Saturday, December 13, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Finally. FINALLY, I've finished this book after so many months of waiting. I finally had a chance to read Isla and the Happily Ever After. The first book out of the series, Anna and the French Kiss is probably my all time favorite YA contemporary novel, and I did enjoy the sequel, Lola and the Boy Next Door. Reading Isla and the Happily Ever After was a bittersweet moment for me-- I didn't want the series to end, but it has to end at some point right?


Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins, is of course, the last book in the Anna and the French Kiss series. This third book revolves around another character Isla, a regular student at the American School in Paris who had an appearance in Anna, who's long-time crush, Josh, turns into something more. 


  • I didn't like how Isla treated her best friend. Especially towards the end.
  • There wasn't much going in the book other than drama. 
  • I find that Isla was slightly annoying. I can't really explain why I thought she was annoying without spoiling some key points of the book, but after reading some other reviews, maybe her underdeveloped character developed is to blame.
  •  Not only did I find the main character to be quite bothersome, but I also find her love interest, Josh, just the same. Of course I can't specify, but Josh does this extremely irrational thing to Isla about his artsy "project" graphic novel thing (Josh is the cool art kid).
  • I think Josh and his family is too stereotypical, meaning, I'm pretty sure I've seen the same character and situation in other romance movies and novels. You can argue that the whole series is a whole cliche, but I find that Josh and his family situation to be the most in-your-face cliche for me. 
  • As a person who has not been to New York before and is eager to travel to the city one day, I wish the New York was utilized more somehow.


  • There are some nice lovey dovey moments that made me swoon.
  • The setting (New York, Barcelona, Paris) were great locations to have some of the chapters in.
  • There are some funny scenes that made me laugh out loud (which is hard for me to do). Especially the rabbits part...
  • I like there was some diversity in the characters (like Kurt for example) 
  • The previous characters and their scenes (^_^)

Pretty much, I had high expectations for Isla and the Happily Ever After, but unfortunately this book didn't meet my expectations. This book is a somewhat-good read if you're feeling for some romance. But Anna and the French Kiss will always be my favorite in this series and in the whole YA contemporary genre. I am hopeful that Stephanie Perkins will shine with her next horror novel.

3 out of 5 stars

Monday, December 1, 2014

Just One Year Book Review (No spoilers)

Today's book review is over Just One Year, a companion to Gayle Forman's Just One Day series. I was ecstatic to finally able to read Just One Year since Just One Day was such a great book and one of my favorite YA contemporary novels ever.

Just One Year is about the search for "Lulu" (the girl he traveled and connected with in Paris), family, and fate.


  • Just One Year is set after the events from Just One Day, which for me, was not what I was expecting. I thought this book was going to pick after they meet again, but this was more like Wilhelm's somewhat-origin story. This may not a con to some, but it was a little disappointing for me.
  • There were many boring moments.
  • There were so many characters that when a certain name came up, I forgot who that person was.
  • Not enough of "Lulu" (or Allyson)


  • The reader gets to learn more about Wilhelm such as his family, his personality, his friends, his past.
  • The book is in Wilhelm's point-of-view. It's interesting to read in his perspective on things. 
  • Lovable characters (practically a boy named Prateek)
  • There were moments that were sweet 

Overall, I thought Just One Year is mediocre compared to its other pair. There wasn't any suspense or climax that made the book a page turner, but I do find some elements that were heartwarming and meaningful. I guess I just expected more for Just One Year.

3 out of 5 stars

    Saturday, November 15, 2014

    Cress Book Review (No Spoilers)

    The Lunar Chronicles series is one of my favorite series. Ever. I love everything about this series: the loveable characters (*ahem* Thorne), the genre hybrid of sci-fi, dystopian, and fanstasy, the witty dialogue, the interwoven storylines, the subtle, yet obvious romance. This series is the bomb dot com. So when I picked up Cress, finally, at my library, I could not wait to dwell into the world of the Lunar Chronicles.

