn’t remember) whose cousin is about to move because of her girlfriend’s job. And then they threw a farewell party, and she met a boy who happen to be the brother of her cousin’s girlfriend.

Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare – 4 stars
Cassie is one of may favorite author, so I’m really excited for her story and glad it didn’t disappoint. It’s about Lulu Darke, whose father own a dark carnival. When her father suddenly goes missing, her uncle and his step-son came to take care of the carnival. The plot itself is actually simple, but of course there’s still fantasy in it. And the romance, though a bit off, is still cute.

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith – 4.5 stars
This is the second story I read right after I finished Stephanie’s–because you can expect nothing but cuteness in Jennifer’s story. And of course, it turns out to be super cute and adorable that I’m basically bursting with feels. Also, this story feature characters that have an autism, and Jennifer did a great job describing it!

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman – 2.5 stars
This one reminds me of Paper Towns (though if you think about it, nothing is similar with Paper Towns). It’s about 2 teenagers who get stuck in a time loop–which basically means you get to relive the same day over and over again, but other people do the same work ‘everyday’ and not realize it. These two then decide to map tiny perfect things that they saw, and I guess it’s beautiful in a way. Unfortunately, the romance was off for me.

Overall, this anthology is great! I really hope Stephanie will edit another anthology in the future.

3.5 stars · arc · book review

ARC Review : Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson

Title : Seeking Mansfield
Author : Kate Watson
Genre : YA contemporary, retelling
Release Date : May 16th, 2017
Publisher : Flux

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Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend, the Bertram’s son Oliver. If she could just take Oliver’s constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she’d finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater. 

When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move next door to the Bertram’s, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his cunning sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver’s stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her. 

But Finley doesn’t want to be won, and she doesn’t want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver’s heart—and keep her own—she’ll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.

*I receive an ARC via Netgalley in exchange of honest review. Thank you Flux Books for the book!

I have to admit, I requested this one on a whim because it sounds cute and I’m a sucker for retelling (even if I haven’t read the real books). I don’t really have any expectations other than I just want to enjoy it. But this book turns to be pretty good, despite the love triangles, and I end up devour it in less than a day.

Why I Like Seeking Mansfield

+It’s a retelling! Okay, I know I already mentioned it, but I just want to say it again. Seeking Mansfield is a retelling of Mansfield Park, based on what I read on wikipedia, it’s pretty similar with the original. Finley is obviously Fanny, Oliver is Edmund, and Harlan and Emma Crawford is Henry and Mary Crawford.
+The characters’ development. At the beginning, Finley suffers from PTSD due to traumatic past caused by her mother. Which is why she kept telling herself that she’s not good enough and let people (in this case, Nora aka Aunt Norris) judge and mock her. She believe she deserves it. But throughout the book, she gradually try to speak up more, and try to overcome her past. I’m not saying she’s completely ‘healed’ by the end of the book because I don’t think she is, but I do think she’s better.
+The feels. This one is a little vague, but what I mean with feels is not a romance feels, but rather, the feels I got while I’m reading this book, especially in Finley’s POV. I don’t have PTSD, but I could relate with Finley when she thinks she’s not good enough, because sometimes I feel that way too. Not gonna lie, some of her thoughts almost made me cry because it’s just that deep and voice what I sometimes feels.
+Dual POVs. This book is told from Finley and Oliver POVs. It’s pretty rare for a contemporary books to have dual POVs, which is why I like it. Even if Oliver’s POV is kinda bland, but I love knowing his thoughts.
+The theater aspects. It’s not the main focus here, but I love reading about it. I’ve never watch an actual theater in real life (as far as I know, there’s none here), but it’s on my bucket-list!

Why I (kinda) Dislike Seeking Mansfield

+The love-triangles thingy. Okay, this is actually more like a “me” problem. If you know me, I’m easily swayed when it comes to shipping people. Which is why I dislike love triangles since I usually ship back and forth between love interest A and love interest B and end up shipping no one because I’m tired with both. Same with this book. At first, I obviously ship Finley and Ollie because it’s best-friend to romance and because we all know she’s gonna end up with him (it’s a retelling, after all). But then Harlan comes, and despite being a class-A jerk, I think he genuinely likes her that I couldn’t help but ship them. Even if I know it won’t end well. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy both of romantic scenes here, but it’s making me torn since I still feel like shipping both ships, and I dislike being torn.

Overall, I would recommend Seeking Mansfield, especially if you’re a retelling fan! Mansfield Park retelling is pretty rare (this is the first that I read), and it’s pretty good and addictive. I’ll still read the next book.