Tag Archives: #book

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Published in 1997

Pages: 350 (Ravenclaw edition)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Sypnosis from Goodreads: 

Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw … Twenty years ago these magical words and many more flowed from a young writer’s pen, an orphan called Harry Potter was freed from the cupboard under the stairs – and a global phenomenon started. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has been read and loved by every new generation since. To mark the 20th anniversary of first publication, Bloomsbury is publishing four House Editions of J.K. Rowling’s modern classic. These stunning editions will each feature the individual house crest on the jacket and sprayed edges in the house colours. Exciting new extra content will include fact files, profiles of favourite characters and line illustrations exclusive to that house. Available for a limited period only, these highly collectable editions will be a must-have for all Harry Potter fans in 2017)

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

My Review:


I’ve officially lost count how many times I’ve re read these magical books; and to be honest I’ll re read them again, many more times. Harry Potter has been part of my life for 20 odd years now, I can’t imagine life without it. They were the books that got me into reading; and I’m forever grateful to Queen Rowling for bringing magic into my life, every time. Honestly, re reading Harry Potter feels like going home; it is always perfection and I can easily say that it’s my favourite book series of all time; my top fandom, and even as I read them, what with being older now, I can appreciate the magic in a new light; and I always seem to pick up some fine detail that I’ve missed in the past; and this was such a quick re read! I finished it in less than 24hrs!

Where do we begin, Rowling is honestly a flawless writer! I was there, observing Mr Dursley and his frankly mundane (see what I did there, fellow Shadowhunters), life; and then even as I re read, my curiosity heightened when the surname Potter came up; honestly yes I knew what was to come and what would happen but it was just so exciting re reading the book! And whilst I can never capture the first read feeling; it will never not excite me when I re read Harry Potter. Meeting all the new characters again, was awesome. I loved the little banter between Ron and Hermione (I mean they had always been clearly meant to be!) and the wisdom of Dumbledore, who gives many of my all time favourite quotes: “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” to name one! And the honest to goodness awe inspiring that is just the description of Hogwarts! With its moving portraits, endless staircases, house ghosts; it’s magic is honestly infinite and Hogwarts has always been a dream, literally. 

I honestly forgot how fast paced the story is; and not at all confusing, ever! Harry Potter needs to be read by everyone at least once! I mean all the characters are freaking awesome; the dialogue can be humourous, and it’s an epic adventure if there ever was one! I felt I was there, feeling Harry’s desperation to get his letters, his excitement and all round awe at Diagon Alley; and how Hogwarts feels like his home. Honestly, my emotions from this re read; I always feel excitement and often get goosebumps, when Harry, Ron and Hermione become friends (go girl, for covering up for the lads!) and honestly who doesn’t love Hermione? She’s my next favourite girl character after Luna and probably the one I relate to the most; and as I said I loved seeing all these characters again, it was nothing short of wicked! 

All in all, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the perfect start to a perfect series; and it always will be.
And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading 🙂
Brooklyn. 

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Book Review: What To Buy The Shadowhunter that Has Everything by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan


The 8th novella in The Bane Chronicles 

Published in 2013

Rating: 5/5

Pages: 40

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Magnus Bane may or may not be dating Alec Lightwood, but he definitely needs to find him the perfect birthday present.

Set in the time between City of Ashes and City of Glass, warlock Magnus Bane is determined to find the best birthday present possible for Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter he may or may not be dating. And he’s also got to deal with the demon he’s conjured up for a very irritating client.

My Thoughts:


Oh this novella was honestly perfection, it brought back a lot of memories from the Mortal Instruments series, and was full of Malec feels. They are one of my all time favourite ships and I loved reading about Magnus’s thoughts and feelings about Alec, and his utter desperation to find him something for his birthday, even though he has no idea what. The first line in this book made me snort with laughter, that’s right, snort! It involved Magnus and Chairman Meow, it was just fabulous, hilarious and relatable. I loved the constant wit in this one as well, and there was an amazing and touching scene with Isabelle and Magnus.

All in all this was yet another perfect novella in this collection. 

Have a great weekend and happy reading, 

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: The Fall of The Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

The 7th novella in The Bane Chronicles 

40 pages 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Magnus Bane watches the once-glamorous Hotel Dumort become something else altogether in 1970s New York City.