    The story continues with a new main character, Cress, who helps Cinder, Throne, Scarlet, and Wolf hide under the radar from Queen Levana. But when the gang tries to aid Cress's escape from her satellite, problems occur.


    • There were some parts of the book that I felt were either boring or slow, but it wasn't bothersome. Things started to pick up after the slow, boring parts
    • One important character was not present as much as the others (this could be a frowner to those who really love this certain character)   


    •  New, great characters
    • Very descriptive in the setting and characters; it was like a watching movie inside my head
    • Many gripping, action-packed scenes
    • Loads of characters that you begin to, or already, hate
    • The interaction between characters were great, amusing, and funny
    • Touches on a disability (if you read the book, you know what I'm talking about)
    • There were emotional hardships for some characters, which may result to tears from the readers 
    • The END of the book!!!!!!!!!!!

    Overall, Cress is definitely a star in the series. I love how all the characters from each book previous to this one is all tied into this huge storyline that's epic. This book will make your heart melt, but it will also make your heart get crushed and stomped at. The next, and final, book of the series comes out in a year. A year of waiting and anticipation.
    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Noggin Book Review (No spoilers)

    I had heard of Noggin from a few booktubers, saying it was a hilarious book. I very rarely read any books with a great deal of humor in it (it's not like I stay away from them, I just haven't read many), so I decided to give Noggin a go.

    Noggin, by John Corey Whaley, is about a teenage boy who get to have a second chance of life. Before dying of cancer, he chooses to undergo a treatment/experiment-thingy that could potentially give Travis (the boy) a second shot for life. And so it goes, the treatment worked. Noggin is about Travis coping with his parents, his friends, school, and life with the "new" him.


    • Travis's parents play a big role in the book, so I felt a little deprived when the situation about his mom and dad was not mentioned again towards the end of the book.
    • There were somewhat annoying characters, but some of the "annoying" parts are understandable in different circumstances.
    • I wanted the title of the book "Noggin" to have some significant circumstance through out the book; it only touches base on the name in the beginning of the book


    • Touches on topics such as self-acceptance of sexuality, marriage and divorce, family, friends, and religion (does not make you want to be 'X' religion, but naturally talks about religion for the sake of Travis's sake).
    • Humorous dialogue and texts
    • Heart-felt and touching in some parts 
    • Very satisfying ending 

    Overall, Noggin was an enjoyable book to read. Although I had minor problems with it, as with many books, I still think Noggin is great to read if you want something that makes you laugh, tear up, and empathize with some characters.

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Saturday, August 16, 2014

    Dreams of Gods and Monsters Book Review + Discusssion

    613 pages in this book. A lot of pages compared to the other two, but it was mostly worth it.

    Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the last book in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. If you don't know what this book is about, it's primarily about Akiva and Karou's attempt to bring together the chimaera and seraphim in order to destroy the new emperor of Eretz, Jael. That's the main plot, but there are other subplots that start and finish in this last book (including new characters). With that being said, I thought the book flowed easily and tied up nicely in the end. But... there were some minor things that I didn't like.

    As always, the first half (the pros and cons) will be full of spoiler-free information. When you see red lettering, that means I'm doing my discussion, which include spoilers.


    Some subplots were completed, but not fully completed as I would like it to be 

    Thought the book could be condensed by removing unnecessary chapters

    Ending was satisfying (which is good) but felt like it lacked something in order to make the ending even better



      Book is written beautifully

    Creative chapter names

    Nice development with certain characters

    Very visual in describing a scene/setting 

    Point of views not only from the chimaera and seraphim, but also from humans too

    Satisfying and sweet ending

    Discussion (with spoilers)

