ARC Review: The Wizards of Once (Cressida Cowell)

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Genre:
Childrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Series: The Wizards of Once #1
Publication date: September 19th, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Malaysia
Page Count: 384

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Blurb:
From the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon comes an exciting high-adventure series – set in an ancient, magical time, full of Wizards, Warriors, Giants and Sprites.

This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure …

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn’t, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he’s got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.

Xar doesn’t realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.

And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.

In a whirlwind adventure, Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.

But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring …

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I received a proof copy of Cressida Cowell’s upcoming new series The Wizards of Once. Famous for her works in the How to Train Your Dragon series, in which movie I loved by the way, I was super excited to read this. I rarely read Children’s books. Their language and plot are a bit simpler than that of Middle Grade. So in an attempt to properly review this book, I put myself in the shoes of a pre-school/primary school child to see if this book would appeal to me had I read it back at that age.

Wizards of Once is the tale of a Wizard and a Warrior who met in an unusual circumstance and had to help each other out in order to save both human and magic world safe from the evil clutched of the Witches.

Hands down, Cowell is a great storyteller and illustrator. Despite being short, I felt thoroughly entertained with the adventures of Xar and Wish. The illustrations are so beautiful that I loved looking at them for long periods of time to memorize every little detail.  However, being a proof copy, some illustrations were incomplete and yet to be included in the book. I was a bit sad about that but I’m sure the finished book is going to have an abundance of beautiful drawings that will entertain its young readers for hours.

Xar, the Wizard, wasn’t really my favourite character from this book. He’s annoying, disobedient (as mentioned by everyone), arrogant and self-centered. I don’t know how this kind of character would portray to a child but I do appreciate that Wish is the opposite of him. The book depicted how well two very different personalities can become friends. Wish is truly a special girl, and I want her to be my friend. Someone who is kind, loyal and caring is very hard to find.

The plot was very simple in a way that a child will be able to follow through easily and be amazed at all the wonderful new words that Cowell has created in this world. We see tough situations bringing Xar and his companions closer on a quest to save their world. It shows resilience, teamwork and perseverance bring out the best in us. And I think Cowell is great for this – for engaging a child’s mind to question beyond fiction. And see that these characters aren’t so different from us at all. We all have moments of cowardice and selfishness, but finding the silver lining in every situation makes us grow into kind human beings.

If you’re a parent reading this review, or an older sibling/aunt/uncle and you want your young ones to start reading, I think The Wizards of Once is a great series to begin with. Its language and plot are simple to comprehend, the illustrations are on point, and there are so many questions you can ask your young reader to make them think beyond the story.

I definitely would have enjoyed this book if I came across it during my preteen years.

I’d definitely recommend reading this during bed time. The voices and impersonations you can make while reading this aloud is just amazing. Believe me, I’ve tried.

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★★★★☆

Thank you Pansing Malaysia for providing me a proof copy in exchange for an honest review.

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (Sarah J Maas)

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Genre:
Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children Books
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Publication date: May 2nd, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Malaysia
Page Count: 699

Read my reviews for the previous books in the series:
A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Mist and Fury

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Buy from Book Depository, Kinokuniya Malaysia

Blurb:
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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Wow. I cannot believe the series have come to an end. All that waiting for a year after A Court of Mist and Fury was released. And we’ve come to the end of Rhys & Feyre’s story.

Did you hear that crack?

I think my heart broke a little.

I’m not entirely sure how to write this review. The book is pretty massive. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I read 700 pages in a week. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before.

But in all seriousness, I’ll split this review into two sections: things I liked about it and things I didn’t. Because I have to admit I had some problems with how the book turned out in the final 200 pages.

Also, be warned that there will be some mild spoilers for this review and major spoilers from A Court of Thorns and Roses & A Court of Mist and Fury in case you haven’t read the first two installments yet.

So read at your own risk.

