read 4 review

4/5 Stars.

A harrowing and life-affirming story about two 12-year-old twins, Stasha and Pearl, who are taken to Auschwitz in 1944 where they become subjects of Josef Mengele’s sinister experiments.

Stasha and Pearl are “mischling,” a term used by the Third Reich to denote that they are hybrids with mixed blood. But in Mengele’s Zoo, they become a different kind of mischling. Here, they are composed of two parts: despair and hope—and these dueling emotions characterize the tone of the entire novel.

A few months in, the two girls are separated, neither knowing if the other one is alive, each consumed by distinct driving forces: Stasha by revenge and Pearl by forgiveness. This distinctness in motive is devastating in and of itself, symbolizing the loss of oneness that the once indistinguishable girls have been forced to experience.

And yet there’s something still that keeps them connected, as if deep down, they share the same soul. This resilience disallows even the cruelest of forces to ever truly separate them, for a bond as strong as theirs simply cannot be broken.

Affinity Konar tells this nightmarish story—alternating back and forth from Stasha to Pearl—with an elegance and humanity that tenaciously infuses beauty and humanity into the darkest of places. She never shies away from despair and meaninglessness, but allows for the possibility of transcending both.

This was a deeply fulfilling read, save for a denouement that rang a little too serendipitous.

Spoiler-free Thick as Thieves Book Review

Thick as Thieves is listed as book 5 in the Queen’s Thief series, but the back cover of the Advance Reader’s Edition I received calls it a “stand-alone novel set in the world of the Queen’s Thief.” I think it’s somewhere in between. A few familiar characters from the series appear, at least briefly, and the action of the book pushes the overarching political plot a few steps farther.

But to simply call it Book 5 in the Eugenides series would be to overlook the story at the heart of this book: The story of how Kamet (who fans of the series will remember as Mede Ambassador Nahuseresh’s secretary) learns to be a free man, and a friend–a story that just happens to intersect with the political developments between Attolia and the Mede Empire. This deeply personal story takes readers on a journey across the vast, richly imagined Mede Empire, introducing a new culture, new legends, and new gods who may or may not really exist. But as well as being a riveting adventure (complete with the smart twists Turner accomplishes so well), Kamet’s story is a thoughtful exploration of how slavery can shape a person’s entire world view–and how freedom, along with the trust of a good friend, can transform it again.

Disclaimer: I received an Advance Readers’ Edition of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. This review is voluntary, however, and the opinions expressed in it are my own.

Tips for online shopping

1. Learn to read the descriptions thoroughly. Just because the picture looks good does not necessarily mean that the item is going to be all that you imagine it to be and vice versa. 

2. Know your materials. For example, there’s a difference between PVC and PU leather. You’ll have a much better idea of what to expect when you have this knowledge. 

3. Know your body size and measurements. Most sites have a size chart which makes it a lot easier to order your accurate size. 

4. Always read the reviews. It seems like it’s either an extremely happy or super pissed off customer who writes the reviews, so keep that in mind. Reviews can help you find out if the sizes run a bit small, in which case you will want to order a size bigger than you usually would. 

5. For sites like Amazon and Ebay, look at the amount of items sold and the number of stars a seller has. From my experience, when those numbers were high I always got what I expected from the seller. 

6. The beautiful thing about shopping on the Internet is that you can compare prices and reviews for an item easily. There’s no harm in doing a little research to make sure you’re spending your money on what you really want. 

7. Pay with Paypal. 

8. Trust your gut. If a seller/transaction seems shady, move on. You’ll always be able to find what you’re looking for somewhere else. 

9. Just go for it! If you’ve never purchased online then I must say that you are totally missing out on a life changing experience.

I hope my tips can be of some use to you when doing your online shopping! xx

Feel free to add to the list ;)

Title: Tiger Lily | Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Pages: 292 | Rating: ★★★★★ | Goodreads: X


Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

My Thoughts

I am completely heartbroken over this story. This was not at all what I expected in all the best ways and I’m glad I picked this up.

First, this is not a novel to read if you are expecting something similar to Peter Pan because this is the opposite in so many ways. I think that’s why I was so surprised by this because I expected something lighthearted and happy and a bit of a cutesy romance. Instead, this was dark and sad in a beautiful way. And that’s just the storyline, the writing was even better.

What made this story really amazing for me was the writing and the way it was told. It was written from the point of view of Tinkerbell, but she was almost purely an observer, hardly ever interacting with the characters. It was as if we were sitting on the couch and she was telling me this story of people she saw and there was something so different about it that was perfect. Something that was also really different and paid off was that there wasn’t much dialogue between the characters. It worked and made me see the characters a bit differently than I think I would have had there been a lot more conversation.

The way Anderson writes was amazing as well. It was poetic and perhaps to some may seem a bit flowery, but I’m a sucker for that. There were a few times that the way a sentence was worded would throw me, so that was a bit of a downer, but it didn’t happen often. Clearly, it was still great.

My favorite thing is how… real the characters were. There was such different take on their personalities that still seemed to match the character I know and love from the original Peter Pan. And Tiger Lily? I loved the exploration into her character and her relationship with Peter.

I’ll never be able to watch Peter Pan the same way again, but I love that because I’ll see so much more now. This book broke my poor little heart and in the process became one of my favorites, one I’d recommend to nearly everyone.

Read in November 2015

A Review of Ari Bach’s ‘Valhalla‘

Okay, I feel like I need to do a review of this book/trilogy by Ari Bach, aka @the-walrus-squad aka facts-i-just-made-up, because if you couldn’t tell from the fact I keep making fanart every time I re-read it, I really, really like Valhalla. I really, really do! So I’m gonna make a review basically saying why.

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Hello hello hello if you like someone’s writing please say something to the writer about it!!!!!!! 

Full sentences are magnificent. Paragraphs are wonderful. Lots of !!!!!!!! are fabulous. 

Giving specifics about what you liked makes a writer feel as if you’re paying attention to all of their hard work. 

Without positive feedback a writer assumes their work is merely being consumed but not appreciated.

Oh man, this is my favorite part. Waking up the day after posting and reading all your incredible, detailed, long reviews. You cry reading the chapter? I cry reading your comments! You always catch the little details and based on all the feedback so far you are going to ABSOLUTELY LOVE RAISING HOME

the element of surprise (Tadashi/GoGo)

Title: the element of surprise
Being hit by a bike tends to leave a lasting impression. / Tadashi&GoGo, oneshot.
A/N: a while ago, someone asked me about an atla!AU for these two, so here it is! :) for Tomadashi Week Day 4: “Elements”

[Read and review here] or continue under the cut.

Tadashi never sees the motorcycle coming.

One moment, he’s stepping onto the street while admiring Republic City’s blue sky, his fingers curled around a paper bag of warm steamed buns; the next moment, the wind is knocked out of him and he careens sideways, landing in a messy heap on the asphalt.

Someone curses.  Tadashi pushes himself up slowly, trying to get his bearings.  His first instinct is to check the food—safe—before he notices the sound of footsteps approaching.


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