Book Review #109: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher (Review Copy from Harlequin Australia)

“We busy ourselves trying not to be lonely. Trying to find purpose in careers, and lovers, and children, but any moment, those things we work so hard to possess could be taken from us.” ~Tarryn Fisher
Title: The Wives
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Date of Publication: December 30, 2019
Goodreads Rating: 3.80
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆/5
Goodreads Synopsis

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.

But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.

What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.


My Personal Thoughts
Whew! This is the first mystery thriller written by one of my favourite NA authors today whom I met a couple of years ago in the Philippines during their CTC in Ph tour. I requested for a review copy from the generous publicity team over at Harlequin Books Australia because psychological thrillers are my weakness and talking about mental health conditions intrigue me a lot. This, however, did not change my views and opinions about the story. I was mind-blown! Whilst working in the health care setting as a nurse, I have already met and dealt with people who were diagnosed with various kinds of mental health conditions and the human brain never ceases to amaze me every time. How it works and adjusts is definitely one of the wonders of our body. This story is one hell of a roller coaster ride because up until the very last page, I was not really sure who was the real antagonist is and who is the victim! I was already starting to doubt myself, LOL! The author had me running into circles whilst guessing and jumping into conclusions that are out of this world. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, poof! I eventually realised that I was in a different direction heading somewhere. And like it when I am wrong whenever I assume about the plot twists and endings. I read it in three and a half hours  which happens once in a blue moon. I rarely finish a book this fast but the main character, Thursday, is very interesting. This is not your conventional thriller story so you better brace yourselves for dark twists and turns. It kind of reminded me of Colleen Hoover’s “Verity” because both were mind-boggling in so many levels. I admire Tarryn for discussing how the mind of person with mental health condition works and deteriorates. It may not be a particular disorder but based on the signs and  symptoms, I can only think of one diagnosis for one of the characters. I enjoyed reading it even though it received mixed feedbacks on Goodreads. The first person narration is always a page-turner for me and it was well-done. I felt like I have known the main characters for a long time and it was easy to get to know even the secondary characters and villains in the story. The writing style is exceptional and it has always been that way with this author. There were so many life changing lessons that can be squeezed in and it is obviously one of the major factors for me when recommending a book.
I did not like how it took me a while before finally getting a hang of who the real villain and protagonist are.
I did not like how some women manipulate and get jealous with other women instead of being supportive and appreciative.
I did not like the way I felt after reading the last paragraph, particularly the last sentence.
I absolutely adored the gripping factor and intensity of the story.
I like how it clearly showed the different ways a person can manipulate someone and its repercussions.
Fast-paced and fast-read.
Setting: ☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆☆/5
Writing Style: ☆☆☆/5
Plot Twist: ☆☆☆/5
Overall: ☆☆☆/5
Thank you for reading my thoughts about the author’s latest book.
Looking forward to her next creation.

Book Review #108: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin



“I loved her. Despite everything. Despite the lies, the betrayal, the hurt. Despite the Archbishop and Morgane le Blanc. Despite my own brothers. I don’t know if she returned that love, and I didn’t care. If she was destined to burn in Hell, I would burn with her.” ~Reid Diggory


Title: Serpent and Dove
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance
Format: Hardback
Pages: 513
Date of Publication: September 3, 2019
Goodreads Rating: 4.25
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5

Goodreads Synopsis

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

My Personal Thoughts

Whew! Where do I even begin? I actually bought this book as part of my birthday haul last month. When I saw the cover on Instagram, it was love at first sight (like seriously!). I didn’t even read the synopsis and reviews prior to checking out my cart. Crazy? I know! After finishing this off, it was actually worth taking the risk! This is undeniably my favourite book for 2019! I am interested with anything about magic, curses, and witches. And because of this, Manon Blackbeak of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is my Queen Witch of all time. I read Serpent and Dove in less than 24 hours which is usually a sign that the book is highly entertaining and very engaging. I’m actually on a stress leave from work so I was able to sit down and give my full and undivided attention. Things that I love about Lou and Reid’s world: book cover, writing style, the cliche’ part where “we can’t be together because we’re from two different worlds”, breathtaking twists and surprises, character and world building, and so on and so forth. I admire how the author did an amazing job executing all the intricate details. It was like reading a fairy tale and watching Hansel and Gretel (The Witch Hunters) at the same time. The cliche’ part where the main characters can’t be together is obviously very common but the twist that was incorporated is well-done! The author’s writing style is commendable in the sense that she gave us the perfect setting, characters, and story line and I wasn’t disappointed in the end. I got the perfect ending that a first book in a series should have. I’m proud and happy to say that I’m very satisfied! The twists and shocking revelations were greatly executed and I did not see those things coming so YAYYY I’m impressed!

The author discusssed pertinent issues today such as patriarchy, differences in religion/beliefs, and people who will do everything (including crimes) just to survive. These are issues that we often overlook in our daily lives but are very important especially with the kind of world that we are living in today. Religion is a sensitive topic, hence, I compliment the author for being feirce by incorporating this on her book. Patriarchy, on the other hand, has been a long standing issue which I don’t think will ever go away. Lastly, people who do bad things just to survive is a daily scenario even if we watch the news lately. Basically, the author is showing us the reality of life.



Lou – badass bitchy witch (I like!!!)

Reid – swoon worthy book husband (Drools….)

Coco and Ansel – one of the best secondary main characters

Morgane – Antagonist whom I still have to get to know more on the next book



Cover buy || A rattling good storyline || Character and world building is brilliant



Cliche’ love story || All the characters got secrets of their own and the reader could not just focus on one and tends to get overwhelmed || The antagonists is not really that intimidating for me and I was sort of expecting too much because the “fear of the unknown” was introduced and consistently discussed all throughout the story but in the end it was actually “MEH!”



~Lies will lead on nowhere no matter how hard one tries to keep it. In the end, it will all fall apart infront of you.

~One can pretend that he or she doesn’t give a damn about someone but nomatter what, family will always come first.

~There are instances that things may be out of our control and one can never have a choice. Let’s not be judgemental and we should never ASSUME.

Overall, I may have some minor rants but I ENJOYED each and every part of this masterpiece. Five stars, indeed! It is highly recommended for YA fantasy readers who also enjoy reading stories that involve witches, curses, and magic.



Book Review #107: Maleficent Mistress of Evil by Elizabeth Rudnick (Review Copy from Scholastic Australia)


There is no curse that could ever tear me away from you.”

Title: Maleficent Mistress of Evil
Author: Elizabeth Rudnick
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Date of Publication: October 8, 2019
Goodreads Rating: 4.44
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5

Goodreads Synopsis

A deluxe novelization of the Walt Disney Pictures film Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, starring Angelina Jolie.

This visually stunning live action film continues the fantasy adventure started in the “origin” story of Maleficent. This sequel explores the complex relationship between the horned fairy and Princess Aurora, as they face new threats to the magical land of the Fair Folk.

The movie stars Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie in the titular role, and is directed by Oscar-nominated Joachim Rønning (Kon-Tiki, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales). The film co-stars Elle Fanning (Super 8) as Princess Aurora and Golden Globe-recipient Michelle Pfeiffer (The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Wizard of Lies) as Queen Ingrith.Maleficent: Mistress of Evil also features Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave, Doctor Strange), Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1), and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread).

My Personal Thoughts

WOW! Have you seen the cover of this book? It’s obviously screaming perfection! Thank you, Scholastic Australia, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I’ve  watched the movie prior to reading the book so I have spoiled myself already. It’s very magical & highly entertaining. Too Fast-paced that I was able to finish it in 4 hours (I promise I have a life). It’s like reading the script of the movie & the good thing is I was able to look back on things that I may have missed while watching it with the kids. It’s very engaging & I love how Maleficent taught everyone lots of life lessons. I highly encourage everyone to see the movie & read the book if you got time. It’s so amazing and as a woman who grew up reading fairy tales, this is like watching your childhood infront of you but with a twist!

Aurora – sometimes main characters are really annoying in the sense that they can be so dumb & they often make poor judgment.

Phillip – is absolutely your book husband material.

King – Good Lord! This is the most hilarious King ever. My son even asked me “Mom, he just slept all throughout the movie!” Hehe!

Queen Ingrith – 1 of the best villains! All because of power hunger, she did everything she can even if it caused her losing her family.

Maleficent – of course! Villain turned antagonist. I’m impressed that loving Aurora changed her. The most heart-warming turn out of event!


-To die for book cover

-Perfect way to fully understand the movie

-Fast-read & fast-paced


-Aurora is always clueless

-Phillip is also clueless

-Only Maleficent did a great job in this book


-We don’t turn our backs to people we love & care about & then we’ll assume that they’d still be there when we need them.

-Genuine love includes accepting one’s flaws & loving them including the people they love with open arms.

-Greed & hunger for power will lead one nowhere & it will cause estranged relationships eventually.

Overall, highly recommended to children & adults especially people who are fans of fairy tales like myself. I enjoyed reading this as much as my whole family loved the movie! Xoxo, Janna 💖

Book Review #106: The Order of the Rose (The Rose Chronicles #1) by Alysha King


Title: The Order of the Rose
Author: Alysha King
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Digital Format
Pages: 413
Date of Publication: September 2013
Goodreads Rating: 3.52
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

Goodreads Synopsis

“You possess a power as great as that of the false Empress. You do not understand it yet but you will come to learn its true nature. It is the only match to true evil. You doubt it, but you must embrace it or you will fail.”

When Carey Lee discovers that not only is she a witch but also part of a rebel order, she figures it can’t be any worse than the life from which she just escaped. Little is she prepared though for what lies ahead – an all-powerful empire and a murderous Empress, a seemingly impossible quest to rescue her family, and a power so dark that Carey begins to doubt her very existence.

The Order of the Rose is the first in a series of three novels to be known as the Rose Chronicles.

My Personal Thoughts

Alyshia King’s debut novel is beautifully written and very promising. The first few chapters instantly caught my full and undivided attention and I found myself already reading 100 pages or so the moment I sat down. The characters are intriguing, hence, I was eager to get to know them better and deeper. It’s like Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson. Like these two series, it also involves the main character’s journey towards a certain goal whilst facing lots of challenges. Her strengths and weaknesses were both tested and revealed while embarking a journey towards finding out the truth and her purpose. The main character is Carey and there are two secondary characters which are Kat and Ji who both played vital roles in the story.

Carey – I had high hopes for this character but she kept on disappointing me along the way. She has poor judgement which led them to all the weird turn out of events. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked her but I will be hoping that in the next books, she’ll do better.

Kat– She would make a decent main character! Her personality kind of outweighed Carey’s. She is fierce and smart and I like her in so many ways. She is my favourite.

Ji– I actually did not notice him much. His character building was lacking. I was excited for his love interest but was disappointed because of the major twist. My ship did not fully sail and I will be expecting more on the next book (keeping my fingers crossed).

The plot twist may be predictable but I still managed to enjoy the story so much. You can assume how some things will turn out but the author  will suddenly surprise you until you can no longer bear the excitement! There is something engaging about the trio which will make you want to finish the story immediately. I agree with some of the reviews that there are moments when I felt like the characters could have done better in a certain situation but they did the other way instead. SPOILER AHEAD! I repeat, SPOILER AHEAD! I also had a hard time accepting the protagonist’s fate in the end. It was an easy peasy lemon squeezy kind of thing for Carey and I was expecting more action-packed battle scene where Malevolence could have suffered more. Who knows? Maybe with the second book, the author will be cruel towards her (Please pelase please!). Did I mention that the OTP (one true pair) was also very promising? Yes. But things happened and my ship kind of went south. Sort of. Anyway, I will definitely read the second book because I need more answers.


Very promising and the Harry Potter like characters | Engaging | Fast-read


Predictable twist and turn out of events | Character’s poor decision making skills | The way the antagonist went down

Overall, the concept is impressive and definitely my cup of tea. I always go for the wizard and witches kind of stories because they are magical and kind of dark and twisted. Speaking of which, this book surprised me in so many levels! Just when you think everything went plain, odd, and simple, the author will shock you with a new mind-boggling revelation. I am looking forward to the next book and I am actually participating with its Book Tour today.

I am giving this a four-star rating and I am now off to start The Dragon’s Heart.

Thank you for reading my review.



Book Review #105: American Royals by Katharine McGee


“That was the thing about success, it could be even more draining than failure.”

Title: American Royals
Author: Katharine McGee
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Pages: 440
Date of Publication: September 3, 2019
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5

Goodreads Synopsis

What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture hisheart. Less

My Personal Thoughts

Before anything else, let me just say that I really enjoyed reading this book and exploring the alternate universe where America is ruled by kings and queens. I enjoyed so much that I finished it quickly given the fact that I’m just recovering from a year of reading and blogging slump and hiatus. It’s so beautiful in so many ways. I adore the characters, the setting, the simple plot twists and story line, and the way I have thought of Netflix’s TV Series, THE CROWN, while reading it. It is obviously all about queens and kings, and everything fell into place just like how I expected and imagined them to be. Growing up, I was introduced by my mom to the world of fairy tales and I had no regrets! I am also introducing this concept to my daughter but with a very vital twist. Ypu can be a princess and be treated like one but you do not need to be saved by a prince charming or knight in shining armour. As princesses or queens, we should be able to save ourselves through our effort and perseverance. Agree? This is so inspiring, eh?


Beatrice, the main character, is the epitome of elegance and power but I’ve rolled my eyes a couple of times due to her ever changing mind. Wit and dedication wise, I couldn’t complain because she is screaming intelligence and class.

Sam (Beatrice’s younger sister and one of the twins) is my favourite character amongst them all even though she’s the least appreciated by the royal family. I love how things turned out for her in the end.

Jeff (Sam’s twin brother) is the typical boy next door prince who gets to have everything he wants. Girls might be head over heels about him but he reserved his heart only for this one special person.

Nina is a commoner who got her life intertwined with the royals’ life due to her friendship with Sam and Jeff and her mom’s previous work as a chamberlain and current position at the palace.

Daphne is the worst character for me and I hated her existence since page one. She made a good antagonist which is quite impressive.

Ethan (Jeff’s bestfriend) is a hopeless romantic who’s blind because of his feelings for someone who takes him for granted.

Story and Wirting Style

Their lives are all interlaced and I like how I enjoyed this fast-read story. I couldn’t complain because I adore stories that are like fairy tales with prince and princesses and all the glamorous parties, jewelries, and gowns. If you are looking for a fresh story that is engaging, this one is definitely for you. The writing style is my cup of tea and all the twists and turn out of events may be predictable but I still managed to enjoy the royalty ride.


Fast-read and engaging

Unique concept compared to the usual monarchy setting in England

Amazing set of characters even the antagonist is hard to hate


Main characters’ fickle-mindedness when it comes to deciding about love

Antagonist’ stone-cold heart and ambition drove me nuts

Cliff-hanger ending


Be firm with what you want and do not go beating around the bush. It might be too late for you in the end.

Power is useless if there is no integrity involved.

Real friendship does not look at differences in social status. If the relationship is genuine, it will surpass anything.

I am so looking forward to the next book and I just bought a physical copy after two weeks of reading the digital edition. Five amazing stars and highly recommended because of its fresh and unique concept.💜



Book Review #104: Consent (for Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of YOU by Rachel Brian (Review Copy from Hachette Children’s Books Australia)


“Sometimes people get upset if you change your mind. They might get frustrated, annoyed, or even angry. But YOU still get to decide.”

Title: Respect
Author: Rachel Brian
Genre: Non-fiction, Self-Help for Kids
Format: Hardback
Pages: 64 pages
Date of Publication: January 7, 2020
Goodreads Rating: None yet
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5


This humorous and insightful introduction to consent from the co-creator of the viral “Tea Consent” video is the perfect teaching tool, conversation starter, and entertaining, empowering guide for kids and families everywhere.

From the co-creator of the viral ‘Tea Consent’ video, this is the perfect introduction to consent for kids and families everywhere.

Your body belongs to you and you get to set your own rules, so that you may have boundaries for different people and sometimes they might change. Like when you hi-five your friends and kiss your kitten, but not the other way round!

But consent doesn’t need to be confusing. From setting boundaries, to reflecting on your own behaviour and learning how to be an awesome bystander, this book will have you feeling confident, respected, and 100% in charge of yourself and your body.

Brought to life with funny and informative illustrations, this is the smart, playful and empowering book on consent that everyone has been waiting for.

My Personal Thoughts

Thank you, Hachette Children’s Books Australia, for this review copy in exchange for an honest and fair review. This, however, does not change my opinion.

Wow! Firstly, I requested for a copy because I find this appropriate given that I have 10 and 7 y/o kids. The cover is a real eye-catcher which is also another factor that made me eager to read it. I asked my daughter to read it first and she absolutely loved it. I’ve asked her about her thoughts and she told me that it is so helpful for kids like her because it teaches them when to say NO and to speak up when someone is crossing the line. After that, I’ve asked my son to read it as well and let me know his thoughts. He said it was good and that it also taught him about which situations are comfortable and who are the people to trust and who to avoid. I was actually the one who read it last after browsing all the illustrations. Surprisingly, as an adult, I learned a lot from it. I was able to dig deeper as to where the kids are coming from. This is very helpful not just for kids and parents but also for all of us. We will learn more about how to respect a child’s boundaries and we will be aware of the signs when they are uncomfortable with someone or a certain situation. This is the golden book when we want to impart the meaning of consent, boundaries, and being in control of one’s body. It is highly recommended for all the type of readers out there even if you do not have kids yet. It is very helpful for parents, children, and all the people who are looking after or interacting with children.


The illustartions are really beautiful which made it more appealing to my children when they read it.

The words are easy to understant so I noticed that my kids did not really ask me much about the terms used and what they mean.

It is relatable and very funny so they weren’t bored.


I couldn’t think of a negative side of this book because it is screaming perfection and information that are relevant for our children today.


  1. We can teach our kids to say NO if they are not comfortable.
  2. We should be mindful of non-verbal cues that suggest if a child is uncomfortable with a situation or a person.
  3. We can teach the young people that they can always change their minds if a situation becomes uncomfortable even if they said YES initially.

Thank you for reading my review and I hope I was able to encourage you to have a copy of this book once it has been released on January. As I’ve mentioned earlier, this is the golden book of today’s generation regarding consent and boundaries. People working with children and vulnerable people should also secure a copy of this book.

Five amazing stars and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.



Book Review #103: Cry of the Firebird by TM Clark (Review Copy from Harlequin Books Australia)



“How far will they go to save lives in peril?”

 Title: Cry of The Firebird
Author: TM Clark
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352 pages
Date Published: November 18, 2019
Goodreads Rating: 4.75
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5


South African–born Doctor Lily Winters, a consultant with the World Health Organization, has been in the thick of some of the worst humanitarian disasters across the globe. But when she’s posted back to South Africa following the suspicious death of an ex-colleague, she faces the biggest medical mystery she’s ever seen.

The resettled San community of Platfontein is exhibiting a higher-than-average HIV infection rate, and their people are dying. The cases Lily takes over are baffling and despite her best efforts the medicine doesn’t seem to be helping.

To save this unique community, Lily and a policeman from the Kalahari, Piet Kleinman, join forces to trace the origins of the epidemic and uncover the truth. Their search drags them into the dangerous world of a corrupt industry driven by profit while the authorities meant to protect their community turn a blind eye. In a race against time Lily and Piet will put not only their careers but their lives on the line…

My Personal Thoughts

First, let me just say that I am very happy that I requested for a review copy of this book and that I was able to finish it two days after it was released! This is my 1st book read from Australian author, TM Clark, and it definitely did not disappoint. I always find myself requesting for books that are medically related maybe it’s because of the fact that I am a nurse and I can totally understand the terms and scenarios. The writing style is beautiful, I enjoyed how the story went and I was never bored. Usually, I read a book’s first three chapters and then I will decide if I will still continue to give it a go or give up. I found myself liking this one soooo much. It is very engaging and fast-paced. I finished it in two days because I still had to work. If I weren’t working, I probably could have finished it in 5 hours or so. The main characters are all sooo amazing. Dr. Lily Winters is the protagonist. She is fierce and an oathbound doctor who cares about her patients genuinely and I admire her dedication in finding out the truth despite all the threats on her life. Her husband, Quintin, is husband goals OMG! A very supportive man who unconditionally loves his wife that he is willing to move to the other side of the world just for her to accomplish her tasks. I couldn’t find the right words to explain how legit their feelings for each other are and how Quintin looked after Lily until the very end (Darn! So hard to make a review without spoiling anyone.) This book is phenomenal because it discussed important issues or topics in today’s world such fake and ineffective medicines, medicinal use of cannabis, Alzheimer’s Disease, corruption in the police system, and crimes committed in our society for money. Kuddos to the author for discussing these issues which serve as an eye-opener for everyone. Readers might not understand some of these things fully but we still get to have a glimpse and that’s more than enough. The setting is also fresh for me because I’ve never read a book set in Africa before so I really enjoyed learning about this country, its people, and the culture. I am a fan of diversity so five amazing stars for this epic masterpiece!


Cultural Diversity is a major check

Medical Related story is always my cup of tea

Realistic and on point


Because it was so fast paced, I think that some characters were not given too much justification with how their story concluded

I was expecting more from the antagonist like more action-packed scenes and stuff, but I still enjoyed it.

Overall, I am satisfied and I highly recommend this to readers who are fan of stories that are diverse, mystery/crime themed, and medical related. I will surely read more books from the author given the fact that this one really got me engaged.

Thank you, Harlequin Books Australia, for my copy in exchange for an honest and fair review. This, however, does not change my opinion.