Illuminae Book Review

I have been hearing quite a bit about Illuminae and its subsequent books. Hesitant, I picked up the two books out already (Illuminae and Gemina). It took me ages to actually pick it up because the series is hyped beyond measure. Here are my thoughts on the book.


Set in space, the story begins with the destruction of a planet. On that planet, there is a couple breaking up. Ezra and Kady are fighting and they have to awkwardly get in a car together to avoid death.

And the story takes off from there.


I did not expect to love Ezra and Kady that much. In fact, I was unsure about them for a long time. But, even McNulty made an impression on me, and I cannot get over this group of bad-ass sassy peeps.

Kady, a hacker and a general computer whiz, is sarcastic. She tends to have little connection with rules and regulations. When confronted with authority, she tends to be cynical and eve hostile.

Not Ezra. He is more likely to be compliant, makes friends on the ship he’s on, and even opens up about romance/relationships with McNulty.


The format of this book is creative and rather fitting of the story. I do like the emails and the AIDAN freak out sessions most. I do have to say that some of the pages were hard to impact me emotionally. Like, I am not sure if I am supposed to care for AIDAN or not. Same with all the scenes between Kady and AIDAN, or the fights between space ships. I was rather confused for a little. It definitely takes some getting used to.


I liked all the bleeped sections in the novel. It just added a sense of depth to the characters and the setting they’re in. The usage of the word “chum” was kind of excessive. I don’t know if it’s Australian for “dude” but, dang it, you don’t have to use it so much.

Astro Princess made me smile real big. I loved this story, even if I was somewhat slow while reading it (that format…it takes some getting used to).

Rating: 4 stars

    I was surprised when John Green announced his newest novel, Turtles All the Way
  I finished reading the Monsters of Verity duology over the past two weeks. My mind is
  I could have sworn there's a review up on my blog for Not a Drop

Readers Crossing (Week 2 of December 2017 TBR)

The lovely Aentee has created yet another awesome reading challenge. This time, it is inspired by everyone’s latest craze: Animal Crossing. Look, I am not hip. I was not on board the Pokemon Go! train. Needless to say, I am also not on the Animal Crossing hype either. My sister was super kind and helped me create my face in the game (my iPod is not compatible with these games. I wish I could join you all).


Surprise! I chose the Cute path (according to my sister, this is what I should start with). Let’s see if I have to cry about that choice because no books fulfill it.

Ahem. Composure. Alright, here we go.

First challenge: read a manga or graphic novel

*Maniacal laughter* I don’t own any comics or manga, because I don’t like that type of book. Sister, you picked the worst path for me. Why is this happening. OH my God.

Ahem. Composure. Alright.

Okay, after a discussion with my sister, I was advised to read a book related to geek culture. So. The one that fits the bill is Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde.

second challenge: pink cover

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.

I want to read this book so badly, okay, because this author makes me smile. There is a Southern belle at the center of this book. It’s all I needed to know before picking this one up. I am ready for this.

third challenge: main romantic plot

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Based on my reading this past week, I realize that I can read at least two books at a time. This novel is kind of a mystery and an adventure, mixed in with a lesbian romance. So. It may end up being a nice breather from fantasy novels that I have been reading. Slowly, I have been transitioning into less intense settings. A contemporary should be a good change of pace.

Fourth Challenge: Middle grade/children’s novel

I’ll create a poll to see which one you’d recommend for me.

EDIT: Someone recommended Howl’s Moving Castle. I am kind of intimidated, but let’s give it a shot anyway.

fifth challenge: contemporary

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

The possibility of me getting to this one seem weak. Nevertheless, I want to get to it at some point over the course of this readathon/reading challenge.

Finally: gosh darn it, I want to read Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood. The trick is to find a nice spot for it on the challenges.

  Since it is Sunday, it's time for week 1 of December 2017's to be
  Just in time for Thanksgiving, a readathon is coming up today! Minimoji-a-thon is a
  November has been tough in some ways, but I am busying myself as much

The Grinch Book Tag

It has been a while since I have done a book tag. Here is one I have seen on Maddy (The Book Pusher)’s channel. It has questions inspired by the Grinch character and Christmas grumpiness. Let’s go.


