A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part III

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the third part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part III Grey Thief, which consists of three sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).


Meet Lila Bard, thief extraordinaire, pirate wannabe, and certified badass.

We first saw her in London, Grey London to be clear, fresh from pickpocketing a man for a silver pocket watch. Lila is a thrill-seeker, something that gets to Barron (the owner of The Stone’s Throne) everytime. We also learned that Lila is a wanted fugitive for stealing from rich people in London. Then, she made her way back to her ship—well, not a ship that she owned but a ship she renting in—The Sea King and was preparing to rest when the ship owner, Powell, stumbled into her room drunk and asked for his share. When refused, Powell tried to rape her and Lila stabbed him in the chest. She proceeded to burn the ship (and the corpse within) and escaped carrying her weapons and her favorite knife. Lila went to The Stone’s Throw despite having a heated argument with Barron, the owner, a year before after she stole from his customer. Barron gave her a room and welcomed her back.

My Rambling

Hello, I really don’t know what to say besides gushing on how amazing Lila Bard is. She is a 19-years old thief with an unknown past, but unlike Kell who doesn’t even know who he is, Lila seems to be the kind of person who knew herself VERY well (she’s just not telling us… yet). I like how Schwab make her protagonists the opposite of each other in this case. Kell is older but doesn’t know who he is or what he’s going to do (besides collecting trinket). Lila is younger, but she knew exactly what she wants and she’s not afraid to do everything to get it. The similarity between these two are they both felt that they didn’t belong and that they dream of freedom.

Right, enough about Kell. Back to Lila Bard.

She seeks danger or, in her words, danger seeks us so it’s better to find it first. This girl is very much alive. I don’t necessarily agree that thieving makes you feel alive (books and coffee make me appreciate life more I think), but Lila obviously feel alive the closer she is to danger. She also wanted to be a pirate, mostly because she wanted to be free and could travel wherever she wanted to go (EVERYWHERE). I like this girl because she doesn’t let the world shatter her dream. It’s not to say that she’s perfect because she clearly have issue with her methods of getting her dream, but she’s a stubborn enough to suffer and survive.

I also like her relationship with Barron. We were told that she and Barron had a huge argument that led her to tell him to shove his tavern and its rooms up his — yeah. But he clearly care for her that he let her just move back in. Lila herself, however, doesn’t need Barron’s approval to do what she wants. She is a free soul, but in a way she is not at all free because her circumstances barred her from what she really wants to do. It’ll be fun to see how Lila and Kell interacts when (if) they meet.

Favorite Quote

“Why do you want to die?”
“I don’t,” she’d say. “I just want to live.”

Favorite Scene

Got to be when Lila went back to The Stone’s Throw and asked Barron for a room. These two have great relationship.

That’s all for today. Part III is a short one, but next week I’ll be back with Part IV White Throne which is quite a long part. See ya.


Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

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The TBR Book Tag


I was tagged by Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction to do the TBR Book Tag. Thanks Ashleigh. 🙂

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I use my Google Play Wishlist to keep track of books I want. Other than that, mostly Goodreads. I also use Fict Fact to track the series or authors I love. It’s very useful although the date some times not too accurate.

2. Is your TBR mostly print or E-book?

E-book. I love prints, but I more often read on my phone because I could just read anywhere. It is also the faster way to get new releases.

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

It usually depends on what genre I want to read at that time. Most of the times I enjoy fantasy, but there are times when all I want to read are legal thrillers.

4. A book that has been on your TBR the longest?

arcJeffrey Archer’s Only Time Will Tell.

I’ve been meaning to read it since it came out in 2011, but I just can’t get into it. I don’t know, man, I love Jeffrey Archer’s books. He is one of the few people I count as great storytellers and not just authors, and I still plan to read it (just not now :p).

5. A book you recently added to your TBR?

crkCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

The title for the second book in the Six of Crows series has just recently been announced.
Obviously, there’s no cover yet, but I am very excited about this book so I just have to put it here.

6. A book strictly on your TBR strictly for it’s cover?

I don’t have any, I think. Even if a book has a pretty cover, I will read the synopsis before deciding to read it.

