Book Review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman ★★★★

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Synopsis:

Find your magic,

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1621, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change , Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children. No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape have love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

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My thoughts:

I started to read this without knowing there was a book out already so I felt a bit like I didn’t know some of what happened. Good thing though is this is a prequel to the previous book so I don’t think I missed anything by skipping it.

I loved how different the three siblings are and also how it resulted into this unique relationship dynamic that only they can pull off. The friendship and familial love was so touching that in certain parts towards the end of the book I felt deeply emotional I cried.

This story is a coming of age. We see a set of siblings as they try to have a life that they want whilst escaping a curse and all the joys and sufferings of friendships, love and the journey of trying to find oneself.

Alice Hoffman did an awesome job at making the story relateable and the characters easy to empathize and sympathize with. This book will stir your emotions in ways you probably haven’t experienced before. It will make you laugh, feel irritated and also cry, for them or at them.

This was such an enjoyable novel to read that I couldn’t put it down once I started. I definitely recommend this even if you haven’t seen or read Practical Magic. Have any of you guys read Practical Magic? How about this one? What are your thoughts about this book? Comment down below, let’s chat!

 

Lots of love,

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Book Review: Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund ★★★★★

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Synopsis:

Because she’s a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she’s determined to marry well, so she’ll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smith’s he’s taken by Susanna’s intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter.

When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely adviser. But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.

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My thoughts:

This book was saucy and thrilling oooh. This is my second shot at Christian Fiction with my first author being Julie Klassen and I love her. Jody Hedlund tackles her stories in a different light than Julie but it is oh so interesting. This story was surprisingly more of a thriller than expected. There were moments where I really felt extremely anxious and wanted to jump while reading the action part of the story.

As it is Christian Fiction, it does contain mentions of God and prayers and all that so if you are atheist or a different kind of believer that might be something you consider before trying this if it interests you. If, on the other hand, you can regard that as just part of the timeline and culture of the story, I highly recommend you read this because it is pretty awesome!

So far, Julie Klassen is still my favorite author but we’ll see where this reading adventure goes.

Have you read this or any in this genre? Not feeling like it? Comment down below, let’s chat!

 

Lots of love,

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WWW Wednesday: February 21, 2018

Bride

This meme is currently hosted by Taking on a World of Words and it’s an awesome way to do an update on what you’re currently reading and what you’re planning to read next.

What are the Three R’s?

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finished reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

 

Currently reading:

six of crows

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Finally got to this! Omg, after all the initial hype has gone down I finally had the desire to read it. I get like that with anything hyped, I don’t want to read it or watch it or anything like that. I’m a natural rebel haha. Anyways, I hope this lives up to the praises. Cross my fingers 😀

 

Recently finished:

for love and honor

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

I loved this. I didn’t exactly realize that this was the third book in a series when I read it but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. I’m having a penchant for christian fiction books these days because they are mostly period ones and they are really dramatic.

 

Next read:

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A millionaire, a widow and a monk. A plane crash. In this poignant and unforgettable debut novel three destinies are linked for eternity in a tale narrated by Time. 

Meet Radha. She was left in a dumpster on the side streets of Mumbai to die as she was born; premature and undernourished. Meet Mira. At sixteen she is to marry a man she has never met before. On her wedding day, she carries a knife. And Gaurav. People say love is more important than money. But what happens when having one means you can’t have the other? 

Scattered across India, these three are intertwined in unlikely ways: the flower shop owned by Mira’s husband employs Radha’s boyfriend, Mira and Gaurav become partners in business and most importantly, an ill-fated trip to Delhi links them all in death and life. Set in the sensuous worlds of Bombay and Delhi, Valiram’s dazzling novel explores the deep meanings of love, family, and time.

Yes, yes I still haven’t finished this lol I will this week though, I promise! It’s good though so far 🙂


 

That’s it! It wasn’t much but I’ll plan on hopefully reading more books this week especially since I work 9 days straight and I need some respite from all that haha. How has your week been going? Comment down below, let’s chat!

