Book Review · Books

Warcross by Marie Lu

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Title: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Published 12 September 2017 by G.P Putnam Son’s Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5/5 stars

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

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Huge thanks to my dear friend Raf @ The Royal Polarbear Reads for hosting this awesome blog tour. Also PRH International for providing physical copies. This will not affect nor influence my review.

*mind blown*

That’s it! In two words, that’s how I would describe my full experience while reading Warcross. It’s such an amazing book that I can’t even explain how much I enjoyed every page of it. I can now understand why so many people/readers tell that Marie Lu is a genius because SHE IS LITERALLY A GENIUS!!!! Science fiction or any futuristic settings aren’t my cup of tea. I don’t go for books under this genre but Warcross proved me wrong. (I hate it when this happens!) I’ve never read any book by Marie Lu, it’s because I kept on hearing mixed reviews about them. There’s always a first time for everything and reading Warcross was worth everything.

I have to say thank you again to Raf for choosing me to be a part of this blog tour. I actually have no idea what the book was about. I kept on seeing it around Booktube and that’s why it drew me to sign up for this tour.

I don’t want to give out too much information about this book. I went out on a whim and read it with knowing what it’s about. Emika Chen is not your typical female main character. She’s tattooed, has rainbow colored hair, smart and can actually kick someone’s butt. Plus she’s an amazing “hacker”, I love her! Let’s talk about Hideo Tanaka, I could list 7 things I’d love to hate about him. The way he talks to Emika made me giggle and fall in love with his character more. He’s Japanese and can talk British to you, he’s the man behind Warcross. The epitome of every “prince charming” in real life, made up of everything nice but full of lies. But I still love him nonetheless.

I liked the whole plot of the story, I’m not a video game player but I loved how vivid and imaginary pleasing this book was. There’s something about Warcross that reminded me of “Wreck It Ralph”, wherein characters from a specific game appeared on a different game because of the “glitch”. I don’t know if you get my point here. (lol) I just want to let that thought out of me!

I’ve predicted a few things that had happened in this book but that didn’t matter because of how the story ended. For me, it was everything I was looking for in a book from a genre I don’t normally reach for. This book is such a page turner that you immediately get sucked into the story and don’t notice everything that’s happening around you. It’s action packed and full of surprises. I’m definitely going to recommend this to everyone!


Join this blog tour’s giveaway, click HERE

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blog · lifestyle · Motivational

How To Fake A Life On Social Media

 

 

Hey there! I want to let you know that I’ll be posting content like this on my blog from now on. The title itself might be a little bit clickbait-y! 

To be honest this post isn’t about me teaching you how to fake a life on social media. This is me telling you how you can live authentically through it.

It’s true that so many social media platforms have been dominating the scene lately and years before that. Technology has its ups and downs but I have to admit that creating these platforms has changed millions of lives whether in good or bad ways. Living through the screens of your phones, telling how your day has been by clicking that post button and showing people how you’re living your life right this very moment. I’ll be breaking down the good and the bad. 

Aesthetics is the thing

I love looking at aesthetics, getting inspiration from different people and learning a thing or two about them. I have seen people trying to recreate things that they see on Pinterest or Tumblr. But I can see how it took a different turn for others, pressuring yourself to be as good as the person in one of those photos or even trying so hard to get the things that you know aren’t even that important just for the sake of the “gram” or to please your audience. If that’s the case, “You need to wake up now!”

Don’t let the numbers get into your head

Having a huge following is an awesome achievement right? In some cases yes but in others no because it’s affecting their mental health. The feeling of sadness envelopes them if they are losing followers or even if they have only this certain amount of followers. Being obsessed with numbers won’t get you anywhere instead focus on the content that you want to share with people.

Comparing your life with others isn’t going to help you, trust me

I know we’ve been all through this stage. Jealousy is the ugliest trait as Keri Hilson said. Comparing what you have with others will only bring you down because you’re only focusing on the things that you don’t have rather than appreciating what you own. We are all unique, different and one of a kind. Don’t envy a life that wasn’t meant for you.

Stressing about perfection only leads to having bad mental health

I know some of us won’t acknowledge our mental health or even the issues that we’re having. Stress, anxiety and depression are only a few of those things that hide behind those smiling icons. People always strive to live a perfect life on social media but it somehow affects them and the people around them. It’s not healthy pretending to be somebody that you’re not.

Try social media detox

If you’re feeling a little bit stressed or you think everything in your life isn’t in the right place. Like being swallowed in by the dark side of your accounts, it’s always a good thing to try turning off your notifications or rather try having a social media detox. You can easily search about this on the internet, where in you’ll be following certain time period on how long you would like to detoxify your life. Yes, NO SOCIAL MEDIA. You’ll thank yourself later!

