“Ten thousand skies, and a million worlds,and it still wouldn’t be enough for me to share with you. Nothing less than forever will do.”

After quite a long while, I've finally found the luxury of indulging myself to the series I have left behind [Two down: Gemina and this; Two more to go: A Gathering of Shadows and Glass Sword], and I'm quite happy to be catching up. It wasn't an easy year for me so Christmas vacation was the only break I could grab to be jumping in multiverses and I'm SOOO freaking happy!


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Title: Ten Thousand Skies Above You
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird #2
Published by: HarperTeen on November 2015
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Romance, Fantasy
Setting: Paris, New York, etc.
Format: Paperback, 432 pages
Copy Source:  Bought, NBS
Purchase: Fullybooked [PH] | Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5 Roses


Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents' invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

So, before I go on with anything, I can't not ever praise the brilliance of the cover art of this series. I mean, they're always a feast for everyone's eyes. I will never not praise this art and I love the artist for her/his genius art.

I guess it was wrong for me to delve in with this right after reading Gemina, because, O-M-G if you haven't read my crazy review about it, you won't know the depths of my crazy-ass reaction over that one. Anyway, Gemina is just over the top O-M-G for me, so Ten Thousand Skies Above You kinda fell in flat for me just a little bit the whole time I was reading it. I mean, I read A Thousand Pieces of You and I fell in love with it (finished in less than 10 hours, 5 hours, I think), but I wasn't as thrilled with this one as I was in the first book.

Don't get me wrong, this book is still awesome in its own way, but there's so much that is happening and most of it are dragging, and I got bored, I don't even know how to start this review.

EVERYTHING ABOVE IS JUST BLAH, MY REVIEW [LEGIT] STARTS HERE :P

See how the highlighted line segued the next book along with the title of the book. Nice!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You takes you (again) on another epic dimension traveling that wouldn't let you catch your breath for a second. The parallel universes tackled in this sequel cannot be compared to the glamorous and chill dimensions that are visited on the first book.

A Thousand Pieces of You may tell you that there are a thousand beautiful possibilities out there but the gruesome reality that there are also war-torn and scarred universes are discovered in this sequel. I guess at first that was what made me kind of disappointed with the book because the magic that captured me from the first book was stripped off by the reality of the second book. 

Firebird series talks about endless possibilities and I love that Ten Thousand Skies Above You showed the readers the two sides of these possibilities. It ventured more on the destruction of the beliefs of our main characters. Mainly, Marguerite has always believed that every person is the same in every dimension but somehow she has come to a conclusion that there might be some fault to her belief, and that every dimension's person is unique in their own little sense. I mean, I guess I would also question her belief because we are talking of "POSSIBILITIES" right here. You cannot say that if I am honest in my dimension, that somehow, deep down in the core of my every self in different dimensions, I would have that same quality. The possibilities are if there's an honest me, there would also be a liar me somewhere on the other realm of possibilities but there would be dimensions that I am truly honest just like the "me" in this dimension. So yeah, Marguerite, you should probably question your belief, because so far, you've already seen enough.

There are parts where it is extremely dragging and I just want to skip parts but I can't bring myself to doing and there are also exciting parts and some self-discovery.

It is so hard for me to read this book because I am TEAM MARKOV but I just started to like Theo because of this book. He is so ideal and romantic that I've come to a point where I just asked myself, "Did I just become Team Markov because of Lt. Paul Markov in Russiaverse???" Now I'm thinking that Marguerite is just blinded because she thinks that destiny will always bring her back to Paul but we cannot erase the possibility of her being destined to Theo as well. If not, it's not totally impossible, though. I've discovered a lot about Theo in this book and I hate that Claudia Gray made us love Theo and somehow we got to know a side of him that's different from the Theo we hated from the first book. So could there be a chance that Theo?!!?!?!?! OMG! Idk what will happen but whichever of the two, I'll be gladly accepting it.

Lastly, let me tell you why this book is just perf. I love that the girl protagonist doesn't need constant saving from her knight in shining armor because she's the damsel ready to leap through worlds for the one she love. Now, I'm excited for A Million Worlds With You because there would be a spaceverse in there! I can't imagine how Claudia Gray would pull that off but shiz, the adventures will be concluded in that one. *Eggzoitsss!*


Before the year ends.... I'm presenting you..... My Favorite Books of 2016!!

