[681]: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

29519517 Twisted Palace by Erin Watt
Series: The Royals, #3
Everafter Romance | October 17th, 2016
Source: Bought, Kindle Edition
New Adult Fiction | Romance
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.


I can’t even with this book. Someone should’ve warned me that it will make me so mad and that I’m better off skipping. The general feeling I went through was extreme anger at had constantly pondered how evil everyone is!  And what the hell was that, Ella? Where the fuck was the spunk you were famous for from the first two books? It’s like you’ve decided to let everybody walk all over you. Gah.

In case it’s not obvious from my ranty opening paragraph, I did not enjoy this book one bit. [Insert GIF of Bradley Cooper from Silver Linings Playbook throwing a book out the window here.] Sigh. 

The end of the second book had Reed getting picked up by cops for allegedly killing Brooke. As if that wasn’t enough to have us salivating for Twisted Palace, Ella’s supposedly dead father showed up out of the blue. And then there’s the whole, Ella-is-still-a-virgin-because-Reed-wouldn’t-put-out thing — all these added to the general anxiety and excitement for this series finale. So of course,  I had to make time for this book. But as far as series endings go, this was horrible. I’m not talking about the writing at all. I’m talking about how miserable it was. Unfortunate, considering, many have anticipated for this release and to have us go through what we went through was just awful.

In the spirit of honesty, I skipped a shit load of things I couldn’t bring myself to read: Steve’s assholery, Dinah’s bitchery, and Ella’s bid for martyrdom. There is nothing worse than having an overwhelming feeling of anger while reading a book. And since I was reading it on my iPad, the swiping got too real, y’all. It was not fun and it defeats the purpose of finding the joy in reading.

As far as mysteries go, the authors didn’t provide any red herrings to chase. Which was frustrating enough because I felt like everyone trying to solve the case was chasing their tails. I’m glad, however, that Ella and Reed weren’t the ones who solved the mystery of the killer’s identity. Because I hate convenience in mystery.

With that being said, I stand by my earlier sentiment that this was a miserable installment. The ending was clean, abrupt, and unfortunately, unsatisfactory.

[680]: Alex + Ada by J Luna & Sarah Vaughn


Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

“People worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they’re too stupid and they’ve already taken over the world.”
― Pedro Domingos

This is like that movie with Will Smith about robots becoming sentient and unleashing holy hell to all humans. Alex is a lonely human who hasn’t quite gotten over his failed relationship after 7 months. On his birthday, he received a gift in the form of a Tanaka X5 from his wealthy grandmother. He didn’t warm up to the idea right away. He thought it was unethical to have a human-like robot catering to his every whim. But he couldn’t bring himself to return her.

Once he kept her, however, he wasn’t satisfied. He needed her to be able to make her own decisions, have her own opinions.  “Waking up” an android is against the law but that didn’t stop him from seeking out a way to make her even more human-like.

The graphics in this novel has a very minimalistic approach. I mean, compared to the others that I’ve read in the past, the drawings wasn’t bogged down with unnecessary “background noise”.  It made for an easy time trying to follow the storyline because it does not distract you from the dialogues. I did, however, encounter problems with the dialogues. Though, that’s my general problem with graphic novels. Especially if there are a lot of back and forth between characters. I had a hard time following along with the conversation.

I wish I bought the second book to this series right away. Because now, I’m dying to read the next. This volume is a compilation of five issues and it ended with Ada “woken up”. Looking forward to her adventures with Alex!

[679]: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

28186273 Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
G.P. Putnam’s Sons | October 4th, 2016
Source: Publisher | ARC Paperback
Young Adult Fiction | Contemporary
Rating 3 out of 5 Stars

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

It could’ve been so good; there were flashes of brilliance, sure. But they were quickly dulled by half-formed characters who deceptively sounded larger than life. Moreover, these characters easily fit in the pages of a John Green novel: quick-witted, obnoxiously smart however physically flawed. But the story took forever to come to life, and I wouldn’t have minded it if the book offered more.

Grace Town is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Truthfully, readers don’t really get to know Grace Town. Her past defined her as a character and we don’t see anything else but her visceral, all-encompassing grief. She didn’t apologize for not being able to give more of herself or her heart to Henry, and because Henry was so smitten, he didn’t ask for what he deserved. If you haven’t read this book, be warned that this is a disastrous kind of love story. Though, that’s hardly a spoiler since it said so on the back of the book.

