To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo Book Review – Magical, Mythical, and Yes, Bloody

To Kill a Kingdom took me over 3 weeks to read, but I enjoyed those 3 weeks spent desperately trying to squeeze in time for this gory “The Little Mermaid” retelling. This is going to be a SPOILER review, but before I get into this, I’ll give a quick description in case you are interested in reading it but don’t really know what it’s about! My quick thoughts are that I really did like it and you should check it out if you like mythology, deadly characters, and a fast-paced plot.

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To Kill a Kingdom is a magical, mythical, and yes, bloody retelling of “The Little Mermaid” following our two main characters, Lira, a siren heiress who takes the heart of a prince for each year she has been alive, and Elian, the human heir of Midas but siren killer and sailor at heart. When Lira kills one of her own, her mother banishes her from the sea as a human with the task of retrieving Elian’s heart in exchange for her place back in the sea. But what happens when Lira finds a place with Elian and his crew? And what happens when they find out the truth of who she is; a siren on a ship of siren killers.

——————————————————SPOILERS AHEAD—————————————————–

After reading the first 50 pages of To Kill a Kingdom, I immediately thought “The Little Mermaid” meets “Throne of Glass”. It has the core story of “The Little Mermaid” and the initial drive and goal that our main character, Celaena, has in “Throne of Glass”. While I am not a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, I did enjoy the first book though so I knew I would like To Kill a Kingdom. And I did! A lot!

One thing I appreciated about this book a lot is the consistency of the characters. Lira and Elian are both murderers and don’t flinch at the sight of blood. I was worried that as we followed them through the story, that they would soften a bit because of each other and their growing feelings, but luckily that didn’t happen. Well, I mean they did fall for each other but they were still themselves. Sometimes, authors kind of soften their characters personalities when a relationship forms but luckily, that was not the case for this book. When it comes to our two main characters, I am not sure I could pick a favourite. There were times I liked Lira more than Elian and times where I liked Elian more. I do love their names though, and for some reason that made me love this book even more. They were both strong-willed and brave and intelligent in a lot of similar ways which was interesting because I haven’t read many books where the love interests and two POV characters were THAT similar. It made for a nice connection at the beginning though because them being so similar meant they quickly understood the each other. I was really surprised to like them both equally because when it comes to having more than one POV, I rarely ever like them all.

One thing I was kind of sad about when it came to characters was the rest of the cast in this book. The sailors of the Saad just really fell flat from me and I didn’t connect with them at all. Maybe it was just me but I feel like they were just there. Kye and Madrid were close to feeling like real people to me, but only just when the book was wrapping up. That is one thing that disappointed me and kind of made me not love the book as much as I could of, but since Elian and Lira were such strong characters, it kind of makes up for it. Kind of.

The plot was a lot of fun and pulled me in from page one. I mean kickass sirens and a deadly siren queen? Yes, please. The story was dark from the beginning and for the most part, kept the darkness which was perfect considering most of the days I read this book were cold and wet. As Elian and Lira started actually liking and caring for one another though, the mood and atmosphere of the story got lighter, like the clouds of a storm were finally parting. I thought the pacing of the plot was fast but not too fast for the most part, however, I thought the last 100 pages just happened all at once. The author sped through them and there was a lot more telling rather than showing I found. This threw me out of the story a little bit, but I was so deep already that it wasn’t enough for me to put it down or anything luckily. When it came to that final fight scene though…that was a little fast in my opinion. I mean, I am not saying I want a long, drawn-out fight scene because ugh, boring. I just wanted a little more substance to it so it would slow down a tad. We finally got to the end and it was a battle between the sirens and the humans, mostly focused on Lira and her mother though. We got no insight really to what was happening around her and Elian, or maybe we did but it just wasn’t enough for me to really envision it! And then bam, Lira has convinced the sirens to join her side and turn against her mother. And then bam, her mother is killed. And then bam, story over.