Fifty years after the Jazz Age rise of the Hotel Dumort, immortal warlock Magnus Bane knows the Manhattan landmark is on the decline. The once-beautiful Hotel Dumort has fallen into a decayed thing, a ruin, as dead as a place can be. But the vampires don’t mind…

My thoughts:

I actually couldn’t fault this one! This got me right in the feels, anyone who’s read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices will understand how important Camille is to Magnus. This novella honestly highlights this; we see the former in a rather surprising state and honestly seeing how Magnus reacts was amazing. He’s so precious and once again this novella gave us an insight into his thoughts and feelings regarding Camille. 

There was some wicked humour at the start, classic Magnus. Absolutely loving these novellas so far! Perfection, and I can’t wait to read the remaining four. 

Have a great week and happy reading, 

Brooklyn 🙂 


Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare


Book 6 in The Mortal Instruments series

Published: 2014

Pages: 733

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

ΕRCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID.

I am coming.
Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series! 

My Thoughts:

Okay,as I type this I’m honestly feeling every feel in existence. I have the best adrenaline rush and honestly I couldn’t be happier with how Clare wrapped up the series! Every page was perfection and the anticipation and feelings were real! There were shocks and feels aplenty in this book and I couldn’t put it down! There were even comical moments from banter between the characters which remained delicious as always! 

The character growth for everyone was amazing! And the links from The Infernal Devices and the Mortal Instruments were amazing! I love how Clare tied everything together, and we saw characters interact from both series and the feels were real! It was so beautifully done! And the friends we lost throughout both series, I definitely felt their prescence was felt. A character death from City of Glass, (those that read it will definitely know what I mean), has definitely shaped some of the characters, and we feel their pain too, but for Izzy, I felt that she bore the weight almost more than the rest; but in saying that she opened up and I loved her scenes with Simon! They are both so precious and I was cheering for them to get together. Every ship in this series had so many feels! Lots of angst and love! I was honestly screaming throughout this book! I didn’t want it to end yet I was hooked! I love Clare’s ability to tie up this series but set the foundation for The Dark Artefices! Amazing! And I loved meeting Emma and Julian and learning more about Aline and Helen! I love how Clare is continually bringing in all the more diversity to her world! And Mark! He’s so precious! I can’t wait to read more about these new characters, and I know I’ll get to re meet some old friends in The Bane Chronicles and Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy. I cannot wait!

It can easily be said that the Shadowhunter world is an all time favourite of mine, and Clare a favourite author; she packs so many emotions into her characters and there’s such intricate detail to her Shadowhunter world, it’s perfection. While I’m sad that I’ve finished The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, I know I’ll easily re read both, and Clare is gifting us with many more books centred around her characters, so it feels like it’ll never end, which is just how I want it! Clare’s books have definitely been a constant in my life from when I started reading them, they’re comforting and not once did anything feel forced or overwhelming. And she wrapped up everything in this book so perfectly, I’m once again in awe. 

I laughed, cried, cheered and lamented in this book, it feels like this whole book had something memorable in it, and it did. Utterly perfect and even the whole series never had a dull moment in it! As well as JK Rowling, I think only Clare could make me feel slightly sorry for the antagonist. There’s been moments when I’ve compared Sebastian to Voldemort, both having been stripped bare of any humanity; and both are honestly such wicked villains, but oh honestly. What happened at the end of this book was actually raw and powerful. An honourable mention to Luke and Jocelyn, honestly my heart ached for both of them for different reasons throughout. 

But the last chapter and the epilogue really topped off the epicness in this series! The feelings were unreal and wild! I was constantly on the edge of my seat, once again feeling every possible emotion. It remains one of the best epilogues ever and I couldn’t get enough, even though I tried to take it slow, it was just too addictive. 

I could keep ranting but I’ll end it there, all in all there are no words. I applaud Clare once again and can’t wait to read The Bane Chronicles, Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy and The Dark Artifices! As well as her planned books, which will be amazing! And her series co written with Holly Black. She’s definitely a favourite author as I mentioned and I’m so happy to have discovered her epic writing!

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

– Brooklyn The Bookworm 

Book Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare


Book 5 in The Mortal Instruments series 

Published: 2012

Pages: 542

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series. 
My Thoughts (slight spoilers):

I really enjoyed the pacing of this book, I thought that there was a steady beat throughout building up to some insane climax and lots of drama throughout, and I totally felt that; there was so much forboding throughout and it was so unnerving waiting to find out what happened next. 

