June 3, 2017

Book Review: Entangled

Summary: Hiding her powers was never a problem for seventeen-year-old Graylee Perez. Not until her diabolical twin sister decided to go on a rampage that could expose them all or get someone hurt.

To add to the aggravation, coven reject Raj McKenna catches Gray performing a complex spell and is convinced they would make a powerful couple. He can delude himself all he wants. Gray has sworn off dating warlocks, especially delinquents who play with fire.

But even Gray’s mysterious death won’t deter Raj, not after Gray is brought back from the great beyond. Only she’s not truly back. Her body’s still six feet under and she’s on borrowed time. There are forces threatening Gray’s existence and a powerful wizard willing to help . . . for a price. Gray doesn’t know who to trust or how long she has left before she vanishes for good, but she’s determined to stick around no matter what the cost.

Review: There's this stigma when it comes to self published books and I've been reading self published books to try to prove it wrong. I haven't had a book amaze me yet. When I read the first chapter of this book, I just knew this book was going to be bad and while it isn't the worst, this book is so big of a mess that I didn't finish it.

Image from Google Search
The plot of the story could have been interesting. There's these twin witches and I guess one of them dies until she's revived for a limited time to try and find a way to love. There's also a romance plot, which definitely takes over for the first 30% of the book. It's the only part that I read of the book and even though I'm not a fan of a lot of romances, this one in particular turned me off. We'll get to that later, though. For this book, the main plot didn't seem to exist and when it did appear, it seemed to just be thrown in there. All of the scenes that were supposed to further the main plot were kind of short and then it went right back to talking about Raj. The main reason the plot was bad was because the transitions were just so poorly done that the book became kind of confusing. For example, the main character would be talking about Raj and then all of a sudden, she's at home talking to her sister about limiting her magic. I won't say that I would have loved this book if the transitions were fixed (because I most likely wouldn't have) but I would have at least finished it.

The characters were all stereotypes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it was in this book. These stereotypes were the ones that all small town stories have. There's the most popular jock, the sexy slut and the handsome bad boy. Even the main character is a typical YA heroine. Everyone in this story is very one dimensional, which is why these characters weren't good. Then the girl characters all seem to hate each other and for what reason? These stupid boys. If that doesn't cause someone to eye roll, I don't know what will. There's a bit of diversity in this book since Raj is a person of color. He's one of the main side characters whose main point in existence is to make Graylee his, which is creepy as hell.

The romance in this book was creepy and I feel like should have known that would happen because of the summary. But Raj was doing some creepy things like making a charm for her that would kind of force her to fall in love with him. But even besides this, there's no chemistry between these two before they are claiming that they like each other and want to kiss each other.

All in all the setting isn't original or even built enough that I could rate it. I just assumed it was a typical small town with these buildings and people.

Diversity: .5 stars
Plot: .5 stars
Characters: 0 stars
Setting: 0 stars
Enjoyment: 0 stars

May 24, 2017

Spring Quarter Goals

This quarter is almost over and I haven't updated everyone on my goals for the Winter Quarter Goals or made any new goals for the Spring Quarter. Wow, way to be ahead of myself. Anyway, this post will serve to be a makeup for both of those things and hopefully, this Spring Quarter will be better than the Winter Quarter.

Photo from Google Images
Before I get into what this post is about, I wanted to let y'all know what I have been doing these last couple of months. In the beginning of March, softball started for me and that meant practicing every day for two hours. This wouldn't be a bad thing, however, I was applying for a lot of scholarships and trying to figure out college things that it was getting hectic. Not to mention that I had AP testing and finals thrown in there. All in all, it was a very hectic last part of the year and I had basically no motivation to do any of it. Now I will have almost all the time in the world to do the things that I love, like reading and writing my story and my blog posts. I am seriously very excited to get back to doing this!

To start off with, I want to cover the things that I did accomplish during my goals for the winter quarter. For my reading goals, I'm happy to say that I did read 13 books but that's about all I completed for that goal. Out of the 13 books, the one new release that I read was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. 4 of the books were from my Beat the Backlog list and the other books were just books that I wanted or signed up to read at the spur of the moment. I can't say that I absolutely loved what I read for this quarter but I can't say I hated everything, either.