1. Half of the lights on the Christmas tree are burnt out : Name a book/series/character that started out good but then went downhill

Yelena Zaltana and Valek in Poison Study. Nope. They had so much potential. But, Yelena turned into a lady who is good at everything, and Valek was simply a love-sick puppy.


2. Annoying Great Aunt Sally who will not leave you alone : Name a book that you didn’t enjoy, but everyone else seems to love so it never goes away

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Listen, I have a problem with how women were portrayed in this book. Even the love story was not something I felt remotely interested in. At all.

3. Your pets keep knocking over the Christmas decoration : Name a character that kept messing things up for everyone else (can’t pick a villain!)

Cluck’s douche of a brother in Weight of Feathers. Another someone who ruins things all the time is Mae’s brother in Demon’s Lexicon (His name is Jamie, and I disliked how he was handled overall).

4. You hear your parents putting out the presents and learn Santa isn’t real: Name a book you were spoiled for

Snippets of Fallen Kingdom, like I know some of the people who end up together in later books. Disclaimer, though: I don’t hate spoilers. For the most part, they tend to help me with my anxiety.

5. It’s freezing outside: Name a main character you just couldn’t connect with

Shahrazad in The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. Nope. Zero connection. She goes from “Oh, I am going to get revenge” to “He is so beautiful” so fast. I can’t even understand the attraction.

6. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ and it’s giving you anti-romantic feelings : Name a couple you couldn’t stand

You know that has to be Po and Katsa from Graceling by Kristen Cashore. Oh, I dislike them so much. They are flat cut outs of action figures, who do nothing more than “fight.”

7. That scratchy homemade wool sweater you got for Christmas years ago but won’t get rid of : show some books that have been sitting on your shelves for a while, and you aren’t motivated to read, but you don’t have the heart to get rid of

For whatever reason, I am uncertain about longer books. They scare me. I don’t want to get rid of any of them, because I know it’s very likely that I will enjoy them. Some of those books include Brandon Sanderson’s novels and Brent Weeks’ books as well. It’s just a different genre for me. But, let me reiterate: I have no intention of getting rid of them. I am just not motivated to read them so far.

8. Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer: Name a character death you still are mad about (warn people for spoilers! You can also use TV or movie deaths)

There is a death in Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo that broke me into a thousand pieces. Another one is in City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.

9. The malls are overly crowded with holiday shoppers: Name a series that has too many books in it/went on too long

Definitely Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Why is it fourteen books long? And, how on earth am I going to read it without getting tired of these characters?

10. The Grinch : Name a main character you HATE (No villians again!)

The two main people in You Know Me Well by David Levithan and

The lovely Julie from Pages and Pens made a video on this tag. I thought
It's been a while since I have done a book tag, so I thought now
  I saw this lovely tag on Of Wonderland, so I thought I'd share it

Top 5 Literary and Stylistic Choices that Upset Me



For this week’s Top 5 Wednesday, the prompt mentions things that irk us as readers. I decided to discuss things that bothered me enough to conside unhauling a book (I tend to just pass them on to my siblings, in case I regret the choice). Here are some of my pet peeves in terms of literary and stylistic choices. Some spoilers ahead.  PS: I hope no one is offended by my opinions. My goal is not to bash anything, but simply to express my annoyance.

5. monster’s point of view

Examples: Our Dark Duet, A Conjuring of Light* (didn’t think of unhauling the books, but I was really irritated by both of them in these “monologues”) 

Often used as a way to hype up the conflict between good and evil, showing a “mysterious monster’s” point of view is often italicized. It is also frequently fragmented and hard to follow. In some ways, it reminds me of Harry hearing Nagini and Voldemort talking to each other. I don’t like that. Just narrate the story the way you always have. Unless the villain/monstrous thing is actually a three-dimensional nuanced character, I don’t really care for the “pure evil” narrative. I could go on and on about this, but in short: I don’t believe anything is “pure evil.”

