They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

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5stars

I’ve spent years living safely to secure a longer life and look where that’s gotten me. I’m at the finish line, but I never ran the race.

Title: The Both Die at the End
Author: Adam Silvera
Good things about this book: It’s a Silvera book!
Bad things about this book: Well, the end that was spoiled in the title.
Do I recommend it? Yes, and if you haven’t, I also recommend his other two books!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“ARC by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review”

The Silvera Experience is always one of a kind but my heart is still not used to it: it’s an experience of love, tears, and so many thoughts your brain may explode. I finished reading the book yesterday night and every time my mind is not busy it goes back to the book. It’s a terrifying concept the one introduced here with the calls telling you about your imminent death. It’s terrifying because once you know that it’s impossible to not think about it. Then you ask yourself: what am I going to do today before I die? Did I live my life right? Do I have regrets?

I’m shaken by how Adam Silvera can get to me with simple words. Simple words in a slightly different kind of world, not the one we live in right now but it’s so close to it that it scared the hell out of me. I couldn’t put it down once I started it and now I have my heart in my hands, tears in my eyes, and not a single idea of how to put it into words.

No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.

Mateo and Rufus receive a call, THE call, telling them this is the day they’re going to die. They don’t know when and how but they know it’s going to happen before midnight. They are very different people with very different lives but destiny is a funny lady and this dreadful news brings them together on the day their lives are going to end. The Last Friend app brings together people on their End Day that don’t have anyone to spend their day with or that don’t want the people they care about seeing them dying.

I loved how their weird friendship starts and slowly they share their feelings, their pasts, their fears, and they get to have a last glimpse of love. It’s not instant, it’s not forced; it is how it is. Two boys that are going to die, getting close enough to have one more regret about the life they’re leaving behind too soon: a great love story that could have been, a happy life they could have shared. Just thinking about it fills me with sadness and it makes me realize how it’s never too late and even when it’s too late, it is still worth it.

“Why can’t we have a chance?” I ask Rufus.
“A chance at what?” He’s looking around, taking pictures of the arena and the lines.
“A chance at another chance.” I say.

At first I thought that knowing about your death in some ways triggered a chain reaction that would get you to the death that was predicted. It all seemed plausible and I found myself thinking that maybe without knowing they would’ve done things differently and destiny could’ve been rewritten giving them a second chance, maybe also a third. Like your path is not set in stone and it could change.

As I read on, though, I realized that no matter what things you may decide to do on your End Day, death would still find you. You can’t escape death and you’re certainly not meeting death because of the choices you’re making that day: you’re just changing the journey, taking a different road, but the destination it’s still the same. You’re given a chance to say goodbye, to have closure, to tied loose ends, to try things you weren’t brave enough to try before, and I think that’s really scary yet somehow liberating. I don’t know what I would do if knew today was my last day alive: I would freak out, that’s for sure.

I wondered if it was possible to ask them not to tell you when you were going to die, that maybe it could be an option you decided not to have. Then again, without the phone call Rufus and Mateo would still be dead but they wouldn’t have met, and they wouldn’t have been the last rays of sunshine they’ve seen in this world that had them for such a short time.

I wasted time and missed fun because I cared about the wrong things.

Adam Silvera has confirmed himself once again one of my favourite authors and I think he’s going to be one for a very long time. I can’t recommend his books enough and this is not an exception. Go get yourself a Silvera book, you won’t regret it.

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Rag and Bone by K.J. Charles

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4stars

Title: Rag and Bone
Author: K.J. Charles
Good things about this book: Magic and mystery and Stephen Day!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, but read the prequel first!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Magic. I just love magic. I fell in love with the world K.J. Charles built in the Charm of Magpies series; loved the characters, magical ones and not. I think I need to read again the whole series. I’m in need of Stephen and Crane! Honestly, I could read thousands of books set in that magnificent magical Victorian England.

Rag and Bone has been in my kindle library for months, untouched, unread, with no logical reason whatsoever. If you want to read it, I recommend you read first the small prequel that is like a long prologue for the story. I think without reading A Queer Trade you’re missing a lot of the story; it tells how our two main characters meet and what the hell is going on at the beginning of this book. I really think that without reading the prequel there’s too many things that not make much sense. The prequel is a must read.

