Tag Archives: 5 Star Reads

Book Review (Spoilers): To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Published in 2014 by Simon & Schuster

355 pages 

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My Review: 

This was a re read, I read this book last year and loved every minute of it, and when I started my re read, I remembered why! Lara Jean Song is one of my favourite fictional characters, not only because I relate to her a lot, but because she develops so much as the story goes along! Her and Margot and Kitty, and their father, are one of my favourite fictional families! I love their interactions, from their banter to just their undying love for one another! This book makes me feel like I’m part of their family, honestly! I could picture all their facial expressions and I was reading their lines in the specific tones that I felt like they were talking in! I love their undying love for their mother and her memory; the flashbacks to what happened that day were even more feely than I remember! From the first page, I was feeling all the emotions! This book makes me so fuzzy inside and that’s just one reason of many that it’s one of my favourites! 

There’s not even one character I don’t like! Even whilst I wanted to be angry at Genevive, I couldn’t be, because of a confession she makes near the end of the book! And at times Peter was a bit douchy, but I really like him! Whilst cocky, he’s cute and vulnerable too, and he really cares deep down! I really like Josh too, but it’s always been Peter and Lara Jean for me. From the start, their interactions made me laugh and feely. The angst, too! I need more of them in books 2 and 3! 

Margot is a character I really admire, she puts on this armor to not show her vulnerability and emotions at being the eldest sister, but deep down I, as well as Lara Jean and Kitty, know how much she cares for her family! The sibling bond between the three Song girls is one of my favourite things to read about; I can’t get enough of them, and love seeing them all interact together! Usually I would break up a book series that I’m loving but I want to start book 2 later! I want all the Lara Jean info! I need to know what happens with her and Peter! My heart!!

Lara Jean is definitley a character I relate to, rather than go out, for most part, she’ll sit at home and chill with her family, or spend time on her scrapbook. More so, I loved how she initially thought she’d spend the ski trip that the class was going on, curled up by the fireplace, reading and drinking hot chocolate. Ahh, heaven. Of course, it’s up to you, fellow book dragons, to decide to read this wonderful book; but I know I couldn’t recommend it enough. 

I shall leave you with a yummy quote regarding Lara Jean’s favourite food, yet another reason why I adore her: 

“My favourite food is cake.”
“What kind of cake?’
“It doesn’t matter. All cake.”
“You just gave me so much shit for not picking,” he begins
“But it’s so hard to pick one kind!” I burst out, “I mean, there’s coconut cake, the kind with white frosting that looks like a snowball – I like that a lot. But then I also like cheesecake and lemon cake, and carrot cake. Also red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting.”

– Lara Jean Song, “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”.
Until next time, Happy Reading 📚

Brooklyn 😚

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Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor 

Book 2 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

Published in 2014

513 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. 
This is not that world. 


 Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is–and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. 

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. 

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.  

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? 

Note: I’m reverting back to my old structure; I just find ranting is more freeing 😉

My Review:

My heart! This book had me in pieces from the start; It was like I hadn’t been away from these characters, all emotions and actions were heightened, and I loved every word. Some scenes had me laughing, some had me crying, so there was definitley feels aplenty: a character I was apprehensive about after the devastating events in book 1? I was loving them in this book! angst everywhere! my heart ached for Karou, my queen! she went through so much and I was so proud of her throughout! I don’t want this series to end! I am in awe of Laini Taylor’s writing; she’s easily a new favourite author! 
I felt Karou’s pain throughout the book! Her story captivated me in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I couldn’t get enough! In Days of Blood and Starlight, I was with her every step and I felt like I was sharing her emotions, and I was so proud of her actions! I got chills, and I definitley understand why she did what she was doing! Zuze and Mik are two other favourite characters in the series, I loved their cute moments; and Karou and Zuze’s friendship is still one of my favourite things, ever! Akiva, oh, Akiva. My heart was feeling for him so much too, and by the end, I was a puddle of emotions! Chills everywhere! This book read so fast; there was never a dull moment and I was on the edge of my seat throughout, anticipating what could happen next; there were so many gasps throughout, and unexpectedly feels! I am in awe of these characters and the amazing world that Laini Taylor has created! I cannot wait to read Night of Cake and Puppets and Dreams of Gods and Monsters! The title significance of the latter is already making me think…and well, I’m scared, hah. 

