Blitz: THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee

GENIE LO RDB

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THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee
Release date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genres: Young adult, fantasy
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Goodreads | Amazon

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo’s every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…


Book Excerpt:

“GREETINGS,” HE SAID, HIS ACCENT THICK BUT HIS VOICE LOUD and clear. “I have arrived.”

Now, I’d done my best to describe this guy to the police. They pressed me hard for details, as apparently this wasn’t the first group mugging in recent weeks.

But I’d let Officers Davis and Rodriguez down. Nice eyes and a winning smile weren’t much to go by. I was too frazzled to notice anything before, which meant this was my first decent look at the boy without the influence of adrenaline.

So a couple of things.

One: He was short. Like, really short for a guy. I felt bad that my brain went there first, but he wasn’t even as tall as Mrs. Nanda.

Two: He was totally okay, physically. I didn’t see how anyone could be up and about after that beating, but here he was, unbruised and unblemished. I felt relieved and disturbed at the same time to see there wasn’t a scratch on him.

And his mint condition just made Point Three even more obvious.

He was . . . yeesh.

Nothing good could come of our new classmate being that handsome. It was destructive. Twisted. Weaponized. He had the cheekbones and sharp jawline of a pop star, but his thick eyebrows and wild, unkempt hair lent him an air of natural ruggedness that some pampered singer could never achieve in a million years of makeup.

“Argh, my ovaries,” Yunie mumbled. She wasn’t alone, judging by the soft intakes of breath coming from around the room.

“Arrived from where?” said Mrs. Nanda.

Quentin looked at her in amusement. “China?”

“Yes, but where in, though?” said Mrs. Nanda, trying her best to convey that she was sensitive to the regional differences. Fujianese, Taishanese, Beijingren—she’d taught them all.

He just shrugged. “The stones,” he said.

“You mean the mountains, sweetie?” said Rachel Li, batting her eyelashes at him from the front row.

“No! I don’t misspeak.”

The class giggled at his English. But none of it was incorrect, technically speaking.

“Tell us a little about yourself,” Mrs. Nanda said.

Quentin puffed out his chest. The white button-down shirt and black pants of our school’s uniform for boys made most of them look like limo drivers. But on him, the cheap stitching just made it clearer that he was extremely well-muscled underneath.

“I am the greatest of my kind,” he said. “In this world I have no equal. I am known to thousands in faraway lands, and everyone I meet can’t help but declare me king!”

There was a moment of silence and sputtering before guffaws broke out.

“Well . . . um . . . we are all high achievers here at SF Prep,” said

Mrs. Nanda as politely as she could. “I’m sure you’ll fit right in?”

Quentin surveyed the cramped beige classroom with a cool squint. To him, the other twenty-two laughing students were merely peons on whom his important message had been lost.

“Enough wasting of time,” he snapped. “I came to these petty halls only to reclaim what is mine.”

Before anyone could stop him, he hopped onto Rachel’s desk and stepped over her to the next one, like she wasn’t even there.

“Hey! Quentin!” Mrs. Nanda said, frantically waving her hands. “Get down now!”

The new student ignored her, stalking down the column of desks. Toward mine.

Everyone in his way leaned to the side to avoid getting kicked. They were all too flabbergasted to do anything but serve as his counterweights.

He stopped on my desk and crouched down, looking me in the eye. His gaze pinned me to my seat.

I couldn’t turn away. He was so close our noses were almost touching. He smelled like wine and peaches.

“You!” he said.

“What?” I squeaked.

Quentin gave me a grin that was utterly feral. He tilted his head as if to whisper, but spoke loud enough for everyone to hear.

