In arc review

REVIEW: Torn


Title: Torn
Author: Natalia Jaster
Genre(s):  Young/New Adult, Fantasy
Release: June 20th, 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

"She feels merry, so very merry.
That's the impression Merry gives,
That's the perception."

When people ask me for my favorite indie author, my answer is immediate: Natalia Jaster. Ever since reading the Foolish Kingdoms series two years ago, I've been obsessed with her romantic fantasy blends. It's not only the Foolish Kingdoms series that has enamoured me, her series Selfish Myths also massively managed to peak my interest. Torn is the second instalment in this beautiful series and comes out on June 20th, which means it's high time for me to review this beauty.

What is this book about?
Torn takes place three years after Touch, and follows Anger's POV. Because Anger has fallen in love with fellow deity Love, which is impossible in the world of the Gods, he's banished to live far away. Meet Merry. Merry is very merry, or at least she likes to think so. She was banished a long time ago as a baby for not living up to her full potential as a deity. Merry might be Anger's solution to regaining his magic and returning to the Peaks, however, in doing so, he'll have to break her heart...

"He doesn't want the sunrise.
He wants her glowing in the dark.
He wants her light back."

What did I think of Torn?
Torn follows up Touch, but takes place three years later. I really liked that Natalia has opted for a time jump, which meant that we got to see the same characters but a few years later. This entailed seeing how they ended up and how some of them progressed. We get glimpses of Love and Andrew, the protagonists of Love, and what they're up to now, which I really appreciated. We also see how Anger has potentially degressed or developed, which in that regard, I think the time-jump was a good choice.

Much like her other books, Natalia's writing is again superb in Torn. I'm a huge fan of her whimsical prose that seems to slightly change whenever she takes on a new character's POV. There's puns, but also tons of lyrical quotes that make her writing so very unique. Considering this is a mature YA Romance novel, kind of along the tones of The Bargainer series and A Court of Thorns and Roses, her writing is a mix between New Adult and Fantasy writing but in a way that is unlike anything I've ever read before.

As for the characters, I didn't think any of Natalia's books was able to trump Trick for me. Trick was my first discovery, and remained the most precious. However, she might have just done it with Torn. Torn was an absolute gem in terms of characters, story and development. Merry might be the new love of my life; her bubbly, quirky personality sharply contrast the abrasive, intense nature of Anger, but the two manage to make it work somehow. I loved the scenes in which Anger gains a noticeably soft side for Merry's antics; their dynamic was absolutely phenomenal! The theme of found family has always been a strong factor within Natalia's books, which I really appreciate considering it's one of my favorite tropes. In light of this, I loved getting to see how Anger's character seemed to develop as the book went on. Merry manages to slowly break all of Anger's walls down until they've become best friends, which was something we didn't get to see a lot in Natalia's writing (since most of it is Hate to Love and not Friends to Love, which I LOVE!), but Torn provided a breath of fresh air.

Lastly, I think the plot of Natalia's books is always very original, but I have such a weak spot for the Selfish Myths series; the concept of deities falling in love in a romantic fantasy setting is everything I didn't need and more. Torn, then, is filled with plot-twists, but also heartfelt moments.

All in all, this book was another solid five star read. It's rare for me to not give Natalia's books a five-star rating, so this is certainly no exception. However, I think this might actually be my new favorite book of hers. Make sure to pick this up when it releases at the end of the month, because it sure is worth it!


Thank you to Natalia Jaster for providing an ARC of Torn!

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In kdrama recommendations TV

RECS: Binge-worthy K-drama's For Your Summer Holiday!


As many of you know, I love me a good K-drama. There's nothing that's more satisfying than watching romantic, tropey, somewhat predictable television shows that you can binge straight away. Because we're nearing summer holidays, which usually means more free time to binge-watch some television, I've compiled a list of 8 of my favorite K-dramas from the past 3-ish years. Most of these are rom-coms, but I've tried to curate a list that features a lot of different sub-genres so that there's a lot of variation! Without further ado, let's get into it!

