Black Birds of the Gallows | Review

Greetings readers!

There are lots of reasons books attract me. There is the pretty cover. The promising synopsis. The one little element that has me going: YAS! This one had all three. I mean just look at that cover! The synopsis, oh my! Harbingers of death! And that “YAS” element: Black birds. I don’t know why, but Rendz was instantly intrigued by that ominous title!

Black Birds of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Black Bird of the Gallows

via Goodreads

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

*I was provided a free digital copy from Entangled Teen via Netgalley, which in no way affects my opinion!*

Um…yes! That synopsis just spells intrigue all over it! Harbingers of death!! This novel was very fun. It had a lot of ominous and spooky elements that payed homage to the death themes, the characters were funny and quirky and the overall story moved quite well! It was also a very quick read, which I appreciated!

What I liked:

Characters:

Angie: Angie was a very interesting character. She was the shy, meek girl who stayed in the shadows, she was also a girl with a difficult past and a girl with an opportunistic future. She had an alter-ego and everything! I liked her character a lot, she was quirky and curious. I mean that opening scene had me laughing out loud. Her curiosity gets her into some trouble, but when does curiosity ever lead to anything but trouble?

Reece: Reece is your typical YA kind of guy. Hot? Check. Broody? Check. Swoony? Double check (He is from Spain, hello!…..well “from Spain”) Has a difficult past that he can only share with the female main character? Check. Bonus: He can shape-shift. He’s not an unlikable kind of guy, but he just wasn’t very outstanding! I needed a little more meat to his character to really cement some feelings. But definitely Boy Toy material.

There several other characters in this book like Angie’s friends, who brought a lot of comedy! Angie’s relationship with her father was absolutely precious. It wasn’t distant or distraught, but very strong and fortified! So kudos to Kassel for skipping that absent-parental YA trope!

The Birds & the Bees: No not that kind of birds and bees, I literally mean the birds and the bees. Two beings that coexist in this book in order to bring death. It’s not exactly team-building kind of work and it’s not a pleasant symbiotic relationship but wherever one is the other will be! And it was creepy as hell. I will never look at bees the same, or crows for that matter. Neither of which have a prominent presence where I live. However, I did like how these two creatures held their own little mythology and magic. It was a great way to stir up trouble in the town, without it being obvious.

The Atmosphere: It’s cold, it’s chilly, it’s darn right creepy! The isolated town in the mountain where supernatural things are bound to happen was the perfect  setting to this novel! Kassel did a great job of setting up all those mysterious tones and the mood was always paranoia. What was going to happen next? A perfect, perfect setting!

Not to mention the “villain”, who can also be argued as a “victim” was super odd. He was borderline stalker creepy! With faces that changed and bees that literally pour out of his mouth! EW! But his reasoning for his intentions was great. It is something you want to sympathize with, but at the same time negate because he is doing horrible things!

What I Disliked:

Backstory Could’ve Been Stronger: Backstory was a huge element in this book. HUGE! And it totally fell for me. 😦 I felt like Angie’s and Reece’s stories needed to be focused on more, to really understand how they came to be who they are. Although Angie did have her story touched upon various times in the book, I felt like it needed just a little more. As for Reece, there wasn’t really any of that broody backstory to reference.

Origins of the magic that dwells in the bird and bees also could have been further explained. There was no clear story as to where these beings came from other than that there was a curse and more powerful beings controlling them!

Resolution: It was just too squeaky clean. Kassel does this thing (which I don’t always appreciate) where a vast amount of time passes between the end of the conflict and now the characters are back to their regular lives, but it’s not an epilogue. There is no post-struggle drama…everybody is just cool with what passed. And though I don’t want to spoil, Reece’s resolution to his little bird problem was in no way satisfying. I had a lot of “whys” and “hows” by the end of the book.


Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was fun and creepilicious. It has some of those typical paranormal tropes and it’s rather predictable here and there. Still, I liked it. It grabbed my attention and it was a solid story!

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Yes! For my lovers of Autumn who want a deliciously creepy read!

Let me know what you think! What elements of a book really make you want to pick it up? What’s your favourite tropey paranormal read?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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A Moment of Fangirling: Cress

Greetings readers!

The time has come. The book where my relationship with this series was cemented. Complete. Set in stone. The book that sucked me in and never let me go.

Mini story time: The first time I read Cinder and Scarlet, I was falling. Falling fast and falling hard. I liked the characters and Thorne was definitely the most intriguing one of them all. Then I read this book–a few months before Winter’s release–and I was just………

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Cress. Ladies and gentlemen, CRESS!!!!!!!!!!!

*Did you miss my fangirling on Cinder Or Scarlet? Fear not for just click on this: A Moment of Fangirling: Cinder or A Moment of Fangirling: Scarlet*

WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN??

OH CRESS!

CRESS!

CRESS!

CRESS!

This book is so important to me, for many reasons and one in particular that touches my heart. This book holds everything I want in a perfect adventure read. The drama, the plot twists, the romance, the epic battles, heists, and most importantly Carswell Thorne.

Even in the futurethere are damsels in distress

Gosh! Gosh! Gosh!

Ok, we are going to start with the obvious.

Cress.

“When she was just a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors nor stairs.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

Cress (Chroniques lunaires, #3)

I have never found another character (other than Laia of Serra from An Ember in the Ashes) that I identified with so much! “So much” doesn’t even really cover how close in personality I feel to Cress. There are so many elements: the shy girl, the fan girl, the hopeless romantic, the imaginative dreamer. A girl who lives in her head kind of person. When I first read this, I was like “Wow, I’m just like this girl. Socially inept and very, very prone to blush!”

It was the greatest moment of my life. (Is that too big to say….I’m going to say it again.)

IT WAS THE GREATEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!

In all my years reading YA and finding the sarcastic, whip smart, kick butt heroines (whom I love) I had never encountered, a wee little girl, who’s quiet, smart but not at all great with the whipping of the smarts. Then I found Cress and just……

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“She was a girl. A living girl, smart and sweet and awkward and unusual, and she was worth far more than they could ever realize.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

I may not be a tech-savvy genius, but I am definitely the kind of person to make up crazy fantasies and talk to myself! And they would most certainly be about a very swoony Captain!!!!!

But yes. Cress. I love her. I relate to her. And I’m so glad that alongside the Brave-Kick-Butt Heroines, we also have our Still-Finding-Their-Courage-But-Still-So-Awesome Heroines!

“She would have freedom, and friendships, and purpose. And she would be with him.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

Okay then we have our lovely returning characters:

Cress (Měsíční kroniky, #3)

Cinder

LORD, LORDY, LORD. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT WITH EVERY COMING BOOK, I NEVER GET TIRED OF SASS, SARCASM AND MECHANICS? IT’S BECAUSE IT COMES OUT OF CINDER’S MOUTH AND I ADORE EVERYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH CINDER!!!!!!

Kai

AWWWWWWW KAI!!!! HE JUST KEEPS GETTING CUTER AND MORE CLUELESS! My poor emperor just keeps getting more and more stressed out! With Levana hovering over his shoulder and their impending nuptials coming so close, you can’t blame him if he is a little down in the dumps! Especially since he still has feelings (though he “denies” them) for Cinder and basically the whole world and moon are trying to arrest her!

My poor pup, KAI!! His sass however, is always spot on,.

“Have you given any thought to your wedding vows?”

