Threshold by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

I spoke thirteen languages, and yet all my words deserted me in these moments.

Title: Threshold
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Good things about this book: Whyborne & Griffin OTP!
Bad things about this book: It has the dreaded ex who messes things up.
Do I recommend it? Yes, this and all the others as well even if I haven’t read them yet.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

My new OTP, Whyborne and Griffin, are happy, living together with a cat and being all lovey dovey whenever they find themselves alone. It’s still a new relationship but it feels right, it feels that it’s the one they both were waiting for. What do you think happens when you are happier than you’ve ever been? Yeah, bad things happen. Every single time.

After being hired by Whyborne’s father, Griffin, Whyborne and Christine left the comfort of Widdershins to investigate strange disappearances in Threshold. Who did they find in Threshold if not the ex-lover of our dear Griffin? What a coincidence, a hateful and bothering coincidence, that’s what it is! I knew things were obviously too good to stay that way but a girl can only hope.

They would not take me without a fight, even if a pitiful one.

In Threshold things are worse than initially imagined and it seems hard to trust anyone. I sure didn’t trust Elliott, the infamous ex, and I didn’t trust anything he said. He was a hateful character and he was put there to mess with Griffin and Whyborne’s mind. Why would you disrupt what they have? Why? No matter how handsome and perfect you are, there’s only one person for Griffin and that’s Whyborne.

“My dearest pudding pie,” I read aloud.
“Yes, my little turnip?”

The mysteries of Threshold surprised me. I wasn’t expecting any of that. It was weirder than the mystery in the first book. I guessed a couple of things but some other things caught me off guard. I love being caught off guard when things don’t concern the wellbeing of my favourite characters. That’s the exception. You can twist the story in all the ways you want but don’t mess with my boys’ happiness. That’s where I draw the line.

I can’t wait to keep reading about Griffin, Whyborne and Christine’s adventures. There are still so many books left and a few more to come!

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The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan

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5stars

“The longer you live, the weirder the world gets.”

Title: The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Good things about this book: I loved everything so maybe you will, too!
Bad things about this book: I would love to see again old characters but that’s not really a bad thing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I always recommend a Riordan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

If there’s a certainty in my life is that any book Mr. Riordan writes is a book that’s not going to disappoint me. So far it has never happened and I’m positive it’s not going to happen anytime soon. I may be 31 years old but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to like stories about teenagers saving the world. Add mythology to the mix and you got me hooked for life.

Apollo is still very human and very mortal and he has to go on quests to get his father, the mighty Zeus, to make him a god again. This time he is flying to Indianapolis with Leo and Calypso riding the metal dragon Festus. I loved these quest companions! I already loved Leo from the Heroes of Olympus’ books and now we get to know the half titan Calypso, newly freed from the exile on the prison island Ogygia.

“Don’t test me, Valdez. When I am a god again, I will make a constellation out of you. I will call it the Small Exploding Latino.”

Apollo is starting to understand how is it to be human a little better than in the previous book but he still has a very long way to go. In order to become a god again is pretty obvious that he has to start seeing things the way demigods and mortals see it. He has to understand sacrifice. He has to understand love. He is starting to see it but it’s still not enough. Well, there are still 3 books to go so I guess we’re going to see funny and frail human being Lester Papadopoulos fight against powerful immortal emperors for a little bit longer.

“It’s not how long you live that matters. It’s what you live for.”

There is a new set of amazing characters that are involved in this quest, and there are also old friends we already knew and surely missed. Hunters, former hunters, a headless cheddar-colored ghost, demigods, griffins, ostriches, a sweet elephant called Livia, and many others. There weren’t plot twists but the story unfolded a little at a time and mysteries were revealed when they were supposed to be revealed.