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Hands down the best thing about any Sarah J Maas book is the writing. If you want a fast-paced fantasy novel, Maas is the person to go to. I have no idea what it is, but her words just grip me so hard and suck me right into the plot and characters she’s crafted so wonderfully for this series. From the moment I read A Court of Thorns and Roses, I knew that Maas has a talent for getting your senses heightened and bringing out unexpected twists.

The plot in A Court of Wings and Ruin is more intense and complex than A Court of Mist and Fury. We see more strategies being laid out by the Inner Circle as they prepare for war with the King of Hybern and attempt to find as many allies as possible. This is where I got sucked right into the book and breezed through it. There’s always something happening with each chapter that you can’t stop reading in fear of missing out the next big twist of the story. It is more serious and intense compared to A Court of Mist and Fury in a way that romance doesn’t really set itself in so well this time.

In A Court of Mist and Fury, we saw the emotional and intimate side of Feyre and Rhys, but in ACOWAR, we see the war as the main focus point and every action and words carried out within the book revolved around this war. So if you’re expecting more drama and kick-ass scenes, you will love what A Court of Wings and Ruin has in store for you.

I personally love how The Inner Circle of Rhys is highlighted in this book on a whole new level. I swear Cassian’s entrance was the most epic thing I’ve seen after Goblin and Grim Reaper’s street entrance (holla if you got this Kdrama reference!)

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You’re getting more sass and crass jokes from everyone and their involvement in the war is so well written that you do feel part of the Court of Dreams when you read this. It was wonderful to be able to read about Feyre’s relationships with her sisters, how Nesta and Elain struggled with being a Fae, and how Tamlin and Jurian turned out to be at the end. There are these characters with complex backgrounds and personal issues that seeing them grow and change to suit their surroundings was an exciting thing to read.

“We’re all a broken, in our own ways – In places no one might see.”

Although I gotta warn ya, so many new characters appear that it will be easy to get lost. So keep track of them in a notepad.

“When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds.”  

But the best part of this book? How amazing Feyre developed as High Lady of the Night Court. I mean so much bad-assery and kick-ass moments are included in this book that you can’t help but to feel proud of your girl.

Feyre did good. And I mean, real good.

All her cunning ideas, sharp strategies and plots to help fight in the war just make you realise how far she’s come since A Court of Thorns and Roses and that moment she was brought into the Spring Court. It is always a wonderful feeling to be able to see your favourite character develop and progress as the strong, beautiful and powerful lady she truly is.

And I find that inspiring.

“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.”  

Her relationship with Rhys was sweet in this one, though not as emotionally explored in A Court of Mist and Fury. But her positive relationship with Rhys and how he supports everything she does is something I am so proud of Maas for writing. We’re getting more YA books with motivational and positive relationships being portrayed and I think that is so important for young female teenagers. So kudos for this OTP!

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Okay so naturally I’d have some problems with books I don’t give full ratings too. And I pray the fandom won’t attack me for voicing out my opinions on these things!

A Court of Wings and Ruin isn’t my favourite book out of the entire series.

There, I’ve said it.

Phew.

I had an expectation for A Court of Wings and Ruin to have that emotional and intimate exploration between Feyre and Rhys back in A Court of Mist and Fury. I get it, A Court of Mist and Fury was the book they discovered their mating bond and that’s why the personal issues were ironed out. But I feel like it should have been an ongoing thing. Relationships don’t just start out with a rocky courtship and then you talk about it, have sex and things are happy forever. The feelings of insecurity, vulnerability and fear don’t just disappear when you meet your soul mate. It lingers for you to keep figuring out how to deal with it. And while I do love how Maas has portrayed such a loving relationship between the two of them, which I have no doubt is what she feels for her husband, it would have been nice to know that your favourite OTP do get into fights and do find a way to love each other in spite of everything that’s happened.

And with A Court of Wings and Ruin, it felt like they didn’t talk about the serious stuff like how to deal with the stress and emotional burden of engaging in wars. It was all mostly physical contact and securing allies.

But none the less, Feyre and Rhy still remain my favourite OTP. Because they’re still amazing even if we don’t get as much intimate interaction between them in this one.

