Girls of Paper and Fire review

Dear Readers,

For my third book of the Summer I decided to pick up Girls of Paper and Fire. Girls of Paper and Fire follows Lei, a 17-year-old, baker who lives in a remote village. Lei is a member of the paper caste which in a world run by demons means that humans are pretty low on their list of priorities. Every year, 8 girls are chosen to “serve” the demon King, a muscular demon who shares some features with a bull. Ever since a raid on her village took the life of her mother, Lei has been resentful of the demon king so when she is chosen to serve him, she puts up a fight. During her time in the palace, Lei makes friends and falls in love and it is because of that love that she is able to start a fire.

Girls of Paper and Fire is not the kind of book I would normally read. I love to read fluffy contemporary and romance novels, but I really wanted to read Girls of Paper and Fire. This book discusses sensitive topics such as rape and sexual abuse and is a bit graphic when it comes to scenes regarding violence, but overall was a fantastic read. Lei is an amazing character she is stubborn and not afraid to speak out no matter the consequences.

The Paper girls’ official job is to serve the King and learn how to become ladies. However, they are rarely given the opportunity to use these skills. In actuality, the girls are just sex slaves for the King. What most surprised me about this book is that Lei is told that the paper girls hold such high status in the Kingdom and families will do anything to have their daughters become a paper girl and these girls in the paper caste want this job too.

Or that is what we’re told.

None of the girls Lei lives with want to be there, they were either forced by their families or were unfortunate enough to be chosen. However, because they cannot refuse the king, they must do whatever he wants, or they’ll be exiled and even killed. I think that is the most heartbreaking part aspect of this book.

When Lei begins to fightback, I rooted for her because she reclaimed her power.

This book is incredibly written, and the world of this novel is so twisted and evil it made me want to finish this novel sooner. This book made me uncomfortable, but I couldn’t stop reading it so I give this book 4 out of five stars.

Until next time friends,

Gaby

I hate to say it, I hope I don’t sound ridiculous but I hated the novel To All the boys I loved before

I’m Back!

Same hot mess but now with a bachelor’s degree. I breifly fell off the edge of the earth for a bit there, nothing wild happened I just needed extra space and time to focus on schoolwork.

I thought I kick off my new unemployed/ super free status with a review of Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. For those of my readers who haven’t read this book or seen the iconic Netflix movie I will quickly summarize the plot. The story centers around Laura Jean Song Covey, a Korean American teen, living on the East Coast. Laura Jean is the 2nd of three sisters and she loves to stay at home, bake, scrapbook, and knit. For the most part Laura Jean’s life is pretty much sheltered, and her sisters are really her only friends. Laura Jean has never had a boyfriend, but she has had plenty of crushes who she writes love letters too with no intention of ever handing these letters out. However, when Laura Jean’s letters are accidentally mailed out, she ends up in a fake relationship with Peter, who she thought she no longer had feelings for.

This story is a slow. After her older sister, Margot leaves for college in Scotland; Laura Jean spends 30 pages sad about her departure. At this point I was tapping my fingers on the desk wondering when Peter would make his grand entrance and the plot would kick off. However, after the initial excitement of their fake relationship I was bored but I continued reading anyways. The book continues with not much excitement happening between Laura Jean and Peter’s relationship until their Ski Trip when everyone becomes super noisy about their sex life.

Unlike other readers on goodreads who were annoyed by Laura Jean’s personality, I found her to be more boring than anything. I have similar hobbies to Laura Jean, and I like staying home but not to the extent that Laura Jean enjoyed her alone time. Moreover I found Margot annoying, she constantly caused Laura Jean stress about college by reminding her that she was doing things wrong at home. Let your sister be a teen Margot!

Kitty was more interesting than her two sisters, in my opinion, she is sassy and can be a brat but at the end of the day she only wants to help her sisters.

So some of you may wonder how does this book compare to the movie? In my opinion the movie brought a lot of these characters to life and made them more interesting. Movie Peter and Laura Jean are the cutest! And I tolerate movie Margot. The Movie also made Kitty shine even more.

I would recommend this book to readers who are curious about the story behind the movie or if anyone is impatient and wants to find out what happens to Peter and Laura Jean after the events of the movie.

I would give this book 2.5/3 stars as it is a pretty average read and good world to jump into if you need a quick and easy read and a great distraction.

Until next times friends continue Living in Libros,

Gaby

PS.

