4

Review: History is All You Left Me // Character Driven, Complex, and Beautiful

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RATING : 3-stars

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It’s a little disappointing to see that I’ve fallen into the hype. In case you didn’t know, I loved More Happy Than Not and this book is honestly one of my most anticipated releases this year. This is gonna be an unpopular opinion but unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed.

History is All You Left me follows the story of Griffin, a high school senior whose ex-boyfriend Theo just died in a drowning accident. Theo was Griff’s best friend, first love, and probably end game as well. They broke up before Theo went to college in California. In there Theo started a new relationship with Jackson, despite saying that Griff would be his end game as well.

Unsurprisingly, the writing is beautiful and vivid. I was hooked from the first page because it jumped straight to the important scene : Theo’s funeral. However, it went downhill fast. Suddenly the pace slowed and to be honest, I was bored 😦 the writing alternates between past and present and while I usually love it, I found myself having a hard time this time. The past chapters were too… rambly. There are too many filler paragraphs, discussing things that don’t really matter. However, we got a lot of Harry Potter and Star Wars references so at least those parts were great.

My biggest issue with this book is that I couldn’t emotionally connect with the characters. Despite narrating the story, I felt so distant from Griffin and I have no idea why. And if I’m already that disconnected from the main character, you can imagine how I felt for the rest of the characters. This is upsetting because it prevented me from feeling what Griffin and the other characters felt. That’s why I was only a liiiitle bit sad. I thought I was gonna cry like a baby but it didn’t happen.

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The middle of the book was probably the hardest because there was nothing much happened there. I realized this is character driven, but still, I was bored. I wanted things to happen immediately and when it finally did… well, there’s this twist (sort of) near the end of the book but it didn’t blow me away as much as I expected. I really didn’t see it coming, though it makes sense, but it wasn’t as surprising as the twist in More Happy. The ending was great, but to me it still didn’t make up for the rest of the book.

Speaking of the characters, it’s so great that almost all the characters are complex and realistic. Griffin stood out because not only was I in his head, his characterization was also explored thoroughly. He made plenty of bad decisions that I wouldn’t agree of, but it’s understandable. Jackson took a while to grow on me but by the time I closed the book, I absolutely loved him. Wade—Griff and Theo’s best friend—is probably my favorite. He’s sassy, funny, yet thoughtful at the same time. I also love Griffin’s parents ♥

The only person I didn’t like was Theo. I felt awful because he’s dead and he meant so much for Griff and Jackson. I loved the romance but the truth is, Theo was selfish. Griff might be the one who broke their relationship but Theo held the key. He found a new boyfriend (which is completely okay and not his fault since they’d already broken up) but he kept leading Griff on and it pissed me off because Griffin (and Jackson) deserved better. I just, I couldn’t see why he was so special for Griff and Jackson and again, I felt awful for saying this 😦

I love the portrayal of grief in this book. Everybody went through it, only differently. I also love how real the portrayal of OCD in this book was. It’s vivid and realistic and I loved to see how much Griffin’s OCD and anxiety affected his daily life. At the end of the book, Griffin got slightly better—well, not exactly better but more like he wanted to be better and were open to change, because of certain someone. I was worried about it but overall I think it was handled well. However, I was really not a fan of Theo calling Griffin’s OCD “quirks” even though THE BOOK DIDN’T CONDONE IT. But still, it kinda rubbed me the wrong way and only made me dislike Theo even more </3

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ALL IN ALL, History is All You Left Me didn’t live up to my expectation, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. The characters are great, complex, and realistic. There’s also a realistic portrayal of grief and OCD. Unfortunately, I was unable to emotionally connect with the characters and couldn’t feel what they felt. I’d still recommend it for readers who are looking for m/m romance and character driven novel and I’d definitely read more of Adam Silvera’s upcoming books ♥

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Book Title : History is All You Left Me
Author : Adam Silvera
Publisher : Simon & Schuster
Release Date : January 17th 2017

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

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Have you read History is All You Left Me? What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥

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5

Review : The Hate U Give // Powerful, Important, and Provocative

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RATING : 5 Stars

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Five stars and more, and I don’t think any reviews will ever do this book justice. It’s so powerful, wonderful, and undoubtedly the most important and honest book I’ve ever read in my life.

