Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here


The Rest of Us Just Lives Here by Patrick Ness

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Author: Patrick Ness

Rating: 5/5 stars

Series? No.


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Fact:  I will systematically read everything Patrick Ness writes because he owns a piece of my heart.

Fact:  I am always afraid that my next Patrick Ness book will disappoint me, because how could ANYONE wow fickle old me consistently?

Fact: Patrick Ness delivers once more with The Rest Of Us Just Lives Here. A book largely devoided of magic and grandeur, but so completely audacious and heartbreaking and magical anyway.



One of them showed me a poem about how we’re all essentially alone. As if they’re not the biggest clique of togetherness there ever was.

Each chapter in the book begins with a flash to the indie kid’s storyline – you know the ones: Destined (with a capital D) for larger than life stories: they hunt down vampires and deities and immortals, saving the world and dying in the process. The book points out how laughably mundane and predictable their crazy lives are: from their supernatural lover to the constant betrayals that rock their world. In fact, the indie kids and their lives are so predictable that they’ve repeated the same story for generations in this town. Even their quirky names such as Finn or Satchel are laughably monotonous. Continue reading “Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here”

Book Review: Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows Throne of Glass Sarah J Maas


Title: Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J Maas

Rating: 5/5 stars

Series? Yes, 4 of 6!


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This is my last book review to cap off the Throne of Glass Week on the blog! I still have to read The Assassin’s Blade at some point – but my heart can’t take it at the moment — SAM!!

There will be SPOILERS in this review for the previous three books, but I will try keep it free from QoS spoilers – even though all I want to do is shout randomly in capslock *wails*



“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”

Continue reading “Book Review: Queen of Shadows”

Book Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight Throne of Glass Sarah J Maas


Title: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J Maas

Rating: 4/5

Series? Yes, 2 of 6!


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Well, this is super awkward because the last time I mentioned Throne of Glass in a blog post, it was to rail on how disappointed I was.  I marathoned the next 3 books over the last 2 weeks and let me eat my words. Never judge a series by its first books, guys. I am a verified fangirl of Celaena & co. In fact, I declare this week to be THRONE OF GLASS WEEK! on the blog 😀

Crown of Midnight

Let be rave on about the ways in which Crown of Midnight was superior in EVERY way to Throne of Glass.

Continue reading “Book Review: Crown of Midnight”

Book Review: Bone Gap

Bone Gap Laura Ruby


Title: Bone Gap

Author: Laura Ruby

Series? No.

Rating: 5/5


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Bone Gap is modern fairy tale and magical realism at its finest. The book inspects the difference between the faces the world sees VS the people we are. The book also confronts how society views women: it’s uncomfortable, at times it makes my skin crawl, but it’s 100% necessary. READ THIS BOOK.


I am going to write part this review in a slightly different style than usual, inspired by the strange writing prompts that Petey and Finn trades throughout the book.  I hope I do the book justice! But if this part is too odd for you, feel free to skip down to the main review below! Continue reading “Book Review: Bone Gap”

Book Review: More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera


Title: More Happy Than Not

Author: Adam Silvera

Rating: 5/5 stars

Series? No


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This movie is total bullshit. It’s supposed to be funny and the only thing I’m laughing at is how the studio managed to disguise an uncomfortably dark movie as a summer comedy.

Rashika recommended this book, because she is
feasts on the tears of innocents.  Do not let the title fool you, this book will eat your happiness for breakfast and you’ll be crawling back wanting more. This review is going to be really hard for me to write because I’m still a puddle of feels, so please excuse my belligerent ramblings.


This chart is the work of a madman who wants his happy ending; I should imitate his insanity.

In a lot of ways, More Happy Than Not is focused on the pursuit of happiness in a devastatingly indifferent and cruel world. We meet Aaron Soto, a teenager living in the Bronx who’s struggling with the suicide of his father and his family’s poverty.  Though we get told that Aaron has had his own brush with suicidal thoughts, for the most parts, he tries to live his life positively.  He has a supportive and loving girlfriend in Genevieve, their relationship is wonderful and will make you smile.  He has a group of long time friends, and while they’re not entirely trustworthy, they are ready company. He also has his mother and brother, though their presence is peripheral for most of the book,  Aaron lives day by day, striving for contentment and mostly satisfies himself with thoughts of Genevieve.  Then comes Thomas, a bright spark of a boy who lives life on his own terms.  Their meeting turns this book and its plot on its head.

