Tune & Title Tuesdays | A minor throwback…to the 1920s!!!

Greetings readers!

I don’t know what possessed me to listen to this song again, but here I am. I think I went down a YouTube hole and somehow ended up here…

Tune: Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Rey

I have been listening to this on repeat for the past two days which is surprising since I’m not the biggest Lana Del Rey listener and I really only know two of her songs. But way back when I was studying the Great Gatsby for school, we watched the movie and I fell in love with the song. I know its cheesy to say, but I just think its really beautiful!

Title: Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

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So I might be cheating a little here because well the book is set in the 1920s and the song is from the Great Gatsby soundtrack which has its obvious links…BUT the story is about three (glorious) ships getting together! They’re all pretty young and beautiful and one day they won’t be so I hope they keep on loving. XD Yes, that’s the best connection I could come up with…


Let me know what you think! Do you like this song? What song would you choose to go with it? Have you read this book? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Books I Need to Reread in the Near Future | Pt.2 // Dreaming that I had the time to do this

Greetings readers!

I did a post like this two years ago and I can tell you that I got to about 3 on my list, one of them I actually reread more than twice. (Yeah, it was the Penderwicks…did I mention I’m rereading those right now?)

Anyways, I’ve been staring at my shelves and have been getting the urge to reread a new set of books. Books that I haven’t touched in ages! Some series I never even finished and I’ve been wanting to dive into the back list books that I remember very little about!

So without further ado!

The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

The Inheritance Trilogy (Inheritance, #1-3.5)
via Goodreads

I read the first two books but never got around to reading the last one! I feel like I’ll have such a better appreciation for these books now that I’m older. 15 year old me just didn’t get it XD But she did now that future-Rendz would adore divine intervention books and lo and behold this series is exactly that!

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Beautiful Ones
via Goodreads

For proclaiming it as one of my favourite books, it is a shame that I haven’t read it more than once. I mean, it is still gonna be my favourite. I’ve gone back many times to read my favourite parts, but not the entire whole. And I just want to relive all the wonderful drama and love again!

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
via Goodreads

Again, for proclaiming it as one of my top series, I’ve only ever read it once! And again, I’m sure my opinions haven’t changed because I related so hard to these characters and world! I have to prepare myself for a lot of emotional trauma again because I still get all worked up when I think about some things! Plus Marie just came out with a new book set in the same world and from what I’ve heard, I’m gonna relate majorly with the MC of that series too!

Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)
via Goodreads

There’s a new book coming, set in the same world so this is really more tied to that than anything! But again, I think I’d have a better appreciation for these books now than I did when I read them the first time. I remember liking them but stopping myself from fully immersing myself in them because I mourned a character death from book one to the end. I literally never got over it. I’m still not over it. Funny enough, I own the first book but not the second or third, so I’m debating whether to buy the sequels or not…

Dust Lands Trilogy by Moira Young

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via Goodreads

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, these books bitch-slapped me. They were that good. I mean a little odd in terms of structure so that is something you have to get used to, but the story! THE STORY! THE ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still lose it today when I think about it. And I know its been a while so I’m probably forgetting some things so diving back into this series will probably sweep me off my feet again and I cannot wait to get my shit together so I can do it!


Ah man….I really just want to drop everything that I am doing right now and just read these books again. alas, I cannot and have to head back to my cave of studying. We might be social distancing, but my university is still rolling online so I have to wait!

Let me know what you think! What backlist books are on your To-Be-REread? Have you read any of these books? How many times a year do you reread?

Happy REreading!

~ Rendz

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Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit | Mini Review // Grab your magnifying glass!

Greetings readers!

It’s been a while since I reviewed a Middle Grade novel for you all! It is high time that I do, so here I am today bringing you the content you deserve!

Now let me take a moment to drool over this cover. I just love it. Everything about it. From the muted colours of the comic panel in the back to the vibrant and chic illustration of Goldie smack dab in the middle! Just look at her pose, you can definitely tell she is on the move!

Many thanks to HBG Canada for providing me with an ARC!

Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit by Lilliam Rivera

Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit

Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pub Date: March 17th, 2020
Goodreads

Move over, Nancy Drew–there’s a new sleuth in town! Inspired by the beloved comic series, Goldie Vance is ready to sleuth her way through never-before-seen mysteries in this original middle-grade series by Lilliam Rivera!

Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives and works at the Crossed Palms Resort Hotel in Florida with a whole slew of characters: her dad, Art, the manager of the joint; Cheryl Lebeaux, the concierge and Goldie’s best friend; and Walter Tooey, the hired hotel detective. Her mom, Sylvia, works nearby at the Mermaid Club.

While life at the Crossed Palms is always busy, the resort is currently overrun with Hollywood-types filming the hottest new creature feature, and tensions are at an all-time high. Even Goldie’s mom is in on the movie act, doing what she does best: playing a mermaid. Just when Goldie thinks the movie biz couldn’t get any more exciting, a diamond-encrusted swimming cap goes missing, and all fingers point to Goldie’s mom as the culprit. Can Goldie uncover the true thief before it’s too late?

Hope Larson and Brittney William’s critically acclaimed Goldie Vance comic series explores never-before-seen mysteries in this thrilling, original middle-grade debut by Lilliam Rivera. Features a full-color comic chapter that’s essential to unraveling the mystery.


The Likes

I really enjoyed these cheeky and quirky middle grade mystery story! There is already a Goldie Vance comic series out there and this an original novel by Rivera based on the existing characters. I had quite a fun time with it, thankfully! The characters were quite humorous and I loved the Hollywood adventures in this small town! I believe this takes place in the 70s/80s so reading about how movies sets used to be was pretty interesting! Goldie was quite the personality! She had a way of smooth talking herself out of trouble that was a lot of fun to read about! Her relationship with her mentor Walt was golden *pun not-intended…but maybe intended* because she was so much more confident and colourful than his wary tense self, but he is a real MVP too!

The mystery itself was pretty fun! I mean, I guessed it a mile away but its a middle grade novel so I am not going to complain here. I will say that I didn’t see absolutely everything coming, so this still should appeal to many kinds of readers, perhaps those who like soft mysteries the most!

The Questionable

My biggest issue was that Goldie was 16 but she read like a 12/13 year old. It was just not the best. Like I understand this is a book for kids and having them read a language that they will relate to is important, but it felt jarring to know that she was 16 and not acting like a teenager. I’m not saying at 16 I was any more mature or put together than Goldie, it would be hypocritical of me to say that, but I think this book would have worked a lot better if Goldie was 13. It’s a good age, she could of still had a job, not as a valet obviously and her crush on Diane would have still been explored (I actually would have liked to see more of the crush adventure too, but I think there is more to come in another book…don’t quote me on it though). It’s just that her as a 16 year old didn’t work for me.
I don’t know how else to say it 😦


Overall, it was a fun book! I didn’t find anything incredibly amazing about it, but I did have a good laugh and enjoy myself for the most part! I think that this is perfect for kids who want to dive into a funny and quirky story about a girl solving mysteries and taking down adults who are super blah!

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars 

Recommend: Yes!

Let me know what you think! Do you like your mysteries super complicated or more light? Did you read the original Goldie Vance comics? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesdays | Week 3 y’all this is going strong!!! (But I’m runnin’ out of songs!!!)

Greetings readers!

As you might have read in the title I struggled this week to come up with a tune I wanted to share with you all. If I’m being honest, I’m still listening to Bad Bunny’s album, but A) I wrote about that last week and B) I’m listening to the more umm smexy songs so I don’t of books to go with those…

ANYWAY. I thought I’d show a different side of me today. We are taking a 180° flip on my musical tastes. Today we are getting a little more classical. Now not that classical because I still like some pump to my tunes, but I won’t lie there are some old classical jams out there. Anyways without further ado:

Tune: Audiomachine – Remember not to Forget

I really like groups like Audiomachine that make epic instrumental music that you would hear in like a movie! (Two Steps from Hell is also a really amazing group!) Everything they put out is incredible. One song might be big and banging, while another could be soft and lulling and I love them both! Listening to it makes me feel like I am in a movie myself!

Title: The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

KOB

Of course I chose the book that follows the amazing Nannerl Mozart! Musical genius and creator of fantastical worlds! Lu’s latest book has taken my whole world by storm this past month! I loved everything about it and keep mentioning it every chance I get! The song, besides the title which is so complementary to the theme of the book, is quite beautiful and ethereal like the overall ambience of the book itself!


Let me know what you think! Do you listen to instrumentals? Have a favourite band? What kind of music would you want in the movie about your life?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Prediction Book Tag | I am quite the prophetess

Greetings readers!

