Lifel1k3 | Review

Greetings readers!

When friends recommend you books, and they persist and persist and persist that you read them, you are going to end up reading them. Such was this situation here. My friend Rezanne @TheWickedReader hounded me from the moment she finished reading this book that I also had to read it. That it was so incredibly amazing and that she needed to talk about it with someone.

So naturally, I read it.

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Lifel1k3 (Lifelike, #1)

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: May 29th, 2018
Price: $24.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781524713928

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


*I was provided a free copy by Penguin Teen Canada! Thank you so much to the publisher!*

This was quite something. I didn’t know exactly what to expect. And what I did get? Well it was quite QUITE something!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Eve: I really liked her quite a lot. She had this admirable spunk to her from being raised in such a perilous place. And yet she has this compassionate side that I loved to see come out of her. Her life is turned upside down and inside out from very early on in the book and she has to deal with a lot of revelations that she is not prepared for, not to mention running for her life! Now, I would like to say she has tremendous growth in this novel….and while she does go through some “growth”, tremendous might not be the best word to describe it…or maybe it is. But it was quite, quite the revelation.

Ezekiel: Okay, I never felt strongly for him as a character, but he did make a decent love interest. I liked him well enough, his history and his motives for sticking around Eve were interesting. I was going to use the word “sweet” but there is some twistiness in his backstory that makes me a hesitant to say sweet. He was a good character, but I think he lacked that sense of intrigue. So what if he was gorgeous, that’s one plus, but his personality could have used a little boost. Just saying.

NOW ONTO THE BEST CHARACTERS IN THE BOOK

Lemon: ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND TOTALLY FABULOUS!!! She would totally love that I just said that, but it is so so so true! I loved every second she was on the page. She was funny. She was snarky. She was mischievous. DARING. ADORABLE. NOBLE. UTTERLY IRRESISTIBLE. She made every boring second in the book worth it. She brought life to the book and I could not get enough of her. Forget about the actual MCs, this girl was it for me.

AND YET THERE WAS ONE MORE WHO HELD MY HEART.

Cricket: He may be little, but he had the biggest heart. I ADORED HIM. IF ONLY HE HAD GOTTEN EVEN MORE PAGE TIME. HE WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUNNY. His programmed comebacks and just overall personality was the best in the book! He’s not even human. He’s a tiny robot who stole my heart from the first moment he appeared on the page.

He and Lemon made this book for me!

The World:

It was quite interesting. It kind of reminded me of a Mad Max situation…only a little less dessert and more like a giant junk yard. The names of the places were really cool and the map at the beginning really helped me keep track of the characters. Even the people themselves fit so well into the world. Scavengers and gangs and giant companies who made it too dangerous to roam around that brought all the thrill. I’d never survive.

LIFEL1K3 by @misterkristoff  Hello, hi. I finished this book the other day and the ending had me numb for about a day.  I was literally the white guy blinking meme for 24 hrs.  So that's nice.  @thebookcovergirls tagged me to do the #last5reads tag! My last five reads were all quite something!  Lifel1k3  Save the Date  Bring Me Their Hearts  Clara Voyant  When Life Gives You Demons  Those are my last five reads, what are yours?  #lifel1k3 #jaykristoff #scifi #yabooks #youngadultbooks #bookstagram #reader #books #fantasy

The Repercussions of Playing God:

A lot of the novel deals with the dangers when humans decide to make their own creations that are superior yet enslaved to mankind. The problem with thinking that humans can control beings that are conditioned to be humans and yet are not “human”. It brings up the question of what makes someone human? What makes them worthy to survive? What makes them lesser than humans? It is such a twisted concept and the way that Kristoff approaches it makes the question even harder to answer. You know what the humans did was wrong, but are you really gonna side with the crazy robots???

The Ending:

Did not see that coming. I saw quite a few of the twists coming but this was one that I didn’t really think would happen. It was wild and I really am looking forward to seeing how the next book even begins!