I guessed the name of the new Emperor they were facing this time because I am a little familiar with roman history, living in Italy and having studied like a good student back in the day. I have to say that I may have not paid much attention in class because a lot of things were new to me; it was nice learning new stuff. I have to admit that my knowledge may have come from movies. A lot of my knowledge nowadays comes from TV shows, movies and books. That’s me, always quoting The Simpsons in everyday conversations!

His eyes gleamed with confidence as if to say, That’s right. I just crawled out of a tunnel, and I still look gorgeous.

As usual, the diversity in Riordan’s books is a breath of fresh air. I love to imagine a world in which no matter who you love, the gender you identify with, the color of your skin, or where you come from, you are not object of hate and violence from ignorant people. The world is a melting pot of human beings and we cohabitate in a world that is amazing. Less hate and lots more of love doesn’t have to be hard to achieve, it has to come naturally like it’s supposed to.

I sighed inwardly. First it had been the zoo at first light. Then the Canal Walk at first light. Now the caverns. I really wished dangerous quests could start at a more suitable time, like perhaps three in the afternoon.

That being said, I just loved how Apollo was a lot more flirtatious with the boys in this book, and hearing about his past love stories was nice; I’m sure there are a lot more stories to be told. I love seeing Apollo, the narcissistic, egocentric, and hilarious god I obviously adore, becoming a better person; I just can’t wait to see this different version of him on Mount Olympus dealing with the other gods and his daddy.

Have I said something to spoil the story? I hope not. Things happen, there are a lot of carrots to peal, dishes to clean, toilets to scrub, monsters to kill and enemies to fight; no time to rest, our heroes are going to be pretty busy.

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City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett

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5stars

What an ugly thing I am, he thinks. Why did I ever believe I could wreak anything but ugliness in this world? Why did I ever think that those near me would meet anything but pain and death?

Title: City of Miracles
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Good things about this book: Sigrud!!!
Bad things about this book: It is the final book of this trilogy.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Third and last book of a trilogy I would have never read if it wasn’t for Goodreads and a fellow reader who wrote a review that painted this book worth of a try. And it was worth it, believe me. It contains a world building written with so much detail it constructs itself inside your head easily. I don’t know how to describe it to others but I want to be able to do it because this trilogy hasn’t as much readers as it truly deserves.

That’s the cycle of your life, isn’t it? You throw yourself into dangerous, hopeless situations. These situations punish you mercilessly. Yet you overcome them, and live.

After two books with two amazing main characters, now it’s time for my beloved Sigrud je Harkvaldsson to take the lead. I have loved him since the first book, City of Stairs, in which he worked alongside Shara Komayd against the danger of Divinities. He is a complex character, driven by anger. He has many layers and almost all of them are full of pain and suffering.

The second book, City of Blades, ended with Sigrud having to run away from Voortyashtan. Thirteen years have passed since then: years of Sigrud waiting for Shara to tell him it was okay to go back home, that everything that happened was somewhat being forgiven and, hopefully, forgotten over time. Years passed and no news from his friend until one day he hears Shara has been murdered; he is in shock and wakes from a sort of slumber and makes his way back to find out who did this to Shara, why and to avenge her.

I know how anything I tell is a potential spoiler and it was so good not having any when reading the book so I won’t write anything unnecessary, anything that can give you clues that are best not to have. It’s great to gasp at twists and smile when you finally understand what’s going on. Those are irreplaceable feelings!

What a stupid creature he is, driven by rage and emotion.

Being inside Sigrud’s mind is painful. He suffers a lot from what happened to him and also to all the people that he cared about and are not longer alive. Sigrud is supposed to be 63 years old. Sixty-three years old and looking half his age, it’s his cursed; new scars added to his person but not a single wrinkle decorating his face. His mind is a nest of bad thoughts but also resolution to get vengeance and to get rid of the new danger they are now facing. This villain is immature so he is erratic, driven by wrong reasons, his ego being the the mastermind of his plans; every time I turned a page I feared for the lives of everyone.

He remembers Shara again, twenty years ago, outside of Jukoshtan: Our work asks us to make terrible choices. But make them we shall.

