The Mansion Twins: A Book Review

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Author: Rose M. Channing

Publisher: Createspace

Published on: July 23rd 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Ellie and Savannah Senka, fourteen year old twins, ran away from their unhappy homes, thinking they’d return after a brief adventure. Together, they journey to another world. The new world is full of magic, but though it was once beautiful, it is damaged, unbalanced, and dangerous after a terrible storm. Ellie and Savannah may be the only ones with the power to restore the world to its original state, for the magic of twins is rare and powerful. The girls are welcomed into a grand mansion, the safest place in the aftermath of the storm. There, they learn who they are, and what they have to do. To restore the world, they must travel through the mansion to the center of magic and reset the balance. They discover their own magical abilities, find joy and friendship in the mansion’s family, and face the dangers of the storm’s left-behind magic. The journey to the center of magic is full of twists and turns, magic and excitement. Ellie and Savannah support each other to overcome obstacles along the way, knowing the whole world is depending on them.

Note: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

A different world? Storm-created beings? Monsters? Quests? Totally up my alley! I have to say that I enjoyed reading this novel. I got totally hooked into this other world that I instinctively switch off from reality for a while. This book is engaging along with the characters who are just lovable and fun to read.

Speaking of the characters, the protagonists in this novel are twins—Ellie and Savannah Senka.  So we’re having the chosen two! Because why not?

So, they once live in a world of magic but then a storm ravaged that world, brought chaos into the whole kingdom and now there is no balance. During the storm, the Senka twins escaped and then they grew up into this world with no magic. But a prophecy about twins resetting the balance back in the center of magic brought the Senka twins home. Personally I think that the premise is interestingly unique. First we have a storm so strong it destroyed the balance of the magical world, disrupted the current of magic and created magical beings. The storm-created beings got me intrigued. I mean it is so freakishly awesome yet disturbing at the same time. Although I was just looking for more details about the storm. Everything about it and the events right after was still unclear and I get that its part of the storytelling. So maybe on the sequel. Right?

Also can I just mention how fascinated I am with the so-called “Glow” which serves as the kind of magic people are all capable of having aside from special gifts such as levitation or healing. The Glow is something that is natural for the magic folks, it can be used for fighting, illumination and even for dancing! How awesome and fancy is that?

Like any other fantasy novels, of course we have an adventure for the protagonists and here, it is to go to the center of magic to reset the balance. The events that transpired before finding the center of magic is so exhilarating. To give you a heads up, everything occurs inside an enormous mansion, which I guess is obvious from the title alone so I don’t know why I’m giving a heads up. Anyways, OH. MY. GOSH. The mansion is yet another fictional world I’d like to take a tour on. Every time they get into yet another part of the mansion, it just makes me read even more. Every opened doors, every transporter mirrors and every fighting scene with some storm-created beings were all enthralling I forgot the reason for needing sleep. So I guess I’m making it clear how fascinating this book is.

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Now aside from the premise, I also admire the characters in this book. Though there might be a lot of names to actually take account of, those who are of need in the story got the right exposure. I like the idea of having a queen in a child form because it makes it even more magical. What I like about the queen is her relationship with the twins, it was all pure love, care and guidance.  And the twins see her as a friend and at the same time a queen who would face the enemy herself to protect her people. And not just that, the relationship that exist between everyone inside the mansion is what I admired the most. It’s a familial love that I find as comforting and magical as it should be.

But of course, we should always have a villain. As witty and anger-driven as any other villain in any other fictional worlds. However, I find his background story still lacking. And in my honest opinion, I just think that his character as a villain doesn’t have much of an impact. I mean, he is powerful, deceptive and brutal (that last thing he did broke my heart) but I think that maybe those traits still needs development. And there was a twist to his character and which I guessed but it was well played. That part, I just have to commend.

So in totality, I really enjoyed this book a lot. I have sacrificed sleep just so I could get to the end of the Senka Twins’ journey. I hope there is more to this world.

My Rating:

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Check Author (Rose M. Channing)

Website: https://www.mycrossworldsjourney.com

Email: chickadee24@comcast.net

Twitter: RoseMChanning

Add book on: Goodreads

Available on: Amazon

Some Books For This Summer Heat

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As most of you may know, I’m currently on my summer vacation. And well, since I live in the Philippines, summer is a big thing. Aside from the fact that we only have 2 seasons—wet and dry, the months of April and May means that classes are temporarily at halt and we can do whatever the hell we want under the summer sun! Summer usually gets people to go outside and spend most of the time anywhere there’s water, like a beach or a waterfall. And usually a book in hand in places like these is a blissful way to spend a warm weather. I mean I may have spent most of my afternoons reading by the beach which is only like a 3-minute walk from my house, so you know.

Anyways, in honour with the current season of the Philippines, here’s a post about the books that could possibly make your summer more interesting. So basically this is a combination of genres and does not necessarily have summer as the season in the story. Without further ado, let’s go over it.


