The Wolf of Oren-Yaro | Review // THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!

Greetings readers!

When I first stumbled upon the announcement for this book, I wasn’t really paying that much attention to what the actual announcement said, I was just happily clicking “Add to TBR”.

So when I saw that the publisher had ARCs available, I reread the synopsis and realized that this book had a lot of promise. I haven’t read an epic, high fantasy in a long time and I was interested the Filipino-inspired world that it promised. Plus the author is based in Vancouver…so this is also Canadian-authored fantasy and we all know I gobble that up.

Stupidly, I started reading before a tense week of uni, so I read very sporadically and in short bursts until the weekend came around I swallowed chunks of this book!

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Feb 18th, 2020
Publisher: Orbit Books
Goodreads

A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.

I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come.

But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home.


*ARC provided by HBG Canada*

I LOVED EVERYTHING.

I AM NOT KIDDING WHEN I SAY THAT I LOVED ABSOLUTELY EVERY MOMENT OF READING THIS BOOK.

Lets start with these characters. It was sold to me as a character-driven novel and it delivered in every single way imaginable.

Tali, how do I even begin to express my love for her? She was such a witty, snarky and naive character who was just trying to do her best. *sobs* I mean, was she flawed? Absolutely. And I am not talking about the reputation that follows her around because her father was a total mass murderer. I mean that’s part of it, but Tali makes some not so great decisions, and she goes to lots of ends to cover them up. But she is also such an incredible voice. She is a woman in power whose husband has abandoned her, whose rule is constantly questioned and challenged by her countrymen, whose life is always in danger and all she just wants the peace that her birth, marriage and reign promised. She goes from being a feared queen to an unknown, left to the mercy of the streets. It’s a wild journey, and if I am honest, it gave her some much needed perspective. She is physically strong, raised to be a fighter but her emotional strength is definitely not up to par. It is tested and hinders her every step of the way. It was really amazing to read about because my gal struggles reading people’s intentions sometimes. Really, everything about her journey was so incredible to read about. I love her.

Khine. MY SON. WHO IS TECHNICALLY OLDER THAN ME, BUT STILL, MY CHILD. I love him. He was a conman with a heart of gold and honestly really dumb sometimes, but he is a cinnamon roll who must be protected at all times. Basically where he kind of lacked that physical strength, he was better at handling the emotions of others. He was a wonderful foil to Tali, without being too preachy and stiff. Ugh, I LOVE HIM!

Rayyel…I fucking hated this mans guts. I HATED HIM. You all do not understand how much I DETEST this little bitch. *Take a deep breath, Rendz* *Inhales, exhales* He was just a despicable character who was so central to this plot. He is not even a true antagonist. He is just that fucking despicable. I loved to hate him.

Others…gosh there are so many incredible characters in this story. There was complexity and diversity, there were some heroics and some villainous works going on with these side characters. They added to the richness of the tale and kept me entertained every step of the way.

This world was FASCINATING. Sadly, my ARC didn’t have the map with it, but I didn’t feel lost without it. Villoso does a great job of exploring the divisions of these nations, the history of the relationships between these peoples. Jin-Sayeng was such a complex place with the rival Oren-Yaro and Ikessar clans fighting for power. I also loved that we got to see the workings of the neighbouring empire that has lots of power, but poses a lot of dangers. There is so much to explore as Tali roams the streets of the empire. It’s dangerous, it’s comforting, but it’s mostly reallllyyyy dangerous.

The plot was wonderfully layered and laid out. There is the main present plot line which was all high stakes and constant suspense, then there were the snippets of the past that come in and play with your knowledge of what is actually happening. The best part of this whole story is that there is always a missing piece of information, there is always some secret that is being kept from the reader that makes you question what the heck is actually going on. AND WHEN YOU GET TO THE LAST 50 PAGES, EVERYTHING REALLY STARTS TO CLICK. SHIT GETS REVEALED AND I WAS LOSING IT!!!!

