Book Review

[REVIEW] Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling

Natalie and the Nerd banner
Hello, welcome to my bookstagram blitz for Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling! This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. You may see other bloggers, and bookstagrammers’ tour stops here.

Natalie and the NerdNatalie and the Nerd
By Amy Sparling
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5
Release Date: 30 May 2017
Blurb:
Natalie’s school work is the last priority on her long list of things to worry about. Since her parent’s divorce, her mom’s boutique—their only source of income—is about to go under, and Natalie spent all summer and most of her senior year trying to save the little shop. Now that she’s in danger of failing high school, the assistant principal (who happens to be her evil stepmother) is making Natalie join daily tutoring sessions with Jonah Garza, the school’s valedictorian.

Taking math lessons from the rich nerdy boy is the last thing Natalie wants to do, but Jonah needs these community service hours to get into Harvard, so he’s not going to give up on her. In addition to working at the boutique and studying with Jonah, Natalie’s lifelong crush just started paying attention to her. She’s being pulled in so many directions, she doesn’t think to question why the son of the biggest business mogul in town is suddenly trying to win her affections.

When her crush betrays her and the store goes into foreclosure, Natalie has to choose between fighting harder to keep her mom’s dream alive, or fighting to pass high school and start a future of her own.

Review

If you love Sarah Dessen’s writing voice and storytelling, then Amy Sparling’s Natalie and the Nerd should definitely your next read! NatN delivers a solid story around Natalie and her struggles as a high schooler while the world happens around her. It’s a great coming-of-age read with the right amount of romance and sparks that will reel you in.

The thing that I loved most and surprised me is Amy Sparling’s writing voice. For the past few years, I’ve been staying away from YA because I find most authors’ voice to be rather annoying and their storytelling lacking. The stories I enjoy reading has the complete package – finely crafted world, well-developed characters, and engaging storytelling. I don’t think that’s too much, right?

Natalie and the Nerd is a surprising delight because from the first page to the last, Sparling’s clear voice and engaging words will smoothly transition you into the complicated life of Natalie Reese. I also love how rich and real Natalie’s character is. She is trying her best to survive high school while saving their store. The story never veers away from her crisis and does not use her crisis as a mere backdrop to her romantic storylines. For me, YAs with this kind of focus are the best kinds of stories.

Jonah Garza is the typical YA love interest. I kinda don’t like how perfect his character is, to be honest. He didn’t even have his own kind of crisis. (The ex-girlfriend one does not count. It was practically a blip in the story.) The story could have been made richer if Jonah had more to his character. And it probably could have brought an extra layer of crisis to his and Natalie’s relationship.

Their romantic relationship, too, feels a little too conveniently flawless. I feel like the story could have been better if it were longer. A lot could have been touched upon and discussed more but it was all cut short with the very abrupt ending.

Everything was fixed within a chapter of conclusion. If I didn’t love how rich and powerful the book started, the ending would have brought my entire review down to two stars. I wish Sparling had shown more how Natalie reconciled with her stepdad, how they found the solution to her mom’s problems and the confrontation between Natalie and her mom. These are all great and big emotional landmarks that should not be relegated to a couple of paragraphs mentioned in passing.

Maybe it’s the word count limit, but as it is the novel could have been longer and better. Don’t get me wrong, I love what it had right now. I’d definitely read more Amy Sparling books in the coming days, that’s for sure. I’d just love for her to get the right amount of her story in ink and page to get that satisfying story out.

You can find Natalie and the Nerd on Goodreads

You can buy Natalie and the Nerd on Amazon

Amy SparlingAbout the Author:
Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She lives in Texas and has an addiction to sparkly nail polish, taking photos of her cute dog, and swooning over book boyfriends.

You can find and contact Amy here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for Natalie and the Nerd. One winner will win a $20 Amazon Giveaway + a signed paperback of Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling.

To enter this giveaway you need to make a picture of the book Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling and post it on social media with the hashtag #NATNGiveaway.

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Book Review, Recommendations

REVIEW: The Mason List by S.D. Hendrickson

Guys. GUYS. If you haven’t picked up this book, then you better do something about it and READ IT NOW!!!

