Folsom (End of Men Book 1) by Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster: Book Review

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The nation as we know it is a thing of the past.

With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of twelve men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with strangers leaves Folsom with an emptiness no amount of women, money, or status can fill.

Until Gwen.

Gwen has wanted a child for as long as she can remember, but when she finally gets a chance to have her own, she uncovers a long hidden truth. The injustice she sees moves her to help save the men whom no one else believes need saving.

A forbidden love, grown in a time of despair, ignites a revolution.

Folsom and Gwen, torn between their love for each other and their sense of duty, must make a choice. But some will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Folsom is book one of the End of Men series.

Date of Publication:  May 29, 2018

Date Read: June 2018

No. of Pages: 276 pages

Setting: Post Apocalyptic USA

Genre: Romance, Dystopia

Get Your Copy here: Amazon

 

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Folsom, where do I even start? I am really on the fence with this one. A part of me tried really hard to like it, a part of me finds the whole premise obnoxious but clever at the same time and a part of me just wants it to be over. It was a post-apocalyptic setting where men go extinct, and there are only 12 men left to impregnate as much women as possible to be able to repopulate. I know, me too, I had to process all that and I was more skeptical than hopeful. I was scared how will the authors pull off something like this. But I went ahead and read the book.

And oh my goodness, Felicia.

Let’s just say it isn’t my cup of tea (anymore). I’m not the right audience for this. It is with this sad realization that I don’t find joy in reading too much smut in a book anymore, or maybe it was just this one time, or maybe not. I hope this is just a one-time thing. Don’t get me wrong I love romance books with alpha-male and all that jazz, but this one didn’t do it for me. I was cringing half of the time. Maybe it is the way everything was presented, it was too literal, too right in your face (if that even makes sense), there’s just a little room for imagination, like everything was served in a platter and you’re given no choice but to devour it as is. Oh goodness, I hope I am making some sense here.

The characters, those unbearable, annoying characters. We have Folsom, the most sought after End Man. I was equal parts disgusted of his character and at the same time pity him for the hand he was dealt. Yes he was basically the Society’s highest paid prostitute. And believe me this doesn’t sit well with me. THERE WAS SOMETHING PROBLEMATIC but I shrugged it off and read on. I KNOW, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. Believe me I was so tempted to DNF it, but I had to give it the benefit of the doubt, and so here we are. Then we have this love-sick puppy Gwen. She was too smitten I want to rip her hair off. Her character was this poor attempt to be noble, but failed miserably (at least for me). And can I just say how frustrating the women in here, they were like deprived, crazed sex addicts. And just nope, we don’t need that kind of portrayal. The world has doled out too much of it as is, thank you very much.

The book’s attempt to be unique, was just that, an attempt. It failed to sustain the obnoxious yet clever premise it promised. The delivery wasn’t as solid as I expected it to be. It could have been better, oh boy, it definitely could. I can’t pinpoint exactly what is wrong, and because of this it overshadowed any good aspect of the book, and believe me there were few as well. You just have to see past the cringe-worthy parts and the too smitten characters. In summary, the book was a dystopian, post-apocalyptic, erotica that could have been better if the cards were played right. I was looking for more, something that could redeem itself, a silver-lining perhaps, but found nothing.

And yes, I find it hard to believe it was by Tarryn Fisher – an author I love so much. As per Willow Aster, I can’t say much since I have not read anything by her until Folsom. I felt like Tarryn let me down, it is with a heavy heart to say and accept it. What is happening? This is definitely not the kind of book that made me fall in love with her writing. It was just sad. But what I’ll do is just stick around and wait for that book that will make me say “Oh yes, this is the Tarryn Fisher I loved.”, but until then I am not having any more of this End Men series. Folsom is enough I think.

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“It was the truth! For the truth to make a difference, it needs to be said by one person at a time, until there’s a noise loud enough to make a difference.”
Tarryn Fisher, Folsom

 

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Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman | Book Review

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Andre Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.

Date Published: January 23, 2007

Publisher: Picador

Date Read: March 2017

Genre: Fiction/LGBT

No. of Pages: 248 pages

Setting: Italy

Get your copy here: 

 

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Unapologetically honest, unabashedly deviant.

