Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I read some good books this month and am getting the hang out of reading/blogging again. I don't post as much as before but am happy that am no longer in a reading slump. I was a little busy applying for jobs and it took some time before I got hired! I will start working on a morning shift April 13th! I feel alive again!! Oh, and helleeeeew book shopping!! (Well, soon after I paid my dues!)

March 01 - New release picks.

March 02 - February 2015 recap + Book of the Month.

March 04 - Waiting on Wednesday pick: Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown.

March 06 - 4 stars for Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Crime.

March 10 - 8 stars for Jodi Meadows' The Orphan Queen.

March 13 - 3 stars for Catherine Doyle's Vendetta.

March 21 - 3 stars for Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger.

March 27 - 4 stars (and so much love) for Sara Raasch's Snow Like Ashes.

March 29 - Emily Lockhart in Manila 2015 Book Signing Recap.

March 31 - March 2015 Recap + Book of the Month.

There are two titles vying for this month's BOTM spot but one weighs heavier than the other (as always). I loved both books to bits but I have to only pick one. There's no more questioning needed for this because this book reigns this month's lovely spot.

"The Orphan Queen gilded dark past to a deceitful present. Stirring and engaging, this world of hidden identities and full blast badassery irresistibly grabs one's best in an utterly extrafreakingordinary way!"

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Where I relive the experience and share all the feels before, during and after meeting these fantastic authors WHO ARE BASICALLY LIFE.
Last year after I read We Were Liars, the feels just legit overwhelmed me. I couldn't stop feeling helpless because of my WWL emotions and the gaping at my murderously tabbed copy lasted a while. I tried to talk to my #WeWereLiarsSupportGroup on Twitter and it surely help lessen the pain. Then imagine...just imagine Emily Lockhart announcing on Twitter that she will be coming over for a book signing.. Imagine how much I screamed my lungs out and almost shoved it to everyone's faces that I was SO happy and excited and ugh, ALL THE FEELS again. Imagine that then it happened. I THINK MY BOOKISH HEART CAN'T HANDLE IT ANYMORE.

How much screaming was there after I saw here announcement!
The pain of it all OMG
March 22, 2015. Sunday morning. That was when I met and talked to Emily Lockhart, New York Times Bestselling author aka the mastermind behind We Were Liars aka the reason why I was in so much bookish pain. It was so surreal, you guys! I was so excited about this event because I have so much question for her (though I've only asked one). My blogger friends and I even came up with #15DaysofLying tag in preparation for her signing (thank you Kai, Precious, Dianne and to all who participated!). Emily was wearing a simple but cute dress and boy her tattoo was intriguing. It was hot in the book store where the Bloggers' Forum was held but she didn't mind at all. She was happy to meet us. One surprising thing she did was she checked ALL our blogs so she can get to know us a little bit *am blushing so hard while typing this* and I think that was such a sweet gesture! Then recordings, photo taking, video taping, fangirling and Q and A happened. It was a blast!

Caffeine fix with #PHYABookBloggers
Me: If you were Cadence and you had a choice, would you let them go?

E: I think I would, because you cannot stay on an island forever. You have to go back to the rest of the world. You can't, you have to go back to the world.
I couldn't help but ask this because this part is the one that absolutely marked deep in my heart.

**If you wanna listen to the entire Q and A, visit Kai's recap and Jesselle's. They've uploaded their recordings.**

My favorite line from We Were Liars. Sharpied by Algel of Tea-rrifuc Reads!
#PHYABookBloggers with out signed #WeWereLiarsSupportGroup shirts!

The gang!
Emily's funny and very welcoming. She's open to all questions and very careful in answering to avoid getting people spoiled. She also flails a lot. I mean, she talks with so much hand gestures and she thinks first before giving her answers. While she was signing my book (I only had my copy of We Were Liars signed), I told her how she ruined my life because of her story and I was expecting more from her (she's writing a new one). When she also saw how much book flags I put on my book, she said, "I'm honored" and I nearly fainted! I wanted to hug her but I contained the urge, she might get shocked! Kai and I talked to her a little bit more and that was all I could ask for. It was truly a dream come true for me.

#PHYABookBloggers with Emily! Thanks, Louisse of The Soul Sisters for the photo!
After the almost forty minutes of Q and A, we had our books, swag and shirts signed. We also took a ton of selfies with her! Then I went directly to the public book signing because I need to go home right after. I was supposed to see Insurgent with the ladies but alas, I was broke. I took some photos from the public event and met some co-bloggers there, too. I also wanted to register so I can get my own stub because am going to start collecting them for my "Bookish Board".