4. mental illness as a spoiler

Example: Every Last Word 

This one, I definitely unhauled it, because it was like, “Surprise! Another mental illness was at hand here.” We have enough stories about how confusing mental illness can be for a person. What I want is people who already know their diagnosis navigating their paths through life. A good example of this is Turtles All the Way Down. 

3. pretty girl shaming

Example: The School for Good and Evil 

Nope. Stop assuming that girls who care about their appearance are shallow and silly. You can be a multi-faceted person with different interests. Besides, caring about one’s appearance is not a reflection on one’s morality or intelligence. Stop pitting women against each other.

2. unnecessary and surprise flashbacks

Example: The Lies of Locke Lamora 

Don’t jump around the text for no reason. Oh, it makes me so mad that this way of establishing characters’ back-story was used. Ugh, no. I barely could keep up with the main plot, and then all these flashbacks were used to help add dimension to the characters. Let me tell you, there are much clearer ways to narrate such aspects of a character. I felt like I was listening to a drunk man while reading this story, to be quite honest. Hint: not a good thing.

 1. characters who use inappropriate nicknames

Example: The Girl in the Steel Corset , Hush Hush 

They just met, and a day or two later, he’s calling her “sweetheart.” And, it’s not like Han Solo, where it is used sarcastically.  Heck, even Lea did not act amused by his nicknames. I just wish stories did not skip important boundaries being established. Look, I am sure people can fall in love while respecting each others’ space. Don’t call people things that are not appropriate for how close you really are. Stop making it okay for people to use terms of endearment without consent. This leads me to another issue: stop glamorizing or romanticizing sexual violence (example: Twilight). I don’t care that he’s a vampire. If she’s covered in bruises, that was not really a love scene.

    As we bid November adieu, I am following the prompt for Top 5
    Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday, a meme based on a Goodreads group. In
  Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday. Here's a link to the Goodreads group so you

Top 10 Books/Series On my Winter TBR



So, I discovered that I messed up the prompt for last week’s Top Ten Tuesday. Naturally, I am going back and following the prompt I missed over at The Broke and the Bookish. Last week’s prompt was the Top 10 Books on my Winter TBR. Let’s catch up.

10. The Diviners by libba bray

I know, I know. It’s more Halloween-related as a series. However, the books are long, which is very winter-y to me. Besides, I am really curious to see how the books are compared to her Gemma Doyle books (I liked those, but they took a while for me to get into).

9. Dark days club by allison goodman

So, I heard mixed reviews about her Eon/Eona books. But, this series sounds more up my alley. Victorian times and demon hunting lady. Some people said it’s somewhat like The Infernal Devices, which are among my favorites of all time. Plus, it kind of sounds like The Falconer by Elizabeth May. Words don’t quite express how much I loved that trilogy, too.

8. maggie Stiefvater’s shiver series

Werewolves and kissing summarize my knowledge of these books. I could also read The Scorpio Races at some point this winter, too, because this author’s books are rather slow moving but intriguing.

7. rae carson’s books

I have her complete The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. In addition, I have the first book in the Gold Seer trilogy as well. Rae Carson writes rich worlds in terms of tradition and culture. I did like the first book in her stories about Elisa. But, the slowness of the pace wasn’t quite my jam while I tried to read it over the summer. Now, though, may be a better time for this series.

6. and i darken by kiersten white

Silly story: I have never heard of Vlad the Impaler. I picked up this book and its sequel without looking up who that is. In fact, I still don’t know who he is. Part of me prefers it that way. My ignorance could enhance my reading experience. Nevertheless, I promise to look up who that is after reading the first book.

5. Falling Kingdoms by morgan rhodes

The series wraps up in early 2018, and I’d like to catch up. I want to hate on Jonas, and join the masses in shipping these characters.

4. the lunar chronicles by marissa meyer

I mean, the last book is called “Winter.” What more could I ask for? Cinder is part cyborg and the stories are set in space (!!!). But, there are awesome ships to be shipped in these books (from what I noticed on Tumblr).

