Book Review #86: Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

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Title: Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Pages: 250
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Digital Copy
Date Published: July 13, 2017
Goodreads Rating: 4.35
Personal Rating: 4 / 5

“Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have loved you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” –David Lisey

Synopsis

Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.

She dates men who need her but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.

David Lisey is in need of a muse.

A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he’s found what he’s been looking for.

Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential:
A broken heart.

David’s religion is love.

Yara’s religion is heartache.

Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.

My Personal Thoughts

Wow! Whew! I don’t even know where and how to start drafting this book review. Everything is just so freaking awesome! Tarryn Fisher never ceases to amaze me when it comes to new adult contemporary stories with dark and twisted characters. I like the way this book was written and how the characters transformed, developed, and matured! OMG! I can’t even contemplate and construct the right words for this.

The story took place in a lot of states just like how the female main character run away from her problems depending on which situation she’s at. First, it was in America where she has been to different places already then to Europe where she was born and where she also jumped from one place to another whenever a specific problem arises. The male protagonist, on the other hand, was also always on the run to find his muse for inspiration when writing his songs. Overall, the places were relevant to the story and the characters and I love how Paris was included here. I find it so romantic.

The female character is Yara Phillips, she has a dark and fucked up personality. She is beautiful which is also the main reason why men get so obsessed with her. She does not want to commit. She hates responsibility and she loves running away and leaving people behind because she’s worried about putting her guard down and being hurt. She anticipates things and decides abruptly without taking into consideration the feelings of the other party. David Lisey is a hopeless romantic. An artist who was in constant search for the perfect muse that will give him the inspiration to write songs. I actually like his character, from a naughty and easy go lucky boy to a matured and one woman man bloke. David is a real catch and Yara does not deserve him. Sadly.

The plot, ending, and everything in between, are all beautifully written! I could not think of a better ending. I like the way that there was an alternating point of view and I find it great because I was able to look into Yara and David’s perspectives. I was able to understand the characters more and I just love how I knew how things will turn out. David is a man who loves deeply and sincerely, I admire all his willpower and determination. Yara is a major disappointment for me, I don’t actually like her character, she is selfish and reckless and she does not deserve to be happy. The ending made sense. Yara’s childhood and all those crap sorts of justified her actions. Tarryn Fisher is the queen of fucked up characters and that’s what I love about her. I need to let go of Caleb Drake and embrace David Lisey with two arms! Kudos for creating a male character which made me believe that men like my husband still exists (wink!*). There are plenty of life and love lessons that you can dig into the story and I am in deep awe with how it made me think and realise plenty of stuff.

I highly recommend this to new adult readers who are looking for a new book boyfriend to adore. This is full of dramas and shit but it’s worth your time, money, and effort. I love each and every chapter and I just couldn’t wait for Queen T’s next book!

Thank you for reading my review.

Setting: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

~JaNnA

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Book Review #85: Countless by Karen Gregory (Review Copy from Bloomsbury Publishing Australia)

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Title: Countless
Author: Karen Gregory
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health
Format: Paperback
Date Published: May 04, 2017
Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing
Goodreads Rating: 4.08
Personal Rating: 4 / 5

“The things that matter the most can’t be counted anyway.”

Synopsis

‘Is there anything that’s concerning you?’ Felicity says. ‘College, home, boyfriends?’ Though she’s more or less smiling at this last one.

I don’t smile. Instead, I feel my face go hot. Silence stretches as wide as an ocean.
When I look up, Felicity has this expression on her face like she’s just seen, Elvis. Slowly, she leans forward and in a gentle voice I’ve never heard her use before she says, ‘Have you done a pregnancy test?’

