The Meaning Of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

It took me a lifetime to have the courage and the clarity to write my memoir. I want to tell the story of the moments – the ups and downs, the triumphs and traumas, the debacles and the dreams, that contributed to the person I am today. Though there have been countless stories about me throughout my career and very public personal life, it’s been impossible to communicate the complexities and depths of my experience in any single magazine article or a ten-minute television interview. And even then, my words were filtered through someone else’s lens, largely satisfying someone else’s assignment to define me.

This book is composed of my memories, my mishaps, my struggles, my survival and my songs. Unfiltered. I went deep into my childhood and gave the scared little girl inside of me a big voice. I let the abandoned and ambitious adolescent have her say, and the betrayed and triumphant woman I became tell her side.

Writing this memoir was incredibly hard, humbling and healing. My sincere hope is that you are moved to a new understanding, not only about me, but also about the resilience of the human spirit.

Love,
Mariah

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— MY REVIEW —

Every once in a while I break out of the fictional bubble to dabble in some non-fic. Well… usually autobiographies and memoirs by public figures who interest me.

And this time around, it’s Mariah Carey, “dahling”! 🙌

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I’ve been a fan of Mariah’s for years. With Christmas around the corner and with her Christmas album on repeat the past week, I picked her book up on a whim. If you’ve been following her career and her life that’s been somewhat shared to the public over the years then you won’t be surprised by the stories she shares in this book (it’s just more detailed than what the media has shared or even portrayed).

I was interested in knowing more about her family, her upbringing, and her first marriage to the music mogul; Tommy Mottola — all of which she does talk about.

She doesn’t sugarcoat her feelings and opinions on these people from her past. It’s obvious when it comes to her family, it’s complicated but she seems to have found acceptance and peace to a point where she’s managed to keep some resemblance of a relationship when it was almost non-existent in the past.

Not going to lie, this was a wordy read. I certainly couldn’t read it in one sitting. I’m a fan of Mariah’s music but reading about her life and her POV on events is best done in doses. 😅 If you’re a fan, you’ll surely like learning more about her personal life and her journey in the music industry.

An interesting insight to both her private and public life. You learn more about her difficult childhood and adolescences knowing that she hardly discussed about her mother or father openly in interviews.

There’s also the attention surrounding her failed marriages. Growing up I remember the controversary surrounding Mariah’s marriage to Tommy and here we get to see her side of things about her life with him in detail. There were already accusations that he was controlling not only with her music but her overall public image. You realize from Mariah’s perspective what their relationship was like behind closed doors.


“Happiness was secondary. Happiness was a fleeting bonus.”


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Then there’s her second marriage to Nick Cannon and the reason behind their breakdown. But also about their children, the struggles, the life altering moments, and the balance she’s found since having them.

The addition of candid photos with friends and family is a nice touch to the paperback edition. Seeing these photos of her looking just as mundane as the rest of us makes her more relatable, like all the glitz and glamour can be set aside when she’s just chilling with her friends and family.

With each song she’s written over the years, it’s been inspired by a moment or event in her life that’s impacted her in a significant way, whether good or bad. She didn’t have the fairy tale upbringing — it was far from it, and there’s no doubt she’s had some struggles and breakdowns in her adulthood that I’m not entirely sure she’s completely gotten over or healed from but she has found her people to lean on.

I don’t think this book made me see her in a different light or in a new perspective per se. Mariah is Mariah and this book is her. She takes you on a journey about her music, songs she written and released, her tours, her achievements and accolades over the years, as well as the people who she’s had the pleasure of meeting and working with, and so forth.

I’ve read a few mixed reviews on this book and I may be biased here because I am a fan but I was not surprised by what she did or did not include in her memoir. Would I have wanted her to elaborate on certain topics she’s touched on? Mm yeah, sure. But lookey here, I came away with more than I knew about her life before I read her book, so it’s all good!

She’s a queen. She’s a diva. But who’s to say that that’s necessarily a bad thing, right? Mariah has been in the biz for decades! Yes, she pens her achievements in this book in detail but hey, why not?! I, for one am not surprised that she included them. It is Mariah Carey, the woman has made some amazing accomplishments in her lifetime… and this is her memoir. 🦋

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Great holiday read for fans of Mariah and those who enjoy reading autobiographies. I recommend you read it whilst listening to her songs, makes it extra festive!