    I liked the beginning of the book with introducing Eliza. I thought it was interesting to bring a new character for the start of the finale book. The mystery involving her was engaging and her role was very integral to the storyline. But man, when she "changed" in that short bit with her seraphim tongue-speaking voodoo language, it was very weird. Anyways, I liked that hinted relationship with her and Scarab towards of the end of the book; it wasn't expected since I always thought Gabriel and Eliza had something going on. GARBRIEL! I wished Gabriel had more of an appearance since he didn't have a major role in the story. I thought he was amiable and caring and felt like he's character didn't have a close end. I also thought the ending of Morgan's character could have been more. Morgan was a jealous, attention seeker, callous asshole who deserves the future repercussions of his actions. I wanted to see him suffer just a little bit more (I sound evil saying that). Same with Esther and Razgut, but I guess their fate is sealed. I felt like there was a lot going in the book that wasn't brought up into very later; like Melliel and the other Misgotten being held in prison by the Stelians. What ever happened to Eidolon who kept saying vague answers about the sky's feeling to Melliel? She just disappeared. Some characters that were introduced were not mentioned ever again, a negative that I find in this book. 
    Even with many vanished characters, there were great characters. I absolutely loved Zuzanna and Mik. Not only were there a perspective from the chimaera and seraphim about the alliance and the rebellion of Jael, but there was the point of view of humans too. It was awesome to bring them to Eretz; their perspective displayed the brilliance of Eretz (the magic, the creatures, the whole entirety of it). It just makes me so happy, because they want to help Karou and they care for her and the alliance and the cause and... THEY'RE SUCH GREAT FRIENDS. Sigh. Plus, their humor was a nice contrast to some dark, serious stuff (yes, stuff) in the book. Remember when they, as well as Eliza, rode on the stormhunter with epicness and Mik proposed! That was so magical.
    One character who completely changed for the better was Liraz. I loved her character development: angry and pretending-to-not-feel person to a caring and understanding one. Through out her transformation, her bad-assness was still maintained, making her too cool for school. Also, I loved that her and Ziri, at the end, are together. At first, I thought a love triangle was forming between Karou, Ziri, and Akiva. But it wasn't, and I loved that. Liraz grew as a person, and Ziri moved on and felt himself (since he was Thiago). Ziri broke my heart when he knew he would never be with Karou, but it made me smile when he was still willing to help bring the chimaera and seraphim together. Speaking of Karou and Akiva, I liked how it took a while for them to be comfortable again; it felt like they were going through some tough times, which ultimately felt tangible. It was nice that Dreams of Gods and Monsters wasn't saturated with romance-- there was just enough. When the two finished confronting Jael in the Vatican, and they turned invisible and flew to the sky, it was such a touching moment. It almost like I was watching a scene in a movie, I mean, they were holding and kissing each other as they ascended. In my mind, it was a beautiful sight. 
    I have to applause the author, Laini Taylor, for seamlessly piecing everything together. A lot of things happened in this book, but as a reader, I felt at ease whilst reading. I can't imagine how difficult it was to bring the character, main idea, and subplots smoothly. I also have to applaud Taylor on her writing. Her writing was effortless and very detailed and full of imagery. I remember in this one scene where the only-then portal was sealed and the battle begun down in Eretz, it felt like I watching a scene in X-Men or something. 
    The ending was too happy to me. Maybe I'm just nick-picking or maybe I've read to many sad endings. Well, I did thought the end was sweet-- Karou and Akiva's dream is turning into a reality! But there was something missing in the end. I don't know if the ending should have had more pages or it was rushed. There was something lacking, but otherwise, the ending was satisfying. Hey! You know, I'm glad it wasn't a Mockingjay or an Allegiant ending, so I shouldn't be complaining.

    *Discussion Has Ended*

    Over all, I enjoyed Dreams of Gods and Monsters very much. Although there were some negatives, it was a good closer for a good series.

    4 out 5 stars

    Friday, August 1, 2014

    Saga Volume 1, 2, and 3 Review + Discussion

    After hearing about Saga from many booktubers, I decided to check it out. I wanted to get into comic books and expand my horizons of just reading YA. So, I picked up Saga Volume 1, 2, and 3 from my local library and started reading them (and it was definitely awesome).


