Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

15839976.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: “I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

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My thoughts: I can honestly say that I have no idea how to review Red Rising. How am I supposed to put words on all my feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, hate, joy, love, and fear without it ending up a blubbering mess? This book have it all, good, bad and it is so, soo clever written that even though it landed on a three star rating from me, I can’t stop thinking about it.

At heart, the book has a very good and clever plot, even though it is a somewhat “milked” theme by now. But I really liked the whole “low, hard and poor life, fighting for the future of their children, corrupted governments, protagonist finds out the truth, kicks ass and fights for what’s right, tries to get to the top and stop the evil of this world” plot. And it works extra good in this book since the main protagonist, Darrow, is a good guy but he does so much bad and horrible things that you at the same time as you love him, you hate him to. And he is so real and authentic in a way I cant describe. He hates what he is forced to do and he struggles a lot with sorrow and feelings of missing. He is a young guy with a hard life who gets it even harder and you can actually see him grow as a person throughout the book.

But then there is other things. There is a big part of the book that was sooo boring. I mean, “start to think about something else while reading” boring. Even “start skimming to the good parts” boring. Almost DNF boring! And I can’t really tell you why either since it are a big part of the plot and the books story. But I felt it somewhat unrealistic (even though we are in the future and on Mars) and it was quite hard to wrap my mind around a lot of it. I think I understand the purpose, it is just the ways that perplexes me and the performance is tedious and uninteresting. The ending was great though and now I’m more open to continue the series, than I was earlier on in the book.

It certainly has taken my emotions and thoughts on a roller coaster but I’m happy that I finally read it. The last thing I want to say is that, If we ever going to move to Mars, build a new civilization and all that. This is how I see in my mind it will be. The rich people always wins and rides the backs of the poor. Things will never change. Yes. I’m that pessimistic!

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella

23305614| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

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My thoughts: It was…. okay, it was cute and sweet. A little funny, a lot heartwarming and a quick read. Something nice to occupy my mind with after the mind blowing good horror/thriller and mind blowing bad chick lit book I recently read.  It takes on a serious topic and also gives the reader a true and honest look into a young girls life while living with depression and anxiety. When I was a teenager, I had a lot of trouble with the same. I truly understands how it is and how bad it can be and how hard it can effect a family. But I also understands and knows that it isn’t the end of the world, you can get better, at least I did and life is worth fighting for. Kinsella did a great job with describing the feelings and actions in Audrey’s life. The one thing that bugged me the most was the whole Linus relationship. But that I can’t go into in detail without spoiling the story, so we will leave it at that.

The book is about Audrey who have a really ruff time and suffers from some severe anxiety. She is a young teenager who lives with her “crazy” family somewhere in England (can’t remember where). She has no friends, do not go to school and goes to therapy once a week.  What I love the most about the book is the family. They are loud and obnoxious but still a family who loves and would die for each other. I love the mother and her “old” ways of handling the family and the father who reminds me so much of Arthur Weasley (from Harry Potter series). I could really picture him in my mind. I love young Felix and his ways of playing messenger between Audrey and Linus oh and Frank. Come on, you got to love Frank. He is like the typical, modern teenager and so lovable. They all have their own character, traits and quirks and Kinsella has as always done a great job with describing her characters and I find no fault here.

I did like the book but didn’t love it. I find this whole “teenage love angst” a little too much over the top and I think i’m starting to get to old for that. And I also find the book a little too short and would have love to have some real confrontation or emotions not only from Audrey but other characters to. It is a hard topic to write about and I do think Kinsella tried to steer away so it wouldn’t be sad and depressing. But too much happy, happy, fluffy stuff, just makes it unrealistic. But maybe that is just me since I have personal experience and to this day still struggles with anxiety.

So over all a good story, quick and easy. But don’t go and expect to get to know what happened to Audrey, because that mystery is never revealed. You get hints and can pretty much build your own story from it, but it bugs me that I never got to know what “really” happened.

Suspense · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Dust & Decay – Jonathan Maberry

9917998| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all… could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.

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My thoughts: How can I explain why I only gave four stars to a book I more or less loved, without spoilers and trashing the book completely? It almost feels impossible but I will give it a try.

This is the second book about Benny Imura. The series is not an stand alone and I do recommend to read it in order. The first books name is Rot & Ruin and here you can read my review of it. I did love the first book. I have experience of Jonathan Maberry from his Joe Ledger series and this series is much easier than Ledgers. Probably because it is written more towards young and young adults. Ledger series is not. The book starts off about 8 months (or so) after the first book ended and it started off quite slow. Then it really did pick itself up on both speed and action. We get to follow Tom, Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong when they venture out in the wasteland in the search of the flying jet. Then off course everything goes to shit, as expected, and then it is one action filled event after the other.