This book is also an EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER. Tali goes through so much shit and geez we have to experience it with her and it was possibly the best part of this novel. I felt so many things while reading this. Mostly I felt rage like Tali. Rage at the world. Rage at Rayyel. Rage at the fact that I have to wait for sequel! But there was also small moments that were heartwarming, lots of moments of despair and tension. THE SUSPENSE was killer! I couldn’t turn the page fast enough!

I CAN’T EVEN EXPLAIN TO YOU HOW MUCH THE ENDING TOTALLY MESSED ME UP. I was shooketh to my very core and I couldn’t be too loud about my freak out because it was close to midnight. IT WAS JAW-DROPPING GOOD. I mean I had inklings, but I doubted and then everything was revealed and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

After reading, I was left breathless. I was so exhilarated that I almost didn’t know what to do with myself so I just sat on my bed and smiled like a fool. It was a euphoria that I hadn’t felt in AGES. I am so completely in love with this story and its characters (except Rei!).

There is no questionable section because I cannot for the life of me find one single thing to critique. It was perfect for me. Completely and utterly perfect.


Overall, I loved everything about this book. Thrilling. Suspenseful. Addicting. Action packed. This is a high fantasy that you cannot miss! It was incredible!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars 

Recommend?: ABSOLUTELY YES.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Are you looking forward to reading this? What are some of your favourite character-driven stories? What was the last book that made you feel euphoric? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Diamond City | Review // I was less than in love with this…

Greetings readers!

Unfortunately, I waited too long to review this from the time I read it. So be prepared for a really vague review of the things I remember. Or at least try to remember.

It’s always super sucky when you have hopes for a book and it falls flat. I was really looking forward to this book because it is Latinx fantasy and we all know how much I am for thisssssss!!! Alas, things don’t always go the way we hope.

Diamond City by Francesca Flores

Diamond City (Diamond City, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Jan 28th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Goodreads

Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.

Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!


*Thank you to Raincoast Books for the ARC*

It was all Meh and less than Meh

Aina was…girl. She was trying to be this I don’t give a shit about you or your mom kind of girl, but she kind of does. And yet she just rubbed me the wrong way several times. And I mean I was kind of lost with her most of the time. I found nothing profound about her, if you get what I mean. She had a really interesting past and I would have loved to get a little more into it, but it was always a surface level kind of feel with her.

Teo, he was worth it. I mean, his purpose? Being a good friend. And he did his job.

Riyu. Hehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Honestly boring af. He had the personality of a wet towel that could maneuver a gun.

The other girl, I don’t even remember her name, that’s how not important she was.

BUT HOLY the amount of preachy, inspirational dialogues was too much for me. I like a few inspirational moments in my book, but there was this one chapter where everyone was going around saying something profound and revolutionary….I couldn’t take it. I mean…it just felt so shoved down my throat and I hate the expression, but that chapter didn’t contribute anything at all.

Also the chapters. Oh dear. They were so chopped up and chunky. And I don’t mean that they were long. It’s that some were so short that the next chapter would just be the continuation of the same scene. There wasn’t even that much a cliffhanger between them. They just ended and began again on a new page. Stylistically, it bothered, but maybe they changed it in the finished version.

The world was interesting. It was—I believe—a country that had a mix of different nationalities. There was an industrial boom, one that came at the cost of the religious freedom and ended up in religious persecution. I was really interested in that conversation, but again the book only ever really touched the surface of the problems and they were big problems. There was also gangs, which…is it bad that I like gravitate towards gang-ish books? (since I am Latina and hello stereotype much) And yet I can’t help but like the cutthroat workings of a gang. Especially ones that are less found-family and more I-would-kill-you-given-the-chance. I don’t know why, it just fascinates me and we all know I could never make it a group like that. The politics were pretty straightforward so I didn’t have too much of a hard time following that. The giant spiders….I just…Why? WHAT WAS THE REASON? Literally, she just shoved in these (nasty) creatures and I felt like it did not match the world at all. Like I get it spiders can be big, but this addition felt almost too cheesy futuristic movie to me.

