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Exit, Pursued by A Bear by E.K. Johnston

images.jpgTitle: Exit, Pursued by A Bear

Author: E.K. Johnston

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

“I love you,” Polly says suddenly when I’m almost to the door.

“I know,” I say.

Hermione Winters has been a flyer. She’s been captain of her cheerleading team. The envied girlfriend and the undisputed queen of her school. Now it’s her last year and those days and those labels are fading fast. In a few months she’ll be a different person. She thinks she’s ready for whatever comes next.

But then someone puts something in her drink at a party, and in an instant she finds herself wearing new labels, ones she never imagined:

Victim. Survivor. That raped girl.

Even though this was never the future she imagined, one essential thing remains unchanged: Hermione can still call herself Polly Olivier’s best friend, and that may be the truest label of all.

Heartbreaking and empowering, Exit, Pursued by a Bear is the story of transcendent friendship in the face of trauma.

“I love you,” I say, because I really, really do.

“I know,” says Polly.

This is the perfect book. And I have a new favorite author.

Before anything though–this is a story about rape. Probably not something everyone will want to read about, but I do hope a lot try reading it.

For some reason, I didn’t think anything would top the beauty that is A Thousand Nights, but this book did. It is so, so wonderful because even though it tells the tale of something horrible, there is so much support for Hermione.

I don’t think I can say anything to express just great this book is. It’s not a typical rape story because the heroine doesn’t end up despairing over life and rebelling and basically making her life more shitty. But the emotions Hermione feels and the ordeals she goes through seemed realistic. (Although, of course, in real life someone would probably be feeling far worse if they were alone :().

I cried while reading the book. When I finished the book, I cried some more. Because I wish everyone had a support system like Hermione did. I wish everyone had an awesome friend like Polly, ready to defend them and shut people up when they say the dumbest, most ignorant things. And I wish people would stop judging rape victims and treat them as VICTIMS, instead of saying shit like they asked for it and making excuses for rapists.

There is so much vileness in this world. But maybe, just maybe, this book will open the eyes of some people and there will be less ignorance and horrible shit in the world.

The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

18664342Title: The Fever Series

Author: Karen Marie Moning

Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death—a cryptic message on MacKayla Lane’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed—a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae.

I’m reviewing the entire series as a whole because I binge-read it and I have too many feels + it would be too spoilery to review them all. Haha. Also I honestly lack the skill to express just how good this series is so I made this list of reasons why it is amazing and why you should definitely read it:

  1. I read six books in this series in a week. Which is saying something considering how short my attention span is lately. XD  To be honest, I’ve seen a lot of praise for this on Goodreads. I was hesitant to start the series though, because the cover of Darkfever (at least the first one I saw on Goodreads heh) looked like something from the New Adult genre and I wasn’t in the mood to read NA. But now I’m really, really glad I read the series because it was so much more than I ever expected. 
  2. The characters. Ms. Moning is an excellent writer who gives us well-written, complicated characters that you just can’t help but love and cheer for. The main characters, Mac and Barrons, are the epitome of everything I hate in characters. Mac is that silly, spoiled, weak, selfish girly girl who whines a lot. Barrons is a douchebag who is possessive and violent and the ultimate alpha male. Despite that, I love them. I’ll admit I was pretty annoyed while I read Darkfever, but they grew on me. It’s amazing. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I love them so so much that I am already dying for the next book, which doesn’t come out until next year. RIP me. I particularly love Mac soooo much, she’s an excellent example that female characters CAN be as tough as nails (ala Katniss Everdeen) AND enjoy fashion/shopping/painting your nails/etc too. Because being feminine doesn’t mean you’re weak! The Unseelie King is another fave, but I refuse to say anything else because everything is potentially spoiler-ish. Lol.
  3. The world-building. Even if for nothing else, read it for the magnificent world Ms. Moning has created. My mind was blown away by the different courts and kinds of Fae she created. I want to live in this world, even if it’s only so I can meet Barrons i’m so shallow lmao Just keep those fecking Shades away from me! I’m afraid Ms. Moning has upped my standards to impossibly high levels for urban fantasy and Fae-related stories because this is probably the best Fae-related plot I’ve read.
  4. Excellent writing. I’m super super glad there were three public holidays last week because I spent them all hiding underneath the sheets while reading the books. I couldn’t put them down, even when I was freaking out because the Shades are so scary and and my brain was frantically wondering if they’re nomming on me now in the dark? but who cares because I need to know who killed Alina and what the hell Barrons is and how Mac is going to survive all this shit?? Also can I just say that it is super, super awesome how Mac gets into shit and she always gets out of it herself instead of Barrons or V’lane or some other guy swooping in to save her?? Mac is awesome, guys.

Confession time: Okay, fine, I skipped Iced because Dani’s way of talking annoys me so I don’t know if I can survive a whole book of “fecks” and “dudes” but I will attempt to read this eventually!! I mean, I love Dani but I can only stand her in small doses :(((( I’m hoping this will change when I get around to reading Iced. X’D

 

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Crime

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Genre: High Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

If there’s one thing to get you out of a slump (read: being too busy/lazy to blog and write reviews), it’s finding the perfect book to make you feel things that demand to be felt and written about. Or else you might explode from all the feels. I don’t think my sister will appreciate seeing my guts all over the house so…here have this messy review. X’D

I wasn’t planning on reading this for a long, long time, considering how long I’ll have to wait again for the next book, but thanks to peer pressure (Thanks Anj for threatening me with spoilers! I hate you! Joke lang haha), I caved in and read it. And couldn’t stop. I tried to read it whenever I could. Heck, I even woke up two hours too early and decided sleep wasn’t as important as finishing this book. Because 3 am decisions are the best decisions amirite?

Nope.

Don’t read this. I swear, you’ll regret it. As the sun started to rise this morning, I felt like crying for the two hours I spent reading. Why did I cave in? Why didn’t I just sleep? SLEEP WAS TOTALLY MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS. So yeah, don’t read this if you don’t want your heart to be shattered in a million pieces, only for it to heal itself and start hoping for something better to come, only to have it crushed. Again. And again. And agaiiiiiin. (Or yes, if you’re a masochist, you should totally read this and join the rest of who are in agony right now.)

I TOTALLY DID NOT NEED THIS HEARTBREAK. How dare you toy with my emotions, book. How could you make me feel like I was Kestrel, so desperate and lonely and angry because everything was shitty and everything hurts. How could you make me taste Arin’s pain like it was so fucking real that I wanted to weep and tell him to not lose faith, to not give up, to make him just stop walking away because all is not as it seems but he can’t seem to fucking figure that out because he’s so uncertain and feel so much pain and I just want to hug these characters so badly okay ;A;

I am such a mess. Such a terrible mess that I kept stopping while writing this because I kinda want to roll around crying instead. Like all the fucking time. How am I going to survive until next year?

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

Okay, I was supposed to write reviews for the books I listed in my previous post, but I just needed to gush about this book first!!

9781250002693

Title: The Devotion of Suspect X

Author: Keigo Higashino

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads:

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.

When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

Wow. This. Book. Is. Brilliant.

Okay, so the reason I actually discovered this book was because someone in K-pop was reading it and I was curious to find out about his reading tastes. LOL @ my shallow reasons XDD But I regret nothing now!!!

The Devotion of Suspect X begins with an accidental murder. Yasuko Hanaoka is your normal lady trying to live a normal life with her daughter. Except she’s got this no-good ex-husband, Togashi, who shows up and tries to get money from her. She tries to refuse, he threatens her and eventually he ends up dead on the floor of her apartment. Her neighbor, Ishigami (who has a sort of crush on her), overhears the commotion and decides to help her get rid of the body and cover up the entire thing.

Okay, that sounds pretty normal for a mystery/crime novel, I guess. Except Ishigami is a mathematical genius who uses logic to create a plan that is super brilliant, and one I don’t really want to talk about because I might end up saying something spoilery. Nevertheless, it is amazing to read the book and unravel the pieces of the puzzle one by one.

It’s pretty interesting how math is a factor in this…I hate math but the way it is explained in this book is simple and easy to understood (kudos to you author and translator!!). I’ve always said you don’t really need ~complicated math in real life but…Ishigami treats the murder like a mathematical equation and just… nah, nope not gonna say anything because

But anyway. I was surprised at how fast I read through this book, even with the math equations and explanations. Because normally math makes me fall asleep or run away. lmao The story just sucked me in, waiting in anticipation and dread for them to discover who the killer was. Because I really, really didn’t want the police to find out since Yasuko, well, was justified in her reasons and I didn’t want her life (and her daughter’s) to be ruined :c

The plot twist totally killed me because I did not see it happeniiiiiing AT ALL, which was pretty awesome for me because…this is a crime novel where you know from the start who the killer is. It’s just..how everything was done being slowly explained throughout the book that’s so enthralling…and just when I thought I knew everything and decided to just wait for the inevitable (because well, shouldn’t all crime novels end with the crimes being solved lol), the author came and punched me in the face while cackling and saying, “Hah! Surprise!!”

And that left me stunned and unable to sleep for a while, despite the fact that I stayed up late to finish reading. lels

bless my source for discovering a new author to love huhu

2014 Favorite Reads (Part One)

One of the questions I hate the most is “What is your favorite book?” It’s impossible to answer. How am I supposed to choose out of all the beloved books that made me weep and laugh and rage and soar? I’d rather eat dirt than answer that question.

Of course, if you’re more specific, like if you wanna know what are my favorite books I’ve read this year, well…that’s answerable. Although it took me ages to actually write this post, mainly because I was so torn about what to choose. So many wonderful books, so little space on my list.

Choosing favorites is always tough, so I’m dividing them into parts (otherwise the list may grow bigger than I expected and i’ll end up not posting anything lmao). This post is about the top 5 books I loved reading during the first half of the year! O(≧∇≦)O

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