It has been forever since I’ve done a tag so today I decided to do just that! Bring back some fun to the blog!

I won’t lie. I’ve had one or two prophetic dreams before. Just sayin’. So maybe this wonderful tag, created by the wonderful Book Princess Reviews, will really work out in my favour!

RULES

.x. pingback to the creator of the tag, @bookprincessreviews .x.
.x. tag the person who tagged you .x.
.x. find an answer to match each prompt .x.
.x. have fun! .x.

All of these prompts are your predictions for your…

Next Read

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club, #2)
via Goodreads

My library hold just got in and I cannot wait to dive into Mack’s story. He was my favourite from book one so getting to read about my son will be amazing!

Next 5 Star Read

Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena!

I might not read this for a while so it might not be the exact next, but I loved Tanaz’s contemporary book The Beauty of the Moment so I am super excited and have lots of high hopes for her fantasy debut!

Hunted by the Sky (Hunted by the Sky, #1)
via Goodreads

Next 1 Star Read

This is a tough one because I don’t usually rate books one star! But if I have to confess what book I’m wary about reading it would be : Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered, #2)
via Goodreads

It’s not that I think it will be trash, but book one got 3 stars and I’m not totally in love with the characters in this one. Plus it is a second chance romance and hhhhmmmrrrpppphhh those haven’t worked out for me in the past.

Next Love Interest (or Character that Seems Really Cool to You)

You Had Me at Hola
via Goodreads

Stealing Mandy’s answer and noting down Ashton Suárez from You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria. We must stan our telenovela hunks.

Next Book You’ll Be Buying

MEXICAN GOTHIC BY SILVIA MORENO GARCIA!!

Mexican Gothic
via Goodreads

I’ve saved my Christmas gift card for this purchase, I’m just waiting for the price to dip a little bit so I can go easy on the rest of my wallet!

Next Book That Will Leave You with a Book Hangover (and Desperately Wanting a Reread or Next in Series)

Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

roa

If this book is anything like its predecessor, Empire of Sand, I will be wanting to reread both instantly after I turn the last page! I actually do feel like rereading EoS right now even though RoA is a companion novel! I am just so excited to jump back into this world!

Tagging: Anyone for who wants to try it out!


Let me know what you think! Are you any good at predicting your next reads? Have you ever felt a certain way about a book before you even started reading it? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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February Wrap-Up & March TBR | One month of bliss followed by one of…a lot less bliss.

Greetings readers!

I would just like to point out that everyone is out there living their best lives reading the new SJM book and here I am, not reading it, AND LIVING MY ABSOLUTE BEST LIFE.

Thank you more entertaining my one moment of pettiness. I just really needed to let that loose. Phew. Thanks.

Okay so…February was a MONTH, but also a pretty amazing one for reading if I do say so myself! I had two books enter my all time favourites list this month and that is MIRACULOUS! Truly an iconic month! That one extra day really made a difference.

March on the other hand is going to be HELL ON EARTH! I can feel it in my soul and see it on the calendar full of due dates and exam dates. If you’re into prayer, please pray for me. If you’re into spell casting, cast a spell for me (a good one). If you’re into vibez, please send me all the good vibez!

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What Rendz Read

Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (5/5 Stars) Review
See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson DNF Review
Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (4/5) Review
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (4/5) Review
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso (5/5) Review
Charlie Hernández the Castle of Bones by Ryan Calejo (4/5) Review
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu (5/5) Review
New Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind (3/5) Review

8 books read in February! That is amazing, considering how busy I was before my reading week break! BUT DANG I GOT BOOKS READ.

The Haul

No bought books!

Penguin Teen Canada
Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

Simon & Schuster Canada
Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer de Leon

St. Martin’s Press
Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist by Celia Stahr

She Writes Press
The Way You Burn: A Novel by Christine Meade

frida

Other Going-Ons

THE TWO BOOKS THAT TOTALLY ROCKED MY WORLD

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

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Two titles that are so different, but totally changed my life. I have not felt the ease of giving a perfect five starts in a long time. I’ve had five star reads, but still in the back of my mind were reservations about them. Not these two. These were instant 5 star reads for me. I am so overwhelmed by emotion when I think about them. And when I say they are totally different, they ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

One is an adult high fantasy with lots of murder and backstabbing and general mind-fuckery (excuse my language) and the other is a YA historical fantasy that is an emotional roller coaster that made me sob.