The diamond magic. Well. From what I remember we didn’t get much diamond magic. I could be wrong. I know there are some pretty big moments that feature them and I really liked how they work, but I felt like they were still just glanced at this book. Everything is just a skim of the surface with this book. I felt like it never got bone deep.

You wanna know what I did like? The twisted relationship Aina had with her boss! Was it love? Lust? Hate? Fear? Admiration, as she so often claims? I really liked that she almost “addicted” to him in the sense that she knew he was no good for her and yet couldn’t help going back for more. And let me tell you her boss is like Kaz Brekker but like not even remotely redeemable. This was the highlight of the book and the one thing I felt that we got into!


Overall, the book was not it for me. I felt like it was lacking a lot of substance and the characters were not memorable for me. It sucks because I know I wanted to love this so badly, but I struggled with this.

Rating: 2 / 5

Recommend?: I will always recommend Latinx reads, just be aware I didn’t love this.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What did you think? How do you deal with disappointing reads? What assassin books do you like?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My New Found Love for Audiobooks | (A Second) Discussion

Greetings readers!

I feel like I’ve already done an audiobook discussion…..whatever, I am going to do one again, I have more to say!

As some of you know, towards the end of 2019 I really went down an audiobook hole. I used to claim to be unable to listen to audiobooks because I have the attention span of a bean, which is very much true. It turns out, however, that I am a better listener than I initially thought!

I wanted to discuss my experience with you today and obviously pose the same question to you all!

librofm listen local audiobook audiobooks GIF
via giphy.com

What Do You Listen To?

SO. It turns out that I prefer to have romance books read to me than actually read them myself. Yup. It’s uhhh…I uh…I don’t like to think about it too much because that also indirectly means I prefer to listen to the smexy scenes and well I think that is more blush inducing than anything! However, if I take a minute to rationalize, I realize that when I listen to the romancier bits I get through it quicker then when I’m reading it and I pause every couple of words to just take a minute and analyze my life choices. This, again, has nothing to do with pro-romance readers and everything to do with me, an awkward rookie in the romance bookverse,

Apart from romance, I do have some middle grade lined up for me! So let’s see how that goes. I also am considering listening to a fantasy audiobook which I will hopefully love!

Leave your recommendations below, they are always welcome.

When Do You Listen to Audiobooks?

I found that it works out best for me when I’m commuting to and from school! I just pop in my headphones, blast the volume, and listen away. I have no fear of someone reading over my shoulder especially when I get to saucier or bloodier parts in my novels. Of course, I can’t stop myself from making faces sometimes or from holding in my smile/laughter, it’s just a natural habit of mine, and I might look a little to into my “music” to the other passengers.

I also listen to books at night before I go to bed. It’s the perfect way to relax. I don’t have to keep switching hands when one gets tired of flipping the page. I can close my eyes and am no longer reading on this tiny screen in my pitch black room slowly increasing my chances of going blind. The volume is also super soft so I’m not too worried about going deaf soon.

How Do You Listen to Audiobooks?

I’m talking speed. I always get a little intimidated when I see that the audiobook is 9-11 hours long. Like geez, I don’t have that much time on my hands. I also don’t like listening to books at normal speed because I feel like the normal pace is almost too slow for me. I prefer reading somewhere between 1.5x-1.75x faster. That way I still hear the emotion in the characters voices and they don’t sound like total chipmunks. (And also maybe because I can get through the sexy scenes a little faster…especially if I’m blushing on the bus)

AudibleAU books amazon listening google play GIF
via giphy.com

Where Do You Get Your Audiobooks From?

I have only ever gotten my audiobooks from my library’s website, Overdrive/Libby. I am super luck the Toronto Public Library has an extensive collection of digital material, and even though the wait lines can be long, there is always something to borrow in the mean time! I am curious about Audible, but I believe that is kind of like a subscription service and as a less than rich student, I think that if I am gonna spend money on books I would prefer physical copies.

Who Do You Like as Narrators?

