Lenni Reviews: "Gunpowder Moon" by David Pedreira
Lenni Reviews: “Gunpowder Moon” by David Pedreira
*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
Set in the year 2072, in Veteran Caden Dechert is in charge of a US mining operation on the moon. When a bomb goes off and kills a crew member, already strained international relations may turn the moon into a warzone unless Dechart can find the culprit first.
While I like Dechert and his crew and I wanted to find out…
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Drown Her Sorrows By Melinda Leigh | Book By Melinda Leigh
I’m trying to review properly, not just spitting out incoherent words.
I got really angry reading this last year I think? I tried again recently to see if I’m less mad, and I was more chill, but it’s still not fun to read.
So the blurb is like “Samurai daughter who was betrothed to the emperor’s son survived a murder attempt, dresses as a boy, and infiltrates the would-be murderers’ group. But then because YA romance happens”. Eventually she finds out that the group’s leader is the son of the executed shogun and they were aiming to launch a reverse-Bakumatsu, i.e restore the shogunate in a land where the emperor is already in power.
It occurred to me on second reread that this was actually a Robin Hood story in Japanese costumery. I checked the reviews, and it seems that other people also noticed this. Why this is not just straight up billed as “Japanese-inspired Robin Hood retelling” is beyond me. I don’t know if it’s just Renee Ahdieh using well worn tropes that happens to be mostly Robin Hood tropes, and then is utterly oblivious about it; or she knew full well what she was doing but chose to hide the fact that Robin Hood is being used as inspiration for whatever strange reason.
Instead, the publishers/PR staff made mentions of Mulan just because the heroine dressed up as a boy. Again, going back to the Robin Hood connection: Maid Marian also dressed up as a boy to find Robin. Why was there a need to mention Mulan?
Sensitivity over Japan-China tension aside, this leads to an unfortunate situation where the Fuurin Kazan quoted in the book (Swift as the wind, silent as the forest, etc) ends up being mistaken as a reference to the “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” song from Disney Mulan. There is a part of the song that goes something like “be swift as a coursing river, with the strength of a raging fire, etc”. Like, wow, I’m not sure if I should be offended at the reviewer for not knowing, or at the publishers for causing readers to have a wrong perception of the text.
Details/elaboration behind cut:
Straight up from that quoted snippet, anyone who knows anything about Sengoku is gonna be like “Huh????” because the shogun is “Takeda Shingen”. And then you go even more WTF when you find out that the son is named “Ranmaru”. Not that Ranmaru is a unique name, mind you, but THE singular most famous Ranmaru is Mori Ranmaru, and is not supposed to be attached to Shingen like this. Another one of the name-dropped characters is Asano Naganori of 47 ronin fame, and his son is Asano Tsuneoki, and is Ranmaru’s friend. Tsuneoki is possibly a pretty common Japanese name, but one of the most well-known ones is Ikeda Tsuneoki, milk-brother and loyal vassal to Oda Nobunaga.
So naming is definitely an issue, because I’m not sure what the purpose of name-dropping famous figures here is for. A wink and a nudge to history geeks? Because this is not the case of someone borrowing names out of fear of not being able to create believable period-appropriate names. Renee Ahdieh gleefully made up whacky names for the emperor, the princes, and the heroine’s father. When I saw other people’s review, they were like “But what time period is this even???” And I agree. For those who know history, the namedrop ends up muddling the timeline, and for me it makes me want to try to map real life into the novel when it really isn’t meant to be like that.
Let me see if I can write an American equivalent of this.
"In the country called Meriken, the people are no longer satisfied by the weakwilled president Teddy Jefferson. So the rebels who wanted to become a colony of the Old World Crown again found Alexander Hamilton, son of the disgraced Governor William Howe, to become their new Governor and leader in an effort to rejoin the Crown. Also Alexander is assisted by his good friend Abraham Lincoln, who hides his name and goes by Wolf instead."
Like, for non-Americans this might mean absolutely nothing whatsoever, but it probably sounds funny if you recognize the names. (George Washington punching a tiger makes more sense than this)
The emperor is named Minamoto Masaru. In real life the emperor has no surname, and Minamoto is actually the surname of the shogun lineage. Is this supposed to be clever or funny? I’m not sure, it just looks baffling. Also, “Masaru” is such a plebeian name -- it doesn’t even suit a samurai, and even less so the emperor. Real life emperor names are like Akihito, Mutsuhito, Osahito...
The princes being named Raiden and Roku is also ridiculous. “Avatar Roku” in Avatar: The Last Airbender may sound cool, but in a setting meant to resemble shogunate Japan, this sounds absurd. It’s almost forgivable if those had been their titles. For example, the Emperor Meiji’s son Prince Michihito has the title of Aki no Miya, and would sometimes be referred to as “Prince Aki” in texts. So maybe if the princes are like “Roku no Miya [actual name here]”, that’d be fine. But those are literally their names, and that’s it, so it’s really irksome to look at.
The book straight up opens with "Ranmaru’s father” committing seppuku in this big ceremony and such (so I guess that was the shogun). In second read, this leads to me wondering just how did that work. In comparison, see, Tokugawa Yoshinobu the last shogun left his post and became a nobleman. He still lived a good life. This is not like imperial China where bloody revolutions happen, and then the rebel leader becomes the new emperor and killed everybody. Of course this is a fantasy land, because there’s shapeshifting and magic and such, but then how does this change of leadership happen?
Because really, you can’t just execute people like it’s nothing. For all the movies about samurai shanking peasants dead for the smallest of offenses, the real life Edo society does too have laws. The government don’t really throw around seppuku orders left and right. It just, you know, ends up looking suspiciously like the author is trying to go “LOOK I DID RESEARCH ABOUT JAPANESE CULTURE, DID YOU SEE MY RESEARCH??”
And now, the Robin Hood comparisons.
Mariko -> Marian/Marion
Ranmaru -> Robert/Robin
Mariko is betrothed to the Emperor’s son
Marian, in some versions, is pursued romantically by the antagonists (Sir Guy of Gisbourne, the Sheriff, even Prince John apparently??)
