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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-09-23 03:20
Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas



Sarah J. Maas tricked me. She set up those familiar tropes in A Court of Thorns and Roses and then she hurtled A Court of Mist and Fury at them and knocked them ALL down. She did just enough with Feyre in ACOTAR that I thought, sure this is a kind of typical fantasy love story, with a typical alpha male who means well and who shows a typical lonely, broken girl peace and happiness while they save the world, but Feyre is so fleshed out! She’s got such a complete personality. She’s not just an “insert yourself here” kind of fantasy heroine. It’ll do. BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT.


BUT! Then she gives us A Court of Mist and Fury, and she shows us that this TYPICAL (I resist humming “Same Old Love”) depiction of romance is not necessarily desirable. It doesn't fit. It’s not good to find your strength in someone else, it’s not good to be cloistered and protected from not only harm, but living, experience, and finding someone who is your EQUAL, not your keeper/husband/protector/mansplainer.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the book I read and loved when I was young and inexperienced and very much like Feyre when she first comes to the Spring Court. A Court of Mist and Fury is the book for me now, now that I’ve lived and loved and done things, now that I am more myself and more completely at home with myself. I know what I can do, and I don't let anyone keep me from doing it. The kind of love I want (and have, thankfully) is the love of an equal partner, someone who isn't shielding me from things but encourages me to go with, or figure out on my own, or share when I'm ready. Maas presents ACOTAR to us as if to say, “See? It’s familiar, you’ve felt this, we’ve all felt this,” and then follows it with ACOMAF and asks, “But isn’t this better?”


Let's Discuss!


Let me know what you thought about ACoMaF, if you disagree about ACoTaR, or if you just want to Rhysand fangirl with me.

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review 2015-10-03 09:15
[CHINESE BL NOVEL] Hua Hua You Long [花花遊龍] by Xing Bao Ni [星寶兒]
Hua Hua You Long - Xing Bao Ni

Sadistic lover. A devil with the face of an angel. A twisted romance of brutal and dysfunctional relationship. Be ready for multiple stab wounds on your poor heart.


This book left a bitter aftertaste. Yet I am appreciative of the author's skill at manipulating the fragile human heart. I am also grateful for the author's effort to keep the story real. So real, it left an indelible mark on my mind. To me this meant the author is successful in his/her work since their main aim should be to grasp the reader's mind and mold it to their own desired shape. A book that is able to control the psyche of its reader is a winner. That's how I see it. And this book had subjected me to various onslaught of intense emotions of amusement, joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, frustration, anticipation, surprise, expectation and last but not least love. Yes, love even-though this is a very brutal romance story which I had nearly lost hope of finding a flicker of romance within its pages. Some might reject the ideal of romance in this story due to Jing's (seme/antagonist) violent and selfish way of pursuing love and also Lu Cang's (uke/protagonist) seemingly masochist acceptance of abuse from his lover. To be fair, I too could not exactly shake off the possibility of Stockholm Syndrome in play as I did find it hard to see how Lu Cang as broken as a battered rag doll could ever find in his heart to forgive Jing's incessant cruelty upon this mind and body. Nevertheless how ever twisted their love is, love is still the catalyst of their tragedious joining. Sigh such highly dysfunctional relationship this pair has. I am still worried for Lu Cang's future even upon finishing the book. Afterall, to serve the king is like accompanying a tiger. (famous Chinese proverb).


The version I read was in Chinese Text via TTS (text-to-speech). If you are interested, you could try the fan translations in English here: [Click Me]. I am not sure how the translation fairs but I do believe the real thing is surely better than a translated copy. For the record, I have read the manga adaptation up to volume no. 5 and am keen on reading its next installment. The artwork is not bad and so far the story sticks with the original novel.




Title: Hua Hua You Long [花花遊龍]

Author:  Xing Bao Ni [星寶兒]

Type: Novel

Genre: Chinese M/M dark erotic romance


Description: In order to help their chief find a wife, the bandits kidnapped a woman from the bottom of the mountain in order to offer her up to him. The chief of the mountain stronghold, Lu Cang falls in love at first sight with the absolutely stunning beauty! However, on the night of the consummation...



READ FAN TRANSLATIONS: ★|| Hua Hua You Long (English Translations) ||★



* Reviewed on October 3rd, 2015 *:


**Read via TTS in Cantonese**


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review 2014-10-20 13:11
[REVIEW] P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

P.S. I Love YouP.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Read this ages ago in paperback. Back then this book was such a hype. Funny thing is I am not part of that worshipful crowd for this sappy romance. In fact, the protagonist gets on my nerve most of the time and I just felt like wanting to give her a good strong kick to help her out of that whiny, self-pitying existence. I even felt the same with the film adaptation of it. Ugh.

The only reason why I did eventually finish it was wholly because the of the engaging storyline and I do love it when characters goes pack a bag and wander off to exciting places, doing things they usually wouldn't dare to do.

* Read ages ago but reviewed on October 20th, 2014


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Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1084713563?book_show_action=false
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review 2014-10-13 17:14
[REVIEW] Jimmy by Luke Hartwell
Jimmy - Luke Hartwell

Jimmy by Luke Hartwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recommended to Kynthos-the-Archer by: Lena♥Ribka
Recommended for: Those who love slow burn romance and realistic stories.
Read from October 12 to 13, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1



A piercing arrow to the heart, followed by a cube of sugar to the soul soothing away the pain of regret. Then a glimpse of what may come to be for those courageous enough to seek.

