Book Reviews

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson – Review

The Kiss of Deception, follows the story of Princess Arabella (Lia) of the Kingdom of Morrighan. Lia is supposed to marry the Prince of Dalbreck strictly for political reasons, though she has not previously met him. Ultimately, she rebels and flees on her wedding day. This obviously has numerous negative consequences and she finds herself later on meeting two men, the prince and the assassin. These two characters are introduced as Kaden and Rafe, although the reader does not know which of the these individuals is the prince, and which is the assassin. At first, Lia also is unaware that they are more than a farmhand and a trader.

I really enjoyed the novel in general, I loved the fantasy aspects of it and also the politics. I had read various reviews on this book before reading it so I knew there was a plot twist coming, which I think made my reading of the novel less exciting in a way. As I was reading it, I had a predetermined idea of who was the prince and who was the assassin, though I wasn’t completely sure, I ended up actually guessing it beforehand, so when the reader found out I wasn’t as shocked or surprised as other people were when reading it. I love and hate my ability to guess things in books because I think that did kind of takes away from the reading experience, I much rather would have not have guessed it.

I loved the romance in it, it definitely isn’t the stereotypical love triangle found in countless YA contemporary novels, so if you don’t particularly enjoy love triangles, I would still read this book because the romance isn’t too overbearing in the story, it’s more subtle whereas the action and the mystery are more predominant.

Characters: (Possible Minor Spoilers)

I would say I was mostly surprised by Lia’s character. I was expecting the stereotypical princess who really doesn’t know how to do much except be royalty, perhaps maybe be somewhat snobby and have this “better than everyone else” attitude. Though, Lia seems to be the opposite of that. Lia, though she is a princess, she knows how to defend herself, she’s strong and intelligent, and she’s not afraid to blend in with the rest of society – in fact, that’s what she prefers. I thought it was really interesting seeing her learn new things that a typical princess would not, and her perspective of wanting to be the opposite of what she is, and to become normal and blend in with the rest of society. I thought that was a very interesting take on this character. I’m also interested to see in the next novel how her character develops even further as well as her “gift” which is still somewhat unknown. I also found Lia’s kavah to be quite interesting as it proves to be a lot different from many other individual’s kavah’s from the past. Hopefully we get to learn more about that in the second novel!

I found that Lia and Pauline’s relationship was beautiful. They are best friends and almost like sisters. They always assist each other through hard times and are always there for each other. Pauline, the reader finds out, had a romantic relationship with someone, and she had fallen in love. Though when interesting information is delivered regarding the person Pauline loves, Lia does what she thinks is the best for Pauline which I think was very well thought out but also very scandalous and possibly can create further drama in the future! I can’t wait to see how that situation plays out.

Without giving away too many spoilers, this novel definitely is an emotional one. There are some deaths that occur and it is  very very sad! The Kiss of Deception does a really good job of making the reader feel the emotions of the characters which I really liked!

Now for the two mysterious boys, Kaden and Rafe! – SPOILERS

In the beginning, I actually liked Kaden more, though I’m not entirely sure as to why. He seemed very friendly, and he was looking out for Lia and her best interests. Though, my like for Kaden quickly vanished after finding out more about him. Now, I absolutely love Rafe as a character, he proves to be brave and almost heroic! Though he does have some secrets uncovered throughout the novel, and he also has been lying to Lia, he seems more sincere. It’s interesting how both characters have feelings for Lia, though they lead completely different lives. Though by the end of the novel, I did gain some of my respect for Kaden back, and I almost started to feel some pity for him because I know that he has a responsibility and loyalty to his Kingdom of Venda, and his feelings for Lia have gotten in the way of his ability to fully honour and stay loyal to Venda. But in general, I really don’t like this kingdom. It presents itself as savage and cruel. Though, I do hope to learn more about this kingdom in The Heart of Betrayal (the second book in the chronicles), as Lia is about to enter this kingdom, maybe the reader will gain more information on it from her perspective, and this mysterious Komizar as well!

Some of my Favourite Quotes from the Novel:

“I see only reminders that nothing lasts forever, not even greatness.”
“Some things last.”
I faced him. “Really? And just what would that be?”
“The things that matter.”

