Reading Vlog on YouTube!!!

I am starting to update my YouTube channel on a more consistent basis, and I hope you will check it out!

You can find my weekend reading vlog here: https://youtu.be/Qf_rq21U5tQ

And you can also watch me roast my horrible teen poetry here: https://youtu.be/0VbkUk42eEM 

Make sure you like the videos and subscribe! Looking forward to growing my channel!

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo – Book Review

 

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas

ISBN: 0525511946

Published in Paperback on: July 2, 2018

Length: 288 Pages


Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my opinion. 

In this spellbinding novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.

Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary–perhaps magical–Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph’s family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces–potent magic, forbidden love–that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.


My Thoughts: This book was beyond beautiful. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but at the end I came out feeling like something was added within my heart. The story is told from three different points of view, and they’re somewhat loosely related to one another, you discover in the end how it all ties together nicely.

Out of the three points of view my least favourite was actually Joseph. It felt like he was holding everything and everyone an arms length away, and because this is how he comes across, it was hard to connect to him. I really loved Ali’s point of view. It was engaging and beautiful. His was the story that really grabbed me and made me fall in love with the story and setting.

This book is beautiful but it also feels a bit rushed. An idea of this nature feels like it should be really fleshed out, and it really could have been. Maybe then I would have liked Joseph and the sisters points of view a little more. The writing was lovely, but again missing just a little spark to really hook the reader.

I would still recommend this book to any historical fiction lovers. It’s now available in paperback internationally.

I gave this four out of five metal horns!

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War and Peace Rant

 

Every pseudo-intellectual is about to roll their eyes so hard at me, but I don’t care.

I posted recently about more positivity in the book community, and writing a rant about War and Peace seems a little counteractive to that idea, but this book really bothered me.

I read all kinds of books, including young adult novels because ONE they are the category in which I would like to one day be published in and TWO they are fun imaginative rides from start to finish. I bring this up because a lot of young women and men within the book community get older men just spewing dumb comments at them because apparently to them if you only read young adult novels, you’re dumb, and I am here to stand up for all young men and women who choose to read what they enjoy.

Classics are not all they’re cracked up to be. I don’t know how many old white dudes tell us to read more classics. I decided I needed to make up my own mind about classics. War and Peace is not the first classic novel I decided to read, nor will it be the last. It is, on the other hand, one of my least favorite books I have EVER FUCKING READ in my life.

I would describe it as Gossip Girl mixed with Russian history. Honestly, you people make fun of young adult novels but this entire book is about people loving this person after a day, but oh wait JUST FUCKING KIDDING they love that other person now…Oh, and by the way Napoleon is a fucking asshole…oh another drama about who loves who and who wants to die in a war. I know it seems like I am simplifying a very complex book, but this book isn’t actually complex at all. It’s massive and boring. It took me MONTHS to finish, and I will honestly never read it again. War and Peace could totally be given the Disney treatment because the instalove is REAL in this book.

At 1200 pages, I would say this thing could have been cut in half.

As historical fiction goes, it’s absolute shit. I recommend it to NO ONE.

If you want to read an epic Historical Fiction then I recommend The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett. If you’ve been contemplating reading War and Peace, then do so if you must but be warned this book did not age well, and it will make you roll your eyes right into the back of your head.

Don’t ever feel pressured to read classics like this because if you don’t then you’re not considered intelligent, because anyone who thinks this is a beacon of intelligence needs their head checked.

Peace and Love!

Dread Nation – Book Review

 

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

ISBN: 0062570609

Published: April 3,2018

Length: 455 pages


Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.


My Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this alternate history tale with zombies, but what I got was a punch to the face. First of all, it’s well written, and the characters are fleshed out really well. You could feel what they’re feeling and what more could you ask for in a story? Then you have the political commentary thrown in, and it’s just such a creative way of putting forth facts about American History within a fictional world. 

Jane is in this school to learn how to protect wealthy white people from the undead, but in the process, she learns a lot more than she bargained for. I liked the fact that the MC spoke her mind even in situations that could be dangerous to do so. Something that is still prominent today if we really think about it. The author herself gets a lot of crap for speaking her mind, and I think a bit of that comes through in Jane. 

There are some scenes that are a tough pill to swallow, but that feels like the point as well. 

There was a spark of romance, but it didn’t drown out the rest of the story. The action scenes are extremely well written, and I really enjoyed this alternate history story. I am not sure if this is a duology, trilogy, or a series, but I do know I am looking forward to the next book!

I gave this 4 out of 5 metal horns!

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The Extinction Trials – Book Review

 

The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson

ISBN: 1474927343

Published: January 1, 2018, Usborne Publishing LTD

Length: 384 Pages


Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival.
Welcome to the Extinction Trials.