And that concludes my Review, until next time, happy reading 🙂

Brooklyn. 

Book Review: Wonder by R.J Palacio

Published in 2012

310 pages 

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? 

Let’s talk about the plot:

This was such an exquisite read! It was so heartwarming and I was moved from page one and I knew this would be a memorable read! The story follows August, as he ventures into 5th grade school after being home schooled for all this time: we learn about his condition, which makes others perceive him differently, and through not only August, but those around him, we learn about how other people perceive he who looks different. 

Let’s talk about the characters:

August is so precious! My heart was with him all the way, I thought, how can someone have so much sadness thrown in his face but still be so loving and fun? I wanted to hug him so much! The book took us right into his emotions, I felt everything that he felt and honestly I was so proud of how much he grew throughout the book! I loved his interactions with every character, especially Daisy! And I loved his perception of everything and how wise he is. 

August’s parents were so lovely! They honestly loved their son and daughter so much, I love how much love their is in the family, and how they weren’t afraid to admit it. August’s parents and sister supported him constantly, and only had positive things to say to him! And the whole family’s interactions with Daisy, the aging family dog, melted my heart constantly and at times had me so teary! 

August’s friends at school were all really interesting! I loved reading about their backstories and seeing them interact! I was glad to see characters like Miranda grow too, although I shall refrain from saying why, because I truly think this book needs to be read by everyone! No matter what the age, everyone will get something out of this book! August makes me want to be better! This book impacted me THAT much! 

Via, or Olivia, is August’s elder sister, I loved her chapters so much!! I had a lot of questions whilst reading her parts, and so it was great to learn all about her, and I loved her bond with August; though I felt sad at times when Via was admitting some things, and I was all “but why?!” – but alas, Via is another who had great character growth.

Let’s talk about the writing:

I couldn’t get enough of the writing, the characters had me emotionally invested and the writing was amazing in itself. The story was broken up into short chapters, which were contained within a specific characters’ narration. One of the many reasons I loved this was because it allowed for lots of character perception, interaction and of course development! I can wait to read the ‘Wonder’ short stories; and I would happily read infinite stories on Auggie! 

Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Book 1 in The Wrath and The Dawn duology

Published in 2015

344 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Let’s talk about the plot:

I’ll keep this brief, and spoiler free. Oh my goodness this book! Where do I start? It was utterly insane, from the word go I was instantly obsessed and with Shazi all the way! I wanted answers and I wanted revenge on her part! What followed is a twisted tale of betrayal, heartbreak, sacrifice, deciet and love! And it was honestly wicked and wild every step of the way! 

Let’s talk about the characters:

Shazi was easily my favourite character, I couldn’t get enough of her! She is so wild and witty and loving and brave above all! I definitely think she’s one of the bravest characters! And I loved how loyal she was with Shiva, the flashback scenes were so emotional and I definitely felt Shazi’s grief, as well as her thirst for revenge; but of course not every thing is as simple as that, as Shazi found answers to questions that she’s long been seeking, what follows is conflict, torment, acceptance and love. I admire Shazi for many things, one being her undying love for her family, the other being her quench for answers, period; and I loved her friendly banter with Despina, although there were times when I was weary of Shazi’s handmaiden, too. 

Khalid honestly was a character that had me furious at the start and then by the end I was floored. I was furious because I didn’t understand how he could constantly do what he’d be doing but with zero remorse? And as the writing progressed, I was shocked and devastated by what came about, not to mention speechless; I never could’ve seen any of the revelations coming! 

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing was so vivid, beautiful and emotional! All this and more was packed into Shazi and Khalid’s story, and honestly I cannot even anticipate what will come in book 2! The fact that this series is only a duology scares me, because I already love these characters so much! The book had some sure fire funny moments, and at other times I was terrified for what could happen next, and this increased as the story went on. 

What concluded was such a unique, horrific and emotional story if there ever was one! Can’t wait to read The Rose and the Dagger.

