At the Brink (The Last Magician – A Book Review)

The Last Magician (The Last Magician #1)
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Simon & Schuster

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated M for magic tricks and sneaky cons that’ll make Chris Angel weak in the knees.

 

Stop the Magician.

Steal the book.

Save the future.

In modern-day New York, Esta has an affinity for time. It’s a special, Mageus talent, an old magic which has been dying. Since she was a little girl she’s been trained in the art of being a thief. Now, to save magic from going extinct, she’ll go back to the age of prohibition to find a special book that could help destroy the Brink—a barrier that keeps all Mageus from leaving Manhattan. It destroys their powers and them.

Just when she begins to get her foothold in this era of ruthless old gangs and high societies bent on destroying magic, Harte Darrigan sweeps in, making her mission more complicated. She has no choice but to betray those in the past to save the future, but the longer she stays, the more she questions everything.

 

First things first. I don’t know how to explain it, so don’t ask, but while reading this, I got some MAJOR Harry Potter vibes. From the immersive and enamoring detail to the incredible chemistry between characters, it’s all I could think. Now, a lot of those who’ve read The Diviner’s series agree that this is similar. Sadly, that isn’t a series that I’ve read, but I still say I’m getting the vibes of epic-ness just like I got from Harry Potter.

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

The characters are EVERYTHING. Maxwell does such a splendid job of bouncing between her characters and she left me clamoring after all of them. There wasn’t a single character that I hated…well, not true, but those were villainous characters that are meant to feel my scorn and wrath. Esta and Darrigan though! So much push and pull that makes my pulse quicken like a hummingbird at a colorful and beautiful smelling flower. They’re stubborn and passionate characters that push and pull and by the end I just want them to be together. Hell, at their very first meeting it’s all I want. They’re stressing me out, but I love it!

Want More - TenorGIFKeyboard

Tenor

The other characters are given so much life. They’re more than just side characters. I love that so much! Everyone is important. It’s just incredible the way she built them and I fell even more in love because of all of the diversity among them. So much independence and

The setting of Manhattan was such a unique place to choose. Maxwell took the creation of a setting-a world-to a different dimension. Not only by the depth of place(s) but by the time period too. She time traveled, making the setting even more vibrant and intense. Here is Esta, a girl of modern day, in the past of Manhattan. I’m not one for typical historical fictions, but this is anything but typical.

Scarlet Reader

Imgur

The twists and betrayals were wild. Just when I thought there might be a sprinkle of trust between two people BAM nope. My hopes rose every time and I’m not even ashamed of it. I know, thieves never trust thieves, but I couldn’t help it.

There is so much about this book and I could go on and on! But you know what? Just read it! There’s betrayal. Complicated feelings. Intense action. Consequences of using magic, and it’s eye-opening.

 

Overall

I wasn’t sure about this book when I started it. The cover is gorgeous and I love how it ties in with the book. The description was curious. So I took a shot. I’m SO glad I did. Phenomenal. The incredible mix of history and magic is just breathtaking and the ending…it’ll leave you speechless. Up on the favorites shelf, you go.

 

Quotables:

“Steal me the night, girl.” (Dolph to Esta, p. 136)

“Desperation and fear could make anyone do nearly anything, and sometimes a single sacrifice was necessary to save many.” (p. 261)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Stand By Me by KI Theory.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Advertisements

A Rose, A Key (The Waste Lands – A Book Review)

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3)
Author: Stephen King
Published: 1991

On Goodreads

The Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated P for paradoxical twists that’ll leave you mind-bent.

 

Then he realized that it was not blood he was looking at, but roses…

Some time has passed and Roland, Eddie, and Susannah are well on their way toward the dark tower. There is conflict within Roland. He is struggling with two alternate realities since he saved Jake from getting shoved into traffic and run over by a car. Now, he can’t tell what’s real. Is Jake dead from him leaving him to die and go after the man in black or is Jake truly alive because he’d never been hit? Roland must fix himself before he completely comes unhinged. They cannot continue onward to the dark tower until he does.

 

The Dark Tower series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 3 of 7 (technically 8, but I’m not including The Wind Through the Keyhole, though I will be reading it.)

 

This book really picked up the series’s pace. There was much more action than in the books before it. Roland struggled to fix what he’d done to Jake in The Gunslinger and it put a great strain on the journey to the dark tower for him and his companions. Eddie and Susannah were very helpful in guiding him, though all three of them weren’t sure about where they were going. They followed ka-tet and their guts blindly. It’s really crazy but always keeps me guessing. Nothing about this series is predictable.