This is my first ever "Favorite Books I've Read This [insert year]" type of post. *hooray* It's also the birth of my blog last December 20.... It's been 2 years and this is the first time I've ever made a post like this.... WHY?? WHY??? I don't know why, but I hope you enjoy this list and tell me if some of these books made it to your list, too. :P

I haven't read a lot of books this year because of school. So far, while writing this, I already read 17 books only and 7 of them are my absolute favorites! I have no reviews on some of the books listed below because it usually takes me 2-5 hours to finish one book review, meaning, during the times that I read those books, I've got no spare time in my hands to write a review on them (sadly).

[You can click the book titles to be redirected to my book review. Some of them does not have a book review, though]

by Rosamund Hodge

This is a modern retelling of the famous fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, which, by the way, is my absolute fave! So, yeah, I guess, it's no biggie of a question as to why Cruel Beauty is on the list, right? But being bias aside, this is a fantastic book and I loved it, but I wasn't in love with it. I have some slight issues with it which you can read, just click at the title.

Reasons why I loved it:
  • It's a dark and twisted fantasy, and Ignifex [Beast] is drool-worthy, and it's so hard to hate a beast like Ignifex.
  • The world is absolutely mind-blowing in some levels. It actually reminded me (kinda) of Howl's Moving Castle, because the castle is shaping itself. It's kind of hard to wrap your mind with the idea of the world but it's actually great and magical.
  • The plot-twist. I love a good plot-twist!


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.


The Light Between Oceans
by M. L. Stedman



I haven't watched the film yet, as of this moment, and I gotta ask myself: WHY WHY WHY? Okay, I also don't know the answer to that but I am prolly gonna watch it after publishing this post, so yeah, I think I'm gonna buy tons of tissue for that one.


I can't ever fully grasp the moral and emotional tug the story had in my heart. I love the whole story building because it just sucked me right in and I know I want to know how the story will go. I am a sucker for emotional stories and a good cry always makes a book or a movie my favorite. 

This book made me feel all sorts of emotion, from happiness, to sadness, to just PURE sadness, and of course there was a point when I nearly want to throw the book because of frustration and anger and confusion. I was confused that I cannot decide what is right and wrong anymore. I was sad because of that so I left everything to the book. I told myself that I would accept whatever outcome the book will give me, and yes, I loved the conclusion of the book. Saved me from all the stress of thinking about what I wanted to happen.

This is kind of a slow read because the book captured everything up to the small details and I guess that made it more colorful and a great read.


After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.
5 Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes

I read the book because of the movie and I was not disappointed. Like The Light Between Oceans, this book made me question myself a lot. Would I want this life for Will, or was it wrong for Lou to try and stop Will from ending his life? I have a lot of questions and reservations while reading the book but eventually I learned a lot and I have accepted the ending of the book and I know that that ending was what made me love the book even more.

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.


4 It Ends With Us
by Colleen Hoover

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I'm always doubtful of a CoHo book... I've read a few handful of her works before and I love her writing style because it captures her readers easily but I always have a problem with her plot. But as you can see, three CoHo made its way to my list, and the first one is It Ends With Us.

I so love the theme of this book because it tackles a delicate issue about men physically hurting women. This abusive cycle of men having the upper hand when it comes to strength is absolutely terrifying and it pains me that some women experience this in their relationship, so I am thanking Colleen Hoover for making a novel which can serve as the voice of these women and I hope that this book can make them feel that they are not alone in this world, and I also hope that they, too, can break the chain and be free from the monstrosity that is caging them from being happy and free.

I may not know the depths of what these women feel and this book showed me that there are circumstances that prevents them from leaving, but I hope that men will also find it in themselves to cherish their woman. If the man truly loves his woman, he will be brave enough to let her go when he knows that he has it in him to hurt someone he loves. Tying a woman to an abusive relationship is cowardice in itself, and it's not love.




SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.


by Colleen Hoover

Hi another CoHo book. This book is brilliant, you know? Have you read/watched One Day? One Day is one of my favorite films of all time and they were a bit similar in a sense that one day every year, they will meet each other and spend the whole day together. Another one that is quite similar is the Before Movie Trilogy [Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight] which is also my favorite. Despite being similar to two of my favorite films, November 9 is also unique in its own way and it will actually make you cry tons of tears. I really love this book that I would probably recommend it to everyone.


Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
2 Maybe Someday
by Colleen Hoover
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I loved all of the CoHo books in this list but I gotta give some extra loving points for Maybe Someday because of the music! The book has its perfect guy who plays the guitar and the girl who writes the perfect lyrics to his music, what else can we ask for, right? I know, it's too perfect to be real so there must be something close to imperfection right there, and yes there is! I don't know if I am supposed to say this but our perfect guy is deaf and it just added another touch of color in our seemingly black and white notes on a music sheet story.

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she's a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope…. 

Maybe someday… 

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…
by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff 

Reasons for loving Gemina:
  • It's totally kick-ass
  • It is UNIQUE
  • Drawings from Marie Lu
  • PLOT TWIST! Another PLOT TWIST! F*** another PLOT TWIST! Yeah, it was kind of hard to dodge all those plot twist bullets.
  • Too. Many. Deaths. :P
  • Characters from Illuminae were back!!!



Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.
"A  whole sky of different stars"


MIND=BLOWN! Yep, another mind effin' blowing experience from Ms. Kaufman and Mr. Kristoff. EEEEP, bravo!! I can't put these into words, but if I don't, my reactions will probably get lost in the paradox that the universe is correcting, which for me, means that my mind will dump some stuff into oblivion. Sorry, that's how it works.

Gaah, I'm literally squealing like a lunatic with the ending of the book. Wait.... lol. I'm composing myself. Now if you're thinking that Illuminae was effin' awesome, well, try riding the Betty Boop and get your ass to Heimdall and tell me that Gemina freakin' surpassed all expectations that Illuminae just gave you because I'm not kidding when I say Gemina is gazillion times more awesome and action-packed than Illuminae. I still love Illuminae just the same but damn, this book is a roller coaster ride of surprises.

Aside from the thrilling action-packed story, the illustrations were still freaking awesome and add to that the journal illustrations from Mari Lu, the author of Legends Series, well that has gotta count for something, and that something just spelled A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

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Title: Gemina

Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 2016
Genre: Sci-fi
Setting: Outer Space [Jump Station, Heimdall]
Format: Paperback, 659 pages
Copy Source: Gifted by Kathleen
Rating: 4.9 Roses

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

The sequel happened, I think, just minutes after the ending of Illuminae, where, on the other side of the universe, our two new main characters can be found. Hanna Donnelly and Nik Malikov is aboard the jump station, Heimdall, where the Hypatia (where Kady and Ezra is aboard) is trying to get to for safety. The book is still told in series of cctv footage, IM's, emails, and documents that are presented into court because someone's gotta go to prison for trying to wipe out Heimdall and Hypatia, right?

At first, I didn't really liked the idea that I won't be seeing Kady and Ezra in this book because I was really excited to see how they were doing right after the end of Illuminae. Progressing, I found myself liking these two new dark antagonists. Hanna Donnelly is the daughter of Heimdall's captain who happens to cross paths with our Nik Malikov, who is a part of this sort'a notorious criminal group called House of Knives (HoK), some time in the past and became her provider in the illegal drug department. Yeah, these two are pretty effed up in some ways. But anyway, they're cool. Kick-ass in their own little ways.

The romance element is just right for me. I liked that Hanna is not overboard in love to this bad boy Nik even when they were working together as kind of a team on the first part of the book. She knows that she has her doubts about her present love interest but this is unlike any other book where all the readers know that there's something brewing in there and it will happen despite everything that is on her plate. This is not that type of love story. She remains where she's ought to be and just broke free when she needed to be, so the brewing romance between Hanna and Nik is just perf.

This is a pretty long book and despite the illustrations, you'll still find that it's a freaking long story. There's just so much happening inside this long book that you will think halfway through, "How will this end?", and then you're like 100 pages before the end and you're like, "There's so much happening!! How will this end?", and yes, it's just hard to be sitting on the edge of your seat you feel like it should end right there somehow but disasters just keep coming in all directions and it's getting hard to breathe because of all that is happening. You would think that the worst part is over but no, the worst of the worst just keeps coming at you in surprisingly thrilling actions that would make your jaw drop, with a hint of a smile, in the end saying, "WHAT THE FAAA!!! THAT ENDING!!!! WATDAFAAA!!", yeah, that was my reaction, but that's not half of it. My reaction was just indescribable. *laaaugh!*

I want to talk about the book more but I can't anymore. I might slip and ruin the experience of reading the book blinded, but if you read it already, some of my thoughts can be found below, let's talk!


