ARCs · Reviews

Mini ARC Reviews

Hey everyone!

Today, I have some mini arc reviews for you that have been long overdue. I’m blaming my friend for spending the day with me and talking about books and writing the whole time. Maybe I should meet up more often with people and discuss these things if I’m more inspired to write afterwards, it certainly helped me to stop procrastinate this time.

I received these books as review copies by the publisher. This however has no impact on my opinion.

Forest of a Thousand Lantern by Julie C. Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)★★★★

I finally, finally, finished it and I couldn’t put it down for at least the first half of the book. I loved the take on the Evil Queen from Snow White in an Asian fantasy setting a lot and Julie C. Dao’s writing style creates the perfect atmosphere for it.

What I forget to keep in mind was that we don’t have the usual heroine in this novel. Xifeng, the main character, annoyed me more and more with her behaviour and actions throughout the book although this character development makes a lot of sense when one remembers that she is in fact the anti-hero. I’m quite intrigued to see how all of this will play out in the second book.

Rebel with a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring

Rebel with a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring★★★★

The cover was what initially draw me to this book. You just simply can’t go wrong with cupcakes and baking in my opinion. Jesobel is a wonderful, strong character that I hope many young girls who are struggling with their bodies can look up to.

It is quite relatable in the way it shows how one can be perfectly fine with their body and hating or beginning to dislike certain features the next day.  However, Mainwaring manages to portray this serious subject in an interesting way, keeping the reader engaged and adding an ounce of humour nonetheless.

That Secret You Keep by Brenda Benny

That Secret You Keep by Brenda Benny★★★

This one was a fast and enjoyable read. It has some great representation of gay and bisexual as well as POC characters although I personally wish that this diversity would have included more women. The author treated some rather serious topics in a light way, which perfectly fit with the overall tone of the book.

While I didn’t quite connect with the main characters Max and Serena, I liked getting to know more bits and pieces of the side characters. There were a few things left open so they’ll hopefully be answered in a sequel, otherwise I’d be quite disappointed with all my open questions towards the end.

ARCs · Reviews

ARC Review: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin


In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.
They’re wrong. Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future. He shouldn’t. And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

I’ve been hearing a lot about the Becoming of Noah Shaw – mostly from my sister – and thanks to the publisher who granted me an e-ARC on Edelweiss, I was able to finally read it myself.

The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin is the first book in a new spin off series in the Mara Dyer universe. I read the books years ago but only remembered bits and pieces. So, if you’re thinking about reading this book, I recommend reading the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer first since it will be referenced a few times and a lot of things will make way more sense afterwards.

Now on to my actual feelings which can be described as this emoji “🤷“ It was an okay book, a fast read and it might get interesting in the sequels, but all in all I just felt nothing after having finished it.

The book is written in Noah’s POV. Instead of the sarcastic, witty voice we were used to  in the Mara Dyer books, he sounded rather dull in this one. There were a few things mentioned by Noah, as well as other characters, that felt out of place and/or quite unnecessary.

My main issue with the plot is that nothing actually happened?! There was a constant limbo of nothingness. The pacing just felt forced, something that looked like a plot started towards the end of the book, and by that point I had so many questions that of course none of them were answered in the few remaining pages. This kind of exposition might work if we have the whole series to look at, but since we are only at book one, it kind of irked me a lot.

Noah was also the only character who seemed to have some sort of a growth during the story, even if I don’t agree with some of his reasonings, especially his decisions towards the end. It might be due to Noah’s limited POV, but even the other characters didn’t seem to develop in any direction. They just existed for plot reasons and could have probably been interchangeable.  There aren’t many new characters introduced to the reader, although they also follow that principle and stay flat instead of being well rounded and their own distinct person.

You might have heard that other bloggers have described The Becoming of Noah Shaw as fanfiction-like. I can only agree with that statement. Instead of talking, Noah and Mara had sex and it seemed to work as a coping mechanism for them. Most of the time I thought it was rather unnecessary. Why can’t kids these days just talk about their problems and fears and worries, especially when you’re clearly in an unhealthy relationship?

Anyways, even if I talked about many points I didn’t like, I still didn’t hate it. I can’t really think of anything at the moment that I liked. There were some funny nerd references though, and in the end, this book was okay. I’m probably going to check out the sequels, just so I get to know how it all wraps up in the end.

ARCs · Blog Tour · Reviews

Blog Tour: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – Interview and Review



Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves Continue reading “Blog Tour: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – Interview and Review”

ARCs · Reviews

ARC Review: A Messy Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan


Life is funny sometimes.

And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer.

I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom.

And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he seems to want so much more. But I won’t do that to him. He’s been through this before with his family, and I’m not going to let him watch me die.

So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.

Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending me an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review!

The title could not have been more fitting. I, too, feel like a beautiful mess right now. I read this book almost in one sitting, if it weren’t for work. Reading it made me both incredibly happy and sad at the same time. I might have also cried. Who am I kidding, of course I cried. Continue reading “ARC Review: A Messy Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan”

ARCs · Reviews

ARC Review: The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember


Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

I’ve wanted to read Julia Ember’s books for a while now.( I still haven’t found the time for The Seafarer’s Kiss ) and then I got accepted for The Tiger’s Watch on NetGalley. I guess it was fate. The book had the perfect length for my flight home from Gran Canaria and I wouldn’t have been able to stop anyway. Continue reading “ARC Review: The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember”


Blogger Recognition Award


Good evening, everybody!

