Category Archives: Books

Film Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Lara Jean played by Lana Condor wrote love letters to all the boys she ever had a crush on since childhood but kept them in a box until her younger sister , Kitty stole the letters and sent them to the boys she apparently “loved.”

I’ve read a few chapters of the book a couple of years back but never had the energy to finish it not because it’s bad but it was just not my cup of tea. Now, after watching its film adaptation, it made me want to go back to the book and reread its entirety.

I’ve tremendously enjoyed the film. First, I loved the casting of Lana Condor as its protagonist Lara Jean. She’s very relatable and has a really good screen charisma. I could still recall when I was reading the book’s first few chapters, I was imagining Cho Chang (Katy Leung) playing Lara Jean. Lana was such a good choice for the role paired with Noah Centineo‘s super charming appeal. I so loved their chemistry!

Although Lara Jean’s character isn’t as dynamic as I expected her to be, I loved the subtle discovery of herself over the course of the film. As an aging millennial, I could easily relate to what she’s gone through what with her unrequited love and teenage longings.

The film may be full of clichés but it’s the good kind of clichés. It’s a movie targeted for the young ones if I may say but if you’re like me, you’d get a nice throwback feeling watching it.

Based on the novel of the same name by Jenny Han
Director: Susan Johnson
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Israel Broussard, Trezzo Mahoro, King Bach, Joey Pachecho, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, John Corbett, Madeleine Arthur, Emilija Baranac

Rating: 3/5

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Book Review: In Other Words…Murder (Holmes & Moriarity, #4) – Josh Lanyon

36546081Published July 13, 2018 by Josh Lanyon
Genres & Themes: LGBTQ+, Mystery, Murder, Romance, Family
Ebook Edition, 215 pages
ISBN13: 9781945802263
Characters: Christopher “Kit” Holmes, J.X. Moriarity

Blurb:
Mystery author Christopher Holmes, now comfortably married to sometimes rival, sometimes nemesis J.X. Moriarity, is starting a new career as a true crime writer when threatening anonymous notes start arriving.

Even worse, Christopher’s ex also arrives–asking for help locating the man he left Christopher for!

It’s life–and death–as usual at Chez Holmes. In other words… Murder.

It’s been ages since I’ve read something from Josh Lanyon and reading the fourth book off her Holmes and Moriarity series made me realized how much I missed her storytelling and it reminded me how much I absolutely loved almost all of her catalogue!

In Other Words…Murder is no exception. I absolutely adore this installment of the series where we see J.X. and Kit being all so domestic with each other, much more the inscrutable and super adorably funny Kit! I could totally picture him being all so awkward, snooty and of all things – romantic!

I totally enjoyed the mystery here. There are three things that are happening at the same time so I was a bit puzzled at first on how the author would tie up all the loose ends and being the awesome Josh Lanyon, ofcourse she’d find a way to do it neatly and I’ve to say that I’m more than satisfied with it.

This is highly recommended for the fans of the series and for those who have not had the chance to read anything from Ms. Lanyon, I suggest you start with this series and you’d definitely won’t regret it!

My only problem about the whole thing is the last page where she said that the next Holmes and Moriarity installment is still in 2020!!! Ugh. That’s like forever!!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – The Movie

Okay, calm down. We all need to calm down for a bit. Over the weekend, the ever so lovely Mr. Saenz tweeted a photo of him with Henry Alberto – the guy who apparently got the nod from our beloved author into writing the screenplay of the award-winning Young Adult book, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I mean, screenplay. Like screenplay! Are we just months or years away from the very own movie of our dear Ari & Dante? Gosh! I was hoping for this for the longest time since I’ve read the book and I do know that eventually it’ll be translated into the big screen but having an acknowledgement that it would indeed be on the silver screen in the future is such a euphoric feeling!!!

Now, let’s just zoom past into the future as to who should be playing the main lead! If I were the casting director, it’d be awfully difficult for me to cast this once in a lifetime roles!!! Who are your Ari & Dante?

