[ARC] The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

Title: The House in the Cerulean Sea
Author: T.J. Klune
Release date: March 17th 2020
Number of pages: 352 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: One of the sweetest book ever.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, always.
Rate: 5+++/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

All the stars for this beauty. ALL THE STARS & ALL THE FEELS.

This might be the most precious book in existence; each character a part of the puzzle that is this perfect little book. You’d think Klune couldn’t surprise me anymore, that I know he is amazing and his books are great, but yet he still manages to catch me off guard. He writes the most complex characters; you see their flaws, because they aren’t perfect, but you are drawn to them and then all of a sudden you would move heaven and earth to protect them and fight anyone who wants to harm them!

Despite being a funny books that made me laugh a lot, it also deals with harder themes. I got furious at how the magical creatures were treated, like they were second class citizens. I don’t know how that does feel. I haven’t experienced it first person but I’ve seen it happen to people close to me. Being different is hard, but all of us are different, right? Each of us are one of a kind. As it should be and each of us is one of a kind.

The kids were definitely different and I adored them with all my heart! Talia, the girl with a beard and a love for gardens. Theodore, the wyvern with a hoard under the couch. Sal, the sweetest were-pomeranian that you just want to protect. Phee, a sprite who can hear the earth and makes trees. Chauncey, a sort of blob/slug who is the most precious boy on the planet and wants to be a freaking bellhop. And Lucy, the son of the devil, who is only 6 years old but he is just a kid even with all the death and end of the world talk.

Arthur and Linus (the ANUS top we all deserve) are just so clueless and adorable. I can’t stop grinning and loving it so much. I want to read it again and again. It made so emotional and I cried. I haven’t cried reading a book in such a long time. I missed it!

So yeah, Klune did it again so you all should pick this book as soon as it’s released!

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How to Be a Movie Star by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

“I— I wish I could see things like you do.”
“But then you wouldn’t see things like you do,” Josy said. “And then there would be two of me and none of you, and that wouldn’t be so good.”
“It wouldn’t?”
“Nope. Because I like you just the way you are.”

Title: How to Be a Movie Star
Author: T.J. Klune
Series: How to Be #2
Number of pages: 350 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Perfection, nothing to add
Bad things about this book: I said PERFECTION.
Do I recommend it? Of course, I love Klune’s books.
Rate: 5/5+++

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“Sometimes you need to hide away from the rest of the world. And it’s okay to do that, just as long as you don’t forget the world is waiting for you when you’re done.”

All the stars, all of them!

ALL HAIL TJ KLUNE!!

I laughed so much, cried, smiled like crazy! This book was everything I expected and more, so much more!!! I’ll have to listen to the audiobook just like I did with How To Be A Normal Person. I need more of all these characters, I already miss them. The four text messages at the end?? How perfect were they???? My heart is exploding with joy!

There isn’t much to say about this book. It’s about a bearded demisexual stoner hipster who wants to be a movie star, and while he is working on his dream he falls in friendship with a monster porn author that’s more anxiety than man. I read one chapter and I already loved EVERYTHING about this book.

If everyone just talked about what they were feeling instead of hiding it, things would be so much easier. Miscommunication is such a waste of time.

It was so honest, so true. Josy is the sweetest characters I’ve seen in books in a very long time, if not ever. He may not be “normal” in the weird way people qualifies who is normal and who isn’t, but there isn’t anything wrong with him. He is sincere, he says what he thinks when he thinks it, he tries his best and doesn’t give up. He made a family for himself when the one he was born into decided he was too much to handle.

All the characters were essential to this story, to make it as relatable as it was, as hilarious, important and amazing! Quincy and his mental health, Gustavo and his adventures with the internet (OMG the phone call to the customer service was gold!), Casey and his unconditional love, even Casanova Xander. All of these characters, all of them, gave me so much joy. I was smiling so much. I laughed so much that my mom kept saying “wow, it’s really funny that book I see”. Yes, mother, it is.

“We should go to the church treasure hunt,” Josy blurted. “It’s nondenominational. Yay Jesus!” Quincy stared at him. Casey turned slowly to look at Gustavo, eyes narrowing. Gustavo nodded sagely. “Sounds about right.”

I recommend it to the masses! Pick this book!! Pick all of TJ Klune’s books. This is coming from someone who still needs to read the Green Creek series. But I will, SOON!! Read it!!

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram ☆

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5starsplus

“You’re okay,” he murmured.
“No, I’m not.”
“I know.” He rubbed my back up and down. “It’s okay not to be okay.”

Title: Darius the Great Is Not Okay
Author: Adib Khorram
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how calm and sweet this was, so very real!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I can’t recommend it enough.
Rate: 5+++/5 (it’s a favourite!)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have never read a more relatable character than Darius. I loved this book with all my little heart. Feelings are overflowing. This is not an excessively sad book, it has sad parts but it’s a hopeful journey, and we get to see it through a very sweet boy’s eyes.

