BOOK REVIEWS

SIX OF CROWS BY LEIGH BARDUGO – REVIEW

RATING: 5/5 STARS 

Yep, it’s happened. I’ve finally jumped on the Six of Crows bandwagon – or should I say the Leigh Bardugo bandwagon because now I wanna read all her books and I am eyeing the Grisha trilogy box set on Book Depository BUT THAT IS BESIDES THE POINT. The point is that this book was amazing, incredible, phenomenal, brilliant-someone get me a thesaurus because there can never be enough words to express my love for Six of Crows.

It kind of left me in a panic (not because of the ending, calm down, this is still the spoiler 23437156free section) because it was so good that it pushed every other book down my favorites list and has taken the number one spot.

So, if you are one of the very few people in this community that does not know what Six of Crows is about, it’s essentially described as a heist story. The characters essentially have to pull off this crazy mission and break in to a government facility and it’s just a lot of high stakes stuff. Although said heist doesn’t really take place till the second half or so but that was completely fine by me because the first half was just as interesting and it was super character driven and I feel like we all know how much I love character driven books.

Leigh Bardugo’s writing was absolutely mind blowing like she’s just my writing idol now I mean how does one even come up with this stuff. The story was paced really well and there’s suspense and fEeLiNgS and the world building is so intricate and amazing I’m completely blown away. The book is told in third person but it switches between characters sort of in the way the Heroes of Olympus books do so you get a lot of character depth. ALSO THE CHARACTERS ARE ALL EXCELLENT AND DIVERSE AND I LOVE THEM ALL. It’s a brilliant read, so if you haven’t picked it up yet then go do so!

SPOILERS INCOMING

Okay now lemme talk about the characters separately. There’s Kaz who is frikkin incredible. I mean the things he comes up with, like you know all those parts in the book where you’re like well dammit they’re screwed and then Kaz goes all “Oh I figured this might happen so I did this thing” and he explains it and I just stop reading for a second to take it in because GOSH DARN HECK MY SON IS A SMART BOI. Also, his story just broke my heart, I mean he was just a regular happy kid and then life just completely screwed him over. And then there’s Inej and she’s “The Wraith” and she jumps from rooftops and names her knives and she’s just such a brilliant character. She also has a really sad backstory but I love the fact that she maintains her spirit unlike someone *cough* Kaz *cough* She’s just such a strong character who accepts and faces her fears, like when she was in that incinerator shaft and she just makes up her mind that she’s gonna get out of there and make this new life for herself. ALSO KANEJ GIVES ME LIFE. I think they just go so well together – Dirtyhands and the Wraith – she just breaks down his walls in a way that no one else can and just ah the feels.

Then there’s Jesper who is quite possibly my favorite character (but don’t quote me on that because I can never seem to choose). He’s sort of like Kaz’s right hand man in the sense that he’s been by his side from the moment we are first introduced to them and you can really tell that despite their differences, him and Kaz trust each other a lot. I love how easygoing he is and his lines always crack me up. He also cares a lot about the other crows and I don’t know, I just think he’s amazing. I WAS SUPER SHOOK TO FIND OUT THAT HE’S A GRISHA THOUGH LIKE HE’S JUST CASUALLY KEPT THAT HIDDEN FOR YEARS?!?!

Wylan is sort of thrown in to the crew, and you can tell that he’s sort of treated like the weakest even though I think he’s a really valuable asset to the team and so much more than just Van Eck’s son. You really see him trying to really fit in with the rest of them and he goes through a lot of character growth throughout the book. You really get to see him really make a place for himself among the rest of them – although not as much as I would’ve liked since he doesn’t actually get his own chapter in the book.

