[AUTHOR INTERVIEW # 1] Alex Owumi (The Fire Raven Trilogy)

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Hi bookish peeps! This is my new segment here in my blog after a long hiatus. I’m back again with an exclusive and fun Q & A with the bestselling author of The Fire Raven Trilogy, Alex Owumi . 

Last November 15, 2017, he had recently released the final book of his trilogy titled: THE FIRE RAVEN: THE WINTER VENDETTA


Watch the book trailer here: THE FIRE RAVEN BOOK TRAILER

Mr. Owumi’s insights were profound and interesting and you’ll surely find yourself wanting to read his works more.

At the end of this interview, you’ll see links where you could watch the book’s trailer and where you could purchase the book. Without further ado, let’s start!

[ Edited by my sister Louissha Murel ]
Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored. This blog tour was organized by the author himself. My post mainly focuses on helping the author promote his new book and also to help introduce to the bookish world amazing independent authors like him. ]


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Hi Bookish peeps! Welcome to Reverie Quarter!

This is a casual weekend segment here in my blog in which I’ll be sharing and discussing my opinions, musings, ramblings and thoughts about life/blogging/books or any topics under the sun.


A famous author once said, “There’s a difference between living and just surviving. Do something you love, and find someone to love who loves that you love what you do.
It is really that simple. And that hard.

When I was a kid, I thought I was invincible. I thought I could do all I could ever dreamed of doing because the young soul in me thought that, everything is possible, there is no such thing as I can’t.


I had it all planned out, I will become a doctor and I would be able to treat diseases and help the sick.  Few years later, my dream shifted, being a doctor was too big for me, so I’ll just be a nurse instead. But that also didn’t last, I have found a new calling. It was 4th grade when my love for literature and writing grew.  I’ve joined numerous speech contests, poetry recitals, even journalism wherein I was in charged to write featured articles for the school newspaper. It was a wonderful feeling that had lasted ’til high school. I would spend my days writing journals, short stories, and writing reflection papers about a certain topic made me excited. I even joined a public speaking contest.

But as the end of my high school year grew near, we had faced the moment of truth where we would pick a college degree. There is no such thing on the list of choices, or the choices  that have been given to me where I could write poetry, and explore the depths of literature. They said, it just wasn’t the type of career that will land you a good job in the future. But what is future, why do we always judge the unknown place, have not yet occurred time?

That was the very first time where I’ve felt lost and not in control of my life. My dad told me to pick Information Technology since it’s a demanding career. So I’ve picked it and made up my mind that I will have that degree and maybe writing could wait. College entrance exams came in and I’ve failed the exam of IT on the prestigious University I wanted to study in, so I was offered another choice. The courses left to take were, Business Administration, Engineering, Hotel & Hospitality Management, and Nursing. My once wide choices were narrowed down into just four. I have debated to just choose another school, but this was the only school that time that has a guaranteed full scholarship. I’ve picked Business Administration, but few hours later after I have chosen that course, I’ve informed the registrar that I wanted to change it to Hotel & Hospitality Management. I hated myself for being inconsistent, I just didn’t know what I was doing. I went on with my gut feeling.

In the middle of my college year, I decided I wanted to be a Flight Attendant. It was a pretty cool job with a decent salary and moreover, I could travel the world. Being in a hospitality industry course is a ticket to that newly found dream.

Four years later, I have graduated a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Hospitality Management. For four years, I have fooled myself that this was were I truly belong. I know it’s stupid but I was just afraid to take risks of wavering again on the last minute. I could either work on the airline industry or hotel industry. That’s where my goal was headed.

I’ve failed on flight attendant interviews, even airport ground staff. So I gave up on that dream also. I have pursued jobs in a hotel and few months after graduation, I have landed a job.

Fast forward to present day, I’m on my verge of resigning. I wasn’t happy with my job, I feel like I don’t belong here. Waking up each day is a struggle because it’s another day where I would do what I don’t like. The once confident version of myself slowly become the opposite. I like people but I hate being around them for a long period of time. It gets awkward. I stutter a lot these days, and even took a break from blogging just to focus on this career. But none of it was working.

I’ve realized that I was missing out a lot of good things because I was so focused on doing what I don’t like.

Then I’ve been told that “Instead of looking where you truly belong, why not find something you think you will like and enjoy doing and just do it.

I sat down and reflected. He was right. I was finding myself in the wrong places. If I focus on what I like, maybe things won’t be so difficult at all. The dreams we had set aside, maybe it’s time to pick them up again. I guess it’s never too late to start on something you truly like.