Okay, I just… I am really just at that point of post-reading where I am reduced into a ball of feels and I just really love how this book turned out! I love it! So much! When it said in the blurb epic love? Yeah. Fucking believe. This book is the fucking definition of it. I can feel it in the very core of my soul and I feel like I have been conned to invest on a fucking rollercoaster ride, please give me back my heart~

the mason list

So I can’t remember how I actually discovered this book. But what I do know is that I have never been so thankful I stumbled upon this book. It actually makes me excited to share what I read about this book, especially since it’s a debut book, and it’s SUPER FUCKING FANTASTIC!

Blurb:

Today, 8:15 p.m.
I hurt. I hurt so deeply, I felt the pain searing in my bones and jabbing like a hot poker into my heart. I knew nothing would make it better as the memories pulled from the crevices of my mind, detailing the bad and the ugly, filling my thoughts with regret as I slipped into the darkness. . .

When I was eight, my mother was dying of cancer, my father lost his job, and the bank kicked us out of our house. I was forced to move to the strange town of Arlis, Texas where my father and I slept in our car in the hospital parking lot. Desperate and hopeless, we lived on fumes of our former life.

Then one night, everything changed forever. A knock on the car window brought a family into my life that I only wanted to shut out. I hated charity and I hated the Masons. Well, except one. He made it impossible to hate him.

Jess Mason had the biggest blue eyes and ornery smile of any boy I had ever seen. He was a ray of sunshine in my dark world. A boy full of adventure, dragging me across the meadow of Sprayberry Ranch; a beautiful Texas paradise full of horses and tree houses that got us into more trouble than anyone ever imagined.

Jess was my everything as a kid until we grew up and the rules changed. Instead of living happily ever after with a boy full of love. . . I destroyed it.
– Alex Tanner

 

The thing is, you shouldn’t take this book lightly. While the trope of childhood friends may have been approached as fun and fluffy in most books, this book? It holds no bars in hitting every soft spot you may ever have in your soul.

Growing up, Alex had a pretty good family, believing that her mother was an angel, and that they are living in a fairy tale. It was really, really good. And then things took for the worse, her mother suddenly faces ovarian cancer on its terminal stage. The battle with the illness dragged on and on until literally nothing was left to Alex’s family.

This part really got to me. I swear. Reading this with a perspective of a person coming from a third-world country who experienced poverty first-hand? It’s like splitting open my gut, and prodding the warm and bleeding vault of the past that seemed too real to be true, to be faced at such a young age. That’s what is even more painful. At eight, Alex was robbed off the chance to be a kid, and was forced to accept the things that are happening around her. Combined with her mother – her lovely, angelic mother – who by then was just a whisper of who she had been, the reality of the world was just imposed upon her, shattering her fairy tale life into smithereens.

And then came the Masons. Dr. Mason was the attending physician of Alex’s dying mother.  By then, Alex and her father had already been reduced into living in their own car at the hospice’s parking lot for a whole month – July in Texas. Dr. Mason offered them a room in the hospital, and along with his wife, the Mason’s gave them food, and eventually helped out as much as giving them a place to stay and even livelihood. In the truest sense of the word, the Mason’s saved Alex’s family.

Jess Mason was the son of Dr Mason. And while his mother was helping out by giving food and clothing to Alex and her father, Jess gave back the childhood that Alex was missing out on. From then on, it forged a bond between Jess and Alex that will only go stronger in time.

The thing about this book is that the readers are granted front-row seats as to how Jess and Alex found each other, how they grew on each other, how they fought for and against each. Basically, it’s like watching your kids grow up, and who cannot feel attached to that kind of exposure?

The way the book was written was also very effective in capturing the hearts of the readers. It didn’t read like a debut book, to be honest. If this is a debut book, then I am very, very much afraid what a second or third or fourth would to my heart and soul. There is that sense of familiarity with words and really well-planned and well-built world that solidifies the foundation of the book in every step of the story.

Aside from watching these two people grow, there is also a sense of adventure that hooks the readers into reading more. Interspersed by chapters that are obviously glimpse into the future, it grips the readers into the flow of the story and how everything would fall into that place in the future. And when you did get to the point where the past and future converges, your heart is just ripped out of your chest in the most shocking and gruesome manner.