Kai snorted. “Delete anything that has to do with love, respect, or joy, and I’ll sign on the dotted line.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

Scarlet

Of all the characters she was the least focused on in this book because *things* happen, but from the few chapters from her perspective readers discover the horrors inflicted by Lunar Aristocrats! PLUS Scarlet is still incredibly brave, hard-headed and the passionate fiery red-head that we all know and love!

Wolf

Aww poor Wolf! With Scarlet in a pickle, he is ten times broodier than normal, but still so darn lovable!! He goes through a lot of emotions too and takes a back seat in this one. I do love all his scenes though, I can’t get enough of my little wolf!

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Iko

IKO, IKO ALL DAY! Love her and every word that comes out of her mouth! She has the biggest personality and heart, despite only being a small chip! Plus her sass!!

“Iko. My name is Iko. If you don’t stop calling me the ‘ship,’ I am going to make sure you never have hot water during your showers again, do you understand me?”
― Marissa MeyerCress

 

Jacin

Hmmmm….despite how much more I like him in Winter, and how much of a rat he is in this book, I can’t help but love his sass. His meanness and  bluntness make him an angry little pup that just needs a hug to lighten up. He also needs to get punched, but that part comes later on 😉

Okay, okay….Here we are, the moment of truth…….

C A R S W E L L    T H O R N E 

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“Seeing that smile, Cress melted. Every. Time.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

*Me too, Cress. Me. Too.*

I can’t help it! He is just everything that I needed from a fictional love interest. Funny. Suave. Foolish. Heroic yet Criminalistic (not a word, but let’s just say that it works for him).

Coherent thoughts and words aren’t possible when I talk about Thorne. It is all gush and goo and Maz giving me a face that indicates the lunacy of falling in love with a person that does not exist.  But I can’t help it people, I am head-over-heels devoted to my Captain, Carswell Thorne.

His heroics are put on full display in this book, on his journey with Cress. His humour, swooniness and overall gorgeousness are always on display.

Cress (Crónicas Lunares, #3)

And of course there is this piece of gold:

“Honestly, Thorne.” A girl. Linh Cinder? “Do you ever think before you speak?”

“What? What did I say?”

” ‘Is that all hair?’ ”

“Did you see it? It was like a cross between a magpie nest and ball of yarn after it’s been mauled by a cheetah.”

A beat. Then, “A cheetah?”

“It was the first big cat that came to mind.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

I just can’t okay. The feels are too much when it comes to Thorne. I can (and might) write a whole blog post dedicated just to him!

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Second most important topic of the night:

THE SHIPS

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Everything is just too cute. TOO CUTE.

With KAIDER and WOLFLET on pause for just a little (they do have their small moments) this book is full of CRESSWELL.

CRESSWELL.

Крес (Лунните хроники, #3)

The friggin ship of my life.

“Captain,” she murmured.
“I think I’m in love with you.”
An eyebrow shot up. She counted six beats of his heart before, suddenly, he laughed.
“Don’t tell me it took you two whole days to realize that. I must be losing my touch.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

No Thorne, it took two seconds to fall in love with you, boy!

“Captain?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

THIS.

“But you’re a prisoner,” said Thorne.
“I prefer damsel in distress,” she murmured.
One side of Thorne’s mouth quirked up, into that perfect half smile he’d had in his graduation photo. A look that was a little bit devious, and all sorts of charming.
Cress’s heart stopped, but if they noticed her melting into her chair, they didn’t say anything.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

I WOULD HAVE BEEN A PUDDLE.

“How are your eyes?” she asked.
“Well, I’ve been told they’re dreamy, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

DREAMY, SWOONY, PERFECT, MELT-WORTHY

衛星長髮公主 (月族 #3)

“She loved him more than ever. And not because she’d scoured file after file of reports and summaries and data and photographs. Not because he was the dreamy, untouchable Carswell Thorne that she’d imagined kissing on the banks of a starlit river while fireworks exploded overhead and violins played in the background. Now he was the Carswell Thorne who had given her strength in the desert. Who had come for her when she was kidnapped. Who had kissed her when hope was lost and death was imminent.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

*Hello, Hi, it appears Rendz has fallen comatose from this little but of enchantment that you just read. Please excuse this short interruption*

• • •

Update: Rendz is now dancing around because of that same quote:

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“Aaaaw,” squealed Iko. “Did Wolf just say he loves Scarlet? That’s so cute!”
Scarlet cringed. “He did not – that wasn’t -” She balled her fists against her sides. “Can we get back to these soldiers that are being rounded up, please?”
“Is she blushing? She sounds like she’s blushing.”
“She’s blushing.” Thorne confirmed, shiffling the cards. “Actually, Wolf is also looking a little flustered -”
― Marissa MeyerCress

A LITTLE BIT OF WOLFLET *FLAILS*

“She’s my alpha”
― Marissa MeyerCress

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Now how about a little Kaider:

“Cyborg. Lunar. Princess. No more secrets. No more lies. Well, just one. She thought she might be a tiny bit in love with him. But there was no way she could tell him that.”
― Marissa MeyerCress

I LOVE HIM TOO!!!!!!!

Cress (Månkrönikan, #3)

“Bending his head, Kai pressed his lips to her knuckles. The plating had no nerve endings, and yet the touch sent a tingle of electricity along her arm.
“Cinder?”
“Mm?”
He lifted his gaze. “Just to be clear, you’re not using your mind powers on me right now, are you?”
She blinked. “Of course not.”
“Just checking.”
Then he slid his arms around her waist and kissed her.
Cinder gasped, pressing her palms against his chest. Kai pulled her closer.
Seconds later, her brain began registering all the new chemicals flooding her system. INCREASED LEVELS OF DOPAMINE AND ENDORPHINS, REDUCED AMOUNTS OF CORTISOL, ERRATIC PULSE, RISING BLOOD PRESSURE …
Leaning into him, Cinder sent the messages away. Her hands tentatively made their way to his shoulders, before stringing around his neck.”
― Marissa Meyer

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Rendz has once again become incapable of forming coherent thoughts. Please wait for our swooned-out blogger to continue her fangirling, thank you. 

3……2……1….

WHAT A RUSH.


SO the real deal business:

ქრესი (მთვარის ქრონიკა, #3)

The STORY.

I sing its praises. It is not just about these stellar characters, but it also has a great adventure aspect, lots of fun cool SciFi elements that frankly I quite enjoy! It is not just about romantic relationships, but it is also about friendship. There are so many friendships formed within this crew that make me melt with feels just like the romantic ships do!

There is some big heartbreak in this book, a character death that hit me quite hard. BUT THEY WENT DOWN SWINGING AND FLINGING!

And of course, there is a crazy (really crazy) killer queen, Levana. She literally makes me want to strangle something/someone (her) and she causes so much pain that arghhhhhhhhhhhhhH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t get me started on her. None the less, she is a great villain to hate!


Рапунцель (Лунные Хроники, #3)

OMG THIS IS A GLORIOUS COVER!!

Now the retelling, I can’t say much about because I have never read the true Rapunzel story. I’ve only ever heard a more toned down story and watched the movie Tangled, so there is my knowledge.

BUT. I love the internet and people in this fandom do their research and let’s just say that Queen Meyer is a genius!

With the classic long hair, the lonely satellite (i.e. tower), the damsel in distress and the heroic prince (who has a very dangerous encounter with thorns…) this retelling is crazy amazing!


I’m going to cut this now, because this is getting LOOOOOONNNNGGG.