 

Lots of love,

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Book Reviews: The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird by Kim Smith ★★★★

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Synopsis:

One of the most beloved TV shows of all time is now a sweet, silly, sci-fi bedtime story. In the X-Files: Earth Children are Weird, best pals Dana (Scully) and Fox (Mulder) have pitched a tent in the backyard for a sleepover, but the night is full of strange sounds, lights and shadows. Surely there’s a rational, scientific explanation for everything… or is there? With beautiful illustrations of pint-sized Dana and Fox, this humorous and not-scary-at-all story will introduce the cult TV show to an entire new generation of fans.

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My thoughts:

This book was a really quick read but it entertained me all the same anyways. I grew up being terrified over the opening theme song of the original TV show so when I saw this come out I immediately borrowed it from the library to check what’s up.

The story wasn’t anything too spectacular, with young Dana and Fox going on camping at their backyard and trying to make sense of all the “clues” that there are aliens all around them. It ends with such an adorable twist that made me chuckle.

What caught my attention more though was the art style and the color palette that the artist used. It portrayed the atmosphere of the story without making it too scary or less appealing to children. I definitely recommend this especially since younger me would’ve repeatedly devoured this and the art work.

Have any of you guys read this? Was the TV series a favorite or you’ve never seen it? Comment down below, let’s chat!

 

Lots of love,

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Book Review: Witch Doctor, Vol. 1: Under the Knife by Brandon Seifert ★★★★

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Synopsis:

The Doctor is in! House M. D. meets Fringe in the first Skybound Original from The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s new comics imprint! Meet Vincent Morrow, a doctor looking for a vaccine… for the apocalypse! Horror gets a brain transplant in Witch Doctor, the book Warren Ellis calls -Mental!-

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My thoughts:

When I first saw this in the library. I thought I wasn’t going to like it because it reminded me of superhero comics/graphic novels (don’t judge! they’re not my taste) and as much as I don’t hate those, I dislike them enough to be turned off by anything alike. Anyways, lo and behold I read it and I love it!

For example, the art style and color palette that the artist used portrayed the story and the mood very effectively. It made you stay immersed into the world and I thoroughly enjoyed that. The different creatures in the book is also very interesting and adds dimension to the plot. Vincent Morrow, a doctor who is in charge and interested in curing demon/creature possessions and killing extraterrestrial and mythical creatures. This story combines magic and science fiction very effectively especially since those two are pretty good together.

I’m excited to be continuing with this series! Hopefully my library has the next one 🙂

Have you read this? Do you like graphic novels as well? Let’s talk!

 

Lots of love,

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Sunday Reflections: February 18, 2018

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This will be my weekly wrap-up of what I read, watched, listened to and new activities I have discovered throughout the week. It could get a little rant-y or it could be a short entry, either way, enjoy!

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Read, Currently Reading & TBR:

I finished these two but I am actually proud that I even got to it because of how busy my week was. Add the fact that I was constantly fatigued because of the monthly flow then I feel pretty freaking awesome (it’s hard to be a woman ugh).

 

Admittedly I have had these books on my Currently Read for such a long time but I keep on getting distracted by the shinies that I kept on forgetting about them. Well, I do chip away at them a little bit everyday but I would love to just sit down and completely finish at least one of them at a time. It’s like cleaning up clutter lol.

These are the four books I plan on reading for the next week. Hopefully I get to at least one of them plus one or two from my currently reading. I will have more shifts next week, with 9 days straight of work but that usually makes me read more than if I’m at home chilling. I’m actually excited for all of these to be honest and I will definitely make an effort to actually read as much as I can.


 

Other things I enjoyed:

I’m currently binge listening these three podcasts especially while at work and I don’t want to get disturbed by humans. I do work while I listen so I don’t get reprimanded but it makes such a difference when instead of snapping at annoying customers I’m in a good mood haha.

I am loving these Korean Dramas so much. Hwayugi (The Odyssey), the first one, is written by the Hong Sisters, they’re very well known for writing awesome scripts but for some reason as hilarious as this drama is, it’s not as good. I’m on episode 15 now and it just started to get more cohesive and interesting but it’s only a few episodes before it finishes. Meh, not everyone can pump out 5 star material every time. The second one is called Jugglers and well, it can pass. Not the best either but it passes time haha.

 

How was everyone’s week? Did you unexpectedly do more than expected or was it a pretty unproductive week? Comment down below, let’s chat!