Ranmaru is the son of the shogun
Robin Hood is the son of the previous Sheriff (in some versions)
Ranmaru and his Black Clan steal from the rich to give to the poor
Robin Hood and his Merry Men steal from the rich to give to the poor
Mariko disguised herself as a boy and joined the Black Clan
Maid Marian disguised herself as a boy and joined the Merry Men
The Black Clan’s hideout is in a forest
The Merry Men's hideout is in Sherwood Forest
There’s also the general rebellion theme. Some versions of Robin Hood had the Merry Men be a part of a rebellion against the bad ruler Prince John, and happy end is achieved when the true king, King Richard, returns. Robin Hood becomes a nobleman again, and marries Marian.
It doesn’t really map beat-for-beat, since in Flame in the Mist Mariko’s father is one of the “bad” daimyo, and he might probably serve as the Sheriff’s equivalent. Still. A lot of the themes and plot threads match.
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The Collapsing Empire: A Review
The Collapsing Empire: A Review #amreading #reading #books #fiction #author #review #bookreview
Originally published 08/04/2018
While every effort has been made to avoid spoilers in this post, anyone who has not read The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi is hereby advised that this post may contain a few unavoidable spoilers.
As ever this review reflects only my own personal opinions and impressions.
When I first heard about John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire, I thought ‘that…
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魔道祖师 The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation
Title: 魔道祖师 / Mó Dào Zǔ Shī / The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation / Founder of Diabolism
Author: 墨香铜臭 / Mò Xiāng Tóngxiù
I belong to the many that checked out The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, also known as MDZS for short, after watching the drama The Untamed. Mostly because the drama left me with so much questions regarding backstories that I understand time constraints in production couldn’t discuss and portray better, and because the show was just so captivating and beautiful that I had to get into all the adaptations of it because I had a major withdrawal from the show.
MDZS is the story of Wei Wuxian and his life being the grandmaster of demonic cultivation which is obviously considered as a taboo in the story’s world. He is hated by many for his practices and ends up getting killed for it (this is not a spoiler since this is literally where the story starts). He gets reincarnated into someone else’s body after thirteen years and finds himself solving a mystery with an old friend Lan Wangji that could save the cultivation world. Of course there are tons of twists, realizations, duty and honor, walking down memory lane where the novel shifts to the past and present a lot, sweet, hot, and hilarious romance, and also finding family.
I love MDZS. It’s one of my favorites. There’s just something about the way Mo Xiang Tongxiu writes all of her characters that I really like. How the villains have every reason to go crazy and how the heroes themselves aren’t entirely a saint. My God, the things they go through to get to where they should be in the story just makes you feel for them in a way that’s so immersive that by the end of it all, it’s like a part of your soul is left inside the novel wanting to care for all of these people, antagonists included.
The world building is one of my favorites in all the novels I’ve read as well. It looks simple at first glance but the background stories behind each sect is what makes everything come alive. My favorite would have to be the history of the Qinghe Nies and the Gusu Lans. I won’t divulge much about it so this review doesn’t include spoilers. But again, these background stories for each clans help build a deeper understanding for the people living in these sects.
And the pining? There is such deep pining in here (and in all of MXTX’s stories so far) that has become a favorite trope of mine that I didn’t even know I loved so much until I read MDZS. It’s very touching but also angsty and it sits so right with the things I love in a story. And it isn’t just the pining in a romantic aspect here but the pining to find a semblance of family too.
MDZS is not for the faint hearted. The loss these characters go through here are so great that one might just have to pause the novel for a while and get back to it later. It kind of makes you want to ask the author if they’re okay or if someone hurt them for them to write such a heavy story like this. But MDZS also has a balance of comedy and lightheartedness to it that overall makes it an enjoyable read.
And as for the romance in this story? Because, well, this is a danmei novel. I find the awkwardness of it all, then the buildup of romance between the two, and again the pining, plus the trust formed along the way, and all the hot and hilarious sex afterwards, such a guilty pleasure. Thank God for MXTX writing extras for them because I don’t think I would have been able to properly relax afterward because it just made you want more. And to be honest, the extra chapters were such a joy that by the end of the whole novel I was just sated from all of it.
So yes, MDZS is worth all the hubbub. I have read the novel, watched the drama, read the manhua and checked out the animations. I have yet to listen to the audio drama one which I am told is also an excellent adaptation (that would be the next thing on my list of things to get into). So if you’re having second thoughts about starting this, this is the sign to get into it. Know that this story will take you on an adventure that’s totally worth spending your hours on.
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The Lion and the Crow (Review)
Type: English Novel (BL)
Genre: Medieval, Historical
Author: Eli Easton
In medieval England, duty is everything, personal honor is more valued than life itself, and homosexuality is not tolerated by the church or society.
Sir Christian Brandon was raised in a household where he was hated for his unusual beauty and for his parentage. Being smaller than his six brutish half-brothers, he learned to survive by using his wits and his gift for strategy, earning him the nickname the Crow.
Sir William Corbett, a large and fierce warrior known as the Lion, has pushed his unnatural desires down all his life. He’s determined to live up to his own ideal of a gallant knight. When he takes up a quest to rescue his sister from her abusive lord of a husband, he’s forced to enlist the help of Sir Christian. It’s a partnership that will test every strand of his moral fiber, and, eventually, his understanding of the meaning of duty, honor, and love.
He is the youngest son of seven boys, and is known for his exceptional beauty. He was bullied all his life by his older brothers, and in turn, learned how to be self-reliant and cunning. He has a hidden secret and that was he felt an attraction to other males. He never once acted out on it until he met William. He knows what he wants, and is fiercely loyal.
William Corbet (Yes, it is actually written this way in the entire novel)
A young knight who seeks the aid of Christian’s father to rescue his sister from the clutches of her evil husband. He is strong-willed. He also harbors secret desires for men, but was willing to keep it hidden for the rest of his life and that all changed once he met Christian.
Right off the bat I can see Christian already took an interest in William. William wasn’t as receptive until a bit later on when they had been traveling together for a while (on a journey to go rescue his sister). They eventually do end up doing the deed, and from thereon they were secret lovers. Honestly, there isn’t much else for me to say because this novel is criminally short!
Not much is mentioned about other characters aside from one of Christian’s brothers, and William’s sister. His sister is such a sweetheart.
This story is too short! I would have given it a 5 star if it were longer and had more plot. The ending was a bittersweet one (there’s two sort of, but still bittersweet). It is a good read though and the author writes very well. I recommend it if you want something short and simple.
Silk & Steel Series (Review)
Type: English Novel (BL)
Author: Ariana Nash
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
The Dragon Queen’s reign is one of darkness and death. Humans have vanished under the rubble of their world and if the queen has her way, elves will be next.
Eroan, one of the last elven assassins, lives for one purpose: kill the queen.
He would have succeeded if not for her last line of defense: Prince Lysander. Now, captured and forced into the queen’s harem, Eroan sees another opportunity. Why kill just the queen when he can kill them all? It would be simple, if not for the troubled and alluring prince. A warrior, a killer, and something else…, something Eroan finds himself inexplicably drawn to.
Trapped in a life he despises, Lysander knows his time is running out.
If the queen doesn’t kill him for his failures, her enemies will. There’s nothing left to live for, until an elf assassin almost kills him. A stubborn, prideful, fool of an elf who doesn’t know when to quit. An elf who sparks a violent, forbidden desire in Lysander.
If Lysander can’t save himself, maybe he can save the elf and maybe, just maybe… one stubborn elf will be enough to bring down the queen before she kills them all.
Duty demands they fight for their people. Love has other plans.
A elf and an Assassin of the Order. He’s described as tall, fair skinned, white haired, and blue-eyed with sharp features. He has a strong sense of justice and loyalty to his people. He was sent on a mission to assassinate the amethyst dragon, Queen Elissandra, but failed and was captured. While in captivity, he was put through torture and nearly made into one of the Queen’s playthings. Eventually he meets both of the Queen’s sons, the black dragon, Akiem, and his younger brother, Lysander. He was inexplicably drawn to the latter, as is Lysander to him.
A amethyst dragon prince who was condemned right after his birth. He has dark skin, dark hair, and a pair of beautiful green eyes. He is able to shift freely into dragon and human form. Akiem tried to kill him when they were young but didn’t manage to. He was suppressed under his mother’s rule, and vowed to one day kill her to escape his hellish existence with her. His only purpose in her eyes (as of others) was a tool for breeding, and she tried her hardest to pair him with another dragon to further her reign.
Initially, I felt it was mostly based on lust. Every chance they met and they were always thinking about “dirty” things. Lysander sees Eroan as a pillar of support, because everything in his own life was in shambles and he had no one who believed in him like Eroan did. Eroan is the type who saves and protects, and this was clearly prominent throughout the story, of him wanting to save Lysander and shield him from harm. There is also no distinct bottom or top, in my opinion. Both Eroan and Lysander give and receive, if you know what I mean.
I find it interesting this story is told in more than one POV. It switches between Eroan and Lysander every other chapter (save a few that is reserved for another character...whose name I won’t mention), so we get into their heads and see both sides of things. I was baffled at how much Lysander suffers at the hands of dragons and elves, and even humans. I forgot to mention them but humans exist here too.
There were quite a few, and I remember them all clearly. Nye, the male assassin elf who was in love with Eroan and would have done anything for him. Seraph, the spunky young elf girl whom Eroan cares for deeply. Trey, a male elf messenger. Akiem, Lysander’s older brother. Dokul, the oldest of all dragons and was a bronze; he was obsessed with Lysander and did anything he could to get his hands on him. Janna, the female elf who was in love with Eroan. Carline, an ancient dragon herself who loses her life when she aids Lysander. Mirann, Dokul’s daughter who went through any means she could to couple with Lysander to bear his children. There’s more but I’ve rambled on long enough. lol
This story is very dark. The darkest I have read ever so far. It was what drew me to it, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the dark element and how it was played out. I was not disappointed, but rest assured it has a happy ending.
Though I didn’t cry, I did feel sad in certain parts of the story. Lysander suffers a heck of a lot, and I salute him for being able to come out okay somehow. I would have rather died or killed myself long before. If the idea of it being very dark doesn’t deter you, I recommend it. Happy reading!
The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System (Review)
Type: Chinese Novel (BL)
Author: Mo Xiang Tong Xiu
Rating: ★★ (2.5)
“Can’t I properly read stallion novels anymore!”
Shen Yuan transmigrated into someone who’d tormented the young male lead almost to death, the scum villain Shen Qingqiu.
It must be known, the original Shen Qingqiu ended up being carved alive by his disciple, Luo Binghe, into a human stick, a human stick!
Ten thousand “f*ck your moms” rampaged through Shen Qingqiu’s heart:
“It’s not that I don’t want to cling to the male lead’s thighs, but who made him so f*cking black. The type who seeks thousand-fold retribution!”
Why have all the female lead’s scenes been forcibly given to him.
Why, as a scum villain, does he need to constantly sacrifice himself, blocking knife and gun for the protagonist!
Shen Qingqiu: “…I think I can still save him, one more time.”
The main (supposed) villain of the novel. He gets brownie points from me for being funny. Lots of brownie points. Turns out he was ranting about a train-wreck of a web novel he had read, and ends up dying by a food related accident and gets transmigrated into the novel itself. I find it funny he treats this like it’s some kind of RPG, whether intentionally done so or not, but he settled into his new reality easily. Honestly, too easily? The system was really out to get him throughout the entire process too.
Shen Qingqiu’s head voice is the best thing in this novel. He can monologue to me all day! LOL
The protagonist of the novel. He was such a sweet, sweet child despite all the problems he faced in life. A little kindness goes a long way, but I was not expecting him to forgive his master for all the past misfortunes and abuse by his hands simply because Shen Qingqiu saved him a few times. I felt he was a bit too pure here (perhaps to offset how he is later).
He began to take shape to me as a dark and crazy person once he returned from the Endless Abyss. He became very scary and I was terrified for Shen Qingqiu.
Their relationship has a lot issues... They both make so many assumptions of each other that it frustrates me to no end. It wouldn’t hurt for them to actually sit down, calm themselves, and have a earnest heart-to-heart talk and clear up the high mountain of misunderstandings.
All throughout I was left with the impression that Shen Qingqiu continues to look to the novel’s plot devices to try and predict how everything plays out between him and Luo Binghe. But as he can also clearly see, the plot itself deviates so many times when he least expects it... You royally veered the train-wreck so hard off its tracks (and into a different kind of train-wreck) that you can’t predict everything anymore!