The thing is, you do not write a fucking big scene like you are just casually mentioning the color of the mane of a horse, because it KILLS THE READERS, OKAY. Let’s not make it a habit of pulling a Finnick Odair in every book.  (Readers, now you get an idea of what I’m talking about. Or maybe, the gravity of this turnaround.)

I am reminded actually of the book One Day by David Nicholls, by the sense of the book and the format of the story-telling. Also, it also has that seem unassuming feel of a Nicholas Sparks book, but only like 50x more intense and better.

 

Book Review

REVIEW: Confess by Colleen Hoover

I am not a fan of Colleen Hoover. (And I can now hear the guns cocked at me right now.) After reading Slammed, idk. There is just something about her topics that make me uncomfortable, and not really in a good way. So I try to stay away. (But I did try to read Ugly Love, and I’m still not done, but that might change now.)

confessConfess is a beautiful book. And I mean that not only by the way it was written and how the story unfolded, but in everything. And did I mention that there are awesome artworks in it?? Yeah, if not for the beautiful story, read it for the art pieces because they’re so damn magical.

Confess is about Auburn and Owen, two people tied by fate in more ways than any two normal couple in love could have been. They are the poster kids for being at the right place at the right time, but at the same time, you know it cannot be just that because what are the chances that two people would be at the right place at the right time twice in their lives? And both times were that precipice between a time of before and after in their lives, the turning point of everything.

I believe in fate and destiny. I am a hopeless romantic, but at the same time, I am also a realist. Reading Confess is not such a hardship, wrapping my mind around the idea that here is Owen when Auburn was just about to lose her first love of her life, and here is Auburn, stumbling at Owen’s door, looking at an ad that would save her as much as it would unknowingly save him. It’s not so far-fetched that those accounts could happen in real life, and it’s just beautiful to me. That is the chance that it could happen to anyone, and I realize that that is the reason why so many of us love the fantasy that is brought by contemporary romance.

I am not an overnight convert of Colleen Hoover, and that said, there are a couple of things that rubbed me quite wrong while reading this book.

One is the idea of cheating, and the other is rape.

I admit I did have quite a moral crisis during the cheating part. But still. It’s still wrong, but maybe it’s just a testament as to how strong a writer Colleen Hoover is because one cannot just expect that everything is going to be roses in a story. More often than not, most pieces of literature that are lauded as great texts discuss really uncomfortable topics. And I guess, in general I’m okay with that, and I’m okay with being induced to feeling a squeamish at general topics of uncomfortable-ness (???). So I guess what I’m trying to say is that being forced to re-evaluate my moral compass gives her like, a thousand cookie points from me.

And then there’s the rape part. Not really full-blown rape. But still.

Also! I am reminded of Katja Millay’s Sea of Tranquility reading this book. They both run in the same vein of thought, but also very different from each other. But both really, REALLY GOOD.

Also, the artwork. Guys. The artwork. You have to check out the ARTWORK!!!! You can start searching for Danny O’Connor’s art if you want to get teased into reading the book.

 

Book Review

REVIEW: Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

I don’t know why I thought there would be answers to my questions at the beginning of this book at the end of it. I REALLY, REALLY DON’T KNOW WHY I TRUSTED TARRYN FISHER and Colleen Hoover, but I’m not really much of a fan of Colleen Hoover, so. (Also, I know, unpopular opinion.)

nevernever

So Never Never is a story about two 18-year olds who literally wake up in their bodies without any memory of anything in their lives in medias res (in the middle of things). The story opens with a girl, who jars into her existence in the middle of a crowded school room, with another girl tripped on the floor beside her. Our girl later on learns her name, Charlie Wynwood, from basically context clues around her.

And then she meets her supposed boyfriend at lunch, discovering that he too is suffering from a memory loss the same as hers. They both know nothing about their lives, but they do know the basics of living – like motor skills, trivial things, basically the little things that don’t really say much about a person as a person.