On the other hand, Henry narrating the book might be the reason why we don’t get to know Grace. Grief and debilitating guilt are all we know about her. But it’s really tough to connect to a grieving character when we don’t their history. And that is what I struggled the most about Our Chemical Hearts. I think I spent most of the time waiting for the story to develop. The majority of the book focused on Henry and his inexplicable attraction to Grace. He was drawn by her enigma and the more she kept him at arm’s length, the harder it was for him to resist. Overall, this was not an insightful book about grief. I think it would be more effective if this was told in Grace’s perspective.

Weekend Readathon

img_2427   img_2430

img_2435   img_2438

This past weekend, I unofficially participated in a readathon of sorts. I was seeing posts on Twitter about it and I thought it’s a great way to see how many books I can cram in a 24-hour period. I originally planned on reading four books, but sleep and another book got in the way.

I did well, I thought.


Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland [ 3 out of 5 Stars]
Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn [4 out of 5 Stars]
Twisted Palace by Erin Watt [2 out of 5 Stars]


Hag-seed by Margaret Atwood
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

I had a productive time while participating. It gave me the opportunity to write a review soon after reading the book. My thoughts were fresh and writing down my thoughts came so easily.

I didn’t do much of anything this weekend but this. I wanted to go to the bookstore to pick up a copy of Gemina (which came out last week) but I decided to save it since I haven’t even read Illuminae yet. I wasn’t able to visit your blogs but rest assured that I will be doing that this week.

I hope your weekend was just as productive.

Happy reading!

[678]: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

25883848 The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Stand Alone
William Morrow | August 9th, 2016
Source: Bought
Contemporary Romance | Adult Fiction
Rating 5 out of 5 Stars

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

I was stacking all the books that were on my bedroom floor neatly when I decided to skim through its pages. Hours later, I was grinning like a fool. It was so good, so sweet, and so funny. I mean, I’ve known a few people who swore how good this was but I was not ready to be floored as much as I have. It’s the perfect romcom; lovely characters bright with chemistry, a breathtaking romance with humour and a pinch of poignant sadness.

Battle of the Sexes

Lucy Hutton has always hated Josh Templeman’s guts. He’s a very regimented jerk who saw her as nothing but an amusing little woman with a penchant for wild colours and red lipstick. His total opposite, considering he wears a plethora of uniformed dress shirts for every day of the week. Their one-upmanship and skirmishes on the daily give her life. It’s the source of her motivation, aggravation and oddly enough, her addiction. But their competition is about to reach another level of insanity as they both vie for the same Chief Operating Officer position.  If Lucy wins, she becomes Josh’s boss and if he wins, she has no choice but to quit. Because there’s no way she’s going to work for the man who threatened to “work her so fucking hard” if he wins.

I love this book so much! I have this thing for short heroines rocking the retro look and Lucy personified that ideal. She’s a spitfire who stood up to Josh even if she was a softie to everyone else. Working in the publishing industry has always been her dream so she worked incredibly hard day to please everyone but Joshua.

Josh, on the other hand, is a massive oaf that perfectly contrasts Lucy’s diminutive posture. They’re opposite in every which way but once they let chemistry does its magic, they’re combustible! Love, love their witty banter, their playful provocations (also known as flirting), and the way they cared and worried about each other without the other knowing.

On the surface, these two are all about fun and games. But hidden just beneath their skin lives a loneliness brought on by family estrangement. Josh couldn’t make his father happy no matter what he does. He lives under the shadow of his father’s discontentment and constant disappointment. So he stopped trying and distanced himself from his family to his mother’s heartbreak.

Lucy, on the other hand, was loved. Her parents wanted everything for her but her dream took her far away from them. They’re still close, though no matter the distance. She has no friends, and because she’s the executive assistant to one of the partners, her officemates tend to keep her at an arm’s length. They dealt with loneliness the only way they could: denial. Honestly, no one could be more deserving of each other than these two. Josh is very serious, more often cranky but far more the asshole character that’s been known to grace the pages of a romance novel. Lucy balances Josh’s seriousness perfectly. She’s very quirky, smart and funny. She’s just lovely all around.

The Hating Game is by far the best contemporary romance I’ve read this year. If you’ve ever considered reading this after all the five-star reviews on Goodreads, well, leave your doubts aside. The majority of those reviewers are spot on. Sally Thorne is a brilliant, brand new voice in this genre.