(image source: JTBC)

1. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017)
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Idol-Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Cast: Park Bo-Young, Park Hyung-Sik, Kim Ji-Soo

To start this list off, I'm starting with one of my ultimate favorite K-drama's: Strong Woman Do Bong Soon is definitely one of those. Bong-Soon, a girl born from a line of women with superhuman strength, is in desperate need of a job. When the young CEO of a gaming company, Min Hyuk, is looking for a personal bodyguard due to the fact that he's been receiving death threats, Bong-Soon figures this is her perfect opportunity. Meanwhile, their city has been plagued by a serial-killer targeting young girls, and police officer - slash Bong-Soon's childhood crush, Guk-Doo might need Bong-Soon's help to track down the killer.

This drama is perfect if you're looking for a good mix between comedy and drama. The acting is EXCELLENT (seriously, these three are among my top favorite k-actors!), and the romantic, as well as the mystery aspects of this drama are what make it such a great watch!

(image source: SBS)

2. Suspicious Partner (2017)
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Thriller
Cast: Ji Chang Wook, Nam Ji-Hyun, Choi Tae-Joon, Kwon Nara

Next up is another one of my top faves! Suspicious Partner centers around Eun Bong Hee and Noh Ji Wook, who both work at the same lawyer's office. However, there's a killer on the loose with amnesia, and Bong Hee finds herself the suspect to one of the killer's murders. Will their team be able to catch the killer?

 Suspicious Partner is another one of my favorite dramas (both SWDBS and this one share my 'favorites' spot, don't make me choose!) and has a similar feel to the aforementioned Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. It's a mix between comedy and thriller elements, mixed with a healthy dose of romance! Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun are two of my favorite K-drama actors, and their chemistry is off the charts. What a treat this show is!

(image source: JTBC)

3. Just Between Lovers (2018)
Genre: Melodrama, Romance, Idol-Drama
Cast: Won Jin Ah, Lee Jun-Ho, Lee Ki-Woo, Kang Han-Na

Taking a break from the rom-coms to address a somewhat heavier drama, but no less quality. Just Between Lovers follows the POV of two people who survived the same accident. When he's caught in the collapse of a mall ten years ago, Lee Gang-Doo's dreams of being a professional soccer player are over. That is, until he meets Ha Moon Soo. Caught in the same accident, Moon Soo has lost her sister and is tasked with taking care of their mother, while she hides her own emotions. Being faced with Gang-Doo, then, will bring long-buried feelings to the surface.

Dealing with survivor's guilt and a ton of emotions, Just Between Lovers explores what happens to the survivors of a detrimental accident. This one is a tear-jerker! (In a good way)


(image source: KBS)

4. Angel's Last Mission: Love (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Melodrama, Idol-Drama
Cast: Kim Myung Soo, Shin Hye Sun, Lee Dong Gun, Kim Bo Mi

Moving on to a more happier scenario: Angel's Last Mission: Love centers around ballerina Yeon Seo, who has lost her eye-sight after an unfortunate accident, and has become a young bitter heiress. Unable to perform ballet anymore, she's cold, detached and mean to her surroundings. In comes (literal) angel Dan, who is tasked by the higher powers to help her find true love. Dan is kind, a little childish (and a lot mischievous!), and due to some previous trouble he has caused, he now has to complete this mission or be extinct. But what happens when you're tasked with a mission that seems impossible?

This drama has become my newest obsession. It's funny, warm, and so adorable! Also, it's ongoing, so the perfect time to start watching it is now!

(image source: tvN)

5. 100 Days My Prince (2018)
Genre: Historical, Romance, Comedy, Idol-Drama
Cast: Do Kyung-soo, Nam Ji-Hyun, Jo Sung-Ha

Another staple sub-genre within the K-Drama scene is of course the Historical drama! I'm not usually someone who watches a lot of those, but 100 Days My Prince was such a breath of fresh air for me! We follow Lee Yool, who is the crown prince. He suddenly disappears from the palace, and ends up in a local village with amnesia. When peasant girl Hong-Sim, who is in desperate need of a husband, finds a random guy with memory-loss, she feels this is her chance. She convinces Lee Yool that he's her husband, Won-Deuk, and all kinds of hilarious scenarios ensue.