Love is love. Love is gender-blind.
Love is without boundaries.

Poignantly evocative vignettes of innocent young love tested by hardship and separation. The story felt so real it could be happening somewhere right now at this very moment. A moving story of two childhood friends going through the trial of growing up. There's reminiscence of good times and laments of lost opportunities; of what-could-have-beens if only courage was within their reach where it counts most.


The story may be short and the pace was initially too slow for my liking then it grew on me and the last part stole my heart and breath away. Some might complain that the story is too short, yet I am in awe that in mere 6,050 words the impact is greater than a full length novel. I for one, wouldn't be forgetting this heartfelt romance anytime soon. I really dig well-paced slow burn romances. Aside from that, the impression the story made is deeper than I had first thought the longer I ponder on it. Somehow this story is like a short version of Brokeback Mountain although the storyline itself bears no similarities. It's just a feeling I had after reading it. Felt like having watched a good movie that lingers on your mind. I have to thank Lena♥Ribka for recommending this little gem to him. She's got good taste.

On a side note, I was reminded of these two quotes which I wholeheartedly agree with and find to be a great motivator in times of weakness.

Never say never. Why try to limit your possibilities? Just go out there and take that fall if need be, at least that way you wouldn't have to face a lifetime of regrets after it. Life is too short for self-doubts.

Title: Jimmy
Author: Luke Hartwell
Publication Date: August 25th, 2012
Type: Short Story, 6,050 words
Genre: Gay Contemporary Romance

Rainbow Award-winning author Luke Hartwell once again explores the relationship between gay and straight best friends in this sparse, moving story. Chris has been in love with his best friend Jimmy since childhood. While Chris is at college, Jimmy is sent to prison. Now Jimmy is free once more and the two meet again.


* Reviewed on October 13th, 2014


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Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/538490894
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review 2014-05-07 17:30
[AUDIOBOOK REVIEW] Better Than Good (Better Than Good #1) by Lane Hayes
Better Than Good - Lane Hayes


Better Than Good by Lane Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recommended for: Slow romance, adorable couple what's not to like?
Read from April 06 to May 03, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1













A fun and charming Gay-For-You slow burn romance. And I am freaking loving the audiobook!

It's not easy to love someone who's insecure of relationships and overly protective of their heart. Yet Matt Sullivan knows he had to give it his best shot anyways for he couldn't forget this special person who has caught his heart as never before. He is certain this person is the right guy for him even if gender is a big roadblock for a straight guy like him to hurdle. All he knew was that it felt right. They felt right together.

Things aren't easy for Matt for it was tough trying to convince out-and-proud Aaron Mendez that he is serious and that Aaron wouldn't be just a gay experimentation for him. I couldn't blame Aaron for being so wary of Matt's advances, that guy has been straight his whole life and on top of that he has a girlfriend. Matt Sullivan certainly comes with baggage attached and Aaron is adamant and on travelling light. Smart guy!

The story charmed me with highly relatable characters and realistic situations. Love Matt our protagonist, for his steadfastness and his honesty with his feelings. Aaron isn't shy on admitting his attraction either. I liked that they both knows what they wanted and goes about it maturely. I appreciates that they aren't those guys-in-skirts type of characters. Even effeminate Aaron is manly in some ways. They are convincingly male. Another thing I like much about this story was the focus on the development of the relationship -- to watch them fall in love as they get to know each other was a beautiful thing, it was gradual and natural. The slow and steady courtship was indeed endearing.

They are most adorable together.


I do believe this audio version I am listening to has added extra charms to this simple story. The narrator Tyler Stevens was just fabulous! His voice was easy to listen to and he has successfully brought out the personality of each characters so much so that I felt like I am listening to an audio-drama with multiple voice cast instead of just a one person narration. This is a fine example of how important it is to secure a good audiobook narrator as this person's skill could easily make or break a book.

I don't think I would have enjoyed the story as much if I wasn't listening to this quality audio version. The plotline is a calm and simple one. In other words not much excitement to be had and the major conflict was quite predictable. What makes this story worthwhile was the endearing characters and the sensible romance. Oh yea, and the chemistry between the main characters was undeniable and that's a plus of course.

Title: Better Than Good
Series: Better Than Good #1
Author: Lane Hayes
Publication Date: March 24th, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Read by: Tyler Stevens
Genre: Gay Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Matt Sullivan, Aaron Mendez
Key Themes:

Gay-for-you, Out-for-you, Bisexuality, Slow Burn Romance, Instant Attraction, Straight-to-Gay, Coming Out, Romance

(spoiler show)

Location/Setting: Georgetown, Washington, D.C., US

Matt Sullivan understands labels: law student, athlete, heterosexual. He has goals: graduate and begin his career in law. One fateful night, Matt tags along with his gay roommate to a dance club and everything changes. Matt finds himself attracted to the most beautiful man he's ever seen. All labels go flying out the window.

Aaron Mendez doesn't believe in labels, and he’s leery of straight curious men. He makes it clear that he’ll hide his fabulous light for no one. While Aaron can't deny the attraction between him and Matt, he is reluctant to start anything with someone who is still dealing with what this new label means—especially when that someone has a girlfriend.

★|| AUDIBLE ||★

* Reviewed on May 5th, 2014


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Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/902433547
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