“I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have… the wait was worth it.”  

My only other problem with the book was how messy the last 200 pages felt. Things were happening way too quickly. There were twists at each chapter, and so many characters buzzing in and out of the pages that I really had a tough time letting it all sink in and digesting them. I felt all over the place reading those parts and have no idea where Maas was leading us to. But thank God, the last 50 pages made it up for it. The ending, albeit a bit cheesy and cliche for me, tied off quite nicely with some minor cliffhangers that leaves you wondering “What’s next for Prythian?”

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Overall, I really, really enjoyed A Court of Wings and Ruin and do recommend all of you to read it if you want to finish off the series. The entire series is definitely worth a try and it is one of my favourite series that I’ve read in the past 2 years.

A Court of Wings and Ruin is the perfect blend of magic,  suspense, friendships, and heroism that will leave you quite breathless as you turn to the last page. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

If you’ve read A Court of Wings and Ruin, let me know down below how you felt about it and about the entire series! What do you think will be in store for the companion novels I heard Maas is writing? Whose story do you think we’ll read about next?

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★★★★☆

Thank you Pansing Malaysia for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Review: Release (Patrick Ness)

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Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books
Series: Standalone
Publication date: May 4th, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal
Page Count: 287

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Blurb:
Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

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“It was so much easier to be loved than to have to do any of the desperate work of loving.”

I must admit, I was a little bit reluctant to read another Ness book after not enjoying The Rest of Us Just Live Here. But I couldn’t resist that amazing cover and because I loved A Monster’s Call so much, I wanted to give Ness a third chance.

I’m glad I did because I truly enjoyed this gem!

Release is, as mentioned at the back, one of Ness’ most tender and personal novels yet. And it resonates so well with what happens in the book and how Adam is portrayed throughout. The feels you’ll get reading this and the thoughts you’ll have along the way indicates how poignant and emotionally deep Release is.

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Let’s appreciate how well Patrick Ness has weaved the every day life of Adam and the paranormal settings of a ghost rising from the lake. His effortless writing which includes a mythical creature, a Queen of the Underworld and the ghost aforementioned grips you in even harder into this book and makes you wonder how this situation could even work out.

The whole genre of this book got me baffles because while it feels like a YA novel, it has paranormal/fantasy /thriller elements to it that doesn’t quite lean into that spectrum, but feels like it does somehow…? But regardless, the plot was just great. I finished this book within 4 days and felt what a quick read this was. I was on my toes figuring out how things will end, and felt mildly surprised by the ending. It was perfect and suited the book really well.

The feels of this book are beyond what I expected. I was fairly surprised that this is an LGBT book. I haven’t read much LGBT YA books because the ones I read were a tiny bit cheesy in the romance department. But Release allowed us to look deeply into Adam’s emotional struggles as he comes to terms with his family and his relationships. Whether it’s with his devout Christian parents and brother, or ex-boyfriend Enzo, we see how he found self-acceptance and the strength to deal with life and move on after all the heartbreak inflicted by both parties.

“They’re your parents. They’re meant to love you because. Never in spite.”  

This book felt very matured, not only in the explicit sexual contents (so be warned!), but in the emotional questions posed by Adam in discovering his true family and how sometimes you just live the life you’re given…

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Adam is such a wonderful character and I love his sense of maturity, vulnerability and sensitivity to the world around him. His friendship with his best friend, Angela, a Korean-American with Dutch parents is pretty much the highlight in this book for me! While people questioned the Asian sidekick-trope going on in YA novels recently, it didn’t feel that way in Release as Angela played as much as Adam the main character in this book. You’ll immediately fall in love with her and all of her brilliant quotes!

“Never pass up the chance to be kissing someone. It’s the worst kind of regret.”  

The other characters are amazingly written as well. You see the true struggle of coming out to devout Christian parents like Adam’s, and I find this could be relatable to so many teens. With no strong family support, it is easy to feel lost and question your every decision.