And it is here my problem starts. The book is action filled and quite exciting. But when you have read 400 pages of “the same thing” you are starting to get a little bored. It is bad decisions after bad decisions and events so big, horrific and hard that at some point, my mind just shuts off. I read the story but I did not feel it anymore. It is like seeing one of those really bad, cheep, slasher movies that you just cant take serious. Then it all changed again. And the ending really pissed me off. That is not how it was suppose to end. Come on! But now when I have had some time to think on it, I do see that it was the only possible end. And it only made a mystery even bigger, the mystery that is going through the Rot & Ruin. Because something is not right, and right now, no one know what or why.

So after taking everything in account, the book ended on a weak four star. I would have giving a five if not for the end. I know it was the only possible end, but still, I did not like it at all.

I do not read a lot of male authors. It is not a conscious choice, it is just because there are really few male authors who write in genres that I prefer to read. But god damn, Maberry is and probably always will be one of my favorites. I still have a lot of his books to read and I can hardly wait.

Classic/Historical · War/Military · Young, New adult/College

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

23718102| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: The gruff and surly Mr Thomas Oakley is less than pleased when he is landed with a scrawny little city boy as a guest, but because it is compulsory that each villager takes in an evacuee he reluctantly agrees. It soon becomes obvious to Mister Tom that young Willie Beech is hiding something, and as the pair begin to form an unlikely bond and Willie grows in stature and in confidence he begins to forget the past. But when he has to return to war-torn London to face his mother again he retreats into his shy and awkward ways once more.

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My thoughts: Goodnight Mister Tom is my all-time favorite book from when I was a child. I think I read it for the first time when I was around 10 years old, maybe younger and before my 18th birthday, I must have read it at least three times more. I loved it. But I have never read it on English. My copy of the book probably has been lost throughout the years or is at my mothers. So I though, since I’m going to by a new one, why not on English. And I’m really happy because the way it is originally written, certainly put some life in the story that me as an reader not could get from a translation. And it blew my mind how good it made it.

The book is a really sad story, but still a really happy one to. It takes place in the WW2 and for the most part you get to follow Will. He is an evacuee from London, who goes to live with this old and grumpy man who really do not want a kid in his house, but has to due to regulations. Mr Oakley is not as bad as everyone thinks. He just hit a ruff spot when young and never really got the help he needed to get out of it. He just found a way to survive through the years but never really live. Will and Mr Oakley finds a way to survive with each other and later on it turns to not only surviving but also living. There is a lot of characters in the book and they all have their own traits and personality’s. They are great described and funny to follow.

I don’t know why I loved this book so much as a kid. Maybe because it gave me the knowledge that in a bad situation, there is always hope. And even if they say blood is thicker than water, it has nothing to take too when it comes to friends and people who choose to be your family. Not are family just because you was born in to it. Wonderful, wonderful story!

I love Mr Tom so much and it is the book who really sparked my love for reading I even named my Kindle, Mr Tom, due to what that book has done for me. And this is such a cry story. Just saying. 😉

Do you have one of those story’s from your childhood that somehow changed you?

Fantasy/Paranormal · Suspense · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Shutter – Courtney Alameda

20757532.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

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My thoughts: I’m so disappointed with this book. I don’t think It’s due too high hopes, since the author was new to me and I haven’t heard or read any chatter about the book or author before. It was just something Book Depository recommended me since it was a similar to another book I bought a time back. Well it was a bad recommendation.

I have so many problems with this book that I don’t even know where to start. Here’s a list!

  • It is repetitive
  • Not enough description
  • No variety
  • Kind of cliché
  • To many questions
  • Lack of information
  • Slow and way to much teen angst.

My biggest problem is that there is not enough description of the characters itself or the history. The readers get thrown into the story with no knowledge or background history. Like for an example, all the unnatural creatures seems to be common knowledge. Does every person on the planet know that all you have seen in horror movies are true? That they really exist? Well apparently so. To a certain degree at least. But this is never 100% verified. And I missed proper information and descriptions of other things. Like characters! I should not have to read on page 220 that a main character actually has Aborigine heritages and that his skin is like a 5 shot Café au lait. That totally messes with my mental picture that I have tried to build up. And it is like this through the book. On everything! And some of the bad stuffs description is to easy that I can’t form a picture fitting with the story. And I have a pretty good imagination, to tell you the truth!

