Mini Reviews: YA books #1

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Hello, dearies! We have here another powerful edition of the mini reviews post =D This time, however, the macro theme will be Young Adult books that I have read recently =)

Just remembering that the mini reviews deal is a combination of inspirations from Cait, of The Paper Fury, and from Lindsey, of @thepagemistress, and that I do those with books that were good, but weren’t unforgettable =)

In this post, you’ll find mini reviews for:

  • Elizabeth Rudnick – A Frozen Heart
  • Emily Rodda – The Key to Rondo (Rondo #1)
  • G. K. DeRosa – Wilder Destiny (The Guardian #2)
  • John Connolly – The Book of Lost Things
  • Kiera Cass – The Siren
  • Laini Taylor – Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
  • Shannon Hale – The Unfairest of Them All (Ever After High: Storybook of Legends #2)

Read More »

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Sugar Season, from Spencer Spears

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(Alternative title: OH MY STARS, THIS BOOK WAS TOO PERFECT FOR MY LITTLE PANDA HEART!)

Hello, romance fans! We’re about to start a really sweet review [haha, I’m so funny] for Sugared Season, from Spencer Spears! I have received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review – again, thanks so much, Spencer! – and the moment is here! Btw, before we start, Happy Book Birthday to Sugar Season ❤ ❤

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Graham lost his husband Joey five years ago and never quite recovered from the experience. He knew he should be grateful for having at least a handful of years next to the man of his life, but the memories had been too much for Graham. How was he supposed to move on when he didn’t have the courage to take his ring off? When he had to drive to Joey’s parents once a year for a depressing and heart shattering ritual?

More importantly: why won’t people allow Graham to suffer alone? The only man he wants is Joey – no one else will do.

Ryan lost his elder perfect brother five years ago and never quite recovered from the experience. After a lifetime of resentment towards Joey, wishing every day for the guy to vanish within air and put an end to their mother’s comparisons, Ryan suddenly saw his wishes coming true in an awful and heart breaking way. Despite knowing that he hadn’t caused the war Joey had been fighting in when he died, Ryan feels responsible for his death. To help matters, Ryan just lost all his money to a con man in New York and was forced to move back in with his parents, enduring twice more the comparisons from his mother.

All Ryan wants is some perspective in life and a minute without listening to any kind of critic to his looks or his choices.

Graham and Ryan worlds’ collide when both men decide to stray from their regular modus operandi and make out in the parking lot of a highway bar. It wasn’t supposed to mean anything… Until they discover just how related they are.

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Me after finishing this book:

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Mini Reviews: M/M books #1

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Hello, panda shippers! Hope everyone is on the beautiful path for the new year and having a good time =) Today I’d like to talk about those 83479303203902 late reviews I own you all.

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I know, it’s bad, but thanks to Cait, from The Paper Fury, I FINALLY found a perfect solution to speed things up with my reviews, especially regarding books that were good, but not remarkable: MINI REVIEWS!

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I know what you’re thinking. But Annelise, the whole internet and the galaxies know about your George R. R. Martin syndrome, so how are you planning to write mini reviews?!

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Thankfully, I have another awesome friend that helped me solving this problem: Lindsey, from @thepagemistress ❤ A looong time ago, she asked how I organized my ideas for a review and we chatted about this for hours until she finally came up with her own method for Goodreads reviews and I’m graciously using them as well for the Mini Reviews posts =)

As this is the first one, I apologize for it being so long, but explanation is necessary! I’ll try to stick to a theme when doing mini reviews, so you know what you’ll find here =) Feedback is always welcome and needed, but in this section especially, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO IN THE COMMENTS LATER, PLEASE?!

Now, let’s do this, haha!

In this post, you’ll find mini reviews for:

  • Andrew Grey – Eyes Only For Me
  • Aria Grace – More Than Friends (More Than Friends #1)
  • Aria Grace – Drunk In Love (More Than Friends #2)
  • Chad Lane – Only For You (Only For You #1)
  • Holley Trent – Winterball (Den of Sin #10)
  • Jack Woolf – Police Force

Read More »

This is My Genre, Tell Me Yours! #booktag

Good night, lovely people! I was going to bother you all only tomorrow morning, but as Beth, from Betwixt The Pages, so kindly reminded me three times, she tagged me on the This is My Genre, Tell Me Yours! #booktag =D If you don’t know Beth yet, you totally need to #justsaying, so go check her own post and blog here, please! She rocks all the right books and jams ❤ Beth, once again, thank you for the tag!