Writing is always what I wanted to do, so I will continue writing and writing. I may never be a published author but that’s okay, as long as I still write.  I will write ’til I improve. I will write ’til I find my voice again. I will write about the things I love, for the people I love, and for the people who might be on the same page as I am. I will write ’til I find my voice again.

Maybe, I really won’t fit in anywhere. Maybe nobody ever does.  Maybe we are a wandering free soul with a wide imagination. Once we find what we truly dreamed of, never let that go, hold on to it and be the best in it. Nothing comes easy, everything takes time.

Go back to the version of yourself where you believed that everything is possible. Because it really still is. It’s a matter of how you look at things in a bigger picture. Not everyone has a mentor who will guide them the way. Even if you have, in the end, it’s all up to you.


So many people will tell you ”no”, and you need to find something you believe in so hard that you just smile and tell them ”watch me”. Learn to take rejection as motivation to prove people wrong. Be unstoppable. Refuse to give up, no matter what. It’s the best skill you can ever learn.” – CE




Hiatus for a year, but I’m back in the game. I’ll be posting on schedule! See you around folks! ❤





BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSION: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

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NAKED TRUTH: This book is very sad, haunting, painful, eye-opener and exceptionally honest. I could easily spoil everything away but I won’t. If you look for lots of reviews, it won’t be hard to find out what It Ends with Us is all about. But don’t judge a book based on its plot synopsis. This book is different than the rest of Colleen Hoover’s book. It’s better to know as little as possible before you read this book, which is why on this spoiler free review, I wouldn’t be talking about the events,  I’ll just tell you guys the naked truth on what I truly felt upon reading this.

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TITLE: It Ends With Us
AUTHOR:  Colleen Hoover
GENRE: New Adult, Romance
PUBLISHER: Atria Books
DATE READ: August 3, 2016





Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

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“Cycle exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes, it’s easier to just keep running on the same circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet. “
Naked Truth: I think I have used the word beautiful a couple of times without really knowing whether I think something is actually beautiful. But I’ll be straight forward now; this story is absolutely beautiful and unforgettable. It’s haunting in a way that it would probably stick with me for a long time. It made me think deep and assess my emotions and perception about things. This book almost killed me, but it also healed me somehow. After reading this book, I felt like I wasn’t anchored in the water anymore. I felt like I’ve reached the shore.

I made this review thinking that its better to not tell anything about the story. I could only say that you guys should read it for yourself. This book contains raw truths in it and there were times in which I had to stop and breathe and reflect. It was heartbreaking in a way that I just want it to stop because I don’t know if my heart could endure it anymore. But at the same time, it has beautiful message that I wish everyone could read it. This has been one of the realest story I have ever read and one of the stories that really left a huge impact .

It Ends with Us transcends us to a whole new level of what is imperfectly perfect. It tackled important issues in life and how we make decisions out of that situation. People sometimes make bad choices thinking it’s for the best. And it’s easy for us to judge when we’re standing outside a situation. Like Colleen and the rest of us, I’m also one of those people who spend our lives thinking if we were on that certain situation we could have handled it better. We could have easily walk away from things that hurt us. But in the minds of the people experiencing it, they have reasons for not leaving. Everything is different. We are just on-lookers, so who are we to judge.

“That’s what fifteen minutes can do to a person. It can destroy them.
It can save them.”

Another thing I love about this story is how mature the characters were. There were times in which you’ll truly get annoyed when the characters made bad choices but in this book, you will empathize with them, you will see things the way they see it and understood why they have to do it. The progression of the story is well written and for a certain time, I felt like I was inside it. I  realized that sometimes, we do not need a knight and shinning armor. Sometimes, our own hero lies within ourselves.

As much as I wanted to say more things, I will end my review here and I will head on to the spoiler filled review section down below. If you have read this book feel free to scroll down so we can discuss it.

And to Colleen Hoover, naked truth: I want to be you when I grow up.



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BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSION: The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

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Such a sumptuous conclusion of The Wrath and the Dawn duology that is madly unforgettable! Renee Ahdieh remained evocative on her narration and moved my heart in many different ways. Her writing style takes us to a pure bliss as if we’re living inside her epic tales. I like that the plot was less angsty and had a lighter feel to it. I wish it’s a trilogy ‘cuz I feel like we could have explored this world more deeply.