I know I complained a lot towards the end, but apart from those last 100 or so pages, I did really enjoy this book. I just had some problems with it but hey, no book is perfect. Would I recommend this book? Yes! If you love myths and legends, especially The Little Mermaid but with a bloody twist, then give it a shot. If you have read this book, let me know what you thought in the comments! Or even better, if you have a review of this book as well, link it for me to check out. Out of 5 stars..this book would get a solid 4/5 stars!

Anyways, that is all for this review on To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts. Let me know if there are any specific books you want me to read and review, otherwise, my next book review will (most likely) be The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth sometime in late October! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Film Review

Yes, I waited until 12am for this movie to drop on Netflix and then happily watched the entire thing because I was THAT excited. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has been a favourite book of mine for about two years and when I heard it was becoming a movie…I was ecstatic. I am happy to say that this was such a great adaptation, staying really close to the original plot, and I LOVED it. Below I am going to be discussing the teen romcom in spoilery depth, but if you for some reason have no idea what it is about, here is a quick synopsis!

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before follows Lara Jean, a junior in high school who lives in the fantasy world of her head. That is, until her secret love letters get sent out to every boy she has ever loved before. To keep one of those boys from finding out the extent of Lara Jean’s feelings (her sister’s ex-boyfriend), Lara Jean and the most popular guy in school team up and pretend to date to keep him from finding out the truth.

OK, if you have not read the book or watched the movie then it might be smart to avoid the rest of this post! Go watch it now if you haven’t though!


One thing I loved about this film is how it was shot and pieced together. It perfectly recreated 80s style, John Hughes romcoms and I LOVED that. I am a huge fan of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, etc etc, so I really appreciated them taking on that style of film and succeeding! It also added to Lara Jean’s amazing vintage inspired outfits that I was so looking forward to in the book and was happily satisfied with in the movie.

Despite the few changes made in the movie, I was so happy with how much they stuck to the book and kept the original plot. The movie was exactly how I imagined the book in my head to be and I felt all the emotions because of it. I could only pick out a few biggish changes to the story line but honestly, they did not take away from the story at all. Sometimes things in the book don’t work out in the movie and that is 100% okay. One change that stuck out to me was the first kiss between Lara Jean and Peter K. In the book, Lara Jean jumps Peter in the hallway whereas in the movie, she takes him down on the track and it was hilariously amazing. The stars of the movie talked about how they tried to film the kiss the original way, but it just didn’t work in the movie so they found this alternative. Another difference in the movie was instead of Lara Jean running into Peter after crashing her car, she almost runs him over in a parking lot with Kitty. I kinda loved that even more because I could feel how awkward she felt, but overall it was just adorable like the entire movie. One last difference that I remember is the scene between Lara Jean and her dad in the diner where they talk about her mom. It was so heartwarming and wonderful and gave me the feels for sure.

Next, I have to talk about the characters because the actors were PERFECT. Lana Condor was a fantastic Lara Jean and really captured her quirky personality that jumps out in the book. Her humor was on point and her outfits were on point…everything was just on point. Kitty and Margot were also just as I imagined them in the book, and Josh was too, although I liked him a lot more in the movie than in the book! Instead of being jealous the entire time of Lara Jean and Peter, he kind of accepted the fact that she didn’t like him anymore and told her to go after Peter which was ugh, so great. Lastly, Peter Kavinsky. Let that name sink in for a moment. Everything about Peter K. was AMAZING. I was a little skeptical about Noah because I haven’t really seen him in anything because I don’t watch The Fosters. However, I was blown away by how perfectly he embodied Peter’s confidence and kindness on the screen, and how easily he captured my heart. The characters really made this movie and I was super impressed by them all.

So overall I ADORED To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and easily gets a 9/10 stars for me. This book will make you cry, laugh, and gush over all the heartwarming relationships between the characters and charming plot. I really recommend it if you have read the book or love quirky romcoms because this will be everything you could dream for!

I hope you enjoyed this spoilery review and I did want to get it out sooner but I ended up going camping on Friday so I didn’t have enough time to write, edit and publish this for you all. It is out now though so yay! If you watched the movie let me know what you thought in the comments because I would loooove to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and all my social media accounts linked down below 🙂

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – Spoiler Review

I have been reading so many amazing books lately that I thought I would start doing book reviews! I used to do them way, way back but stopped because they do take a lot of time and effort, and I didn’t have the energy or motivation to pour into them, but lately I have been feeling like it so why not?