Crispin and Ned meet under weird circumstances and they find themselves involved in even weirder events. Thanks to this misadventure, they seem to be in a stable relationship now, with its ups and down of course. So, pretty normal. But Crispin isn’t a normal human being, he has magic and, after spending so many years using it in illegal ways, now he’s finding it so hard fitting in the practitioners’ world. Ned used bone and blood magic that it’s illegal and only warlocks use it. And if you’re a warlock, it means you’re evil: but our Crispin may be insecure, a little judgey, a bit self-centred, and naïve, but he certainly isn’t evil.

Ned, on the other hand, is no magician: he is a waste-man and he is good at what he does. He has a hearing talent, though: he can hear magic but can’t use it. This hearing talent is a main resource to solving this book’s mystery case but not without Ned wanting to punch every single practitioner on Earth. Ned doesn’t like magic, he doesn’t trust it. He sees how magic influences Crispin, how bad it can be and how practitioners think only magical people deserve help, forgetting how non-magic folks are somehow innocent victims of their wrongdoings.

Crispin and Ned are very good for each other but they have issues they need to get through to be able to be 100% happy. I got mad at Crispin, I really did, he was making bad choices because he didn’t see how much value he had as a person; he was always seeing how he was not enough and that was self-destructive. I cheered for him and his happiness. I wanted him to be able to use his magic legally and easily. I wanted him to be proud of himself. I wanted people to see how worthy of a second chance he was, just the way Ned saw him. Ned thought Crispin amazing, and he was afraid of always being second place to magic. Those two were going to have a tortuous road to happiness but it was going to be worth it.

Do you want to know what I loved about this book and its prequel/prologue? I loved the importance that was given to kisses. I have always thought kisses to be the best romantic gesture of all, the most intimate. You give me a couple that kisses with such love and passion, and you have in me their number 1 fan.

I pray to our Lord Crane to have more stories set in this magical world! Lord Crane, do this for me, please! Just this once!

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Spectred Isle by K.J. Charles

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5stars

“People create poetry and mustard gas. We invent gods and monsters and gods that might as well be monsters. We act with extraordinary grace and unfathomable cruelty. We’re so terribly intelligent, and dreadfully easy to fool.”

Title: Spectred Isle (Green Men #1)
Author: K.J. Charles
Good things about this book: Paranormal and wonderful romance written perfectly.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

If there’s something I like to read more than books with happy endings, are fantasy books with happy endings. Spectred Isle has that and I loved all of it: mystery, ghosts, spirits, magic, great characters, and great chemistry between said characters. I can reconfirm that K.J. Charles can and will steal my heart with every book she writes. The story flows flawlessly with the need to know more about everything, the need to know these characters you’ve loved, possibly from page 1, are going to be happy and okay in the end.

Saul, an archaeologist dishonourably discharged from the war, is now working for the only man that doesn’t mind what he did in the past. This man is a paranormal fanatic and is looking for everything out of the ordinary in London and surroundings. Saul helps him going to the places he points out to see if he sees something strange that can’t be explained. Saul doesn’t believe in the paranormal but he needs money so he refrains himself from criticizing his boss’ hobby. I would love going to a ghost/treasure hunt but maybe I’m not that brave, or for that matter, that adventurous.

“You were a pawn in a damned complex game, and you were played and sacrificed as such. I’m glad you weren’t taken off the board altogether.”

During a weird episode of a tree catching fire without apparent reason, Saul stumbles upon Randolph, the last occultist of the Glyde family. After that peculiar event, Saul runs into Randolph everywhere he goes. Saul wonders why he is always meeting this fascinating and handsome man in the weirdest places. Randolph wonders why this seemingly normal man is always involved in strange paranormal events. Something is happening, the veil that separates the worlds is thinner every day, things are looking bad. To answer Randolph perplexities comes a vague prophecy and maybe it can explain why Saul is always where he isn’t supposed to be.

Saul realised, the painful prospect of hoping again was better than the dull knowledge he never would.