Book Review: Once Upon A Western Shore (The Tyack & Frayne Mysteries, #9) – Harper Fox

Published April 30th 2018 by FoxTales Publications
Genres & Themes: LGBTQ+, Mystery, Death, Romance, Family
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
ASIN: B07BC9QNTS
Characters: Lee Tyack, Gideon Frayne

Blurb: It’s May Eve, and for once the body discovered in a meadow isn’t Gideon’s concern. The remains are decades old, and Gid and Lee are free to enjoy a proper Cornish Beltane, with maypoles, mirth, and a wild, sexy dash into the greenwood.

When trouble flares, it’s from an unexpected source: Tamsyn, after a quiet few months, suddenly manifests terrifying new paranormal powers. She can’t be kept hidden forever, and working out how to shield her is enough to drive a wedge even between these most united of parents.

Then Gideon’s cold case becomes a hot one for Lee. The dead man in the field has been forgotten by the living, but his memories are vivid and riding wild on the wind from the sea. No-one can act out his unfinished business but Lee, and it’s going to take all Gideon’s strength and love to get him through the ordeal.

Beltane magic past and present sweeps through Cornwall as Tamsyn steps into her powers, and the witches of the western shore look set to pay a dreadful price unless Gideon and Lee can bring to light the truth buried so long ago.This is another wonderful addition to the series! My favorite family! One of my favorite couples of all time! I just loved the whole thing about Tamsyn’s growing powers. She really is becoming what she’s supposed to be – the witch of Bodmin! I loved that we get to see Gideon and Lee’s domesticity here towards each other and towards their little girl. The whole plot feels like an ordinary day for this extraordinary family but it gets to you. The writing, the characters’ dynamics and the future of the series makes you all so excited! This is a superb read for the fans of the series – there’s a few tears here and there and a bit fo a surprise as well! It’s definitely worth reading and buying!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Harper Fox is an M/M author with a mission. She’s produced six critically acclaimed novels in a year and is trying to dispel rumours that she has a clone/twin sister locked away in a study in her basement. In fact she simply continues working on what she loves best– creating worlds and stories for the huge cast of lovely gay men queuing up inside her head. She lives in rural Northumberland in northern England and does most of her writing at a pensioned-off kitchen table in her back garden, often with blanket and hot water bottle.

She lives with her SO Jane, who has somehow put up with her for a quarter of a century now, and three enigmatic cats, chief among whom is Lucy, who knows the secret of the universe but isn’t letting on. When not writing, she either despairs or makes bread, specialities foccacia and her amazing seven-strand challah. If she has any other skills, she’s yet to discover them.

Book Review: War Storm (Red Queen, #4) – Victoria Aveyard

Published May 15th 2018 by HarperTeen
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Heroes, Slavery, Rebellion, Superpowers
Length: 672 pages, Hardcover
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 0062422995 (ISBN13: 9780062422996)
Characters: Tiberias Calore “Cal” VII, Mare Molly Barrow, Maven Calore, Cameron Cole, Evangeline Samos, Iris Cygnet

I’ve only read the first three books this year.  Red Queen is a fantastic first book with fresh world building and very dynamic characters. I especially loved its main protagonist Mare Barrow. I do not understand why some readers doesn’t like her saying she’s too whiny, too annoying and all those shit. I actually loved that she’s very “human,” or very “Red” if you wanted to put it that way. I don’t like someone who’s too perfect. I don’t like someone who doesn’t have flaws and who’s OTP selfless and all those things that sometimes makes you wanna scream while reading because  seriously – she doesn’t need to be freaking Mother Teresa.  The second and third book didn’t click with me. I find them repetitive and well, annoying. Not because of Mare but because of how the story was stretched.