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Today I will be giving a SPOILER review on Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire so if you haven’t read it, don’t read much further, however before we get into that, here is  a NON-SPOILER short synopsis on the book:

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a place for the children who have gone off to fantasy worlds and suddenly returned to the mortal world. Some hope for the door to their fantasy world to return and some don’t. Our main character Nancy has just returned and is sent off to the home for Wayward Children by her parents, and is one of the children anxious for their door to return. However, her welcome is not entirely pleasant when other Wayward children at the home begin turning up dead, different body parts missing on each one of them every time. With the help of new friends, Nancy and them try to unveil this mysterious killer before it is too late, in the hopes of saving the home and themselves.  

SPOILERY THOUGHTS BELOW, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK…

I had high expectations going into this book because everyone on all different platforms have been hyping it up like crazy. Long story short though, I did really enjoy it and thought it was a strange and unique read that is definitely worth it!

One thing this book did a great job at was diversity. Our main character, Nancy, was asexual which I do not see a lot of representation in YA books so that was great to see! We also had a transgender character named Kade, and queer representation in other characters. While this book is deemed fantasy, it made it feel more real having all this rep of real people, and it made me realize how badly we need more books like this in all areas of literature.

This book was super weird but in a dark fairy tale type of way that reels you in. The characters were strange, the world was strange, and the entire premise was strange, but that is the beauty about this book. It doesn’t follow standard YA rules I suppose you could say, and that was really refreshing.

The one thing I think this book suffered from, and if you read the book you could probably agree, is the length. This book isn’t even two hundred pages…crazy, right? And because of that, this odd and fantastical world didn’t feel fleshed out enough. We learn that there are four main areas of worlds, kind of like how we have north, east, south, and west, with worlds in between like Nonsense, Logic, etc. However, because of the short length, I never really fully grasped the worlds. Especially since we only got little snippets of what these worlds contained, like through Nancy’s flashbacks to the underworld type place she went to. And while I think the relationships between characters were well done because since we only see Nancy with these characters within the span of I don’t even know, a few days, a week? Well, because of that, the relationships weren’t going to be super strong. I did want to see more of Nancy and Kade’s relationship though, because I thought they were really good together!

The short length also made the big reveal of the murderer, being the quieter twin, less dramatic. I was still like “huh, wow”, but I only had a few pages to really feel that way. And right after the reveal, a few pages later, Nancy finds her world again and then bam, done. All within what, twenty pages? Luckily, this short length did not make me hate the book or anything, it just made me wish there was a little bit more. Even an extra fifty pages would have been nice, but at the same time I trust that the author thought this was best.

Overall, I do see myself continuing with this series, and would rate this book: 4/5 STARS

Please let me know your thoughts below because I would love to discuss!

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Favourite Books of 2017! (So Far)

I have read some pretty fantastic books this year so far, and since the month is half over I decided to share them with all of you. Listed below are the top 3 books that I read for the first time this year and really enjoyed so here they are!

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A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – I absolutely adored her first book, An Ember in the Ashes so I was so excited to pick up the second one. This is a series that mainly followed two main characters, Laia and Elias, but now also follows a few others which I thought brought a good view on the world to the readers. It is set in a kind of Roman Empire and is action packed and filled with incredible world building. A must read and I was happily pleased by this read. 4.5/5 stars

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Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – This is a series that you cannot help but love. It is quirky and cute, and was everything I hoped for in the final book of this trilogy. This series follows a girl named Lara Jean who writes love letters to all the boys she has loved before, but one day those letters are mysteriously sent out to them and she finds her life flipped upside down. I love, love, love this series and read this book in two days because all I wanted to do was finish it and see how it ended. 4.5/5 stars

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare – This is probably no surprise because I had been anticipating this book ever since I read Lady Midnight. I don’t really like explaining what the book is about, because my explanations suck considering I don’t want to spoil anything from the previous books. You do have to read most of her other books to understand some things in this story, but it is so worth it and you will be glad you did! This was definitely my favourite book of the year so far, but probably will be my favourite over all because it was that good. 5/5 stars

That is all for my favourite books of the year so far, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

 

 

March 2017 Movie Reviews!

