Dark Rise (Dark Rise, #1) by C.S. Pacat | ARC Review

The ancient world of magic is no more. Its heroes are dead, its halls are ruins, and its great battles between Light and Dark are forgotten. Only the Stewards remember, and they keep their centuries-long vigil, sworn to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns.

Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. When an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards, Will is ushered into a world of magic, where he must train to play a vital role in the oncoming battle against the Dark.

As London is threatened by the Dark King’s return, the reborn heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war begin to draw battle lines. But as the young descendants of Light and Dark step into their destined roles, old allegiances, old enmities and old flames are awakened. Will must stand with the last heroes of the Light to prevent the fate that destroyed their world from returning to destroy his own. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.


I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy this so much like just wow this was amazing??? THE WAY IT GOT SO DARK TOWARDS THE END OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

“The bright star holds, even as the darkness rises.”

This was my first C.S. Pacat book and it definitely won’t be my last. I can’t believe it took me this long to read one of her books especially with how much I’ve seen her name going around. Dark Rise started off pretty slow but as I read it kept getting better and better.

I love the way how the beginning made me think it was just the typical good vs. evil but then changed so dramatically. Like I predicted the plot twists but it was the type of plot twist that I was hoping would happen and am so happy it did.

The characters had so many layers to them *thinking about two characters specifically* like the moral grayness in this book was *chef’s kiss* I’m so very much in love with them.

“We don’t choose the moment. The moment comes whether we will it or not, and we must make ourselves ready.”

I wasn’t sure about Will at first. He wasn’t really interesting but then I began to like him which eventually turned to love. His character is actually super interesting. The calm demeanor he has, being really careful and logical with the decisions he makes + very intelligent in a quiet like manner. It’s insane how he’s able to come to the right conclusions so often?? And I can already tell that there is still so much we don’t know about Will, I’m so so excited to learn more about him.

“Her world, all her dreams, narrowed down to this cell, her false lives stripped away to show the truth: she wasn’t wanted.

This is one of many times where I wish I could give a character a big hug. VIOLET DESERVES SO MUCH LOVE ANYONE WHO HURTS HER FACES MY WRATH🔪🔪 Literally want to murder so many characters for daring to bring her pain. She’s such a strong and loyal friend, I adore her so much. Violet and Will’s friendship was LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Like the loyalty they have for each other and their protectiveness🥺 It makes my heart swell with love, I really hope this relationship isn’t destroyed in any way because I will be heartbroken.

“I think what people were is less important than what they are. And what people are is less important than what they could be.”

JAMES OMG JAMES I LOVE YOU. Is it really any surprise that I ended up loving James in this book?? He’s definitely the character that had the most depth. So many revelations I wasn’t expecting from him and he too made my heart hurt from the pain. And can I just scream about the tension between him and Will??? I read in other reviews that theyre all prepared to wait many books for the main ship to get together and oh no😭😭 I’m ready to go crazy over all the angst and with the way this book ended- *incoherent screaming*

“Dark times lie ahead. But even in the darkest night, there is a star.”

There’s one more character who I really came to like and honestly wasn’t expecting to with the way they were introduced. Cyprian is definitely an interesting character and though he didn’t have many appearances in here, I can so see that he’ll play a bigger role in book 2. And I see the potential for a new ship to sail👀 but we’ll have to see for ourselves in the sequel. I would certainly love to see how it develops hehe

“Dark times lie ahead. But even in the darkest night, there is a star.”

All in all this was such an unexpected delight and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. Dark Rise also gave me The Infernal Devices vibes–especially in the beginning. Once you get past the beginning with its world-building, it gets super good. There’s so much potential for this series and I can’t wait to see how it all develops from here on out.

Thank you Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

divider
lia carstairs

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3) by Brandon Sanderson | Review

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together–and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past–even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Leave it to Sanderson to create one of the best character developments I’ve ever seen. I went from thinking Dalinar was ‘meh’ to bawling my eyes out over his character and loving him so much.



I’m honestly just struck speechless. And like why am I even surprised?? It’s Sanderson. No words will ever be enough to convey the emotional journey I had with Oathbringer. There cannot be a journey without a beginning—and it truly shows.

“I will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.

Dalinar’s life has been anything but peaceful—however, even with the world at chaos, he had his own self to trust and rely on knowing who and what he’s come from… but is that really true?

When memories slowly start to come back—memories buried deep within that were never supposed to emerge—shocking truths are revealed making Dalinar question whether the man he is today… has always been a lie?

“The most important step a man can take? It’s not the first one, is it? It’s the next one. Always the next step, Dalinar.”

I really don’t think I’ll be finding another character to rival Dalinar’s development in this book any time soon or maybe ever because seriously, it’s just that spectacular. Anyone who says it’s bad clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about and I will be ready 🔪🔪

Literally every revelation thrown completely shook me to the core. I was honestly so so worried coming into this because of everything I’d heard about Oathbringer being Dalinar focused and there being some pacing issues but I needn’t have feared because I adored it all.

