Most Anticipated Reads of March 2020

Morning, readers!

March is going to be a busy buying and reading month, prepare for the onslaught of books and the inevitable credit card bills. This month is jam-packed with hotly anticipated releases!

I’m so excited for this month. Are you?I hope you love this post!

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Top Ten Tuesday | New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2018

Is it another Tuesday? Time is speeding up too quickly! With all of your help, I’ve expanded my comfort zone, explored new authors and storylines, and discover such amazing worlds. So I’m excited about this latest post.

Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. Now for this week’s topic, we highlight new authors we’ve read last year. I already love so many authors as it is, but I’m glad I was able to squeeze these authors’ work on my shelves!

I hope you all enjoy!

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Review | Wildcard by Marie Lu

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 18

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 352

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?


“That’s the difference between the real and the virtual. Reality is where you can lose the ones you love. Reality is the place where you can feel the cracks in your heart.”

I believe everyone all knows how much I adore Warcross. I never knew that I’d fall that hard for a science fiction book. But here I am, marveling at Marie’s creation. So Wildcard ended up as one of my top most anticipated sequels to read. While I enjoyed this hi-action, colourful, and thrilling read, I’m left wanting more.

Emika knows the truth behind Hideo’s NeuroLink algorithm. And with the help of the Phoenix Riders, she realizes she must stop him from releasing it to the world. But a bounty on her life causes her trouble, and she may be forced to rely on Zero and the Blackcoats, which are hellbent on controlling Hideo’s new toy.

Even though my thoughts are clashing with each other, I must admit that I’m in love with Marie’s worldbuilding. This author knows how to make a flashy virtual reality look utopic, but in reality, it conceals a deadly and hidden underworld. The premise of the book impresses me. It also terrifies me though. Emika travels through more of the Dark World. And with that comes the risks she never anticipates. We aren’t in the rainbow-filled Toyko anymore.

Marie explores the consequences of technological advancement. And I couldn’t get enough of that storyline. Unfortunately, the execution at the end feels rushed and hastily put together. I wanted more substance from this arc. And I didn’t find it. This sequel relies heavily on the plot, not the characters. And I believe that part is where the two books differ. I loved meeting the characters. And even though we get more backstory of some, they weren’t the pinnacle of the finale.

However, some stood out from the static. Emika will always be one of my favourite characters. Being thrown into a dangerous world, she feels the responsibility to set it right. She knows the dark path Hideo is taking to avenge his brother, and yet she can’t let go of her feelings. By the end of Warcross, I was swaying back and forth with Hideo. Some part of me doesn’t, nor will ever, trust him. But Marie shows us why he chose this direction. Zero may be on the most conflicting character to understand. But I love yet hate him.

I wanted to set my excitement high for this sequel. I wanted the Warcross world to engross, tease, tempt, and impress me. But this time, I didn’t login into this virtual reality. I’m left questioning the book more than loving it. If you’re in need of another championship fix, check your expectations. But I’d give it a chance if you fell in love with Warcross.

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2018

 

Morning, everyone!

How is it the first week of October?! I’m trying to wrap my mind around that. But then again, I’m excited for Halloween to come, so I don’t care. 😂

The first half of September went great. I thought I’d breeze through my TBR pile, and then the dreaded reading slump hit me quicker than I thought was possible. I’m surprised I could finish three books. Don’t you hate when it comes out of nowhere? I just hope Wildcard gets me out of it.

Anyways, let’s get to the post, yes?

Remind me how to complete an actual reading challenge. I failed horribly with my attempt to do Kathy’s Sequel September. 😅 In addition to these ones, I wanted to read three more books, but I couldn’t do it.

Lifel1ke by Jay Kristoff

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Please don’t judge me. Lifel1k3 is the first book from Kristoff I’ve ever read. AND I REGRET EVERYTHING. Now, I’m a follower. I’ll sacrifice my life’s blood to get more of his books. I don’t care.

Imagine Romeo and Juliet set in a post-apocalyptic world where androids show more humanity than some humans. Well, some androids. It wouldn’t be a Kristoff book without mass murder by androids. It’s one of my favourite reads of this year!

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Let me remind everyone that I am Catwoman trash. Okay, I’m also Maas trash as well, so this book works out quite well for me. The DC Icons series is getting better with each addition. I love how Maas brings a human touch to the always tough Catwoman and shows us her weaknesses along the way. If you’re looking for some Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn action, I highly recommend.