How about the story itself? Well, our heroine, Micheline Helsing, descendant from the big Abraham Van Helsing, killer of all unnatural, is around seventeen years old (I counted but it is never mentioned) and goes to school to become a hunter. She however, takes water over her head when trying to prove to her father that she is capable of taking care of herself, her team and save innocent people. She has a tough relationship with her father and to be honest, that is the only thing that kept me reading. Because I wanted to know what would happen between her and her father.

Other have described this book as fast paced and edge of your seat, kind of book. I however did not find it like that at all.   And I think Alameda tried too hard, to push that horror feeling trough out the book which gave it the opposite effect. No I’m not happy. Not at all.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The lightning thief – Rick Riordan

28187| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

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My thoughts: Of course I have seen the movie and more or less already knew what to expect. I do not often like to read (or in this case listen) to books after I seen the movie, but I have seen reviews that the books is so, so much better than the movies and felt like I was missing out on something. However I did not find the book as great as all those reviewers raved about. But it was a good book.

I did somewhat enjoy it. It started of really good and the ending tied itself together real nicely. A little slow sometimes but it was okay. I would probably have liked it more if I read it before the movie though. There are some things changed between the movie and the book. I do not know why really because I can’t see a reason to why they could not do it as in the book. It was like the same but different. And I think some stuff in the movie had made more sense if they did it more like in the book. But that is just my opinion.

There are also a lot of stuff in the book that is not in the movie, which surprised me. This whole “half god” thing would have had a bigger impact with it. But I guess they had their reasons. The book, however is educational in a fun way. Greek mythology was a big topic when I was in school and after what I can remember, the history facts are correct in the book. I love books for younger readers that also is educational. And I think if this came out when I was a kid, I would probably have loved it. I was really interested in Greek mythology and history at a time.

I will probably listen to more of the books. They are easy and relaxing and perfect to listen to when I’m at the gym working out. But I will probably not love the series as so many others seems to do.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · War/Military · Young, New adult/College

Salt to the sea – Ruta Sepetys

25614492.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

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My thoughts: Wilhelm Gustloffs shipwreck is the greatest in maritime history. Over 9000 people (that’s almost 8000 more than Titanic) lost their lives and yet, almost nobody knows anything about it. I certainly didn’t. My interest for war, historical fiction and that I didn’t know anything about this disaster, was a big reason for me to choose to read this book.

In this book we are following four characters  who all seek peace and freedom from the war that are breaking there country and family’s apart. Some of them, I like more than others but that I think was done with purpose and I understand it in the end. It is a great story, that do play on my emotions and now after i’m done, I do feel a little emotional drained.

It was a really thrilling read and as first book for me to read by Ruta Sepetys, I’m really pleasantly surprised. It started off quite slow and it is a slow burner through most of the book and I did lose interest there for a while, but I really wanted to know how it would end, so I picked it up again. The last chapters went past extremely fast and suddenly the book was over. I do not usually like books that are slow and then all the action is happening right before the book is ending. But it did work in this one. It is a really good book and that I lost focus has really nothing to do with the book itself, but with me who sometimes don’t have the patience for slow burners.

It is a hard read, just have to warn you. There is some terrible human fates that are happening and even if the book is fiction, it is hard to deny that this and probably even worse have happened in real life. I understand why Sepetys won the Goodreads Choice Award 2016 for this book. It is that good.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Rot & Ruin – Jonathan Maberry

7157310.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

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My thoughts: I don’t know if I’m just incredibly lucky or if I have found a way to choose good books. Because my five star ratings and good books just keep pouring in. And I’m a little surprised. As much as I love Joe Ledgers series by Maberry (still more than this), not one of those books (that I have read) have received a five-star rating and yet this one does. But One thing is for sure, Jonathan Maberry takes my mind and heart by storm, Again!

This is a wonderful book and I am surprised over how much I loved it. It is a little different from what I normally read and it is a Young Adult book. YA books are often not for me due to that I often find the books a little meek and dramatic. Not in a good way. Anyhow, this book was nothing like that and it evoke feelings that I did not foresee it would.

Here we get to follow Benny. A fifteen-year-old teenager who live in a world post zombie outbreak. He was too young when the outbreaks began and he can’t remember a world before the Zombies. And I totally loathed Benny in the beginning. Yikes I hated him. Later, he grew on me and by the end of the book, I loved him. Him and his brother Tom. Tom however was old enough to remember the world before the zombies and he is the reason Benny still is alive. But misunderstandings and half-truths have made their relationship hard and they are not that close to each other as brothers should be. Different circumstances outside their own power makes them thrown together and they must work together and fight for their life’s and what’s right.