Dalinar’s past was so intriguing and suspenseful. Seeing the man he is today has me in awe with all that he’s gone through and done. A tyrant he was but now… now he’s something much different. cryptic message is cryptic mehehe

“Perhaps it was time, for once, to stop letting the rain dictate his mood. He couldn’t banish the seed of darkness inside him, but Stormfather, he didn’t need to let it rule him either.”

So many of Kaladin’s scenes physically hurt me. He doesn’t have as much as a focus as he did in the previous books but oh his journey is still very much ongoing. Kaladin’s depression is even more evident in this book and there’s still so much he has to work with. But oh god literally the amount of pain Kal’s had to go through with – it hurts so much. Especially a certain scene during the 2nd half😭😭

I really can’t wait to see what comes next for Kal and how he’ll battle the darkness within him. He deserves all the love in the world ❤

“I will protect those I hate. Even if the one I hate most is myself.”

While Kaladin got less screen time than usual, Bridge Four got so much more. Like getting some of their POVs??? A BLESSING. Seriously, the way Bridge Four has grown so much—it makes me want to cry. They’ve come such a long way from the defeated and lost bridgemen they once were and I’m so so proud. I never in a million years imagined Sanderson could make me love them more than I already do but clearly he’s done exactly that in Oathbringer. And I just love how even though all of Bridge Four’s grown so much—it doesn’t mean each and every one of them is completely fine.

Teft’s POV was something I never knew I needed in my life. Seeing through his POV how much he was hurting… it was so heartbreaking😭 But of course Bridge Four would be there for him AND JUST MY HEART- I said it before and I’ll say it again: Each of Bridge Four’s POV and everything about them was a blessing.

“It’s terrible to have been hurt. It’s unfair, and awful, and horrid. But Shallan… it’s okay to live on.”

CAN YOU HEAR ME SOBBING??? “The Girl Who Stood Up” is officially one of my all time favourite chapters. Shallan is going through so much hell, it’s tearing me apart. I need my girl happy😭 Her past still haunts her even now and because of that past, Shallan truly believes that she deserves all the pain in the world. She thinks herself to be broken and hates herself so much.

“Accept the pain, but don’t accept that you deserved it.”

Because of her trauma, she’s resorted to having different personas in order to escape the pain. It’s really amazing how Sanderson dealt with her storyline but at the same time—SO MUCH PAIN. Her journey’s only beginning and there’s still so much Shallan has to work through, one of them being to be able to forgive herself.

I genuinely don’t understand the people who hate Shallan??? Also, Wit being there for Shallan is literally everything. He’s so sweet, I love him so much🥺🥺

“You don’t have to hide, Shallan. You don’t have to push it down. Maybe the vase is cracked, but that only means it can show what’s inside. And I like what’s inside.”

If anyone reads this quote and tells me that Adolin and Shallan aren’t perfect for each other 🔪 Shadolin is literally in my top 3 OTPs. Honestly, how does Sanderson always create the most wholesome relationships??? Not only is Adolin a cinnamon roll as always BUT LIKE HE’S SO SUPPORTIVE OF SHALLAN?? It’s so precious and could he be anymore perfect?? Both of them support the other without a hint of judgement from their revelations sfdsfsds I love them

If Adolin and/or Shallan are killed in book 5 I will literally die and haunt Sanderson for the rest of his life 🙂 That goes for any other character I love in this series.

“Love wasn’t about being right or wrong, but about standing up and helping when your partner’s back was bowed.”

I must admit that I didn’t really have much of an opinion on Navani previously but after this book?? QUEEN. I adore her so much. And the fact that the next book is Navani focused??? I cannot express how much I’m excited for that.

“You are not a heretic, Dalinar Kholin. You are a king, a Radiant, and a father. You are a man with complicated beliefs, who does not accept everything you are told. You decide how you are defined. Don’t surrender that to them. They will gleefully take the chance to define you, if you allow it.”

I can’t believe I’m saying this but Jasnah actually annoyed me a few times HOWEVER she had so many amazing moments that definitely made up for all that. Especially that one scene !! I almost got a heart attack and right after that was crying because literally all the feels.

“You claim you are not the person everyone thinks you are. Maybe you worry, instead, that you are that person.”

Is it really any surprise that Renarin too is a cinnamon roll who must be protected at all costs??? I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND NEED MORE. He’s trying so hard to make his father proud and be useful and just-🥺 You’re already amazing, Renarin.

“Failure is the mark of a life well lived. In turn, the only way to live without failure is to be of no use to anyone.”