I began reading the sequel and I had to put it down after 100 pages because I was so bored. I’m hoping the movies continue to bring life to these characters.

The Selection Series

Dear Readers,

I have been out of touch with the YA community for a long time and I am know just starting to catch up with the great stories that have been published since my absent.  One such story that knocked me out into the next galaxy was The Selection series by Keira Cass.

The Selection Series for those who were blissfully unaware like yours truly, are a series of books that follow a young woman named American who lives in a future dystopian version of the United States. In this dystopian society the U.S, now renamed the country of llléa, is basically governed by a caste system. The higher the number you are the poorer you live eight being the lowest and as America describes it those who are eights are basically homeless. Being a one of course means you’re living the good life and in the case of The Selection series you’re basically royalty. This fictional USA is also governed by a Monarchy and once the prince becomes of age women all over the country are invited to compete for him as part of the Selection. America, wanting to please her mother, submits her application to the Selection believing that her chance of being picked will be slim. Additionally, our girl America is dating this guy, Aspen, and they’re practically engaged when she decides to enter the contest. However, a stupid fight leaves America heartbroken and on the other side of the country where she meets Prince Maxon and her feelings about both of men become complicated.

Book 2 starts off with America and Maxon cuddling in the gardens their favorite spot in the palace. After an incidence involving America’s bff the two get in a nasty fight and spend the rest of the book detached from each other. In fact, both end up getting close to other people. America of course rebounds to Aspen, her comforting ex, while Maxon ends up getting close to Kriss, one of the remaining members of the selection.

Book 3 is a whirlwind. America comes to the realization that Maxon’s heart might not solely belong to her and decides to really fight for Maxon and breaks things off with Aspen. Additionally, in this book America and Maxon make an alliance with the Northern rebels after finding out that they want the same things. The King tries to get America to drop out of the competition by any means necessary. Moreover the tension builds when it is revealed that the King is abusing Maxon whenever he makes a mistake. America also decides to tell Maxon the truth about Aspen and her feelings for him. Some drama happens and Maxon comes close to marrying Kriss but alas another rebel attack occurs leaving Maxon the only surviving member of the royal family. Now that his father’s gone Maxon is free to marry America and ascend the throne.

So, let’s get to the tea.

I stayed up late to read all of these books and I have no regrets about binging this series.

What I loved about these books was that the writing is pretty easy to follow none of those loaded words that make you feel smart after looking them up in the dictionary. The plot itself is very lighthearted. Even though the world is dystopian nothing overly violent happens. Also, I really want to take a moment to appreciate Prince Maxon for not being a total jerk that was my expectation of him when I initial dived into this series. This is the perfect series to read when you just lose all your focus while studying and need a break.

The big thing that made me disappointed in these books was the lack of peoples of color. The history of this world is that the United States was taken over by China and then after few more world wars the U.S united with Canada, Mexico, and Central America to form Illéa. All of these countries that have formed to become llléa are diverse so where are the peoples of color in this series? Did these women of color not get chosen to compete?

However, after reading book two I discover that Elise, one of the remaining girls in the selection, is Asian! In addition, I also believe that it is briefly mentioned that Maxon’s mother is from a country that sounds similar to Panama, so I am unsure whether that means that Maxon is at least biracial. Regardless I wish the series gave me a more concrete answer for why peoples of color are absent.

Here’s is the map of Illea which I found in collection of short stories about the side characters of these series.

 I also felt it was a bit wack that Maxon and America decide to keep the fact that the King is abusing Maxon a secret between them as they do not want to worry the Queen. However, after being with Queen Amberly throughout this series I feel that if she would have known this was happening, she would have ripped off her husband’s crown so fast and forced the King to step down. Thus, making Maxon the king and putting an end to his father’s toxic reign. That would have probably been a more dramatic ending and more satisfying for me at least.

I did enjoy Celeste redemption arc. I overall enjoy when evil characters go grinch and have a change of heart. I loved that Lucy ended up falling in love with Aspen given that the poor girl has gone through so much. Plus, the way that America describes Aspen, the boy is a cutie.

Although my rant seems like I hated this series that is a stretch. For me these books were a page turner. I spent the early hours of the morning reading these books. And after writing this review I will most likely continue reading this series in order to find out what the sequel “The Heir” is all about.


Anyways continue Living in Libros,

Gaby

The Girl from the Other Side

The Girl from the Other Side

Story and Art by Nagabe

Page Count: I don’t know it’s a magna

Rating: 5 Stars

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Hello readers!

