Monday, 27 June 2016

Dorothy Must Die #1 Dorothy Must Die

Presenting Dorothy Must Die #1 Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.

Here is the summary of the book:

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado - taking you with it - you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road - but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm - and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.


Never really liked the stories of Oz. But I definitely loved the modern re-tellings. Be it Oz the Great and Powerful movie, the 'Wicked' play (haven't read its book series yet) and now this new re-telling ..... or rather re-imaging by Danielle Paige, Dorothy Must Die.

This is a post-apocalyptic Oz. Its dark. Its realistic. Its creepy .... Imagine what happens if the good guys turn bad. What if all that magic went to Dorothy's head. What if she came back from Kansas different. Or maybe she never left. But let me tell you this, she definitely makes for one creepy evil Queen. And she is sure not averse to ruling over all of Oz in her Gingham dress and red stilettos, leaching out all of the magic of Oz to her purpose.

Enter Amy Gumm. She is our protagonist and the other girl from Kansas. This is a world that knows the story of Dorothy's Adventures in Oz (of course they don't know if its real or not). Just like Dorothy, Amy gets transported to Oz by a tornado. But a much different Oz greets Amy. Its dark. Its desolate and upside down. Dorothy  rules this new Oz and she is just evil. Thats not all, the scarecrow, thin woodman and the Lion are just as bad as well as Glinda, the Good who is evil now too.

Amy proved to be a great protagonist too. She may not be original with the less than stellar home life. A drunk mother and being alienated at school but she steps up big time in Oz. They say Dorothy is too powerful and only she could kill her. Amy knows what Dorothy has done but taking a life is not easy and for that she hesitates to find herself in this world. But she is a definite badass with pink hair. Cool.

Of course as the title suggests she knows what needs to be done but mysteries surround Oz. Amy may have joined the revolutionary Order of the Wicked, learnt magic, weaponry and etiquette but her task in not that simple. And when you have questionable motive and sides to be chosen, the one simple mission becomes all the more dangerous and convoluted.

Danielle Paige really did a great job of setting this world. Its definitely dark and creepy and vert realistic. You can't help but cringe at the gory details in it. The pacing is well maintained. At times slow but always steady. Not much really happens in this book aside from the battles in between but this is the first book of the series and totally does a great job setting the tone for the succeeding stories. Which i'm definitely going to start as soon as possible.

"A dark and topsy turvy re-imaging of Oz. The author does a great job of toeing the line between Good and Evil"
Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale, Re-imaging,

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 1st April, 2014

My Copy: bought (hardback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Free to Fall

Presenting Free to Fall by Lauren Miller.

Here is the summary of the book:

What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness?

What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results.

Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school.

Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.


'What to wear?'
'What to eat?'
'How to dress?'
'Which subject to choose?' or
'which route to take?' and etc.

These may seem perfectly simple questions at first but imagine a world where these decisions are made by a decision making App and the human kind blindly follows this fad. Starkly real and little creepy isn't it! Well 'Free to Fall' by Lauren Miller takes this fact and gives it that fresh dystopic edge of a world where the decision making app called 'Lux' has left behind Siri and Cortana and literally conquered the world.

In parts mystery, in parts dystopia. Free to Fall is the story of Rory(Aurora) who has based her whole life on the decisions LUX has made for. Then she gets accepted to the elite Theden Academy. It looks like things are looking up. This is the school her deceased mother went to and Rory is more than to experience the Theden life. But as you would expect it things are not as the seem. Things are happening in the shadows & dark corners of the Academy that may very well destroy the world. Moreover it seems something else is the reason of her mother's death.

Rory actually irritated me at first with just how dependent on Lux she seemed. She is resourceful and determined definitely. Everyone hesitates at change. Rory is no different. Her meeting North for sure helped that along. The attraction is definitely there North has that mysterious appeal that along with Rory makes us readers want to shed away the layers and see what's within that mind of his. He is definitely attractive enough to warrant the attraction.

He challenges Rory and makes her think outside of Lux (see what I did there!). For that enough they are a tick in my opinion as a couple. The other characters also did their part well enough. Beck, Hershey, the teachers and everyone else had their role to play and are definitely not left unattended. The romance is also a slow build up and appreciated how well it was paced.

The plot is a little long. It takes its time to mature but I definitely wouldn't have it any other way. This is Lauren Miller's 2nd book after 'Parallel' and I loved it just like I did with her first book. Miller's world here is a stark and statistical representation of the real world. This is the world where the inner voice, the one we call intuition has been dubbed as the Doubt and pushed aside by the use of medication. In this world if you can still hear the Doubt are grown age then expect trouble in a big way.

