Red Queen – A Review

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Title:                   Red Queen
Author:              Victoria Aveyard
Genre:                Science Fiction, Dystopian YA
Topics:                Kingdom, Superficial Powers
Publisher:          Harper Teen
Published on:    July 3rd, 2015
Pages:                  388
Rating:                ★★★
Formats:             Paperback, Hardback, Kindle
Short Review:   Fighting Kingdoms, Magical powers, detestable villains, love triangles and a bit of everything for a fantasy fanatic.
“Anyone can betray anyone.”

#NMBookReview


The similarity between Red Queen and Hunger games in uncanny! So much of this book reminds me of Katniss, and later of Joffrey and his evil mother, the queen; Cersei. I would’ve liked it much more if it weren’t for all the similar plot lines. That being said, Aveyard definitely walked in the zone with a strong debut novel leaving plenty of us hooked and anticipating the series.

I picked up the book for all the hype over on Instagram (read bookstagram) and the mesmerizing cover, I hadn’t known then it was a dystopian novel, only that it was YA fantasy, I’m glad it turned out better than expected.

Victoria builds a strong female protagonist who struggles to fit in and ends up realizing how that never would be possible. The dystopian world of Red Queen series is divided into two sides, the Red and the Silver, the colour of their blood and later reveals those who aren’t neither or both?

The writing is brilliant for a young debut author, better than most debut YA fantasy novels but feels a bit too descriptive sometimes, especially in the later instalments of the series. There are plenty of Characters to hate and admire, all with powers and secrets of their own, but that’s not the best part, the best is the plot twist that comes about halfway into the series, I loved how it was unexpected (was for me) and cleverly played. Usually, the story before the twist seems dragged but this wasn’t the case for Red Queen, it’s interesting throughout.

The kingdom keeps expanding, houses keeps evolving, love interests develop, characters gradually grow complex ( mostly the main characters ), revolution against revolution, blood against blood, superficial powers against masterminds, battles, and challenges, the commoners stand against the elite in power, and the poor despairing Mare Barrow goes from a rat in the scum scheming in desperation for bread and water to become the face of power within a day.

I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games, you’d enjoy discovering who the lightning girl is and what the silencers can do. You’d find out about strongarm’s strength and the magic of a magnetron, of all the colours of the houses and their command on specific powers.

Synopsis


This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver Prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against a prince, and Mare against her own heart.

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Dark Matter – Book Review!

I had just finished Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas and I wasn’t going to pick another intense thriller or Fantasy from my TBR for a while. Little did I know that Crouch had me in for a complete ride, I bought Dark Matter: A Novel from Avenue Bookstore  solely based on the frequency I saw it online, I didn’t however know what it was about and never read a synopsis or blurb.

tumblr_nz32wpAsfp1tq4of6o1_500well that’s right. And boy am I glad I didn’t. I haven’t read a book in a long time that fucked up my mind completely, that’s what it did. I’m going to tell you about Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and you’re going to want to read it. Because you must, it’s that mind-boggling.

Spoiler Free Story Review

Crouch starts his story ordinarily with a family living a usual life, he takes you over relationships and memories and regrets, talks about compromises and life choices and friendships. You feel like you’re wrapped in contemporary just when the shit happens. You think you know when to expect the next turn but boy you’re kidding yourself, you definitely didn’t see that coming.

There’s possibly a parallel world, a different dimension of reality, an alternate life, perhaps multiverse?   Not a science fan? No worries, there is Romance and Thriller and most importantly the book is packed with suspense that lets you dream about it once you’ve kept it aside, that is if you do.

I couldn’t put it down save for the time I spent breathing, releasing, you know the usual living.

Writing Style & Characterisation

I absolutely loved Crouch’s writing style, gripping from the very first page. It’s simple and clear even when talking about Physics and Quantum Mechanics. He doesn’t fail to give life to the smallest details in the story which makes the book all the more valuable.

Every character is well though of and brilliantly written, you challenge their decisions and hate their guts, an instance you even hold your breath because obviously Black compelled us not to part reality from fiction.