 

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

⭐️⭐️⭐️¾

I wanted to love this prequel. I did. But I struggled hard with it. It took me two weeks to finish reading it. And while I enjoyed it, I didn’t fall in love with it. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mindset. But the Sam and Celaena scenes will haunt me to my dying days. Review will come shortly!


Naturally, I do better buying books than reading them. Indigo Teen sent me over Tracy Banghart’s Grace and Fury. Thank you, Indigo! Finally, I got some hotly anticipated sequels I’ve been wanting to get my hands onto! I need to catch up on my TBR list. I cannot wait to get to this beauties!

 

So how was your month? Have you completed any reading challenges? What was your must-have book for September? Let’s chat. I’d love to catch up!

Sequel September TBR 2018

I rarely do challenges. Frankly, since I’m mostly a mood reader, I rarely write TBR posts. I get so nervous and shy. Yes, I get shy. (I may not seem like it, but I am) So I just let challenges pass me by when I find a new one each month. But not this month. The lovely Kathy from Books and Munches, who I adore, is now hosting Sequel September! Do I know what to do?! No! But here I am.

I can squeeze in more books, but I’d like to have some room for non-sequels. I need variety, you know? So here are my possible choices for Sequel September:

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

I might as well rename this challenge “Maas Destruction.” I loved Batman: Nightwalker. And since Catwoman is my favourite DC villain, there’s no chance I can pass up this book.

 

Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

My body is not ready. I can’t read Sam’s story. I can’t. But I’ll let myself suffer. I love suffering, sniffling, and crying like a three-year-old. But I need some backstory before I move forward with Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn.

 

The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

I was so happy to hear Kristen was expanding her series. Caged Queen is more of a companion book, but I don’t care. I need to know what happens to Asha. I just hope I get more dragons. Please, Kristen, have more dragons in your series.

 

Wildcard by Marie Lu

I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT THIS BOOK. Hit me, please. I am not worthy of it. I’m not. But that cliffhanger at the end of Warcross has kept me on edge since I read it. So I need closure. I just hope it’s good.

 

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

I’ve been avoiding this series like the plague even though I liked the first book. I hate two particular characters in it, but I need to get to this sequel so I can read the third. And I’m loving the whole world in the series.

 

Which sequels are you tackling this month? Which ones are you desperate to read? Are any of my picks on your list? Let’s chat!

Top Ten Tuesday | Books That Surprised Me

 

Okay, I’m going to play nice for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I want to talk about books that surprised me for the good. I can rant about books I can’t stand, but I don’t see the point right now. So here’s my list of the books that pleasantly surprised me:

Warcross by Marie Lu

Rainbow hair, virtual reality, plot twists. I’M IN HEAVEN. I’m not a huge sci-fi reader, but Marie makes me want to be one. I’m still thinking about this book. And that cliffhanger is killing me right. I adore Emika. She’s one of my favourite characters!

If the sequel isn’t called Darkcross, I’ll be salty. Salty, people.

 

Everless by Sara Holland

Okay, I’ve read this book only once, but I want to read it again…and again. I adore the main character, Jules, who fights for the people she loves. She understands and knows of poverty, hunger, and a resentment of people who want nothing more than to push the poor down further. But Sara builds in twists that surprise you. I know I’ll read this book again.

 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Court intrigue, politics, dark romance, and21 trickery all rolled up into one beautiful book. Can I fangirl any harder? No, I need to buy candles to reach that level (don’t tempt me; I’ll buy them). I know Holly from Cassie Clare, but I wish I found her work much sooner though. Her dark writing is gorgeous.

And can we talk about a certain male character having a tail? 😂 He. Has. A. Tail. I’ve seen it all, apparently.

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Grey London. Red London. White London. Black London. ALL THE LONDONS. Okay, maybe not the Black. I loved this book. It’s been on my TBR list for years, but I didn’t read it until last year though. The way Victoria blends in fantasy and sci-fi just makes me love those genres more. I’m all for a time travel story, but she takes it to a different dimension.

 

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

This book is whimsical and enchanting. And it took me a while to get over the story and that ending. I am a huge fan of the Goblin King, Bowie’s and the original version. So I had a high expectation for Wintersong. I didn’t know what to expect or what I’d love, but Sarah didn’t disappoint. Her writing and storytelling for a debut author are superb, and I cannot wait to read Shadowsong.