This drama was fun, original, but also still carried a lot of depth. I'm not someone who enjoys comedy merely for the comedic value, so I was pleasantly surprised that, despite it being a funny show, it also did have a bunch of emotional scenes. Also, this drama showed us some familiar faces by casting Suspicious Partner's Nam Ji Hyun, and EXO's (Yes, the Boy group!) Do Kyungsoo. What a treat!

(image source: KBS)

6. Healer (2016)
Genre: Melodrama, Romance
Cast: Won Jin Ah, Lee Jun-Ho, Lee Ki-Woo, Kang Han-Na

Healer is the oldest drama on this list, but still an absolute must-watch! Much like 100 Days My Prince, it features another familiar face: namely, Ji Chang Wook from Suspcious Partner. Now then, what is this show about? Healer goes back to the time when a group of friends ran an illegal pro-democracy radio station in the times of the Republic. This illegal activity somehow connects three people together in present-time; the illegal thief "Healer." a curious reporter by the name of Chae Young Shin, and the famous journalist Kim Moon-ho, who are all trying to decipher what exactly happened all those years ago.

This show has a definite vigilante vibe with Healer's secret identity, which is unlike something I've seen in other K-dramas. It's a perfect mix between action, mystery and romance, and I loved every thrilling minute of this.

(image source: MBC)

7. Come and Hug Me (2018)
Genre: Melodrama, Romance, Mystery
Cast: Jong Ki-Yong, Jin Ki-Joo, Heo Joon-Ho

Another tear-jerker on this list is the 2018 drama Come and Hug Me, which follows two people who connect over a horrible tragedy. Han Jae Yi and Chae Do Jin were each other's first loves, until Do-Jin's father turned out to be a psychotic killer and murders Jae Yi's parents. Now, atoning for his father's sins, Do Jin is a police officer, while Jae Yi pursues an acting career despite her PTSD. What happens when fate realigns and brings these two people back together despite their horrific past?

This show is so emotional, scary, but beautiful all at once. With two rising stars as its main actors, incredible chemistry, and a heart-wrenching plot, it's surely a good one!


(image source: KBS)

8. Are You Human Too? (2018)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Politics, Romance
Cast: Seo Kang-Joon, Kim Sung-Ryoung, Kong Seung-Yeon

Last on the list is another out-of-my-comfortzone drama. When Nam-Shin gets taken away from his mother, a gifted scientist, she makes a robot that resembles him eerily. When the real Nam Shin gets in a car accident and is trapped in a coma, Nam Shin's mother sends Robot Nam Shin to take his place and take care of his company. In comes Kang So-Bong, who was the real Nam-Shin's bodyguard until she's dismissed. Assigned to protect the new Nam-Shin, she is determined to uncover why he exhibits such strange behavior.

This show is very unique. I'm not usually someone who gravitates towards post-humanist fiction but Are You Human Too? provided such an interesting take on the sub-genre and is definitely something I would recommend!

There we go. That marks eight of my favorite drama's! If you enjoyed this, I'm thinking of making this a more regular feature on my blog. I know people who want to branch into drama's but don't really know where to start, and I'm by no mean an expert on K-drama's, but I've watched my fair share of them, which means not all of my favorites were able to make it on this list. Let me know if you've enjoyed this and what you guys' favorite drama's are, or which ones I should watch next. Thanks so much for reading and until next time!



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In book review

REVIEW: The Tiger at Midnight



Title: Tiger at Midnight
Author: Swati Teerdhala
Genre(s):  Young Adult, Fantasy
Release: April 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭✭,5/5

"Never greet a tiger at midnight, 
for they are the manifestations of your past misdeeds."

The Tiger at Midnight is yet another highly anticipated 2019 favorite of mine, which is why, as soon as I received my copy I started reading. I highly enjoyed the atmosphere, the characters and most of the plot, so let's dig into this review!

What is this book about?
Esha, the legendary assassin by the name of the Viper is out for revenge. Her mission: to kill the military general. When she encounters Kunal, the general's nephew and (seemingly) loyal soldier in the army, the two engage in a cat and mouse game that may result in a detrimental ending.