“You belong to me”


About the Author:

F.C.F. C. Yee grew up in New Jersey and went to school in New England, but has called the San Francisco Bay Area home ever since he beat a friend at a board game and shouted “That’s how we do it in NorCal, baby!” Outside of writing, he practices capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts, and has a day job mostly involving spreadsheets.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram


Giveaway:

5 winners will receive Genie Lo prize packs—complete with a finished copy of the book and a special Genie Lo horoscope (that doubles as a bookmark!). This is US only! Click the link to enter. Good luck! 🙂


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The “How I Choose My Books” Tag

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A big thank you to Destiny at Howling Libraries for tagging me! Please take the time to go check out her lovely blog or follow her on social media ♡


1. Find a book on your shelves or ereader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

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I wasn’t really a big fan of this book. The cover, with its space theme and ship, along with the synopsis had me thinking it was about one thing while it ended up being about something else. I wanted pirates and more time travel. Instead, it was love triangles, confusing plot twists and insta-love. Nope. Nope. Nope.

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

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I randomly received this book in the mail from the publisher. I didn’t think much of it and tossed it aside. Just from the title, cover and the fact that it was for a middle grade audience made me turn my nose up at it. Months later I needed a quick read and decided to pick it up. And boy was I wrong about it! This book was heartbreaking, honest and beautiful.

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random. How did you discover this book?

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I discovered this book while browsing on Goodreads. It sounded absolutely magical and I loved the cover. I marked it as “want to read” and thought nothing of it. A few weeks later the author reached out and sent me a copy to review. I had only been blogging for a few months so this was very exciting.

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

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My students kept pushing this book on me. Two years later and I finally picked it up. I’ve only recently started to read contemporary YA and every time I do I love it. I don’t even know why I resist it. This book was so cute!

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube/book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

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This book was all over a bunch of accounts I follow on Twitter. I’ve been wanting to branch out into more adult genres and had never read a book labeled as “erotica” before so I gave it a try. And wow! YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! *fans self* I’ve already downloaded the second book in the series it was so good.

6. Find a book on your shelves or ereader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

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The cover reminds me of Xena! Honestly, that’s really why I decided to pick it up and luckily it was amazing! Magic, lots of action, political intrigue, romance…so many good things! I need to read the sequel ASAP!

7. What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?

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OK, so it really wasn’t a TV adaption, but Dan Jones hosted a fantastic historical documentary series about the Plantagenets and when I realized that he wrote a book about this fascinating dynasty I had to read it. The book, like the series, was fast paced, full of detail and totally brought the history to life. I totally recommend it if you are looking for a good non-fiction read!

8. Think of your all-time favorite book(s). When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

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I don’t even remember the first time I read this book. Maybe when I was in high school? I became fascinated with Jane Austen’s novels around that time after taking a classic literature class. I loved them all but Persuasion stuck with me. It’s unlike Austen’s other novels and its subject matter (second chances) really hit home. I’ve perhaps read it a dozen times now.


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Blitz: Swept Away by S. McPherson


Swept Away by S. McPherson
Release date: August 1st, 2017
Genres: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

Goodreads | Amazon

Elev nos senaremdos: Live on in memories

Milo is gone and Vladimir and the others plan to go after him before he gets himself killed…if it isn’t already too late. But they have no way of making the gethadrox and they are not all working as together as they think.

Secrets hushed and secrets kept are soon revealed when Dezaray gets a package that leads to her taking matters into her own hands and following a path that leads to the unimaginable.

Only Lexovia and a small band of misfits stay behind in an attempt to save the world and Lexovia soon finds herself in a position of power she never truly wanted.

Dive deeper into worlds & war in this thrilling third installment of an epic fantasy. Loved by fans of Cassandra Clare and Sarah J Maas.


Book Excerpt:

It’s bloody freezing in the cell they throw me into and they seem in no hurry to bring me that extra blanket I’d asked for. It seems Tinfoil was right. Last night I was free, tonight I am caged. What’s worse, they’ve tossed me into the same cell as some kooky old lady who keeps eyeballing me from her corner.

‘Can I help you?’ I ask impatiently.