My own personal feelings are a bit of a mess right now and i'm not sure how much more I can add to clearly say just how good this book is ..... because this book is really really good. A well paced storyline. Strong and evolving characters. Strong world building and well placed twists & turns. I recommend it people, go read it. You won't be disappointed.

"Starkly realistic and an exciting new dystopia you won't want to miss out on"
Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 13th May, 2014

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the author(review links):

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Crown's Game #1 The Crown's Game

Presenting The Crown's Game #1 The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye.

Here is the summary of the book:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


Imperial Russia. A duel. Two Enchanters vying for the title of the Imperial Enchanter. Marvelous magic and a bittersweet romance. Very like The Night Circus, The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye takes its queues from the livly Russian backdrop. This is Vika Andreyeva and Nikolai Karimov's battle for survival & the honor of the final reward, Pasha's journey for self discovery and equally the battle for the best mentors.

Packed with strong and dynamic characters. A lush and exotic backdrop. Solid and tight plot. Well paced and not a thread loose and twists and turns delivered in all the the right places. And all the wonderful magic and enchantments they perform really brings the plot to newer heights. It is not an all out magic duel in the general sense but more like they have to use their enchantments in ways to help Russia and Skye's prose brings that on the forefront wonderfully.

Vika was a darling. She grew up on the island with her father and is naturally very proficient with nature magic. Reckless, imaginative, decisive and resilient are some of the words I would throw out there because they describe her perfectly. Believing to be the only Enchanter of her generation, it comes as a shock that their was another. And Vika is prepared to hate the boy because failure means death and there is no coming back from that.

Nikolai is the other Enchanter and he is all kindness and resourcefulness. Unlike Vika, his prowess lies in enchanting materials. He can look through walls. He can complete a bridge without help from the raw material provided. He was an orphan as such he had to work to get the level of achievement he enjoys. It also helps that he is  gorgeous boy both inside and out. And selfless to boot.

The romance may seem insta at first (there is a bit of a triangle too) and in ways it is. Vika and Nikolai can't help but be drawn to each other since their meeting. They know they are opponents but they also can't deny what their heart tells them. Maybe it is their magic attracting each other but what they do really takes your breath away (That cruel .... cruel ending). They don't really act on their feelings but the undercurrents of it are more than enough to tether you to your sets.

Of adding the Tsarevich Pasha to the mix doesn't help matters. He is a free spirit. The future Tsar and he doesn't like being tied down with court matters and prefer to escape outside and help his people in his own way. Didn't really like him at first because he came of as a selfish and careless and sets his eyes on Vika. Nikolai, his best friend likes her too. Awkward. His actions lead to a lot of things to happen, which i am not at a liberty to tell ... But i did like him as a hole very much.

I have never been anywhere outside India (yet) but the details in which Evelyn Skye brings Russia ro life in her pages inspires an awe at the gorgeous setting, so full of life. The prose flows well enough to feel like you are actually a part of the story ... And that bittersweet and cruel (I know I said this before) ending. The passion. The swoon-worthy characters and those feels .... I am desperate for the next book very much.

"Enchanting. Heartfelt and unputdownable. Fans of the Night Circus will enjoy this"

Genre :     Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: 17th May, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Wandering Wild

Presenting Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor.

Here is the summary of the book:

Raised by Wanderers, sixteen-year-old Tal travels the roads of the southern wild in her Chevy by day and camps in her tent trailer at night. Hustling, conning, and grifting her way into just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen, from bare-knuckle fighting was once enough to keep her dreams of traveling the whole world at bay. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls.

There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life—and worst of all—into her scams. Buttoned-up, starched-and-ironed Spencer talks of places where Tal’s truck can’t take her. His promises of traveling across oceans are almost enough to shatter her love of the Wanderer life.

When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.


A bit hot and cold this book. Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor tells the story of Talia and her brother Wen, raised by the gypsies. In a way the book serves to tell us of the illusive life of these people and because I have never really read a book like before. So I decided to give this a go. It wasn't my favorite by far but I quite liked the story as a whole.

They are wanderers. With no real roots just the need to travel and they hustle innocent folks as means of making money. Definitely not a life I want to live and it made me feel rather sorry about Tal and Wen whenever they conned innocent bystanders in their acts. Things speed up when they meet Spencer and Tal fails to hustle him. Add to that their community had already decided Tal's wedding and if she wants freedom then she needs to somehow pay that hefty bride money back before the inevitable happens.

Call it fate. Call it destiny or magic but somehow Tal and Spencer's meeting sets a chain reaction through their lives. The odds are stacked against the Wanderers in this town. The townies less than friendly due to past grievances and their members almost arrested. But still they stayed put in that town against omens.

The pacing is rather slow. The characters sometimes felt stagnant but I liked Tal and Spencer. Although how they would stay together till the end felt sketchy but how they clicked so nicely together that I liked very much. Jessica Taylor's story felt very realistic I tell you. Not really my favorite but I appreciates what I learned.