“It never failed to Delight her, 
knowing that all these soldiers, these men, 
were terrified of her.” 

What did I think about The Tiger at Midnight?
So.. the premise should give you a clue as to why I was so excited to read this book. Female assassins... hello? GIVE ME FEMALE ASSASSINS ANY DAY! The characters, then, are essentially why I'm giving this book such a high rating. The reason why I thought this book was such a strong debut was because I adored Kunal and Esha's dynamic. These two... made my so giddy. From the moment the two interact (very very early on in the book) I was hooked! Kunal is a soldier, who isn't actually cut out to be a soldier. His soft soul starkly contrasts the horrible deeds he has to execute as part of the army. Then there's Esha... oh boy... Esha. I loved her character a lot: from the way Esha interacts with Kunal - kind of standoff-ish, but simultaneously not immune to his kind soul, to her secret identity as the Viper. Her character is layered, and really drew me in from the very start. The hate-to-love trope that seems to be the focus of their dynamic very much captured my attention, and the contrasting alliances of both Esha and Kunal delivered some interesting angst!

As for the writing, it's quite simple but effective. There are some good and powerful quotes sprinkled throughout the book, but it's not overly filled with poetic language. I did think the plot was solid in the sense that I was immediately pulled in, rather than having to wait to be captured. I do think the writing picks up and gets more climactic as we near the ending, but that's due to the world-building, which is explained rather slowly in the beginning. The last fourth of The Tiger at Midnight, then, marked the best part for me - plot-wise, and also introduced some more characters (the rebels, and Kunal's fellow soldiers) that spark the reader's interest. I do hope to see more of these characters in the future books because there's certainly something interesting there!

2019 being the year of diverse fantasies, I really like that a large part of the book featured Indian history and Hindu mythology, which I feel like a lot of people might be able to relate to. I, myself, feel that fantasies get a lot more rich if they feature some kind of cultural component at its root, which was also the case here. The way the author has weaved elements of Indian culture into the story was so wonderfully done and really helped to set the story apart from other books that feature a similar plot.

In my opinion, The Tiger at Midnight is such a solid debut novel, and I cannot wait to see what else the author has in store for us in the next book! I will definitely keep on reading this series for both the characters and the story. What a treat this was!

Goodreads


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In book review

REVIEW: Nocturna


Title: Nocturna
Author: Maya Motayne
Genre(s):  Young Adult, Fantasy
Release: April 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭✭,5/5

"Magic could not speak, yet interacting with it felt like a conversation, 
a dance, a story shared with a friend with the ending left up to interpretation."

2019 is just full of beautifully diverse fantasy releases, and Nocturna had been on my TBR since the beginning of the year. Imagine my delight when I received this book in one of my April subscription boxes (and this gorgeous special edition no less!) Of course I had to immediately dive into this book!

What is Nocturna about?
Set in a Latinx-inspired world, Nocturna centers around professional thief, Finn Voy, who uses magic to take on many faces but her own. But, when she is caught by a mobster, and the only way out is a heist of something valuable in the Castellan palace, she is faced with the danger of losing her magic forever. Finn teams up with prince Alfie, who is grieving the loss of his brother, and is desperately trying to find a way to get him back. However, the two of them accidentally unleash a horrific power, and, in order to contain it, Finn and Alfie are forced to work together. Will this unlikely alliance work?

“She'd always imagined the weight of someone's hand in her own to feel like an anchor, tugging her into a forced stasis when she only wanted to run, to be free. 
Yet now, she wanted nothing more than to stay. 
She felt more freedom in this moment than all her years combined. 
Freedom, she was coming to understand, could be found in a person instead of a place.”

What did I think of Nocturna?
Reading Nocturna was such a pleasant experience: I found that the writing and characters immediately pulled me in. The world-building was rich and the Latinx-inspired universe was very refreshing within the YA genre. I enjoyed the little Spanish phrases plastered about in the text, seamlessly switching between languages, as well as the non-white cast. That is right, all of the characters are latinx! 