This story filled my heart with a bittersweet joy. I’m so glad I’ve read it. I’m happy, a sort of calm and quiet happiness.

I loved the quiet. Even if it sometimes made me think of sad things. Like whether anyone would miss me if I was dead.

Darius is bullied at school and it made me furious, not only because of the bullies but because of his dad telling him that if he was just more normal he wouldn’t have these kinds of problems. What kind of father tells that to a son? To a bullied son? To a bullied son who has also depression? He has a lot on his plate and he’s trying his best, he doesn’t need a father not being on his side.

Normally, I was thrilled to get pizza – it was pretty much the best dietary indiscretion ever – but I could feel Dad watching me at every bite, flaring his nostrils.

His dad infuriated me because he is exactly like my mother. Ever since I remember my mom has been obsessed with weight. I’m overweight, I have been this way, more or less, since I got my period at 9 years old. Pretty early, I know. Ever since that day I started getting curves and everything I ate stayed there with me. I have been thinner in the past, but it didn’t last, surely because I’m not supposed to be that way. I’m happy with how I am. I do care about my health and take care of myself, but this is my shape and people shouldn’t see that as bad or wrong.

Darius gained weight because of his medication, he really doesn’t have a problem with it. He has a problem with his father having a problem with it. Take that and add that he is going to Iran, her mother’s birth place, for the first time to meet his grandparents and relatives. Everything is overwhelming and different. Luckily, he meets Sohrab, a friend of his grandparents and they immediately click. They are destined to be friends. Great friends!

I liked that I could be silent with Sohrab.
That’s how I knew we really were going to be friends.

I love Darius and Sohrab together; they don’t get along all the time, they had a rough first outing together, but the nice thing about friends is that they can forgive you. Darius really needed someone like Sohrab, and I’m happy he got to meet him and bond with him. It helped him a lot. The subtlety of the LGBT theme was just right; I wasn’t disappointed it wasn’t more present, more told on page, because that’s just another way Darius was dealing with everything that’s been going on in his life. I liked how he just wasn’t ready to tell anyone, not even us, the readers.

Darius’ story was one of growth, family, friendship and understanding that is okay not be okay, but trying their best every single day. I loved this book, the way it built slowly, telling different stories that came together in the end. I loved it. I hope there are more books like this one out there, because as I needed this one, other people might need them in the future. I recommend it with all my heart.

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Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet ☆

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5starsplus

One day I’ll live a life that doesn’t force me to make such cold-blooded decisions, she thought. But today is not that day.

Title: Foundryside
Author: Robert Jackson Bennet
Series: Founders #1

Number of pages: 503 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the steampunk-ish fantasy world!
Bad things about this book: I want the sequel right now.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it!
Rate: 5+++/5 (it’s a favourite!)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Some here will whisper of liberty – but you can’t be free if you aren’t alive.

I LOVED IT!!! I loved it more than I thought I was going to! It surprised me, in an incredible way. I went in thinking I was going to find another amazing adventure by Bennett and found exactly that but so much more! I’m amazed, I’ll talk about this book with everyone!

This book is certainly different from Bennett’s Divine Cities trilogy; it is less dark and pretty straightforward, but it doesn’t lack twists and revelations that took the story on a very enjoyable level.

I liked Sancia right away; a former slave who’s been tortured and modified so that now she hears the scrived devices and feels the objects she touches learning all their secrets. In this world, there are devices modified through antique symbols to defy their natural role in the world. For example, you have a sword, you modified it telling it the gravity it’s feeling is 10 times the one it actually is, so the sword, when used will hit harder and make so much more damage. The scrivers use all their knowledge to come up with more ways to tell objects they should be doings things that’ll defy physics laws. I found this very fascinating.

What I loved, like really loved, about this book, was how it gave the world a love is love state of being. There were many political problems with the merchant houses, the foundries, the crimes, etc, but at least who you liked wasn’t an issue and I thought it was refreshing as hell. When I saw a character blushing because they saw a naked shoulder of a same gender character, a SHOULDER, my eyes opened comically; I was so glad Bennett thought of giving his characters the freedom to choose whoever they wanted to love with the normality our real world should have done from the very beginning of time. Giovanni saying he wanted to go to an exotic island because he’ll be among so many gorgeous sailor, made me smile so much. There were so many funny moments in this book.

Of all the side characters there were, and I’m always afraid about many side characters because it means some are expendables at some point, Clef was definitely my favourite. Brilliant, emotional, deep, and so selfless. Berenice has many more sides of herself that she will show us, I’m sure of it. Orso managed to be okay-ish at first, but then I warmed to his grumpiness. He gave a kind of vibe that made me doubt everything he did, a vibe that told me he was going to do something I wouldn’t approve. Gregor, sweet Gregor, what can I say about him? Follower of rules, he wants a better place for people to live in. He has this utopic dream of the world being a big happy place with people helping one another. He likes to think he’s doing the things he does for the greater good and he does, maybe it doesn’t always end like he intended but he tries his best. I liked him a lot and can’t wait to see what he’s going to do now, after everything that happened in Tevanne. Oh boy, things happened, so many things.