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TITLE: The Rose & the Dagger ( The Wrath & the Dawn # 2)
AUTHOR:  Renee Ahdieh
GENRE: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasay, Romance
FORMAT: Paperback
DATE READ: July 27, 2016






The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as “a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance.”

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

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“Destiny was for fools. Shahrzad would not wait for her life to happen . She would make it happen.”
From the stars, to the stars. I rate it 4.5 STARS!

The Rose & the Dagger picks up right where it ended on the first book but this time, Renee showed us the lustrous depth of the world she created and submerged it deeply into a course of rich fantasy. She incorporated lots of elements to spiced up her story more; more tales, magic, flying carpet, giant serpents,  unbeknownst temple that harbors people with special gifts, those and all other things were present here to captivate the readers. And by the time you’re reading this review, it means you have read the first one. This book tackled more on how to break Khalid’s curse which i a good thing because we still don’t know whether it’s breakable and what are the things at stake to break it.

I also enjoyed the presence of little tales in this book to remind us what we’ve grown to love on this story. The two tales that I’ve loved inside there story were; The Girl Who Grasped the Moon that was really a poignant tale that taught us that greediness comes with a price and The Tribe of Weeping Men a tale taught us that just looking forward and never looking back to where you came from also comes with a price.

There’s less romance on this book but every stolen moments of Khalid and Shazi are swoon-worthy. I like that even they are apart from each other, they could still function as a normal human being rather than whine all day. I like the fact that the characters are mature enough to be realistic and face the situation they’re in without jeopardizing each other.

“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

There were lots of fighting, bargaining, betrayals and deceptions, that would test the where the characters’ allegiance and loyalty truly lies. I like the fact that Renee managed to dwell on more of the character’s development because it helped us to understood the story more in the eyes of her feisty leads.

There’s an impressive progression of the story line but I have to admit that the beginning was rather slow. I have so much love for this duology and I can talk about it for hours, but I will end my review on a final conclusion about the ending.

I am genuinely happy that the conflict of this book ended on a high note. She gave us an ending with less bloodshed and more of resolution. An ending that we didn’t expect because in a story with a presence of war , we always think of putting the enemies’ head on the spike. But no one has to die all the time. Just like what Sun Tzu said in his famous ART OF WAR book, Every battle is won or lost before it’s ever fought. The characters dealt with this in a peaceful manner preventing the potential war that would cost more lives and do more harm than good. The rise of the girl power on this book really helped a lot. I enjoyed this conclusion more than I should because it’s full of surprises and jaw-dropping moments.

I’ll miss this duology so much. Moreover, I’ll miss Khalid Ibn al-Rashid.


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Waiting on Wednesday: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

The Night Circus meets the Pirates of the Carribean? Man I’m intrigued!

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Hi Bookish peeps! This segment is called Waiting on Wednesday. It is a weekly meme/ event hosted by Breaking The Spine 🙂 This week’s pre-publication I-KENNOT-WAIT is none other than Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I’m sure it’s going to be a book that will stir our 2017. I like stories with savvy pirates!

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TITLE: Caraval

AUTHORStephanie Garber

PUBLICATION DATE: January 31st 2017

PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books



Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

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First of all the cover is amazing, second is that the plot looks intriguing. I wonder what sort of game the Caraval is? Some reviews said it’s like the Night Circus, if so, then it’s likely to resemble The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye? I wish it’s going to be a good one since I’ve also heard that the story has a savvy pirate as one of the characters. And Jack Sparrow and Captain Nemo both knew how much I like pirates!

What’s your most anticipated read that won’t be out until 2017? That’s a long arse wait isn’t it? It’s truly an agony for bookworms. 



BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSION: The Eden Conspiracy by C.A. Gray

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Why is this series not on the New York Times best seller? The Eden Conspiracy is the spectacular sequel of The Liberty Box that is truly a page-turner. I’m glad this sequel is more action-packed and it did not disappoint. Honestly speaking, C.A. Gray’s style of writing is remarkable and she really knows how to write a compelling story with equally exceptional characters. This sequel solidified its place as one of my favorite series out there.


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TITLE: The Eden Conspiracy (The Liberty Box # 2)
AUTHOR:  C.A. Gray
GENRE: Science Fiction, Dystopian
PUBLISHER: Wanderlust Publishing
DATE READ: July 20, 2016





Can the truth set you free?