I often feel that Zombies, like vampires, are a subject that have been done to many times that there is nothing new about it anymore. But I think that Maberry has taken a step back and brought the subject back to its core and just stayed with what’s simple and that worked in favor of the story. It feels real and totally perfect. It even made me cry some parts.

I short, I totally loved it and can’t wait to read the other books in the series. I have ordered the whole box from Book depository and hope it will arrive soon.

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I’m really happy that I was able to find this book signed. I ordered it from some guy in USA and it took almost tree weeks for it to arrive. But I’m really happy and this is the first signed book on my shelf. Totally worth the money. 🙂

Classic/Historical · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The horse and his boy – C.S Lewis

587315| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A wild gallop for freedom. Narnia… where horses talk… where treachery is brewing… where destiny awaits. On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.

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My thoughts: This is so far my favorite among the three books I have read. I really like it. The story is set in the Golden age and it takes place in the south outside of Narnia’s borders. Because Narnia is actually not that big. The book has a completely different feeling. It is somewhat darker and more medieval with fairies, horses, King and Queens and of course, War! They have swords and complete knight equipment. The ladies have big, flowing dresses and they live either in castles or poorer in small houses. They are fishermen’s, farmers or have other, not so legal ways to provide for them self’s. The story is simple and just about a Boy and a horse. Who talks by the way and it makes the story just better. More magical.

They are on an adventure through danger from both people and nature. They meet a girl also with a talking horse and decides that four are better than two. The book is about staying alive, do the right thing, friendship and fight for the weaker people.

There is also a mystery that you don’t get to know the truth about until the end of the book and it made it all more real. A little darker but still with the learning that there is light in the end of the tunnel and if you fight for what’s right, yourself and your friends, you have done alright. And even though the book is a lot darker than what I associate with Narnia, you still get that Narnia feeling.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Fear University – Meg Collett

26038790| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: I’ve always known I was a monster, and I don’t mean some teenage vampire shit either.

My mother abandoned me when I was ten years old because I have a freakish mutant disease that makes me incapable of feeling pain. I bounced from one foster family to another because too many people like to test my medical condition in a game of “Try To Make Ollie Scream.” At sixteen, I killed a man for taking that game too far.

Two years later, I’m still on the run in Kodiak, Alaska. Here, I’m the most dangerous person around, until I come face to face with a creature that should only exist in folklore. The monster is an aswang, and I, with my medical anomaly, am uniquely qualified to hunt the beast that haunts the night. At least, that’s what the two scarred, mostly crazy ‘swang hunters tell me when they kidnap me and take me to Fear University, a school where young students learn to hunt and kill aswangs.

I arrive at the university a prisoner, but I stay because I finally find my freedom.

For once in my life, I belong. I’m needed. I make a home for myself inside the university masquerading as an old Alaskan prison. Something close to happiness warms my icy heart when I’m with my scarred, still mostly crazy tutor, Luke Aultstriver. For a murdering runaway like me, Fear University is a haven where I can put my skills to good use hunting monsters in the night.

But when certain truths come to light and even more lies are exposed, I fear that I, Ollie Andrews, am the worst kind of monster of all. And, maybe, they should be hunting me.

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My thoughts: First off, before I start to talk about the book itself. I don’t know if it is the authors fault or someone else but either way. Do not, I repeat, PLEASE DO NOT end the e-book under 90%. It makes you as an reader feel cheated, and that is not a good feeling to have your reader sit with at the end. Even more important so if the book ends on a cliffhanger. It happened with this book. Ended on a cliffhanger when I thought I had at least 10% left of the book to read. Not a good feeling at all. An quite frankly, it makes me a little pissed off and not wanting to read the second book. I will of course someday read it, because I need to know how it will end, but it will probably take awhile.

So what about the book itself? It is really good. Fresh and quite imaginative. Asuwangs is from an old Filipino folklore and I have seen and heard a lot about it from the movie world. But really not read anything. So I did not know exactly what to expect. But the story is exciting and filled with lies, mystery’s, really good characters and suspense. I like the dynamic and I like what the book is starting to build up. It’s twisted and you think you know how it all is put together but in the end that is just wrong. I do not, however, like Ollie that much. Well I like her fine, but for a girl who has been through everything she has been through, she is quite naive and really childish sometimes. And it does not get any better. I do hope she grow up some in the next book because if not, I don’t know if I want to continue reading.

I do not know the history with Asuwangs but have read a little about it now after the book and if I get it right, Collett (Which is not of Filipino descent) has done a great job with mixing the history with her line of the story and make it believable.

So as soon I have forgotten the “betrayal” I will read the second book and I really hope it is as good as the first one.

How do you feel about books ending before you think it will and cliffhangers?