Series Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (In Prep for the Movie!!)

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What a wild ride! Crazy Rich Asians was everything the blurb promised and more. There’s shockingly lavish descriptions, gossip that can go on for days, and ultimately excellent execution of the nuances of East/Southeast Asian culture. I was not disappointed by this series (I mean come on, I finished all three books in TWO DAYS the week before finals), and am even more excited to see the movie!! I’ll split this series review in three short parts for each three books, with no spoilers. And with that, a quote that made me laugh out loud because of how true it is:

“Why do we Chinese never learn? Every time we get mixed up with the West, everything falls apart.”

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Mini-Reviews: Georgina Kincaid Series (Old School Urban Fantasy)

Instead of doing a massive series review for this six book series, I did a super mini review of each book, basically summarizing my thoughts in one rather small paragraph. It’s not often I go on an Urban Fantasy binge, but when I do I usually read a lot in one go. I’m also letting you guys know that the low(er) ratings I’m giving these books isn’t because they’re bad, but because of their sheer predictability. Plus I read this series in two days haha, and I’m not sure if it’s because it was such a mindless read or because it was good-not-great but addicting. Or maybe just my sheer tenacity for binging the series. Either way, take that as you well and let me know if you’ve read these books or thought of reading them!

Georgina Kincaid Series
Author: Richelle Mead
Books: 6 in series
Overall Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:
The Georgina Kincaid series is a collection of six urban fantasy novels written by Richelle Mead. The series is written in a first-person perspective following the main character, Georgina Kincaid, who is a succubus with a heart working at a local book store, Emerald City Books & Cafe.

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Series Review: Dearest by Lex Martin

I’d just like to start these reviews off by saying that this series is by far one of my favorites in the genre of New Adult. I’m constantly on the look-out for ones similar to these, because they’re just what I’m looking for when reading NA: great characterizations, superb romances, and a hint of angst that provides an actually compelling climax. I always say NA books are my guilty reads, but I felt no shame reading this wonderful series.

22351498Dearest Clementine
Author: Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #1
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Synopsis:

Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn’t mind being called bitchy and closed off. It’s safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out…in the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

The Good:

– Clementine was a character you could really empathize with. Shit’s happened to her, but she gets back up every time.

– Gavin. Just Gavin. Give me one in my life. The relationship progression was also nicely done – especially when you consider Clementine’s non-trusting character.

– Their friends were so supportive and lively that you can’t help but smile at their antics. 🙂

The Not-So-Good:

– While I appreciate the whole stalker situation, it also annoyed me because hellloooo? Me wants more romance. It was fine though, in the long run (some leeway was made since it provided angst for our main couple). And surprisingly interesting.

– The familial aspects could have been touched upon a bit more. They were always hinted upon, but never confronted directly.

Overall:

Definitely recommended for New Adult readers and the ones venturing into this genre (like me)! The characters were all pretty great and unique in their own way. The romance was adorableee; I only wish there were more of it instead of the whole situation with Prof. Stalker. Other than that, it was just delightful!


20630331Finding Dandelion
Author: Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #2
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Synopsis:

When soccer all-star Jax Avery collides with Dani Hart on his twenty-first birthday, their connection is instantaneous and explosive. For the first time in years, Jax isn’t interested in his usual hit-it and quit-it approach.

But Dani knows better. Allowing herself a night to be carefree and feel the intensity of their attraction won’t change anything when it comes to dealing with a player. So when Jax doesn’t recognize Dani the next time he sees her, it shouldn’t be a total shock. The fact that he’s her new roommate’s brother? That’s a shock.

Dani doesn’t regret that night with Jax, just the need to lie about it. Since her roommate has made it clear what she thinks about her brother’s “type” of girl, the last thing Dani wants is to admit what happened.

Jax knows he’s walking a fine line on the soccer team. One more misstep and he’s off the roster, his plans to go pro be damned. Except he can’t seem to care. About anything… except for the one girl who keeps invading his dreams.

Despite Jax’s fuzzy memory of his hot hookup with his sister’s friend, he can’t stay away from her, even if it means breaking his own rules. But there are bigger forces at work–realities that can end Dani’s college career and lies that can tear them apart.

Jax realizes what he’s losing if Dani walks away, but will he sacrifice his future to be with her? And will she let him if he does?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

So sweet!

As all the other books in the series, Martin delivers yet another adorable and heartfelt NA about two people who find their way in the world. This series also has some of the best writing that I’ve ever read in the NA genre, too. It’s not filled with awkward prose and mundane descriptions, nor does it have blunt statements that gloss over events and are filled with no emotion. Something about it just clicks with me, which is why I enjoy Martin’s books so much.

As much as I loved the interaction between the two characters and their friends, the realistic aspect made it much too unbelievable for it to truly resonate. As a light and fluffy read however, it definitely hit the spot. We first begin the book with Dani trying to do things about of the norm. You know the drill: having a one-night stand, getting a tattoo, etc. While I found that trite, it was quite endearing to her character. My problem with it was the fact that after meeting Jax, the list and her self-discovery was put into the background for the romance. We see in their interactions her sticking up for herself, which yes, shows growth, but it was just not pushed away in favor of the hot soccer player who shows up and starts heading head over heels in love with Dani.

