A Twisted Belief by Pearl Khatri is an over-whelming magical and heart-wrenching fantasy novel that has it all: strong bad-ass females, Greek mythology creatures, witches, vampires, Kings and glorious Princes, transforming Empyreans, epic adventures, battles for life and death, Goddess Prophecies and destiny calling moments.
The plot was so unique! I can’t say too much since I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it is truly original, imaginative and with so many twists that you almost feel like you've been hit by a tornado. There is not a dull moment ever in this book, it starts off with a flurry of actions and turns into a rollercoaster ride at the second half. And, the characters! The characters are the most interesting aspects of the story. The main character, Erabella is both fierce and insecure at the same time. I really like that she is not to the perfect princess-type, but that she has “chubby cheeks” and is “plumpy as a plum” and so bad-ass. The way she tells all the men around her off and how she never backs down from a fight, is just hilarious. But there are so many other unique characters in this book. The strong and honorable Aaron, Prince-turning-King Vallian who stands up for Erabella in a time of need, Prince Johan who is so gloriously gay and sweet, the protective minotaur Orion, Elafil who reminds me of sweet Dolby in HP and Wance, the sexy powerful warlock. But of course, most of all the magnificent Ryan. He’s like Rhysand from the ACOTAR-series turned into a centurion AND a vampire.
Please be aware though that this book contains mature content, both sexual and language-wise and that it is a NA, not a YA, novel. Some scenes seriously made me blush! Just let me say that riding a centaur can get your imagination spinning… And the language is a bit crude, with plenty of use of the four-letter word and other cuss words, but it makes the dialogues snarky and hilarious!
All in all, A Twisted Belief is a fast paced, hard hitting, epic ride that will take you on exciting twists and turns! It is full of diversity, imaginative characters and a unique world building.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Pearl Khatri
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is an adorable and heart-wrenching coming of age story.
One extraordinary love.”
That quote from the blurb is a very good summary of this lovely, but sad, love story. It was not the best of Rainbow Rowell’s books (I loved Carry On to pieces!) but I really enjoyed it nevertheless. This is a cute and fluffy YA contemporary read but it also has a lot of serious moments with child abuse and negligence.
My heart went out for both Eleanor and Park while reading this book. They both had so much to struggle with, especially Eleanor with her horrible home life and her mother, and her own appearance (“Red hair, wrong clothes.”).
I also really loved the pop references and that the book took place in the 80s.
I am not sure how I feel about the ending though, I both love it and hate it… I think the book would have benefited from a more bombastic ending somehow. All the time while reading, I kind of waited for something more or bigger to happen.
All in all, if you haven’t read any of Rainbow Rowell’s books I would recommend you to start with Carry On, but after that, this is a really cute read as well.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Rainbow Rowell
My reading tips this week is the adorable, sweet and quirky feel-good YA romance To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I flew through the pages of this cute chic-lit love story, not able to put it down until I’ve read it all. Lara Jean is now one of my favorite characters ever, and I absolutely love the Song family dynamics. This book is just as much about family bonding as it is about teenage crushes.
In short, this is a story about Lara Jean Song Covey, the middle girl of three in a half-Korean family, where the mother died about ten years ago. To deal with heartbreak and to get over her crushes, she writes love letters to all the boys she’s loved, then hides the letters in her hatbox. Until the box goes missing, and suddenly the boys, including her sister’s ex boyfriend Josh and the school hottie Peter Kavinsky, which sets in motion a chain of event that will change Lara Jean’s life.
Lara Jean is such an outstanding main character, I can’t think of any other character like her. I love her quirkiness, her innocence, how she loves to stay at home and how she deals with heartbreak and the love and devotion she feels for her family. She feels like a real person in so many ways. It is so refreshing with a quiet, shy person who is allowed not to be boring! Lara Jean is the opposite of boring, she’s funny and witty and curious and comes up with so many snarky comments you laugh straight out at times. Especially in the bickering conversations with Peter.
I can relate to so many things about Lara Jean. Like what it’s like to be shy, to prefer staying at home and baking (or in my case, reading books) over going to parties, to feel both older and so much more childish than your same age friends. And of course, her hate for driving. I’m still a lousy driver, totally get her aversion to driving!