Call Me By Your Name has been all over social media and Hollywood news for quite some time before I gave in to the hype and read it, add the fact that there no single soul I came across with that hated the book, or the movie for that matter. I willingly took in the plunge and immerse myself in the depths of the novel, and boy I didn’t even want to resurface. I was so engrossed by it, I didn’t want it to end. Elio and Oliver’s story is not quite the conventional one, nor is it something we are accustomed to seeing – but what captivated me more was how the author go about the book – the subtleties and undertones, the silence yet impactful approach really won me over.

Writing style is so beautiful I could marry it

It is undeniable that the writing style will ensnare any reader just by reading the first paragraph. The use of flowery words, may be too much for others but it was just perfect for me, perfectly matches the character of Elio – our narrator. I adored how he describes what he feels in such an elaborate manner that I could very well feel the overwhelming emotion stirring up inside him. It was so lyrical, raw and vivid. I love how each sentence was formulated in such a beautiful way that you wouldn’t miss how much effort the author has put into this masterpiece. Reading this book made other book seem mediocre, I don’t know if it’s just the books I come across with, but every book that I’ve read after Call Me By Your Name seem to fall short. I had to take a break from reading or else nothing can ever comes close to this masterpiece.

Unconventional Story

The story isn’t something we are accustomed to reading, despite the many books on LGBT topic, it still feels that we need more of it. Call Me By Your Name is a beautiful story on the discovery of sexual orientation and sexual preference, the inevitable confusion of the people involved and how were they able to reconcile with themselves. It was relevant and painted in such a beautiful light. You feel with the characters like it is second nature.

Real Characters

This book has characters that are relatable, though at varied extent. Elio for an instance is tinged with immaturity and indecisiveness but you will understand that this is what the story requires, to present the characters in their rawest and truest form just like any people you will ever come across with.

And Oliver, his character has this depth to it that you wouldn’t get at first, but as the story goes on you will know why he had to act at a certain way, always being careful of his words and actions. How he had to suppress what he truly feels – just to conform to what the society dictates, to what he thought was in propriety with the norm. It was sad that they had to hide who they truly are, sad that it still happens and society is not as accepting as we would want to hope it to be.

Elio’s father was my ultimate favorite. Especially that part when he was telling Elio that what he had with Oliver was special, I think that’s the part where I cried the hardest. It was heartbreaking as it was touching.

Unapologetically honest, unabashedly deviant

As I have said, Call Me By Your Name isn’t the typical fiction we come across on a daily basis, it is a rare gem. It is unapologetic in its pursuit to present a story that is honest and raw, unabashedly deviant – holding no reservations whatsoever. The readers are taken into this journey of self-discovery and acceptance, of heartbreak and mending, of missed connections and once and a lifetime chances. There is this beauty in this book that every word would fall short, as no exact definition could give it justice. The ending broke me, my tear ducts worked double and I let it – just so I could wash away that ache taking refuge at my chest. *Insert Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens on loop for all eternity*

 

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In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste.

– Andre Aciman; Call Me By Your Name

 

“In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste.” – Andre Aciman; Call Me By Your Name ••• Just finished reading this book last night and I was reduced into a crying blob of a mess. I knew it was the inevitable end, I’ve been warned, but then it still made me bawl, wow that one hurts me more than I had anticipated! And the writing style is just pure masterpiece, I wish I could write like that! I have found a new favorite author and a new fave book! The hype surrounding the book and the movie is so real, probably one of few real things in this world, haha! I will watch the movie tonight. I partly listened to the audiobook, specially the “peach” part 🍑 *wink* and damn if that isn’t the hottest thing! Gahhh how to move on from this? Halp! Have you read it? What did you think? Full review to come! ••• . . . . . . . . #callmebyyourname #andreaciman #lgbtq #reading #ilovetoread #nerdytalksbookblog #pages #bookworm #bibliophile #booklover #writtenwords #justread #read #ipromotereading #vscocam #vscobooks #goodreads #blogger #bookblogger

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Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan | Book Review

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Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut opens with a murder and shines a spotlight onto life in fictional small-town Japan.

Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister Keiko’s sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago.

But Ren soon finds himself picking up where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a local cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s catatonic wife.

As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa, from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed, trying to piece together what happened the night of her death. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind.

Publisher: Soho Press

Publication Date: March 06, 2018

Setting: Akakawa, Japan

Genre: Mystery, Fiction

Date Read: April 10, 2018

No. of Pages: 323 Pages

Format: Hard Cover

Source: Book of The Month

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It’s the “if you love (insert book here) you will definitely enjoy this” that pushed me into reading this book. A good motivation, really, since I am struggling to finish a book these past few months. And would just look at that gorgeous cover!