I will now be waiting anxiously for the sequel, because I didn’t have enough of Tevanne and I need more of it and of its characters. I got to know them, and I’m now like a mama hen, and will be very protective of my babies. Don’t you dare hurt them, Bennett! I’ll be heartbroken. After the Divine Cities’ trilogy, I can’t help but being scared.

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A Wish Upon the Stars by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

We turn to you, the boy we lost, your body now littered with scars. We know what your bravery cost, and for you we wish upon these stars.

Title: A Wish Upon the Stars
Author: T.J. Klune
Series: Tales From Verania #4
Number of pages: 450 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Everything. I’m telling you, EVERYTHING.
Bad things about this book: Nothing. It was hard to say goodbye but it also feels good.
Do I recommend it? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

BEWARE! This review will contain spoilers of the previous books and spoilers of this book because I must say things and the things I must say are spoilery.

This book deserves more than 5 stars and this series deserves at least a million stars. AT LEAST! I’ll say maybe 2 billion stars, maybe more. I have loved everything about it, everything: frustration and all. I have not loved a series as much as I’ve loved this one. Sure, you know how easily I give 5 stars to books but maybe it is because I read books I know I will like so the probability of a full star review is pretty high. I seem to know how to avoid books that make me mad but, alas, I have read a few that I wish I could forget completely but still haunt my everyday life. You know who you are, books, you know it and you should be ashamed of yourselves!

“How are you still alive?” Dimitri asked me.
“Sheer force of will,” I said cheerfully.

A Wish Upon the Stars is the fourth and last book of the Tales from Verania saga. I have read four magnificent books about a boy who happens to be a wizard apprentice and who, apparently, doesn’t know when to shut up. The things Sam says are things of beauty and perversion. Maybe more of perversion if I’m being honest and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sam is a magical boy with feelings and so much love to give. Sam is also a very sexual being and he will make sure you don’t have any doubts about it. I have read things that had made me gasp, laugh, cringe and also made me horny. Sam and I, we are alike. The only difference is that he has a hunk of a boyfriend while me, well, I’m single and the world has decided I will remain that way until the day I die.

The third book ended on a very sad note; Morgan was murdered and Ryan was badly hurt. Our Sam made the only decision he thought was right so he ran away to the Dark Woods to join the Great White and the other dragons to train. Eleven, I repeat, eleven months later he resurfaces from his “training camp”, disheveled and with bushy eyebrows, more powerful than ever, now a wizard, and more scared of facing the ones he left behind that the super villain who wants to consume him and kill them all.

“I promise you, when I was in the woods, looking up at the stars, there is nothing I wished for more than you.”

I was scared, too. San ran away leaving only letters not really explaining where he was going or for how long. Gary and Tiggy were super mad, Sam’s parents grounded him for eternity, Justin was uncharacteristically huggy, and Ryan was furious for very valid reasons. I would also be super mad if the love of my life went away who knows where for who knows how long telling me to wait patiently. How dare he leave me? That’s not okay. Luckily, Sam returned with more magic and Ryan has a kink for magic so things resolved quite quickly and quite steamily. I saw a side of Ryan I liked, a new side of him I like because I already liked him a lot.

“Lady Tina,” I said. “How unfortunate that you didn’t pass beyond the veil overnight. I expected more from you.”

Sam feels a bit left out in this new dynamic, having been almost a year away while the world kept going without him. Two of his arch-nemesis are now all lovey-dovey with his friends. Lady Tina DeSilva is second in command to Ryan and Sam hates it. I would hate it, too. She was the bane of his existence for the last books. Okay, she repented, had a change of heart, etc etc. But she did unnecessary things. I wouldn’t forget and forgive that easily.

“I had a vision you would say that,” Vadoma said, the bangles on her wrists knocking together. “I have many visions about everything you say. None of them are good.”

Then we have Vadoma, the one who put Ruv in our Sam’s way, maybe also contributing to the fall of Morgan. Yeah, she was sort of bewitched by Ruv, but still, she was rude and that’s not okay. You don’t get to be rude to Sam because he’s precious and needs protection.

“There were spiders when Dad showed me the first time,” he mumbled. “I don’t like spiders.”
“Ah,” I said wisely. “It’s a good thing you’ve got us, then, eh? And by us, I mean Ryan, because I also don’t like spiders, so he can go first and scare them all away and make sure we don’t get bitten and die.”