Then we have Nina who I just completely fell in love with. She’s officially my number one fictional crush. She’s a Heartrender so she is essentially born with the power to destroy, and she’s also really strong willed and was trained in the Second Army so she always counters any injustice. But at the same time she’s so incredibly compassionate (like when Inej wakes up after being stabbed and Nina just bursts in to tears) and she loves food, cracks jokes, has a terrible singing voice and just how can you not love her. I think her relationship with Matthias is probably my favorite ALTHOUGH not until the very end of the book did I feel that way because my gosh I spent so much of the book just furiously loathing Matthias. So he’s really interesting, I mean he was a druskelle and has these very set beliefs and Nina sort of just goes against all of that. But I didn’t know whether to trust him for so long because of it, although the more you get to know about him you do see all the times he questions the Fjerdan views about Grisha. And that part at the end when Brum traps Nina in the cell and Matthias shows up I was so upset because even though I had mixed feelings about him, I really wanted him to be a good guy but hey PLOT TWIST HE IS A GOOD GUY AND HE KNOCKS OUT BRUM AND SAVES NINA AND THEN RECITES THE DRUSKELLE VOW TO FJERDA BUT HE SAYS IT TO NINA ABOUT HOW HE WAS MADE TO PROTECT HER AND MY HEART JUST COULDN’T TAKE IT.

I also got an X-Men sorta vibe from the first half of the book. You know how every generation of X-Men is brought together even though they are from completely different walks of life and I just got that sort of feeling when Kaz went to get Nina from the House of the White Rose and then they have to break Matthias out of Hellgate.

This was just one of those books that I couldn’t put down. And I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean I literally couldn’t put it down. There were times when I’d be all “Okay I’ll stop for now after this chapter” but then something would happen and I’d have to keep reading. IT’S JUST INCREDIBLE IN EVERY WAY AND I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.

photo_2017-05-31_21-02-17

Advertisements
BOOK REVIEWS

PASHMINA BY NIDHI CHANANI – SPOILER FREE REVIEW

MY RATING: 4 stars

RELEASE DATE: October 3rd 2017

I was lucky enough to receive an e-ARC of this book through Netgalley, so thank you so much to First Second Books for giving me this opportunity!

So this book wasn’t really what I expected, here’s the goodreads synopsis:

25712017Pashmina tells the story of an Indian-American girl who struggles to fit in at high school, then discovers more about her family’s history with the help of her mother’s magical pashmina.

And that is the basic plotline but I guess I was just expecting it to be YA since the main character is in high school but it definitely read a lot younger than that so more middle grade than YA.

That being said, I thought the story was actually really interesting. I really appreciate seeing more South Asian MCs in popular books as of late. The book focuses a lot on the cultural aspect of India and I like how Nidhi Chanani constantly used Indian terms in the story without feeling the need to explain it. It just felt like a very natural depiction of Indian culture through a modern lens.

I initially thought it was going to be a really light read but there are a lot of really important topics weaved in to the story, such as the feminist aspect of it: emphasizing on women’s choice and how there are still a lot of backward views regarding that in the world today. It also focuses on the touristy-view of a country vs the reality, and I thought that was really well dealt with since the book highlights how you could have an almost Utopian ideal of a country such as India but in reality there’s still so many issues like poverty and unemployment of women in the smaller villages.

The art was probably my favorite thing about the story though, oh my gosh it was so gorgeous. It was very neat and to the point and I especially loved the fact that the fantasy scenes were in vivid color as opposed to the monochromatic reality, which once again really emphasized the contrast between reality and fantasy.

The only reason I gave this book a 4 stars is because I felt like the story was too rushed. I mean, I understand that it is a graphic novel and it obviously can’t tell a story the same way a 500 page novel can but I just felt like everything progressed waayy too quickly. That being said, I think it is a really unique diverse read!

photo_2017-05-31_21-02-17

RECIPES

CATH’S LEMON TARTS – RECIPE 🍋

So I recently read Heartless by Marissa Meyer and absolutely LOVED IT. It was beautifully written and just an overall amazing retelling. Now, one of the things that is pretty heavily focused on in the book is that Cath (the protagonist) loves baking and wants to open up a bakery of her own.

The book opens up with her having just made these gorgeous lemon tarts and while I was reading the book, I made some of my own! They’re definitely nowhere near as brilliant as hers but it’s a pretty darn good recipe if I do say so myself.