Of course, I already mentioned Wit but seriously, who does he think he is to turn me into an emotional mess?? He’s such a mysterious character whose motives we still don’t know, but like I love him so much?? If it ends up being that he was fooling everyone all along or something highly doubtful, I’ll be beyond heartbroken and feel very murderous towards a certain guy 🔪

I’m still reeling from that ending like what the actual hell?? The amount of plot twists and events that happened??? Like literally all the way to the very last page, its revelation after revelation. The Sanderlanche in this was no joke like I still can’t get over that last plot twist especially?? This is so much more of a cliffhanger than The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance were like oh god the torture it must’ve been waiting for the 4th book WHICH HAS ME SCARED FOR THAT CLIFFHANGER ESPECIALLY AFTER WHAT A CERTAIN SOMEONE SAID. sobbing

Also shoutout to Sanderson as of this wasnt a review for his book for creating not only such beautiful and emotional lines but also having so many of them apply to real life and be so inspiring?? That literally takes so much skill and I’m so going to use one of his quotes (now that’s going to be very painful) for my yearbook🔥

I once said in a review that I trusted Sanderson but clearly I wasn’t thinking at that time ha ha the last word I’d use to associate Sanderson with would be “trust.”

I’m not ready for the agonizing wait book 5 will be once I read Rhythm of War. Yay pain!😃

__

Reviews:
The Way of Kings:: ★★★★★
Words of Radiance: ★★★★★
Oathbringer: ★★★★★

divider
lia carstairs

Iron Widow (Iron Widow, #1) by Xiran Jay Zhao | Review

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I got some Skyward vibes from this and I just loved it so much.

Also Zetian, please marry me.


The Hunduns who are dangeous creatures and are trying to destroy society which lies in the Great Wall ~ the Krell who are also dangerous and mysterious creatures trying to destroy the human race/

Fighter pilots who use Chrysalises (aka mechas) to battle against the Hunduns to defend their home ~ Pilots who use fighter jets to battle the Krell and defend their land

Society is against this one girl who managaes to kill one of their pilots and has too much power ~ society is against this one girl whose father was branded as a coward and now view her as one too.

Seriously, if you loved the plot of Skyward, then I definitely say you’ll probably love this too! The similarities I saw sdfgsdfs it was so cool but I have to say that the idea of giant mechas was even more interesting than what Skyward had. And like the fanart designs??? THEY LOOK EPIC.

Design by Setodra


Design by Gio Manning

I will say that the only reason this didn’t get five stars was because of that I was a bit confused in the beginning with the information given but that could just be me and my dumb brain and some pacing issues throughout the story but other than that !! EVERYONE MUST READ THIS.

“But I have no faith in love. Love cannot save me. I choose vengeance.”

So before reading this I actually had no knowledge of footbinding, so finding about it here in this book… oh god. Just shows another way with how cruel society can be to women istg. And seeing Zetian with this disability and not letting it define her?? I love it. Of course, there were still moments where she did admit to needing help due to her feet and she wasn’t embarrassed about it at all, not being stubborn about the whole situation which made me respect the queen even more.🔥

“If we want something, we have to push back against everything around us and take it by force.”

The way Zetian had men fall at her feet (literally) made me cackle in delight. They all had it coming and deserved so much worse ❤ Xiran created such an amazing female protagonist like I would fall at Zetian’s feet gladly all day, every day. SUCH A QUEEN.

Also can I just say how much I wheezed reading so many scenes where this book made fun of other typical cliche tropes?? yes, i say this liking said cliche tropes I loved it so much pleasee. A glimpse:

“Do you honestly expect me to believe you’re some misunderstood, secretly sweet guy?”

wheezing now isnt that the case always?? and i love that trope

“Yes, because love doesn’t solve problems. Solving problems solves problems.”

oh how other YA protagonists wouldn’t agree

“You’d better not be tangled up in a love triangle.”

I CANT PLZ I LOVED THIS BAHAHAHA

Anyways, Xiran is such a legend and if this is only just their debut, I can’t wait to see more of their books!! AND THE WAY THEY ENDED THAT BOOK- THAT IS ILLEGAL HOW DARE YOU, XIRAN. You’ll be paying for my therapy bills if I think what happened at the end actually truly happened 🔪🔪

ALSO CAN I JUST SCREAM ABOUT THERE BEING A POLY RELATIONSHIP???? I LOVE THEM ALL SO CUTE UGH. Yizhi and Shimin are such cinnamon rolls sdfdsgs plus Zetian the queen, I swear they’re perfect it hurts. And the fanart I’ve seen on Xiran’s page isn’t helping at all😩

Zetian and Yizhi by 辞客ck

Shimin and Yizhi by Guilu

Zetian and Shimin by 妄猫Sama

All I feel is pain, please give me book 2 right now. * sobbing *

__

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!!

divider
lia carstairs

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass | ARC Review

Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.

And that’s when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort.

Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them…

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Where the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’m having really bad luck lately disliking the mcs and love interests in contemporaries :/


But overall, it was a solid story with a really great message—to do what you want and not what other want/expect of you. Live your own life, not the life of others. Do what make you happy or you might regret it for the rest of your life.

“It had my heart, even when my dreams were somewhere else.”

