Saturday, October 22, 2016

Review: Illusions of Fate

ISBN: 0062135899
Pages: 278
Source: Own/Ebook
Publication Date: September 9, 2015
Initial Reaction:
Disney Marie - Official Stickers:
Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.
“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.
Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.
(This review is so overdue I am ashamed but I finally got around to editing my bullet points and putting them into sentences...better late than never...)
This book has been pretty raved about across the internet and it took be way too long to see what the hype was all about. I picked this book up half out of boredom and half out of curiosity and was completely swept away into this magical world. Even though I feel like everyone was talking about it when it first released, I actually managed to go into the story pretty blind which just made the whole experience all the more magical. 

Right from the start, Illusions of Fate takes you on this rollercoaster adventure into a world that is cold and gray. I've noticed that I really like the juxtaposition between a prim and proper world versus a colorful and wild one. At first, I was a bit confused over what was going on but Kiersten White quickly clears that up and sets into motion the overarching plot while throwing in different bits about the history of the world. 

Jessamin is such an intriguing character as she's born of a Melei mother and an Albion father - she's essentially a combination of the two worlds. The Albion world looks upon her with distaste because she has a sense of fire within that clashes with their rigid society. She travels to Albion to study at the university her father teaches at and gets swept up in a dark and deceitful world of magic when she meets Finn. We have Lord Downpike who plays the evil villain who wants to take over the world and in order to do that, he needs access to all the powers which he believes Finn has the key. 

Honestly, there were some parts of the story that were just so dark it caught me off guard but nothing was ever too terrible to handle. Lord Downpike is just so many shades of messed up that as the story unfolded and his identity was revealed, I was just completely blown away. On the topic of Downpike, he uses ravens to be his eyes around the city and I must mention my favorite raven of all fiction: Sir Bird. Even his name is perfect! (Sorry Chainsaw...) Sir Bird plays such an important role and I must read this book to find out! Another side character I want to mention briefly is Eleanor. She's the younger sister of one of Albion's elites and while she doesn't have a ton of magical ability, she definitely knows how to use her abilities to her advantage. Also, she's just such a bright person compared to the rest of dreary Albion.

Illusions of Fate just left me completely mind blown and I can't believe that Kiersten White managed to create such fantastic story and characters in under 300 words. I definitely need to pick up more of her books in the future and I'm secretly hoping for another story in this world. 

4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Tracks: Only One


Hello everyone! I'm back with another Thursday Tracks post and I have so many songs right now it was hard choosing one but I've made a list so hopefully I'll be able to share all of the songs with you guys. Anyway, this week I thought I'd share Only One by Apink which is the title song off their 3rd album titled Pink Revolution.

I never heard of any Apink songs prior to the release of this album but I have to say I'm completely in love with pretty much all their songs. Since I can't understand a big chunk of the text, the words "You are my only one baby" has just been stuck in my head for the past week. 

Now to pair this with a book, I was going to go with a book that is number one in my heart but as all book lovers know that is a virtually impossible task. Therefore I decided to choose a book that is currently on my TBR pile that I hope to read before the month ends. 

18498569The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
ISBN: 978-1-144342-846-0
Pages: 400
Publication Date: August 24, 2014

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam—a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion—a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist—an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?
Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

What have you been listening to? Let me know in the comments below~

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bookish Style: Book Shopping

Hello everyone! Welcome to my first Bookish Style post! This is a topic that I've wanted to try branching into for a while but never actually did. Today's post is in collaboration with Stylewe, an online retail store, that kindly reached out to me. Be sure to check out the logo at the bottom of the post to see the amazing things they have on their site.

Since I'm a book blogger, I was a bit surprised to be receiving an email asking for a collaboration from a clothing store, but us readers have to be fashionable too right? I decided to look around the site and pick out an outside that I might wear if I was going book shopping. Now that I'm in the Boston area for college, there are so many awesome small bookshops that are just waiting to be explored so I drew my inspiration from there.

