Far from the Tree


By Robin Benway

Rating: 5 / 5

Summary: The story follows three biological siblings who were all given up for adoption by their mom, but end up reconnecting later on in life. Joaquin, the oldest sibling and only brother, has spent seventeen years in the foster care system, and doesn’t know how to be vulnerable with people and let them in. Grace, the middle child and eldest sister, is struggling with her decision of giving her daughter up for adoption, and Maya, the youngest sister, is struggling to find her place in the world.

Review: I ADORED THIS BOOK, and read it in a day. I started reading it around 7am, and finished around 9pm. I’m pretty sure I would’ve been done with it a lot sooner, but I read it on a school day and had to attend classes and finish homework. Needless to say, I have fallen in love with this book, and it’s going up on my favorites shelf.

I received an arc of this book about a month ago, but I didn’t pick it up because the synopsis seemed boring. Boy was I wrong. There is so, so much more to the story than what the synopsis provides, and you quickly become invested in all of these characters. It is so hard not to love Joaquin, Grace, and Maya, and there were several moments throughout the book where I teared up. This book is beautiful, raw, and emotional, and will definitely captivate you.

While being heartbreaking, Far from the Tree is also hilarious, and there were many laugh out loud moments. I can’t choose a favorite sibling, because they’re all beautiful in their own unique ways, but I definitely felt for Joaquin the most. Reading about his struggles in finding his worth, and reading about him being surprised when adults are kind to him, or when he realizes that he’s loved by someone and he’s genuinely surprised at that, it killed me every time.

I’m usually iffy about contemporary novels, but this book surpassed every expectation I had. I only wish I had picked this up sooner.


The Creeps


By Fran Krause

Rating: 4 / 5

Review: This is a really cute comic that is perfect for October! I didn’t realize this when I was reading it, but this book is the second one in Krause’s Deep Dark Fears collection. You can, however, still read this without having read the first one, since it is literally just comics based on uncommon (or maybe common for some of you) fears that people have.

There are some really quirky fears, but there are also really dark ones. While some of the fears can be quite gruesome, the artwork itself does not go into too much detail, so the reader is spared from disturbing images.

I hate scary books (and movies, for that matter) but this wasn’t scary; however, I did read this in the morning, so if you want the “full effect”, you can totally read this at night. This is a very, very quick read; in fact, I think I read this book in its entirety in about 10 minuets, and that was with me appreciating the artwork. You can get through this book pretty quickly. Below are a couple of the fears:


Three Sides of a Heart


Rating: 4.5 / 5

Review: I know the topic of love triangles is a little controversial: some people love it, others despise it with a burning passion. I actually am indifferent towards them; they’re usually annoying, but I haven’t really found myself wishing for love triangles to be banished.

This anthology surpassed my expectations. I was really excited to receive an ARC, because a couple of my all-time favorite authors contributed short stories (Renee Ahdieh, Sabaa Tahir), and they did not disappoint. I was also introduced to some new authors I hadn’t heard of before, but will soon be checking their work out because I loved the short stories they wrote.

To quickly summarize, I love almost all of the short stories in this anthology, but my top three would have to be:

  1. Unus, Duo, Tres
  2. Triangle Solo
  3. Dread South

Riddles in Mathematics: 3 / 5
This was enjoyable, and a great start to the anthology. I was definitely surprised towards the end of the story.

Dread South: 4.5 / 5
I loved loved loved this story, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The whole story was so unique and really captures your attention from the beginning. I enjoyed reading about the main character, and I genuinely wish this was longer. And the ENDING 😥

Omega Ship: 4 / 5
This was another one of those stories that captures your attention from the start, and keeps you engaged throughout. I was a little confused as to what the main female character did to herself (once you read it, this will make sense), but other than that, it was very enjoyable.

La Revancha Del Tango: 4 / 5
I may be slightly biased because Renee is one of my favorite authors, and she featured an Indian female main character, but this story, once again, was really good. I, along with the main character (Maya), was annoyed at the love interest (Blake) at first, but he eventually won both me and Maya over in the end.

