The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

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5stars

“But your best is not good enough sometimes.”
“Sometimes… you have to stop trying and just let someone else try their best. In order to survive.”

Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Number of pages: 305 (hardcover edition) + 40 pages (novella in ebook)
Good things about this book: Heart-wrecking, emotional, complex, raw.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I had also a novella and the ending was perfect.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Yesterday after lunch I wrote a couple of reviews and then went to bed with the intention of reading a few chapters of The Wicker King. I couldn’t put it down: didn’t eat, didn’t go to the bathroom, didn’t blink. Long story short: the book was over before dinner time.

It wrecked me, this descent into madness of these two boys: one seeing the other losing grip of reality, and being overwhelmed by the weight of it all, the other seeing a different world he needs to defend and can’t do it alone. Jack living in both the real world and the fantasy world was portrayed in a way that kept me glued to the pages. I needed to know more, I needed to know he was going to be okay That they were going to be okay in the end. It was a freaking rollercoaster. I exhaled a long sigh of relief after I finished it.

August’s heart seized.
He didn’t … know he could have this.

I knew it was a queer book from all the Instagram posts, but it wasn’t immediately obvious, and I found myself both curious as to how they were going to face their not so subtle feelings, and bothered by the miscommunication that brought our August to not know he could wish for more, risk asking for more, so he fooled around a lot. It broke my heart, because the feelings were there, as twisted and complex, but they were there!

“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”

It wasn’t the easiest of books to read, their friendship was unhealthy, super codependent and the negligence of the adults was absurd and irritating, but it was surely a book that I’ll keep with me forever.

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The novella that was a sort of companion of the book, gave us Jack’s pov and a sneak peek into the fantasy world his mind was creating; I loved the way both the book and the novella ended. I’m so happy now. Five glorious stars for Jack and August, The Wicker King and his Champion.

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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5stars

“Never Flinch.’ A cold whisper in her ear. ‘Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle, #1
Number of pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Written greatly, never boring, never predictable.
Bad things about this book: You never know what to expect and you’re in edge, but it’s a bad thing only if you’re extremely anxious like me.
Do I recommend it? A 100% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There are books you more or less know what’s going to happen; you can see where the story it’s headed and what to expect. Well, this book certainly didn’t go where I thought it was going. It was one twist after the other. Nobody safe. I forgot to be on guard; I knew how sneaky Jay Kristoff could be, I’ve seen hearts broken because of him, so I should’ve been ready, right? I was not ready at all!! Help!

It took me a long time to finish the book because, as weird as it may seem, I was busy. I didn’t have time to read much. This gave me the rare opportunity to really get into the story and to have those moments you have with non-streaming tv shows, during which you can imagine where the story is taking you. My mind didn’t take where the book actually led. I was surprised, in a good and in a bad way.

“You’ve got the look of a girl who’s no stranger to the page. I can tell. You’ve got words in your soul.”

This is not a spoilery review, the summary says it all. The book is about a girl, Mia Corvere, whose family was murdered, so she makes it her sole goal to become a deadly assassin and avenge them. She enrolls into the Red Church, an assassins’ group where she can study and train to be deadly and fearless. Killers aren’t teddy bears, things aren’t all rainbows and snuggles. How could it be when you are there to murder people?

The book is written in a very interesting way, with lots of little annotations explaining things beyond the book’s narration. I loved them. They gave me more insight of how this weird world with three suns actually worked.

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.”

And the award for the most surprising sidekick goes to Mr. Kindly. What a cute little dark entity. The non-cat was an amazing companion to Mia; he (?) is a shadow creature, lives in Mia’s shadows and eats her fears, her nightmares so Mia is more fearless and can keep at bay everything that scares her and drags her down.

This book was highly recommended and it’s a sentiment I certainly share. The sequel will have to wait a bit but I’m not waiting years like I did for this book!

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Black Wings Beating by Alex London

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4stars

Title: Black Wings Beating
Author: Alex London
Series: Skybound #1
Number of pages: 432 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The world building is promising and I love all the birds.
Bad things about this book: The characters don’t always use logic and reason and are immature.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course, it has plenty of potential.
Rate: 4-/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It was going to be a solid 3-star read but then Jowyn came along and it became 4. It felt a bit underwhelming, but by the end the potential started showing. Next book will be better, I just know it!!!