The refugee caves have been destroyed, and most of the refugees are dead. The Potentate now knows of their existence and will stop at nothing to wipe them out completely. He suspects that terrorist Jackson MacNamera is among them, as well as reporter Kate Brandeis’s fiancé, hacker Will Anderson—and probably therefore Kate herself. Now that the Potentate is aware of security threats, most of the strategies the rebels used to get back onto the grid before now no longer work. The Potentate knows the rebels are on foot, and he knows they were at the caves not long ago—they can’t get far.

The remaining rebels, among them Jackson and Kate, have Kate’s fiancé Will to thank for their survival: he arrived back from the dead and in the nick of time, bearing classified information about the Potentate’s plans to expand his influence internationally. But the remaining rebels and the Council cannot agree on whether their top priority should be spreading truth far and wide and freeing as many citizens from government control as possible, knowing that they will likely die in the process—or escaping to New Estonia, in hopes that they might live out the rest of their days in peace.

Kate, meanwhile, finds herself torn: between Jackson and the fiancé she thought she lost, and between the damsel-in-distress she once was, and the rebel she believes she has always been underneath. Whether the other hunters will support her or no, she knows she must use her influence over the people of the Republic to tell them the truth, no matter the cost. But is she strong enough to withstand the government’s lies?

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What an unforgettable sequel! I loved every bits of it and I’m really excited to write this review!

First of all, I love Jackson MacNamera. He’s a character that’s so well-made without sounding unrealistic. I love how strong and willful he is and I quote “this guy is a machine!”❤️

The story picks up right where it ends. We see our characters fighting for their survival and slowly waking up and see the dystopian world they’re in.
Everything is well-balanced and I love how intense and action-packed this book is than the first one. The world building remains impressive and the conflict keeps on getting deeper. It’s amazing to see the growth of each characters on this book and how they all shine in their own special ways. I mean it’s not just Jackson who’s actually superior in skills. C.A. Gray makes sure that the other characters also stand out. Like Will, you’ll admire his hacking skills, Nick, his leadership, Kate, from being a damsel-in-distress to a kick ass heroine. And on this book, we have seen how abominable and vicious Voltolini is to an extreme level.

Aside from the world building and character growth, it’s really nice to see that this book still has some fundamental theme; you are the architect of your own thoughts. Always stick to the truth and when you couldn’t see it, seek for it. Open your eyes and your mind and pay attention to everything around you. Our mind is the most powerful weapon and we shouldn’t allow anyone to use it against us and against our own will.

The ending of the book wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger but surely, we know that there’s a lot to come.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SERIES. It has the ability to capture the attention of both young adult and adult reader. AND I CAN’T WAIT TO READ BOOK 3.

Thank you C.A. Gray for writing this beautiful story. You’re one of my favorite authors now and I will surely read your other works. You are the Jackson of my life ❤️


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BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSIONS: The Liberty Box by C.A. Gray

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The whole plot and world building are all incredibly intriguing and I love the scientific aspects incorporated in the story as well as some of its interconnected elements and themes with our real life situation. The sequel The Eden Conspiracy will hit the shelves on July 18th 2016! 

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TITLE: The Liberty Box # 1
AUTHOR:  C.A. Gray
GENRE: Science Fiction, Dystopian
PUBLISHER: Wanderlust Publishing
DATE READ: July 17, 2016





Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancé and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie.

Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom.

Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?

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I just finished this book! I highly recommend it! I received this eBook copy from @royalsocialmedia in exchange for my honest review.

First of all…. I was mind-blown! I think I love C.A. Gray now! The whole plot and world building were all incredibly intriguing and I love the scientific aspects incorporated in the story as well as some of its interconnected elements and themes with our real life situation.

What I like about this story is that it felt believably real. This story takes place in a future time but it embodies what we fear at present day-being unable to distinguish what’s real and what’s not.

In this story, the economy of The United States had reached its rock bottom and the country suffered from what seems to be a serious stagflation that cannot be resolved. There’s chaos everywhere. This is where a billionaire man Volotini entered the scene. He’s Machiavellian by all means but with a plan. His rise to power was abrupt but the Congress had no other choice but to buy his idea and to instate him as the dictator or Potentate.

Now called the Republic, the government collects people’s brain waves and make everyone believe that the country is prosperous. What you see is not really what it is. Everything is a lie and controlled by the government. People remained optimistic because they think they are living a good life and the government is always helping them. In short, the whole country is brainwashed and only an outsider can see the truth. The government sacrificed realism for their own good.

What if you found out everything was a lie? Would you sacrifice your happy and sound mind to face the truth? Or would you deny it and refuse to believe to continue living life as you have known it?