Photo from Google Images
For my writing goals, I did write! I just didn't write 20,000 words. This is mainly because the WIP I was starting to get bored with it so I couldn't find the motivation to write it. However, I did complete (somewhat :D) planning the next book that I want to write and I'm really excited for it! I don't have the world down yet and the characters are almost done, but the plot for this particular story is done! I am also starting to get an idea of how I want the entire series to go, too, because I do want this current WIP to be the prequel to the actual series that I want to write. I'm very excited to see where it's going to go!

As for my life goals, which is what I was mainly focused on during the winter quarter, I completed all of them! I did apply to twenty scholarships and even though I didn't receive a lot of them, I am happy to say that I don't really have to stress about my freshman year of college! I also bought a new phone! It wasn't the Samsung Galaxy that I wanted, but until I save the money for the phone that I want, this phone will be just fine. For school, I have to say that I ended up not really caring at the end about my grade but I passed everything! Lastly, my wardrobe is still pretty much the same but I did buy new outfits that I love and can't wait to wear!

Now for the new goals! Since this post is really late and I really have a month and a half to do these goals, there won't be a lot of them.

Reading Goals

1.) Read 7 Books: Since I'm out of school now, I think that I can manage this. I'm optimistic about this.

2.) Read 3 Books on my Bookshelf: I have a very bad habit of buying books that I'm excited to read and then never picking them up because I have access to them all the time whereas with library books, there's a due date. This is definetely a goal I'm aiming to complete!

Writing Goals

1.) Finish planning my novel: I haven't written words in an actual novel since the beginning of February because I have been plotting* my WIP right now. I have finished that actual planning of my novel but now I'm doing my character profiles and my world building which are by far my weakest spots when it comes to writing. I'm hoping to finish this by the middle of June.

2.) Write the first 5,000 words in my WIP: I think that I can manage doing this considering that the first 5,000 words in my WIP will be the beginning of the story and I'm usually good at starting a story. It's the finishing part that gives me the most trouble.

*I think I'm starting to see that I am a plotter more than I am a pantser despite the fact that most of the novels I have written and finished were when I just wrote. 

Life Goals

1.) Finish all of my College stuff: Y'all I'm going to college in the fall! That's both scary and exciting! There's still many things that I have to do in order to confirm everything but that's definitely going to have to get done soon.

2.) Enjoy my summer: Usually I'm in school over the summer because of the Trio-Upward Bound program but this summer, I am in Upward Bound and I'm not going to let it hold me back from having fun during the summer. It's not a bad program at all, in fact, it's very helpful. But they have us on a strict schedule that's hardly ever with anything fun in it and I'm determined not to spend the summer before I have to go to college in boredom.

These are my goals for the Spring Quarter. I'm very optimistic about completing these goals!  I'd definitely be interested in what you're goals are if you have them. Thank you for reading!

Review: Worlds with Ruby by C.P. Cabaniss

Photo and Summary from Goodreads
Summary: When Ruby finds herself on the edge of a cliff in a land between life and death, with an ominous creaking coming from the nearby woods, she is left with no choice but to follow it to its source. Nothing is what it seems and Ruby soon finds herself being whisked away to worlds beyond her imagination. Worlds in need of saving. Along the way, she discovers that in saving these worlds, she is saving herself.

Review: This author is in a Goodreads group with me and I got a notification that she was looking for reviewers for her book. Since no one had bothered to respond, I decided that I would take a chance to read this book. And while I did rate the book 2 stars, I don't regret reading it at all.

This book starts off with Ruby who just so happens to be dead. Almost as soon as the story begins, she's thrown onto this Ferris Wheel and taken to another world. This repeatedly happens throughout the entire book and it does make the story very interesting to read. However, I can't say that the story was delivered well. 