This fourth book for me is a bit of a letdown. I had hope that Ms. Aveyard would redeem herself by delivering a conclusion that is so strong it would make you want to see it on the big screen ASAP.  That ending was too forced for me. The nostalgia was forced in a way that it kind of tried to go the same way Rick Yancey did it with The Last Star via Evan’s character. Yancey’s ending didn’t work and so as this one. Before I delve deeper, let me enumerate a few things I loved about this last installment of the Red Queen Series. I’d try to be as spoiler-free as possible:

First is that we do not have Cameron’s POV and thank goodness for that. She was just annoying in the previous books and she is still annoying here.

Second is Evangeline’s character. She’s wicked but somehow there’s something about her that makes you understand why she’s doing all of these wicked things. She’s got loyalty that’s for sure. And she loves with her heart.

Third on my list is Iris. For those of you who doesn’t remember her. Haha. She’s actually Maven’s wife and is a Lakelands’ princess. You’d have to read the book to discover what her role is in the book!

And then there’s Maven. Poor evil Maven.  He’s my absolute favorite aside from Mare and Kilorn and it pains me that Victoria decided to kill her but I totally get why Victoria had to do it. I was thinking about it while trying to go through my day job and it totally made sense. Why would she keep him alive? It’s like letting a criminal get away with his crimes without any punishment. And he’s done too much evil to get a major redemption arc. I mean, in a way he probably got it via Mare but he’s got it coming for him and he knew he would die. I didn’t like that Cal was too chicken to actually go through it but I was certain prior to reading this that if Maven would actually die, it was through Mare’s hands.

Overall, I find the book a bit too ‘stretched.’ It was too long and I almost skipped but decided to go through everything since we’re not too busy at work. Haha! Again, that ending for lack of a better word was such a buzzkill. It doesn’t feel finish at all and it’s begging for a longer ending or perhaps an additional novella and we’d probably get it sooner than later. In average, I’m giving this series a total of 2.5 ratings.

If you’re a hard-core fan, you’d probably enjoy the length of the book but seriously, it’s just toooo much! I would just recommend reading the epilogue and you judge for yourself if you wanted to read its entirety.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Victoria Aveyard graduated from USC, where she majored in screenwriting. RED QUEEN is her first novel. She splits her time between Massachusetts and Los Angeles. You can visit her online at www.victoriaaveyard.com.

Book Review: The King’s Command (Bred for Love, #2) – Revella Hawthorne

Published August 15, 2015 by S.J. Himes
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Slavery, MPREG, LGBTQ+
Length: 174 pages, ebook
ASIN: B00Y5PBLRM
Characters: Edward, Percy, King Henry

Blurb: Percy is pregnant. He is overjoyed, and Prince Edward, his master and owner, is just as happy. Both men are content, and are enjoying the simple life at Hartgrove, Prince Edward’s country estate. There they stay in pre-baby bliss, until the christening of the Cassian Dynasty’s newest princeling approaches. Prince Edward decides to risk King Henry’s wrath, and brings Percy back to the capital to attend his nephew’s christening, putting his and Percy’s unconventional relationship front and center in the media and the court. Rumors abound about the two lovers, and a strange and unusual threat to Percy surfaces, leaving Prince Edward regretting their return to the capital. Percy is confronted by the reality of his social status and what exactly it means to be the collared consort of a Cassian blood prince–and how dangerous that place of honor can be.

Caught between the orders of King Henry and the dangers lurking in the shadowed alleys of the capital, Percy and Edward strive to protect themselves, their love, and their unborn child.

Now, this one was still a very exciting read! I loved that we are learning more about the royal family and the development of Edward and Percy’s relationship tho, quick was very much believable.

This one didn’t disappoint one bit when it comes to the progression of the story because as we go along, there are a lot of things happening in it. We also get to know more about Reynard – Mason’s ‘bestfriend’ / Percy’s bodyguard. I just loved all the alpha males in this series! They’re just so sexy!

I also loved how this story felt like a throwback what with all the royal talks but since it’s set in the future – the uniqueness of its storyline is still as fascinating as its first installment.

This is definitely a must-read!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Pen name for m/m author SJ Himes.

Find me on my SJ Himes profile or on Facebook and Twitter.