 

Lots of love,

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Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas ★★★★★

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Synopsis:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.


 

My thoughts:

Okay, I’m gonna do my best to sound coherent and not too fangirly throughout this whole review. I’m also going to try not to spoil too much even though you shouldn’t be reading this without reading the first one! This book was heaps better than A Court of Thorns and Roses which is a good sign simply because it shows how more practice makes better.

This takes place after the horribleness under the mountain from the first book and how Feyre and Tamlin and Rhysand deals with the severe PTSD that they got after being tortured and literally killed and resurrected. Tons of sleepless nights and of tossing and turning until finally Tamlin turns into a psycho that causes Feyre to flee to the Night Court with Rhysand.

There’s a lot of secrets being revealed throughout the story about the Night Court, about Rhysand and his people and the inevitable but still plot-twisted union of him and Feyre. I honestly didn’t see the kind of connection between them and how much more thought about the story was. It wasn’t anything bad at all and their chemistry is INSANE. Like, I know they are meant to be together but even as I was reading the book I had to stop sometimes because I got winded up reading about their interactions haha.

Which brings me to the part that this is a New Adult and not a YA book because DAMN it was steamy. Extremely without being too much. It was actually sexy and not lewd at all and that made me happy. The character development and the plot pace as usual is phenomenal, with no dragging parts and no unrealistic cause and effect scenarios. The amount of action and adventure that we got in this book was also very effective at keeping my attention throughout the whole story and to manage to engage me the whole time is kinda insane. It just shows how good of a writer Sarah J Maas is.

I gave this book a whooping five stars! and will be one of my top 10 books for the year so far. It is a bit higher in rating than the first book but it doesn’t change the fact that I love both of them.

I highly recommend that you read this because it is awesome!

Have you guys read this yet? I hope you continue with the series if you finished the first one. Any thoughts? Is this higher in ranking compared to the other one for you? Comment your thoughts down below and let’s chat!

P.S. I’m gonna leave you with my most favorite quote out of a lot from the book (Rhysand is very.. poetic and dramatic lol)

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Lots of love,

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WWW Wednesday: February 14, 2018

Bride

This meme is currently hosted by Taking on a World of Words and it’s an awesome way to do an update on what you’re currently reading and what you’re planning to read next.

What are the Three R’s?

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finished reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

 

Currently reading:
34116973

A millionaire, a widow and a monk. A plane crash. In this poignant and unforgettable debut novel three destinies are linked for eternity in a tale narrated by Time.

Meet Radha. She was left in a dumpster on the side streets of Mumbai to die as she was born; premature and undernourished. Meet Mira. At sixteen she is to marry a man she has never met before. On her wedding day, she carries a knife. And Gaurav. People say love is more important than money. But what happens when having one means you can’t have the other?

Scattered across India, these three are intertwined in unlikely ways: the flower shop owned by Mira’s husband employs Radha’s boyfriend, Mira and Gaurav become partners in business and most importantly, an ill-fated trip to Delhi links them all in death and life. Set in the sensuous worlds of Bombay and Delhi, Valiram’s dazzling novel explores the deep meanings of love, family, and time.

I got this for review somewhere on the internet and so far it’s pretty good. I don’t think I’m anywhere near close to 10% but if the first few chapters managed to capture me then it should be a good one in my opinion. Please be a good one, pleaaase.

 

Recently finished:

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How it FEELS to have a body that won’t stop moving, to be really different from everyone else, to be made fun of every day, to be totally reckless, to never relax, to be shut out of everything, to break FREE and TAKE CONTROL.

James Patterson’s Against Medical Advice riveted adults with the page-turning drama of one teenager’s courage, sacrifice, and triumph in confronting an agonizing medical condition. Now this deeply personal account of Cory Friedman’s intense struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder–as well as depression, anxiety, and alcohol addiction–is available for teen readers. 

This was very eye opening. I know Cory Friedman is a more extreme case of Tourette’s but this made me see what it is like to go through an illness that has no cure and that is rooted to the brain and makes your body do things out of your control. It was a very informational read. And emotional too, for me anyways.