As could be inferred from the blurb, The Hate U Give was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Going into this book, I almost didn’t know what to expect. I heard it was amazing, unapologetic, and possibly one of the best books everyone’s ever read. But still, I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was so much… more, than I could have expected. This book was so honest, strong, brilliant, and it evoked so many emotions in me. Hours after reading that last page, I’m still reeling with my emotion. There are so many things I want to discuss about this book.

Racism is a prominent theme of this book. It discusses racism, shows us what happens, and how it affects the Black and their lives. The way it was portrayed was unapologetically honest. Starr doesn’t narrate it in a mean and bitter way, she doesn’t mean to corner White people, she just talks about the reality. Differences between races exist, and so does racism.

I don’t want to say things like “I learned so much about racism and Black people” just by reading one book. It sounds… naive, and despite Angie Thomas’s honest and brilliant portrayal of it, I’m sure there are a lot of things I still don’t understand, and I don’t want to act like I do. But I’m gonna say this : THUG gives me so much insight to the lives of Black people and the racism they have to deal with. It makes me realize that racism runs so much deeper than I ever knew. It’s internalized. It’s everywhere. It’s hard to avoid, and just like Starr said, you can say something racist and not be a racist. And it’s dangerous. It costs people like Khalid, and who knows who else, their lives.

This book also evoked so many emotions in me. Seeing all the things that happened to Starr, her family, Khalid, and everyone in her neighborhood makes me angry, sad, heartbroken, furious, and baffled. But seeing Starr with her friends and family makes me smile, happy, and laugh. Between its tough issues and its sass, THUG is a perfect mix.

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More than anything, this book also makes me uncomfortable–in the best way possible. I almost never have any encounter with people from different races. In this country where I live, almost everyone here is Indonesian. We might come from different ethnics, but we’re the same race after all. But still, prejudice between ethnic exists. Sometimes I assume things about other ethnics based on common stereotypes. I know it’s not the same as racism, but it pains me to realize that I’m practically doing the same thing that these cops and some of Starr’s friends do to Khalid. They make assumption.

I also hate the fact that sometimes I justify cops killing people. It might not be about racism here, but sometimes police officers shoot drug dealers and other criminals to death. I never condone it. I believe it’s not justice. But sometimes, some tiny part of me, feel… I don’t know, relieved, that one bad person is gone. Reading THUG made me feel so, so deeply ashamed of myself for ever feeling this way. But like I said, this is the good kind of uncomfortable, because now I realize where I did wrong and it makes me want to stop doing those things for ever.

Characters wise, THUG also does a really wonderful job. Starr is my new favorite protagonist. She’s brave, strong, funny, and she’s sooo sassy I love her. She grows so much in the span of one book and I love seeing her growth. She’s grown from someone who felt like she needed to hide her true self to someone who’s not afraid. Someone who feels confident with herself and not afraid to show the world who she really is. I love all her family as fell. Seven, Sekani, Starr’s father and mother, even Uncle Carlos and Nana. They’re all amazing and together they make a wonderful family dynamic. They’re definitely my new family goal ♥

The friendship dynamic in this book is also brilliant. I love Maya, Kenya, Chris, even Hailey (even if I dislike that girl so much). I love the fact that they exist and a part of Starr’s world. It gives so much depth into the story and it makes Starr’s life more relatable. I felt weird toward Chris at first, or still do, but I love the fact that he sticks with Starr to the end. It’s also very refreshing to see a couple had been together before the story started.

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ALL IN ALL, The Hate U Give is definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. It’s wonderful, it’s so unapologetically honest, and it’s so unlike everything I ever read before. It changes my perspectives. You probably realized that I talked a lot about how the book affected me, because that’s how powerful this book really is. Highly, highly recommended.

