Book Reviews · YA fantasy

One Dark Throne

Image result for one dark throneTitle: One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2)

Author: Kendare Blake

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

I ripped through this book as soon as I had finished the first, and got to the end by the next day. It’s crazy how quickly I read these two books. Although 3 stars may seem like a low rating in comparison to the average Goodreads rating being 4.12, it still means I liked the book… just not as much as the first.

It’s weird but despite how fast I finished this book I wasn’t really that into it, I was just curious about the ultimate outcome (so yes, it did have me hooked, but not hooked to read the next page, but just hooked to find out who will be queen). I kind of just ploughed my way through to finish the book for the sake of finishing it, although I do really love the characters and I do care about them, and I am (somewhat) invested into the story – although there were some predictable parts – it wasn’t a 4 or 5 star read for me.

It just didn’t really blow me away enough for this book to be four stars. I think it was too long, to be completely honest. I feel like this book could be shorter than a whopping 464 pages, almost 500 pages. Because of its length there were times when I was bored, but I just pushed through for the ending to see who would be queen, although I know the finale is two books away yet.

I am still (of course) going to pick up the next book when it hits shelves in September. Despite the few things I disliked about this book to bring it down by two stars, I still really enjoyed it, and I did laugh at some bits and was shocked by others. I am still intrigued to find out what happens next. 

Have you read this and what did you think of it?

Speak soon!

Book Reviews · YA fantasy

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Image result for three dark crownsTitle: Three Dark Crowns

Author: Kendare Blake

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. 

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Although this book has been on and off on my Goodreads ‘currently reading’ it’s only because I started it and then exams came and ripped me apart so I’ve only managed to actually start it and get into it a week after exams, which I then proceeded to soar through this book, finishing it in two days with no regrets.

Like a lot of people I’m sure, what really intrigued me was the ending of the trilogy. Who will win, out of the three sisters? And as a writer, I can only imagine trying to write this book myself and the sheer headache of it in attempting to get this story right, and get the ending right. Throughout this book I was constantly comparing the three sisters, but I feel like now that might be unfair to, since they lived such different lives and are such different people.

My favourite of the queens is definitely Arsinoe. I even love her name. She is so carefree and down to earth despite her high status, although her down-to-earthness may be because of her lack of a gift. At sixteen years old her gift is yet to appear, although it isn’t completely unheard of because some people have had late gifts as well, it just isn’t too common with queens. Aaaand my second favourite character has to be Jules, she’s just so loyal and awesome, being Arsinoe’s best friend.

Then there is Mirabelle who has an incredibly strong gift and then Katherine who’s pretty weak when it comes to digesting poisons, although she has a fantastic knack for making them. The story starts off with an introduction of each queen, and since we are being informed what ‘people’ say about them I instantly became eager to see for myself whether what they’re saying is true or not. After the introduction, the queens’ stories end up entwining pretty quickly, and it does not happen in the most expected ways as possible, I can assure you, so it’s not completely predictable, I do admit I did predict some bits but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story. 

And the ending!! Oh gosh, I did not expect that. I’m kind of kicking myself now for not expecting it because now that I look at it I see that it is sort of obvious but not exactly… it’s just one line at the end that sends an arrow piercing through you like how did I not see that coming??! If you haven’t read it (and therefore don’t know what I’m talking about) I highly suggest you do, especially if you’re a fan of YA fantasy/dystopian. Honestly such a smart ending! Ahh I just read it less than three hours ago so I’m still kind of reeling.

I definitely really enjoyed the premise, more than I enjoyed the characters to be completely honest, but I still really enjoyed the characters. It’s a pretty dark setting, this world, as you can probably tell by the title and the cover. Despite Arsinoe being my favourite I do care about all the queens and have no idea who I would want to win the most, maybe not even Arsinoe!

It’s not the most interesting story in the beginning, the first bit lags a bit but then everything unravels in a way that makes the waiting in the beginning worth it. This book was such a great treat after exams and it threw me right back into my love of reading (not that I had lost it during exams but I hadn’t been able to act on it because I was so busy).

I’m already 20% through to the sequel, One Dark Throne, and can’t wait to see what happens next! If you’ve read the book, who’s your favourite queen, and why?

Speak soon!

Book Reviews · Sci-Fi

The Martian by Andy Weir

Image result for the martianTitle: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

“As with most of life’s problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.”

