Thursday, 28 March 2019

Reviews That Aren't Worth Reading



So I did a post similar to this before, except then I called it a mini reviews post. Honestly, these reviews aren't even that short, I mean some of them are, but that's not why they're not getting their own separate posts. It's honestly just because none of these reviews are particularly worth reading, but I mean if you want to read them, here they are. These are from a while ago, these are all books that are out so if you actually feel the need to read any of these after reading my reviews then you can.



Our Dark Star




Synopsis:



While she sleeps, the whole universe changes.

Princess Talia Starchaser has it all. Wealth. Status. Adoring citizens. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she’s forced to publicly betray her best friend, a companion mock she’s had since birth, setting events into motion that lead to the destruction of the humans, and the princess floating through space, a remnant of a time when humans ruled over droids.

One hundred years later, half-mock captain Will Perrault and his ragtag crew discover a device floating in space. When a very human Talia emerges from its depths, Will suspects she’s the key to buying his way back into the regiment he once commanded against the last remaining rebel humans—and the ruling mock queen’s good graces.


Both Talia and Will would rather get space-tossed than trust one another, but with the queen’s forces chasing them across the galaxy and the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance, they’ll forge the unlikeliest of alliances to survive.

My Thoughts:


I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review

I gave this book 4 stars. I actually read this one fairly quickly, I wanted to burn through a few books and this one is being released soon so I figured I would get on that one. 

This book revealed to me a new trope that I found utterly frustrating. A female character who is privileged that is a spoiled brat, yet somehow still a doormat. I’ve noticed this a lot, there is this girl a lot of the time the daughter of someone really important and they think they’re better than everyone, but “not really” and they like bossing people around. Then the moment their parent or higher up tells them they have to do something, usually horrible, they jump to do what they want. I just don’t get it. 

Now Talia did have some good qualities, she actually had a lot of skills that helped her out. She wasn’t completely useless when they were all fighting, but she did have a lot of character flaws that were just plain annoying.

I wish the authors had given us more background on the world and what exactly happened. We don’t really find out what happened between our current time and theirs. We can make obvious inferences, but that’s all we have, we don’t have any fact. 

I think I would recommend this to those YA sci-fi lovers out there.


The Big Bad Wolf




Synopsis:



Kensey Deaton comes from an elite werewolf lineage, but just because her family is royalty, doesn't mean she'll fall in line like some perfect little princess. She has plans and they don't include an arranged marriage!

Slade McAlister has his own family drama. His Alpha father happens to be the most reviled wolf on the eastern seaboard, and it's a stigma he can't escape. So when his neighbor Kensey--the girl of his dreams and his nightmares--proposes a solution to solve *both* of their problems, he sees an opportunity he can’t ignore.

Kensey and Slade aren't only from opposite sides of the tracks, they're from opposite sides of the war. But if they can sell their 'relationship', they might just make it out of this with their freedom.


You know, as long as all that fake PDA doesn't turn into more...

My Thoughts:


I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review

I gave this book 3 stars. It was a good book, well written, the problem lies in the fact that I don’t think it’s going to be memorable. It’s too much like all those other YA paranormal romances. In a week or two I probably won’t remember what happened. 

It was well written, the flow was gorgeous, it’s more of the contents that were lacking. The rhythm of the story was smooth and if the story itself had been more engaging I could have really loved it.

The characters were not the best. Some of the characters were just so stubborn and set in their ways that it was truly frustrating at times. I also didn’t feel like the two leads had that much chemistry. I felt like these two characters just clashed too much in the wrong way that I couldn’t really get behind it.

It’s really hard to write a review for this one because I don’t feel like I have enough to say about it to really give you the full picture.


Siren




Synopsis:



Nothing in life is ever monochrome.
I discovered that a long time ago,
And with all such lessons, 
I learned it the hard way.

Dark cannot exist without light.
Night can’t occur without day.
Despair can’t flourish without hope.
I couldn’t live without her,
She can’t survive without me.