Since she was a kid, all Reyna has known is life at the family hotel and she plans to continue working there for the rest of her life after the unfortunate death of her mother. Reyna feels as if there’s no other option for her except to run the hotel and tells herself she’s okay with it… until one day, the arrival of Aiden, her first love—now a famous singer—changes everything Reyna once thought and believed in.

Coming into this, it’s clear that an incident occurred between Aiden and Reyna in the past, and the mystery surrounding what happened two years ago had me really curious. Those chapters that were set in the past really gave more info on their relationship and how it grew between the two until it all fell apart. I actually found those chapters much more interesting than the present ones.

Reyna annoyed me a lot throughout the novel with the way she acted, especially in the beginning of the book, but overtime I grew to understand her more and the actions she took. However, it still wasn’t enough for me to like her unfortunately.

Now the romance was… not my favourite. So the glimpses in the past about Reyna and Aiden were nice in showing how their bond developed and all but I feel like it wasn’t really enough?? Like in the present chapters, the relationship between Reyna and Aiden was so lackluster and bland. They barely interacted with each other throughout the novel and when they did it was so awkward due to their past. I just really couldn’t love, better yet like, the romance between the two since it felt like nothing to me.

It felt so lacking and plain. Yeah, they were childhood best friends who fell in love with each other until an incident in which they finally see each other again two years later but I mean?? Where’s the angst and tension?? idk everything just felt dull to me. I just can’t enjoy the romance when it didn’t even feel real at all.

I’d honestly say Fish yes, you read that right and Reyna had more chemistry then Reyna and Aiden. At least they actually had noteworthy interactions and some actual spark between the two with the flirty and funny scenes. Aiden was just that one guy who was brooding in the background until all of a sudden everything magically changes and he starts acting nicer to Reyna— umm yeah…

I do like how this was set in the Caribbean. Too often do novels take place in North America specifically the US so this was a nice change in scenery. It did take a little while getting used to some of the dialect used in the book, but it was definitely interesting.

Overall, this had a pretty nice take on second chances and doing what you feel passionate about. The romance could’ve been much better in my opinion and the story dragged on a lot, which had me pushing myself to get through it. Props for being a pretty quick read though!

Eternally thankful to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

🏹October 2020 ~ Wrap Up🏹

You know on one hand, time seems to be passing by super fast, but on the other…….

WHEN. IS. SUMMER?!?!🥺😭

Aghhhh school really does get annoying the older you get—and this stupid quadmester system is definitely not helping. The amount of times I’ve complained to my older sister ahahahhahaa……

Psssst don’t be surprised if you find my dead body in an abandoned alley Pretty sure I drove her crazy🤪

Oh yeah and then there’s my TBR for this month WHICH I TOTALLY FAILED at. Me reading only 7 books (+1 novella), hahahahhahaa. Although, I’d say taking about half the month to reread the Covenant Series by JLA is what made me decline my other books for October’s TBR. Ahh oh well.😁

So in the end, I only read two new books (wow, that really doesn’t sound good for my tbr). BUT those two new books were AMAZING!!!😍

And I know you’ve already heard enough from me about him, but seriously—

WRAAATTHHHHHHH

Hehe okay I’ll stop now.🙈💖

5 stars:

4 stars:

Hmmm okay, wow.😂 Now that I look back at this, I realize they literally were all five stars…….ahaha guess I’m super biased when it comes to JLA’s books.😆 Probably means I’m really easy to please, too hehe.

I just love her Covenant series so much, though.🥺 Aiden & Alex are one of my top OTPs probably say that with almost every couple tho, so don’t completely trust me on that ha.

OH and don’t even get me started on Kingdom of the Wicked…..actually on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t start talking about it. You know how that’ll end.😈😆

My review says it all anyways

Ahhh but there’s also These Violent Delights (by Chloe Gong) and oml you guys are totally not ready for it. Or maybe you are. But like enemies-to-lovers, Romeo & Juliette retelling, a setting in Shanghai, and rival gangs ALL SMASHED INTO ONE BOOK.😍😍😍 My heart—

AND ITS BEEN NOMINATED IN GR CHOICE AWARDS!!!!!!

How amazing is that?!?! It hasn’t even come out yet it’s been nominated already.🤯 Although, it’s really hard to choose this year…..so many good books.😭😭😭 I can’t just choose ONE?!?!

Now unfortunately, finals are next week, so if you find my dead body in another abandoned alley………you know what happened yes, I’m being overdramatic. no I can’t stop💀

Well, that’s enough of me.😎

ℍ𝕠𝕨 𝕨𝕒𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕆𝕔𝕥𝕠𝕓𝕖𝕣? 𝔹𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕪𝕖𝕥…..𝕙𝕠𝕨 𝕨𝕒𝕤 𝕊ℂℍ𝕆𝕆𝕃
(𝕠𝕣 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕜)? ℍ𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕒𝕟𝕪 𝕗𝕦𝕟 𝕠𝕟 ℍ𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕠𝕨𝕖𝕖𝕟?
🎃


𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!
🖤

Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1) by Kerri Maniscalco | Review

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


“One day you’ll call me Death.