While there were some parts that left me dumbfounded, there were others that had a lot of potential and let me see how this story will continue. Brysen is a teenager boy who thinks he’s in love and that makes him dumb. He is kind of annoying, but you just love him and want him to succeed in whatever he decides to do. The “boyfriend” was everything but sweet to him; I didn’t like him from the start, there was no chemistry and I felt something was off!

On the other hand, Kylee is just plain annoying in my eyes. She knows how her brother feels, what he sustained during his whole childhood, yet she persists into making him feel like he can’t do anything by himself. Maybe it’s true and he needs help, but there are so many ways to show him you’re there for him, and Kylee’s way is just not the right way. I hope her character grows; I want to like her.

The world building is amazing, and I liked a lot the writing. I have more Alex London books that sound great and super interesting and I’ll be reading them as soon as possible. He is an author I want to keep my eye on!

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Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

5stars

Title: Last Seen Leaving
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Number of pages: 352 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I wanted to know more and more, I couldn’t stop reading.
Bad things about this book: Flynn’s lies were a little irritating.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As good as I expected it to be. I kept wondering what happened to January, Flynn’s girlfriend, and I kept being on edge about Flynn lying and keeping an important part of himself hidden, a part he just wasn’t ready to tell the world.

I kind of love seeing teenagers getting justice with their own hands because their truths can’t be shared with the police and they think they can do better jobs at finding the bad guys and get them arrested. It’s fun because, in reality, it can’t happen without real consequences, but in fiction it’s all allowed, and I love it. Give me teenage vigilantes!

Flynn is a flawed character, but he is so easy to love. Yeah, I’m aware of the age gap between him and Kaz, but things kind of evolved in a very natural way that I forgot at some point they weren’t the same age. He’s is 3 years older I think, not much but enough to have more maturity when it comes to life and things in general. I just hope that in this fictional world, they can build a safe relationship and if either of them feels it’s too much, they call it quits and move on.

The ending satisfied me, as the rest of the story. I’m not usually a fan of thrillers because I need to know who did it, how and when, so I skim read, but with this one, that had also coming of age, coming out, and romance, I was glued to the pages until the very end.

I recommend it and, after this second book by this author, I can officially say that I will continue reading his books in the future. There’s come coming out on January and I can’t hardly wait, it sounds great!

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What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

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5stars

“I barely know him. I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

Title: What If It’s Us
Author: Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Number of pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The sweetest love story I’ve read in a long time, so true and relatable!
Bad things about this book: I wanted a second epilogue, I wanted more!
Do I recommend it? Yes, two of my fav authors collaborating will always be a YES from me.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Lately it’s becoming hard for me to write reviews. I don’t know why but I struggle a lot to come up with words that describe perfectly, or in very simple words, how I felt about the book I’ve just read. It’s infuriating. I can’t seem to write anymore, and my reviews skills are getting worse. Still I persist because I quit too many times and that’s something I’m trying to do for myself: finish what I start.
I decided, though, not to write much because this book needs to be lived. Whatever I write might spoil the experience, and you know how much I love that!

PLOT —
The plot is pretty simple: boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy finds boy again, boys fall in love, but boys don’t live in the same city, are boys are destined to be heartbroken? All of that with a lot of musical references, videogames, coffee breaks, and very sweet characters in a beautiful city.

“An actual date with a boy. This is possibly, definitely the number one best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I have no chill about it. None whatsoever.”

CHARACTERS —
Arthur is really adorable: musical geek who talks a lot, believes in fate, and goes the extra mile to find a boy he thinks the universe wants him to be together with. Ben is sweet and confused, but he decides to believe in second chances and a little bit in fate so, even with his heart still healing from a bad breakup, he decides to trust his gut and try things out with this chatty boy he barely knows. The side characters are just as great, and yes, I kind of hated the ex-boyfriend, but it was just because I wanted so much the boys to be happy. So yeah, I liked them all.

It’s highly possible that this is the best I’ve ever looked. Either that or the douchiest. It could go either way.

THOUGHTS —
This book made me want to go see Hamilton again. I saw it in London last June and loved every second of it. I’ve already listened repeatedly to the soundtrack and knew it by heart, but it was like seeing it for the first time. Seeing as Arthur loves Hamilton and I love it too, I trusted his taste and listened to the whole soundtrack of Dear Evan Hansen and now I know what musical I want to see next. I’ve had Only Us stuck in my head all day! I love that song! Thanks, Arthur!!!