Emily Lockhart's message to book bloggers!

Emily's message to PH fans!
Photo grabbed from National Book Store's FB page.
My signed swag!
Beautiful stamp!
Yes, I will. My signed copy!!!!
Glorious, glorious moment with Emily!
I hate National Book Store so much for making this momentous event happen! How dare you even think of this as pure awesomeness? It was truly not a day to remember.

Check out these fabulous recaps (and win signed books from some):

Friday, March 27, 2015


Title: Snow Like Ashes
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Author: Sara Raasch
Edition: Kindle
Publication: Balzer + Bray / October 14, 2014
Source: eARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss
Pages: 416
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance
Trailer: Not available.


A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Meira is one of the remaining 8 out of 25 survivors of Winter's fall. For sixteen years, they've been trying to get back the pieces of the locket which was Winter's Conduit. With this locket they believe they could restore Winter through its power and save the Winterian slaves. Angra is powerful but the locket is their only hope in defeating him. When William and the others went back from their journey in the outskirts of Abril, Meira wants to join them in getting the locket. With Mather conspiring with her defeating him in their sparring, William eventually lets her go. Even though Meira is not battle ready, her wit combined with her fast thinking, things are about to change not only for William and Meira but for the entire realm.

I enjoyed Snow Like Ashes in a way I didn't expect. I was transported to a universe so huge and rich my head hurts by just imagining it. I loved how Seasons turned into specific kingdoms and that there's magic in it! Aside from the elements a high fantasy series requires, I loved the premise and the characters. The only issues I found were: the fact that it was a bit difficult to get into in the beginning, that there's a predictable input in its romance and that repetitive mention of prairie grass!

Meira proved to be one of the kickass heroines we have in young adult literature today. She has basic knowledge with hand to hand combat but her ways of getting out of situations plus her drastic ability to patch facts made her one of my favorites. I know that it is just a cliche factor in YA that teens outrank adults in saving the world, but Meira absolutely deserved her place in this spotlight. Ignoring her history, what she did to prove to herself that she could be more is enough for me.

Let us make one thing clear here, alright? Am torn between Mather and Theron. Seriously. Am going to spoil this part for you because OMG THERE'S ONE PAGE DEDICATED TO MATHER AND THERON BEING SHIRTLESS AND THERON HAS MANBUN. You're welcome. *composes self* So yes, Mather and Theron are both hot in the physical sense of the word but their contributing personalities made them hotter. Mather is kind though can be easily read while Theron has this aura of being mischievous which is very attractive. As you all know, I tend to fall for "bad" fictional guys. But yes, their bravery and kind hearts in amid of chaos made the story so much interesting and interesting and interesting. (well, I love William too. I imagine him similar as Mads Mikkelsen! So hoooooot, right?)

The last factor I absolutely died for when I read Snow Like Ashes was THAT UNPREDICTABLE AND SURPRISING PLOT TWIST. Hell yeah, it never crossed my mind that something as fantastic as that would just blatantly surprise the hell out of me! *cue goosebumps* It made me screaming because of so much anticipation BECAUSE BLOOD IS ABOUT TO FLOOD YOUR LIFE! Thank you Raasch for making Snow Like Ashes full of awesomeness (and heart).

Snow Like Ashes is filled with badassery in its highest level. Heart-pumping romance, mind-blowing revelations and edge-of-the-seat battle scenes are all packed in one astounding debut novel.

Thank you Harpercollins International Sales and Edelweiss for the eARC!

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Title: Mortal Danger
Series: Immortal Game #1
Author: Ann Aguirre
Edition: Paperback (international Edition)
Publication: Feiwel and Friends / August 5, 2014
Source: Finished copy sent by the publisher
Pages: 374
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Trailer: Not available.


Revenge is a dish best served cold.

In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly . . . bad things are happening. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.
This book made me feel like am playing some kind of a single player game. There were moments I absolutely liked it and there were frustrations in between. While reading and disliking Mortal Danger, I was trying really hard to focus on just getting through with it. I avoided thinking about the possible loopholes I can talk about in my review. This way, I get to avoid critique-ing the entire plot and *probably* just enjoy what Aguirre presented.

Erin was bullied until she was broken. She reached a point where checking out was her best option. Her parents couldn't be relied on that much because they were scholarly enough and their expectations of her were high, she didn't have friends and she felt so ugly that the only best thing she thought she has was her grades. She was about to jump off a bridge when Kian stopped her and gave her an alluring option - revenge. She was offered 3 wishes though she's not sure what the catch would be. She took it and let Kian guide her through the game. Her first wish was to be beautiful (ugh). After Kian worked on her using I don't know what (magic? science?), eerie and dangerous things started happening. And I felt like she was about to be broken the second time around.