The premise for both main characters is what initially drew me in. The concept of a face-stealing thief is very original. Her past abuse and trauma has resulted in her never wanting to look like herself again, which adds such a great layer to the character of Finn. I also like how versatile and dynamic she's portrayed. The way in which her confusion between the affection she seems to feel for Alfie and her usual apathetic side seems to conflict, and how she switches between 'Prince' and Alfie's name supplies yet another interesting tier. In addition, I also really liked Alfie as a character, which for me, isn't very surprising considering we know I have a thing for princes. Alfie's grief for his brother, and the issues he has with magic really made the character feel alive.

The witty dynamic between the two is reminiscent of Kell and Lila from A Darker Shade of Magic, but not overly so. (Also, I've seen a lot of ADSOM comparisons in previous reviews, but I feel that comparing books often sells them short, in the sense that essentially they are all their own universes and characters!). Additionally, it was refreshing to see the relationship between the two develop not too quickly. I've read a lot of fantasy debuts this year that featured a rapidly growing relationship (sometime too quickly). And, while that's not so much of a turn-off for me when it comes to books, I prefer the slowburn Motayne has going on between her characters! In the end, the characters and their interactions ended up being what made the book so enjoyable for me. 

Another interesting dynamic was the one between Finn and Ignacio, her previous father-figure/abuser who uses his magic to manipulate her into staying with him and acting like his 'daughter'. The fact the villain seems to have a close personal connection to the protagonist added that extra bit of dramatics, and made the villain a lot more interesting to read about. I find myself often bored when YA fantasy includes a very black-and-white two-dimensional villain, and while Ignacio seems to still be portrayed as pure evil, the fact that Finn has a connection to him made the stakes higher for readers of the story.

The plot in itself was interesting and I see where the writer wants to go. However, it sets up for a climax that unfortunately doesn't succeed when it comes to the height of its impact in this first book. The climactic events are resolved rather quickly, which was kind of a shame because, as a reader, you're anticipating more than you're essentially getting. Although, aside from this fact, the pacing of the book didn't feel either too rushed or too slow, and overall provided a very enjoyable reading experience. 

Motayne, then, has definitely captured my attention with these characters when it comes to future books in the series. The characters, setting and universe all promise great things for the sequel that is inevitably coming soon! 

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In blog tour

BLOG TOUR: The Candle and the Flame


Hello guys! The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad released ONE WEEK AGO! If you've checked out my review of this book, then you know I absolutely I adored it, but in case you still haven't had a chance to pick this up, now is the time! As part of the official Candle and the Flame Street Team, I'm here to tell you all about The Candle and the Flame!

Synopsis:
Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population -- except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.

Follow Nafiza:

The book features such an intricately crafted universe, gorgeous writing, and absolutely amazing characters. It's a stand-alone so it's perfect for a quick read, too. The Candle and the Flame really makes you think about social issues, and features a beautiful fantastical universe as well as some really interesting magic! It's absolutely amazing to read! The seamless blend of languages, cultures and magical elements makes this book truly one of a kind.

Creative Effort:
As part of the blog-tour, I designed some fan-made posters for the book. Check them out below! 





Order The Candle and the Flame NOW:



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In book review

REVIEW: Defy Me


Title: Defy Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre(s):  Young Adult, Fantasy
Release: 2 April 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

MY FAVORITE YA FANTASY OF ALL TIME IS BACK! I've missed these characters so much, you guys. After Restore Me I wasn't sure how to survive a whole year without them, but I magically did. Defy Me has been out for a month (or even longer... yikes), so I figured it was high-time for my review of this fifth book in the Shatter Me series!

What is this book about?
Defy Me is part five in the well-loved Shatter Me series, and follows Juliette, Warner and Kenji after the end of Restore Me. Juliette is now Supreme Commander of America, but has been taken by her biological parents to aid in their original plan. The team has to get back together and pick up the pieces before it's all too late.

What did I think of Defy Me?
Now, it's no secret I tend to love most of what Tahereh writes. Every single novel I've read by her has been a 5-star read. From her fantasy to her contemporary ones, she can do no wrong for me. I love the way she develops characters, her writing style (especially the poetic one in Shatter Me), and the way she crafts stories. It's again no surprise that Defy Me formed no exception to this.