RATING: ♥♥♥¾


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Hope you’re all enjoying your day, week, month so far! 😊 Happy reading and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo

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For Love And Honor by Jody Hedlund

Another old review I never posted. 🙈 But better late, than never!

This was one of the very first historical romances I ever read (before I even knew it was considered “historical romance” because at the time I was clueless about sub-genres). But anywho — I borrowed it at my local library on a whim. Glad I did too!

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— BLURB —

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

*** This is Book 3 in the An Uncertain Choice series (aka Noble Knights Series).

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— MY REVIEW —

As mentioned earlier, I borrowed this book from my local library on a whim liking how the blurb sounded. But I hadn’t realized at the time that this was part of a series… and the last book too (check the edit below)! What were the chances?!

(But note to self — Get onto Goodreads first and research before borrowing books!)

I’m usually not a fan of reading books out of order in a series, despite the fact that they can all be read as standalone. I’m obsessive compulsive that way, but I didn’t want it to go to waste before I had to return it so… I read it! 😄

Thank goodness each book in the series has different protagonists with completely separate story lines. The thing that connects each book is that the characters all know each other one way or another.

I feel like I’ve been reading YA fantasy fiction with so much detailed romance (that it should technically be in the NA category), so this was a nice, simple change of pace. This book was quoted as “clean” historical fiction and I absolutely agree. It has the cute, lovey-dovey, hallmark romance going for it that still makes you grin.

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Sabine is a spunky, strong-willed protagonist who has her moments of teenage rebelliousness. But you gotta love her for it. Her lighthearted banter between her grandmother and especially with Sir Bennet is what made this story all the more enjoyable. Yes, they were stuck in the middle of a dangerous battle with secrets up in the air but boy, I couldn’t help but swoon during the scenes where Sabine and Bennet were together and wondering how the other truly feels about.

There’s a little bit of magic and curses wrapped around Sabine that’s affected her ability to trust and open herself up to new people. Things are not what they seem.

An overall nice, steady developing romance with just a little bit of suspense and secrecy thrown in that’ll keep you engaged. There’s a simple little world-building here, enough to keep you picturing castles, pretty dresses, chivalry, and with it — seedy minions! 😜

RATING: ♥♥♥½

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This was an enjoyable read! 👍 If you have a few hours to kill and looking for a quick read, I highly recommend this one! Ooh and the rest of the series too!

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Side Note: After checking Goodreads, there’s apparently a fourth book; A Loyal Heart to be released sometime this year! I hope it does get released, I’m liking this series so far.

**EDIT: Since this is a super old review that I never got around to posting, my guess is the fourth book HAS been released. Although I can’t say for sure as I never did get around to finishing this series (and I hadn’t looked at on Goodreads since). 😅 But I still would recommend it though. It’s clean, adorably sweet, clean romance books. 


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Catch you guys in my next one. Happy reading! Xo

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Emma by Jane Austen

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— SYNOPSIS —

‘I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.’

Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage.

Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.

With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.

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— MY REVIEW —

While I’m not much of historical romance reader or even a reader of classic literature. I have read a few. When it comes to Jane Austen though, I’ve only read one of her novels.

Yep. One.

Pride and Prejudice. And I loveeeeeed it! To this day, it’s one of my fave romance books. So when Playermaker Digital approached me for a little collaboration in conjunction with the upcoming movie release of Emma, I jumped at the chance to try my luck at another Austen classic.

I also read that Clueless (y’know that awesome 90’s teen movie?) was loosely based off Emma, and considering that it’s still one of my fave movies to watch, I was eager to see the original story it took inspiration from.

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This book centers around the main heroine, Emma Woodhouse who’s perfectly content staying single. Believes she doesn’t need love or marriage in her life, but is more than happy to help others find it— more specifically, help her friend Harriet find it.

Harriet excels at her studies, but when it comes to her personal life and when love is involved, she’s a little hopeless at securing a man. So Emma has taken it upon herself to find the perfect gentleman for her. But that’s when things start getting complicated because the more Emma meddles, the more things don’t go to plan.

Whilst I enjoyed the light-hearted humor included with seeing a tangled mess of misunderstandings, the overall story just didn’t have the same impact on me as Pride and Prejudice did.

Emma’s meddling reached a point where it was too much. Whilst men are coming and going, Emma is reassuring Harriet of her matchmaking choices only to end in disappointment and leaving poor Harriet back at square one.. again.