Mortal Danger started strong. I liked how Aguirre planted the root of every decision Erin would make in my head. In the beginning, I was transported to the life of a bullied high schooler and seeing it from her perspective intrigued me. Erin was supposed to be successful in her attempt to check out but Kian stopped her. The book claimed Kian was no longer human but that I truly didn't understand. But the concept of someone as mysterious as Kian offering you 3 wishes made me hopeful. I used to wish for it when I was little. I pegged that a Genie in a Bottle or something is just out there waiting for me to make my wishes. BUT THEN when Erin wished for her makeover, everything went down the drain for me. YOU COULD HAVE EASILY GONE TO THE GYM, SALON THEN SHOPPED FOR CLOTHES! That wish changed how I looked at Erin and at the book. DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO USE BEAUTY AS A SCALE TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER? WORTHY? CONFIDENT? COME ON. Then the second wish absolutely made me hate her but the last wish kind of redeemed her from my impending anger. At least for a bit.

Honestly, I didn't know much about Kian in the book. Only bits and pieces were shared and I wanted to know more about him not just his favorite color or movie. I wanted to understand his relationship with Raoul, how he ended up working for that creepy company and why was he ready to leave everything behind for Erin! I wanted to understand how it all works but my brain couldn't wrap it up.

What really, REALLY threw me off (aside from the fact that the book talked so much about how being beautiful can make life better) was the genre. It started from contemporary to sci-fi then to paranormal to horror to mystery. There's also a little bit of mythology and fantasy. It would have been a very intriguing one but I guess I got confused and I didn't enjoy shifting from one kind of genre to a bunch of others. It would have been a thoroughly enjoyable one if one genre shone brighter than the others. But that's just me, okay?

Mortal Danger can be summed up in one word: dangerous. A game no one knows how to win, Mortal Danger leaves you gambling for answers and striving for survival.

Thank you Pan Macmillan Asia for the review copy!

"Hateful words had a way of worming beneath the skin, until they became the unbearable echo in your head."
"Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."
"Neither of us is unbreakable. We shattered, but we put the pieces back together and I love the way your fractures shines."
"He was the only star in my firmament, shining in darkest night, so I could always find the path."

Friday, March 13, 2015


Title: Vendetta
Series: Blood for Blood #1
Author: Catherine Doyle
Edition: Paperback
Publication: Chicken House Ltd / February 24, 2015
Source: ARC sent by the publisher via National Book Store
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery, Romance
Trailer: Not available.


When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell's life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys' dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties - the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.
*Some spoilers.*

I was rather confused about my own judgement after reading Vendetta. I couldn't figure out if I loved it or didn't. Balancing the pros and cons plus the feels made it a little bit complicated for me to give it a rating. So days later, I settled for what I thought was the best rating for it - three stars - and decided I enjoyed it.

Vendetta was a light read and easy to go through. I liked how right the pacing was and the story line held its mystery in a way that would keep you going. It was a breath of fresh air for me despite those moments I cringed because of how some parts sounded so ridiculous to me. It was all in all an enjoyable read.

I decided to also just bury the parts I didn't like at the back of my head so I could focus on what made me like this book. However, am still going to enumerate them just to clear the air.

I will go ahead and jump right at the unfavorable parts of Vendetta:
- Sophie saw Nic and talked to him briefly in three separate occasions and then 85 pages later, she admitted she's developing feelings for him. Insta-love is and will always be a huge no for me.
- Sophie was just absolutely naive. (or am hoping that she's THAT kind to consider everything and everyone a good seed.)
- I was turned off by the way the plot twist kept being delayed. I want a book to surprise the hell out of me and not give me hints.
- Nic said things that were obviously what someone wanted to hear. It felt scripted.
- The honey jar took too much attention, seriously.
- How Nic suddenly changed his ways for Sophie. I mean, he's been like that for so long and he said that's the way they live/that's who he was but for Sophie who isn't even his girl friend, he broke their family's code.
- There's a similar line from Twilight.
- The Mafia was thrilling. But the execution? Bleh.

Now the favorable ones and my favorites:
- I realized it was better that the story was told in Sophie's point of view because it was nice to start off on a clean slate. It would have gone too strong it it were Nic's.
- Easy to read.
- The punch lines were hilarious.
- Luca. He's scary but loyal to the bone. Also, brave and logical.
- I liked the emblem of the family.
- I enjoyed how this is something different from any other YAs I've read. At first I thought it was Paranormal but it wasn't. I was surprised that something as unique as this is already out there in the wild.
- Luca.
- Luca.
- Luca.