‘Come into the light,’ she croaks. That’s a laugh. There’s hardly any light in this place.

‘I’m quite comfortable here thanks.’

‘Come into the light,’ she croaks a little more loudly, causing her to cough. Not wanting her to suffer a heart attack on my account, I reluctantly stroll over to the bars of the cell to be nearer the flickering florescent lights in the corridor

‘Lexovia?’ she says. ‘You are the Elentrice, Lexovia.’

‘No.’ Poor old lady. ‘I am Dezaray Storm.’

She chuckles. ‘You were always such a kidder. You are going to be in a world of trouble once they find you missing from Coldivor. Best you get back to the portal.’

I am about to disagree with this senile old woman but the mention of the portal captures my attention.

‘I am honestly not Lexovino, or whoever you think I am,’ I state, braving a few steps towards her, ‘but perhaps you can tell me more about her, Coldivor and this,’ I shrug, ‘this portal?’


Book Sale:

For a limited time, purchase a digital version of the first book in The Water Rushes series for 99¢!


About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author and a citizen of the world; S. McPherson was born in England, moved to Saudi Arabia when she was five then on to Dubai at the age of seven. S. McPherson briefly lived in Scotland, she is originally from Jamaica and her mind is often far, far away in lands people have never heard of.

S. McPherson has always loved writing in all its forms and at the tender age of eight, she dreamt of being a member of the next big pop group where she could sing and write songs all day. When that inexplicably fell through (how could she not be the next Beyonce??), she moved on to poems, scripts and eventually novels.

Having met many different people – imaginary and real – along her travels, S. McPherson has a vast array of characters buzzing in her head bursting to be let loose on a page or two of fantasy.

WebsiteGoodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway:

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a $10 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of At Water’s Edge by S. McPherson. Good luck!

Blog Tour: The Thirteenth Gate by Kat Ross (Review)

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Blog Tours n exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

34700323The Thirteenth Gate (Dominion Mysteries #2) by Kat Ross
Release date: June 26th, 2017
Publisher: Acorn
Genre: Fantasy, mystery, young adult
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

Winter 1888. At a private asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who’s interviewed their patient and isn’t sure he’s a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she’s ever encountered.

As Jack rampages through London, this time targeting rare book collectors, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he’s looking for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…

Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Julius Sabelline’s death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?

As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?

This book was everything I’ve ever wanted and more! Over the past year I’ve become a huge fan of Kat Ross’ books. They are so underrated and I really wish more people knew about them. Her first trilogy, The Fourth Element, stood out due to its unique story, setting and wonderful characters. I was so upset when it ended because I really enjoy the way the Ms Ross writes. I have such a difficult time putting her books down that I often find myself reading through the entire night (even though I have work the next day).

A few weeks ago I read The Daemoniac, the first book in the Dominion Mysteries series, and absolutely fell in love with it! The book is set in 1880s New York City and can best be described as a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story was a perfect blend of mystery, horror and action! It featured wonderfully loveable characters, witchcraft, murder and creepy séances. And the suspense! I just never knew where the plot was going to go. Once I finished a chapter I had to move onto the next one because I needed to know what would happen next. Since, I obviously adored The Daemoniac, I was very excited to start the sequel.

The Thirteenth Gate wastes no time and picks up where its predecessor leaves off. However, Ms Ross throws in a twist and introduces a group of new characters that takes the series in a new and even more exciting direction. I don’t want to give much away but I squealed when I realized who the new characters were. She has done a fantastic job weaving together what would seem like two separate worlds or ideas. If you have read The Fourth Element trilogy then you are definitely in for a surprise! If not, don’t worry as it’s not necessary to have read the trilogy before reading The Thirteenth Gate. 