This is how Thomas lives his life, one misfired dream after the other. That journey may stretch for a lifetime, but even if he doesn’t discover that spark until he’s an old man, Thomas will die with wrinkles he earned and a smile on his face.

It’s little wonder that Aaron was drawn to Thomas from the get-go. For someone who’s been learning how to be happy, Thomas’s no-nonsense approach to life must have shone like one of those mating fireflies Genevieve spoke about.  Thomas tells thing as it is, and while he has a slightly flakey approach to life, he never compromises on his own satisfaction. Aaron, who struggles to please everyone and anyone around him, could have learned a few lessons from Thomas.  As the two begins to spend more time together, we see a beautiful friendship fleshing out.  I came to love both of these characters for their complexities and all the layers in their interactions.  I really enjoyed seeing Aaron slowly coming to terms with his feelings and facing decisions that would dictate his future happiness front on.  Is happiness achieved by pursuing your own desires? Or is it in playing out the perfect life as your family and friends have imagined it?  Why is happiness so damn difficult and elusive anyway? I love the questions that Aaron and Thomas’s relationship started to pose, I also loved the realistic portrayal of this relationship and the implications of Aaron’s sexuality.

“I’m the liar, not him. I lied to Genevieve, to my friends, to everyone. But I’ve pushed my limit and here’s the truth: this is the most painfully confusing time in life and he’s the first person who said all the right words to me and reminds me of the first days of summer where you leave home without jacket, and my favorite songs playing over and over.

Another thing the book confronts is the lies we tell each other and ourselves. The lies about how some things are not worth remembering. The lies about science overruling nature.  Adam Silvera ingeniously incorporated these themes into the book with a slight science fiction twist.  In this universe, you can undergo the Leteo procedure, a memory modification that could wipe out anything that could make a charmed and happy life difficult:  cheating partners, dead siblings, ex-lovers, lost children, and the heavy weight of guilt.  The book questions whether you can really escape your identity, and whether you’ll be truly better off without all the ‘rough edges’ in your life.  It never gives you a clear answer either way, but that’s what makes it so beautiful (AND FRUSTRATING, AND TEARS *SOBS*)

I apologise for this incredibly vague review, but I think it’s one of those books that’s best enjoyed with as little information as possible.  Just dive in blind, bring along some tissues, and come back to commiserate in misery and awe and love with me when you are done.

Seriously one of the best contemporary books I have read, ever. I am still thinking about it, an entire week after reading the last page.  It had amazing characters that makes you weep, beautiful writing, and it confronts oft-seen topics in a fresh and complex way.  READ IT.

Book Review: A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights, E. K. Johnston3star

Title: A Thousand Nights

Author:  E. K. Johnston

Series? No.


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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ok, so A Thousand Nights was not nearly as amazing as its perfectly stunning cover.  However, aside from its slow, meandering plot, the books had several merits and I would not hesitate to recommend it if your TBR is looking empty.


Every time, the story began the same way. Lo-Melkhiin picked one girl and took her back to his qasr to be his wife. Some in his keeping lasted one night, some as many as thirty, but in the end all were food for sand-crows.

A fairy tale retelling of 1001 Nights, this story follows an unnamed narrator, who volunteered as tribute when Lo-Melkhiin visits her village to save her ‘sister’.  Like Scheherazade before her, she finds herself surviving the ordeal beyond the first night, and begins to work at ending the cycle of violence.

The Writing:  An Abundance In Purple Proses

I think the most memorable thing about this book is its writing, for better or for worse. The writing in A Thousand Nights is very descriptive, sometimes excessively so.  I understand that the author was going for the whimsical feel of an old tale, but I felt the writing missed the mark on several occasions.  There are times when I think the similes or writing conventions used bordered on pretentious.  This is coming from someone who unabashedly love a bit of purple prose – so if you already have an aversion to these kinds of writing, I think it’s best you stay away.  Here’s the most ridiculous passage in this book:

In the fire of our twelfth summer, before we were proficient enough with our needles to stitch the purple cloth, but after we had come in from the herds, my mother and my sister’s mother told us the story of our father’s father’s father, and how he had become our smallgod.