Everyday by David Levithan

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This is the first book I’ve read that’s written by David Levithan and boy was it soooo good. I really can’t talk about specifics here as I don’t want to spoil you but it introduces you into some metaphysical stuff. This book is thought-provoking, poignant and hits you right in your soft spot. And it makes you go over the meaning of love, sexuality and life. Plus, it’s not a dark or heavy read, I mean I read it in one sitting so it could be a perfect companion the next time you go exploring a waterfall. 😉

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before & P.S. I Love You by Jenny Han

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I guess most of you have read this duology. If not, well, these are YA romance novels about a girl named Lara Jean who has this secret thing of writing a letter to the boys she falls in love with but she has no intention of sending it of course. I mean that would be crazy right? Anyways, if you know me very well, it may shock you that I have read a genre of this kind but to be honest, I have loved it so much. Whilst reading it, I fell in love with boys as well. HAHA But really, these novels are funny and cute, yes, but it’s also emotionally gripping and very insightful. I suggest you pick this up if you want some light reading.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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I believe that summer is expected to be fun. And what a way to have some fun by reading some hilarious book right? So this novel along with the rest of the series is ridiculously amazing! Plus, it is science fiction and it may not be the hard-core kind but trust me if you’re looking for a mixture of both science fiction and humor this is the perfect book. I may have had a collection of odd stares from people whilst reading it in public but who cares, I had an epic fun time with this book.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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This is a science fiction novel that talks about two bestfriends in college who are both wickedly brilliant in the science department. They are working on an extremely dangerous and totally out of this world research to prove something but things turned real bad and it severed their friendship. Gosh, this novel is written so fiercely and the premise is riveting. Plus, reading through the perspective of someone who isn’t really a hero got me hooked. If you are looking for some action this summer, this sci-fi read would give you that.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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I’m not done with the whole series actually, the final book, The Raven King, was just released this May and I still haven’t got a copy of my own. I know, it is appalling. But, we should not focus on that. Now I started reading this book exactly the same month last year. I actually did a review on the first book, The Raven Boys and since then, I couldn’t get these boys and Blue out of my system. It is an urban fantasy novel about four unforgivingly handsome boys who have deep dark secrets of their own, finding for a lost king. These boys are now drawn to a girl named Blue who lives with a family of psychics and ironically, she didn’t have that gift. So together, they go into an adventure of finding this said king. One thing I specifically admire in this book is the writing style. Gosh Maggie Stiefvater could literally paint a picture with words. So if you’re looking for some big reads this summer, this series could be of help. Also, it is set in a place where described as having an extremely warm weather.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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Now this book! I am certain that words won’t be enough to justify how beautiful this book is. But let me tell you a little something about it. So this book talks about a wonderful friendship between two boys, finding their identity, exploring their sexuality and accepting reality. The first time I read it, I just couldn’t stop until I finished it. In my opinion, it is one of the important books that our society needs right now. It is insightful, inspirational and honestly beautiful. I really recommend this book to anyone.

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

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If you know me, Paulo Coelho is one of my favourite authors. There is just something in his words that strikes me every time I read it. It makes me think about life, appreciate the little things and be grateful of what I have so I think basically his writings are insightful. And particularly this book, has so much to teach to its reader. So it talks about a woman who is blessed to have everything actually but then she feels that something is missing and somehow it’ll forever stay missing. So one day, she decides to die by taking some pills but then she ended waking up in a mental hospital. There she found solace and a meaning of what life is. This book is one of those poignant and thought-provoking reads you’ll ever have.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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I’d say this book was a breath of fresh air. Reading it was like seeing life in a child’s perspective and surprisingly it was insightful, simple as expected yet honest. This is a coming-of-age novel and I think I was particularly drawn to this book because it made me feel nostalgic about my childhood. About the once easy and carefree life I’ve had before everything seems to be so big and I started being sensitive. And I really think this one is good for a summer read because it is light, fun, insightful and all at once nostalgic.

Note: All book images are taken from Goodreads.

And those are just some of the books I’d recommend for this summer heat. I hope you have a fun time reading it. God bless and enjoy! ❤

Clean Break: ARC Review

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Author: Abby Vegas

Expected Publication: May 16th 2016

Genre: Chick Lit, New Adult Fiction, Crime novel

Synposis (via Goodreads):

Lane Haviland can’t seem to catch a break. She’s dead broke, barely functioning as an adult, and completely alone in New York City. Her so-called “apartment” is a six-by-nine cell in a Brooklyn basement. And her new boss hasn’t ever met a personal or professional boundary she can’t bulldoze through.

Still, Lane’s determined to at least attempt to claw her way back to respectability. But she can’t seem to get her mysterious handyman, Viktor, out of her apartment – or her headspace. Maybe that’s a good thing: Viktor’s easy on the eyes, and that deep-voiced Russian accent is beyond sexy. But as he and Lane grow closer, he can no longer hide his connections with a dangerous criminal underworld – where secrets can be deadly.