Monthly Wrap-Up | January 2018

 

Hey book nerds!

As you can tell, I’ve redesigned some of my blog graphics. And I’ve combined the reading round-up and book haul posts into one, which is more easier to handle. I hope to revamp my entire blog, including my name (about time I can do that). Last year I struggled to keep up with some posts and just kept pushing things off, but I want to stay on top of my blog, so I’ll be scheduling much more this year.

Last month wasn’t that eventful, but I had the opportunity to jump on several blog tours and finish a few books that have been waiting on my TBR list. So here they are:

 

I was trying to catch up on my TBR pile since a particularly nasty cold hit me hard in December. So even though I wanted to read more, I could only get to four books in January.

 

 

Warcross by Marie Lu

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I haven’t read any of Marie’s previous work, and right now, I feel like I missed out on great writing. Warcross surprised me, and I instantly fell in love with this virtual reality clashing with reality.

I highly recommend this book.

 

Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge

⭐⭐⭐¾

I’m always down for a witch story. For the past couple of years, I’ve steered clear of them because I’ve read too many that just blended in to each other. Just picture the sweetest bakery with a high dose of magic, and you have Deadly Sweet. I’m interested to see what Lola has in store for the sequel(s).

 

Rise by Sierra Cross

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another witch book in one month? Really? Don’t worry. This story didn’t disappoint either. But this adult one has the sexual tension cranked high.

 

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Surprisingly, as a Batman fan, I wasn’t sure how this book might stand up to the other stories and back history of the character, but Marie truly doesn’t disappoint DC fans. There are slow scenes that may detract from the storyline, but just hold on though. You’ll get your action soon enough.

 

You can find my review posts linked in the titles above.


I didn’t buy a huge lot in January. There weren’t many books that interested me. But a few caught my eye, and I couldn’t pass up on snagging them. I’ve already read two, and I can’t wait to read my first Holly Black book.

 

 

 


What caught your eye last month? Why don’t we catch up in the comments’ section!

Review: Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Published by: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Superheroes

Page Count: 272

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
The city’s elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is about to become eighteen and inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Industries and all the tech gadgetry that he loves. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice and is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most nefarious criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
The most intriguing inmate in Arkham is Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. A girl who will only speak to Bruce. She is the mystery he must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?

In this second DC Icons book–following Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer–Bruce Wayne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero, but can he survive this game of tense intrigue, pulse-pounding action, and masterful deception?


You have a heavy heart, for someone with everything.

Mystery and intrigue? Indeed. Foreshadowing? Mhm. Thrilling suspense that keeps you guessing? Absolutely. Just the right amount of sexual tension? Hell, yes. Did you say Batman? Now you’ve got my attention. I knew I had to read this YA once I heard Marie Lu was writing a Batman origins story.

After being sentenced with community service for interfering with an investigation, Bruce Wayne finds himself an intriguing proposition: help the GCPD learn more of Arkham’s newest killer, Madeleine, a member of the Nightwalkers, who are terrorizing the city’s high society. But she’s the enigma Bruce can’t quite solve. And he’s the only person she’ll talk to. But will he uncover the truth in time to save not only the Gotham elites but also himself?

Marie’s interpretation of this well-told tale of Batman will satisfy dedicated DC fans. And Marie won’t disappoint by introducing twists and surprises that will surely entertain YA lovers. She captures the essence of Batman and Gotham, from the gritty streets to the shadows lingering among and within the people. She reminds me why I love this character and the city.

Batman: Nightwalker is purely a character-driven novel. But the author injects the proper dose of fast-paced action that fans of the Caped Crusader expect and demand. No, any author won’t get every rendition right. It’s the writer’s personal image of the character. However, she does both Batman and Gotham City justice. Marie kept me questioning the motive of every character, and I had to stay on my toes to keep up with the story. But I love getting that feeling from stories though.

Darkness speaks to darkness. Bruce feels a pull toward Madeleine. She’s walked through the dark, and she’s changed into something else, just like him. I feel that she’s a worthy opponent for this bat boy turning into Gotham’s Dark Knight. If a character stumps me, then you’ve created a captivating one. Bruce lives in the shadow of his parent’s deaths. But he also sees how his parents shielded him from the backstreets of this dangerous city. That threat always existed, but now he’s willing to see it.