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  • Credit Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek as the creator of the tag, either use the created tag name graphic or create your own and link back to the blog;
  • Answer the questions;
  • Tag as many people as you want!

QUESTIONS

  1. What’s your favourite genre?

I’d say romance, but that’s a lie. I could say historical romance, but that is also not right. The truth is I’m picky with both, so I’ll just stick with the universal truth: gay romance. If we’re talking about a good and sugared gay romance, then I’m in heaven.

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  1. Who’s your favourite author from the genre?

I hate when I have to choose among my children, but if for some monstrous reason I got stuck reading the same author forever and ever, it would be Ava March. She’s my goddess on earth and she knows it. Or at least she should, as I’ve been bothering her by messages on Goodreads and e-mails since I was 17 – I’m 22 today, so the math proves how much patience Ava has with me, haha! Seriously, ALL HER BOOKS ROCK. I should know, as I have read them all. #psychotic #Ilovetoohard #sorrynotsorry

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  1. What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

This question actually needs to be answered in three parts, if you all don’t mind lol Dear Annelise, of course we mind! Do you think we don’t have anything better to do than to read your babbles?

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Sorry, I’m still answering it on three parts, please bear with me ❤

Part I: Historical Romance

Since I was a child, I’m a sucker for historical romances, especially the ones set in London, 19th century. At first, I only knew the heterosexual romance world – which I love dealy to this day – and what keeps pulling me back to it is to be able to see how you can find ways to rebel even when society is against you. To see how people behaved and how difficult everything was back then – can you imagine being hungry and not knowing how to turn on your own stove to bake yourself something? I honestly can’t and that’s why I keep coming back to this genre. I love to see how people were able to live and be happy with way less. How much simpler things were. If they had good toilets and tampons, I’d totally go back in time!

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Part II: Gay Romance

I have such a fondness for LGBT love in general because I feel this is the last true social barrier for a relationship to actually work. If I’m reading contemporary romances and it is all about the couple getting together with some insecurity drama to it, I just don’t feel like reading it. I don’t see a valid problem, you know? But a LGBT couple has yet to deal with a lot of shit from society – many times, from their own homes. This sense of forbidden love makes me pin harder for them, in hopes that, one day, those labels won’t matter anyone and love can be truly free.

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Part III: Historical Gay Romances

After Greeks and Romans turned into History [haha], pretty much all relationships posed challenges. The taboo levels varied according to the times, but no couple was safe – I hope you are seeing a pattern here, haha! On the 19th century, people loved to think they were oh-so-civilized and modern, but relationships were still very complicated. Nobles and servants together? Nope. Peasants and nobles? Nope. Royalty and beggars? NOPE. Birth itself was a barrier and there were serious punishment for marrying off your social position. Now, imagine the taboo levels for two men in love with each other when they can barely choose the women to hold their hearts? I FAINTED.

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  1. What’s the book that started your love for your favourite genre?

gravitationI’ve been a book lover from the crib, with no particular trigger to my adoration. However, what truly awakened the gay romance lover in me wasn’t a book, but a manga series called Gravitation, by Maki Murakami. To be honest, it isn’t even that good, but I didn’t know it was a gay romance when I first bought it and started to read it. I was 13, I think, and totally ignored the big +18 on manga covers since I was 8, so you can imagine my face-fall as I reached volume 2 and the male protagonists had sex. I wish I could have a gif of that moment, it was priceless, haha! I already had a soft spot for beautiful bffs males, so the thing just naturally evolved and officially got out of control as I entered college and met J. L. Langley’s books. Life as I knew back then was over, hahaha!

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5. If you had to recommend at least one book from your favourite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

Actually, I have already been there with Jess, from the Mud and Stars! If you want to immerse yourselves on the wonders of historical gay romance, I must recommend you All In With The Duke, from the goddess Ava March! It’s simply the best historical romance of my life. I hope this is reasoning enough, but in case it isn’t… Here’s my review for it!

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I miss my pretty Instagram pictures #justsaying

 

  1. Why do you read?

Why do I breathe? Why do I eat? Why do I sleep? All those questions have the same answer: despite being highly enjoyable, I NEED TO DO IT, LMAO. Books are my safe heaven, the hobby I hop on when I’m tired, bored, happy, sad, excited, hopeful, in need of a hug… Books are my life. I actually own more books than clothes and shoes put together, haha! (Just to clarify: I’m only talking about physical books. Don’t even get me started on the digital shelves, haha!)