For today’s post I want to review the first book “The Girl from the Other Side”, a magna series. For those of you who are not familiar with Magna they are similar to comic books except they come from and are translated from Japan. A lot of Magna ends up becoming anime series such as Sailor Moon or Attack on Titan.

So what’s so great about the girl from the other side? In short everything. The series follows a young girl named Shiva who lives in an abandoned village with her demon guardian whom she calls teacher. In the first book we learn that some kind of sickness took over the village and Shiva was left in Teacher’s care. However for some reason Shiva cannot touch teacher or she will catch the curse and turn into some ugly creature…Forever. I know right so crazy.

Anyways Shiva is so sassy! And maybe part of that is because she is so young and kids don’t really have a filter but I found Shiva’s personality refreshing. I also loved that Shiva just rolls with the fact she lives with a demon now as if that is normal. Shiva does not ever show that she’s scared of teacher and I loved that.

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The reason I loved this book and this is what originally drew me to purchasing the first story was that the whole series gave me this Hades and Persephone vibe and as I read the magna that vibe was further validated. I mean Shiva may live with a creature of darkness but that doesn’t stop her from napping out in the woods or collecting flowers to make a cute little crown for Teacher. In addition, Shiva not being easily spooked by Teacher’s otherness reminded me of the duality of Persephone as she is both the Princess of Spring as well as the Queen of darkness.

I’m not sure how the rest of this series will go but I do remember reading a summary of the series that Shiva at some point was going to travel away from the other side, which is where she lives with Teacher, in order to find her grandmother and ask her just why Teacher came to be her guardian. And with the way the first edition to this series left me feeling and left me hanging you bet I’m going to purchase the next installments.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

The Summer of Chasing of Mermaids

Sarah Ockler

399 pages

4 Stars

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Hello readers and book lovers,

Today’s review is a little late. I meant to post it as soon as I finished writing it but I completely forgot I wrote it.

Honestly if you’re looking for that perfect summer book that will give you the sense of being at the beach everyday, and having beach bonfires, and a cute summer crush the Summer of Chasing Mermaids is going to be your book.

This book follows Elyse a teen who has moved from Tobago to Oregon because of an accident that robbed her of her voice. Since Elyse can not physically make sound with her vocal chords because it will end up harming her voice even more she ends up writing her thoughts down on paper, or on walls, or other peoples hands. However, the words she pens with her sharpie are deeply poetic. I loved this about her because it was like every time she had something to say it was always articulated in such beautiful poetry. Elyse meets Christian Kane, her landlord’s son, and the two end up fixing up the Kane’s boat in order to win a contest that will determine the fate of the town.

My review on this book is 4 stars. Whole heartedly. It didn’t feel like YA too me more of a new adult novel. And that’s probably because the characters in this book are older, well they acted older I’m not sure how old Elyse and her friends where. This book was rich in culture specifically Tobago culture, although the author acknowledged that she learned a lot of that history and culture from close friends she also realizes that some things could be incorrect. I personally do not know much about Tobago so every time Elise talked about her life in Tobago I was intrigued and I loved learning about it.

Beside the culture, this novel also tackled a topic I hadn’t expected which was confiding to gender norms. Sebastian Kane, is Christian’s younger brother who in the novel, is around 8 years old, and he loves mermaids. He loves mermaids so much that he wants to dress like one and march in the annual mermaid parade the town hosts. The only problem is they won’t allow him to do it because he’s a boy. I was so frustrated at this point because Sebastian is a kid and kids should be allowed to express themselves however they want. This scene really resonated with me on a personal level because I have people in my family who make jokes about not wanting their sons to paint their nails since that is seen as something feminine. But hello did you just snooze your way through the rock and roll era (especially glam rock)? And it’s not as if actors, male actors included, aren’t getting their makeup done on set. Anyways it’s a pretty ridiculous thing to get all butt hurt about and I’m glad Elyse and friends definitely were mad about it. But it something that still happens today so I can see why the author chose to include this scene.

Anyways this book was great, and I would definitely recommend it to people looking for a diverse read, for people looking for a story set in coastal Oregon, and those looking for a nice summer read. I highly encourage you to add it to your next summer read.

Geekerella Review

Geekerella

Ashley Poston

317 pages

4 stars

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Hello Bookworms and Book Goblins!