In short, I found this book to be an epic masterpiece! *strong word choice, I know*

I can’t help it, I love every aspect of this book. I love the fact that I found my own little quirky, awkward personality in this book.

I found the love of my life in this book. (Watch out real life boys, you have very high standards to live up to)


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Final words:

GLORIOUS

A  HEROIC CRIMINAL AND A TECH SAVVY DISTRESSED DAMSEL.

A DESERT ADVENTURE.

THE BEGINNING OF A SPACE WAR.

WE ARE SO CLOSE TO GETTING TO THE MOON…


Deep breath Rendz….deep breaths.

Okay, so that was me. Now I need to hear from you. But if you didn’t like this book, I’m going to kindly ask you to exit the premises please. (Just kidding………no I’m not)

But seriously, I’m ready for you guys to hit me with the feels again. I promise no more interruptions while I roll on the floor with feels.

Go crazy, my Lunartics.

Until next time, when I finish the epic finale…Winter!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

tlcread

Disclaimer: All gifs via Giphy.com and all images via Goodreads.com

Mini Reviews | Sabriel & I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Greetings readers!

Library hauls call for lots of books. Lots of books call for lots of reviews.

Lots of reviews make Rendz lazy, so she pushes them off for weeks!

Then full reviews turn into mini reviews and multiple mini reviews take up one post!

Making Rendz’s head ache!

But I’ve read so many good books that I just need to share them with you guys, so multiple mini reviews it shall be!

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)

via Goodreads

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.

This is a classic fantasy book that I have been wanting to read for a while!

The Likes:

  • Wow…..what a prologue of intrigue!
  • Sabriel = funny, smart and so, so, so brave! I loved every minute of her adventure!
  • WOW NECROMANCY MAGIC WOAH!!!! YES. YES. YES. With BELLS, how cool!
  • Travelling through the Nine Gates of “Hell”, WOAH!
  • Sassy talking cat!!! Mogget was the funniest character and honestly made the whole book for me!
  • The fantasy world itself was so magical! There was a lot of mystery and so much exploring to be done in the realm
  • Literally cannot pronounce any of the fantastical words.
  • The bad guys were on point!
  • Why….Hello Touchstone. Broody, smol, funny bean! *bats eyelashes*
  • The adventure itself was fun and very twisty. There were a lot of things that went wrong and the final battle held a lot of heartbreak! Right up to the last page!
  • The epilogue saved my soul.

The Dislikes:

  • I was confused quite a bit, there were so many different clans and types of magic that didn’t fully click in my mind!
  • It was a little slow sometimes…I kind of got tired of reading. And the beginning chapters when Sabriel was alone were the most grueling!
  • Despite there being so much magic, I needed more. I needed clarification. (Do I even make sense??)

Overall it was a good book. I look forward to reading the next book, but I’m afraid it focuses on other characters in the realm! Hopefully Sabriel’s story isn’t completely finished!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: For the classic Fantasy lovers!



I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl  by Gretchen McNeil

I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

via Goodreads

From acclaimed author Gretchen McNeil comes her first realistic contemporary romance—perfect for fans of Kody Keplinger’s The Duff  and Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone.

Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?

Another summer contemporary read that I have been eyeing for a while!

The Likes

  • Beatrice is fun and quirky! A half Filipina MC! She is definitely flawed, but she does have a super amazing brain that can work things out so quickly. Things that are math related of course….things like relationships need more time in the processor for her!
  • Spencer…broody, moody artist! Très wow!
  • Gabe! The heart and soul of the book! Awwwwwwwwwwww!!!!
  • It took a bit, but I finally understand what a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is!
  • Although I was very #TRIGGERED by all the calculus that was in this book, I enjoyed it and it even made some sense! (not a lot though…)
  • Drama. Lived for it.
  • Second Hand Embarrassment is at an all time super high in this one.
  • I laughed A LOT. I love that French part XD
  • The ending: Millions of heart eyes!!!! Awwwwwwwwww!!!!
  • Romance: IT TOOK FOREVER *did I mention that Bea was not great at analyzing relationships?*

The Dislikes

  • Not a lot of girl friendships until the very, very, very, very end and it was super super minimal, it’s actually a lot of girl on girl hate because Bea has such a hard time relating to others.
  • It was super mellow! Even the most suspenseful or heart-stopping moments didn’t make me budge.
  • Maybe a little more detail in Bea’s messed up parents life?? (This is mainly me just wanting to know more because honestly her mom and dad are nuts. Locos.)

Overall, it was a cute solid contemporary. It wasn’t as heart warming and intense as I was hoping but it was very, very funny! A perfect summer read, even though it takes place during the school year 🙂

Rating: 3.75 / 5 Stars

Recommend: For the lovers of contemporary who want to laugh!


*wipes forehead* Phew! That was something! Two of my okay reads this past month! I look forward to reviewing some of my higher rated books later this month!

Let me know what you guys think! Have you read these? What classic fantasies do you have yet to get to? Any other humour filled contemporary recs?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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House of Ash | Review

Greetings readers!

It feel like it has been forever since I have written a review. The mood has just not struck me lately. While I have read a lot, I have been slacking on turning on the laptop and typing away. But here I am today, tying away at a review that I hope you will enjoy!

House of Ash by Hope Cook

House of Ash

via Goodreads

After hearing voices among an eerie copse of trees in the woods, seventeen-year-old Curtis must confront his worst fear: that he has inherited his father’s mental illness. A desperate search for answers leads him to discover Gravenhearst, a labyrinth mansion that burned down in 1894. When he locks eyes with a steely Victorian girl in a forgotten mirror, he’s sure she’s one of the fire’s victims. If he can unravel the mystery, he can save his sanity . . . and possibly the girl who haunts his dreams.

But more than 100 years in the past, the girl in the mirror is fighting her own battles. When her mother disappears and her sinister stepfather reveals his true intentions, Mila and her sister fight to escape Gravenhearst and unravel the house’s secrets—before it devours them both.

*I was provided a copy via Netgalley & the publisher, but all opinions are my own!*

I didn’t know exactly what to expect from this book. Was this going to be time-travel-y, horrorish, fantastical? Like, I didn’t know! It definitely turned out to be a mix of all of those. With a whole lot more just thrown in at you. The synopsis really does the bare minimum to prepare you for the novel. I’m not saying that it was unpleasant, but very different from what I didn’t even know to expect! (Rendz, you make no sense sometimes…)

What I Liked

Characters: 

Mila: While I felt she was just a tad underdeveloped, I enjoyed her character. For a woman living in the 1800s she was rather scandalous. She rode horses and didn’t like to conform to the typical role of a woman in her time. She was far more advanced in her thinking. She was most definitely not perfect, she had her flaws especially her tendency to run head first into trouble. But she was undeniably brave considering the struggles she went through.

Curtis: I found he was the bigger focus of the novel. He had a tough life, grieving his dead mother having to protect his younger sister and somehow manage their mentally ill father. It is clear that Curtis did not enjoy his life and would have rather been born in a different family.  Now that his own sanity is at risk with the whispers, he finds himself in even more troubles and things get a hell of a lot worse. He was a very complex character. He had his rough side, his tender side, his defeated side and his fighter side. A lot of different faces for different situations.

Switching Between Times: It was smooth and not confusing. Sometimes the story gets all jumbled when it keeps being switched back and forth, back and forth. I thought that it was great in this book. There was never really a dull moment in either. I would get engrossed in the Curtis’ time and then switch to Mila’s and still be engrossed because things were always changing!