The prophecy may explain why they run into each other more often than not, but it doesn’t explain the feelings they are both experiencing. Feelings they are both afraid of but are hoping for them to be reciprocated. Saul and Randolph have great chemistry; from the very first time they meet they can’t get the other out their minds. They have both had difficult love lives or none at all, only casual encounters in a world that sees their sexuality as a crime. I love that they are straightforward; they don’t leave things to unnecessary misunderstandings. They say what they have to say, what they hope: they open themselves, exposing vulnerability because what they may have seems worth it.

“I have a sinking feeling, based on no prior experience whatsoever, that I love you.”

Randolph is a wonderful character and I loved him from the beginning. You notice him changing because of Saul, talking more about what he wants and what he feels, being sassy and clever, and fighting for what he treasures. The book has a little bit of an open ending because there’s going to be more than one book, so I hope there’s going to be more of Randolph and Saul in the future.

“My shoulders ache in wet weather. Unfortunately, I live in England.”

I was left happy and wanting more. There’s nothing better than that to confirm how much you enjoyed a book, right?

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

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5stars

“Love makes us such fools.”

Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Good things about this book: It is magical and so well-written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Perfect narration, lovely characters, a wonderful story told by an exceptional person. Felt like being in a world that was a mix of Amélie Poulain and Pushing Daisies. This book felt like all the colours, the brightest ones. It was enchanting and magical. I loved it all; I also loved how mad certain passages made me feel, at the way the scenes narrated made me navigate through my emotions. It was the perfect book, of the perfect length, for perfect summer afternoons. I read it slowly enjoying every bit of it.

The whole book is told by Ava Lavender: an exceptional girl born with a pair of extraordinary wings. Ava and her twin brother, Henry, are two peculiar children, each of them with something that make them stand up to the world, that make people see them as different. Ava with her wings and Henry with his silence and amazing map drawing skills.

The story, as much as it is about Ava, it is more about her family: her grandmother and mother’s adventures mainly. Ava recounts the story of her great-grandparents when they decided to move, with their four children, from a little town in France to Manhattan. It is a sad story about misunderstandings, love, lost love, pain and death. It seems that nothing goes right to the women of their family when it comes to love.

She worried she couldn’t protect me from all the things that had hurt her: loss and fear, pain and love.
Most especially from love.

I really loved how things were told, the feeling you got of the surroundings really brought out all the magical realism of the story. How the natural elements were mixed up with magic, without being weird or exaggerated, was done perfectly. There’s so much magic in this book and it fits it like a glove. I wish I lived in Ava’s world with ghosts, wings, baked goods that could change your mood, a weird house and its marvelous inhabitants. They brought me joy and I read about theirs lives feeling like a friend.

She learned how to worry. She, who’d always thought love’s only companion was sorrow, learned that worry came hand in hand with love.

Ava Lavender is just a girl. Her mother, Vivian, is just a heartbroken woman. Her grandmother, Emilienne, is just a baker. They are “just” something until you stop looking at the surface without seeing how many layers of magic, kindness and strength there is inside each one of these women. They are the powerhouses of this book. They are what make you turn the pages anxious to know more, to see them get the ending they truly deserve.

I recommend this if you’re looking for a magical book but as much as it is a light and easy read, check the trigger warnings and if knowing everything you still want to give it go, then you have my full approval!

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[ARC] The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens

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5stars

He walked out of the bathroom not at all ready to face whatever was waiting for him, but totally ready to fake it.

Title: The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic
Author: F.T. Lukens
Release date: September 7th 2017
Good things about this book: Myths, magic and great characters.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, this book is precious.
Do I recommend it? Yes, wait for its release and read it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’m so happy I found this book. This book, THIS BOOK, made me so happy; it filled me with lots of giggles. Never underestimate a spontaneous giggle. I laughed so much out loud I freaked out my dog a little bit: he got worried about my safeness and came by my side to see if I was okay. I had so much fun reading it I want everyone to enjoy it as much as I did.