I AM IN LOVE WITH BOTH OF THEM!

 

WE ARE GETTING CLOSER TO THE SHADOW & BONE TV SERIES!

Filming has wrapped and y’all the video they put out. The one with all the cast! The one with my cheeky son, Ben Barnes. I died. I died. I died. BUT I AM LIVING because I cannot wait for more news! Especially since there is a trailer that allegedly exists!

 

LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE EXCITING HAPPENED.

It was just another month for the books. I mean I would talk about stuff that happened in March, but then what would I have to write about next month!

Posts of the Month

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

Romance Reading Round Up

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

A Discussion


TBR

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Audiobook)
Goldie Vance and the Hotel Whodunnit by Lilliam Rivera (ARC)
The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren (ARC)
And then probably a couple of more audiobooks since I will not have much time to sit and read physical books…maybe one more who knows!


We are definitely going to play March by ear. Of course there are some things coming our way LIKE THE RELEASE OF MULAN WHICH I PLAN ON SEEING OPENING NIGHT! Even though I’ll have ten things due the following week hehehehe…

Let me know what you think! How was your February? Did you read anything life changing? Did that extra day help topple the TBR?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesdays | Bad Bunny’s New Album Has BOPS

Greetings readers!

Look at me, actually keeping up with a post I made up! Okay, it’s only the second week, but still I am here for it!

Today we are going to maybe do it a bit different! Bad Bunny dropped a new album recently and well the night it dropped I listened to all of it! It has some major bops and yes they are on repeat so I thought I’d share one or two this week along with some book titles.

The album’s title YHLQMDLG (Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana) translates to “I do what I want” and well have I read some books that speak to that!

Tune: P FKN R – Bad Bunny ft. Arcangel, Kendo Kaponi

 

Look I am not from PR (Puerto Rico), but the song is a bop. Total bop, and I feel like lots of people from the PR will be blasting this (with good reason!).

Title: Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

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This book is set in Puerto Rico and follows a murder mystery featuring a mythical monster! This book had a lot of PR pride! From the Cuco tale of terror, to the reggaeton references to the everyday life style and struggles! I really enjoyed the book and am very much looking forward to the sequel coming later this year!


Let me know what you think! Does your nation/country/city/place you live have a song? And I’m not talking about national anthems!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Bookish Feels | Books That Make Me Laugh // I really LOL’d

Greetings readers!

I feel a lot of things when I read. But making me laugh? That is not something that happens easily when I read. There is the occasional snort, and like heavy breathing, but an actual chuckle is hard to come by and like a full on belly rumble is even more rare.

Yet, there have been those books that have totally made me reach that point and today is the day we shall discuss them!

The Middle Grade Chuckles

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel

pipi

Look this book is one bucket load of second hand embarrassment and I could help but laugh the whole way through. Pipi goes through many situations and most of them are quite giggle inducing! I had so much fun reading this book. I had to pause many times just to calm down from my laughter!

A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano

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This book is so sweet and sooo funny! Leo gets herself into a lot of trouble as she tries to figure out her family’s best kept magical secrets! The antics are what really makes this book funny! So much mischief and sneekiness that leads to lots of trouble, but always accompanied by a good laugh. The characters are the heart and soul of this book, and laughing with them was one of the greatest joys of the reading experience!

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

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Are we surprised to see that this book made the Sad list, the Nostalgic list and now the Laughing list? No we are not surprised because The Penderwicks are just that amazing! So yes, I do cry a lot when I read these books but I also laugh me head off when I read them. These sisters get into such crazy situations that are ridiculous, but cute and hilarious! This series is a big part of my life because it can make me feel so many things and the fact that it makes me laugh is extra special!


Young Adult Giggles

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

sesl

Ugh the wit! The wit! So excellent! I cannot tell you how much I loved this book, you can read my review if you want that! I had such an amazing time reading this book. These characters had all the banter and snark that made this such an addicting and chuckle inducing read!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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It’s because of Thorne. God, I love my book husband but he is a fool and I love him for it! Seriously the things he says are…some of them just do not contribute anything to conversation at all, but he always makes me laugh. I mean the other characters, *cough* Cinder *cough* have great snark too that adds to the hilarity so that must not be overlooked!