Setting: *IN CANADA* You know, patriotic Rendz brought out her flag and timmies XD

But seriously, I enjoyed the haunting and ominous setting. It was very creepy and alluring, and went perfectly with both time lines. As much as I like to say that it was very haunting, I will say that maybe a little more detail to just complete the atmosphere would have made this book even better.

THIS IS MONSTER HOUSE BUT WITH TIME TRAVEL: If you don’t know what I’m talking about…I’m talking about this:

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via google!

*I don’t know about you, but this movie freaked me out as a small person!*

The element of the living house is what I found common between the book and the movie! It was what gave the extra little creep factor! While I was reading and this image of a creepy house that lives popped up into my mind, THIS MOVIE came to me in a huge flashback! The stories are very different but the whole haunted house thing is similar!

It eats people….

What I Disliked:

Serious Issues That Are Just Kind of Thrown At You: By page 40 or so in this book I was exposed to several serious topics. You have parental abuse, mental illness and suicide. I was anticipating MI, but the other two just came at me. The parental abuse was very minimal…but I found that it was also addressed minimally. Suicide went hand in hand with the MI aspect…but again, I felt like it was dealt with too simply. Again, I don’t know. I am no expert in any of these topics, so I cannot really be a judge.

Abrupt Ending: This was the ending: Mystery solved. Dusts off hands. The End. There was no final ta-da or wazam! I kept flipping to see if there would be more after, but no. There was a big *thing* at the end that I think needed some explaining because I found it hard to wrap my head around!


Overall, I thought it was a good story. It did keep me on my toes and had some great creepy feelings to go alongside the time travelling mystery. I liked how the story flowed and came together overall, despite those minor issues I mentioned. It didn’t leave room for a sequel, but like…a sequel could be useful to explain that *thing* I mentioned at the end! I almost forgot! This book has a few images! They aren’t full colour and kind of look like X-rays…but not! But again, it added to the creep factor!

Rating: 3.75 Stars

Recommend: A Monster House-esque tale, with creepy Victorian and Present Day Canada! Oh yes!

I’d like to know how you fare in a haunted house! Can you make it to the end? Would you break down in the middle of it? Or never dare go in?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Happiness Tag

Greetings readers!

I was tagged by two lovely people for this wonderful tag! I feel like I am in the perfect mood to do this since I was down in the dumps earlier and I need some cheering up!

Thank you to..

Nadwa @ Painfully Fictional – Nadwa has great reviews, tags and other great posts all the time up on her blog, so you should definitely give her a visit!

Jeannie @ A Happy Clam – Another great blog with awesome posts, reviews and more!

Let’s get on to the HAPPY!

List Five Things That Make you Happy

1. BOOKS *shocker* Yes, books hence this blog, hence the bookstagram, hence the overflowing shelves in my room, hence the books I have hidden in various areas of my room so my family doesn’t think I have too many. Yeah…books.

Seriously though…reading books is the best escape and past time for me. I used to detest reading but now I cannot get enough of it!

2. Rewatching the Narnia movies *another shocker* It’s just the sense of nostalgia and comfort I get from revisiting a familiar world and story that I love! Plus, I have a competition with myself to see how many lines I have memorized (which is a lot).

3.  Sketching/Being Artsy – It has always been a passion of mine. Ever since I was a kid, I was an inventor. I wrote little stories then illustrated them. If I pictured a castle in my head, I built out of toilet paper rolls and scrap cardboard. If I wanted a toy car, I built that too with bottle caps for wheels.

I have about three sketchbooks. One filled with nonsensical drawings, one I used for school (far more professional) and one specifically for fan art (which if I ever finish one drawing, I will share with you!) And I have a binder full of drawings of forests and other enchanting things because I went through this everlasting magical forest phase!

4. Sitting on My Porch and Day Dreaming – This is done more often in the summer when it’s nice and hot, maybe a little breezy. But sometimes, I just like to sit and day dream. Not actually think about all the stressful things in my life, but think about stories, adventures, the good times I’ve had. I day dream far too much and too often. I can do it any where and I love it because that is where my stories come and characters I create tell me about themselves and I shovel out their secrets! It’s also where the sketches and fan art ideas come from!

5. Being Alive and Well – There is so much crap in this world, and people are suffering constantly. People are always fighting, whether it be for their lives, health or beliefs. I’m lucky to have been born in a free country, in a relatively chill neighbourhood (it has it’s share of dark times). I’m lucky to have a loving family, to be in good health and not having to live in constant fear or peril.

Life is most certainly not perfect for me, but it’s those good feeling moments that I cherish. Those moments when I lose myself in a book, those moments when I am revisiting my favourite fantasy world, those moments when I crease my brow to get those paint strokes right, those moments of contemplation on my porch.

Those moments when I remember; I am alive and well.

List Five Songs That Make You Happy

My music taste is literally all over the place. I like pop, hip hop, reggaeton, instrumentals even some rock and country. Literally I am all over the place!

So this list consists of some current and old songs that make me tingle! They give me giddy feels and I adore listening to them!

SOOO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL!

AGAIN SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL

HOW CAN THIS NOT BE ON THE LIST!?!

OLD SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *little Rendz is swaying somewhere*

My current song on repeat!

I can keep the list going, but the tag asks for five so I won’t cheat! 😉

I Tag…

Let’s get the happy train going! Choo-choo*

Book Chanted Blog

The Book Goddess

The Clever Reader

This is a pretty old tag, so if you have done it before no need to do it again!

*That was such a bad joke, I’m sorry!


I would love to know what makes you all feel happy and giddy inside. Let’s veto “books” as an answer because I’m pretty sure we all know that!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Hierarchy of Fictional Love Interests

Greetings readers!

In every book we come across those fictional characters that just completely capture our attention  ADORATION. Sometimes feelings are so intense they capture our hearts  ENTIRE BEINGS, until we are wishing that they were real people that we could touch, hear and talk too.

I have gone through this. A. Lot.

Like almost every book I have read.

It’s the Book Bae Syndrome.

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via giphy.com

The one or two, maybe three(?) characters from a book that just seize your whole essence that you wish, dream and do all sorts of witch craft to make them real people, that you can love and cherish!!

Yeah……………………………..we all go through that.

AND WE SHOULD NEVER BE ASHAMED!

It is totally okay to have a crush on a character from a fictional book that could never possibly exist in real life.

Totally okay!

In fact I’m celebrating it!

Today I’m going to be sharing with you how exactly my Book Baes get ranked. I have a hierarchy for this guys. It’s not just a list.

It is a system.

Now for me, this list is basically going to consist of males.  BUT I know for a lot of people out there this system could be different! It can be full of males, females or a mixture of both! Totally up to you! Whomever you desire 😉

So….The Hierarchy!

Let’s get to it!

The Book Boy Toy

Book Boy Toys are the boys in books that I find rather attractive but due to some issues I cannot fully commit to them, like lack of character development or they are literally the side characters. They have a little something-something that makes me bat my eyelashes, but they are also missing a little something-something to make them really stick in my mind!

The Boy Toy is simply a pass time Book Bae. I think about them ever so often, but not every single day!

Boo! A Madea Halloween reaction hi wave hey GIF

via giphy.com

Sometimes Boy Toys level up…but usually they are side characters, so…. most of the time they end up dead. Not fun. I know.

Book Boy Toys are also usually the losing side of the love triangle. Even if I’m rooting for the other guy, in some cases I find myself feeling bad for the loser and categorize him as Boy Toy.

Some examples of my Boy Toys…

Rylan from the Defy Series by Sara B. Larson (Losing side of the triangle/Also the guy I rooted for so he’s a precious boy toy)

Jamie Watson from the Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro (TBH I think he is really hot and sweet and smart…but that’s it)

Jack from the Dust Lands trilogy by Moira Young (This series shook me to the core…and it helped that Jack was easy on the eyes!)

 


The Book Boyfriend

Now the Book Boyfriend is one level up from the Boy Toy. He is usually a character that really makes me swoon and catches my attention for most of the book. He doesn’t have to be the main character, although most of the times he is! When he pops up on the page, all my attention is on him. He is my precious cinnamon roll and I would do anything to protect him.

Book Boyfriends definitely have the swoon factor! Either in looks or actions. If he knows pretty words even better!

Book Boyfriends can level up or down (it is very rare, however). The Book Boyfriend list is rather long. Lot’s of guys end up on this list because they have a lot of memorable qualities!

They are however, missing that big WOW factor, that ultimate thing that just makes me faint.

But the swoon factor…

 friends perfect thumbs up monica courteney cox GIF

via giphy.com

Some examples of my Book Boyfriends…

Kai/ Wolf/ Jacin from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (Three swoony and adorable boys who just make my heart squeeze with every little thing they say and do!)

Amar from The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Total sweet-talker. Holy cannoli, I would faint if he ever said any of those sweet things to me)

Arin from The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski (Just…uhgh….perfection. Him and Kestrel. UGH. LOVE.)

Day (Daniel Wing) from the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu (*cries for days on end* Get me a guy like him please.)

Kaz Brekker from the Six of Crows duology (Put. Those. Dirty. Hands. On. Me……………..*side note* I ship him too much with Inej so levelling up is hard for him.)

 


The Book Husband

The ultimate level a male character can achieve in my books. It is the highest and most distinguished level. This list is shorter, but full of amazing characters that are literally my e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

To make Book Husband status this character has to be the total package. He has got to tick off all my boxes. The swoon, the sweet words, the humour, the flaws, the proclamations of love (depending on the situation.) Everything.

My Book Husbands are constantly in my thoughts. And when I think about them I get a weird googly-eyed face that makes me look a little crazy. I know this because my sisters are always pointing it out.

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via giphy.com

If just the thought of them makes me giggle, swoon and squeezes my heart…YOU KNOW THEY HAVE MADE THE BOOK HUSBAND LIST.

Some examples of Book Husbands…

Chaol Westfall from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas (My heart. MY HEART. It was his from the moment he walked onto the page. Total package. The build. The loyalty. I love him, flaws and all.)

Elias Veturius from the Ember Quartet by Sabaa Tahir (*faints* OMG. Just wow. Total heartthrob. Mask or No-Mask. Ticked every box so fast. He is so complex and swoony, I can’t!)

Carswell Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (*high-pitched girly squeals.* Thorne is very special. I have never gotten so giddy and silly over a fictional character before. BUT HIM. GOSH. It’s just squealing and swooning from me. Just a constant squeal/swoon)

 


SO yeahhhhhhhhhhh………………………….

My three levels of Book Baes

Of course, new guys are being added everything single time I read a good book. I should keep a written list, but that would mean having to go through all my books again! (Which I have no problem with….maybe I’ll do it!)

So now the tables turn to you!

Do you have a system? Are there some characters that are totally everything and hit that Husband list or are they still Boy Toy-like?

Let me know one of your favourite Book Baes or if you’re not so into romance, I would love to know about your Book Besties! Now that is a long list in my books.

I would also love to know what attracts you to a character! Do you have a certain type? A certain quality you look for? 

Happy reading! (And Book Bae Hunting!)

~ Rendz

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Unique Blogger Award Pt 2

Greetings readers!

I really am horrible person at keeping up with my tags and awards. I have a word document with a list of tags and awards posts I must get to. This particular award has been sitting on my document far too long and collecting way, way too much dust!

I have three lovely and amazing bloggers to thank for nominating me for this award.

Thank you to…

Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm Blog – A wonderful blog, full of amazing tags, reviews and discussions. Plus my fellow Canadian blogger *fist bump*

Olga’s Oddish Obsession – Great blog with a great writer behind it! You definitely must drop by this blog!

Kyera’s Library – Such a cool blog with so many fun posts and fandom related discussions! So much wonderfullness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So thank you, thank you, and thank you to you all! I am so honoured to be recognized by these amazing bloggers and I hope you all drop by and give them a visit!

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Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them three questions.

Shanah’s Questions!

1. What do you like most about being a (book) blogger?

I love obsessing about books. It is one of my favourite things to do. Writing endless posts about my feels and overall attitudes towards books and all things fandom is one of the best feelings in the world. Plus, I have a whole community who actually fangirls/boys with me.

2. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Fantasy. No hesitation. I’m always looking for a little magic in my life along with some grand adventure. The answer will always be fantasy.

3. What female or male character do you find most inspirational and why?

Hmmmm….this one is tough.

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I find Inej Ghafa pretty inspirational. Her life got turned upside down and she had to endure horrors that no person should have to endure. The fact that she can still go through her life everyday and continue to face dangers with hope and courage in her heart, that’s what I want. The courage to go forward despite the terrors of the past.

“You still may die in the Dregs.”
Inej’s dark eyes had glinted. “I may. But I’ll die on my feet with a knife in my hand.”
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

Olga’s Questions!

1. When it comes to books, what is your preferred genre and what in particular made you love it so much?

Fantasy!!!!!!!!
The magic, adventure, battles, mythical creatures!! I mean, what is not to love??

2. What career would you like to pursue in the future? Publisher? Author? Secret Ninja? Dancing Minnie Mouse at Disneyland?

What a haunting question. I have never truly known. Not even to this day. But I fantasize of signing books and meeting people who love what I write. So….I definitely want to be a secret Ninja!

3. Does it take you a while to type your reviews or other blog posts? Which, by far, has been your favorite book to review? Add a link!

wiresandnerve

Once I get into the mood and in my zone it takes me 1/2 hour to an hour to write up a review. Depending on how much I want to rant or rave and how many times I have to keep heading back to my YouTube tab to change the song I am listening too.

Umm fave book to review…what a tough question!

Wires & Nerve by Marissa Meyer
This one has a funny story to go along with it, plus I adore everything TLC!

Kyera’s Questions!

1. What is your favourite book genre?

Guess. Take a gander!………………….It starts with an F…………………it ends with a Y………..I talk about it non-stop……………………………………………………………………*magic*

2. Would you rather always get to read new releases, but never keep them or never get to read new releases, but have as many books as you want?

Read new releases but not keep them! Hello, I want to read books! Plus, it’s basically the system of the library!

3. Have you ever gone to meet an author before (ie. book signing, book fest/con, etc)?

I am fortunate enough to live in a big city so author tours come up here sometimes. Not often, but sometimes. I have had the grand opportunity of meeting Morgan Rhodes, E.K. Johnston, Lauren Oliver, Kendare Blake, M.E. Girard, Veronica Roth, Kiersten White, Catherine Egan and my idol MARIE LU!(I also went to a Sarah J. Maas signing but eh, whatevs I didn’t actually meet her!)

I love to write about my embarrassing moments when meeting authors, so please check them out!