No more release dates until books are 100% done. I self-publish, and trying to find a system that works for me has been trial and error.

I am active on Facebook and Twitter. Find me there for up to date and accurate release information.

Book Review: The Prince’s Consort (Bred For Love, #1) – Revella Hawthorne

Published April 21, 2015 by S.J. Himes
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Slavery, MPREG, LGBTQ+
Length: 201 pages, eBook
ASIN: B00VKGJPFO
Characters: Edward, Percy, King Henry

Blurb: In a world where humans are genetically designed, altered and sold for sexual pleasure and breeding, a young prince of the powerful Cassian Dynasty decides to take a mate and sire heirs. Not wishing to saddle himself with royal and meddlesome in-laws, and a wife he would have no desire to bed, Prince Edward goes to Heritage Breeders, and finds far more than just a warm body to sate his lust and carry on his lineage.

Percy is the result of a master DNA architect designing himself his own personal sex slave and breeder. Yet when his creator and Master dies, leaving Percy alone at the mercy of the callous stable masters and the new owner of Heritage, he fears his future. Afraid he’ll be bought by a wretched old man or a deviant monster, Percy is terrified when he is dragged from his cell and presented to the most prestigious client Heritage has ever welcomed…a Cassian Royal.

Prince Edward is immediately infatuated with the shy, nervous and enchantingly beautiful Percy, and claims him for his own. Yet not everyone is pleased by a royal purchasing a breeder, especially one like Percy, and tensions rise both in Heritage and in the palace.

Torn between desire, duty, a king’s command and the innermost desires of their hearts, Edward and Percy are set on path that is anything but easy. Can Percy trust Edward with his heart as he does his body? Can Edward keep an angry king and unseen enemies away from the young slave who is steadily stealing his heart?

And what happens when Nature takes its course, and sex leads to more than just pleasure?

I’ve read this in 2015 and have been rereading it since. This is definitely my favorite MPREG series, as well as one of my favorite series’ in general from the MM genre.

Its futuristic set up where male and female clones are created mainly for breeding and sex slavery was a bit disturbing but very fascinating plot-wise.

I absolutely adore Percy! The whole thing about his character will make you feel what Prince Edward felt for him from the very start. Like Edward, I just want to hug him forever and keep him safe!

I loved the conflict involving the King and the Heritage House. It was very interesting and it makes you involved. I just know that by the end of the story, I was totally rooting for Percy and Edward – I just want everything for them to work out wonderfully.

I so recommend this book for anyone who has not read an MPREG book before.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Pen name for m/m author SJ Himes.

Find me on my SJ Himes profile or on Facebook and Twitter.

No more release dates until books are 100% done. I self-publish, and trying to find a system that works for me has been trial and error.

I am active on Facebook and Twitter. Find me there for up to date and accurate release information.

Book Review: King’s Cage (Red Queen, #3) – Victoria Aveyard

Published February 9th 2016 by HarperTeen
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Heroes, Slavery, Rebellion, Superpowers
Length: 507 pages, Hardcover
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 0062310690 (ISBN13: 9780062310699)
Characters: Tiberias Calore “Cal” VII, Mare Molly Barrow, Maven Calore, Cameron Cole, Evangeline Samos

Blurb: In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

am not a fan of this third book. The whole thing was just devoid of vibrancy. See, I loved the idea of the Red and Silver bloods and Aveyard’s world-building was awesome but this was just boring for the most part.

Here, the focus was on the characters. Here are my thoughts about them or atleast my thoughts about the important ones.

Mare – I loved her the most out of all the characters. I actually do not find her annoying or whiny at all. My problem is that her thoughts are all repetitive. It’s like the author kept prolonging everything thus the need for repetition.

Cal & Maven – Ugh. I don’t really like them. They’re almost the same if you think about it. Although I’ve to say that Maven’s character is more dynamic than Cal. Cal was just freaking annoying and I’m just hoping that he’ll get a gruesome death in the final installment.