And I don’t mean this just for the LGBT teens…

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Overall, this book was a brilliant take into the struggles of a teen finding himself and believing he made the right choices in a world set in their ways of pre-approved choices which clashed with his. The strength to challenge and bring new change is something that we could all relate with Adam. Our troubles and vulnerabilities shouldn’t be the only things keeping us in the way of embracing ourselves, and Release reminds us of that.

Even when ghosts rise from lakes and threaten to destroy your whole world and mankind as it is….

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★★★★☆

Review: A Conjuring of Light (V. E. Schwab)

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Genre:
Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books
Series: Shades of Magic #3
Publication date: February 28th, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal
Page Count: 666
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Buy from Book Depository, Kinokuniya Malaysia

Read my review on the first two books:
A Darker Shade of Magic
A Gathering of Shadows

Blurb:
Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

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(contains spoilers if you haven’t read the first 2 books!)

“Anoshe was a word for strangers in the street, and lovers between meetings, for parents and children, friends and family. It softened the blow of leaving. Eased the strain of parting. A careful nod to the certainty of today, the mystery of tomorrow. When a friend left, with little chance of seeing home, they said anoshe. When a loved one was dying, they said anoshe. When corpses were burned, bodies given back to the earth and souls to the stream, those left grieving said anoshe.

Anoshe brought solace. And hope. And the strength to let go.”

I just finished A Conjuring of Light minutes ago and currently at a loss on how to write this review. I knew this was going to be hard.

But I wasn’t preparing for how hard it actually is.

A Conjuring of Light is the third and final installment in the Shades of Magic trilogy and rarely does a book break me from within like A Conjuring of Light. Rarely does a book can hook me in from page 1 and pull me in every time I’m not reading it, so I wonder what’s actually happening without me. Rarely does a book gripped me so hard that I felt so close to tears as the plot unraveled and I’m left a hollow husk of a soul wishing I could save all those damned souls.

Then again, not every book is A Conjuring of Light.

This book left me breathless at the end. It is by far the best of all three installments. I can’t even begin to describe which parts of the book made it so effin’ brilliant. It was a mixture of everything, from the plot, to the brilliant character developments, to the amazing world building.

And the deaths.

Oh my god, so many deaths.

“Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”

I mean I knew it was coming, Schwab herself said to prepare for it. But I am still in shock. I remember stopping to put down the book after a beloved character was killed, and questioning all of my principles as a reader and why do I willingly tolerate this mental torture….

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I love all of the characters in A Conjuring of Light so much this time around. I still remember reading A Darker Shade of Magic and forgive me, but I loathed Delilah Bard. She was my first ever female MC that I wasn’t sure was the villain or heroine, and the more books I read by Schwab, I realised that her style always lingers within the grey of both worlds. So you can imagine my struggles to get on board with Miss Bard’s shenanigans.

But I’m so glad to see how Lila has developed really well throughout all 3 books. From a skilled thief to a powerful magician, I’m proud to see Lila become a ruthless yet thoughtful human being who no longer runs away from every situation where she could end up caring for the person more than she liked. We got to see a side of her that struggled to deal with Barron’s death, along with a few others, making her more humane than she would have wanted people to believe. And this vulnerability is what made her such a unique character, craving for safety and solidity after growing up in such a terrible disposition. I also loved how her relationship with Kell progressed once she realised that safety can be in the arms of the person you care about…

“She was a thief, a runaway, a pirate, a magician.
She was fierce, and powerful, and terrifying.
She was still a mystery.
And he loved her.”  

And she is the perfect example that you shouldn’t ever change yourself to impress someone. A person will love you for all of your strengths and flaws. No matter how crazy you are.

Now let’s talk about Holland, because that’s obviously him at the front of that book cover. We got to see so many sides of Holland in A Conjuring of Light that it gave us so many new perspectives on his history and motives. I love how Schwab writes so well of his past and interweaving it with the present and why he did the things he did in this series. Whilst he was clearly the villain in the beginning of the series, his transition to something else that involved Kell and Lila allowed us to see him for who he truly is at the end of the book. Which was surprising because I thought Kell would be the limelight of this final installment. Yet, the reality is so much better.

