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Subscription Box

subscription-box

Hello friends and welcome to another blog post, today I am going to share my views on  subscription box, book subscription box in particular. Being part of the bookish community, I noticed a lot of people are buying book subscription box and to be honest it allured me a lot, specially unboxing videos on bookstagram which resulted in me buying those boxes few times. So here are my thoughts:

  1. Expensive:

In my opinion the prices of these boxes are quite on higher side, see I understand there are lot of dynamics behind the pricing policy but somehow I feel buying boxes may be expensive for the person who is on budget like mine.

2. I got books I already had:

It happened to me twice that I got books which I already had and it was kind of disappointing.

3. Bookish Goodies:

I am a person who loves bookish goodies and swags and these boxes have been my favorite for the same reason but as soon as I got them I realized I do not use them and at the end those items end up on corner of my bookshelf.

Book subscription boxes are like magic box but for me it is not as exciting as I thought it would be. This however it does not guarantee that I am not going to buy book subscription box in future but as of now I think I will not be buying any.

Guys do share your experience with any  subscription boxes, whether they are your cup of tea or not.

Book Review: The Last Singer by Marjorie Lindsey

Hello and welcome to another book review, this time I am going to review The Last Singer: The Falcon Chronicles Book 1 by Marjorie Lindsey. First of all I would like to extend my thanks NetGalley for providing me the copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

so without further a do, let’s see what I have to say about this one.

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Synopsis:

A planetary threat. A forgotten prophecy. A gifted singer fights for freedom against a cunning Premier and a malevolent Genetrix. At 18, Brynna Bokk’s life changes forever. Forced by law to leave the sanctuary of her beloved island home, she faces a restricted existence in the floating city of Hypor. A gifted singer, her fiercest challenge is to hide her talent in a city where singing is forbidden. But that isn’t the only secret she carries. Her mismatched eyes and falcon birthmark link her to a mysterious sisterhood. When a solar threat and a government conspiracy threaten her planet and her loved ones, Brynna joins a rebellion led by an emerald-eyed warrior. The discovery of an ancient diary raises questions about her heritage and throws her life into further turmoil. Intent on defeating corruption and uncovering her destiny, Brynna faces betrayal, imprisonment, and death as she traverses a dangerous path with the highest stakes imaginable-the survival of humanity. The Last Singer is the first book in The Falcon Chronicles . The setting for this futuristic adventure series is a planet whose population has been devastated by rising oceans. Greed, brutality, and jealousy face off against friendship, love and Brynna’s growing power. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games and Divergent, you’ll love this new heroine’s exciting adventure. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

The Last Singer is a story of Brynna Bok set is futuristic world. Brynna who is soon to be 18 will need to leave her island to start working in Hypor City, she is not sure about it but she knows she needs to go because it is compulsory. Brynna has to be careful as she has some secrets to conceal.

I must say universe created by author is creative and this is my first official scientific fiction book. What I liked about this book is bunch of characters who are as real as I am. Unlike any other young adult fantasy in this book no one was trying to be heroic and every one was dealing with situation like I would have done. There was some moments that were detailed and brilliant. Even after so many good points this book thoroughly reminded me of Red Queen, not that it is bad but somehow I felt as if I was already aware of what is about to happen.

Author did commendable job with developing characters, there were some surprise moments in this book which made me happy. At the end I would say I enjoyed journey of Bok.

Verdict: 

4/5 Stars

 

Top-5 favorite reads of 2018

Hello readers and welcome to my top-5 reads of this year in no particular order, before getting started I wanted to say 2018 is by far the best year of my life when it comes to reading. I believe I have grown so much this year as a reader, I have read books from different genre and I really came out of my comfort zone.

So without further a do lets get started with my top 5 picks of the year.

  1. The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy:

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What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up. (Goodreads)

Also here is a link to my review for this book. click here 

 

2 . The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo:

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This book will always hold special place in my heart, all I can say about this book is that I simply love it.

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Click here to read my review for this one.

 

3. Three Dark Crown Series by Kendare Blake:

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Well this is technically not a single book but entire series but I can’t help it, this series is just what I wanted.

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. (Goodreads)

 

4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman:

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Neverwhere was a pleasant surprise for me, I picked this book expecting nothing but this book is really really good.

Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

Click here for my review.

 

5. Reaper at the Gate by Saba Tahir:

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An ember in the ashes series is my all time favorite and 2018 brought third installment in this book also author did fabulous job it was much more satisfying than I anticipated.

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity. 

Click here for my review.

