Review on “House of Salt and Sorrows”


Genre: Gothic fantasy

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Owlcrate (original publisher: Delacorte)

Published: August 6th, 2019

Pages:  400

Goodreads summary: In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.


My thoughts: 

First of all let me start by saying that House of Salt and Sorrows is a book that really messes with your mind. I knew there were going to be some spooky elements in it and I was prepared for them, but I expected this to be more of a fantasy with a darker twist. I definitely did not expect the book to be as creepy as it is. There is a really strong mystery vibe in it but there is also an equally strong horror vibe and I can honestly say some scenes were downright terrifying. So if you’re going to read this, don’t do it at night. And if you do read it at night, definitely do so with the lights on. I know some of you like to read in the dark with a small reading light on and let me tell you, that won’t do in this case.

I’ll start with the characters. Since this is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses, there’s a large array of them, as you can imagine, starting with Annaleigh and her sisters. I was very happy to see that Craig had taken the time to give each one (even the four sisters who’ve died) distinctive personalities so that it was easy to remember each one as a different person. I do feel that a couple of the sisters were more decorative  rather than significant to the storyline but with so many characters to work with that’s understandable and I didn’t mind it that much. I wish we’d have a bit more time to get to know all the girls (aside from Annaleigh of course) better though. But aside from that I was very satisfied with the character development and I was invested in all their stories, despite Annaleigh being the protagonists. I have to say that the triplets were my favourites and I wished I could read more about them and about Verity who I found to be one of the most important characters for the development of the story.

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Why I Will Keep Loving Harry Potter and How To Have It In Our Lives Without Supporting Rowling

Hello everybody! I hope you’re having a lovely week! As most of you have heard by now, there’s a bit of a Harry Potter scandal going around the bookish world (or better yet a Rowling scandal) so I wanted to come on here and share my views on the matter because I know a lot of Potterheads are currently struggling with this whole situation and I’m hoping this will help them ease their minds a bit. To be honest I was a bit reluctant about posting at first but I’ve seen some comments float around Instagram that I believe need to be addressed, so here we are. Please note that this is my own personal opinion and that I have no intention of forcing it on anyone but with all the uncertainty that is going on right now revolving the Wizarding World, there are some thing that I feel need to be said. I’ve already shared some of my views under an Instagram post but instead of making another post there I thought it would be easier to talk about this here since Instagram only allows you a certain amount of space for a caption.

First things first, let me be clear about something. I do not condone Rowling’s actions nor do I agree with her statements in the slightest. Trans women are women. Trans men are men and no one has the right to tell them otherwise. To put it in the words of Albus Dumbledore: “it matters not what someone is born but what they grow to be.” I honestly fail to understand how the same woman who has given us so much magic, who has created a world full of acceptance and who has written lines such as this one, is capable of making such hurtful comments towards a very marginalized community, a community that does not deserve to be judged by her or anyone. Like so many other Harry Potter fans, I am extremely disappointed in her behaviour and the fact that she appears to be incapable of seeing the wrong in what she’d said and I have to admit that I expected much more from an author who has touched and shaped the lives of so many children (mine included) and is supposed to be a role model to all of them.


But. While I’m no longer willing to support Rowling as an author, I cannot and will not forget my love for Harry Potter and the Wizarding Word. I fully recognize that what she said is unacceptable and that we, as a community, should stand against her bigotry and show our full support towards transgender people and the lgbtq+ community at large. But for me that doesn’t mean we have to erase everything that has something to do with Harry Potter from our lives in order to do so. Harry Potter has been here with me since childhood, I grew up alongside Harry, and I simply cannot imagine my life without it. It’s been a part of all our lives for so many years and has taught us so many valuable lessons as a story in spite of the author behind it. And yes it is a flawed story, no one’s saying otherwise. But we weren’t able to see its flaws when we were children and flawed or not it has touched and changed so many lives and I personally am not willing to let it go. Harry Potter makes me happy, it gives me comfort during hard times and always makes me feel a little better and no one can take that away from me. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. And no, I’m not going to enjoy the series privately and I am not going to apologize for it. Because part of the reason Harry Potter makes me happy is that I get to share my love for it with other people and I am not giving that up. No one should have to. And nothing Rowling says or does is going to erase the magic of the story or what it has given to you personally. As Daniel said, this is between you and the books you read and that is sacred and shouldn’t be diminished by the author’s actions or words.