I know this is a weird question, but hey everyone has their likes. From the couple of Christina Lauren books I’ve read, I know I prefer one of their female narrators over another and I really like the dude that they usually have, Deacon Lee or something like that. The narrator for this Toronto-set book could have been amazing if she had the right Toronto accent and it was just really cringe-y hearing her pronounce some things wrong. Everything is in the accent y’all!


That’s it for me. If I’m being totally honest sometimes I don’t know why I bother with ebooks anymore, if audiobooks are just so handy or rather not handy because all I need are headphones. I can’t say audiobooks beat having a real physical book in my hands.

Audiobooks are a whole world in the universe of reading and I am still a total noob when it comes to them, so I would love to hear your input! As always leave your recs, I’m always looking to place on hold at my library these days!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Romance Reading Round Up | Part 2 // Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Greetings readers!

As you can guess from the title, I am still very much on my rom-com train. I have decided to become comfortable with this side of myself, it’s part of my own personal growth! Also there is much irony in this. As one who used to–shamefully–crap on the romance drama, I am now becoming a binge reader of it….

Animated GIF
via giphy.com

That’s not to say that every book I read is a massive success and it turns out I’m quite picky with my romances. I stick to contemporary, which is odd because I am a such a hardcore fantasy reader. I have the goal to read a fantasy-romance soon though. Once I find the right one. Don’t even get me started on historical or paranormal…I need time to get comfortable okay.

GETTING INTO CLo

My Favorite Half-Night Stand
via Goodreads

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Format: Audiobook

Rating: 3.75 / 5

Review: I enjoyed it. I liked the characters, despite the fact that I was calling them both idiots every five seconds. I mean, I think I kind of liked it more for that fact. Could it get a little tedious at times? Yeah, but still it’s a really good modern love story.
The narrators were both really good, I would listen to them again!

Dating You / Hating You
via Goodreads

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

Format: Audiobook

Rating: 4 / 5

Review: Thoroughly enjoyed this. I feel very satisfied with the ending. This was a great lovers to enemies to lovers kind of thing.
The characters were amazing! I had so much fun!

The Unhoneymooners
via Goodreads

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Format: Audiobook

Rating: 4 / 5

Review: The drama….I was living!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Look I still have issues with Ethan, but like I guess I can’t totally blame him…
ALSO, the revenge bit. I was living. I mean I get that she would be devastated, but I think it would have fed my hate-fire and since I’m pretty, jealous, and vengeful I would have been feeling glorious in the moment. Other than that this was hilarious! And I liked the laughs!
Her Latinx family was fun, if a little cliche, but I wasn’t expecting incredible rep so meh.
Narrators were good. Still not my favourite voices.


TWO FROM MY ORIGINAL TBR

Faker
via Goodreads

Faker by Sarah Smith

Format: ebook

Rating: 1.5 / 5

Review: This was a big thumbs down for me, sorry. Oh wow.
The characters, I didn’t really like.
The writing was not my fave.
The pacing was so weird.
This is not the enemies to lovers it could have been.
The cheesy bits at the end…ugh
Just not for me.

Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered, #1)
via Goodreads

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

Format: ebook

Rating: *a decent* 3 / 5

Review: Ummm I liked it but I had some issues.
I think Georgie was a great character and her struggles as a youngest sibling really resonated with me, but with regards to her relationship with Travis… She sort of came off as a little manic pixie dream girl.
Travis was alright. Not horrible, but alright..
The “baby girl” was not working for me. I mean she didn’t want to be seen or treated like a kid but loves being called baby girl?
Everyone has their kinks… And umm I was a little (totally) tomato faced while reading. But then again I’m 10/10 awkward so…

told you so i give up GIF
via giphy.com

The ending was a little no-no-no for me. Um. Yeah. No. Like I love an HEA but I just wasn’t feeling it.
Overall, it was fun. Very funny. And even though it had its drawbacks I think lots of romance readers will enjoy it.

 


THE RANDOS I PICKED UP.
ONE LOVE BETWEEN TWO RAGES.