The book has one main mission and two side missions. The one super important mission is to use the dragons to kill Myrin, of course. The two side missions are to retrieve Gary’s horn and to save the King from the Castle’s dungeons where he’s kept captive. They do get the horn after saving the King and they meet Randall again, and guess what, he had the horn and the story of how he tracked is something else. Randall is a phenomenal character and I love him and his old hairy face! The “ceremony” of reattaching Gary’s horn is one I will never forget. I keep picturing Sam bad touching the horn while it leaked rainbow fluid, and then putting it on Gary and Gary sort of evolving, all majestic and posing and with his ego so much bigger than before you didn’t think it could be possible.

“Gary Matthias Pontificus Esmerelda Juanita Lopez Alabaster Kennedy the Fourth!”

Gary’s full name. I’m so glad we know it now!

I haven’t found the kind of comedy T.J. Klune writes with any other author. It’s overwhelming. I think you love it or you hate it, there’s no in-between. I love it with all my heart. He mixes hilarious moments with moments full of sentiment capable of breaking your heart and, trust me, your heart will certainly break. Mine broke so many times since book 1. I’ve lost count. He plays with your feelings but you hang in there because he is so clever, he knows it, and he’ll do the story justice and you won’t be mad at him (so much). He knows he’ll make you hate him a little bit and I know he grins evilly when no one is watching because he knows all will be forgiven by the end of the books. You magnificent manipulator! You have a special place in my heart.

“He reminds me of you,” he told Randall. “Stubborn. Indignant. Mouthy. He speaks before he thinks and is more likely to ignore my orders than to actually follow them.”
I would have objected, but that was pretty much all true.

I’m realizing I didn’t spoil much of the book so now I’m going to list my favourite parts so this will become a real spoilerful review:

1- Sam promising himself that he’ll find a boyfriend for Justin and us maybe getting in the future a book from Justin’s pov with his own romantic adventures
2- Ryan proposing like the cheesy boy he truly is and being all heart-eyes for Sam even when he was angry with him. But of course you can’t stay angry with Sam; have you look at him? He’s adorable.
3- Sam wooing the guards promising slutty things was beautiful and so cringe worthy I’m still thinking about how slutty he truly is. And I’m loving it. I loved every second of that scene. And I loved how jealous Ryan got because his man is loved by many. Too many!
4- Sam using the ability to change his and other people’s appearances to make Lady Tina the ugliest man in existence. It was hilarious! And he made Justin bald. Sam, why are you doing this to me? Tears, I had tears rolling down my face it was almost poetic.
5- Randall asking a little too many times if someone had a reason for Sam and Ryan not to get married got me laughing hard. Randall is precious and his story with Myrin was so sad; he deserved to be loved more, to be chosen over power, not to be left behind. Myrin, you suck.
6- Terry, Gary’s twin brother wanting Ryan to “ride him”, if you know what I mean!!
7- Morgan of Shadows. Morgan of freaking Shadows to complete the happy ending we truly deserved. We suffered so much and that was our reward.

With this list, this long and probably incomprehensible review gets to an end just like this series. I’m sad, of course, but I’m also happy because I don’t have to wonder if they’re okay and happy. I know they are. They will have bad days, they will have to face adversities, probably random kidnappings, but they will be victorious. They have each other, they have love and they are loved. There’s really nothing that puts a bigger smile on my face than seeing all of them, Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, Justin, Morgan, Randall, Sam’s parents, the King, be as happier as they can be in a world that wanted to put a destiny set in stone in their way. But stone crumbles, right? It sure did. Stone crumbled and if it didn’t, I was ready to magically teleport myself inside the book and punch it until it did. I was going to get my happy ending one way or the other.

“I’m in control of my own destiny. My path may have been set in stone, but stone crumbles, and sometimes we have to forge our own way through.”

Farewell Verania. You’ll be missed, and if we’re going to meet again I hope it’s not very far in the future. I can wait, though, because I know it’ll be worth it.

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Ever After by Riley Hart & Christina Lee ☆

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5starsplus

“My mind is at war because I yearn for more of what will eventually break my heart, shatter it until it is a million flakes of snow instead of a whole.”

Title: Ever After
Author: Riley Hart & Christina Lee
Number of pages: 262 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s sweet and heart-wrenching.
Bad things about this book: Nothing about the writing, nothing about the story.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I loved it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

You can’t imagine how much I loved this book. It took me by surprise. How my heart ached for those two characters so sweet and charming. I shed tears of sadness and I smiled at the romance, at how genuine it sounded and felt. I still feel like crying, can you believe it? I felt for them, I drowned in their love and suffered so much. The amount of feelings made my heart beat faster and made me long for that kind of love, the one that takes your breath away, one that I’m afraid I am not destined to have.

“We are both bound, shackled by aspects of our lives that are out of our control.”

Merrick is a prince, heir to the throne, while Cassius is his valet, poor but determined to support his family. From the outside both men seem so different yet they are almost the same. Two men fighting to live their life truly, finding a man to love, finding the happiness they dream of. Their attraction was at first physical but we can see in just a few pages how much they start meaning for each other, and that broke my heart in a gazillion pieces. I wasn’t expecting to be so involved in their love story but I was, and I suffered.