Cass, An, and Dra: 3 / 5
Very unique. This was another one of those stories where you couldn’t tell what the ending was going to be.

Lessons for Beginners: 3 / 5
This was heartbreaking, and I was surprised at how the plot developed. Another plot twist that you don’t see coming.

Triangle Solo: 4.5 / 5
At the end of this story, I developed a slight crush on Connor. It was really adorable how the two of them had a friendly rivalry for winning the affection’s of a mutual crush, and the ending made me laugh quite a bit.

Vim and Vigor: 2 / 5
This was alright, but it didn’t really leave an impression on me when I finished reading it.

Work in Progress: 2 / 5
This was another short story that didn’t leave an impression on me. That being said, it was a unique (how many times will I use that word today) read.

Hurdles: 3 / 5
I got really invested into the main character, though I opposed her “main” love interest. I loved where it ended off, because it’s a cliff hanger and really makes you think about what she would have done.

The Historian, the Garrison, and the Cantankerous Catwoman: 4 / 5
Sigh. Such a great story, and there’s a plot twist at the end that really caught me off guard in a good way. This was highly enjoyable.

Waiting: 4.5 / 5
I love Sabaa Tahir’s books, and I love her for having a South Indian female as the main character. I was torn between the two love interests, and couldn’t predict who she’d pick. I remember flipping the last page of this story and going “That’s it?!” because I wished this was longer.

Vega: 2 / 5
The love triangle involves a girl, a guy, and…a city. Lol, 5/5 for uniqueness though. It didn’t really hold my attention for long. However, this wasn’t one of those stories you read about and quickly forget, there’s a lot going on here and it makes you step back and think, “Wow, that was a little intense…” when you finish reading it.

A Hundred Thousand Threads: 2 / 5
I didn’t quite like this as much as the others, but there’s a plot twist in there that was pretty cool.

Before She Was Bloody: 3 / 5
This was very unique, and it reminded me of something E.K. Johnston or Renee Ahdieh would write. The whole concept of the Moon Eater was a little confusing, but not so much that you’re lost in the story.

Unus, Duo, Tres: 5 / 5
Here is where my heart shattered, and I’ll probably never be able to put it back together again. This short story was by far my favorite. I nearly cried several times throughout, and it hurt my heart so much when Enoch thought he was a monster. I can’t even think about the ending without getting teary eyed again. The author really made me attached to Enoch in like, what, 30 pages? And I was feeling all kinds of emotions while reading this story. I really, reallllly wish this was longer, and deliberately read slowly to prolong the story.

Overall, this was a very good read, and I would definitely recommend getting it once it is actually published. Three Sides of a Heart will officially be published on December 2017.

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag


Long time no see! University has got the better of me, once again, and I’ve read absolutely nothing since the start of this month. I tried reading The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, but had to put it down pretty quickly to study for my tests.

I came across this book tag a while ago, and have been wanting to do it, so I figured now was a good time as any.

‘Tale as Old as Time’ – A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading. 

Books that take place at a particular school or academy will always have a special place in my heart. I guess ever since reading Harry Potter, my love for books that take place in a school setting has not diminished. I also enjoyed reading the Gallagher Girls series, which also takes place in a school environment (for the most part).
Belle – A book you bought for it’s beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too.
The Wrath and the Dawn duology caught my attention because I thought the cover was gorgeous, but I wasn’t expecting to adore the books. I read it after ACOTAR, and was completely focused on Tamil and Feyre, but Khalid and Shazi quickly grabbed my attention. I really enjoyed reading TWATD.
Beast – A book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you.
A Great and Terrible Beauty; combined with the cover, I didn’t expect the book to become one of my favorites, as it seemed boring. But I’m really glad I picked it up, because the Gemma Doyle trilogy was extremely unique and pleasant to read.
Gaston – A book everyone loves but you don’t.
The Shadowhunter series. I tried reading the very first book but I DNF’d it around 50%. I couldn’t get invested in the story or the characters, but I will try to read it again in the future because so many people I know love the series.
Lefou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart.
Jalal al-Khoury from The Wrath and The Dawn. I could talk all day about this beautiful man, and how loyal he is to Khalid. Also, his love story with Despina was interesting to read about, since he’s an infamous playboy. But at the end of the day, Jalal was always there for his family, and I really admired that about him. ❤
Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiér, and Cogsworth – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable.
Harry Potter, of course. I have really bad test anxiety, and I found that re-reading the part in Order of the Pheonix, where the fifth year students take their O.W.L. exams, really calms me down. I also read the series when I was young, so I have an emotional attachment with all the characters now, haha.
‘Something There’ – A book or a series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end.
The Throne of Glass series; the first book was extremely difficult to get through, but through the encouragement of friends, I was able to push through it. It was during Heir of Fire that I really fell in love with the series. Check out my review for Heir of Fire here!
‘Be Our Guest’ – A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner.
Hermione Granger! ❤
I tag everyone who wants to do it!