Jax, on the other hand, was whipped so hard. It was the type of transition that was like “I hit on a three girls and had sex with another” in one day to “I couldn’t do anything because this girl’s eyes were stuck in my head.” Again, it’s highly romantic but also almost sickeningly so. Yah, I love my romance, but it was so quick on his end despite his playboy ways. Not that I minded per se, but it could’ve been nice to have seen more of a gradual growth on his part.

The latter half, as always, was riddled with unspoken misunderstandings that usually frustrates me. I expect it from NA books so much that at this point I’m pretty apathetic haha. But still, be aware of that.

Despite these problems, Finding Dandelion was a delightful addition to the Dearest series, which has become one of my top NA series of all time. The witty characters, heart-stopping romance, and surprisingly suspenseful turn of events make it stand out from the others out there.


20632298Kissing Madeline
Author: Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #3
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Synopsis:

What’s the worst thing about wanting a sexy NFL football player? Everyone else wants him, too.

After catching my boyfriend getting deep-throated by a skanky cage girl, I’ve learned my lesson – never date a professional athlete. Never. Besides, I have more important things to worry about, like not blowing my shot to make it as a broadcast reporter. I won’t let anything get in my way, not even the new “it boy” of the NFL and my hot-as-hell neighbor.

What’s the worst thing about getting death glares from his new neighbor? It doesn’t make him want her any less.

I’ve worked my ass off to make it to the pros. The last thing I need is the complication of a relationship, especially since my last one was a total train wreck. But I can’t stop thinking about the feisty girl next door with the smart mouth. And I’d love nothing more than to show her what to do with that mouth.

Friends with benefits might be the best idea he’s ever had. Or the worst.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Finishing this book felt like someone sliced open my chest and took out my guts and replaced it with the stuffing you find for stuffed animals and rainbows and heart emojis and chocolate and just made me feel all the warmth and fuzzies. IT WAS SO. GOOD.

Okay first of all, apologies in advance for skipping the first book to the third. The thing is, I spent the majority of the first book in this series, Dearest Clementine, disliking one of the main characters in this book: Daren. He cheated on Clementine during high school and although that situation resolves itself towards the end of Dearest Clementine, I still wasn’t sold on his character. So I skipped the second to see how he would redeem himself.

And oh boy, did he redeem himself.

Geez, his interactions with Madeline are so spot-on, so sweet, so soothing that I kept clutching my chest because of emotion overload. I love how he presents a facade on the football field, but is pretty sensitive on the inside. I love seeing more of his character, and delving into what exactly occured during those years in high school when he and Clementine’s relationship kinda dissolved. I came into the book unconvinced that I would like this dude, and I finished the book sighing in contentment.

Madeline was his perfect counterpart in so many ways. Their chemistry was literally leaping off the pages and she is just amazing. In the beginning of the book we see Maddie get cheated on with her boyfriend, so she gets some trust issues. Then she meets Daren and BAM they’re just PERFECT for each other (and they knows it) and they get in a whole friends-with-benefit situation. But… we all know how those turn out, right? ;))

Once their relationship becomes something more, I could not get enough of this couple. And seeing the couples from the previous books just made my heart warm even more. I like how Martin also adds a bit of suspense (in this case, the mysterious hacker) in her books too. They’re totally not the main focus, but also create some situations for the characters that make them realize what their feelings really are.

So readers of NA, I totally recommend you to pick up this series if you haven’t already. The couples are so heartwarming to read about, and the individual characters are also so great by themselves. Love love love them all.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-4star

Series Review: The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Never have I given 5 stars to every single book of a series. Well, until now. If you haven’t read this series, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? It’s so amazing that talking about the series makes me clutch my heart and cry out in pain – the good kind of pain. Sanderson creates a masterpiece of fantasy that readers will be loving for generations to come.

6547258The Final Empire
Author: Brandon Sanderson
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Synopsis:
In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage – Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE READING.

I have several papers to write, 40 pages of textbook to read/outline, and two tests to study for by Thursday of this week. I AM N O T SUPPOSED TO BE READING.
But alas, I picked this book one day to procrastinate in the wee hours of the morning (yeah I wake up at 4 am sometimes to do homework) and I couldn’t. Put. It. Down.

It’s ridiculous.

The Mistborn Trilogy was just a series that was constantly on my radar, but I never really bothered to pick up because of one thing or another. I didn’t enjoy Sanderson’s Steelheart(lost interest and never got back to the book), and I really liked Rithmatist by him too, but it wasn’t like GREAT or anything. It was just, ya know, enjoyable.