It’s so difficult to write reviews for sequels and mysteries. I just don’t want to give anything away! But what I loved about this book was its atmosphere. I seriously can’t get enough of the time period. Ms Ross has constructed a moody and dark setting that matches the story perfectly. The characters were again a highlight for me. There are two wonderful female leads. They are complete opposites but compliment each other and combine their strengths to solve the book’s mystery. The only thing I wish there would have been more of is romance. There were hints scattered all over the first book and this one but nothing has really come of it. Just when I think something might happen it’s interrupted. So, please, please, please…a little romance in the next book! These characters have been through so much and deserve a little love.

You really need to pick of this series! It’s beyond amazing and I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know. As soon as I received my copy I put aside everything else and absolutely devoured it. I can’t wait for the next instalment because Ms Ross’ books just keep on getting better and better! So, go out and get The Thirteenth Gate. And while your at it pick up her other books because trust me, you’ll want more and more!


About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a signed paperback copy of the first book in the series, The Daemoniac! Good luck!

ARC Review: Odd & True by Cat Winters

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

28078791Odd & True by Cat Winters
Release date: September 12th, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

Odd & True was my first book by Kat Winters. I’ve read quite positive reviews about her other books and made a mental note to eventually read one of them. So, when I saw this book posted on NetGalley I jumped at the chance to read it. Plus, the badass cover totally caught my eye and the description peaked my interest. While the book wasn’t necessarily what I thought it would be, that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed reading it.

Before I go into why I adored this book, I do want to say that it’s not really about monsters at all. Well, not about mythical monsters like vampires, werewolves, etc. It’s an examination of monsters people face in their everyday lives, hard choices and a tough reality. Sometimes we just need to tell ourselves stories about princesses, monster hunters and castles to take away the pain or to protect others from things that they are not yet ready to face.

The beginning of Odd & True was a bit slow. The first few chapters felt like a chore to get through but then everything changed. I was completely hooked and enchanted by the story’s main characters, Od and Tru. I enjoyed reading a book about a close relationship between sisters. It seems that lately all I’ve read about are relationships of a romantic nature or between friends. While I loved Od for her strength and endurance, Tru really stood out for her empathy, resilience and intense loyalty. Both young women grew so much as the story progressed and I loved how protective they were of each other. We need more relationships like this in YA! The narrator of the chapters alternated between the two sisters and nothing was ever as it seemed. I was never totally sure what was real and what wasn’t…which point of view was reliable?

The writing was fantastic! The descriptions really enhanced the reading experience…it was mysterious, dangerous and full of magic! The locations featured in the story were also a key aspect that really sold the story for me. The beginning takes place in late 1800s California where everything is sunny and bright, while much of the book is set in early 1900s Oregon and the mid-Atlantic states. The contrast between dark and light, good versus evil, the past and the present perfectly set the tone of the book and atmosphere of the book. And the ending…well the ending just floored me. It was perfect in every single way! I do want more from these characters and I have my fingers (and toes) crossed that Ms Winters will write another book or novella. Please?!?!

It was hard to end this book! I sat and stared at the last page for a while and sighed. I read it while waiting for my flight and didn’t realize how quickly I read through it. So, don’t let the slow start turn you off because once things get going, it’s a non-stop adventure. You really need to read this book!


About the Author

5351847Cat Winters is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of four novels for teens: In the Shadow of Blackbirds (Morris Award finalist, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013), The Cure for Dreaming (an Amelia Bloomer Project pick), The Steep and Thorny Way (a Kirkus Best Teen Book of 2016, Junior Library Guild selection), and the forthcoming Odd & True. She has also written two novels for adults, The Uninvited and Yesternight, and contributed to the young adult horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys.

