Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea

Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea


The House in the Cerulean Sea

by TJ Klune

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Rating: ★★★★★

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

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ARC Review: A Golden Fury

ARC Review: A Golden Fury

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A Golden Fury

by Samantha Cohoe

Series / Standalone: Standalone (?)

Rating: ★★★.5

Pub date: October 30th, 2020

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of a revolution looming, Thea is sent to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.


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June Wrap-Up ft. the Queer, Queerer, and Queerest of books!

June Wrap-Up ft. the Queer, Queerer, and Queerest of books!

Hello my peeps! June was undeniably the best reading month I had this year. ALL HAIL THE LOCKDOWN. (But seriously, my heart goes out to all the people suffering during these incredibly trying times. Hope everything reading this is safe).

I made it a pact to read more queer books this year, and no better time than the present! So, for pride month, I stuck to reading all queer books. This doesn’t mean I’m gonna neglect LGBTQ books for the rest of the year, and neither should you.

I’m watching you 👀

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Review: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

Review: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit


Georgia Peaches and other Forbidden Fruit

by Jaye Robin Brown

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Rating: 3.5 stars

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?


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Review: With the Fire on High

Review: With the Fire on High


With the Fire on High

by Elizabeth Acevedo

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Rating: 5/5! All the stars in the world!

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.

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Review: A Dog’s Purpose

Review: A Dog’s Purpose

A Dog’s Purpose
by W. Bruce Cameron
Series/Standalone: Series, but can be read as a standalone
Rating: 3.5 stars

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.

But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

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Back to the Blog! + A Reading Challenge

Back to the Blog! + A Reading Challenge

It feels like it has been a million years since I’ve typed up a post on here, and it feels spectacular to get back to blogging. So, hello my dearies! In the past few years I have not been able to read a whole lot of books, and I wish to rectify that this year. And what better way to get back into reading regularly than a reading challenge!

Therefore, I’m thrilled to announce my participation in the #ReadingWithMuffy challenge hosted by Kohl Eyed Me . There are 20 prompts in all which sound really fun . Here’s hoping I stick to this challenge till the end of the year!

Here are the prompts. I shall be updating the list with the books I choose as I go 😀 Read more

(ARC) Review: Here’s The Thing

(ARC) Review: Here’s The Thing

Here’s The Thing
by Emily O’Beirne
Series/ Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: October 19th, 2016
Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Ylva Publishing in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s only for a year. That’s what sixteen-year-old Zel keeps telling herself after moving to Sydney for her dad’s work. She’ll just wait it out until she gets back to New York and Prim, her epic crush/best friend, and the unfinished subway project. Even if Prim hasn’t spoken to her since that day on Coney Island.

But Zel soon finds life in Sydney won’t let her hide. There’s her art teacher, who keeps forcing her to dig deeper. There’s the band of sweet, strange misfits her cousin has forced her to join for a Drama project. And then there’s the curiosity that is the always-late Stella.

As she waits for Prim to explain her radio silence and she begins to forge new friendships, Zel feels strung between two worlds. Finally, she must figure out how to move on while leaving no one behind.


Wow. This book is real cute.

Here’s The Thing follows the story of Zel, a teenage girl who has to move from New York to Sydney due to her parents’ job.  It shows the struggle to trying to fit in again and again, and the way Zel adjusts to her new life in Sydney. It’s a story of heartache, new friendships and acceptance.

I have to admit, I wasn’t quite impressed by the start of the book. It felt a bit boring and I wasn’t a fan of the ‘speaking to the audience’ type of narration. But as the story progressed, I fell in love with Zel and the rest of the gang.

Zelda is an amazing, smart and level headed character. She is quite comfortable with her sexual identity and doesn’t make a huge deal of it. She sees people for who they are and is not as judgemental as other teens. The other characters, Prim, Antony, Michael, Ashani and Stella were also well developed. They each had their quirks and flaws and felt very real. Prim, a character I was not very impressed with in the beginning, grew on me and by the end I loved her too. Prim and Zel’s subway adventures were quite fun.

O’Beirne’s writing was quite good and the story flowed naturally. The narration changes from the present to flashbacks of Zel and Prim but it never felt confusing. Props to the amount of diversity present in this book too.

All in all, a very cute and feel good read! Definitely recommended 😀


5 reasons why you should read The Hammer of Thor

5 reasons why you should read The Hammer of Thor

The Hammer of Thor
by Rick Riordan
Series/Standalone: Series – Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard #2
Age Category: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Rating: 5 stars

Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.


Rick Riordan’s signature wit is back. His last two books haven’t been my most favorite books of his, but this one definitely had me flailing throughout and The Hammer of Thor is now one of my most favorite books this year, right after ACOMAF ❤


The amounts of diversity in this book. With Samirah’s religious faith playing an important role, and the introduction of gender fluid characters, there’s a lot of diversity in this book, and it was actually done right for once. It didn’t feel forced at any point, and all the characters felt so natural. That brings me to:


The characters. In the first book, it felt like Magnus was a parallel universe version of Percy, but in this book, he definitely shone. And so did all the other characters, including Sam, Amir, Alex, Blitz, Hearth, Jack (YES HE IS A SEPARATE CHARACTER) and the gang of Floor 19. The latest addition, Alex, was just awesome. I don’t want to speak any more because of spoilers, but all the characters were just kickass. Also, Amir and Sam are SO SWEET! I ship them so hard.


The pace. From the first page to the last, there was never a slow moment. I could not put the book down once I started reading. All the fight scenes were awesome and the different worlds they travel to were shown very beautifully. Rick has made sure we do not get confused at any point, and I’m really grateful for that. Both the pace and the writing are awesome. This book definitely didn’t suffer from Second Book Syndrome.


The chapter titles! 😛 If not for the above mentioned reasons, atleast read this gorgeous book for the chapter titles. Here’s a small preview:

I Am Saved From Certain Death By Being Killed

Never Take a Bubble Bath With a Decapitated God

The Most Awkward Viking Luau Ever

What’s a Guy Gotta Do to Get a Standing Ovation?

Samirah and Magnus Sitting in a Tree, T-A-L-K-I-N-G

If that doesn’t grab your interest, I don’t know what will. 😀

All in all, this was an engaging, fast-paced and gloriously sarcastic book and I recommend it with all my heart. GO READ IT. NOW.

So have you read Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard? If you have, what did you think about it? As good as Uncle Rick’s other books or not? If you haven’t, why not? Read ’em!


Here’s The Thing by Emily O’Beirne // Book Blitz

Here’s The Thing by Emily O’Beirne // Book Blitz

Here’s the Thing
by Emily O’Beirne
Genre: YA Contemporary (LGBT)
Release Date: October 19th 2016
Ylva Publishing

Goodreads || Ylva

It’s only for a year. That’s what sixteen-year-old Zel keeps telling herself after moving to Sydney for her dad’s work. She’ll just wait it out until she gets back to New York and Prim, her epic crush/best friend, and the unfinished subway project. Even if Prim hasn’t spoken to her since that day on Coney Island. But Zel soon finds life in Sydney won’t let her hide. There’s her art teacher, who keeps forcing her to dig deeper. There’s the band of sweet, strange misfits her cousin has forced her to join for a Drama project. And then there’s the curiosity that is the always-late Stella. As she waits for Prim to explain her radio silence and she begins to forge new friendships, Zel feels strung between two worlds. Finally, she must figure out how to move on while leaving no one behind.

Here’s an excerpt from this book:

As soon as she hears the words “New York”, the blonde princess perks up.

“You actually lived there?” Her voice is still measured, but I can hear the hint of intrigue. Suddenly I’m worth something. She straightens her blazer, looking curious and a touch self-conscious. Like the mention of that city has chafed at the all-comforting sense of superiority she held a second ago when she sized up my loose-haired, loose-jeaned, couldn’t-give-a-crapeyeliner look. Now her perfectly braided hair, subtle eye make-up, and her prefect’s badge don’t stand a chance against me (well, New York). It’s like she suddenly feels like the boring provincial cliché she is.

Please don’t think I’m a bitch, describing this girl like that. I’m not a bitch. Really, I’m not. It’s just that you weren’t here ten minutes ago. I swear it was surreal. She was nice as pie when Mum was here, making small talk, telling us about the school excursions and clubs and extra university prep courses they offer. Then, the minute Mum went in to chat with the senior school coordinator, she went on this total backspin from perky polite to general disinterest. All before the office door even closed.

Of course, that was before I uttered the four, golden ‘lived in New York’ words. Now she’s all ears.

So excuse me for judging, but you have to admit it’s kind of deeply shallow on her part. Like something out of a bad teen movie. She’s one of those popular girls, all shiny and judge-y and awaiting her comeuppance, the one who underestimates the new girl at the start. This, of course, casts me as the nerdy but likeable girl. The one who’ll either seek revenge on all the high-definition girls like this evenly tanned overachiever next to me or else become wildly popular by getting a makeover from a gay man, making some excellent quips, and then dating from the girl-clique’s private male gene pool property.