And that concludes my review, until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Brooklyn xx

Book Review: Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Published in 2016

271 pages

5 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads Sypnosis:

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knowsthat fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

Let’s talk about the plot;

For me, this was all about character. Norah was one of the most brilliantly written characters ever, Gornall has captured mental health so perfectly, I was definitely awed.  Norah’s agoraphobia and anxiety were both captured vividly, and real. I could sympathise and relate, I felt things that she had.

Now, I know what you might think, the Goodreads Synopsis almost reads like a potential insta love story, but honestly it was so much more than that. I think rather than love at first sight, Norah had finally realised that in Luke, there is someone that accepts her for who she is, I mean, her friends, from the gist of it, didn’t attempt to visit her at home, and it seems that they just didn’t want to understand what she was going through. Enter Luke, and also enter a journey of grief, illness and love.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Norah is definitely relatable with her thoughts. I was with her every step of the way, and their were so many times that my heart just broke for her. She was so brave, even when she felt most scared, I admired scenes when she tried to be rational, yet I couldn’t help but ache for her when things became tough. I definitely feel like she’s one of the most real characters in YA Lit, and this book is definitely one of the best contemporaries I’ve read in some time. Actually since Turtles all the Way Down! I  felt every emotion that Norah did, I wanted to hug her so much and tell her every thing would be okay.

Luke was so precious too! He was an utterly unique and not at all what I was expecting. His character definitely contrasted to Norah but at times they had slight similarities and I loved every minute of seeing their interactions develop! In a friend and confidante; and vice versa too, it was amazing seeing these characters open up so vastly and deeply. 

I really loved how supportive Norah’s mum was of her, I feel like that’s semi rare sometimes. But I could feel how much love their was between Norah and her mum, it was just amazing, lovely and touching to see how much her mum had sacrificed for her daughter’s wellbeing: and she wasn’t one of the suffocating mum types, she just wanted Norah to be happy and well.

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing was so addictive, I couldn’t stop once I started, and I wouldn’t put it down. The writing was done so well, not only could I see everything played out in my mind, but I felt suspense when Norah was scared, uncertain when she was, and so much more, and when Luke admitted something to Norah, I honestly had to chuckle because of how the events of the book played out. Utter brilliance, and there was a scene at the near end that actually terrified me, I was so nervous and proud. 

An utterly beautifully put together book, I know I’ll definitely revisit it.

Happy reading 🙂

Book Review: Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Published in 2017 by Hodder and Staughton

532 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Strange the Dreamer is the story of: 

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Let’s talk about the plot:

For me, this plot had me constantly guessing, I was loving every minute and was amazed with what Laini Taylor has created, and what a unique story! I feel like it was more character orientated than plot, even though I was constantly kept guessing, I didn’t know what would happen next!

I’m going to keep this review exceptionally short, because everyone needs to read the living daylights out of this Book! I cannot express my love for this story and the characters!! 

So, author further ado…

Let’s talk about the characters:

Lazlo and Sarai – it only feels rignt to discuss them together, they are honestly for me what this book is all about! The book followed their journey and so much more, what a journey that was! Looking back to the start, Lazlo had come so far, he has so many amazing traits, he has got to be one of my favourite fictional characters ever! I love his dreamer nature and his love for stories, and his thirst for knowledge! I could definitely relate to all this and it was fun reading this book with one of my closest friends, I loved fangirling over it all with him 😊.

Sarai, such a precious character. My heart constantly ached for her, and I love how much she grew and what she went through. Her interactions with Lazlo are precious and gave me life. I couldn’t get enough, and there’s nothing about either of them I could fault. For so many reasons this book made me feel so much, it was so unique and I daresay it’s become a fast favourite. 

Let’s talk about the writing:

Laini Taylor has one of the most visual and magical I’ve ever read, she definitely awes me! Her world of Weep is endless and the magic is real! There was times when the writing stalled a bit, but honestly then things would get crazy and mysterious! Every emotion was coaptured here, I laughed, I cried (still not over what happened), and I was on the edge of my seat. 

Book 2 now please – this is something that’ll stay with me, and everyone, for time to come. 