These are a few things that I’ve realized all throughout the years I’ve spent on social media. It can totally make or break you. You don’t have to try so hard to make your life look picture perfect. You don’t have to tell yourself that you need to do “this” and “that” just to consider yourself being happy. Reality bites but it’s better to live in it than to fake a life you never really have.

Living the best life doesn’t come in squares nor the number of likes. It’s how you appreciate every little thing that life has given you. No matter how big or small that is, it’s always up to you to find your happiness in it. 

Book Review · Books

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart



Title: Genuine Fraud

Author: E. Lockhart


Genre: YA, Mystery


Published 5 September 2017 by Delacorte Press


Rating: 4/5 stars

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.

Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 

An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 

A bad romance, or maybe three.

Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 

A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.

A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

Huge thanks to Penguin Random House International for sending a review copy of this book! This will not influence nor affect my review.

So here I am an avid fan of We Were Liars, ready to share with you how much I fangirled the moment I knew about this new book by E. Lockhart! I know her books and her writing style are controversial in a way that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people hate it but some people love! I clearly took a day or two from reviewing this book because I was messed up after reading it. I don’t know where to start expressing how I felt when I finished this. It’s so hard to review this book without giving any spoilers. 

Now about Genuine Fraud, it’s way different from We Were Liars but share a few factors when it comes to the characters. Rich people doing bad things by bad I mean crime or worse murder. The thing I love most about the author’s writing style is how misleading and unreliable the main character was. I know some of you might not like it but for me, I absolutely dig it. Being a mystery/thriller nerd that I am it’s something about unreliable characters that keeps me going, maybe because it rears the curiosity inside of me. 

It’s another character driven story that didn’t disappoint me. Though I have to point out that it was slow in the beginning but don’t worry it gets better. I’ll try my best to tell you how I understood the two characters, Jules and Imogene, portrayed their roles in this book. Jules has this strong exterior, she can easily deceive any person but inside she’s trying to fix her life. Imogene is an heiress and a manipulative cheat. Their friendship was something different than I usually see in YA if you see it in a deeper perspective. Them creating this unrealistic bond and the intoxicating relationship ended up in something we’re all scared off.

Okay, so this is told in reverse chronology. I haven’t read any book like this before where the plot is told in flashbacks. I’ve heard that it was inspired by The Talented Mr. Ripley. I might grab a copy of that book as well. I loved how the story slowly knits together as you progress through the book. This book starts at the end and ends at the very beginning. I loved how it unfolded, with subtle revelations that will surely make you think about it for days. The story started with something that’ll keep your mind thinking about what’s happening then suddenly it takes a dark turn, there were scenes that I know aren’t for the faint hearted readers.

Genuine Fraud is all about Betrayal. Deception. Obsession. An unsettling and gripping novel that will make you believe in lies and the time you finish it you’ll still crave for more. 

Book Review · Books

Girls Made of Snow And Glass by Melissa Bashardoust + Importance of Feminism in YA


Title: Girls Made Of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Expected publication: September 5th 2017 by Flatiron Books
Rating: 5/5


At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story. 


I want to thank Flatiron Books for sending a review copy of this book my way and also to Karina @ Afire Pages for hosting this PH blog tour!

I was in the midst of looking for my next anticipated reads for September and I saw this book, read the premise and fell in love with it. I was so stoked on reading this book as soon as possible and I was lucky enough to get an ARC from the publisher just in time also for the blog tour. There are clearly no words to describe how amazing this book was. I just love it so much that I am more than happy to talk about it every day to anyone who’s willing to listen to me rambling about my love for this book. I don’t know where to begin…

Frozen meets the classic fairy tale of Snow White, acclaimed to be a fantasy feminist fairy tale retelling! It was all I could ever ask for in a book, I was tearing through the pages as I was reading this book. I’m glad that the story was in dual perspective, we get to see the past events that lead to the present storyline. It was a perfect depiction of the fairy tale and the little girl inside me was rejoicing. I never thought that this book will make me so emotional. It’s pure perfection. That ending sent shivers down my spine and literally had me in tears. It’s so beautiful, t women empowerment in one book. The way how the Snow Queen’s and Snow White’s tale was told in this story was unique and refreshing. It’s like I’m reading a new kind of fairytale that represents feminism which we need more out in the book community.

I know some of you might find the story to be a bit slow because it’s character driven but you’ll never get bored of how good the author’s writing style is. We get to see Lynet and Mina’s character development all throughout this book which I am all for. These two characters just embody the power that was bestowed upon them, they showed how important feminism in YA fantasy books is! The story was focused on these two female leads who are fierce, smart and courageous. I wanted to see more of Winterspring but the author greatly provided a magical and whimsical imagery of this kingdom that left me in awe. I need to point out the family dynamics in this book, it felt real and yet heartbreaking at the same time. Growing up without any mother, the two girls were told to do certain things that they were against with by their fathers. I understood how both fathers had a different way of showing their love for their daughters.