7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

I plan to read them all.

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

Tell The Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan.

I mean… look at that cover. LOOK AT IT. I will definitely get this one on print, preferably hardcover. Also, it’s Sarah Rees Brennan.
Tell The Wind and Fire is a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, it’s about a girl named Lucie who … (ramblings removed). I will talk about it for days if anyone would listen, but just check out the goodreads page I linked above and my old post for link to an excerpt.

9. A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

eodWorld After by Susan Ee.

I feel like I am the only person who never read the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. I just finished the first and second books, and they were soo good, especially the first one. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

illumThis got to be Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

This book received so much hype and nearly everyone who read it was obsessed with how good it was. I haven’t read sci-fi in a while so it’s going to be refreshing to go back to that genre.
It also has a unique format with maps, illustration, and reports, which is why I avoid buying the e-book version.

11. How many books are currently on your Goodreads TBR list?

Only 17. :p
I mainly use Goodreads to track my read list, and not my TBR so I rarely update it.

Spread The Love

I tag:
Grace @ Quirky and Peculiar
Trisha @ The Bookgasm
Emma @ Emma The Book Lover

P.S. It’s okay if you don’t want to do it. It’s no big deal. 😀
If you have done this tag before, send me the link so I can check it out.

Follow me

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Review: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda


Book Title: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli
Pages: 303
Published: 2015

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is funny, enjoyable, and heart-warming.

Official Summary

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


Every once in a while, there comes a book that will change the way you think, blow your mind, and make you see the world from different perspective. But some times, all you need is a book that makes you smile and believe that there’s hope in this world, and that love matters. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the latter. It was told from first person perpective of a junior named Simon Spier. Simon is smart, has a cool family and friends that love him. However, he’s been keeping a secret, he is gay and is tangled in online relationship with a guy he called Blue. One day, he forgot to log out from his email in school’s library and his private conversation with Blue was read and screencapped by his school friend (Pay attention kids! Always log out from public computer). Blackmail ensued, friendships were tested, love was found, and between it all, he still has to attend school, rehearse for school drama, Oliver!, and deal with his parents—who always make a big deal out of everything he does.

The parts that I love

Simon Spier. By now, I have accepted the fact that I prefer sarcastic nerdy guys to bad boys. There are times when I don’t agree with what Simon did, but overall he’s a very likable narrator. (Also, he loves Harry Potter and ships Harry/Draco!) I feel for him when things don’t turn out the way he expected, and I root for him throughout the book.

His friends. I really really like the girls, both Leah and Abby. I understand why there’s a rivalry between them, but just like Simon, I refuse to choose between them. My precious angels. *group hugs* I like pretty much all of his friends, even Taylor Metternich.

His sisters. Both of Simon’s sisters, Alice and Nora, are really cool. I would want them as my own sisters if only I don’t already have two (very cool, very nice sisters—just in case they read this blog). I like how close Simon is to his family, which is refreshing because it’s a kind of thing I rarely found in contemporary young-adults these days.

Ms. Albright. I would bring her a big bouquet of flowers.

The parts that I don’t like

Blue. I don’t hate Blue. He’s just… not interesting for me. Also, I found out who he is before Simon does, and I think you would to. The clues were just there.

However, I like the person who turned out to be Blue. I know, man, it’s weird. I just don’t like the version of him that wrote the emails, but I like the person described by Simon. I guess it’s because I like Simon, so once Blue was introduced throughout Simon’s eyes, I like him, but when it was just his emails, I do not really care about him.


I binge-read this book in like 6 hours when I was supposed to be reading two other books in my TBR. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is addictive, funny, and sweet. We certainly need more diverse books, both character-wise and theme-wise. As it turned out, it’s refreshing to see a book about a gay teenager surrounded by friends and family and teacher who support him. Simon was still a victim of bullies, which shows you that even with strong support system, something could (and would) still go wrong. Overall, it IS a great book, the one you would want your children to read to let them know that it could be okay.