She was meant to be my protector.
It was us against the world.
Allies. Partners. 
Instead, she became my worst fear.

I allowed that despair to grow and fester.
I let it mar me, then, almost destroy me.
I realized something had to give.

This time, there is no turning back. 
When the siren calls to you,
You unwillingly answer.


Question is… Would I survive the fall?

My Thoughts:


I received a copy for an honest review

I gave this book 4 stars. I’m not sure if that is the best rating for this book. I will probably change it later as I’ve only just finished the book and do feel a little too close to it at the moment. 

However, this book was amazing. It was a bit slow in the beginning as we were getting to know the characters, but as we got deeper into the plot of the story it was something I could just not put down. I know because I did try to put it down so I could process and I could not.

The best way I could explain this book to you without actually spoiling anything is by comparing it to Fight Club. I won’t tell you how they are similar, just that there is one huge aspect that is very similar. I wish I saw it more in fiction as it’s really interesting.

This novel follows our protagonist Sage and her being at odds with her twin sister, Siren, and her falling in love with a man named Jake. The story is told from three points of view, Sage, Jake, and Siren. Nothing about this book is what you expect.

There were definitely parts of this book I found a bit hard to get through, but in the end it was a bit mind-blowing. I would highly suggest giving this book a read. 


My Name is Victoria



Synopsis:



By turns thrilling, dramatic, and touching, this is the story of Queen Victoria’s childhood as you’ve never heard it before.


Miss V. Conroy is good at keeping secrets. She likes to sit as quiet as a mouse, neat and discreet. But when her father sends her to Kensington Palace to become the companion to Princess Victoria, Miss V soon finds that she can no longer remain in the shadows. Her father is Sir John Conroy, confidant and financial advisor to Victoria’s mother, and he has devised a strict set of rules for the young princess that he calls the Kensington System. It governs Princess Victoria’s behavior and keeps her locked away from the world. Sir John says it’s for the princess’s safety, but Victoria herself is convinced that it’s to keep her lonely and unhappy. Torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with the willful and passionate princess, Miss V has a decision to make: continue in silence or speak out. In an engaging, immersive tale, Lucy Worsley spins one of England’s best-known periods into a fresh and surprising story that will delight both young readers of historical fiction and fans of the television show featuring Victoria. 

My Thoughts:

I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review

I gave this book 4.5 stars. It's surprisingly not as gloomy as I expected it to be. It's actually a really light hopeful fiction of one of history's favorite queens.

This novel follows our protagonist, Miss V. Conroy as she befriends a young Princess Victoria, soon to become one of the most famous queens in history.

Going into this book, I really didn’t know much about Queen Victoria other than she was loved by the people and a fashion icon. I felt like I learned so much from this book, not large things, but small details that I hadn’t known before such as her family tree, her last name, I didn’t even know what the Kensington System was before reading this. This book is educational, but still fun to read. I thought I was going to read this and just get some sort of drama that didn’t have much factual depth to it, but I was wrong. 

There was definitely a plot twist that happens in the third part of this book, but I think everyone can see it coming. From the title of the book, it’s evident what is going to happen.

The writing was easy to understand without being completely dumbed down. I think this novel would be really good for anyone interested in finding out more about Queen Victoria and just younger readers in general.

I love how the story ends off with an epilogue from the author. She gives us a rundown on the actual history behind her work of fiction. Giving us actual facts and telling us why she wrote what she did.


Wild Poppy



Synopsis:


The daughter of a renown media mogul, Poppy Koslowski has her life turned upside down overnight when her father is indicted for a massive fraud that leads to the loss of her family’s fortune. In the wake of the scandal, Poppy moves to Paris at the behest of her aunt, the Countess Domel, who, unbeknownst to Poppy, intends to find a wealthy husband for her niece in order to ensure her future. Poppy, however, has her own dreams of finishing school and realizing her goal of becoming an award-winning journalist. When she meets Henri Olin, the passionate and seductive illegitimate son of one of France’s most powerful politicians, his political and social ideology introduces Poppy to a world very different from her own. Yet, Poppy ultimately learns that everything comes at a price, even love. After suffering a devastating loss, Poppy finds herself alone and virtually penniless, and is forced to make her way back to America to piece together the remnants of her life in New York City. There, she rediscovers her passion once again, only to be confronted with yet another life choice, one that will forever shape her destiny.

