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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | ARC Review (Crows and Death)


Black Bird of the Gallows
Meg Kassel
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Reviewer: Sophia

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
Advanced copy provided by Entangled Teen via Netgalley

“I'm going to sleep!” says reviewer, as she furiously types on the keyboard. The next time she looks up, an hour has passed, leaving her with one less hour of sleep and an 8 am class looming closer.

Obviously, I am a complete night owl because all of my decent reviews (aka my usual self and not some half hearted attempt of I THINK THIS IS A REVIEW BUT MY BRAIN IS CRYING SO I GIVE UP *presses schedule*) are all written after all the other souls in the house are sleeping soundly.

There's only one other soul 99% of the time.

Also, I read this weeks ago and completely forgot about the release date being last week, so I started writing other reviews and reading other books and poor Meg Kassel’s debut just sat there crying at me silently, “Are you going to review me?”

Five Things about Black Bird of the Gallows

At the same time, I had high expectations for Kassel’s debut novel, I also didn't, for some weird and odd reason my brain won't conjure up (the brain is strange, very strange). Here are some things to be aware of before/when picking up the book:

Death is a theme, but used differently - the few novels I've read with a death theme always have something in common: there's probably a grim reaper, and the grim reaper collects souls. Kassel uses a similar theme, but it's not the exact same theme. Honestly, I'm curious if this has mythology ties - is it okay if I kind of regret dropping myth and folklore senior year? I sacrificed it for college credit in speech instead (that's okay, right?).

I am in love with gorgeous lines, and Kassel delivers - I mean, they're not enough that I want to draw them (this is a rare thing to happen), but there are lovely lines and descriptions! And there's humor. I think I enjoyed the humor more often.
Suddenly, I notice the light steam coming off his skin—the same coming from my mouth when I speak. It feels like I’m sitting next to an attractive, boy-shaped wood stove.
There's a music aspect - As a once upon a violin player, music is important! Okay, maybe not important in my life as much as books are, but music books are cute. Music plays a major role in Black Bird of the Gallows when it comes to character development. When we first meet Angie, she's not as confident with her music as she eventually becomes later in the book.

Birds! (Okay, Crows) - It's probably a bad idea for me to read another book involving birds after Shatter Me, but I'm fine with birds in this one. The crows are also one of my favorite parts of the book - the crows aren't directly involved with death, but they play a role as well.

It gets dark - Black Bird of the Gallows might be less dark at the beginning, but it gets dark, VERY dark near the end. (Secretly my evil little heart likes this. I'm worried.)

Overall: Black Bird of the Gallows is perfect for those who enjoy books about death but are looking for something different than what we usually see.
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Friday, September 15, 2017


Fangirl Friday: Stranger Things 2 + Pirate101!

Hey guys!
It's been another stressful week for me, but I'm sure yours was excellent! I got exciting news to share with you other than the fact that I'm still reading Chamber of Secrets. It's been quite a week, so give me a few more days to finish this bad boy and get on with the HP reading challenge I set myself up for.

Stranger Things season 2 is coming very SOON! I'm honestly so excited about this! They release posters that pays homage to the 80s movies and it's fantastic! Check out the newest one that pays homage to the movie Jaws.

Any gamers in the room? Pirate101 got some new updates going on and hopefully you all are excited as Sophia! (I don't play games. I have no life right now. School is ruining my free time. Help.) Check out the video below!

Any Hellboy fans? I love the movies, but it's getting a reboot. I wasn't TOO happy about it. Now I am after I saw this photo of David Harbour as Hellboy! I can't wait for the release of this reboot!

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider leaving a comment. You can also have future posts delivered to you via RSS or Bloglovin. Happy Reading!
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I Would Be a Better Contemporary Character Than Any Other Genre

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m an avid reader open to all kinds of genres except for a particular one I like to steer clear of as much as possible (though lately that’s been failing because Ninja Girl by Cookie O’Gorman is so cute and there’s a Korean MC and she’s really bad-ass so…).

I am not a fan of contemporary novels.

I’m not! I dislike it because well… I just don’t connect well with contemporary for some reason. Plus, most of the novels in contemporary are romance, and I’m not a big fan of romance either. PDA makes me extremely uncomfortable, and complete strangers hitting on me is a surefire way for me to give a nasty look (and if they go too far, a very nasty comment).

But if I think about it, and I mean really think about it, I would make a better contemporary character than a fantasy character.

I would probably run from all the monsters.