And is it guys, do let me know your favorite reads this year in comment section.

Book Review: Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress by Vicky Nolan

Hello and welcome to another book review and today I will be reviewing Scrapbbook of an Unfound Songstress by Vicky Nolan. I would like to thank Vicky for sharing her book with me in exchange of an honest review.

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Synopsis:

You’re a 15-year-old schoolgirl who has big dreams of becoming a pop star, and then one day you get your lucky break. Polydor records sends you to Copenhagen to make pop music – to make you a recording artist. You get back home and your future is looking brighter than ever – until the High Court writ hits the door mat – you’ve fallen out with your management and they have decided to sue. No, this isn’t a dream, this is now Vicky Nolan’s reality and fast becoming a nightmare, and all while still at school at the sweet age of sixteen.

Read about the trial, the family, Hollywood, London town, the glamour, the dog (eh?) and most importantly, the music. Curiouser and curiouser?

We always talk about ‘making it’ and fulfilling your dreams. The question is, what if you don’t? What happens next? Ultimately, this book speaks about life and family; its hopes and disappointments, its ups and downs. Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress is in some way a story that speaks to us all, because in the end, the best stories are always true. (goodreads)

My Thoughts:

scrapbook of an unfound songstress is very heart warming story of 15 y/o who wants to make big in her life, story of stardom and what follows after. I had no trouble in getting along with the story, I loved how fast paced chapters were and more importantly I loved writing style of author. These are not just the reasons why I liked this book so much, I know what dreams and ambitions are and I know how far a person can go to achieve them so at some level I was connecting to it. I was curious how a life of teenage stars are and this book gave me perfect picture of that. In the end I would love to say I got more from this book than I expected.

Verdict:

4/5 Stars

Book Review: Dragonfire by Donna Grant

Hello readers and welcome to my blog, today I will be reviewing Dragonfire by Donna Grant. I am thankful to author and NetGalley for this book in exchange of an honest review.

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Synopsis:

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Dragonfire starts on a very strong note with equally interesting premises. I picked this book the moment I read its synopsis and flew through half of the book just like that. I loved how the Story of Sabina started and how her destiny was conspiring to meet the person she always thought about. I loved the universe building by the author although I realized this world is much bigger than I thought. I liked character developments but I had hard time following stories with so many characters at once, I started becoming bored with the book and it was hard for me to keep up with it. I particularly enjoyed sexual tension between Roman and Sabina.

I have a personal liking for the stories which have legacies, secrets and dragons but somehow I felt this book was not up to the mark with my expectations despite the fact that I really liked how the story started.

Writing style of author is flawless, I hope I would read more books form her.

Verdict:

3/5 Stars

Book Review: Reaper At The Gate by Sabaa Tahir

Hello readers and welcome to another book review blog, today I will be reviewing Reaper at the Gate by Sabaa Tahir which is third book in An Amber in the Ashes series.

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Synopsis:

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

My Thoughts:

An Amber in the ashes series is my all time favorite and I can’t get enough of this book, characters and stories. From the first book till reaper my love and obsession for this series has grown to all another level. I cannot think of writing a review without giving away much but I am going to try as I do not want to ruin this gem for others.

Reaper at the Gate is complex, intense and heartbreaking. In this book Laia, Elias and Helene were mostly apart from each other but they were connected through their love,loyalty and pain. I loved how beautifully author wrote this complex relationship of these characters. As a reader I want to protect these characters but author had pretty clear vision about what she wants to do with them and she did exactly what she wanted.  There were some plot lines in Torch against the night that I despised but in this book there was fair explanation behind every thing mentioned in last book.

There was hint of romance but I am glad it was not in dominance, although I missed the sexual tension between the characters which was there in first two books. I wanted more scenes of Laia and Nightbringer but I didn’t get much of it.

I believe I successfully shared my opinion without giving away much.

Verdict:

5/5 Stars.

Book Review: Seto Utusumi by Kadzuya Konomoto

Hello readers and welcome to another book review, today I will be reviewing Seto Utusumi by Kadzuya Konomoto and I got this book via Net Galley in exchange of honest reviews.

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Synopsis:

This manga has been made into a movie and a TV drama in japan.”I wish we could just spend all our high school days sittin’ and chattin’ by this river.” This seven chapter volume is a collection of the funky, off-the-wall, and sometimes cynical after-school conversations between Seto and Utsumi, two high-schoolers from the Kansai region of Japan. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

To be honest I did not get what I expected from this manga. This manga is about two boys Seto and Utsumi, high school students who chat about stuff after school by the side of river. I was expecting some story like Harry Potter where this duo will be on some sort of mission with over the top drama and action instead this is a real story of real teenage boys, there was no plot as such instead it was a refreshing take on how simple life was before adulthood.

