Monday, October 9, 2017

REVIEW: MOMENTS OF JOY BY YSA ARCANGEL.

Title: Moments of Joy
Author: Ysa Arcangel
Series: Moments to Remember #1
Edition: Kindle
Publication: April 25th 2017 by Ysa Arcangel
Source: Freebie from Romance Class News Letter
Pages: 177
Genre: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
With her family history of Alzheimer's and at great risk of acquiring the disease, Brandy Curtis always plays safe. She had always avoided commitments like the plague.

However, everything changed when she met Ivo, a gorgeous doctor with irresistible charm. He was just supposed to be another hookup, but he quickly became so much more.

It started as a one night stand which was followed by another, and another. The more nights they spent together, the more Brandy felt that life had given her something to live for.

The timing couldn't be worse. As her heart gets closer to Ivo, her memories begin to fade.

Will Brandy be able to actually have moments of joy with Ivo against the odds of losing herself into the recesses of her tangled brain?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
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What I didn't like about Moments of Joy:
- The father in the beginning of the story just woke up from coma and the first thing he did? Ask his kids to read someone else's diaries.
- The parts medical prose felt off.
- This novel is 177 pages and almost 8-10 pages were all about the detailed sex (which I have nothing against). They have the hots for each other I know but instead of letting the readers know how they fuck each other four separate times, the two times they had fucked could have been used for more character arcs or story development. But what do I know, right?
- Too little time for character development
- Everything was legit in a rush. This one felt like the story is limited to only 177 pages.
- Confusing as to who is the one narrating. (But this one could just be me haha)
- Should have at least translated the Italian lines to English because not everyone is fluent in Italian language.
- Cliches. There's just too much that even the names of the characters threw me off. God. From Romeo and Juliet, to the names of the siblings, to the ending? I am gonna faint.

What I absolutely enjoyed about this book:
- I really, really, realllllyyyyyy love this cover!
- Brandy is so freaking hilarious and scary at the same time. Her fear of inheriting Alzheimer’s was understandable and I adore her for being so so selfless in her decision not to get too close to anyone she could inflict the impending pain to. I mean, if that isn't brave enough then I don't know what is.
- The alternating POV narration. Ivo's POV is my fave!
- Verona. I am swooning because this place is OMG.
- The pain of losing your mother to Alzheimer is something I cannot hope to happen to anyone but Brandy was trying to hold it together and just be there for her family. It was bittersweet and emotional.
- Ivo's commitment to Brandy was remarkable.
- How the plot twist was revealed gave me all the chills!
- The family dynamics is well executed and I love the fights between the siblings - something real!
- The deployment of the entire story is intriguing despite the eye-rolling cliches.

Moments of Joy surely filled me with joy. Despite the cringe-inducing cliches, it balances it with the way the story unfolded and how the characters had given justice to their parts. Moments of Joy is addictive, catchy and oozing with sexy.

"If you think being friends with the source of your pain will help you through an emotional crisis, you're mistaken. Once you've had an opportunity to heal, it may be possible to be friends, but not before."

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

REVIEW: FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS BY JULIE C. DAO.

Title: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
Author: Julie C. Dao
Series: Rise of the Empress #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: October 10th 2017 by Philomel Books
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 384
Genre: High-Fantasy, Retellings

Synopsis:
An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
ISBN13: 9781524738297

Based on my reading experience, it's been tricky for me to delve into retellings with so much anticipation because it could be such a hit or a miss kind of read. Going in practically blind, the first half of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns* didn't grasp me. It was a bit slow because this the part where the build-ups happened and I felt like there are plenty of descriptions or scenes unfolding that are all unnecessary. But I took my time and kept reading.

This book is going to hit shelves October this year and I have a lot of things to say about it. First off is that I. FREAKING. LOVED. IT!!! It was absolutely epic! The second half of the book was just entirely opposite of the first because this part was where all THE things happened. I started reading it around five in the afternoon and I literally wasn't able to put it down until I devoured it around midnight! The pacing shifted and there were a lot of pillow-punching and screaming happened. It kept me on the edge because of all the scheming and revelations! It was brutal, intriguing and mind-blowing.

I know it's a MULAN gif but it's the closest I could find hihih
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns gave us a totally amazing retelling of the Evil Queen. Xifeng was abused by her Guma all her life but trained her to go after her great destiny: to be the Empress of Feng Lu. She's beautiful and she knows it's her weapon. She also knows something evil is inside her, conniving and wanting to control her. But the urge to go after what she was destined to is strong so she left Guma and went with the love of her life, Wei, to the Imperial Castle. Nothing stopped her in getting what she wanted. Her character was just so broken and greedy her need to be powerful exceeds her need to be saved. But despite the darkness lurking inside her waiting to be released, I adored her focus and her determination to lift herself up and become not only the fairest but the most powerful. There's no way you would be able to say that something else made her the villain because from the start, it was all her. She embraced it without seconds thoughts. The moments she was at war with herself were all lost battles because deep inside her, she knew what she wanted. Even Guma's confessions didn't stop her. It was a very dark story of a beautiful girl wanting the world kneeling in front of her.

The world building set in East Asia was phenomenal. This was one aspect I was so excited to learn about and it did not disappoint. In fact, it was everything I hoped it would be. Rich, delicious and absolutely a masterpiece.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is one heck of a debut novel I will forever remember. Bloody, lyrical and luscious, this well-delivered Evil Queen back story is the one you have all been waiting for! I can promise you that it is glorious!

*Let me know if you did cry because of the title.

Thank you so much, Penguin Random House International Sales, for sending me the ARC months in advance!

"Isn’t’ it better to give up a fraction of your freedom to gain tenfold in happiness, even for a short time?"

Sunday, October 1, 2017

OCTOBOOKISHFEST!


Hallo! October is officially here and it means that it's the start of autumn in some places and spring in others. Here int the Philippines though, our two seasons have been confusing us lately. One day it would feel like summer again and then the next it would rain so hard. So I am just trying to be autumn-y because Autumn is so pretty and relaxing. It could be my fave if we have Autumn here.

Anyway, here are the books I am so SO excited to get this month! I have read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns a few months back and it contends to being the Book of the Year with They Both Die at the End!



October 24th

October 3rd



October 3rd

October 10th

WHAT ARE YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE(S) THIS MONTH?
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