*dies a little*  Aside from the antagonist, Lo-Melkhiin, barely anyone else in this book has a name.  So we have crazy things like father’s father’s father and mother’s mother’s mother flying around.  Again, I know the effect the book was trying to achieve, but I couldn’t helo feeling it was so contrived.  I do have to admit that on occasions when the writing does pull off its ambitious and luscious proses, the effect is quite gorgeous, here are some of my favourite examples:

Where our skin touched, there was a fire of a different kind.  I thought I could see it, threads of gold and blue, desert sand and desert sky, bleeding from my body into his.

No single tale that I could draw from would save my sister from a short and cruel marriage, but I had pieces aplenty. I held them in my hands like so many grains of sand, and they slipped from me, running through my fingers, even as I tried to gather more. But I knew sand… I knew that I had only to hold it for long enough, to find the right kind of fire, and the sand would harden into glass- into something I could use.

2. The Scheherazade:  A Female Centric Tale

I had long ago resigned to a life in the shadow of my sister, my elder by ten moons and my year-twin. She was the beauty, I was the spare.

Instead of being focused on the romantic aspect of the story, like The Wrath and The Dawn, this book highlight the friendship between the narrator and her sister.  Even when she is taken to Lo-Melkhiin’s qsar, the narrator’s thoughts remain on her sister and how to keep her safe.  I love that the stories she tells Lo-Melkhiin are ones of her sister, of how beautiful and bright she burns, and of how he shall never have her.  There’s in fact no real focus on romance at all, which is refreshing to see – but fresh off the high of The Wrath and The Dawn, it did make me mourn for what could have been.

I enjoyed the mythology hinted at in the novel, especially one involving the devotion of friends or family turning someone into a smallgod, capable of small miracles.  Demons also make an appearance in the novel, though I felt that the supernatural element of the story was never fully fleshed out.  We see the narrator hallucinate, literally weaving visions out of cloth, but we are never quite told how it happens.  I wish the book wasn’t so wishy-washy about the magical aspect of the story, as it took up quite a bit of the text.

3.  The Pacing:  Slow and Directionless

Honestly, the most disappointing aspect of this novel is the turtle pacing of the plot.  As soon as the narrator reaches the qasr, all kind of action stagnated.  She spends her day shuffling from gardens, to weaving room, to servant’s quarter, all relatively uneventful.  Aside from her seemingly random vision, nothing was driving the story forward.  We were made aware there’s a menacing presence lurking within Lo-Melkhiin, however neither it nor the narrator made any real effort to challenge the other person.  I was bored to tears in between the long winded descriptions and the stasis of the plot.  Hence, despite the GORGEOUS cover and palatable writing, I can’t rate it higher than a 3 stars out of 5.

If you’re looking for an excellent 1001 Nights retelling, go read In The Night Garden by Catherynne Valente instead.  If you’re looking for a romantic story in s similar setting, just go read The Wrath and The Dawn.  I’d save this one for a rainy day.

Book Review: The Accident Season

The Accident Season


Title:  The Accident Season

Author:  Moira Fowley-Doyle

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Series? No


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The Accident Season was a bit of a surprise for me, I didn’t expect it to bowl me over and delight me in EVERY way possible. I eagerly read every beautiful, haunting sentence. I craved its slight dark and off-kilter spin on reality. I laughed, cried, and loved along with all of the main characters. It’s a story about a family curse, with a big fat highlight on the family, identity, and the memories which define us.

