Monday, January 24, 2022

Review: Heir of Blood and Secrets by Linda Xia!

 **I was given a copy of this book from the author for free, this does not affect my review, which is unbiased and entirely my own opinions**

I'm always on the lookout for more diverse dystopian books, and while this book doesn't heavily go into a different culture, the main character does deal with being different in a world where status and what you look like/are can get you far. 

Heir of Blood and Secrets by Linda Xia

*I was given a free copy of this book by the author, this does not affect my review, which is unbiased and of my own opinions*

Our main character, Scylla, is a daughter of a Magistrate, which is a government official in charge of certain things, her mother, who is not from Devovea, died when Scylla was young. Scylla was humbled by going to school outside of the "castle" in a place called the "tiers" (think like Ba Sing Se from Avatar or the town in Attack on Titan, the further out from the leader, the worse the conditions). Scylla reminds me of a cozy mystery MC, she will throw herself into situations to get the answers she wants without regards to what happens to her. Overall not a bad MC, I was never annoyed with her, and even thou there is a slight romance going on, it didn't overtake the story, nor did Scylla turn dumb once with the boy or to get the boy. 

The mystery itself was good, thou I knew who it was at around the 40% mark, but Xia did a good job of making me doubt myself when she kept throwing more suspects/motives at me. 

I enjoyed the world building, the only issues I had was Xia explained in detail the gondola system twice, and I had slight confusion when it came to if Scylla had been to Galen's apartment or not. Once it was said "I know where he (Galen) lives, but early on he had made me promise to never visit unless it was life-or-death" but then later states "I've know where Galen lives for quite some time, but I've never actually entered his apartment. Mostly because Galen refused to let me in the first few times I'd randomly showed up at his door. After a while, I'd just stopped trying, accepting it as one of his quirks". Just comes across confusing, to me anyhow. *shrug*

Overall a good book, and I'd pick up book 2 if this was a series or try another book from the same author. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Review: The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling!

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling


 I guess I should have looked at reviews before reading this as I was aware that sex was going to be heavily involved in my witch book *le sigh*

Harry Potter exists in this world and the main characters live "kind of" the same life, which I feel is slightly lazy writing to make sure your reader is aware that Harry Potter exist, and your main character even refers to it and then write the MCs life pretty close to that story as well. Vivi lives with her aunt (no uncle in sight but she even has a cousin living there), her mom was a witch who died when Vivi was young, thou her mom didn't teach her much magic. Vivi works at a college that has a special "magic" building/library. 

Besides that, Vivi is a decent enough character, thought too much about how she dressed and was weird towards the other witches at the school she worked at. Rhys (the love interest/ex from the title, and also our other POV) is also decent, probably should have liked to Vivi about why he had to go back home when he told her about having to break off his engagement since he was falling for her, would have saved everyone some time and trouble. He also said this: <i>Rhys had caused . . . twenty? Two dozen? Too many to count, really.</i> which who says two dozen after saying twenty but what made it so weird/dumb was then he had an interaction with his dad: <i>“Half a year,” his father replied because why say a normal thing like “six months”?</i> but like dude you just said something equally as head scratching so like what? 

The ending was super rushed, like SUPER RUSHED, maybe a page was written detailing the climax of this book, and up to this point it was very boring, nothing noteworthy happen, just tons of sex, the main characters straight up ignore the major issue so they could have more sex.  

Review: Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao!


Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. 


A female main character is actually written strongly and wants to take down a misogynist government. Giant alien monsters whose bodies are turned into fighting machines! Think Pacific Rim but the giant fighting machines aren't actual machines but they're the corpses of the aliens you're fighting, oh and with some elemental magic as well.  

Side rant about something before review: I do try to be as cultural as I can be, and feel like I know some things about Asian cultures, but since China is a little bit more secretive of what all is going on over there, I don't know much. I have always been aware of foot binding and more or less the way their did it, but it still really hit me when the main character's own grandma just nonchalantly broke her feet and bound them. I also didn't know there was an actual shape they would try to achieve (lotus feet) and I did google the images of what was known as "perfect" ones. 

I'm always on the look out of strong female main characters, I can not stand reading about some girl who can't "go on" if she loses the guy or doesn't get the guy, oh you will lose a star or two if you're female MC puts the fate of the world aside as she tries to get some dude to notice her *insert huge eye roll*. Zetian is probably one of the strongest MCs I've encountered, she straight up murders a dude and carries his body out for the cameras to see with a freaking smile on her face! (the dude totally deserves it) Zetian has a goal of taking down the misogynist pilot system that is currently killing hundreds of girls, granted those girls are helping to keep the monsters at bay, but Zetian thinks there is another way or knows she is strong enough to be who own pilot. I don't have much in my cons section against Zetian, can't even think of one right now actually. 