INGREDIENTS (for 12 small tarts)

Pastry:

  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g icing sugarphoto_2017-09-09_22-02-40
  • 50g cold unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon curd:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 75g sugar
  • 100ml lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 85g butter

 

PREPARATION

  • Mix the flour, icing sugar and butter until it starts to look a bit like breadcrumbs (or small clumps i guess, it never really does look like breadcrumbs to me) and add in the salt
  • Whisk up the egg and then add that to the flour mixture and mix until it gets even clumpier, and that’s the pastry pretty much done
  • Turn it over on to a floured surface and sorta clump (lol this recipe is just clumps galore) all of it together until you have a little ball of pastry
  • Wrap it up in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for an hour-ish to chill
  • Once it’s chilled you can roll it out (on a really floured surface) until it’s like the thickness of a coin?!? Just not too thin, basically. And cut out circles big enough that they will fit in your tart tins
  • You gotta butter the tins really well because otherwise they’re never gonna come out of the tins, and once you have your pastry in the trays, chill it again for half an hour so it’ll hold its shape when it’s baking
  • I feel like you can preheat your oven about now so yeah, do that. 180°C
  • AND NOW WE GET TO MY FAVORITE PART: THE LEMON CURD
  • You don’t wanna make this over direct heat because then it’ll look sorta like scrambled eggs and no, you don’t want that so just place a glass bowl over a pan of simmering hot water and make it in the bowl (the fancy term for this is bain-marie)
  • Whisk up the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest over the bain marie until it’s all well combined
  • Then mix in the butter and whisk for 10-15 minutes until it thickens up and is a really aesthetic pale yellow (like it should coat the back of a spoon and not drip)
  • Now you can bake the tart shells for 8-10 minutes (WITHOUT THE CURD)
  • Take them out of the oven and spoon in the curd until each shell is about 3/4 of the way full
  • Put them back in the oven for 6 minutes, and by then the curd should be a little more golden yellow and it shouldn’t jiggle.
  • And yeah, you can let them cool and enjoy! (I don’t really decorate but if you REALLY want it to be like the ones Cath makes, put some candied lemon rind on top and dust each tart with a little icing sugar)photo_2017-09-09_21-47-25

 

BOOK REVIEWS

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI BY SANDHYA MENON – REVIEW 💛✨

5/5 STARS 

I think this is the first time I’ve written a review mere minutes after finishing a book. I tend to procrastinate with these things but I couldn’t risk forgetting to share my thoughts about this book.

(this is gonna have spoilers obviously, my thoughts are all over the place and i’m heckin emotional so yeah)

28458598Okay, I will admit that this book is really cheesy at times. But that’s what I was expecting: a cutesy, fluffy contemporary that’ll make me squeal a few times but boi, this was so much more than that for me. Dimple and Rishi are both such incredibly real characters and you can honestly connect with either of them on some level. Although, I will admit that I’m rather partial towards Rishi, be it the hopeless romantic I am or just how adorably precious he is. I loved watching their romance bloom, it made me feel all fluttery inside. To be honest, a lot of this book reads like a Bollywood movie but hey, who said that was a bad thing?

Now, on top of that, this book really hit close to home for me. Specifically, the parts about Rishi having convinced himself that a career in art is so far fetched that he needn’t even try, and that even trying is gonna end up being a mistake and he’s gonna disappoint himself. I think a lot of us can relate to that feeling: when you’re just out of high school and you’re having to suddenly make a decision towards the rest of your life and it’s sometimes a conflict between what you want and what other people seem to expect from you. At the end of the book, when Rishi is going off to SFSU and he’s definitely pursuing what he wants, I actually started sobbing.

Crazily enough, I could relate to Dimple’s situation too. When you feel like you’ve fallen in love too young and there’s a part of you that wants for it to just be your life but you also don’t wanna give it up. So naturally, I cried over what her mother tells her about how giving up either is gonna feel like giving up a part of herself. And I don’t think I’ve read about this particular thing in YA before, usually they fall in love and there’s no question about it but I could relate so much to the way Dimple was feeling.

MY GOSH WAS THIS BOOK MADE FOR ME?!?!

And you know what else makes me happy beyond measure? South. Asian. Rep. And not just that, but a focus on South Asian rep. And this really cute Bollywood movie sort of feel: they’re just things that I’m familiar with and I’ve grown up with and I can’t even form coherent thoughts about this.