The fact that Shara is dead and we know she is dead from the synopsis of the book doesn’t make reading about it easier. We knew Shara; we knew her values and what she did to make the world a better place. The way Sigrud thinks about Shara, the way he remembers her and what they did together, is so full of love and admiration and it kept breaking my heart.

They were closer than lovers—for love, of course, is a flighty, mercurial thing.

I cried when I finished the book. The last paragraph gave me the final blow. Saying goodbye is hard, I know that, but this felt different: they were happy tears. The kind of happy that comes from sadness but that knows it couldn’t have gone in any other way. It gives you peace and it gives you hope. I want these characters to be their better selves and live a happy life. That’s all I want.

Goodbye magnificent world of miracles and divinities. Goodbye characters that gave them all to make a difference. Goodbye friends we made along the way. Goodbye to you all and thank you.

We float upon a sea of moments, he thinks. And never are we truly free of them.

If you haven’t read this trilogy I recommend it with all my heart. I can’t explain why and maybe I won’t ever be able to put in words what makes me love these books, but like the review that convinced me to give it a try, I hope my review will do the same. Spread the love!

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The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

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4stars

Title: The Love Interest
Author: Cale Dietrich
Good things about this book: Its potential and it can be funny.
Bad things about this book: It lose itself and it’s quite random.
Do I recommend it? Yes, give it a try.
Rate: 4/5 (I have to be honest, it’s more like a 3 but the first part made me laugh and it was a nice feeling)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There’s an Italian song called “Triangolo” that always comes to mind when I read about two boys fighting over the heart of a frail damsel. These boys are usually perfection, carved from marble, dreamy beyond compare. If there is something I like less than the dreaded miscommunication, it is the dreaded love triangle.

Watch the video of “Triangolo”. Enjoy!

If I was going to judge this book by its cover and by the first part of the summary, then this was obviously a capital n No; but then I read “What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training” and, well well well, color me interested. Now that’s a book I want to read. So I read it and, even it wasn’t exactly the way I pictured it, it was thoroughly cute and funny with a pinch (more like half a cup) of action.

There’s an agency that recruits Love Interests to plant in the lives of important people to spy on them and steal their secrets. Sounds plausible, nice idea. They train people since they’re very young until they are needed; they are then given a new identity and a new appearance in order to be ready to woo the Chosen they’ve been assigned to. There is so much potential here and for more or less 70% of the book it was up to it.

A Chosen is, well, chosen, her name is Juliet and two boys are sent to win her heart. A Nice and a Bad like they always do. They have a coach to guide them, teach them how to act in front of Juliet and create scenarios that she will certainly fall for. Looks like a nice and healthy completion but it’s not: the one that’s not chosen gets killed. So now you may understand how I started panicking and trying to figure out a HEA ending with these new premises.

You’re lucky we made you hot, Caden. If she wasn’t attracted to you she would’ve barfed.

Caden is the Nice. Is he nice? No, he’s not but he can act and after spending so much time in that prison-like place, he’ll do anything to get out. Caden is funny and plays the nice and super cheesy flirt boy perfectly. Oh my, some of the things he said made me giggle: they were THAT cheesy. Come on, who says that? He is playing all his Nice Guy cards but in his mind he can’t stop thinking about Dylan and his thoughts are hilarious, I just loved them!

Dylan is the Bad. Is he bad? Not at all. He has a kind heart and child-like honesty that was so nice to see. Not being afraid to feel and express emotions is a quality I want to be shown in books more often. Dylan plays the sexy, bad, tormented soul kind of part and he plays it greatly. Who wouldn’t double check a certified bad boy leaning against a tree reading a poetry book with a pained look on his face? He’s in it to win it!

“Apparently it’ll make me seem like a tortured soul who is lashing out, because I can’t handle all the epic, sexy pain within me.”