Most of the time in the book, Silas and Charlie were the only characters in perspective. But as they get to know their world, the readers are also introduced to the characters along the side lines that should have been important to them, but they really don’t know them either. The readers are only given enough to create a guess or actually, a skin-deep knowledge of everyone around them, but also a feel that there are a lot underneath that knowledge that will later come into major play.

The book doesn’t really give you answers as to what are they suffering from, how did they get to that point of their lives, but it did give you everything that answers your questions on the periphery of the answers. If anything, that makes the story even more attractive – the mystery that nothing ever really answers, but you do get a lot of clues you don’t know how to fit together. You know they do not answer you right now, but you also get the feeling that it’s going to bite you in the ass sooner rather than later, and that makes me really, really stoked for the next installments!

Fisher and Hoover did a really flawless work with this one. As I writer, I do not really work well in collaborative projects, because I always end up sacrificing my inputs and ideas. I just don’t know how to work well in group in the writing scene. So for me, it’s really admirable to read such a collab work between two amazing authors. It’s seamless and really engaging, and while reading it, I almost forgot that this is a work by two powerful minds. I am really humbled whenever I remember that fact.

Also, there is something to be said about combining the creative prowess of  Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. I mean, I love, LOVE Tarryn Fisher because she writes so beautifully, and her stories are really captivating and emotionally fueled. But also is Colleen Hoover. Plus, remember Colleen Hoover is also the author of Slammed, which is a book about Slam Poetry. And in order to write about a book about Slam Poetry, of course, you’re gonna be forced to write poems, and dear lord, if that doesn’t establish Colleen Hoover’s talent with words!

There are so many lines in the book that just jump out to me because of how beautifully they were written. But I’m not going to cite any in here because I really did not have the time to copy them, or even highlight them. I just stare at these lines, sighing at the beauty of the English language. And then proceed to kill myself with the mystery of the book.

The mystery of the book! So let’s talk about that. At this point, after reading the first book, what we basically know, and this is not a spoiler, is that Silas and Charlie both lost their memory at the same time, know just same amount of trivial things, and it only happens to them (as far as the book infers). The book doesn’t allude to anything, whether the cause is biological or anything, but the characters, or at least Charlie, lean towards the supernatural. And in that count, we were given at least one proof that there is something freaky going on.

Like I’ve said, we were only given enough things to paint the whole picture. Maybe like 15%. TBH. We do know that they are in a relationship, their families are tied together – in good terms and later in bad terms, but we really do not know exactly how in both accounts, and that they are (almost) star-crossed lovers.

SPOILER

kind of

just to be safe

I am going to speculate here, but what I am reminded of by Silas and Charlie is actually the greatest tragic couple of the literary world – Romeo and Juliet. They both have this epic love (which I am going to elaborate on in a few), and the feuding families. Granted, in the book, their families were partners first, but who’s to say that they were really in good terms just because they were business partners. If anything, that makes it even more suspicious.

They were both obviously in love with each other, and this love, for them, almost feels like larger than them. As I’ve said, they were both from powerful and influential families. That in itself contributes to the feeling of self-importance to their relationship. It immediately puts them on a higher pedestal, but not level, than any other couple.

They are both teenagers, and they are both misguided. It is revealed that they really do not have the pretty trappings of love that most teenagers liked to believe they have. They both have difficult family situations on their own, and together an even messier one. They both have affairs, they cheat on one another. Basically, everyone around them don’t believe on them as a couple. They are destructive with one another, but don’t all powerful and encompassing epic love?

I feel like, in the perspective of these two teenagers in the midst of something that is definitely beyond them, everything is too real and too raw. There is also that extra layer of teenage mentality that everyone is out to get you, and I feel like it always factors into their relationship that I am kind of questioning whether if their problems before they lost their memories really hold enough water to be counted as significant in the grand scheme of things. There is an allusion of a big conspiracy in the book, but remove that, and focus on them as two people in one relationship.

(Idk. I still don’t have enough things to actually talk about them as a couple from before. But I am really, really interested in knowing more about the them before their memory loss happened! They are certainly a great Flawed Character study.)

