[Review] League of American Traitors by Matthew Landis

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Title: League of American Traitors
Author: Matthew Landis
Publication: August 8th 2017 by Sky Pony Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: e-ARC

When seventeen year-old Jasper is approached at the funeral of his deadbeat father by a man claiming to be an associate of his deceased parents, he’s thrust into a world of secrets tied to America’s history—and he’s right at the heart of it.

First, Jasper finds out he is the sole surviving descendant of Benedict Arnold, the most notorious traitor in American history. Then he learns that his father’s death was no accident. Jasper is at the center of a war that has been going on for centuries, in which the descendants of the heroes and traitors of the American Revolution still duel to the death for the sake of their honor.

His only hope to escape his dangerous fate on his eighteenth birthday? Take up the research his father was pursuing at the time of his death, to clear Arnold’s name.

Whisked off to a boarding school populated by other descendants of notorious American traitors, it’s a race to discover the truth. But if Jasper doesn’t find a way to uncover the evidence his father was hunting for, he may end up paying for the sins of his forefathers with his own life.he confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

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Also, pre-order this on: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

My thoughts:

It was so, so difficult to keep up with the pacing of this book. I really wanted to like this one because of its interesting premise, but it just did not work out that well for me. The concept was well-thought of, however the execution was the one extremely lacking. The potentiality that it could have delivered greatly had me in high hopes.

The League of American Traitors is an association of historic traitors that has made America today. Jasper, who has a traitorous father, is definitely on the ropes when he is invited to this association. His life is at stake, as well as the other descendants of historic people. Although he wants to amend and correct history, he is hindered by obstacles and people who do not want to rewrite history.

I do not really have a lot to say about this book because I did not really feel anything while reading this. To be completely honest, it was hard to coerce myself to finish the book. The author’s way of writing was normal, but I felt that that were no emotions at all. The ending which was supposed to be a part that makes you somehow, at the least, emotional, but it just did not make me feel that way.

To give you a more vivid detail, I could perhaps compare this book to a roller coaster who only goes up and down without twists and turns. In the first part of the book, there was not a single thing that interest me at all. But, all of a sudden, the middle part kept me at the edge of my seat because this book delivered me what I truly enthused over. Then, it just slowly went downhill again, and even the climax did not feel like a climax at all.

Before I end my review, there are still some good and commendable things about this book. First, the title is very intriguing which made me curious. Next, the action that it has brought was packed and intense. Last, the premise is what I completely admire about this book. Unfortunately, it just did not hold up its end of the bargain.

From what I can say, the book has a potential because of its concept, but the concept has a really wide scope, thus I believe that it takes time to execute it well. Also, the characters were introduced in a rush, and the author just splashed names and names into my face without me getting to keep up. I just really wish that it could have been a lot better.

2 swords2 swords for historic disappointment!

About the author:

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Raised in Bucks County, PA, I returned home after four amazing years at Penn State to the greatest job of all time: teaching 8th graders American History.  I also convinced the most ridiculously amazing girl I’ve ever known to marry me, bought a dog, lived in a renovated barn for two years, and then decided it was time for a home that didn’t have animals underneath.

It’s simpler than that: I love history, but not in the old, awful, kill-me-now-please kind of way. My passion is convincing my students that the past is actually hilarious, shocking, tragic, disturbing, and altogether UN-boring.  While getting my graduate degree in History at Villanova, I realized that there was yet one more way to do this: write contemporary young adult books laced with history to convince my students that the past doesn’t have to be a life-sucking topic. That’s a huge reason why I wrote The League of American Traitors.

Some other stuff: I love poetry but don’t understand it; I want Gordon Ramsay to give me a fatherly hug at some point; I tend toward the unapologetically dramatic; I’m a recovering gamer who can sometimes be found reading the novelization of HALO. I firmly believe that self-deprecating humor is the best kind.

Do you like historical fiction books? Comment below and let’s talk about it.


To Blog or Not To Blog…

…is the biggest dilemma of my life since the day I stopped blogging.