I absolutely adore all of these characters, the characters are mostly what make books for me, but my favorite ones are Juliette, Warner and Kenji. Kenji's POV, then, provided such a nice addition to this series. We've gotten a brief introduction to Kenji's thoughts in Shadow Me, but that book was too short. To be fair, it was only a novella. I ended up loving every minute of Kenji's POV in both Defy Me and Shadow Me, and if he wasn't already my favorite male character... ever, he would be by now. I really like how having his own perspective added a lot more depth to his character. How he's not just there for comic relief, but also has a lot of emotional layers underneath (I know opinions are divided on this book, but I loved him a lot!)

Juliette and Warner, too, really did it for me. This series has some of my favorite character development of ALL TIME, and getting to see Warner happy for once was a very welcome change. Also, can we talk about how ADORABLE that last chapter was... please. I know that there have been a lot of diverging opinions regarding this specific matter, but the relationship development between Warner and Juliette was very welcome for me. For people who plan to read this book but still haven't found the time: I won't spoil any major plot-points, but I personally thought that, especially considering the dystopian setting, the plot wasn't rushed at all.

I also quickly want to address Nazeera's character, because OH MY! She ended up being one of the highlights of the book for me. I will admit, I'm still not 100% set on her relationship with Kenji that seems to be a thing, which eyes very much like insta-lust at the moment, but it is such a joy to read her dialogue! I absolutely adore her and want an infinite amount of scenes with just her and Juliette... I need them to be BFF's.

In the end, the majority of the plot of Defy Me dealt with the repercussions of the last book, as well as setting up for the final instalment, which made this book kind of filler-y in my opinion. The first half was enjoyable, but not overly so, however, the last 100 pages are what made the book for me. The final part, including the infinite plot-twists, and crazy scenarios were nice, but the real magic happens during the emotional moments between certain characters.

Once again, I think Tahereh can do no wrong when it comes to writing and I love every single book she writes. From my perspective, Defy Me ended up doing the characters justice which is what is most important to me. All in all, the book provided a nice set-up for the finale, but at this point Tahereh could write them going to the supermarket for 25 chapters and I'd still give this five stars.

Goodreads


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In spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: Reasons Why You Should Be Reading We Hunt The Flame!



Hello hello! With only ONE day to go until this gorgeous book releases, it's high time for me to talk a little more about one of my most anticipated releases of the ENTIRE YEAR: We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal!

Synopsis: 
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.


Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.


Five reasons why you should be reading We Hunt the Flame:
Additionally to this amazing premise, here are five reasons why you should pick up WHTF!

One: The world-building!
We Hunt the Flame is inspired by old Arabia and is, subsequently an ownvoices novel! To be immersed in this rich universe featuring characteristics of this beautiful culture, as well as the Arabic terms used within the book is so so cool! The world-building in We Hunt The Flame is absolutely amazing, and is definitely one of the highlights of the book. It's like you're stepping right into Arawiya!

Two: the amazing female characters! 
That's right, this book features some very strong and well-written ladies. Without spoiling anything, Zafira, in particular, is one of my favorite characters in the book! I love how layered and empowering Hafsah's female characters are!

Three: The beautiful writing!
This book is filled to the brim with inspiring quotes and gorgeous descriptions. I absolutely adored the way this book was written. The writing style, the POV switch, and the seamless blending of Arabic phrases made this book such a unique experience!

 Four: Broody YA boyfriends!
This book contains some serious favorite character material. Not only are the ladies amazing, Nasir is fits perfectly into the brooding YA boyfriend category. He's insanely layered, morally grey and a little bit emo, so another perfect reason to pick up this book ASAP!

Five: Altair.
This man is a reason by himself.

How to get your hands on We Hunt the Flame:

Amazon
Bookdepository
Barnes & Noble

Creative:
I wouldn't be me without having done some type of creative effort. Leading up to the release I've been creating some graphics over on my Tumblr/Twitter, so check out some of them below!






We Hunt The Flame releases Tuesday May 14 2019.