Happy reading 🙂 

Book Review: Molly and the Cat Cafe by Melissa Daley 

Book one in The Cat Cafe series

Published in 2015 by Macmillan

300 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

When two-year-old tabby, Molly, loses her beloved owner, her world falls apart. Re-homed with three cat-hating dogs, she decides to take matters into her own paws and embarks on a gruelling journey to the nearest town. As Molly walks the cobbled streets of Stourton, she begins to lose all hope of finding a home . . .
Until one day she is welcomed into the warmth by caring café owner, Debbie. Like Molly, Debbie is also an outsider and, with a daughter to care for, she is desperate to turn around the struggling café.
But a local battleaxe is on the warpath and she is determined to keep out newcomers, especially four-legged ones. It looks as if Debbie will have to choose between the café and Molly. Yet maybe the solution to their problems may not be as far away as they think.
Will Debbie and Molly be able to turn their fortunes around to launch the Cotswolds’ first Cat Café?
Let’s talk about the plot:

Okay, so I kind of knew what was going to happen in this book, having read its sequel first, but nonetheless I was so excited to read this! And it made me so emotional, seeing all these characters again, especially Molly. She’s definitely become one of my favourite fictional felines! It’s such a great read, easily something I would read over and over again. I can definitely say its more character orientated than plot, having been told from Molly’s perspective, but even as the story unfolded and I knew what would happen, I was still on the edge of my seat throughout: and there was never a dull moment! 

Let’s talk about the characters:

Molly, our narrator, is a tabby cat who goesthrough it all! I was feeling so much for her thtoughout, I loved reading about her life before she met Debbie, and how much she grew through the book, as well as her observations on everything. She was written so well! I wish the book was more than a duology, I need more Molly in my life 😂. Honestly, I can’t rave enough, Molly was just the perfect narrator, and I really love her character! I don’t want to spoil it, because I think everyone should read it, but Molly goes through so much and develops of course not only as a cat but as a character too! I definitely was left wanting more, but I know I’ll re read the sequel at Christmas 😂 I loved especially Molly’s intereactions with Debbie, I love how much Molly loved and cared and understood her! I felt like the loyalty of Molly really shone through the book, I could picture her every movements and hear all her purrs. There was one scene towards the end, she made me laugh so much, I could just picture her expression, it was brilliant! And at the very end I definitely felt so proud of her and how far she’s come, and nostslgic too, having come full circle with Molly. I definitely think there’s plenty of potential though for more books with these characters, and they’re definitely among my favourites for that reason. I haven’t read anything like this before and doubt I will again!

Debbie, I practially squealed when I saw her in this book for the first time, I loved her character in book 2, but even more so in book 1, it shows us how far she’s come! I was with her every step and cheering her on, she had been through so much in the past, we definitely learn to the extent of what, but despite all this she’s such a treasure! She’s kind and caring and only wants what’s best for her daughter and Molly. I loved Debbie’s interactions with Molly, and loved the awkward scenes with potential partner John. Molly intervened here for the better, and it was fabulous! I also loved how accepting Debbie is of Molly’s previous owner, something happens towards the end of this book which leaves a catalyst for the events of book 2. 

There’s plenty of other colourful characters, both human and feline: Sophie, Debbie’s teenage daughter, I loved her growth through the book, and also Jo, Debbie’s closest friend, she named one of Molly’s kittens, and knowing what happens in book 2 that is definitely such a precious moment!! And I loved meeting John again, he’s so lovely! I only lamented lack of Jasper, a tom cat of significant proportions to Molly, but again, I couldn’t worry too much because of what happens in book 2.

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing was so addictive, I couldn’t put this book down. I already know I’m going to hopefully get my own copy of the book, it’s something I know I’ll revisit again and again! Melissa Daley combines laughs, love, feels and sometimes suspense in this beauty and it’s something I’ll always recommend to everyone!

