An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Book Review)

I LOVED EVERYTHING!

description
description

Blurb:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

You know the book is going to be powerfull when the villain is super hateful!…..and you love the villain.
No i am not talking about ones where villain is some super-hot looking dude and hence you like it but “voldemort” level of villain where in you hate the villain so much that he/she makes it to your “favourite villain” list! Like this guy here:
description

Thoughts:

This book is really good! The plot was fantastic, the story pace was just perfect, the execution of the plot was up to the mark and the characters had so much depth to them.

A story of a girl, who agrees to be a spy, in order to free his brother captured by the bad guys! yup, what can go wrong with that plot?…nothing!

There are so many characters here; leads as well as supporting ones, all of which are super interesting and have a backstory you would love to explore even more, and none of which feel like a ornamentation to the plot. They all are mentioned for a reason and do serve a purpose to the story.

Few characters I personally liked were:

Commandant: She is the ultimate villain in this book. She is hateful, and pretty much has no returning point. She is mean, cruel, cunning, calculating and she owns it.
Because ,well what else will she be otherwise? 😛
There was one point towards the end of the book where in she goes to meet her son-our lead , and you think, may be she is not so bad but before you finish that thought, she goes all out and nope, she is still just as bad. No curve ball there. Now you know there is someone else who is going to play a even bigger role in coming books but this book was owned by her epic nastiness!
description

Marcus: Another antagonist of our story.
Now they really tried to sell this character as a bad-guy and they did achieve it but i just keep feeling that there is more to him than that and may be in next book we can see that side of him.  I dont see him doing a 180 like “warner” from shatter me series and him being the lead but i do think there is more in store for him than just being a lackey-brute who is dumb. He did make horrible decisions in this story and lost his twin ZAK (another character i really like), but you can see him clearly regretting that over and over towards the end.

Helene: She is a super girl!…she is the supporting female but she might as well have been the lead. She is badass, she sacrifices herself for the male lead, she knows how to keep secret, loyal as hell and is no damsel in distress. I love strong female leads who dont need saving and she is just that! And i see her playing a big role in Marcus’s life and though in this book i would rather she be with Elias but i know if the cards are played properly, Marcus and Helene can make one hell of a team.
Laia: She is our female protagonist. She makes a bad decision which costs her losing her brother. She decides to change that and do everything in her power to get her brother back. She goes from, powerless to fearless over the course of this book and yeah she is one good female lead.

ElIas: Our male lead. Son of the commandant, a guy trapped amongst the wrong side, who wants to flee but is in constant battle of deserting or taking his position as the next ruler. To be honest there is nothing wrong with him, and his growth as the character was just right but i wished, he had something going on for him in this story which makes him worth his title of male lead. That little extra factor seems missing. He is still the main lead I prefer, I just wish he would step up in the next book. But i loved his epic role in the climax.

There are so many other characters like IZZY, the cook, keenan, mazen, the tribe woman, the AUGURS…….all of them have so much going on in this story. All of them together makes this book super good and not just the leads.

Overall:

I am definitely looking forward to the next book of this series! That end made me go in a book slump for an entire week!

Star rating : 4.5/5!

WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SOMEDAY: HELL YEAH
WOULD I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY THE SAME AUTHOR: DEFINITELY

Happy reading 😀

Advertisements

Sunshine Blogger Award!!

As a newbie blogger, getting nominated for this award feels so wonderful, I have no words! It feels like I am finally being officiated into the bloggers community!

I was nominated by the awesome “AMI” AKA Phoenix Desertsong.
You can visit her amazing blog here: Lifesuccessfully.com
Or follow her on twitter here: @theprosemachine

You can also checkout her sunshine blogger post here: Phoenix Desertsong’s Sunshine Blogger Award

Rules for accepting this nomination:

  • Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Without further ado, here’s my take on questions by @theprosemachine


 

1.What’s one thing in the world you couldn’t live without?
-Books!…..i could any day live without tv/comp/net or even friends but i need my daily dose of reading! Can’t live without that!

2.Tell us one thing about you that people may not expect.