Outfit 1: Cute and Chic
Shop Mini dresses - Apricot Cotton Embroidery Sleeveless Mini Dress online. Discover unique designers fashion at Shop Satchels - Green Small PU Casual Satchel online. Discover unique designers fashion at Shop Mini Dresses - Black Casual A-line Lycra Sweater Dress online. Discover unique designers fashion at
Mini Dress - $77.99
Green Satchel - $64.00
Black A-Line Sweater Dress - $73.00

I've been loving a good dress these days and these are two that just caught my eye. The mini dress looks super light and comfortable for the summer while the long sleeved dress lets you look chic while still keeping your arms warm. And can we please talk about how adorable that bag it! The cat ears and everything~

Outfit 2: Casual
Shop T-Shirts - Black Pierced Casual Rayon T-Shirt online. Discover unique designers fashion at Shop Backpacks - Multicolor Casual Small PU Backpack online. Discover unique designers fashion at Shop Jeans - Dark Blue Polyester Pockets Plain Casual Skinny Leg Jean online. Discover unique designers fashion at
Black Casual T-Shirt - $42.00
Multicolored PU Backpack - $68.00
Casual Skinny Jeans - $86.00

I'm a super casual person when it comes to dressing and a pair of jeans with a t-shirt is always my go to. The black t-shirt here has some nice lace detail and cutouts which make it a tad bit more fancy than a plain black tee. The backpack is another thing that I'm completely in love with. I would choose a backpack over a handbag any day and this one just has such a cute pattern and design, it looks like a perfect schoolgirl backpack that you see in cartoons!

Additional Links:
Check out other amazing bags HERE
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals

In collaboration with

Friday, October 14, 2016

TOUR: The Daemoniac

ISBN: 0997236248
Pages: 334
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication Date: October 12, 2016
Initial Reaction:
Image result for line sticker ghost
It's August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim's throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.
But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.
From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York's richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?
Kat Ross has done it again with her magical writing! The Daemoniac is this haunting read that takes place in 1888 New York City just a couple weeks before Jack the Ripper unleashes his terror on London. In New York City, another killer is walking the streets and our MC is convinced that it's the work of demonic posession. Harry is the younger sister of Detective Myrtle Pell and with no connections, she sets off to solve this case. Determined to solve the case of Mr. Hyde, she works with her best friend John Weston to uncover the secrets of the upper class.

This story is definitely different from the previous books I have read by Kat Ross but it was still absolutely amazing. If you're looking for a nice spooky read for the month then this is definitely something you should pick up. I'm not a big reader of scary books because I'm often reading late at night and The Daemoniac definitely gave me a couple of jump scares. 

The writing style just reflects the story so perfectly and paints a haunting picture of New York City that I never saw before. Growing up in NYC, it's definitely a different view and one that was absolutely fascinating to read about. It's pretty obvious that the high society of New York is corrupt but taking a little journey into the deep dark passageways was just so fun. Additionally, the characters were just so well developed, especially Harry. Kat Ross just knows how to create characters who stand out and just grab your interest. It was so cool that our MC's full name is Harrison rather than a feminine version. Harry's growth throughout the story is just incredible since she starts as a young naive girl who wants some of her sister's fame and connections to someone with considerable knowledge and wisdom.

The supporting characters are just as amazing and the journey they take throughout the story continues to blow my mind. From the SPR to all the different connections that Harry finds in order to solve the crime, there is just so much that this story delivers that it's an absolute joy to read. The Daemoniac is definitely a great read for this time of the year but it's one that will be fun any time. The pacing and mysterious allure of the story just keeps the pages turning! 

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Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: Soulless

Pages: 395
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Initial Reaction:
Cute hamster!! - Creators' Stickers:
Welcome to Soulless.
We are the generation that laughs at death.
Reincarnation; what was once considered a gift of immortality has become an eternity of nightmares.
Nadia Richards lives in a world plagued by reincarnation, a system of recycling souls where all past memories, personalities and traumatic events are relived daily in disjointed sequences. Trapped within their own warped realities, not even the richest and most powerful are saved from their own minds unraveling. Madness is the new human nature, and civilizations are crumpling beneath themselves trying to outrun it. 
Within a society that ignores death, Nadia appears to be the one exception to the reincarnation trap. Born without any reincarnated memories and with printless eyes, the hot tempered 19 year old quickly becomes the ultimate prize to all those wishing to end the vicious cycle, or for some, to ensure they could evade death forever.
Look at me, getting so many reviews up! Okay I head a deadline for this one but still, it got me reading which is a relief. This book drew me in because of the gorgeous artwork on the cover and while the synopsis didn't exactly seem up my alley, I thought I'd give it a try. Soulless is a dystopian novel with a dark premise. For generations, people are being reborn with all the memories from their previous lives. In order to bring peace amidst the chaos, a group called the Elites rise up and build the broken society except the world they put in order glorifies them and them only while the rest of the population is left to fight for themselves. 