My hopes didn’t let me down! Jake returned. Granted it was touch-and-go for a good moment, but Jake is back and I’m so glad. While it’s hard to pick a favorite character, the crew feels complete with him a part of it. I got really giddy when Jake created a bond with Oy, a billy-bumbler. They’re very strange-looking creatures and very much in the so-ugly-they’re-cute category but incredibly brilliant. This one is no exception.

Scarlet Reader

SyFy Wire

Charlie Choo Choo made his debut in this book. In fact, he was one of the major points aside from Jake. It was the main destination of this book actually and without Jake, they wouldn’t have made it. Learning of Charlie led them to Blaine the Monorail. He helped Roland and crew get to Blaine the Mono. Both Charlie and Blaine are super creepy. The kid’s book unnerved me and when Charlie made his appearance I swear I shuddered.

Scarlet Reader

Dark Tower Wiki

The world the crew was in this time is still crazy-wild. So desolate and dangerous. While they moved across the waste lands, there were strange doors, creatures, and crazy, psycho people. The detail is so deep and intricate. King didn’t spare a single sense useless. Sometimes the density made me slow down some, but I didn’t give up on it.

Also really admired the images created to help add to the story, such as Roland’s explanation of the dark tower and how it’s the pinnacle of all universes. It really does help and give better visuals for certain bits. Not only did it give me something better to go on, but I saw it how the characters did.

Scarlet Reader - Dark Tower

The Waste Lands

 

Overall

This book left off on such a cliffhanger! I can’t wait to get to the next one. I’m really glad I didn’t give up on this series. Incredibly inventive and creative and dark. I’m so living for it! While it’s uber twisty and sometimes a struggle to get my brain to keep up with all of the overlapping time paradoxes, I just can’t get enough.

 

Quotables:

“We are ka-tet, which means a group of people bound together by fate. The philosophers of my land sad a ka-tet could only be broken by death or treachery…” (Roland, p. 422)

“You’re a long way from Forty-second Street, sweetheart—hope is a great thing, no matter what anyone says, but don’t hope so hard you lose sight of that one thought: you’re a long way from Forty-second Street…” (Eddie, p.460)

“Old ways are sometimes the best ways.” (Roland, p. 471)

 

More to come soon…

  – K.

 

P.S. Song today? Behind Blue Eyes by The Who.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below.

Fires Everywhere (The Outsiders – A Book Review)

The Outsiders
Author: S. E. Hinton
Published: 1997

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Wiki

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated

 

A heroic story of friendship and belonging.

Ponyboy has been struggling of late between understanding right and wrong in a society that automatically decides it for him, his brothers, and friends: greasers. His thoughts pull him in one direction and his brothers and friends pull him in other directions. After Johnny saves him from being drowned by a soc, the result something dreadful. Murder. The two go on the lamb. Even doing the wrong thing for the right reason can have consequences, and they’ll stay with you for a very long time.

Ponyboy’s world crumbles around him and this not only affected him but everyone around him, and he soon learns that it doesn’t matter if you’re a greaser or a soc, pain hurts all the same.

 

This is a classic I’ve wanted to read for years. I don’t care that people usually read it back in middle school. For me, The Giver and The Cure were what was read. Classics are ageless and this a classic. It’s a dark and tragic story that proves that it doesn’t matter what social class you are put into, everyone bleeds the same and hurts the same.

Scarlet Reader

Pintrest

Actually, experiencing life from such an unexpected perspective is incredible and fresh. Greasers, like everyone else at the time, worked hard, fell in love, and felt heartbreak like everyone else, but because of where they live and what they look like they still get hassled horrendously. It made me fill pity, to be honest. Nobody understands what it’s like to struggle at the bottom unless they’ve been there and to have people that don’t understand or care add on to it is heavy. This book really gives readers a chance to experience that some. You fight for all that you have. In this case, it was for family, respect, and dignity.

The family dynamic is heart-wrenching. Sure, the decisions the boys make more often than not made me frown because they were quite the troublemakers but the way they supported each other was the true spirit of family. This book also reiterates that blood isn’t all that makes a family.

Scarlet Reader

Rebloggy

The setting of the book really gives way to a time when society really was a bastard. Today, it’s still pretty bad and disturbing. What is so wrong with the human race that we beat each other because of status?

 

Overall

I’m really glad I read this. It really got me to think. No matter how old you are, a book doesn’t tell you that you can’t read it because you’re too old. They all have interesting lessons, stories, and/or emotions to give you, and for a reason. Now, I can’t wait to watch the movie to this and compare thoughts. This really is a valuable read.

