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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Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie DiRisio & illustrated by Linnea Gear

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3stars

When in doubt, lean and smirk.

Title: Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me
Author: Carrie DiRisio (Author) & Linnea Gear (Illustrator)
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s a fun and light read.
Bad things about this book: I think the content was best suited for a novella not an over 200 pages book.
Do I recommend it? Maybe not but I’ll tell you to give it a chance if you want to read it but are unsure.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I bought this book based solely on the cover. I found it cute and the title was funny. I didn’t know what it was about. I found out when I got the book and opened it to see how it was inside, a thing I do for every single book I buy; you’ve got to calculate time of reading based on font size, margins, and number of pages, right?

I wasn’t entirely disappointed but I was hoping in something different. I thought I was getting a simple story about a clichéd YA hero doing cliché stuff while instead I got a guide of how to become a clichéd main character of a young-adult book. It was fun to read, I giggled quite a lot because I recognized so many clichés overly used.

I’m stern, serious, and incredibly muscular. I’ll probably be in charge of training you to be a better warrior, which I will do shirtless.

Broody is the perfect excessively described guy with chiseled jaw, marbled abs, jeweled-colored eyes, tousled hair, and smirk that makes you swoon. He’s usually the guy that gets the love interest almost at first sight no matter his personality and obvious flaws. Times are changing, though, and Authors want someone different to be their main characters; more and more books have multiple povs and more characters are a little closer to how real people look like and behave. Of course there are people with Broody’s exact qualities in the real world, but let’s be real, it’s very probable there are not.

You will probably find out that you are the absolutely most special of all the special supernatural beings. However, your internal narration will still remind us every page or so about how average you are. Sadly, self-esteem is not one of the magical powers you’ll ever acquire.

It was a nice book to read, light and easy. The kind of book you need to take a break from reading without really avoiding reading. When you finish a book that consumed you, left you empty blankly staring at the world, you need something to keep you going, something to keep you from the dreaded reading slump. I knew I needed it. Reading is wonderful but it can fill your head with many thoughts, too many sometimes, and all you need is a break. I did want to read so this was the perfect choice.

If you find yourself in a situation similar to mine, then this book might be for you.

My Author has decided I am a Scorpio. This is because Scorpios are the perfect fit for any broody hero: passionate, deadly, and totally overused in fiction.

Yay for Scorpios, by the way. We are great!

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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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