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Book Review: The Romantics by Leah Konen

29917071Book Title: The Romantics
Author: Leah Konen
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.


I totally forgot to publish this blog post from last month, my bad. But I guess now is the perfect time to do it since the e-book version of The Romantics is on sale for $2.99 on Amazon! That’s a very good deal, if you ask me.

 

MY THOUGHTS

The Romantics was so much fun to read. This is not an ordinary contemporary romance book because the story here is narrated by Love himself? herself? itself. Love is humorous and likable, and transitions into different moods appropriate for the situation so I really got the feel for the story. Love also wants the reader to see the best in every character here no matter how douche-y they have acted. Honestly, I think Love being the narrator is the best thing about this one because, come to think of it, if this was narrated by one of the characters, this book may have been a cliche one. And I really doubt that I’ll have enjoyed that.

Another great thing about this book was Sammy; I just love her. She is such a genuine character and I adore her enthusiasm for both chick flick and horror movies because I am a fan of those myself. I’ve actually finally watched the movie, When Harry Met Sally because Sammy mentioned it, and I enjoyed that movie so much it landed on my favorites.

I also need to mention that I appreciated that the flow of events here weren’t perfect. I just love that in books. It adds more thrill to the story that I am just all for.

Overall, I found The Romantics very enjoyable. As a fan of the genre, I really recommend you check this one out especially since the e-book is super cheap right now.

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Luxe’s Thoughts: FAVORITE CRIME TV SHOWS!

Welcome to a non-bookish post! This post is the product of my never-ending book slump and my overall laziness to get up from my bed and do something useful. In here, I share with you the different crime TV shows that I am currently obsessed with. So, here they are, in no particular order because ranking them would be unbelievably hard for me. Hopefully you’ll get some good recommendations for what to watch next.


Sherlock

Sherlock

This show, oh my goodness, where to begin? This is simply amazing. Although I have started reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle long ago, I haven’t really got much into it before I had to stop (unsurprisingly because of school) so I don’t have much knowledge about Sherlock Holmes. I’ve always had a great liking for the mystery genre though, specifically in crime. What can I say, murders and heists hold a special place in my heart. Well, this TV program blew me away. This is based on the aforementioned book, but with a contemporary twist. Sherlock follows Sherlock Holmes, an incredibly  detective, and John Watson, an ex-military doctor, helping the police solve different crimes in modern-day London.

I absolutely love the banter between Sherlock and Watson! Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have great chemistry being Holmes and Watson. Anyway, I basically went through an emotional rollercoaster on this one. I laughed, I cried, got frustrated, and got scared. And let me tell you, this will keep you on the edge of your seat, I swear on my life. Well, maybe not, I’m not ready to die just yet. But you get my point. The crimes for each episode will really get you thinking and the plot twists are jaw-dropping. Also, this is only four seasons long, with three episodes (around one hour each) per season, and a special episode set in the Victorian era. Very easy to accidentally binge-watch and leave your mouth hanging open at the end of Season 4 Episode 3, wondering where the hell the next one is. *sobs in detective*

P.S. I personally think that Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect actor for Sherlock, although I’ve only seen like two other actors portraying the character. Oh well.

“Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.” – Sherlock Holmes (played by Benedict Cumberbatch)


Elementary

Elementary

After I’ve finished Sherlock, I obviously couldn’t get enough so I looked for similar TV programs and this one came up. I’m glad it did because it’s basically just the same, except that this one isn’t as closely based to the book from what I can gather and this one isn’t set in London. Here, Sherlock Holmes is a recovering drug addict. His father hires Joan Watson as Sherlock’s sober companion and together, they assist the New York City Police Department in solving numerous crimes. I really like the concept of how Holmes and Watson became acquainted. Also, Watson is a woman. I’m really excited about that!

This is still an ongoing series, and currently on Season 6 (with 24 episodes each season). I’m not yet up to date with this one though, still on Season 2, but I’m already loving this. I’m taking my sweet time on this precious one, and watching other shows alongside of it as well.