“Maybe there was no one way to define it. Maybe there were as many shades of love as the blues of the sky.”

“Maybe there were a hundred different ways to fall in love.”

“Ragged clothes?” He grabbed my hand and examined it. “Chipped nails? Those aren’t enough to disguise what’s inside. You’ll always be you, Lia. You can’t run from that.”

I give this novel 4.5/5. The world and society building was excellent and one of my favourite aspects of the book, along with the descriptive and engaging writing style! The conflict between kingdoms, the politics, and the romance were some of the other parts of the novel that were really well done. I also really enjoyed the mystery aspect and the development of each of the characters. All of the main and side characters I found intriguing and I liked, which is a great quality in this novel! I will most definitely be reading the second book in the Remnant Chronicles soon, to follow what happens next! 🙂

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Book Reviews

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen – Review

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen is about a girl named Sydney and her finding her own place in the world. She previously had been always overlooked because of her older brother Peyton’s charm, however Peyton eventually finds himself in trouble with the law, and is imprisoned. Unfortunately, Peyton had been driving drunk and had severely injured a boy riding his bike on the road, leaving him paralyzed. His sister, Sydney, feels significant guilt and remorse for the victim of her brother’s crime, and continually keeps up with how he is doing through social media, but throughout the book Sydney has very limited personal contact with the victimized boy.

Sydney decides to switch schools, and she meets new friends – Layla and Mac – who she feel she fits in with. At her old school she was invisible, but now she feels needed and appreciated. Essentially, she finds a secondary family to her own, with her new friends and their parents.

Sydney’s mother at first, seems to spend most of her time trying to reach out to Peyton and be involved in his life while he is in jail. This makes Sydney feel disappointed because she at first doesn’t see her brother the same way her mom does, because to her, Peyton is the person who decided to become drunk and drive, changing the life of the now paralyzed boy.

The writing of the novel is done very well, the characters are written really realistically in the sense that they don’t seem like just characters in a book, they seem as if they’re real people, facing real challenges. Each of the characters in Saint Anything have original and unique personalities that are enjoyable. I liked how this book had such a strong emphasis on relationships both family relationships and friendships. The book had a distinct positive message and life lesson that is applicable to everyone.

I am definitely glad I read this book, I have really enjoyed other Sarah Dessen novels so I had high expectations for this one, which it met and even exceeded. It encompassed romance, friendships, and family relationships, with the presence of challenges such as a parent suffering from a degenerative disease, college, addiction issues, and prison.

I give this book 4/5 because of it’s ability to engage the reader and to incorporate many topics that can be easily related to. Though it had a serious tone throughout the novel, with the characters dealing with medical emergencies, relationships with parents, and prison, I did find that the characters were humorous at times!

Some of my Favourite Quotes:

“You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together.”

“I’d done the right thing. I always did. It just would have been nice if someone had noticed.”

“Just because a person isn’t talking about something doesn’t mean it’s not on their mind. Often, in fact, it’s why they won’t speak of it.”

“Relationships evolve, just like people do. Just because you know someone doesn’t mean you know everything about them.”

Book Reviews

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith – Review

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I just have to say, that I absolutely LOVED this book! The Geography of You and Me follows the story of Lucy and Owen, living completely different and separate lives, except for the common sharing of a short amount of time where they were alone in an elevator in New York City during a power outage. From there, they roamed around the darkened city finding ice cream and water bottles and marveling in each other’s company. However, shortly after their encounter they begin once again, living a life very separate from each other. Their method of communication is postcards which they send to each other when they visit a new place.

There’s a high level of uncertainty within this book in regards to Lucy and Owen’s relationship. They don’t really know when their next encounter will be, but for the most part they live in the moment and love each other’s company while they have it. What I love so much about this book, is that Lucy and Owen don’t let time or distance, or the differences in their lifestyles become a barrier to their communication and their feelings. I found it so amazing that just after a short period of time in New York City, in the elevator and on the roof of their building, looking at the stars, they developed such a unique and interesting relationship, that months later, half a globe away, their thoughts still wonder to the other person.

