Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Stuff

Spoiler-free Review of The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Hey Pals!! Today, I’m going to be reviewing an entire trilogy ๐Ÿคฉ.

Once again, I have no idea why I used that emoji ๐Ÿ™‚. But maybe it’s just the fact that I’m a little excited about reviewing a series as a whole. We’ll see how well that goes though, let’s get started! Here is- Spoiler-free Review of The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.


Synopsis:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his lifeโ€”a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.


The Plot:

I have quite mixed feelings about the plot. While it does have the “chosen one” element to it, I don’t think it was…bad. It was fun to read, and the pacing was really good. In each of the books, the characters try to find a certain significant animal, and yet it wasn’t too repetitive. Something or the other kept happening to make each book a little different from the one before. So, I must say the plot of well-executed.


The Characters:

Alina sucked ๐Ÿ˜ƒ.

Well, not really. I mean she was way too unrealistic, she went from being this sad little girl in the first book to the one who is suddenly so sure of herself when she kisses the Darkling just to rid him of his powers…๐Ÿ™‚. But I’m glad to say the final book made me think of her as a human being and not just a revolutionary brainless, supposedly ugly character.

Then we have โœจThe Darkling โœจ.

I know I’m using the gifs from the show but well, desperate times call for desperate measures-

What do I say? I disliked him at first but I liked him a lot towards the final book. In the first two, he was just kind of meh. Then his character and personality got so much better as the books progressed. We got to see layers behind his motives and actions and it was nice. And I hate to admit it but he’s also kinda…gorgeous ๐Ÿ˜.

Then we have Mal.

I don’t have that many strong feelings for him, except that I love him as a person. He’s so kind and yeah, he was kind of weird in his relationship with Alina at first, but he got better. He was really sweet.

If you’re waiting for Nikolai…

Pic taken from Pinterest

You’ll be delighted to know I am in the minority here when I say I do not have that many strong feelings for him ๐Ÿ˜’. In the second book, he was just fine, nothing special. In the last book though, when the whole incident with the volcra happened…that changed my mind. I think he’s a great guy! Definitely not swoon-worthy as most people find him, but awesome nonetheless. And a great friend.

As for the rest of the characters- Genya and Baghra would be my favorites. They felt so real. And for the rest, I think they were well-written too.


The Writing:

Ahem, this is the more complicated part of the review. First off, the good thing was that the pacing was just right. Had it been written by some other fantasy author, I would’ve been bored probably. But even the boring parts were written at a fast pace so thank goodness, I was saved ๐Ÿ˜Œ. The bad thing though was that the writing was very repetitive. Phrases like “a chill ran down my spine” and “power coursed through me” were used over and over with slight variations. And I don’t know why but it irritated me more than it should have. In the first book especially! It’s not a major thing really but it was a big turn off factor for me while reading the book.


The romances

Two romance was good! Mal and Alina started from being irritating to being amazing ๐Ÿ˜! Alina and The Darkling were too good too! That ending ๐Ÿ˜ญ!! Genya and David were weird though, I don’t like David much. Also, I’m so glad nothing much happened of that Nikolai-Alina thing, it would have been too weird. At least that was one thing that Alina managed to handle like a pro.


Favourite book in the series:

It’ll have to be the first one- Shadow and Bone, which is ironic because that was the most annoying out of the three and I hated almost every character ๐Ÿ˜‚. But it was a lot easier to read than the other two. I have to say that the other two were better, but I enjoyed the first one more.


Overall:

This was a 4/5 stars series for me. In fact, I would give each book 4/5 stars. It was thoroughly enjoyable despite all its flaws. This is the kind of series I recommend to those who are new to fantasy, and I specifically recommend it to people who do not mind some overused tropes. These books are fun, but not the best, and there are definitely things that could have been improved upon, but they are worth a shot.


That’s all! I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you read this series? What are your thoughts on it? Is it on your TBR pile? Let me know in the comments ๐Ÿ˜€.

I know my book reviews ain’t that good but you’ll have to deal with it. My brain cells to write something interesting have been destroyed by copper sulphate crystals and isotonic elements ๐Ÿคง. #sedlyfe

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Stuff

One Of Us Is Lying- Book Review |Want a Swoon-worthy Fictional Crush? Nate Macauley to the Rescue|

Hey Pals!! Today, after 126 years (don’t ask me why I chose that specific number, I don’t know), I will be doing a book review! This is a spoiler-free book review of the one and only- One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. Mcmanus! Without much ado, let’s get started!!

