[Book Review] Such an Enchanting Book – A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer (SPOILER FREE)

TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE (3)
Cursebreakers #1| 484 pages | YA Fantasy

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Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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For the good of Emberfall, for the good of all.  

thumbnail_Image (2)Ahhh, this book.  As soon as I started A Curse So Dark and Lonely I was completely immersed in the world of Emberfall.  It’s a quick and captivating read that will draw you in from the get go.  One of the things I loved the most about this novel was the characters, I loved the relationship between Harper, Rhen, and Grey.  Honestly, I can’t even decide who I think Harper should be with…  Harper and Grey have some serious chemistry going on though.  As you can probably tell, Grey was my favourite character out of the three, or as Harper likes to call him, Scary Grey.  I just loved him so much ❤    

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is written in a dual perspective from the points of view of Harper and Rhen.  I would have loved to have read from Grey’s perspective but that’s for the next book!  Seeing Harper struggling with the fact she missed her family, but was also starting to become comfortable in Emberfall, and her inner debates over this made her seem so much more real. Continue reading “[Book Review] Such an Enchanting Book – A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer (SPOILER FREE)”

[Graphic Novel Review] My First 5★ Read of 2020 – Heartstopper (Heartstopper, #1) by Alice Oseman (SPOILER FREE)

TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE (2)
Heartstopper #1| 278 pages | YA Graphic Novel

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Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

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thumbnail_Image (1)Heartstopper was both my first Alice Oseman work  and first five star read of 2020.  I absolutely adored it, when in retrospect I originally thought I wouldn’t like it as much.  Nick and Charlie as characters were a delight, their relationship was *chefs kiss*.  The little interactions, their friendship, and how it naturally blossomed into something more.   The way Alice portrayed Nick and Charlie’s relationship, the two of them as people, and their own personal struggles was very realistic; Nick and Charlie felt like real fleshed out people. Continue reading “[Graphic Novel Review] My First 5★ Read of 2020 – Heartstopper (Heartstopper, #1) by Alice Oseman (SPOILER FREE)”

[Manga Review] Dreamin’ Sun Vol. #02 – #04 by Ichigo Takano (SPOILER FREE)

TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE(7)
Dreamin’ Sun #02 – #04 | Shoujo Manga

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Dreamin’ Sun Vol. 02 

35482238. sx318 When Shimana fails to work up the courage to ask Asashi out on a date, she decides it’s time to get a makeover as part of her self-improvement plan. But when she calls Asashi to come check out her new look, she’s too preoccupied with his own crush to pick up the phone. Is her transformation all for nothing? And what are those weird heart palpitations Zen’s getting every time he looks at Shimana? It’s a full house of unrequited love and self-discovery in volume 2 of this slice-of-life romance

Screenshot_2019-06-30-00-15-27-662Don’t be turned off by my rating for this one… Let me explain.  The first volume I gave a 3.5/5, I added the .5 for artwork, so the everything else was 3/5.  However, this volume I didn’t enjoy the plot as much, therefore, I dropped a star.  It was definitely personal preference though, it’s not a bad volume, but for me I didn’t enjoy the Shimana and Asahi plot, neither did I much enjoy Shimana’s makeover, or the ending tbh with you.  It was entertaining to read, but out of all the volumes I have currently read (4) I don’t ever see myself rereading this volume.  I’m kinda sad because I really love the cover, Tai, the Landlord is one of my favourite characters in this series.  Saying that, I’m a bit confused why he is featured on the cover when this volume isn’t really about him.  Although, he did again give Shimana some sound advice… “It’s fine to get rejected, as long as you give it your all.” 

🌟🌟(.5)

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Dreamin’ Sun Vol. 03

36266618. sx318 When Shimana runs off into a rainstorm, the last person she expects comes to her rescue: Zen! When he gets a fever the next day, Shimana feels responsible and offers to nurse him back to health. While caring for him, she learns that he’s been hiding something from her — but that’s not the only surprise he has in store for her. Zen’s got a confession to make and it’s getting harder and harder for him to keep it under wraps.