It’s gonna make you laugh and it’s gonna make you cry and the side characters are all really interesting and complex too and just please do yourself a favor and read this book.

photo_2017-05-31_21-02-17

 

BOOK REVIEWS

MORE THAN THIS BY PATRICK NESS – REVIEW

Rating: 5/5 stars

This was honestly such an interesting and different read. I don’t fully know how to organize my thoughts on this book because it sort of crawled in to my head and then messed with it so this review is going to be all over the place. It’s also really dark, which is to be expected seeing as the main character dies in the first chapter.

21969786Okay, so when I say this book messes with your head, I was in no way exaggerating. I spent the first half of it thinking I knew what was going on, and then it just did a full 360 on me. If you have no idea what More Than This is about, here’s the synopsis:

A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.

Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

So yeah it takes a really interesting approach on what happens after and there really isn’t much I can talk about without spoiling it since I do think the best way to read this book is to go in to it completely blind.

XX SPOILERS XX

So the first part of the book really scared me? And I’m not entirely sure why because not much was happening in terms of plot, it was sort of just Seth waking up in this abandoned suburb that he grew up in. I suppose it is just the fear of isolation because just reading about it was terrifying. That, and the looming mystery of the prison which really freaked me out because we don’t find out what happened until much later but you can tell from the very beginning that something awful had happened and I mean, it’s a prison so it was bound to be way worse. And the vague memories and mentions of Valentine just made it really dark like I’m actually freaking out thinking about those lines in the book.

I spent so much of the book convinced that Seth had died and this was “hell” that when the idea that it was something else entirely was introduced I was really taken aback. It’s the kind of thing that keeps you up at night. I mean, initially it’s the kind of thing that anyone would want: to be able to erase one horrible life changing event in your life. And that’s why it’s so creepy, because it’s nowhere near utopia, no one is living the ideal life, and the reality is they’re all just lying in coffins not even aware of the reality of their bodies and I just don’t know this book really messes with your head.

It makes you feel kind of hopeless, in a way. But that might be because of how immersed I was in the story and I felt strongly attached to the characters. Either way, Patrick Ness’ writing is incredible and it really makes you think so I’d definitely recommend this book!

photo_2017-05-31_21-02-17

Top 5

BOOK LOVER SURVIVAL TAG ☀️

okay, so this tag is fairly simple and I thought it’d be a quick fun tag to do and it’ll also let you guys know which books are the creme de la creme, for me at least, because let’s be honest when you’re stuck on a desert island you want a book that you know won’t let you down and one that you will not get bored of reading.

9361589

So the first book that I’d have with me would be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I only read this book for the first time last year but I have already read it a total of three times and that is because I cannot get enough of the incredible detail that there is in this book and I cannot get enough of the circus itself. It’s just the kind of place that I so desperately wish were real because I want nothing more than to be able to visit it. The cast of characters are all so unique and they each have their own little story that it is interwoven in to the main plot which I’m sure is gonna keep you occupied when you LITERALLY HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO. Not to mention, Erin Morgenstern’s writing is literally breathtaking!

28763485.jpg

Now, obviously when you’re stranded on a desert island, you’re bound to be really emotionally drained and in those times you’ll want a book with the warm fuzzies. For that, I definitely have to pick The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. It is hands down my favorite contemporary of all time, the writing is gorgeous, it also just makes me feel so happy without it being too much. It does deal with some heavier topics as well but that just sort of adds to it, it inspires you and I think that’s the sort of book that you need in that situation.

Third on my list is actually one that I read very recently and that is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, and I’d bring this with me for two reasons: (1) it took me quite a bit to get through because of all the details and (2) all the different characters and planets that you have in this book will definitely help with the undeniable feeling of loneliness.

download.jpg

And my final two books are I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I hold both of these books very dear to my heart and I tend to reread them whenever I’m feeling upset or alone so I feel like they are both important books to have with me on a desert island.

And that’s it! What’s a book you’ll definitely need to have with you on a desert island?

photo_2017-05-31_21-02-17

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET BY BECKY CHAMBERS – SPOILER FREE REVIEW

Rating: 5/5 stars (more if possible)

Okay, it’s been a good few days since I finished reading this book and honestly I needed that time to organize my thoughts on it because when I closed it my mind was a mess of emotions and overwhelming adoration for this incredible story.

If you have not heard of this book before then here is this synopsis:

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.
41Xe+aza4sL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.