I never quite got the feeling he likes Luo Binghe in a sexual manner either. To me, he would have been perfectly content to never have to bed Luo Binghe. They feel more like a father and son, or master and disciple (which ironically they are) and he gets roped into a relationship by the other. We as a reader see early on that he does indeed have interests in females. And he dropped this bombshell at some point:
Big brother, even if I suffered a worse tragedy than not getting any sisters for twenty years, I wouldn’t resort to becoming a cut-sleeve! Let alone hooking up with the male protagonist! - Shen Qingqiu
But he went ahead and did just this! Is Shen Qingqiu considered straight and only made an exception for Luo Binghe? Just why exactly? Is he placating Luo Binghe out of pity? Out of obligation? It’s almost as if he is continuing to raise a man-child more so than a romantic partner. Feel free to insert other possible reasons.
If MXTX’s intention was to make the two seem like a real couple, she dropped the ball for me. They ooze almost zero chemistry. Luo Binghe is a manipulative, sly bastard through and through. Despite him being smarter than I think he is, he has some emotional growing up to do. Tears don’t solve everything, okay?
Liu Qingge. He and Shen Qingqiu together is some good stuff, haha. I enjoy their interactions. They vibe well together and I can picture him and Shen Qingqiu being more than just friends, but there goes out the window this lovely canon dream. MXTX doesn’t pair them together. Not even a one time fling. ;(
Tianlang Jun is surprisingly funny too, even if he is a terrible father.
Of all the females Liu Mingyan was my favorite. A girl who is both beautiful and can kick ass as well as being a fellow fujoshi? Heck, yeah.
But unfortunately most weren’t memorable and I had a hard time keeping track of which character belonged to which sect, etc.
This is my first transmigration novel, so I don’t have any others to compare it to. There was one scene that bothered me a lot, because it was written in a very graphic and unpleasant way. The two main characters have issues that didn’t seem fully resolved by the end. But in general, I felt this was a light fun read that made me laugh often enough (though it’s not very well written in my opinion, sorry, and bumped it down half a star for this reason).
I dig the cute fanarts though and will continue to do so.
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Novel Review: I’m Not a Villainess!! Just Because I Can Control Darkness Doesn’t Mean I’m a Bad Person! by Otonashi Satsuki
TITLE: I’m Not a Villainess!! Just Because I Can Control Darkness Doesn’t Mean I’m a Bad Person!
AUTHOR: Otonashi Satsuki
GENRE: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
TYPE: Light Novel (JP)
STATUS: 1 Volume- 16 Chapters (Complete)
Sakura was murdered by her family.
The place she was born in again was exactly the same place she read about in her favorite novel.
That is, Leycia, a kingdom that coexists with spirits.
The person she was born as was Claudia, a member of the Letsya duke family that commanded the kingdom’s army for generations; and also hated by everyone for the divine protection she received from the dark spirits’ king.
Because of that, Claudia was feared by her surroundings from a very young age and her family had a hard time bringing her up.
In the novel, Claudia was forced to marry into another kingdom in order to bind a peace treaty. But when Leycia opposed to the pact in the last moment, Claudia was taken as a hostage and murdered in the enemy kingdom.
Could Sakura who still hold memories of her past life avoid the sorrowful fate of Claudia?
First of all, why is everybody so dumb and incapable of expressing their true feelings in this family? I mean seriously, what the hell?! Claudia suffered a lot and it's a miracle that she didn't want to destroy the kingdom, although if she really did it I would 100% cheer for her.
The war scene was... well actually to tell the truth it wasn't any war... it was a mess. And the romance in the latest chaptes seems forced. Also did the author really needed to "fix" her skin? And how the hell a simple "blessing", even if it's from the Light Spirt King, is stronger than the "protection" of the Dark Spirit King, who is supposed to be stronger? This goes against this line from the novel: "If spirits devoting all of themselves to humans is called giving protection, then blessing is granting a part of their powers to the chosen person."- this means that protection is stronger than blessing and light is always a defensive power/element while darkness is an ofensive power... so I don't really understand.
Also let's talk a little bit about that dumb bitch the original protagonist/heroine, Amelia. Even though she knew the future, she just needed to follow the story or at leat she could try to befriend Claudia (if she saw that the story changed) but like an idiot who was either doing coke or smoking weed she turn herself into a cannon fodder (except for drugs I have no explanation for her actions).
All things included I don't really recommend this novel (although if you want something to read to pass time it's a good option)... the story and the concept was interesting in the beginning but as the story progressed it lost it's meaning. The MC trying so hard to have a decent life although almost everyone (including her parents) looked at her with prejudice, the way she gained trust and had her first friends was beautiful but after the so called "war" everything went downhill. In conclusion, it was unsatisfying for me as a novel, but I did read it to the end, sooo read it at your own risk.
-killed by her father when she was 15 years old;
-reincarnated into another world as Claudia, the eldest daughter of a prestigious Duke family and the villainess appearing in the novel called《The Saint is Loved by the Prince》;
-has “the protection of the Dark Spirit King”;
-her black hair, black eyes and dark skin is due to Gerald’s influence;
-he was quite a handsome man, with the foreign-looking face: waist-length long black hair, black eyes, and dark skin;
-the Dark Spirit King.
-Claudia's brother who’s older than her by 4 years;
-the current Head of the Duke Letsya family and Claudia's father;
-has the protection of Romario, the Wind Spirit King;
-the worst father.
-Queen Agnes' son, 1st Prince of the Laycia kingdom;
-grey hair and ice-blue eyes;
-Queen Agnes' son, 2nd Prince of the Laycia kingdom;
-brown hair and the eyes;
-the daughter of Earl;
-in the novel, she is the heroine’s best friend;
-from the family of Marquis Windor.