 

Next read:

9781101904374

Every juncture in Jon Kerstetter’s life has been marked by a crossing from one world into another: from civilian to doctor to soldier; between healing and waging war; and between compassion and hatred of the enemy. When an injury led to a stroke that ended his careers as a doctor and a soldier, he faced the most difficult crossing of all, a recovery that proved as shattering as war itself.

Crossings is a memoir of an improbable, powerfully drawn life, one that began in poverty on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin but grew by force of will to encompass a remarkable medical practice. Trained as an emergency physician, Kerstetter’s thirst for intensity led him to volunteer in war-torn Rwanda, Kosovo, and Bosnia, and to join the Army National Guard. His three tours in the Iraq War marked the height of the American struggle there. The story of his work in theater, which involved everything from saving soldiers’ lives to organizing the joint U.S.–Iraqi forensics team tasked with identifying the bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons, is a bracing, unprecedented evocation of a doctor’s life at war.

But war was only the start of Kerstetter’s struggle. The stroke he suffered upon returning from Iraq led to serious cognitive and physical disabilities. His years-long recovery, impeded by near-unbearable pain and complicated by PTSD, meant overcoming the perceived limits of his body and mind and re‑‑ imagining his own capacity for renewal and change. It led him not only to writing as a vocation but to a deeper understanding of how healing means accepting a new identity, and how that acceptance must be fought for with as much tenacity as any battlefield victory.

Looks familiar? Yeah, I’m gonna finish it this week I promise. I got through a bit last week but I got distracted by the shinies. It is still a good book though!


 

That’s it for this week! It wasn’t as successful as I hoped it would be but still, atleast I managed to actually finish books! How are your guys’ week so far? Comment down below for any suggestions of books to read!

 

Lots of love,

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Book Review: The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking ★★★★

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Synopsis:

Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: hygge.

Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favorite is cocoa by candlelight…

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all-things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.

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My thoughts:

I admit I thought this book would be utterly dull and boring but I really enjoyed it. I read it in one sitting. This book brings us the aspects and elements behind the Danish concept of Hygge (Hooga) and comfort. Do you find a picture of a cozy candlelit room, with the heaters up, on a winter night, while you’re snuggled in a fluffy blanket with pillows on your windowsill, with a pet, sipping a warm drink and watching snowflakes fall an appealing scene? That is what Hygge is. Comfort and coziness and utter relaxation.

I can give many examples of scenes that are Hyggelig but it will be best for you guys to read the book and have it explained to you better. Don’t worry, there’s not much text 🙂

Have any of you guys read this? What were your thoughts? I would love to hear it!

 

Lots of love,

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Book Review: Sherlock A Study in Pink by Steven Moffat ★★★★★

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Synopsis:

The Japanese SHERLOCK Manga comes to the USA and UK for the first time ever! Adapting the episodes of the smash-hit BBC America/Hartswood Films TV show that sees Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) tackling brain-teasing crimes in modern-day London, this stunning manga is presented in its original right-to-left reading order, and in the full chapters as originally serialised. Each oversized issue comes with a selection of BRAND-NEW covers by some of the best Sherlock artists around! #1 kicks things off with a 52pp special. Meet Sherlock and Watson for the first time… all over again!

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My thoughts:

First of all, let me preface this by saying I absolutely love this show and most especially my lovely Bendict Cumberbatch (I think he’s hot lol). So obviously, upon seeing this from my library’s catalog, I immediately put a hold on it and picked it up. The artwork is gorgeous and the likeness of the art to the actors are on point and it made the reading experience much more enjoyable. This first volume is based on the first episode of the TV show so if you haven’t watched the series yet and don’t want to get spoiled I’d suggest not to read this. It doesn’t stray from the story at all so there will definitely be spoilers. Being me though, I already forgot the episodes so it felt like I was reading a new story until the end when it all started flooding back to me.

I gave this one a hefty five-stars! It was really enjoyable, the character facial expressions were fantastic and has made me laugh out loud several times. I definitely recommend it especially if you are new to mangas because this isn’t as Japanese in the sense that this was directly from the show and feels very western. Plus, it’s Sherlock Holmes, what more can you ask?

How are you guys doing this week so far? Life is getting a bit drag-y for me and I’m not too excited about it but hopefully it’ll sort itself out in time. Have you watched the TV show? How’d you like it?

Pour some comments down below and let’s chat!

 

Lots of love,

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