Final Score

4 stars (out of 5 stars)

News Round-up #3

book news round-up

Hello everyone!
Welcome to yet another news round-up post. Today I’m bringing you some news from Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses and Goodreads Choice Awards

A Court of Thorns and Roses

It’s time for another big news for Sarah J Maas fans. After announcing that Throne of Glass has been optioned for TV back in September, Sarah broke the news that ACOTAR has been optioned for film!

You can read the news here.

How do you feel about A Court of Thorns and Roses being adapted to the big screen? Are you excited or worried or both?
I haven’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I will. Hopefully soon.

Goodreads Choice Awards

Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 has reached the semifinal round. I highly encourage you to go to the awards page and vote for your favorite(s). Voting for semifinal round will end on November 15.

That’s it for today. See you soon!

A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part II

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the second part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part II Red Royal, which consists of three sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).


In Red Royal, V.E. Schwab introduced us to the Red London, the guards, and the royal family. In the first chapter, Holland, the other antari took time to visit Rhy, the throne heir, and gave him a birthday present from his king and queen. Holland used his magic to send away Rhy’s guard, Gen, and to erase the memory of the other guard, Parrish. When Rhy questioned Holland what’s the gift for, he simply answered, “For strength.”

On Chapter II, Kell was back in his London and took his time trying to blend in with the crowd near the palace river, to enjoy his time before going back to the palace. This proved to be unsuccesful when a kid accidentally recognized him. He hastily went back to the palace.

On Chapter III, Kell joined the royal family, the King Maxim, Queen Emira, and Prince Rhy on their late night tea time. They were discussing Rhy’s birthday celebration that will happen soon and Rhy tried to get Kell to support him. Rhy told Kell about Holland’s visit, which was off schedule. Then, Rhy tried to make Kell confess on what he smuggled into Red London this time, but no dice. After Rhy left him, Kell traveled to his secret room, in a tavern called Is Kir Ayes—The Ruby Fields—where he stored his treasures.

My Rambling

Part II felt somewhat too short for me, but it’s an interesting one for sure. Here, we met the royal family of Red London for the first time. In Part I, we learned that Kell was really fond of the prince, Rhy, and here, I think I begin to understand why. Prince Rhy was said to be spoiled, but also good-natured and kind to his guards. He is funny and he thinks of Kell as his brother, not just as a person who serves the crown. The relationship between Kell and the king and queen, however, seems to be much more complicated. We saw that the queen tried to become a mother for Kell, but he somehow didn’t feel like a member of the family. It seems that there’s trouble in paradise after all. We also saw how Kell tried to make the most of his free time before he was forced to come back to the palace. It’s clear that he was reluctant to go back.

Another interesting thing is that Rhy knew about Kell’s favorite pastime. He asked Kell to stop doing it or he will take actions, but it’s obvious that the two boys care for each other. It’s always nice to find a good bromance or any kind of relationship between siblings in book or film (hence, why I love The Demon’s Lexicon so much …wrong book) so it’s good to see that these two are very close despite Kell not quite felt at home in the palace. He is after all an antari, who was brought to the palace when he was five with a scar on his arm bearing the remnants of his lost memory. We found that all those questions we had in Part I will likely to remain unanswered, at least for now, because Kell himself has no idea who he was before he became the antari.

And that brings us to Holland. The other antari. He brought a gift to Rhy from his masters. It was not clearly mentioned who his masters are, but considering there were only three Londons at that time, I suspect Holland’s masters are the rulers of White London. Holland delivered a gift to Rhy after he managed to convince him that the gift was obtained from Red London (he didn’t smuggle it unlike … you know). I found his visit to be highly suspicious. Let’s see. Not only he’s off schedule by almost a week, he came in silence and used his magic to send away Rhy’s guard and made the other one forgot his visit. I could be wrong, but people without ulterior motive usually doesn’t try to sneak in AND hypnotize PLUS erasing another person’s memory. Holland also brought Rhy a gift, for strength. Why on earth would Rhy need a gift to become strong? From the text, Rhy is supposedly strong enough physically, so I’m guessing he was talking about magical strength. Rhy told Kell about Holland’s visit, but it was not mentioned that Rhy told Kell about the gift. What do you guys think? Did he tell him or not?

