Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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My rating: ★★★★+0.5

S29056083eries: Harry Potter #8
Genre:
YA, fantasy, play
Release date: July 31st 2016
Length: 320 pages

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My thoughts

At first I didn’t want to buy this book, let alone read it. Only the though of knowing this was a play and not an actual book, annoyed me so much.
But… after the release, al my social media were colored yellow with the cover of this book.  I got way too curious and ended up buying it anyways.

I went into this book completely blind, with a lot of skepticism and fear. But I ended up loving it anyway! Much more than I ever would’ve thought!

Yes I admit, some of the characters were a bit off and deserved a bit more attention , but I don’t think that’s a reason for hating it. In many reviews, people are referring this book as a fanfiction. I’m not saying I disagree with this, but I’m not agree with it either. I don’t see HP and the Cursed Child as a real 8th book, because it’s a PLAY. And it will forever be a play until moment JK Rowling decides to write an actual book about it. People keep judging it as it’s all written by JK Rowling and that her characters don’t feel real. That’s normal, because it’s supposed to be SEEN. It’s a SCRIPT. The fact that we got this book is because not everyone would be able to see this play. It’s an extra.

Those thoughts aside, I really did enjoy it. It was so fun to rediscover the Harry Potter after all these year since the last book/movie. I didn’t realize how much I missed these characters. The story is magical and perfect in its own way. I have no regrets in buying or reading it! Once a Potterhead, always a Potterhead! ♥

Summary of my rating:

  • Cover:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Writing: N/A
  • Characters:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Overall book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐+0.5

Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

Review

My rating: ★★★★

26074185Series: Ruined #1
Genre:
YA, high fantasy, romance
Release date: May 3d 2016
Length: 168 pages

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

My thoughts

Are you currently searching for something to get you through a book hungover or slump? Stop searching, you just found it! Let me introduce you to RUINED by Amy Tintera.

Sadly, Ruined would never have been a book that I would’ve bought on my own (not a genre I pick up easily). So I cannot thank Fairyloot enough to introduce me to this amazing series/author by including this book in their May box.

The moment I read the blurb of this book though, I got a feeling of excitement. I was extremely curious and my expectations grew more and more. For some reason, I knew I would enjoy this a lot. I’ve seen the other books written by Amy (Reboot for example) around, but I never thought much of it as it’s not my usual genre (and this make me thing I should definitely reconsider “my usual genres”. I’ve been using this sentence way too much lately haha) However, Ruined made me change my mind. Her writing is amazing! It’s not the most perfect one, but it’s so easy and quick to read. I had no problems imagining scenery’s or fights. Feelings and scenes were described vividly and I loved it. Which brings me to our characters…

Emilina Flores is a freaking badass. I loved her character so much because she felt so real. At first she’s introduced as an evil person with a heart full of revenge. She can be brutally honest when needed, kick your ass/kill you and yet… she’s also compassionate and slightly broken. To be honest, I was fascinated by her. I never expected to like her so much.

And then there’s Prince Casimir… Well, I’ll be damned. With the humongous list of book boyfriends I already have, I couldn’t resist loving him. Cas is the handsome prince that makes you swoon without effort. Normal acts done by him are wildly attractive and yeah… you just can’t help yourself. He’s not scared to stand up for himself and dares to questions his father when he does not agree on actions that are happening in his Kingdom. But you can already guess it already: loved characters are always the ones that need to go through the most shit. And yet, I cannot praise the author enough for his brilliant character development. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Side-characters are super interesting too! My heart broke for Damian, my appreciation for Iria grew with every page, my interest in Aden was present in all scenes, my disgust and hate towards the King is still making me angry… All perfectly imperfect. Although I wish there was a little more background information about the Ruined, I enjoyed all the characters anyway! I definitely want more of Galo too!!!

I’ve read that a lot of people didn’t enjoy the romance and the plot because it was so unoriginal, recycled ideas and bla-bla-bla. To be honest, it didn’t bother me at all. I admit I’ve read better, but Ruined was definitely worth my time and I’m glad to have it on my shelves. The Ruined universe is not something I’ve read before, so I definitely think you should give this book a chance. I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy it much more than they expect.

Anyway, I’m immensely excited for the continuation of this series! I want more scenes with Cam and Em together! *heart eyes* Also, a few things in the ending were not expected and I’m curious to see how Amy will pick this in book two!

