[ARC] Starcrossed by Allie Therin

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5stars

Title: Starcrossed
Author: Allie Therin
Series: Magic in Manhattan #2
Release date: May 18th 2020
Number of pages: 282 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was just as great as the first.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

This was just a delight. So much cuteness, action, FEELINGS; all in the same amazing magical world I came to love. Arthur and Rory as still as adorable as in the first book. The slow burn from the first book, turned into a soft jealousy and coming to terms to what exactly their relationship means. What they are willing to do to make it work.

The relics mystery is super interesting, and the figure of the Baron as the bad guy is terrifying and he still hasn’t showed his face. He better stay the hell away from my boys because they need to have at least some time for themselves without all the kidnappings and torture.

The writing is still excellent and the magic system is phenomenal. Hyde? Wow! The characters and side characters are all very detailed. Arthur and his nightmares, my heart hurt. Rory being his temperamental self as usual, but understanding he needs to open up a bit and accept what the world is trying to give him, in the form of Arthur and his magnificent non-magical self!

The story, the characters, the magic. I loved it all!

I can’t wait for the next book in 2021!

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Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron

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4stars

Title: Last Bus to Everland
Author: Sophie Cameron
Number of pages: 325 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Relatable characters, deep story with a bit of magic.
Bad things about this book: It was nice, so nothing.
Do I recommend it? I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Bittersweet kind of story about not thinking you’re enough or have a place on earth for you to fit in. It tackles lots of hard themes, and it gives you realness mixed with fantasy. I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down.

I found Brody a bit too much sometimes like he was really exaggerating things with his moods. But then I thought of myself, and it happens. So often. You get into one bad day mood and even the tiniest of things make you want to wreck the world.

I just felt sad: about how he felt like he was a waste of space, like he wasn’t enough, like people didn’t even notice he was there. I cared about Brody’s wellbeing. He deserved to have the life he pictured in his head, with a boyfriend, his beloved cat, his friends, and I family who saw him and accepted him flaws and all.

Everland sounded pretty amazing. I would’ve used the time there to learn a new language, read a long book, learn to play an instrument. And I could’ve been brave enough to befriend people from around the world and maybe being their pen pals! It sounded like a great idea!

The side characters each had a well rounded personality and the more I read about them, the more I liked them. They seemed carefree even if that really wasn’t the truth. Nico was a rollercoaster: full of life but at the same time full of sorrow, of missed opportunities.

As I said, this was a very bittersweet book that ended in the most hopeful note I could’ve asked for. I really liked it and I would recommend it!

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Bitter Pill by Jordan Castillo Price

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5stars

Barely nine and I already needed a nap.

Title: Bitter Pill
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Series: PsyCop #11
Number of pages: 257 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: VICTOR IS BACK!!
Bad things about this book: I need more Victor!
Do I recommend it? Yes, always yes to Victor.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I glanced down at myself. I wasn’t exactly a fashion plate, but I suspected there’d be subtle cues that I’d leveled up. My sleeves fit me now, for instance, and my haircut didn’t scare small children.

Welcome back, my beloved Victor!! And the gang!! This review will obviously contain spoilers from the previous books so if you haven’t yet started this magnificent series, stay away!! And go buy the books asap!

I was so excited about Victor and Jacob’s big news after how Murder House ended and, even if we of course didn’t have the event in this book, there were hints about the planning. I loved the catalogues and the “fiancé” and “future husband” just slipping into normal conversations; Victor has really come a long way from his grumpy self of the first book. 40 has really changed him, he’s a new man. Almost.

I’ve been called plenty of things in my life. “Adorable” had never been one of them. Until I’d started ingratiating myself to the backroom staff of The Clinic.

Old habits are hard to die, and with that new drug going around, our Vic is remembering the good (but also very painful) old times when he used to take pills at all times, every single day. I love how far he’s gone, and seeing him struggle was breaking my heart. I wanted to hug him!

It was nice seeing Caroline and Zigler. I was wondering what happened with her and Jacob and I hope things will get back a bit like they used to be. And Zigler may be quiet but he’s a valid member of the gang, even as a non psychic. He gives the dynamic a bit of chill, and they really need a bit of chill when everything is going to hell!

As usual, I didn’t guess who the culprit was and I tried real hard to understand the mystery! New characters were introduced in The Clinic and I liked them and the whole Victor making new friends by letting the clinic workers to feed him their desserts. Can I love Victor more than I do now? I didn’t think it was possible, but I love him more now.

The last couple pages were wild!! A revelation was made! But we still had another revelation of previous books to uncover. I want to know about Victor’s past. It seems there’s a lot to know! Can’t wait for the next book and many many more adventures!

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Into This River I Drown by T.J. Klune

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4stars

“Sometimes I float along the river
For its surface I am bound
And there are times stones done fill my pockets
And it’s into this river I drown”

Title: Yes No Maybe So
Author: Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
Number of pages: 448 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: A lot of diversity.
Bad things about this book: Too much politics for my personal taste.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Klune really knows how to use words to break you in a million pieces then put you back together, different yeah, but whole again.

And he has a thing for repetitions and this book was not an exception. I love all the times the title of the book was repeated over and over again, and I loved the sentiment behind each one of them.

It hurt, I’m not going to lie. It hurt a lot. I struggled to continue because there were points in which the pain was too much and I really couldn’t continue without feeling hollow. But I had, let’s say faith (pun intended), that things would go the way they were supposed to go. In pain from beginning to end.

Beautiful written, peculiar, and full of feelings. If you love Klune, then you need to pick this up sooner of later. It took me a long time to finish it, because I had to put it on hold due to the pain I was feeling, but I’m glad I finally did pick it up, because I’m changed after reading this. I love Klune and his books!

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Bloodline by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

I spoke thirteen languages, and yet I had no words to express what his presence meant to me. Griffin seemed to understand anyway.

Title: Bloodline
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #5

Number of pages: 237 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: So many twists, so many great things happening.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, characters being immature is not really a bad thing if they understand their mistakes!
Do I recommend it? Yes! Of course!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have nine books of the magical and mysterious adventures of Whyborne and Griffin but I’ve had only read four of the them because I don’t want to live in a world of no new stories of those two sweet men and their love. But I couldn’t stay away long and now I have read the fifth book and it was a great decision.

It’s just a quiet October for our beloved couple and Whyborn’s birthday is just around the corner; yeah, they wish. This book could have been called Halloween from Hell! I had no idea so many things could happen in such a short book. That Widdershins is not a city that fools around. We open up with a celebration, we get introduced to Whyborne’s sister and long lost cousins from England, Whyborne’s brother is annoying as usual, and everything goes to hell.

Whyborne has grown so much as a character and in this growth he is making a few mistakes that are jeopardizing his life and his relationship with his lover Griffin and his friend Christine. He made me want to slap him; I understood why he was doing what he was doing, the wish to be free to use his magic without judgment, without hiding, so I let him deal with the consequences of his actions. I knew he was going to be okay in the end. He is sweet and caring, he is bound to take a few wrong turns, but he will learn from his mistakes and become a better man. That’s what makes him different from his hideous brother. Oh how I hate that man!

Lots of surprises and an ending that left me with butterflies in my belly and hearts flying above my head. And ending worth waiting for. I loved how Whyborne used his magic and there is so much potential of how many more spells he can learn to protect his town and the people he loves. The next books are going to be great and I will pace myself, of course, but I’m going to read them as soon as possible.

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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4stars

Sometimes some you have known all your life becomes no longer familiar to you, but strange in a marvelous way, as if you have discovered a beach you have been visiting all your life is made not of sand but of diamonds, and they blind you with their beauty.

Title: Lord of Shadows
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices #2
Number of pages: 699 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how we got to know more about Gwyn and other faerie mysteries.
Bad things about this book: The romance between some characters war totally nonsense and I hated it.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Took me 20 days to finish this. Some days I didn’t want to pick it up, some other days I wanted to read it just to get it over with. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong: there is much I liked but there was also a lot I didn’t. Too much unnecessary drama, the miscommunication, the lies, oh my how many lies and tricks. You’d think they’d learned not to do it after the disasters of the previous book but nooooo here we go again, hiding things, making the worst decisions, not thinking anything through.

Our teenage heroes have to venture into forbidden lands for a mission that will unveil plans and secrets from the Lord of Shadows, aka the Unseelie King. The Black Volume is still lost and it contains too many dark spells to be left floating at large. It doesn’t only contain necromancy spells but it contains spells that could strip shadowhunters of their angelic powers. That could be the end of the world and the dominion of the Lord of Shadows all over humans, shadowhunters and downworlders. I’m fascinated by the fair folks and I want to know everything there is to know about the king, the queen and their secrets. They can’t lie but they can deceive and they’re very good at that. I want to know what they are planning.