Part II ended with Kell leaving the palace to go to his secret hiding place, a small room in a tavern named The Ruby Fields. Here, he contemplated his origin, just like we did in the first chapter. We found out that his name, Kell, came from the initials bore in the knife. K.L. became Kay-ell, then Kal-El (sorry, I cannot resist), then Kell. The chapter ended with Kell turning the crank of his new music box and drifted off to sleep.

Which is fine. Because it’s time we visit the second protagonist, the badass, Lila Bard.

Favorite Scenes

  • The awkward tea time with the royal family.
    It’s just so fun to see Rhy trying to get his wish and to see Kell interacts with them.
  • My second favorite scene is quite a heavy one. It was the flashback scene with Rhy ended up punching Kell after Kell said that he felt more like a possession than a prince.
    You can feel how much Rhy cares about Kell (that he showed by punching him… it was an expresion of love, of course)

Favorite Quote

“It’s called a birthday. Not a birthdays and certainly not a birthweek.”

That’s it for this week.
Next week, I’ll continue with the third part, Grey Thief. Until next time!


Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

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The Pastry Book Tag


I was tagged by Trisha @ The Bookgasm to do The Pastry Book Tag which of course led me straight to browsing pastry pictures. Yummy!

Let’s get to it.


CROISSANT: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves

Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan.
The default answer is Harry Potter, but if I’m being honest, I love PJO series no less than I love HP. People keep telling Riordan to stop already, but if he decides to write another 100 books set in PJO world, I would devour all of them.

Macarons: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it in the end

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson.
I took my sweet time reading The Well of Ascension. Nearly every time Vin paused, I wanted to pause. Don’t let me deter you from reading it. It is a good book, just so painfully slow, at least in the beginning. Once the pace has picked up, chaos ensued and I couldn’t stop reading it.


VOL-AU-VENT: Name a book that you thought will be amazing but fell flat

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.
I had high hopes, but within the first few chapters I just knew it wasn’t working for me. The latter part of the book is better than the first half and almost redeem it, but not quite.

PAIN-AU-CHOCOLAT: Name a book that you though would be one thing but turned out to be something else

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.
I thought Carry On is a fantasy book, and in a way it is. But it’s not a fantasy book per se. It’s a romance book set in fantasy world. There’s enough world-building, but the emphasis of Carry On was not in the magic world itself, it is on the relationship between people. You can read my review here.


PROFITEROLE: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention

Unwind by Neal Shusterman.
I know it’s a bestselling novel, but I still think the book didn’t get enough recognition for what it’s trying to achieve. This is a Public Service Announcement to ask everyone in the world to read Unwind.

CROQUEMBOUCHE: Name a book or series that’s completely complex.

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
I was going to put The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, but since I talked about that book too much already, I’m choosing The Name of The Wind. The Name of The Wind is the first book of The Kingkiller Chronicle and it tells a story of Kvothe, from his childhood, his time in the university, and his many adventures. I’m going to post a complete review some time in the future, but for now let’s just say that the magic system in this book made my head hurts.


NAPOLEON: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.

Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Don’t get me wrong. I LIKE the book a lot. The movie, though, I LOVE. With ALL CAPS. Since Chbosky also directed the movie, so I hope he doesn’t mind. I don’t know what it is about the movie version, but I’m guessing it’s Ezra Miller with a sprinkle of Logan Lerman and Emma Watson.

EMPANADA: Name a book that was bittersweet

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston.
Crichton received a lot of criticism throughout his career, but I am a big fan of his writing. The fact that he always conduct thorough research for his book, no matter how implausible his theory turns out to be scientifically, appealed to me. Micro is his last book and he didn’t even get to finish it (it was completed by Preston). I put off reading it for as long as I could because I was scared it would not be as good as his previous books and because it was the last ever Crichton book I am going to get. Fortunately, Richard Preston did a great job finishing Crichton’s last legacy. The last Michael Crichton’s book was satisfying, but bittersweet indeed.


KOLOMPEH: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your own country

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.
I could pick almost any book, but I decided to go with Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith, specifically The Cuckoo’s Calling. It took place in London, and although there are many books set in London, there’s something remarkably British about this book. After all, it’s a detective story about the death of a supermodel, so culture, environment, and people play big role in the book.