3. daughter of smoke and bone by laini taylor

Set in Prague, the story involves Karu and her found family. She goes between worlds (right? Am I remembering this correctly?). It just sounds like a cozy time story that could potentially break my heart into a thousand pieces. Oh, and while this trilogy is on my TBR, since we’re dreaming together, I’d like to also read The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey. A few people mentioned that it is a lot like Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

2. the young elites by marie lu

A story about a character turning into the villain. Yes, sign me up for this darkness and destruction. It sounds so good. If I do manage to read the trilogy this winter, I’d like to try and read Marie Lu’s Legend series as well.

 1. night circus, caraval, and bone gap

Atmospheric books are also something I am really craving this winter. These are the stories I stumble across most often (what a weird sentence). Oh, in addition, Neil Gaiman books are also in this category.  I basically have a lot of series that I want to start this season, but I’ll try and read some of these stand-alone novels as well to avoid getting burned out.


    It is time for another Top Ten Tuesday, a meme run by the
    Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by the lovely The Broke and
    Top Tuesday is a meme created by the lovelies over at The Broke

Week 1 of December, 2017 To Be Read (TBR)


Since it is Sunday, it’s time for week 1 of December 2017’s to be read plans. I will start with sharing what I am currently reading. Right now, I am still reading Illuminae (60% of the way through). In addition, I am reading The Hate U Give (63% in), and You Have 4 Minutes (20% of the way in).

Here are my hopes/plans for the week in terms of reading.


The Coldest Girl in Cold-Town by Holly Black

I am in the mood for a nice vampire story that is different than the typical stories about those creatures. Holly Black has a book coming out in January, and I want to celebrate her writing. She is a wonderful writer.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Cursed lovers and a mysterious group of sisters are at the center of this story. Plus, the cover is gorgeous. The author is so good at what she does. I am here for this.

Series beginnings

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Steampunk and time related technology sounds really nice. Also: I have a love for Victorian settings in general. The next book in the series comes out in January. I hope this one is a good read.


The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Jolien had beautiful reviews of the third and fourth books in this series. I’d like to catch up with her so we can fangirl together. Perhaps, we can read the spin off series together. *Wistful dreaming*



A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

I’m just giving myself options. Besides, I loved the first book in this trilogy, and I’d like to keep going. If not this week, then soon. Zombies, Victorian time setting, some technology. Siblings, friendships, and questioning social norms. So good.

To be watched

Recently, I picked up the Divergent trilogy movies, so I want to watch them at some point this week. In addition, I am working my way through season 3 of The 100. Admittedly, I am afraid of what will happen next on that show. But, still, I am curious. So…I’ll keep going.

Finally, I am currently watching Poldark with my mom (season 3). In short, I spend my time yelling at Ross Poldark and Elizabeth quite a bit. I’m very doubtful we’ll finish it this week, because we only watch an episode a day. My goal is to keep watching these shows a little bit at a time. It all adds up in the end.

The lovely Aentee has created yet another awesome reading challenge. This time, it is inspired
  Just in time for Thanksgiving, a readathon is coming up today! Minimoji-a-thon is a
  November has been tough in some ways, but I am busying myself as much

Last Haul of 2017: December 2017 Book Haul:


Welcome to my final book haul of 2017! Abiding by the rules, I have gotten some pretty nice series. If you have seen my November wrap up, you probably noticed that I read a lot of stand-alone novels and self help books. Because of this, I didn’t get to read as many series as I hoped.

stand alone novels

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

This author stole my heart, seriously. I just want to read all her work. But, I think McGinnis writes about sexual abuse in some form or another in her books. To me, she approaches these issues with sensitivity yet with frankness. A Madness so Discreet sounds somewhat Holmes-ian, with a touch of darker tone.

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

This a sequel/companion to Not a Drop to Drink. My understanding is that the hero in this novel is different but it is set in the same world. Post-apocalyptic and poised to make me think hard about humanity and my values, I am keen to read this one very soon.

new series: beginnings

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

I used to have a copy of this series, and then I gave it away because of issues with miscommunication. Anyway, I remember loving the series so much. I’m slowly making my way with acquiring it. I love Sophie, the main character, and her roommate Victoria. In fact, I still remember much of their story together. I miss them.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

This one was really popular for a while. I like this author’s humor and characters. So, I am excited to see what the hype is about. All I know is that involves a southern belle. I am here for it.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Sisters fighting each other for the throne. Two of the sisters have power, one doesn’t. Who will survive and become queen?

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

I read this book ages ago. Then, I felt ashamed because of the reviews on it. I love this story, and I want to reread it in Halloween or even in the winter-y months. I’ll always like the main character, his friends, and my dear ghost Anna.

your turn

What did you plan on getting for December? Have you heard of any of the books on my list? Share your thoughts in comments.

  Ah, yes, it is time for my monthly book haul. November 2017, I was
  Hi there! So, it's finally October. As a very lucky girl, I get to
  It is time for my September 2017 book haul. As you may have read

Goodbye, November 2017: A Wrap Up



November has come to an end. Here is a wrap up of the month, in terms of reading, Netflix, and Spotify! If you’d like to bid November adieu with me, feel free to share your highlights of the month in the comments. I’ll go first.


Because I had spent less time online this month, I ended up reading a bit more than usual. So, this is a nice realization as it will help motivate me to get off the dang Internet more often. Here are the books that I have read.


Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (3 stars)

Fun, creepy, and a fast read, what more can I ask for! I absolutely adored this book. Intrigued to keep going, for sure, and I want to see more of Eleanor and her friends kicking butt and challenging the societal norms.



The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Nope, not my thing at all. I just did not like the way it was written. Characters were hard to connect to.


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (5/5 stars)

Easily winning me over, this story has a duo searching for a lost billionaire. One of the twosome is dealing with OCD and depersonalization. In other words, nothing but pure love in my heart for this author, his stories, his characters. Bonus points for watching stars and eating at Applebee’s scenes. (Review post here. Spotify Playlist Project entry here).

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore  (4/5 stars)

Another author I truly adore, McLemore creates a Romeo and Juliet-esque story. Lace and Cluck are outcasts in their families. What happens when their paths cross? Bonus points for sweet mermaid shows, and performance pieces by those with feathers. Legacy, intrigue, and dramatic flare all wrapped into one beautiful story.

Self Help

Guiding Strala by Tara Stiles (3/5 stars)

It’s mostly about teaching yoga to students. In turn, I am hoping to use it to teach myself once more. Tara Stiles is one of my favorite yogis of all time. I have all her stuff, because I look up to her. Naturally, this book made me smile, because it also featured advice on how to apply yoga to daily life.


How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh  (3 stars)

Funny, thoughtful, and colorful. I liked this book, and it definitely propelled me to follow Lilly once more. She actually posited some valid life lessons here. Thankfully, my brother bought me a copy, so I can revisit the advice and the charming humor whenever I want.

Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley (4 stars)

Jessamyn Stanley is a prominent figure in the body positive movement. I find this book to be an instrumental tool in my journey to establish a connection between my body and mind. If only there was a way to know who the models in the book were, because I’d like to follow them, too.


Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (4 stars)

There is a stylistic choice in here that I dislike. It comes up in A Conjuring of Light, too. Definitely not a flaw in the story, but I did grimace every time it was utilized. Still, the story is harrowing and full of scary relentless action. I highly recommend this duology.

(Review post here)

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (2 stars)

Yep, it is time for me to stop reading these books. I just got really irritated with Snyder’s writing. Plus, the pacing in this is so not my jam. Put the books away for donation.

Netflix chronicles and dvd watching

I also made it to the mid-way point of The 100, season 3. You can read my thoughts on it right here. 

Your Turn:

How was your month?


    Welcome to another monthly wrap up. This monthly wrap up will be for
  This is another change I'm making to the blog: switching from weekly wrap ups