Book Review: Proxy by Alex London

Summary: Syd is Knox’s proxy, meaning that he will take the punishment for anything that his privileged patron, Knox, does. On the run from Knox’s father and the society that will have Syd pay for Knox’s infractions, they both flee across the country in hopes of finding a secret society of rebels where they can both find freedom.

Thoughts: This review is long overdue!! I read Proxy a while back, and ever since, I’ve been recommending it to anyone who asks me “what should I read?” and even buying it for my friends and forcing them to read it. This is one of my favorite books ever, and not only because of how awesome and well-written it is, or because it made me cry. This book brings to light such an interesting concept of debt and punishment and how whatever privileges you’re offered, there is someone out there paying the price for them. I loved Syd and Knox, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of Knox at the start. By the end, his character development was a perfect arc from rich-boy asshole to a human being ready to stand up and claim personal responsibility for his past and actions. Proxy is thought-provoking and action-packed and funny yet intense. I appreciated the racial diversity and the LGBT elements and I highly recommend you read this book. I’d go so far as to say it should be required reading for everyone. If you don’t know what a brain feels like when it cries, then you will after you’ve read Proxy. That’s all I’ve got to say. Happy reading!

Stars: 5/5

Book Review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Summary: Princess Sepora escapes her kingdom and her cruel father only to find herself in the court of a rival kingdom and falling in love with the young king. She tries to hide the secret that could save his people from a fatal plague, but the cost will come at the price of her own kingdom.

Thoughts: Let me start by saying that I really really like Anna Banks as a writer and a person who I’ve never met, and her twitter account is one of my favorites. And I hate it when I end up not loving books by authors that I like and admire. I was expecting so much more action and much higher stakes from this story. Be prepared, because this is a statement I will be repeating a lot throughout this review. I read Banks’ previous series – Of Poseidon – and I really liked it. Awesome setting, original take on an old myth, swoon-worthy romance. Nemesis, however, started off at a very slow pace and then it fell steady without increasing. The writing was clear and to the point, but at the same time, some descriptions were lacking. The story took place in a vibrant and very intriguing world, but because the setting wasn’t fully described, I found it hard to visualize some places. Basically, while it was informative and packed with emotions, it was lacking in sensory detail. I felt Banks went easy on her characters, which is one of the reasons why the story wasn’t as action packed as I’d hoped. And the ending of the story was too easy for my liking. While I did enjoy reading this book at times, I’m not quiet sure I’d be picking up the next one unless the pacing really increases and the stakes become much much higher. If you liked Graceling or the Wrath and the Dawn, you might enjoy this book if you keep in mind that this isn’t a story with high stakes and perilous adventure with an added mix of dangerous court politics and a looming war. It’s more of a simple love story between a King and a Princess of rival kingdoms and the slow work they do to ensure that both their kingdoms don’t go to war against one another.

Stars: 2/5

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Summary: The world is divided between Reds and Silvers, the latter are an elite who are in possession of god-like powers. When Mare Barrow, a Red, accidentally displays a set of stunning Silver powers in front of the King and Queen and their court, they have no choice but to proclaim her as a long lost Silver heiress. Mare accepts this role and uses her newly gained position to spy for the Scarlet Guard, a Red rebel organization working on overthrowing the monarchy. Mare is thrust into a world of power and jealousy where anyone can betray anyone.

Thoughts: I really loved this book, YA cliches and all. The one thing that really ruined this whole experience for me was that the MAJOR plot twist in this book was spoiled for me before I read the book. Basically, I read this book knowing what was going to happen, but hoping it wouldn’t and tricking myself into thinking that I read that spoiler wrong. I didn’t. The less you know, the better your experience will be. Half the time I was reading the book, knowing what was going to happen, all I could think was WTH MARE!! You were warned so many times, why didn’t you listen????? But even though I really enjoyed this book, I can’t say that it’s unlike anything I’ve read  before because I’ve read many similar books that if they were meshed together would result in Red Queen. The social structure of Red and Silver reminded me of the social structure in Red Rising though much less complex. At the same time, it also read like Divergent and The Hunger Games but set in a world like Mistborn’s but not. I do recommend you read this. The writing is excellent and Mare is a very relatable character. The story will be slow at the start, but the plot twist is worth it because it will blow your mind (if it hadn’t been spoiled for you). I’m still bitter over that!

Stars: 4/5

My Most Anticipated Books of 2017

One of my new year resolutions is that 2017 is going to be the year where I read harder and hopefully surpass my Goodreads challenge. Things are looking very hopeful right now with all the awesome books that are going to be published this year! And so here are 19 of my most anticipated reads for 2017…

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1- City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

This is at the very TOP of my list because it was pitched as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl but set in Kenya. Need I say more?

Publication Date: 24/1/2017

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2- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I am so excited for this one! Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

Publication Date: 28/2/2017

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3- Wintersong by S. Jae Jones
I’m really looking forward to this because it reads like its based on the Persephone and Hades myth, except let’s assume Persephone traveled underground to save her sister and Hades is The Goblin King who strikes a deal with her – her sister’s life for her hand in marriage. I cannot wait for this one!
Publication Date: 7/2/2017

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4- Wicked Like Wildfire by Lana Popovic
Yet another story that revolves around sisters, and with such a beautiful cover to boost! And there’s magic too.