 

Quotables:

“Suddenly, in the red glow and haze, I remembered wondering what it was like in a burning ember, and I thought: Now I know, it’s a red hell. Why aren’t I scared?” (Ponyboy, p. 92)

“I am a greaser. I am a JD and a hood. I blacken the name of our fair city. I beat up people. I rob gas stations. I am a menace to society. Man, do I have fun!” (Sodapop, p. 136)

“We’re greasers, but not hoods, and we don’t belong with this bunch of future convicts.” (Ponyboy, p. 141)

 

More to come soon…

  –K.

P.S. Song today? Surrender by Cheap Trick.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below.

Silence is Not Golden, But Red and Silver – (King’s Cage – A Book Review)

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for the searing pain only the love of a Silver can cause, though war divides many hearts

 

All Will Burn

Mare Barrow is a prisoner of the King of Norta, Maven. More so, she’s powerless. No lightning and no escape. In chains, she’s once again put on display, but not as a princess like before. She’s put on display as the new blood that is forced to betray the Scarlet Guard, the people she loves, and herself. Many times, she tries to break free. It’s the silent stone shackles around her wrists and ankles that keeps her powers locked up. She refuses to let it or Maven break her.

The Scarlet Guard isn’t hiding any longer. They’re ready for war. The tension between everyone might stop it before it gets started however. The exiled prince, Cal is lost without her and will do anything to get her back. Even destroy his brother and anything else in his path.

Reds turn on Reds. Silvers turn on Silvers. Brother turns on brother.

 

I’m still a damn mess over Shade. It’s ugly ya’ll. And every time he was brought up…

Scarlet Reader

Tumblr

Now, Mare is locked up and I can’t even handle that. She gave herself up! Just as I worried she may turn into a monster, she fell into a helpless heap. Well, not helpless. But, I couldn’t help her. I wanted to jump into the book and help her so badly. So much hurt and heartbreak.

I actually had to wait to start this book because my emotions were all over the place. Just so much hurt. So much loss. And this loss is strangely different for me than it is in other books. While reading this series, I’ve gotten such an in-depth look into Mare’s life and seen how much things matter for her. It’s such a close perspective and every bit that she’s ripped into rips into me.

The war isn’t just talk now. It’s happening. Nobody is safe. Not a single person. There were so many times I gasped aloud as I read, and forget my nails. They got chomped right off. From an assassination attempt to torture, this was dark. However, there were unique alliances made that really surprised the feck out of me. Many more unexpected twists turned like a blade in me, instilling in me that everything is not always as it seems with anyone.

When Mare and Cal finally did reunite, it was like finally getting able to breathe until it wasn’t. And I totally caught that Grey’s Anatomy moment and it shattered me. The two of them sure are cute though. Dance in the rain cute.

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

However, this drama-llama she’s got between both brothers is done. I’m not heeding it. Not one bit. I’m not here for a triangle. I’m here for the lightning girl. She cares about both of them and in a way, I can see why. But, I can’t focus on them because I’m focused on my girl, here. I can’t be bothered by dream fictional guys this time.

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

For some light, happiness, a spot of blue sky—more new bloods and some are like Mare! Oh, to know she didn’t have to feel utterly alone was so beautiful. It’s so exciting! And the imagery! *whistles* YASSSSS.

Hell, the whole reunion for Mare and her family—everyone—was just sending my heart soaring.

I really can’t find a fault in this installation of the series. It was gorgeous and chilling!. I latched on and still haven’t let go. Powerful imagery. Such well thought out plot points. Aveyard really didn’t rush things and I LOVE it when that happens. There’s no reason to rush things all the time. Look at everything along the way. Aveyard didn’t just look though. She dragged my butt right through the mud. Lol.

 

Overall

This series keeps getting more powerful with every book and War Storm is the final book. Not ready for it at all. Glad to wait for it to release to paperback. Completely A-okay with it.  However, I’m so unbelievably nervous. This is like coming up on the final season of Game of Thrones. While many people already know since War Storm is out, I don’t know. LOL. Anyway, I just get that churning feeling that a lot of people aren’t going to make, one of them being Mare. And after she’s developed so much in this book, that makes me so sad.

 

Quotables:

“It’s cruel to give hope where none should be.” (Mare, p. 18)

“Until we meet again.” (Mare, p. 39)

“Gods do not ally with insects, but they can be infected by them.” (Evangeline, p. 142)

“Control takes more practice than brute force.” (Cameron, p. 155)

“Those who know what it’s like in the dark will do anything to stay in the light.” (Maven, p. 279)

“Monsters are so easily made, especially in people like us…” (Mare to Cameron, p. 416)

“Love is not a word we use. We feel it, we mean it, but we don’t say it. it feels so final, a declaration from which there is no easy return.” (Mare, p. 437)

“Choose me. Choose the dawn.” (p. 503)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? you should see me in a crown by Billie Eilish.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below.