The Lady is A Champ Experience (Marie Lu, Morgan Rhodes, Kiersten White, Catherine Egan)

Teen Tour Experience (Lauren Oliver, Kendare Blake, M.E. Girard)

Veronica Roth Event 


I Nominate

I’m nominating a few new lovely bloggers I have had the chance of interacting with over this summer!

Darque Dreamer Reads

Bookchanted Blog

Keystroke Blog

InkGirlWords

My Questions:

  1. Quick Estimate! How many books are on your bookshelf? (Physically)
  2. Name one book that totally blew your mind! In what way?
  3. What really attracts you to read a book? A.K.A what is you hook-line-and-sinker?

Thank you again to all the lovely people that nominated me for this award! I love having such wonderful blogger friends!

I promise guys I will get better (and faster) at answering these tags and award posts!*

*Hopefully 😀

And since it was such a popular question today: What is your all-time favourite genre?!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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July Wrap-Up/ Haul & August TBR

Greetings readers!

For some reason, July and August got a little hectic when the months transitioned over. I feel like I have been a very lazy blogger and my reading pace kind of deteriorated towards the end of July! To say the least, I’ve been quite busy these past two weeks. But I am glad to be blogging again and I have some fun things planned so hopefully I can get to them!

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Wrap Up

So as promised way back in the Spring, I would be getting to a lot more books in July than any other month in the year. It’s summer, so I am on vacation and my library visits usually end up with me leaving with many, many books.

So this month I read:

The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson

I really enjoyed this one. It is a Great Gatsby retelling with a Debate team twist. So I definitely recommend you to check it out! My Mini Review

lib haul june

The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

It was an enjoyable read. I definitely wished there was a bit more mythology, but I am looking forward to the next one (even though I have my worries about it.) My Full Review

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This was a reread for the Ya Book Bloggers Club on Goodreads! I still loved it, and I am so looking forward to continuing my re-read of the series!!! I wrote a special post for this book. A Moment of Fangirling: Cinder If you are a fan of this series, I definitely hope you check it out!

Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast

This is Canadian YA! (super YAY) It is a sci-fi, apocalyptic story with elements of Beauty & the Beast and I really liked it! It releases this month, so I definitely would recommend you check it out. My Full Review

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The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr

This was a fun and cute read. If you want a little adventure in the time of the crusades, this one is good. My Full Review

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

The temptation was too strong so I re-read this before any other books! I still loved it! How could I not? So much epicness!!!!! My fangirling post went up so please check it out! A Moment of Fangilring: Scarlet

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

AKA the book Rendz forced herself to read so that she can read Tower of Dawn (A book all about Chaol!) I didn’t like it, despite enjoying some parts of it. You can read all about my unpopular opinions in my review. Lots of funny gifs were used XP My Full Review

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

This is the sequel to A Study in Charlotte which I really loved! I enjoyed this one as well and I am looking forward to the next one!!!  My Full Review

The Ninth Circle by C.A. Harland

Not my favourite book of the month. I was expecting so much more from the pretty cover! My Mini Review

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

I enjoyed this one too. It didn’t blow me away  but I liked the cheesiness that came with it! Still I NEED MORE STREET RACING!!! My Full Review

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Cress by Marissa Meyer

Once again, I couldn’t tamper my temptation so I gave in and read one of the best books in existence! My fangirling post will be long and gify for this one.

Hinder by Kristin Ping

I had some issues with this book, but I guess it was an alright read after everything. My Full Review

Sabriel by Garth Nix

A classic fantasy I have been meaning to get too and I finally have! While it was a little tough to get into, I really enjoyed it! Review to come!

Other Fun Posts from July

Special Canada 150 Post!

The Emoji Book Tag

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

The Get To Know Me Tag

The Goodreads Tag

Haul

I don’t think I bought many books this month, but I did go to the library twice and had quite the adventure there.

From the library I collected…

The Last of August by Brittany Callavaro
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Sabriel by Garth Nix
I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
The Reader by Traci Chee
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I didn’t buy anything this month……so I feel like that is quite the accomplishment.

tbr

Well basically my TBR is my library haul since I have a due date for them. I’ve already managed to get some of them down, but I still have quite a lot of things to get through.

Plus, I really really really really want to read Winter by the end of the month! Not to mention I have a whole bunch of ebooks to get to as well!

Plus, I have to read the ACOTAR series and Truthwitch (before Maz kills me).

For a short section, it is a rather long list.

But when are TBRs ever short?


Well that basically has been my life for the past couple weeks. There is so much blogging I want to get done, but also so much reading. Yet, I feel like I’m not managing my time good, which makes me crazy!

But I will get to it!

I must!

Wish me luck!!!

Let me know what your favourite book of last month was! Or what your most anticipated read is this month! I cannot wait to hear about all your choices!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Bridges: A Daphne White Novel | Review

Greetings readers!

There are a few genres that I pick up rarely. And when I mean rarely, I mean like once a year, maybe twice? It’s usually a genre that I have very little interest in or think I will just not enjoy.

That is of course not always the case.

Women’s Fiction is one of those genres. I have picked up WF before and enjoyed some of my reads, but I could never really relate to the characters. It was always about middle-aged women who were recounting their lives and trying to find a way to begin anew. Whereas, I was barely a woman when I was reading them.

But now, that I am a little older and more understanding of a woman’s struggle in life, I find myself enjoying them a bit more!

Bridges: A Daphne White Novel by Maria Murnane

Bridges: A Daphne White Novel

via Goodreads

 

It’s a piece of news Daphne never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! Time to celebrate in Manhattan—Skylar’s treat, of course. After years scaling the corporate ladder, she can more than afford it.

Daphne arrives in NYC with news of her own—the novel she’s finally finished appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She’s devastated but plans to keep her disappointment under wraps, something that becomes trickier when she sees Skylar’s spectacular apartment. Could her life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path?

What Daphne doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and their friend KC are also holding something back, but what? As the trip unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears.

And laughter. And love.

The fun-loving trio readers fell for in Wait for the Rain is together once more. Here’s to the power of friendship!

I enjoyed this read. It was really cute and fun. Following a very close friend group on their trip in New York was an adventure. Perhaps not magical, but filled with humour, love and drama. And you know me, I love a good bit of drama. But this above all else is a story of friendship and savouring the happy moments in life.

What I Liked

Characters:

Daphne: I liked Daphne a lot. She was fun and creative. She was an aspiring writer, who had just sent out multiple emails to various agents hoping for one to get back to her and make her dream a reality. On her trip to New York things started getting rough when she keeps getting rejected and starts regretting some of her previous life decisions. Witnessing all the success that her friends had in life, she wondered if she made the bad choice of getting married so young and putting her own aspirations on hold. So I totally get that Daphne got jealous. Who wouldn’t be a little envious if your friends were rich, smart and successful and you were just making it. Just. So I really loved reading about her struggle to get out of that mind set. To find value in her own work and progress. To be happy.

Skylar: She was also very charismatic and fun. She was the most successful in terms of money within the trio. She had a luxurious life style, but instead of flouncing about in it and being stuck up (as one would expect, if you watch dramatic movies) she turned out to be quite caring, generous and humble. She was always there for her friends even when things got a little testy. She struggled with commitment and entrusting others with her happiness, hence the amount time it took her to get engaged. She still struggles with the idea of giving her heart out without the worry of it being shattered. It’s the leap of faith she needs to learn to take.