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Being 666 pages thick, expect some non-stop high intensity action coming your way. I was surprised and excited to see how fast A Conjuring of Light progressed throughout the pages because I felt the previous two books were slow in revealing the climax. But this book was perfect. So perfect that I couldn’t keep up.

With all the new characters, schemes and plots to overthrow the shadow king, the deaths that overtook some of the characters…

It was truly chaotic to be honest.

But in a brilliant way. In a way that keeps you on your toes and second-guessing what happens next. Who dies and who lives? You can never truly be accurate in your prediction when it comes to Schwab. That much this book will tell you.

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Overall, I don’t think anyone reading this had any idea what to expect in the beginning. Despite Schwab’s multiple warnings in Twitter to brace ourselves, we still felt the shock and pain after reading this book.

I sure did. And the scars will take a very long time to heal.

I hope you brace yourself. Because you have no idea what’s going to hit you.

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★★★★★

Review: Your Soul is a River (Nikita Gill)

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Genre:
Poetry
Publisher: Thought Catalog
Publication date: June 12th, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Thought Catalog NYC
Page Count: 160
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Buy from Thought Catalog

Blurb:
This is a book about the journey of healing from trauma and becoming whole again.

Directions: apply to your soul gently, whilst sitting under the stars.

 

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“Some things are beautiful, but they are beautiful in the way of the sun. If you fly too close, they will melt your wings and send you plummeting into the sea.”  

I have no idea what did I do to deserve such an amazingly written poetry book such as Your Soul is a River from folks at Thought Catalog. I mean this book blew my mind away. I try to read poetry books with meaning and self reflection because I know the approach to this genre is very unique and not being a person of an arts background, I do sometimes struggle with the depths of meaning behind every poem.

But Your River is a Soul just spoke straight to my heart.

I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful this book is. How well written it is in describing the wonderful journey of love, life, loss and self-acceptance. The book is divided into 8 parts: from being a part of the universe to breaking hearts and healing your own.

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Each section talks about the human condition and what it means to be part of something bigger. Bigger than ourselves and our problems. To love and to have lost. To pick back up the pieces and understand that we should always believe in our hopes and believe that we are beautiful.

“When they ask you for your favourite poem,
don’t say it was him, don’t say it was her.
Say it is you.

Always.
It is you.

There were so many pieces that spoke to me and I felt pained by how true Nikita’s words are. I could relate on so many levels, thinking back of the friends I’ve gained and lost over the years, the relationships that made me smiled but got lost in the ocean. There were so many feelings and emotions evoked I’m surprised I didn’t burst out crying in public when reading this.

And Nikita was right you know…you should read this beneath the stars and apply it to your soul gently. Because boy can this be such a great therapeutic treatment to the soul. It will do wonders for your soul.

“You have grown so much
because you have quietly realised
you aren’t just teardrops.
You are an ocean.”

This is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful poetry book I have ever read. I highly, highly recommend it. Unfortunately it is super difficult to get in Malaysia. I’ve checked Kinokuniya and they don’t stock it. You can only buy this from Thought Catalog’s website.

If you ever come across this book, do let me know what you think of it!

Thanks Thought Catalog for giving me a copy simply to enjoy the beautiful words of Nikita Gill!

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★★★★★

Review: Crooked House (Agatha Christie)

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Genre:
Crime, Thriller
Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher
Publication date: 1949 (Original Publication)
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal
Page Count: 302
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Buy from Book Depository, MPH Online, Kinokuniya Malaysia

Blurb:
In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he’s certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one’s on the level…

REVIEW:

Why hello there! It has been way too long since I last reviewed here. I do apologize for the lack of posts for this blog. Life has been hectic with so many personal and work commitments that I had to put reading, and blogging, on hold. I do miss blogging and bringing you loads of recommendations, so hopefully I’ll be back to blogging regularly starting this May 🙂 I’ve got a few book reviews up my sleeve!