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Summary of my rating:

  • Cover:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐+0.5
  • Writing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Characters:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Overall book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review: Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

Review

My rating: ★★★

Series: A Wicked Thing #2
Genre:
YA, retelling, fantasy, dragons
Release date: February 23rd 2016
Length: 368 pages

Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss. Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale.

But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.

My thoughts

Kingdom Ashes is the final book in this duology and I hate to say it, but although it was very unsatisfying, I’m glad. This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2016 and I’m so so soooooo disappointed! 😦 I’m going to try to keep this very short as I don’t like to ramble about things I didn’t like… Here I go…

Generally, I just had a lot of problems with the main character. And this is what mostly ruined the book for me. She had zero character development. She kept doing dangerous things and placing herself in (unneeded) danger without thinking about the consequences. Her general train of thoughts was mostly like: “Could it destroy the whole city or kill me? Yes… maybe… Hmmm, but I’m important and I think that’s a fantastic idea, so I’m definitely going to risk it, yay!” Geez, the amount of times I rolled my eyes is very high.

After ending A Wicked Thing, I was also super excited for the romance between Aurora and Finnegan. I was expecting a teasing and exciting romance between them and we got wasn’t even slightly satisfying. Aurora acted very young on the romance territory. She played with Finnegan’s feelings a lot while deciding if she even wanted him or not. I disliked this a lot! He’s a Prince for goodness sake! But he wasn’t the best either.. he just let her drag him around… *sighs*

The only thing I liked in this book was the history and the dragons! Because YES, this book has lots of dragons! I think that if the premise wasn’t ruined by Aurora, it would have been an epic book! I was always wanting to know more about them, their power, how they survived etc. They were so interesting!

As said earlier, this is the final book in this Sleeping Beauty retelling duology…. buuuut what the hell? I thought there would be a third book because the ending is so vague and open! The villain of this book is still ALIVE! Now, it’s like everyone is assuming that she won’t try to plan something bad again? Hellooo?? Ugh well. I’ll just shut up.

If you highly enjoyed the first book, I’d still recommend you try this one out! Maybe you’ll like it? I just think my own expectations were too high. The writing was still good and easy to go through, so there’s that. If the author worked more on her character development and plot (especially endings), she could be a highly appreciated YA author!

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Summary of my rating:

  • Cover:  ⭐⭐⭐+0.5
  • Writing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Characters:  ⭐⭐
  • Plot: ⭐⭐
  • Ending: ⭐⭐
  • Overall book: ⭐⭐+0.5

Review: “A Court of Mist and Fury” AKA “A Court of Feels”

Review

My rating: ★★★★★

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #226073150
Genre:
NEW ADULT, romance, fantasy
Release date: May 3rd 2016
Length: 624 pages (which is absolutely NOT enough)

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

My thoughts

*No spoilers, so you are save to read this review if you haven’t started or finished ACOMAF.

If you do not wish to read this big-ass review below, all my feels of this book can be described with this gif:

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If you DO wish to read all my thoughts, then GET READY ‘cause you’re in for a ride of emotions! 😀

First, I would like to point out my state of mind from when I finished ACOTAR. You can read my full review [here] if you wish. It hasn’t been a secret that I disliked Feyre so much in ACOTAR. She was moody, whiny, undecided about multiple things and people. Also, the amount of reckless decisions she made was insane. I just did not like her. Towards the end of book one, I started warming up to her, though. Mostly it was because she was basically left alone, and the fact that she was starting to use her brains again. Also Rhys gave the story a very interesting twist and I was dying to know more about him. So basically, Rhys saved not only Feyre, but also the ending of book for one for me.  I rated the book with 3.5 stars, but I actually enjoyed disliking things (if this makes sense). Again, more in detail in my ACOTAR review.

Anyway. NOW though… My mind is FREAKING BLOWN! My love for this series has increased with triple force. SJM once more proved she can manage to get me so into a series to the point I have to force myself to stop reading, otherwise I wouldn’t sleep until I finish the book. Her Throne of Glass series got me into this state (I’m still not over QoS!) and now again. I can now say with one hundred percent certainty that she is my all-time favorite author.