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In book review wrap up

SERIES WRAP UP: Caraval



Series Title: Finale
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre(s):  Fantasy, Young Adult

"Welcome, welcome to Caraval! 
The grandest show on land or by sea. 
Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. 
You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. 
But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game."

This particular series has been sitting on my shelf for a good 2 years. I bought Caraval on a whim because it was on sale on Amazon at the time. Not because I was planning to read it anytime soon, no, just because I liked the cover. I finally decided to pick this up in an attempt to clear my bookshelf of unread books. And while I wasn't massively impressed by the first book (I ADORED the world-building in Caraval, but it wasn't majorly shocked by any of its content!), the second and third book SHOOK ME TO MY CORE. 

Book 1:
Caraval
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

Book 2:
Legendary
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭/5

Book 3:
Finale
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭/5

"Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. 
It's more than just a game or performance. 
It's the closest you'll ever find yourself magic in this world."

What is this series about?
The premise of Caraval is such a difficult one to explain. Caraval follows two sisters, Tella and Scarlett, as they enter the game of Caraval. It's is an interactive show that blurs the lines between reality and fiction and is led by the mysterious game master Legend. Scarlett and Tella have dreamed of seeing a performance ever since they were little, but now that Scarlett is engaged by her abusive father to a man she's never met, she thinks she'll never get to see it. That is, until Tella manages to take Scarlett away from their home to witness the show of a lifetime. Only, as soon as they arrive, Legend kidnaps Tella and offers a prize to the first player who manages to find her. 

Let the game begin. 

What did I think about this series?
Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I thought the definite strong point of these books was the world-building. Whomever dreams about writing a Fantasy book someday wants their world to be as rich as this one. The universe, the writing, they were all magnificently executed. Caraval painted an exquisitely rich picture with all its elaborate descriptions and the lavish atmosphere. You either love it or hate it, but I thought Garber's writing was absolutely beautiful. This is what most of my rating for the first book: Caraval is based on. I can't say I was immediately pulled into the characters or the love story. Scarlett and Julian were certainly intriguing, but I found myself being drawn to the side characters a lot more.

And then there was Legendary. I went in absolutely blind with this one, so imagine my delight when I discovered that Legendary was written from Tella's POV and contained a LOT of one of my favorite characters: Legend. I'm not lying when I say that this book was probably my favorite of the whole month of April. Garber has a way of building her characters, especially Legend, that just stuck with me. I absolutely adored the intrigue, suspense and mystery that surrounded Legend's character. He has such an interesting and layered personality. Tella, too, was such a fun character to read about in her own POV. I'd loved her in Caraval, but her appearances in Legendary absolutely sealed the deal for me. Another interesting addition to the cast of characters was Jacks, the prince of Hearts. I'm not usually a fan of love-triangles (or ever), but both Jacks and Legend were such interesting characters that I truly found myself in dubio at times on whom I liked best. This book was my definite favorite within the series and I can honestly say that it's been a while since I've been this shook over a book. 

Now, as for Finale, this will remain a spoiler-free review, but all I can say when it comes to these books is that the conclusion to this series was satisfying. The dual POV between Tella and Scarlett in Finale worked really well, and made me love both characters more. The plot-twists, again, were very nicely executed and I didn't see most of them coming (keep in mind I went in completely blind when it came to all three of the books!) I really appreciated how the final book gave the audience an ending to be enjoyed, but also felt like there could be more of this universe in the future (I'm not sure that's the plan but there's definite space for more content within the universe!). 

All in all, I adored this series as a whole. The first book took some time to captivate me, but the world-building in this series is so exquisite and enchanting that it's hard not to fall in love with Caraval and Stephanie Garber's writing style. At this point, I only wish I'd read it sooner so I could've gotten some of the pretty merch boxes before the release of Finale. What a way to end a series and I'll definitely be reading more of Stephanie's books in the future. This was amazing. 




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In blog tour spotlight

BLOG TOUR: Love from A-Z Countdown


We're only TWO days away from the release of Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali! I'm always looking for diverse reads, and this one feels like it's going to be such a fun, romantic, but also a very important one. This Own Voices contemporary features muslim rep, a strong female character, social commentary that is on point, and heart-warming romance! Now, what better way to celebrate the imminent release than by talking a little bit about this gorgeous book!