Hot Off The Press [23]: October 18th, 2016

51gdm2-qc2l-_sx327_bo1204203200_ 517mblm3ul-_sx329_bo1204203200_ 51u2frycuul-_sx327_bo1204203200_

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
Saving Red by Sonya Jones
Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz

29991719 30236300 30974882

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase
Black Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig
The Sexy One by Lauren Blakely

28815364 29430755 29519517

Escape Clause by John Sandford
The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

26072600 28389305 28693701

Honor by Jay Crownover
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

51vnabl1eql-_sx330_bo1204203200_ 23337872 24909346

What Light by Jay Asher
Beard Science by Penny Reid
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

51qj7sfob-l-_sx329_bo1204203200_ 51r5p6bw-yl-_sx331_bo1204203200_ 51rrangwkdl-_sx336_bo1204203200_

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by R Cohen and D Leviathan
Tattoo Atlas by Tim Floreen
Moon Chosen by PC Cast

51nvcy6hc4l-_sx302_bo1204203200_ 51pgrdeyvl-_sx329_bo1204203200_ 51pwqzh4iml-_sx331_bo1204203200_

River Traffic by Martha Brack Martin
Rose & Thorn by Sarah Prineas
The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz

41cdyynbhvl-_sx331_bo1204203200_ 51in9few65l-_sx332_bo1204203200_ 51lsaxfmibl-_sx329_bo1204203200_

The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines
The Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan
Messenger by Carol Lynch Williams

Oh, man. I’ve just realized why I quit doing these posts all those years ago. Lol. It is not easy to do! I have to scour the interwebz for a list. Goodreads has a list but Amazon has a more extensive one. And then, this week, I decided to provide a link for each book so, it took me forever to draft it. I do enjoy it, though. And for my benefit, I like knowing what’s coming out this week.

I’m so excited to read Twisted Palace! OMG. The ending of Broken Prince was just so cruel. I can’t wait to read this. Needless to say, I’ve already pre-ordered a copy. I’m also looking forward to reading Royally Screwed by Emma Chase! Love me a good prince and pauper romantic story!

What about you? Anything from this list has you chomping at the bits?

Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 194


Four Letter Word by J. Daniels | Bedmates by Nichole Chase | Heartless by Gail Carrier | Searching For Always by Jennifer Probst | The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas | Sometimes A Rogue by Mary Jo Putney | For This Life Only by Stacey Kade | Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta | Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Meltaltown by Kristen Simmons | Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven | Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge | Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel | Replica by Lauren Oliver | Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews | Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley | Alex + Ada by Jonathan Lune & Sarah Vaughn | Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland | Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland| Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Yes, I know. This is a ridiculous pile. Trust me, I’ve already cut myself off. Like, I went to the bookstore on Saturday for the sole purpose of buying two books (Melina’s and Alex + Ada) and came home with only those. That’s progress, folks. Because in the past, whenever I go to the bookstore with the intent of picking up specific books, I always end up with a new set of TBR pile. So I think I’m learning how to say no.

Anyway, four of these books are for reviews (three from Penguin Random House Canada and one from Tor Teens), so it’s really not that bad…okay, that’s a lie but, whatevs.

So I’m back. I have a few days of Bloglovin to sift through – please bear with me. The last time I checked, I think I have Tuesday, Monday and the previous weekend to read. Lol. How about you? Do you make a conscious effort read past Bloglovin’ posts? I know it’s tough, but I am a Catholic so feeling guilty is like a natural instinct for us. Lol. Especially with everyone being so nice and supportive for my need of a break.


I also got this wonderful box from Hello, Book Lover – which I talked about at length in this post. I can’t wait to devour this book. It sounds like a good mystery about two sisters (obvs). I’m excited to try out the teas as well even though I’m a rare drinker. Are you a subscriber? What has been a good subscription box that you’ve subscribed to lately?


25883848 26224667 28161530

29503237 29541818 28763485

The Hating Game is so good, you guys. I have a review coming up this week. Wrong and Right are so much fun. However, I wasn’t bowled over by Bittersweet and Idol. The Sun is Also A Star was brilliant but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did her debut novel.

That’s it for now, I think. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Also, Happy, Happy Birthday to my main squeeze. I know you get email notifications whenever I upload a new post but I don’t know if you read them. But I want you to know that you are the Darcy to my Elizabeth. You’re not perfect; you’re cranky at times, but you’ll do everything for me, our kids and even our families. So thank you. And I love you. Most ardently. <3

Have a great week!

Hello Book Lover Subscription Box


Hello, book lovers (see what I did there?)!