This book took me a really long time to read. I was reading it on my Kindle, and because I didn’t check how many pages it had, I genuinely thought it was something like 900 pages long because it just seemed to go on forever. It’s a pretty dense book. There are loads of crazy calculations that flew over my head, but I still really enjoyed this book.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Mark somehow manages to be hilarious throughout the entire book, winning the hearts of so many readers around the world, or those who only watched the movie and not the book. The book is equally fantastic to the movie, a rare case, I know.

First of all, I would like to point out this book contains a lot of swearing throughout the entire book. But to be honest, if there wasn’t any swearing, that would hardly be realistic.  How many of us wouldn’t let loose some profanity when stranded on Mars?

Watney’s humour made this book an exceptionally entertaining read. There were many instances where I laughed, and I love books that make me laugh, I mean who doesn’t? What amazed me was how technical this book. Apparently the author ran all these calculations on his own?! 

I was actually looking through the Goodreads quotes to find a quote I could include in here and I ended up reading loads and chuckling all the way through it. This book calls for a re-read!

This is one of my favourite books (I have no idea why it took me so long to read) and would highly recommend it to anyone who is in for an interesting and entertaining read!

Book Reviews

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Image result for wonderTitle: Wonder

Author: RJ Palacio

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

“I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.”

This book is such a heart-warming story. When the movie came out I went to watch it and cried. Then a few months later I watched it again and cried. I had forgotten how amazing this book is, and how much I love the characters and the story.

I finished this book really quickly, and then finished the other short stories in this series just as quickly. This book definitely calls for a re-read, maybe one of the million books I need to read this summer? We’ll see…

This book isn’t the easiest read. Bullying is a tough subject. I’ve been bullied before, and I’m sure many other people have too. It’s never nice, and it wasn’t nice reading about it in this book, but the ending makes everything worth it.

There were so many times where I just wanted to hug Auggie, and so many times that I wanted to hug Via. I loved how there were different narratives to provide a wider view of the story. I could definitely relate to a lot of things in this book, more especially with Via’s narrative.

Although it’s really sad and depressing at times, this story is also extremely inspiring. The next short stories in the series are also really good, my favourite being Shingaling, but Wonder is still the best, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. This story is golden and should be read by everyone. 

Blog Updates

What have I been reading lately?

Hello everyone. If you’ve been here for a while you know that I’ve recently had exams, and as a result I took a blogging hiatus to deal with them, so during that period I didn’t update you all on the books I was reading.

Since I’ve come back, there have been two book reviews… Wires and Nerve: Volume 1 and The Forgotten Sisters, although both of those books were ones I had read before I had gone on my hiatus and before exam season had took its toll, they were just books I had never gotten round to reviewing.

Now the reason I’m not posting a review for the books I’ve read in my absence… is because I didn’t actually finish a book during my hiatus. I intentionally read extra before exam season so I would keep up with my Goodreads goal, which is currently 70 books (I’ve read 30), but I hope to boost that to 100 later on throughout the summer when that seems more manageable, because right now things are still rather busy for me.

The reason I didn’t finish a book was probably due to the fact that the books I were reading were rather long, like Malcolm X which is really long. I read around 130 pages of it before I DNFed because it is just so boring, although I may come back to it towards the end of the summer, right now I really am not in the mood to read that.

I also started reading The Cruel Prince a month back but I’m at the very beginning and just haven’t gotten round to reading more which is sad but I hope to continue reading it once Ramadan closes to an end which should be somewhere around the end of next week. I’ve also been reading The Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Katheer which is an Islamic book which I am also around 130 pages through which I hope to finish by next week.

Strangely enough, amidst all of these long books, for some reason I started The Count of Monte Cristo in the middle of all of this?! And since I started the ebook, I only realised that it’s over a thousand pages long after two chapters when I added it to my Goodreads page. I know it’s insane, and I doubt I’ll finish it anytime soon (if I finish it at all) but I am currently really liking it so we’ll see how this goes!

It’s actually really bad the amount of ebooks and books I’ve started but haven’t finished. I hopefully am going to try and plough my way through a bunch of those during the summer, I have high hopes for my summer reading, and hope to pin down a lot of books that have been dancing into and through my never-ending TBR.

Well this has been a long post! That’s my reading update! What books are you planning to read for the summer?

Speak soon!

Book Reviews · YA fantasy

Review – The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale

Image result for the forgotten sistersTitle: The Forgotten Sisters (Princess Academy #3)

Author: Shannon Hale

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: After a year at the king’s palace, Miri has learned all about being a proper princess. But the tables turn when the student must become the teacher!