* * *

Reading Gemina months after Illuminae got me blinded and in a state of i-don't-remember-much-of-illuminae, so a little recap from BookSeriesRecaps will help you big time. There was so much that happened in book 1, so much spaceship names to remember and I forgot them all so it's best to have a little recap just like I did because rereading the entire book would take forever and that will suck for an excited person like me. HEHE

I guess I was expecting too much from this book because Illuminae is so grand that it demands its sequel to be grander and surprisingly, Gemina exceeded all expectations and it still made my eyes go wide not once, not twice but three effin' times! The first one was kind of predictable for me but it still made me go WTF you *bleep bleep bleep*!! The second one was like WOOOOAH there you pooh bear, you're makin' my head dizzy!! The last one was the BEST! My eyes just popped out of its socket. But fear not, they're still intact, they're just cool like that, detachable and all. So kidding aside, yes, the last part leading to the ending was just PERFECT. I don't know if I should be dismayed because of the cliffhanger but it hanged in a perfectly good state and it wrapped up, AGAIN, in a way that will make you curious and excited for the next book. Gosh, that ending was perfect.

Now, how would the next book top this masterpiece? Ugh, I can't even begin to fathom the possibilities that are brewing inside these authors' minds! GENIUS!




ALL LIFE FORMS ABOARD MY VESSEL:
THIS IS WHERE YOU SHOULD STOP IF YOU HAVEN'T READ GEMINA YET :P 
BYE FISHES!

  • Okay, is it just me or I just did not get the point of the whole lick-the-lollipop virus thing-y? I thought there would be a clever twist to that one, but lo, I really don't know its purpose and where it came from and why it was included in the book. That virus song is part of the book and it would make no sense if its sole participation is only to annoy the heck out of all the people riding the elevators. I am really hoping that there's more to that one. Gemina is still an unfinished story and Hanna still has some explaining to do on the next book so maybe the next installment would give light to my little issue? :D
  • Ha! Ha! The author never fails to fool me!! I should've known not to get fooled by the deaths of major characters! HA! I mean, Illuminae totally got me into believing that Kady and Ezra fckn died heroes but they are ALIVE! HAHAH!!!! You got me there! And yes, I thought I won't be fooled this time around because there was this nagging feeling within me that I should be careful into believing these authors hahahah. So the first thing I watched out for was the traitors. I know there would be traitors within a 5-cm radius of our antagonist, and yes, there was, and I was like, "huh! you can't fool me!", and I thought it would end there so I totally let my guard down and there goes the authors attacking me while my defense was down, and there goes me believing that Nik was dead and then Nik was dead the second time around and then Ella was dead and then Ella's dead the second time around and then Hanna was dead and then just.. I thought it was tragic that everyone died.... Literally EVERYONE. But yeah, I was fooled!!! Breaking Dawn Ptart2 all over again feels. Yes, that's how good it is, damn. These brilliant minds never cease to amaze me.
  • I don't know what is happening when all hell broke loose! I have to reread and reread because there's this paradox and the universe is going to destroy itself and oh my gosh. I mean, the whole time I was reading the book, it was hell all over the place with the killings, the alien parasites, the traitors, etc. and then there's this two universe that will *poof* if our little Hanna fails, so yeah, no pressure there, highness!
  • The deaths! The death tolls were seriously high in Gemina! I seriously love the X-ing part of the enemies. I mean, they were bunch of idiots! They were being played by girls and they were slowly being decimated because they're bunch of idiots.
  • Halfway through the book I was wondering who analyzes the footage shown on the black pages. It is freaking creepy, the way I feel like the slimy slithering alien parasites were thinking and speaking in their minds, gosh, creeps the eff out of me! And then, at the end of the book, I just thought that maybe it was AIDAN, because it downloaded all the files just in case none of them survives to tell the tale. And I'm really guessing it was him. Gah, so creepy!
  • All in all, despite the similarities, it's totally different from Illuminae. Illuminae has zombies and hackers and space airplane soldier (I don't know how to coin it) for antagonists while Gemina has alien parasites and multiverses with a martial-artist-strategist and drug dealer as antagonists. The alien parasite is not as scary as the zombies in the first book though. It is not terrifying and it did not play a much bigger role in Gemina.