Let me start off by saying that this book is only 69 pages and that's definitely the reason why this book wasn't executed well. It's too short. The scenes moved way too quickly and that made the story kind of boring to read. Another problem with the events in the story was that almost everything in this book lacked conflict. Literally, you would go to the scene expecting to be on the edge of your seat since Ruby has to save these worlds, only to find the solution to the entire problem very simple. Simple can be a good thing, though. In this case, it wasn't done well because there wasn't any foreshadowing and explanation for why the solution to basically this entire book was to SPOILER ALERT: sing a song. A lot of these problems could have been fixed easily, though. She just needed to make the story longer and more edgier scenes to make it phenomenal.


Photo from Google Search
I also didn't like the characters in this book. Like any of them and it wasn't because they weren't good characters. I just didn't know them at all because of how short this book was. Before I get to the two main characters, I'll start with the minor characters that literally appeared on two pages and then disappeared the next. Sometimes there's a need for that and in this case, it did make a sense why the author did it. Those characters were only there to push the heroine along her journey and it would have been fine for me if those characters didn't feel so bland. They all blended together for me and in my opinion, each character should have something noticeable about them. The main characters, Ruby and Damon, kind of fall into this trap also. They blend in with all of the other stereotypical YA protagonists and like every other trope, it's fine as long as you make it at least a little different. I guess in this case, they were different in the sense that Ruby and Damon were dead while the other heroes were alive. Because the book was so short, I couldn't get a sense of who Ruby and Damon were. For Ruby, I knew that she was dead and that she could sing but that's about it. For Damon, all I knew about him was that his eyes were very green (literally talked about his green eyes every time she had a conversation with him). It just felt like the author didn't even know her characters because the dialogue was off and the characters themselves were just bland. The diversity in this book also lacked. There were two characters of color but they had about three lines each so they weren't important.

Photo from Google Search
To end on a positive note, I will say that I did like this world. I loved the idea of people dying and then going on a ferris wheel to go wherever they needed to go so that they could help someone is very interesting. It's what attracted me to this book in the first place. The descriptions were also very pretty and helped me imagine each world that she was in.

Diversity: 0 stars
Plot: 1 star
World Building: 1 stars
Characters: 0 stars
Enjoyment: 0 stars

April 4, 2017

Quick Reviews! Never Fade, Three Dark Crowns, American Gods, and Caraval

Hello everyone! I'm so sorry that I've been MIA lately. I started Softball in March and it's been kind of hectic trying to deal with that and these scholarships but we can talk about that later in my quarterly wrap up post. Right now I want to talk about the books I read during this time because, yes, I still read books. What did you think of these books? I'm curious to know. Anyway, let's get to these quick reviews.


Never Fade by Alexandra B: I absolutely loved the book of this series. The Darkest Minds was actually one of the books that I finished pretty quickly. But this book took me so long to finish and I know it's because of how slow the plot was. The first book was pretty slow, too, and a lot of people had problems with it because of that. However, I fell in love with the characters and following them around helped move the story along for me. It was the same for this book. They have to be the best part of the entire book. They are all different in so many ways but their banter and the way that they have each others backs is so realistic. They sounded like teenagers to me and they interacted with each other in so many ways that felt like it would be done by a young adult. Their connection is was made this book sparkle for me. The diversity in this book passed my requirement of at least two diverse side characters. In this book, they are now three (although Zu wasn't in this book). Chubs is an African American and another character (I really forgot her name even though she was definitely the best) that could honestly be any person of color with brown skin. There isn't LGBTQ+ representation in here (at least I don't think there is) and I didn't see any characters with a disability. However, I'm still going to give this book a .5 of a star, not because of the lack of representation with the last two things I mentioned. It's only because I feel as though there should have been a little depth to those characters. Don't get me wrong, I loved them but honestly, they could have been any race. Overall I rated this book three stars.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: Overall I rated this book three stars because of the slow pacing of this book. In the summary of this book, we are told that it's going to be a competition between the sisters but just like Throne of Glass, it wasn't like that. This book focused on the relationships with the characters and some of the magic. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing but the plot should have moved faster. I also don't really know if this book would be considered diverse. The author is a person of color but I couldn't really tell if her characters were people of color since they were really only described as having dark hair and dark eyes. I assumed they were the same race and ethnicity of the author, however, as I read so I gave this book half a star for diversity. What really made me want to pick up the second book in this series was the ending. Everything picked up quickly, maybe even a little too quickly and the ending was great. I think the second book promises to be everything that this book wasn't.