“Maybe this won’t work out and I won’t care about it ending. But I can’t get from A to B without us being A and B first. Live in the moment.”

CONCLUSION —
I’m not a 100% satisfied with the ending but that’s just me being picky. This book was just the right amount of fluffiness typical of Becky with a bit of “if life gives you lemons they’re probably rotten” typical of dear Adam. I keep thinking about the book, how I’ll love it when the movie comes out, how I want to wait at least a month before listening to the audiobook if it’s available, and how I picture these two boys living their best lives. I don’t usually go there, but I think I might need fanfiction. Yes, that’s how much I love it, I don’t want it to end.

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The Backstagers and the Ghost Light by Andy Mientus & Rian Sygh

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4stars

Title: The Backstagers and the Ghost Light
Author: Andy Mientus (author) & Rian Sygh (illustrator)
Series: Backstagers #1
Number of pages: 208 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Theater, musicals and ghosts!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing but now I want more and I’m impatient.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
How great is the backstage world? I didn’t know anything about the story behind the ghost light. Is it true? I didn’t investigate about it, but I want to believe it’s true and there are thousands of ghost lights on right now in theaters all around the world. This supernatural adventure was fun, a tiny bit scary, and sad since it dealt with loss.

CHARACTERS —
The same characters from the comics make an appearance showing more depth since there is more space for inner monologues. I loved being inside their heads and getting to know them better. They’re going through some changes and through hard times, but the good thing is they have each other and that’s beautiful. Also, new characters! Yay! Amazing addition!

THOUGHTS —
After reading the two Backstagers comics, I knew what to expect but this story just gave me more. In the comics there is so much to see, a lot of details, yet there are not enough pages to narrate a big story. They did it and I loved it, but with books, there is so much narration, more space for feelings, also more space for a little bit of heartache. I enjoyed how Andy Mientus portrayed the characters from the comics. It was a great beginning!

CONCLUSION —
From the ending and the spine of the book, this is the first of a lot of Backstagers books and I really can’t wait to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes. These stories are simple, easy to read, and very interesting. Its simplicity doesn’t take anything from the overall experience and it leaves you wanting more. And I definitely want more.

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

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5stars

Your beauty is not a tax you are required to pay to take up space in this world.

Title: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Series: Montague Siblings #2
Number of pages: 450 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Very funny and clever with wonderful characters.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It’s a queer thing, to have a vacant space inside you and not know what it is that carved out the absence.

PLOT —
A treasure hunt! I was looking for the perfect description for this book and that’s what came to mind, and it fits perfectly. Felicity sets off for a very peculiar adventure from Edinburgh and ends up somewhere mysterious. Felicity has a mission: she will get to medical school and become a doctor. But the men keep denying her that possibility even if she may be even more capable than most of them put together if given the chance. Men are absurd thinking she couldn’t do the same things they did just because they thought women were weaker. Weak where? Don’t make me laugh!

It is not a failure to readjust my sails to fit the waters I find myself in. It’s a new heading. A fresh start.

CHARACTERS —
Felicity is a sweet and ferocious girl and I love her with all my heart! She surrounds herself with a couple of very interesting girls. One from her past and one from her present, each of them with secrets and goals in mind that’ll somehow bring Felicity on this dangerous journey of discovery. I love those girls so much!! All of them are so special!! I was so happy to see Monty and Percy again even if it wasn’t for many pages. They are so ridiculously and adorably in love, it gave me goose bumps and I smiled a lot.

“Prickly?” I say. “I’m not prickly.”
“Felicity Montague, you are a cactus.”
“Debatable.”

THOUGHTS —
It was infuriating reading about how women were treated not long ago. It’s so actual, maybe not the same, but this superiority complex of men has to stop. It has expired, and it shouldn’t exist anymore. I’m truly sick of it: sick of all the mansplaining, the condescending smiles, the little derision laughs, the way men make us feel. I loved how Felicity challenged this injustice and made everything she could to change the unjust situation.

I have spent so long building up my fortress and learning to tend it alone, because if I didn’t feel I needed anyone, then I wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there.

CONCLUSION —
Loved the story, loved the characters, and love the ending. I was ready to kick some butt and was glad to see it done by the amazing ladies in this book. If Mackenzie wants to give us one more book with the Montague siblings I’ll accept it with open arms, open heart, and with lots of fangirling.

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