If you haven't yet, you should definitely read both books or you'll miss out on all the fun the universe has been having! :D


With so many best-seller lists out there, every year hundreds of books fall into the pits of obscurity by failing to gain a spot in the literary hall of fame. However, just because a few chosen critics decided these books don’t deserve recognition doesn’t mean they aren’t fantastic novels in their own right.

These fives releases are thoroughly underrated—and guaranteed to provide wonderful summer reading for bookworms all over the globe.


1. “Too Far” – Rich Shapero 

As an all-round creative master, Shapero has expertly combined visuals, sound and word to present audiences with a truly 360-degree entertainment experience. Told through the eyes of a 6-year-old boy, the story looks at the struggles of parenthood, relationships and adult life.

After meeting an eccentric young girl in the woods near his house, Robbie is transported to a fantasy world of excitement and adventure. As the home life of both children begins to deteriorate, they spend more and more time taking solace in their private imaginary wonderland.

Perfectly encapsulating the raw innocence of childhood and the power of playing make-believe, this unique story is definitely one for the summer book list. Be sure to upload the complimentary CD onto a music player so you can listen while you read and really get a feel for the holistic experience that Shapero imagined.

Buy it on Amazon.





2. “A Slacker’s Road Map of the Universe” – Joshua Causer

If you’re a fan of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” then this is the book for you. Similar in title, genre and perfectly refined sense of humor, the story of this debut release from Causer is a wonderfully imagined fast-forward to life in A.D. 3000.

Atlas Van Morrison plays the role of the unassuming hero, a simple personality who wants an enjoyable life free from stress who finds himself in the center of a plot for universal domination. Complete with a cosmic femme fatale and outspoken AI sidekick, it has all the ingredients for a sci-fi classic.

The true genius of this book comes from Causer’s ability to transport audiences into an unrecognizable future world. His lyrical descriptions and perfectly timed quips are sure to give even Douglas Adams a run for his money.

Buy it on Amazon, Lulu.




3. “I, Phoolan Devi” – Phoolan Devi

Sometimes stories don’t have to be fiction to grab the hearts and minds of readers. Phoolan Devi, born into a low-caste Indian family, recounts the adventures and trials of her turbulent life with the skill of some of the best thriller writers.

Far more outspoken than her culture demands, Devi suffered a life of abuse, torture and rape from almost every authority assigned to care for her. Finding love in the leader of a local criminal gang, she soon realized her calling: fighting to stop others from experiencing the same injustices she faced.

Though not covered in the story, Devi later joined the Indian parliament due to her influence with human rights in the country, which are particularly atrocious for women. There’s a fantastic documentary about these issues on American Netflix called “India’s Daughter.” If you want to watch from outside the U.S., then this Netflix guide by Secure Thoughts will show you how to gain access.

Buy it on Amazon.



4. “The Shock of the Fall” – Nathan Filer


Reminiscent of “A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,” this harrowing portrayal of mental health is a wonderfully paced read that could have you flipping from cover to cover in a single day. Presented in an all-will-be-revealed type of structure, the book gives us snippets into the life of Matthew Homes, a severe schizophrenic plagued by the pressures of life.

The story jumps around in its chronology before finally revealing the horrific accident that was the potential catalyst for Matthew’s problems. It covers the ups and downs, the hardships and the successes of mental illness. It also details a range of other patients with equally complex problems, all described through the wonderfully refreshing wit of the protagonist.

The author worked for years as a mental health nurse before later going on to become a researcher at the University of Bristol. Influenced by those he met along the way, he provides a respectful and accurate portrayal of life with mental health problems.

Buy it on Amazon, Book Depository.




5. “The End of Mr. Y” – Scarlett Thomas


This is science fiction in the very essence of the word: it’s fiction based on science. It follows a Ph.D. student as she researches a mysterious 18th century author and his supposedly cursed final book. Using theories from quantum physics and deconstructionism, it describes a world called the Troposphere where all consciousness is connected.

Stringently following the instructions in the mysterious book, protagonist Ariel Manto finds herself transported into this weird and wonderful world. From then on, the story is a wild ride between mystery and thriller. Struggling to work out the forces behind this seemingly magical reality, Ariel realizes there are others after the book. Can she solve the puzzle of the Troposphere before they catch up with her?

Academics will love dissecting the real-world ideals in this novel, but even for those who don’t like sci-fi, the story will have you hooked in just a few pages.
Buy it on Amazon.