KC: KC was the most humorous character. She was very bubbly and super active. But even the bubbly have their issues in this book. While I felt that her story was focused on the least, I liked that it wasn’t a quick resolution. There was still some substance in her struggle.

Friendship Galore: This entire book is focused on the Three Musketeers friendship. Like many real-life friends these women don’t come without their short-comings. They still bicker and test each other, but in the end the solid basis of their relationships are able to bring each other back together again. I loved how supportive these women were of one another. This NYC trip strengthened the bond between the women and paved the way for them to continue their relationship.

Themes in Perseverance & Self-Worth: As mentioned earlier, Daphne does struggle with finding meaning in her work and writing. She knows that she is good at it but feels as though no one else (but Skylar & KC) feels the same. We all have our moments of self-doubt, but like Daphne we have to learn to not compare our own success to that of others. It’s not about having a perfect life, it’s about having a happy one.

What I Disliked

Super Mellow: It could have been more suspenseful or at least intense. Everything was rather mellow and toned down. There were moments of anger, sadness and rather embarrassing moments but none of them caused enough reaction from me. It was all too sunshine and rainbows! It needed one of those big storm clouds that just make it really hard on the reader emotionally. Where was the intensity, the major melodrama?

I just was not feeling anything for most of the book. My face was blank or I was getting bored. Everything was too predictable. I wished there was just a little more juice and twistiness to amp up the emotions in the story.


Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a cute friendship story. There is a lot of sister power in this one! I was hoping for a little more intensity and suspense, that would have probably brought up the rating a lot more. There was like a smidge of romance, but it was never the focus and I honestly forgot all about it. This was a really cute, fun and humorous friendship adventure!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: For those looking for #FriendshipGoals!

About the Author

Maria 6.jpg

The way Maria became an author is a little crazy. She used to work in high-tech PR but hated it, so one day she quit and ended up playing semi-pro soccer in Argentina for a year. While she was down there she decided to write a novel, which was something she’d always dreamed of doing. Fast forward a few years and she’s now the best-selling author of Perfect on Paper, It’s a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, Wait for the Rain, and Bridges. And yes, she still plays a lot of soccer!

Learn more and sign up for her mailing list at www.mariamurnane.com


 

More From Maria!

  • Give us an insight into your main character. What makes he/she so special?

Daphne White also appears in Wait for the Rain, and when that book came out many readers wrote to tell me that what they liked most about Daphne was how relatable she was as a divorced woman struggling to find the confident, witty, fun-loving person she used to be. In Bridges, Daphne has regained her old spark and is in a much happier place, but her life is far from perfect, as is she. I guess you could say she’s special because she’s real.

  • Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from Bridges?

I was just asked this question by a small production company that is working to develop Wait for the Rain into a film. Not that they would be able to afford her, but my top choice for Daphne would be Drew Barrymore. A girl can dream, right?

  • What draws you to this contemporary fiction?

I like creating stories and characters that feel like real life, and I’m a woman, so there you go. Plus I could never write mysteries or thrillers or sci-fi. My brain isn’t wired that way.

  • Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? What’s the purpose behind your cover images?

I think every reader has a different relationship with a book’s cover. I view my covers as a still shot, in other words a moment in the story that (I hope) makes a reader want to become part of that world for a few hours or days.

  • When did you decide to become a writer?

I always thought it would be cool to write a funny novel “some day,” but I was working full time so I didn’t think I would ever actually do it. Then one day I quit my job and went to Argentina by myself for what was supposed to be a two-week trip, but instead I ended up getting signed to play soccer for the women’s team at River Plate and staying down there for a year. (I realize that sounds insane, but it’s true.) With my brain freed up from an office job, I decided if I was ever going to write a novel it was time, so I wrote Perfect on Paper, the first of the Waverly Bryson series. It took a while to get it published, but eventually it went all the way to #2 overall on Amazon. (It remained there for just one day, but still! Super exciting.)  

  • What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me, the hardest part is coming up with the idea(s). That can be extremely challenging. But once I decide what I want to happen in a particular chapter/scene/etc., the words flow pretty easily. This is what happened with Bridges.

  • What is the easiest thing about writing? 

Dialogue! I seem to have a knack for creating realistic, funny banter among friends—or so I’ve been told. As I’m typing this I’m realizing that there’s no way to answer the question without sounding like I’m patting myself on the back, so I hope the previous question will make it clear that writing is not a piece of cake for me.

  • What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If there’s a book inside of you, just write it! You won’t regret it.

  • What made you decide to bring Daphne, Skylar and KC back for a second novel?

Skylar is based on my friend Annie, who is a huge fan of my books. One night we had dinner and ended up brainstorming ideas for my next novel, and by the end of the evening we had a skeleton outline for what turned into Bridges. It was that quick! The writing itself took much longer obviously, but it was that single dinner that led to the idea.

  • Is Bridges in any way based on your own experiences?

A little bit. In Bridges Daphne is struggling with the pain of being rejected over and over (and over!) while trying to get her novel published. That’s something I know a LOT about. It took me nearly five years to get my first book (Perfect on Paper) published, and for a while there I didn’t think it was ever going to happen. That kind of rejection can take a toll on the self-esteem. Daphne also feels insecure when she sees how wealthy her friend Skylar has become since college. I also know what that feels like. I gave up a solid career in PR to focus on writing novels, and while I’m extremely proud that I’ve been able to make a living off that, many of my college friends now have closets larger than my bedroom.

  • What message do you want readers to take away from Bridges?

No one’s life is perfect no matter how great things might appear from the outside, so don’t be afraid to open up to your friends!

  • Do you currently have anything in the works?

I’m currently in the process of figuring out what to write next. I think I need to have another dinner with Annie! ☺


Thanks for reading everyone! Let me know what some of your favourite fictional friendships are!!! And give a shout out to your besty because…why not?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

A Moment Of Fangirling: Scarlet

Greetings readers!

Time for the second installment of Lunar Chronicle crazy fangirling!!!!!!

Okay so after reading Cinder (the first time) and completely falling in love with it, I ran (more like hopped on the bus) to get the next one from the library. Luckily, it was available to me.

After reading Cinder (for the second time) and completely loving it AGAIN. I ran (actually ran) upstairs to my room (almost tripped) and grabbed my copy of Scarlet off the shelf!

Only it was too late at night to start it, but I did start it early the next day!

*Did you miss my fangirling on Cinder? Fear not for just click on this: A Moment of Fangirling: Cinder*

SO SCARLET

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

via Goodreads

SCARLET

SCARLET

SCARLET

I loved this sequel almost as much as I loved the first book. It had a new great cast of characters along with some previously known characters. Things get so much more intense and troublesome in this sequel with the whole Levana/Luna situation getting out of control!!! And an all new retelling with a futuristic and fantastic twist!!!!!!!!!! AND we are half way to a full Rampion crew!!!

PLUS an all new ship with cute and adorable moments!!!!!!!!!

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via giphy.com

“Even in the future, beware of the big, bad wolf…”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

Where, oh where do I begin?

Scarlet. (Of course)

“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

Scarlet (Las crónicas lunares, #2)

via Goodreads

I love Scarlet to the end. And beyond. She is a stubborn, passionate and intelligent farm girl, turned pilot, dubbed “mom” of the Rampion crew!

She is definitely a red headed hot head. She has a rather quick temper but she stands up for all the right reasons. Defending her grandmother and Cinder from a raucous diner crowd takes some courage.

