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

I LOVED EVERYTHING!

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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:
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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!
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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 😀

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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.

 

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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….

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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
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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 😀

Forget Me Not, Stranger by Novoneel Chakraborty (BOOK REVIEW)

ONE CHAPTER WAS ALL IT TOOK….
….to completely destroy this book 😦

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This series was no way the best, but I did really like book 1 and 2 and more for the fact that very few contemporary Indian writers, write about suspense, mystery thrillers and do it successfully.
Book 1 and 2 gave me hope that this book could become one of my favourite Indian series and I hardly have less than 10 in that list.
So when I got the third book , I was eager to know what and how will the author end this series. Now out of 34 chapters this book had, everything was going well and good and in sync with book 1 and 2 in terms of the pace of the book and writing style till chapter 33 and then BAM!… chapter 34 happens!

Suddenly all the logic and suspense goes flying out of the window!

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I dont want to spoil the “stranger” for those who havent read this book , but lets just say it was the stupidest reveal ever!!
I mean you build this intricate world with the stranger being present everywhere and knows every thing and all and then you bring out (not going to name the stranger:read to find out) a secret society….i mean really!… A Secret Society!! I know this is fiction but it should make sense and have relatability to the events too right?…..right??

There are so many plotholes, all the loose ends ….what about them??
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Say we accept the given person was “stranger” but then it still does not answer how he got access to house keys, phone numbers. How did he know about personal info and all, and we are talking about very specific personal details here which no one but rivannah knew.
how was he there 24×7 everywhere along with living his identity? Those secret bug cameras even before she shifted to new place or being present everywhere all the time, and so many thing which made this book interesting where just left unanswered.

Okay for a second we believe the whole society thing but still how does that justify the things he did to rivannah in book 1 and 2 which were so wrong on all moral levels!*(read : molesting, intrusion, almost rape,abuse,stalking…many more)*
I mean you just cant justify them as love at first sight and consequent actions!
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And i dont even want to go towards behaviour of rivannah…i mean she was acting like a 13 year old who newly found what “crush” or “love” meant! I am still trying to figure whether the stranger wanted to make her a better person or make her better according to his definition of “BETTER”, cause he did some really questionable stuff.
For example:you cant justify murder by saying: Oh i was just trying to teach you what death was!
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I am utterly disappointed and this is my personal opinion, no offense to anyone who liked the end.

This deep disappointments comes from the fact that I was actually liking the book. It wasnt perfect but yet it had that element which made you want to read more. All it took was one chapter at the end to epically destroy the entire series for me.

Now I know the author has so much potential so I am going to forget I ever read this book and look forward to his next work and give one more chance before giving up on him, how I did for “Chetan Bhagat” centuries ago.

Star rating: 1/5! (would have been 4 if not for that utterly idiotic end!)

WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN: HELL NO!
WOULD I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY THE SAME AUTHOR: YES, BUT I AM HIGHLY SKEPTICAL.

Happy reading 😀

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Book Review)

I liked it …BUT unpopular opinion coming ahead.

Blurb:

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

Thoughts before reading:

I was seeing this book every where since a month. Be it my on blog reader, Twitter/ Insta or even Goodreads timeline. This book was everywhere, so of course I had massive expectations. That plus story being about an asian girl, was a instant connect for me. Though i am a Hindu Indian but not Muslim Indian like the protagonist, most of the cultural obligations are same, so i was really looking forward to see how that plays out here.

Plot: 

The plot revolves around Maya, an America-Indian Muslim and her constant struggle to find herself. One one side, you are expected to follow all your traditions and accept all its teachings and values while on other you are constantly surrounded by american culture and everyone in your school place, work is indeed american. So where do you go. Where do you stand in the game of life? Its like being stuck between two extremely different cultures and not knowing how to identify yourself. Ethnically you are one, but your thoughts and beliefs follow other.

Maya wants to learn film making but her parents are against it. She wants to date a american guy, which is an immediate no negotiation deal from her family side. She is being set up for an possible arranged marriage by her family but she is just 17 and has so many dreams she wants to pursue before she settles. Its a perfect scenario of a teen life crisis. And if that wasn’t enough, there a terrorist attack, by a person who was identified to be a Muslim, and hence her entire community facing the backlash of sharing the same ethnicity…..Dilemmas and problems surrounds Maya in every step of her life.