Adult Romance Rumbles

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

Gosh, I loved these two and the antics they get into on their double dates! They were not total polar opposites, but their differing personalities complimented each other wonderfully to make this a fun-loving adventure! Really, all of the CLo books I’ve read have made me chortle, but this one was extra special!

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)

OH WOW! I loved this book and what I loved even more is that since it was my first time reading an adult contemporary romance it made me laugh which helped my awkwardness. Stella and Michael were wonderful characters and the silliness that they go through is delightful! It’s a heartfelt kind of funny that pulls on the heartstrings in the best way possible! Also Quan. A big reason why I laughed. Also, I love him.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1)

Delightful. Delightful. Delightful. Reading about dudes reading romance novels as a romance rookie myself was one of the funniest things I’ve ever done! But its not just the dude characters that were fun, the ladies added to laughs to! There was so much fun to be had. Yes, there was drama. Yes, there was angst. But the whole time I was reading I was giggling like a fool and living my best life!


Let me know what you think! What books made you laugh? Do you ever laugh out loud or is more just a chucle? What funny books would you recommend?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesdays | A new and *hopefully* ongoing blog feature!

Greetings readers!

As part of my new year goals, I wanted to come up with a post that I could feature on this blog weekly and after months of thinking and thinking…I came up with nothing.

Then I had some very amusing talks with my sisters and Kez gave me some wonderful ideas…that I adapted into:

TUNE TUESDAYS

Every Tuesday, share a song that you’re currently listening to and a book that you think goes really well with it! It can be a profound connection or a simple one, so long as you give us all the best music and book recs!

Be sure to leave a YouTube link to the song for curious listeners!

I’m pretty sure something like this exists out there, so I am not going to claim this to be an original idea. If you guys wish to participate with me, I would love you to tag me anyways, especially if you use my graphic 😉

Tune: Medusa — Jhay Cortez, Anuel AA, J. Balvin

Look this song is….maybe not the most sentimental and profound song out there, but it has a beat and I like to rock out to it. The lyrics when you translate them are something else, y’all. You name it: drugs, money, killing, sex, it’s all in there.

What book could I possible associate with this tune?

Title: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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Here me out, this book is about Mexican vampires and narcos and yes, it does have drugs, money, killing and sex. But I chose this book because the beat and the first lyric “No hay excusa” (There is no excuse) match the cutthroat atmosphere of the book. The vampire life is tough and one of the main characters, Atl does what she has to do to survive. The song might be a little more macho-oriented, so it would be a good song for the bad buys I think, especially Nick!


Let me know what you think! Have you listened to this song? Have you read this book? What song would you associate with bloody vampire books?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Kingdom of Back | Review // In which I cry my heart out and try to make sense of my love for this book

Greetings readers!

Pinterest is a lot of fun and looking up mood boards by your favourite authors and seeing what kind of stories they have lined up in their WIPs is always fun! Well, Marie Lu has lots of interesting boards including one that was entitles The Kingdom of Back. I remember going through it and quickly falling in love with the whimsical pictures she had saved.

The moment I heard the announcement for this book, I was so ready to drop all my dollars to have it in hand.

THE MOMENT PENGUIN TEEN CANADA GOT IN ARCS, I WAS SO HAPPY TO FIND OUT I GOT ONE FOR MYSELF!

Then I read it. Loved it. SOBBED. And here I am trying to write an elegant and coherent review about how much I adored this. I cannot say if my attempt will be successful, but here we go.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

The Kingdom of Back
via Goodreads

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: Putnam
Goodreads

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes a historical YA fantasy about a musical prodigy and the dangerous lengths she’ll go to make history remember her—perfect for fans of Susanna Clarke and The Hazel Wood.

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.


*Thank you Penguin Teen CA for the ARC*

The LOVES

I didn’t know what to expect, if I am being honest. This was historical fantasy, something I have never read from by Lu, but my oh my did she deliver with this book. I was touched body and soul by this story.

These characters were phenomenal. I’ll be honest (again), I had no idea that Mozart had a sister who was also a musical genius, but if book-Nannerl was anything like historical-Nannerl I would have loved to meet her. Nannerl was a wonderfully crafted character in every way possible. She had a passionate spirit and a wicked imagination that kept her company during her most lonely times. She had a fierce love for her family, especially her brother and she had ambition even when she was told to hold it in. But she was not all heart of gold and devotion, she was petty and jealous and resentful of the conventions that held her back. And I loved her for it. I would find it highly unrealistic if she didn’t feel any of those emotions when she never got any credit or was given less than she deserved. But God I loved her. I loved that she was so real and raw.