What I Disliked:

Not Gonna Lie, It had its boring bits:

And that boring bit is really this giant section in the middle. After the high events from the beginning, we set of on a journey and it’s not the most entertaining. It’s a lot of talking and remembering. It’s really slow. There are some moments of action, but just not enough to keep me entertained. I was having trouble paying attention and that is never a good sign! It had it’s share of bloody battle and epicness, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. (I think that says something scary about me XD)

The Info Dump Flashbacks:

I like when the flashbacks come in flashes. And Kristoff started out like that…but then he just gives this whole chapter of flashback that kind of turned me off. While the revelations were juicy, I guessed a couple and it was sort of a turn off for me. Of course the revelations came at the most inopportune time, and caused even more chaos, but I wasn’t a fan of the giant chapter of just backstory.


Overall, I really enjoyed the book. The end is what saved it for me. It brought back the intrigue and the suspense that was missing from the middle of the book. All in all, the book has a great set of side characters that makes up for some of the boring parts, it has its twistiness and will probably make you question your own morals many times! It was quite something, quite something.

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: Yes! I think you should all meet the amazing Cricket and Fabulous Lemon!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you enjoy it? Who was your favourite character? Are you excited for the sequel?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Cheesy Goodness Book Tag

Greetings readers!

I was tagged by my good friend, Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews to do the Cheesy Goodness tag! I feel like it is the perfect time to do it because I feel like I need all the cheese right now. From my books, obviously….I can only handle so much cheese in real life.

If you don’t know Mandy…??? I don’t even know how that is possible because if you know me, you know that I love her and you should definitely take the time to check out her blog!

On to the cheesy goodness!

RULES

  • Tag the original creator: Fire and Rain Books
  • Ping back the person who tagged you (above)
  • Have fun!

1. Cheddar The Classic Cheese: Pick your favorite classic novel

Wow I am struggling on the first question…um

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

It’s hilarious, imaginative, and I love Anne to death!

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2. Swiss The Hole-y Cheese: Pick an emotional rollercoaster

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir.

I am not okay.

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3. Blue Cheese The Controversial Cheese: Name an unpopular opinion

I hate hate hate hate the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Aelin sucks. Rowan grosses me out. Chaol deserves the world. Everybody else is pretty cool.
And yet here I am waiting for the last book, so I know how it ends and I can leave these books far, far behind me.

Tomorrow is the day everyone! I will *hopefully* be meeting @therealsjmaas on her last stop for her ACOWAR tour! 
Am I nervous? Yes. 
Will I make a fool of myself? Probably. 
Will I be happy? Yup! Fangirling about Chaol and Sorscha is one of my joys in life! 
I really hope I get a wrist band tomorrow for the signing! Wish me luck! 
#reader #throneofglass #crownofmidnight #heiroffire #sarajmaas #acotour #bookworm #bookblog #bookaddict #bookstagram #chaolwestfall #fangirl #books

The first two are the only ones I like. The rest can burn in a fire. (But I’d save ToD)

4. Brie The Favorite Cheese: Name an author you always want more of

Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir…..

This is a list.

5. Gouda The Dutch Cheese: A book that makes you want to travel

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Travelling to fictional worlds counts right????

Day 17 of #bookishfools is Fictional World You Want to Live In.  Is a caption necessary?  No. 🦁🦁🦁 #narnia #thechroniclesofnarnia #cslewis #fictionalworlds #childrensclassics #myhomeawayfromhome #youngadultbooks #reader #book📚 #bookworm #bookstagram

6. American The Fake Cheese: Your least favorite book

Queen of Shadows/Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. Nope. Nope. Nope.

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7. Colby Jack The Mixed Cheese: Pick your favorite ship

CRESSWELL. CRESSWELL. CRESSWELL.

8. Mozzarella Cheese The Simple Cheese: An old favorite you’ll never stop loving

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall.

Forever the greatest.