I’m afraid of bugs - all of the bugs (I forgot what the actual phobia name is, but it starts with an ‘e’ and I’m a little too lazy to actually look it up at the moment). But still, if I’m afraid of bugs, then I’ll definitely be more than a little afraid of a monster. Monsters are bigger than bugs, who are smaller than the palm of my hand.

I’m not a sword-wielding bad-ass.

I probably look like I could kick someone’s butt and hurt them severely, but I never went through any training myself. The chances of my survival in a contemporary novel is a lot higher than a fantasy novel.

I’ll be a damsel in distress in a fantasy novel, too.

I probably shouldn’t have mentioned that. If anyone seeing this is sinister and mean ill will towards me, I’m screwed for sure.

I’d be too awed by the world to even focus.

Contemporary worlds are realistic, and I live in a realistic world, so I’m not going to be looking at a flat square that can message people in complete awe. Fantasy worlds are more elaborate and prettier than contemporary, and I love looking at pretty landscapes and buildings. (This is one reason why I really wanted to go to a college that is a 5 hour round trip. The campus is gorgeous.)

I’d get killed in my sleep.

I’ve been told I sleep like a dead person, and my mom has to whack me for me to actually wake up. Don’t worry, guys, she’s not abusing me. The point is, if I sleep like a dead person, I would never know if a monster sneaks up on me and takes a chunk of my brain.

I’d get killed regardless. RIP to me.

Sleep is probably not the only time I can get killed easily in a fantasy novel. Chances are, I’ll slip on ice, trip over a bump in the carpet (I’ve actually faceplanted on one) - I’m somewhat clumsy and even Lupe knows it.

Would you survive longer in a contemporary novel or fantasy novel? Do you want to live in a fantasy novel where you’re counted on by everyone to save the world, and there are potentially monsters at every turn? I would love to know your thoughts on this, so be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or chat with me on Twitter (@HannahSophiaLin).

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Friday, September 8, 2017

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Fangirl Friday: Hurricane disasters + Show/Movie issues

Hello! I hope all of you had a fantastic week. I feel so bad for those in the way of the three hurricanes that are going on right now. If you are in the way, please take precautions, evacuate or find a shelter near you. Please stay safe out there!

You all know Disney is starting to film the long awaited live action movie Aladdin. News broke out that they have created a new character in the film and hired a "white actor" to play the role. EVERYONE was honestly not happy about this. I'M not happy about this. I don't like the fact that they have created an unnecessary new character that will try to be the "potential husband for Princess Jasmine." Of course, this is a movie that shouldn't have a white character at all. Disney is receiving tons of backlash for this. I mean they whitewashing this film. Not good Disney. NOT GOOD!

In other news, Cartoon Network is going to add a fourth member to the Powerpuff Girls and will make her debut on September 17 in a five part movie event. I was shocked at first meaning, HOW DARE THEY TRY TO SCREW UP MY CHILDHOOD! Then I saw who was voicing it and all of my worries went away. Toya Delazy will be voicing the fourth Powerpuff Girl meaning that we will have a POC as a fourth member of the Powerpuff Girls! HURRAY FOR DIVERSITY!


Any fans of Lady Gaga out there? Check out this Netflix trailer of her new documentary!


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Thursday, September 7, 2017

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Cage of Destiny by Jennifer Anne Davis | ARC Review (I'm Lateee!)

Cage of Destiny Jennifer Anne Davis

Reign of Secrets #3
Jennifer Anne Davis
Publication Date: August 21, 2017
Publisher: Reign Publishing
Reviewer: Sophia

Destined from birth to be the next empress of Emperion, Allyssa grew up at court weighed down by the expectations of the crown. Kingdom and duty always came first.

Until now.

Having survived the brutal kingdom of Russek, she is given the choice to walk away and live a peaceful, quiet life. But it also means giving up everything she knows and everyone she loves. Before she decides, word reaches her about an assassination attempt. Donning her secret persona—that of a vigilante—she sets out to eliminate her enemy once and for all.

As Allyssa fights the demons of her past to save her future, she realizes she never had a choice. She can either embrace her destiny or be caged by it.
ARC provided by the author

I honestly forgot about writing a review for Cage of Destiny after reading it, so I am now fashionably late in the reviewing scheme of things.

My excuse: I've been trying to get both of my co-bloggers into reading this and it has not happened yet. My mission will continue. (Also Anelise’s library is cooler than mine because she says they have a copy of the first book.)

I honestly live for Davis’s introductions because they give me life. It's one of the rare things that never happen in books but it happened and I always look forward to reading it. Also it seems like there will be more books? Which means I might get more of one of my favorite bad-ass princess? My heart is overjoyed. *rolls into abyss of happiness*

Cage of Destiny starts right off from Cage of Darkness, when Allyssa is given the ultimate choice from her parents to walk away from her crown or continue the path of being empress of Emperion. This makes things a lot interesting since Cage of Deceit revealed Allyssa is a bad-ass princess who sneaks around the kingdom just to take down criminals in a disguise. And now she has a decision while taking down evil queen interested in kingdom domination!

To be a ruler, or not to be a ruler, that is the question.

And of course, there is a love triangle, which is kind of strange yet thrilling at the same time. Unlike most love triangles where the poor girl is playing “Pick a Boy” and us poor readers are fighting around with teams, there's only one side to this love triangle. The other guy is just there hanging on hopelessly, and my heart is happy because Davis isn't busy pulling around with my poor heartstrings and there is only one ship to this story.

Which basically leads me into some of the characters of book three. All of the major characters have been introduced in either the first or second book, so a lot of those characters are returning. In addition to that, there are some new characters as well, so maybe there's a book four? That is yet to be seen.

But let me take a moment to appreciate Kerdan, who got introduced in the previous book and will be playing a larger role than floating around and plotting and being all around mysterious prince warrior. Kerdan is basically the Kenji from Shatter Me - all funny personality with more page time than Kenji did, but also my favorite character other than Allyssa.

In fact, Kerdan probably brings out the funny side of Allyssa, which I will definitely not complain about.

Cage of Destiny brings a satisfying conclusion to one story with an unknown promise of future books - I'll be looking forward to future books regardless.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

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3 Shows I "Binged" Watched (I Was a Couch Potato in the Early Parts of Summer)

Sometimes I watch movies or TV shows and review them, which would've kept me more productive in the blogging world than what actually got posted over the summer.

I'm lucky Google Docs does not take up anything of the free 15GB of space Google Drive gets. I'm also lucky this year hasn't been as bad as last year, which I'll admit June now takes the trophy of the lowest number of posts in a month.
Without Lupe or Ella at the time, I would have two? Three? I'd go into the box of shame, but I have no shame because life happens.

I'm not as thrilled about reviewing TV shows or movies as I am with books, so I'll leave with shows I watched in the early parts of summer.

Boys Over Flowers (Korean Version)
Thanks to I Believe In a Thing Called Love, I decided to look up one of the first songs I listened to that wasn't English. For some reason, I ended up with the Korean version of Hana Dori Yango.
I think I just get lucky at searching for things.

Sherlock (BBC)
I just finished the latest episode not too long ago, and I'm a little sad there aren't any episodes at the moment.

Riverdale (CW)
Honestly, I think Riverdale is overhyped because the first five episodes were boring and I almost stopped. However... there's a murder mystery type of thing going on and I guess that's why I made it to the end of Season 1?
Most of you started school already - how was your summer? Did you watch any interesting shows other than reading books? Tell me!

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Friday, September 1, 2017

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Fangirl Friday: Hurricane Harvey + Heathers TV Show?

It's labor day weekend, that means its a three day weekend! Also... Happy September first! Fall is coming and I can't wait for the temperature to drop. Yes, I love the fall/winter weather.

Let's get serious.

Last week, Hurricane Harvey struck Texas and the images and videos that were shown were shocking. Nobody wanted this storm to be as bad as Katrina. Unfortunately, Harvey caused tons of damage and I can't handle seeing all of these photos. It honestly breaks my heart knowing good people have died during this horrible storm, and people are left with nothing. I felt so bad that I donated money in order to help in some way shape or form. I encourage you guys to donate as well if you can.

I'm happy to see celebrities coming together and donating to help those who were affected by Harvey. Houston is not the only city affected by Harvey. There are others cities as well, but it seems that the media is only focusing on one city. Pray for Texas and even Louisiana cause they are getting affected as well.

Have you seen the classic movie called, Heathers? I haven't, but I have seen Clueless and Mean Girls so don't kill me just yet for not having seen this one.

A teaser trailer has surfaced and according to some die hard fans, IT SUCKS.

See for yourselves about this trailer and tell me your thoughts below on how you feel about this upcoming TV show!

HARRY POTTER READING UPDATE: If you haven't heard, I'm reading HP for the first time and I'm halfway done with the first one! Keep a look out for a review soon!

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider leaving a comment. You can also have future posts delivered to you via RSS or Bloglovin. Happy Reading!
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