Slight spoilers ahead... there is a love triangle in this book. First we have Zetian's childhood friend, YIzhi, who is mega rich and sneaks out to see her in the forest near her house. His father is very connected in the big city. In no way can he be with her thou, at least not in her current standing. Then we have Li Shimin, the murdered who they call Iron Demon. He kills every single girl who enters into the pilot system with him, he has major issues, and you feel for him by the end. <spoilers>The love triangle turns into a true triangle thou, Zetian hooks up with both boys and then they boys hook up with each other! 

The book's flow is decent, but then you get the climax and ending thrown at you, it's the main reason I'm only giving it 3.5 stars. Super rushed ending in my opinion, I needed more time with the big fight and <spoilers> the whole golden dragon/prince thing, like really, you're only gonna give me a few pages of that, it's a freaking golden dragon and a prince WHO HAS BEEN FROZEN FOR 100S OF YEARS! AHH. 

I liked the book overall and am looking forward to book 2. 

Trigger warnings for this book are r@pe, alcohol/addiction, sexual assault. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Review: Oona Out of Order! Margarita Montimore

Oona Out of Order
Margarita Montimore 

Purchase on Amazon


SynopsisIt’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order

Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met?

My Review!

At A Glance

Genre: Fiction; Science Fiction; Contemporary; Fantasy 

Love Triangle/Insta Love?: Slight obsession with a lover 

Cliff Hanger: nope.

Trigger Warnings: Major drug usage; Major alcohol usage 

Rating: 4 Stars

Score Sheet

All out of ten

Cover: 7

Plot: 8

Characters: 5

World Building: 8

Flow: 7

Series Congruity: n/a

Writing: 7

Ending: 8

Total: 7

Major issues: The freaking main character was super obsessed with how she looked, was fat shaming her self, and was overjoyed when she was skinny, i hated how she thought that way, like you are traveling through time, you shouldn't give two poops what you look like!

Best Part: I really enjoyed when Oona was in Asia, and all the details explained there, also all the references to things i grew up with or some things i legit wish where the way they were now. 

Worst Part: Oona was hella selfish 

Overall Feels Felt: Dude i would have so much time to read and do literally whatever i wanted, Oona didn't even scratch the surface 


Continuing the Series: n/a

Recommending: yep!

Final Thoughts: You know when someone askes you about what kind of super powers you would want, i have a new one, randomly go through life, granted it didn't go so well for our main character but i think i could do a bit better. Speaking of main character, Oona needed to calm down a bit, she didn't want to even try to listen to Kenzie when he was explaining things to her, she just ran away, then turned to drugs, i really don't know how she didn't die from overdose or have some major issues later in her life (or maybe she did, but we never saw it, i really want more books to show the other years). She was so freaking selfish when it came to seeking out Dale then what happened to Dale, then not leaving letters for her next jump then getting shitty when she arrive to no letter, like what, you can't be like eff future me, then instantly jump to "what the eff past me", THEY'RE ALL YOU. At least she stuck to watching her money and making sure she didn't eff that part up, but then that kinda of just comes off selfish as well, like she couldn't imagine living a poor person life so she did the bare minimum to make sure that didn't happen.  


        I HATED how she went about seeking out Makenzie when she found out she had a kid, like you knew what would happen to him, you knew he would find you at some point, you know he needs to have a loving family right now since they're about to die, but nah you just went in there and EFFED up everything. why would you ever think that taking him to a concert was a good idea, like how can you think that would ever work, and all you did was dye your hair to hid your identity from his moms, you didn't cover your MASSIVE TATTOO WITH HIS FREAKING INITIALS ON IT. Also why would you stay with the husband that you divorce the year after, you know it was going to end badly, you knew you weren't happy, you knew you could just walk away and save you money and heartache but you just didn't, but then when you were mad at your mom, you ruined her relationship without a second thought, again, hella SELFISH. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Review: Monument 14! Emmy Laybourne


Monument 14

Monument 14 #1

Emmy Laybourne 

Goodreads Page

Purchase on Amazon

My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Synopsis: Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don't stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don't thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not-you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it's the last time you'll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you'd stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

When Dean raced out the door to catch the school bus, he didn’t realize it would be the last time he’d ever see his mom. After a freak hailstorm sends the bus crashing into a superstore, Dean and a group of students of all ages are left to fend for themselves.

They soon realize the hailstorm and the crash are the least of their worries. After seeing a series of environmental and chemical disasters ravage the outside world, they realize they’re trapped inside the store.

Unable to communicate with the ones they love, the group attempts to cobble together a new existence. As they struggle to survive, Dean and the others must decide which risk is greater: leaving… or staying.