Characters:

Maya: Protagonist. Loves film-making. Only Child. Respects her parents but does not believe in the same cultural values and obligations as them. Feels constantly caged. Has crush on a classmate Phil who is not a Muslim.

Phil: Football captain and star player, Part of the cool clique in school who is dating lisa. He knew Maya but became a good friend after a shared school project. He secretly dislikes football and hopes of being a EMT doctor, but is afraid to accept this in front of his friends and family. Despite coming from a totally different background, he finds himself connecting with Maya the most, even above his own girlfriend.

Mom Dad: They have names (MR. and Mrs. Aziz) but i am just going to address them as Maya’s parents at this point. Indian-Muslims who had a love marriage, came to america even when their parents opposed. But they are strong believers in their traditions and care too much about their image in their community. Shows signs of hypocrisy when it comes to their only child but its portrayed to be coming out of fear for her safety and love. Oh and both are doctors.

Hina: She is Maya’s mom sister, younger to Maya’s mom by ten years. Maya describes as independent, 40, husband-less, childless, yet the strongest person she knows. She respects her the most, even above her own parents. She is happy to see Hina break out of the stereotypical cage of her religion and doing something which she loves for herself and living the best life possible. Hina supports Maya at all important times in maya’s life.

Kareem: An honest, straightforward and decent college guy who was set up to be Maya’s  potential husband. Becomes a great supporter and friend of Maya over the course of the story.

Violet: Maya’s american and only best friend who always supports Maya in finding herself and to do things that makes her happy. Even after the attack by a possible Muslim terrorist, her attitude and friendship does not change towards Maya, and becomes a great help during that tragic situation.

I felt that only Maya and Phil had any real growth in terms of character development. Everyone else was pretty much same as their character introductions.

Thoughts:

The story starts with a light setting and shows a typical scenarios of Maya’s life. Her struggles to choose between Phil and Kareem at the same time not disappointing her parents was very relatable. The story did a fine job of capturing the constant internal debate of Maya, of wanting to be a ideal daughter vs. wanting to just be herself. This can also be seen in the decision of selecting a college of her choice vs one her parents wants her to go.

The development of her and Phil’s relationship and her equation with Kareem is also very transitioned beautifully and you can actually see the life dilemma of a 17 year old girl and empathize with it.

Each chapter has a journal entry-ish style of a passage written about a mysterious person, clearly going through abusive situations and his thought process as a result of those circumstances. It hints towards possible attack against humanity and a few harmful steps the person has already taken.

Though it was interesting to try to guess who this person was, it also felt like a hindrance to me. I was not able to invest in these short passages because they had no relation towards the ongoing story up untill the end. Only after 70% of the story does this come into the main picture. So for the longest time, even though i knew it was going to be an integral part of the end, i was just not interested in reading it, and giving it my full focus. I was more or less skimming through it.

A very important factor of racial terrorism and its effect in the lives of the people was introduced half way past the story.  That was very maturely handled by the author, and was a mirror to the reality. Its effects on our lives as a whole was very brilliantly portrayed, but i found myself questioning, was that really needed?…….

Don’t get me wrong, i know how much damage a situation like that can do and its repercussions and all, but i just did not see the need for it here. Or rather i felt it was underplayed. Let me put it this way, was it needed to show the character development of maya from a  confused to a strong independant girl yes. But did it play any other role…No. I feel topics of such great relevance, if depicted, should also hold meaning and a connection to the story and should have a very important and desicive role to play in the climax.

The racial hate Brian had for Maya came due to situation in brian’s brother experience in iraq and 9/11 was already an existing example if needed. So was there a need to break away from the teenage life problems and mix it with this? If it was to show the implications of being a American, Indian but specifically a Muslim, that was shown and justified brilliantly in all the scenes with her parents and her relatives. They were very cleverly brought into the limelight. And also the conclusion of her becoming her own person…just becoming Maya regardless of her ethnicity, could have easily been shown minus the terrorist tangent. I dont have a problem with the terrorist theme but only and only when its serves a valid purpose for the story, which i found lacking here.