The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall 👭👭 One of my favourite Middle Grade series of all time. It's stars one of the most epic sisterhoods ever, so I'm definitely all over that! These books are so incredibly adorable, funny, and heart breaking! (I literally cried reading each book)  The final book ~ The Penderwicks At Last ~ is coming out this May! (Finally after 3 years of waiting!) I'm so excited, I already have my tissues prepped.  #thependerwicks #jeannebirdsall #mgbooks #favereads #bookstagram #reader #books

9. Pepperjack The Spicy Cheese: A book you can’t judge by the cover

Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins
I don’t really get the cover, but the story is amazing! (I actually really need to continue the series)

Nameless (Nameless, #1)
via Goodreads

10. Muenster Cheese The Monster Cheese: A villain that should never have the chance to eat cheese again

The Commandant. She doesn’t deserve anything. Not my sympathy. Not my cheese. NADA.

Patiently waiting for A Reaper at the Gates coming this summer! 😍  I've been waiting so long to be reunited with Elias, Laia and co. Now that the time is approaching, I have to emotionally prepare for the damage Sabaa will inflict.  I'm soooo ready.  #anemberintheashes #atorchagainstthenight #sabaatahir #ya #yafantasy #youngadultbooks #yabooks #bookstagram #areaperatthegates

I Tag….

Well I’m pretty lazy right now, so I tag you, you and You!

Make sure to link back to the creator (and me if you want) so we can see your post!

Let me know what you think! Do you like cheesy books? Do you have a favourite kind of cheese? What answers to we have in common?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Save the Date | Review

Greetings readers!

I have been bitten by that summer bug. And it infected me with a mood. A contemporary mood. I have like twelve different YA fantasies on my side table that need immediate attention and yet I want the fluff. I need the fluff. The summer sun and all the warm fuzzzy feels.

A couple of weeks ago, a YA contemporary Queen was in town and what better way to start off my contemporary summer mood than with a wedding book! Morgan Matson’s new novel, Save the Date sounded like the perfect way to start my summer and after attending her event, I was so excited to get to it!

Save the Date  by Morgan Matson

Save the Date

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pub Date:  June 5th, 2018
Price: $23.99
ISBN:
 9781481404570

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


Well, well. I had fun. Considering  it was my very first Matson book, I enjoyed it. Not exactly as much as I hoped to enjoy it, but it was a fun book overall.

What I Liked:

The Comic Strip. I thought it was such a cute touch. It really showcased the importance of the strip and it made it more than just a simple motif. Plus it added an extra amount of funny to the book.

I liked Charlie enough. She wasn’t my absolute favourite, but I did connect with her on some level. I totally related to her love of family. Her desire to have those together moments. Those times that are the memory makers. I often find myself searching for those moments with my own family and getting frustrated when we start to bicker or fight. Matson painted a real family. They were never perfect, but they had their moments of bliss and happiness.

Matson also approached the topic of change and how Charlie absolutely dreaded it. Especially as she was trying to figure out what she wanted for her future and how much she would have to let go in order to reach her goals. It was a very touching theme to the novel and I loved reading about Charlie’s journey to embracing change. It was not easy and she was quite stubborn, but I really connected to her struggle.

The book was also very humorous. The synopsis promises crazy and it delivered. Delivered to the point where I found it terribly ridiculous, but frankly I liked it. It was entertaining, the three days that this story spans is  filled with all sorts of trouble. It’s absolute chaos and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Bill. He was cute and charming and I wanted more from him. He did however come off as very flat, I would have liked a little more development in that area.

Those Canadian references! *Patriotic Rendz freaks.*

The ending, although bittersweet was quite heartwarming. I liked it a lot. I thought this was going to be really fluffy until Matson hit us with the hard ball and it hurt!

What I Disliked:

Okay. Here it is. The hard cold truth.

Every character in this Grant family was an asshole.

Especially Danny. JJ not that much. (JJ was actually my favourite of them all)

Their behaviour was disgusting. The way that this family treated outsiders did not sit well with me. My mom would call them “maleducados” i.e. rude. They were rude rude rude. Like, I get that family comes first, but these people were awful. Danny actually disgusted me, I was so unimpressed that Charlie practically worshipped him.

There was another asshole in this book, that I won’t call out for spoilers…but I knew knew knew that he was not worth it.

