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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

LOCK EVERY DOOR BY RILEY SAGER REVIEW


Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Release Date: July 2nd 2019
Source: ARC from Book Expo
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

        No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen's new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

        As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.


        Searching for the truth about Ingrid's disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew's dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building's hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent. 


        Ominous. Addicting. Pulse-poundingly perfect. Riley Sager's Lock Every Door is page turner filled with twists and turns that will leave you speechless in the end. Sager unravels this story piece by piece beautifully before your eyes. Lock Every Door with its sinister plot develops from a who-done-it to a what-the-hell-is-even-HAPPENING! Riley Sager's newest is out tomorrow July, 2nd 2019

        No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents. Those are the only rules for Jules Larsen's new job as an apartment sitter at the notoriously creepy Bartholomew. Having lost her job, her boyfriend and her home, Jules agrees to live in the Bartholomew without question. When fellow apartment sitter Ingrid shares the Bartholomew's dark history, Jules brushes it off as meaningless ghost stories. It is not until Ingrid goes missing the next day that Jules begins to question everyone and everything.

        The only fault that I have with this book is that it did not have enough suspense for my liking. The majority of the book was spent like a game of Clue, wandering around to different people in different rooms asking random questions hoping to get somewhere. I wanted it to be more thrilling throughout rather than just at the end. But I will say that this ending did make up for lack of excitement in the earlier half of the book. I would give Lock Every Door 4 out of 5 stars!

What are some of your favorite thrillers? Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand

• • I received this ARC from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review • •
Saturday, June 22, 2019

SIX OF CROWS (SIX OF CROWS #1) BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 29th 2015
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 462
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge


A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager


A runaway with a privileged past


A spy known as the Wraith


A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums


A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes


Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


        After reading Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone series, Six of Crows is a massive step-up. While reading Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, I had problems with the inconsistent pace and lack of plot through the middle of the book. Bardugo's writing in this book is elevated, action-packed all while being perfectly paced. The balance between set-up/action was done impeccably; I felt that I immediately knew the characters so when the story picked up, the story encapsulated me.
        The amount of highlighted lines in this book has me struck, considering there were none in my Shadow and Bone series. The way Bardugo fabricates the thoughts and emotions of these characters, it is as though you are feeling them for yourself. And since these story is told through multiple perspectives, you are allowed to learn more about these characters and the depth of their relationships.
"Matthias knew monsters, and one glance at Kaz Brekker had told him this was a creature who had spent too long in the dark –– he'd brought something back with him when he'd crawled into the light."
         By far the best part about this book is its cast of characters. The crew that Kaz Brekker has assembled is unlike any other. Each one of them plays a vital role in this heist and each of them bares a dark past making them willing to risk it all. The members of this crew are ruthless, but when it comes to each other their admiration is palpable. The slow burning romance between Kaz and Inej is TEARING MY LIFE APART! They both know what they want, but are too afraid to express it. ugh slow burn is just so hard for me to read! I want the mushy gushy like yesterday, but the wait makes the reward so much sweeter.
        Six of Crows drew me in from the jump with its stunning prose and captivating storytelling. As soon as I put this book down, I was desperate to get my hands on its sequel Crooked Kingdom. With beautifully-broken characters and vivid writing style, Six of Crows gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!

Who is your favorite character from Six of Crows? Are there other heist books I should check out?
Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand
Thursday, June 13, 2019

THE UNHONEYMOONERS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN REVIEW


The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Release Date: May 14th 2019
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 423
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancĂ© is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.


Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.


        Being the first Christina Lauren book I ever picked up, The Unhoneymooners surely did not disappoint, but it also was not what I was expecting at all. While this book was lighthearted and fun, with numerous plot twists, it fell flat for me.

        Ami and Olive Torres are twins that may look the same on the outside, but when it comes to their luck, these two sisters could not be more different. Ami seems to win anything she signs up for: free bridesmaids dresses, all inclusive honeymoon, free seafood buffet at her wedding to frat-bro Dane. While Olive loses her job and is living day to day with a couple bucks in her bank account. But when all the guests at the wedding contract ciguatera toxin from bad seafood, it just might be Olive's lucky day. Due to her shellfish allergy, and Dane's brother Ethan's fear of buffets, they are the only two left unscathed at the end of the day. Due to her sister's honeymoon being nonrefundable, Olive agrees to pose as newlyweds with the one man she hates, Ethan.

        The Unhoneymooners is marketed as a comedic hate-to-love story with numerous twists and turns. While I love a romantic comedy, this story offered nothing special. I could not care less about these characters since there was no depth to them. They were one dimensional and offered nothing beneath the surface.

        If you have been following me for a long time, you know I LOVE a good hate-to-love story, but this was not one. Sure, they claim to hate one another, but from the start it is clear that they love to bickering with each other. Olive basically fabricates a faux-hatred from the day she met Ethan from the way he looked at her cheese curds and that was the end. I was expecting them to look like Stitch and Lilo over here the entire time they were in Hawaii, but they end up poking fun at each other and having banter.

        That being said it was a fairly simple and fun read. It didn't encapsulate my entire being like I hope a book would do, but it still was enjoyable. I find these reviews the hardest to write because I am not passionate about my love nor my hate for this book. It just kinda stands in the middle. 3 out of 5 stars.

What Christina Lauren book should I try out next? Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE BY CASEY McQUISTON REVIEW

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Release Date: May 14th 2019
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 423
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

        A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

        First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.


        The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 


        As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

"If someone like that would ever love me, it would set me on fire"
        HAPPY PRIDE MONTH EVERYBODY! I figured I would kick off my pride month with the book that everyone cannot stop talking about, Red, White & Royal Blue. The First Son of the United States falling for the Prince of England...this book is just filled with America's favorite past times! I will try to keep this review coherent, but after reading this book I am filled with so much glee and happiness.
        When Alexander Claremont-Diaz and his sister June fly to England for Royal Wedding, Alex drunkenly pushes his rival Prince Henry into the $75,000 wedding cake. The events at the Royal Wedding grabs the media's attention, leaving people on both sides of the Atlantic worried about relations between the two nations. As these two enemies are forced into damaged control, (photo ops, hospital visits, social media posts, etc.) the hatred between them turn into understanding. When feelings begin to develop, Alex starts to question his sexuality –– and the ramifications of a taboo relationship during his mother's re-election for her second term as president.
"He wants to match the new freckles along Henry's nose to the stars above them and make him name the constellations."
        This story is not just about love, but the hopes and dreams of these two young men aspiring to make the world a better place. They are both driven individuals who see their position as a way to make positive change. With "more reasons to fight than ever," these two make an iconic dream team that I wish was real in the world today. It is seen in not only Alex and Henry, but additionally in the people they surround themselves with. June and Nora are both unapologetically themselves, following dreams of their own, despite what others expect of them.
        McQuiston writing is optimistic and refreshing. A beautiful portrait of humanity that celebrates individuality in all of its glorious colors. Effervescent and empowering in every sense of the word. This story pulls you in and holds you with an enthralling maelstrom of breathtaking prose. This book made me laugh, it made me cry and I will FOR SURE be picking it up again. 5 out of 5 stars!

What are you reading for Pride Month? Let me know in the comments down below!


Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand
Thursday, June 6, 2019

May 2019 | Monthly Consumptions

May was such a crazy month for me and it all ended with me going to Book Expo America which was amazing and there will be a blog post about that coming up very soon! This is what I watched and read this month!


The first thing I watched this month was actually a rewatch. I rewatched Spider-Man: Homecoming since Spider-Man has to be one of my favorite Avengers. I love Toby McGuire, but Tom Holland is the perfect Spider-Man. Literally the embodiment of dorky adorableness mixed with kindness and a smart mouth. After getting to join the Avengers for a day, Peter Parker goes back to living with his Aunt May and tries to live a normal life, but is finding it difficult thanks to the new super suit Tony Stark got him. This movie is the perfect opening for the character and is all around a feel good, action packed movie. I would give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

MY FEET STILL HURT | BOOK EXPO 2019


        Wow! Book Expo was everything I dreamed of and more! Being surrounded by so many amazing book lovers and authors is an experience I hope near and dear to my heart. For those of you that do not know, Book Expo is a book trade fair that is held the Wednesday-Friday before BookCon. Nearly every major book publisher runs a booth where they showcasing upcoming titles, cool merch, and socialize with other book lovers. Many authors, librarians, bookstores and book reviewers attend the event to see what is new in the industry and what they should be looking forward to. Book Expo is filled to the brim with so many free books that have yet to come out, it honestly just makes you want to frolic through the booths and sing.
        I was able to get my hands on so many amazing books, but others were so close. Ninth House, Reverie. The Starless Sea. I will see you in a few months. Here are some of the books I am excited about and was able to snag during my three day trip to Book Expo!
Sunday, June 2, 2019

WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH BY ELIZABETH ACEVEDO REVIEW


With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Release Date: May 7th 2019
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 400
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
        With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free. 

        Emoni Santiago is an aspiring chef and unapologetic teenage mother who is stubbornly committed to following her dreams, despite what others might think of her. Emoni may be a teenager, but she is multifaceted and refuses to fall victim to people's projections of shame on young people of color with children. Anchored by her grandmother, Gloria, and her 'baby girl,' Emma, Emoni goes through her senior year of high school fearlessly, only skeptical of who she can trust while pursuing her desire of becoming a chef.