        Dean (Main character/writer of the "book")

                Dean is the writer behind the book as it's a journal and he's the one writing it, which he mentions a few times in case you ever forget. Not much to say about his personality, he's a typically teenage boy, obsessed with an older lady, whom just happens to get stuck with him in the store, how convenient for him *eye roll* he's a bit impulsive and does things just to look good in front of said girl, or picks options where he doesn't have to do shit, or if it makes it easier on him, he'll go with that, so again, typical teenage boy. 

            Alex (Dean's younger brother)

                    Alex was a real MVP in this book, he focused on thinking part and figured out how to make sure these kids could survive the longest and in the best shape. He needed more "screen" time, luckily book 2 is where he's writing the journal/book! 

            Jake/Brayden (dumb old kids)

                    They spent a lot of time high and drunk, so great role models. 

            Josie/Astrid (semi ok old kids)

                    Josie had a rough ass start, was in shock for a solid 2 days, but stepped up and became a "mom" to the younger kids. Astrid had a decent start, then when the compounds took hold of her and she found out she was type O (more on that later), she went AWOL, and her plot twist is decent? 

            Niko (old kid/boss)

                    Niko was elected boss halfway into the story, he was a boy scout yet still the kids were like nah dog we want the cool kids (jake/brayden) to be in charge, freaking idiots. He was decent, created a schedule, made the little kids go to school, took stock of everything, just really got them into a good place. if it was me thou, i wouldn't have never let those adults in, idc what they had to offer, fuck them. 

            Little Kids

                    We have like 6 or 7 little kids stuck in the store as well, most don't add much to the store at all, like the twins who lived next to Dean/Alex, most are just annoying, which i mean they're little kids dealing with no adults and the world ending, they acted better than i expected. 


        Gist of this story, some kind of solar flare or some shit i don't remember, causes some major issues, first we have hail; The rocks of ice were all different sizes. Some little round marbles and some big knotty lumps with gray parts and gravel stuck inside them. Quickly it takes out the big kids buss, and the driver of the little kids bus, which she is another role model of mine, just straight up drives into the front of this grocery store to save her kids, freaking badass, and if that wasn't enough, she then backs up and saves most of the older kids. The older kids see some shit, their driver is killed, another kid is killed, Josie's friend hence why she goes into shock. Once the kids are semi settled into the store, and the alive driver goes in search of medical help, we get earthquakes, which messes up the store pretty bad. Last but the most important issue is when the chemical warfare plant in town cracks open and starts seeping chemicals into the air. These chemicals affect according to blood types so we have: 

        People with blood type A will develop severe blisters on all exposed skin. After prolonged exposure, the internal organs will begin to hemorrhage, leading to organ failure and death.

    People who have type AB blood suffer from paranoid delusions and possible hallucinations.

    There is confusion as to the effects on people with type B blood. It is possible they will suffer from long-term reproductive difficulties and sterility. But there is hope that people with type B blood suffer no consequences from exposure.

    People with type O blood, which is the most common blood type, will become deranged and violent. Avoid these people at all costs. Containing them in a closet or basement is advised, if possible.

Our main character Dean is type O, as is Astrid, and little Chloe. Alex and Jake are type B (which it mentions long term difficulties but Jake can't even get it up a few days after being exposed to the gas for a few mins, so they greatly underestimated that issue.) The twins are AB. Brayden is type A. They might have mentioned more but that's what i remember. 

This gas is bad, and according to the news it was disperse in 3 to 6 months, which freaks out these kids, but we're told later on by Alex that they can live in the store for 20 to 24 months! Even is Alex is wrong and they have just like 12 months, they're still so much better off just staying in the store and waiting for the gas to go away so it'll be so much safer for them to go out and find their families (if they're even still alive, i mean, shit got bad out there). 

So why didn't this kids stay in the store, well lets go over that. First some grownups show up at the back door wanting in, Mr. w/e his name, and Robbie. The kids vote to let them in, why, well simply because they have "information". WHO DA FUCK CARES ABOUT INFO RIGHT NOW. like legit, you can just take trips up the roof, like send Jake or Alex since they're the best off going out into the gas, and watch what's going on out there. Alex makes a video walkie talkie, you can totally go out and place it somewhere and watch the feed for a few days so you can get the feel for outside. Or even better yet, you can just stay inside and live there just fine until the damn gas goes away, these kids are idiots. So anyhow they let them in, which ends badly for them, as Sasha (a middle schooler i think, she's only freaking THIRTEEN), Robbie claims she throws herself at him, she says otherwise, she has spent the entire book trying to get every male in this book to notice her, like giving herself a wet tshirt without a bra on type things. Sasha claims Robbie tried to rape her. So Robbie and Jake start fighting, a gun gets thrown in and Robbie is shot, he dies, but also Brayden gets shot, in the shoulder, it's pretty bad, becomes infected. Oh and the other adult Mr w/e his name dies as well, i would assume from blood poisoning based on his symptoms. The kids are super worried about Brayden, they send Jake out to find help, hospital is abandoned, but he finds a note on the wall that Dean and Alex's parents left saying they're in Alaska, Jake abandons them, big shocker, so Niko freaks out and wants to leave right away. When Jake was out, he took the video things, he left it sitting outside when he left, the freaking smart thing for Niko to do is watch the feed for a few days, see how bad it was outside, then plan out a way to get to Denver, but nah, he wants to leave 10mins after Jake leaves. 