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George R. R. Martin definitely rubbed on me, I can’t even make a tag post something short… Sorry, guys! For this one, I’ll tag…

Amanda, from the Cover2CoverMom

Jess, from the Mud and Stars

Because I’m really sure they are ok with tags, but anyone is welcome to do it! You can even say I tagged you on your post =D Jess and Amanda, please don’t feel obligated to do this if you don’t feel like it ❤

I guess that’s it, people! Hope you found this post where I just talk about my royal panda self all the time interesting ❤ What is your favorite genre?

With love,

assinatura

Maisy and the Mystery Manor, from Elizabeth Woodrum (The Maisy Files #3)

Hello, lovelies! I’m back with another really late review from happier days, before my break down and all the emo music I’ve been listening to. One would think teenage angst couldn’t be a deal after our twenties, but oh well.

Despite the teen phase, I’m here today to talk about a middle grade book, which proves that I’m never going to truly grow up – middle grade books can be the sweetest thing ever ❤ I present you the third volume in The Maisy Files series, from Elizabeth Woodrum: Maisy and the Mystery Manor! I’ve won my copy from Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review, so here we are! Thanks, guys ❤

As miracles do happen, we have reviews for all the books in the series so far! If you want to take a look at them before reading this one, please, be my guest!

Maisy and the Missing Mice (The Maisy Files #1)

Maisy and the Money Marauder (The Maisy Files #2)

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summary

Super sleuths will be thrilled to know that everyone’s favorite fourth-grade detective is back with a double dose of mystery adventure! As Maisy participates in a mystery weekend event for junior detectives, she uncovers a real case. Could a ghost be haunting Mystery Manor? Find out in the exciting third installment of The Maisy Files!

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I was so sad to know this was the last book in the series and even sadder to not know if there will be more volumes to it! =( Especially given that Maisy and The Mystery Manor is the best volume – full standalone, so you don’t need to read books one and two to meet Maisy and understand why she is on the Mystery Manor – and also the cleverest of them all! ❤ I finished it with an I-want-more taste on my mouth and it was a five stars read from beginning to end!

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The narrative follows the style from the previous books: third person from Maisy’s view. It’s amazing to see how skilled Maisy becomes through the books, using her logic better and better with each mystery solved. Woodrum also had the care of always making the next mystery slightly more challenging than the last, so that’s also amazing. I confess I got lost trying to solve the main mystery, so more points to the author! ❤ Annelise, dear, don’t talk like your mental age was above 12.

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Mea culpa, as I have the sinking feeling that it’s not just my face that is stuck in time since I became a vampire, at the age of 14. Seriously, a high-schooler hit on me on the mall the other day and I not-so-kindly told him I had the age to be his mother, as I’m 22 and already finished college. Kids those days! Still, it’s amazing to see how Woodrum built a good mystery without resorting to anything too complicated. I can’t even tell you how refreshing this was!

…And I already talked about the plot, haha! I don’t want to say much more, because a good mystery doesn’t ask for spoilers 😉

The interesting thing to see about the characters is their evolution. Maisy may be the leading character, but her best friend Veronica also got much better at being a detective and both girls grow up a little, but never losing their childish shine ❤

I truly only have good things to say about this book and this series, so I’m afraid this review will be shorter than my usual ones.

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Please, do try to disguise your relief a little bit, yes? Thank you! Hahahaha!

As I say my goodbyes for this delightful series (for now! I still have hopes for a new The Maisy Files book and re-reads are always a thing), I’d like to share the biggest lesson I took from Maisy:

“Never mess with a girl’s lollipops” – SAWYER, Maisy.

5star

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Thank you for reading yet another review and many thanks again to Lola’s Blog Tours for my review copy! =) See you around and love you, guys!

assinatura

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Nobody’s Goddess, from Amy McNulty (Never Veil #1)

[alternative title: OMG THIS DYSTOPIAN IS ACTUALLY SO CLEVER OMG!]

Hello, guys! How’s everyone doing on this beautiful Sunday? I had a good amount of free time on Saturday, so I managed to prepare some reviews for this week in advance – go, me! Hahaha! In resume, the next posts will probably be scheduled, but I’m here all the time to talk, so please free to comment your heart away and I shall answer as soon as the time zones allow me to! ❤

But enough jibber jabber, I have important business with this post: dear readers, please meet Nobody’s Goddess, first book from the Never Veil series, by Amy McNulty!