And that is why even though i really liked this book, i did not end up loving it. Hence the unpopular opinion.

Overall:

All in all this was a really good read but fell short from becoming a great read. I could simply call it a nice one-time-read. Having said that, i did enjoy it way-way better than ‘Dimple met Rishi’, which was just felt like a over the top depiction of an how people think Indians must be as supposed to how they really are.

Star rating: 3/5!

WILL I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN : NO
WILL I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY THE SAME AUTHOR : YES.

Happy reading 😀

 

 

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach (Book Review)

First thoughts: “Whats up with that cover??

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If I am being honest, for the longest time, despite the great reviews and many recommendations, i didn’t read this because the book cover was just not appealing.( Yes, i do that at times!*guilty*)

It isn’t horrible or anything like that, no. It is quite decent, but it just did not make me pick up the book and read it.

But I am glad i still went ahead and gave this story a go.
This book was refreshing, since the plot was something I didn’t read in a long time. No it wasn’t brand new per say but definitely it had been long since I had read a book like this.

 
Blurb:

“I’ve got some questions for you. Was this story written about me?”
I shrugged.
“Yes or no?”
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty. It brought a bloom to her pale cheeks and made sharp shelves of her cheekbones.
“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote I can’t on my palm.
Then, in tiny letters below it, I finished the thought: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.
Being very honest, i was not expecting anything from this book since i was, infact, judging it by the cover. 

Skip to SPOILER ENDS to avoid the spoiler.


***SPOILER STARTS***

Plot:Parker cant speak because, well he cant. He likes stealing and believes stealing from rich is not necessarily a crime and on one of his stealing escapades, he meets ZELDA.
But Zelda has her own secret.
She doesnt AGE.
This book takes us on a 3 day journey of parker, with zelda and their adventures.
SADLY they dont end up together and one of them dies. ( to know which one, GO READ THE BOOK) 😛

***SPOILER ENDS***


Characters:

The whole story spanning on events of 3 days only has 2 main characters: Parker and Zelda.

I cant describe anything without giving away the story. Read spoiler/plot for character description.
Thoughts:

The theme is “meet-cute” plus “Age of Adaline” combined.
This short journey, which somehow felt like forever, leaves you with a nice , subtle feeling of being satisfied with how things ended.

And even though the story was far fetched and didnt make much sense logically, in a strange way it made perfect sense (again, you have to read to understand what i mean :D)

Sometimes, the perfect ending is when things aren’t perfect at all!

Sometimes, you just need to accept the present to be HAPPY.

I loved the pace of this book and the overall flow of things. ALSO, i was actually amused by how the story unfolded and I think the story ended, where it should have. It wasnt stretched unnecessarily, nor was it too short to want more.

Overall:

I was contempt with this book and i dont regret the two hours i spent reading this at all.
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Yes the cover is “BLAH”.
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And if not for the good reviews this book got, i would have never read the book just based on the cover. I hope the next book of the author has a more appealing cover.

Star rating: 4/5!
WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SOMEDAY: UMM, MAYBE.
WOULD I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY THE SAME AUTHOR: YES.

Happy reading 😀

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Book Review)

Series: The Folk of the Air-#1

Blurb:Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. 

This was my most anticipated release for january 2018 and it not only lived upto its expectation but also entered 2018 favourites!

Semi spoilers below. Skip to ‘Characters’ to avoid minor spoilers.

*Semi Spoiler Start*

Plot: The story revoleves around Jude and her quest to find her place in the land of faeries. Her life was uprooted from human world and she was placed in the fey world by the murderer of her parents at the age of seven. Since then its been 10 years now and she had adjusted and truly believes that fey world is where she belongs. Though she never lets go of her hate, for the murderer, she lets him train her and learn as much as she can to join the royal court as a knight. She has been constantly bullied by the youngest crown prince, Cardan, but she fights back because she does not see herself below the fey people. On the way she gets hired by the next ‘to-be’ high king as a his spy and does his work in exchange for a ‘geas’ which protects her from any sort of enchantment from the fey. But in turn of events the ‘to-be’ high king and most of the crown family is murdered by his own elder brother Baelkin, who wants the throne for himself and he needs the youngest crown prince Cardan to do so. Now, in a round about way, the power to choose the next high king lies in Judes hand. What will she do next!….Well that you have to read and find out!