It has been really difficult for me to ride with the flow since I have become so busy with life. To be honest, I really miss reading books and completing my Goodreads challenge. However, everything has become too impossible to accomplish. Now that I am an incoming freshman in college, I know things will be way more complicated than it was before.

Thus, I plan to revive this blog with this semi-introductory post, and I really wish that I can post casually like I did before. I mean, look at the date of my last post: November 2016. I have been doing blogging wrong, but then, I have come to a realization that I definitely do not want to do blogging as a chore. I just want to enjoy every bits of it, so I hope you guys will understand and still follow my blogging life.

How are you all doing?


[Review] Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga, #1) by Colleen Oakes

queen of hearts

Title: Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Harper Teen
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

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Also, you can buy it on: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks

My thoughts:

Despite loving and not reading much retelling, this one was an utter disappointment. I was really looking forward to this one because I would love to see how Wonderland will be portrayed. Not to mention how simply intriguing the cover is that just captivated me to read the book instantly.

This book follows a princess named Dinah who is soon to be queen, but she lives under the terror of her father who treats her not like a daughter, but that’s just it. Dinah finds to avenge herself by becoming a queen. Then, she finds herself a competition– another daughter that the king hides– that will lower her odds on becoming a queen.

From what I’ve read on the book, that’s basically it. Look how dull the summary of this book is. It was really disappointing. I find it so boring and annoying as well. Fortunately, it was readable. Yes. I almost might have put down the book and mark it as a DNF, but being a reader who doesn’t do that, I finished the book and just acquired more disappointment.

What I like about this book is the Wonderland retelling and the world-building the author has done. I might like some characters from this book, but I don’t really like most characters especially the protagonist, Dinah. Reading her is just like reading a robot–no emotion at all. She’s boring and bland and dull, and reading this book was a complete challenge.

Besides these, what I really hate about this book is that it was all story-telling. It didn’t completely focus on a character’s development. It was just merely telling a story about Dinah and her being a queen to-be. It was really annoying on her side and on the writing itself, making this book a package of cringe-worthy.

Still, it’s a readable book in a Wonderland setting where no Alice can be seen, well that’s a different take on the retelling. It also has no romance at all; not having romance could be a good thing, but it didn’t work out on this book because it badly needs a whiff of romance to make it more interesting. And yet, it’s readable. You decide if you still want to read this. Maybe it’s just me who didn’t like this.

2 swords2 swords for a huge disappointment!

About the author:

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Colleen Oakes is the author of books for both teens and adults, including The Elly in Bloom Series, The Queen of Hearts Saga (Harper Collins 2016) and The Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable. When not writing or plotting new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling and totally immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She currently at work on another YA fantasy series and a stand-alone YA novel.

Do you like books with fairy tale retellings? Comment below and let’s talk about it.


The Book Break

There are a lot of things that happened in my life. As you can see from my previous posts, all I probably rambled about is my hectic schedule. School hit me hard like a truck unexpectedly. I really thought that I could read A LOT of books this year. But alas, no luck, not at all. If you check out my Goodreads account, you’ll see no progress at all. As Goodreads kindly stated, I’m 17 books behind schedule.

Disgusting. I suck at this. Earlier this year, I remember that I’ve been reading swiftly without hindrance. Now, school has completely taken over all of my time. It is currently my break, but due to unfortunate events, I’m still at a reading slump. It seems like my blog is not only in a hiatus but also my reading. This irks me, and I think that I won’t make any better progress this end of the year.

Motivation, please possess me now.

How long is your longest reading slump? Comment below and let’s talk about it.


[Review] Never Stop Falling by Ashley Drew

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Title: Never Stop Falling
Author: Ashley Drew
Publication: March 1st 2016 (self-published)
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: e-book

She didn’t expect to fall for her best friend.
He was always waiting to catch her.

Corinne Bennett lives in the moment. Whether she’s skydiving out of an airplane, or setting off on the road to anywhere, she’s ready to dive into the next adventure. That is, if best friend and always-by-the-book Nicholas Kelley doesn’t put his foot down on her wild stunts first.