The book opened with Keiko Ishida’s murder, our protagonist’s older sister. Now Ren Ishida needs to go to a small town in Japan – Akakawa to learn what happened to his sister that fateful night. A promising premise, if you ask me, but unfortunately the book wasn’t able to sustain the thrill it promised.

Comparison to a Haruki Murakami novel

I was told that if I love Haruki Murakami’s books, then I would definitely enjoy this one. To be compared to a Murakami novel is a big shoes to fill, it sets a high expectation and either it would exceed the expectation or fall behind it. The case here is the latter. While it is true that the book is somehow reminiscent to that of a Murakami novel, there are however striking differences. Both have that subtle, silent, calm quality to it – qualities that would put you at a certain mood and qualities that if you don’t pay too much attention would be lost in you. However Rainbirds felt like it wanted to tell different side stories but the connection or coherence of it all did not meld well, it was a bit forced, to say the least.

Japan in the 90s

I love that the book was set in Japan in the 90s, it added to the mystery of the whole book. It may have been one of its strong suit. The way the author described certain places transports its readers and made them feel as if they were there too. I don’t know if it’s just me or books set in Japan has this melancholic feel to it that I can not pinpoint exactly, all I know is it adds beauty to the book.

 

Great premise, mediocre execution

The premise of the book is what would capture its audience. With an unsolved murder opening the book, it is but natural to draw readers in. The never-ending quest to know who did it will always be something readers crave, I myself included. However I find the execution of the whole novel a bit mediocre, again blame this on the expectation set too high. The loose ends were not as polished as I hoped it to be. The bridge linking the events and the domino effect it tried to provide were not solid enough to make the book more put-together. There were moments when I hardly see the relevance of one event to another. The few chapters toward the end felt a little bit rushed. It felt like everything is crammed up inside a suitcase, all wrinkly and in disarray. Maybe if the book was a little longer, it could have tied all the loose ends better. There were awkward parts as well, for an instance this particular scene warrants a certain reaction, but the characters in it did something cringe-y or something unconventional in the normal course of things – this happened a lot, and was a major turn off for me.

Characters and their likability

Ren Ishida – our main character is just your average guy – young, good looking and intelligent. Easy to like right? However as the story progresses, the book showed a side of  Ren that isn’t likeable. What is it with Ren and all these women? This is something the book can definitely do away with, it did not add anything to the story, if for anything it was a little annoying. Ren isn’t a spectacular character, he was plain and a little boring to be completely honest, his character could have been portrayed well, there are so many things the author could have done to make the main character cut above the rest, but no, it had to be this boring guy who for inexplicable reasons seems to draw the attention of too many women. Then we have Seven Stars or Rio who was portrayed as a rebellious teenager with issues of her own. Another character with great potential that the author failed to maximize. Her connection to the whole story is yet another forced one. Keiko Ishida, was the only one consistent in this story, this is through the recollection of her brother Ren, her character is what I expected it to be, the only character I liked to be completely honest. Other characters such as Ren’s neighbor, Izumi the building manager,  Mr. and Mrs. Katou, Pigtails, Mrs. Katsuragi, Honda, Anzu, Jin, and all others are characters that was supposed to contribute to the story but all fell short and I keep missing their relevance to it all. Again, great characters that the author wasn’t able to fully utilize.

On the fence

I don’t hate the book, but I don’t love it either. And it is such a sad situation where I can’t actually categorize it. Was it a bad book? No it was not, it had great potential just not executed well. Despite the issues I had with this book, I definitely would want to see the author grow and watch out what she will be able to come up with her next books.

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Sadness alone can’t harm anyone. It’s what you do when you’re sad that can hurt you and those around you.
– Clarissa Goenawan