But this one? Oh boyyy. This one literally blew me away.
My reactions at school were literally scaring some of my peers, I think. (Oops. #sorrynotsorry)

Okay enough fangirling and more reviewing:

If you’re looking for a great fantasy read with a magnificent world, a breathtaking magical system that will leave stars in your eyes, complex characters full of life, and an evil ruler who isn’t what he seems to be, PICK THE FINAL EMPIRE UP. RIGHT NOW. I would give up my right leg (aka my favorite limb) to be able to watch a well-done movie of this book.

We are planning a revolution in this book. And every character stands out on his/her own, every detail is added so flawlessly, every action that our crew takes leaves so many people in awe and brings a level of hope that have never reached the hearts of the skaa people, or the slaves in this fantasy world.

“‘The rebellion fails because it’s too unwieldly and spread out. Anytime one of its many pieces gains momentum, the Steel Ministry crushes it. That’s not the way to defeat the Final Empire, gentlemen. But, a small team – specialized and highly skilled – has a hope. We can work without great risk of exposure.e know how to avoid the Steel Ministry’s tendrils. We understand how the high nobility thinks, and how to explot its members. We can do this!'”

This book goes back and forth between a limited third person point of view. One of these POV’s is Kelsier, who is a DELIGHTFUL character to read about. People call him insane. People call him a savior. People call him a god. And reading his antics drew up an excitement in me that I usually only get watching those huge films that use a lot of CGI and have loads of explosions and stuff. But this is from WORDS guys, not pictures (ahh, the beauty of reading).

Basically my mind while reading.

One of the other POV’s is his apprentice named Vin, who grows so much in the story, both physically and mentally. She’s scrawny, she’s quiet, but she’s also deadly as hell. I can’t wait to see what the next installment has in store for her.

THE MAGIC. THE MAGIC IS STUNNING IN THIS BOOK.
Powers are based on metals and alloys. It is awesome. Like, not just “totally dude, that’s awesome!” It strikes awe into the minds of readers (like me) and just dazzled me continuously. I love how readers are also learning more things about these magic properties as Vin learns things about it. It gives great room for growth for this system, and makes me anticipate the sequel even more.

I guess my only complaint would be the romance? Okay, so you know me. I like romances, from cheesiest ones to ever cheese to the occasional bittersweet tragedies. But I really, really couldn’t feel the chemistry in this one. HOWEVER, at the same time, I felt like there really wasn’t a need for romance in this book anyway (seriously it was perfect with all the heists going on anyway), but it made a pleasant, if not emotional, addition to it. So I liked it in the end. Just not my typical romance. (Seriously it kind of just sprang up like “BAM.”)

This fantasy was simply breathtaking, from the amazing world Sanderson creates to the intricate magic system; every single word, every detail just makes you keep wanting to read more and more. I seriously couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pages. If you’re looking for an adventure that’ll take you to a whole ‘nother dimension and will steal your breath way, you’re in luck.


6547260The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
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Synopsis:
The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler – the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years – has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

As Kelsier’s protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.

Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.

As the siege of Luthadel tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

“A
MA
ZING

==== okay I REALLY need to study for my upcoming test lol but review to be posted soon!”

This is what I posted on Goodreads, which probably shows how excited I was to start the next book in the trilogy. Which was very excited.


6547259The Hero of Ages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
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Synopsis:
Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson’s saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

How do I even write a review for such an epic book?
How can I spill all the feelings and emotions I experienced while reading the book and express them through just black and white text on the screen?
How is it possible to properly convey the depth in which this trilogy touched my soul?

Well, I’ll try anyway.

One word to describe this trilogy is: MASTERPIECE.

*Just a quick heads up: some words may not be actual words in this review, but you get the point. Sorry in advance; the emotions are too real.

From beginning to end, Sanderson weaved a spell on me that had me enthralled for the restless days that I read the book. I physically COULDN’T stop reading. The plot is written so perfectly, so masterfully, that your eyes can’t help but chase after the chapters. And the next. And the next. Reading it is like fitting another piece of a puzzle, and finally towards the end when you start getting the whole picture, that feeling of wonder and awe will just astound you.

Well, at least it did to me.

The thing about the Mistborn trilogy is that Sanderson doesn’t just focus on the world, or just on the plot, or just on the characters, or just on the magic, or any specific detail. He explores them all at a length – almost the perfect amount of exploration. The characters have so much depth, throughout the books you can experience all their misgivings, their pride, their trust, their love, their betrayals, just as if you were the one experiencing it. And honestly, it’s so hard to hate any one of them (even the ones that are written to be hated). You get to understand so much of them that you start seeing them as real beings. The magic in this is the fact that they’re not real, nor are they even in a world where we can experience. But their situations and feelings, you can totally understand.

Most of the things that happened during this book pretty much gutted me. Like someone was shooting coins through my chest over, and over, and over again. The twists and turns of the plot were just stupefying. Like I said in the beginning, words can’t properly convey the sort of emotion that reading this book brought out from me. Suffice it to say, it has left a very deep and profound impact on me.

This book will leave your adrenaline rocket high and your heart pounding, in the best of ways. And as a conclusion, it was, well, simply a masterpiece.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-5star