For now, Wrath will do.”


I want a hot demon prince Wrath for myself, please and thank you.😏🖤


Nonna gave many warnings to guard thy heart from the Wicked, but the endeavor was futile…….

It was stolen anyways.🥺 altho is it really any surprise that happened?


I LOVED Kerri’s SJTR series , so the second I finished it and heard that she was making another series set in a world of demons, witches, and with an enemies-to-lovers trope—oh I just knew that I’d fall in love.🥰

AND WRATH DID THAT TO ME.


Emilia di Carlo leads a perfectly normal life at least, as normal as you could get being a witch and all with her twin, Vittoria , her parents, and Nonna, helping around and about at the family restaurant, Sea & Vines (omg the descriptions of the food was just mouth-watering).

Sure, they all have to hide the fact that they’re witches lest they be burned to the stake by others (ha doesn’t sound bad at all), but other than that, everything’s as good as it can be.

Until, one night —Emilia stumbles upon a horrifying scene.
Her sister.
Murdered.
Heart torn out and all. shudder

Yeah……that obviously didn’t go well with Emilia.😢
Heartbroken and hell-bent on revenge, she begins her journey in solving the mystery behind Vittoria’s death, and will go to any length to avenge her. Even use dark magic and accidently summon one of the demon princes of Hell—Wrath😈.

Starting to feel like I’m mentioning him too much haha

“There are victors and victims. Decide who you want to be. Or the choice will be made for you, witch. And I doubt you’ll like it.”

I threw my head back and groaned. “It’s a game of scopa, not a battle between life and death. Are you always this dramatic?”

Ahhh this is just one of many hilarious conversations between Emilia and Wrath.🤣 Their constant bickering was one of my favourite parts xD honestly, just seeing Wrath made me happy.

Emilia was once the quiet and “I-avoid-trouble” kind of girl, but once the death of her twin occurs, she goes through some major character development and is forced to take risks she would’ve never done before. I do love how most people could probably relate to that not the death causing character development part. I myself am always afraid to take a step out of my comfort zone, for fear I’ll fail/do terrible.

With Emilia, she would constantly take new risks, and even when she did fail, at least she’d eventually get back up again and continue to grow. It’s a nice motivator for those who fear trying new things at least for me haha. That’s what I loved most about Emilia.🥰

And then there’s Wrath. It was love at first sight meeting Wrath.🥺😍 You can always count me in when it comes to tall, dark, and handsome demon princes—especially the suspicious ones😆. So many secrets…….but you still can’t help but love Wrath at least I couldn’t. (ahhhh and the candle scene was just so sweet <3)

xD I’ve said this many times, but I really should never be a detective in charge of a murder scene. I’d get fired on the first day.😂 I just can never guess right when it comes to who the culprit is I’m not even close. I saw that some others who read KotW say that it was pretty predictable, but I was honestly just shocked and didn’t even think of suspecting a certain someone.

Ahhhh yes, I’m a very bad mystery solver.😎
Note-to-self: Don’t trust my judgement on characters when it comes plots with mysteries involved.

asdfghjkl it felt like centuries waiting for Kingdom of the Wicked to come out and now I have wait another few centuries for the next book.😭😭😭

My only complaint with this book would be that it felt waaaay too short. Maybe a little too fast-paced? But it’s not really a big deal, it’s more of “I wish it lasted longer” feeling. I want more Emilia and Wrath mostly just Wrath hehe😍😍😍

And after that ending omggggg I can already tell the 2nd book is going to be even better!!! Especially with where it’s going to be taking place.😏

Aghhhh now to wait. My least favourite word. still haven’t given up on getting my demon prince btw

“Aevitas ligati in aeternus protego.”

ℍ𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤? 𝕆𝕟 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕥𝕓𝕣? 𝔸𝕟𝕪 𝕕𝕖𝕞𝕠𝕟-𝕪 𝕡𝕣𝕚𝕟𝕔𝕖𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕝𝕠𝕧𝕖? 𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!🖤

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1) by Chloe Gong | ARC Review

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐



Eternally grateful to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!! ❤

What.
Was.
That?!?!

Seriously.
What the hell was that cliffhanger?!?!😰
All that work and then that happens??? omgomgomg😓


Chloe Gong really knows how to deliver an ending. I just love how she ends the book in the middle of a climax?!?! (She even added the “To be continued” at the end as if knowing that her readers would be begging for more aghhhh and I unknowingly fell into the trap)

I could honestly just feel the beginning of despair swallow up the characters and horror dawn on them as they realized that this was not over—but only the beginning of everything.

Now you probably have no idea with what I’m talking about unless you’ve already read the book, and I probably sound like a rambling lunatic, but trust me or maybe don’t, once you read this for yourselves……you’ll see what I mean.😈 (I shan’t be the only one suffering muahahahaa)


Set in 1920’s Shanghai, eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai has finally returned home after 4 years of residing in America. She’s back and ready to reclaim her rightful place as the heir of the Scarlet Gang, but unfortunately, with being gone for 4 years, there will have been many changes within both the gang and city.

The French, British, Americans, and Communists have all slowly worked their way up and gained more power in Shanghai in the time that’s passed.

And to add on to that, a strange madness is spreading in the city like wildfire with the victims clawing at their throats and whispering of sightings of a monster lurking around. Oh yeah, and somehow creepy and disgusting insects are appearing shudder it truly is a nightmare come to life.

Let’s not forget the most important of all—the White Flowers, sworn enemies of the Scarlet Gang. Between the two groups lies centuries of deep hatred and to this day, they remain as is with their territories and killing of one another.

But when both gangs deal with losses of their own because of the madness and monster……they may be forced to set aside their grudges and work together. gasp (ik, the horror.)😨


Hey, hey, hey, but that’s not all Juliette’s problems. There’s also having to face Roma Montagova heir of the White Flowers—the man who once knew her better than anyone and…….her lover.

After a heartbreaking betrayal though, all Juliette feels for him is a deep burning hatred . However, when an incident forces Juliette and Roma to band together to figure out the cause of the sickness, hatred is no longer what lies in her mind.

Or maybe, that feeling never left at all……..😏


Juliette was such an amazing female protagonist and I just loved her.🥰 Her strength and bloodthirstiness…….ahhhhh what’s not to love about it? (uh oh, I’m starting to see a trend in what type of characters I’m loving)

Even though she didn’t enjoy hurting people, she still would, knowing when it was necessary for information or if said victim would be a hindrance left alive. xD and unlike our soft boy here, Juliette would think of shooting as her first option rather than incapacitating them. (not….that that’s a good thing of course hehe)
It’s pretty cool seeing the female MC as the cold and unforgiving one and the male being the opposite (in most cases).


“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”

Yes, the famous line we all know of. Except what’s funny is that I actually never read Romeo and Juliet before. I’ve heard about it and everything, but my English teacher told us that he hated the play and it’s stupidity, so he wouldn’t make us read it (instead it was “Much Ado About Nothing”, which I loved).

But I digress.

Roma Montagova here is, thankfully, nothing like the Romeo in Shakespeare. Although he is the heir of the White Flowers and must of course get his hands dirty (I mean, he is in a gang), Roma does not have the same ruthlessness as Juliette and actually tries to avoid killing others haha.

But it makes sense the two turned out the way they are now, considering the betrayal—and you’ll have to read this to find out what that betrayal was hehe.😉

Also, when Roma would call Juliette ‘dorogaya’ (means ‘sweetheart’)…….it was just so sweet.🥺


There are also some side characters that I just loved so much, like Benedikt, Marshall, and Kathleen.💕 And then ones that I absolutely despised…….but I won’t go into any names. In due time, you shall see who I am talking about.

Chloe Gong said that she wrote “These Violent Delights” as a love letter to Shanghai and I can truly see that. I could almost imagine being in Shanghai myself when she’d describe the beauty of parts of the city and hear her love for it. The culture, the people, the languages spoken……just everything in the book was beautiful to learn about.💞

Now you’re probably wondering, “If I loved this book so much, why 4 stars?”.

Well, the downside of this book was that some parts were just a slow at times, so I’d kind of have to push myself to get through it. Also, with the people in the city speaking so many different languages (Chinese, Russian, French, etc), sometimes there wouldn’t be a translation of it afterwards in English, so how was I supposed to know what it meant?!?!


I mean, based off of what came after, I could guess what the person had said, but I kinda want to know exactly what they’re saying (I just went to google translate at that point haha). Some of the sentences were translated later in English by the characters, but then sometimes not….? Maybe, just maybe, I should’ve paid more attention in French class. whoops

Other than that, this book was beautifully written and AFTER THAT ‘TO BE CONTINUED’ ENDING I NEED BOOK 2 ASAP.😤😨

I will be over here hoping that I get an ARC of the 2nd book.🥺
Please, please, please…….

P.S. My loyalty will forever lie with the Scarlet Gang🌹


ℍ𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕒𝕕𝕕𝕖𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕥𝕠 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕋𝔹ℝ? 𝔼𝕩𝕔𝕚𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕣𝕖𝕝𝕖𝕒𝕤𝕖 𝕕𝕒𝕥𝕖? 𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!💕

Sentinel (Covenant, #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Review

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“This is everyone’s fight. Because it’s everyone’s future.”


JLA has shattered my heart into pieces again💔

Aghhh I knew what was coming, but still… it hurts.

Gonna say it right now: If JLA ever repeats an ending like this in any of her future books, I—

I don’t think I’ll be able to survive it.💀


Other than that, the Covenant series will forever hold a special place in my heart. (Although I’m pretty sure I could say that with almost all her books haha)

I just love how JLA was able to evolve this whole story in a way I could’ve never imagined going into this series.

Who knew it’d go from just any other teenager (at least in this world) dealing with aether-sucking monsters & forbidden love to a more complicated full-out war involving the Greek Gods and fate of all realms.

^Wow, it really sucks being Alex.😓😂

Now before I go further, I must tell all of you who don’t already have this on your tbr TO READ THIS SERIES!!!🥺

🛑There may be mild spoilers in the quotes below!!!🛑

“Wow.” Deacon elbowed Luke. “This would be awkward if it weren’t so entertaining. It’s like watching our parents—”

“Shut up, Deacon,” both Aiden and I snapped at the same time.

“See!” Deacon grinned. “They’re like peas and carrots.”

Luke turned to him slowly. “Did you just quote Forrest Gump?”

Omg I just love Deacon so much.😍😂 He constantly tries to liven up the mood when everyone else is all doom and gloom. Beware of long car rides with Deacon, though xD.
He.
Never.
Stops.
Talking.

Haha even Marcus couldn’t stand it.🤣

I laughed. “I’m not betting against that. On the way here, I thought Marcus was going to strangle him.”

“I would’ve if he hadn’t fallen asleep,” Marcus said, coming out from behind us. “Or at the very least, I would’ve knocked him out.”

^But we still love him.🥰

The Olympians also made many more appearances during this time, like:

✦ Athena (a.k.a. “The Goddess of Depressing Facts” by Alex),

✦ Hades (a.k.a. “The God with the British Accent” by Alex),

✦ Persephone (a.k.a. “The Goddess Who Plays Mario Kart With Caleb” by Alex)

✦ Artemis (a.k.a. “The Goddess Who Tried to Hit Up on Aiden” by Alex),

✦ Apollo of course (a.k.a. “The God of Impeccable Timing Who Also Needs a Bell” by Alex).

There were some others, but those 5 are the only ones I can think of who actually made contact with Alex (and she obviously had amazing encounters with them all hehe xD).

“Gods were like possums.

You could go your whole life without seeing one, but once you found one of them, you found the whole freaky family.”

^She’s right. After Apollo, they kept coming right after each other.😆 And it appears to be that the gods have a huge obsession with leather pants because “they make it look good.” sigh Them and their big egos.🙄😂

Finally, there’s Alex & Aiden😍😍😍 I can’t believe I never thought of coming up with a ship name!!! Alaiden? Aldex? No no never mind forget you even saw that.😬
Those two came a long way from what they once were—especially Alex. I love those two so much.🥺💞

“He was my strength when I needed him to be, my friend when I needed someone to talk me down, my equal in a world where by law I would always be less than him, and honest to gods, he was the love of my life.”

Apparently, The Return is a spin-off of the Covenant series I did not know about that features Seth and some other girl as the MCs…..

I think I’ll probably only read it one day for Alex & Aiden.😏🥺💖

“You know what that means?” I stared into those silver eyes. I had an infinite number of moments like this ahead of me to share with Aiden.

“They’re going to tell stories about us.” Aiden lowered his head, kissing me softly, deeply, and so lovingly that tears pricked my eyes.

“They already are.”

𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥’𝕤 𝕒 𝕤𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕨𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕤𝕒𝕕 𝕥𝕠 𝕡𝕒𝕣𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙? 𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!💕

Apollyon (Covenant, #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Review

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



Do you ever just stop and think of all the different ways you’d love to torture murder a character?

Because that’s all I’m thinking of right now.

Oh and how could anyone have waited so long for the last book?!?!

This is a re-read and yet all I want to do is ignore writing this review and go onto the next book even though I know how it all ends…….ahhh I’m not looking forward to that.😓

And I swear, I feel like I’m repeating the same thing over and over again in each review xD. Just me rambling on and on about how much I love these guys—but I just can’t stop.😍

🛑WARNING: SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS BOOKS!!!🛑

“To love is not weak. Love is the strongest thing there is.”

Aiden St. Delphi does it again.🥺 He refuses to give up on Evil-Alex even after Normal-Alex has connected to the Seth and being told that there was no hope for her. Agghhhh Aiden & Alex!!! Their love for each other makes me want to cry.😭😍

Omg Alex’s Apollyon powers were ✨A M A Z I N G✨ And there’s so much growth in her, even Laadan mentions how mature Alex has become (although I mean, that’s bound to happen when you’ve dealt with the things she has😬). STILL. MY FAVOURITE WAS ALEX GOING APOLLYON ON ALL THOSE SUCKERS.😈😆(Apollyons really are OP xD)

We see wayyy more of Deacon, Luke, Olivia, Marcus, and yes, even Lea. I love how Marcus and Alex’s relationship have improved A LOT since the first book. It almost looks like they were never hostile towards each other xD.

And NOW is when Marcus actually acts like Alex’s uncle and talks about the sleeping arrangements between the her and Aiden.😂😂😂 That’s funny lol. At least he’s doing his duty as her guardian lol.