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Book Title : The Hate U Give
Author : Angie Thomas
Publisher : Walker Books
Release Date : February 28th 2017

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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Have you read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas? What do you think about it? Did you learn as much as I did from it? What is the most important book you’ve ever read? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥

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57

Reviewing on Goodreads and on the Blog: is There Any Difference?

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Hello everyone! ♥

Welcome back to another discussion post 😀 today we’ll talking about reviewing books on different platforms and if there’s any difference between them. A few weeks ago I stumbled across a blogging tip post that talks about the difference between reviewing books on goodreads and on our blog and the blogger said that it should be different. It surprised me a little because I’m that kind of reviewer who practically copies-and-pastes my goodreads reviews to my blog 😁

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Basically this is what I usually do : 

  1. I write review as soon as I finish a book and post it on goodreads (and netgalley if I get the book from them)
  2. I copy-paste the review to my blog, add star ratings, add links too Goodreads, Amazon, and TBD, and break up my review so it won’t seem as long.
  3. Add pictures of the books
  4. Check for typos or offensive critiques and make sure they’re gone before I hit publish. This is probably the ONLY difference because I almost never proofread my goodreads reviews. They’re full of typos and I don’t really care
  5. Post the blog review according to my schedule (every Thursday)
  6. Sometimes if I remember, I put a link to my blog on my goodreads review

But after reading that blog post I started to question my credibility as a reviewer and whether I’ve been doing the wrong things all along :’) so I did some google search for everything I need to know about this topic.

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The first result landed me on Kourtni’s post about reviewing on different platforms. On her post, Kourtni talked about a reviewer who posts significantly different reviews on her blog and on goodreads in which her blog reviews are way nicer than her goodreads reviews—which are pretty harsh and brutal. Kourtni than said that according to that reviewer, it’s because different kinds of reviews are popular on different platforms. I quote :

She felt that Goodreads reviews were more popular and taken more seriously if they were extremely critical, but noted that this was not a good strategy on a book blog, where readers expected a more fair and balanced but honest review. She seemed to change the wording of her review (and sometimes completely change the content) based on what she thought readers were looking for.

It’s probably a truth widely acknowledge that on goodreads, the harsher you get, the more popular your reviews become. If you haven’t noticed that, try scrolling through the review section of some of the popular books, you’ll see the top results are mostly harsh reviews. I did more google search and it landed me on Goodreads Review Guidelines. According to the guidelines, goodreads is for expressing our honest opinion about books. Harsh critical statements that apply to the book or the writing in it, such as “This guy can’t write a lick,” or “This book is absolute trash,” is allowed on Goodreads review—as it is an honest opinion.

Now let’s think about reviewing on the blog. As far as I know, there’s no guideline or rules about it. We are free to review the books however we want to, but everything we write is on us. I can’t imagine myself saying harsh things like “this book is absolute trash” on my blog just because it has messy plot or immature characters, that’s just… too brutal and I don’t have the nerve, or heart, to do it. We can’t forget the fact that behind every book, no matter how awful it is, there’s a person who’s done a hard work to write it. I’m not gonna bash them on my blog.

I guess my point is that on the blog, everything we write is our responsibility while on goodreads, we are still protected by the rules and guidelines. Also, I noticed that a lot of goodreads reviewers strive for popularity, that’s why the snarkier the reviews, the better.

HOWEVER, I wasn’t sure if the difference in reviews is simply because of popularity, so I did more research and it landed me on Ashley @ Nose Graze’s post : Goodreads Reviews Can Outrank Your Blog Reviews. I suggest you read Ashley’s post because she understands and explains this better than I could possibly do but bottom line is :

1) If you post identical reviews on goodreads and on your blog, your goodreads reviews will beat your blog in search ranking. This means that if you google your blog/goodreads username and the title of the book, your goodreads review will show up first on google search results. The first thing Ashley did to win back her blog SEO was to change her goodreads username so it wouldn’t be identical to her blog name. In my case, I’d have to remove “Sparkling Letters” from my goodreads user name so if anyone google Sparkling Letters reviews, they will be directed to my blog.

2) If you post identical reviews on goodreads and on your blog, Google would recognize it as duplicate content and pick only one result to display. In which case, see point number one. I admit that this never even occurred to me before! I post identical reviews on goodreads and my blog and the problem is, I post my goodreads review first and then post the same review on my blog a few days/weeks later. So by that logic, google would consider the review on my blog as the duplicate and the review on my goodreads as the original one, right? Scary! I don’t want google or people thinking that I’m the plagiarist one :’)

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Now we’ve reached the point when I ask myself the question : what am I gonna do about it? Based on the discussions above, we could see that there are a few things we could do.

The first is to change our goodreads username so it won’t match our blog name. I already did it. In fact, my goodreads username has always been ‘Puput’, without my blog name behind it. I don’t know if there’s any other consequences if you do this (e.g. branding, recognition, etc) but I think I’m good so far.

The second is to not post identical contents. If you post different kind of reviews on your blog and goodreads, you could kill two birds with one stone. 1) google won’t recognize your contents as duplicate and 2) if you could make your goodreads review a little snarkier, you have the chance to be more popular there. Now this is the problem.

I really don’t have the time to write TWO different reviews for a book. I mean, it’s time consuming enough to have to write one review. There’s other solution to this problem, that is to write a shorter version of your review on goodreads, and then link it to your longer and more comprehensive blog review. This way google won’t recognize the contents as duplicate. The thing is, I… don’t want to do it. I love having my full reviews on goodreads so people (or at least my goodreads friends who don’t follow my blog) could still read my full thoughts on the book.

I’m honestly concerned about the duplicate issue, so I still haven’t decided if I’m gonna post a shorter review on goodreads or not. As for popularity, I don’t really care if my goodreads reviews are popular or not. There was the time when I did care but now, not so much. I’ve accepted the fact that I wouldn’t be famous there and that’s okay. Plus I use goodreads mainly to track my reading 😛

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Alright everyone, those are my thoughts and research results about reviewing on different platforms? What do you usually do? Do you post similar reviews, or do you make certain changes so they’re not the same? Do you care about popularity, stats, SEO, and the duplicate issues? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥

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15

Review : A Quiet Kind of Thunder // Important, Relatable, and Sassy

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RATING : 4 Stars

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Hello everyone! ♥ if you pay attention to my posting schedule, you’ll know that Tuesday is for random posts and review is supposed to be posted on Thursday. This Thursday is almost the end of March, which means I’ll be posting my monthly recap. So here’s a review on a Tuesday! 😀

This is the story of Steffi, a 17 year-old high school girl with selective mutism and anxiety. On the first day of school, Steffi was introduced to Rhys, a new guy at school who was deaf. The school staff thought it would be great to pair them up, only because Steffi could speak BSL and therefore could help Rhys settled in. What started out as annoyance on Steffi’s part quickly turned into happiness because Rhys is actually a really great and adorable guy.

From the very first chapter, I instantly connected with Steffi. Not because I share her condition, but simply because she’s a very relatable person. That, and the fact that she has a really sarcastic sense of humor really charmed me. I loved how Sara Barnard explored Steffi’s condition as a selective mute and as a person with anxiety, and how no matter how much she wants to get better, there’s the fear of losing her sense of self if she suddenly be able to talk all the time. The way she described her anxiety, it was so easy to understand for someone like me. Between AQKOT and Queens of Geek, the book I just finished recently, books are doing really good job explaining anxiety.

Rhys is downright adorable, but I’ve said that before. He’s so friendly, sweet, patient, and genuine, but now without his angsty side. Just like how it is with Steffi, being deaf plays a hugeee part of Rhys’ life. It’s not all he is, but it is a central part. I love seeing how he navigates between both worlds, the hearing world and the deaf world, and how sometimes everything just frustrates him beyond belief. It was all so real. Reading about Rhys also made me realize that as a hearie, there are so many offensive things I could do without realizing that they are in fact, offensive. Things like raising my voice when talking to a deaf person, talking too fast, or not looking at them while talking. This is all so important and I’m glad the book managed to touch these issues effortlessly.