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

Every October, Cara and the rest of her family suffers through the inexplicable accident season. Around every corner, tragedies of every size awaits them: from the little, such as a landslide of hardbacks (being a book worm is, as you are all aware, a deceptively dangerous hobby) – to the large, such as the passing of their beloved uncle, Seth. This year, Cara also discovers that Elsie, a childhood friend she has lost touch with, lurks in the background of all her photos. The mystery that is the Accident Season and Elsie seem intrinsically linked, and this book follow our protagonist as they unravel the truth. Continue reading “Book Review: The Accident Season”

Book Review: Half A World


Title: Half  A World

Author:  Joe Abercrombie

Series?  Yes, 2 of 3

Rating: 4.5/5


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Note:  Contains spoilers for Half A King.

I loved Half A King so I was so excited to come plunging back into The Shattered Sea series.  Though the story in this book was driven by different characters, I still found the cast utterly charming in all their double-crossing and murderous glory.


1. Awesome Female Characters

Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War, and put among the boys in the training square, and taught to fight.

One of the things I really enjoyed about Half A King was its treatment of female characters.  The book featured ladies in position of political power, ladies who were physically strong, ladies who were mentally strong, ladies who never took a backseat to the dudes – despite the story being narrated by a male protagonist.  Half The World go one step beyond that to give us more than half a book narrated by Thorn, a veritable badass.

Now, there are many a ‘warrior princess’ type floating around in fictional universe, but Thorn is different from them all in how unabashedly crude and vicious she is. Gone are the beautiful heroine who saves the day while conquering hearts all across the land, all the while leaving not a strand of hair out of place.  Thorn will fight dirty, she will curse and kill, she will get stabbed in the cheek, all to get revel in the glory of battle. Continue reading “Book Review: Half A World”

Book Review: Risk


Title: Risk

Author: Fleur Ferris

Series? No

Rating: 3 stars


Book World

Twitter has a way of making me read books I would normally never pick up, I just really like participating in twitter chats!  When I heard that the newly established #bookclubaus’s August pick was Risk, I went to purchase a copy promptly.  While I really appreciated the main message in the book and ultimately found it emotionally tight, I did have a couple of problems as well.

At first, Risk starts out unnervingly like a typical high school drama – and while I love watching Mean Girls – my tolerance for this type of fiction is low in my old age.  Thankfully, the frenemy plot soon got left behind and Risk started to confront larger issues.  Risk mainly looks into the danger of catfishing and victims of internet dating scams.



Taylor and Sierra are best friends from childhood, they love one another, though Taylor can’t help feeling that Sierra’s life is too charmed, too perfect.  They were both approached by a charming guy on a chatroom, though he ultimately chooses to take Sierra out on a date, leaving Taylor envious and hurt.  However, the story takes a dark twist when Sierra does not return from her date.

There is nothing but overwhelming waves of grief wedged between periods of disbelief and numbness…

Continue reading “Book Review: Risk”

Book Review: Everything, Everything

Nicola Yoon, Everything Everything4-star

Title: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Series? No.

Rating: 4/5


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Disclaimer:  I received a digital copy of this book via Penguin Random House & Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

SPOILER ALERT: It only takes one heartfelt book to change your opinion on an entire genre.


“You can’t predict the future. It turns out that you can’t predict the past either. Time moves in both directions – forward and backward – and what happens here and now changes them both.”

I usually dismiss YA Contemporary as a genre I won’t ever be interested in, previously writing it off as fiction which relied on angst rather than creative worldbuilding to carry the plot.  If I’m going to read fiction, I want wizards, faeries, shapeshifters, otherworldly settings, protagonists that will save the world… the whole shebang!  Then Everything, Everything came along and crumbled my preconceived notions about the genre, proving that there’s a real magic in everyday experiences, too. The book follows Madeline, a girl who’s allergic to everything.  Her only remaining family is her mother, who’s loving but overprotective. Consequentially, Madeline’s literally been locked inside her home for most of her life, the only people she interacts with are her mother, her nurse and her tutor.  Despite this, she remains content with her palindromic life until a boy (it’s always a boy!) and his family moves in next door.

Really there’s only one thing to wish for — a magical cure that will allow me to run free outside like a wild animal, but I never make that wish because it’s impossible. It’s like wishing that mermaid and dragons and unicorns were real. Instead I wish for something more likely than a cure. Something less likely to make us both sad. “World peace,” I say.

Continue reading “Book Review: Everything, Everything”