-Hmm….not sure about that. People who dont know me think I am a introvert, while my friends think i am a extrovert!….I guess people dont know there exists a third kind : Ambivert! For people who dont know what that is, buzzfeed has made it easier to understand it. Go read it here.

3.What is your greatest pet peeve, in blogging or in life in general?

-Any sort of big family gatherings. Being an indian, even a small gathering can turn into a over the top event …yup total bollywood style minus the song and dance…well sometimes song and dances too! Yup, cant do them!

4.When you’re not blogging, what’s your favorite thing to do?

-Reading!…..if not blogging i am either finding new books to add to my never ending ‘TBR’ list or catching up reading some new released book. If reading is not in question then i also love watching movies/TV shows. Oh and i am totally into Kpop….(years before Gangnam style even came into picture. Shoutout to all Kpop lovers! )

5.Is there a certain cause that you’re all about?

-I am all about anti-bullying. For all ages and all reasons. I strongly believe people should just live and let others live no matter the color, size, age, gender, sexual preference, size…etc. People often dont realize how harmful even one “harmless joke” can be. Even among friends and family. Dont take them from granted. Everyone should stand up and raise their voices no matter how small of a incident it is. It is often the small cases which become big and turn into something one cant undo. 😦

6.If there’s somewhere you could go in the world, where would it be?

-Ideally somewhere with the least population and a slow but peaceful life is where i would ultimately like to go/be in life. But if we are talking about visiting then there are 3 places on my list currently: Croatia, Jeju Islands, Malta.

7.Where do you see yourself in ten years?

– Just happy and peaceful in general. 🙂

8.What is your overall goal with blogging?

-I guess just meeting new people with same interest and talking or rather rambling/ranting about books in general because sadly nobody in my immediate friend circle are into books like i m. SO i absolutely love making friends via net who i can share the same interests with. I love reading about what people felt about a book i have read or want to read and i like to share my take on it too!

9.How many times have you asked yourself, is blogging worth it?

-Every single day since and even before i started blogging.

 10.If you weren’t blogging, what would you be doing instead?

-The answer would be same as question 4. But other than that, i can say if i wasnt blogging right at this moment i would be working on some design project. (oh, i am also a graphic designer by profession. Got to work to survive!.. LOL)

11. If you could blog about anything, even if you knew no one would care to read it, what would it be?

-I guess i would really like to write about depression and other metal health issues. Maybe someday i will.

 

 


 

Wow, that was quick. Really loved the questions @theprosemachine 🙂

I would like to nominate the following people for this award.

*if you have already been nominated by someone, you can still answer if you like and tag other bloggers . Spread the Sunshine*

 

My questions for Sunshine Blogger Awards are:

  1. What is the one thing about you other than blogging which makes you interesting?
  2. If not blogging, what do you usually do (Other than work/job) ?
  3. If you could have one super power, which would it be?
  4. Do you think of giving up blogging…. whats makes you go on (motivated) anyway?
  5. if there is a bloggers meet in your town/city, would you go even if you dont know anybody?
  6. What is your long term life goal?
  7. Do you like Blogging-Collaborations occasionally or would you rather just do your own thing? (if yes than what was the best thing about it?)
  8. Have you made any close friends via blogging even if its just online friendship? Tag them, if yes.
  9. What do you think about such online blogging awards? Should they even exist?
  10. If you could blog about anything, even if you knew no one would care to read it, what would it be? (i love this question from @theprosemachine so i am gonna cheat and keep it! :P)
  11. Which is the best movie/tv-show you have seen ever? totally random..i know 😀

 

Hope you enjoy answering these questions just like i did!

Happy reading 😀

 

He Will be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker (Book Review)

Mixed feelings :/

I guess i am going through some weird book spell after reading The Cruel Prince, since most of the books i read post that just seem mediocre. Or i guess i have just not gone past the high from that book. LOL

Blurb:
Twenty-eight-year-old Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a bottle of Xanax and a handle of Maker’s Mark, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers secrets in the childhood lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man who Celine herself claimed would be her ruin.