Bridger is a very sexually confused teenage boy looking for a job to pay for college. He is funny, very brave but as I said he is going through many difficulties that are going to put not few obstacles in our poor boy’s road to happiness. He found out he is bisexual and has a very obvious crush on his neighbor and high school football star, Leo. He is scared to come out, to be hated, left alone, so he plans to escape, to go far away for college. Oh boy, that idea was destined to failed from the beginning!

“I’m going to go be bisexual in my room. If that’s okay with you? Great? Great.”

Money for college means a job and Bridger lands the weirdest job he could find. He works for Pavel, the intermediary for myths of the state they live in. His job will be to assist Pavel in order to maintain the mythical world hidden from the human world. It seems something is disrupting the balance of things and Bridger’s job is going to be harder than anticipated. Pavel, who has a family made of pixies, a gorgeous werewolf and seemingly apathetic secretary, is a wonderful boss; he listens to Bridger, helps him out and gives useful advice right when he needed it. I think Pavel is magical and not only because he has magic; when he understands a pop reference he is so proud of himself and the most adorable man ever. You gotta love Pavel, he’s one of a kind!

“You have no idea the amount of research I have put into keeping up with the things you say.” Bridger smiled, despite everything.

Bridger finds himself dealing with feelings he can’t fully express and mythical creatures that need to be convinced to be elsewhere because they’re in places they shouldn’t be.

The Leo problem is only known to his best friend, Astrid; she tries to help him but if one is stubborn and more than a little afraid then there’s little she can do to make a difference. Leo (full name freaking LEONIDAS, as in this-is-Sparta Leonidas!) is adorable and he clearly flirts with Bridger every time he can; he has a crush on our boy but our boy is not ready and my heart hurt a little. I was so glad there wasn’t the dreaded misunderstanding or unnecessary love triangles but still, I was scared for them because they were so cute together and I wanted only good things for them like cuddles and many many kisses. It was the perfect romance, sweet, with a twist of mythical magic. I loved it!

“Well, if you’re going to go gay over someone, not a bad choice.”
“Astrid!” he whispered hotly. “For one, I still like girls. And two, keep your voice down!”
“Fine. If you are going to go bi, not a bad choice.”

For a moment I was genuinely scared because there were many things that could go wrong but I trusted the author to not break my heart. I was on edge until the very end and I loved loved loved how the story unfolded. It was a magnificent book and, I repeat myself, I am so happy I found it.

Go read it as soon as it comes out. It’s worth it!

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[ARC] An Unsuitable Heir by K.J. Charles

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5stars

Title: An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities #3)
Author: K.J. Charles
Release date: October 3rd 2017
Good things about this book: Happy ending.
Bad things about this book: The series is over and I’m going to miss the guys.
Do I recommend it? Yes, the third and final book didn’t disappoint.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*I was given this ARC by Netgalley and I love them for it*

You could say I am a K.J. Charles fan and you wouldn’t be wrong. You could say I am a K.J. Charles super fan and you wouldn’t be wrong, not at all. You could say I am a K.J. Charles mega fan and you would see my heart-eyed expression while nodding enthusiastically. I am a fan, that’s 100% right.

What is with K.J. Charles that makes me love everything she writes? Hell if I know, that woman owns my money and me!

This third and last book of this trilogy was the perfect ending to a mystery series with characters that you can’t help but love. Each of them layers and layers of surprises and wonder. The first half of “An Unsuitable Heir” is set at the same time as the second half of the previous book. The events take place simultaneously and you see the story unfolding from a different point of view.

Mark, a man we know because he is friends with Clem and Nathaniel, is the private enquirer asked to find the heir to the Moreton fortune. By the end of “An Unnatural Vice” we know who are the twins, the children of the late Lord Moreton, children he had from his first wife, one of them male so the rightful heir. The twins are the famous Flying Starlings, trapeze artists well known among Londoners.

The real names of the twins are Repentance and Regret. What kind of woman gives those names to their children no matter how much hatred she had for their father? Of course the poor kids went by the names of Pen and Greta, much better alternatives. Greta is a great woman, strong built, she doesn’t left words unsaid, she knows what she wants, and loves her brother with all her heart. She would do anything for him.