Synopsis:
marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.
An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.
When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…
Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.


Follow Sajidah:
TwitterInstagram | Website

Creative:
The cover of this book is beautiful by itself, but to celebrate the upcoming release of this beautiful book, I've created some graphics to match the cover of Love From A to Z!
Check them out below: 








Perfect for fans of A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Anna and the French Kiss, and The Sun is Also a Star. Make sure to pick up this beauty right when it releases this Tuesday, or preorder using the links below! 

Love From A to Z releases Tuesday April 30th! 

Preorder Love from A to Z:


Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen en tekst

Tour Schedule:

April 23: 
Rameela
Star Is All Booked Up: Welcome Post/The Marvels and Oddities in My Life

April 24:
Lilli
Utopia State of Mind: Promo

April 25:
Selena
Life of a Random: Love from A to Z Playlist

April 26:
Shri
Sun and Chai: Promo

April 27:
Aashi Ranjan
Books Bounty Hub: Muslim Representation Matters

April 28:
Ara
Open Pages: The A to Z of Journals

Julia
Julia Fleur: Creative Promo

April 29:
Nargis
Writing Power: Promo

April 30:
Amna
YA Book Corner: A To Z Reasons to Read Love From A to Z

Michelle
Magical Reads: Promo

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In arc review

REVIEW: Time



Title: Time (Laws of Physics #3)
Author: Penny Reid
Genre(s):  Romance, New Adult
Release: April 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

"Cry if you need to, but don’t ignore what the tears are about."

Here it is! The last book in this series. It's no secret I love Penny Reid's romances (Knitting in the City was one of the first New-Adult series I picked up, and more recently I have LOVED reading the Winston Brothers series). When it comes to new-adult romances, I normally tend to read a lot standalone couples, but this was such a refreshing take on the genre for me! Time provided a satisfying end to a deliciously angsty and romantic story!


What is this book about?
Time is the last book in the Laws of Physics series, and concludes Mona and Abram's love story. The book picks up right after the ending of Motion. Abram has left Mona in Geneva to pursue his career in music, which has started to really take flight. However, Mona now finds she has to deal with missing him and reconciling her career with being close to Abram. How will these two navigate their relationship, and is there a happy ending on the horizon?

"He smiled, a real smile. 
His left dimple making its first appearance, stealing my breath before his words could. 
“It’s living artistry, Mona.” 
Abram’s gaze turned cherishing, earnest. 
“Being with you is like living in a song."


What did I think of Time? 
First of all, I loved the character development in this particular book. After getting all the major angsty plot-points out of the way in the previous two, this book really focused on their relationship and the characters by themselves which provided great character-driven moments. I also really like how Mona seemed to develop and confronted her past trauma, I thought that was a very powerful scene.

I've said this before, but the thing I really like about Penny Reid's writing is the way in which it manages to mix humor with important issues. Her comedic writing is great, it makes the reader laugh, but her books also tend to have a deeper side where she addresses issues such as social-political problems or character's mental health issues. This book is no exception when it comes to addressing these, and in this case I really like how Reid seems to touch on assault and how important it is to speak up about it. 

Abram and Mona were such a cute main couple. The combination of his musical POV, with her scienc-y one worked out perfectly and made Time a joy to read. I also like how Reid's writing seems to flow off the page, in the sense that it reads very easily and quickly. You'll finish her books in no time!

The only minor issue I had with the book was that it might have been a tad too long for its content. I understand that romance books tend to not be heavily plot-focused, but sometimes I felt like there wasn't very much happening. The parts where Mona and Abram were apart read a tad too slow for my liking, but weren't disturbing enough to get me to not love the book. 

This has been a very short and sweet review, but the main thing I am trying to get across if that if you're looking for a quick, funny, (and a little bit angsty,) romance series, then this is the perfect one for you. I'm giving the whole series a solid 4 stars, and I'm anxiously awaiting Penny's next book! 

Goodreads | Amazon

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