School of Fish Out of Water (Undertow – A Book Review)

Undertow (Undertow #1)
Author: Michael Buckley
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated A for Aquaman approved.

 

First, we feared them. Then we fought them. Now they might be our only hope.

Lyric Walker’s life is changed forever as is everyone’s in Coney Island when 30,000 warrior Alpha storm the beach shore. Now, a few years later, the small town has turned into a military zone and the government is ready to try an assimilate Alpha into society. Not everyone is on board with this.

Lyric get assigned to help with the integration by helping the crown prince of the Alpha, Fathom. While he is aggressive and resistant, she can’t help but to start falling for him. There’s something about him that isn’t all bad. It’s dangerous to feel this way though, for both of them.

More so, there is a greater threat on the horizon than the Alpha. The darkness that drew the remaining race to shore.

 

This was a wild and intensely action-packed book with tension seeping out of the cracks. I really enjoyed it! While I do get the Aquaman vibes, I do find this to be interestingly unique and original! The in-depth look at the Alpha is really nifty. They weren’t just some Adonis god-like race to melt at, though Fathom is pretty attractive hehe. Though they have some epic abilities, like controlling water and fast reflexes and mega strength as well as some unique weaponry. Fathom, the prince, can actually pop out bony swords from his arms. Alpha also take on the features and characteristics of creatures of the sea. It’s freaking awesome!

Scarlet Reader

Tenor

I loved all of the characters, even the assholes. They were all epic. Buckley really wrote some powerful people from the teens to the adults. I can’t find one I didn’t like, because even though there were characters I hated *cough* Mrs. Novakova *cough* it was for legitimate reasons! They were jerky, prejudice asshats. Just some powerful characters here!

I’ve also never read a book where Coney Island was the setting. It was wicked to get a close-up view. Crowded and mucky and not the Disneyland on the dock people imagine it is. In fact, Coney Island is turned into a scary place. (The cover art of it is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. And chilling. It’s that too.)

Scarlet Reader

The Tropix

The comical and honest look at racial lines in society was fantastic! Lyric gave such a great perspective on not only skin color, but culture, and with the Alpha, race. Diversity played a major role in this book and I really liked it. It was so well done and truly added more than just typical them versus us. It was everybody.

More so, the added element of domestic abuse and not just for humans but for the Alpha was heartbreaking. Both of these major themes expressed, in a sad way, that everyone shares these hardships in common. As well as these, they share their love for those they care about.

There was just so much more than I expected and I fell in love with this book.

Dead of Winter

There were many shocking twists and turns. I was caught off guard a few times. Being left guessing is one of my favorite things with a book and this one was successful. Unexpected romance, and expected, of course LOL. And the loss ripped all of it away. Stop ripping things and people I love away from me!

 

Overall

This is really different from other YA I’ve read. It’s humorous, yet filled with love and heartache. There’s such a real spin on this and it really added to the salty imagery. I can’t wait to be blown away in the next book. The ending really left me hanging! I have so many questions.

 

Quotables:

“There’s also this idea that the Alpha caused all the weird racism and xenophobia, too, but whatever. This part of town was always a hotbed of racial sludge, and the various groups never played nice.” (Lyric, p.34)

“When someone is grieving, even a kindness feels like a slap in the face.” (Lyric’s mom to Lyric, p. 265)

“What was I supposed to say to you, Bex? I’m half mermaid and I have the hots for Edward Scissor arms?” (Lyric to Bex, p. 308)

“Nothing will stop me, because I am bigger than the world; I make the sea tremble. I am a wild thing.” (Lyric, p. 376)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? 100 Years by Five For Fighting.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let talk about them in the comments below!

Another Car Crash (Evercrossed – A Book Review)

Evercrossed (Kissed by An Angel #4)
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full bolt Half bolt

Rated M for meeeeehhhhh, I thought we were moving on.

 

First love never dies.

A year has passed since Tristan has passed on after helping his true love, Ivy. A year since he died. While he’s moved on to the afterlife, Ivy has moved on with Will. The two of them plus Beth have taken summer jobs at a bed and breakfast in Cape Cod. They hope to take this summer and forget the horrific events that happened. Sip lemonade and relax down by the beach. Good times, right?

It was, until Ivy died in a car accident.

Tristan thought his work was done, but he brings her back and everything changes. After waking up in the hospital, all she can think about is what she’s lost. While there, she meets, Guy, someone who also survived a near death experience and suffers amnesia. Though, she begins to get close to him, her friends begin to worry that he’s not what he seems.