The writing is as usual splendid. The way she combines the fantasy aspects, the feelings and the plot twists is amazing. Everything is in perfect balance. There are fights, subtle and not-so-subtle (aka. H-O-T) swoon-worthy scenes, heart-breaking thoughts and very dark passages that give you chills everywhere.

When I first finished ACOTAR and saw that this book was 624 pages, I very skeptical. As there were some things that I didn’t enjoy in book one, I was scared that the 624 pages would intimate me or that I would struggle to finish. When ACOMAF finally got released though, it seemed that every bookish friend I had was reading and obsessing over this book. So much hype and I was terrified to start. I was planning to do a buddy-read with my best friend, so as my copy hadn’t arrived yet, I got myself an ebook and jumped into the madness everyone seemed to be in.

So on a second though: I’m actually SAD there are only 624 pages!!! I want NEED more! I started reading this book on a Sunday and when I had to get to work to following day, it was pure torture. I was reading everywhere and whenever I could. Halfway through the book, I was on the verge of calling in sick at work and stay home to read. IT IS THAT GOOD. I swear; if you enjoyed SJM’s books in the past, do not be intimidated by the hype around this book. It will satisfy your expectations in every way.

I have to admit that I had a mini “slump” almost at the end of the book, but it was mostly because I wasn’t ready for it to end. I just gathered my feels for a day or two before picking it up again. I’m so glad I did this by the way, because I enjoyed the ending much much more!

Her world building is beautifully done! It’s classy, rich, dark, colorful, harsh, breathtaking. I had absolutely no problem imagining scenery’s or characters. The wings, the magical powers, the creatures, the history … I couldn’t get enough. SJM’s imagination is the best kind ever. Everything is well-thought and fits with every tiny aspect. It’s just perfect.

Moving on… (’cause yes, I have much more to say!) I’ll first discuss the things I did not agree with and keep the best for later.Shall we? 😉

First let us start with freaking Tamlin. “Tamlin, who?” is probably the thing every Rhys-lover in the world is thinking right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone of Tamlin’s team in ACOTAR switched to Rhys in this sequel, because he was a ROYAL FREAKING ASSHOLE. I already didn’t like him in book one, but now it’s official. He is way too possessive and hot tempered and clearly doesn’t understand the concept of seeing Feyre as an equal. He made me so frustrated. I’m sure his original intentions are good, but his way of treating Feyre just disturbed me too much. He just lost his mind. I never expected him to make such bad decisions. Just nope.

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However, the character that disappointed me the most is Lucien. Come oooooon! I liked him so much in ACOTAR! But he just blindly sided with Tamlin through the whole book and I just expected much more from him. But it also wasn’t just him alone. It seemed that no one else in Spring Court actually cared about Feyre.  Lucien did maybe slightly, but I think he could have definitely done more efforts…

Which brings me to Feyre. Oh dear. I never thought I would say this, but I really like Feyre now. She changed so much since ACOTAR. She is trying to live with the consequences that previously happened and I really felt bad for her. The thoughts she had while being with Tamlin, her nightmares… it gave chills. She was slowly but surely crumbling apart and no one was there to help.

However Feyre put her shit together with a brilliant character development. (again, perfect writing of SJM!) She slowly healed to a fierce woman that learned how to defend herself and embrace her new future. I am so proud of her actually. Obviously, not everything went easy immediately, but that made her story/life/character even more realistic and I loved it. I just loved it so so much. But of course I cannot only credit Feyre herself for the progress she made. Rhysand made things easier for her too. Speaking of Rhys…

RHYS = BAE. Girls, I’m obsessed. I’m not even exaggerating. I have this image of him in my head and I think it just ruined all my possible (IRL) boyfriends (if there will be any haha). (Let us be clear, that Rowan is still my Number 1 :D) The outside world views Rhys as an evil and merciless person and maybe a part of him is like this, but it’s not without a good reason. Because deep down he’s so kind, caring and imperfectly perfect. He’s selfless and he should be granted way much more happy moments. I absolutely not imagined him to be like this. His ‘connection’ with Feyre made me giggle, swoon and hold my breath. I. AM. OBSESSED.