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Review on Queen of Air and Darkness


Genre: YA, fantasy

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published: December 4th, 2018

Pages:  912

Goodreads summary: What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.


My thoughts:

First of all let me start by saying that this review will be divided into a non-spoilery and a spoilery part. I have a lot of things to vent about, so if you haven’t read this yet make sure to skip the spoilery part!

I once again don’t know what to begin with but Queen of Air and Darkness was definitely a roller coaster ride of emotions, mostly in a good way! I say mostly because sadly, while this one was still a five star read for me (I am a bit biased, it’s true) it did not entirely live up to Clockwork Princess (which destroyed me) or even to its predecessor Lord of Shadows (which was definitely my favourite in the trilogy). It was still amazing, intense, action packed and full of emotion and plenty of amazing quotes but well, I expected a bit more. Only a bit but still more, considering this was the last book in the trilogy and Cassandra’s chance to end it with a bang.

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Review on “Lord of Shadows”


Genre: YA, fantasy

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published: May 23rd, 2017

Pages: 701

Goodreads summary:

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.


My thoughts:

“Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.”

Where but oh where to begin? I guess I can begin by saying that I loved Lord of Shadows as much as I loved Lady Midnight and even more and I am extremely happy to say that. Why? Because I usually dread reading second books in trilogies as I am always worried they will fall flat against a usually strong beginning and mind blowing end. Which was definitely not the case with this book.

Lord of Shadows was filled with intensity, emotion, action, beautifully written scenes, amazing dialogue and familiar Shadowhunter humour just as much as Lady Midnight was. And on top of that, it delved even deeper into the Shadow World giving as a glimpse into Faerie and into the dynamics between different species that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I will never understand how Cassandra Clare manages to surprise me with new information about the Shadow World every single time, given how much we know about it already through TMI and TID. But there were so many new aspects of it we got to learn about in this book and the detail of it all will never cease to amaze me!

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Review on “Aurora Rising” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Genre: YA, science fiction

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Published: May 7th, 2019

Pages: 473

Goodreads summary:

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.


My thoughts:

“Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than any constellation in the sky?”

First of all let me say that I was super excited to pick up this book after reading and loving The Illuminae Files a few years ago. I’ve been a huge fan of Amie and Jay ever since so I was looking forward to reading another crazy, sci-fi adventure by them. And I was not disappointed.

This had nothing to do with Illuminae and I was more than glad for it because The Illuminae Files is a masterpiece and I was afraid that I would constantly compare Aurora Rising to it, thus ruining the experience of reading it. Turned out we were in no danger for that since Aurora Rising is set in an entirely different universe and stands exceptionally on each own. That being said, I did miss the occasional observations of a murderous AI but I was glad Jay and Amie did not repeat themselves in this book in the slightest.

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10+1 Things To Do At Home

Hello everybody! I hope you are all well and safe! It’s been a long while since I last posted here! Since October 2018 to be exact. I sadly haven’t had much time or motivation to blog this past year but it’s one of my 2020 resolutions to start again and since I’m currently not working and staying at home (as all of us who are able to should do) I figured now is the perfect opportunity to get blogging again!

I know these are very hard times we’re all going through right now. I honestly feel like I’m living in a dystopian novel, as I’m sure many of you do. But I think it’s vital that we all stay positive and find the bright sides during this very difficult situation. I know it may be extremely hard some times, and that some days may be far worse than others, but it’s extremely important to have hope and take care of ourselves both physically and mentally! This will pass too, and hopefully the world will be a batter place when we return to it and are able to heal and leave the bad behind.

So since most of us are currently staying at home and have plenty of time to fill (I certainly have much more than usual), I figured it would be a nice idea to share some ideas about stuff that we can do indoors. I think it’s important to keep ourselves busy right now and to find distractions, so without further ado here are 10+1 things that we can all do at home:



As an undeniable bookworm, reading is definitely on the top of my list! Us bookworms are always complaining about not having enough time to read all the books we want to so this is the perfect opportunity for us to tackle our TBRs. I have to admit mine is way out of control! Half the books on my shelves are probably unread so I’m hoping I will manage to get to as many of them as possible before it’s finally time to get back to work! It’s impossible to read all of them of course (that would take years to be honest) but there are a few that are high priority on my list and I will be starting with them first!