The fact that I didn’t like this family’s behaviour really spoiled a lot of he book for me. I often found myself rolling my eyes and disagreeing with many of their actions. I literally wanted to smack them all outside the head.

This book was wordy. It was long and it took forever. Plus the font was tiny! Okay maybe that was a little too technical, but in all honesty this book was too too too wordy. Charlie does a lot of thinking, some of it I could have honestly lived without. I got bored sometimes because there would not be a lot of character interaction instead it would just be Charlie in her head thinking thinking thinking.

The friendship theme in this book was very minimal. I was expecting a lot more from that element of conflict. It was set up really well, but there was no thorough execution. It left me disappointed.

The romance wasn’t even enough for me. WHERE WAS MY SUPER DUPER FLUFF??? THE SWOONY MOMENTS. BECAUSE I LITERALLY GOT ZERO. (I’m not counting the first chapter for *reasons*)


Overall, the book was good. It was not perfect and as you could see I had my issues with it. It was funny, ridiculous and despite its length, I think some people will fly through it! Did it fulfill my contemporary mood? For the most part. It did its job, but I am still very much hoping to jump into another fluffier book soon!

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: Yeah, I guess… It was fun,  and a perfect summer read! Just beware of the super obnoxious characters.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you enjoy it? Who was your favourite character? What Morgan Matson book is your favourite?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Bring Me Their Hearts | Review

Greetings readers!

Sometimes you really have to be in the right mood to enjoy a book. I was not when I read this. I was reeling after the glorious end of Reaper and I needed something soft and gentle to pull me through an oncoming slump I felt. But Rendz ignored inner-Rendz and jumped into this fantasy anyways and the results did not end well.

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Bring Me Their Hearts
via Goodreads

Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub Date: June 5, 2018
Price: $24.99
ISBN: 9781640631465

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.


Buy It

Chapters Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository 


*I was provided a digital copy by the publisher via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion in any way!*

I really wanted to like this. I was prepared to pour my whole fangirling mess into it. But no, that didn’t happen. I was just bored all the time. I tried hard to connect with the characters and the world. I tried to feel something for this book, but I got a whole lot of nothing. Sigh sigh sigh.

What I Liked:

I liked the idea of the Heartless and how they were controlled by the witch. That was cool. I wish that we could have spent a little more time with the witches, understanding their past and the magic they have. The few witches that were mentioned were very elusive and only present at the very beginning of the novel.

Malachite. Because he was the best.

The sassy plays. The snarkiness. The wit! I was having a glorious time with the dialogue if anything. The comebacks were coming left, right, front and center. Wolf did an excellent job of bestowing that personality into her characters. Frankly everyone in her world had the wits and the smarts to make a good comeback, I don’t think I would fit in quit well XD

What I Disliked:

I was just not feeling the connections to the characters. I totally felt for Zera and her turmoil about choosing between what was right and what was wrong was very twisted. There was so much she was risking and there were too many things that could go wrong. But did I feel connected to her? No. I liked her sassiness, but sometimes I was just annoyed. Her speech was often repetitive and it was always about falling for princey vs  killing princey. Her actions were predictable and while I never disliked her, I was missing the attraction.

I have no complaints about Malachite. Again, he was the best.

Now Princey. Lucien. I was just not feeling you. I like the broody. I like the dark pasts. I like the rebel-against-the-world attitude. But I did not like him. I just…I don’t know! I just didn’t see it. WHICH IS WEIRD BECAUSE MOODY, BROODY AND SECRET SOFTY ARE BASICALLY ALL THINGS THAT ATTRACT ME TO A CHARACTER! But no. Nothing. I found him irritable, spoiled, annoying and well…too tropey. There was just nothing terribly unique about him.

And the romance….nothing. Like I get why they would be attracted to each other but…nope. Nothing. And trust me there was tension, banter, angst. But I did not feel this ship. Too rushed. Too…forced.

The world was confusing for me. There was a lot of history between different races of creatures that were barely brushed upon. I think I needed a lot more information on how this world functioned. The whole Spring Bride thing didn’t turn out to be that important either. It was just tossed over the shoulder.

And this book could have used a lot more magic, just saying.