“For future reference: When I say I agree with you, it means I’m not listening.” – Sherlock Holmes (played by Jonny Lee Miller)


Scorpion

Scorpion

Ah Scorpion, another amazing one. I feel like I’ve been using the word “amazing” quite a lot now, have I not? Anyway. This is my current obsession! Scorpion is about an intellectually well-equipped team dealing with a variety of “complex, high tech threats around the globe.” To let you have a better view on the capabilities of the members of Team Scorpion, here is the intro for the episodes:

My name is Walter O’Brien. I have the fourth-highest IQ ever recorded: 197. Einstein’s was 160. When I was 11, the FBI arrested for me for hacking NASA to get their blueprints for my bedroom wall. Now I run a team of geniuses, tackling worldwide threats only we can solve. Toby’s our behaviorist. Sylvester’s a human calculator. Happy, a mechanical prodigy. Agent Cabe Gallo is our government handler. And Paige? Well, Paige isn’t like us; she’s normal. She translates the world for us, while we help her understand her genius son. Together, we are Scorpion.

I was intrigued by the premise at first so I decided to give it a go. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. I’m always really awestruck at each episode. Each case Team Scorpion take on, even if it sounds simple at first, gets very interesting as the episode progresses. There was never a dull moment in this TV series! I also love how the characters are all unique, with different abilities and characteristics, so they depend on one another. They have such great teamwork and friendship! Not only that, I also got to know the members of the team bit by bit; their fear, likes, dislikes, their past. Each of them has their own complexities. Plus, I learned a lot through this, believe it or not. Like a lot of chemistry stuff I forgot by now, and to always go for the nose when in combat, and that a group of jellyfish is called a smack. Well, obviously there’s a lot other facts but those were just at the top of my head.

I hope you feel my enthusiasm for this show. I just freaking love Scorpion so you can’t imagine my total horror disappointment that it got cancelled. It only has 4 seasons with around 22-25 episodes each. That’s not enough for me! I miss them already. 😦

“Rappers may have ninety-nine or so problems, but misplacing paychecks is not one of them.” – Toby Curtis (played by Eddie Kaye Thomas)


Riverdale

Riverdale

I’m kind of torn on this one. I absolutely loved the first season but I wasn’t so keen on the second one. That being said, I am still anticipating the release of the third season on October. Riverdale‘s characters are based on the legendary Archie Comics. That being said, the plot has no connection to the comics because this CW show (and Netflix original, I’m confused) has a really dark story line. In a nutshell, Riverdale revolves around a group of teenagers discovering that the town they once thought was peaceful, apparently has a web of sinister secrets.

I am a huge fan of the Archie Comics. It was my childhood! I remember literally not eating at school just to save up my allowance to buy those. I wonder where my humongous collection went. Maybe they’re scattered all over the place because we’ve moved several times already since I’ve last saw them. That sucks. But I’m thinking of restarting my collection once again.

Anyway, when I first heard of Riverdale, I was so excited for it. The ominous, dark vibe they were aiming for was depicted well but it also has light scenes as well to balance. The mystery aspect of this was so thrilling and waiting for the next episodes were very painful. It was also so weird to see such contrasting moods from the same characters from the TV show and the comics. Oh, and also, let me mention how I’ve really taken a liking to the cast of this show. I mean, seriously, they are such a close-knitted group despite not knowing most of each other when they first started and how they have two different age groups. This just adds to their on-screen chemistry.

I know that a lot of people have such a great dislike for this TV series but I genuinely think it’s worth watching. There are currently two seasons out on Netflix, the first one has 13 episodes and the second has 22, with each episode around 40 minutes.

“Fear. It’s the most basic, the most human emotion. As kids, we’re afraid of everything. The dark. The boogeyman under the bed. And we pray for morning. For the monsters to go away. Though they never do. Not really.” – Jughead Jones (played by Cole Sprouse)


That’s about it for the crime TV shows that I currently enjoyed. I have more on my list though, and I can’t wait to get started! What are your favorite crime TV shows? If you don’t like the crime genre, what are your all-time favorite TV shows are instead?

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Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. This allows bloggers, like me, to feature upcoming book releases that we are ecstatic about.