"Its light. Its real and a subtle stumble through life"

Genre :     Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Release Date: 3rd May, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Magonia #1 Magonia

Presenting Magonia #1 Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley.

Here is the summary of the book:

Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardustmeets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?


Magonia .... Magonia ..... At a loss really just how to begin enunciating how grateful i am for this literary gem. Adorned in its gorgeous cover. Its started slow. It was really really slow but when we catch up to this illusionary world the payoff is simply so interesting and so immersive that just might end up forgiving its shortcomings.

Literature is filled with works of authors making their characters fly, floating islands in the sky, or it 'Fie, Fi Fo, Fum' .... the famous fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk and the Kingdom of Giants above the sky .... But Maria Dahvana Headley does something new. Mixing Peter Pan like elements with a whole kingdom above the clouds, sky ships, its shape shifting denizens and of course magic.

This is the story of Aza Ray and Jason. Friends since they were young. Oddities of their generation. And they just love to quote pi (π) But the cinch in all, Aza Ray ha been terminally ill with something no Doctor knows to either diagnose or cure. She has been drowning on air as long as she has been alive. But it all begins to change when she starts hearing her name coming out of the sky. Accident & coding on the ambulance bed, later she wakes up in a new world.

There really is a world above the clouds. Magonia is very much real and turns out it is true home. Turns out something happened above for her to be placed with her Earth family ..... For the most part I really liked Aza Ray. She is resourceful, powerful, spunky and all round gumptious. She also sometimes felt lacking in resolution and decisiveness but that can be understandable as she gets to be in Magonia what she wanted down below. And those round her have their own agendas to fulfill, some dangerous beyond compare.

Jason on the other hand was definitely a sweetheart. He had loved his best friend Aza Ray for all their lives and when she dies or disappears above the clouds he somehow knows that its not over. He somehow knows that his Aza Ray Boyle is still alive and he is prepared to go to the ends of the Earth to find her ..... And did I mention he is a wiz at finding things out? Well he is definitely that. Doesn't know when to quit, I liked that about him.

Couple this wonderfully compact plot with the author's lyrical prose and Magonia is the finished treasure. Of course I can understand the comparison with The Fault in the Stars but it doesn't feel like that at all. Also it dragged a lot and the pacing was all over the place as well. I took really really long breaks between reading this book .... but really I wouldn't have it any other way at all. I may have given it a 3/5 but this is definitely a book you should make time for.

"A captivating ensemble and an equally interesting voyage above the clouds"
Genre :     Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 28th April, 2015

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Ruined #1 Ruined

Presenting Ruined #1 Ruined by Amy Tintera.

Here is the summary of the book:

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.


Think 'Revenge' in an epic fantasy setting. This is my first book from Amy Tintera and i'm happy and ecstatic to report it bloody well fits all the excitement. I devoured it essentially and loved every bit of it. This is the story of Emelina Flores, the eldest Princess of Ruina and magic-less. This is her story as she decides to avenge and nation by infiltrating Lera, finding her younger sister and destroying those who destroyed her family.

They say you are seeking revenge, then dig two graves and keep one for yourself. Emelina proved a worthy protagonist. She knows what she wants. She is ruthless enough to achieve her mission. Infiltrating the enemy kingdom and marrying the Crown Prince Casimir, after murdering the real fiancee, that takes guts and a mean & calculating streak to achieve. She is strong and unscrupulous enough to be thus.

But falling in love? That didn't factor in her plans. Prince Casimir is definitely not what she expected him to be. He is kind, considerate, aloof and awkward at first but as we progress we see he is not like his parents at all. He shows no cruelty for the Ruined, and is willing to let them go if they committed no crime. That shows real strength of character. Of course he starts to change his views after his marriage to Emelina.

Instead of just writing the story through Emelina's perspective, she puts in both Cas and Em's perspectives in alternating chapters. A good different from all the tales in this genre. Not only do we see things from Em's side but also Cas' views of his new wife and all that happens does wonders for readers to understand the character better.

The romance was of course subtle and slowing building up to a crescendo towards the end. And Tintera beautiful paces it all to bring the best of all the characters. They are standing on opposite side, Em and Cas but they are also insanely in love with each other. Some might not wish it but the romance plays a pivotal role in the tale. Em never expected to fall for the enemy. She only wanted revenge on Lera for destroying her life and the writing graciously enunciating her conflict .... Very excited to see what happens next *fingers-crossed* Hopefully Em and Cas will stay together in the end.

"Revenge meets epic fantasy. It hooks you in and reels you further till your hanging on for dear life" 

Genre :     Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 3rd May, 2016

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

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