My Thoughts:


I received a copy through Netgalley for an honest review

I gave this book 3 stars. 100% could have been better, but there were definitely things I enjoyed about this book.

I’ve had a copy that I got from Netgalley for over a year and I’ve always felt so guilty over not having read it. Every time I would try it just didn’t feel right and I would put it down again. It just didn’t grab my attention enough in the initial few chapters. Now I’m wondering why I wasn’t reading it this whole time.

I’m really angry about the ending of this book. It was supposed to work out as a stand-alone and instead, I got a cliffhanger. Which by the way, has not been released and considering Wild Poppy came out about two years ago I think it’s safe to say this sequel probably won’t be coming out any time soon.

There were just so many sex scenes in this book, it got to the point where I skipped over them to get to the actual story. 

I felt a bit ripped off, there were just so many things that weren’t concluded. I wanted to know more about why Henri did what he did. He was absolutely in love with her and then suddenly he wasn’t anymore? It really makes no sense to me. 

The entire story could have just used more expansion. I also felt a bit cheated because we were being led up to this scene at the end, and it just cut off before we could get it. It’s very frustrating.


The Boy and His Ribbon



Synopsis:



“What do you do when you meet your soul mate? No wait…that’s too easy. What do you do when you meet your soul mate and have to spend a lifetime loving him in secret? 
I’ll tell you what you do.
You lie.”

REN

Ren was eight when he learned that love doesn’t exist—that the one person who was supposed to adore him only cared how much he was worth. 
His mother sold him and for two years, he lived in terror.
But then…he ran.
He thought he’d run on his own. Turned out, he took something of theirs by accident and it became the one thing he never wanted and the only thing he ever needed. 

DELLA

I was young when I fell in love with him, when he switched from my world to my everything. 
My parents bought him for cheap labour, just like they had with many other kids, and he had the scars to prove it. 
At the start, he hated me, and I could understand why.
For years he was my worst enemy, fiercest protector, and dearest friend.
But by the end…he loved me.
The only problem was, he loved me in an entirely different way to the way I loved him.

And slowly, my secret drove us apart. 

My Thoughts:


I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review



I finally settled on giving this book 4.5 stars. I may change my mind later on, but, for now, I think that’s a good rating for it.

I was physically shaking when I finished this book. I don’t know if it was sleep deprivation, or possibly the adrenaline, but I felt a bit out of control. I also finished right before I went to bed which I definitely should not have done. My mind was racing till 3 am which is bad because I had to get up at 7. I really need to start checking to see if books are standalone before finishing them right before bed. 

In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of Wolfsong. There is definitely the element of us having to wait for one of the characters to grow up before the romance can begin.

I’ve had pretty much a whole day to think about this one and I realized I really don’t want to think about it. This story makes me so anxious and I honestly wish I had waited to read it when the second books comes out because I need to know what happens next, just for the sake of my mental health. I would suggest that if you do plan on reading this book to just wait for the second book to come out before you commit because once you start you won’t stop. A lot of the time when I say I read a book in one sitting, it was actually two because I probably had to go do something, but with this book, I was completely incapable of doing anything until I finished it. 

This is a very character driven book. There isn’t much going on plot-wise, it’s all about the characters pasts and their inner struggles. There really is no straight line and I can’t tell you exactly what this book is about other than it’s about a boy and a girl who are very close.  The boy, Ren, accidentally took a baby, Della, when he was ten years old and has been taking care of her ever since. 


There’s lots of drama and we don’t really get into the romance in this book, it’s more of the foundation for the next book. I would definitely recommend this book, but I would also suggest you wait till you can also read the second book so you can read them back to back.

The Hundredth Queen



Synopsis:


He wanted a warrior queen. He got a revolutionary.

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

My Thoughts:


I received a copy through Netgalley for an honest review

I gave this book 2.5 stars. Honestly, I have read way better. I appreciate the attempt at diversity, but this book was severely lacking in many different ways.

This book had a pretty big element of romance. Sadly, I could not have cared less about the romance in this book. There was a love triangle that was just frustrating so it was best to just not care what happened with that. 

The plot itself was much more engaging anyway, however, it’s pretty overused. Do you have any idea how many books I’ve read that have tournaments? To name a few there’s the Hunger Games, Divergent, Olympian Challenger, Throne of Glass, and The Goblet of Fire. There are just too many books like that out there for this to be an original story. I loved the fact that there was a unique setting in a sort of eastern inspired fantasy. 

I just could not get into this book. Nothing about the characters really spoke to me. I didn’t care about Kalinda at all. She was a pretty flat character. And of the millions of other characters in this book, I can honestly say I didn’t like a single one of them. They just weren’t interesting or dynamic at all. 

I also hate the thing that happens in so many books where someone will tell the protagonist that she just has to deal with something because others have it worse and she’s just got it so much better than them. It honestly pisses me off every single time it happens. These people act like they know so much about the protagonist but they don’t. You shouldn’t tell someone that they have to deal with something they are having a hard time with it’s honestly so stupid to me.


Overall, I know for a fact I will never read this book again or read any of the sequels because I’m just not that into it.


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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Rant: "Not Like All the Other Girls" Trope


Oh boy, this is going to be a truly angry rant right here. There are a lot of tropes out there that piss me off, but most of the time they don't piss me off to the extent that this trope does. I haven't posted one of these in a while because I haven't been particularly angry about anything in a while that had to do specifically with books. There are just so many other things in real life that I'm pissed off about but finally one just really translated onto paper and that is the ever-present "Not like other girls" trope that is ever so present in YA and generally the romance genre.



The trope is usually in books with romance as a reason why the love interest likes the girl. Because she is "different" from all those other girls she is somehow better. No. Just no. Everyone has their differences. You might find people who are similar but never exactly the same. Even if you did meet two people who were exactly the same, why would that be a reason to not like them?

What this trope is really getting at is these love interests don't like certain features of women and want them to feel like shit for having them. These women in books are trying to shape themselves away from this "basic" stature to try and become something they are not because being seen as one of a billion others is hard to deal with.

I feel like in a way when books have this trope they are saying that it isn't okay to like girly things, to want to do your make up or like to dress up because you enjoy it. Being "different" is what determines your value in this world. I think it's a really shitty thing to preach to young girls. That they need to not like the conventional things and to judge other girls for liking them. That's not to say going against the grain is a bad thing, on the contrary, it's a great thing. But girls should not have their "worthiness" judged on whether or not they enjoy girly things.



A lot of these books preach about being yourself and everything will work out. Well sure, except when you are one of those millions of girls who are supposedly all alike. *eye roll*

It's like how people instantly think girls are "hoes" for wearing makeup and form-fitting clothes or a girl must be a lesbian if she has short hair and wears flannel. This is a generalization on a large scale. I don't mean to get political with this, but this is what it comes down to a lot. Let girls enjoy the things that they want.



Can we just stop telling girls that they have to be one way or the other in order to catch the eyes of a man? There is no reason to pit girls against each other like this and I hate that I see this so much in romances and especially YA. You should be equally as valid if you enjoy girly things and if you have decided you don't really enjoy girly things. Being deemed "not like other girls" just because you don't enjoy being 'on trend' is dumb. There is this underlying misogyny to this and it needs to find a new home because it isn't wanted here.

Anyway, thoughts?

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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2018


Lol I meant to post this a couple of months ago. Don't mind me, I can't keep a schedule to save my life. I would like to remind you guys that these are the favorites that I watched for the first time in 2018, not necessarily ones that came out in 2018. There are a lot of those, but some of them didn't come out in 2018. It was actually kind of hard to compile this list because I've gotten so bad at finishing movies if I'm not in a movie theatre. I wanted to put Call Me By Your Name on here but I never actually finished the movie because I got distracted by other things. But I would like to give it a shout out for being a good movie.

1. Deadpool 2




Holy shit, I didn't think this one would be as good as the first one, but it was! I legit can't decide which one I liked more because they were both perfect. Maybe this one because I did end up crying near the end, you know the one scene. If you've seen the movie you probably know what I'm talking about if you haven't then I'm not spoiling it for you. Such an amazing movie.

2. Infinity War




People were kind of split on this one, but I personally loved it. There was just so much to see, there was never a boring moment. There were just so many characters that they didn't have time to have a single boring moment in the movie. It does feel very much like a precursor for Endgame, but I'm completely fine with that, it was a great movie.

3. Into the Spiderverse



There are only two movies that I have ever gone to see in theatres twice and both of them are on this list. The first being Infinity War just because I felt like there was so much I didn't catch the first time and I needed to go see it again as a refresher, however, for Into the Spiderverse, I went to go see it again purely because I loved it so much the first time. You know, I was just hanging out with my friend in a bookstore, go figure, and she got a call from her parents asking if we wanted to go to the movies. Fate lined up perfectly, enabling us to go see this fantastic movie because if we had gone to see any other we would have been late.

4. A Simple Favor




This one was so awesome until the very end. I didn't really like the last couple of scenes because it just felt so messy compared to the rest of the film. But the rest of the movie I think was amazing. It's best to go into this one knowing as little as possible.

5. Incredibles 2




I didn't like this quite as much as the first one, but it was still an awesome sequel. I think it may be my favorite of the latest Pixar sequels. The rest just don't seem to be doing it for me, but this one has. Maybe it's because the Incredibles was my favorite movie as a kid. I'm so glad that they got the majority of the original cast, it made it feel like a legit sequel.

6. Crazy Rich Asians



I was so excited about this one! I actually had a doubleheader with my friend when I went to see this movie, I don't know about other movie theatres, but the one closest to where I live does this thing on Tuesdays were movie tickets are half priced so we decided we would see two. It had been a long day at school and both of us just wanted to chill and watch some movies so before this we had actually gone to see the Nun (which may just be the worst movie I actually watched in 2018. It was not scary and relied heavily on jump scares), and decided to see Crazy Rich Asians after to destress. When I was watching this movie there were so many moments where I was like "Yes! My family does that!" and I felt like such a special snowflake because I actually understood when they spoke Cantonese. REPRESENTATION MATTERS!

7. Happy Death Day




I didn't actually want to watch this one because I thought it sounded dumb. But in my defense, it actually still sounds sooooo dumb. My friends wanted to watch this so I agreed and surprisingly really enjoyed myself. It was a horror film that didn't take itself too seriously but still actually had a pretty good plot. Just a really enjoyable movie. If you aren't into horror films this might actually be the perfect "horror" film for you.

8. Jurrasic World



I watched Jurassic World for the first time and it was amazing. I've never watched any of the Jurassic Park movies because apparently I just didn't have a childhood. I will hopefully be watching those soon, but as of right now I've only seen Jurassic World. The bar is set high.

9. Love Simon (Kind of Spoiler for Leah on the Offbeat)




I loved that we got a YA movie with more LGBT representation. Still kinda salty that they made Leah straight though. If they make a Leah movie, and I hope they do, then they bETTER FIX THIS!!!!

10. Crimes of Grindelwald




I know a lot of people didn't really like this movie, but fuck it I did. I am physically incapable of disliking anything set in the Wizarding World. Although it wasn't the best movie I still liked it and that's why it's at the number 10 spot and not higher up. Fight me.


What movies did you guys love from 2018?


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Sunday, 24 March 2019

Harshville Spoiler Free Review



Harshville

I had this review saved in my notes and I had already posted it on Goodreads. I have no clue why I never posted it on here so I'm doing it now.