Caden and Dylan are both “enhanced” with plastic surgery: new jaw, new hair color, new eye color, and perfect tan. They are built to be the guys any girl would want. They can’t go unnoticed and with the changes they are like supermodels and they have all eyes on them. Put yourself in Juliet’s pants: you suddenly have two gorgeous boys flirting with you so of course you have doubts, you have every right to like them both. Come on, they are put there to please and she is pleased. Oh, she is pleased indeed!

The story is in Caden’s POV so we see how he understands what he feels about Dylan is more than simple friendship and he starts to put pieces together of his life in the facility, realizing he has always been attracted to guys. He is of course troubled, but not much and I liked seeing how he starts reacting to Dylan’s presence and how he knows these feelings can change the game they are playing. Yet he doesn’t once deny he likes him and it means a lot to the story he does that.

I didn’t think I was a chest-hair type of guy, but judging by the erratic things my heart is doing at the moment, I totally am.

As I said, this book was funny, cute, cheesy, YA trope extraordinaire, more or less until 70% of the book. Then it went wild, kind of off rails and got a little weird, a little over the top. Things happened, many things, and one thing in particular I felt was really unnecessary. The ending was pretty rushed and lots of things were left unexplained. I expected a more detailed epilogue.

Nevertheless this was quite an enjoyable book and, like I gave it a chance and liked it, I think everyone who likes the genre should, too.

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The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant by C.S. Pacat

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5stars

Title: The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant
Author: C.S. Pacat
Good things about this book: Everything? Yes, everything.
Bad things about this book: It is the end of it all.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you’re a fan of the Captive Prince series then my recommendation is futile. If course you’re going to read this.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

April was a weird month. I read only two books. I immersed myself in tv shows, binge watching the old and the new ones. There was no escape to it. For your information, I’m watching one right now while typing this (The 100). There’s no escape, I’m telling you.

I needed a small victory, something to take me out of this reading slump. Distracted as I was, I didn’t see the last novella of the Captive Prince series was already out. Lucky for me, I had to spend a few hours at the hair salon where time is lost.

This short story was very enjoyable. We get to see more of Charls, with a sweet and adorable Laurent and Damen interaction in the background. Charls is a very honest man and his reputation is at risk because of some dumb merchant who plays dirty. I hated that man. Who could do that? Is your heart made of ice?

Laurent and Damen were incognito and Charls only knew the real identity of the prince; seeing their world through Charls’s eyes was fun. He didn’t know Damen as the King of Akielos and his guesses as to who he was to Laurent were obviously wrong; I wanted Damen to reveal himself to Charls at random only to see the surprise expression on his face.

This novella is short, yes, but it has twists and everything a story needs to be a story worth reading. I wish it was longer but if this is the end of it all and if I won’t be reading about Laurent and Damen and everyone in this world anymore, then I’m okay, I can live with what I was given. This ending is a perfect goodbye, a sad one but, still, kind of perfect.

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[ARC] The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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5stars

We are not broken things, neither of us is. We are cracked pottery mended with lacquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved.

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Good things about this book: Grand Tour of Europe of Doom!!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, buy it, devour it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Digital Review Copy received from Edelweiss

I think I’m in my 18th century moment. I’ve been stumbling upon stories and TV series set in that period; stories full of pirates, rich men, funny wigs, leggings and boots, murders, and mysteries. I enjoy all the different ways people tell and write these stories. When it is told well then you not only gain from it in enjoyment but also in learning.

The great tragic love story of Percy and me is neither great nor truly a love story, and is tragic only for its single-sidedness.

Mackenzi Lee did a great job creating a story, introducing different point of views, putting in it a magical component, and making the characters rich in a matter of personality and diversity. We have Monty, a spoiled young man from a rich family who is a rebel and does what he wants, from drinking his heart out to sleeping with both men and women. He is touring Europe with his best friend and secret crush, Percy, who is biracial and is always judged by the color of his skin before anything else. Also he has epilepsy and we see how this condition was viewed in the 18th century and you will get mad. So mad!