Note: This is a spoiler-free review, however, there might be minor spoilers regarding the romance of the book in the Nate Macauley and the romance section. If you really don’t want to be spoiled for anything just skip that, but I still think it’s not that major so you can read those sections too.


GoodReads Synopsis:

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.


The Plot:

The plot was the second-best thing about this book. The plot was intriguing enough to get me hooked. It addicted me to the book to a level that when I wasn’t reading it, I just wanted to go pick it up, even when nothing much was happening. There was this twist at the end that I hadn’t predicted, that caught me off guard. At first, I thought it was a little weird, but I still liked how it wrapped up the entire mystery thing in a decent way.

Also, one thing you need to know, many people consider that the way this book depicted mental illness was problematic, which may not be true, because the book did not promote it, but if you do find something disturbing, don’t say that I didn’t warn you. Just check the trigger warnings once to be sure, if you want. I’m not including them because…I don’t want to.


The Writing:

The writing was cool. I mean, at some parts you might feel that the book is dragging a little bit when we get a lot of the background of each of the characters, so that’s one thing you might want to look out for you. But it’s also fun because all the time you’re wondering- who did it?!


The Characters:

This, this!! This is the best part of the book! People could argue the characters were clichรฉ, but that was the purpose of the story, wasn’t it? To make the characters clichรฉ. You have the pretty princess, the brainy beauty, the baseball boy, and the dangerous drug dealer. And believe me, the characters were done well. Each of them had depth. The story was written from each of the four characters’ perspectives, and I think the author did a good job at making each of them fairly interesting.ย 

The one thing I didn’t like about one of the main characters was the major secret that Cooper was hiding…it was just too clichรฉ. Same with Nate, a clichรฉ trope was involved with his story too. So if you’re a person who can’t handle too much clichรฉ, this might tick you off, but the rest of the book is still good enough to maybe dull the impact.

And don’t even get me started on the side characters! One of them, I’m not gonna name which one so as not to ruin the fun for you, was written really well, with just enough foreshadowing about their role later in the story to make that ending make sense…did I make sense?


Nate Macauley!

And now for my most favourite character- NATE MACAULEY! ๐Ÿ˜ญ I can’t get over him, I need help! That guy, I mean that guy is just…๐Ÿ˜ You wanted to swoon, right? If you’re a typical, weird teenager like me who can’t get enough drama in their own boring life, you will love-with-a-capital-L Nate, because he is freaking hot! Okay? Nobody can deny that ๐Ÿ˜ค, I have my image of him in my mind and he’s damn hot! Not just hot, he’s an awesome boyfriend too!

If you’re looking for me to tell you why I find him so hot, I have absolutely no idea how I can do that in a spoiler-free review. But I’ll try. So here goes: 

As is pretty obvious by now, Nate is pretty much the bad guy in the story.ย He used to be friends with Bronwyn, but then they drifted apart, but now they’re getting closer again due to the murder thingy that they are involved in. It’s not just about the bad-boy vibe that comes along with Nate that makes me like him, you know? There are lots of bad boys. It’s about how he’s got lots more to him, and the author has written it in a very balanced manner. She hasn’t made him bad exactly, she’s just given him a dark vibe. Usually, authors write bad boys who have a soft spot for a girl and hate everybody else or bad boys who aren’t bad blah blah. Nate is kind of a mix of both but in a good way. As I said, he’s just got a dark vibe to him, he’s not bad.


The Romance:

Nate and Bronwyn make such an amazing pair. I mean, the person he is to Bronwyn is basically what makes me love him so much! He’s sweet, but at the same time when it comes to romance, aah the scenes will leave you wanting for more! The fact that Bronwyn, despite being a brainy girl doesn’t think of herself as ugly or whatever is another thing that makes the romance worth it- Bronwyn feels realistic! And the late movie nights these two have are to die for! So the romance was one of the best aspects of the story.


The Epilogue:

Yes, the epilogue deserves a section of its own. That epilogue touched my heart and I’m not okay ๐Ÿ˜”. It was sweet! I’m not even gonna tell you what it is about, but if you were shipping the same characters that I was throughout the whole story, you will love it!