HarshvilleHarshville by Olivia Wildenstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:


No one ever said the music business was easy, but did it have to be this harsh?

High school senior Angie isn’t usually a secretive person, but when her idol launches a songwriting competition which her mother forbids her from entering, Angie decides to do it anyway. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity... possibly her lucky break into the music industry.

When Angie meets Nevada, who has an extraordinary voice, she’s convinced that they’ll win if they work together. But Tennessee, Nevada’s older brother, is wary of Nevada’s friendship with Angie—especially when he learns about the contest.

Can Angie convince Tennessee that she’s interested in his family for the right reasons—or will her dream of becoming a songwriter crumble before her eyes?


Against the glittery backdrop of Nashville’s music scene unfolds a story of betrayal and abandonment, of first love and acceptance, and of ties that go far beyond those made of blood.

My Thoughts:

I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review

I gave this book 4 stars. Where do I being with Harshville? It was a lot. The central premise around this book didn’t really have me scrambling for my ereader. However, I figured I would give it a shot because I do really enjoy Olivia Wildenstein’s writing.

I’m not really a country fan, quite the opposite really, I will listen to anything but country music. So already this book was at a bit of a disadvantage. The bright side is that I didn’t actually have to listen to country music to read this book. If you are in fact a fan of country music, here is a book about a girl who really wants to make it in the country industry. Enjoy!

The book starts off with a girl named Angie wanting to enter into a music competition run by her idol, Mona Stone. And so commences a storyline that actually wasn’t as drama-filled as I thought it was going to be. I mean there was definitely drama, but I was actually expecting a lot more teen drama, but it was more real-life drama.

Enter Tennessee, a really hot new guy. Ten is a character I genuinely like. He isn’t just this mysterious bad boy that shows up and does nothing but brood. He legitimately has motivations and shows actual emotions. I feel like we just don’t get enough of that sometimes in YA romances.

I kind of feel bad for reviewing this right now since after checking out the release date, I found that it was pushed back. It’s not coming out for another year and a half-ish. 2020. So if you guys are in fact swayed into reading this by my review then I sincerely apologize because there will be quite a wait.

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

A Pack of Blood and Lies Spoiler Free Review



A Pack of Blood and Lies

A Pack of Blood and LiesA Pack of Blood and Lies by Olivia Wildenstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis:


The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender. 

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane—son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him. 

Except Ness. 

Thus begins a treacherous game. 


The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.

My Thoughts:

I received a copy for an honest review

I gave this book 4 stars. While I enjoyed it and got through it fairly quickly, I found that it still wasn’t my favorite of the author's works. There were a lot of parts that dragged a little bit in this. However, there was also a lot to be said about the action. The parts I did like far outweigh what I didn’t like about the novel.

This story is about a girl named Ness who was taken away from her home at an early age by her mother. She’s lived away from everything she’s known for years and has become incredibly self-reliant, until one day she is dragged back by her uncle and his family. This novel contained one of my personal favorite tropes. A girl runs/sent away and is then brought back to a life she no longer knows how to live and has to confront her past in an epic way. Winning back the friends and family from her past.

I’m a total sucker for werewolf novels and an even bigger sucker for YA werewolf romances. We don’t get a lot of those. It’s a huge romance genre thing, but we don’t get a lot of werewolf books for teenagers and every time we get one it feels like a win. I really did love that aspect of it.

Another trope that I’m a total sucker for that was present in this book was the trials. I am the worlds biggest sucker for competitions and female characters showing how badass they are. I just really like competitions, it’s probably why I loved the Hunger Games so much. If you too like books with heated competitions then I think you would enjoy this.

From what I know of the author's previous work, I feel like there is going to be a very specific plot twist that is going to happen in the second book. A part of me does believe that this author could repeat a plot twist from one of her previous series’, but another part of me also can’ believe that this could happen with this specific set of characters. I really don’t know.

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