❝Sadness alone can’t harm anyone. It’s what you do when you’re sad that can hurt you and those around you.❞ – Clarissa Goenawan ••• Finished Rainbirds last night…and it wasn’t what I had expected. I was told if I love Haruki Murakami then I would love this one – that set a big expectation. To be compared to a Murakami novel is quite a big shoes to fill, and it’s either you exceed the expectation or fall behind it. The case here is the latter. I don’t hate the book but I don’t love it either. I am on the fence with this one. There are yes a few resemblance, but it is also quite different, if that even makes sense. I’d stop with the comparison, and focus on the story. It opens with Keiko Ishida’s murder, our protagonist’s sister. It held a lot of promise by this premise alone, but towards the end it just didn’t sustain the thrill of finding out what really happened. It feels like the book wants to tell so many different stories but the connection to it all seemed a bit forced? And the revelation of what really happened and all the secrets surrounding it was a little lackluster. But I do love that it is set in Japan in the 90s, the description of the place is enough to satisfy the reader’s curiosity, it just provides what the story needed. . Rating: 3/5⭐️ . Despite the issues I had with this book, I definitely would want to see the author grow and see what she will be able to come up with her next books. . ••• Full review now posted on my blog! Link in bio 💕🧡 . . . . #Rainbirds #clarissagoenawan #BookOfTheMonth #botm #mybookmark #renishida

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The French Girl by Lexie Elliott | ARC Review

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They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway–until they met Severine, the girl next door.

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive, and there are some people you can’t forget, like Severine, who was never seen again.

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free.

Publication Date: February 20, 2018

Date Read: January 13, 2018

Publisher: Berkley Books

Setting: France / London

No. of Pages: 294

Source of Copy: Provided by Berkley in exchange of an honest review.

Get your copy here: Amazon | Book Depository

 

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Beautiful writing style. The French Girl is not what I had expected.

The French Girl is about six friends who went on a vacation in France where they met Severine – the girl next door. 10 years later they are implicated as suspects in the murder of this French woman. This definitely sounded like a great premise. The constant guessing of who did the killing is always a pleasure to read, how everything unraveled revealing dark secrets one after another is always a huge treat for me. So you have to understand my anticipation whilst reading this book. Let’s just say The French Girl isn’t what I had expected.

The pacing was a little slow for my own liking, considering this is a mystery thriller. I wasn’t able to feel the usual the-edge-of-my-seat feeling I often experience reading thriller books. There are definitely some parts the book can do away with. Albeit slow, the book was able to show in detail the lives of the characters, their relation to each other, their past and what one meant to another. The book lets you in the ins and outs of the lives of the characters. How they act the way they do and the underlying history that brought them all together, and even when you think you got them all figured out, there will always be something that would surprise you. The French Girl is character-driven than plot-driven. I commend how the author made each character distinct from one another, drawing the lines from their traits and what makes them tick. It focused more on the dynamics between the characters, and while I do appreciate that, I wish the plot wasn’t sacrificed. The plot was a little lack-luster for lack of a better word. The story was a little monotonous and wasn’t as convincing as I hope it would be. I was waiting for intensity, for that heart-racing moment when everything was finally revealed, but I got nothing. My thirst for gasp-inducing plot twist was, sadly, not quenched.

Also, they could have titled it in a more catchy  way. If I come across this book in the bookstore, to be quite honest, I would not even give a second glance. There is something cliche about it already, which doesn’t give any impact as opposed to 4-5 years ago. What I commend though is the existence or non-existence, however way you want to put it, of Severine. It was cleverly incorporated in the scenes, which adds mystery to everything and makes you question the relationship or involvement of our main character, Kate Channing, to her murder. Also the end part, where Severine had somewhat an intervention to what happened to Kate, I love that part.

All in all, if you are a patient reader, and you want a character-driven book than a plot-driven one, then this is definitely for you.

 

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Once ensconced in a black taxi, the unease becomes corporeal, taking on the body of twisting snakes that are no longer confined to my stomach now they’re swaying upward, encircling my lungs, slithering through my throat, threatening to choke me of words and breath.

– Lexie Elliott, The French Girl

phonto

Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu | ARC Review

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Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Date Published: January 2, 2018

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Date Read: January 8, 2018

Setting: Gotham City

Number of Pages: 272

Source: Part of a blog tour hosted by JM from The Book Freak Revelations

Get Your Copy Here: Amazon, Book Depository

 

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Before anything else, I would like to thank Penguin Random House International and JM of The Book Freak Revelations  for making me a part of this Book Tour! You can check JM’s review here.