The twists. Were there any? There was excitement, yes, but not enough to drop my jaw or make me yell a little. I was never eagerly anticipating the next scene. I was never giddy and to be completely 1000% honest, I skimmed because I got bored. And this book was just not memorable for me. I’m already forgetting so many things.

The end twist. Saw it coming.


Overall, I feel like this book just wasn’t for me, someone who reads fantasy all the time and basically studies the genre. Where I expect rich, complex plots with twists here, there and everywhere, this book was really mellow. It was simple, and while it was entertaining, I’m finding it hard to remember.

Rating: 2.75 / 5 stars. Really close to the 3, but just not enough!

Recommend?: Um maybe? For like beginner fantasy peeps, or peeps who don’t usually draw into this genre?

Let me know what you think! Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Have you ever found yourself in the wrong mood for a book?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Clara Voyant | Review

Greetings readers!

Let me tell you that one of the best features of this book is the title. When I first saw it at the Penguin Teen Canada social event I went to in May, and read the glorious title, I was 100% ready to read it. I am also just a huge fan of the zodiac signs, so I knew that I really wanted to pick up this book. Lucky for me, the lovely people at PenguinTeen CA hooked me up with a copy!

Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney

Publisher: Puffin Canada
Pub Date: May 15th, 2018
Price: $19.99 CAD
ISBN: 9780143198536

A wannabe journalist and reluctant astrologer turns out to be clairvoyant in this charming middle-grade coming-of-age novel; for fans of Rebecca Stead’s novels.

Clara can’t believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally “follow her bliss,” which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes.

Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified — horoscopes and clairvoyance aren’t real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers.


Buy It!

Amazon | Chapters-Indigo | McNally Robinson | Book Depository


*I was provided a copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review!*

This book was absolutely positively adorable and I loved every second of it. It was a fast and funny read, and I found the zodiac element very entertaining. Plus, it is set in Canada, specifically Toronto, so stay tuned for an appearance by Patriotic Rendz later on in this review!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Clara: My fellow Cancerian, she was an absolute rock star and I loved her! Clara at the beginning of the book would probably roll her eyes (just a little) at the fact that I called her a Cancerian and say it’s all woo! But she goes through such growth in this book! She learns that its okay to embrace some of your eccentric abilities and that it’s important to pursue every goal you have with all your heart. Clara was intelligent, caring and quite practical throughout the whole book, until her sense of adventure kicks in and she finds herself doing things she might have never imagined doing before! It was all quite fun and I really enjoyed reading about her!

Clara’s mom, Gabby, was quite–how do I put this–special, she really loved all things supernatural, and while I felt that this sometimes blinded her from seeing Clara’s distress, I think she was fun addition to the story!

Each and every character had this spunk that I just loved to read about!

Zodiac fun!:

Clara writes her own original horoscopes for each sign in this book and the way that Delaney made them play out was fantastic! The way in which her fortunes affected different people in Clara’s life was both hilarious and heart warming. Clara’s journey to managing her clairvoyance was exciting and caused a lot of trouble, but it was all in all a perfect element to keep the plot moving forward!

It was all so Punny!

The puns in this book! Can we start by appreciating the title because I am still not over its genius! Trust me there are a lot more puns in this story to be read and laughed at. As an aspiring journalist, Clara goes out of her way to make catchy headlines and whats catchier than a well put pun? But honestly this book was hilarious. I’m usually just a silent laugher when it comes to reading, but this book actually made me giggle.

*Incoming of a red and white dressed blogger*

The Setting:

Hi everyone, this is your new captain speaking, Patriotic Rendz! And I have dropped by to yell about how perfect the setting was for this book!

Other than taking place in the homeland of Rendz, this book takes place in one of–what I might say– the most funkiest and eccentric places in the city. Kensington Market.

Kensington Market in Toronto is a neighbourhood filled with different stores, restaurants and attractions. And it is home to some…very exciting people. It’s the place where you’ll find lots of interesting stores that sell interesting products, similar to how Clara’s mom sells herbs and natural medicines/elixirs. You can find a psychic on basically every corner and it has its fair share of dark alleys.