Today I am reviewing Geekerella, which if you’re a space obessessed Gal like me and you thought this book was going to be star wars-y you are half right!

Geekerella is about 17 year old Daniella who lives with her stepmom, whose mostly evil, and her two step sisters, who are evil most of the time. Geekerella follows the Cinderella trope evil stepsisters, evil stepmom while Cindy, this case Elle, has to tidy up the house. However, unlike the Cinderella trope Elle is also a huge nerd for this space show called Starfield. Starfield is similar to lots of space operas we know today such as Star Wars and Star Trek and like both of these real life fandoms Starfield gets a reboot. Which should make the fans happy right?

Wrong! A lot of the Starfield fans are straight up hating that this guy Darien Freeman from this overly romantic teen drama show has been casted as their beloved Prince Carmindor, Elle included. However, through a crazy turn of events Elle and Darien end up becoming text buddies and talk about all things Starfield. The only problem is they both have no idea they’re texting each others number 1 hater.

I loved Geekerella! Firstly the whole fan drama about whose being casted as your favorite character was super real. I remember the magician shade Whovians were throwing at the 12th Doctor. And the huge uproar that happened after Star Wars was sold to Disney. I mean I still encounter these salty fans online so I was very sympathic towards Darien.

And the whole Starfield Storyline was all up my alley. I love Space Princes and tragic love stories, cough star wars. And I was lowkey getting flashbacks to Ten and Rose when Elle brought up that scene where Princess Amara decides to save the world. I wonder if the author was inspired by them.

I also loved the whole convention aspect and the cosplay ball. Clearly I’ve been going to the wrong cons cause I’ve never heard of a cosplay ball but it sounds super fun! And I loved the moment when all the cosplayers decided to jump in and help Elle I though that was super cute and pretty accurate as cosplayers are usually super nice and supportive.

Lastly, Sage is a badass! She’s kind of the fairy godmother of this story but with less mystery which was totally fine. Sage knew how to work her own magic via her sewing skills and her crazy swerving in the Magic Pumpkin.

So if you’re looking for something to read this fall season or something to hype you up for your next con. I definitely recommend Geekerella.

Girl Against the Universe

Girl Against the Universe

Author: Paula Stokes

Pages: 382

My Rating: 5 Stars

(No photo because I forgot to take one)

“I just wanted to wish you good luck again,” he says. “In fact, I found something for you.” He pulls a wadded-up tissue from his pockets and folds it back to reveal a four-leaf clover. “Put it in your shoe or whatever.”

I loved this book. Normally I don’t really connect very much with a character when they’ve lost a family member or are an orphan. I just find that trope very common among YA so I think maybe I have just come to accept it as a kind of standard for the hero story. However, with Girl Against the Universe, I connected with the story right away.

Girl Against the Universe is about Maguire Kelly, a high school student, who believes without a doubt that the Universe is out to get her. Maguire has a history of walking away from disasters without a scratch and she convinces herself that she is cursed. However after her neighbor’s house catches on fire and Maguire’s family moves to San Diego she begins to attend therapy sessions in order to overcome her fear of the universe. It is there where she meets Jordy, who in is his own way is trying to take back his life. The two decide to help each other overcome their fears while also mastering the art of Tennis. Although Jordy is hoping to go pro while Maguire just wants an outlet. There’s some romance and a lot of cute moments.

I loved this book so much because Maguire’s fears and her curse felt real. I found myself unable to blame the girl for not wanting to ride in the car with other people because of the car accident that took her father, her brother, and her uncle’s life while leaving her unscratched. Maguire’s little rituals, her five minute checks, her positive affirmations, and her good luck charms were I think what really sold me. And it really warmed my heart when Jordy, Jade, and Penn took her fears seriously and offered her good luck charms as well in order to comfort her. That support system was just so beautiful.

I also enjoyed Maguire’s family and how although her mother remarries and has more children Maguire’s stepfather, Tom still claims Maguire as his own while also understanding he only has this new family because Maguire’s previous one had to die. Maguire also loves her steps siblings and she is patient with them and I found that refreshing as other books I read in the past liked to use the evil step siblings trope.

Something that I noticed that seemed off is when Magurie walks in on her therapist in one scene he is describes as eating an in-n-out burger and maybe I was hungry but I was left wondering well what kind? Was it a double double? A cheeseburger? Was it Animal style? I was left kind of curious about that.

I recommend this book to everyone! It was a very cute read. I’m not a fan of sports but this book is still a favorite.

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