Sebastian is pure evil, in my opinion; yes he was trained by Valentine to be a soldier but honestly he is so mechanical and reminded me a lot of Tom Riddle aka Voldemort!! Zero humanity and full ruthlessness. But you know what? I’m freaking proud of Clary for standing up to him! She’s so loyal to Jace and she has such undying love for him, it’s honestly one of my favourite things about her; and I love her blooming friendship throughout with Izzy; who had some kick ass scenes and I was cheering all the way. I loved all the Magnus and Alec feels in this book and I just wanted everyone to be happy and everything! I love how Simon had such an important role to play in this book; honestly, all of the characters have developed so much! It’s amazing, and I love how Clare portrays these favourites and introduces new faces; and I love the connections between The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices; the references are epic and every time Brother Zachariah came into this book I was a puddle of emotions; I still have so many questions about lots of things in this book; but I know they will surely get answered in the next and final book! 

Clare has definitely cemented her place as one of my favourite authors of all time, every book of hers and both series are in my all time favourites list / Goodreads shelf, and everything is just amazing about her books and writing. Nothing is forced or fake, everything feels natural and real, her writing projects the reader into her world and we feel like we’re there every single moment, experiencing things and emotions as the characters do! Every page held a different emotion and honestly I feel so mixed about so many things in this book! I loved the constant angst, word building and atmosphere; I couldn’t anticipate what would happen next. It was absolutely amazing and I could keep ranting about the epicness that is this series; but I’m honestly thinking and feeling so much after finishing this book so I’ll leave it there, but honestly cannot wait to read the last book in this series! The Shadowhunter world is one I never want to leave, I’m so excited to read Clare’s other books. There’s no words for their perfection and magic to be honest; I can see myself re reading all her books often. Okay, I promise I’ll stop now 😉

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

– BrooklynTheBookworm

Book Review: The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J Maas

The third novella in the Throne of Glass prequel short stories.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive. 

My thoughts:

SPOILERS

I always found Ansel’s betrayal to be incredibly harsh, and it just really goes to show how anger and grief can push some people to such passionate hate. Even though I know Ansel appears in Empire of Storms, which I read last year, I honestly don’t know if I fully like her. She’s definitely a puzzle, but I hope she’s given some page time in the last ToG book next year, I would like to see her interact more with Aelin. 

This novella really shows us Celaena’s character development, I’ve found; it jumps back to her thinking about Sam, and how she can’t quite not picture him, and she hopes he’s okay, and she has his screaming cemented in her head when their master attacked Celaena. I know I’ve mentioned it before  but I positively hate Arobynn. Hate him! 

I really like the concept of the mute masters, I found them gentle bit unnerving, and I like how we actually learnt about how one thinks in particular. 

There’s some scenes in here that I’ll never tire of, it honestly was so exciting when Celaena was riding the Aesterin horse, and her unwavering heart in terms of Ansel and Sam I just adored. All throughout this novella, Celaena remained determined, sassy and fierce. 

And that concludes my review, until next time; thanks for reading and happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Unfiltered, No Shame, No Regrets, just me by Lily Collins

Published in 2017

Pages: 221

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and the upcoming Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more.

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She’s learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered. 
My thoughts: 

This was such an enlightening read, I have liked Lily Collins ever since I saw her perform as Clary Fray in The Mortal Instruments; City of Bones film, and I always liked her personality and how she delivered herself when being interviewed.

Truthfully I didn’t know what to expect from this book, but as soon as I started reading it, I was instantly drawn in, honestly it felt like I had been invited to tea with her and she was talking to me about her life, broken down into different headings. 

Each topic was so heartfeltly written, it was fabulous, she talks about her eating disorders, to her absent father, to her heartbreaks, but nothing at all was like “oh, woe is me.” Lily Collins is engaging with the reader and invites them to learn from her experiences, and what she’s taken from them and how she’s grown for the better. 

A highlight for me throughout this book was just how her radiance and unique personality shone through, she encourages the reader to own their quirkyness and to stand out from the crowd. Lily was never one to conform, I mean sure there’s a point in this book where she explains her insecurities, having come to the States from the UK, but she then explains how she started to own her accent and be proud of it. 

Each essay component is marked with an uplifting quote, I think my favourites are:

‘I will never need anyone to complete me, I am enough on my own.’

‘Standing out in a crowd is much more rewarding then blending in.’

And 

Sources of weakness can transform into your most important and influential sources of inner strength.’