[Blog Tour] Savage: Author Interview!


By Nicole Conway

Summary: Never send a hero to do a monster’s job.

Forty years have passed since Jaevid Broadfeather brought peace to Maldobar and Luntharda. But that fragile truce will be tested as darkness gathers on the horizon. The vicious armies of the Tibran Empire have crossed the far seas and are threatening to destroy Maldobar completely. Not even the dragonriders can match the Tibran war machines. And after an attempt to awaken Jaevid from his divine sleep fails, the fate of Maldobar is looking grim.

Reigh has never known what it means to be a normal human. Raised amongst the gray elves in the wild jungle of Luntharda, he’s tried everything to fit in. But the dark power within him is bursting at the seams—refusing to be silenced. And while his adoptive father, Kiran, insists this power must be kept secret, Reigh knows he’s running out of time.

As Maldobar burns, the world is desperate for a new hero. Destiny has called, and one boy will rise to answer.


I had the pleasure of being able to interview the author, Nicole Conway, about her new book. Read what she had to say below!

1) Hello Nicole! Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hello! I’m a military wife and mother of one. Right now I live in South Korea because of my husband’s military career. We’ve been here for about a year and a half and will move back to the states this spring. It’s been an interesting experience living in a country where we don’t speak the language. My son actually speaks a lot more Korean than I can! I’ve always known I wanted to be an author. I’ve been writing books for as long as I can remember. But I also love drawing, photography, traveling, and spending time with family. My favourite place to travel is Kyoto, Japan. I’ve been four times and every time is like falling in love all over again. I wish I could live there!

2) What inspired you to write Savage?
Savage kicks off the second series telling the life story of Jaevid Broadfeather. It’s hard to point to any one thing that inspired me, really. Jaevid’s story has been with me a long time, and I’m just so honoured and excited to get to share it with everyone. I will say that my husband’s career as a fighter pilot did inspire how I portray the dragonriders in the series. I wanted them to feel more realistic, and adding elements of real life scenarios with pilots and their training was the perfect way to make that happen.

3) Was there anything that you edited out of this book?
Not that I can recall. I had a pretty clear vision of what this one would be like from the outset and Reigh’s voice came easily. It’s actually kind of a first for me. Usually I do cut and edit out a lot, but this book felt much more comfortable for me.

4) What was the hardest scene to write?
[SPOILERS!!] The scene where Jaevid is finally awakened again. Seeing him again was awkward at first. He went through so much in the first series, and I was finally forced to answer the question of how all those experiences would have changed him. It was difficult to get into his head again. He was confused. I was confused. So I just had to take things slowly.

5) How did you select the names of the characters in your book?
I like to keep running lists of interesting names in my notes as I find them or hear them. Sometimes, as I’m beginning to work out characters and their details, one of those names will just jump out at me as “the one” for that particular character. Reigh is actually a take on the name I had originally chosen for my son, Raleigh. I still liked that name and wanted it in my life somehow. Other times, a character’s name just comes to me in the moment. That’s how it was with Jenna. And lastly, of course, I have a great love for Greek and Roman history and mythology. That was the focus of my college education, so names from those studies always tend to surface in my work.