Winters was born and raised in Southern California, near Disneyland, which may explain her love of haunted mansions, bygone eras, and fantasylands. She received degrees in drama and English from the University of California, Irvine, and formerly worked in publishing. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and kids.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

33158561This week I’m looking forward to Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. Last year I went into When the Moon Was Ours not sure what to expect. I had never read anything by McLemore in the past but had heard really good things. And all I can say is that all of those positive things were more than well deserved. Her writing style is lyrical, almost like poetry, that cracked my heart open. I was so incredibly moved by what I had read and therefore cannot wait to pick up her next book Wild Beauty. It sounds incredibly beautiful and I’m readying my heart for another emotional journey. Also…I adore the cover. It’s so beautiful oh my gosh! The book is scheduled to be released on October 3rd by Feiwel & Friends.

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Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

Mini Reviews: Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight & Love, and You

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23674576Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole
Release date: December 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing
Genre: Historical fiction, romance, novella
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

Agnes Moor knows her place in the court of King James IV—as one of the “exotics” in his employ. When the king makes a kiss from Agnes the prize of a tourney, a mysterious knight plows through his opponents to claim it. But it isn’t chance. The Wild Knight has come for her, and her champion is after after the most elusive prize of all: her heart.

I discovered this short story while browsing diverse book aesthetics on Twitter. It was described as a steamy story set in medieval Scotland with a black heroine. I’m down for anything based in Scotland but the description just sounded so unique, unlike anything I’ve heard of before. So, I downloaded it right away! And oh my gosh was this story so good! Yes, it was quite short, being about 38 pages in length, but it felt completely satisfying.

The story revolves around Agnes, a young black woman living at the court of King James IV. She’s not a slave or there against her will. The author has written her as a strong and independent woman who uses her intelligence to act as an ambassador and spy for King James. She’s treated as an equal by the king and queen. As someone who has studied history, it’s wonderful to see non-white characters in medieval pieces. They were knights, monks, scholars, etc. Historical fiction authors need to stop erasing them from history!

Based on her role within Scotland and in order to help bring together King James’ court and the Highlanders, a tournament is held with the winner receiving a kiss from Agnes. This tournament is based on an actual contest called the Tournament of the Wild Knight and the Black Lady. In the story, the tournament is won by the Wild Knight, a man who refuses to reveal his true identity. Even though the reader doesn’t know who this man is for at least a quarter of the book…hot damn…the build up alone made my heart beat quicken!

Once the identity of the Wild Knight is revealed things really take off! The story is super romantic. The Wild Knight fought bravely for Agnes’ kiss but it’s more than that. Their backstory really sealed it for me. A bit of an outsider himself, the Wild Knight knows what it’s like not to fit into the court himself. For him it isn’t just about lust (although the sex scenes are super steamy) but about him finding an equal. Someone who is just as intelligent, passionate and strong as he is. I find that I can just talk on and on about this book which is strange because I usually have difficulty writing reviews for books that I loved. I really wish that this story was longer. The idea and characters were so rich and wonderful to read about. Can I have a sequel please?


34335011Love, and You by Gretchen Gomez 
Release date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing
Genre: Poetry
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

one day i met a guy
who stole my heart,
we created a world
for ourselves.
and another day
he broke my heart
and shattered
my soul.

i took the tattered
pieces of this
broken soul and
became anew.

– here lies the hurting, the healing, and the learning

This poetry collection was absolutely beautiful! I don’t even have the words to explain the emotional rollercoaster I went through while reading it. It’s raw, painful and completely honest. The words really hit home because while I myself haven’t experienced some of the situations discussed in the poems, they could be applied to other events in my life. Most of the words spoke directly to me and even when they didn’t I felt the author’s pain, how much they meant to her. It brought tears to my eyes and made my heart ache. That’s why I adore poetry so much! It not only makes you reflect on your own life, but teaches you to glimpse and understand the feelings of others.

I can definitely see myself reading this collection over and over again. I purchased it as an eBook but plan on picking up a physical version soon. I highly recommend this book to everyone, even if you aren’t a fan of poetry. It’s not heavy on the symbolism and metaphors. It’s poetry for all people, written in a language and style that all can read, understand and identify with. So, go out (or hit up your favourite e-Book store) and get this gorgeous collection NOW!