Pen is genderfluid; he feels like a man some days and some other days she feels all woman. Pen likes wearing feminine clothes, he has very long hair and loves earrings: his body doesn’t always fit the image he has of who he is inside. Pointless saying how people treat him because of it. Oh, the anger!!! Mark accepts Pen and everything about Pen is precious to him. Mark is new to what Pen is and asks for directions, for explanations, for whatever thing may Pen feel uncomfortable. Mark is sweet and the love blooms almost immediately between them yet it doesn’t feel forced or rushed. It all feels right. They have some issues along the way, with the earldom and all but the story is set to have a happy ending so we must enjoy the journey knowing it will end the best way it can.

The infamous Fogman, the killer that’s been murdering people since book 1 is finally revealed and, surprise surprise, I didn’t see it coming. I should’ve seen it but I’ve been distracted by the romance. The romance was really nice, steamy and adorable; it has their flaws but they all know love is not perfect and they have to fight for it to work.. All the characters are trying to be comfortable in their own skin, with their own sexuality, in a world that does not go easy with people like who doesn’t resemble their idea of normality.

This series is really worth your time: mystery, nobility, murders, and romance. There’s a little bit of everything and it won’t disappoint. I’m glad I got to read the ending of this story a few months before its release. I hope once everyone have read it, the love for this series will spread!

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My Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

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5stars

“Armies aren’t very good about carrying libraries with them. I can’t imagine why. We’d fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read.”

Title: My Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Good things about this book: It has different chapters from different points of views.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I wanted something fun and fast to read and I couldn’t have chosen a better book that included all the elements I didn’t know I was looking for. Royals, a magical touch, history, and swords! Oh, I love swords! Give me a sword and you’ll make this lady warrior very happy!

I have to admit that I didn’t know all the events that happened in British history. What I know comes from TV shows and movies. Until I was 12 I lived in Ecuador so I studied a little bit of South American history, but afterwards I moved to Italy so I studied mainly Italian history and the parts involving the British royals were only a few pages. I did know about Bloody Mary and Mary Queen of Scots but no much else. It was fun getting to know more about King Edward VI and Lady Jane even with all the not very truthful facts.

He thought he finally understood the Meaning of Life now, the Great Secret, which he’d boiled down to this:
Life is short, and then you die.

Edward is sick, poisoned by evil people in the palace plotting to take the throne of England from him, and on his deathbed (but not really) he appointed Jane as his successor. Jane, all books and flaming red hair, is unmarried and that needs to change. He gets engaged to Gifford (call him G, please), son of his majesty’s loyal advisor. There’s just one little thing they didn’t tell Jane about his husband to be; he is an edian and he turns into a horse!

I loved the edian twist of the story. People who could turn into animals? Oh yeah! I wonder what kind of animal I’d be; I’m thinking a dragon or a beautiful swan but maybe I’d turned into a turtle or, better, a sloth. At least I don’t think I’d turned into an ass or a skunk like someone I read about.

“Wow, Father. Fertile and well-vetted? You make it sound so very romantic.”

Gifford and Jane started their married life in a very weird way but they get close through misadventures and love was in the air and stays in the air until the obvious happily ever after. Not spoilers here, it says from the very beginning that this story will give poor Jane (and her luckily still attached head) the happy ending she clearly deserved. Young love, the misunderstandings, the stares, the little touches; I’m a romantic at heart and I loved that nothing was too cheesy. The perfect amount of cheese was involved.

Edward, King of England, and spoiled virgin boy, is kind of a star in this book. You may think he is weak but instead he turns out to be everything you probably didn’t think about him at first. Long live King Edward! Edward’s chapters with his inner monologues about how he fancied Gracie were adorable. I think Edward deserves all the love he can get. All the love! Long live King Edward!

All the characters are great and funny but the real hero of the book is our dear Jane. Jane with her books, her synonyms, her determination to not be the woman of the situation, her courage, and her big heart. I love Jane, and no, her red hair was in no way weird.

The poor book. It didn’t deserve to be hurt just because Jane had to get married.

A fun book for history lovers and fantasy lovers; a book that has a little bit of everything and will make you smile. How can someone refuse a book that brings you joy? You can’t.

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