Kate Brandeis is a product of this Volotinian system. She’s a successful reporter, wealthy and has a loving fiance. One day, Kate’s senses suddenly awakened after her old friend Maggie was reported to be assassinated for treason. She has been branded as an enemy of the state. Since then, Kate started to get images of her past and small vision on what her world truly looks like. She’s an interesting character though we have yet to view her as a heroic figure.

Jackson MacNamera is a guy who grew up on Iceland. He’s described as a person with heightened senses and he could see right through everything because of his strong mind. His training with his grandfather helped him learn how to control his own mind. I like him as a character because he possesses exceptional skills that could be necessary on this situation that would be soon be a revolution.

The Liberty Box is a thrilling dystopian ride that will surely mesmerize you. Every element is balanced and there are lots of tension and action going on. I’m excited to unravel what’s going to happen on the second book because this is a very promising novel. This book is a rare gem that everyone should try reading. There are no dull moments and every bits of it are truly action-packed.

The sequel will be released tomorrow, July 18th! Be sure to grab your copies!




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BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSIONS: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

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A book with an exciting premise. You’ll truly appreciate the details Evelyn Skye has thrown at us. The tsarist Russia felt alive, but I wasn’t that enthralled—it lacks something. This book has its best moments, it wasn’t all that bad. It just didn’t work out for me as much as I thought it would.

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TITLE: The Crown’s Game # 1
AUTHOR: Evelyn Skye
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
FORMAT: Hardcover
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray
DATE READ: July 11, 2016




Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

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I did not hate this book but I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. The premise was good. The concept of the game was interesting. I like the setting, an alternate fantasy version of the tsarist Russia. I like the idea of having one enchanter for each country to defend the state. I like the magic Nikolai and Vika possessed. I also appreciate how detailed Evelyn Skye was when she described the setting, it felt rich and magical. This book has its best moments too, it wasn’t all that bad.

But for me, the whole progression of the story felt a bit tedious.

In this book, we have two enchanters, Vika and Nikolai but each country could only have one enchanter so that all the powers will be concentrated into one individual. If there are two enchanters, the powers will be divided hence they wouldn’t have all the access to the powers out there needed to protect the tsar and the whole Russia now that the Kazakhs are showing signs of threats.

The number of enchanter shall be limited because each country’s wellspring emits a finite amount of magic at any given time. It is not without limits.

Thus, the Crown’s Game was commenced. The two enchanters will battle to win the title. But it wasn’t the physical-stupefy-expelliarmus kind of duel. Each of them will take turns and try to conjure their powers around St. Petersburg and show that he/she is better than the other. It’s up to them what move they’ll do. Each of them has a scar on their chest and once it burns, it means it’s your turn. But at the end of the Game, only one will live and the other will die. There is no escape in the Crown’s Game, because even you won’t kill your opponent, once all the 5 turns has been taken, the game itself will decide, the game itself will kill you. Death by burning

Sounds pretty intense right? Yes it was but it did not exceed my expectation The book felt promising but it lacked the tension or depth. I felt emotionally detached with the characters. The whole time I was like: COME ON GUYS! YOU HAVE POWERS! YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT!

The romance was dull and didn’t move me at all. It was a hands down insta love and I didn’t even see the reason why they should fall in love. Is it because they share the same power that’s why they felt connected? I don’t know I guess I’m becoming too old for this insta romance. The characters on this story seem to lose all sense of reason rationality when they meet another character they consider “hot.”

I didn’t find the conflict on this book as intense as it should be given the heavy plot the characters were in. I felt like the story was a bit dragged in the middle and toward the end, it was a bit rushed. I felt like throughout the book, there wasn’t much climactic events that have put me on the edge of my seat as opposed to what it promised. The last few pages of the book could have been more interesting if it didn’t feel rushed and compressed. The events on the ending should have been elaborated and crafted more so it would leave an impact . But instead, it left us with a hazy feeling.

The book is written in third person perspective and we can see all the aspects of the characters envolved; Vika, Nikolai, the Tsar and Pasha the Prince even his sister Yulianna. Given those things I didn’t like about the book, I still have to give credit to Evelyn Skye for the massive historical research she had done to include on this book; The historical event of the seige of Mesologgi from the Ottomans; the Greek Revolution; even the truths behind the tsar Pasha Alexender and his imperial court.

I can’t say I’m totally disappointed with this book but I wasn’t impressed by it. Nonetheless, I would still read the sequel hoping it would appeal to me more than the first book.