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Review on “Small Spaces” by Katherine Arden

36959639Genre: middle grade horror

Format: audio book

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Published: September 25th 2018

Pages: 218

Goodreads summary:

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins. 


My thoughts:

“Wherever you go in this big, gorgeous, hideous world, there is a ghost story waiting for you.” 

With Halloween fast approaching, I wanted to find a spooky read to get myself in the proper mood on the last weekend of October. After reading and loving City of Ghosts earlier this month, I decided to give another middle grade horror book a try and was super intrigued by Small Spaces when I saw a fellow bookstagrammer give it a sterling review. Needless to say it was the best decision I ever made so my review will be a sterling one as well.

I’ve never been much of a middle grade reader but I absolutely loved Small Spaces. Katherine Arden’s writing was amazing and sucked me in right away, and I was very much impressed by how she managed to write a sufficiently scary story without making it utterly terrifying for young readers.  That didn’t mean of course, that there weren’t any creepy moments in the book because trust me, there were plenty! Seeing that the book was written for ages eight to twelve, I didn’t expect to be as spooked as I was while listening to it. It may have something to do with the very talented narrator who managed to make her voice sound completely different for each character (sometimes sounding downright creepy) but I can easily say Small Spaces was one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read. It gave me chills so many times and felt like reading a classic Goosebumps book when I was younger which was honestly the best feeling! Besides, who doesn’t love a chilly read close to Halloween?

Ollie, the main character, was easily the best part of the book for me. Aside from the delightfully spooky moments in it, of course. At eleven years old she was one of the bravest protagonists I’ve even encountered and I got invested in her story pretty much from the first page. Not only because she managed to face the terrifying situation she found herself in without bursting into screaming every five seconds (because honestly I would have) but mostly because she had the courage of heart to make the decisions she made and especially in the end. I also loved her personality, which was strong and feisty despite the fact she mostly kept to herself, and couldn’t help but relate to her love of books. My heart warmed at every Narnia and Alice in Wonderland reference and I’m so glad the writer decided to include them.

I also want to give an ode to Katherine Arden for writing about trauma in her story and passing the massage that it can eventually be overcome one way or another. Ollie has lost her mom and that defines ever aspect of her character, as is normal. And while it’s ironic that she had to go through another traumatic experience to overcome her trauma. it goes to show that we can all come out of a dark situation as long as we find the strength inside of us.

I should probably bring this review to an end but not before I mention the two secondary characters, Coco and Brian. Ollie’s crew if you’d like to call them even though they started off as enemies (or at least not friends) in the beginning of the book. Just like Ollie, Coco and Brian were very real and very well developed and I loved getting to know each of them. Brian, the seemingly popular athletic boy who turned out to be a huge reader, won me over right away. Mostly because he beat the stereotype that says jocks can’t be readers and readers can’t be popular kids and because his character that there is more to people than what appears to be from the outside. The same applies to Coco who showed an impressive strength of personality you could never guess she had just by looking at her.

And maybe calling them secondary characters is not entirely correct because – even though they weren’t narrators in the book – they were so important to the story that I know the story wouldn’t be the same without them. I loved getting to know each of their strengths (and Ollie’s) and loved seeing how they shared these strengths with each other and how their friendship grew by the end of the book. I know Ollie wouldn’t have gotten very far without either of them and that’s another thing I have to applaud Katherine Arden on. The fact that she showed how important friendship is and how much you need your friends to help you deal with the bad situations. Even if those friends are completely different than you, appearance or personality wise.

Final rating: So five full stars for this and if you’re looking for a spooky read, this is definitely a book you should pick up. If you’re a fan of R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps, Small Spaces will be a gem for you. It might not make you lose your sleep (it is intended for children after all) but it will definitely make you shudder and it will be totally worth the chills! And if you’re not afraid of scarecrows, well… you’re about to be!