Our main character is part of the lower class and she has a special predicament. While everyone else in the world has some sort of special pattern in their iris that identifies who they were in their previous lives, Nadia doesn't have anything. Her eyes are completely blank and that makes her a target. We follow Nadia as she is taken into a prison and becomes a personal pin cushion to a crazed doctor and her escape and life as a fugitive. The characters are so complex and frustrating at the same time. 

With Nadia, it was a bit of a struggle seeing her constantly having to fight for her life and there were times where I just didn't know how much longer she could keep going. She honestly goes through some terrible things but it always gets to a point where I'm purely reading to see if she makes it through. Our other main character is a brooding and slightly mental terrorist by the name of Diesel. He's so bipolar it drives me insane sometimes. He'll be "sweet" and do some nice things but then he'll turn around and be so rude and I just want to punch him. With the characters, it was a bit of a hit or miss but in the end it was just incredible to see how amazingly complex everyone was from our MCs to the Mad Dogs to the snobby Elites. 

This book was a bit more...bloody than I originally expected but it goes with the harsh cutthroat world. One of the biggest points about this book that I really liked was how Jacinta Maree focused on the action of the story over the romance. I don't think there was a certain confirmation of the romance until well past the 50% mark. While the book started off a bit slow, the emphasis was all on the build up and letting everything fall into place. I've heard so many amazing things about the next book in the series and with how things wrapped up in this book I'm definitely intrigued. Soulless is just a really action packed novel that views life, death, and society in a much darker lens.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday Tracks: Bounce by Boyfriend


Hey everyone! It's been a hundred years since I've posted a Thursday Tracks and I've been in the mood to share something new with you guys. My music tastes generally range from 90s pop to country pop but this summer my friend finally got me interested in Kpop. As of right now, I'm trying so hard not to fall into the crazy hurricane that is the Kpop fandom because I simply don't have the energy or time but I have found a couple of songs and groups that I'll be sharing with you guys (hopefully) over the next couple of weeks.

So this week I have Bounce by a group called Boyfriend and this is the single off their album titled Boyfriend in Wonderland. I actually came across this song because I saw they had a dance video with SISTAR's Bora who is on my growing list of biases and once I watched the video I could not get the song out of my head.

The music video itself is just so interesting and I can't stop playing. It's bad and I'm trying so hard not to fall too deep but this group is just sucking me in.

Now this can't be a Thursday Tracks post without linking it to a book and this one was actually kind of difficult. I don't think this song connects to many books (might be the fact that I can't understand 99% of the lyrics) but the MV is inspired by Alice in Wonderland (as is the entire album) so I decided to go with that and chose Insanity by Cameron Jace.

After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll's paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland's real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science. 

I read Insanity a while back so I don't remember much but from what I remember and from my review, it was a crazy adventure full of some dark and unexpected twists of the classic Alice in Wonderland tale.

So that's my Thursday Tracks! I'll probably be doing more of these in the upcoming weeks cause I've just been listening to so many new songs. If you have any recommendations let me know and if you've read Insanity, be sure to let me know your thoughts below!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: The Afterlife of Alyx and Israel

ISBN: 978-1534673274
Pages: 230
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: June 1, 2016
Initial Reaction: 
Emperor penguin brothers (English) - Creators' Stickers:
Once upon a lifetime, Alyx & Israel lost each other...
'In their new mortal lives, Alyx & Israel don't remember anything about their past. And they have never crossed paths. Until some old friends decide to secretly nudge destiny along, their efforts almost destroying everything…
Now Alyx’s life lies in the balance, trapped in a coma deep within a DreamScape maze city. The only one who can help her escape is Israel, a man she doesn't remember. They need to find a mysterious Mapmaker and solve his riddle. But is this Mapmaker hiding something?
Although this book is part of the Dark Angel series, it can be read as a standalone. 
I finished another book in college! I decided to read this instead of practicing cause I was just feeling no motivation to practice but I wanted to be productive anyway~ This is the sixth book in Dark Angel series and follows Alyx and Israel who seem like star crossed lovers at the beginning. Since I didn't have a lot of knowledge about the world, not having read any of the previous books, I wasn't sure what to expect. There's not a lot of backstory about the world that Alyx and Israel were part of in their past life and it took a while to piece things together. At the end, I'm still not quite sure about the world and their roles in that world but I guess things would be more clear if I had read the previous books.