Julian sought Mark in the crowd on the steps. He was standing with his hands behind his back, exchanging a mistrustful look with a carved stone gnome. “Your pretense does not fool me, gnome,” he muttered. “My eyes will be upon you.”

You may think the Lord of Shadows is the most evil creature in the whole world and he is the one that is a danger to our teenage heroes, but you’ll be wrong!! The Dearborns and the Cohort were the most awful villains to ever have graced the pages of a shadowhunter book, in my opinion. So hateful and kick butt worthy! Everything was their fault, everything that happened in the last chapter was 100% their doing because they are megalomaniac racists bigots. The worst kind of human beings/shadowhunters.

The romance got to my nerve! That useless plotline of forced love that for me had zero chemistry ruined everything for me. I’m talking about Mark and Cristina obviously. I thought Cristina had more chemistry with a random centurion that she had with Mark. They don’t belong together and as much as I like Kieran (I like him A LOT), I think Mark needs to be by himself for a while and be a big brother. That romantic storyline felt so forced and pointless I sighed everytime I knew a Mark+Cristina moment was approaching. I like Cristina so I hope she finds happiness but, girl, you better keep looking. I know Mark is divine but you both are wrong for each other. Get yourself someone else!

Julian was the kind of person who could descend into Hell and come out with the devil himself owing him a favor.

I may be rambling but I got mad about that. Also about how stubborn Julian was being with the martyr mask he liked to wear. Bad decisions were made, that’s an understatement, and people got hurt. The ending did not shocked me, not much, because the internet is a source of unwanted spoilers you can’t avoid and I already knew a lot of things that were going to happen.

This review is only me being angry at the unnecessary love authors like to put in books. Like it’s so unlikely that two people meet each other for the first time, become friends, and NOT fall in love. What was I thinking? That happens all the time, right? Impossible for them to be, I don’t know, just good friends.

There are still 220 days left until the release of Queen of Air and Darkness that, if I’m not wrong, will be the last book of this shadowhunters trilogy. Am I worried? Oh hell you bet I am! But I’m also curious about a lot of things; I can’t wait to be angry at the forced love story, and to see those two parabatai be free to love each other without lies, curses or LIES. Did I already say lies? I thought it was worth repeating myself. I also can’t wait to see Ty and Kit’s friendship blooming. Those two are adorable and their friendship is worth every single cringe worthy moment of the unnecessary story line I have to bear witness to. See you in 220 days!

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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5stars

“Of all organs,” said Nehemiah Trot, “the tongue is the most remarkable. For we use it both to taste our sweet wine and bitter poison, thus also do we utter words both sweet and sour with same tongue.”

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Number of pages: 327 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s magical.
Bad things about this book: The mystery that wasn’t really explained.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

A couple years ago I bought the audiobook and started listening to it but as it always happens to me with books I haven’t read before listening to them, I got distracted and kept losing parts of the narration. I loved listening to Neil Gaiman tell the story but his voice wasn’t enough to get me focus on the book. I gave up until I decided to buy the physical book and now I could read a story that really deserved all my attention.

Nobody Owens is quite an interesting boy; we read about him growing up in the graveyard after a mysterious man called Jack murders his parents and sister. As a toddler he was inquisitive and curious. As a pre-teen he was obnoxious and unnecessarily rebellious. As a teenager he made questionable decisions but was overall a nice kid. I came to like him and I cheered for him to have a happy life surrounded by people who cared for him. It was going to be hard and I knew that.

“You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

I forgot about the mystery about Bod and why Jack wanted him dead after that first part and every time someone mentioned it I asked myself why it was so important to kill Bod. Why was Bod’s dead essential? I was curious. A lot, but then, in my opinion, the reason was not explained and the ending left me with too many questions. More than I’m used to have after finishing a book without sequels. That’s the only bad thing (if we can call it bad) about his book. The rest was exquisite and it gave me a newly found trust about Gaiman’s books with younger protagonists. I had a bad experience but I wasn’t going to let that ruin this marvellous author for me!

“You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”

Now I have a couple Gaiman’s books on my bookshelves that require my attention and I need to finish reading his comic book Sandman that I’m reading so slowly I’ve been in stand-by mode for months. I can do it!

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Agent Bayne by Jordan Castillo Price

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5stars

“I guarantee that once you learn the ropes, everything will click, and you’ll be happy there.”
Happy? That seemed awfully ambitious. Awkwardly useful, though? I supposed that would be a step up.