Thrilling and oozing with danger, Vendetta isn't only a distinctive read but it's loaded with conspiracy and hilarity! I'm excited to read book 2!

Thank you Chicken House, Scholastic PH and National Book Store for the review copy!

"This life is so complex that we rarely get to be the people we are truly meant to be. Instead, we wear masks and put up walls to keep from dealing with the fear of rejection, the feeling of regret, the very idea that someone may not love us for who we are deep in our core, that they might not understand the things that drives us. I want to study the realness of life, not the gloss. There is beauty everywhere; even in the dark, there is light, and that is the rarest kind of all."
"You can't avoid the inevitability of death. It comes at you one way or another, and takes us all to the same place in the end. To apologize for it is to apologize for the sun shining or the rain falling."
"Some memories hurt when they hit you."
""There are certain mistakes I can afford to make," he replied evenly. "And certain mistakes I can't.""

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Title: The Orphan Queen
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Author: Jodi Meadows
Edition: Paperback
Publication: March 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: ARC won from the publisher
Pages: 400
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance


Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.


My thoughts are basically incoherent right now because of so many feels for The Orphan Queen. I just finished reading it about 30 minutes ago (it's 4:14AM Manila Time) and seriously, my feels are all over the place I cannot even function properly.

This is my 4th Meadows book. I've enjoyed Incarnate, loved Asunder but didn't quite continue Infinite. Infinite just dragged and I have this annoyance over slow-paced books. With that, I was curious slash afraid of The Orphan Queen. I felt that somehow, the draggy writing style would continue. I was afraid that I might not like it and I might just get annoyed. Fortunately, the High Fantasy stars lined up and and blessed me with so much love for this book I myself couldn't believe it. This was a totally different Meadows. Her writing style was so fast-paced I flew through it with eagerness. This, I believe, is the best book Meadows have ever written yet. It has everything I was looking for: strong characters, rich world building, fantastic magic elements, right pacing, swoony romance, brilliant story line and MIND BLOWING PERFECTION OF AN ENDING!! (Okay, also dresses!)

When I say strong characters, I wasn't only referring to the physical aspects of it but the entirety of the characters' development. The characters (Wilhelmina, Tobiah, Melanie, Patrick, James) were fascinating in a way that they all have the bragging rights to call themselves kickasses. The way the have handled themselves in situations where they were expected to break down and sell themselves short was even beyond my comprehension. They were all well-mannered and they stood for what they believed in (though some of them got the best of their emotions). The glimpses of their backgrounds made it easy for me to know where they were all coming from and it made me feel closer to them. They all played their parts really well and that's totally impressive.

The world Meadows built in The Orphan Queen was so vast and vivid I can almost smell the forest and see the Mirror Lake. She has delivered a world so beautiful I was able to immerse myself in it a snap of a finger. It was so easy to memorize Skyvale Palace and even the West Pass Watch. I honestly can't wait to see more of Aecor and East Pass Watch!

The Orphan Queen is centered to what have caused the war ten years ago: Wraith. It's the side-effect of using magic for so long. What I enjoyed most was the part where I got curious about the magic element. There were so much possibility as to what kind of powers others have had suppressed and what were the origins of their magic. Not only the world building is fantastic but the power its people hold can bring a whole lot of history and heroism and unending story line! There's so much potential in there alone! Plus, animation as a power sounded so unique to me (I might have encountered it, I don't know, couldn't remember) that's why the the fascination showed right up to my face when I was reading it! It was all lovely and magical! *wink*

Okay. SO AM CALLING DIBS ON BLACK KNIFE ALRIGHT? If I have to murder Meridith or someone else, I will because Black Knife is mine alone? Understood?!!! I knew Black Knife's identity as soon as I landed on page 76. I knew it. He was so nice, kind, sweet, funny, brave, selfless, ninja-type if I may say which is a total turn on, romantic even and...just...swoon-worthy. He's such a flawless fictional boyfriend I couldn't let go off. He's mine, people. And I want to thank Meadows for making the romance side of the story not too mushy and also not too boring. It was blended perfectly and guys, just this once, thank the heavens above, this book has zero love triangle. Bravo!! Plus, it molded very well. The history of the love team goes back since they were young. It was one of the best front liner romances I've ever encountered and the bittersweet complications were things I've been craving for for so long now!