I guess what I’m really pointing out is, will their love be enough to be about them and not just because of their circumstances. Although, of course circumstances do really factor into anyone’s relationship. But. At the very core, it should be just about them as human beings. About Silas the boy and Charlie the girl, and how they survive because they have this big, big thing inside them that just couldn’t be contained. And without the trappings of their fancy lives, they are two people in a love that has been sung and written about since the beginning of history.

I don’t know if my reading though stems from the book itself, or because I already know what I’m going into with these authors. Maybe the experience from reading them before adds bias and ~foreshadowing~ to my reading, but I’d say yeah. The previous experiences from them kind of make me wary of anything they write. It’s not a bad thing. But I cannot say for sure how the book would read for anyone who doesn’t know or haven’t read the author before, either. It certainly would be an adventure to read both of them, in one powerful book, for the first time. 😀 Bless your soul, though.

sneak peek

Sneak Peek: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

It is no secret that I’ve always wanted to receive galleys to be reviewed and be compensated with more galleys, but I just lost time for most of last year since I shifted officially into the Anglo-American Literature program in my uni. So, bit by bit, I vow to really get on with this blogging business and continue reviewing, because – I’m still nowhere near receiving galleys as often as I wanted to. Anyway, I recently opened my account on NetGalley, because a friend reminded me that, hey, I also have this dream of receiving galleys and I need to work on it STAT! And, look what a pleasant surprise I found! There is a free sneak peek of Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything, which will be released this coming May! saint anything I am beyond excited for this!! As you may, or may not, know, I am a huge Dessen fan. I will read anything this woman writes. And even though The Moon and More didn’t really win my heart, I still believe in Dessen. And the sneak peek really strengthened my love for her!

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident? Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The sneak peek provided by NetGalley was wonderfully short. Such a tease. But in that very short taste of what’s to come this May, I have full confidence this book is going to rock everyone’s world, and I know this will solidify Sarah Dessen’s writing legacy even more.

The thing about Sarah Dessen is that her works pack so much power on being a story about a girl and how she grows into her own person, tempered by unfortunate circumstances, difficult people, and the heady potential of a young love.

One may think that such bildungsroman stories are so typical nowadays what’s new, right? Well, Sarah Dessen’s stories strength lies in how realistic they are. They remind readers that everyone’s problems are very real, whether they be complex or simple. And in reality, what young adults face are simple but very difficult problems. You’d think that family problems or losing yourself along the way are very typical, but that’s exactly it. People usually dismiss such encounters as nothing big, nothing significant, that they overlook how trying it is to be in the middle of such adversity.

Dessen gives young adults that clasp on the shoulder, that nudge that empowers them that they are not alone, and they only need to find that strength inside them, and around them. She introduces readers to smart girls, girls who are cracked and flawed, but they make it. These girls triumph over their hurdles because they are given a hand by these colourful people they meet in their journey, their families – whether biological or emotional – holds their hands tightly and accompanies them as they grow into their full potential. And that’s exactly how Dessen and her books are. She and her stories are the hands that hold millions of young adult readers as they face their own realities. She bolsters their courage by basically saying, “Annabel did it. You can, too.

And Saint Anything, if by judging from that snippet, is going to give us exactly the Sarah Dessen that we all loved, with another character we will be friends with. Sydney feels so lost and at the same time, in that few lines that we meet her, she easily captivated our hearts with her. She grew up in a family that could more than provide for her, and her brother as the central character in her life. And in a slow descent into madness, her world is flipped. She volunteers to change her lifestyle to help with her family, her brother goes to jail, and she is just right there, in the precipice of Before and After. It’s a scary place to be in, and full of possibilities – whether good or bad.

I am excited to read about Mac though, because we weren’t really given much exposure from him. I really hope he gets to have his own development in the story, as compared to Dessen’s previous book.

So, yeah. I am so stoked for this book. Its release is on May, and of course, I’ll be blogging about it! I feel it in my bones that this is going to be a classic Sarah Dessen book. I feel it!!!

Book Review, Favorite

[Review] Isla and the Happily Ever After

The long wait for this book is well-deserved. True to its name, Isla and the Happily Ever After did deliver that happily ever after for ALL the characters the series had introduced. There are points I loved in this book, and there were also points that are not so much very lovable.

isla and

Okay, so obviously, I was rooting for Isla and Josh ever since Anna noticed Isla’s crushing on Josh. And when I found out that they were gonna have a book, I was like, “YAY!!”