Batman: Nightwalker is the second book in the DC Icons, the first one being Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, the third one Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas and the fourth one is Superman by Matt Dela Pena. In Batman: Nighwalker,  we follow the origin story of Bruce Wayne during his teen days, back when he is not Batman just yet. We are taken into this story where we get to know more about Bruce Wayne and how everything started. To be upfront, I am not a fan of Batman, I am more of  a Superman kind of girl, but this book showed a different side of Batman that made me like him more than I do before. Neither I am a fan of the comics, I am not a connoisseur by a long stretch of imagination, thus I have the most meagre knowledge of the history of DC Superheroes especially Batman. I have barely scratched the surface of the DC world, but I hope you won’t discount my thoughts on this book. Even with my palpable lack of vast knowledge about the DC world, I find this book quite an enjoyable read. Maybe the fact that everything seemed new to me added to the thrill of finding out what’s about to unfold. And I guess it would be safe to say, that whether you’re a big fan of DC or not, you will still find yourself engrossed in the story. Win-win situation for everyone if you ask me.

Would you believe me if I say this is the first Marie Lu book I have ever read? Yes, it’s true my friends, I am quite ashamed about that and I am slowly remedying it. Marie Lu from a Marie Lu virgin’s opinion is quite the story teller, I now can understand why she is loved by many. She has this way with words that truly jump out of the page, and has this sense of depth into her writing that made the atmosphere of each scene almost tangible. She sets the perfect tone in each page it as if you can very well feel the cold mist descending upon you and instantly sends shivers down your spine. That’s what I first adored in this book, its power to make it as real as it could get.

Bruce Wayne‘s character always had this reserved and quiet persona, which is more often than not construed to be mysterious. This book was able to highlight Bruce Wayne’s more vulnerable side, which I appreciate a whole lot. We got to see a different side that isn’t exposed all the time. (I don’t watch the TV show Gotham too, so pardon me for this) Also Bruce Wayne’s friends, Harvey and Dianne, are quite fun to read too, especially Dianne, who is a Filipino, ahhh you don’t know how much this made me happy! Harvey, however felt like he was pushed on the side line and not given much exposure as a character should have been given. And then we have Madeleine Wallace this enigmatic girl whom Bruce met in the Arkham Asylum when he was doing his community service. I love how Madeleine Wallace’s character was written, she toys with Bruce’s mind as well as the reader’s. You are constantly questioning whether she is telling the truth or not, which is a plus for me. I loved how this tactic works its way up to the reader’s mind and make them stick to the story and find out how everything will unfold. The perfect formula to keep the readers interested, if you ask me. Now, let’s talk about the Nightwalkers, to be completely honest, they fell a little short for me, I was expecting so much more from them. I think it could have been executed well than what they have been portrayed in the book. There was definitely build up as the book progressed but the excitement was lost on me.

The book was well-paced, not too slow and not too fast either. Just right for a book under three hundred pages. And though short, this book definitely packed some punch, not entirely the wow-it-left-me-in-daze kind of impact but enough to keep me at the edge of my seat. There was the right amount of intensity, mystery and grit. That plot twist though, I can’t say I saw that one coming, but it was something I have already seen countless times before, that when it finally unfolded I wasn’t so shocked at all.

So all in all, you should give this book a try, you’ll never know you might enjoy it like I did, even if you’re not the biggest fan of DC Superheroes out there *peace*.

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“People always expect you to move on so quickly after loss, don’t they?” Madeleine looked away.”For the first few months the sympathy pours on you. Then, gradually, it dwindles down, and one day you find yourself standing alone at the grave site, wondering why everyone else has moved on to caring about something else while you still stay right here, silently, carrying the same hurt. People get bored with grief. They want something new to talk about. So you stop bringing it up, because you don’t want to bore anyone” 

– Marie Lu; Batman: Nightwalker 

phonto

 

Constant (Confidence Game Book 1) by Rachel Higginson | Book Review

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Fifteen years ago I met Sayer Wesley. I fell in love with him. I promised I would never leave him. I swore nothing could break us apart.

Five years ago I broke my promise. I ran away. I took the one secret that could destroy us both and disappeared.

Five days ago I thought I saw him.

I knew it was impossible. Sayer was locked away, serving a deserved sentence in federal prison. He couldn’t find me.

He wouldn’t find me. I was too good at hiding. Too good at surviving.

Because if Sayer ever found me, there would be hell to pay for a plethora of sins. The worst of which, he didn’t even know about.

Five hours ago, I told myself I was crazy.

Five minutes ago, I saw him again.

Five seconds ago, I was too late.