Now DEACON.😍😍😍

Gosh, why are the St. Delphis just so lovable?!?! I would 100% love having a spin-off of Deacon, but I know that’s never going to happen (or maybe it’s the “never to say never” thingy).

From the first book, he was seen as the laid-back and drunk addict teen, who didn’t seem to care at all about anything or what his brother thought, but oh how wrong that was. Deacon fiercely loves Aiden and wants more than anything for him to be happy. The comments he makes whenever he’s around Aiden & Alex, too hehe.😏🥰

“Skittles?”

“Please.”

I dumped some into his open palm, then picked out the green ones. Aiden grinned at me.

“You know I don’t like the green ones?”

Shrugging, I popped them in my mouth.

“The few times I’ve seen you eat them, you leave the green ones behind.”

Deacon popped his head between our seats.

“That’s true love right there.”

“That it is.”

^ I love this guy. ❤

Also, there were a lot of references to (a show? I’m pretty sure) Supernatural and even though I totally haven’t watched it, I love how JLA adds in these kind of reference to real-life tv shows xD.

“Go ahead,” Apollo said to Luke. “Tell them what it is, since it’s obviously hugging material.”
Crimson stained Luke’s cheeks. “Legend goes that one of the gates to hell is in Stull Cemetery in Kansas.”
“Oh, gods,” I muttered, remembering where I’d heard this before. “Wasn’t that a season finale on Supernatural?” When the boys nodded, my eyes rolled. “Seriously? Are Sam and Dean going to be there?”

Ahh yes, and Apollo. The guy known to pop in at the worst time and scare the hell out of the others😂. I mean, if a God just poofed in out of nowhere, I’d be pretty freaked out , too xD (he obviously enjoys doing that). LOL and whenever he appeared, almost always something funny would come out of it.😆

“They do.” Apollo’s eyes narrowed on me. “But I was hoping there was something knocking around in her brain that held the answer to that little problem. But—”

Apollo smacked a hand down on my leg. “Must you always be moving some part of your body?”

I glared at him as I not-so-gently removed his hand. The contact of his flesh on mine brought the marks of Apollyon out like nothing else. And I knew he saw them by the way his eyes darted over my face. “It’s not hurting you,” I said.

“It’s annoying.”

“You’re annoying,” I shot back.

To our left, Aiden rolled his eyes. “All right, children, back to the important stuff.”

Aghhh that twist at the end, though…….the first time I read this book I NEVER thought of it being him all along. But, when you think about it…..it’s so obvious.😂 What can I say? I’m always terrible at guessing who the culprit is. And now is that time when I really, really, wish I could jump in a book and kill someone in the most creative ways possible. (Yes, I might be a little crazy)

There are many things I want, but one thing I definitely don’t want is FOR THIS SERIES TO END AGAIN😭😭😭

Well, I guess I should be preparing my Sentinel box of tissues……….

“Eíste pánta mou…”

“You are my everything.”

𝕂𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕒𝕟𝕪 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕣𝕒𝕔𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕛𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕒𝕝𝕨𝕒𝕪𝕤 𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕞𝕠𝕠𝕕 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕖𝕟𝕤𝕖 𝕤𝕚𝕥𝕦𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟𝕤 𝕙𝕖𝕙𝕖? 𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!💕

Elixir (Covenant, #3.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Review

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Love is the only thing more powerful than Fate.”


My heart is in pain.🥺

Aiden’s POV after what happened in Deity…….the guilt is clawing at him.
Curse you, [redacted].😖

Now here are some scenes that should be illegal with how much pain it caused me:😭

“I feel it in here,” she said, placing her hand against her chest and then against her stomach, “and here. It’s like there’s not enough air or room inside me. That I may… burst out of my skin or drown in it, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I always have… and will.” She tipped her chin up and her entire face was a rosy color. “It’s you. I… I love you.”

“Alex…”
Face pale and lips trembling, her brows puckered. “I’m so sorry. Aiden, I lo—” A scream tore from her, and she arched clear off the mattress, eyes widening.
My heart stopped. “Alex?”
“I can’t… it’s everywhere. It… hurts. Aiden, please… make it stop… please…” She slumped back, whimpering and twisting, thrashing her head back and forth.

“Apollo had changed Hyacinth into a flower to protect him. I would give Alex back control so she could protect herself instead of making the decision for her. That’s how we were different from the gods.”

Yup, JLA loves to torture my poor heart. And it’ll still be getting worse from here.

The first time I read this series, I hadn’t read this novella and I was super confused with some things in Apollyon . I highly recommend reading this before the 4th book!!!

I mean, it’s also Aiden’s POV so who wouldn’t want to get the chance to read that?!?!😆

Hehe this also helped with my never-to-be-finished reading challenge😈

𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥’𝕤 𝕒 𝕟𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕝𝕒/𝕓𝕠𝕠𝕜 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕕𝕖𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕪𝕖𝕕 𝕪𝕠𝕦? 𝔸𝕟𝕪 𝕗𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕛𝕠𝕪? 𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!💕