What I also absolutely adored about this book, is surprisingly the lack of technology used for their communication, and their originality and what one might perceive as “old fashioned” behaviour. The majority of their communication is through the mail – by postcards. I love this idea, I feel like it’s so much more heartfelt than just sending someone a quick text message that requires next to no effort. A postcard is so much more thoughtful, and especially fitting to their circumstances and I thought this aspect of the novel was just so sweet. I’m a huge supporter of traditional and “old fashioned” relationships, and that’s why I think I really enjoyed this book. Many modern relationships don’t include the sending of postcards or mail, or just casually laying on a building roof looking up at the stars. Though their relationship isn’t without obstacles, I still found myself thoroughly admiring it.

This is one of my favourite novels that I have read so far this summer, and it’s such a fast-paced and easy read that I found myself flying through each of the pages! It only took me just over one day to complete this novel, and at the end, I was actually smiling because it was just so cute!

If you haven’t read The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith, I highly recommend that you do, if you’re into contemporary romances that include traditional and “old fashioned” elements! 🙂 I also have read her other novel, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and was very impressed with that one as well!

I give this novel 5/5 for being the cutest and sweetest book that I have read so far this summer. I loved how they didn’t let the seemingly most detrimental circumstances ruin their connection and relationship! 🙂 This book also made me want to travel the world, because the descriptions of the cities and places that each of the characters went, were beautiful. I especially loved when Lucy went to Paris because that is one place that I’ve always dreamed of going! 🙂

Some of my Favourite Quotes from the Novel: 

“The most basic sort of love: to be worried about the one who was worrying about you.”

“How long could a single night really be expected to last? How far could you stretch such a small collection of minutes? He was just a boy on a roof. She was just a girl in an elevator.”

“Not everything can last. Not everything is supposed to mean something.”

“He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time.”

“Being on her own had never been a burden. Instead of weighing her down, it buoyed her up; when she was alone, she was lighter. When she was by herself, she felt untethered and free.”

Book Reviews

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner – Review

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These Broken Stars is about a girl named Lilac and a boy named Tarver who find themselves escaping the ship Icarus, on an escape pod. They eventually land on a planet and the story follows their struggles and challenges being the only individuals on this planet, to survive. The plot is really complex and I feel like a further summary might include spoilers. I really liked the fact that the characters weren’t necessarily the stereotypical rich girl and soldier. The readers quickly find out that even though Lilac’s father is the richest and most powerful individual in the universe, she does possess an unexpected level of intelligence, especially with wiring. I have to be honest and say I was a little bit disappointed with this book for various reasons. Though I did like it, I thought there would be a lot more romance in it then there was. I also felt like the plot progressed rather slowly at times, and too quickly at other times. I did however like the writing style being from dual points of view, and the little aspects of  Tarver’s interrogation that was present before a new chapter began, as this was quite original and I haven’t really read any other novels that included this addition. I didn’t hate this book, and I also didn’t quite love it, I find myself feeling something in between. I really love the cover of it though! It’s beautiful! 🙂

Many reviewers are comparing this novel to Titanic, and though they are similar in regards to the premise of survival of a horrific event, I really don’t see that many other similarities. Titanic remains a profound love story whereas this novel is somewhat lacking in romance at some points. Personally, I don’t think they can be compared.

Will I read the other books in this series? I’m not quite sure yet. I’ve heard that the other books don’t really include the same characters (Lilac and Tarver), so that makes me feel a little bit hopeless as to getting my questions answered. 😦

I would give this book 3/5 just because I didn’t love the lack of romance, and the romance that was present in the novel sometimes felt a little bit forced and unnatural. The book to me was almost confusing at times as not everything was thoroughly explained and even after I’ve finished the book I still have so many questions.

SPOILER SECTION: Do not read if you have not read this book, or don’t want to be spoiled!