Know of more great reads you think deserve more recognition than they’ve received this summer? Be sure to leave a comment below with your ideas!




About the Author: Caroline is a blogger and lifelong bookworm. She always has endless suggestions on hand and spends most of her time scouring the internet for exciting new releases or underrated stories. You can see more of her writing on modern life and entertainment at www.culturecoverage.com or find her on Twitter here









 Title: Never Never
Author: Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher




Published by: Hoover Ink, 7th January 2015
Rating: 5 Roses

Synopsis
Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.

Complete strangers since this morning.

He'll do anything to remember. She'll do anything to forget.






Published: 17th May 2015
Rating: 4 Roses
Synopsis

“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last. And never stop loving me between all of them. Never stop, Charlie. Never forget.”

Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can't imagine, beckons to be found.

“Where are you, Charlie?”


Published: 19th January 2016Rating: 1 Roses
Synopsis

New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated final installment in the Never Never novella series.


Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?


***

My mind can't seem to function really well as I type my review. I can't force out a good opening sentence so I settled on telling you about my dysfunctional mind. I guess this book review is not really inspiring as it is and as much as I love the first two books, the third book is just plain bullshit.

So yeah, I started with that. I started by telling you the end reaction to this book and I am not apologizing and I'm not telling you to not read it either. The sole purpose of sending that message across as soon as the first paragraph ends is to tell you not to expect too much. This book will fill you with expectations that will not bode well on your crazy brain when you finally reach its end. Oh please do read this book and tell me you ain't disappointed even with the warning.

Sorry I ruined your experience of ever having a first-hand reaction to the book, so let me make it up to you by actually giving a good response to the first two books before the novella trilogy went into a complete nosedive.

Never Never is written by two notable authors of this generation. I read in other book reviews that Silas' POV was written by Colleen and Charlie's was written by Tarryn. It was amazing how the seamlessly blended POVs were wove together like it was written by only a single author. So that was really cool.

I would also like to mention how beautiful the book covers were. It really summed up the stories written inside. Hands drifting apart, hand left alone, and hands reaching each other again. Sorry, I can't think of  a more beautiful way to say it. Ugh.

Anyway, this book is about Charlie and Silas (cool names!), who were in love since the dawn of time (exxage!). One morning they woke up with a complete knowledge of nothing about themselves but they actually remember some things but not each other and not anyone around them. They both struggled to snake their way into the lives of who they were while finding out the truth about their situation.

Colleen and Tarryn's story line build up was A-awesome. It got me hooked from the very first page. Every bit of it was interesting. The mystery that surrounds their memory loss is very intriguing. The shift from just tracing the why's and the how's of their situation to the story actually becoming a suspense crazy-ass mental hospital but not a mental hospital drama just gets you even more excited as to who is really the one responsible for their situation. Is it the mom? Is it the crazy woman from Bourbon Street? Is it the shrimp? Who else to blame? I think you have to find that out for yourself. *wink*


***Spoiler free review ends here. Continue at your own risk***


Questions in my mind after the bullcrap revelation:

1. What the hell happened the night before they lost their memories on the first book? There was blood. There was dirt! What happened??? Was it just a filler? To add to the suspense and make it look like the reason behind their situation was exceptional and remarkable and worthy of the first two novellas?

2. If it's not their first time experiencing the memory loss, why did they split up and not take the letter with them to save them both the effin effort of finding it mere minutes before they lose their memories again!?

3. If I remember right, the tarot card reader is the mother of the shrimp. She knows who Charlie is, yet she acted as if she's just a tarot card reader who is reading their cards for them. She acted as if she knew all along that Charlie doesn't have any recollection of anything ever happening to her. Why? Why did she act that way? What is her agenda? To scare them? Yeah right. Good idea Colleen and Tarryn.

4. The thing with Charlie's father? It's cringe-worthy. It's like the whole situation was there just to add to the drama but it's just that. Although as I type this, even if the whole unraveling of this situation made me cringe, I admit that Brett, Charlie's father was the turning point of the story. His character has a role in shaping the Charlie after his imprisonment but he's just an actual ass, and the way the whole thing was written is just off.

5. She was imprisoned in a cell at a basement or wine cellar or whatever it is for 1 or 2 or 3 days just because she's acting crazy and caught for trespassing???? What?? And the woman who imprisoned her even drugged her! What the hell was that??