“You are pure and real and complicated. To someone like me, you might simply be everything.”

Prince Merrick’s parents are trying to find him a wife because he needs to provide an heir and Merrick is trying his best to make them happy going out with these ladies but nobody will ever be loved by him because he is just not interested in women. He can’t tell his parents, they would be heartbroken and disgusted, so he thinks, so he chose to be the one with his heart beating in misery. Cas, on the other hand, doesn’t want to tarnish his family’s name or lose his job, so he lives a lie and suffers the consequences.

I write stories and poems of love and dreams coming true, but I did not allow myself to see it as something that could be real… not for me…

The two of them start seeing each other in secret early on in the book and I knew that meant there was so much that was going to go wrong for them. Even knowing that, I can’t say I was prepared for what was going to happen. I have never felt the way books make me feel when it comes to love. The pain in your chest because of words not said, because of the potential to be great together but with the world as your number one enemy. Your heart breaking apart because their love is so pure and true but it’s not enough, it never seems enough.
The gentle touches, the loving stares, the longing, the purity of their love and the chance they are given to live it, even if just temporarily.

I did not know someone could live inside another the way he has taken up residence inside me.

I loved this book because it made me feel so much and its potential was fulfilled. I loved this book because the characters were deep and had lovely and likeable personalities. I loved this book because it broke my heart but it knew how to mend it. I loved it. Maybe you’ll love it, too.

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More Than This by Patrick Ness ☆

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5starsplus

“I wanted so badly for there to be more. I ached for there to be more than my crappy little life.” He shakes his head. “And there was more. I just couldn’t see it.”

Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: I loved everything!
Bad things about this book: Not sure it was the right choice for this book but I would have loved an epilogue.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There’s this peculiarity in Patrick Ness’ books that I genuinely love and cherish and no matter what I’m experiencing, they resonate with me, with my soul, and I end up thinking about them almost every single day, carrying them deep within my heart. I just love them so much it hurts.

It’s now been two days since I finished the book and more than often I have found myself staring into nothing, thinking about the truth about what I read, the deepness of what’s been told, the fear I got realizing that that future might not be so unlikely. It scared the hell out of me.

Seth drowns, we read his inner monologue while drowning, how he feels, what is happening to his body. We know he drowns but then he wakes up in a deserted city, wearing nothing but bandages, he is disoriented; yet he is alive. How? Why?

“He’s died, and woken up in his own, personal hell.”

I had many theories about where Seth was. Theories I was proud of thinking, theories worth of being turned into TV shows or even movies. Sadly I wasn’t right but the different outcome surprised me for the better. I would have never thought of that and that was kind of perfect. I love being surprised. I also love predicable outcomes so it’s pretty easy to please me.

I loved Seth and I liked Regine and Tomasz a lot. Main character and sidekicks on point, together in this weird environment they are trying to figure out and survive into. The questions Seth asked himself were questions I was asking, the doubts he was having were the same I was having; I was one with the book, a part of it. There was no end to the guessing, to what the hell was that place and what were they supposed to do. It was fun how at the beginning Seth just thought he was in hell and that was it, he was just going to go with it and be okay with it. Then everything happens and nothing is as before.

“We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much of it obviously isn’t true.”

This was my fourth book by Patrick Ness and I can say without doubt that, for me, he is a genius. His stories are contemporary mixed with fantasy or sci-fi. He is an excellent writer and the way he incorporates everyday issues with fantasy elements it’s flawless. The themes he writes about are hard yet he presents them in a way it’s easy for everyone to understand, to relate to the characters; I know I want to fight more, I want to let my voice be heard, I want to change the world even if I do it starting from my little environments.

It doesn’t matter how little you can do, if you fight for what you believe, if you want to see change, if you want the world to be a great place to live for everyone, then don’t give up before starting because “what difference my voice can make?”.

“There’s always beauty,” Seth murmurs. “If you know where to look.”

Reading books by Patrick Ness makes me want to be a better person for me and for whoever doesn’t have it easy in life. Because everyone deserves to be free to be who they are without being afraid to be harmed, physically or emotionally, because of it. Because you shouldn’t be afraid to seek help if you have mental illness and you feel the world slipping through your fingers. Because you shouldn’t feel the obligation to be strong by yourself and that it’s okay to be weak and ask for a hand. Because we shouldn’t allow anyone to deny us the happiness we know we deserve. There is more than struggle out there; there is more than fear; there is more than what we think it’s unchangeable.

There is more than this and we need to fight to find it.

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A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

I was Sam of Wilds. And I was going to face my godsdamned destiny.

Title: A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania #2)
Author: T.J. Klune
Good things about this book: Sam, the gang and DRAGONS!
Bad things about this book: Not enough Justin. I like the guy.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500%.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*A very quote-y review that may contain spoilers of the first book of the series. *

He did it again. Damned you, Mr. Klune, you don’t seem to be able to stop. You’re giving me feelings I didn’t know I needed. Oh my, if I needed them. Some more than others. Maybe I didn’t really need the excruciating fear of very possible loss and heartbreak but I decided to trust you; don’t you dare disappoint an innocent and bright soul like mine, it brings back very bad karma. You’ve been warned.