When Corinne gives in to her growing feelings for Nicholas the summer before their freshman year of college, she takes the ultimate risk, making this one adventure he has longed to explore with her.

But the moment they take that irrevocable leap, a shocking revelation blindsides Corinne, exposing her vulnerabilities, baring her fears, and shattering her beliefs about love. With their future—and most importantly, their friendship—now clouded in doubt, she must decide if love is really worth the risk.

Because when it comes to love, you never stop falling.

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Also, you can buy it on: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks

My thoughts:

I received an electronic review copy of this book from the author herself in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.

This book left me in a whirlwind of emotions. Ever since I saw the cover, I completely fell in love with it. I never thought that I will also fall in love with the book. This is the third New Adult book that I read and all of them haven’t disappointed me. This is why I’m enjoying that genre.

Never Stop Falling is about a girl named Corinne Bennett who didn’t look at his best friend, Nicholas Kelley, as a lover ever. However, this all started to change when she realizes how her best friend looks at her, and she finds herself falling in love with him as they did things that they never expected to happen (not what you think it is).

“Love is beautiful and strange; it can make the heart complete and whole and yet, it’s also capable of smashin’ it into a million pieces.”

This book falls under two viewpoints from Corinne and Nicholas wherein I enjoyed inasmuch as I thought I would. I love reading in both of their perspectives. Both characters were fun and easy to read, and both did not fall into the dark pit of cliché. They were realistic and true to themselves and that’s what I love about this book.

What made this book better than expected is its climax. When I reached it, I was nerve-racking, mentally biting my nails. I didn’t know what will happen next because as the book goes on, it gets completely better and better. The consistency of this book is amazing. I love consistency in a book, and this one deemed to be a worthy one.

“Love is full of risks. Losing the person you love is one of them, and you have to be willing to take it.”

Throughout the book, I surely enjoyed reading the book, but I somehow find the book quite lacking, and I’m not completely satisfied. There’s just something that the story needs to be better. A twist or something huge of an event that will make my jaw drop or something. It will definitely make me love the book more.

Okay, I love this book, and I have no more reason why you should read this book. It’s amazing, and you need to read it. my review may not have justified the beauty that is this book, but I really recommend this book. It truly deserves more attention and hype.

4 swords4 swords for making NA an amazing genre for me!

About the author:

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A San Francisco Bay Area native, Ashley Drew currently lives in Los Angeles. When she’s not going cross-eyed after writing for five hours straight, or burying her nose in a book, you’ll find her sprawled on her couch watching General Hospital, having alien conspiracy discussions with her husband over a bottle of bubbly, and dancing to Taylor Swift’s 1989 album with her daughter.

What’s your favorite New Adult book? Comment below and let’s talk about it.


[Review] A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2) by Sabaa Tahir


Title: A Torch Against the Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publication: August 30th 2016 by Razorbill
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 452
Format: ARC

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

Shelf it on Goodreads!

Also, you can buy it on: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks

My thoughts:

I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review for a blog tour (that I failed to complete on the desired date–so sorry!). This does not affect my opinion.

I cannot even begin to comprehend how I feel about this series. It has achieved remarkably a ton of reviews that talk about how amazing this series is, but somehow, I feel completely left behind. I keep on seeing my friends loving and raving about the series non-stop, and I mean, this book is undoubtedly great with its raw and different plot line; however, it just did not work for me. It was something between great and OK.

A Torch Against the Night merely continues with the cliffhanger ending of the first book, An Ember in the Ashes. With Laia in a mission to rescue her brother, Darin, from imprisonment, she finds herself assisted by Elias. Both have bounties on their head–making their mission more difficult–with the Commandant eyeing every step they make. They begin to uncover the truth as they reach nearer the prison.

“Most people,” Cain says, “are nothing but glimmers in the great darkness of time.”

One thing I have high praises about this series is its brilliant writing style. Every time I turn a page, I begin to savor the words utilized to craft this fantastical story. The world that the author created through words is just beyond amazing, and all I have is mad respect for her just because of her use of words in this series.

Although, there are still some questions left unanswered which I expected to unravel along the story of the second installment. The story just completely went to a different direction that somehow also interconnects with the original direction. As much as some characters were given deserving spotlight, some significant characters were failed to be given the same, like Teluman or the Resistance itself.

“Don’t lock yourself away from those who care about you because you think you’ll hurt them or–or they’ll hurt you. What point is there in being human if you don’t let yourself feel anything?”

I like how Helene’s point of view was added in this because she plays a bigger role than her from the first book. Her struggles as a characters definitely added to the excitement and thrill that I consumed from every single page of her perspective. From an average road the author took, she then made a huge U-turn to mold and concoct a new kind of story, making use of the characters’ driving emotions to gain a new kind of interest from the readers. I mean, that’s what I felt by reading the first and second book.

A Torch Against the Night is entitled literally–for me. As I see a cliché start, an ember of flame then kindled and sparked my attention. This book has become a medium of light in a darkness that I thought this series will head into.


4 swords4 swords for being a torch against the night–literally!

About the author:

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Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

Does anyone still read my posts? Sorry for my sudden absence. Comment below and let’s talk about stuff.


[Review] What Things Mean by Sophia N. Lee

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Title: What Things Mean
Author: Sophia N. Lee
Publication: May 2016 by Scholastic
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 133
Format: Paperback


What does it mean to be different? 14-year-old Olive is struggling to find out. Everything about her is so different from the rest of her family. She is big-haired, brown skinned, and clumsy in a family of cream-colored beauties who are all popular and Good At Sports. She closely resembles a father she has never known, and about whom her mother never speaks, and no one wants to tell her why. She turns to books and other things in her quest to find answers, and as a way to cope with her loneliness. When she learns the truth about her father, she must decide whether or not she will let the differences in her life define her forever.

Shelf it on Goodreads!

My thoughts:

What Things Mean is something that I like and dislike at the same time. It’s too plain for a book for me, having such a simple story with simple characters. That is what actually what I also like about the book; it’s a sweet escape from surreality and fantasy. It is not a book that will excite nor amaze you, but it’s a book wherein the protagonist’s story is merely narrated.

The short book utilizes dictionary terms to introduce a new chapter. Every word correlates with the life of Olive, the protagonist. Every chapter bring a brief story of her life. Olive, having been the different one in the family, struggles to become like her family. To overcome her sadness, she does anything that will bring optimism to herself. Then, she learns about a father she has never known and she has become curious  to know.

“You are beautiful in all the ways that matter. You don’t need all of this to show that. Nothing you put on your face can cover what already shines through — your good heart, your giving spirit, your sense of humour — it’s what you’re made of.”

In regards with the writing style, it is a bit dull and ordinary. There is nothing really special about it, but nonetheless, it is absolutely an easy read because of its simplicity in writing. It is a beauty I longingly desire to read due to the fact that I often read books that are too complex in their writing style.

The story itself can sometimes become boring, and I do not get the other chapters’ correlation with the story itself. Considering its shortness, it is a great book because the author executed this short of a book with a limited space of elaborating more. Somehow, some stories feel like missing, and I really hope that they would be fleshed out in a sense, so that I could get the whole point of the book.

“The thing about mirrors is that they show you everything — even the things you don’t want to see.”

The book fails to make me connected with Olive. She is a great character with an emotional background, but it does not completely feel like there’s something really going on in the story. Sometimes, it becomes baffling, and I wish that it could have been longer. Descriptions are too concise that I have never had a good connection with the characters. Details like emotions could be taken into consideration because of its simple and interesting plot line, but because of the lacking details, I begin to lose interest with the book as I continued reading. Still, this book is one of the best short reads that I read.

3 swords3 swords for a short yet meaningful book.

About the author:

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Sophia N. Lee wanted to be many things growing up: doctor, teacher, ballerina, ninja, crime-fighting international spy, wizard, time traveler, journalist, and lawyer. She likes to think she can be all these things through writing. She loves words and the meanings behind them. Her favorite word is ‘chance’. What Things Mean is her first book. She lives in Manila, Philippines.

What’s the shortest book that you’ve read? Comment below and let’s talk about it.