Astrid and Dean want to stay behind because they're O and will maybe kill the kids in the bus, they keep Chloe too, which makes no sense, she's like 5yrs old, she's drugged and tied up, you have 4 teens on this bus, they can easily hold her down and drug her more during the trip, it makes no sense to leave her behind, i don't get it. You find out Astrid is 4 months pregnant and she is scared if she goes, the baby will be affected by the gas, which newsflash, you already exposed it when you went ape shit in the bathroom earlier but you do you. Also the twins stay behind because they "know" Dean, but like Alex left, and they knew him too, and they spent the whole book wanting their parents, so why stay? 

Overall i really like this book, i only lowered my rating because the way Dean talked about Astrid and how he was written sometimes, like this line;  Her shirt rode up during the scuffle and I caught sight of her lower back. Tan, muscled, gorgeous. (which how are lower backs "muscled") or this one; In the ruse of brushing away water, I ran my thumb over her eyebrow. It was a marvel of God, how perfect it felt under my thumb. It's an eyebrow dude like the fuck, and he also watched her try to have sex with Jake, which ick. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Review: Life As We Knew It! Susan Beth Pfeffer


Life As We Knew It

Last Survivors #1

Susan Beth Pfeffer

Goodreads Page

Purchase on Amazon

My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

SynopsisMiranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

My Review!


    Miranda (main character: 

        A 16yr old high schooler, living in urban Pennsylvania, obsessed with a figure skater who trained in town has to grow up real quick when a meteor hits the moon. Miranda is legit obsessed with this figure skater, like talks about it a lot, stalks him online, is on forums for stalking him further, etc, which i get, i love ice skating, but only to the point that i'll watch it whenever it's on. Miranda spends a good 75% of this book just outright BITCHING about everything; "why can't i go swim knowing that west nile is killing everyone" "why can't i go ice skate on the frozen pond knowing it's below zero out and can turn into a blizzard in mins" "why can't i eat more than a can of food for dinner knowing there is NO OTHER food in the damn world" "why do i have to share a room with everyone knowing i would literally FREEZE TO DEATH if i slept alone". last time i read this (in 2014), i didn't notice or at least i don't remember her bitching as much but damn girl i just can't with you. THE FREAKING MOON IS FUCKING SHIT UP, GROW THE FUCK UP. *pretty sure i have a tumor after dealing with her shit*

    Jonny (Miranda's younger brother)

        I have no issues with Jonny, thou i really thought it was weird they still sent him to baseball camp with all this shit going on, i wouldn't be ok if it was my kid, i would worry so freaking much. 

    Matt (Miranda's older brother)

        Matt really took charge, became the man of the house real quick once he got home from school. I did worry a lot about him health wise since he was taking on so much with so little food, but he knew it was in everyone's best interest if at least someone in their family survived so he rather his younger siblings have that food. 

    Mom (i'm sure they said her name a few times, but i didn't catch it)

    MY FREAKING ROLE MODEL 100% legit i inspire to be this woman, she took charge, got them all the food and things they would need to be better off, took care of her elderly neighborhood, knew it's family first when shit goes down, freaking didn't eat most days so her kids would be good, knew never to take anything for granted. just i am in awe of her, and i took notes, and i just hope i can be like her if something major went down in the real world. 


    The synopsis pretty much tells you the whole plot! the only slight issues i had was towards the beginning when this is said: They had charts and computer projections and graphics, but basically they looked like big kids at Christmas. when they talk about the scientist, how can they have all this shit, yet fuck up so badly. you're telling me they didn't have enough photos and graphs of this thing to not get a more correct estimate of how big this was and how bad it would be?! maybe it's only movie science that i've seen, but i think they really should have had a better idea of the outcome. 


    Trigger Warnings: Eating disorders; suicide

    Tropes: none that i can think of. 

    Format I read: Kindle; 353pgs; English

    Tagged/Shelved As: Young Adult; Dystopia; Science Fiction; Apocalyptic; Survival