I haven’t been tagged in quite some time and now I have even been tagged twice for this one! Thanks so much to Phanny over at Phannie the Ginger Bookworm and Rebecca at Rebecca Reads. Go and check out their amazing blogs!
I actually planned to post this last week, but thanks to wordpress and a wobbly internet connection the post got lost somewhere in the deep dark net. I have no idea how I found this one again so let’s just say it was fate.

The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show of your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.

The Story of how my blog started

I always loved the idea of book blogging, but never started because I felt like I wasn’t any good at writing reviews. When I was writing my Bachelor thesis last July, I really wanted to start a blog, but knew that I couldn’t just leap into it. Otherwise, I would have definitely used it as means to procrastinate (and I already did that way too much without the distraction of blogging). So instead I decided to start as soon as I was finished with it and I managed to publish my first post in October I think? It was even easier to launch into this project since my dear friend Bekka joined as well and we keep motivating each other to write.

My Advice to new bloggers

Don’t feel pressured to write. It’s supposed to be fun and you’re doing it because you want to. Everyone has off days, a writer’s block, or just not enough time. I know it looks nicer if you post quite regularly, but it’s not always possible, so don’t beat yourself up too much about it. For me, organising my posts and binge writing a whole evening helps me staying (more or less) on track. This way I have some stuff stored away for later. Plus, I can use all my cute stationery for it.

Social Media is a great way to get your blog out there and also to get to know a lot of very nice people!

My tagged bloggers

I hope I didn’t tag anyone who already did this 🤓

  1. literaryleaves
  2. sincerelykarenjo
  3. bookishdiana
  4. ashleighbekkah
  5. onceuponabookshelf
  6. rattlethestars


ARCs · Reviews

ARC Review: The Snow Angel by Lauren St. John


Lauren St John's stunning Christmas classic is about forgotten children, the power of nature to heal us and a girl who will climb mountains in search for a place to call home.

Growing up in vibrant, crowded Nairobi, Makena has only one dream: to climb Mount Kenya like her hero, her mountain guide father. But when her beautiful world is shattered, she finds that in the city's dark places there are a thousand ways to fall, each more deadly than any crevasse. In a world of strangers, does she dare trust Snow, whose ballet dreams are haunted by a past she's still running from? And is the sparkling fox friend or foe?

After a fresh start in the Scottish Highlands turns bad, Makena flees to the mountains. But will they betray her or be the making of her?

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was not at all what I expected from the summary. Especially the fact that this is advertised as a Christmas book and since I'm one of those people that can only start listening to Christmas songs on December 1st, so reading that topic in summer felt kind of weird. Fortunately, Christmas only played a bigger part towards the end of the book, where it made more or less sense to add it. This book, in my opinion, is much more than a Christmas tale.

The first couple of chapters were kind of slow but then I found my way into Makena's story and was so enraptured by it that I couldn't put down the book. St. John manages to beautifully depict the landscapes, cities and people in Kenya, as well as Scotland. Reading them I could imagine scaling up those mountains myself.

While the first chapters felt too slow, the later chapters were too fast paced for my taste. This, I think, is quite the shame, because I would have loved to learn so much more about the circumstances and life in Kenya. Instead it was like rushing through those important plot points, which all seemed to end in some kind of new drama. To sum it up, there was too much happening for only two hundred pages and it showed.

Another thing that irked me were the characters. We learned a lot about Makena, but I got the impression that every other character was just there so she could get more character development. They were introduced and were important, as well as actually interesting for a while, just to be mentioned in passing later on.

I liked this book, don't get me wrong. I just think it could have been so much better.

My rating: 

Release date: October 5th, 2017
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: eBook
Amazon; Goodreads


Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour


You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Happy Saturday, lovelies!

I’m finally back with a little mini review of Nina LaCours “We Are Okay”. Phew, I’m not, by the way, , maybe semi-okay. In a good way though!
My friends have been talking about it for months and I’ve finally got around to read it. Before we start, let’s appreciate the cover a bit more. I’m so in love with the design, I don’t actually want to give back the copy I borrowed. So I’m going to keep it for a bit longer and admire the view, and probably reread it again.*

Continue reading “Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour”

Reviews · Reviews

Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han


Hello lovelies!

Anyone who follows me on my other social media might know that I already got this gem earlier last week. I was right about to use my lunch break to pick up the book from the store, before my sister took it upon herself. So why did it take me this long to write the review you ask? Well I got sick and spent most of the time sleeping and I still can’t seem to write any reviews while sleeping. Sad.

If you haven’t read the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, you should do so now and come back later. It’s about 16-year-old Lara Jean, who wrote love letters to all the boy’s she loved before (hence the title) that get suddenly sent to said boys. It all spirals into confrontations, confessions, fake relationships. To top it off there’s lots of baking and the portrayal of cute relationships between sisters. Also we’ve got Asian-American main characters!

I’m putting a read more here for good measures, since I’m not sure what y’all would consider spoilery and most of it are just my feelings towards the book anyway. Continue reading “Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han”


Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr


I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA Be brave.

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

Continue reading “Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr”