Review: A Gathering of Shadows // A Brilliant Sequel to an Incredible Story!

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RATING : 45-stars


In case you haven’t noticed, I might or might not be OBSESSED with A Darker Shade of Magic (spoiler: I AM!) so naturally I started this book with soaring expectations. Did it live up to my expectations? Well… at some point, YES, but also NO. Let’s see… where do I even begin?

I was expecting it to be MORE INTENSE than its prequel but it was so so so SLOW! ADSOM was also slow but this was slower than even I anticipated. I was getting impatient and frankly bored at some points. I was like… “Whatever it is just happen already!”. It wasn’t until 60% of the book that we got to see ‘real’ actions. The first half of the book were kind of build-ups to the real plot. I honestly thought that 508 pages might be a little too long.

But the strange thing is, despite its slow pace, I still found this book extremely page-turning. Like, I literally couldn’t put this book down. I planned to stop reading to eat but I kept telling myself ‘one more chapter’ and ended up eating my lunch 1.5 hours later than I had planned to.

The plot was (again) incredibly brilliant. I was marveled by the way Schwab planned the story and even more in awe by the way she revealed it to us. S.H.O.C.K.I.N.G. The plot twists are admirable and at this point of the story, nothing is impossible. And just like the first book, I could tell that everything is carefully planned. Despite all the shocking twists, we knew that it is what Schwab intended, there’s absolutely nothing random in it. We also got more glimpse to how the world and the magic system work.

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A Gathering of Shadows is so much more driven by the characters than the plot itself. Not only we could get to know our main characters more, we were also introduced to some new but equally interesting characters.

Kell is still and always will be my #1 favorite. I could understand him better in this book. His restlessness, stubbornness, eagerness for power, and strict attitudes are forever present. He’s also scowling and frowning all the time, which is funny and annoying at the same time. If I were Lila or Rhy, I would definitely do what they do = tease him relentlessly😛 I could also feel how it was for him to be ‘trapped’ and his struggle with Rhy, Lila, and the king really broke my heart. The way everybody treated him broke my heart, actually. I cried reading the part when the king and queen treated him as a prisoner, so mean </3

Rhy, on the other hand, is so sweet and utterly charming. He’s reckless but at the same time very thorough. I’m not gonna lie, I resent him for whatever misery Kell had to go through because of him, BUT I could not hate him. He’s too precious and he has his own problem to deal with. I mean, to think of his naivety and his love for the people around him. Also, Rhy + Kell = best brotherly relationship ever ♥

Lila was as reckless as ever. Too reckless, in fact, that I was beginning to dislike her just a little bit. I don’t mind my heroine having skills and confidence and seeking trouble all the time, but this girl had a death wish and not shy to bring other people down with her. I found myself agreeing with Kell, Tieren, and Allucard when Lila’s power was concerned. And I actually didn’t think she could be that powerful. I really hope book 3 would provide an explanation to why she became what she became.

P.S. I shipped Kell and Lila so hard and also Rhy and his former lover ♥♥♥

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This book also had a very, very cruel ending. THAT CLIFFHANGER??! I mean… the ‘real’ stuffs only began at the last few chapters and then it ended just like that??? I was expecting more so not gonna lie, I was shocked and a bit annoyed. I’m just gonna forget that I read this book until book 3 comes out next year.

As always, the writing is brilliant and I have nothing more to say about it. V.E. Schwab is an amazing storyteller and I really can’t wait to see what she planned for A Conjuring of Light!😀


Have you read A Gathering of Shadows? What do you think about it?

Did the pace bother you? Did the plot twists shock you? Did you ship Lila and Kell?? TELL ME EVERYTHING!! I seriously can’t wait for book 3 and I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥ Let’s discuss it, but as always, let’s steer clear from spoilers so there won’t be any unsolicited spoilers for those who haven’t read the book :) 

P.S. If you haven’t started reading this series, go do it NOW!!😛

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The Royals: The Most Addictive yet Problematic Books I’ve Ever Read

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This fabulous event was created by Aentee @ Read At Midnight where she encouraged us to discuss our problematic faves. The purpose is not to make us stop loving our favorites, but to look at them from more critical lens. Today I’m going to discuss one of my favorite contemporary, The Royals by Erin Watt and I promise I’d be very careful not to spoil anything important🙂

Here are my reviews for each book :

♥ Paper Princess • Broken Prince • Twisted Palace ♥

This series is the epitome of a problematic fave. It has every cliche you can imagine. Plots are unoriginal and the characters aren’t the ones you want to bump into in real life.

And yet… I’m obsessed with The Royals series :’)

I was hooked ever since I read Paper Princess, it was so so so addictive!😛 These books are major page turner, I finished each book in only one sitting and that’s how addictive it is. But everyone who had read this series, including me, must have acknowledged the fact that these books do have some seriously harmful tropes. For most of us, it wasn’t a problem because we didn’t take it seriously. We knew what to expect when we started reading this book.

But does it make the tropes less harmful? Well… no, harmful tropes are harmful, no matter what the justifications are. And objectively speaking, The Royals has A LOT. Here are some of the most harmful tropes (according to me).


I was actually surprised to see these tropes happened not once, not twice, but FIVE TIMES in this entire series. I can’t say who because that would be spoilers, but for those of you who have read the entire series, go ahead and count on your head. Let me know when you’ve reached the same conclusion😛 Actually, there were six, but one doesn’t count because it’s voluntary and obviously planned.

Does this trope move the story? It does, it makes a great drama, and there frankly wouldn’t be any stories if this trope didn’t exist but I couldn’t help thinking that this trope is seriously sick. I mean… really think of what happened in the books. Most of the times they did it to get back and piss each others😦 That is just super messed up.

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You might want to recall what happened in the second book, Broken Prince. Reed forced Ella to talk and forgive him by kissing and trying to turn her on??? I know Reed used to have his own way but I thought his feeling would change him a little. He did change but he still acted like a jerk.

He’s almost abusive and I do not approve sexual violence AT ALL, either it’s verbal or literal. I don’t want people thinking it’s okay to do it. I mean, if a girl (or someone in general) says she hates you and asks you to stay away then PLEASE DO. It’s so annoying to see what Reed did in this book </3


This series definitely have all kinds of bullying, mostly verbal and physical. Let’s see… biggest bully number 1, Jordan Carrington. She did all the things mean girls like to do. Gives someone a bad name and spreads gossips? Checked. Puts trashes in someone’s lockers? Checked. Duct tapes some innocent freshman? Checked.

Next, bully number 2. Daniel DeLacorte. I’m not even gonna explain.

Bully number 3? That’s right, ALL The Royal boys. I mean, have you seen how Reed, Easton, and the rest of the boys behave to those people who talk bad? They solved everything with fist fights and that is most definitely not okay. And don’t forget our heroine Ella Harper, she bullied Jordan and some other kids as well, remember?

I don’t know if private schools are supposed to be like that or if those things actually happen in real life but God I hope not. It was indeed entertaining to watch, but that would also be so messed-up! Bullying should be stopped ♦

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  1. Bad parenting. Ugh, seriously. You’d see one or two or ten bad parenting moves on Callum.
  2. Drug abuse.
  3. The power of money. Seriously, money is literally EVERYTHING in this world. You could buy and silence everyone with money and get away with it. Also, all the gold digging intentions = bad influence.
  4. Gambling and fighting all the time. I mean, it would have been another story if Reed fought in a kick boxing arena or something.
  5. All these Royal boys are seriously fucked up. Look at Reed. Look at Easton. Look at Sawyer and Sebastian. Even Gideon has his own mess to deal with.

But then again, despite all the flaws I just listed above, I’m still so in love with this series and its characters.

The drama is SO RIDICULOUS and very unlikely to happen in real life. I mean, what are the chances a poor girl could live in a mansion, have everything she needs, fall in love, and experience so many troubles like Ella? That would be unrealistic and over the top but hey, I love drama when it’s unrelated to me😛

Also, though all the Royal boys might seem dreamy, I would not get anywhere near them in real life. Let’s say… if my friend is dating a ‘Reed’, I would have encouraged her to break up with him and set her up with someone new, just so she would stay away from him. But only in this series a girl could fan girl over bad boys, right?😉

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  • Have you read The Royal series? If so, what do you think about it?
  • What do you think about all its harmful tropes? Are you okay with tropes like that and despite all objectivity, did you enjoy them?
  • What do you think authors should do to make sure they’re not sending the wrong messages to the readers?
  • Talk to me about your problematic faves and all their harmful tropes! ♦

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My Reading Kaleidoscope Part 2: Teenlit, Harry Potter, & Twilight

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Hello everyone, welcome back to my reading kaleidoscope series! ♥

This series will show you my reading journey that had shaped me into the reader I am today ♥ I will talk about why I love books in the first place, my reading habits, what influences my reading preference, my favorite genres, etc. It will be split into 3 parts.

In PART 1, I talked about what got me into reading and my first few books which were made up of children books and comics. PART 2 would be the time when I explored every genre of every category. My favorite books were mostly teenlit, chicklit, and fantasy. PART 3 would be the time when I sealed my love for fantasy and contemporary while still being open to every other topic and genre out there ♥


PART 2 starts now!😀

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If you read part 1, you might have known that I only ever read comics and children books. That was because all the bookish people around me only read comics too, and the sheer size of novels kinda freaked me out by then. When I entered junior school, I had a classmate named Assa who was into reading as much as I was. One day, she brought a couple of novels to class.

I asked her what they were, and she told me they were books she borrowed from school library. I was like… “the school library has this kind of book? our school library?” I thought school library only provided school books. So the next day, Assa and I went to library where I made my first library card. I was surprised to see that they had sooo many fiction books! Most are teenlits (basically YA contemporary for teens), which were very popular by then. I wanted to borrow this book called ‘Dealova’ because it was a hit and it was made into movie (or the book was made because of the movie? I’m not sure) but someone else wanted to borrow it, so I settled for this book called A Little White Lie.


The story line was similar to P.S. I Like You, but while Lily did it with letters, they did it by texting. It was hilarious and I easily overlooked all its flaws. Believe me, it was flawed, especially the writing! It was kind of sloppy, I tried rereading it when I was older and the writing just turned me off. But at that point, I was in love and the next several months of my school life was spent in and out of the school library. 

Here are some of my favorite teenlit from the old days ♥

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QUESTION: what are your favorite teenlit from when you were a teenager? And to my fellow Indonesian, did you read any of these books?😛

There are also some ‘better-quality teenlit’ that I enjoyed. Why -better-quality-, you asked? Because the writing was indeed better and it seemed to be intended for older teens. I’m not sure if it is a real thing, but you just could tell the difference between the teenlits above and the ones below

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I especially love ALL books written by Sitta Karina, Winna Efendi, and Prisca Primasari. They’re some of my favorite local authors ♥

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When I was in eighth grade, I had another classmate who also loved books. But while Assa and I loved to read contemporary, she preferred fantasy. I wasn’t interested because I never read ANY fantasy books, but one day she brought a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to school. I watched the movies and loved them, so I was curious. I asked her if I could borrow any of her Harry Potter books. She said yes.

By that time, they only made 4 movies, so since I had known the story of book 1-4 through the movies, I opted to borrow book 5. When she brought Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to school, I was horrified. IT WAS BIG. Capital BIG. The translated version has 1200 pages and I was afraid of sheer size. I mean, teenlit only had around 200 pages, so I didn’t know if I was ready for it.

But I refused to back down. I started reading and though my progress was slow, I eventually finished it. It took 2 weeks, but I was instantly OBSESSED! ♥ I borrowed all of her HP books and I was fangirling like mad. I started saving money to buy the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Ever since HP, I was eager to read more fantasy. And then I went into a heavy phase of Twilight obsession.



How could I not?? I was a teenager, I was new into fantasy/paranormal, the concept of hot vampire was super tempting, and Edward Cullen = Robert Pattinson = Cedrick Diggory!😛

All my friends and their moms were also equally obsessed. We spent a lot of times fangirling over the books and the prospect of the movies. What a fun time :P When the movie finally came out, we immediately raced down to the theater. It was kind of disappointing, but we still loved the books. That is until Eclipse when we were kind of ‘forced’ to choose sides between #TeamEdward and #TeamJackob.

I do not like love triangle. Thanks to this series, I’m kind of traumatized </3

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After my encounter with Harry Potter and Twilight, I started branching out to other kind of genres. I started with popular dystopian and chick lit and I loved them equally. Some of my favorites were Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Divergent by Veronica Roth.


I also enjoyed a lot of Indonesian classic literature! When we were in ninth grade, there was this assignment where we have to read and analyze some early literature (around 1920-1930s) from Indonesia. A lot of my friends complained because the books were thick and the writing was old, but I enjoyed it. I was surprised myself, but I guess books are books and I love them nonetheless. At that point, I was certain I could read anything.

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Sometimes later, I went to a bookstore and there was a big sale on classic English literature. I thought to myself… ‘I enjoyed classics, why not try foreign classic?‘ it was in English and I never read any fiction books in English before, but it was super cheap so I bought it anyway. I picked the one written by Shakespeare, because honestly he was the ONLY classic author I knew by then :’)


Did I enjoy it?

Haha, NO. I didn’t even understand it. All the use of thou and thee and I was like, what does that even mean??? I gave up making sense of it at page 12 </3 but I was intrigued to read more books in English, because translated versions aren’t very satisfying. 

My second-first English novel was Delirium by Lauren Oliver. That I could understand because the writing was a lot lighter. I enjoyed it a lot and though it wasn’t overly brilliant, it opened a new door of possibility to me. Ever since Delirium, I was braver to read books in English. I forced myself to read more and more and work on improving my English. Now, I never read translated books anymore🙂


Those are some of my first favorite novels when I was a teenager! ♥Talk to me : what are your first favorite novels? What are your favorite teenlit? Did you enjoy Twilight like I did? 😛 And for book bloggers from non English-speaking countries out there, when did you start leaving translated books behind and start reading the original version?

Don’t forget to come back for PART 3! ♥ 

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Review: Crooked Kingdom // I’m a whirlwind of emotion!

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RATING : 5 Stars


In case you haven’t noticed, I AM OBSESSED with Six of Crows! It has easily become one of my ultimate favorite fantasy, so naturally I was super excited to read its sequel. I just finished reading Crooked Kingdom less than two hours ago and IT WAS GLORIOUS!! I have tendency to dislike, or at least be disappointed by sequel, but no, Crooked Kingdom was brilliant ♦♦♦

The book began on Kaz’s latest scheme. As usual, we readers were blind to what they were up to. Also as usual, Kaz’s plans never failed to amaze me. We were blown away from the very first chapters. Kaz kept a lot of secrets from the others as well as from us readers, but while witholding of information usually irritates me, I rather enjoyed it this time.

THE PLOT was incredible and it was plot twist all the time!! Nothing was predictable. I don’t even think we have a single moment of climax because this whole book is a climax. It has A LOT of shocking ups and downs. Just when I thought things would get better, it got horribly worse, and when I thought ‘oh no things are going to get really messy’, I found out the crows had so much more tricks up their sleeves and managed to turn the odds. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, Leigh Bardugo proved me wrong. And I liked it. No one was safe in this book and it kept me on edge the entire time.

P.S. Watching all their schemes and plans unfolding was like watching Now You See Me 😛

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I am once again in awe by the crows. They’re definitely, ultimately, my current squad goals. Their bravery and loyalty and banters are just to die for ♥ I was also marveled by Kaz’s mastermind, he’s clearly capable of ANYTHING and that’s (weirdly) pleasing to see. Although I wouldn’t say no to more chapters from Kaz’s POV, I was also glad to see the others earned more spotlight than they did before. 

Kaz might be the ultimate brain behind all the schemes, but none of them would have succeed without his crews. Each and everyone of them got the chance to shine and prove themselves worthy. Inej with her faith and marvelous skills, Nina with her wits and incredible newfound talent, Matthias with his honor and strategic mind, Jesper with his yearning for second chance and battles, Wylan with his strong will and chemical talents, and even Kuwei with his determination for a better world. Not to mention Nina and her enthusiasm for foods!! ♥ I obviously need waffles now </3

I’ve come to care for each of them equally because THEY WERE JUST SO PRECIOUS ♥ Their characters are so complex and strong and I loved seeing the dynamic between them. The characters development in this book is to die for. Everyone has their own problems and past to deal with. They were all strong individually, but together they were invincible I COULD CRY!! (I already did, actually…) I also really enjoyed the friendship between each of them, especially Nina and Inej. I don’t know why but relationship between girls are usually frenemies, so I’m glad to see Nina and Inej’s honest friendship ♥

The romances were all so heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time </3 There were a couple of intense, adorable moments, but mostly there were just stolen glances and a brief hand touching. There was NO make out sessions and I loved it because it made me crave for more!! :’) It was subtle but I shipped everybody SO HARD ♥ Things were never easy for them and indeed it should not be easy.

I luuuuuvvve all of them and unfortunately for my heart, Leigh Bardugo aren’t afraid to let something bad happens to them. My heart broke repeatedly when horrible things happened and I cried a lot, especially around the last few chapters of the book </3

But despite of all the horrible things, this book was hilarious! The characters are just sooo funny and sassy and I couldn’t help laughing at their jokes and retort. As an example :

“Can we really guarantee Kuwei’s safety?”

“Unless you have a unicorn for him to ride away on, there is no scenario that guarantees Kuwei’s safety.”

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The ending brought even more emotions in me. It was a perfect ending for this brilliant duology. It broke my heart, but it was a perfectly proper ending for this incredible story. Sacrifices had to be made and I was satisfied. And that very last chapter was so so so amazing! I wouldn’t spoil anything but I tell you I was so happy with it! ♥

I don’t think I need to comment on Leigh Bardugo’s writing other than to say that it was incredibly perfect and to ask about when she will publish another book. Because clearly I need MORE :P


Have you read Crooked Kingdom? What do you think about it? I am obviously obsessed with it and I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥ Let’s discuss it, but as always, let’s steer clear from spoilers so there won’t be any unsolicited spoilers for those who haven’t read the book :) 

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Books I Read Because of the HYPE (and totally live up to it)


Hello everyone! ♦

It’s been a while since I’ve been actually active on the blogosphere. I’ve been busy and haven’t had the time to reply comments or blog hop. My whole blog post schedules are a mess because I’ve been behind on drafting all the posts I have planned😦 but I’m planning to blog hop and draft some posts today in case I don’t have the time to do it again😀

Today’s post is something I’ve been planning for awhile… hyped books that totally live up to the hype and MORE! I’m also going to link this post to this week Top Ten Tuesday, Books You Read Because of Recommendation. I know I’m a day late for TTT, but whatever right?😛 Continue reading


Favorite Books to Reread (+Favorite Parts from Each Book)

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These couple of days of my life had been spent by re-watching the whole episodes of Descendants of the Sun. Yes, that super famous, super adorable k-drama😛 I’ve been fangirling over Captain Yoo and his relationship with Mo Yoen for days ♥♥ I started watching all the episodes, then went back to watch my favorite scenes.

It inspired me to write this post. I’m a notorious book re-reader (is than even a thing?) There’s just something fun from it. For me, just because I already know what happens, doesn’t mean the book will become less interesting. Sometimes I reread a whole book, sometimes only my favorite parts. In this post, I’m going to list down some of my favorite rereads of all time & my favorite parts from each book 😛

Don’t worry about spoilers, I’ll be careful😉 Continue reading


It’s NOT COOL to Hate on Books You Haven’t Read!

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I’ve been on goodreads for 5 years and I never write reviews for books I haven’t read, let alone books that aren’t even published, so I really need to rant about this. If you’ve been following the bookish community, you might have noticed a couple of recent cases in which this happened. Let me refresh your memory🙂

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Last month, a lot of people gave a 1-star rating for Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. This happened around a week before and after its publication date. At first I panicked! Continue reading