If you’re familiar with the weekly meme Waiting on Wednesday, this one is similar to that. I have joined W.O.W. before but it seems like it isn’t being hosted anymore so I’ve decided to continue on with Can’t-Wait Wednesday!

For this week, I’m featuring The Darkest Legacy. I cannot explain how ecstatic I am about this one. The Darkest Minds series is one of my favorites and with the movie adaptation coming and the release of this, the fourth book in the series, I feel like I’m being blessed by the heavens. Unlike the first three books in the series, this one will be in the perspective of Zu instead of Ruby’s. And can we talk about that gorgeous cover? The 31st of July can’t come any sooner for me and I’m just bubbling with excitement right now, I hope I don’t explode before I get to read this.


37688046Book Title: The Darkest Legacy
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #4
Publication Date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume “Zu” Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive.

Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn’t trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country’s recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a harrowing story of resilience, resistance, and reckoning that will thrill loyal fans and new readers alike.


Are you waiting on this too? Let’s chat in the comments! Also, don’t forget to leave a link to your own Can’t-Wait Wednesday post because I would love to check it out. 😀

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Book Series Review: Slated #1-3 by Teri Terry

Welcome to my first book series review! This post will consist of reviews for all three (3) books in the Slated series by Teri Terry. This would not contain any spoilers but if you haven’t read Slated, the first book, I suggest you stick with the first part of this post only, just in case. Same goes if you haven’t read Fractured, the second book, I suggest you stick with the first and second part of this post only. 😉

My general view on this series is pretty positive. I liked this one and I recommend this if you’re a fan of dystopia!


12743472Book Title: Slated
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #1
Publication Date: May 3rd 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

MY THOUGHTS

I have no idea as to how I can write a coherent review because I literally have zero notes. I usually take down a couple of notes when reading so I can easily write a review afterwards. For this one, however, I became too absorbed in the story to that. Well, here goes…

Stating the obvious, I really enjoyed this one. I think that the beautiful cover and the intriguing blurb set very suitable expectations for the book. The overall plot was good; it always kept me wanting more. The concept of being Slated, wiping all memories for those under 16-year-old lawbreakers, is interesting. I also think that Kyla’s dreams are really thought-provoking, as it may provide clues to the mystery of who she was before being Slated.

I warmed up to Kyla, our main character, despite her being dull at times. She has been Slated after all, and she has the Levo which prevents her from having extreme emotions so I understood why her character can seem dull.

The only thing that kept me from giving this book a 5-star rating is that I feel like the end was anti-climactic. I was actually surprised when I flipped the page and all I saw was the acknowledgements. But I suppose that’s understandable, there are two more books in the series, anyway. Also, the thing between Kyla and Ben feels a bit insta-love so that kind of turned me off. Other than that, Slated was a great read which I flipped through very quickly because I really got immersed.


13490543Book Title: Fractured
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #2
Publication Date: April 4th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Perfect for fans of the dystopian settings of The Hunger Games and Divergent, the gripping second installment of the Slated trilogy is a riveting psychological thriller set in a future where violent teens have their memory erased as an alternative to jail.

Kyla has been Slated—her personality wiped blank, her memories lost to her forever. Or so she thought. She shouldn’t be able to remember anything. But increasingly she can—and she’s discovering that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life and wants her help, she thinks she’s on her way to finding the truth. But this new knowledge lands her in the middle of a tug-of-war between two dangerous adversaries, and despite her misgivings about both of them, she’s forced to choose a side for her own protection.

MY THOUGHTS

I really like the first book so you better believe that I have a heck of an expectation for this one. Fractured met the said expectation, for the most part.

This is the part of Kyla’s story wherein she regains her stolen memories, find out what happened. Because of that, I kind of got annoyed at Kyla sometimes because of how stubborn she can be. I guess she’s just curious in nature but sometimes, what she’s doing is just borderline stupid.

As I anticipated, there was a lot going on here. Like information dump. I liked getting to know more about who Kyla was before. There were plot twists, some I saw coming but some not at all. I actually cried in a certain part of the book, for a certain character. It’s just so heartbreaking, it really had me going.