For those who have read this novel, I’m curious as to what you think of it, I felt very confused by the ending! I’m also really confused about the “voices” or the beings that brought Lilac back to life, it’s almost as if she’s a clone of herself who possesses the same memories of her past experiences. I’m wondering if she’s going to fade, or remain living, and at the end did the planet just like.. explode??  I’m very confused with these aspects of the book and I’m also confused about the mention of the rift. I feel like that wasn’t really thoroughly explained. Also one of the most surprising parts of this book for me was when Tarver let Lilac light the fuse…just why?! Why would he let her do that!? Overall, I think this book was a little bit strange, it was definitely something I’m not used to reading and I really wish it explained some things more clearly.

Book Haul

July Book Haul – Part One

I didn’t buy as many books as I usually do, but I mostly went to the bookstore because I had $30 off of my purchase. I planned to only get one or two books, but of course that didn’t happen because I saw so many other books that I wanted. I had to put some back at the end, because I have SO many unread books that need to be read before I purchase more!!

So far this month I have bought:

A Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson 

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway 

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis 

A Kiss of Deception – 

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Goodreads Description:

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.


I’ve been reading a lot of books from the fantasy genre lately, and so I’m definitely excited to read this one! I also heard that it’s the first book in a series? I think that’s pretty cool, I love series, and if I enjoy this book I’ll totally be reading the next ones!

Emmy & Oliver –  

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Goodreads Description:

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.


This book also sounds amazing, and quite original! I don’t know too much about this book because it is pretty new, but I’m excited to read it because I think I’ll really like it! 🙂

The Chronicles of Narnia – wpid-2015-07-05-18.17.21.png.pngI was so excited when I saw that this complete Chronicles was only $26! At Christmas I saw at my local bookstore that the complete series was over $100 so this was really amazing! I’ve loved the Chronicles of Narnia since I was young and it remains one of my favourite series (along with The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket). I’ve read this series like a million times, and I’m planning on re-reading it this summer! 🙂

Tags

The Secret Life of a Blogger Tag

Thank you so much Forwards and Bookwords for the tag! 🙂

 1. How long have you been a blogger? 

I did have a blog previously to this and I started that one around October of this year. It was very similar as I posted book reviews and my thoughts on books. However, I needed to maintain an average of 95% in school, so I stopped blogging for awhile to focus on that (and yes I was successful first semester in achieving and exceeding my goal). Then, I wanted to switch blogging sites so I signed up for WordPress! So, the short answer would be, almost one year! 🙂

2. At what point do you think you will stop? 

I don’t really plan to stop sharing my thoughts and reviews of books anytime soon, I love to share my opinion and read what other people thought about the same books, in general, I really love blogging and I never want to stop.

3. What is the best thing? 

The best thing about blogging is having an outlet to express myself over the things I love the most in my life, and that is books! When I’m really excited or really disappointed about a novel that I have just read, I can share my thoughts and opinions on it, and see what other people thought about the same book. Blogging is really an excellent way to connect with others as well!

4. What is the worst thing and what do you do to make it okay? 

There really isn’t too many negative things to blogging. However, sometimes I’ll feel like doing a blog post about a book, but even after I’ve finished it, I just haven’t really developed an opinion of it, so I have to re-read certain parts of the novel and really focus and concentrate on them.

5. How long does it take you to create/find pictures?

I take a lot of my own pictures, but that doesn’t take too long because I enjoy photography especially book photography (not that I’m really great at it), but nonetheless I still take pictures of the books I’m reading, I think it really adds creativity and originality to my blog. 🙂

6. Who is your book crush? 

Okay, I have so many book crushes! But the name that first came to my mind was Daemon Black. I finished the Lux Series earlier on in June, but Daemon Black will probably always be on my top 3 fictional boyfriends list! Mainly because he’s a super gorgeous alien who has extra-terrestrial abilities . 🙂 But more than that, we see Daemon go through a significant transformation as a character especially if you’ve read the Shadows novella, you can really understand the drastic advancements in this character’s life and personality.

7. What would you like to have on your blog? 

This is a hard question to answer because I would like to have a lot of things on my blog! Mostly, I would like to have more options with the themes and the fonts available because the themes can be not as appealing without pretty cursive fonts and nice colours. So I would like a better theme on my blog. 🙂

8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts? 