“You gotta trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
He frowned. “I trust you, Sam. But you never know what you’re doing.”

The more I think about this book, and its predecessor for that matter, the more I love its detailed descriptions, its funny and real characters, and its originality. There are not books like these ones. This series has everything I look for in books: magic, a main character you can’t hate even when he’s clearly being dumb, love in every shape, side characters that bring laughter and sunshine and rainbows, villains that made you fear for everyone’s life or that you simply want to slap real hard, very vague prophecies, and dragons. It has dragons. I love dragons.

“Holy shit,” Ryan said, sounding breathless. “You have a Destiny of Dragons!”

Sam has a destiny of dragons and it’s going to be a pain in the butt. I already know I’m going to suffer, that I’m going to have hope that’s going to be crushed by the cruelty of Mr. Klune if he decides to be mean and do something he is not supposed to do. I love my babies, I don’t want harm to come to them. I will do everything in my power, send positive vibes and everything, maybe light some candles, to avoid being heartbroken by the following books of this series.

“Sam is pretty good sometimes at what he does occasionally!”

^^Me, too!

Sam’s grandma, the queen of gypsies, makes a surprise visit to the castle to deliver bad news, prophecies made by constellation dragons, a new cornerstone for him, and ugly vibes. Woman, you don’t mess with Sam and Ryan’s relationship and expect to be loved by the crowd. I don’t like Vadoma; I didn’t like when she first appeared and showed weird visions to Sam, and I didn’t like her by the end of the book with her manipulations and refusal to acknowledge that, for Sam, Ryan is not only a cornerstone but also so much more. I hated how she kept saying she has never told Sam a lie, unlike others: well, of course you have not, you’ve been in his life for how long, one month? Easy for her to say that and it infuriated me so much.

“Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m onto you, exotic twink. Don’t think that I’m not.”

Ruv, the cornerstone Vadoma wants to forcefully pair with Sam, is not a bad guy; he’s being raised knowing he was going to be the other half of Sam, he doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he sees he cannot be that because of Ryan. Sam’s magic reacts to Ruv’s vicinity but what Sam has with Ryan is not something you can replace easily. I didn’t trust Ruv at the beginning, and maybe I never did in the end, but I understand him and what he’s been through, the obligations he feels he needs to follow, the responsibilities that are put upon his shoulders. I don’t blame Ruv, I don’t hate the guy, but you mess with HaveHeart and you have a new enemy in me.

“You’re the most powerful wizard in an age. I’m your cornerstone. Therefore I’m the most powerful cornerstone in an age. It’s my destiny, after all.”

Looking for the dragons to fulfill his destiny will bring Sam and company to face new enemies and new fears. The journey will be long and tortuous, there may be loss, their bodies will be at risk and their souls will waver. Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, and Kevin have each other and their bond is strong. They won’t give up easily. They have to fight for themselves and for each other. Sam needs to share the weight of his destiny or else he’ll be lost without a back up plan and with no coming back option. Sam, I beg you, open up to Ryan, to the friends you love, it’s the right thing to do.

I wanted to do what was right. I didn’t know how to do that.

The Lightning-Struck Heart was all fluff, sass, puns, a little heartbreak, and so so much love; A Destiny of Dragons is darker, more serious, and nerve-wracking; it still has all the fluff, love and sass the first one had but you won’t feel save. I didn’t. I felt like anything that could go wrong, would go wrong with nefarious results. I was never 100% sure things were going to be okay. The premises kept me from abandoning myself to the romance and comedy of the story, I felt the darkness lurking in the shadows and I didn’t relax. I couldn’t and I won’t until I read the last word of the last book.

We are better together than we ever will be apart. We are bound to each other. And nothing, nothing, will change that.

I love this book, everything about it. It gave me all the feelings, all of them. I love how cheesy Sam and Ryan are, all their kisses, double-entendre, sexy times, jokes, the softness of their love, the strength of their bond, and the absolute certainty that they won’t allow anything bad happen to one another. I want to protect them; they deserve the happiest of endings.

“And he’s blinking and looks all soft and beautiful and then he sees you and he smiles. Like all it takes for him to be the happiest he’s ever been is to see you there. Next to him. That’s… that’s what’s so great about it. That’s what it feels like.”

(Oh, my heart! I want this, Sam, I want what you and Ryan have)

I love Gary and his sassiness and I love how he is all jokes until someone wants to hurt his friends, and then he transforms into a killing machine all glares and murderous glitter! Tiggy speaks so much more allowing us to understand more about him, about the past he doesn’t want to talk about; Tiggy is all business and cuddles and I love him. A prophecy about a destiny involving dragons couldn’t make Kevin more self-centered than he already is. He is hilarious with his Shakespearian speeches and his perverted ways that make everyone feel uncomfortable. Kevin is not the only dragon around but he certainly is one of a kind.

“Sam got kissy face,” Tiggy whispered to Gary.
“Of course he does, kitten,” Gary said. “That’s what happens when you’re a slut.”

November is the month of my birthday and it’s the month the third book is going to be released. Mr. Klune, damned him, twitted saying to prepare tissues and then the tweet disappeared: does that mean tissues won’t be necessary or that I have to be prepared to lose a part of my soul? I know I won’t be ready (how can I?) but I can’t wait nonetheless.

Recommended to all. How can you not read these books? They’re great and T.J. Klune is an evil genius full of sass. 5+++ out of 5.

“My plan is to wing it.”
Ryan sighed. “Godsdammit.”

^^Perfect summary of the book

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Release by Patrick Ness ☆

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5starsplus

“Ain’t no shame in a broken heart.”

Title: Release
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: The way Ness writes is bewitching!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, at least for me. Check the trigger warnings before reading, though.
Do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t put it down and this is the third Ness’s book that has done this to me. I loved it with all my heart; there is something in Ness’s books that resonates with my soul and I feel them embracing me and cuddling me. The magic touch, at first peculiar, settles into the narration almost unnoticed and unforced. All of this makes Release one hell of a book to read and treasure.

This is not the easiest of books, it is a book about life and the obstacles it throws at you; it gives you hope in a better future if you’re willing to fight for it. It is so hard to fight for something you don’t think you deserve because you’ve been “taught” that what you are goes against nature, against the will of a lord you think doesn’t really care how you live your life.

“Through prayer, everything is possible-“
“I don’t know, I’ve prayed for years to change your heart. Nothing’s happened so far.”

Adam Thorn doesn’t believe he deserves being loved. He grew up in a very religious family being the son that’s different in a way they don’t dare to say out loud. Adam is gay and his family thinks it’s merely a phase, they think what he feels is not real. How much realer can it be if it breaks his heart in a million pieces? Adam Thorn has loved and his broken heart is the result of it. Will he ever let go of the past and fight for a future worth living? Will he ever let go of the boy he gave his all to but apparently was never willing to give anything back?

Where on earth had this day come from? And where was it headed?

We follow Adam throughout one day of his life; one day that will change everything. He will wake up, run errands, exercise, go to work, help his father and say goodbye to the boy who broke his heart. It’s going to be a long day, a day of news that will test his mind and episodes that will test his heart. Today everything changes.

He starts his day going to buy flowers his mother will certainly hate, and then running to clear his mind thinking how everything he does is never and will never be enough. He wants to go away and be himself but at the same time he is struggling to find some kind of peace in a home that has conditions for you to be worth being in it.

He can’t evade and find peace at work either with a boss sexual harassing him who knows pretty well how these accusations will go away easily; after all, who will believe a 17-year-old gay boy saying his boss touches him inappropriately? Here comes the frustration, the realization that a teenage boy is helpless, unable to reach for help because the world has this unbelievably twisted conviction that teenagers can only say lies and you should never believe them.

“They’re your parents. They’re meant to love you because. Never in spite.”

Adam finds his peace with Angela, his best friend. She is a tough girl and she is there for him whenever he needs it. Her family is different, open minded and kind, a safe refuge when he needs to get away from his cruel reality. Angela and Adam are a wonderful duo, ready to take the world head high. Their flashbacks show how incredible their friendship is.

“I’m always gay?”
“In every universe.”
“That makes sense. Are you always short?”
“Except in the universes where I’m Beyoncé.”
“In some universes, we’re all Beyoncé.”

I was so happy about Angela because at this point in the book I was ready to fight everyone who was in the way of my big blonde guy and his happiness. Adam deserves the world and I was more than ready to give it to him. Letting go is hard, painful, but once it’s done you’re free to live and start again. Our brain is one hell of an instrument: it tortures us when it decides on its own accord to fish memories you wanted hidden. Mastering the cohabitation with your bad memories is the way to keep them at bay and not letting them hurt you ever again. They are there, you sense them, but they don’t control you; you don’t allow them to do it.

Will Adam be ready to let go? This day will decide it; it will decide his fate.

While we follow Adam on the day his life is going to change forever, a spirit called by one single, an apparently innocent, action will leave the safety of her home to answer questions she doesn’t even know were asked. The magical realism, very similar to the one in the other Ness’ favourite of mine “The Rest of Us Just Live Here”, can seem out of place but you need to let it flow, no questions asked. It’s a parallel quest, seemingly unrelated, to our Adam’s journey, that will set in motion the end of the world, as we know it.

This book left me shaken. I related to parts of the book and sympathize with everything else. I was frustrated and angry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry but I also wanted to have hope and believe that maybe the world doesn’t really hate us the way we sometimes think. That maybe we can build ourselves a safe heaven in the midst of our not so very perfect lives.