Date Published: November 16, 2017

Date Read: December 2017

Publisher: Reckless Siren Publishing

Series: The Confidence Game Book 1

Setting: DC /

Source: Author provided a copy in exchange for an honest review

Get your copy here: Amazon 

 

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NOT YOUR TYPICAL ROMANCE NOVEL

This is the second book by Rachel Higginson that I have read, and she never disappoints. Constant is very different from her book The Opposite of You. Rachel Higginson is a true story teller and each story is beautiful in its own right. I love how she was able to come up with something entirely different from her previous ones, truly talented if you ask me. Constant, is not your typical romance novel. Constant is the perfect combination of thrill, secrets, good romance and action. It was well-thought out and well-executed. A book that you will finish in one sitting, that’s how amazing it was.

We have our female protagonist Caro, who was running away from her dark past and protecting herself and her loved ones at all cost, and we have Sayer our male protagonist who’s trying to go back into Caro’s life and pick up where they left off. This book has been equally entertaining and gripping. It’s the kind of book that you wouldn’t be able to stop at a certain chapter and call it a night, no, it is the kind of book that you would devour bit by bit up until the inevitable end. A tip though, it ends in a cliffhanger, so if you’re not a fan of that, you can wait for the book 2 to come out. So you could binge read them in one sitting, yes that’s possible. Don’t worry you need not wait eternity for the next book to come out, good news for you by February you can sit down in a corner with a beverage of your choice and some snack and read the day away. You can thank me later.

Constant offers us a more mature take on new adult. This isn’t just the typical mushy romance novel, it is nothing like it. It is a step-up from the usual romance novels we read, which makes my heart happy. I love mysterious and dark love stories, the kind where you cling to every character’s actions and see how everything will unfold in the end. The kind of love story you’re not accustomed to reading. The kind of love story that went the extra mile. This is that book for you. It was gritty,  intense and gives you some kind of suspense vibe to it. I also love the flashbacks and how it melds perfectly into the present making a coherent and well put-together story. Caro and Sayer’s chemistry is palpable. I loved that in a book, how the two characters have this pull to each other that no amount of denial could invalidate. I loved that even though they were apart, you could tell a good romance is about to unfold between them, and yes I was not disappointed towards that ending. It was nothing super crazy, it was what the story required and it was beautiful and well-executed! Mafia romance is something I really enjoy reading, and Constant truly served its purpose. And oh I hope there would be some sort of novella for Francesca and Gus, gahhh would love to read their story too!

I really enjoy Rachel Higginson’s writing style, she evolved a lot from her book The Opposite of You and I am glad I was able to see and be a part of this milestone. She’s becoming a favourite author now. Her talent on concocting stories different from each other and the element of surprising her readers with each new release are the best characteristics of an author. I’m pretty sure she’ll be a household name in no time.

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Five years ago, I escaped a dangerous life I had always wanted to leave. I got away. I found freedom. But it cost me the love of my life.

Rachel Higginson, Constant

❗️Cover Reveal❗️ A new book from Rachel Higginson (@mywritesdntbite) CONSTANT. Suspense Romance! Ahhhh sounds so good! Lemme leave you the blurb: . SYNOPSIS: . Fifteen years ago I met Sayer Wesley. I fell in love with him. I promised I would never leave him. I swore nothing could break us apart. Five years ago I broke my promise. I ran away. I took the one secret that could destroy us both and disappeared. Five days ago I thought I saw him. I knew it was impossible. Sayer was locked away, serving a deserved sentence in federal prison. He couldn’t find me. He wouldn’t find me. I was too good at hiding. Too good at surviving. Because if Sayer ever found me, there would be hell to pay for a plethora of sins. The worst of which, he didn’t even know about yet. Five hours ago, I told myself I was crazy. Five minutes ago, I saw him again. Five seconds ago, I was too late. . . I have enjoyed The Opposite of You and been anticipating her books since then! Constant is a new book with suspense touch to it, how awesome is that! Two genres I love! This book comes out November 6th! But you can preorder as early as now! 😉 . #CONSTANT #RachelHigginson #Romance #Suspense

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Nerdy Talks 2017 Mosts | Noteworthy Reads

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Hello guys! Another year has come to an end and with it a lot of books read. Let me first say what a great year it has been. 2017 was a year of self discovery and self love. Indeed I was able to know myself more, to value the moments I used to overlook before and have learned to live in the moment, and put my whole trust into God. Here’s to hoping 2018 will be just as great! Of course reading wise, it wasn’t the most spectacular for me, but I was still able to read some noteworthy ones. I am going to do it differently this year, last year I did Top 16 Books of 2016 now I am going to do 2017 Mosts, it could be the most disappointing, most beautiful or the most badass book, whatever fits into a category I made! Hope you could do this with me!