I wear whatever I’m wearing that day, I don’t usually have specific outfits for blogging. However, I would actually love to find more cute clothing that pertains to books and blogging. For example in the Lux Series, Katy wore a shirt that said, “My blog is better than your vlog.” And if anyone knows where I can get cute shirts like that, please let me know! 🙂

9. How long does it take you to prepare?

It depends on the book that I’m reading and reviewing. Usually it does take me awhile to prepare for a review because I want to make sure that it’s accurate and informative. I put a lot of thought and effort into reviews because my opinion could be a contribution to someone either reading a book or not, so I want to make sure that my reviews are well thought out.

10. How do you feel about the book blogging community/culture? 

I really like the book community on WordPress! Everyone is so sweet and nice and willing to share their true opinions! I really do love it. The book community I feel is really close and accepting as I always see really nice and encouraging comments on other’s blog posts and there really is a sense of community as everyone is connecting through books, which is really nice! 🙂

11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog? 

I think the main thing is to make sure you’re posting regularly. I sometimes I have a problem with this during the school year because I always put my school work first, but even then I try my best to post. 🙂

12. Who do you tag? 

Thank you again Forwards and Bookwords for the tag! 🙂

Book Reviews

The Heir by Kiera Cass – Review

Warning: Possible Spoilers

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I just finished The Heir by Kiera Cass (an addition to the Selection Series). It’s such an addicting book, once I started it I just had to finish it so it took me only a few days to read the whole thing. I have nothing but positive things to say about this novel. At first I was a little bit skeptical as to how good it would be, but I am really glad I read it! It was really interesting reading from the selector’s point of view, as opposed to the previous point of view being told by one of the selected in the other three novels. I was also worried that Maxon and America wouldn’t have significant roles in the book, but I was happy with their involvement in the plot. I also absolutely loved their family dynamic, they’re such a close family and her brothers are so kind and protective of her which was so sweet and one of my favourite aspects of this book. I think her twin brother Ahren is an exceptional character as he always seems really logical and he gives really good advice.

I’ll be honest, at first I did not like Eadlyn at all. She came off as being extremely self-absorbed and prideful. She was not a likable character. Though as the novel progresses, the reader begins to understand her more – she has guarded her heart, and has figuratively built walls around herself, in an attempt to not let anyone get close to her.

In regards to the Selection, I am definitely hoping that Kile is selected. I feel like Eadlyn and Kile have a deeper connection than she does with the other selected boys  (mostly because they’ve known each other their whole lives). I found their moments in the book to be the most romantic and I love how even though they’ve known each other for a very long time, Eadlyn continues to learn new things about him. If I was Eadlyn I would personally choose Kile because he’s a bookworm and dedicated to learning new things he essentially comes off as really nerdy.  It’s interesting how Eadlyn didn’t really like Kile in the beginning, but the reader can clearly see their development as characters as near the end of the novel Eadlyn is hesitant to help Kile leave the palace because she doesn’t want to picture the palace without him. Also…  it’s a mystery how his application even was submitted for his participation in the selection and my motto is “everything happens for a reason.” 😀

That being said, Eadlyn with the remainder of the boys left in the competition, has started to make friendships with them which is kind of a relief because she was very unhappy with the idea of the selection in the beginning. The end of the novel leaves off on a cliff-hanger so I am really excited to read the next book and find out what happens!

The Hier by Keira Cass deserves a 4.5/5 because I loved how much character development was present especially for Eadlyn. The last few pages of the book really illustrate her change in heart! I went from disliking Eadlyn to really liking her as a character! 🙂 I like her determination as a woman to not necessarily need a man, but I’m glad that she’s starting to understand that being married won’t lessen her ability to be a strong, independent and powerful woman. 🙂

Some of my Favourite Quotes from the book: 

“There are some things you don’t learn about yourself until you let someone else into the most intimate places of your heart.”

“You can be brave and still be feminine. You can lead and still love flowers. Most importantly, you can be queen and still be a bride.”

“Fun math is an oxymoron.”

“I watched him go and told myself that the only reason I was smiling like that was because the cameras were hidden somewhere, not because of anything Kile Woodwork had done.”

“I just didn’t expect it. It was asparagus. . . . He literally punched someone over a vegetable.” (This actually made me laugh out loud).