I watched two movies in the theatre this month that I had been anticipating for so long now, and I am so glad I was finally able to see them. If you haven’t watched Before I Fall or Beauty and the Beast (live action adaptation) then beware of spoilers below!

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Before I Fall – This movie came out March 3rd, and is based off the book by Lauren Oliver, which I read previously before watching this movie. The movie starts off with a very deep voice over and then our main character, Sam, waking up on “Cupid Day”. Once we find out what Cupid Day is, I realize it is something that would never in a million years be allowed at my school, because it is a day to show how popular everyone is compared to the rest of the school…but anyways, we also get a feel of Sam’s personality along with her friends. I agree with Juliet because they are bitches! I have never been so repulsed by a group of people’s personality and actions, and honestly that is saying a lot. They are a very mean and cliché group of girls (Lindsay, Sam, Ally and Elody) who think they are better than everyone else, especially one girl named Juliet who is a bit different than the rest. I really did enjoy watching Sam’s character grow and become for sympathetic and kind throughout the movie. She made friends with Anna, stopped treating Kent like trash, and finally understood that Juliet doesn’t deserve the hates she gets thrown at her everyday. In the book, the beginning is quite dragged because she wakes up and repeats the same day multiple times, but I liked how they fast forwarded it more in the movies because it made it less boring. Overall I thought it was a very impactful movie that has a greater meaning behind it, but at sometimes I felt like it faltered slightly. I would probably watch it again in the future, and do recommend it! 7/10 stars

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Beauty and the Beast – Okay, so I had been waiting for this movie for months, and I was very happy with it overall! I hadn’t seen the original Beauty and the Beast for a long, long time, but after I watched the new one, I picked up the original from the library and watched it. I was impressed with how much they stuck to the original plot, and I also really liked that they added some extra songs in. I thought all the characters were absolutely amazing, and I especially loved LeFou! He was just so hilarious and he made this whole film in my opinion. I also thought Emma Watson did a fantastic job as Belle, and while I didn’t appreciate how much her voice was auto tuned during the song (Disney should have believed more in her, her voice is quite good without all the auto tuning!), I could easily get passed that. Disney also did a great job with the animation of Lumiere, Mrs. Pots, Chip, Cogsworth, etc, and that was something I really appreciated. While I love all of Belle’s songs (especially “Belle” and “Belle Reprise”) I think my favourite song to watch in the film was “Gaston” because LeFou is in it, and funny as always, and also I thought it was a well choreographed and shot scene! It had be laughing and wanting to sing along, but luckily I didn’t. A lot of people had negative comments about the overall look of the Beast, saying he wasn’t “beastly” and “ugly” enough, but I thought the Beast was absolutely fine. I don’t understand why it is such a big deal that he doesn’t look like a repulsive mutant pig, but a furry, bad tempered dog. Finally, I adored the end scene because Belle’s dress was absolutely gorgeous. It gave me some wedding vibes, but I don’t think that was the point of the scene sadly…oh well it was still amazing! Overall I really loved the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. I think Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens and Josh Gad did a wonderful job, and acted very true to the original characters. There isn’t much I disliked about the film at all and my expectations of the film were exceeded! 9.5/10 stars

Those were my overall thoughts and opinions on Before I Fall and Beauty and the Beast and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Bookworm Problems!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review (Non-Spoiler!)

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-themI recently watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and if you didn’t know, this movie takes place before the events of the Harry Potter series and it takes place in the late 1920’s. I am really excited to share my NON SPOILER thoughts and feelings about this movie and I hope you enjoy!