I loved Release and it confirmed my love for Patrick Ness and the way he writes. It’s a hit or miss in my opinion and I understand when the story doesn’t reach everyone the way it reached me. Nonetheless, it is a story worth reading.

“Never pass up the chance to be kissing someone. It’s the worst kind of regret.”

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness ☆

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“Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.”

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Why you should read this book: Because it was a nice surprise, a different book about things that are familiar to us all.

Summary from Goodreads:

What if you aren t the Chosen One? The one who s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

We could keep being too afraid to say we don’t know stuff and then the future will come and eat us anyway and we’ll regret not doing all that stuff we wished we did.

This is my second Patrick Ness book and the second one I truly loved. This man can write and he keeps getting to me with deep emotions and fantastic stories. He makes me feel connected to the characters from beginning to end, whether they make me happy, sad or angry, they are fractions of me in different periods of my life. I identify so much in their actions that I myself become part of the story. How do you do that, Mr. Ness? No, don’t tell me, but keep doing it.

“But I don’t care what you think, not about these things anyway. If you don’t think they’re real or important or you think that we’ll all grow out of this nonsense, well, that’s not really my business. I can’t tell you what’s real for you. But in return, you can’t say what’s real for me either. I get to choose. Not you.”

The thing about living is that so many things can go wrong so you worry over everything, mostly over things you shouldn’t be worrying about but you can’t help yourself and you worry a lot. Feelings generate deeper feelings, and these deeper feelings make you anxious. Anxiety is ugly, it sure is. Mikey, the main character of the story suffers from it, and he gets stuck in loops of actions that he thinks will make things better. He knows it won’t work but he can’t stop, he keeps doing it until he bleeds and cries. I fell in love with Mikey, he is a wonderful character, full of emotions, ignorant of what is going on around him, extremely sensitive, and willing to fight for the ones he love.

“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

In this weird world there have being several “apocalypses”: ghosts, vampires, gods. Somehow the “indie kids” or “chosen ones” are the ones being targeted by these entities and by sacrificing themselves they have to save the world. From what I understood, these indie kids are hipsters with weird names like Satchel or Kerouac who do things ironically. At the beginning of every chapter we get a summary of what is going on with the indie kids, then the chapter itself is what is going on with the main characters during that same lapse of time. It’s a really interesting way to tell a story like, here I am having this delicious cup of hot chocolate, while backstage there is a teenager sacrificing himself to kill the king of the undead. It’s funny!

Mikey and his friends are not the heroes of this story; they are trying to live their lives until graduation hoping the apocalypse won’t kill them all in the meantime. Well, yeah, Jared, Mikey’s best friend, is a quarter God of the Cats but they are mostly normal teenagers wanting to go to prom and everything. How great can it be to be worshipped by cats and felines in general? To be able to communicate with them on a daily basis? It’ll be a dream! Jared has secrets but one secret in particular was WTH? I would have never guessed it, everyone knew but Mikey and I. Not fair but, what a revelation. Nicely done, Mr. Ness!

“It has nothing to do with not trusting you. It’s to do with what something becomes once you tell it. It’s like it’s truer. And it’s got a life of its own and it rushes out into the world and becomes something you can’t control.”

Mikey is overprotective of his two sisters, Mel and Meredith. Mel had a rough time in the past and she is still struggling so Mikey worries a lot for her and wants her to be happy and serene. Meredith is still very young, only 10 years old, and he is trying to protect her from the ugliness that can be the real world.

“We share out craziness, our neuroses, our little bit of screwed-up-ness that comes from our family. We share it. And it feels like love.”

Henna is Mikey’s crush. He loves her so much, or he thinks he loves her more than anything in the world. He is so focused on his “love” for her that he is making things difficult for himself and for his friends. Lots of misunderstandings and fights lead to many interesting revelations. At first I wasn’t really fond of Henna: she appeared to be having feelings for the new kid Nathan, but then it seems that she was leading Mikey on like he had a chance. Feelings are complicated, I get it, so I forgave her for bringing Mikey pain because I understood what she was experiencing. Nothing is more confusing than love. What the hell is love? It brings joy, it brings pain, it builds mountains, it destroys planets. It’s overwhelming.

I step up onstage, still feeling at sea, feeling like I’ve just lost sight of shore and though I’m swimming okay for now, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep it up.

I loved this book and I’m not giving it enough credit with this mess of a review. There are so many things that need to be said, so many quotes to be written, so many feelings to be shared. It’s hard to write coherently when you loved a book as much as I loved this one. I didn’t know what to expect, I kind of bought it blindly and now that I finally got to read it, I want to punch myself for not having read it sooner.

Again, thank you Mr. Ness for all these wonderful experiences that you are sharing with us. If I could hug you, I would!

Do I recommend it? Yes, you’re welcome.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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