Happy reading 😊

Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Published in 2017

286 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Let’s Talk about the Plot:

I actually really enjoyed this book, which frankly, sounds odd, because there were some parts that I found completely agonising (like when Aza constantly fed herself hand sanitizer, because she thought it was helping her). But honestly, the plot constantly kept me intrigued. There was quite a bit of mystery to it, and I honestly didn’t know what would happen next, and the writing didn’t feel too forced, everything flowed perfectly and the characters felt really real and relatable. Definitely my new favourite John Green, I didn’t actually think I’d enjoy this, the only book of his I wholly enjoyed was The Fault in Our Stars, but this one had me wholly invested in Aza and her journey. I really liked the mystery aspect too, I had no idea what might’ve happened to Davis’s dad, but I knew I needed to find out.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Aza definitely was a character I related to; I admit, when I was younger I used to be a hypochondriac, forever obsessing about germs and illness. To this day, part of me still thinks about this and once that switch is triggered, it’s hard to turn off. Now, although Aza wasn’t exactly that, she definitely, I would say, was worried about germs in her body and for that, I could definitely relate. Even to the extent where she wouldn’t kiss someone, I have been there. I was once (and perhaps still am) terrified of too many germs entering my system. Anyway, I know I’m stalling, but I will say Aza was a loving daughter and a loyal friend, even though she wasn’t always mentally there for Daisy. I actually enjoyed, in fact I found it refreshing, because she was written so human. Her thoughts summed up how I’ve felt about things in the past, and honestly my heart ached for her mental pain. I just wanted her to realise that she is an amazing human that’s doing her best.

I’ll also never not think of her when I see or use hand sanitizer again, truthfully. The parts where she drank it chilled me, honestly I ached that she had to go to that extreme and how she thought she was so insufficient. Even though I couldn’t exactly relate to these aspects of her personality, I definitely found Aza to be one of the most relatable characters, and it’s a total surprise that this book is a new favourite. I need more characters like Aza in my life.

I loved Daisy too! I absolutely adored her friendship with Aza, and I’m glad Daisy sort of pushed Aza in to realising certain things, even if it lead to a nail biting scene. Both characters complimented each other perfectly, to be honest: and Daisy really loved Aza; they were always there for one another, just in different ways. And I thought Daisy’s Star Wars obsession was fun, definitely a quirky aspect to the story, with her passion for Chewbacca and Rey and writing Star Wars fic. Some of the scenes mentioning this really made me laugh, and actually the same can be said for Daisy. At times she was a really funny character, and at times she was definitely what Aza needed, I think.

Davis was great too, he was constantly going through his own grief, his father’s disappearance being the context of the mystery in the book, and I definitely felt for him. I loved reading his blog entries, with quotes from people such as Shakespeare and Terry Pratchett, which echoed Davis’s thoughts. I really liked his scenes with Aza too, I feel like both characters went really well together, and he was really understanding of her nature. Their scenes were written so simply, it was utterly wonderful and refreshing; and I love how much he cared for Noah, his younger brother. It was so precious reading the parts where Davis was talking about Noah, I really felt for those two.

Let’s Talk About the Writing:

I was addicted. This book has reawakened my faith in John Green. The Fault in Our Stars has always been a long time favourite book of mine, and this beauty is definitely standing proud next to it. I’ll read this again, easily. It was such a unique story and the writing was packed full of everything, it made me laugh, cry and flail with sad frustration at times, and Aza has definitely helped how I see things in life, so I’m definitely grateful for this book.

Until next time, happy reading.

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Book 1 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

Published in 2011

418 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Note: I’ll be keeping this one exceptionally brief, honestly, if you haven’t read this already, do. It’s perfection.

Let’s talk about the plot:

So unique! I have never read anything like this before! It was honestly such an intriguing and complex and magical plot, and not once overwhelming. I could honestly feel the magic in this story seeping through the pages, and I couldn’t get enough!

Let’s talk about the characters:

Karou is honestly a new favourite of mine, she is amazing! Full of hope, curiosity, art and wander, I love everything about her, and her blue hair is fabulous, might I add! There’s a lot about Karou that had me asking questions though, and honestly I couldn’t predict the twists and turns that she’d come into contact with!

Suzana and Karou have one of my new favourite friendships, like ever. I love how the former isn’t at all sceptical of the latter, and she’s always there for her. I feel like the two friends compliment each other perfectly, and Zuzana is full of so much sass and attitude, she’s just amazing!

Brimstone was such a great character too! I love his bond with Karou and how protective he was of her!