Woferl…who I called Will Ferrel for like half of the book. He was such a sweet heart. And wow a genius! And his devotion to Nannerl, I am sobbing!!! He was just a kid for most of the book, but he makes mistakes too and I couldn’t help but feel mad at him and bad for him!

The dad. God I hated him. Nannerl is a better person than I am, trust me.

Hyacinth. Well, if a cute magical boy showed up out of the blue and took me to an imaginary world…I would not have acted much different! He was quite something!

The music. Let me tell you, I know nothing about music and composition and I know nothing about Mozart really. But I did not for one second feel lost in this story when Lu explored the musical adventure of these siblings. The descriptions of music were lovely and it is constantly interwoven beautifully in the narrative! I mean if you have musical knowledge I’m sure you will find even more nuance then I did, but even if you are a music noob like me, you’ll find something impeccably beautiful about its role in the book.

This atmosphere was just ethereal. The real-world itself was pretty enchanting. We get to follow the siblings as they tour Europe and play for different aristocrats. Lu crafted three stupendous settings for readers. There was the warm–sometimes harsh–home of the music room of the family home, the glamorous life of the courts the children got peaks of on their tours and then there was the Kingdom of Back! I loved how Lu transported us to the imaginary world, with subtle changes to the atmosphere as it got more whimsical and magical with each word on the page. The creatures and beings of the kingdom were so rich and mysterious for *reasons* and ugh, I loved everything about it! If I could step into that kingdom, 10/10 I would go!

The FAMILY DYNAMICS. I am sobbing. This family was something else. It was loving at the same time it was suffocating. Nannerl and Woferl’s father had high expectations for his children, he wanted them to achieve everything they could with the talents that they had. And he pushed them hard to get them out there. But he wasn’t always that amazing at being a dad. He actually sucked a lot. You can’t help but be angry every time he praised Woferl and critiqued Nannerl. Her constant desire for his validation and praise—I AM CRYING! All she wanted was to make him proud and be on the receiving end of his unconditional love. AND I AM SOBBING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The things this family goes through honestly pulls so much at the heartstrings you cannot help but sob.

The sibling relationship was my absolute favourite part of this book. I loved that it was a complex dynamic between Nannel and Woferl. There was the unconditional love that just existed between them, then there was the utter devotion to each other and finally the resentment, the jealousy, and the pettiness that exists too! Trust me, I know, I have two older sisters and we all sometimes hate each other as much as we love each other!

I am not one to say that this is historically accurate because I just don’t know, but Lu does hit Nannerl’s historic troubles on the nose. She is a girl of the late eighteenth century who has an amazing talent, but knows she will never amount to much because she is a girl. And I felt rage. A lot of rage. Rage at the unfairness that was and is our world. That her greatest wish to be remembered didn’t exactly come true. She is always in the shadow of her brother as much as she tries to fight it. AND I CRIED. I CRIED. I CRIED. I CRIED AT THE UNFAIRNESS OF IT ALL. Then the Author’s note and acknowledgements did me in because they spit out so much truth and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I sobbed!

The ending. I–I was—Marie Lu did that with her words. And I fucking sobbed. I’m writing this now and choking up a little because she did that. And *that* is probably one of my favourite kinds of way to end a book because it is a full circle. None of what I just wrote makes any sense because I am being super vague. Just know that it is amazing and pulls hard at the heartstrings!

There is not one thing I have to critique about it. Marie Lu completely knocked it out of the park. This is a fabulous and incredible love letter to a lost but never forgotten musical genius. I already want to reread it!


Overall, This book is amazing. The story enchants you from page one and you cannot help but love following these two siblings as they grow up and are thrust into the lime light and create their own magic with music. It is a compelling read and makes an honest and heartfelt statement about the historical limitations put on people like Nannerl who didn’t get to have their glory and names woven directly into the fabric of our cultural history. It’s a story about family and forgiveness and self-love. It’s an emotional roller coaster with a sweet yet longing ending.

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: YES. YES. YES.

Let me know what you think! Are you looking forward to reading this? What is your favourite Marie Lu book? Have you ever cried to books?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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