*Semi Spoiler Ends*

Characters:

  • Jude: The strong female protagonists whose ultimate fear is to loose control over herself under the fey charms/magic. She has a twin sister Taryn, who betrays her and a half fey sister Vivi who is loyal to her. She has a hate relationship with Cardan which turns to camaraderie by the end of book 1. The book is from her POV.
  • Cardan: He is the youngest crown prince known to be useless and a bully amongst the fey people. He secretly likes Jude but doesn’t want to, so he tries everything possible to make her hate him, including endless bullying, but he stops anyone else from doing anything fatally harmful to her. He has a big role to play in deciding the future of the next high king. He is being physically abused by his eldest brother Baelkin for the longest time but no one knows about it.
  • Madoc: Kings general. He falls in love with a human and fathers Vivi, but when the human betrays him and runs off with another human, He kills the human man and becomes the reason for the death of his human lover. He decides to take Vivi, along with Jude and Taryn(children of his lover and the human she ran of with) to the fey world and raises all 3 of them as his own. Plays a vital role is assassination of the crown family.
  • Prince Dain: The ‘to-be’ High King who gets killed by his brother. He has a group of 4 spies working for him when he was alive, including Jude.
  • Prince Dain’s Spies: Jude, The Roach, The Ghost and The Bomb.
  • Baelkin: The eldest crown prince who wants the throne for himself and kills all of his family except for Cardan.
  • Jude’s current Family: Madoc, his wife Oriana and his son Oak, Vivi, Taryn.
  • Cardan’s Friends/cronies: Locke, Nicasia, Veridian. Veridian almosts kills jude twice before she kills him. Locke makes jude believe he likes her.

These are the main characters and play vitol role in the development of the story. Jude’s character’s development from being vulnerable human to a leader among the fey group towards the end is the main focus throughout the story. These characters are really well written and they stay true to their straightforward roles. The only character which can be said to have a multilayered personality, which is discovered during the course of this story is Cardan. Everyone else is pretty much one dimensional and predictive in a way.

Thoughts/Disagreements:

This book is more of a foundation for the next books to come so for the longest time not much happens in this book. Having said that, the story is still highly captivating from the start and keeps you engaged throughout. You wont feel bored or zoned out anywhere.

The strong female lead and her ‘adventures’ are something you will look forward too. And while there is very less of any romantic moments, the ones there present are cute and justified.

The only problem i had with this book is the title. ( This problem has nothing to do with the book itself, it is just my opinion, nothing else). Before reading the book i loved it, but after, I felt that the title should have been anything other than cruel prince since 90% of the book is about Jude. I understand the current title is not only for Cardan but also in reference to the other cruel princes in this story in general like baelkin, dain, locke etc, but still I just dont feel it does any justice to Jude.

Overall:

All in all, this book was a great start for 2018. If you are planning to read this book but are not sure, I strongly suggest you at least give it a try. Its worth those few hours.

Star rating: 4.5/5!

WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SOMEDAY: YES
WOULD I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY SAME AUTHOR: DEFINITELY YES!

Happy reading 😀

 

Level Up [Fandom Hearts #1] by Cathy Yardley (Book Review)

That was so SWEET! 😀

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I started this book as a brain-less read….you know when you start a book someone gave you cause you have some time on your hands and nothing better to do. 😛

But I found myself actually liking it.

Didn’t have any over the top dramatics and that is what I loved about it.

Sometimes you don’t need anyone dying or having some life changing events happening to make a great lovestory.
Sometimes just a simple and beautiful journey is enough and this book provides you with just that.

I love the easy going friendship between Tessa and Adam and loved how that evolved into a really sweet relationship.

Is is hardly a 150 page book, so practically a mini book for me.