99 Percent Mine
via Goodreads

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Format: Audiobook

Rating: 1.5 / 5

Review RANT: There is a word I used often while reading to describe the characters in this book: Bitch.

Darcy was sold as a boss ass bad bitch but what she truly was was a sad spoiled bitch.
Tom was sold as a good boy with a beast inside, but he was really a little bitch.
Jamie was sold as a bitch and he truly was a Bitch (TM)
Truly was a yasss bitch and I liked her.
And Megan the one and only one who I thought was actually going to be a bitch was actually super nice.
My God I really did not enjoy this experience. I didn’t hate the book, but I couldn’t stand the characters. I couldn’t stand the “Tom is an Animal” imagery and it just ruins everything. It’s like supposed to be a kink but its not. These siblings literally walked over Tom their whole lives and he lets them because he’s a spineless little bitch that is sold as him being super nice, can’t say no kind of guy.
What’s worse is that they recognize this bad behaviour and their moment of “aw man we are actually shitty ppl” spans about one chapter and Tom is back to worshipping Darcy and Jamie.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been walked over like this that I’m on the defense, maybe it’s because I’m not into the territorial/possessive kind of affection or maybe just maybe I hated the fact that she calls him a sled-dog at one point and later on says “fetch Valeska” and I never got over it. 🙃

It’s a hell no from me, dogs.

Moonlight Over Manhattan
via Goodreads

Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Format: Audiobook

Rating: 4 / 5

Review: This was a sweet book overall. I was mainly here for the MC who I relate to in a lot of ways! It’s a romance between a shy girl and a doctor and honestly…goals. HOWEVER, the drama lasted one chapter and the very last one at that. It had the potential to be great drama too but I was robbed of that tension *sigh*
Still it was very cute!

See Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey Team, #2)
via Goodreads

See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson

Format: Audiobook

Rating: DNF @ 73 %

Review: I couldn’t anymore. This is not worth my time, I’ve got other romances lined up.
Biggest issues:
1) He is such a d*ck. Misogynistic, arrogant, just terrible over all.
2) She (stupidly) falls in love with him despite knowing how awful he is.
3) No one says “aboot” and even if he does, it is not a cute accent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4) I cannot stress how much of a d*ck he actually is. Him having sex with a girl w/ small boobs instead of big ones is not a moment of growth.

I’m done. This is the second hockey romance to go to the trash for me. As a Canadian (who fully admits to belonging to the stereotype of liking hockey) I am disappointed.


Well that’s it for me! This round had both its highs and lows. I don’t think I have a true favourite from this round, maybe Moonlight over Manhattan and Dating You/Hating You even if they didn’t get the full five stars! My next round of romances will hopefully bring me a true 5-star read!

Let me know what you think! Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? As always, I’m open to all your recommendations!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Untamed Shore | Review // In which I read my first thriller and realize I might be more blood thirsty than I initially thought…

Greetings readers!

Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Instagram knows how much I adore Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work. I discovered her a few years ago when The Beautiful Ones came out in 2017 and since then I have gobbled up her novels. And we all know how much I LOVE Gods of Jade and Shadow so obviously all her works are on my TBR from now one!

Her latest release, Untamed Shore is a crime thriller and—

—-Rendz you barely read thriller and you’ve a record 0 crime books

Um, excuse me. This is Silvia Moreno-Garcia we are talking about. If it’s got her name on it, I read it. Plus I always like guessing at mysteries!

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Untamed Shore
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Feb 11, 2020
Publisher: Agora Books
Goodreads

Renowned author Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s first thriller, UNTAMED SHORE, is a coming-of-age story set in Mexico which quickly turns dark when a young woman meets three enigmatic tourists.

Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to watch, under the harsh sun. She’s bored. Terribly bored. Yet her head is filled with dreams of Hollywood films, of romance, of a future beyond the drab town where her only option is to marry and have children.

Three wealthy American tourists arrive for the summer, and Viridiana is magnetized. She immediately becomes entwined in the glamorous foreigners’ lives. They offer excitement, and perhaps an escape from the promise of a humdrum future.

When one of them dies, Viridiana lies to protect her friends. Soon enough, someone’s asking questions, and Viridiana has some of her own about the identity of her new acquaintances. Sharks may be dangerous, but there are worse predators nearby, ready to devour a naïve young woman who is quickly being tangled in a web of deceit.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of the most exciting voices in fiction, and with her first crime novel, UNTAMED SHORE, she crafts a blazing novel of suspense with an eerie seaside setting and a literary edge that proves her a master of the genre.


The Likes

SMG has a way of just totally sucking you into a book. I’ve never set foot in 1970s Baja California and yet I felt like I was intimately involved with the town of Desengaño. The words wrap around you until you feel like you’re standing on the beach and looking at the display of shark corpses. You feel it, you smell it, you can hear every sound. And, yeah, you’ve never even been in a setting like that before, but the writing makes it a whole experience for you anyways.

The writing is gorgeous and stellar, but I’ll be honest, what got me reeled in were the characters!

Viridiana, my girl. She was un-apologetically herself all the time. (Although she has her moments of self-doubt, but don’t we all) She was walking paradox. Practical, straightforward and yet dreamy. She fully understood her confinement in her small town, and the limits placed on her because of her gender, religion and economic status, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming. From imagining herself as a movie star, albeit a hopelessly romantic one. She had a love for languages which hello, hi, same. I really enjoyed reading about her journey and the shit she put herself through and had to get out of. I loved that she was not perfectly capable and when she messes up she has to get her hands dirty to fix it up. And let me tell you she messes up. A lot. But she wants what we all want, a life worth having lived. Where she can reach for the stars like anyone else. And she lies, cheats and maybe does more to get that.

The Americans….HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. The mother fucking Americans. (I am talking specifically about the book’s Americans, not you my dear American readers). Viridiana gets caught up in their web and it takes a lot of work to get out of it. If I’m being honest Gregory was a little beeyatch and Daisy was The Bitch of the Group, so I really hated them, but was also fascinated by them. Viridiana and I were both really in the same boat here, except I was better at calling their bullshit.

The twistiness!!!! You know at one point I thought I had it in the bag. Like I knew exactly what was gonna happen and then I got slapped and realized I needed to humble myself. Suffice to say, the twists were really good. There was a lot of suspense to be had and the book keeps you on the edge of your seat constantly. It’s that kind of tense reading where you’re yelling at the characters to do one thing and they do the opposite which only makes you more stressed but also more intrigued! There were a lot less sharks than I initially anticipated (but they are mentioned a lot), but the Americans and ~others~ do have a certain vicious sharkness to them. I’ll be honest though the beginning sets up a lot of groundwork so it takes a bit to get to that first moment of shit-hitting-the-fan. But it sure does and my girl gets her hands dirty!!

Now, it turns out that I am willing to go way farther than Viridiana is to get out of a mess and she goes pretty far. I had to take a minute to question my moral values and reflect on my blood thirst. Viridiana had the decency to feel some remorse where as I was like yasssssssss I like this blood we are spilling and lies we are telling. So yeah. 🙂 I mean we both had self-preservation in mind, she’s just a little more of a thinker whereas I was like, let’s just take them all down!

The Questionable

Why couldn’t this book get the full five stars from me? I guess it’s because it ended almost too smoothly. Here I am complaining that it was a good ending. I’m a terrible reader, I know! But I guess I was hoping for that last minute WTF moment that I thought would come with thrillers, but no it was pretty chill. It was a good ending, satisfying too, but perhaps I was hoping for one more twist.


Overall, I really enjoyed this! It is definitely a thrilling ride and you will love the havoc these tourists wreak on this small town that, let’s face it, loves the drama just like us readers!

Rating: 4.25 / 5 Stars

Recommend: You know the answer is yes!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this or are thinking about picking it up? Are you a thriller fan? What are some of your favourites?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Holiday/January Wrap-Up & February TBR

Greetings readers!