-the illegitimate child of a Baron who received the protection of the Light Spirit King and is the heroine of the novel 《The Saint is Loved by the Prince》;
-a dumb bitch;
"Your soul was so beautiful that I was fascinated by it." (Gerald)
"You laugh naturally before madam and the young master so there shouldn’t be a reason why you can’t do it, but you always wear a sour look in front of the young miss. Why would somebody open their heart to such a person?" (Jordan)
"Looks like Elder brother has taken fancy to you. You have my condolences." (Edgar)
"Who the hell are you?" (Edgar)
"Good grief, it’s you again? How many times do you have to fall until you are satisfied?" (Emily)
"You’re too good-natured. I wouldn’t care even if she died in a ditch." (Gerald)
"Get lost. Never show your ugly face before me ever again." (Liam)
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Novel Review: The Beginning After The End by TurtleMe
TITLE: The Beginning After The End
GENRE: Fantasy, Action, Comedy
TYPE: Web Novel
King Grey has unrivaled strength, wealth, and prestige in a world governed by martial ability. However, solitude lingers closely behind those with great power. Beneath the glamorous exterior of a powerful king lurks the shell of man, devoid of purpose and will.
Reincarnated into a new world filled with magic and monsters, the king has a second chance to relive his life. Correcting the mistakes of his past will not be his only challenge, however. Underneath the peace and prosperity of the new world is an undercurrent threatening to destroy everything he has worked for, questioning his role and reason for being born again.
I started to read this novel after finishing the latest chapter of the Manhwa adaptation (although I had for a while this novel in my "plan to read" list) and I can say that it's different. The novel it's a lot darker and it's getting darker as the story progresses but to tell the truth I like both of them the way they are.
I love how Art tries to improve himself, and I'm not talking about magic or fighting, but about his heart and how he is allowing people to hold significance to him although he knows that this will become his weakness. This also means that he has to become stronger than his past self since he has a lot of people to protect.
All in all I recommend both the Manhwa and the novel because it's worth the time.
-Art for short;
-a former King in his previous world, Earth;
-a prodigy-was able to become the strongest of the elite division of Duelists, earning the right to become King;
-almost three years old when he awakened;
-a Dragon Tamer;
-part of the disciplinary committee;
-the professor for Practical Mana Manipulation class.
-Art's idiotic father;
-seems to be a decently competent augmenter and a less than average conjurer;
-ex-party member of Twin Horns.
-worked at the town’s Adventurer Guild hall;
-reminded Art of a small kitten but with scales;
-named her after her real mother (Sylvie the dragon);
-Art's contracted beast and daughter.
-party member of Twin Horns;
-female augmenter, specializing in magic archery.
-party member of Twin Horns;
-male augmenter, whose main weapon was the spear.
-party member of Twin Horns;
-female augmenter, who specialized in speed with dual daggers.
-party member of Twin Horns;
-female conjurer, specializing in Wind Magic.
-party member of Twin Horns;
-male conjurer, specializing in Earth Magic.
-was saved by Art from slave traders;
-elf, princess of Elenoir;
-the academy’s Student Council President.
-crazy old bat;
-takes Art as his first disciple.
-building the first Helstea Auction House in Xyrus and later building several auction houses within neighboring cities;
-the Director of Xyrus Academy.
-prince of Sapin;
-member of the disciplinary committee.
-princess of Sapin;
-member of the disciplinary committee.
-in charge of the the Guild Hall's branch Art registered;
-an AA-class adventurer.
-raised amongst dwarves.
-a well-known inventor and artificer.
"So the bright light at the end of the tunnel is the light coming through into the female vag…" (Arthur)
"I seemed to have been born from some satanic summoning ritual because this room was lit only by a couple of candles and we were on the floor over a bed of straw." (Arthur)
"I can crawl baby!" (Arthur)
"Mother! I’m about to begin my journey to become the greatest mage in the world! Do not make me out to be a constipated infant!" (Arthur)
"He’s an exception! If any other brat dares to call me something like Gramps, I’ll have them hung upside down and beaten with a cactus!" (Virion)
"I’m a rebel with a tattoo and a child." (Arthur)
"Then let me ask you a question in response, Your Majesty. How much are you willing to sell your children to me?" (Arthur)
"I’m too tired for this crap." (Arthur)
"A king never betrays the people who trust him." (Arthur)
"Idle threats as you run away make you seem petty, boy." (Arthur)
"Do you think babies are born with glasses or something?" (Elijah)
"Don’t worry. I’ll be sure to only moderately beat people up!" (Arthur)
"Do not make him your enemy, Cynthia. If treated with trust and respect, he will become the greatest ally, but if betrayed, he may be the cause of this continent’s demise." (Avier)
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Till the Last Breath _ A slow poisonous read which kicks in the value of our lives...
What boosts our urge to live more than death? Till the Last Breath underlines this point. Read here the full review.
Durjoy Dutta's 'Till the Last Breath' is a heart wrenching portrayal of how hopeful someone's last moments can be. As the title indicates, the novel is a realistic narration of human's urge to live to the fullest till the last breath.
The melancholic novel revolves around a hospital room of two dying patients _ one is a cheerful girl in her teenage who values every breath she takes and the other one is a rude young man who threw away every possibility of his survival. They have nothing in common other than the predictable guestship of death.
The magic of the narration lies in the unfolding of different bonds within a single room. The author has beautifully captured every mild moment perfectly, whether it is hope, grief or despair. He just unwraps a bundle of emotions other than narrating some tragic incidents.
The way the characters hold on to every shred of their lives before they get taken away mumbles how valuable someone's life is. The author never casts them in a spell of magical romantic sequences, but lets them spill the overpowering of emotions like friendship, parenthood and self love. More than an emotional story, 'Till the Last Breath' is a mirror that reflects the characters' true selves at their atmost fragility.
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Every single Secret is an engaging suspenseful thrill ride around two ladies who clash over a wedded man. The other lady will take the necessary steps to catch a ring. His better half will take the necessary steps to secure what’s hers. Who will win eventually?
Welcome to the lovely neighborhood with two supposed companions Neena and Cat, who are prepared to cut each other’s eyes and their phony kinship gradually blows up because they declare war after they start their battle for gorgeous and enchanting William, who is likewise Cat’s better half and Neena’s boss.Cat, married to William for a very long time, is enjoy a quality lifestyle. She is the queen bee of their well-to-do neighborhood, an equal investor in her better half’s multimillion-dollar business, and the lady others endeavor to be.
Neena needs Cat’s life. Despite the fact that she has a spouse who loves her and is moving up in the world, she wants to be William’s next wife, regardless of whether it implies wrecking Cat and the man she adores.