Instead of returning to her beloved Mount Eskel, Miri is ordered to journey to a distant swamp and start a princess academy for three sisters, cousins of the royal family. Unfortunately, Astrid, Felissa, and Sus are more interested in hunting and fishing than becoming princesses.

As Miri spends more time with the sisters, she realizes the king and queen’s interest in them hides a long-buried secret. She must rely on her own strength and intelligence to unravel the mystery, protect the girls, complete her assignment, and finally make her way home.

Fans of Shannon Hale won’t want to miss this gorgeously woven return to this best-selling, award-winning series.

See my reviews for the first two books in this series: The Princess Academy and The Palace of Stone.

Hello everyone, this is another review for a book I read a while back. I read The Princess Academy when I was eleven years old and I absolutely loved it, especially the poems at the beginning of the chapters, and I loved the whole princess-academy-thing. The instant I saw the title ‘Princess Academy’ in the school library I knew that book was for me. I actually read it twice in one year.

Then, a couple of months back, I found out there was actually two other books in continuation – so it was a trilogy – and I freaked. I can’t believe I didn’t find out until then, so of course I read them, and this is my review for the third book.

Honestly, I think this is such a nice ending to the trilogy. I really enjoyed following the story, although I do think at some points and in certain parts things were a bit rushed, like I didn’t know that something had become a ‘thing’ until afterwards, because it seemed to be briefly mentioned.

I also think it’s a bit skeptical that the say of all these girls and boys would have such a significant change and position on national politics… but that did make it more fun and it didn’t really bother me too much. There were a few things here and there that I feel like could have been expanded on more, and were also a bit skeptical, but since this is a spoiler-free review I won’t be mentioning those, but you may come across them when reading this.

However, despite all this, I truly had a good time reading this, and wish there was a book four because I know I’m going to miss these characters so much! I think a book four would be so nice to elaborate more on the future lives of the “forgotten sisters”, and allow us to also have a peek of Miri’s life as well!

All in all, I absolutely adore this trilogy by Shannon Hale. I’ve also read the Goose Girl and really enjoyed that, and then I realised there is a whole trilogy for that too, so it’s definitely something I intend to get to 🙂

Stay tuned for more posts, I will be participating in the Ramadan Readathon despite my late arrival, so keep an eye out for those posts landing on here soon!

Speak to you all soon!


Ramadan Readathon Book Tag #RamadanReadathon

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog. Ramadan Mubarak! (I know it’s a bit late but… it’s still Ramadan 🙂 ) Today I’m doing the Ramadan Readathon Book Tag created by Amna at the YA Book Corner! I also saw this tag on done by Muslim Reads and by Nadia at Headscarves and Hardbacks, so those are also some lovely tags you can check out too. Thank you to Amna for creating this tag because it is a great idea!

Mirrors and Windows: Name a book you felt represented you or that you were able to relate to

For me, that book is Seven is Special by Shagufta Malik. I know the main character is seven years old, and this is a children’s book, but I can relate to it as to when I was a seven year old, so I think that still counts! You can check out my review for this book here.

My Muslim Hero/Heroine: Name your favourite Muslim character and explain why

My favourite Muslim character is Amirah from She Wore Red Trainers by Na’ima B. Robert. This is because I just generally think she’s a really great person and I love how she had her own personal struggles with her religion in doing the right thing, but it worked out so ideally in the end. You can check out my review for She Wore Red Trainers here (fun fact it was actually my first review on this blog so bear with me on the formatting!).

Patience is a Virtue: Name your most anticipated read by a Muslim author

Okay, so Footsteps by Umm Zakiyyah is a book that I’ve been wanting to read for the longest of times, ever since I finished A Voice. However, I feel it’s a bit advanced for me yet, and is geared more towards adults than teens, so despite my love for the first two books in this series, I’m going to wait a bit before I read this 🙂

Muslim Scribe: Name your Favourite Muslim Author

This is super hard. I can’t pick!! My top favourites would be Shagufta Malik and Na’ima B. Robert.

The Muslim’s Shelf: Recommend one book by a Muslim author that everyone should read

Ahh this is hard. I’d say From My Sisters’ Lips by Na’ima B. Robert. Okay, I know it’s a really long read, and it does get a bit rambly at times, but the message of this book is so, so important. It is altogether beautiful!

So that is my Ramadan Readathon book tag, I hope you all enjoyed it! 🙂 What is your favourite Islamic-fiction book?

Speak to you all soon!