What made me love this book more was the message it was trying to send out to every reader. Mina & Lynet stood up for each other. Mina’s a character that you hate in the beginning but love in the end because you’ll clearly understand why she did all those things. Sometimes it’s just accepting the fact that you care for a person, you’re just afraid of seeing the good in people because you’ve suffered and seen only the worse to people who you look up to. The love they had for each other was genuine. This book has shown me a whole new meaning of love the one you can’t hide behind snow and glass. 

Feminism in YA and its Importance

Feminism has been a hot topic for who knows how long, and it’s creating a huge buzz around the YA community. It’s a good thing to be able to read books about strong women, badass women who stand up for their rights. To be honest, I haven’t read that much books that showcase feminism, but I am astonished about how vocal readers and writers are nowadays. 

Why is it important in YA you might ask? We Need Diverse Books and Own Voices books movement is about creating a new perspective where all our voices are heard. Our abilities as human beings shouldn’t be held back by rules and norms. Feminism isn’t about who gets to be far more superior than other genders. Being a feminist shouldn’t affect the way you look, dress or even the people you go out with. It’s about giving women a choice, it’s about freedom, liberation, and equality. Being a feminist doesn’t mean that you’re a man hater or you’re there to throw down other women to be above them. It isn’t about telling women what to do, again it’s about them or any gender having the freedom to chose what they want to do.

I love seeing female characters who can stand up for themselves, fighting their own battles and handling every situation with their own will and strength. I repeat it doesn’t mean that when a female character is strong she has to have masculine features or attitude. It’s how she represents herself and her beliefs by standing up to people who try to bring her down.

This is just a light description of how I view Feminism in YA and Feminism in general. I haven’t delved into it much so I don’t know how to fully explain each context because I know it is a complicated topic to talk about but one thing’s for sure equality is important to be seen in real life and in the books that we read.

Don’t forget that there’s a giveaway of Girls Made of Snow and Glass on the tour! Enter here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/24842cbd7/

 

Book Review · Books

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows 


Title: My Lady Jane (Lady Janies #1)
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows 
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, YA
Published June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
Rating: 5/5


The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England. 


When I heard about this book, My Lady Jane my history nerd heart was so HAPPY! I live and breathe history that is why it has been on the top of my TBR for a long time, now I have finished reading it and will gush about it in my review!

I CAN GIVE ALL THE STARS THIS BOOK DESERVES!!!!

It was so hilarious, entertaining and you’ll learn brief information about its historical background. I never had a dull moment from the beginning until the end. When I started reading this I know for sure that I’m going to love this and I was right, I absolutely loved it! My fascination with the English monarchy goes a long way and here I am satisfied with what I have read. It was such a delight reading it day and night. I was lost in the world of YouTube a couple of months back and came across videos about the English royalties history from how they started up until the Tudor dynasty. One tragedy that stuck to my “head” was Lady Jane Grey!

This is me telling you what I have learned through reading about Lady Jane Grey and the rest of the English monarchy. It was clear that only men were able to claim the crown back then but an unfortunate turn of events happened when King Edward VI died. Religion was a huge factor in claiming the throne; Protestant vs. Catholics! So it is clear that Mary(Edward’s oldest sister) was going to be the successor of the crown but her being a Catholic threatened the fiercely Protestant John Dudley so he manipulated King Edward, before dying, to give the crown to his successor Jane Grey who was a Protestant. Mary wasn’t happy about it so she got married and planned a revolt against the current Queen and that’s how Queen Jane Grey was executed only having the crown for exactly nine days. There were more details about how things got tragic but I won’t be spilling all of it here. 

I loved how Cynthia, Brodi, and Jodi added their own twists in this historical masterpiece! This was a tragedy but with the authors magic, they made it more worthy of reading. It amazes me how spot on these Lady Janies was able to harmoniously write the POVs of Edward, Gifford, and Jane!

Jane was so relatable, she loves to read books! It makes me happy seeing a bookworm like me in stories I am reading. There’s more to her than just being Queen, I love how she stood up against the patriarchal environment she was in. Though at times she’s quite stubborn and annoying I still loved her character. Gifford (G) was a charming and amusing character. His secret love for poetry surprised me. And for Edward, of course, his the king leading a patriarchal territory we get to see some sexist remarks from him but his character was by far the best! He had me laughing every time I was reading his POV! I wasn’t aware of the whole shape shifting and magical theme of this book, I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy it but, yes I LOVED IT! I need to mention cameos from my favorite people in history; Bess (Queen Elizabeth I), Bloody Mary and Mary Queen of Scots’! The brewing romance is just the right amount of sweetness. It added a special touch to the story which I’m not mad about.

