Review of The Queen's Rising / Some Books I Haven't Finished This Year Part One

Tuesday, 1 May 2018
I guess you could blame my lack of reviews recently on the fact that I've not had the best of luck recently. There were several books that simply failed to live up to my expectations. This by no means that these books are necessary bad, but they just weren't for me.

Warning for subtle spoilers ahead.

The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

Summary: When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Why I Didn't Finish It: This book is full of so many cliches and I normally don't even mind cliches, but this was bad. Also the synopsis spoils at least the first quarter of the book?? 

So Brienna casually isn't a child prodigy, but that is honestly so irrelevant and doesn't count as a character flaw because it doesn't hinder her in any way. Seriously, all the other girls like her and even though she doesn't get a patron, her life is still great because *spoiler alert* her teacher (WHO SHE MET WHEN SHE WAS TEN BY THE WAY SO OBVIOUSLY NOT CREEPY AT ALL) falls in love with her and she falls in love with him and I'm pretty sure she's still only seventeen. That just did not sit well with me at all considering their power dynamic and how old they were when they met.

The concept sounds so cool until you start reading and they leave the school at which point it turns into cliche fest 101. I would have enjoyed this more if she'd actually gotten a patron but had been sneaky about it or if the patron was specifically her dad (I'm like 99% sure it wasn't her dad but I might be forgetting some details sorry!) and then she was brought to live with him and had to get accustomed to whatever her new life with him would entail.

There were about a million different directions this story could have taken that wouldn't have mimicked a bunch of YA books before it.

I don't have the time or energy for tropes I don't like. Next!

First Post of 2018 and It's Mid-March

Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Hey guys!

Yeah lol we're almost at April and I haven't blogged yet this year (no judgements please). I've been busy, and stressed and when that happens my blogging suffers. I'm truly sorry.

I don't really know why I'm doing this, but I guess I'll post a bit of my writing because I just need a create outlet, and as I've proven over the past three and a half years: This is my blog and I'm going to do what I want with it.

So without further ado, enjoy! (Also sorry for typos and the like. Whoops.)

Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds


The air inside the club was stuffy and humid that night. It reeked of cheap perfume and alcohol — he’d drunk way too much already, and now he felt dizzy and lightheaded. He was on the verge of either throwing up or passing out.
“Christ,” he cursed. Luke couldn’t remember much of his night, but he remembered her.
Lucy Sky had long wavy marmalade-coloured hair, psychedelic neon eyes, and full tangerine lips. She’d given him a “magical diamond pill” as she’d called it. The sun in her eyes had shined bright as she giggled while he’d swallowed it.
Luke remembered the light and bright voice that whispered in his ear, “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” Then she’d gone off to some unknown place.
He couldn’t remember how long ago that was. The friends he’d come with had abandoned him by that point, leaving him lonely. He wished she’d come back already.
He didn’t usually go clubbing, but that night his friends had coerced him into coming along. They said it would be fun.
They were wrong — at least until he saw her. The cellophane flowers in her hair seemed to change colours the more he stared at them. Her kaleidoscope eyes captivated his attention like no other — he’d never seen anything like them. Her voice was like a siren song as she’d said, “Hi. I’m Lucy Sky.”
Everything else about their encounter was a bit hazy, and the euphoria he’d felt with her was fleeting now that she was gone.
He was fiddling with his fingers by that point, his breathing getting heavier by the minute. Butterflies erupted from his stomach, swarming around him. The room was shaking — or maybe he was shaking, he couldn’t tell. Venus flytraps grew from the floor, trying to eat him. A butterfly landed on one, and it snapped the poor thing right up.
It was bright, like someone had turned up the saturation in the room. He dove under the bar, trying to escape the man-eating plants.
“What are you doing?” asked the bartender. The man’s head was spinning — everyone’s heads were spinning. He needed to find that girl to keep her safe from the ever growing Venus flytraps. They’d begun to eat the other clubgoers.
“Don’t you see the massive Venus flytraps? I’m trying not to get eaten alive!” Luke screamed. The bartender just gave him a strange look.
That’s when the bartender’s eyeballs fell out.
“Lucy! Where are you Lucy Sky?” Luke shouted, urgency lining his voice. He got up from under the bar and ran towards the exit. “Lucy!” he tried again to no avail. Where was she?
In his haste, he tripped on a Venus flytrap’s leg, and it immediately turned its attention to him. The flower roared in anger and began to snap away, trying to eat him whole. It only made him run faster.
“Lucy Sky!” he yelled.
He ran faster and faster towards the door, until he bumped into something.
Or rather someone.
“Lucy!” he nearly cried when he saw her, safe and laughing.
“You’re high as the sky!” she exclaimed. “No. Higher than the sky!” Her kaleidoscope eyes were spinning. There were skies in her eyes, and within them, diamonds that shone too bright. Lucy Sky was utterly magnificent.
She was still laughing as Luke felt someone shake him, almost as if they were trying to wake him up. “Dude, are you alright? You were tripping hard as fuck last night. Next time, save some for the rest of us.” It was one of his friends who’d abandoned him earlier.
“Not now. We have to get out of here before —”
But the carnivorous plants were gone. The room had gone back to normal.
Actually, he wasn’t even in the club anymore. He was on his friend’s couch, a thick blanket covering him. “I didn’t want to leave you alone last night. I was worried you might do something irrational like accidentally get yourself killed.”
“Where’s Lucy?” Luke asked his friend.
“Who’s Lucy?” his friend replied.
“Lucy. Lucy Sky, the girl with the kaleidoscope eyes and the magical diamond pill,” he explained.
“Yeah, you were experiencing some weird ass hallucinations last night. She was probably one of them.”
Luke could still hear her laugh though, the laugh that would linger from now on wherever he went.

