2018 End of Year Book Survey

I wanted to do a yearly wrap-up post, but I cannot put together all of my favourite reads in one post. So when I found this book survey on Perpetual Page-Turner, I knew I found a solution. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend doing it as well.

2018 was a rough but thrilling ride, and I’m so happy to make it to another year. I hope you all enjoy the post, which may be long, so here are my apologies!

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Top Ten Tuesday | Best Books I Loved Reading in 2018

Happy New Year, book fam!

I cannot wait to see what 2019 has in store for all of us. Who else is excited? I am. And I’ve already filled up my yearly TBR list, which may be well over 50 books.

Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. For my first post of 2019, we highlight the best books of 2018.

 

Empire of Storms

I haven’t moved past this book. It broke me, and I am still healing. I regret not reading the series sooner. I went into Sarah’s ACOTAR before this one, but I feel so connected to each character, especially Aelin.

 

Lifel1k3

THIS BOOK. THESE CHARACTERS. THIS AUTHOR. He is a god, and I am a measly mortal who doesn’t deserve this gorgeous and out-of-this-world sci-fi. Androids wanting to kill their maker will always be my favourite storyline.

 

The Cruel Prince

I hate but love Cardan, but he is a conflicted character who has never seen kindness in Faerie. But with Jude and Cardan, I am an instant Holly fan. But what seals my fate is how she write a beautiful plot twist.

 

This Fallen Prey

When Kelley detoured into mystery and thriller stories, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I never should have doubted my one of my favourite authors. Even though the third addition in the Rockton series was a bit predictable, I love this atmospheric novel.

 

Warcross

You all know I rarely read sci-fi. But Warcross makes me want to dabble in that genre more. Emika is one of favourite and the most relatable character I’ve read. But what I love the most is the world building. It far exceeds itself. And I want to immerse myself in Warcross.

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.

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!

Best Books of 2017

Hey, everyone!

Look at me forgetting to work on this post until the end of January. 😅 I need be a personal assistant to harass me every day. Well, better late than never! I’ve picked my top six reads of 2017. And even though I’d love to add more, these books are my favourites:

 

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh is my queen, and I’ll buy anything and everything she’ll write. She recreates readers’ cherished fairy tales and lore, then puts her own twists onto them. Women are at the forefront of this fairy tale retelling. They don’t need anyone, even a man, to save them. They’ll find their own happy ending. And they’ll save themselves. The illustrations set this book apart from others. I cannot recommend it more!

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Problems aside, this finale is solid. I don’t think anything will top A Court of Mist and Fury, but I love every single character arc, the High Lords’ meeting, and the gut-wrenching page 666 (I still can’t talk about it). The bond among the Archeron sisters will break your heart, then Feysand will shatter it. And I’m down for NESSIAN.

And have you seen the cover for A Court of Frost and Starlight?! Can we fangirl over it, please???

Warcross by Marie Lu

Virtual reality is taken to another level. I read this book earlier this month, but this one is, by far, the best novel I’ve read in a long time. I cannot get enough of this series. And I wish this series wasn’t a duology, but alas, it is. Emi may just steal your heart; she certainly has with mine. Marie makes me want to get back into science fiction books.

 

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Ah! I fell in love with the cover before I even read the blurb. It does the story justice. Flame is a beautifully written and eloquent story. It captured my attention the moment I opened the book. Now Flame is the first book I’ve read from Renée, but she has done a stellar job at creating a culturally rich storyline.

 

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

I didn’t think Kiersten could top And I Darken, but I’ve been wrong before. Ruthless, dark, and deadly, Lada has wormed her way into my heart, that feisty killer. And Radu broke it. The Conqueror’s Saga is a stellar historical YA with a touch of romance. I thoroughly loved this dangerous world.

 

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this fae novel, but Margaret surprised me with her lush and imaginative writing. The characters are unforgettable, and the lore in this book will captivate. And you can’t go wrong with a cover designed by Charlie Bowater.

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