American Gods by Neil Gaiman: I hated this book and it's most likely because it was an adult book. It was too slow for me and the main character  was void of any emotion. That made it hard to connect to him in anyway. The pacing of this book was obnoxiously slow, too. I didn't even finish the book because of how slow it was and my friend said that it didn't pick up until the last hundred pages. I think it's also Neil Gaiman's writing style that I don't like. It's very strange to see random things pop up and then never see how they connect to anything with the plot. I think the point of them is to show us the world or maybe foreshadow some things. Either way, I didn't like it and it's part of the reason why I rated this book one star.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber: Oh this book, this book, this book. I have so many mixed feelings on it that I can't really pinpoint where my thoughts are leading me to rate this. In the beginning, I was hooked because I loved the magical world that Caraval created and I loved Julian. However, after a while it didn't seem like the book was focusing on the main plot, which was finding her sister, Donatella. This book mainly focused on Scarlett and her feelings for Julian in this magical world of Caraval, which was fine but not the story I signed up for. While we're on the subject of the romance, I have to say that I liked it. I loved Julian as a character and I loved his attitude in the beginning of the book. However, he sort of changed to this stereotypical "I'll do anything for the girl I love" at the end of the book so some of the things he said made me like him less. There is diversity in this book, however, I'm not giving this book any stars for it and here's why. Literally the only person of color that is important is Julian. Everyone else is just some minor character that appear when the main character needs something. Overall, I rated this book three stars and it was really only because of the setting of this book, Julian and the ending that made me really want to read the second book.

March 5, 2017

Writing Update: February

Hello everyone! Glad to be back with you today with a writing update for February, So I didn't reach my goal of 10,000 words but I'm happy to say that I wrote 3,000 words in my new work in progress. I don't think that I'm going to be able to reach my goal of 20,000 for this quarter but I'm happy that I'm at least writing a little.

For my WIP, I'm still trying to figure out what the actual plot is going to be for it. I have an idea about the world and the characters but the plot is lacking. There are some books that don't have plots or if they do, they are barely there. I'm a plot driven person so my books have to have a plot. I started to create a plot board with like the bare minimum of what needed to occur in the story and I'm planning on just adding scenes as I see fit. Hopefully this will help the story flow from my mind but we'll see.

I'm also trying to figure out what type of writer I am. I'm thinking that I'm a pantser since my last WIP was completely right out of my head. But I realized that I did sort of have a faint idea of what needed to happen to move the story forward. I feel like I won't definitively know until I finish my current WIP.

Picture from Forever Black Fusion
But what is my current WIP? I don't want to spoil too much about it but just know the there's a African princess who isn't the stereotypical lost princess. This is also not in basically the same era as every other fantasy book either. And the last thing I will tell you about this WIP is that it's not actually a novel but actually a novella about a side character from a series I want to write. I'm so excited about it! The only thing is that there's going to be sex in it and it won't be like the fade out thing the young adult fiction does all the time. I think this would probably make it  a New Adult fantasy and I'm hardly an adult. Like, I just turned 18 and I don't know what sex is like at all. But this story is dying to come out of me so I'm going to write it anyway.

For my goals in March, I'm going to try to write another 3,000 words in the WIP. Hopefully then I can have an idea of what the story will be about and what should happen to make it interesting. I hope that I can achieve this but softball just started and it's going to take up a lot of my time. I might write a couple of short stories based from pictures and writing prompts just to further improve my writing but we'll see.

What were your goals for February? Did you achieve them? What are your goals for March and what is your current WIP about? I'd love to know! Thanks for reading!

February 22, 2017

Book Review: The Reader

Summary: Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story. Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book. Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.

Review: Unfortunately, my thoughts on this book are kind of fuzzy because I finished this book around two weeks ago. However, I will do my best to remember what I thought of this book.