Collins also talks about the importance of relationships, and I really admired how she handled the toxic ones in her life, and how she learnt to grow from them. Throughout the book, there’s a constant female empowerment, how girls can learn from one another and everything. 

Hands down, an amazing memoir, and I definitely recommend. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J Maas

The first short story in the novella “The Assassin’s Blade”, a prequel novella to the Throne of Glass series. 

Pages: 77

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

A Throne of Glass novella.

On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

My thoughts:

For me, this was the start of something amazing. I love the Throne of Glass books, and Celaena and Sam are two of my favourite characters, ever. I have read this novella 3 times (I think, maybe 4), and I never tire of Sam and Celaena’s scenes. Their banter is the stuff of life, even though I know what happens in the last novella, I still think Sam is her equal in every way. 

It’s funny, re reading a first novella after reading all other books in this series (I’m re reading them in anticipation for Tower of Dawn, I can’t believe it’s less than a month away!) and knowing what happens in each book. 

One of my favourite things in this book, aside from Sam and Celaena’s scenes, is the dramatic irony of Celaena freeing the slaves that Arobbyn (I loathe him) sent her and Sam to deal with. The co-conspirator in this slave game is one Pirate Lord, Rolfe (where we get the title). I never actually cared for Rolfe to be honest, I found him a callous, arrogant guy, and even though I enjoy pirate type stories (and I guess Rolfe is a bit above your typical pirate), I didn’t like his selfishness in regards to the slaves. 

What I did love also was Celaena’s sass and bravery! She’s 16 and an assassin who literally, even though she and Sam kill people for a living, (slight spoiler ahead) she chooses not to agree with the slave bargain and does her darndest to fight for their freedom. There’s lots of wit in her narration, I love the audacity of everything in this novella, and that there’s definitely early hints of her chemistry with Sam.

Definitely one of my favourite novellas in this collection, and I’m excited to read the rest once more. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading.

Brooklyn. 🙂

Kilby Blades Blog Tour Week 2: Chrysalis


Chrysalis Blurb
We both know what this is, even if we’ve never said it. I was so close to telling her. Then my promotion came through. I thought we had more time. Time to choose one another willingly–not because my move to Sydney forced our hands. Not like this. 
I’m not proud of all the rules I broke, the half-truths I let her believe. I did what every guy who likes a girl does: showed her the best parts of me out of desperation to get her to like me back. Fixing things between us now isn’t about overcoming the distance—it’s about overcoming the lies. I’ve hidden more than she has. And there are things she wants to know. She was right about me all along.
NOW IT’S MICHAEL’S TURN…

Chrysalis rips open a new chapter in the romance genre, presenting complex characters, intense attraction, complicated choices and modern love for the real world. It is for anyone who struggles with competing priorities and demands on their time, but who wants to believe in love. It is told from Michael’s point of view and its prequel, Snapdragon (Book One in the Love Conquers None duet), is told from Darby’s perspective.
CHAPTER 3 EXCERPT: ANGER MANAGEMENT
“Randy.” 
I hear the guilt in my voice as I say my friend’s name. He’s been trying to get a hold of me for weeks. He knows how busy I get, but this is the first time I’ve been so slow to respond.

“You’re alive! I was starting to worry.” 

“I know. I’m sorry. Things have been nuts. I should’ve at least texted.”

“Cringer was ready to put out an APB,” he says, speaking about his ten-year-old tabby cat who was named for He-Man’s shapeshifting battle cat in Masters of the Universe. Randy lives, eats and breathes comic books. 

“What are you doing up? It’s, what, 6AM there?”

“Early flight,” he explains. “Sac Comic-Con is this weekend. Seems like you’ve got quite a fan base in Northern California.”

Getting up from the sofa where I was having my dinner, I walk into my office and fire up my Mac. A nudge on my mouse causes the huge screen to light up and it doesn’t take me long to navigate to my Andrew Dufrain e-mail. It’s the account Randy uses to send me stuff about my book.

“I’m weeks behind,” I admit. A quick scan of seventy unopened messages shows that at least ten are from Randy. I’ve ignored this account for so long that I have a backlog of fan mail, too.

“You’re losing your edge, kid,” he says. “What kind of hack can’t juggle a high-powered job, a non-profit, a bestselling graphic novel series and a hot-as-Violet girlfriend?”

I can’t even bring myself to tell him to shut the hell up and quit ribbing me about comparing Darby to Violet. The second he met Darby, he knew. 