Review on “Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda”

19547856Genre: YA, contemporary

Format: paperback

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Published: April 7th, 2015

Pages: 303

Goodreads summary:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


My thoughts:

“And the feeling that people are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows… He talked about the ocean between people. And how the whole point of everything is to find a shore worth swimming to.”

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a contemporary since I don’t normally read those so I’ll try to keep this simple. Contemporaries might not be my usual genre but there are a few that are definitely worth breaking my fantasy streak for and Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was easily among those few.

Needless to say I absolutely loved it! The storyline was super easy to follow, the characters (especially Simon) were absolutely amazing and there were plenty of funny and heartwarming moments which was exactly what I needed after a super busy week. I loved the fact that the book focused on so many different themes. Sure, it was mostly about Simon’s inner struggle with himself and his relationship with Blue, but it was also a story about friendship, about family and about learning to be yourself which is something I definitely can relate to.

“Everyone should have to declare one way or another and it should be this big awkward things whether you’re straight, gay, bi or whatever.”

Simon’s relationship with Blue was probably one of my favorite parts in the book. I loved reading their email exchanges so much and I was rooting for them to be together right from the start. I also loved the fact that this was a book with a gay protagonist but that the writer went to great lengths to show how normal that gay protagonist is, in contrast to the usual stereotype that gay people can’t look or act normal. Simon is perfectly normal and perfectly unique at the same time and that’s what made me fall in love with him in the first place. It usually takes me a while to warm up to characters but let me just say that Simon was instantly likable. He is absolutely adorable, extremely smart, and all in all someone I’d love to have as my best friend so we could eat all the Oreos together and endlessly talk about Harry Potter. Yes, Simon loves Harry Potter so how could I not love him?

“The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat. Soft and persistent. Underlying everything.”

And speaking of best friends, I absolutely loved Simon’s relationship with his own best friends and how it evolved during the book. I loved that they were all so different from one another but that they were always there for each other because really, that’s what friendship is all about. And don’t even get me started about all the Harry Potter references in the book! As an undeniably obsessed Harry Potter fan, I absolutely loved reading those!

I also want to say a huge thank you to Becky for writing a super realistic and honest story that sends a wonderful message about diversity and equality. I’ve never had to struggle a lot with my identity like Simon did but I know many people are going through something like that and it is nice to see those people are represented in YA literature for once.

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”

Final rating: Definitely five stars for this adorable and wonderful story! Like I said, I’m not big on contemporaries but it’s contemporaries like this one that make me love the genre a lot more! Would absolutely recommend this to anyone and a small piece of advice: if you’re going to read this, make sure to have Oreos close by! I’ve already devoured three packs this week and it doesn’t look like the craving will settle down any time sooner! Thanks so much for this Simon!4348708850_7767fe0d4c_o

Mid-Month Check In June 2018

Happy Saturday everyone! Welcome to another mid-month check in! I almost forgot to do it this time but luckily I remembered! Gonna keep the introduction short because I’m working on a million things today and don’t want to waste too much time. So without further ado here’s what’s going on in my bookish life lately!

Currently reading

I’m once again way too busy too focus on reading too much so I’m not having the best reading month, but I’m currently reading two books! The first one is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda which I’ve been trying to finish for at least a week. I say trying because I always end up being interrupted somehow which is a shame because I’m absolutely loving the book! Other than Simon, I’ve also started Beyond a Darkened Shore which I’m super excited about! I mean Vikings and magic! What else to ask for?

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Book Recommendations: Summer Reads

Happy June everyone! Can you believe May is already gone? I’m super excited that summer is officially here so I figured it would be fun to do some summer bookish recommendations to welcome the new season properly! These are all books I’ve read or am planning to read myself this summer and I really hope you’ll find them interesting as well!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

22456224Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

What book more fitting to read in summer than one that is all about the son of Poseidon? I have to admit I’ve only read the first two books in the series but I think it’s finally time for me to continue with it! I absolutely love Rick Riordan’s writing and Percy’s sarcastic humor makes these book super fun to read during any season but especially during summer! I’m planning on binge reading these in July, after my exams are over, and I can’t wait!

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