In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.

But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other…


My Thoughts: I saw The Extinction Trials at the bookstore and saw the little fake sticker on it that said “The Hunger Games meets Jurrasic Park” and I instantly grabbed it. I didn’t even read the synopsis till I got home. I really had no idea what the book was about other than it had dinosaurs and some kind of trial like the hunger games. I was instantly sold. 

I was not disappointed. This was such a fun ride! I have been telling everyone to read it since. The writing is great and the story is wonderful. Stormchaser and Lincoln’s dynamic is fun to read, and while you know they’re catching some feelings for one another, that doesn’t end up taking over the plot like so many YA stories these days.

The dinosaur aspect is my favorite part because ever since I was younger and watched Jurassic Park, I wish we could one day see these animals up close (although that movie franchise shows just how horrible of an idea that would be). Wilson’s ability to bring these animals to life within this story is amazing. I felt like I was being watched at times.

The story itself was a bit predictable, but that didn’t take away from the entertainment factor of this book. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of The Hunger Games and Jurassic Park. The second book in the series called Exile will be released this Thursday and I am already itching to read it!

This book gets four out of five metal horns from me!!

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American Panda – Book Review

 

American Panda by Gloria Chao

ISBN: 1481499106 

Published: February 6, 2018

Length: 311 Pages


An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?


My Thoughts: I Loved this book SO much! 

I always feel that I connect so much more to books where the characters are either immigrants themselves or their parents are immigrants. It’s a different life when you have to balance cultures. This book really shows those struggles.

Mei is doing what she feels she should do because of guilt. When you have parents that have been through so much and moved to the United States to give you a better chance at life, you do become overwhelmed with the feeling that you cannot fail. I connected with that.

For me the story was wonderful. Heartbreaking in some parts, and just made the characters seem real. I see many reviews from white Americans that say this is a stereotype, but it’s not. It happens with many immigrant families because typically immigrants have to work twice as hard sometimes three times as hard to get the same respect and privileges of white Americans.

People’s experiences aren’t tropes.

I think Gloria Chao wrote a real book, and finally, a YA novel that isn’t about a high school student. Mei is in University and struggling with what she should be doing with her life. I think Mei also had a great sense of humor and I just really enjoyed this contemporary read.

It reminds me of my own WIP, and it’s inspired me to finish proper edits and get my story out there as well.

I gave this book Five out Five Metal Horns!

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Also, If you really want to check this out but are currently on a budget, the Audiobook is available on Scribd. With the Link below you get Two free Months and can cancel at any time, and with your two free months, I get a free month as well! 

Click Here to Get 2 Free months of

Batman: ​Nightwalker – Book Review

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

ISBN: 9780399549786

Published: January 2, 2018, from Penguin Random House 

Length: 252 Pages 

Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my opinion. 


Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


My thoughts:  This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018, and I jumped for joy when I was asked to join the Nightwalker Blog Tour. This book follows Bruce Wayne as a teenager, we get to see the beginnings of Batman. Bruce Wayne is just like any other teenager in the world, except for the fact that he’s filthy rich and gets away with pretty much anything if he wants to. That is until one night. One night is the catalyst for this entire story. 

Without going into too many details, Bruce gets community service, and he has to go to Arkham Asylum to complete his hours. This is where we meet Madeleine Wallace. She’s in a cell at Arkham, but why is she there? And why is it that she only seems to talk to Bruce? The plot is well thought out. This is merely my second Marie Lu book, and I do believe I am officially a fan. She gets the characters right. We get to know Dianne and Harvey his two best friends ( YES, it’s Harvey Dent). I found their friendship to be genuine and refreshing to see in a young adult novel.

Going in knowing that you’re reading a story about a beloved character like Batman can be nerve-wracking. I mean I honestly have no idea how Marie Lu didn’t dig a hole and hide in there when asked to write this novel, but I am glad she didn’t. She took this story to new heights. You get a glimpse into what could have been Batman’s teen years. Yes, I realize how many stories and shows are out there that touch this subject, but Marie Lu does it justice. You see just how vulnerable Bruce is, and just how much he can be like any other teen.

This was well written and entertaining. There is wonderfully written action, and so much raw emotion that pours from these pages. The pacing is terrific as well. I was expecting this book to be much bigger but at 252 pages, this is definitely on the smaller side, and still, the plot and characterization pack a punch. I love Batman, and I was nervous going into this, but I read it quickly and fell in love with it. Almost wish there would be another one.

This book is part of the DC Icons series. The next book will follow Catwoman. Looking forward to it!

I gave this five out of five Metalhorns! I highly recommend it!

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