6. Destiny?!?! Fate?!?!?! Messing with the way the universe should work?! And that's Charlie and Silas together forever. Bullshit! This is the most bullshit reason I've ever heard.

-----

Maybe it was the way the things were wrapped up, or the reason behind all that mystery or maybe it's because of the lapses and the unanswered questions, I don't know really but this novella series just rolled from flying sky high to a rolling downhill crap.

Sorry, I was just really disappointed.
Credits to Katherine for the calligraphy


I think it's already pretty obvious by my blog design that Belle is my favorite, and I am not that well-read on re-tellings of classic fairy tales so I gave Cruel Beauty a try and I absolutely loved most parts of it. *wink*


Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Website: http://www.rosamundhodge.net/cruel-beauty
Published by: Balzer + Bray on 7th April 2015
Genre: Fantasy Retelling (fairy tales & mythologies)
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Copy Source: Bought (Fullybooked)
Purchase: NBS [PH] | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3.4 Roses


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.


This book is an intricate story of interwoven mythologies, fairy tales and other enchanting stories. It is good and well thought of. It is dark and twisted but confusing. For me it is a new and refreshing take on Beauty and the Beast and that's what I like most about it, although it's a really, really different story.

In this novel, Belle is named Nyx, and she has a twin sister named Astria (I think, please do correct me if I'm wrong. I tend to forget names easily). Beast is called Ignifex, which is not his real name. There is some hint of Rumpelstiltskin's story blended in this book so Nyx has a choice of guessing Ignifex's name, and when she does, she can have her freedom back. Bearing in mind that this is a retelling, some things are better when it's twisted, so true love's kiss may or may not work. What do you think? I think you need to find out yourself. :D

It's a mind-blowing novel, really effin' twisted to its core. Genius craft, but the ending was a bit too confusing and I did not like it (I don't know if it's not well-thought of or what). It was going great right until the curse was broken, and I think this might be the first time that I loved a book that has a not so great ending and not so great rating for me.

Nyx is not a very strong character in terms of kick-ass-ness. You know, you'd really think that she is since she trained her whole life for the purpose of killing Ignifex, but the training was not physical, damn. But to be fair, she's definitely not your typical damsel in distress. She knows what she have to do but is torn between love and duty; she knows what she's supposed to feel but she's torn between hatred and bond of family. It was kind'a irritating, her fickle mind and indecisiveness,but I guess it's her character. I can't say I love it, but I can't say I hate it either.
Ignifex is supposedly the villain, but mind you, he isn't. It's easy to fall for Ignifex because he is kind and not at all evil; he is vulnerable and and charming and really, really beautiful. I love him I love him I'm in love with him *heartsssss*
I was really doubtful of Shade even from the beginning, I can't trust him. I find it hard to trust a lot of characters in books, because authors are so damn good in making you love a character you will hate in the end *HAHA, ehem to those authors*. But I guess I was both right and wrong to doubt him, and it would do you good to find that out for yourself.

The world was great, but it's kind of confusing and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around it but I guess it was okay. I feel like the world is trapped inside a book (like Read Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer)  because of the description of the sky: the world is trapped under a dome of a parchment sky. Again, to be fair, it's not all about the world, because what's fascinating was Ignifex's shifting castle itself. The castle held secrets and doors that should never be opened and things that should never be touched.

I loved how some things unfolded itself, especially when the truth about Nyx's world was revealed, I was sooo mind-blown, I'd have to read it again to wrap my head around it well because I was so shocked at that genius plot-twist. Like OMG!

This was made by my sister, Katherine. She's so great with this, and as a practice, she agreed to write the calligraphies for this blog. So sweet.


The ending was good. but the events that happened before that was *uhhhhh what just happened??*. It's confusing and crazy and I don't know where I was standing at that moment because I was totally lost and I did not like it at all.

It's a great book for me, but with some faults and flaws. Even with those, it was a great debut novel, so congratulations Rosamund Hodge, you did great!  *smiles brightly*



I almost forgot about the Love-A-Thon, and the Bingo is theonly thing I could accomplish, so here it is.
Loveathon bingo[10]

Visit 5 New Blogs


Find 3 New Instagram Accounts (AND FOLLOW)


Watch 3 New Videos from Youtubers (AND FOLLOW)



So nice to find new people on these three social media that I enjoy so much!*winkuu*