Oh and THE ending? I love it so much it hurts. Just one freaking line. Perfectly freaking written. Best freaking timing. That was it! That freaking ending, not only because it was a major to the highest level of cliffhangers a cliffhanger, cut the freaking story at the freaking perfect time! Like, nothing. Nothing at all. Oh good heavens, how I longed for this. How I wanted to have a life-ruining ending with just a simple line. A very tragic line. Wow. Am just truly amazed by how this book came to life. It was beyond what I expected it to be, I swear.

The Orphan Queen gilded dark past to a deceitful present. Stirring and engaging, this world of hidden identities and full blast badassery irresistibly grabs one's best in an utterly extrafreakingordinary way!

Thank you HarperCollins International for the review copy!

"Authenticity was the key to any deception."
"The best mask is a face no one will remember."
"Women are constantly underestimated. Women can just be as cunning and clever as men, and often times are. Our triumph is simply overlooked or unnoticed, because men do not expect it or know to look for it."
"The truth of your actions doesn't forgive betrayal in them."

Friday, March 6, 2015


Title: The Winner's Crime
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Edition: Kindle (eARC)
Publication: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK and ANZ) / March 10, 2015
Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Pages: 416
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance
Trailer: Not available.


Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner's trilogy.
Lady Kestrel is trying to convince herself that she made the right decision. She wants to believe she signed the treaty in order to free the Herrani. But she knows deep down that this is her sacrifice because everything is about Arin. This way, she will not only save Arin and his people but also it will make his father proud. But her feelings for Arin keeps resurfacing and she knows she won't be able to hold it down much longer. When Arin shows up in the castle for a party, Kestrel tries to shut him out to protect him. But the Emperor knows what she's doing. The Emperor keeps an eye on her that even though she feels she can outwit him, he's got more things up on his sleeve she's never prepared for.

I cannot go detail by detail or else, I will just spoil the entire book. But I loved The Winner's Crime. It is absolutely on hell of a sequel. The scenes kept me holding my breathe that I feel like someone will get caught any time, like I was at the edge of my seat all the way until the last page. The plots became much dangerous this time and everything's a shade darker. The characters developed in a emotional level I couldn't stop pulling my hair. There's a local song here in the Philippines and a line from that song is the best way to describe Arin and Kestrel's unbelievable love story, "Why can't it be, why can't it be the two of us?" Sounds about right, riiiiiight? They have such strong bond that the one can figure out what the other ploys. However, despite the love they cannot tell each other, they also couldn't be together. That's the sick part. No matter how much they love one another, the entire Winner's Trilogy universe conspires against them. And that sick part is one major part why I love this series.

Some parts of the story felt a little bit underwhelming to me though. There were several parts where a certain scene would be cut abruptly and you'll just know something is up. Those parts didn't feel right somehow. I wish these secrets were hidden a little more carefully or plotted a little inconspicuous rather than being that much obvious. It would have kept the assumptions/predictions debatable. Also, I don't understand why Tensen didn't give Arin the letter.

Arin and Kestrel's story is so rich I want to grab them off the book and make them kiss in front of me then shove them back in. It was such pure torture to be in front of the one you love most but you couldn't even hug the person. You couldn't even smile for the person. Rutkoski did such a marvelous job not only in the world building aspect, but in refraining such emotions from being shown. I mean, its as if you're breathing but with a low scale of oxygen. Rutkoski made readers ache from a remarkable set of romance. Am wishing that once we're at the final installation of the trilogy, something beautiful would come out of this. (But honestly, I want a bittersweet ending.)

Caution though, this series has the cruelest but bestest endings, EVER!

The Winner's Crime is crafted in a much thrilling way. Treacherous and cunning, it is set to to glorify the pain of separation and the loss for an ultimate sacrifice. What a truly, maddeningly good sequel!

Thank you Bloomsbury Publishing Plc for the eARC!

"But she hadn't expected this: this stupid hope, this punishing one, for who would long to see someone who was already lost? What goof would it have done? None."
"It was wrong to want to touch a scar and call it beautiful."
"They were painful, these waking dreams."
"..which pain was greater: to give up something precious or to see it taken away."
"He, too, wanted what he shouldn't. He, too, felt how the heart chooses its own home and refuses reason. Not here, he'd tried to say. Not this. Not mine. Never."
"And he was so sickeningly furious with himself, for the way his mind kept reaching for her, at the way his body remembered her, even now, even here, half a world away, that he ground whatever thought he had been about to think into dust."
""Sometimes you think you want something," Arin told him, "when what you need is to let it go.""
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