Cameron – I don’t see why she needs to have her own POV in the book. She’s selfish and annoying af.

Evangeline – Now, this angle is quite surprising. I loved that Aveyard incorporated this sub-plot in the series. She did get my sympathy in this book and I loved how she was paired with an equally powerful silver.

Farley – I also loved her character but we didn’t get much from of her in this book. Boo!

Kilorn – I loved this boy but sadly, it’s looking like he’s going to be one of the casualties in the finale. Sad, really.

Now, I didn’t even realized that Calore’s granny was still alive. What an evil bitch. I want her to join his grandson getting that gruesome ending, tbh.

Okay, enough of the ranting. This is a fail follow-up for me but since I am so invested with the story already, I’d still very much wait for the release of the fourth and final book next month!!!

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Victoria Aveyard graduated from USC, where she majored in screenwriting. RED QUEEN is her first novel. She splits her time between Massachusetts and Los Angeles. You can visit her online at www.victoriaaveyard.com.

Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) – Maggie Stiefvater

Published October 21st 2014 by Scholastic Press
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Supernatural
Length: 391 pages, hardcover
ISBN: 0545424968 (ISBN13: 9780545424967)
Characters: Blue Sargent, Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, Noah Czerny, Mr. Gray, Maura Sargent

Blurb: The third installment in the all-new series from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

This isn’t my favorite in the series but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I’ve actually read it a bit too fast I think, to get to the final installment right away. Here, we get more of Blue’s POV which absolutely delighted me because we learned about her growing feelings towards her Raven boysshe was finally finding her own voice being a conduit of energy and all!

Aside from Blue, we also see the boys here maturing emotionally and psychologically, to think that everything here happens only in a year’s time. It’s maybe because they’ve gotten into deep in searching for the Welsh King. It’s weird how they’re all so worshipful of Gansey. I loved how the author portrayed Gansey as someone that is up there for the rest of the guys to look up to. What an odd, engaging and irresistable character!

There are also a number of funny scenes here involving Mr. Gray’s former employer Colin Greenmantle, his wife Piper and of course, the banter between our main characters especially between Ronan and Adam. I just loved the development in their relationship. It made me like Adam and made me love Ronan even more!

The whole search for the sleeping King was getting intense with evil, undesirable creatures getting in the way and I loved that as we get closer in solving the “mystery,” the author was still able to give us pleasant what ifs in case said King is non-existent or if some characters will die for waking it up.

This is another blockbuster writing from the author. It’s definitely one of the best YA series out there.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

Book Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) – Maggie Stiefvater

Published September 17th 2013 by Scholastic Press
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Supernatural
Length: 439 pages, hardcover
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 0545424941 (ISBN13: 9780545424943)
Characters: Blue Sargent, Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, Noah, Mr. Gray, Maura Sargent

Blurb: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Just a bit of a disclaimer here – I wrote this review after finishing the rest of the books in the series and I’ve to say that this second installment (there are four!) is definitely my favorite in The Raven Cycle. Ronan isn’t exactly my favorite character (It’s Gansey!) but I really do loved his characterization from the very start. I knew there’s something about him that’s oh-so-different even without his bad boy image.

See, Ronan’s a literal dreamer who can manifest practically everything (people included?) from the dreamland into reality. Pretty neat, yeah? The story went even deeper here in the group’s quest of finding the Welsh King. We also learned here that Ronan isn’t the only dream thief in the sleepy town of Henrietta. Very interesting right?

I guess, what I loved most about this installment is the development of each character. They are all fully realized and you’d really get a feel of everyone since the book offers multiple POVs. This one is obviously heavy on Ronan but somehow, the author was able to flesh out each important character especially the introduction of Mr. Gray. I loved Mr. Gray and I think you will too!

Now, this is just my second book from the author and I am absolutely delighted to have found her stories even if this series have been released for quite sometime now. Her understanding of the genre is totally on a relatable level. Her characters so engaging and I cannot wait to read more from her.

This second installment like the rest of the series is very highly recommended by yours truly.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.