The only thing I didn’t love about the book is how the author dealt with one of the plot twists. A character that just abruptly is forgotten. More on

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Book Title: Dark Matter
Author: Black Crouch
Genre: Suspence + Thriller + Sci-Fi
Rating: /5

Similar Books

I haven’t read much of Sci-Fi but during this read I couldn’t help but notice the uncanny similarities to another series I read a while ago called The thousand Pieces of You Trilogy. Click on the link to Check it out 😉

Continue reading

A Court of Wings and Ruins – A Review

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Title
: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Commonly Known as ACOWAR

AuthorSarah J. Maas
Author of Throne of Glass Series

GenreFantasy Fiction

Pages: 705

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

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My Review

A Court of Wings and Ruins is the third (and the worst so far) installment in A Court of Thorns and Roses series of six. I’ve loved the first book; A Court of Thorns and Rosesand the second; A court of Mist and Fury.

If you haven’t already read the first two book, here’s a quick recap, if you have then you may skip the next paragraph.

Feyre is a hunter that kills a Faerie to survive and then is taken captive by the High Lord Tamlin to the Spring Court of Prythian; the Faerie Realm, to pay for the life she’s taken. There she’s welcomed as a guest and less as a prisoner and meets her new best friend; Lucien, later she falls for Tamlin and discovers that Prythian is under a curse. The Faerie Realm is almost destroyed as Feyre fights Amarantha and free not just his beloved but the rest of the Prythian as well. Later she learns that she’s bound to Rhysand, the High lord of the Night Court and eventually falls for him too. Meanwhile, Tamlin acts overprotectively and drives Feyre away, she runs off to the Night Court and gets sold out to Hybern; the evil of them all. Hybern ruins all of Feyre’s dreams and turns both her human sisters into Fae, she also looses her High Lord and mate and is taken back to the Spring Court by Tamlin who she now despises for trading her sisters and their safety to Hybern. The third book starts from when Feyra is in Spring Court and plotting against her former betrothed and Hybern. 

This book is 700 pages long and I was bored for at least the half of it. Mind that I like Sarah’s writing but ACOWAR was nothing like the first two books, it was slow and dragged and I felt that it was very repetitive. Not to forget the cringeworthy overinclusive sex scenes. I did enjoy the steamy Feyre and Tamlin/Rhysand in the first two books but as the story proceeds it just made me furious how they could manage to be so horny in the middle of all the chaos and the life-ending situations. By the end of 300 ish pages, I was furious as the story was just revolving and not proceeding at all. Emphasizing again and again over the characters and their strengths which didn’t make them sound strong impact made them look the opposite like the author is trying to sell them.The last few

The last few chapters, however, were great, the war and the details were beautifully put but I don’t see the point of dragging the book to seven hundred something pages for it, it could’ve easily been a 500 pages book and would’ve been more interesting and thrilling. There were also some plot holes unlike in the earlier books, a lot of new characters were introduced and I loved them all but I wish the story had more of it, it just revolved around the same old Mor, Azriel, Feyre, Lucien, Cassion, Rhysand… We meet the High Lords of all the other courts and well that’s it, just meet them, briefly. There is an interesting twist with Lucien which is one thing I’m looking forward to in the next installment, I also wish they talked more of the Firebird and Elain was also featured more.

Overall the experience wasn’t worth at all, I anticipated this book SO much over the past few months that when I started reading it I was absolutely disappointed. ACOMAF took me a day or two to finish but this took me six and there were parts where I just skimmed through a page and skipped lines to read dialogues, I even forced myself to finish off a chapter which hardly happens in the middle of a fantasy series, it’s almost impossible. Only the last couple of chapters comprising of about 200 pages was thrilling and enjoyable like a usual J.Maas.  I also feel like the story could’ve ended here, I don’t really like how they’re going to drag it just for the sake of making it commercial.

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Quoting from ACOWAR

“My rage had become a living thing inside my chest, an echoing heartbeat that soothed me to sleep and stirred me to waking.”  

“And will you come with me; On this adventure – and all the rest?…Always” 

“Kindness can thrive even amongst cruelty.” 

“We’re all a broken, in our own ways – In places, no one might see.” 

“When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds.” 

“Night Triumphant – and the Stars Eternal. If he was the sweet, terrifying darkness, I was the glittering light that only his shadows could make clear.”