6) Here’s a very important 2-part question:
a) What’s your Hogwarts House? Ravenclaw!
b) What’s your Ilvermorny House? Horned Serpent!

7) What’s one book you love that people don’t really know about?
Oh it’s so hard to just pick one!! I love The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip. It’s such a rich and beautiful story. I reread it over and over, and every time I get lost in her beautiful descriptions and characters. She just has this wonderfully poetic way of phrasing things. It’s absolutely magical.

8) Any final thoughts?
Thank you so much for having me! I hope you’ll enjoy Savage!


Purchase book:
Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Author information:
Twitter  | Goodreads


Alexander Hamilton

The Graphic of an American Founding Father

By Jonathan Hennessey, artwork by Justin Greenwood

Rating: 5 / 5

Review: I loved this graphic novel! For a history nerd like myself, this book was fantastic, and hard to put down. I don’t recommend picking this up when you’re in the middle of several assignments that are all due this week, because this book will take over your life. (This may or may not have happened to me….)

I loved the artwork (and everything about the book, to be honest) because it brought to life the story of Hamilton. There was never a moment that I was bored while reading this, and found that the book highlighted the important parts of Hamilton’s life without sounding too much like a textbook. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve taken a history class, but the American Revolution was always my favorite. This book helped me brush up on some of the events that I had forgotten, and it was nice to see the events such as the Battle of Saratoga mentioned again.

This book has put in me an appreciation for Hamilton and all that he’s done for the United States, and for his ambition and drive. It never failed to amaze me throughout the book that Hamilton had such incredible work ethic, and literally went from a nobody to establishing a name for himself. His life is an inspiration, and I loved reading about how he frequently educated himself through books when he didn’t have the proper knowledge or information about something.

This book should be in school libraries, and makes learning history more enjoyable. The graphic novel would be a great gift for anyone who loves reading and learning about American history, or even for fans of the Hamilton musical.


The 12 Dares of Christa


By Marissa Burt

Rating: 2 / 5

Summary: Christa loves Christmas, and looks forward to celebrating it with her family every year. This year was supposed to be no different; however, things take a turn for the worse when her parents suddenly announce that they’re getting a divorce, and their plans to visit Europe as a family for Christmas fall through.
She begrudgingly goes on a mother-daughter trip to Europe, all the while missing her father tremendously. But, to her surprise, her father has prepared for her twelve dares to complete across various parts of Europe during her trip. Through these dares, Christa meets new people and visits different places, teaching her the importance of bravery and hope.

Review: I picked this up excitedly because it talked about the two things I love most: Christmas and Europe. However, this book was such a disappointment, and I tried to push through for about 50% of the book, but I had to put it down because I felt like it wasn’t going anywhere.

Christa is paranoid to the extreme, to the point where she won’t eat something “strange” (aka just food that she’s never eaten before, despite the fact that she’s in a different country so of course there will be food she’s never previously encountered…) in fear that she’ll get a severe allergic reaction and will have to go to the hospital. Every dare that she’s received from her father thus far pushes her out of her comfort zone, and follows the same premise:

Christa: Oh no, this dare requires me to *gasp* actually leave the hotel room and do something for once!! 😯
Love Interest Whose Name I Forgot: It’s okay!! You’ll be fine! Strange how I’ve conveniently showed up right when you need a shoulder to lean on, right? We’ll do it together and I’m sure we’ll totally just be friends after this.
Christa: Okay. I’ll do the dare.
*Does the dare*
*Gets next dare*
*Repeat previous steps*

After a while, you just get tired of reading the same thing over and over again. I’m sure that later on in the book Christa might actually change and become less paranoid as time goes on, but I couldn’t bring myself to become interested enough to find out what happens.

All of this being said, I do think that if you’re younger, such as 7 to 15 years old, you’ll enjoy this book more, but there isn’t much plot in this book. If you’re looking for something light and quick to read, I would recommend this as well. The 12 Dares of Christa will officially be published on Tuesday, September 25, 2017.