Akiva, oh gosh. Such a precious cinnamon roll, a soldier, with such a heart full of love. Except…I can’t say too much but a revelation came and I was then all of the conflicted. Angst and feels aplenty, but oh, it was beautiful. All of it! I’m still thinking about it as I type.

Let’s talk about the writing:

Magical, full of wishes and hope and beauty. As I said, I haven’t read anything like this before, and can’t wait to continue the series! This one is definitely being added to my favourites, I mean it had me dreaming, laughing and feeling! And more! There was not one boring moment, and I couldn’t predict what would happen next! I definitely think there’s something in this book for everyone! I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

Until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Note: New Year, new Review structure! Enjoy, and happy reading 🙂

Book 1 in the Shades of Magic Trilogy

400 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Let’s talk about the plot:

It was so exciting and fast paced! I knew, as soon as I started reading, that I discovered something awesome; and the series, I can tell, is going to be a long time favourite! One book in and I’m already hooked and obsessed with the world Schwab created. It was constant edge of your seat excitement, and I couldn’t get enough of Kell and Lila! The plot just got more and more detailed and wild too, I could have never predicted what was coming next! The book, and the story, and the plot was so unique! I have never read anything like this before! Pure perfection!

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing was so pleasurable and vast! And detailed, I mean, even the concepts had me in awe! Schwab has created so much vastness, from Red London, which was my favourite of the settings (I mean, can I go there?!), to Grey London, and everything in between. It was so fascinating learning about all of the London’s, and what separates each of them. I could clearly picture each seperate environment, and I love how we saw everything from Kell and Lila’s eyes. It was honestly all perfection! The writing had be gasping in both shock, surprise and pleasure! I’d only read one of the authors books in the past, The Archived, but her writing had definitely matured since then! I mean, the wealth of magic in this novel is flawless! I loved every minute, as I said, and I didn’t want this book to end! Yet, I couldn’t put it down, I was dying to know what would come next! And the ending definitely didn’t disappoint! It was all flawless, and the pacing was freaking amazing. There was never a dull moment, and plenty of wit throughout.

Let’s talk about the characters:

I loved most of the characters! Lila Bard is one new favourite heroine of mine! She’s full of sass and she’s utterly fierce! I loved her introduction to the book, and I loved her dynamic with Kell! I was cheering for Lila all throughout, honestly! I loved her longing for adventure, and I love how she got to see so much of the other London’s! I felt like I was Lila, throughout the book, I felt like her thoughts and reactions mirrored my own, and I definitely shared her emotions! I definitely became proud of her too, she never backed down from anything and she constantly stood her ground. Her scenes had me terrified and delighted in equal measures! Given her last scene in this book, I can’t wait to discover the action that will be in store for her in the next one!

Kell, what an amazing character! I loved learning about him, his life, and how he came to be who and where he is now, throughout the book, it was absolutely wicked! He was definitely my portal into the book world, and I loved learning about the language, and the importance of magic and being an antari. Kell is definitely admirable too, I was cheering for him throughout, and I couldn’t get enough of him and Lila! Their friendship is so freaking fabulous, and I can’t wait to see how it grows, especially given it grew so much in the first book itself! I love Kell’s values, and loved his reactions to everything!

I also really love Rhy, I think he and Kell have the most precious bond, I love how they both hold the other in the highest regard and would do anything for one another, and I love their banter! Throw Lila into the mix, and that’s a brilliant trio! I hope there’s scenes with the two of them to come!

I’m not really sure how I feel about Holland, truthfully, I hope we somehow learn more about him (but I’m not sure if we will?!) but, honestly, I’m still conflicted! I want to learn more about his early years, I think, but I think I can safely say that he and Kell are two sides of the same coin. Their scenes definitely had be nervous, and their last one in this book had me biting my teeth.

Overall:

What a freaking epic start to the year of reading! (This year is the year where I will read all the books!) and I have another favourite series! Utterly flawless and if I had to fault it in a small way? I couldn’t! Thank you Victoria Schwab, for creating this world! I can already see it as something I’d re read over and over! I already can’t get enough! So for that reason, I’ll try and break up the other two books! I don’t want to leave this world!

Happy new year, everyone, I hope you all have a fantastic bookish year! This was my first read of the year, and I hope everyone has an amazing 2018!