I had read this book earlier this same year, but it was so mind blowing I couldn’t find the words to write a review – also, Amy told me the third book would be out in October, so I allowed my brain to be stunned for months and only made a re-read to accompany the last book in the series. Best decision ever ❤ Oh, I got this particular copy from Chapter by Chapter when I participated in their blog tour for Nobody’s Lady =) Thanks again, guys!

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the story

They say there is a man out there for every woman – in this case, quite literally.

Noll lives on a good sized village with a rather peculiar trait: men’s lives are dedicated to serve women. Or, more specifically, their respective goddess. Until they have their love returned for the women of their dreams, the men have to walk around in masks.

This is only the tip of the iceberg: women can choose to reject their men, but they will have to live alone and knowing no other men will ever love her. Also, if a woman without direct blood ties sees a man that has yet to have his love returned without a mask, the man will vanish within air.

Things have been like this forever, but Noll is sure it’s some kind of curse. She never quite fit in with the village girls, preferring to run wildly with the small boys, playing at wrestling and wars. One by one, the curse claimed her friends. As they found their goddesses, they abandoned Noll and everyone else. All her friends, except Jurij. Her beloved Jurij. Her sister’s man.

As things get out of control in Noll’s life with the approach of Jurij’s marriage, Noll accidentally falls into the waters of her favorite cavern… And finds herself at her own village, thousands of years ago. She finally has the chance to change her destiny, but at what cost?

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the analysis

Just remembering those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

Can I just start by saying OMG? Because I think that’s an exact definition for Nobody’s Goddess from beginning to end, seriously. This book stole my breath away twice in all the right moments and the cliff hanger on the last chapter would have killed me both times if I didn’t have the next book on me as well, haha! I’m not a huge dystopian fan, but this book has brilliant dystopian touches mixed with a lot of fantasy and OMG Amy McNulty is just totally ingenious writing anything she wants to! I promise I’ll gather my shit together and start my analysis, but this was a high-five stars book! ;D did you see what I did there?

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Ahem, now that I’m more controlled, let’s talk about narrative: first person from Noll’s perspective. I can sense some jaws dropping from people that follow me for a while, as I just gave five stars to a book in first person and be prepared to feel your jaws dropping lower: I fought with Noll almost all the time. Our love/hate relationship was epic and extreme, but still I loved the book. The story was just too good, even with all the rage in Noll’s head, haha! The pace of the story is also really good and very fluid.

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The plot was brilliant. McNulty plays with her reader, dividing her twists in two categories: the ones you see coming and the ones that take advantage of your self-satisfaction at being right about the sequence of happenings in the story and push you to your knees in the ground until your face is touching the earth too. She understood so well my double personality about being able to guess and being unable to guess things, I just want to hug her. Tight. And never let go.

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The fantasy/dystopian aspect of the story was marvelously developed and McNulty created an unique world, discussing at the whole time the genres wars. Are women better than men? Are men better than women? No, for both things. Each time one genre has too much control over Noll’s village, things go terribly wrong and I loved it. This whole series is a lesson in human equality of all kinds, but I’ll develop this argument better on my review for the third book, haha!

Now, characters. I hate Noll like, with a force. The teen angst present in this book was, in my opinion, her best moment, as it was allied with ignorance and made her bold besides stubborn. I also didn’t care for her family or Jurij – in fact, I hate Jurij too, more than Noll. The only characters I loved in this book were the lord, whose name will be kept in secret due spoilers, and Alvilda ❤

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I’m a difficult soul to bound, you see.

Also, I wanted to comment on the change of covers of the series right before the release of Nobody’s Pawn, the last volume:

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I particularly already loved the first cover, but the new version is so much more passionate! I loved the model and the art ❤ In fact, I won’t shut up about it on Amy’s inbox, haha! She must have already blocked me at this point or started screaming just to see the word “cover” on texts, haha!

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Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that McNulty brought me something new when I got to read Nobody’s Goddess. It wasn’t about Noll’s teen angst, it wasn’t about the love, it wasn’t even about the gender equality. It all came down to what we decide to do with the choices we are given. No one ever thought they had a choice to fight the system, but Noll chose exactly that. No women had ever dared to confess their loves for other man that weren’t their own and Noll chose to do exactly that. No one ever questioned the way things were before and things only got to change when Noll set them into motion. Don’t get me wrong, she’s one of the most selfish people I have ever seen, but she is brave, she is daring and she changed her fate.

I honestly think that, in a time of so many uncertainties for the whole world, it’s important to remember we are still free to choose, even when everything points you to a “choiceless” path. If we think hard enough, we can always find the perfect solution for our sufferings – we just have to accept the consequences of our actions later. It’s easier to say you won’t take action because there isn’t anything you can do to make things better, but trust me when I say the only thing we can’t fix is death. Most of the time we are indeed powerless in our environments and it sucks on galaxies levels, but Noll shows us that, if we keep ourselves centered and keep trying to do the right thing, we will eventually have what we want. Not because life rewards us, but because we conquered it.

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Wow, am I not incredibly deep those last few days? Haha! Sorry, I’ll end up making you guys wish I wasn’t back at all, haha! Maybe I just need to go back to therapy or to write a self-help book and win shitloads of money. Whichever comes first, haha!

I chose some quotes from the book to woo you into reading it, so let’s finish with them =)

“It wasn’t much, but I controlled what the wood would be. And no one told me I didn’t really get to choose.” – Noll

~*~

“A few well-placed stabs from Elgar The Blade to his abdomen might ‘improve my temper’.” – Noll

~*~

“I was cursed by the gift of choice.” – Noll

~*~

“I could live without love. I’d accepted that by now. I wasn’t sure I could live without freedom.” – Noll

~*~

“I feel compelled to do anything I so much as think you want done. It is a battle within me not to slit my own throat at this very moment.” – The lord

~*~

And this winning lines between Noll and the lord of the castle:

The Lord: You were born to torment me.

Noll: I think the same of you.

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Overall, if you like YA, Fantasy, Dystopian and heart gripping plots, you have to add Nobody’s Goddess to your bookshelves right now! ❤

5star

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Thanks for bearing with the philosopher me once again and for reading yet another overly long review! George R. R. Martin rubbed off a little in me since the challenge, ugh. See you around and love you, guys!

assinatura

The Dream Protocol: Descent from Adara Quick

(Alternative title: the day in which I fell in love with a dystopian book)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane – no, it’s a review! =D Hello, hello! Nice Friday to you all. Mine was really exhausting, but at least I got to relax now during the night. Hope you all are relaxing ❤ But enough with the babbling, right? Right. Let’s talk about today’s book: The Dream Protocol: Descent, from Adara Quick! I had added my name to the Xpresso Book Tours Blog Tour before my break down and I can’t tell how happy I am for being able to read, finish and review the book on time ❤ Okay, almost, as this post was supposed to go live this morning.

ANYWAY, I received the book in exchange for an honest review and I thank you Xpresso Book Tours forever for this ❤ Thanks, guys! Let’s talk about this dystopian adventure that stole my heart =D

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summary

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD.

In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I need to start by making a confession: dystopian is not my thing. I tried a lot, but I never encountered that one book that made me stop the eye rolls at the genre. Well, until The Dream Protocol, that is. This book surprised me in every aspect and made me ache to keep reading it, to know what came next. It was a fast and fluid read, just what I needed to fall in love with the genre. It has some small problems that bothered me nevertheless, so four stars 🙂

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The narrative was third person with that kind of narrator that floats from character to character, the traditional guide of the story. Despite third person being my favorite type, this time, I admit that I got really confused in several parts during the beginning. There was nothing indicating that the point of view had changed, so I didn’t know who was thinking what. Eventually, this problem was one of the things that made this book lose a star. What I really like is how Quick’s writing makes us fly through the pages, how she slowly introduces us to this alternative reality sometime in the future. She never dumps tons of information at her reader and then move on. There is always a new details here and there, something that you sense more than learn. Honestly, this woman is a genius.

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The plot also was awesome. So many twists without the obvious outcomes! =O Every time I thought I had catch how Quick worked [haha], she metaphorically winked at me and called me loser, HAHAHA! The Dream Protocol was one of the few books in which every prediction that I made was wrong and it drove me nuts, hahaha! Annelise, darling, you get upset when you can guess things and when you can’t? Get a grip and make a decision, please!

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I know, I’m weird. I can’t explain, but I always feel ridiculously happy and disappointed at the same time when books hit my theories with a shovel and laugh at my face. You know, metaphorically. I never heard of anyone getting a shovel in the face from a book. Oh, well, I’m babbling, sorry. Back to business!

In case you didn’t guess, Quick’s society is built on dreams, quite literally, and that’s what drove me to this book. I was a bit taken aback at first thanks to my previous experience with The Dreamer (review here – not dystopian, but fantasy with dreams), but it is a pleasure to inform that Quick delivers everything a reader could ask for in matters of world building and scenery. Besides, a big plus is that the story is on Ireland ❤

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Now, characters. This is the other place in which the book failed me a little. I didn’t understand where does Deirdre’s rebellion comes from. She has a good social position on her society, she has loving parents, a sister to fight with and friends. She is rebel simply to be and I found this shallow. She doesn’t have solid reasons to be against the society. I know her parents produce the dreams and that’s how she knows that the things that she dreams about are real, but she doesn’t have a strong case to be so hostile. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Deirdre because she isn’t your standard YA female heroine, but she has a weak construction. Funny enough, all the other people around her seem to have strong motives to be as they are, haha! Oh, well.

I knew this was too good to be true hilary duff a new cinderella story

To wrap things up, I must warn that this book ends on a MAJOR cliff hanger and I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK OMG! *–* If you like YA, dystopian and almost unpredictable books, just stop wasting time on my babbling and GO READ THE DREAM PROTOCOL!! ❤

4star

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Thanks for choosing to spend your Friday night here with me, I do appreciate the company, and hope you liked this review! Once again, thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for my review copy 🙂 If you guys want to learn more info on the author, the book or see where you can purchase it, visit this link.

Love you all and see you again soon,

assinatura

Black Water Tales: The Unwanted, from JeanNicole Rivers (Black Water Tales #2)

(Alternative title: HOLLY F*, THE CREEPS. ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE! =OOOOOO)

Hello to you that decided it was a good time to seat and read a review! Or not sit, but happily scroll down through your phone. Oh, well. Welcome to you, no matter if you are seated, on your feet or laid down. My only piece of advice before cutting the crap and start talking about today’s book is: do not read this with the lights off. You know, safety matters and all. Thanks!

Without further ado, today I took the day to review a DELICIOUS book that I received from the author in exchange for an honest review: Black Water Tales: The Unwated, from JeanNicole Rivers! Technically, this is the second book in the series, but they are totally unrelated to each other, so I will just treat is as a standalone 🙂 Thanks so much for sending me your book, JeanNicole! I don’t have the words to describe what it meant to me! Actually I kind of do, as I am writing all about my feels for the book as we speak, but never mind that.

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the story

Blaire Baker is one of those people who is in a serious need to find a purpose in life. Which better way than to volunteer herself to teach special children at a poor orphanage in eastern Europe? St. Sebastian sounds like the perfect place to escape her problems and make herself useful, maybe even changing some lives for good. Paired up with Travis, a funny and easy-going nurse on the same mission as her, Blaire heads to Borslav to start her life.

She knew not to expect a nice looking place or even healthy children, but nothing prepared Blaire to the eerie creeps that St. Sebastian gave her. She also wasn’t prepared to deal with emotionless and stoic children that couldn’t care less what happened around them. Or even to hear so many whispers about the basement.

As if caring for those lost children wasn’t already a big deal, Blaire also started to be haunted by her own past. She would have to fight her own demons before trying to dig up the mysteries around the night noises and voices of St. Sebastian.

The only question is… Will she survive long enough for that?

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

DEAR HEAVENS, WHERE DO I BEGIN?! This book scared me on a whole new level. I admit not being an avid reader of terror books so far in my life, but NOT A SINGLE BOOK THAT CAME BEFORE THIS ONE WRACKED ME SO HARD! Nearing the end, I would shiver in broad daylight, with the sun on my back and many people around me, feeling utterly alone in the world. As I finished it on a very crowded subway station, I kept looking over my shoulder, being sure that ~something~ was watching for me, if you know what I mean. I only avoided a panic attack because I managed to run home and burn my energy. And when I say run, I mean it. I must have looked absolutely crazy, because I only stopped to cross streets and to enter my building… Oh well, it happens to the best of us. For all those sensations, that are priceless on their own twisted way, A MILLION STARTS FOR THIS BOOK!

The narrative had to be my favorite style: third person with switching points of view between Blaire and Travis. As both them are oblivious to the things that really happen at the orphanage, the narrative choice fit as a glove. Even when one of them discovered something else, we all kept in the dark (quite literally) about what was real and what was paranoid delusion. In the end of the book, I truly didn’t know any more if things were actually happening of if it was a glitch from one of their minds. Rivers plays with your mind that hard.

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The plot was all kinds of brilliant. I admit that the story starts off a little slow with Blaire going to Borslav with Travis, but as soon as they step on St. Sebastian for the first time, you are doomed. It’s a mix of morbid curiosity with pure agony that makes you go on. You want to see these poor children winning in life after so many problems. I have to also admit that I was actually cool in the scary side while I thought things were supernatural. While I thought that ghosts were behind the bad things and that was a simple matter of calling Sam and Dean, you know?

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I thought it would be the case of involving the Impala brothers 😛

 

However, Rivers played me like a puppet and laughed (metaphorically) at my face. No Sam and Dean were required and just like that my biggest fears came alive: REAL PEOPLE DOING NASTY THINGS. This is what truly scared the shit out of me and Rivers had me at my fear of real people. Well played, Rivers. Well played indeed.

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Ok, focus. Now we have characters. Oh, the characters. I was soooo in love with Blaire and Travis once that I got to know them! What I really liked about this book is that the author didn’t push the romance – no, it’s all about the mystery and remaining true to yourself. Despite some facts, it would have been really easy to turn Travis and Blaire into a couple and I am so proud of Rivers for not falling into that trap ❤ From the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU!

What I really love about Black Water Tales: The Unwanted is that every character has a shady edge, even the children and St. Sebastian building. By the way, the building pulses with life, which is so freaking odd and creepy. I love decadent places, but I doubt I would have the courage to enter St. Sebastian.

i literally cannot even i can't even i am unable to even i have lost my ability to even i am so unable to even

The only complaint that I have is that I ended the book without many vital details. I felt more tying up right before the end and I doubt that the next instalment of this series will also be in Borslav, so it is a bit disappointing. I only overlooked this on my rating because all the rest is SO FREAKING AMAZING that I could deal with some plot holes, haha!

I think I have already went on too much today, so let me just wrap things up by saying that if you love mystery and terror, you simply have to read this book asap. After that, message me for us to fangirl about it together, please! =D

5star

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Thanks for reading another unnecessary long and fangirling review, you rock if you reached the bottom of my post! Also, another round of thank-yous for JeanNicole herself for being incredible in both writing this masterpiece and sending it my way ❤ ❤ I loved this experience! But of course you couldn’t tell by this review. #sarcasm

Love you all and see you again any other time,

assinatura

The Merchant and the Clergyman, from Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon

(Alternative title: ALL THE FEELS FOR 184 PAGES IN A ROLLERCOASTER)

Hello, there! In case you haven’t notice before my break and still didn’t get it after my break, I’ll just go and say it: gay romance is my to-go genre when I want to get over any reading slumps or life problems. As I was facing both, you’ll realize that 80% of my read books on this weird period are gay romances. Today’s book is no exception.

The Merchant and the Clergyman, from Bonnie Dee & Summer Dee, was a book that I was crazy to read. They were awesome enough to send me a copy of the book as a gift, as I helped promoting their entry on Kindle Scout, but life happened and it slipped my mind.

SHAME. ON. ME

Then there I was on the bus on Tuesday, going to work, thinking about which book I should start and BAM: The Merchant and the Clergyman, OF COURSE! =O Needless to say that I finished it as soon as I got back home, right? Hahaha! Such a delightful read, it was physically painful to tear myself away and actually work. To be honest, I didn’t expect any less from my divas Bonnie and Summer ❤

But enough blah blah blah. Let’s go to this review! Once again, thanks to Bonnie and Summer for sending me this book ❤ Now you got an honest review in return, haha!

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the story

James Fletcher hasn’t many reasons to complain; fate was good to him. After finishing school, he was able to go back to his hometown, living along with the people that saw him growing up and his family. As a curate, it’s his job to bring spiritual peace and help people to find their own harmony. His only problem is that the God that he so lovingly serves also condemns his most secret wishes. James refuses to fall for sin again and swore he would keep the pervert part of himself locked and buried. Not even the hot and shady stranger that barged into his house would make him change his mind. Declan Shaw would have to seduce some other man into his delicious games.

Declan Shaw hasn’t many reasons to complain; fate also was goo to him. As the most successful member of his family, it’s his job to travel all the world, supervising their business and straightening the wrongs and living adventures. His only problem is the loneliness. As a man who prefers other men, Declan can’t build a life and his own family. He had made peace with this limitation long ago, but laying eyes on the angelic and adorable curate of his cousin’s small town made him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. Suddenly, all he can think of is how James would taste and feel with his body on his. Declan is sure that if he sets his mind into the matter, he can come up with a satisfactory solution for this impasse. The real question is: will James be willing to go along with Declan’s plans?

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

OMG THE FEELS. Seriously, this book made me react so much that made me keep my fame as the crazy girl from the 15th floor, haha! I wanted to read it all the time. If you are looking for a book to read in one sitting, this is your chosen one. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN ON YOUR OWN! James was adorable and the way that Declan sincerely tried to be better to feel more worthy of James was SOOOO CUTE! *–* Seriously, 5 stars without blinking. Oh, but don’t misunderstand me. This is no sugar tale. Dee and Devon are always very realistic on her romances and life for a gay couple on 19th century was hell. I honestly never know if they will end well until they do – nothing compared to the easiness of an Ava March romance, for example 🙂

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me when the subject is Ava, Bonnie, Summer or Langley

The narrative was third person styled, with switching points of view between James and Declan. Risking sounding like a broken record, this is my favorite kind, so I was easily absorbed by both men’s consciousness. As in all the other romances that I read from this awesome girls, the guys are opposites on personality and that was explicit on their narrative skills. James was the naïve and good hearted one, always trying to believe that the world can be a better place, regardless of his love for God. Declan is the skeptical one, always sarcastic and intimidating people around, more worried about having his way and doing justice than with other people’s feelings. The only thing I have to admit it wasn’t that great was some of the metaphors used on the book on the romantic scenes. I unfortunately didn’t had the mind to take notes, but there were some passages that seriously bordered cheesy and in a really bad way 😦 It was kind of a mood breaker almost every time, oops!

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The plot is simple with a touch of mystery. Besides the obvious romance between the guys, Declan also needs to find out what is happening to his dear aunt, who appears to be sick and not in a natural way. I left this part out of my own made blurb because it’s a weak mystery. Culprits and methods are clear enough, leaving the reader only wondering about the motives, as nothing is clear until the end due to simple lack of information, haha! Even so, I’m not complaining. This is a romance, not a mystery. Consider it a bonus and an excuse for Declan to stick around for so long 🙂 I also wasn’t impressed with the last two chapters, as I felt they were kind of random. I mean, I understand why they are there, but I don’t know. I think I’m spoiled by the other books from those brilliant ladies, oops!

Hmm, I kind of already babbled a bit about characters, so I’ll just say that I love how complex and developed all characters were. So may personality layers, so many small signs. I really love Dee and Devon ❤ ❤ The couple is another one that will be branded on my heart!

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Despite not highlighting any bad moments, I did take the opportunity to highlight the best moments of this book and here are some of them:

~*~

James: I didn’t hit Kip, I, ah, struck him with my knee.

Declan: That’s some muscular Christianity you have there, Mr. Fletcher.

~*~

“Invite me in. You might as well. I’m going to come in, and your invitation will make the situation more civilized.” – Declan

~*~

Oh, what polite gentlemen the pair of them were when the gloves were put back on. – Declan’s thoughts

~*~

Twilight was the most melancholy time of the day, (…) when one questioned if his existence really mattered to the world. – James’ thoughts

~*~

James: I was wrong earlier. You are not a good person.

Declan: No matter. You are good enough for the both of us.

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Declan: always smooth as f*

~*~

Declan squared his shoulders in what James had begun to think of as his “roll up sleeves and get job done” posture.

~*~

And wasn’t that a wonderful though – years of James giving him pained and chiding looks.

~*~

Loving could not be a mistake, even when it ended. – James’ thoughts

~*~

ALL. THE. FEELS.

its so beautiful

So, if you like heartwarming characters, gay romance, historical books, refined humor and light BSDM, this is the book of your life ❤ Once again, thanks to Bonnie and Summer for my copy and sorry it took me so long to read it!

5star

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Okay, I guess that’s it for now. Hope you all are having a great week! Thanks for reading this review and tell me what have you been up to so far in your month reading =D

Love you all and be back soon,

assinatura