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Synopsis

A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

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Other Books From the Series

#1   A Court of Thorns & Roses – May 2015
#2   A Court of Mist & Fury – May 2016
#3   A Court of Wings & Ruins – May 2017

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More from the Author

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Similar to the Series

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Everything Everything – A Review

18692431Title: Everything Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Fiction/ Contemporary Romance

Pages: 465

Rating: 3.5/5

Short Review: A thought-provoking romance of an allegedly sickly girl without an ending
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Synopsis

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

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Quoting Everything Everything

“Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.” 

“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.” 

“You’re not living if you’re not regretting.” 

“My guilt is an ocean for me to drown in.” 

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Thoughts on the book

Everything Everything is written beautifully, Nicola Yoon adds doodles, emails, and drawings which enhance the reader’s involvement. The book size, font, and all physical details are so convenient and certainly added to my experience. Based on this book, I’d definitely read more from the author; a bit of philosophical mixed with a hint of reality.

The story is different than most books I’ve read, I liked the presence of a terminal illness and I wish there were more of it than just a little description. I also felt that she entered dangerous territory by presenting a sickness she didn’t know enough of or perhaps failed to research. Yikes!

The young romance was a good addition but I just couldn’t follow, seems too easy and too quick. For the girl’s part, it’s still understandable as she’s never been outside so she’ll fall for just anyone but what’s with the guy reciprocating it? I mean it doesn’t just happen over a day in real life and that is what bothered me. Up until the point where the ‘love’ happens, it’s going great but then I felt being dragged out of my thoughts and just read the words failing to ‘feel’ the story. The ending was also a bit sudden and abrupt, part of me liked it and part of me was like

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But it doesn’t make the book all bad, what I liked the most was how beautifully the world was pictured, the beauty in daily life and interactions, the contentment of the protagonist despite her deprived life, the hope that was present throughout. The book had a sad and tragic theme to it but it doesn’t get melancholy, only sad enough to keep you hooked and want more but not enough to reflect on your mood.

The diversity is also impressive but the ending just took away a star from it. It was a good read overall and I recommend it despite its flaws but I wish no one with the actual desease as mentioned in the book does as Nicola implies how they’re not really living, I hate everytime a book or a movie shows an overweight protagonist; which happens ever so rarely btw, gets thin in the end and realizes how her life was yukh before. Its kind of similar in this book. Well that says enough.

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Find Everything Everything on Goodreads or order it on Book Depository

Soon to be a Movie, watch the trailer here!

Nicola Yoon | http://www.NicolaYoon.com

Twitter: NicolaYoon

Genre: Young Adult

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

 

When Breath Becomes Air – A Review

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Title: When Breath Becomes Air

Author: Paul Kalanithi

Genre: Non-Fiction / Memoir

Pages: 200

Rating: ★★★★★

Short Review: A devastating read that breaks your heart, makes you cry but also helps you find your purpose in life.

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Synopsis

‘Finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option… Unmissable’ New York Times

For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? 

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?

Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

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Quoting When Breath Becomes Air

“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.” 

“There is a moment, a cusp when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.” 

“What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?” 

“Death may be a one-time event but living with a terminal illness is a process.” 

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My Review

I tried my best to be unbiased when reviewing this book but somehow the tragic incident with the author made it all the more beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, death is not beautiful but the fact that someone’s life, even when short-lived gave so much to this world is. That a person, despite the odds achieved part of his dream and became who he always aspired to be.

When breath becomes air is written by Paul himself as he discovers and fights cancer. A surgeon about to graduate is paused midway planning his entire life due to a disease and he pens it all down, his thoughts and relationships and most importantly his aspirations on the face of mortality. While reading this book, I realized how it’s never too late to follow your dreams, that no matter the odds there’s always a chance. I also look at death now as a motivator, only if we thought we don’t have time we’d fit it all in a day.

I grieve for his wife to have to part with the love of her life and his child who’d never get to know the talented surgeon, the brilliant writer, the devoted father but above all a beautiful human being. The way Paul wrote made me travel his journey with him, I sobbed with every x-ray and smiled on every tiny achievement,  I’m glad that during his last moments he was at peace, glad that he got to publish at least one book. Today we all remember him not for the accomplished surgeon that he was, but the beautiful writer that he remains.

I recommend everyone to read it, you won’t love it at all but I guess we all need a reality check every now and then, maybe this could be yours.May you find your calling.

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Check it out on Goodreads!

Buy it from Book Depository for US$9.12