MOST BADASS: ANIMAL UNDER THE FUR BY EJ MELLOW

 

The Animal Under The Fur by EJ Mellow is a book that will take you by surprise. This book takes the Most Badass award. The Animal Under the Fur, has a strong female protagonist, think of Black Widow level of bad-assery. It is not often that you will find a strong female protagonist in books, so this one is definitely a breath of fresh air. Gone are the days when damsel in distress plagues books, this one right here needs no man to save her, she can very well fend for herself. Yes to girl power! This book is action-packed with good romance in it. You can check my full review here.

“I’ve killed more people more years than I’ve been alive. And I’m twenty-six.”
― E.J. MellowThe Animal Under the Fur

MOST EVOCATIVE: ALL MY LONELY ISLANDS BY VJ CAMPILAN 

 

“You’re trying to look for rock bottom, to that part of yourself that could no longer feel pain. But there is no such thing as rock bottom. As long as there is left to destroy in you, you’d do it. We always feel the need to sink ourselves because we keep being intolerable, because if we’re suffering then maybe people would give us a break for all the shameful things we do. You think you could impose your own penance, but it never goes away, does it? That kind of deadening that’s worse than actual dying.” ― V.J. Campilan, All My Lonely Islands 🖤 Posted my review of All My Lonely Islands by VJ Campilan. Link in bio. Please pick it up guys, if you have to take a chance on something, take a chance on this one! #AllMyLonelyIslands #VJCampilan #AnvilPublishing #BookReview

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All My Lonely Islands by VJ Campilan is a recollection of Crisanta’s life from teenager to being an adult and all that happened in between. It was the kind of book that you didn’t know you needed until you have savoured it. It was well written and you can’t help but to love the beautiful language used. The description is vivid, it is as if you are there with the characters. I was in awe after I’ve finished All My Lonely Islands. If you’re looking for a book that gives you the taste of Philippines and Bangladesh, this has got to be the one! You can check my full review here.

“You’re trying to look for rock bottom, to that part of yourself that could no longer feel pain. But there is no such thing as rock bottom. As long as there is left to destroy in you, you’d do it. We always feel the need to sink ourselves because we keep being intolerable, because if we’re suffering then maybe people would give us a break for all the shameful things we do. You think you could impose your own penance, but it never goes away, does it? That kind of deadening that’s worse than actual dying.”

― V.J. CampilanAll My Lonely Islands

MOST DISAPPOINTING: SAD GIRLS BY LANG LEAV

See you tomorrow ♥️ #LangLeav #LangLeavinPH #SadGirls

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Sad Girls by Lang Leav wasn’t what I had expected. I had high hopes for this book but it fell terribly short. The hype surrounding before its release got me so excited it was all I was thinking about, but when I finally had the chance to read it, all I could do was sigh and ponder what on earth did I just read. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lang Leav, her poems rekindled my love for poetry, but I have to say that she should just stick to writing poems than novels. Sad Girls was too all over the place, it is as if it Lang Leav wanted to put so much in it in the hopes that it would be exceptional but the result was the complete opposite. There are certainly some parts that the book can do without. It was a little messy and not well polished. There are loose ends as well. I was hoping for something that would wow me in the end but nada. The characters I understand, are flawed, but they were bordering annoying and frustrating at the same time. It was 2017’s biggest let down for me.

“Our emotions pull us in different directions. The stronger the emotion, the greater the pull. Feelings are not always practical, nor do they make any logical sense. That’s just the way it goes.”
― Lang LeavSad Girls

MOST FUNNY / FUNNIEST: I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER BY SOPHIE KINSELLA

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Sophie Kinsella never disappoints! This book is effortlessly funny, I was in a laughing fit inside the office, the office where I should be working, yet there I was suppressing my laughter just so my boss will not be able to hear me from the other room. It was all things cute, swoon-worthy, and then some. Poppy Wyatt is the character you can’t help but love! A perfect material to be turned into a movie. Chic-lit will always have a special place in my heart. You can check my full review here.