For the plot, I'm going to give it half of a star. A lot of the events that happened occurred at a snail pace and this sort of made the story drag for me. For example, in the beginning  there is a lot of backstory about what happened to her parents and her searching for Nin. I almost put the book down because of that. Plus the events that did occur weren't nearly as exciting as they should have been, especially the ending. I was kind of disappointed with the ending. I think the reason that I didn't like it, though, is because of the fact that this book is written where there are a lot of different perspectives and you really don't know how they connect. Trying to figure out how everything connected could have been really interesting but sadly, the main events in this story's plot wasn't what made me want to keep reading this book.

I think this book deserves three quarters of a star for the characters in this book. This book would have gotten a full star for this part if it wasn't for the main character. Sefia is one of those main characters that was really average when compared to other characters from other books. I didn't think that she was horrible, if anything, she was a person that I just watched go through her life, not someone I I was rooting for. However, the reason that I think characters should receive three quarters of a star is because of Captain Reed and Archer. I loved them a lot and honestly, their stories and looking into their lives is what made me continue this story. Captain Reed is a guy that has adventures and cares for his crew. Archer doesn't speak for most of the book but his actions with Sefia were very sweet (I also imagined Archer as Arabian for some reason but I like him like this). These characters seemed more fleshed out to me than Sefia and that's why I loved them.

This book definitely receives a full star for diversity in this one. A lot of the characters are described as having bronze skin which honestly could be a lot of different people and that's great! The main character is  Japanese, or at least I assume she is because of the cover. However, while I did give this a full star, I can say that I didn't see any LGBTQ+ characters in this book. Seeing as though, I'm not from the LBGBTQ+ community and I don't know everyone on that spectrum, I could have missed some very obvious signs planted in the book. There was a character with a disability, though. He didn't come up until the middle of the book and even then, he was kind of a minor character that may have bigger role in the future books.

I think I'm starting to realize that I really like pirates. First it was Heidi Heilig's, The Girl From Everywhere and now this book. My favorite parts of this book was on board the ship and I think that's why I liked this book. Other people have commented on the reading aspect of this book and how it didn't make any sense. However, I was able to look past it because of the pirate aspect of this book. So I will give the setting of this book half of a star since   majority of the book didn't take place on the ship.

On the basis of my enjoyment, I give this .75 of a star. This book kept me reading even though I have been in a reading slump. Of course it was because of Archer, Captain Reed,  the other pirates in this book and some of the events in the plot. There was also the fact that this book had cool artwork throughout the book to make it seem like it was the actual book everyone was trying to find. There was also words on the bottom of some of the pages to create a full message that I won't spoil for you. But I actually enjoyed reading this book, despite some of its flaws.

After all of that, my rating comes down to 3.5 stars. I recommend this to fans of The Girl From Everywhere because of the pirate aspects and there is a sense of adventure in both of those books. Thanks for reading!

February 15, 2017

Sorry!

Hey everyone! This is just a quick apology for me being absent lately. I've been trying to apply to a lot of scholarships and softball is getting reading to start. I'm still hoping to post soon and I'm still reading books but as of right now, I can't post every Tuesday like I originally wanted. However, my goal is to do at least two posts a month. One should be coming soon for a book I read 1.5 weeks ago so be on the lookout for that. Anyway, sorry again and see you later.

January 31, 2017

Review Policy

As of today, this is how I rate and review books. I feel as though there are three things that every book needs in order to be good and that's plot, setting and characters. Each of these categories, they have the potential to receive a full star. If the category doesn't deliver like I feel like it should have, they can receive, one quarter of a star or half of a star. However, that's only three potential stars. One of the other two stars comes from my overall enjoyment of the entire book. The other star is for diversity. Yes, this means that if a book is not diverse, it won't be able to receive a five star rating from me.

But how do I define diversity? To me, a book is diverse as long as the main character is from a marginalized group and/or three of the side main characters are from marginalized groups.

If you would like me to review a book for you, please email me at wilsonkiara1998@gmail.com. Please note that I will only review young adult fiction. My favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, thrillers and sometimes contemporary.