Nightwalker doesn’t suffer from a lack of world building, which Marie easily creates in this short novel. I was worried she might not accomplish that. But some of the pacing seems too slow for me. Yes, she builds up suspense but doesn’t give long action scenes to make up for that issue. And I first thought the Nightwalkers are your run-of-the-mill, predictable adversary with a dark Robin Hood-esque motive. But Marie changes it up and throws in ample surprises that made me love the story more.

Batman: Nightwalker is a solid supehero read. It keeps just enough suspense to keep this Batman nerd pleased. Marie’s writing keeps you engaged, and the storyline and characters capture you. If you’re a fan of Bruce, you might want to add this addition to your collection.

 

Fear clears the mind. Panic clouds it.

Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross by Marie Lu

Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Page Count: 353

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem…and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.


“Every locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.”

Sometimes you find that one book that simply changes everything for you. It excites you, scares you, shakes you up, then surprises you. With power plays, hidden character motivations, impressive storytelling, and a stellar cast, Warcross won’t disappoint. Virtual meets reality in this lush YA sci-fi. So listen up nerds: you need to read this book.

Virtual reality has swept the world, all because of a video game called Warcross. People now live and breathe it, like Emika Chen. The odds stacked against her, she hacks into the opening games, but she accidentally glitches herself in. Instead of prosecution, she receives a job offer from the game’s creator. But being a spy may prove more dangerous than she thinks. She soon reveals a plot that may threaten every player involved, including herself.

My little inner nerd is tingling. Tingling. I haven’t been this giddy about a book in a long time, and I’m still riding the high. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wasn’t expecting this. This multidimensional storyline will hook you in the moment you start reading. I do not possess a single complaint about it. And I don’t see a flaw (do you know how rare that is for me?). Marie effortlessly guides you through the bright and rich streets of real and virtual Tokyo, dazzles you with this highly imaginative game, and makes you fall in love this futuristic world. You feel as if you’re in Warcross. You can just reach out and touch it.

Characters are the foundation of this book. I cannot help but love the diversity here. You not only get an Asian MC but also see disabled, lgbtq+, flawed, and utterly relatable characters as well. What I love the most is that the author doesn’t force the diversity. It flows naturally.

Emika, the rainbow-haired hacker, captures your attention. Her pain seeps through. She has lost her father and may lose everything else when Hideo Tanaka, creator of Warcross, offers her the position as spy. I relate to her immediately. Her determination to survive adds to the complexity of the story. And once she connects with her team, her development grows tenfold. Hideo is harder to read. He creates a universe no one has seen before, but his past haunts and controls him.

The game itself is a close second to the characters. You get a mix of an augmented reality game like Pokémon GO with a dose of the movie Gamer. Warcross demonstrates how easy our society depends on electronics and our need to stay connected to the online world. I love how Marie subtly includes that fact in her writing. The story is more believable that way. Marie also addresses the underbelly of both the real and the cyber world. This world building opens up the opportunity for readers to see the dangers the lush game has to offer. Even though Warcross is artificial, it is founded in reality. Corruption and a faulty justice system already create a seedy landscape and confirms that our society is flawed.

Warcross surpasses my expectations. It captivates gamers and nongamers alike. It shows how humanity has changed because of our obsession with the digital world. And somehow along the way, it gives you a glimpse of that humanity in a girl who has nothing to lose. I don’t just want the sequel, but I need it.

Book Haul: November 2017 Part II

BookHaulNOVpii

 

I’m so late with this post, but life kind of decided to dump everything on me. So here it is! I lucked out with my Christmas haul, and I’m eager to read new stories and to find more authors.

Which book are you looking the most forward to in your Christmas haul?

Merry Christmas, everyone! 🎄

 

Book Haul Lineup NOV pII 2017

 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades is my first Marissa book, and I’m liking it so far. When I first heard of Marissa’s latest novel, I was intrigued by how the author has put the superheroes in charge. You don’t always see that in stories. I’m interested to see how this book plays out!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Warcross by Marie Lu

Well, I have yet to read one of Marie’s works, but I’m excited to get into this book. I haven’t heard anything bad about it. I’m not a huge science fiction reader, but just look at that cover. I’m excited to read Warcross.

What do you like about this book?

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Badass female lead, fantasy, secrets, and DRAGONS. You had me at dragons. The blogosphere has been buzzing with this book, and I couldn’t wait to grab it when I saw it in Chapters. I’ve heard of other dragon fantasy books, but most haven’t interested me the most as this one.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository