Photo Blog Tour – Wing Jones | Katherine Webber

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  • Title: Wing Jones
  • Author: Katherine Webber
  • Publisher: Walker Books
  • Release date: January 5th 2017
  • Pages: 384

Blurb

Jandy Nelson meets Friday Night Lights: a sweeping story about love and family from an exceptional new voice in YA. With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing’s speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.


Hear,  hear! I’m on board another blog tour! This time around, it’s for the AMAZING Katherine Webber with her much anticipated debut novel, Wing Jones, which was published on 5th January 2017 in the UK. That beautiful cover though. 

With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing’s speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants…

Katherine Webber was born in Southern California but has lived in Atlanta, Hawaii, Hong Kong and now in London. For several years she worked at the reading charity BookTrust, where she worked on projects such as The Letterbox Club which delivers parcels of books to children in care, and YALC, the Young Adult Literature Convention. You can find her on Twitter @kwebberwrites.

Throughout January, over 40 bloggers will be participating in the #WJphototour – a photo blog tour documenting Katherine’s path to publishing her debut novel. From childhood memories that inspired her writing to her time living in Atlanta and Asia that influenced the book to authors she’s met over the years right up to receiving her first finished copy of the book, follow along to see Katherine’s author life unfold! Keep an eye on the hashtag to see the latest photos!

Here’s the photo for my tour stop!

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While studying in Hong Kong, I spent a lot of time traveling in China. I loved speaking Mandarin and getting to know Chinese culture and customs. I was also a total tourist—proven her by this picture of me on the Great Wall in Beijing! Wing’s Chinese heritage was partly influenced by the time I spent in China.

Kudos to Katherine for publishing her first ever book. Do keep an eye on the hashtag to see all the other photos in this fun photo blog tour organised by Walker Books. Till my next post, keep reading!

Review – Letters to You | Almaz A

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  • Title: Letters to You
  • Author: Almaz A
  • Publisher: Almaz
  • Release Date: August 1st 2016
  • Pages: 96

Blurb

Some people spend a lifetime looking for someone to call home. I found you.

Letters to You is Almaz’s debut poetry collection that narrates her journey to finding love by experiencing fear, hesitation, courage and ultimately letting herself freefall into the arms of her soulmate.


Sharing your love with someone is daunting, especially for those who have tasted its bitterness. Broken hearts doubt themselves and question the existence of true love. Though no matter how far deep this can swallow one’s self; there is always that longing to find love again. Love that can last. Love that can hold them together. Love that is encapsulated with hope, faith and courage.

And I’m trying, 

Trying so damn hard to unearth all the buried dreams I’ve forgotten about, 

Because I’m sure one of them was to love someone like you. 

Letters to You is a collection of poems written by the author for her lover. Every page draws you in with an array of emotions, peeking into memories of love you may relate to. As you immerse yourself into the book, you will see how beautiful love can unfold itself to, no matter how imperfect it may be.

You will always be that little piece of magic I carry with me wherever I go.

As I went on though, I realised that the poems were rather jumpy and sometimes repetitive; which could be seen as raw yet genuine. However,  I do believe that if there was more cohesion to it, the main message the author was trying to present could have been expressed more convincingly. Nonetheless, I must commend the author for stringing her words with so much heart, soul and honesty.

The book talks on old relationships, newfound love and all the securities and weariness in between. But most importantly, it is about the courage to believe again and experience love at its most fundamental. To allow it to take you through rain and shine; yet always finding a reason to smile at the end of the day.

I loved this book – read it in one sitting and kept on marking my favourite quotes as I progressed. I am definitely looking forward to more from this local author. Do read, and allow it surprise you with gems you may find.

 I fell in love with the way you held my hand and the way your breath whispered across my skin as you told me that 

it was okay to fall,

because our bodies may not have wings, 

but our souls already knew how to fly. 

Rating: 

I would like to thank the author, Almaz A, for this review copy in exchange for my honest review!

Review – Adulthood is a Myth | Sarah Andersen

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  • Title: Adulthood is a Myth
  • Author: Sarah Andersen
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Release Date: March 8th 2016
  • Pages: 109

Blurb

Are you a special snowflake?

Do you enjoy networking to advance your career?

Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared?

Ugh. Please go away.

This book is for the rest of us. These comics document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas, and wondering when, exactly, this adulthood thing begins. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life.


Adulthood is a Myth – do you think so? This book comprises of bite-sized comics suitable for those in their teens and early adulthood. It is such an enjoyable read! Absolutely hilarious, relatable and I read it in one sitting. Currently juggling between work life, study life and book blogging, I experience this a lot when I’m all zoned out after a tiring day –

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Some of her comics are more focused on women issues in general, so I do hope that in her next book, there’s a nice share of comics on men too! All the more fun when there’s a nice balance to it.

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Oh and have I mentioned how adorable Sarah’s drawings are? You will find yourself screenshot-ting/taking pictures of the comics as you go – excited to share it out with your family and friends – and share a good laugh!

Definitely suitable if you’re looking for a gift for a friend or for some light and fun read on a weekend. Looking forward to more comics from you, Sarah!

 “I’m pretty sure adulthood was a myth all along.”

Rating: 

Review – Barefoot on the Wind | Zoë Marriott

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  • Title: Barefoot on the Wind
  • Author: Zoë Marriott
  • Publisher: Walker Books
  • Release Date: September 1st 2016
  • Pages: 313
  • Companion Novel: Shadows on the Moon

Blurb

A companion title to Zoë Marriott’s critically acclaimed Shadows on the Moon, BAREFOOT ON THE WIND is a darkly magical retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” set in fairytale Japan.

There is a monster in the forest…

Everyone in Hana’s remote village on the mountain knows that straying too far into the woods is a death sentence. When Hana’s father goes missing, she is the only one who dares try to save him. Taking up her hunting gear, she goes in search of the beast, determined to kill it – or be killed herself.

But the forest contains more secrets, more magic and more darkness than Hana could ever have imagined. And the beast is not at all what she expects…


Let’s face the fact, I love a good retelling. It transports me back to my childhood days. It reminds me of the crazy things I used to do as a kid. It takes me home to this little part of my soul which is forever stuck in Neverland. When I came across Barefoot on the Wind, I knew I just HAD to get my hands on it…. and guess what? I absolutely loved it!

“There is a monster in the forest…”

Set in fairy tale Japan, Hana lives with her parents in a remote village on the mountains. She is on the road of self-discovery, still torn by the death of her older brother, Kyo. Ever since he was taken away by the monster in the forest, her family was never the same again. Hana always tries to be the “son” of the family, doing her very best to impress her parents, especially her father who strongly believes Hana is the reason behind his only son’s death. One night, Hana’s father was captured by the monster too, and the villagers started despising her family, believing they bring bad luck. Not one person wanted to lend in a hand to help her father, not even the bravest of men.

Barefoot on the Wind is a Beauty and the Beast retelling from a feminist perspective – empowering and enthralling. To put it simply – in the traditional fairy tale, innocent Belle did not come to the Beast on her own free will. Yet, even after taking her father as a prisoner, the Beast was lucky enough to have been awarded with her love. In Barefoot on the Wind, dear Hana went into the forest on her own free will to save her father and falling in love is last on her list of priorities. This story is very empowering and you will definitely love Hana’s brave ways.

Be wary if you ask favours of the Moon. She does not grant our wishes. She answers our prayers.

I really enjoyed the Asian twist to it. The characters are Japanese and you will get a fairly good glimpse of their culture and lifestyle. The food they eat, the clothes they wear; the little things which make them who they are. As an Asian myself, I really appreciate Zoë’s research and effort in bringing these characters to life and closer to home.

The writing of the story is simple and very easy to follow. Believe it or not, this is the very same story I told my little 5-year-old cousin when she came over for a sleepover at my place. I told her about Hana, about Itsuki, and about the monster in the forest. She was instantly attached, just like how I was too. The flow is really good and you would find this book difficult to put down. I enjoyed how the chapters were not too long too. The scenes were straight to the point and fast paced, yet perfect in unraveling the mystery – who is the monster in the forest? 

I feel very strongly for the characters. Each and every one of them introduced played a part in bringing everything together. It makes you feel whole. The development of the main characters were very in depth.

The romance was spot on too. It was gentle and kind. Attached and soulful. It is every bit of a mystery you would love in a good romance story. Every bit of sweetness you can find in the relationship between two people. And when they finally hold hands and it sends warmth in your heart, you know the writer did a magnificent job.

And he will kiss me again, I thought, almost dizzy at the wonder of it. He will kiss me a thousand times more, and in a thousand ways.  

Above all, this is a story on relationships and self-discovery. A story of faith restoration, forgiveness and determination. You will find love and comfort in every step and every turn, every chapter of this gripping tale.

“Because you still have work to do. You never needed to tell me that. Your father may have seen you in his dreams, my little flower, but I have always seen you in my heart.”

You will feel drawn to the book, attached to the characters and immersed in their adventures. This is definitely a winner for me. This is one retelling you should not miss!

Rating: 

I can’t thank Walker Books enough for sending me this amazing review copy in exchange for my honest review!

Review – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child | J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

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  • Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • Release Date: July 31st 2016
  • Pages: 328

Blurb

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


*Warning: minor spoilers ahead*

“Anything from the trolley, dears?” and it hits you right in the heart, I’m home.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is that one book all of us Potterheads have been impatiently waiting for, especially those who didn’t get to watch the play in London! Indeed, this is a great effort to get the celebration of 19 years later going globally though I do hope they will still try to put on the play here in Malaysia. One can dream!

I was instantly transported back to my childhood days; flipping the pages lovingly and immersing myself into the lives of my all-time favourite characters.

“Hermione Granger, I’m being bossed around by Hermione Granger.”

I purposely chose to read this gorgeous script book after the hype died down even though I got my hands on it on the first day of release! Take note that I will not be comparing this book to the previous Harry Potter books in this review. To me, this is more of a little gift for the fans, to answer some of the questions we’ve been having, and a celebration of our magical friends’ lives after the Battle of Hogwarts.

One of the major questions fans have been screaming out for years is the use of the Time Turner, the delicate timepiece for the purpose of time travel. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione used this device to save Buckbeak, a Hippogriff, from being butchered – which then contributed to the unfolding of events later on in the story. Many fans have expressed how the Time Turner could have been used for so many other important events – saving people from dying, preventing the dark side from resurrecting etc.

So this story essentially does that; tapping into the what ifs and maybes, begging the question – can we really change the past with a single spin of a Time Turner?

“It is exceptionally lonely, being Draco Malfoy. I will always be suspected. There is no escaping the past.”

I didn’t mind at all that it was in a script form. It was a rather unique experience for me, and I certainly enjoyed it. The scenes were nicely organized – short and sweet. The writing was easy to follow and the narrations helped to set the mood perfectly.

I personally thought that they got Draco, Ron, Harry and Ginny’s adult characters spot on while Hermione was alright but I wish they had showed more of her intellect and strength that we have all come to love. There was lack of story on the other Weasleys and the Dursleys too, which was disappointing as it would have made the story more complete and well-rounded.

Overall, my favourite takeaway is Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter’s friendship. It is genuine and heartwarming, and will leave you with so much love in your heart. Scorpius is definitely my favourite character in the book! The friendships and family relationship were built up really nicely and you will follow the characters’ journey in understanding each other better, having the confidence and faith to strive together, and getting pass their differences.

There is just nothing much like it. :’)

It wasn’t THE 8th book for me but I still enjoyed the lightness of it and the storyline. Be prepared to be transported right back into our much missed childhood adventure and have your wands at the ready to find out – who exactly is this Cursed Child?

“Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”

Rating: 

Review – A Court of Mist and Fury | Sarah J. Maas

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Blurb

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.


Lately, I have been in the mood for retellings – both movies and books, and since I just read A Court of Thorns and Roses over a month ago, I knew I needed to catch up on the sequel FAST before I stumble upon any spoilers. (Social media is a dark, DARK place for those seeking a spoiler-free good time.) A Court of Mist and Fury left me in a very bad state after – sleepless nights, fever, book withdrawal syndrome – well you get the picture. I’m thankful for my bookish friends though whom I could fangirl with as that really helped me get through the hangover. Yes, fan arts and all, which I still have as my phone screensaver.

Despite recovering from all that, I still find myself staring right back at the book sometimes, in between trying to hide from the secrets I now know of and yearning to reach out and dive into this magical world all over again. Think starry nights, glittery waters and gorgeous mountains all around you. The Night Court, that’s the place you would want to be in. Sarah, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO US?

A Court of Mist and Fury is a retelling of Hades and Persephone, a classic Greek methodology on how Persephone, the daughter of goddess Demeter, was kidnapped by Hades, the God of the Underworld, and later became the Queen of the Underworld.

Similarly, in A Court of Mist and Fury, we will see how Feyre’s time in the Spring Court alongside Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court, soon came to an abrupt end after she was taken away by Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court, to the grand, magnificent, gorgeous Night Court. During her time at the Spring Court, Tamlin was watching her every move, overprotecting her from harm and keeping secrets from her. Though Tamlin meant well, Feyre was suffocating inside – it deteriorated her very soul. As she starts a new chapter surrounded by new people, who soon became her friends, she goes through an emotional spin after deciding to stay on at the Night Court and cut all ties with her past, Tamlin and rest of the Spring Court. She chose a new life away from her dear lover Tamlin to be a member of his enemy’s Court. What. A. Story. 

“And I wondered if love was too weak a word for what he felt, what he’d done for me. For what I felt for him.”

A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book to my current favourite fantasy-romance series and it certainly did justice (and more) in bringing the characters to their strongest, giving them the opportunity to shine through. The new characters played a big role in the rest of the story, and I soon fell in love with Rhysand, who is ultimately, not as he once seemed.

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

Despite loving the overall plot and writing, I do have a few issues which I badly feel should be highlighted:

Firstly, the introduction of New Adult content was very unexpected and too early in the book. As the story progressed, the following scenes were much better structured but dear, oh dear, the first scene was a disappointment for me as I felt that even though it was important to showcase the love Tamlin and Feyre had for each other, its timing was rather off-putting.

Secondly, I’m sure you still remember how highly I spoke of Sarah’s writing. Don’t get me wrong, her writing in A Court of Mist and Fury was just as good if not better – beautiful prose, elegant writing and excellent world-building. However, there was one thing that bothered me, the repetition of a phrase – “tear into ribbons” – which I came across in A Court of Thorns and Roses AND a few times in A Court of Mist and Fury. I wasn’t a fan of this at all so it was indeed a letdown.

Thirdly, the introduction of new characters. Too many characters were introduced at once so I was caught re-reading a particular chapter a few times to tell them apart and get a feel of whom they were. This was rather irritating for me but as soon as I got pass that, I did enjoy and follow the said characters with hardly any trouble.

Fourthly, Tamlin’s disappearance in most of the story. I won’t go in detail on this but hey, you’ll see.

Overall, this book was – surprising. I was surprised at myself for not liking it at first (my expectations were huge!) because of the few weaknesses I found very early in the book, but soon, I did love it, but certainly not enough for me to close one eye to my earlier impression of it, which is why I struggled with the overall rating.

I did however, enjoy everything else greatly. I enjoyed the new relationships that grew due to Feyre’s earlier bargain with Rhysand and the friendships that formed in the Night Court itself. I was on my toes for practically the entire second half of the book, praying hard for the dear lives of our new found friends, and this story really shows us how at difficult times, it is the silent heroes who play the biggest role in fueling the team spirit against evil.

This story was indeed a work of art. I’m pumped up and ready for what is to come! Give it to me, give it to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

“I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belong to you.”

Oh and yes, Rhysand is BAE. Please come soon, Book 3? Pretty, PLEASE?

Rating: 

Review – A Court of Thorns and Roses | Sarah J. Maas

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  • Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
  • Author: Sarah J. Maas
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
  • Release Date: May 5th 2015
  • Pages: 416
  • Sequel: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Blurb

Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, unlike all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feelings for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.


Let’s talk about how happy I feel to finally revisit my favourite Disney story through this well-told Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Let’s talk about how I picked up the PERFECT book which made me fall in love with Fantasy all over again.

Let’s talk about how great a writer Sarah J. Maas is, certainly worthy of her throne.

Let’s talk about A Court of Thorns and Roses – and how I will force you to read it, if not we can’t be friends!

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a story of Feyre (“Fay-ruh”), who was taken away by Tamlin, Lord of the Spring Court, to Prythian (“Prith-ee-en”) after she mercilessly slaughtered a wolf when she was out hunting. It turned out that the wolf was no ordinary one, it was a faerie from Prythian, leaving her to pay back for what she had done. Being the backbone and carer of her family, it was with heavy heart that she left – out to venture into the world of the unknown with her captor. She soon met many among the High Faes, the ruling nobility in the fae world.

“I found him carefully studying me, his lips in a thin line. “Has anyone ever taken care of you?” he asked quietly.
“No.” I’d long since stopped feeling sorry for myself about it.”

As you would have expected from a Beauty and the Beast retelling, the relationship between Feyre and Tamlin soon grew, and trust me, you will feel the heat. A relationship built from trust and care; sure to make you close the book at certain parts, place it on your chest and just sigh. This is a perfect blend of Fantasy and Romance, and my, oh my, I loved every bit of it.

“I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all.”

If you are a fan of both Fantasy AND Romance, you’re in for a treat. However even if you are not much of a Fantasy reader but would love to give one a try, please please please choose this book. You will not regret it and here’s why:

The world building was beautifully written. This is my first read from Sarah and I must stress – I was honestly very, very impressed. I totally understand now why she is dearly loved by so many readers around the globe. I felt and saw it all – as the new world opened up before my eyes. Her descriptions were on point, her pace was perfect. She didn’t beat around the bush, no drags. It was all very direct and exciting, yet she managed to bring it together with elegance. I cannot emphasize enough how much of an amazing writer she is. I. Loved. It.  

The characters were very well-developed. Each and every main character came out strong in their own way – characters we could feel for, characters we could look up to, characters we could loathe. Out of all the main characters; Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, Rhysand and Amarantha, my absolute favourite was – wait for it – Tamlin. I must admit that I love strong women characters, especially one as empowered as Feyre, but Tamlin is a charm. He is incredibly protective over Feyre, he does so much to give her a comfortable life and peace of mind, and the effort he puts in for her is admirable. Everything he does has her in mind, but he never once stopped looking out for his own kind in the Spring Court. He leads with a big heart and strength, both physical and mental, – qualities I adore in him. Rhysand fans, you guys can have him for now. I’m all for Tamlin at the moment. We’ll see soon if that will change in the next book!

The storyline was captivating. The chapters were short yet concise, leaving me plenty of room to think and appreciate as I progressed. The flow was smooth and I was happy that Sarah highlighted a lot on family and friendships too – such as Feyre’s relationship with her father and sisters, and Tamlin’s friendship with Lucien. Overall a good balance of positive lessons to learn and life hardships to appreciate.

Many people I know struggled with the rating of the A Court of Thorns and Roses especially after how good A Court of Mist and Fury is compared to its prequel. But I’m standing my ground. This book is an excellent opening to the trilogy and I would definitely recommend it, hands down.

“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.”

Rating: 

I have yet to read the sequel A Court of Mist and Fury. If you are interested to buddy read it with me, do let me know!