I think we can all agree that the synopsis is enough to make you wanna start it right away. But, I feel like I should make a point that this probably isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for something action packed and filled with plot twists and adventure. It is, however, perfect if you’re more in to character based stories because it has such a wonderful, entertaining, AND DIVERSE, cast of characters. Not to mention INCREDIBLE world building, I mean Becky Chambers puts so much detail in to explaining every species and every planet that I am constantly in awe of her imagination. It also takes quite a while to get through, at least it did for me. Not that I have anything to complain about, I loved every bit of it.

The plot is kind of stagnant for most of the book, but then there’s like these occasional bursts of WHOA WHAT which was always fun. And although the characters are diverse in species, I love that it’s basically showing us characters from different backgrounds and cultures and sexual orientations forming close relationships without prejudice. It’s honestly just amazing.

Not to mention the fact that the characters are so well focused on that it’s really easy to get attached to them. There’s parts that make you laugh and parts that make you sad, in the way that they would if these characters were your friends. And honestly, having finished this book, I feel like the crew of the Wayfarer are my friends.

photo_2017-05-31_21-02-17

 

BOOK REVIEWS

EVERYTHING EVERYTHING BY NICOLA YOON – REVIEW (spoilers)

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

(haven’t written a review in a while so this is sort of going to be all over the place, but I hope you don’t mind)

So this book is obviously really hyped at the moment, with the movie having just come out, although I had wanted to read this for ages and had really high hopes for it. Unfortunately, for me it didn’t really match up to all the hype which is sometimes the case with overhyped books but this was particularly disappointing because I absolutely ADORE Nicola Yoon’s other novel, The Sun Is Also A Star, so the problems I have with Everything Everything have nothing to do with the writing style because everything that I loved about the book was because of the beautiful writing. I always love a contemporary that makes me feel something and this made me want to grab someone I love by the hand and go off on adventures and travel the world.

 

18692431

But that, in light of Maddy’s situation didn’t work well at all. Seeing as (before the big plot twist that I will get in to in a bit) Maddy has SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) and is able to go outside and travel and do all these things that an actual person with the illness can’t do – it just feels very poorly thought out, especially for those looking forward to correct representation.

On the other hand it did offer an accurate portrayal of Munchausen’s Disorder by Proxy, which is a mental illness which convinces people that their loved ones are extremely ill in order to keep them close and feel needed. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that this is what Maddy’s mother has. Although the fact that this was used as a plot device really bothered me.

Now, you can’t really write a review for a contemporary without bringing up the warm fuzzies. In this case, I’d give it a 4/5 for the fuzziness, but that really depends on your insta-love tolerance. I don’t really mind it, although at times I did feel a little overwhelmed by it. But oh boi some of those adorable lines they share made my heart melt. Nicola Yoon sure knows how to make you wanna fall in love.

So, all that being said, do I think it’s an overall good read? Sure, although I feel like you should be aware that it has issues before going in to it and do a little more research on that when you’re done reading it since it’s always best to be aware of what you’re hyping up. But it does make you feel all warm and fuzzy, I love both Maddy and Olly as characters, and Nicola Yoon is just an incredible writer.

thr_burned

WRAP UPS

MAY WRAP UP WOOP WOOP

OKAY I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO ME THIS MONTH BUT I READ 7 BOOKS?!?! see, if you know me at all you know that I am a very slow reader. I wish I weren’t but it’s true and I usually am surprised to even have read 3 books in a month and when I just checked my goodreads to write up this blog post it occurred to me that I’ve 7 books this month and just woah.

The first book I read this month was The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon which I 17199504gave a 4.5 stars because I loved it! I mean, it does have the typical YA dystopian trope of a teenage girl who is the only one who can save the world and stuff but honestly the writing was amazing and the world itself was pretty unique I mean CLAIRVOYANTS. I haven’t read a dystopian since divergent like three years ago because honestly most of them aren’t worth the hype but boi this one though.

Then, I read Elantris by Brandon Sanderson which was such an interesting fantasy read. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book and I completely understand what all the hype is about. The world building and the writing definitely captures you from the very first page. I also read The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer which I surprisingly gave 5 stars. I say surprisingly because I’d never seen this book on bookstagram and I 20696422honestly picked it up because the synopsis intrigued me and I have to admit I haven’t done that with a book since I became a part of the book community on social media. It was my first 5 star read in ages and honestly such a devastating story but also such a realistic portrayal of mental illness and grief.