Seeing that Warner Bros sign with the familiar, eerie Harry Potter music brought back so many memories and it was just a fantastic start to the film. We start off with introductions of the characters who are each individually amazing and unique. I have to say my favourite characters were Newt, who is the character’s point of view we follow and also Jacob, his muggle “sidekick”. Before going into the film, I had pretty medium expectations and I had the idea that it would start off slow but the beginning was anything but slow! It was funny and fast paced and had me interested as they threw us into the middle scenes. I didn’t expect this but there were some hilarious moments throughout the film that were absolutely priceless, and they honestly made the film 10x better. The ending was great, and made me squeal with excitement because of how it ended, and because it got me super excited for the next upcoming movies! Overall the film exceeded my expectations and I am itching to run back tot he theatre to watch it again…but anyways I highly recommend you to watch this movie whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not because it is honestly a magical experience. After thinking about it for a bit, I had decided to give this film a 9/10 stars because it was just amazing and entertaining and I couldn’t ask for much more!

 

Legend by Marie Lu Book Review (Spoiler Free)

I recentlyLegend_Marie_Lu_Book_cover finished Legend by Marie Lu and I really enjoyed it. Don’t worry if you haven’t read this book because this is a spoiler free review but I definitely recommend you go and read this trilogy because it is so good!

If you didn’t know, Legend is about a boy named Day, who is a convicted criminal with more of a backstory then people think, and a girl named June who is highly looked up in their government. They both have two entirely different lives but when June sets out to take down Day she realizes he may not be the criminal everyone thought he was and shocking truths unravel about their government that she couldn’t even think of.

I thought this was a strong first book for this trilogy and I was satisfied with the outcome and how the story came along. Each character had their unique voice and I didn’t feel like they were blending together which is very important when you are writing a book in more than one point of view. This book totally spun a different way then what I thought and it was a really fun ride that I hope continues in the next two books! Overall I loved this book and think everyone should read it! 4.5/5 stars.

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi Review

I just finished Ignite Me and it was so fantastic! Since this is the last book this will be a SPOILER review so if you haven’t read the book go and read it and then come back!


So I basically devoured this whole book. Like the first two, it was so poetically written and I loved it. It didn’t really feel like it was coming to an end but it did and that was sad because this book series is so great! In my opinion, I feel like Tahereh Mafi wrapped it up a bit too quickly but I still liked how everything turned out. Okay, now onto the main part of this book. The ships! I love Warner and Juliette together and I always have. They bring out the best in each other and even though Warner is perfect in my eyes, he needs someone to show his softer sides to everyone else, like Juliette. And Juliette needs Warner because she is stubborn and sometimes needs help to see the big picture which is what Warner does. One thing I do wish is that there were MORE relationships and not just the love triangle. I wanted to see Kenji with someone or even Winston, heck, maybe even James. The only person I did not want in a relationship was Adam, which he wasn’t, because he was very annoying and he needs to calm down before he gets into another relationship. Overall I thought this book was still a fantastic way to wrap up the trilogy, despite its minor flaws and I would give it a 4.5/5 stars!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

(Non-spoiler review)

Synopsis:

Fangirl is about a girl named Cath who is off to her first year of college with her twin sister, Wren. Before college they did everything together, they even shared a bedroom. But now that Wren sees some freedom she takes it, leaving Cath behind to fend for herself. The book follows Cath as she struggles to find her place and fit in, even though she doesn’t really want to try and fit in and make friends which doesn’t make it easier.

It has been over a year since I read this book for the first time and after re reading it I am happy to say I loved it just as much as the first time. Fangirl is such an easy, feel good book that you can’t help but love. Even if contemporary is not exactly your genre I can almost guarantee you will adore this book.

The characters in this book are so relatable and you find yourself really relating to at least one character in this book. The character feel so real and I always have to remind myself they are not real just because they are so 3D. They are not perfect but by the end of the book I love all of them equally. The main character, Cath is super shy but by the end of the book you can see some character development and while she didn’t change tremendously, you can’t help but feel happy for her in the end. Also her twin sister, Wren, she goes through some tough spots in the book and I am not exactly sure if she realizes her wrong doing but she does pick up her act.

I just love Rainbow Rowell’s writing style, it just flows really nicely and I find it pleasing to read which is why I have a good chunk of her books on my shelf. I just adore this book and you all need to pick it up!

So that was my short, no-spoiler review. I cannot really say much more without spoiling anything so I better just leave it how it is!