When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don’t add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She’s even given her eating disorder a name – Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it if she takes it one day at a time …

Heartbreaking and hopeful by turns, Karen Gregory’s debut novel is a story of love, heartache and human resilience. And how the things that matter most can’t be counted. Perfect for fans of Lisa Williamson, Non Pratt, and Sarah Crossan. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that occurs chiefly in females, is characterized by compulsive overeating usually followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative or diuretic abuse, and is often accompanied by guilt and depression — called also bulimia nervosa. [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]

Anorexia Nervosa is
a serious disorder in eating behavior primarily of young women in their teens and early twenties that is characterized especially by a pathological fear of weight gain leading to faulty eating patterns, malnutrition, and usually excessive weight loss. [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]

Whew! This review is something new to me. I’ve always heard and studied about eating disorders especially in UNI and way back in my college years in the Philippines. I’ve also watched lots of movies about them considering the fact that I am so in love with the human behaviour and I’m obsessed with topics and stuff about them, most especially mental health disorders. It reflects how people’s judgment and attitude affects other people’s view of life. This a very inspiring and brave novel which discussed the sensitive issue about young girls with anorexia nervosa or bulimia, all the why’s, how’s, and what-ifs of their case and every bits and piece of how some girls fully recover and how some totally fell apart. It also showed the different struggles that a teenage mom goes through which in some way I can almost relate to. I love each and every part of this book and I will not lie. It touched my heart and soul in parts that I have always been ashamed to discuss. I felt the hardships, despair, and hidden fears that the main character went through and I’ll be frank and honest that during the first two parts of the book I’ve been so disappointed and frustrated about her character. Hedda is a 17-year-old lady with long-standing problem of anorexia. She’s been in and out of facilities and hospitals and her whole family almost lost hope about her situation. She was hopeless already that’s why I couldn’t bear the idea of finishing the novel during those times. But later on, I admired her courage and strength to overcome everything that was thorn her way. Motherhood definitely changed her perspectives in life. Yes, maybe not right away but her child, Rose, became her beacon of light and hope. I have always admired young moms like me. This isn’t being a narcissist or something but having a huge responsibility as being a MOM at a very young age is not a joke. It is something big and scary and intimidating but everything is worth it when you finally see the smile on your child’s face for the very first time. It’s as if all the non-stop shaming and judging that other people gave you did not matter anymore. I gave birth at the age of 21 and every person alive in our neighbourhood especially our relatives have been so judgemental about me stating that I won’t achieve anything in life anymore. I don’t blame them, I was always an achiever and everything fell apart when I got married at an early age. I just despise the idea that people can be so judgmental when in fact it’s them who needs to look in front of the mirror in the first place. It is water under the bridge though, because what they’ve said before does not matter anymore, those hurtful and offensive words do not define who I am today. Moving back to the story, this book is very inspiring and I highly recommend it to readers from young adult to new adult genre lovers. It is simple but the author was able to give full justification and the message that she wants to impart to her readers is clear and on point. I admire the author for coming up with a novel that will inspire young girls or even matured ones to live life the way they want it but with limitations as well. This is undeniably well-written and I love everything in between. Thank you, Bloomsbury, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest and fair review. This, however, does not change my opinion. After I’ve read the word “countless” in the story, everything made sense. It wasn’t really about the disease per se but how a mother’s love could change every damn thing in the world. I am a proud momma of two wonderful and smart kids.

Setting: ☆☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

~JaNnA

Book Review #83: Mr. Bambuckle’s Remarkables by Tim Harris, Illustrated by James Hart

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Title: Mr. Bambuckle’s Remarkables
Author: Tim Harris
Illustrator: James Hart
ISBN: 9780143785859
Pages: 240
Genre: Children’s Book
Format: Paperback
Date Published: August 28, 2017
Publishing House: Penguin Kids Australia
Goodreads Rating: 4.75
Personal Rating: 4 / 5

“Sometimes the best learning happens when you teach yourself.”

Synopsis

He’s the first teacher to cook us breakfast.
Is his spark-maker beetle really that dangerous?
I heard he drank yak’s milk in Mongolia.
He’s the only person who isn’t afraid of Canteen Carol.
My mum says he used to be in the circus.

The class in room 12B has a new teacher, and nothing is ever going to be the same . . . [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

Tim Harris’ Mr. Bambuckle’s Remarkables is a highly entertaining children’s book. It is jam-packed with life lessons that we, adults, often forget and neglect. I like how books for kids can become an eye-opener and refresher in order for us to contemplate our life choices and actions. This book was sent to me by Penguin Kids Australia. Yes, I do review children’s books as well because I can recommend them to my kids for them to read and enjoy. First, the illustration is really nice and catchy. I like how they all complemented with the story. Second, the main character, Mr. Bambuckle is so good in terms of bringing out the best out of his students. It is not surprising how the students of 12B became so fascinated with him. He teaches in a unique way but the lesson that he wants to impart to the kids is still clear and relevant. The ending is a cliffhanger and I was craving for more, I was a bit disappointed because it felt like I want to know the rest of the class as well and not just the first few students who were introduced. But I am not complaining, I’ll just look forward to the next book. Third, I like how it was written and executed, the simplicity of the words will be easy for young readers to comprehend. The illustrations also added colour to the book. Overall, this is highly recommended to young readers and those young at heart just like me. Kudos to the author for making me realise all the things that I have been forgetting because I was busy thinking that I’m already an adult and that I don’t need to know the basics in life anymore. I love it, each and every chapter; and each and every character including the pseudo-antagonist kid who often bullies the underdog. It was worth my time; a fast-paced story with sense and purpose.

Thank you, Penguin Random House, for sending me a copy to read and review. However, this does not change my views and opinions.

~JaNnA

 

Book Review #81: The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3) by Marie Lu

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“You cannot harden your heart to the future just because of your past.”

Title: The Midnight Star
Series: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
ISBN: 0399167854
Pages: 316
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Hardback
Date Published: October 11, 2016
Publishing House: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Rating: 4.14
Personal Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done the suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest, her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all she’s gained.

When a new danger appears, Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds, putting not only herself at risk, but every Elite. In order to preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger

My personal Thoughts

Whoaaaaa! This is the 3rd and final installment of author Marie Lu’s astounding second series, The Young Elites. I’ll be honest and frank; I did not expect the finale to be this awesome and legendary (in Barney Stinson tone). I actually gave the first two books (you can check out my book review of The Young Elites H E R E and The Rose Society H E R E ) a quite low rating because I was so disappointed and disgusted with the main character (Adelina) and with how things turned out; but this time Adelina surprised me a lot (and believe me when I say “a lot”). I do not own a physical copy of the second and third book, my copy of the first book is in the Philippines and because of the fact that I was not happy with it, I did not bother securing a copy of the second one. I listened to The Midnight Star’s audiobook version this time hoping that I’ll be able to finish the series and get this over with. Unexpectedly, the author finally made a statement here which left me in deep awe. The characters all transformed and developed in a positive manner and I couldn’t be any happier. I’ve been ranting about Adelina for like forever because of the way she played the victim when in fact she is a monstrous being; but this time I like how she managed to play the game and all her sacrifices are just so impressive and heroic. I was hoping that there would still be a chance for Adelina and Enzo’s (read the 1st book to find out more about who Enzo is) ship but yeah there are things that will not work out no matter what black magic one does or engages into. Moving on, Margiano is definitely my man here! I just felt sorry for him with how things ended, if there could be any other way, though. He is so understanding and sincere and was often misunderstood and I am in love with the idea that he changed for the better. Next in line is Violetta, this doll surprised me, I know I kept on repeating the word “surprise” but I can’t get over the idea that this book is so impressive and surprising!!! Violetta’s fate is a real twist for me, I did not see that one coming and it’s perfect. The writing style is better this time, maybe it was already awesome since the first book and the problem was just my preference. I know a lot of fellow readers and bloggers liked the first two books so badly but I am not sorry that it was not my cup of tea (I just can’t!). Everything is interesting, appealing, and the plot twists are all breathtaking and jaw-dropping. I was just hoping for more action-packed scenes but there was none. I was also expecting a happy-ever-after but the ending is perfect nonetheless (and I am not complaining!). It has been an awesome journey to be a witness of how Adelina, Terren, Margiano, and Violetta evolved into being better and bolder characters. I’ll obviously give Marie Lu the standing ovation for always giving her readers a badass and memorable ending. Her first trilogy, the Legend series, has the best ending everrr! And this book is undeniably next to that! Maybe I need to reread the first two books one of these days and be able to secure a hardback copy of all three of them. It is highly recommended for YA fantasy readers and you will not be disappointed; it will definitely exceed your expectations. Four out of five for being beautifully written and executed.

~JaNnA

Book Review #80: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

23395680“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”

Title: Illuminae
Series: The Illuminae Files
Author: Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman
ISBN: 0553499114
Pages: 608
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Hardback
Date Published: October 20, 2015
Publishing House: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Rating: 4.32
Personal Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never spoken to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a very long time already. I remember buying this as a birthday present for myself back in 2015. First of all, the book’s physical attributes really caught my attention and interest. It is unique, badass, and very good looking (INDEED). The fonts used are really nice and the dust jacket is cool. It will really fit into the “cover book buy” category where readers automatically buy a book because the cover is just so gorgeous and appealing. I tried to read it a year ago but I felt the need to stop halfway because I had a hard time contemplating about it. It was not written in a conventional way; it is a compilation of reports, emails, and files that were retrieved because everything went to hell during the apocalypse (war). This time I finally gave it one more shot and I tried to read it again but I used an audiobook so it will be easy peasy for me and I can listen to it whenever I’m on the go.

The setting is up in space. This story is a post apocalyptic science fiction themed novel and end of the world thingy actually excites me as well. Honestly, there were plenty of spaceships and I was lost halfway so I just Googled some of the information in order for me to be able to catch up. If you will not focus and give your full and undivided attention, you will not appreciate the story and it will be very difficult to understand it. I know that because I am one of those readers who were like “WTF” and “Whaaaattttt”. Anyway, all I know is Kerenza is the main characters’ planet who was destroyed because of a war between two corporations. All the survivors rode a fleet up, up, and away so they could evacuate and the rest is history.

The main characters are Kady Grant and Ezra Mason. Before the world almost ended, they were lovers and they broke up on the same day that their planet was destroyed. Kady is a computer geek who’s very smart and talented. I like stories where the woman is very strong and intelligent just like her. I admire her skills and the way that she did not need any saving. Ezra, on the other hand, is easy to like. He is loyal to Kady despite the fact that she broke up with him already. I like their tandem because geek girl meets boy next door. I did ship them because I like their chemistry, there is something about long distance relationships that will make you admire the people in it.

The writing style is not easy to grasp like what I mentioned earlier. You really need to focus because the book’s outline is unique and it is not in a narrative way. It is filled with different reports from the ships and different files which contain some difficult to understand words and facts. Maybe I’ll read Gemina through my actual book instead of listening to an audiobook again (or maybe I’ll do it simultaneously) because this time I am so ready to dive into their world again. I enjoyed Illuminae even though it is very difficult to understand, and that’s the exact same reason why appreciate it. It was worth it.

It is highly recommended this book to readers who enjoy science fiction, apocalyptic stories, and young adult romance. Four out of five for all the shit that I’ve been through, hahaha! Kudos to the writers, this is one hell of a book!

~JaNnA

 

Book Review #79: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel (Review Copy from Hachette Australia)

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“Vowing to discover the fate of her missing cousin, a woman returns to her family’s Kansas estate where she spent one haunting summer as a teen, and where she discovered the dark heart of the Roanoke clan that left her no choice but to run.”

Title: The Roanoke Girls
Author: Amy Engel
ISBN: 1473648394
Pages: 277
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Date Published: March 14, 2017
Publishing House: Hodder and Stoughton
Goodreads Rating: 3.73
Personal Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her maternal grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, at the Roanoke family estate in rural Osage Flats, Kansas, following the suicide of her mother. Lane knows little of her mother’s family, other than the fact that her mother ran away years before and cut off all contact with her parents. Allegra, abandoned by her own mother at birth and raised by her grandparents, introduces Lane to small-town life and the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But there is darkness at the heart of the Roanoke family, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull she has no choice but to run, as far and as fast as she can.