The overall idea and plot of the story sounded charming but it was difficult for me to like Emma because of her stubbornness. She thought she knew better at choosing suitors for Harriet than Harriet herself, whilst at the same time believing she would never marry or find love for herself because she simply didn’t want or need it.

“Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing; but I have never been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.” — Emma

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Whilst there were a humorous moments throughout, it wasn’t enough to keep me engaged. It started to drag. It went from one failed match-up to the next. Most of the secondary characters weren’t standouts either. They left me with the same mediocre atmosphere that unfortunately Emma sometimes left behind. Besides Harriet, thank the book gods for George Knightley (Emma’s brother in law and friend). He was the voice of reason. Every time I would nod my head in annoyance at another Emma mishap, there he was telling her off! *booyah!* 😛 I’m glad someone had some sense.  The quote below pretty much summed up my thoughts whenever Emma’s matchmaking was a total fail.

 

“Badly done, Emma!” — Mr. Knightley

Despite not loving every bit of this classic, what I still loved about it is Jane Austen’s ability to put diversity in her characters’ personalities. And as I said earlier the premise of this book is what had me eager in seeing who would be matched and who would end up together in the end *whispers* … although I kinda guessed who would end up together in the first few chapters hehe. But it’s always cool to see that you got it correct, am I right?! 😉 The ending was the highlight… and no, not because it was finally finished, but because I actually loved how it concluded for Harriet.

Anyways, I don’t want anyone who reads this review to automatically be put off from reading Emma (or even seeing it’s adaptation). Because I can tell you I’m excited to see the film. Sometimes the movie can be better than the book.. at least for some people. Whilst I thought this was an alright read, after having seen the movie trailer– I’m curious to see what I may have missed when I was reading the book, because the visuals brought back the excitement from when I first read the synopsis.

I almost forgot to mention that the characters in this book are quite young. So despite this being a historical romance, and some of the characters reading older than they actually are, Emma could technically fall under the YA category too. So if you’re a fan of historical romance and wanting to try a classic, give Emma a go. Suitable for teens/ young adults.

RATING: ♥♥♥.5/5

Thank you to Playermaker Digital, Universal Studios and Penguin Publishing for the paperback copy, screen passes to see the newest adaptation of Emma, and for the opportunity to collaborate! 😀 

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#Emma comes out February 13!

The newest adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel.

Historical romance mixed with lighthearted humor about friendship, matchmaking mishaps and unrequited love.   

A perfect Galentine’s Day film!

Check your nearest movie cinema for all screening availability. 

Watch the trailer now: Emma Trailer


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Happy reading, everyone. Catch you in my next one! Xo

 

The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

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— SYNOPSIS —

Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.

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— MY REVIEW —

The Sisters Grimm centers around four girls: Goldie, Bea, Liyana and Scarlet. They all have the ability to travel to Everwhere, and each have distinct powers that coincides with elements— e.g. earth, air, fire and  water. But over time they forget ever having possession of these gifts and by the time they’re all thirteen, not only have they lost their abilities, they can no longer remember how to travel to the magical world either.

Whilst all the girls are now seemingly living mundane lives, there are boys who have been trained as soldiers all their lives. And they’re coming out of the woodwork with the aim of hunting down and killing these girls by their 18th birthdays.. unless the girls accept evil fates.

Each girl in this book has their own quirks, traits and attitudes. But right off the bat, Goldie was the character I was instantly drawn to since the first page she was introduced in. And the further her story developed the more I realised the reason why I was drawn to her was because we are similar in a lot ways— (in personality, mannerisms, and at times the life situations).

These girls all have haunting stories. Some I found disturbing to a point. They were put in situations that they were forced into, or didn’t have the means to get out of it themselves. It’s saddening, and there were moments whilst I was reading their stories unravel that I was surprisingly taken aback by what I was actually reading.

There are multiple POVs in this book. Whilst I usually love that type of format— I have to admit there was just too many in this one that I found it a little overwhelming at times. I initially had to jot down each characters name and a short description of them on a post-it just so I could keep track of whose POV I was reading at the time.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it took a little while for me to sink into this fantasy. Whilst the world-building is exceptionally imaginative, detailed, and unique— I couldn’t get a grasp of it like I wanted to from the get-go because the beginning read as if it was already in the middle of the story. If that make sense. I was like Alice down the rabbit hole. The story also goes back and forth from past to present.

Alice_RabbitHoleIt’s almost as if I’m expected to have already known about Everwhere, and the key these young ladies play in it. It isn’t until you start getting further and further along into each of their lives does it start revealing what that world entails. There’s no doubt about it.. it’s complex.

One of the things I enjoyed and looked forward to throughout the book was Leo’s (one of the soldiers) POV because it was a refreshing break from the girls, and in my opinion a much needed contrast.

You just have to get past the initial hiccup at the beginning because the second half really gets action-packed once all is revealed and the girls come together. *Avengers Assemble!* 😛 But seriously.. It becomes fast-paced, effortless— and truly a fascinating read.   

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This story really highlights girl power, one’s fighting spirit, and sisterhood, wrapped up in a somewhat dark YA fantasy storyline.

RATING: ♥♥♥.5/ 5

Thank you to Menna van Praag, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press, and Papercharm Book Marketing for the ARC in exchange for my honest review! 🙂

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TheSistersGrimm_Cover2If you like reading all things inspired by fairy tales and retellings, give this one a crack!

The Sisters Grimm releasing February 6, 2020

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Hope this was another helpful and interesting review for you. As always, catch you in my next one. Happy reading, guys! Xo

 

Scribbler Of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson

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— BLURB —

Romeo and Juliet had the right idea. About dating the enemy that is. They were true to their hearts.

Kaitlin Malone know what it’s like to date the enemy. She was raised to hate the Crutchfields, and absolutely does – until she meets Bram Crutchfield. It turns out he’s a great guy – one she could talk to, share things with…even love. But when Kaitlin gives her heart to Bram, her world spins out of control. Soon the Crutchfields are her friends and she’s a traitor to her own family.

To make things worse ,Bram was raised to hate the Malones, especially Kaitlin’s father – who murdered Bram’s dad. Bram doesn’t know Kaitlin is a Malone. If he did he would hate her, too.

What’s a star-crossed lover to do?

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— MY REVIEW —

I read Scribbler of Dreams around this time last year! I know, I know.. this review is long overdue! Good thing it’s a quick read, I was able to reread it again before writing this blog post. 😛

Scribbler of Dreams CoverThis book is inspired by Romeo and Juliet. The whole family vs family deal definitely plays a big backdrop to the story between “star-crossed” lovers Kaitlin and Bram.

Just like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I found their families to be selfish, annoying jerks who have the saddest reasons as to why they hate one another. I lost count of how many times I either rolled my eyes, sighed or just wanted to speed read to the parts that involved only Kaitlin and Bram. Hehehe.

I don’t know how I feel about Kaitlin discovering who Bram’s family was from early on and keeping it to herself. But then again we’re talking about young love here, and she is a teenage girl who’s dealing with her first love and not wanting to lose it… so… meh. I’ll let this one slide. But the minute I got to the part where she finds out and decides to keep it to herself –  I knew. I knew there’d be trouble up ahead.

I will also say this — I wasn’t expecting the little twist in the end with Kaitlin’s family history though and I did kind of wish that there was more development or… a better lead up to it..? because the minute the “secret” was out that was it. Like literally! I was left thinking “that’s it?!” It was a little underwhelming and the next thing you know Kaitlin and Bram’s story was wrapping up.

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Remember – This is just my opinion. Maybe it’s because I love Mary’s writing that I may have expected a little more with the story development. I did feel the ending was a little too abrupt. But hey, at least it did have a definitive ending. No loose strings or questions asked (which I like and thankful for!) I would’ve just wanted.. oh I dunno a page or two more of Kaitlin and Bram. A page of them working it out and living happily ever after is nowhere near enough. 😉

But like I said earlier, I found this to be a is a nice standalone read that I recommend for anyone who’s short for time, a fan of quick reads, suffering from a reading slump and is not ready to commit to a book series yet, or just a good old fashion fan of contemporary romance. 😄

Oh, and it’s also considered YA fiction but I think this book is young reader (pre-teens) friendly. It’s definitely young love!

This is one of Mary E. Pearson’s earlier works and although I prefer her more recent fantasy fiction books, I still love her style of writing. It’s simple, easy to follow and the story just flows. Whether you’re a fan of Contemporary or YA Fantasy — I strongly recommend you check out Mary’s books (more specifically The Remnant Chronicles)!

RATING: ♥♥♥½

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📚 Read my reviews for Mary E. Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles!

Book One: The Kiss Of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Book Two: The Heart Of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Book Three (Coming Soon)


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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Wildfire by C.L. Aire

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— BLURB —

In the void between the worlds something is shifting. The balance between the Elements is slipping and the darkness is growing.

A girls nightmare speaks of things yet to come, a battle against beings filled with shadows. A young man watches death approach, cold as the blade it rides. A rose blooms in the pale moonlight, a gentle breeze stirs in the stillness and yellow eyes watch over the city.
And destiny has linked them all…
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The earth will dress in blood and pain
And seas will scream beneath the rain
The tortured air will twist and turn
And in the fire, darkness burns

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— MY REVIEW —

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

Read at own risk!

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I think it’s obvious from my previous book reviews that 99% of the books I read are from the Fantasy fiction genre. So when Claire asked if I would be interested in reading her book, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes!

I will be honest in saying when I checked the synopsis of her book on Goodreads, I found it to be a little vague. I knew the protagonist was a young female who sees visions in her dreams of what will happen in the future, and one in particular of Immortals is what sets this story. But other than that I didn’t know what to expect.

So it was all the more curious in reading this book.

I’ll admit it was a slow start for me. It took a little while to get into the story but once Cassie, Kieran and Gemma reached Harbour town I was right there with them.

I’m a big fan of fantasy books where the characters journey to other lands, so I was naturally hooked on the whole “travelling” aspect of Cassie’s story. I would have loved if a map was included in this book just because the places Cassie and her friends travel to seem so different from one another it would have been nice to see a physical image of the different towns they encounter and how much they would have travelled from Ar-ken.

Quick Update: The author has recently shared news that a world map of Tarraneia has been created. No word yet if it will be included in future copies of Wildfire but in the meantime please check it out on her Instagram here: Map of Tarraneia

Getting back to my review. I’m going to be a bit nitpicky and let you guys know my pros and cons of the characters and certain parts of the book:

wildfireCassie is the main protagonist in this story and it was her dreams that led her and her friends to travel on this journey but I felt the first quarter of the book the lead was Gemma. I almost felt like this was Gemma’s story and her journey to stop the Immortals. I was very fascinated with her and her family’s culture/ lifestyle. They understood the world differently it almost seemed like there was something there that could be key in helping stop the destruction. I wouldn’t have minded if Gemma was the main protagonist just because I felt there was so much more to her, her brother and the mystery behind the Weeran people that I would have wanted to read more about.

Gemma might be my favourite from the three friends. She knows who she is and what she’s capable of. In my opinion the wisest of the friends.

Kieran on the other hand is the skeptic from the three. He doesn’t have dreams like Cassie and he’s not like Gemma who’s in touch with the lands so I felt like he was the most normal? and relatable character just because he was your everyday type of person.

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I can’t say I like Cassie all that much for most of the book. She doesn’t seem to be good friend and her decision-making sucks! I think a lot of things that happened throughout their journey could have been avoided if she was more willing to speak up with her friends.I was frustrated with her a lot of the time and couldn’t help but roll my eyes. All I can say is she’s damn lucky there’s so many people willing to help her. 😛

Cassie in my opinion is the one who’s the most unsure of herself and what she could be capable of. Which is not a bad thing. The way things were developing in the book and especially how things ended, Cassie’s character development is sure to grow and I for one can’t wait to see her at her full potential.

When it comes to the storyline. I wished I could have seen a deeper connection between Cassie, Kieran and Gemma. They’re suppose to be the closest of friends but it didn’t come across that way. I saw a deeper friendship between Cassie, Anna and Jhi to be honest. I almost didn’t believe that they grew up together. But maybe all in due time we’ll see their closeness..?

I also thought certain scenes seem to end abruptly where I think it could’ve been delved into in more detail. I felt like I couldn’t even grasp what had happened and the next thing you know something new has transpired. The transition from one scene to the next could have been smoother.

Ok. Let’s get onto my favourite parts of the book. 😄

The part where they meet Ardian. He was the first character I instantly liked. I don’t know what it is about sweet-pie men captaining a ship *cough cough* (Hook from Once Upon A Time or Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles) but they always get me. 😉 His budding romance with Gemma was adorable but short-lived. I wanted more!! I really wished it lasted a little longer. It also had me thinking is this all we’ll see of Ardian? I’m hoping not.

Cassie falling in the hands of Jhi and Anna was a breath of fresh air. I love Anna and Jhi! They added an oomph to the storyline and introducing the “Mouse Hole” and “The Rat” gave the storyline another level of excitement for me. The side story of Anna and Jhi’s relationship was a treat to read. I’m a sucker for a bit (or a lot) of romance in my fantasy books so this definitely curbed my craving.

But besides romance, I love a good book that can totally take me by surprise and does Wildfire do that?

Yes. Yes it did.

I did not see it coming what happened with two certain characters in the end (*hint hint* Kieran and Jhi). The ending leaves us just when the real story begins so I’m really curious to know what will happen next, especially with Jhi. Who knew he would have some sort of power in him? I was shocked when he got stabbed in the neck I really thought he was another beloved character I was disappointed to see go. (But seriously! That neck stab was the last thing I was picturing would happen to him!)

Keiran coming back from the dead was another thing I didn’t see coming. But thinking about it now I probably should have, considering Cassie is a bit stubborn and of course she wasn’t going to lose another friend.

All in all I really liked the story. It was an easy read with short chapters (which is always a plus in my books). There’s so much potential in it to becoming an unbelievable fantasy fiction series. It has magic, it has action, friendship and a touch of romance mixed in. Everything I think makes for an awesome YA fantasy fiction book! I can’t wait for the next installment.

RATING: ♥♥♥½

Thank you to C.L. Aire for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


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Happy reading and catch you in my next one! Xo

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Pride + Prejudice + Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

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— BLURB —

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses.

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— MY REVIEW —

Before I get onto my review, I just want to point out that there were mixed reviews over this book. Some loved it. Some purely hated it.. like serious Jane Austen/ Pride and Prejudice fans were outraged that the classic novel was turned into a humorous tale with zombie attacks.

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Well all I can say is, I loved Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (it’s actually the only book I’ve read of hers) and I didn’t have any negative thoughts when I first heard about this book. I was actually curious to read it. Then I heard the movie was coming out.

Although I intentionally wanted to read this book before watching the movie. I ended up leaving it a little too late (it’s not screening anymore) but I’m glad I still read it. It seriously got me out of a mini reading slump. I was jumping from book to book until I started reading this one… and finished it! YAY!

It’s seriously Pride and Prejudice with a cool, funny twist to it. I liked how originals lines from the story were altered to fit with the zombie storyline. There’s random one-liners that could be interpreted differently (dirty-minded) that you may find funny, I know I did.

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The pace of the book is pretty good. I didn’t find it slow or dragging which is usually the first thing that turns me off a book. But I think it also helped that I knew what scenes were coming next since I’ve read the original Pride and Prejudice. It’s the funny comments here and there that take ya by surprise.

If you’re open minded about Jane Austen’s work being altered to be a light-hearted, fun read, then I would say you would like this version. I won’t completely recommend it to Jane Austen fans coz of the mixed reviews, but check it out. You never know, you may end up liking it – like me. 😊

[Sidenote]: Oh, in case you’re interested, this paperback edition has black and white illustrations included throughout the book as well as coloured photos of scenes from the movie.

RATING: ♥♥♥½


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Hope you liked my review. Happy reading and catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

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— BLURB —

As the Titanic and her passengers sank slowly into the Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg late in the evening of April 14, 1912, a nearby ship looked on. Second Officer Herbert Stone, in charge of the midnight watch on the SS Californian sitting idly a few miles north, saw the distress rockets that the Titanic fired. He alerted the captain, Stanley Lord, who was sleeping in the chartroom below, but Lord did not come to the bridge. Eight rockets were fired during the dark hours of the midnight watch, and eight rockets were ignored. The next morning, the Titanic was at the bottom of the sea and more than 1,500 people were dead. When they learned of the extent of the tragedy, Lord and Stone did everything they could to hide their role in the disaster, but pursued by newspapermen, lawyers, and political leaders in America and England, their terrible secret was eventually revealed. The Midnight Watch is a fictional telling of what may have occurred that night on the SS Californian, and the resulting desperation of Officer Stone and Captain Lord in the aftermath of their inaction.

Told not only from the perspective of the SS Californian crew, but also through the eyes of a family of third-class passengers who perished in the disaster, the narrative is drawn together by Steadman, a tenacious Boston journalist who does not rest until the truth is found. The Midnight Watch is a powerful and dramatic debut novel–the result of many years of research in Liverpool, London, New York, and Boston, and informed by the author’s own experiences as a ship’s officer and a lawyer.

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— MY REVIEW —

I love how the author wrote this story based on the true event of the Titanic sinking, which was the main reason as to why I got this book. The story of the Titanic, which still seems to be something of a mystery to this day. It gives you an insight as to what was going on when it happened and how people reacted when they heard the news.

I did find when reading it, the pace was a little on the slow side. There’s parts here and there that really capture your attention but for the most part it drags (at least for me anyways).

I found the crew of the Californian frustratingly irritating. I don’t know who I found more annoying.. oh wait possibly the shitty captain! Seriously now!? The secrets, the lies and the cover ups just to save their own asses during the sinking was a disgrace. I felt like slapping some sense into them but that probably wouldn’t do much good.

Besides reading about the Titanic, you get to know Steadman’s personal story as well. When I first read about his family, I was taken aback. I was not expecting the shocker of a story that he shares at the beginning. I was truly saddened to read about the tragedy that he went through with his family – resulting in his wife to never be the same since.

It’s just one tragic story after another with this book..

Now although I didn’t like the pace of the book, the story itself was insightful and sad and in some parts surprising. It’s worth a read especially if you like historical fiction and the events revolving around the Titanic (to be more specific).

I was undecided whether to give this book 3.5 or 4 out of 5 but I ended up leaning more towards the lower rating in the end just because I found it hard to really connect with the book. The slow pace and the frustration I felt towards the crewmen made me put this book down and never wanting to reach out for it again until much much later in the day when I had finally mellowed out and almost forgot my annoyance of the captain lol 😛

I’m still glad I read it though. It did make me wonder more about the people who were affected by this tragedy and all those who lost their lives.

RATING: ♥♥♥½


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Hope you guys liked and found this review helpful. Catch you guys in my next one! Xo

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Bobby Singer’s Guide To Hunting by David Reed

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— BLURB —

My name is Bobby Singer. In twenty-four hours I’m gonna lose my memory. So here’s everything you need to know.

Monsters, demons, angels, vampires, the boogeyman under your bed: I’ve seen it, I’ve hunted it, I’ve killed it. I’m not the only hunter out here, but there aren’t as many as there used to be. Not near as many as there need to be. I’ve learned everything I can about every damned critter that walks, crawls, or flies, and I’m not gonna let that all be for nothing. I’m not going down without a fight. I’m not letting everything I’ve learned disappear. So that’s what you’re holding in your hands—everything I know. Anything that’d be useful for Sam, Dean, and the hunters that come after me.

It’s a guide to hunting…it’s a guide to me. My last will and testament. Ya idjits.

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— MY REVIEW —

I am a HUGEEEE Supernatural fan so it was only natural for me to get this “journal” and give it a read. 😁

Judging the Cover: I wish the publishers released a hardcover version of this book as well because I would have preferred a hardcover edition for my collection. It would have also matched (look-wise) with the John Winchester Journal too because that one is available in either formats. Paperback was the only option so I went ahead and still ordered it online. To my surprise when I received it, the quality of the paperback was a better quality than most out there. The cover was thicker than usual, doesn’t crease easily and has a textured feel to it. Not sure exactly how to describe it but if I was to accidentally spill water or whatnot on it, I could easily wipe it off without it leaving any residue or “wrinkle spot” from the spill, if that makes sense lol. Just trust me, it’s pretty nice (for a paperback).

A Look Inside: Just flipping through the pages, you can see illustrations throughout, some sketches, and “old” photos to give it that “journal” feel.

The Main Meat: I love love love reading it. David Reed definitely did this right. It’s like I was literally reading Bobby’s journal and that he wrote it himself. The smartass remarks and slangs Bobby usually says in the show where used throughout the book and written exactly how it would have been spoken (kind of like Hagrid in Harry Potter). For example: it took me a second to realize the first time I read the word “idjits” — He was actually saying “idiots”. Get what I mean? Hehe. 😄

I also like the fact that although the journal was telling you helpful life saving tips incase you find yourself against demons and monsters and spirits – there was the main story going on throughout to give you reason as to why the journal had to be written in the first place.

It’s a must for any Supernatural fan, specially if you are a fan of Bobby and miss seeing him on the show. 😞

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

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Are you a fellow Supernatural fan?

📕 Read my review for John Winchester’s Journal!

John Winchester’s Journal by Alex Irvine


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Hope you enjoyed my review! Catch you in my next one. Happy reading! Xo

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