And after that I just read two 5 star books in a row and I cannot stop thinking about 25909375these two books. They have consumed my life, I’m constantly recommending them to people. I already have reviews for both of them on this blog so I’m not going to say anything about them on this post other than THEY ARE FABULOUS. The books are Wing Jones by Katherine Webber and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

The other two books I read were The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Beloved by Toni Morrison. The Night Circus is one of my all time favorites so it was a reread for me and I still loved it just as much as I did the first time. And I read Beloved, because it is assigned reading for school and my final is coming up in two weeks. Keeping that in mind, I really doubt I can keep up this kind of miracle reading speed in june considering I have exams but then it is Ramadan and I am home a lot so who knows.

I’m currently reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh which I am loving! So excited to read more of it. I also started the audiobook for The Inexpicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz which I might possibly love more than Ari and Dante?!?! *shock* *gasp* although I don’t know yet so we’ll see.

and as always, here are my favorite bookstagram pictures I posted this month:

photo_2017-05-31_18-17-48photo_2017-05-31_18-17-43

 

 

 

Well, that’s all folks! *takes bite of carrot*

thr_burned

BOOK REVIEWS

WING JONES BY KATHERINE WEBBER REVIEW

Rating: 5/5 stars

Wing Jones is easily already one of my favorite contemporaries ever. Honestly, it 25909375deserves to be applauded just for how inclusive and diverse it is. The story itself, is one of those that broke my heart at times but honestly just left me feeling so full. Also, I cried for the first time reading a book in years, so that’s saying something.

Now for those of you who don’t know, Wing Jones is a magical realism/contemporary novel that follows a fifteen year old girl named Wing who is Chinese-African American and she’s sort of always sort of been in the shadow of her ‘perfect’ athletic brother, Marcus. She never really complains, but she’s always felt like she doesn’t have that special thing that he does or even the life that he does and it just sort of seems very out of reach for her. And then, a tragedy strikes her life and she turns to running.

It does have a lot to do with her figuring herself out but at the same time it’s one of those books where family plays a major role. Not to mention, the writing is absolutely breathtaking. I love how the author has written about such heavy topics in a way that doesn’t drag you down. You don’t trudge through the book, instead you fly.

SPOILERS

I’d already heard so many great things about this book even before I started it. But I was just expecting a heartwarming contemporary novel that would probably make me smile but also make me a little sad. I was not expecting to connect with the character of Wing as much as I did and I think that really added to how much I enjoyed the book.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the back and forth chatter between Granny Dee and LauLau. There was just something so oddly comforting in it – I mean I know that they’re27835606 almost always arguing but it’s very clear that they care immensely about each other.

One of my favorite things about the entire book had to be Wing’s relationship with Eliza. I also just generally love the character of Eliza, she just always seemed so incredibly genuine and not to the point that it was unrealistic. It felt so natural and not like an instant friendship, and getting to see how running became more than just a way for Wing to escape all the chaos that was happening in her life and it gave her a feeling of belonging among the team and with Eliza. It was just so comforting because Wing was finding her place in the world and it wasn’t a place as Marcus’ little sister.

On the romantic aspect of this book – I was really worried that the story would shift to focus on Wing and Aaron as a whole but that didn’t happen. I mean, I loved them together and I was rooting for it since the beginning and when they finally kissed I actually squealed. But I’m so glad that it didn’t all happen at once.

But honestly, the writing. Oh gosh the writing in this book is beautiful, and of course it’s very heavy on metaphors and imagery because it is after all magical realism. It’s nice to see how Wing sees the world: a world where her lioness and her dragon show up when she needs them, and the boy she likes has a laugh like a dozen bumblebees and where when she runs she feels like she’s flying.

All I can really say is just go and pick up this book, because it will make you feel full and you will hurt and you will heal with Wing and her family.

“The clouds have risen, out of my reach, but now I can see the stars and they wink down at me like they’re saying “You go, girl” and I tilt my head back and smile up at them, and I hope that from way up there my smile looks like a bright shiny star winking back at them.”

thr_burned