So on to my latest review!

“I’ve never met a murderer who wasn’t vain… It’s their vanity that leads to their undoing, nine times out of ten.They may be frightened of being caught, but they can’t help strutting and boasting and usually they’re sure they’ve been far too clever to be caught.”

Crooked House happens to be my first Agatha Christie. This was a gift from a friend and whilst I wish I could have started with And Then There Were None as my first AG book, Crooked House is a good enough book. Nonetheless, I now understand why AG is so famous as a crime writer. Her writing is simple enough to follow along and her plots always, always keep you on your feet! I remember reading this on the train, and I almost missed my stop numerous times because I was too engrossed in the whole book!

“Curious thing, rooms. Tell you quite a lot about the people who live in them.” 

Crooked House lets us peek into the peculiar house of the Leonides where a mysterious death has taken place (which is how all of AG stories start, I’ve heard). While the plot takes you on this journey to better know the family and the young man associated with them, it does have an air of cliche-ness surrounding it where you try to figure out who the murderer was and whether s/he was obvious in the book. But despite that, you have this sense of feeling that you’re closer to figuring out who the murderer was and how great it would feel if you had gotten it right.

AG plays with our emotions and sets a suspenseful setting while reading her book. And I love books that just grabs your attention from the beginning and makes you think in order to solve the case. And while AG is a well known crime writer, she didn’t become popular by writing cliche plots and endings….

“What are murderers like? Some of them, have been thoroughly nice chaps.”  

This story grips you in from the beginning and the plot twist will shock you (apparently she’s very good at these too). I thoroughly enjoyed being surprised as the murderer was revealed and thought this book was an overall nice read. It gave me a fresh new insight to how crime fiction is written! Give it a go if you want to try out crime fiction. I’ve only tried a handful and AG is definitely someone you shouldn’t miss out on reading!

RATING: ★★★☆☆

Review: The Gun Seller (Hugh Laurie)

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Genre: Crime, Thriller
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 1996
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal
Page Count: 340
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Blurb:
When Thomas Lang, a hired gunman with a soft heart, is contracted to assassinate an American industrialist, he opts instead to warn the intended victim – a good deed that doesn’t go unpunished.

Within hours Lang is butting heads with a Buddha statue, matching wits with evil billionaires, and putting his life (among other things) in the hands of a bevy of femmes fatales, whilst trying to save a beautiful lady… and prevent an international bloodbath to boot.

REVIEW:

I have so many mixed feelings for this book! On one side, I love the humor and sarcasm infused within the book. It was truly written with the persona and voice similar to that of Dr House from the House series where Hugh Laurie is hugely known for.

On the other hand, I’m beginning to realise that spy novels aren’t really my thing.

The Gun Seller is about Thomas Lang, an ex army man, who finds himself in the middle of a secret organization set to create war in order to sell one of their defense weapons. That’s the gist of the book and Lang was blackmailed to enter the organization. Along the way he questions the justice in his actions and involvement that plays around with the lives of other people. There were a lot of politically incorrect statements intentionally set within the book. Laurie questions the stability of a government and what it means to actually take care of the millions of lives under your protection.

“Having a vote once every four years is not the same thing as democracy.”  

I truly enjoyed this solely for the numerous times I laughed out loud at the cynical sentences and sarcastic comments about life, love and money.

“It is the middle of December now, and we are about to travel to Switzerland – where we plan to ski a little, relax a little, and shoot a Dutch politician a little.”  

The plot is a bit too slow for me, but no doubt this book would probably appeal more towards male readers who have interests in movies like Die Hard or Mission Impossible. Since I am neither a fan of these, I didn’t get to enjoy the book in its entirety.

I do however would recommend this if you’re looking for a good laugh and some misadventures that reminds you of Dr House if he were an international spy. Imagine all the cynicism and sarcastic comments directed at pretty girls… And I do hope you enjoy this more than I did!

RATING: ★★★☆☆