Read Full Review : https://gobookmart.com/every-last-secret-by-a-r-torre/
“Among the Ten Thousand Things,” by Julia Pierpont
Blurbs on book covers stump me often. I know they’re just marketing but I tend to read them as The Word. I often find myself finishing a book and feeling bummed, like I missed something spectacular. Or that I am not smart enough to understand the nuances. The blurbs said this was ground-breaking and smart! Where are the cracks in the floor, the clever structures? I don’t see them!
In these situations I often take to Goodreads, even though I don’t have an account with the service, just to see what the general public has to say about the book. I often find my validation there, as I did with Among the Ten Thousand Things. The average for this book isn’t all that bad — just almost three stars. The individual reviews are kind of polarizing, though. Either people adored it or they think it’s an example of an “MFA novel,” which then gets morphed into a verb somehow? One reviewer wrote, “Then it went all MFA in the middle and pissed me off.” None of these reviewers really explain this term in depth but it seems to encompass multiple feelings: that the author is privileged, has nothing to say, the book doesn’t say much, etc.
My opinion of the book falls directly in the middle of these extremes. It’s clear that Pierpont has a tight grasp on style and craft. The language is beautiful and poetic. It’s very clearly well-written.
However, I did read this book fairly quickly, but not quite out of enthrallment. As I read reviews on Goodreads, I realized that the rate at which I swallowed this book was because I was looking for the point. More than looking, really — desperately seeking.
Among the Ten Thousand Things follows Jack, Deb, Simon, and Kay through the aftermath of a cheating scandal. Or I guess, the aftermath of when they all find out and the big secret is unearthed.
The parents, Jack and Deb, were flat as all hell, but their marriage is the center of attention. A cheating scandal rocks their family and yet it doesn’t seem to affect either of them that much? I found myself not liking Jack for lack of depth — he cheated, he’s a serial cheater, and that’s about all you get of him — and not liking Deb because she bends but doesn’t break. We get some of her turmoil but it’s so brief and inconsequential. I simply just wanted more.
I simply just wanted more of everything. If you’re going to write a story about a family wrecked by a cheating scandal, it should really have some edge or twist to it. If it lacks edge, it’s a tale as old as time. One that may be enjoyable enough to read, especially if the writing is really so good, but isn’t impactful in anyway. I will forget this book fairly soon as my pea-brain simply does not have enough space.
To end on positive note, the structure was really interesting. The reviews were mixed, as part two was basically a fast-paced spoiler with blips and cuts of the future. Part three then hops back to the present as the family continues on with solving the puzzle of, “Where do we go from here?” There isn’t much puzzling or solving and you already know what happens to them in the future, so the book kind of loses its enticing aspects by page 150. But nonetheless, a fun way to flip the script on plot structure!
All I feel like I learned from this is that people have a grudge against people who get MFAs and then write books. What else did you want them to do?
Novel Review: M E M O R I Z E by Ro Yoo Jin
AUTHOR: Ro Yoo Jin
GENRE: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Harem, Mature, Psychological, Romance, Seinen, Supernatural, Tragedy
TYPE: Web Novel (KR)
A man who had lost everything.
An almighty power, the [Zero Code] held within his hand.
“Player Kim Su Hyun, do you truly wish to revert the time of Hall Plain?”
“I want to go back 10 years. To that period when I first came here.”
Who really wants to repeat the painful 10-year time? As a veteran of the Hall Plain, Kim Su-Hyun stopped seeing other players as human and just as players/tools to prevent the emotional pain of their deaths. After he traveled back in time, Kim Su-Hyun prioritized finding powerful allies- even if they had shady pasts or were hostile to him as long as he could control them, and if they couldn't be turned into allies, he would plan to eliminate them early even if they hadn't displayed any hostility. He doesn't have the frustration to be able to do it in the same way as in the past, because he now has the ability and style as well as the experience.
Kim Su-Hyun has insane cheats and at the beginning he was arrogant, cold blooded and had a mysterious background... but now (chapter 66) it seems that he is too passive and has a "wait and see" attitude (I know that the wants his party to grow stronger but I really hope he will give his opinion truthfully). Also it seems that although he wants to let his party gain experience while fighting he is pampering them too much and they are relying on him without second thought.
To tell the truth I have mixed feelings about this novel and the probability of dropping is very high (although I will continue reading the Manhwa version).
I would not recommend this novel to those who are impatient and not ready to deal with some slow pacing.
-before reverting the time he spent 10 years in Hall Plain;
-arrived in Hall Plain when he was 23 years old;
-after reverting the time he chose the Secret Class [Sword Specialist];
-angel- a Far Dimensional Class being;
-Kim Su-Hyun's Assistant, who shall be in charge of his guidance.
-22 years old;
-from the starting point in Rite of Passage he had unparalleled Attributes that were suitable enough to be Kim Su-Hyun's comrade;
-a member of Kim Seun-Hyun's party.
-19 years old;
-An-Hyun's younger sister;
-from the starting point in Rite of Passage she had unparalleled Attributes that were suitable enough to be Kim Su-Hyun's comrade;
-a member of Kim Seun-Hyun's party.
-the hot-tempered, smart mouth lady;
-22 years old;
-from the starting point in Rite of Passage she was especially blessed with the high Agility and Magic Power;
-a member of Kim Seun-Hyun's party.
-the icy woman;
-21 years old;
-from the starting point in Rite of Passage she had the Charisma (Rank: F Plus) Unique Ability;
-recommended candidate for Golden Lion Clan manager position.
-26 years old;
-the leader of a party formed with Seon Yu-Un and Chun Seun-Hyun (and I think a girl but forgot her name).
-25 years old;
-he looked like a guy who knew how to handle a bow.
-same party as Wu Jing-Min.
"I have said a lot of things, but the gist of it is that if the person was worthy to be my comrade I would rescue them, if not, I didn’t care if they lived or died." (Kim Su-Hyun)
"Guys. There are too many eyes to finish this work here. So let us go a bit deeper into the forest." (Kim Su-Hyun)
"Having fallen to the depth of hell before, these things (Deadmans) were cute compared to the Hell Lions I tussled with." (Kim Su-Hyun)
"I was thirsty for a slaughter and to relieve the thirst, I want to feel it with my bare hands. Cracking my knuckles, and grinned. A thought passed by. I think I finally realised why I couldn’t stop laughing." (Kim Su-Hyun)
"If it’s unfair, why don’t you become stronger?" (Kim Su-Hyun)
"Humans are creatures with thousand different faces." (Kim Su-Hyun)
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A review of my book, Once Upon A Lane, by Tiffany C. Lewis!