PATE-A-CHOUX: Name a food from a book or series that you would like to try

I grew up reading The Famous Five series, and these kids eat a lot! They ate tons of buttered bread that made me hungry all the time. Also lemonade. And bacon.


Spread The Love (of Food)

I tag these lovely bloggers:

Grace @ Quirky and Peculiar
Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction
Jacqueline @ bluejaybooks
Dee @ Under The Midnight Sky

P.S. It’s okay if you don’t want to do it. It’s no big deal. 😀

That’s it for today!
I’ll be honest. I spent more time looking at pictures than actually typing this post. I hope you enjoy it!

Credit: Images Source for Vector Pastry and Sweets Illustration Designed by Freepik

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


Book Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything is a creative and ambitious project from debut author, Nicola Yoon, to give us a glimpse into the life of a girl with SCID and her coming-of-age love story with the boy next-door.

Does it live up to all the hype it received? Let’s discuss.


My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


Everything, Everything tells the story of 18-years-old Madeline Whittier (Maddy) who never left her house due to severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). She practically lived in a sterilized house with air lock and only have ever seen her mom and her nurse, Carla, on daily basis, besides the rare visits of her teachers. She likes reading, has tons of books, and has her internet friends, which doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that she could not sneak out from her house, meet up with her friends, or even go to the grocery store. Everything was going okay-ish for Maddy until a family moved next to her house and her new neighbors disrupt her daily life, especially the boy next-door named Olly.

For the sake of discussing my opinion about Everything, Everything, I will divide this book into three parts.

The first part of the book was the best part. It was hilarious, creative, sincere, and you could totally see why Maddy fell head over heels over Olly. The episode with the Bundt cake is so funny and cute, it’ll make you feel ALL THE FEELS. As the relationship grew, Maddy no longer felt content with her life as it is. She wanted Everything. This proved to be the turning point of the book.

The second part reads like your regular teenage romance. It is adorable and I have to give props to Nicola Yoon, she sure knows how to make you swoon (pun only partly intended, and yes I know it’s an awful pun). I have some problems with the second part, and I became a little disconnected with the characters, but it could still be remedied by some sarcastic jokes.

Then, the twist happened.

That brought us to the third part.
How I wish she didn’t choose it as her plot twist. I am sure not everyone would feel the way I do about this twist, but I feel like she’s taking the easy way out. The ending was also a little rushed, it’s almost like she ran out of pages and needed to wrap things NOW. The good thing that came out of it is Nicola Yoon left it as kind of open-ended.

There are many things worth praising about Nicola Yoon’s debut novel. It incorporates beautiful illustration, IM and email conversations, even project reports that are often hilarious as well as heartbreaking. Her protagonist is a mixed race girl, but the book itself never made such a big deal about it, which I love. Yoon also succesfully describe two persons falling for each other through written emails and IMs, which is not an easy feat. She is a very creative author, for sure.

Nobody is more disappointed than me that I do not love Everything, Everything as much as I want to. It has all the ingredients to make it great and it was on the course to become amazing up until that twist and ending.


Overall, Everything, Everything is a cute story about a girl growing up and falling in love. It’s creative and beautiful and it will make you laugh. When I think about it, the love interest doesn’t matter much in this book. In a way, gorgeous, hilarious Olly was the perfect manic pixie dream boy. He forced Maddy to change the way she’s been living, to act, to do things in the name of love. So yes, Everything, Everything is a love story. It could be so much more if only the author didn’t choose to twist the story the way it was, but, alas, it’s happened. Everything, Everything is still very enjoyable and surprisingly a light reading despite its heavyweight theme. As far as debut novels go, this one is heading in the right direction. I will definitely keep an eye out for Nicola Yoon’s next book.

Final Score

3 stars out of 5 stars

Have you read Everything, Everything? What do you think about the book? Or perhaps it is on your TBR? Let me know what you think below and let’s discuss!