“Lucy, where are you?”

Okay well I hope you enjoyed that!!

Goodbye 2k17

Sunday, 31 December 2017
I can't believe I'm calling this post that. Jesus, I'm a mess.

Um I don't really know what to say except thank you to everyone who read my blog this year even though I'm the worst blogger and the most inconsistent blogger because sometimes I have no ideas and I'm super stressed. 

Love you all and I wish you guys a happy and healthy 2018!!

Halloween 2017

Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Friday, October 27, 2017:

I've been having the worst day, and I totally forgot to blog. Whoops I am so sorry.

Anyway, it's the last Friday before Halloween and I think I should crank out one last Halloween post for the year, right?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017:

Lol so I decided to just post on Halloween instead.

Here are a couple last minute bookish costume ideas for you all!!

1) Katniss Everdeen

So all you have to do is put your hair in a braid, wear black, and you're Katniss. You're welcome.

2) Celaena Sardothien

So basically wear all black and carry around two fake swords or daggers and you're done. Easy, right?

3) Clary Fairchild

Literally just a leather jacket over any outfit + runes that you want to draw on.

Bonus:

Not book related, but wear a black dress, and pigtail braids and you're my personal icon, Wednesday Addams.

Wow. I just realized that 99% of popular YA characters dress the same. Why am I not surprised??

Happy Halloween, and stay safe out there tonight!

Summer 2018 HarperCollins Releases I'm Excited For

Friday, 20 October 2017
So HarperCollins recently did a massive amount of cover reveals, so I feel like I should go through them and point out some of my favourites for you all!

1) Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett 

Summary: They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father, the former royal Master of Horse, after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now, Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt.

Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals, like the horses she rides. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who would assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death, and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of a remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king, and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.


Why I'm Excited: Firstly, that is one long synopsis. Second, she can influence the minds of animals, which if pulled off well (I'm really hoping this isn't cliche and boring) might actually make this book interesting and stand out from the mass pool of YA fantasy that is honestly starting to all sound the same apart from the diverse novels.

2) My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Summary: You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Bronte, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights

Why I'm Excited: Because I love these authors and they can do no wrong in my eyes. If you enjoyed My Lady Jane then you will definitely want to check this one out! Also, I am totally up for a good, creative Jane Eyre retelling.