I’m back! Did anyone miss me? 🙂 Well, I missed you all. I’m still trying to catch up with everything that I’ve missed during my absence, but I want to take this opportunity to talk to you about this subscription box that landed on my doorstep last Friday.

Monthly subscription boxes are a dime a dozen nowadays and honestly, I’ve struggled with trying to decide from which to choose. When Lauren of Hello, Book Lover contacted me for a partnership, I was absolutely ecstatic. For one, it’s quite flattering. And for another, this is a new thing for me. So I did a little bit of checking. I went to their website to see what they’re all about. I found out that besides the fact that they send out books and accouterments to go along with reading, they also have a book club that enables their members to interact with other subscribers. I thought that it was pretty cool.

This month, they feature what is called, The Page-Turner Box, which includes:

  • The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
  • Bags of Yogi tea (Stress Relief, Bedtime and Positive Energy)
  • Jar of honey
  • Little Flower All Natural Peppermint Lip Balm
  • Little Flower All Natural Lavender Bath Salt

If you’re interested, you can take advantage of a 15% discount by using the code, JOYOUS15. I’m looking forward to reading the book, drinking the tea, using the lip balm and the small sample of lavender bath salt. 🙂 For more information about Hello, Book Lover, I’ve provided the links below. Follow them for special offers and featured items included in the box.


Website  | Twitter | Facebook  | Pinterest | Instagram

[677]: Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap

27876492 Angel of Oblivion
Stand Alone
Archipelago Books | August 16th, 2016
Source: Finished copy from the Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

The novel tells the story of a family from the Slovenian minority in Austria. The first-person narrator starts off with her childhood memories of rural life, in a community anchored in the past. Yet behind this rural idyll, an unresolved conflict is smouldering. At first, the child wonders about the border to Yugoslavia, which runs not far away from her home. Then gradually the stories that the adults tell at every opportunity start to make sense. All the locals are scarred by the war. Her grandfather, we find out, was a partisan fighting the Nazis from forest hideouts. Her grandmother was arrested and survived Ravensbrück.

As the narrator grows older, she finds out more. Through conversations at family gatherings and long nights talking to her grandmother, she learns that her father was arrested by the Austrian police and tortured – at the age of ten – to extract information on the whereabouts of his father. Her grandmother lost her foster-daughter and many friends and relatives in Ravensbrück and only escaped the gas chamber by hiding inside the camp itself. The narrator begins to notice the frequent suicides and violent deaths in her home region, and she develops an eye for how the Slovenians are treated by the majority of German-speaking Austrians. As an adult, the narrator becomes politicised and openly criticises the way in which Austria deals with the war and its own Nazi past. In the closing section, she visits Ravensbrück and finds it strangely lifeless – realising that her personal memories of her grandmother are stronger.

The novel begins in a calm tone; a life of rural ideal on a farm near the border of Austria and Yugoslavia. The narrator’s family goes about their lives simply; tending to the farm and their animals while slowly peeling the layers that would eventually show the readers what was hiding behind the calmness.

She’s my Queen Bee and I’m her drone.

The young girl references her great admiration for the matriarch of the family. Her grandmother rules the household with relentless strength rooted in familial love and old tradition. She guides our unknown narrator through early adolescence on through the cusp of adulthood. While in the background is her mother, sensitive and prone to crying. She was hardly shown any respect least of all from her mother in law. In some ways, I felt for her. It was easy to see that she never knew how to raise her own child because someone else did that job for her. So their relationship was fragile and more often unpredictable. The narrator stands in a precarious balance between the love for her mother and her grandmother that ultimately becomes somewhat lopsided.

Throughout the novel, the readers are given a visceral imagery of the kind of influence the grandmother has over our narrator. Her mother tried her best but it was a difficult task to overcome such an overwhelming shadow. And she didn’t get any help from her husband (the narrator’s father) either. He was constantly drunk and frequently unhinged. Though, his instability could be attributed to his childhood experience of unfathomable hell which unsurprisingly influenced the man that he became.

Angel of Oblivion is an unexpected surprise. It’s a glorious feat for an author to leave her readers in a state of complacency all the while telling a difficult and poignant story. Beautiful as it were, devastating in some instances. It reminds us that we are the sum of our memories and even if we feel insignificant now, our stories could hold some influence to someone in the future. This was not an easy read by a long shot but the characters are worth your acquaintance. And because it’s a memoir disguised as fiction, I read it with ease, ironically enough.