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Their relationship is both simple yet complicated at the same time. The way they understand each other? It was effortless. But there’s also the barriers, starting from the most basic one like how Rhys can’t hear and Steffi can’t talk, to the usual couple problems of miscommunication. I love reading their texts, super adorable and I really think texting is one of the most exciting element of a new relationship. It’s also nice to see that although they bonded over their limitation in communication, it’s not the reason why they are in love with each other.

And I think… every couple can relate to their problems, because their problems aren’t exclusive to deaf, selective mute, and anxious people. Misunderstanding, insecurity, saying things we don’t actually mean, it could happen to every couple. It does, actually, so it’s kind of nice to see that even if Steffi and Rhys have their own situation, it doesn’t always have to be the source of the problems. Obviously, I’m not trying to downplay their struggles and say that it’s not a big deal, because it is.

Let’s not forget that friendship and family also play a big role in Steffi’s life. I love her relationship with Tem and the conflicts within it. It’s wonderful and multi-dimensional. And her family, albeit far from perfect, is a realistic portrayal of family life. I love Steffi’s dad, Lucy, and her mum, though she’s definitely not my favorite person in the book. Also, also, cheers to how much animal appreciation there is in the book! I feel like I love Rita ♥

I also appreciate that being with Rhys doesn’t automatically cure Steffi from her anxiety nor selective mutism. I admit, I was so worried that there would be some romantic cure but as far as can tell, that’s not what happened. Steffi gets better, but it’s not only because of Rhys. Like the book said, it was a combination of medication, Rhys, and being ‘forced’ to go to school without Tem. I like how comprehensive it is because as far as I know, that’s what actually happens in real life. A combination of things.

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ALL IN ALL, A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a wonderful, quick read that effortlessly handles so many important issues. Deafness, selective mutism, anxiety, family, and friendship, among other things. On top of it all, this book is also incredibly sweet and adorable it would make you giddy with happiness. Highly recommended for a fan of realistic fiction contemporary 🙂

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Book Title : A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author : Sara Barnard
Publisher : Macmillan Children’s Book
Release date : January 12th 2017

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.

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Have you read A Quiet Kind of Thunder? What do you think about it? Do you have other book recommendations similar to it? Also, has anyone read Beautiful Broken Things? I’m thinking of ordering it because I love Sara Barnard’s writing and also the covers match each other. I’d love to hear your thoughts ♥

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34

Review : The Bear and the Nightingale // Cold, Dark, and Captivating

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RATING : 45-stars

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There are two things that drawn me into this book : 1) Russian folklore and 2) gorgeous cover. I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book and I thought, even if I didn’t, the cover only was worth buying 😛 After reading it from end to end, I could say that The Bear and the Nightingale is one of those bizarre books that just work.

I always enjoy books with Russian vibe, but this book takes place in a rarely seen side of Russia. The characters live in this land called Lesnaya Zemlya, the northern part of Russia where the winter is so long. Since most of the stories take place in winter, the atmosphere of the book was cold and dark. Its depiction of winter nights and forests gave me chill. You just can feel the cold… figuratively.

The pace of the story was slow. It started before Vasya, our main character, was even born and ended until she was roughly 15. It was told from third person point of view and while at first I felt disconnected from the characters, I grew to love it as the story progressed. The way it was told was whimsical. It’s like hearing a fairy tale being read to you on a cold, dark night while you huddle under the blanket near the fire place. The prose is so rich, lyrical, and detailed. It was enchanting, but maybe not for those who prefer their stories fast paced and action packed. This isn’t that kind of story.