Verdict:

3/5 Stars

Book Review: The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

Hello reader and welcome to another book review, today I will be reviewing The Cactus by Sarah Haywood.

I would like to thank NetGalley and authorfor giving me book in exchange of honest review.

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Synopsis:

People aren’t sure what to make of Susan Green—a prickly independent woman, who has everything just the way she wants it and who certainly has no need for messy emotional relationships.

Family and colleagues find her standoffish and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself, and that’s all she needs.

At forty-five, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward—a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.

Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control.

When she discovers that her mother’s will inexplicably favours her brother, Susan sets out to prove that Edward and his equally feckless friend Rob somehow coerced this dubious outcome. But when problems closer to home become increasingly hard to ignore, she finds help in the most unlikely of places.

This sparkling debut is a breath of fresh air with real heart and a powerful emotional punch. In Susan we find a character as exasperating and delightful as The Rosie Project‘s Don Tillman. An uncompromising feminist and a fierce fighter, it’s a joy to watch her bloom. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

First of all I would like to take a moment and appreciate this absolutely stunning cover. The Cactus is a story of Susan, 45 y/o pregnant, independent and successful woman, who by her hard work has managed to buy flat in London and live decent life. She is a quirky woman who do not know the procedure of socializing or fails to understand why people spend money partying. She is a woman who like things organized in a set manner be it her work or relationships. However her life changes when her mother dies.
First I was annoyed with Susan’s character but as story progressed I discovered that this is not one dimensional character but is a multi-layered. It is visible that author has invested so much thought in developing Susan. Susan opened up to world and people around her after her mother’s death and it was satisfying to see. I loved Kate-Susan’s friendship also I loved the moment where Kate asks Susan to stay at her place, it was awkward but crucial moment for this friendship. Similarly I loved how Susan and Rob became friends, I think in moments like these we saw different layer of Susan’s character.
Narration is really good and I liked how flashbacks were coming into a picture and every flashback has its own significance. This book talks about some real stuff like problems in relationships, property issues and stress of raising a child as single parent. Good thing about The Cactus is that every character in this book is real with real problems to deal with but life goes on and so these characters.
I tried to write as much as I could without giving away much. I want everyone to be a part of Susan’s journey.

Verdict:

4/5 Stars

 

 

Book Review: Reap by Merilyn Bennet

Hello and welcome to another book review, this time I will be reviewing Reap by Merilyn Bennet.

I would like to thank Author and NetGalley for sharing this book with me in exchange of honest reviews.

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Synopsis:

When a tragic accident happens Melissa is forced to re-evaluate her life in a way she could never have imagined possible.

Her marriage, career and life choices all come up for unwanted inspection.

Melissa is about to have a life changing experience without altering a single aspect of her life.

She has always been a force of nature, but learns that nature is the only true driving force.

Losing control is never easy, but Melissa will utilise a key strength she didn’t even know she possessed.

Her ability to adapt.

My Thoughts:

Reap is beautifully weird book I have ever read. This book held my attention from very first page but slowly as story progressed it started testing my patience. However what I liked most about this book is its writing style and I am amazed how beautifully author has captured all emotions. Character development of this book is on point and I was feeling sorry for Steve and Melissa both. Author did amazing job with universe building, I am really impressed by creativity of author and all plot twists were good. But still this book left me with confusion.

P.S. cover is extremely beautiful.

Verdict: 

3/5 stars

Book Review: Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

Hello readers and welcome to another book review, today I am going to review Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange of honest reviews.

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Synopsis:

Lily’s life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her?

With her friends—Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox—Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realizes that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart. . . .

Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Cogheart is a story of Lily whose life turns upside down after her father’s disappearance. Cogheart is truly a delightful steampunk novel, it had everything that I love. I have never read any steampunk novel before and it is safe to say, I started with really great novel.
Universe building in this book seems just right, it was interesting to see concept of mechanicals and mecanimals,I really liked Mrs. Rust, she was so warm and kind, Malkin too grabbed my attention, the only character with sass. I loved both Robert and Lily but was expecting to read more about John and Grace. I am specially impressed by the climax of book, though the story was bit predictable still author successfully held my attention all through and I am glad that he wrote detailed climax. At the end I would say this book is an absolute delight.

Virdict:

4/5 stars.