    If you have not read Saga, it's about two ex-soldiers, from different planets and moons, who fall in love, and eventually have a baby. Essentially, Saga focuses on this family and their mission to find normalcy for their child during a tie of galactic war... OH MY LANDS DOESN'T THAT SOUND AWESOME?!!!

    I decided to not do an individual review of each volume since I pretty much have the same opinions for all. Combining them all into one review makes it simple, and a fast one too. Also I would like to mention that this is a non-spoiler review until I....

    It's okay, it's alright. I'll discuss highlights with spoilers in the Discussion part of this post (you'll see it in red, don't worry). Just scroll down the discussion if you would like to be spoiled.


    Explicit illustrations that can be uncomfortable to some readers



     Very good storyline

    Story telling is great

    Love the narrator; Since it is told after the events in Saga has passed, I like how the narrator drops subtle hints about a certain character or a place 

    Interesting charcters

    Emotional shenanigans 

    Humorous and clever moments  

    Shows different point of views of not only the family, but other characters as well

    Discussion (with spoilers)

    To make this organized, I will discuss by each volume.

    Saga Volume 1:

    Can we talk about the opening scene? LOVED it! A lady with wings giving birth with her man, who has horns by the way, helping her deliver? And the fact that they're on the run makes the story really interesting. I adore Marko's and Alana's relationship with each other. They fight, they kiss, they're like any shipped couple! 

    Oh boy, the introduction between the Robot-Guy TV head Prince and his partner was sooooooo uncomfortable; it literally scarred me for life. When the Horrors showed up with the full of page of them looking at you, the reader, totally awesome. I liked Izabel and her role in helping the family out, ultimately looking out for them. It was hilarious, and kinda worrying, when Marko was shot and he said, "Please tell Gwendolyn I loved her..." and Alana was like "who the heck is Gwendolyn?" Such a funny scene. Towards the end of the tradeback when the family is being fired by the Landfall soldiers and Alana shoots the soldier who shot her husband was such a badass moment.  And The Will saving the slave girl just broke my heart; it made me feel like The Will isn't so bad at all. At the very end where Izabel and the family finds the tree house, I found it so cool when Marko's parents showed up at the end with their warrior gear-- it was so awesome. 

    Saga Volume 2:

    I really liked seeing the flashback of Marko and his parents when they were younger; it was a nice opening. Marko's dad was caring, warmhearted, and so cool-- I mean, he knits! In the short time we get to see him, he interacted with his granddaughter like a natural. And the relationship between him and his daughter-in-law was in the works of blossoming... too sad, too sad (you know what I mean).

    He's so cute. I hope to have a father-in-law just like him.
    When Marko and his mom goes to find Izabel and they encounter that big, very big guy with his massive...yeah... no comment. But I do like to say that Marko's mom, Klara, is such a bad ass! I hope that as an older lady, I can kick ass like her. It was interesting, as the reader, to be introduced to Gwendolyn. Although I do love the family that Saga revolves around, it was awesome for Gwendolyn to team up with The Will (to hunt down the family, unfortunately). 

    These kinds of pictures, the ones looking straight at the reader, are my faves.

    I liked the action between the family and the Gwen-Will-Sophie (the slave girl they saved). It was epic and felt like I was watching a sci-fi film. I thought the end of this volume was perfect. My reaction was: "Oh no! Robot Prince Guy, do not catch the family!!  Don't you there you erotic robot! AHHHHH." 

    Saga Volume 3:

    There are new characters in this tradeback that I like: Upsher and Doff. They are amphibian-like creatures, none that we ever saw in the previous volumes. I liked their character development as they question if Marko's and Alana's relationship is worth covering for the planet's sake or theirs. This couple adds another dimension in the chase to find the family. 

    Wonderful couple. Excited to see them in the future.