Eleven years later, Lane is scraping by in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls with the news that Allegra has gone missing. “Come home,” he beckons. Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to Osage Flats, determined to find her cousin and assuage her own guilt at having left Allegra behind all those years ago. Her return might mean a second chance with Cooper, the boyfriend whom she loved and destroyed that fateful summer. But it also means facing the terrible secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between the summer of Lane’s first arrival and the summer of her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

Wow! This book is very controversial, dark, and twisted; and I don’t know where and how to start this book talk (face palm). I rarely read stories that are unconventional. I actually had no idea that this is one of them when I requested for a copy to read and review here on my blog. However, despite the fact that it is somewhat disturbing, I found myself being thrilled to find out more about the characters and how the story will progress.

The story took place in Kansas; a small town where the population is just few and everybody knows almost everyone’s secret. It is perfect for the story because every family has a secret and the Roanoke clan was able to preserve their most precious one; not until it’s already too complicated to hide all their skeletons in the closet.

The main character is Lane, the only remaining Roanoke girl. She had a troubled childhood because she did not really have an amazing relationship with her mother. I feel sorry for her because she went through a lot and suffered too much because of the Roanoke family’s curse. All the women in the family underwent through a lot of struggle because of this. Lane’s love interest is a man who also happened to be a person with a tragic family history. I guess misery loves company. Lane’s cousin, Allegra, is the main reason how she was able to unravel all her grandparents’ secrets. She did everything she can to find out how and why her cousin suddenly went missing and she did not stop until she finally discovered the truth; the shocking and horrifying truth. Lastly, Yates, the Roanoke girls’ grandfather is the antagonist in the story. I don’t know what to say regarding his character because I despise his existence. I’ve read one particular story like this before but this is the most disgusting so far. I don’t want to get into details because it will spoil you if ever you’re interested to read it. Overall, the characters are all well-crafted and the masks that they were all wearing made the story even more enticing.

The writing style is pretty fine. I was able to finish the story in 6 hours and I was really hooked (not in a very positive way though). I did not put the book down (literally) because I was full of rage towards the antagonist. I wanted to find out more and be done with it. It was a nice ending but that does not make the story great and impressive. The story is uncommon and I find it creepy. Maybe it is not my cup of tea. In addition to this, everything was also very predictable. When I just started, I already made a guess as to how the story will go and what in the hell is going on. And I was right. I hope the author made it more mysterious so readers will crave for more. But still I liked the way it was executed, all the other elements are good especially how the characters made a connection to each other. I also like how it ended, it is the proper ending but I was hoping that other than the person who was convicted, the actual person who has been committing a crime decades ago should be the one behind bars. It was a story where the sinner was not able to accept that everything was his fault. Right until the end, he was firm that he was just doing the best for everyone and that is bullshit. Sorry but things as delicate as the controversy involved here should not be discussed as if it was right and natural and needs to be accepted. However, I still gave this story a four because like what I always say, psychological thrillers always excite me. Would I recommend this book? Yes, if you are an open and mature reader because I know that you will appreciate what’s within. But if you are a conservative reader, I suggest that you stay away from this book. Young adult readers can also read this as long as you don’t let it get to you because I was not kidding when I mentioned that it is “DISTURBING”.

Thank you, Hachette Australia, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest and fair review. This, however, does not affect my views and opinions.

~JaNnA

 

Book Review #78: The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson (Review Copy from Penguin Random House Australia)

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“Everybody’s good when they’re good, darling. You don’t judge a person by that. It’s how they act when things aren’t good that tells you who they really are.”

Title: The Build-Up Season
Author: Megan Jacobson
ISBN: 9780143573388
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Date Published: July 31, 2017
Publishing House: Penguin Random House Australia
Goodreads Rating: 4.31
Personal Rating: 4/5 

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Iliad Piper – Ily for short – is named after war and angry at the world. Growing up with a violent father and abused mother, she doesn’t know how to do relationships, family or friends. Her love-hate friendship with Max turns into a prank war and she nearly destroys her first true friendship with misfit Mia. She takes off her armour for nobody until she meets Jared, a local actor and someone who’s as complicated as she is.

From the author of Yellow comes a powerful exploration of family and identity set against the humid build-up to the wet season in Darwin. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

The Build-Up season is a young adult contemporary story that gave me the “feels”, literally and figuratively. I have always been cautious and feeling off whenever I review a book that contains sensitive topic like violence against women and children. I hate it, I just so despise the fact that this thing exists not just today but even before we were all aware of its modern term. I remember when I reviewed Colleen Hoover’s novel entitled “It Ends with Us” (check my review HERE)r , it was very delicate and I even revised my draft a few times just to make sure that I did not offend anyone or opened up a very controversial stuff. It’s hard if you know someone who’s a victim, but it’s even harder if you are the victim itself.

I would like to thank Penguin Teen Australia for providing me an advance copy in exchange for an honest and fair book review. This, however, does not change my view and opinion about the book.

First and foremost, let’s start talking about the setting. The story took place in Darwin (Australia), I actually do not have a vast amount of knowledge regarding the place but because it was here in the land down under, it made me appreciate the story more. The story and setting matches, it is a perfect place for someone who’s hiding from someone and wants to start over. I am guessing that some people in Darwin like the main character herself dreams of taking up a college degree in Sydney or in a more modernised state and it was perfectly portrayed in the story. Some simple high school students aspire to become popular in Sydney and excel in their chosen careers. I have nothing to say regarding the setting aside from the fact that the author chose the perfect place.

Moving on, I will discuss the characters briefly one by one. Iliad is the young female character in this novel that is named from the famous poem itself about war. She is fierce, loyal, and free-spirited. I love how Ily expresses herself without the fear of being judged and rejected. She does things that will satisfy her without giving a crap about other people’s opinion. The negative thing about Ily is that I hated the way she treated her mother. I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s one of the main reasons why you should pick up this book and dive in her story. The next character is Jared; he is ambitious, handsome, but has a temper. He could have been a perfect partner for anyone but I was so disappointed when I discovered his true identity. I love his chemistry with Ily but at the same time, I was afraid of him as well. There is a love triangle in the story (which I always enjoy! Ha!) and my ship has always been with the bad guy, and this time it is Max. He is Ily’s neighbour who happens to be her mortal enemy at the same time. I enjoyed their prank war and the way their story and characters developed. It may sound cliché but I find the love hate relationship highly entertaining especially at first. The last character that I want to discuss is Ily’s mother. I pity the woman so much. She loves Iliad unconditionally that she almost gave up everything and pretended to be the bad person just so she could protect her daughter. I personally felt her battles and feelings because I am also a mother. I find the heroic act of standing up and fighting for your child as the best action of all.

The writing style is superb. I already liked it just by skim reading the first page. Iliad’s name already caught my interest and curiosity and I wasn’t disappointed. I love how delicate the topic was and how the author gave justification to it. I cringed a couple of times and it also made my heart skip a beat. Everything was so intense and beautiful. I could never wish for a better ending. Everything went the way they should have ended and I could not ask for more. I love how the problem with her father was figured out. I am impressed with how the author made Ily realise all her shortcomings and how she made some amends to all the people that she unintentionally hurt. And of course, my OTP (one true pair) ship made it! Yay!

Overall, I highly recommend this story to YA readers who enjoy books that will give those bits and pieces of life and love advice. This is one hell of a book that one should read because it is an eye-opener and it is phenomenal. Plenty of women or family are suffering from this kind of crisis and immediate help must be sought. Please, wherever you are in the world, please be aware that you are not alone in this battle and there is help available. Do not be afraid to walk the path alone, being abused is not something to be ignored or be given a justification. Nobody has the right to hurt you, not even your spouse. We care, I care.

~JaNnA