“Me, apparently…” I mutter, sweeping my hand over my face. And I do feel like a failure. I hate the feeling of letting people down.

I know he’s just giving me shit—trying to get me to quit being such an overachiever just like he’s been doing for the better part of twenty years. But he’s more right than he’s ever been. I have too many balls in the air and, one by one, they’re starting to drop. 

“Think we should delay the launch?”

“No,” I say reflexively. “We’re already pushing a year since The Architect came out.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Your asshole publisher will probably drop you if you don’t deliver on time.”

The asshole publisher Randy is referring to is none other than himself.

“You know I work best under pressure. Nothing would ever get done if I didn’t have a deadline.”

“You have a deadline now, and nothing’s getting done,” he points out. “If I had to decide whether to spend my time with a fake girl and a real girl, I’d make the same choice.”

“Yeah, well, that’s no longer an issue. The real girl is 10,000 miles away.”

There’s no point in concealing the misery from my voice.

“How’d she take it?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t talked to her.”

I don’t say that I’m starting to worry. She’s texted me, but it’s not the same thing. I’ve been resisting the urge to call her all day.

“Why the hell not?”

“It’s only been four days.”

“Have you learned nothing from my life?”

“I know, I know. Clarine. The only woman you ever loved. The one you let get away.”

I still remember the day Randy had gotten the invitation to her wedding. I’d been about thirteen. It was the only time I’d ever seen him cry.

“I still see her at Cons sometimes,” Randy mutters, and now it’s his turn to sound miserable. “The first thing I look at is her left hand. Every time, that ring is still there. I put it there. Because I was the idiot who was so busy building a future for us that I didn’t remember to make sure there would be an us to enjoy it. At least I needed the money. What the hell is your excuse?”

I swivel around in my chair. I’m not looking at the monitor anymore anyway. Instead, I look down at the city. 

“It’s not the money.”

“Then what is it? Any idiot can see you two are in love. Why did you take a promotion you don’t need?”

“You know what we agreed to.” 

“Yet, you fell in love with her.”

“Yes.”

“And she fell in love with you.”

“I think so.”

“And your clean, no-strings-attached breakup is messy as hell.”

I don’t gratify his sarcasm with a response.

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe you have an IQ of 142,” he says with a bit of reproach.

“Not helpful.”

But he ignores me.

“You should have gone with Plan A.”

Plan A had been half-baked, but I’d liked its simplicity, and the movie reference would have been apropos. I still would have done the thing with the flowers and presented her with the necklace. But I’d have told her it didn’t have to be over. From there, I’d have given her a choice.

I’d wanted it to be a nod to her favorite movie, Before Sunrise. In the movie, two strangers spend a single night walking the streets of Vienna together and fall a little bit in love. But they each have their own lives to get back to, and things to work out if they decide to be together. So they agree to meet again in the Vienna train station in exactly one year if they still want something more.

What I would have told Darby is that if she wanted a different ending for us, she could meet me in the Vienna train station, on Platform 7, just like in the movie. A year would have killed me, so I’d planned to give her three months. I would have told her that I would show up, because I already knew what I wanted—that part would have been true. I also would have told her that if she didn’t show I’d be okay—that part would have been a lie.

“Plan A is off the table. I’m focused on Plan B.”

“Plan A had a nice romanticism to it. You could still do it, you know.”

“Knowing about the transfer kills the sense of possibility. If she thought choosing me meant choosing a long distance relationship, she’d feel like I was already too far gone.”

“She already thinks you’re gone.”

“She knows I had to go. There’s a difference.”

“Which is…”

“I want her to know that me being called here is separate from what happens with us.”

“Yet instead of showing her a path for the two of you to be together, you left her in limbo.”

“No,” I say slowly. “I laid the first stone on the path. I killed an agreement that neither one of us was sticking to. One that can’t possibly work from 10,000 miles away.”

When Randy doesn’t fire back, I know he’s letting up a little. 

“So what does she think your status is?”

“Right now? Undefined.”

“Says the man who hates ambiguity.”

He’s right, of course. But I didn’t see any other way.

“In order for something better to live, the agreement had to die.”