Ivy can’t help it. Her memories of the past reignite her heartache, but can love be enough to save her this time?

 

Kissed by an Angel

Kissed by an Angel

Review here

 

So I really liked the start of this. It was quite promising in fact. Ivy seemed happy. Will is a great guy that I kind of wish I had. Beth is still quirky cute. And new characters! I’m winning!

 

And then I got confused. See, I pay attention to detail and as one of those, I got stumped. Time seemed to leap a great deal, but not really. A year right? That’s what I was told. A year has passed for Ivy since everything. Now, Kissed by an Angel was released in 1998. When I read the three-in-one book, I didn’t get any feeling that cell phones were uber popular. Now, here, Evercrossed, technology has jumped pretty far that apps and GPS are common. My brain was beffuddled quite quickly and it took me out of the book a bit. The connection between the time jumps don’t connect because I don’t imagine technology jumped that fast.

cringe - giphy

I hate to say it, but that alone really deterred my interest in this story. Keeping aligned with the timeline is very important to me.

I didn’t admire that yet another car crash is what put everything in motion. It just made everything feel replayed and boring. I went through that during the first run around, let’s move forward!

I must say, Ivy’s mom wins the away for being the character I can’t stand the most this month too. The way she comes across really grossed me out. She wants to buy Ivy ‘pretty’ things? That’s actually how it’s phrased. ‘Pretty’, as if what her daughter wears isn’t. As if she doesn’t pay attention to anything her daughter wants. It disturbed me something fierce.

I wish this book brought something fresh. After the way that Kissed by an Angel ended, I figured it would now head into something new, more deadly, magical, and breath-taking. This just turned out to feel like the same old same.

 

Overall

I’m sorry. I couldn’t get into this. It was all over the place and it actually doesn’t line up enough with its predecessor. The transition was pretty non-existent as well. I thought it would continue on with something even more in depth on the magic of angels. This more came off as a massive pile-up on fire. I was incredibly sad.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Dirty Little Secret by The All-American Rejects.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let’s talk about them.

Who’s Into Who? (M or F? – A Book Review)

M or F?
Author: Lisa Papademetriou & Chris Tebbetts
Published: 2006

On Goodreads

M or F - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated C for quirky cute with a side of crazy and a sprinkle of boy trouble.

 

I’m thinking this whole thing will make a good movie someday.

Frannie has a crush on Jeffrey. Frannie is really shy. So, Frannie gets her fabulous (and gay) best friend, Marcus to help her, by having him chat online as her because she’s too terrified to do it herself.

In the chat room everything goes well, she even gets a date. But, as Marcus keeps chatting the more he’s sure that Jeffrey likes him, not Frannie. His best intentions to help his best friend goes down a shady path. If he doesn’t turn back soon, his and Frannie’s friendship could be over.

But he really likes Jeffrey. What will he do?

 

I plucked this up because it was bright and mysterious, like a bright beacon that said, “READ ME”.

This book was cute, filled with awkward teen spirit. Frannie and Marcus are best friends. Frannie is the shy one while Marcus is the outgoing one, making them two peas in a pod of sorts. They really encompassed friendship and I loved that, especially their telepathy. Everybody wants that with their BFF. I’m VERY lucky to have that with mine. These two were inseparable and it made me all mushy.

I really liked these two’s chemistry, but I also liked the way all of the characters interweaved together. Granted, Frannie was sometimes annoying and Marcus was a little obnoxious, but that’s what made them them. There was a lot of individuality.

I was kept guessing as I read. The way that everything got mixed up between everyone was comical. Plus, all of the drama made me antsy. It really made this book a fast read.

Thumbs Up

This book had one of the most unique styles of writing I’ve ever seen. It was creative and kept me invested with its occasional chatroom structure. That really added to the story. It was entertaining and had me hold my breath from time to time.

And the title complimented the story so well. Not only does the POV move between Frannie and Marcus, but the book is also open about sexuality and how difficult and tricky it can be in high school. I think it’s great to address this factor. Dating is awkward enough in high school, but the hardships and pressure that it can have is stressful.

There were many little surprises even though the whole book was pretty predictable. I really like when a book does this. It’s like sprinkles on a cupcake. Simply delightful. The best part for me was the Coda aka the Epilogue. It perfectly rounded out the whole book.

 

Overall

A fun book to read and fast too. However, it wasn’t memorable. It got a good pass for being entertaining and filled with high school drama, but that’s about it.

 

Quotables:

“If silence speaks louder than words, right then Frannie’s silence was saying crush, crush, crush, which is different than hot for, hot for, hot for.” (Marcus, p. 5)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? One Love by Mariana’s Trench.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.