Believe me, people, when I say that NONE of this is going to happen. What will happen, if Mum and Dad magically convince me go to this school, is that I will put my head down and stay as invisible as humanly possible. Because if she is a taster of the school social menu, I plan to officially bow out of all interpersonal efforts.

We’ve already taken the full tour of the school and grounds, led by the blonde, in chirruping prefect mode, and the principal’s assistant.Apparently this school’s so exclusive that potential Golden Ones don’t even get to meet the principal until they’re properly signed on, fees paid. Together they schooled Mum in everything this place has to offer. Because she’ll be the one paying the fees for the Olympic swimming pool and the sky-lit art rooms, right? And while I dragged my feet behind them, I didn’t get a chance to find out if all the other students are carbon, depressing copies of this one either. All the girls (yes, only girls, which you would think would make me happybut it actually doesn’t) were tucked away in the classrooms. But my guess is, given the North Shore location and the amount of zeroes I saw on the fees list, that this sample of blonde wayyy-upper-middle-class Sydney sitting right here is probably representative enough for me to turn and run for the hills. Or at least back to the inner west.

“Like, New York, New York? Not the state,” the girl asks, wrinkling her nose slightly as if she can’t imagine that hallowed city allowing rabble like me in. Which, of course, shows how little she knows about the place. If she thinks I’m rabble, she’s got another thing coming when she and her fake designer suitcase finally make it there. If New York knows how to do anything, it’s how to produce prime rabble. It prides itself on it.

“Yes, the city,” I say patiently instead of sighing the sigh of the withering, which is what I really want to do. If I were Prim, I probably would have. I’m the kind of person who can manage to stay on the right side of polite, but Prim’s got zero tolerance for girls like this. But then, Prim’s got zero tolerance for most people. “We lived in Midtown.”

The girl looks blank.

“It’s the middle of Manhattan, near Times Square,” I explain as two girls in uniform, looking just like this one but brunette and sans prefect badge, peer into the office. One says something, and the other cackles as they pass. I shudder. Get me out of here. Now.

Blondie perks up some more. “That’s where they have the New Year’s parade?”

I nod.

“Did you go?”

I fight the urge to roll my eyes. I wouldn’t be caught dead there, fighting for a square inch of space with a gazillion tourists and out-of-towners. The parade is what television is made for. It’s for parents and old people and the rest of America to watch while New York goes out. Prim and I had planned to spend New Year’s Eve planning our New World Order. I don’t have time to fill you in on the details right now, but let me tell you this much—this girl here would have trouble surviving once we run the show.

Before I can respond, Mum is finally ejected from the coordinator’s office. I’m so relieved to see her I have to stop myself from jumping up and hugging her. She gives me a thin smile like she, too, has been to private school hell and back.

The coordinator is right behind her. She’s a shaggy middle-aged woman wearing a pastel sweater dress straight out of the eighties. Now I really feel sorry for Mum. Ten minutes in the presence of that outfit is probably pushing at the edges of human endurance.

“I hope to see you next week, Zelda,” the coordinator says to me. “Meaghan will show you back to the gate, won’t you?”

Blondie McPerfect nods enthusiastically and leads us back to the car park full of shiny land cruisers and zippy hatchbacks.She chatters all the way, practically igniting with excitement when she hears Mum’s line of work. I smirk to myself. It must be killing her that two such unimpressive-looking people’s life CVs are impressing her so much.

I tune out and watch the school go by. The playing fields are movie-set green, the sprinklers keeping the summer sun from doing its worst. That’d be right.Last night’s news said parts of the Blue Mountains are ablaze with bushfires, but North Sydney is lush.

As soon as Meaghan leaves us with a wave and a faux-friendly see you next week, I turn to Mum. “I’m not going here. No way.”


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About the Author:

Thirteen-year-old Emily woke up one morning with a sudden itch to write her first novel. All day, she sat through her classes, feverishly scribbling away (her rare silence probably a cherished respite for her teachers). And by the time the last bell rang, she had penned fifteen handwritten pages of angsty drivel, replete with blood-red sunsets, moody saxophone music playing somewhere far off in the night, and abandoned whiskey bottles rolling across tables. Needless to say, that singular literary accomplishment is buried in
a box somewhere, ready for her later amusement.
From Melbourne, Australia, Emily was recently granted her PhD. She works part-time in
academia, where she hates marking papers but loves working with her students. She also loves where she lives but travels as much as possible and tends to harbour crushes on cities more than on people.
Living in an apartment, Emily sadly does not possess her dream writing room overlooking an idyllic garden of her creation. Instead, she spends a lot of her time staring over the screen of her laptop and out the window at the somewhat less pretty (but highly entertaining) combined kebab stand/carwash across the road.


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