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The Bear and the Nightingale has some of the most complex and profound characters I’ve ever read about. They’re just endearing! ♥ At least some of them, while the rests are infuriating but still equally complex. I love Vasya to pieces. She’s so brave and caring, loyal and innocent, but not naive. She loves her family and her horses and the magical creatures so much. It hurts to see her misunderstood by so many people. I didn’t realize how much I care about her until I cried for her 😂

I adore almost all Vasya’s siblings as well. Olga, Sasha (!!!), Irina, and Alyosha (!!!) (sorry Kolya, you didn’t make the list. You’re annoying). They’re so sweet and loving especially Alyosha. I love seeing his relationship with Vasya. He takes care of her. He’s skeptical, but he always believes in Vasya and he’s willing to get involved in whatever weird things Vasya does just so she won’t be alone. It’s sweet ♥ Sasha’s exactly the same, too bad he went to Moscow early in the book and we didn’t get the chance to see more of him 😦 Their father Pyotr isn’t bad either. He’s complicated and I like it. The only person I don’t like from this book is Anna Ivanovna, Vasya’s stepmother. She’s mean and cruel to Vasya </3

The plot didn’t really kick until the third part of the book. The first part was more about introduction and history. It talked about who’s who, Vasya’s mother, the kids’ childhood, and the original tale of the Winter king. Part 2 mostly talked about Vasya’s life during her adolescence and her relationship with the magical creatures around her. Now part 3 is when the story gets serious. I tell you, IT’S CREEPY. Like, seriously! I was scared??? I had to close the book because I read at night and the story started to spook me. Some of the scenes were really graphic too 😂

By the end of the book, I was feeling content but also unsatisfied at the same time. Content because it didn’t end in cliffhanger and we actually got to see the resolution of the conflicts. Unsatisfied because while one conflict was resolved, we know that there will be more to the story, so much more, and I can’t wait to find out what will happen next. I’m also incredibly excited because I heard book two will tell us more about Olga and Sasha, Vasya’s elder siblings who both live in Moscow.

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ALL IN ALL, The Bear and the Nightingale was an enchanting story with rich and whimsical prose that will sway you with its magical vibe. It’s dark and cold and creepy but it will also charm you, especially because the characters are so endearing. However, this isn’t for the readers who like their story fast paced because this one is slow, but worth it ♥

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Book Title : The Bear and the Nightingale (The Bear and the Nightingale #1)
Author : Katherine Arden
Publisher Del Rey
Release Date : January 17th 2017

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

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Have you read The Bear and the Nightingale? What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts ♥ Also, I’m open to recommendations if you have any favorites Russian-inspired books 😀

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12

Review : A Conjuring of Light // Intense, Comical, and Perfect

Sparkling Letters Book Blog Review-A Conjuring of Light by V E Schwab (2).jpg

RATING : 5 Stars

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Click here for my review of A Darker Shade of Magic • A Gathering of Shadow

SO, SO WORTH THE WAIT!!

In case you didn’t know, Shades of Magic is definitely one of my MOST favorite fantasy so naturally, I was really looking forward to this book. And guysss, the wait was so worth it because THIS IS AMAZING! This book is EVERYTHING I wanted and MORE ♥ This is one of those books that is SO GOOD it’s hard to review….. so bear with me while I try to find words? 😛

Plot wise, there’s no doubt this book was splendid. It picked up right where we left off on A Gathering of Shadows when Lila tried to go after Kell to White London. So yeah, we’re getting action since the first chapter and IT WAS INTENSE. I was already on edge from the start and stayed there until 5 chapters before the end. However, it wasn’t… as brutal as I feared it would be. Don’t get me wrong, it was VERY brutal with blood and deaths everywhere but I was kinda expecting something even more brutal. I’m morbid, I know. Continue reading

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Review: Caraval // Strange, Magical, and Enchanting

Sparkling Letters Book Blog- Review-Caraval by Stephanie Garber (1).jpg

RATING : 45-stars

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TRIGGER WARNING : PARENTAL ABUSE

Going into a hyped book could be utterly terrifying. There’s always that dreaded question of “what if I don’t like this book?”. That’s why I was so, so wary of starting Caraval, especially since I’ve been in fantasy slump for the past 3 months. But wow, this book was pretty amazing! It reminded me of how much I love fantasy and got me back in the game. Though I kinda bounced between 4 and 5 stars the whole time I was reading it. Basically this is how I felt : Continue reading