So the first few chapters of Isla, the ones they were trying to build a connection between the two of them, and slowly falling in love with each other, was magical. It was the stuff everyone dreamed of with their teenage crush at one point: senpai noticing you, talking with him, him noticing you more, falling in love slowly. IN PARIS. (And then in Barcelona.) Yes, yes. Obviously, the locations make it even more romantic.

I love how this portion of the book is so realistic and so dreamy at the same time. This is the portion where we see why we all love Stephanie Perkins’s writing: the magic of her narrative, the word choices, and the characters finding their way to each other.

My qualm only is that I guess at the rate they were going, they got together quite soon. Earlier than their contemporaries, actually. So I was thinking that maybe the focal point of the story was going to be the mistakes they were going to have as a couple, or probably their individual crisis, and how they were going to get back together.

While Josh most certainly had his character development, I feel like there could have been more to his story. I mean, it was only stated that somehow, he discovered that his parents were really supportive of his decisions so long as he shows them he is actually dedicated to seeing things through. In Anna and the French Kiss, we actually see Etienne’s battle. Probably not the real conversation between him and his father, but the events leading up to it and after it were quite clearly depicted. Josh’s parent situation was a little too abrupt for me.

Isla. I love Isla! I love how shy and sweet and responsible Isla is. I love how she got her adventure, however short-lived it was. (Barcelona <3)So some time during Isla’s crisis, I was expecting that maybe she would have more angsty, angsty time, reflecting on the things she have done and probably a bit more hard time to herself, and along the way, change her pushover, hovering-over-the-ones-she-love quality. Idk. I was really expecting her to toughen up, because she’s really this soft, soft character. But that’s her core personality, so I guess it’s good that she did not really toughen up much. But. I don’t knowwwww. It felt like Isla didn’t grow so much. Honestly.

(Although I’d like to think that the events in the book did have this sort of toughening up on her character on the events that could have happened after what was shown in the book so YAY!)

And am I the only one who found Cricket and Lola EXTREMELY cute? To be honest, their book is my least favorite in the series. However, their brief appearance in this book more than made up for their book. 🙂 And of course, Anna and Etienne. (Which you all have to read to know what happened between our favorite couple!)

Book Review, Favorite, Recommendations

REVIEW: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

cruel beauty

Ooooh where to begin? I am just so overwhelmed by this book. This is hands down the best adaptation of anything I have ever read in my entire life!

It’s not just Graceling + Beauty and the Beast. For me, it was more like Howl’s Moving Castle + Greek Mythology in one fantastic culmination of every fairy tale I have ever read! (Actually, this is more than true, because I feel like there was Cinderella, Bluebeard and Snow White in there. Gahd, so amazing.)

The story is very well made: seamless and flowing and riveting. It really urges the reader to think philosophically about life, the world, and the Truth. More than once I remembered Full Metal Alchemist, and you all have to read this book to see where I’m coming from! But yeah. It’s a very philosophical book.

The characters are perfectly created as well! Ohmygods, I loved Nyx so fucking much! I love characters you think they are all evil inside and they thought that their tragic flaw is that very evil they house inside them. But what they do not see is the heart, the space, that houses the evil is a kindness much larger and more nobler than anyone else in the book. Nyx have harbored this hatred against her sister for being kind and perfect, but it turns out that she’s the nobler one. It’s not the first time this happened in a character, but it’s very rare someone pulls this writing off. (Okay now that I’ve finished the story, I can see how aptly named she was. Hehe. No spoilers though.)

And Ignifex! Gods. GODS. I don’t know why I am so attracted with morally ambiguous characters. Maybe I have a complex I am not aware of. Huhu.

The ending is perfect. Everything about this book is perfect! Gahd. Ok, maybe I’m a little biased because I love retellings, but I think that’s what makes me know what’s good and not: There are a lot of retellings where everything is watered and dumber down the essence of the fairy tale gets spoiled. And this, this book is quite simply, magical.