If I am being totally honest, 2020 has been pretty shitty to the world so far for many reasons. I am surely not the only one who has seen the tidal wave of memes surfacing on the internet and giving us all a good ~nervous~ laugh (despite the very real tragedy that has occurred in the first month of the new decade). I didn’t want to get dark in my very first wrap-up of the year, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

My own personal tragedies pale in comparison—and yes I’m talking about uni. I really thought I would get a bit of a breather before I was bombarded with work, but alas, things never go the way I want them too. So while I didn’t get to everything I wanted in January, it was a still a pretty great month!

I’ll be honest, again, though. The blog has been struggling. Posting is low, views are low, likes are low and I guess I am low too. Time management has not been great so far, but there is only room for improvement so we shall try again in February!

Enough with the “Life is rough” stuff, let’s dig into the books!

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

In the last two weeks of December:

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender (My Full Review)
My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren (3.75/5)
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins (My Full Review)
Faker by Sara Smith (2/5)
Klaus, Issue 1 by Morrison Grant (4/5)

January:

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren (4/5)
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (My Full Review)
Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey (3/5)
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (2/5)
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow (My Full Review)
Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan (4/5)
Diamond City by Francesca Flores (RTC)
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (4/5)
Whispers of Shadow and Flame by L. Penelope (4/5)

Holy crap. I didn’t actually think I read this many books. OK WOW. I’m feeling better about myself!


The Haul

No bought books!

Giveaway!
Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Library Haul!
A LOT! Where do you think I’m getting all these romance reads from!

Penguin Random House Canada
Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time by Liz Kessler
Gold Rush Girl by AVI

Netgalley
The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Other Going-Ons

My Holidays were Fabulous

ugly christmas sweater GIF
via giphy.com

I love the Christmas season and I am so glad I had such an amazing time this year. I ate a ton of food and I don’t regret any of it! I spent a lot of time with my family which is always nice even though they are a chaotic bunch! I hope you all had an amazing holiday season too!

I’m Still on this Romance Binge

If you follow me on Goodreads, I’m sure you have seen the numerous updates about my Romance Reading Adventures! I still don’t know why I am so into this genre as of late, but I’m not complaining. I haven’t had the most successful time finding books that I just adored, but a lot of the ones I have read so far left some really good impressions.

Romance Reading Round Up | Part 1 // Who is this new Rendz?

Romance Reading Round Up

The NEW Lunar Chronicles Covers!

I have been loving these new reveals that Fierce Reads has been blessing us with. The covers are colourful, with the titular character featured on top and the ship featured on the opening page. I wrote a whole blog post about my thoughts, so you can check them out here. Suffice to say that I really do like the new look!

I Caved and Watched The Witcher

The Witcher GIF by NETFLIX
via giphy.com

I initially was going to avoid it because I saw a comment comparing how Geralt looks to Rowan Whitehorn and I was about ready to throw up then and there. But I decided to give the show a try anyways, I mean it is my brand of show. I still have one episode left to watch, but I can safely say I really enjoyed the show! I love the characters and yes the Toss a Coin to Your Witcher has been stuck in my head many a times.


Posts of the Month

From 2019 to 2020!| My best books, my goal achievements, what I am looking forward to!

From 2019 to 2020!

Cover Revamps! The NEW Lunar Chronicles paperbacks | I have thoughts so let’s discuss

Cover Revamps! The NEW Lunar Chronicles paperbacks

Author Guest Post // Thank you, Elizabeth Acevedo by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

AUTHOR GUEST POST (1)


TBR

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Farjando-Anstine
The Bromance Book Club by Lysaa Kay Adams
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso
Rogue Princess by B.R. Meyers
All the Stars and Teeth by Adaltn Grace

And any other ebooks or audiobooks I borrow from the library this month. I’m very excited about all my reads, some I have been anticipating for quite a while, so I hope I enjoy the XD!


Let me know what you think! How was your January? What books did you read? What February books do you have lined up this month?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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