What Happens When Ancient Rome Gets a Fantasy Makeover


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

★★★★★ — 98%


I’ve been all kinds of evil and have kept An Ember in the Ashes’ goodness to myself these past 82013 months, but it’s finally time to share it with you.

Aren’t I sweet? (Feel free to pay me with cake or something.)

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Continue reading “What Happens When Ancient Rome Gets a Fantasy Makeover”

Everything, Everything was Disappointing, Disappointing

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

★ — 25%


Everything, Everything was my first contemporary. And it promised so much.

But I don’t even know what happened.

The first half was cute and light and adorable and then the second half turned it on its head. Basically it hopped on a train and shot off at 8596 mph and left me in the dust wondering where in the world my feelings were. But I’m glad I missed the train because it ended up heading in a horrible direction.

I won’t recommend it to anyone and I won’t read it again. I wasted my time the first time.


img_7509My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Continue reading “Everything, Everything was Disappointing, Disappointing”

Throne of Glass: Assassins, Princes, and A Fairly Pleased Me 


Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

★★★★ — 80%


Throne of Glass was the second book I read this past August, and I almost had as much fun reading it as I would swimming and drowning in a sea of cake.


I’m aware that this series half lives in perennial shade and there’s very much a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing running around it, so I’m sorry if it gave you murderous tendencies and you really just want me to choke till it suffocates and dies because I only hate on it for like, a small majority of the review.*

I sort of loved the vile thing.

*Making sense is too mainstream

img_7509After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Continue reading “Throne of Glass: Assassins, Princes, and A Fairly Pleased Me “

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Review + Random Mutterings About the Conclusion of the Grisha Trilogy

It’s been two months since I’ve posted a review on here. What is up with me.

Sorry for the silence. I know you missed me.*

I’m back and filled with more nerd rage than ever. Muhahahahaha. Run while you still can.**

I’m going to try not to scream too much at Leigh Bardugo in this review, but who knows. I’m angry. And she sort of ripped out my heart in this book. *glares* I have one question for you Leigh… WHYYYY.

I’m trying to keep it spoiler-free, but if you’re the type who will hunt down anyone who mentions anything and smother them in stuffed animals (that sounds kind of nice, actually) AVOID ME AND MY REVIEW.

That’s right, I’m giving you leave to run. (The footnote doesn’t apply to you, you special bunch.) Now go away. GO.

*Actually, we both know that’s not true. BUT GO WITH IT.

**Just kidding, please don’t run. If you did, I’d have an emotional meltdown and throw my books at the wall in my rage/sadness…and we don’t want that, because, BOOKS. Please don’t make me hurt them. 

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Recommended

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Continue reading “Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Review + Random Mutterings About the Conclusion of the Grisha Trilogy”

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – Review

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 Stars

It’s been five months since I’ve read Shadow and Bone and now I’ve finally read the sequel.

It’s sad, I know.


I finished Siege and Storm a whole day ago and I still can’t speak. (Okay, I might be stretching that a little, BUT I’VE TRIED TO START THIS REVIEW LIKE TEN TIMES SO…)

Excuse me, that was unprofessional.

Siege and Storm was everything I could want in a sequel. It started off intensely fast, and didn’t let up until the last page was turned. It was brilliant, and I can’t wait for more.

NOTE: Due to the nature of this review, as Siege and Storm is a sequel, if you haven’t read Shadow and Bone or if you have but want to make sure you’re not spoiled for the next book, I’d stop here and read up before checking out this review! 🙂 I don’t want to spoil you on accident (and if I do I’m really sorry!) so it might be safer to skip my nerdy ramblings for now and get your hands on the books. 😉 I try to keep my reviews spoiler-free, but sometimes I start ranting and forget! So before you continue on, just make sure you’re okay with that, savvy?

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Recommended

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Continue reading “Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – Review”

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – Review

The Young Elites by Marie Lu: 4/5 Stars

This was a strange book.

Seriously, it was.

It had a different feel to it than any book I’ve read before, and even reviewing it feels different. It was really difficult to decide whether it crossed the line to four stars or stayed back at three, and honestly, if I wasn’t reading the sequel right now and enjoying it, I’d give it a three star rating, no recommendation, and call it a day.

But I’m finding that it’s worthwhile to read for the next installment. Even if my feelings for The Young Elites were…different.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu: 4/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Not Recommended

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Continue reading “The Young Elites by Marie Lu – Review”

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

Sequels are hard. They’re hard to write, they’re hard to read, they’re hard to enjoy. And it’s super hard to not compare them to their precursor.

Remember InsurgentCatching Fire, and Glass Sword? Case in point.

At first, Gemina was a little like that. After all, it’s only expected, right? I’m pleased to inform you that it didn’t stay like that for long. It was out of this world.

(…had to.)

I’ve had to wait a bit before writing a review for Gemina because I needed to calm down. And give myself some therapy. And ceremoniously return it to its place on my shelf. You know where I’m going.

So I present to you, The Review. Pray I make sense.


If you are one of those unfortunate beings, let me steer you over here instead, where we can chat without spoiling the series for you. You’re welcome.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Science FictionAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Recommended

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Continue reading “Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review”

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

It’s been a few days now since I finished Illuminae. Maybe a week. I’ve been trying to write a review ever since I flipped the last page, and the words just don’t come.


Illuminae blew me away.

It’s one of those books that leaves you slightly breathless, and well, speechless too.

I’m hoping a week is long enough to let the book settle and fade so I can write a mildly coherent review. Though it’ll probably just sound like vague screaming anyway. THIS IS GOING TO BE A MESSY REVIEW, JUST SAYING.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Science FictionAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Recommended

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Continue reading “Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review”

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth – Review

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth: 3/5 Stars

Does the graphic look familiar? I used the same design last week with my review for The Falconer, but since the background photo is actually from Carve the Mark, I thought I’d use it here as well. 😉

I finished Carve the Mark in a rush last month, but I had to wait a while to write a proper review because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out if I even liked it or not. Thankfully, I know now that’s a big fat “No.”

Though I didn’t particularly “like” it, I still can’t give a straight answer to someone if they ask me if I recommend CTM, because I don’t know if the problems I had with it are just my own pickiness or a universal flaw. So maybe my review can help you decide if it’s worth your while. I went ahead and tagged it as “not recommended” on here though because frankly, I felt like I wasted my own time. (Sort of.)

In any case, Carve the Mark is not a book I’m dying to run back to, and it’s not a book I’d care to remember.

Allow me to tell you why.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth: 3/5 Stars

★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Action/AdventureScience Fiction / Content: 16+ / Not Recommended

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive—no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship—and love—in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

Continue reading “Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth – Review”

The Falconer by Elizabeth May – Review

The Falconer by Elizabeth May: 3/5 Stars

Ah, my first experience reading a steampunk novel.

Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry about itYou’re better off not knowing.

Now that sounds dramatic. I’m sorry. It really wasn’t that bad. Overall, it was a pretty fair story… It’s just that I didn’t become a bookworm to fall in love with a “pretty fair story.”

The Falconer by Elizabeth May: 3/5 Stars

★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Action/Adventure / Content: 14+ / Not Recommended

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale.

Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

Continue reading “The Falconer by Elizabeth May – Review”