Publication Date: 15/8/2017

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5- Roseblood by A.G. Howard
A modern day retelling of Phantom of the Opera – full of unrequited love, madness and lots of weirdness (or so I’m told!)

Publication Date: 10/1/2017

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6- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
That title alone makes me want to grab this book ASAP!

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Publication Date: 20/6/2017

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7- Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
I liked Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn, but didn’t LOVE it because *coughs* the ending was so abrupt and unfinished and didn’t wrap up the minor plot lines as well as I’d hoped. I still haven’t picked up The Rose and the Dagger because of that, but there’s no denying how beautiful Aideh’s writing and prose is. Which is why I’m very excited for this upcoming book about the daughter of a samurai who disguises herself as a boy to hunt down the people trying to kill her.
Publication Date: 16/5/2017

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8- Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
I have read so many good reviews about this book and I cannot wait to read it! I’m imagining something along the lines of a kickass Jon Snow theme/arc but with a girl!

Publication Date: 6/6/2017

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9- Once And For All by Sarah Dessen
There’s nothing I love more than a character who is pessimistic and wary of all things romantic.

Publication Date: 6/6/2017

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10- The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
I need this book in my life right now! In school that cultivates teenage spies, two boys who are the opposite of each other (one good and the other bad) are competing for a girl, but instead they start to FALL FOR EACH OTHER!!!! Where has this book been???
Publication Date: 16/5/2017

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11- We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This is a story about loneliness and grief and LaCour’s prose is so beautiful, I have a strong feeling I’m going to love this.
Publication Date: 14/2/2017

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12- Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
This book is going to be great! I just know it. A fugitive empress who wants to avenge her family and take back what is rightfully hers? Sounds familiar, no? Reads like something that happened to the Stark children but in space! I. Can’t. Wait!
Publication Date: 7/2/2017

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13- Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
I’m so excited about this book because *drumroll please* it’s a book about an asexual character!! I have been waiting for this for so long.

Publication Date: 6/6/2017

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14- Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Two reasons to look forward to this book: 1- #ownvoices 2- diversity!

Publication Date: 14/3/2016

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15- The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore.

Publication Date: 18/7/2017

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16- American Street by Ibi Zoboi

A YA contemporary about a girl who arrives to America from Haiti and the price she pays for her dreams.

Publication Date: 14/2/2016

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17- Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Mary B. Addison allegedly killed a baby while he was in her care. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter…. In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.

Publication Date: 14/1/2016

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18 – A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
A YA contemporary about a selective mute and how she falls for a boy who can’t hear.

Publication Date: 12/1/2017

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19- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Publication Date: 30/5/2017

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And that’s all for now. Feel free to share what you’re looking forward to reading this year, because I’m sure there are so many books out there that I’ve missed!

Book Review: Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Summary: Set in 1956, in an alternate world where Hitler and the Axis powers win the war, the story follows a former death camp prisoner named Yael who joins a motorcycle race that spans continents to win  and assassinate Hitler with the hopes of ending his tyrannical rule.

Thoughts: The history geek in me cannot stop gushing. This was a fast-paced, emotionally-charged, adventure-filled and action-packed book that I could not put down and did not want to finish. I loved the attention to historical detail, despite the fact that some (if not many) things were hypothetical what-ifs that were nevertheless based on very true and very harrowing events. I loved how well Graudin wove in the sci-fi elements so flawlessly that it read more like magical realism than historical science-fiction. Those sic-fi elements being that Yael is a survivor of human experimentation and harsh medical testing that resulted in her becoming a skin-shifter – capable of changing her appearance to look like anyone. I loved how determined Yael was to achieve her goal and the fact that she had to be ruthless to keep her cover and get it done, only made me love her more. If you haven’t read this book yet, and you’re a fan of historical novels with a creative twist, then I suggest you pick this up as soon as you can!

Stars: 5/5

Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Summary: Under the training and guidance of a mysterious mentor, Lady Aileana learns how to hunt and kill faeries in the hopes of one day killing the fae who killed her mother. But Lady Aileana’s gift of sensing faeries is more than just that – she is a falconer, the last in line of female warriors born with the ability to hunt and kill the fae. But when a powerful race of faeries threatens to massacre humanity, Aileana must put aside her vengeance to save the world.

Thoughts: I LOVED this book. It had everything I look for in a book: fast-paced plot, kickass heroine, slow-burning romance, sass, sarcasm, flying contraptions and magic and faeries and I could go on and on…. I haven’t read many or any (now that I think about it) steampunk stories (aside from this one) set in Edinburgh, but this is my new favorite thing. I loved the writing and descriptions in this book and I actually had to hold myself back from finishing it all in one sitting, sighs. I want to read the second book NOW, but then I’d have to wait for the third one and I’d rather not put myself through that torture. And did I mention how much I loved Alieana’s awareness of gender politics in her society??? Ugh, I need to stop rambling. I highly recommend you read this book!

Stars: 5/5