This is one of those books wherein you don’t have to invest in much yet you find yourself turning page after page in anticipation of what’s going to happen next and not because it’s a mystery, but because you have predicted the outcome and you want that to be true really badly 😛

A nice quick read I would definitely recommend to anyone who just wants to spend relaxing and fun hour or so.

Star rating: 4.5/5!

WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SOMEDAY: If I HAVE NOTHING BETTER, THAN YES!
WOULD I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY SAME AUTHOR: DEFINITELY YES

Happy reading 😀

Behind the Scenes – A Vikram Rana Mystery Series by Sharmishtha Shenoy (Book Review)

This was quite interesting!

*ARC received in exchange for a honest review.*

Behind the scenes is a story of murder of a fading super star-actor Ryan Gomez on a set during a shoot via poisoning and while there where several people present there are 6 main suspects.

Rusty/Rustom: Powerful film producer, the love of whose life ended up becoming Ryan’s first wife.
Allan: Screenplay writer, who was in danger of being fired from the production house thanks to a public tiff with Ryan.
Shiela: Ryan’s current girlfriend, and the main suspect since she handed the cup of tea which was poisoned.
Jaya: Sheila’s mother, who was strongly opposed to her marrying Ryan.
Paddy: Acclaimed film director, who was in love with Sheila.
Family of Ryan’s first wife: Which mainly included his first wifes mother, sister and a house maid.

And there is only one man who can get down and find the culprit: Vikram Rana– renowned Ex-Police Officer and currently a Private investigator.

The plot is quite straight forward. The story takes place in a span of one month. Vikram takes the case and tries to find out what really happens, rather than just going for the obvious suspect and tries to bring justice. All the characters involved had multi layers to them and all had hidden agendas, each equally suspicious to have the murder motive. But as it always is, not everything that looks simple is really that transparent. Ryan was the famed super star but behind the scenes he had done many mistakes in his life which had affected everyone around him. Does that justify his murder, no but it brings to light many underlying issues and instances forward.

The character development was really amendable. On first glance, each suspect has a clear motive for the murder but in a very fine fashion, their stories are brought to the light. The plot twist at the end was very cleverly navigated in the story and did not feel like it happened out of the blue with no actual semblance to the story.

I have said it before many times that I hardly even have 10 Indian authors whose writing styles I enjoy but Sharmistha shenoy’s style was just perfect. No where in the story did it feel like the story became dull or it was going too fast. It kept a perfect pace throughout the story, making the reader get really involved in the mystery.

While the i really liked this story, i did get an inkling as to who was the actual murderer half way in, so the ‘WOW’ factor did not happen to me, when the murderer was revealed. And only and only for that reason this book fell a bit short for me form becoming one of my favorites. I nonetheless really enjoyed this book.

Story rating: 4/5

WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SOMEDAY: MAYBE.
WOULD I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY THE SAME AUTHOR: YUP!

Happy reading 😀

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Book Review/Thoughts)

TRULY A WONDER.

That was one brilliant book.
I don’t really know where to start with this book.
Initially I thought this book will be about August but it wasn’t just about August; a 10 year old with a tough life due to his medical condition, but this book was much more than that. This book was about everyone in his life, close or not and how this one condition effects all of them in a great way. Each individual who knows the boy has it tough and all of them have taken actions which they had to, and which felt right to them.

I loved how the author very cleverly shows the POV of each character and also justifies them in a realistic way. Take Via’s character, she was struggling just as much as august, just in different context and she loves august but she ends up doing a thing or 2 which may seem selfish but in this world who isn’t. She was just being human. And she did do the right thing at the end.

I loved this book. At one point I assumed that this will be one of those books with a sad ending or august would end up killing himself and I am so so glad that it didn’t end that way and the book indeed has a happy ending. A believable end too at that, and not one of those feel good but not realistic ends.

My favorite character other than august was actually summer. She was the most selfless character of them all and I wish there was a little bit more of her in the book but nevertheless all in all this was one of the best reads.

Star rating: 5/5!

WOULD I READ THIS BOOK AGAIN SOMEDAY: YES
WOULD I READ ANOTHER BOOK BY THE SAME AUTHOR: YEP!

Happy reading 😀