But as you can see, I rated this one star less than what I’ve rated the first book. Why? I’m not really sure. Maybe because this didn’t leave much of an impact on me as the first one. Maybe I was looking for more about certain characters. But I still really enjoyed this.


17901410Book Title: Shattered
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #3
Publication Date: March 6th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Kyla is in danger from both the government Lorders who erased her memory and the terrorists who tried to use her. So now she’s on the run. Sporting a new identity and desperate to fill in the blank spaces of her life pre-Slating, Kyla heads to a remote mountain town to try to reunite with the birth mother she was kidnapped from as a child. There she is hoping all the pieces of her life will come together and she can finally take charge of her own future. But even in the idyllic wilderness and the heart of her original family, Kyla realizes there is no escape from the oppressive Lorders. Someone close to her may be one of them, and even more frighteningly, her birth mother has been keeping secrets of her own.

In this stunning series finale, Kyla finally finds out who she really is, and the road to this discovery, and to deciding who she wants to become, is full of dangerous twists and turns that will keep readers riveted.

MY THOUGHTS

It took me like, what, three days to finish this one. It’s not even the book’s fault. I had to put it down a few times because of the TV shows I’m so obsessed with (which you can read about here). Anyway, when I did pick this book up to finish it, I stayed up late reading. Like I-can-see-hints-of-sunrise-from-my-window late.

Since this is the last book in the Slated series, I’m really curious as to how it will conclude so I was really excited. The pacing was great throughout the whole book. There’s a great balance between information-centered and action-packed scenes. Still, the plot twists leave me shocked and the ending was actually alright for me.

Although I did tick off 2 stars because I was getting bothered by how Kyla still appears to be a bit of a dry character despite having her Levo, the device that prevents her from having extreme emotions, taken off. And I didn’t like the slight love triangle in this. Not at all. Oh, also, I really craved more of Aiden’s character. Other than those though, it was a great finale for the trilogy.

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker by Kerry Wilkinson

40511582Book Title: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker
Author: Kerry Wilkinson
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: July 26th 2018
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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‘I will never forget the night I drowned…’

A village with something to hide.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Parker wakes up cold and alone in the river that twists through her quiet village. She has no memory of how she got there. But she does know that another girl was drowned in the same river the summer before, held under the water by an unknown killer…

A community torn apart.

Eleanor is a normal, every day teenager. She argues with her mum, spends her days with her best friend, and is looking forward to a carefree summer of sunshine and music. Who would want to hurt her?

A shocking secret.

Determined to unlock the mystery of what really happened to her, Eleanor can’t escape the feeling that something awful links her to the previous summer’s murder. But will she find out the truth before it’s too late?

A gripping and extraordinary coming of age novel that will make you question everything and keep you guessing until the very end. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars, Looking for Alaska by John Green and hit TV show Riverdale.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.

MY THOUGHTS

From reading the book’s synopsis on Netgalley, I pretty much hit the request button instantly. This is pitched as a perfect book for fans of We Were Liars, Looking for Alaska and the TV show Riverdale. Well, I’m a fan of all three of them so that bold claim, coupled with the very intriguing premise, I really thought that I would love this one. That I did, to some extent.

Eleanor Parker, or Ellie, is our main character here. She has been through a lot, with people gossiping about her brother, not being able to eat or sleep, having no recollection of what happened to her, and not to mention that the person who tried to drown her was still out there. But she is just really dull for me. It’s kinda hard to sympathize with the character when she lacks emotions and just goes on about stuff that I couldn’t care less about. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike her. I just couldn’t bring myself to care much for her.

There were also certain times in the book that, for me, felt like dragging. You know what I mean? Like, even though I kept reading, I kept wondering where the fun bits were.

Anyway, what I loved about this book though was the unpredictability. You know me, I try hard to act like Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew whenever I read or watch mysteries. I over-analyze each situation, thinking that it may be a clue to be one step closer in uncovering who the culprit is. But this book. I did not expect the plot twist here.

Overall, The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker was a fun read. Although I wasn’t really biting my nails for the mystery in this one, I sure was blown away by the plot twist.