I feel like the series is really going to pick up starting from this volume.  You learn a lot more about Zen and his dream to draw manga.  Dreams are a big part of this manga, it’s a reoccurring theme, along with unrequited love.  You also get to meet Zen’s big brother, Ken. I really enjoyed Ken’s character, I found myself chuckling at his scenes, especially when he says “I only ship Fujiwara/Shimana chan”, he also winds Fujiwara up a lot which is hilarious.  The manga starts out with Zen going to rescue Shimana, who at the end of vol. 2 is outside in the rain too proud to go home.  Zen as a result of this ends up getting ill, leading Shimana to look after him, which is how she learns about Zen’s dream.  This volume is definitely one where people decide their ship Screenshot_2019-06-29-23-55-36-301(Shimana and Zen, or Shimana and Tai), or if you’re like me and you’re indecisive, you don’t mind which way it goes. Don’t get me wrong, Zen is absolutely precious, but I am intrigued by the Landlord and I do want to see where it goes, I do think Shimana needs to grow up a bit first though.  However, Zen should definitely be protected at all costs he’s too cute, whichever way the story goes, I do hope he isn’t left sad in the end because I swear his speech was the cutest thing I have ever read.    Continue reading “[Manga Review] Dreamin’ Sun Vol. #02 – #04 by Ichigo Takano (SPOILER FREE)”

[Book Review] What a Disappointment – Legendary (Caraval, #2) by Stephanie Garber (SPOILER FREE)

TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE(8)
Caraval #2 | 451 pages | YA Fantasy

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A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

IMG_20190629_033132_058After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.

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Ah, so it’s time for this review.  I have been putting it off for a week now because I really have no idea what to rate it.  I enjoyed it don’t get me wrong, but it was so underwhelming, my most disappointing book of the year so far.  Not only that but I found it super predictable, majority of the twists and turns didn’t even surprise me.  Not only was the plot predictable, the writing was super repetitive, you were constantly being told over and over again things you had just read in the previous chapter.  Moreover, I was really looking forward to reading from Tella’s point of view, but the majority of the time you were in her inner monologue and she is constantly arguing with herself over which boy she likes.  I mean, I like romance in books, but even I was getting frustrated.  Maybe I’m just being biased because I didn’t really like the love plot surrounding Dante.  I’m open to seeing where Stephanie will take it in Finale, but as of now I’m not really on board fully.  Besides, I’ve become enamored with Jacks, it’s like The Darkling all over again so god help me.  I find him a very interesting character; I feel as if there is more to him than meets the eye.  I found myself routing for Jacks a hell of a lot more than Dante.  He is probably one of the main reasons, other than being invested that I’m even going to read Finale to be honest.    Continue reading “[Book Review] What a Disappointment – Legendary (Caraval, #2) by Stephanie Garber (SPOILER FREE)”

[Manga Review] A Cute, Comedic, Fluffy Read – Dreamin’ Sun Vol. 1 by Ichigo Takano (SPOILER FREE)

TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE(7)
Dreamin’ Sun #01 | 180 pages | Shoujo Manga

🌟🌟🌟(.5)

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Dreamin’ Sun is an all-new shoujo manga series, by the creator of New York Times bestseller orange, about a girl’s struggle to find a place where she truly belongs. Fans of orange and other classic shoujo stories will be delighted by this charming tale of bittersweet romance. Dreamin’ Sun is a ten-volume manga series.. Shimana Kameko lives in a home where she feels she doesn’t belong. Her mother is dead, her father has remarried, and her six-month-old baby brother takes up everyone’s attention. Kameko skips school and runs away to a nearby park where she literally stumbles over a mysterious man in a kimono. The stranger, Fujiwara Taiga, offers Kameko a place to stay–on three conditions. The first condition is that Kameko tell him why she ran away from home. The second is that she fetch the stranger’s lost apartment key (he is locked out!). The third condition is …to have a dream. Kameko meets the conditions, moves in, and begins a journey of romance and self- discovery.