3) Contagion by Erin Bowman

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Thea Sadik has landed a dream internship working with Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow, a renowned scientist. But when her ship is ordered to respond to a distress call, she and the rest of her crew discover horrors beyond their wildest nightmares.

Every member of the Black Quarry project appears to be dead. The only clue left to shed light on what could have decimated an entire project is a three-line message, written in blood. When one of their own is injured and presents strange symptoms, they realize that he’s been infected by a contagion—but instead of killing him, it consumes him, taking over his body and his mind until he is nothing more than a host for the parasite, rabid and eager to infect others. And the Black Quarry crew? Turns out they’re not quite dead after all.

Now Thea is in a race against the clock to escape the contagion and its victims—and not everyone will make it off the planet alive.

Why I'm Excited: I'm a massive Erin Bowman fan, and this is another one of those books whose Pinterest board I've been eyeing up for a while. If you've read the Taken trilogy and/or Vengeance Road, then you know that Erin is a great writer, and I'm also a massive sucker for a good sci-fi book. There aren't enough in YA.

4) These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

Summary: Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.


Why I'm Excited: Pirates.

Honestly, everything else kind of seemed boring or like something I've read/seen before. Maybe my mind will change once people start to get ARCs and such, but as for now, I am not really too interested in anything else from Harper for Summer 2018. I guess I'm just hard to impress when there's so much slush in YA. 💁

Review of The Heartbreakers

Friday, 13 October 2017
It's Friday the 13th in October and of course I'm reviewing a non-Halloween-y book. Classic Liran to not come up with a good enough Halloween post for the week. (Side note: I started writing this review forever ago but I'm just finally posting it now. In the time that I've started writing this review, I've managed to read the sequel and review it. Whoops.)

Book: The Heartbreakers

Author: Ali Novak

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Music

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary: "When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD...for four hours. She's totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she'll never see him again.

Except, Stella's life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?


Review: This book is 5 Seconds of Summer fanfiction. Don't argue with me on this.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, this book is so cute and so easy to read. Its got that fanfiction feel without (technically) being fanfiction (which is great if you are into self-insert fanfics). The plot is kind of predictable, but that's not necessarily always a bad thing when you want a nice, easy read.

I also really like that Stella's family wasn't dysfunctional and that she got along really well with her siblings. It was cute to see her bond with her sister and care for her in the novel.

This is definitely one of those books that you shouldn't start reading right before bed because you'll stay up all night finishing it. And it's not even that long, so even though it's 3am you think that you'll be able finish it soon so you'll keep reading. Anyway, it's highly addictive so be careful.

This is one of those books you should take to the beach (lol it's so cold out but I know it's warm enough somewhere) because it's the perfect beach read!

Because I'm finishing this review having also read Paper Hearts, I can confirm that I do think I prefer the first book. It's way cuter and I think Oliver and Stella's story is just overall more interesting and fun to read.

Halloween Reads: Wednesday Addams Edition

Friday, 6 October 2017
Wednesday Addams is my personal icon. I love that girl. She just gets me to be honest. Also we both wear a lot of black.

So in honour of my icon and life goals, here are some books I'm sure Wednesday herself would love!

1) Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


Why Would Wednesday Love It: Wednesday, our little possibly homicidal princess of Halloween would love a girl who tries to solve the case of the infamous serial killer. Wednesday would also probably do the same thing if she was the protagonist of the book.

2) Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu 

Summary: Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Why Would Wednesday Love It: So this is not a Halloween themed book, but I'm sure Wednesday would be all over a feminist revolution. Especially if it pisses people off.

3) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 

Summary: Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.


She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.


She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.


Why Would Wednesday Love It: This book is so messed up just like Wednesday. She'd probably also want to read the new Noah Shaw book too.

Yay for Halloween, yay for October, and yay for fall because it's so nice outside right now. More Halloween posts coming soon!