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BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSIONS: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

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This book is the book you should read if you want to feel lighthearted or if you want to be cheered up. This book can also be a cure for reading slump or a book hang-over from your previous read.


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TITLE: Tell Me Three Things
AUTHOR Julie Buxbaum
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
DATE READ: July 12, 2016




Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel whose characters will come to feel like friends. Tell Me Three Things will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell, Jennifer Niven, and E. Lockhart.

“Three Things about this novel: (1) I loved it. (2) No, really, I LOVED it. (3) I wish I could tell every teen to read it. Buxbaum’s book sounds, reads, breathes, worries, and soars like real adolescents do.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Time and Off the Page

 Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

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non spoilery review

A fresh and authentic YA Contemporary that will leave you a giddy feeling. TMTT2


Tell Me Three Things is a book that made me smile. It’s a very light read and it left me with a lighthearted feeling that I haven’t felt for a long time. After finishing it I already miss the characters. I want to see how they’re doing right now because the end doesn’t conclude their story, you know that their lives would go on. It moved me and I see myself in Jessie’s head. This is the kind of book I wished I have read when I was sixteen when I’m out there trying to fit in the new environment I was plunged into.


Three things I love from this book:

1. The narration, I like how genuine and it didn’t feel pretentious at all. When you read this book, you could actually feel like you are Jessie or you could be Jessie’s best friend. I like how Julie Buxbaum wrote the story with a perfect balance. It didn’t feel rushed. It felt natural and authentic.

2. The characters, are all well written that you could resonate with all of them. And they didn’t feel fictional at all. It felt like they’re real people.

3. The message of the story, time heals everything. Wherever you are in this world or whatever you’re experiencing, it will end. And one day you’ll look back and pat yourself for not giving up.

The story revolves around Jessie Holmes, she just moved to L.A with her dad after her mom died. His dad remarried with a woman who also has a son and suddenly she needs to do all the adjusting. New school, new people to deal with and new family. She’s enrolled in a prestigious school in L.A. called Wood Valley High. One day, she receives an anonymous email from a boy/girl who also happens to study in her school. He/she offered to help her adjust in the new school and be a guide to everything she needs to know there. He/she is called Somebody Nobody or SN. With the whole high school drama, Jessie finds herself confiding to SN and vice versa. They tell everything to each other and feel comfortable with it. Basically the whole book is about how Jessie adjusts on her new life, the desire to meet SN, and also finding herself.

I like how this is one of the mysteries we try to solve with Jessie; who is SN? But I also like that it doesn’t just focus on that, the book deals with a whole lot of other things such as discovering your voice in this world, developing “real” friendship as a foundation of everything, and acceptance, that everything happens for a reason and we have to deal with it.

The premise looks typical but once you started reading, the story will echo in your mind.

I could actually relate with Jessie which made me like this book so much. In real life, we tend to limit to whom we would share the dose of our real selves. But once we’re online, we’re a whole new different persona, we are ourselves. We are more confident because the anonymity gives us freedom to show the real us. Maybe that’s what Jessie and SN thought when they’re talking each other online. They feel connected.



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This segment of my blog contains my weekly Top 10 picks of anything related to books/reading. This is inspired by The Broke and the Bookish blog. I would also love to see your top 10 list in the comments below or you can link your blog so I could see it too and we could “spazz” (react/discuss/fangirl) it together. Thank you bookish peeps. ~Serene August


Hi bookish peeps! It’s been what, like a month since the last time I did a top 10 Tuesday meme. I have been busy with other stuff so I wasn’t able to make an update on this segment. But now it’s here and this is my favorite meme to do.

Admit it or not, endings affect how we see a book. We could spend our whole life liking a series apart from its ending. It also affects how we rate a book, you could have given a book a 5 tar but because you didn’t like the ending, it will become 4… 3… 2.. or 1. We invest our time in a certain series or books and of course we expect a justifiable and just ending for our characters. Because reading the characters story becomes part of our lives. And if they ended badly, part of ourselves are left shattered and broken.

This week, I’ll tackle about the Top 10 Novels With Disappointing Endings. Mostly, I will include here Young Adult because that’s what I’ve been reading mostly these days. Well this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion but this list is just based on what I think disappointed me, they’re not basically bad endings. It didn’t just appeal to me as much as I thought it would. And also, this post may contain MAJOR SPOILERS.   

But don’t worry, I’ll alert you guys if I’m going to mention spoilers.


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