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IMG_20190629_162634_914Dreamin’ Sun is a very quick, light-hearted read.  It’s written by Ichigo Takano, the author of Orange (which I haven’t read), it’s a cute, romantic comedy, shoujo manga.  I really enjoyed reading this manga, I usually tend to gravitate towards more serious manga such as Death Note, but I’m definitely going to be checking out more shoujo manga in the future.  As I’ve said all ready, this is a very fluffy manga, some of the events that occur in volume one do sometimes seem to fit together quite conveniently, such as how Shimana even finds a place to live/the easy way she completed all of the tasks.  However, I find that this kind of adds to the quirkiness of the manga, moreover, I expected it to be quite cliché at times so I really didn’t mind.   

Volume one flies by very quickly, it sets everything up and introduces you to the characters.  My favourite character so far is Taiga (the Landlord), I’m super interested to learn more about him in the following volumes.  I find the main character, Shimana, to be slightly whiny, I do hope she grows up and matures a bit in the latter volumes, however, I did find I could empathize with some of her problems.  Asahi is cute but too perfect for me to properly like him, and Zen I’m also interested in learning more about.    Continue reading “[Manga Review] A Cute, Comedic, Fluffy Read – Dreamin’ Sun Vol. 1 by Ichigo Takano (SPOILER FREE)”

[Reread Review] The Book That Blurs Fantasy and Reality – Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber (SPOILER FREE)

TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE(6)
Caraval #1 | 405 Pages | YA Fantasy

🌟🌟🌟🌟(.5)

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First Read: May 2018 
Second Read: June 2019 

I decided to reread Caraval in preparation to finally finish the trilogy.  When I first read this book last year, I rated it 4.5 out of 5.  Upon reflection, I’m not going to be changing my rating, I don’t think it would be an accurate and fair rating.  Reading Caraval for the first time is a very mysterious, who-the-hell-can-I-trust experience, reading it for a second time not so much due to obviously knowing what happens.

20190618_181525_editedReading Caraval will always be an enchanting, atmospheric experience.  The imagery, the romantic language used, the smells and colours, all these things make you long for Caraval to actually exist.  It’s easy to get swept up in the story, before you know it, you’re 150 pages down and it’s dark outside.  It’s safe to say, I absolutely adore the world of Caraval, it’s definitely a book to read for the world and the plot.  Rereading it was definitely a wonderful experience in terms of drinking in all of the scenery, all of the magic and little details I missed the first time around.  Furthermore, I’m a bit of a sucker for romance, so again I was rooting for Scarlett and Julian all the way to the end.  The only difference I really noticed was Continue reading “[Reread Review] The Book That Blurs Fantasy and Reality – Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber (SPOILER FREE)”

[Book Review] The One Where I Read The First Book Second – The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang (SPOILER FREE)

TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE(5)
The Kiss Quotient #1| 336 pages | Adult Romance

🌟🌟🌟🌟(.5)

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TKQStella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

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As you know if you’ve read my review of The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, I read these books out of order.  Reading the two books this way didn’t necessarily dampen my enjoyment, however, there is a minor spoiler in The Bride Test about the outcome of Stella and Micheal’s relationship.  Ignoring this, I do as you can tell from my rating, prefer The Bride TestThe Kiss Quotient features a lot of miss communication between the characters, I know this happens in a lot of romance books to build tension and I guess further the plot, just to me atleast, it really stuck out to me when reading The Kiss Quotient.

HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it because I did.  Micheal and Stella’s relationship was adorable and Micheal’s so pure. I enjoyed the trope, is that right?  this book featured — Stella hires Micheal as an escort to teach her how to be in a relationship, but ultimately the two of them fall in love.  The romance isn’t as slow-burn as Esme and Khai’s, to be honest, I did find it happened quite quickly.  The relationship itself made up this because oh my, it was so precious. Continue reading “[Book Review] The One Where I Read The First Book Second – The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang (SPOILER FREE)”