CHAPTER 4 EXCERPT: IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER
When I walk back into my apartment that night, I’m exhausted. It’s only six-thirty, but I’m seriously considering crashing. I drop my bag on the floor next to the elevator, untuck my shirt and start to unbutton it as I make my way to my bedroom. Dropping my jacket and leaving it on my dressing bench instead of hanging it up makes me feel like a slob, but I’m that tired, and I feel kind of grimy and in the short distance between the elevator doors and my closet, I decide I want a bath. I turn on the spigot, rummage around for some epsom salts, and squeeze in a dropper-full of an oil I found in an apothecary in London that I am pretty sure was run by a witch. When the water is ready, I ease myself in slowly. I hope I don’t fall asleep in here.
I haven’t been in the tub for two minutes when I hear my phone chime. It’s the special tone I hear whenever Darby sends a text. But my phone is on the sink all the way across the room. I’m so warm and comfortable that if it were, literally, anyone else—even the twin sister I shared a womb with—I would let it go. But it’s Darby. So I pull myself out, walking gingerly—I don’t want to slip on the marble floor. 

When I look at the screen of my phone, my face breaks out into a grin. The picture she just sent me is totally worth it. It’s a close-up of her holding my book. She’s hugging it to her chest and the back cover faces the camera. Her eyes are cut off, and the picture shows her from her nose down. Her lips curve in a contented smile. She’s in her bed—I can see her sheets around her—and I realize it’s four o’clock in the morning in Chicago. After I slip back into the water, I swipe the screen so I can view the full picture. That’s when I see her text.

You’ve restored my faith in endings.

TRADE SUMMARY OF CHRYSALIS
Honoring the pact they made to let their careers come first, Michael and Darby end the casual sex part of their relationship when he lands his dream promotion in Sydney. Determined not to let their connection fade, he lays plans for a new kind of friendship. But he can’t get Darby out of his system. When he realizes the move was a mistake, he begins to maneuver the chess pieces that will let him reverse his decision.
But the distance is only half the problem. There are things about Michael that Darby doesn’t know, and he must find ways to reveal his authentic self from 10,000 miles away. Complicating matters are the re-emergence of Michael’s own estranged father, who suddenly wants back into Michael’s life, on top of a chilling revelation about Darby’s father, Frank Christensen. 

With more now at stake than merely winning Darby back, Michael must prepare to take down a powerful insider crime syndicate and decide what lengths he is willing to go to, to take back his beloved neighborhood on the South Side. Destroying Frank could mean endangering Darby, and Michael may have to choose between the two things he loves, all while facing the moral dilemma of how much vigilante justice to serve—after all, Frank is still Darby’s father.

Chrysalis Buy Links:
Amazon: https://goo.gl/aXP8YX
Nook: https://goo.gl/28SPJD 

Kobo: https://goo.gl/7vx7kT

Book Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Published: 2014

Pages: 292

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. 

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

My thoughts:

This was such a heartbreaking read, from the start. Lydia’s death sets the foundation for the novel and what follows is utterly remarkable and and something I won’t forget for a long time now. 

These characters, from the complex back story of Lydia’s parents; complex being a white American woman and a Chinese American (they fell in love at a time when interracial marriages were forbidden), therefore Marilyn’s mother was horrified at this and refused to acknowledge her daughter after that, purely because she disagreed with her daughter’s choice of a husband. 

The book jumps between past and present, after Lydia passes away, there’s her funeral and her beloved brother coming to terms with what happened to her, self blame (we learn why exactly as the story goes on), and the reaction of Nath’s (Lydia’sbrother) and their little sister, which was so sad as she seemed so fragile, so scared to put a foot wrong, my heart ached for her too. 

So as soon as I started this book and learnt of Lydia’s death, I was wondering “why?”, as in “why would she do this?” But as I read on things started to come together, and it was really heartbreaking to go into Lydia’s thoughts as we had a taste of what things were really like for her. 

SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD 

While their was a sad undertone throughout the book, the whole story was utterly heartbreaking as it reached its end, especially living Lydia’s last moments. I’m still unsure of what she was thinking, I mean, she knew she couldn’t swim, but I think everything had just hit her and she thought she couldn’t turn back. Part of me will believe that she was hopeful, though that could be a delusion on my part. 

Nonetheless I think this book should be compulsory reading for all and even though there weren’t many chapters at all, it felt like it was the perfect length. Read it and I dare you NOT to be moved. Definitely something I’ll be revisiting. I adore how Celeste Ng wrote so naturally, all her characters were flawed and brought out so many emotions in me, from anger to frustration to immense sadness. But in turn I think we all could learn something from this book, this is certainly a life affirming read.

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