    Alana is very much like us readers. Fangirling over her favorite author from her favorite book, I mean, I would definitely react that way too. Mr. Heist warmed my heart by letting the family rest at his place. Mr. Heist's death broke my heat; he and Marko's mom had something going on too. The Will's illusions of his lover, The Stalk, very much reminded me of Rick's illusions of Lori (from the Walking Dead). I suddenly felt sympathy for this character, knowing he's continuously in mourning. In this volume, I also feel something towards the Lying Cat with her, I think it's a female, facial expressions.

    To me, I like these two characters.

     Again, with the previous volume, the end was action-packed. Even Hazel mentioned it in her narration. The fight between Marko, Gwendolyn, and Alana at the top of the lighthouse was something similar to some scene in a sci-fi film. My heart stopped for a second when Alana was pushed by Marko. I was like, "NOOOOO. THE BABY!!!" But then she comes flying, holding Hazel. SO COOL. To me, it was such a plot twist when The Will's sister comes to visit him at the hospital. Previously, I thought she was a man, but she wasn't, and the readers get to see that The Will has a sister named Sophie. SOPHIE. The little girl that The Will named..... ahh. It breaks my heart (in a good way of course!). The last page of this tradeback made me so joyful: Alana sporting long hair whilst Baby Hazel, who's a little grown up, is standing. SO CUTE.

    All in all (is that a phrase?), I enjoyed Saga. As a person who is just starting to get into comic book, I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Action-packed, emotional feelings, bad-ass scenarios, and unique characters, what can a reader need more of? 

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Dorothy Must Die Review + Discussion

    Yesterday I finished Danielle Paige's debut YA novel, Dorothy Must Die. And here a review and my thoughts on it.

    Dorothy Must Die showcases an evil version of Dorothy and her friends. It's surely a different story from the Wizard of Oz and the main character isn't Dorothy. Instead, it revolves around a teen named Amy Gumm who is in a unfortunate state in her life: estranged father, intoxicated mother, a pregnant bully, and life at Dusty Acres, Kansas. But then, a tornado passes by and she is swept away, landing herself on the land of Oz. Because of Dorothy's powerful leadership in Oz, the magic is diminishing and Oz is corrupting, prompting Amy to get recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. Her mission is to kill Dorothy. The concept is cool, but they are cons that make this book a little more than mediocre. Oh, and also I will discuss the pros and cons with and no spoilers. The writing in red will direct you to the proper information.

    *Pros and Cons with no spoilers*


    Stereotypical elements on Amy's background

    Slow in the "beginning", or first-half of the book 

    Some undeveloped characters


    Instriguing scenes

     Different versions of Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow

    Still able to read this book even if you're not familiar with the Wizard of Oz story

    Amy's conflicts


    *Pros and Cons with spoilers (Discussion)*



    • I felt like Amy's life in Kansas was stereotypical with the divorced & sucky parents and having a sucky life in a trailer home and being bullied by a "mean girl" who happens to be pregnant. It felt like Amy's "normal" life was too unfortunate and felt like it could be apart of a dramatic show or another story.
    • I wasn't interested in the characters or the world until the second half of the book. For me, the interesting parts happened after around the 200th page. In other words, it was a slow first-half.
    • Characters, I felt, were underdeveloped. I couldn't sympathize with some of the characters when they were in a situation that calls for pity (e.g. Gert).


    • There were many scenes that were intriguing. (When Amy saves Ollie's sister, the Wizard confrontation, Jellia's reveal at the party, Pete and the garden, Pete transformation into Ozma)
    • It was a great twist on Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion. They were very weird, vicious, and interesting. They're the real bad guys.
    • Really liked the Wizard, Jellia, and Ollie. The Wizard was a suspicious-type of character, Jellia was strong and awesome, Ollie was a character that made me smile.
    • I read this book knowing the basic facts of the Wizard of Oz, but it wasn't necessary to read/watch it in order for me to get parts of the book. It's all explained and easy to follow.
    • Amy's conflicts on whether or not the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked is good or not

    Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is not my favorite of all books, but it wasn't bad. I think the series definitely has potential.