Note: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

Clean Break talks about a young woman fighting her way back into life. To be honest, the first few pages was hard to get into because it all sounded too cliché for me. But after spending nights with Lane Haviland and her adventures I realized that I’m already hooked. I guess it’s the authenticity of the characters that got me engaged with the whole story. What I’m trying to say is that the author managed to give the truthfulness of how things actually happen in real life and how a person would naturally react to such things.

Now, that brings me to the characters in this story. First of course is our protagonist, Lane Haviland. Before everything went south, Lane had everything in her life-a wonderful family, money and love. But, it’s not life if everything seems to go by your way right? So life happened.

Now that part sounded cliche know, but hear me out. An accident happened to Lane’s family that got her messed up real bad. But one thing I admire about her character is the urge in her to live even though grief claws its way back into her life. I personally enjoyed reading about her character because first: all her references (ex. Dolores Umbridge hem-hem) were about the things I love,

second: she can be so real, funny and logical if need be. I admire her growth and independence as a woman.

But of course, there should be a man. For those who know, romance genres are not really up my alley but I read some as long as it’s not in its pure state. I can’t handle them in the pure state.

Now this book, thankfully, is diluted. I was actually hooked with the budding romance between Lane Haviland and his Russian man Viktor. Why? Because again, it was just the right amount, there was mystery in it and it was carefully told.  And nope there is no love triangle in this one. THANK GOODNESS! Yes there is a third man, Detective Jarrett but I disliked him as much as Lane does so he really doesn’t count. I have an extremely negative feeling towards the man.

Maybe again that is why I connect with Lane, she kinda thinks the way I do, with respect to the events in the story of course.

With regards to the writing and the plot, you’d be expecting secrets, mysteries and plot twists! Totally got the plot twist way ahead of schedule 😀 Anyways, this novel is an amalgam of genres to be honest. There is humor, a little action, mystery, a touch of romance if you’d ask and a walk through life. The life of Lane Haviland is surprisingly interesting, hilariously fascinating in some ways yet honest if need be.

So to my lovely readers, you should definitely check this out when it’s out in the market! 🙂

My Rating:


 

Check author (Abby Vegas):

Twitter: AwkwardCeleb

Add book on: Goodreads

Kafka on the Shore: A Book Review

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Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Knopf Publishing Books

Published on: January 26th 2005  (first published 2002)

Genre: Magical Realism, Cultural

Synopsis(via Goodreads):

Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

Review:

There are books that could make you cry, laugh or even fall in love.

Then there are books that would go deep into the core of your being and stir your consciousness. Books that provokes you to critically challenge once again your pre-constructed thoughts and thereby opening up your mind into the ambiguities of existence. In my honest opinion, Kafka on the Shore is that kind of book. Haruki Murakami’s writing makes me dive deep into the realms of make believe and yet at the same time exposes the realities of life. Of all the thought-provoking books I’ve read, this one probably brought chaos into my mind in the most beautiful way possible.

For the characters: Kafka, the fifteen year old protagonist, is weird like most of HM’s character. But this boy interests me in ways I couldn’t fathom and it is hard to put into words since I’m trying my best not to spoil it for you. However, the way he perceive things allows me to ponder my thoughts carefully.  The fears he’s trying to fight along with the independence and strength he manages to hold on to amazes me in a way that it makes you see life in the most pragmatic point of view.

Another character I’d like to talk about is Oshima—the assistant librarian who was a friend and a brother to Kafka.  Gosh, I fell in love with his brain.

I am certain that there is an intricate process on how his brain works to make sure it coincides with the workings of his mouth. I wish I could be as erudite as him. Let me share to you a very much on point line of him:

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And the last character who deserves a mention is my favourite of all—Mr. Nakata. Nakata describes himself as dumb due to an incident that occurred during the war. But there are things that only he is capable of, which makes him rather more special. I extremely adore his character and I guess I’ve learned the most from him. You know those mantras we live for today like forget about the past, live in the moment or worry about tomorrow when tomorrow is here? Well, that is exactly how Mr. Nakata lives his life and to be honest it is the most carefree living I have ever read/imagined. He is a very interesting and amazing character. I’d love to spend a day with him and be worry free!

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With regards to the plot, Haruki Murakami introduces us to the concept of a metaphysical reality. How the existence of some things are different from what humans perceive it to be. In my opinion, this book aims to make humans become open-minded and critical. Honestly, there are times when I read and I actually have to put the book down for awhile to gather my thoughts and understand the lines.

The struggle is real but I enjoyed it so much.

Kafka on the Shore is an important book. And I will most certainly recommend it you my lovely readers!

My rating: 


Have a nice day and God bless you all :*