News Round-up #2

book news round-up
Hey guys! I’m back with another news round-up post.
I wasn’t actually planning to make this a weekly thing, but there are some book-related news that excites me and I just need to share it to the world.

A Gathering of Shadows News

I know, you’re probably tired of me freaking out every single time V.E. Schwab announced A Gathering of Shadows news, but… YOU GUYS THIS IS REAL:

Of course, being the person with no self-control that I am, I went straight to Net Galley and downloaded it (it was auto-approved). And, to avoid posting spoiler here, I will just tell you that it was not what I expected, but I’m very much on board with where the story is heading.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them First Look

I am still in awe that we’re about to get another movie from the Harry Potter world. And that Eddie Redmayne will be Newt Scamander. Anyway, EW has the first look of the film, and it looks beautiful and amazing and I just want to cry. You can see the pictures here. Speaking of pictures, Pottermore revealed the official logo for the movie here and it gives me shivers because it reminds me so much of the HP movies.

Goodreads Choice Awards

Last, but not least, voting for the Goodreads Choice Awards has begun. Make sure to go to the voting page to support your favorite books. Opening round is until November 8. Semifinal on Nov 10 – 15 and Final Round on Nov 17 – 23.

Right, that’s it for this week. I’ll keep you posted whether you want it or not. 😉
Tomorrow, I’ll (hopefully) be back with a review.

A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part I

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the first part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part I The Traveler, which consists of three sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).

By the way, if you’re still on the fence whether you should buy A Darker Shade of Magic or not (well, you should), you can read the first two chapters for free here. Please do note that Part I has three chapters, instead of two.


The first part of ADSOM introduced us to Kell, a blood magician, or antari. As an antari, he is one of two people who can travel between worlds, the magic wealthy Red London, the magic hungry White London, and our Grey London. I imagined them as parallel universes. In the past, there was a fourth London, named Black London. Something terrible happened to Black London and now it’s no more than a fairy tale to scare your children. Kell himself is from Red London and acts as a messenger for the royal family in Red London.

In the first part, Kell paid a visit to our world, …well our world in 1819. First, he went to pay his courtesy to the current King of England, George III, then he went to see the Prince Regent, who will be known as George IV, and lastly he went to a tavern called The Stone Throw. In this tavern, we found out that besides being a messenger, Kell also has a more dangerous hobby, he smuggles things between worlds. He barters items to get tokens from the other worlds. At the end of Part I, he used his blood and a token to get home to his Red London.

My Rambling

I cannot remember when was the last time I fell in love with a book or a character this fast. It was basically love at the first sight. And now I’m falling in love all over again.

The book is written from third person POV. Schwab certainly knows how to pique people’s interest. She doesn’t do boring introduction, but jumps straight to magic (and coat!) She also did a very good job on introducing us to one of the main characters, Kell. Indeed, there are some scenes that are truly enjoyable such as when he made up the content of the letter supposedly written by his queen and flattered himself in the process. The knife, though, was a curious thing especially since it bore two letters, K L. What is K L? Is it his initial? What does the L stand for? AHH, so many questions already.

What really interests me about Chapter I was how Schwab smoothly blended fantasy with real history in the form of King George III. I’ve only known King George III for two things: a) he went mad (and blind apparently) b) he lost America. (Please don’t kill me. I’m neither British nor American and my main references were the musical Hamilton and Wikipedia).

I appreciate ADSOM for portraying him from another angle, as a king imprisoned in his own castle. In A Darker Shade of Magic, the king has gone mad and was in his final years (it was 1819 and he died-according to wikipedia-in January 1820). In the book, George III was described as magic-thirsty, but not in a murderous way. At the end of Chapter I, Kell left Windsor palace to meet the Prince Regent.

In Chapter II, Kell went to St. James to deliver a correspondence from his queen to the Prince Regent, whom I immediately dislike. Here, Schwab took her time to teach us history (if it’s history in a fantasy world, would it still be called history?) about Black London. We also get to understand a little more about Kell. Apparently, he has one blue eye and one black eye, which he usually cover with his hair. (and I was like, “THE HAIR SERVES A PURPOSE BESIDES MAKING PEOPLE SWOON”) The Prince Regent initially asked him to stay for dinner date, but finally let him and his black eye go after being subtly threatened by Kell.