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“Hujan dan Teduh” by Wulan Dewatra
“Unpredictable! Great ways to tell a story.” - KNO
Pertama baca judul dan sinopsisnya tuh sudah membayangkan kisah ketulusan cinta seorang perempuan yang tak terbalaskan oleh seorang laki-laki. Tapi saya dikejutkan setelah baca beberapa halaman dan ternyata tokoh utama yang seorang perempuan malah mencitai perempuan lain, bukan laki-laki.
Ditambah lagi, gaya bercerita dalam novel ini yang bisa dibilang bergaya ‘maju-mundu’ dengan latar past: semasa SMA dan now: semasa kuliah, bikin saya sedikit kebingungan. Sampai barulah di sekitar halaman 108 saya mulai masuk dalam keseruan yang sebenarnya dan tidak bisa membiarkan apa pun/siapa pun memotong cerita serunya <hahaha>.
Cara menyampaikan setiap dialog sangat ringan dan benar-benar seperti percakapan sehari-hari yang kita semua pasti alami. Jadi membuat ceritanya tidak terlalu berat untuk dicerna dan diresapi.
Penggambaran karakter-karakternya juga bisa membuat imajinasi berwarna. Setiap tokoh dengan ciri khas masing-masing tersirat cukup jelas sehingga tidak sulit untuk membayangkan sosok-sosoknya dalam imaji.
Untuk yang suka cerita percintaan remaja yang mengajarkan tentang penerimaan, rasa takut, marah, kepasrahan, keegoisan, rasa bersalah, dan kebahagiaan yang memacu laju nafas, novel ini bagus dan menyentuk hati. Penggalan puisi yang terselip menjadi hiasan bunga indah dalam keseluruhan cerita yang ada.
Welcome to L’s Library, the blog to find your favorite fantasies through in-depth book and tv show reviews! I write about fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction books and tv shows. I aim to post once a week!
On Tumblr, each post will be a quick summary and a link to read more on my website. Any support is appreciated!
Do you have any book recomendations? I’m in need of books for quarantine lol
Hi! I totally have some recs!
“The Beautiful” by Renée Ahdieh —> this book I actually picked up on a book haul and didn’t know much about, but it’s got vampires and takes place in old New Orleans and what more can you ask for honestly. Romance, paranormal, murder, French and New Orleans vibes. Totally a grab.
“Throne of Glass” by Sarah J Maas —> it has ELVES and REBELLION! Also Maas is the author of A Court of Throne and Roses which is one of my favorite series. Super super good.
“Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake —> one of my absolute favorite series. Game of thrones vibes with competition for a throne, without the issue of hella inappropriate relationships! We stan. Strong female leads with an emphasis on them.
“The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black —> Fairies. Enemies to (potential?!? 👀) lovers. War and love. Only good things to say about this series and I highly reccomend. Carden is daddy change my mind.
“House of Salt and Sorrows” by Erin A Craig —> based off of the 12 Dancing Princess (one of my all time fav stories / ballets) this series has magic and romance with mystery and the beauty of sea life.
“Stars of Fourtune” series by Nora Roberts —> romance, Greek lore, stars, hot guys who are respectable. Roberts is a famous romance writer but this series combines romance and action and adventure!
“Tempest and Slaughter” by Tamora Pierce —> if you like Harry Potter, you’ll probably like this. Mages and schools, magic and adventure. We stan also
“Sweet Black Waves” by Kristina Pérez —> magic and forbidden love. Plot twists and hella good characters! Also high key Ireland vibes.
If you’d like more, lmk! I have two whole book shelves full lol
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The Woman in The Window - a Novel
Hi! Definitely this is my first blog in my brand new Tumblr account. Honestly, I was lost with my mind, to figure out what should I write and share.. kinda stuff. However, I really want to experience writing this first blog in my own Tumblr so here we go, I am going to review one of my latest mystery thriller novel!
Novel ini ditulis oleh a New York man, A.J. Finn (sorry I am not doing much research about him). Buku ini jelas jadi novel pertama yang ditulis Finn dan laris manis! Seharusnya Oktober tahun kemarin filmnya sudah rilis di Fox tapi aku juga belum cek tentang ini, sorry. Awalnya, aku tertarik dengan buku ini karena covernya yang misterius dengan hint horror, which seems like my favorite movie genre. Karena belum pernah baca buku misteri-horror, aku membuat buku ini menjadi yang pertama. Buku ini sudah tamat aku baca sekitar 10 bulan yang lalu (?), tapi tiba-tiba dalam kondisi self-isolating teringat kembali dengan novel ini.
Story short, novel ini bercerita tentang Anna, seorang perempuan yang mengalami salah satu gangguan psikologis yang bernama Agorafobia : ketakutan terhadap tempat umum, singkatnya gangguan kecemasan. Singkatnya, ganggunan psikologis ini didapatkan Anna karena kekecewaan Anna pada dirinya sendiri atas kecelakaan yang menimpa anak perempuannya, Olivia, dan menghancurkan hubungannya dengan suaminya, Ed. Sepanjang aku baca buku ini, aku bisa bilang dia adalah seorang Psikolog at the same time, ironically. Karena agoraphobia yang sangat parah, dia benar-benar tidak keluar dari flat-nya dan melakukan banyak kegiatan tidak produktif didalamnya, seperti minum wine, mabuk, minum obat-obatan untuk mentalnya, menonton film (ada beberapa film yang ia tonton berulang kali karena dia tidak punya waktu untuk ke Disctara (joke)), merokok, dan bermain dengan kucingnya. Ohya satu lagi.. Menyaksikan kegiatan tetangga-tetangganya dari jendela rumahnya. Ya, setidaknya dia punya cukup jendela untuk melihat 10 rumah berjendela besar.