Put my new bestie (Feyre) and my new BAE (Rhys) together and you have SPARKS 😀 God, I love this ship so much. They both gave up so much to protect the people they love and care about, despite the fact they’re both struggling to keep it together. The bound they have together is strong, honest and flirty… and yeah, H-O-T too 😂 Let us all be clear that this is NOT a Young Adult book!! ‘Cause oh man. Rhys and his tongue/hands…………….. OH HELL PLEASE HELP ME

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I’m praising Rhys and Feyre so much, but let’s not forget our amazing side-characters. Cassiel, Mor and Aziel were such complex side characters with a huge past that I’d love to have small novellas about them. Nesta was also a very interesting character! I couldn’t relate to her at all. She was stubborn and just so frustrated all the time. I want to know why. Did something happen to her that we still don’t know about? Or is it just all hate? I’d love to know more about Lucien too… He didn’t appear much in the book, and as I really liked him in ACOTAR, I wanted more of him. I want to know his past, his thoughts, why he doesn’t defend himself when Tamlin was mean to him. Especially with the ending we got!

Because ladies and gentlemen, there’s no way you will expect this ending. It is BRILLIANT but also like OHMYGODWHATTHEFUCKISHAPPENING. I have million questions and I need the third book RIGHT NOW.

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So to summarize everything: this book is worth every second of your time. If you do not want to read this book because of a so-called love triangle. Don’t waste your time ignoring this book because there isn’t one at all. It’s brilliant in every aspect and I HIGHLY recommend it! It is the best book I’ve read this year so far. SJM’s books are one of a kind and they definitely deserve a spot on your shelves!

PS: There’s NO LOVE TRIANGLE. If you do not read this book because you think there is one. THERE ISN’T. Now go read the book, thanks 😉

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Summary of my rating:

  • Cover:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Writing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Characters:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Overall book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review: Memento & De Man Van Nu

This is a slightly different review than usual. The reason of this is because it’s about two Dutch graphic novels. I’ve received both copies from Ballon Media, a Belgian (and Dutch) publisher. I’ll be reviewing both in one posts, so if you can read/speak Dutch, make you go check them out!

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De Man Van Nu” by Hanco Kolk & Kim Duchateau

The first graphic novel I’m going talk about is De Man Van Nu (“The Man of Now”). This is a very modern graphic novel set in two different time dimensions. It’s about a very unusual love story (slightly based on Romeo & Juliet). Rafael fell in love with Sylvia but as he’s in a quicker dimensional time than her, he cannot see her move and cannot touch her otherwise they both die. But it’s enough to be around her for him… just until the moment everything goes wrong. Sylvia is in danger and he decides he’ll do anything to save her.

To be honest, it was not what I expected. The two dimensional time world is very creative and I don’t think I’ve seen this in the bookish world before. It’s very unique and intriguing.  But the fact that this was a graphic novel made it a little weak. Don’t get me wrong, the artwork is gorgeous!! But as we didn’t get any other background information, it was sometimes hard to relate and confusing. I would’ve loved to have more of Sylvia’s point of view too. I think that if the author would have the opportunity to turn this into a full novel, he should definitely try it because he already has an amazing premise!

  • Cover:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Plot: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Artwork:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Overall book: ⭐⭐⭐+0.5

Memento by Mathieu Reynès

The second graphic novel I received is Memento. Memento is the first book in the Harmony series. If I have to categorize this book I would add it on my fantasy & what-the-hell-is-happening shelves! I loved this one so much! As it’s the first book everything is still very new and mysterious.

Our main character wakes up alone and very weak in a basement. She doesn’t know how she got there and she doesn’t remember anything. Someone comes to her in the basement and acts all kind and seemed worried about her. He gives her food and the opportunity to wash herself up and wear clean clothes. And yet, he doesn’t tell her anything, locks her up and gives her these weird pills to swallow. She starts to remember a small thing and then the most impossible things happen… Who is she really? Why can she do certain stuff?

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Not only the plot of the book was awesome but it has also gorgeous and full colored artwork. I loved it so much. It’s gorgeous!  The only negative thing I can say is: IT’S TOO SHORT! 😦 I want more and more! The ending was WOW! I’ve been left with a million questions and a burning desire to reread it immediately!

I saw on the back that there are two more issues to be released though, so I’m super excited about these! They’re called Indigo & Ago. So definitely pick this one up if you love comics/graphic novels with a fantasy-twist!

  • Cover:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Artwork:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Overall book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Again, thank you so much to Ballon Media for providing me these review copies!

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