I also totally adored the whole Song Covey family. Lara Jean’s dad is amazing, I love the relationship he has with each of his daughters and how he makes sure their mother is still included as a vital part of the family even though she’s been gone for so long. One of my absolute favorites though is Kitty, the feisty little sister. She’s hilarious and adorable, and a total brat at times. I love her frankness and smartness and how she is just completely in her own skin all the time. I did not bond as much with Margot, the oldest sister, but she added a good mix to the family dynamics. So while this novel is also a romance, I felt that it focused on family more, which I truly appreciated. It is very rare in YA that the family gets this much focus, often the family is more or less left out. But here it was at the core of the story.
I like both Peter and Josh, but I think I enjoyed Peter’s character just a little bit more. (At least in the movie, where Lana Condor and Noah Centineo have such a sparkling chemistry. In the book Peter is sometimes a bit too douche-y for my liking.)
All in all, this book is super sweet, with more emotions than expected. The dialogue is great. It really feels realistic and like the characters in this series talk like real teenagers would. There is also great character growth. When the letters come out, Lara Jean had to go through a lot and really changed and grew from the experience.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an adorable and quirky coming-of-age story with a cute romance and heartwarming family ties. I can’t wait to continue the series and hang out more with Lara Jean!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Jenny Han
I read the first and second book in this series before I started doing book reviews on this blog, so this review will be a short wrap-up of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, but then focus more on the third and last book, Queen of Air and Darkness.
The story in Lady Midnight starts off five years after the ending of The Mortal Instruments series and at the Shadowhunter Institute of Los Angeles, with Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn family in focus. Emma is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her own skills and make some hard decisions investigating a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, while struggling with the blossoming forbidden feelings for Julian. Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark, who was captured by the faeries five years ago, has been returned as a bargaining chip to acquire the Shadowhunters’ help in finding out who is murdering their kind.
I loved this book so much more than I had anticipated! I have read the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices and both the series I loved immensely. I think Cassandra Clare did a really good job in writing a fresh and exciting story in the familiar shadow world. I loved the characters and the emphasis on the unconditional of a brother (“parent”) of his siblings. I felt that the ending was pretty unpredictable and awesome! I didn’t suspected any of it. I really hope there will be a happy end for Jules and Emma.
In Lord of Shadows, Emma has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden, it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian,but puts her hope in the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie.
I loved this book, it broke my heart and gave me so much joy. I love that there are so many characters to fall in love with, all the Blackthorn children, the Spanish Shadowhunters, Faeries, they all add something to the book. But what I love the most, is the inclusion of the originals, Magnus, Alec, Jace, Clary and Robert. This really makes it feel like a world, makes it feel real and that is what gives these books their power. But I warn you, the ending will destroy you!
After the devastating ending in Lord of Shadows, it was an agonizing wait for Queen of Air and Darkness. In the aftermath of the tragic deaths, the Clave now teeters on the brink of civil war. Fascists are trying to control the Clave and dictate how Downworlders should be treated. In Faerie, the Seelie and the Unseelie court are trying to hurt each other, while the Unseelie King has something that the Seelie Queen doesn’t want to live without. Warlocks are hurting, so many of our main cast of characters are missing, and so many people are grieving the loss of loved ones.
“There was blood on the Council dais, blood on the steps, blood on the walls and the floor and the shattered remnants of the Mortal Sword.”
Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined.
This third and final installment in The Dark Artifices series does get rather dark, with all grief and sorrow, and the growing hatred, mistrust and revenge going on, but the chapters in faerie were exciting and I liked seeing so many different characters play a role. Simon, Isabelle, Jace, Clary and more appearing was so fun and I loved the cameos. And the part thereafter, with Emma and Julian just giving up the fight and allowing their love was so amazing, definitely my favorite part!
“Perhaps being parabatai was a weakness that could trap you. But so was any kind of love, and if love was weakness, it was strength, too.”
What I love so much about this series is the characters. I love stories that have strong relationships and this has so much love between the characters you can’t help but become invested in them. To start with Emma and Julian, honestly all the way throughout I was so worried for what was to come, their love for one another is just so strong and I just wanted them to be happy! Then we have the trio that is of course Cristina, Mark and Kieran! The balance between them all is just so pure and perfect. They all just fit together in ways that just balance each other out, just so pure and perfect. And I loved seeing the family dynamics, it was so lovely to see Helen and Aline back
Overall I’m so happy with the way this turned out, it was my most anticipated release for the year and it didn’t disappoint! It’s bittersweet that it’s over but hopefully there will be more to come? I mean, the way in which it ended, it’s not what I expected what so ever and now I’m super intrigued to find out what’s to come, surely there must be another series continuing the plot?