Sampai satu saat, seorang tetangga baru saja pindah ke rumah nomor 210. Penghuni sebelumnya pindah dan Keluarga Russell yang sekarang menempatinya. Rumah itu terlalu besar untuk keluarga kecil, hanya Alistair, Jane, dan anak laki-laki 16 tahunnya, Ethan Russell. Surprisingly, Ethan, Jane dan Anna adalah tetangga yang cocok! Dari ceritanya, Ethan nampaknya seorang anak yang introvert, seperti anak laki-laki normal lainnya. Jane adalah seorang istri yang baik dan mudah bersosialisasi dengan lingkungannya. Saat Jane berkunjung ke flat Anna, Jane mencoba mengakrabkan diri dengan merokok dan bermain catur bersama Anna. Entah mengapa mereka cocok dengan Anna yang sudah beberapa bulan mengurung diri di flatnya. At least, Anna is finally socialize in real life, bukan hubungan di sebuah platform pencarian jodoh, atau konsultasi psikologi.
Short story (lagi), Anna yang sangat mengenal semua tetangganya karena kegiatan “mengintai” nya ini dihadapkan dengan sebuah pemandangan yang tidak normal dibalik jendela keluarga Russell. Baru saja Anna melihat Jane ditusuk oleh Alistair! Disinilah alur cerita novelnya menjadi jelas. Alistair tiba-tiba mengenalkan Jane yang lain sebagai Jane Russell dan Ethan yang tiba-tiba menjadi anak yang ragu, membuat Anna marah dan bingung. Anna melihat jelas saat itu, tapi sayang, budaya minum dan obat-obatannya membuat ia terjebak dalam upaya memberitahu dan meyakinkan pihak berwenang bahwa dirinya adalah saksi yang valid. Ditambah lagi Ethan yang juga ada di pihak Alistair, tentu saja! Semuanya menjadi semakin kacau. Anna yang mulai memiliki “chemistry” dengan Jane dan Ethan pun merasa sangat sedih dan terpuruk. Jika dihubungkan dengan kisah masa lalu Anna, setidaknya hari ini ada sesuatu yang Anna perjuangkan, keadilan atas terbunuhnya Jane dan menjadikan cerita ini sebagai titik balik kehidupan Anna, untuk bangkit menjadi Anna Fox. Kisah yang rumit dan kelam harus dialami Anna (dan Ethan tentu saja, itu sangat mengerikan!), bahkan ini adalah kali pertama Anna setelah berbulan-bulan di rumah, untuk pergi keluar rumah, dan melihat keadaan Jane pada saat itu. Sungguh cerita yang sangat gila untuk Anna! Untung ada Ethan!
Novel ini sedikit (banget) relate dengan keadaan hari ini. Ini adalah hari ke-10 aku #dirumahaja. Dari Anna, aku belajar bahwa nonton film seharian dan makan seharian benar-benar tidak produktif! Haha setidaknya untuk otot-otot dan persendian yang harus bergerak ini.
Sebenarnya novel ini bukan novel misteri horor terbaik, tapi sebagai novel thriler horror pertamaku, ini sangat mengesankan! Aku baru menemukan alur novelnya setelah halaman ke 100? dan itu adalah perjalanan yang sangat membosankan. 100 halaman pertama menjelaskan betapa Anna tidak produktif dan terhantui masa lalunya, dan kegiatan pengintaian Anna atau konseling online dengan psikolognya. Entahlah, masa sulit Anna itu memang cerita yang mengerikan, disisi lain, Anna terasa “hidup”. Untuk membaca novel ini, kita memerlukan konsentrasi karena alur cerita novel ini maju-mundur, kadang tersesat dengan alurnya, memang novel thriller ini sangat berliku.
Finn menceritakan Anna sedemikian rupa agar kita merasakan betapa frustasi dan kacaunya Anna. Menariknya, satu waktu kita bisa simpatik terhadap keadaan Anna, disisi lain kita hanya ingin benar-benar menamparnya jika Ia nyata haha. Tapi, dimasa Anna memperuangkan Jane, banyak hal-hal tak terduga muncul. Bahkan aku sendiri bingung, apakah Jane benar-benar terbunuh? Atau itu benar-benar hanya khayalan Anna, seperti detektif kepolisian katakan? Dari sini aku belajar, bahwa Anna menjadi kuat dan maju saat ia memperjuangkan sesuatu. Oh yaa! Novel ini punya ending yang sangat berat untuk Anna, benar-benar sangat berat!! Sangat berat juga untuk aku yang membaca karena tiba-tiba setelah menutup novel ini kepalaku sangat pening dan bahkan Anna masuk dalam mimpiku T_T.
Yes, after a hurricane, comes the rainbow! Cerita yang sangat berat ini membuahkan intisari yang dalam. Masa lalu hanya terjadi di masa lalu, dan untuk masa lalu. Masa lalu bukan sesuatu yang harus kita bawa di masa sekarang ataupun masa depan, karena akan sangat tidak menyehatkan!! Masa lalu hanya sebuah cerita yang harus ditinggalkan di dalam gudang yang lembab dan gelap, dan kita hanya bisa membawa pergi pelajarannya bersama kita. Dunia ini terlalu indah untuk tidak kita explore, jumlah manusia di bumi ini terlalu banyak untuk kita tidak ajak berteman dan bertukar pikiran, dan kenyamanan ini terlalu melenakan untuk tidak kita tantang dengan pengalaman baru. Let’s forgive and move on. Let’s explore new challenges and get new friends!
The past should be the abandoned story, neglected in a dark-humid-repository, and the only you can take are the moral lessons.
This world is too gorgeous for us to not be explored, the amount of entire human being is too much for us to not make friends and share minds, and this comfort is too oblivious for us to not be challenged by the new experience!
Let’s forgive and move on. Let’s explore new challenges and have new friends!
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**Spoiler free review**
This novel was a good cute read. It was one of the first few books I read this year and it felt refreshing. The characters were very relatable and dealt with modern teenage anxietys. Online personas viruses reality can be so hard to juggle, balance and maintain and this is displayed perfectly throughout the story. It was described in a tweet as comparable to the movie A Cinderella Story, and once I heard that I needed to read it. I was not disappointed with the story being told. My only critic is some areas felt rushed and others felt dragged out. Some moments I wanted to savor, whereas others I found myself getting bored. Besides that, the novel had some lines that actually hurt my soul because I related to them so much. I cried during a few scenes because I felt the lines so much, the scenes were vivid. After recently going through a breakup, I never thought I would feel passion like that again, but this novel made me feel loved and it made me believe in love again through this mostly realistic Cinderella Story.
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