Overall:

4.5/5 stars…or maybe just 4? I do recommend this if you’re looking for a fun murder mystery and an, ahem, jaw-dropping, heart-wrenching, amazingly gorgeous character…I’ll stop.


So, that was all for today’s post! I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope my review helped you in some way. Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it? Is it on your TBR pile? Let me know down below in the comments ๐Ÿ˜€.

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Stuff

Book Review- Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertally ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ

Happy Pride Month, Pals!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ (Ignore the fact I’m awfully late ๐Ÿ˜ฌ)

So, in honor of The Pride Month, I decided to read some LGBTQ+ books. I’m going to be honest here, but I haven’t read many books with LGBTQ+ characters, and most of the ones that I have read have only side characters who are queer. But I would also like to make a point that I fully support the community. I even wanted to do a pride related tag, but couldn’t because stupid me hasn’t even read enough pride books and I would just have made a fool out of myself ๐Ÿ˜ญ.

The thing is I never read them because I never felt the appeal, I guess. Not to mention I haven’t even read that many romance novels in general, much less LGBTQ+. But this month, I felt the desire to read them become very strong and I just knew this would be the perfect book to start with. So here we are, let’s do this!


Synopsis:

This book features our main character- Simon, who is gay and is not yet out about it to anyone. The only person who knows is a guy from his school whom he’s never met, but knows only through mails. He goes by the name Blue, and he is also gay, and the two boys form a bond as they communicate with each other through mails, and get to know a lot about each other, to a point where Simon feels like he’s falling for him.

But another guy Martin, who has read Simon and Blue’s mails, is blackmailing Simon by subtly threatening to use the information against him if Simon doesn’t help him to bring him to the attention of his crush, a girl named Abby, who happens to be Simon’s friend. The story thus follows Simon having to deal how to come out to his family and friends, as well as save his and Blue’s secret emails from being leaked.

I hope I did a fine job at the synopsis.


The Plot:

Simple, but sweet.

If there is one word I have to use to describe this book, then that would be sweet because this book had a lot of “sweet” in it.

The reason I picked up this specific LGBTQ+ book instead of all others was because this is the most basic story plot out there, and not in a bad way. I really wanted my first such book to be simple yet impactful, and this sounded the perfect one to start with. The whole concept of “coming out” and dealing with being a part of this community for a high school student is rather a clichรฉ plot but usually, I like starting with clichรฉ when new to a specific genre. And yup, it totally worked for me.

The writing style was also very easy to follow. It was pretty simple and suited the vibe of the book.


The Characters:

The characters were amazingly done. For such a short book, I really appreciated how each character had an important role to play, and even the minor ones were written pretty well.

My favourite one would definitely be Leah, for some reason the whole way things ended up for her didn’t please me at all, and that just makes me look really forward to Leah on the Offbeat, because I think she would make a really cool protagonist.

I really liked Abby and rest of the others too, but they were kinda forgettable? But they weren’t bad in any way, I loved reading about them. But I didn’t love them necessarily. I also don’t really have that many strong feelings for Simon and Blue, I liked how things ended for them, but it felt kinda too perfect for some reason. The characters deserved it for sure, but I am really not in the mood for books with happy endings anymore, that’s the major reason I’m reading so many historical fiction and scifis lately.

Overall, the characters were pretty good. I didn’t love them necessarily but loved the way they were written.


What I didn’t like:

So, I don’t really know why despite that I just praised this book, it felt very forgettable for me. It could be because of the fact that it was just so simple, which is a good thing, it made the story easy to follow through, but looking back on it, it was just an okay kind of book. Not to mention, I kept feeling that Simon and Blue were being way too formal in their emails for two people who feel like they are falling in love. Maybe it’s just that my definition of informal is different than theirs, but uh…it felt a little bit weird.

As I mentioned before, the characters were all pretty forgettable for me. This was in no way a bad book, but I guess it is the one that is just good. It is not great or new or memorable or anything.

Overall-

I would recommend it if you need a break from heavy novels, or if you are looking for a fun romance. To me, it was kind of a disappointment, but since it wasn’t that bad, I would say it’s worth a shot if you’re interested.

3/5 stars

That was all for the review. And ugh, I hope it wasn’t too boring. I am really bad at writing reviews. I still hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you’ve read this book and what you thought of it, down in the comments. Once again, Happy Pride Month ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ!!


Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Stuff

Letter to the World from a Naive Mind by the lovely Potterhead Aanya |Book Review|

Hey Pals!! I know most of you are aware of Aanya‘s book Letter to the World from a Naive Mind. Today, I’ll be reviewing it ๐Ÿ˜€.


Description:

A letter to the future me, the world, and any aliens who came across this from a die-heart potterhead, addressing the social issues, my thoughts, and my opinions, from a 12 year old’s point of view.


My Thoughts:

I freaking LOVE this book. I finished it and I was deeply moved. Aanya has penned down such wonderful and serious thoughts in the most astounding way. She talked about a lot of stuff in this book, but the main theme, as I found it to be, was to accept yourself the way you are and don’t let others’ thoughts and dreams change you in any way.

Another important thing this book dealt with was that you NEED to realize that you have to be a change in the world.

Aanya’s words were simple and powerful, moreover she talked about some really hard-hitting subjects. This book is near-perfection. I don’t read non-fiction that much, but this was something special, also pretty short so you can finish it in one sitting.

4.5/5 stars.

That’s all I have to say, really. I love this book and this is my honest review. Please read this book, it is amazing!!


Thanks for reading. Hope you decided to give this book a shot. Stay safe. Ciao!!

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Stuff

Magnus Chase Trilogy by Rick Riordan- Spoiler-Free Review (Plus a Riddle for all its fans)

Hey Pals!! Today, I am doing a spoiler-free book series review of The Magnus Chase trilogy by Rick Riordan. I read this pretty recently and here are all my thoughts on it. Keep reading for a riddle in the end ๐Ÿ˜‰.


Synopsis:

Magnus Chase is a homeless guy who is living rough on the streets of Boston when one day he is reunited with his unpleasant uncle who informs him that he is the son of a Norse god. Just the typical Rick Riordan stuff, but wait! In this book, Magnus dies fighting a fire giant and wakes up in Valhalla (this isn’t a spoiler, don’t worry) where thousands of fallen warriors prepare for Ragnarok. Magnus must go on a quest to find his father’s long lost sword or there will be…. you guessed right, DOOM!

Characters:

I absolutely loved the characters of this series. I love Magnus and his sense of humor. Blitzen and Hearth are just as fabulous and I obviously really like Sam and Alex.

Plot:

Each book has its own different plot but I seriously thought that the conclusion of this book series was a little less impactful. After all that the trouble that the characters had to go through, the ending was sort of too straight-forward, the characters were easily able to complete the task they set their journey for and there weren’t many memorable consequences.

Writing:

Of course, Uncle Rick’s writing was again to-the-point and just enough to make me visualize what was happening. It was way too hilarious too. I guess that for me this was his most humorous series.

What I Loved:

The books are super hilarious. This author should be given an award for never-ending humor. Also, I really liked reading about these Gods as I have a good background on Norse myths, so it was fun to read about the stuff that I actually already liked. At times, I felt that a few facts were a bit altered but that could be just various perspectives on the myths.

Another thing that I really liked is the diversity of the characters. We have Sam who is a Muslim and takes part in the fasting during Ramadan. Then we have Alex who is a transgender, and the way that character is written is just mind-blowing. This author has done an incredible job in portraying various things and making them suitable for a wide audience and that’s something I really adore.

What Could’ve Been Better:

The ending of the final book could’ve been a lot better but I still enjoyed these books a lot.

My Rating

4.5/5 Stars

Suggestion to those not well-versed in Norse Mythology

This series has a lot of characters from the Norse myths so if you don’t know a lot of them or you know them through the movies, I suggest a book named Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

This is a great book to start with and it will really help you understand what is going on in the series without having trouble with memorizing new characters. This book provides a number of tales of the gods and frost giants. It would help in better understanding of the story.


As promised, here’s the riddle ๐Ÿ‘‡:

Jokes aside, I do indeed have a riddle for you all (is that what I should call it, a riddle?), here it is then:

What’s the name of the fire giant whom Magnus fought in the first few chapters of The Sword of Summer and which of the Nine Worlds is he associated with? The comment section awaits your answer ๐Ÿ˜€.


That’s it. Thanks for reading. Let me know in the comments if you have read this trilogy and what were your thoughts on it. And if you haven’t, do let me know if my review helped you. Stay safe. Adiรณs!!

PS: I have decided to refer to you guys as “Warlocks” instead of what I usually use which is “Pals”. What do you think about that? Let me know in the comments ๐Ÿค—.