“Lover? I don’t know. I don’t know if she loves me. I don’t know if I love her. All I can say is, she’s the one I think about. All the time. She’s the voice I want to hear. She’s the face I hope to see.”
― Sophie KinsellaI’ve Got Your Number

 

MOST UNIQUE: EVERY DAY BY DAVID LEVITHAN

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This one is a buzzer beater. I’ve read Every Day December 28, 2017 and it made it to my my favourites. This book’s plot is just one of the most unique books you’ll ever encounter. Imagine waking up to a different body every day, pretty nuts if you ask me, but David Levithan was able to pull it off, effortlessly. The different lives A had inhabited were different yet equally important. I love how diverse it was and how David Levithan was able to highlight the essential parts of the person’s life. You can check my full review here.

“The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations – all of them rearranging themselves so this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be.”
― David LevithanEvery Day

 

MOST BEAUTIFUL: ONE TRUE LOVES BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

Don't think that true love means your only love. I think true love means loving truly. Loving purely. Loving wholly. Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave. – Taylor Jenkins Reid; One True Loves 💕 This book has got to be one of my fave reads this 2017! It was so good it killed me! I am new fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have read Maybe In Another Life by her as well and loved it too! More of her please! Have you guys read any of her books? I badly want to buy After I Do and Forever Interrupted. 🤑 💕 💕 💕 #OneTrueLoves #TaylorJenkinsReid #bookstagram #bookish #bookstagrammer #igreads #booklover #bibliophile #bookworm #books #booksph #bookblogger #nerdytalks #nerdytalksbookblog #ipromotereading #literature #ink #words #bookdragon #bookish #ilovereading #ilovebooks #bookstagramfeature

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This book is so beautiful it actually hurts. This is the second book I have read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I can say now that this book belongs to my favourite book of all time. It was so heartbreaking and satisfying at the same time. Your heart will break for the characters, it is as if you feel their pain first hand. I know the blurb of the book said it all, but you have to read it to feel the intense emotions or better yet don’t read the blurb, ignorance is bliss! One True Loves was written so beautifully you couldn’t help but ponder on everything that was said, and though it may come off as something unrealistic, the concept and the message it was trying to send across will tug every heart strings, and I think that’s what truly matters for a book to be considered a great one.  You can check my full review here. 

“Don’t think that true love means your only love.

I think true love means loving truly.

Loving purely. Loving wholly.

Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave.”
― Taylor Jenkins ReidOne True Loves

 

MOST COMPLEX: RED RISING BY PIERCE BROWN

Red Rising by Pierce Brown is definitely the most complex read of my 2017, I have to admit that it was a struggle to remember every name, every terminology, so much so that I had to write some sort of a guideline just to help me understand it more. I am not big of a sci-fi fan, so it is always a challenge for me to get through one. Red Rising however, though complex was able to grip my attention. It was perfectly crafted and there are plethora of characters that you will definitely root for! I love the plot line as well, so many things could happen and each chapter will take you by surprise.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”
― Pierce BrownRed Rising

 

MOST WEIRD: PERFECT STRANGERS BY DANI ATKINS

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Perfect Strangers by Dani Atkins took the cake for the Most Weird read of my 2017. Don’t get me wrong, this is the good kind of weird. The kind of weird you’ll think for days after you finished reading it. It is a relatively short one, but it definitely packed a punch. I don’t want to divulge what made this book weird, but I hope you could include this one for 2018. All I could say is it is not your typical love story, it will somehow screw with your head. You can check my full review here.

“That’s the trouble with bodies … they have an annoying little habit of giving away far too many secrets.”

― Dani AtkinsPerfect Strangers

 

MOST EMPOWERING: WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST BY CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists – Loving these Melon Drops. Hihi thanks @ricasj ♥️ also you san still use my code "NERDY" to get 15% discount at @danielwellington 🖤 #danielwellington #chimamandangoziadichie #weshouldallbefeminists #kindle #kindlepaperwhite #amazonkindle

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We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie should be a required reading. If there’s one book I have to shove everyone else’s throat, this is that book. The author was able to explain fully what Feminism is.  Often times we get the wrong connotation of what Feminism really is, but this book was able to put it into something profound yet easily understandable. It was insightful and empowering. Now go watch her Ted Talk! You’re welcome!

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieWe Should All Be Feminists

So there you have it guys, my noteworthy reads of 2017.  I hope my 2018 reading year will be more awesome than 2017. Here’s to discovering new favorite books, new authors and an even better reading year for all of us! Happy New Year! Read on!

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