As far as plot goes, it was fairly easy to follow so there's definitely no requirement that you need to read the previous books before reading this one. Alyx and Israel are soulmates who used to be immortal but something happened and they were forced to become mortal and live on Earth without any memory of their previous life. Alyx has this group of immortal friends who have been watching her and they decide to act when they find out that Alyx has gotten engaged to someone who is not Israel. This prompts them to mess with fate which sends Alyx spiraling into a dream world that she cannot escape without Israel. Throw into this mess, she must get out of the dream world before it turns winter or she will die.

There's a lot of hidden humor with the sarcastic comments between Alyx and Israel as they get to know each other better. I personally really liked the relationship between Vix, one of Alyx's friends, and Balthazar, a demon who decides to help bring the two soulmates back together, They have so much friendly hostility between to them it's so much to read about. In terms of Alyx and Israel's relationship, there are a lot of hints of their previous relationship as they slowly navigate their way through the dream world and regain their memories. To simply put it, they were bonded spiritually and mentally in sync and it was pretty neat seeing them rediscover that, especially in the scenes where they are fighting scary monsters with swords.

After finishing this book, I'm definitely interesting in picking up the other books in the future just to get to know more about the world and about Alyx and Israel's history. I don't know for sure if their story plays any important roles in any of the previous books but hopefully I'll be able to get around to it someday. 
3.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

TOUR: Blood of the Prophet

ISBN: 099723623X
Pages: 337
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication Date: September 12, 2016
Initial Reaction: 
The Little Mermaid - Official Stickers:  
Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.
The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That's what happens when you've been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…
It's only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King's dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius's mother with it. But they're not the only ones looking.
The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…

Purchase The Midnight Sea (Book 1)
This book is probably one of my most anticipated releases for this fall ever since I read The Midnight Song (Review) earlier this year and to actually have the opportunity to read it right as it comes out was amazing. The Midnight Sea leaves off with so many possibilities and an endless amount of questions that were just left burning. Blood of Prophet continues with Nazafareen, Darius, Tijah, and Myrri journeying to the city to find the Prophet to find some answers. Like the first book, the sequel is action packed and full of new adventures that pull you right in.

There are so many amazing things that happen in this book, I can't quite pick a favorite moment. It was so interesting to see how Kat Ross incorporated different social issues from prostitution and slavery to religion and politics and just mixed them together. Since it's been a while since I read the first book, some of the different positions were a bit confusing but it was cleared pretty quickly. The story itself is just so incredibly diverse, it's absolutely impossible not to get sucked in.

Nazafareen continues to blow me away. She's such a strong female character who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in even though the world she lives in isn't exactly the friendliest and saying the wrong thing could end up with your body hanging from the walls. (Such a lovely image...) Despite that, she doesn't back down and faces all the challenges head on. The only downside is that she'll sometimes act rather impulsively but that's where Darius steps in and balances out her fire with his calm. I can't talk about one bonded pair and not talk about Tijah and Myrri who have such an awesome relationship. Tijah is so fun and seeing her interactions with Myrri is so precious. 

One of the things I found really surprising but loved was how we also got the POVs of the bad guys. Usually, stories will focus on the perspectives of the good but being able to see from the eyes of the antagonists was really cool cause you get to see their schemes and thought process about everything. It also gives insight into their positions in society which obviously differ from the main four's status of criminal Water Dogs and bonded daeva. 

If it's possible, I think I loved this book more than the first book. It was full of all the right elements that made it such an awesome read. There was everything from heartbreaking scenes to happy ones. Honestly, this book has everything and I'm now dying for more.
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Author Bio:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

4 out of 5 stars