Title: Agent Bayne
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Series: PsyCop #9

Number of pages: 279 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: VICTOR BAYNE, always.
Bad things about this book: To wait for more Victor Bayne.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I love this series and everyone should give it a try.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It seems I’ve just said goodbye to Victor just a few days ago and now he’s back! It must be because of my impromptu re-read. I always find an excuse to read the whole series all over again. When I saw the author was writing book 9 I was so excited I checked every single day the website to see if I could preorder the book already. The cover is as usual worth of our beloved detective now agent Victor Bayne. His scowl is right and it gives me joy.

Victor is no longer a detective for the Chicago police; he is now a federal agent working for the infamous FPMP, the agency that has been observing (read: spying) on his life for years. Is he going to fit in or is he going to feel the way he felt during all 14 years as a detective? Is working with Jacob going to be too much and they’ll grow sick of each other? Victor will have to face new people and ones from his past, and will have to learn to work in a team to make the world safer for psychs, and for mediums like him.

“You’ve got some poor habits to unlearn.”
Story of my life.

There wasn’t anything I was afraid of while reading this book. I knew things were going to be all right with Jacob, fights may happen but in the end they were going to be happy, like they deserve to be. I was curious to see how were their lives like after all the mess with Jennifer Chance and I was sad to see the gruesome affair had left a few scars on poor Jacob. I think, with Victor’s help, he’s going to be okay but not soon; these things can’t be easily forgotten. There were also a few surprises and a lot of guessing going on. Who was the murderer? Was there more than one assassin? Were Victor and company going to be fine? I sure hoped so! New talents unveiled, new friends to get to know better, I loved every single bit of this book. I love guessing and putting my bets on someone being the one behind everything; I’m not usually right but I’m also pretty good at guessing correctly at some point. Here I guessed right one thing but was completely blindsided by others that I hope are going to be explained better in the books to come.

Jacob was so used to being the strong one. It might seem like I’d revel in the turnabout when he finally got a stiff dose of reality. But no. It actually broke my heart.

Some of the things left to future explanations were the many flashbacks of Victor’s past. My boy has never had a quiet simple life, hasn’t he? He has always dealt with ghosts and every repercussion seeing ghosts had on his already not so perfect life. We had more insight on what happened during Victor’s adolescence, also a few of new very interesting episodes during his stay at Camp Hell, and I wonder how much more are we going to learn about him in book 10.

Murder House!! That’s the name of the 10th book in the PsyCop series and I’m impatiently waiting here, by myself, in my room, to be able to read it. Or better, to devour it! A murder house, you say? Colour me super interested!

Not gonna lie. Seeing Jacob in his sweatpants and reading glasses, unwilling to disturb a stranger’s cat… it was disconcertingly cute.

I didn’t know I could love Victor more and then JCP made him interact with smartphones and she put three cats in the cannery with the lovebirds. Vic with cats was the most adorable thing that could have happened in my ordinary life. I didn’t think I needed to see Victor cuddling cats, being puzzled by cats or reading about them sleeping on his head. Victor with cats will be my favourite thing from now on, probably until the end of my human life. I can’t thank the amazing author enough for giving me that. I will be forever grateful and I will give her my loyalty, although she already had it, from book 1.

b>“Long time no see, Agent Bayne. Look at you and your fancy new phone. Bet you hate it.”
“Uh… jury’s still out.”

Agent Bayne is the perfect PsyCop book. Victor is not afraid to be who he is, he isn’t hiding his talent anymore and he likes that other people admire him and are not scare of him or worse, make fun of him behind his back. Agent Bayne has the right amount of sexy times and the love between those two is now so strong that I no longer feel like Jacob is only used to make Victor be naked and horny. They have an amazing chemistry. Perfect couple for a perfect book with the most perfect medium the book world could ask for.

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Necropolis by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

“I’d rather perish at your side than – than go home without you. You’re the world to me.”

Title: Necropolis
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #4

Number of pages: 202 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Ancient Egypt mysteries.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you’re a fan of Whyborne and Griffin then you should read it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Another day, another adventure for one of my many favourite book couples. I’ve had the 9 books already published for a long time but I’m trying to save them and read them slowly, afraid of having no more Whyborne & Griffin adventures when I need them the most. After a sci-fi book with mysteries from outer space, I knew I was ready for a sane dose of mysteries from ancient Egypt. It has always fascinated me and I have watched The Mummy and the sequel so many times I’ve lost count.

Christine sends a request for help to Whyborne; something is happening in Egypt in one of the excavation sites she’s working at. Grumpily, Whyborne sails for El Cairo, along with a much happier Griffin, to help Christine save her work and maybe also her life. Someone is rising from the dead and doesn’t want to spread love around the world. Our two beloved men will have to confront forces of evil, but also new love and a rather peculiar family reunion in the desolated and unforgiving lands of Pharaohs and sorcerers.

A disheveled and unshaved Whyborne was an image I didn’t think I needed in my life but now that I had it, I know I couldn’t have lived without reading about it. The clear pictures I have in my head of a smelly and dirty Whyborne are things of beauty. He, always so impeccable, now forced to be far from civilization for so long, but loving the mysteries of Christine’s new findings. I think he loved it, with all the sand in uncomfortable places and all. They still had time for steamy intimate moments, so I don’t think there was much to complain about the situation.

“I swear, you men have your entire egos tied to the functioning of a few inches of flesh.”
“More than a few,” Griffin said with a smirk.

Griffin was really careful in this book; after all that happened in the previous one, I think it’s understandable. He doesn’t like Whyborne experimenting with magic because he loves him so much he doesn’t want to lose him like he lost someone he cared about in the past. The nightmares are still very present in his mind and, in this adventure, he will have to summon all his courage and face his worst fears. Besides Whyborne being like a very stubborn baby with a new toy, and all the fights this could generate, this book is a chance for the two men to clear things up, things that are bringing Whyborne down for no reason other than his overthinking brain.

“I’ve always held humans are the stupidest of animals.” Christine cast us a rueful grin, “We’ve no notion when to turn and run screaming.”

Seeing Christine doing what she does best gave her so many more points in my book. She is graceful in her not standard feminine ways; I think her not wanting to conform with what society thinks a woman must or mustn’t do has shaped her making her someone who can do everything and more if you let her try. She will demonstrate she is valuable just as much as any man, and she can do things the same way, if not better, than her fellow male co-workers. I wish the world saw her as the force of nature she truly is. Go get them, Christine!

The fifth book of the series will have to wait because, as much as I love reading about Whyborne and Griffin, I realized I have so many unread books I want to read so much. Time just isn’t enough. Will I have to give up sleep? Nah, I don’t think my body is up to the task, it’s lazy.

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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

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5stars

“Is Sun Wukong a good guy or a bad guy?”
“He’s an anti-hero,” said Quentin. “He doesn’t play by anyone else’s rules.”
“He sounds like a tool,” I said.

Title: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
Author: F.C. Yee
Number of pages: 336 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It has fights, demons, gods, twists, everything!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I really do!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I love mythology. Everything about mythology always makes me pay more attention. I love watching documentaries about it, watching movies inspired by it, and I love reading books with stories inspired by the so many myths in existence. I was attracted to this book by its cover; it captivated me. Then I read what it was about and I was sold, boxed, and shipped. I didn’t know much about Chinese mythology and I was so ready for it!

“Genie Lo, you are unquestionably, undeniably human,” he said. “You just…have a whole bunch of other stuff going on as well.”
“Tell me about it.”

Genie is a high school student, struggling a little bit with Ivy League colleges admissions’ essays and also with her unusual height. One fateful day she saves an attractive short guy from bullies, starting a chain of reaction that will change her life forever. That guy she saved is no other than the Monkey King, Sun Wukong, or how he is called now, Quentin. Genie, along with Quentin, are going to be very busy sending a group of demons, who escaped from Hell, right back where they belong, or else the entire city is going to suffer dire consequences. Genie must find the inner strength she is told she has, and fight with all her might to save the city, and the world.

Genie Lo, caring about strangers, bearing the weight of the world? No one was more surprised than me.

Genie was a delightful character, flaws and everything. She is young and found herself thrown into something super weird. I think how she reacted was medal worthy. Quentin and his cluelessness of the human world were adorable; he was cute and funny, and made me smile a lot. I also loved how every single person was eyeing him like some kind of gourmet meat. Drooling like pros, I respect that. Overall the book had a lot of very funny parts and also badass fights.

“He’s bite-size. Doesn’t mean he’s not tasty.”

I enjoyed this book so much. I knew I was going to like it because it has all the elements I usually love in books, but the fact that I also learned a little bit more about Chinese folklore made the whole experience better. I must admit that I don’t remember all the names but now I have this new curiosity inside of me that it’s going to push me into reading more and more about the Gods and Demons I read about in this book. And if this isn’t one hell of a positive thing a book can do for you, then I don’t know what is.

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