It was the perfect setting for this book because it contrasted so well with Clara’s personality. Where she wanted the pristine and beautiful sanctuary of High Park (A beautiful park in the city), she instead got the very rundown and outlandish market. (The market is not all bad, but is definitely not where Clara would choose to live!)

What I Disliked:

Not much really. Could it lag here and there, a little. But it was a really short book and it kept me tuned in for the most part so not much for me to complain about!


Overall, I loved this and clearly Patriotic Rendz has never been more happy about a book set in Canada. It was fun, fast and colourful. There were lots of funny moments and triumphant moments and other moments where I was quite quite taken aback with a wide-eyed expression. All I’ll say is that people really do love their horoscopes!

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

Recommend: Absolutely! So much fun!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Do you follow your horoscope closely? Have you ever found one that is so YOU!?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

A Reaper at the Gates | Review (I tried to make sense, but let’s be honest I’m just rambling at this point!)

Greetings readers!

So it has finally happened. The book most–if not all–of us have been waiting for has finally arrived and been out in the world for a while now. I have actually had possession of the book since a week before the release date because Penguin Teen Canada is literally the best and they hooked your girl up!

That being said, the Reaper has arrived and you guys…after two years you think you’d be ready, right? Wrong, you are not prepared.

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)
via Goodreads

Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: June 12th, 2018
Price: $ 25.95  CAD
ISBN: 0448494507

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.


Buy It!

Chapters Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository


*Once again, Penguin CA sent me a copy out, which in no way affects my opinion, but it does make me love them even more!*

SO I AM GOING TO TRY AND BE COHERENT AND ACTUALLY REVIEW THE BOOK AND NOT JUST YELL ABOUT HOW AMAZING IT IS. HOWEVER, I MAKE NO PROMISES.

trying to calm down season 1 GIF by Gilmore Girls
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I don’t even know where to begin. Two years ago when I read An Ember in the Ashes for the first time, I had my doubts before starting it. I wasn’t sure it was going to be for me. But I bought it, didn’t go to Sabaa’s signing in Toronto (because I was stupid). Then I read it AND WAS COMPLETELY FLOORED. A few months later A Torch Against the Night was released, I bought it on release day and proceeded to gobble it up AND WAS FLOORED ONCE AGAIN.

After waiting ever so patiently for Sabaa to publish this third book, I thought I would be ready for anything she threw at me.

I thought and thought and thought….but I was NOT prepared.

I was not prepared.

joseph sikora no GIF by Power
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What I Liked:

Characters:

Laia: MY QUEEN. MY GLORY. MY EVERYTHING. MY GIRL. MIJA BELLA CHULA LINDA. I LOVE THIS GIRL TOO MUCH FOR WORDS TO DESCRIBE. Laia has been my #1 since book one, she has been everything I have ever looked for in a character. Someone who is afraid, not the greatest physical fighter, or the most cunning but she has heart and she builds courage! AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT HER GROWTH IN THIS BOOK! Laia is not perfect. She is compassionate and determined yes, but she also fears, makes mistakes (a lot of them) and is stubborn. But she fights for what she loves and she will go to any end to make the world better for her people, for the people in general, whomever they may be.

I am literally taken away with her. Thinking about her story and how far she has come from the beginning makes me want to cry. I can’t..man..I just….

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Elias: THE RETURN OF ONE OF MY BOOK HUSBANDS! HOW I MISSED MY BABY SO MUCH. OH ELIAS ELIAS ELIAS. I LOVE THIS MAN TOO MUCH AND I JUST MELT AT THE THOUGHT OF HIM. He is also not perfect and he struggles a lot with his past and his upbringing. In this book he faces a lot of demons and goes through so, so, so much. I won’t spoil it for those who have not yet read Torch, but guys his “new job” turns out to be a lot more costly than I thought!

AND HIS END IN THIS BOOK, I JUST ABOUT DIED. NO, CORRECTION. I DID DIE. I AM TOTALLY DESTROYED.

Elias’ best trait is his willingness to self-sacrifice, but it leads him into so, so much trouble, one of the most prominent things I noticed in this book.

Helene: So I have some conflicting feelings towards Helene. I like her very much and she has some great qualities…I mean her passion and ability to love is astounding. But she is often blinded by the love of her people to see how atrocious she and the Martials have acted towards the rest of the world. (I have hopes that her view of her perfect people will soon change) Despite that…Wow I love Helene, even though Helene isn’t in this book (If you’ve read it, you know what I mean 😉 ) She is head strong, passionate and cunning. I feel like she has quite an impacting POV in this book with reason! I often found myself yelling at her in warning, telling her that she was headed to a trap or telling her that she had to be more open (especially towards Harper *wags eyebrows*)

Do I love her? Yes. Do I fear for her? Yes. ESPECIALLY WITH THAT ENDING OF HERS! OH MY GOD.

Harper: Quick shout out to the one person who kept his cool in literally every situation and is the softest-serious character I know. Avitas Harper. Honey, next time say her name faster!

The World:

We literally go everywhere in this book. The beautiful maps at the front and back of the book are life savers when trying to follow the characters tracks! (Plus they make the end pages all the more beautiful!) But seriously this world is brutal, bloody, magical and all in all terrifying. And Sabaa painted it perfectly. It felt so authentic and painful, but the struggles of the refugees was all too real. Especially as we witness the crisis of today’s refugees, this book is a reminder of the flight people take in hopes of finding a better life and the backlash they receive. It was so heart wrenching and yet it has hope. This world has hope no matter how dark it gets.

The Writing:

I lose myself every time. Sabaa is a master with words. It’s not exactly a flowery prose, but something deeper and more enticing. It literally has claws that take hold and keep your eyes on the page. There was not a thing that felt off or forced about it. It had all the right moods filtered in with the words. Tension. Suspense. Hope. Love. Heartbreak. Pride. Everything and anything it needed to make the moment just right!

AND YOU KNOW HOW I KNOW THAT SABAA IS A MASTER. I FELT FOR THE ANTAGONISTS. I ACTUALLY AND TRULY FELT BAD FOR THE BAD PEOPLE.

W H A T ? ?

Sabaa you’re better than good, you fricking amazing.

The Plot:

Ha! If you think this book is light, I don’t know what kind of book you read because this book is packed. The story is complex because it is in fact multiple stories woven together. Each perspective has their own battles to fight while also tangling with one another. IT HAS A PROPHECY! I love prophecies because I love trying to figure it out and y’all was I wrong!!!!! There are epic battles, moments of happiness (very few though) and scenes where I just wanted to rage and I did. I am telling you that I literally stopped to scream every two pages! Who am I kidding, I BROKE DOWN WHEN I READ WHO THE PERSPECTIVE OF CHAPTER ONE WAS FROM. I RAN AROUND MY HOUSE CRYING LIKE A FOOL. I WAS RAMBLING OFF TO MY SISTERS ABOUT PLOT THEORIES THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND.

In short, I was living my best life.

The Twists:

You are not ready for them.

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The Romance:

I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THIS. I LITERALLY DIE WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT. BECAUSE OMG I AM DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD BUT AAAAALLLLLLLIIIIIIIIVEVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

CAN I JUST SAY GOD BLESS PGS 185 AND 317. THAT IS ALL THANK YOU.

The Final Word:

Yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I Disliked

NOT APPLICABLE. What is a disliked category???????


Overall, I am literally giggling like a fool. I have been ever since I finished that book. I was first left in a state of shock. I just kind of sat in my bed and felt nothing. Then I turned off the lights and everything just came flooding in at once. Every feel. Every realization. Every theory. And the knowledge that the finale is still a long ways off. I will suffer throughout the wait, but the satisfaction I feel from reading this is enough to keep me going for now.

Rating: ALL THE STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recommend?: Wait..wait…there are people out there who haven’t read Ember? What are you doing with you lives??? READ THIS SERIES.