Am I going to see one from Mary Queen of Scots, Marie Antoinette, and Anne Boleyn?Will we get more of these? Yes, we are getting more from the Lady Janies!!!! If you’re looking for something witty and adorably cute or something that can get you out of a reading slump better get a copy of this one! You’ll never regret it!

If historical fiction was written like this, you’ll never see me reading another genre other than this!

Book Review · Books

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

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Title: Royally Screwed (Royally #1)
Author: Emma Chase
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Published October 18th 2016 by Emma Chase, LLC 
Rating: 4.5/5


Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you. 

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants. 

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.
Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

My very first New Adult book review! It feels good to finally post one of these, I love reading NA and Adult in between my YA/Mystery books. One of the advantages of reading these is that I read fast which is a good thing. There’s something about them that’s gripping and makes me want to read more.

I am no stranger to Emma Chase’s books, I have read Tangled way back but didn’t have the chance to continue the series since I’m drowning on my TBR now. I wasn’t really expecting to read Royally Screwed because I haven’t heard of it before but thank god I got lost in the NA catalog in Goodreads. The thing about Emma’s writing style is that her male leads are always on point! They’re total bosses, absolute swoon-worthy and will capture your heart 100% of the time.

Nicholas is the crown prince, your Royal Hotness from Wessco. Of course, you know the drill our prince has to be wed in less than 6 months in order to be King, reminds me of The Princess Diaries 2, so you can feel his pressure. He likes the perks of being a prince but the responsibilities? Not really! Olivia is a waitress in her family’s coffee shop in NYC. Likely the two of them has the world on their shoulders the moment they met each other. The first time that they met each other made me giggle and laugh because of what happened. I know the story’s a bit cliché but hey, admit it sometimes cliché plots are our guilty pleasures. I absolutely enjoyed reading both POVs of the main characters. I liked how we get the chance to see a modern perspective towards royalties. 

The thing I like about NA and Adult series is that we get the chance to know each character because in every book there’s a different story told from the side characters POV and I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

I’m going to point out the only thing that I didn’t like, that’s why I didn’t give it a full 5-star rating. It’s because of how Olivia responded every time Nicholas wants something, she wouldn’t have second thoughts about saying “yes”, “no” is an option too just saying. Playing a little hard to get won’t kill you. Nonetheless, their steamy scenes were indeed STEAMY!

Royally Screwed is one delicious fairytale-esque novel! Brilliantly written and one heck of an enjoyable movie inside my head. Looking forward on reading the rest of the series this year!

P.S. Royally Endowed was released yesterday! 

 

Book Review · Books

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor


Title: Definitions of Indefinable Things
Author: Whitney Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Mental Illness, Contemporary
Published April 4, 2017, by HMH Book for Young Readers
Rating: 3.5/5



This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected. 

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in. 

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her. 

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I want to thank HMH Teen for sending an ARC of this book, this will not affect nor influence my review!

When I heard about this book’s release I was so excited to get a copy of it. If you don’t know this about me I love reading books with mental illness representation. I have read quite a lot of books that tackle mental illnesses, some of them made me feel connected with the characters. I understood their perspectives as persons who suffer these illnesses. I got the chance to be in their heads for every 300 pages of a book. It’s hard to find books with accurate representation!

Reggie is our main character here who suffers from depression. She has known the “Three Stages” of it by heart and she would give her two cents for each stage. She’s sarcastic and her snarkiness helps her to not get easily attached to people.

The characters were so flawed! They(Reggie & Snake) both acknowledged that they have depression. They would talk about it like it’s a normal thing for them. Snake also suffers from depression and soon going to be a father with his ex-girlfriend’s baby. I never thought I would enjoy reading how their paths crossed and how they managed their “friendship” all throughout the story.

There was some point in this book that I felt lost. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because of the third stage of it; disconnection, that the MC is currently feeling. I felt disconnected with the character/s in some parts of the story which made me iffy about continuing on with the story. I was about to give up reading this book but thank God I didn’t. I also want to point out that this is another novel who didn’t magically cure “depression” both characters still acknowledged their conditions.

Depression was the main focus of this novel, the author took a different way of expressing it through her characters and storyline. This book offered more than understanding depression. I was expecting the same results from a book that tackles depression but this book offered a whole new perspective and writing style.

Definitions of Indefinable Things is heartbreaking, funny, offers depth towards the understanding of depression and so emotional. There were parts of it I didn’t like but for me, this was worth the read, it’s either a hit or miss for some!