“I just think we shouldn’t judge her, or anyone, without trying to understand them first. That maybe we should get the full story before jumping to conclusions. Crazy notion, I know.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

She is also killer strong! Physically, I mean. She has to do farm work and lug crates of vegetables around all the time.

Like tomato crates.

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via giphy.com

Plus she is killer cool. She knows how to fly a plane (or spaceship). Necessary skills it would seem to have for someone living in the future! And she can shoot! *Not saying the guns are cool and free to use all the time* but when face to face with some killer crazy-bloodthirsty beasts or a crazy Lunar Queen, learning to shoot may be a necessity.

Just saying.

But yes. I love Scarlet. I love her red hair and clashing red sweater!

And she is just so dedicated to her grandmother that my heart swells when I think about it!

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via giphy.com

Then there is WOLF!

“What’s your name, anyway?”

That awkward shrug again. “They call me Wolf at the fights.”

“ Wolf? ” How … predatory.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

Scarlet (Saga Księżycowa, #2)

via Goodreads

Your classic, broody, silent dangerous looking heartthrob.

Such a swoon-motivator.

Plus, a street fighter! Not one’s typical occupation, but a rather successful one for our lovely friend, Wolf.

Did I also mention. He. Sounds. G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.

“He was still dazed, and though she hated to admit it, he was actually rather attractive. If a girl happened to like that square-jaw, bright-green-eyes, devilish-dimples kind of thing. Although he was in desperate need of a haircut and a good shave.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

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But beyond the looks. Wolf is quiet, sweet and a sensitive soul. He may have killer instincts and a rough looking exterior, but inside he is all goo and glory! He finds his saving grace in Scarlet and his ticket out of a bad-bad gang.

He keeps his secrets, but he does redeem himself!!

Cinder. Oh look! We get to talk about her again!

Cinder just keeps becoming more and more epic and kickass in this one. Now that she knows who she is and has to figure out what exactly she wants to do with that information she goes on another grand adventure! She is after all a wanted fugitive so she has to be on the run all the time.

“Two counts of treason, if you must know. And resisting arrest, and unlawful use of bioelectricity. Oh, and illegal immigration, but honestly, I think that’s a little excessive.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

But I love her even more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can one love a character that much!

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Kai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my poor, poor Kai!

Talk about going through some really tough stuff in this one. Levana sinks her claws deep into him and he is forced to experience so many terrible things! He is still my sweet little potato and I love him more as each book goes on!!

Plus his sass levels are rising!

“But Kai wasn’t his father. He wasn’t that selfless. Knowing it was wrong, he couldn’t help but wish that wherever Cinder had gone, they would never find her.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

Now the moment, I have been waiting for.

The love of my life.

Carswell Thorne

CARSWELL THORNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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via giphy.com

I don’t think I have ever fallen harder for a character than Thorne.

“The captivity of Carswell Thorne had gotten off to a rocky start, what with the catastrophic soap rebellion and all.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

I cannot even fathom proper thoughts, it is just a constant squeal in my mind.

A giddy feeling.

To put it straight. He is funny, charming, swoony, caring and a total hero despite being a total criminal. (Criminal Mastermind.)

And a “great” Captain.

“At least we have each other.” He held out his arms, like he would have given her a huge hug if they hadn’t been strapped into their seats. The nose of the ship tipped to the right and he quickly grasped the controls again, leveling it out just in time to dodge flock of pigeons.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

Guys. I just. I cannot form coherent thoughts.

More of this rambling will come in the next installment of this series. 

OF COURSE IKO WAS STILL AMAZING IN THIS BOOK AND SHE GOES THROUGH SOME BIG BODILY CHANGES, BUT STILL EVER SO FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!

“Another silence as the heat in the engine room hovered just upside of comfortable. Then, “You’re … rather handsome, Captain Thorne.”
Cinder groaned.
“And you, my fine lady, are the most gorgeous (spoiler) in these skies, and don’t let anyone ever tell you different.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet


Alright SO THE RETTELLING ASPECT!

Scarlet

via Goodreads

I have never read a Little Red Riding Hood retelling and so I didn’t know exactly how it was going to go….

But I really enjoyed it! It had the traditional elements with the granny, the red hood and the big bad wolf (or perhaps wolves……)

The adventure to find Scarlet’s grandmère was definitely fun, risky and dangerous!

Especially when the confrontation came with the wolves. That was very suspenseful *even reading it a second time*


Favourite topic of the night…

SHIPS

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Okay so this was the introduction of WOLFLET and OMG

How cuteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

How sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttt.

ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just so much gushing coming from Rendz.

“You’re the only one, Scarlet. You’ll always be the only one.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

 the simpsons lisa simpson simpsons flirting simpson GIF

via giphy.com

“Then he was pulling her toward him and bundling her up in his arms. Scarlet gasped as Wolf buried one hand into her mess of curls and kissed her back.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

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via giphy.com

And of course this:

“Scarlet and Wolf are saying gushy things in the galley,” Iko said. “Normally I like gushy things, but it’s different when it’s real people. I prefer the net dramas.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

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via giphy.com

So yeah……………………………………………………..Wolflet.

There was minimal action between Cinder and Kai in this book seeing as he was in New Beijing and she on the run! But still they had some cute moments even so far apart!!!

“I don’t see that her being cyborg is relevant.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

Love you Kai.

Cinder too.


星際小紅帽 (月族  #2)

via Goodreads

There was also the beginning of the best friendSHIP ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cinder and Thorne.

Corne.

“I can see that you’re in need of an accomplice,” Thorne said, straightening his jumpsuit. “And lucky for you, I happen to be a criminal mastermind.”
She glowered at him. “Go away.”
“That’s a difficult request in this situation.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

They have their special little banter that has me cracking up all the time. Cinder feels like she has no time for Thorne’s Thorne-ness and is always using her sass to crack a whip at him! And Thorne is–of course–oblivious to Cinder’s annoyance so the banter and friendship strengthens and forges to even stronger levels!!

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“Well,” Cinder finally grumbled. “I guess that was pretty fast thinking.”
A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?”
“If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, than I guess we are.”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet

Just look at that banter.

Trust me guys there is so much more in the book and you guys have to read it. It is HILARIOUS.

“I have something else to show you.”
“I’m busy.”
“I promise not to make fun of your boyfriend anymore.”
“He’s not my boyfriend!”
― Marissa MeyerScarlet


Alright this is getting to be a little long, so I shall cut it off here.

Scarlet (Crónicas Lunares, #2)

via Goodreads

In short, I loved the sequel. I think everyone should read Cinder and then wait about 10 minutes after reading Cinder (you know to get your emotions together) and then immediately follow up with Scarlet!!!

So my final words for this book.

WONDERFUL.

RUGGED STREET FIGHTER AND A NO-BS TAKING BADASS RED RIDING HOOD!

ADVENTURES IN SPACE.

TRAVERSING THROUGH FRANCE (OMG THE DREAM DESTINATION OF RENDZ)

SHIPS GALORE.

BIG. BAD. WOLVES.


Time for you to fangirl/boy with me!!!

Have you read Scarlet? Did you love it? Or just like it? What did you think of Wolf? Of Scarlet? OF THORNE????? *All love, I’m sure*

Please, go crazy! 

As usual it’s a total recommend from me!! This whole series is.

I can’t wait to fangirl about Cress next time.

That is going to be EPIC.

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

tlcread