Let me know what you think! What did you think? Was it all you anticipated? Who are you most worried about? What are you feelings? I simply request that we refrain from spoilers in the comments for now! Feel free to DM on Twitter (@RwRendz) or Instagram (@readingwithrendz) if you want to chat!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tell Me No Lies | Review

Greetings readers!

What do you do when you find yourself in a book and do not like that character? I had a bad case of this while reading this book. I found a character with an experience almost identical to mine and yet, I thought she handled it way worse than I did. This book started off with a lot of potential for me, but in the end it was one, big nope.

Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin

Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin
via Goodreads

Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pub Date: June 12th, 2018
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 9781616206765

Can the course of friendship or love ever run true when everyone has something to hide?

Lizzy Swift is a senior in high school, emerging from her nerd chrysalis to become a social butterfly. She’s dating Matt Ashley, the boy who’s been out of her reach since freshman year. Her bold, reckless new friend Claire Reynolds introduces her to Center City Philadelphia—clubs, street life, and the eye-opening art scene. And her Ivy League ambitions take a backseat to nights of partying, dancing, and dating.

But almost as quickly, the heady delight of Lizzy’s new life is clouded by doubts and deceptions.  While she has a special connection with Matt, it’s not the perfect romance she dreamed of. Claire carries around a mysterious sadness and talks about a breakup so bad she changed schools—but she won’t tell Lizzy the whole story. Lizzy wants Claire to confide in her, even as she keeps her own embarrassing secrets from her new best friend.

Will the truth come to light before it’s too late for Lizzy, Claire, and Matt to save their love and friendships?


Buy it!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


*I was provided a review copy by the publisher, Thomas Allen & Son, in exchange for an honest review.*

Look, I tried with this book, but if I am completely honest I saw it going downhill from the beginning.

What I Liked:

The main character, Lizzy, was basically me in high school. And I related quite hard. We were both the “nerdy” type, but not the trademark nerd. We had a very small social group and in terms of actually being a social person, we were not. We loved art, but couldn’t fathom pursuing it because our parents drilled it into us that art was a hobby, not a career. We were panning for college/university quite early on. And that’s where are similarities stopped.

Of course, she is an epileptic and I am not. Throughout the novel, she deals with having to hide her disorder because she doesn’t want it to define her or make people treat her differently. I have never read about an epileptic character and it was interesting to see how the author pursued the topic.

The only other character I liked-liked was Theo and he was in it for five seconds.

The ending was also okay. I was glad that the characters stories were fleshed out more and that they got some much needed revenge and that the circle of friends was pulled closer together.

What I Disliked

I understood that this was Lizzy’s journey to self-discovery, but she honestly takes a hard turn left and completely off the path. I did not agree with any of her decisions. (Well most of them.) I would be one to fantasize about a chaste kiss becoming more, but I think it would lose it’s spark four years later.

I thought the whole friendship theme in this book was really ummmm not great. Friends no matter how social or anti-social they may be are supposed to support you and care about you. I get that these teenagers had their secrets and pasts that barred them from opening up. But the way Claire, Gage and Mimi treated Lizzy was really not that great.

Speaking of secrets. I guessed them. I got Matt’s very early on and was just waiting for it to be confirmed. Claire’s was slightly more mysterious, so I stuck around to figure out what it was. Dave, I felt was really just a decorative character, I found no real purpose for him.

This novel deals with some very heavy subjects like rape, assault, homophobia and the stigma around epilepsy. I felt like some were brushed under the carpet. There was passing mention of it, one of the characters gave there perspective on it and that was it.

This was also set in the late 80s. Your girl got none of the music references. Okay maybe some, but most of the pop culture stuff went right over my head. I understand why this time frame was chosen…but to teens these days the 80s are very distant. Personally, I think they would have a hard time attaching themselves to this book.

It was also really boring and repetitive. Like super repetitive. The only reason I finished was to see Claire’s ending.


Overall, I didn’t like this book. I didn’t like the characters, I didn’t get the world. Did it have its sweet and heartfelt moments? Yes, but there were still so many issues I had with this.

Rating: 2 / 5 Stars

Recommend: It’s a no from me, dogs.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What did you think? Would you get the 80s pop culture references? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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