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Ignite Me Review

    Hello. Just yesterday, I finished the last book in the Shatter Me trilogy, Ignite Me, by Tahereh Mafi. I was really excited about reading Ignite Me, especially how the Shatter Me trilogy was one of my favorite YA dystopian series. Unfortunately, there were some elements that directed me towards a 4 out of 5 stars.

    The book starts off with Juliette, the main character, waking up in a room, finding herself healed from a gunshot wound she received by Anderson (Warner's father). She does not know if anyone from Omega Point, especially Adam and Kenji, made it out alive from The Reestablishment's bombing of the area. She is determine to fight against The Reestablishment with the help of a man who she thought she hates, Warner. The synopsis sounded amazing, but there were definitely cons in the novel, which I will proceed to name and later explain.

    - The balance of action and character development were unequal; about 90% of the book was purely building and fixing relationships
    - lots and lots of "lovey dovey" scenes
    - The last fifty pages were the only action in Ignite Me
    - The ending felt rushed 
    - Not enough character development of many characters; too much emphasis on others
    - Slow middle

     *Get ready for spoilers now*

    There was too much development of the relationships between Juliette and Warner, Juliette and Adam, and even Juliette and Kenji. I absolutely adore Warner, but the "lovey dovey" scenes made me close the book several times to contain myself from reading it. I wasn't necessarily cringing, I just couldn't read the scene with a straight face. Adam became flat out rude compared to his sweet self in  Shatter Me. Although I do appreciate how the relationships were evolving, the majority of this book was all about that I think for a proper YA dystopian book, and especially the last one of a series, there should be equal parts of action and equal parts of character development. With that being said, the ending was rushed (due to the improper balance that I just mentioned). The death of Anderson was too easy and too fast. Finding Sara and Sonya was coincidental: first Juliette wonders where they were, but then she finds them right after. I can't help but wonder how Warner just flat out agreed to let Juliette become the leader of Sector. I know he loves and supports her, but there should be a little bit of conflict there. But no, he easily agrees for her to replace Anderson. I was really gutted when there was no character development with the other survivors of Omega Point: Castle, Ian, Brendon, Winston, Alia, and Lily. It would have been awesome if Castle had a part in the story line; I always thought Castle was similar Professor X from X-Men, but they are not. I disliked how these characters were pushed to the sidelines because they could have been an awesome addition to everything that is happening to the story, but unfortunately, they're characters were "unimportant."

    Despite the negatives, there were some things that I liked about Ignite Me. I love how Warner and Juliette's relationship blossomed, showing Warner's actual, kind self. He's a bit of a softee ^_^ And a romantic man. I was swooned by his gentleman quality and charm. I liked how we see a vulnerable side of him and how he is caring towards his mother (which we find about in this book). Kenji and Juliette are both considered to be best friends and Kenji's humor really brightens up the mood in Ignite Me. I liked the pop culture nods that referenced Power Rangers and Bruce Lee. A lot of readers had problems with Juliette and her poetic and extraneous ways, but Juliette doesn't have as many poetic and "annoying" (as some people mention) writing in Ignite Me as the other books. This wasn't a bad book, it was a good one. It's definitely worth reading if you started the Shatter Me trilogy, but I thought Ignite Me was going to be a fantastic end to the series. Sadly, it wasn't.

    The ending was kind-of a cliff hanger, but a satisfying one. An example I can think of with a similar ending is The Dark Knight Rises film. The ending of The Dark Knight Rises is open enough for any expansion of the story line, but it is an uplifting end, making the audience fulfilled with the end of the Dark Knight trilogy. The situation is the same for Ignite Me. The ending is hopeful, but could be expanded upon even further.

    Ignite Me is not like Allegiant, which has a surprising end, or Mockingjay in which many characters died. This one is its own book and is one that is a gratifying completion to the Shatter Me series.

    4 out of 5 stars