On the hunt for answers that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

Thoughts before reading this book:

I wasn’t expecting much from this book…..I did read reviews and saw that this book also won some award but this was one of those books that even though there was a lot of praise, you don’t feel like reading it….atleast it was like that for me.
Still one of my friends recommended and so I finally decided to give it a go!

Thoughts:
So what did I feel about it:
I wont say that my mind was blown or that the story was extraordinary, but it was neither a boring read nor was it totally dull.

What I loved was the unpredictable, predictability of it (not sure if that even makes any sense) 😛

Skip past spoiler end if you wish to avoid to know who the killer is.

****Spoiler****

What I am trying to say is that from the very beginning author tries to show that Jace Everett is the killer, since all the evidence points towards him and the very obvious photo left behind by Celine which says the punch line of this book—
“He was my salvation,but he will also be my ruin.”

And then the character of ‘Grady’ is introduced and I, as a reader was convinced that he was the killer and this book is as usual  and predictable and the author did a poor job and this and that…..
Cut to the ending and what do you know!…It was the author who got the last laugh, since No, Grady wasn’t the killer and in fact it was Jace Everett, which was already what the book started with..

***Spoiler end***

That was brilliant….giving us the answer to the mystery from the beginning but making us believe that we know what’s going to happen and that we can predict the killer ,while all along the author had already given a start and end to the story already…..now that was genius and guess that’s what makes this book different from the others and eligible to earn that award.

Overall:

Having said that there were also parts that I didn’t like…
I didn’t like how the book ended…..so after all the façade now that the killer is out and everything and Maggie finally fulfils her is mission but I felt it was very vague how they left the story as the culprit just gets the bail and Maggie goes on with her life….
I just feel that then what was the point of all the struggle shown via maggie to find the truth if nothing significant is done, she finds the killer and that’s it!

It felt as if Maggie didn’t want to find out who killed her best friend to give her justice and to prove that Celine didn’t kill herself but rather that she was just curious and wanted answers, which then makes the ending a very dull and non impact-full for me……also killing off Brady with no explanation whatsoever made it feel as if the writer got bored by the end of book and hence just wrote-in a quick filler and ended the book….all loose ties are left for some other time…
That may not be how it is but it surely gave me that feeling when I read the end and left me disappointed :/

Star rating: 2.5/5!

WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SOMEDAY: NO
WOULD I WANT TO READ ANOTHER BOOK BY SAME AUTHOR: NO

Happy reading 😀

Sparrow by L.J. Shen (Book Review/Thoughts)

CHICK-LIT LOVERS DELIGHT 😀

*non spoiler review/book thoughts*

If you want to read a romance novel and want to wish for a sure-shot good read then this book is just for you!

I love the premise of ‘arranged/forced marriage turns into best-decision ever” stories.
So when I read the excerpt of this book I was in for it and I had to read it!

Blurb:

Troy Brennan
Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. “The Fixer” who can make or break you in this city.
Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes
That’s me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place where we grew up.
Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.

I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he’d ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he’d decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.

 

description

The story gives you a glimpse of flashback/what-went-wrong and then dives straight to present day and starts from the wedding and then there is no going back!

“He gave me lies, and I ate them from the palm of his hand.
He gave me lies, and for him, I closed my eyes”

…And enters TROY BRENNAN….

description

He does come off as an ass but well, which guy doesnt at the begining 😛
But he is a good person and No…. his heart doesnt magically melt when he meets sparrow or anything, but you will have to read the story to find out what I am talking about 😀

The pace of the story is perfect. No unnecessary side stories or filler paragraphs.

Now this is neither a plot which you would have never read before nor is something so extra ordinary you will want to die (:P), but it is a perfect read when you want to just sit back, take a break from all those other intense action packed books you have read and just relax.

After i finished the book i thought it was
description

I would not call this my favorite book in any manner but I didnt regret reading this at all. .

Star rating: 4/5!

WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SOMEDAY: I THINK I WILL
WOULD I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY THE SAME AUTHOR: YES I DEF WILL!

Happy reading 😀