“Ladies haven’t the luxury of being squeamish about blood,” she replies, and Percy and I go fantastically red in unison.

Since having only two men who secretly love each other but won’t admit it, with the sexual tension and everything, would’ve been dreadful, Monty’s sister, Felicity, accompanies them. She was scheduled to be with them until her drop off to an academy where young ladies learn how to be ladies. Luckily for her, her rebel of a brother sets off a series of chain of events that are going to turn upside down everything.

“It’s a burden, you know.”
“What is?”
“Being this good-looking. Not a soul can keep their hands off me.”

Monty isn’t without flaws. He is vain, selfish, a lot self-centered, loves to drink and isn’t the most subtle person there is. He also isn’t without problems of his own. Not only problems caused by his “abnormal” tendencies but also caused by that monster that calls himself his father. I hate that man and I will hate him forever. There were a lot of WTH moments concerning Monty, I can’t say the contrary, as he was childish and stubborn in an exaggerate way. He more often than not, needed a slap and I’m happy there was Felicity to tell him how foolish he was behaving.

“The stars dust gold leafing on his skin. And we are looking at each other, just looking, and I swear there are whole lifetimes lived in those small, shared moments.”

I rooted for his happy ending from the very beginning, seeing how deep his love for Percy was. I understood his struggle when put in front of a situation he wasn’t familiar with but I also sided with Percy and his personal battle. They both needed and deserved to be happy and free of those poisonous people who failed to see how wonderful they were.

I loved this book. I fought to get an advanced copy and when I got it I was all smiles and giggles. I can’t wait to have the physical book in my hands. The beginning was promising and it kept on giving until the ending that did not disappoint me one bit. It was perfect and everything I could ask for: love, adventure, pirates, alchemy, great cities and great characters. There’s so much more to say but I’ll leave you to it. Read it as soon as it’s released.

Fetch me a couch, for I nearly swoon. <<< Me, too, Monty. Me, too!

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The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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4stars

“They are twilight creatures, beings of dawn and dusk, of standing between one thing and another, of not quite and almost, of borderlands and shadows.”

Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Good things about this book: The fairies.
Bad things about this book: The end: I wanted to know more.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

A fairy boy trapped inside a crystal coffin in the middle of the forest? Sold! The magical atmosphere of a city called Fairfold in which humans cohabitate with the Folk is something I have always wanted to experience. Yeah, I know fairies aren’t cute little creatures with tiny wings and pompons on their shoes, but still, it feels like the kind of town I want to live in. Fairies as unbelievably beautiful and vicious, and also a little bit creepy? Yes, please!

As much as I enjoyed the book as a whole package with all its magic, mysteries, rare swords and cute people, I found the first part of the story hard to digest, mainly because of Hazel. I found her a little bit too annoying and immature. I get the teenage drama thing but it was starting to get on my nerves. Maybe I was too hard on her, maybe not, thing is I got to know her a little bit better in the second half of the book and, guess what, I didn’t dislike her as much.

“You and your sister are very dear to each other. To show your regard, you give each other lovely bouquets of lies.”

The second half of the book has Severin and more Ben and Jack so maybe they are also guilty of making the second part better. Severin, the horned boy finally free, is obviously beautiful and strong, and with him mysteries also came free. I loved Severin’s character: adorable, intriguing, charming, and dreamy. It’s officially a crush. I also liked very much Ben, Hazel’s brother. I like him from the beginning and I was so happy to read the chapters in his pov.

I could write about everything and spoil the book but I won’t. First, because lately I’m having a hard time writing reviews. Let’s say, harder than usual. Second, because I threw myself blindly into it and, after having done that a few times already, I have to say that that’s a better way to read a book. Don’t read anything about it. The less you know, the more you’ll like it. For me it’s been that way lately.

Severin, I already miss you! So long, cutie pie!

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