So, this Kell, he likes to collect tokens from the worlds he visits. That’s basically like us buying souvenirs to take home during our trip, just slightly more dangerous because he basically commits treason by doing that.
Kell, darling, you could face prison! (I suppose he could just use his magic to get out from our jail, but hey)

In Chapter III, he barters a child’s game from his world with a music box with a Collector. (Okay, so he’s also a bit sentimental. And smells like flowers. Have I mentioned he smells like flowers?) He also met a guy named Ned that he identified as an Enthusiast. So, what did Kell do? Why, flexed his magic of course. The Enthusiast left empty-handed at the end of their conversation. However, why do I have a feeling that his encounter with the Enthusiast is going to bring trouble for him? Also, he is a blood magician, and apparently there are only two of them left. What happened to the antari? Who are Kell’s parents? Who is Kell and how did he inherit such a powerful magic? Why does he smell like flowers? Who is Rhy? What actually happened to Black London?

No matter. He’s off to Red London now, where hopefully we’ll get some answers.

Favorite Scene

He occupied himself by drumming his fingers on the edge of the gilded table. Each time he made it from pinky to forefinger, one of the room’s many candles went out. “Must be a draft,” he said absently

Favorite Quotes

“Check the park.”

“Prince Rhy, on the other hand, continues to impress and infuriate in equal measure, but has at least gone the month without breaking his neck or taking an unsuitable bride. Thanks be to Kell alone for keeping him from doing either, or both.”

That’s it for this week.
Next week, I’ll continue with the second part, Red Royal. Until next time!


Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

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Review: The Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray


Book title: The Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2)
Author: Libba Bray

Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrates it. It’s the perfect time to read some spooky books, don’t you think? In the spirit of Halloween, I’ve decided to edit and post a review that’s been on my draft for almost a month. I really enjoy The Lair of Dreams, but it is one of those books that’s difficult to review without spoiling the story. I try my best not to spoil anything of importance.
Note: this review contains spoiler from the 1st book, The Diviners.

Official summary

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.


The Lair of Dreams is the second book in The Diviners series. I remembered enjoying the first book when I saw The Lair of Dreams in the google play books store so I decided to buy it.

I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this book seeing that: a) it’s a sequel and I have been let down by sequels many times and b) although I enjoy the first one, it didn’t really stay with me. I have forgotten nearly all the characters when I started reading this one. I am glad to tell you that I was wrong for underestimating it. The Lair of Dreams is more than a worthy sequel, just as creepy as the first one but complemented by some new characters (well okay, just one, but still…) that bring new flavors to the series.

We have met Henry in The Diviners, but here his story took more central role. We get to know Henry the easy-charmer, Henry the dreamer, and I just wish he could be my best friend. Then, we met Ling Chan, a clever Chinatown girl who loves science. I cannot describe her enough, but she’s really wonderful. Evie is the third protagonist. She is still her old self, just more extravagant and fabulous.

The story centers about a sleeping sickness that hits the Chinatown then began spreading. People will fall asleep and cannot woke up. Meanwhile, diviners become the next big thing in New York. Evie is becoming a celebrity in her own right, all the while dodging a maybe-maybe-not-love triangle. There’s considerably less Jericho, but more Sam Lloyd in this book and his story is an intriguing one. So there are many many stories told in The Lair of Dreams, but it somehow works. The thing about Libba Bray’s writing is her ability to weave multiple complicated story lines into a single great plot without making it felt forced. She’s also very good with historical type of story, able to bring you back to 1920’s New York City.

Like I mention before, this book is creepy. There are some scenes that actually scared me so much I had to stop reading for a while. Yet, the most amazing thing about The Lair of Dreams is not about the ghosts, it’s how it’ll pierce your heart and rip it to shreds. It’s heartbreaking and well, I will admit that I sniffed in public. It’s also hilarious, courtesy of our beloved Evie and, surprisingly, Henry.


This book is pos-i-tutely swell. It’s just the bee’s knees.

Final Score

4 stars (out of 5 stars)