REVIEW: MIRAGE BY SOMAIYA DAUD

Title: MIRAGE

Author: Somaiya Daud

Pub. Date: August 28th. 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Pages: 320

Format: Physical ARC provided by the Publisher

*Thank you Flatiron Books for the arc in exchange for an honest review

Content Warning: Physical abuse, Kidnapping, and  Cultural erasure

Buddy Read: Melanie from Meltotheany, Amy from A Court Of Crowns and Quills, Julie from Pages and Pens, Jules from JA Ironside, and Chelsea from Chelsea Palmer

    

Mirage is Somaiya Daud’s Moroccan inspired debut that will leave readers wanting more from this author once the very last page is read. I’m not sure how I’d missed the fact that this is a Sci-Fi book when I first came across it however, this only further served to enhance my curiosity. The fact that it also spoke of poetry in the blurb was a major draw & wow! I had no idea how much of a treat I’d signed myself up for with this one. Daud gives us beauty and pain all wrapped into one with Mirage & that it’s set on another planet/moon is just the backdrop to this story. At its core, Mirage is a story about cultural erasure and the brutality faced by an invaded peoples. We are introduced to an MC who has had everything she values most taken away from her but somehow manages to hold on just enough to never surrender her spirit. I admired our MC, her values, culture, tradition, and people defined her and emboldened her to fight back. Mirage doesn’t read like a debut at all but instead that of the works of a seasoned author. Daud is an author I will be keeping an eye out for and hoping to everything that we get more of her writing in the very near future 🤞🏼

For Amani, receiving the tattoos on her face known as Daan on her Majority Night was everything to look forward to. A representation of stepping into adulthood, a rites of passage. Nothing could’ve prepared her for the events that destroyed her ceremony & took her away from those she loved. Kidnapped by imperial droids, Amani is taken covertly to the royal palace. There, she meets royal heir Maram who she is the spitting image of. Maram has plans for Amari that would make her a human shield. For Maram, being part Andaalan from her Mother’s side has always generated her much hate from the Vathek on her father’s side. She knows her life faces constant threat and figured Amani would make the perfect body double. Stripping Amani of her Daan was just the beginning, she is also made to learn Vathek mannerisms, history, and etiquette against her will and through physical abuse. Maram isn’t the only heir with a claim to the throne, she has an older sister who poses a threat and proving her worth to her father and the Vathek is her top priority.

We see Amani get sent out as Maram’s doppelganger which allows her an inside look to the politics of the kingdom. She also spends plenty of time with Maram which inevitably leads to learning her vulnerabilities. Part of acting in as Maram means keeping up appearances with her courtship as she is promised to Prince Idris ibn Salih. Idris is from one of the oldest and largest Andaalan royal families who once resisted Vathek invasion. Their concession to Vathek rule resulted in the loss of many lives and Idris the last surviving heir was pledged to marry Maram. The true test would be seeing if Amani could pass for Maram while in his company. Both Idris and Amani carry the weight of their peoples loss and pain on their shoulders. They both have so much in common that a connection is almost impossible not to make once they start spending time together as a part of their courting. This romance is dangerous and had my full attention from the very start, every meet-up had me a bit nervous for these two. We see both Amani & Idris make decisions in hopes of one day freeing their people which means they will also face some serious obstacles & I’m just here hoping theirs is a good ending 🤞🏼

If you’re looking for A+ world building, political intrigue, strong characters, Moroccan inspired culture, and yes a bit of insta-love (but I promise it’s the one you’ll want to root for 😂) and a bit of Sci-Fi along the way… then MIRAGE is the book you’re going to want to read! so much lush culture & tradition within these pages that I am left anxiously & patiently waiting on the follow-up.


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May Wrap-Up

This Month’s Wrap-Up comes to you very late & that’s honestly more because I’ve been going back & forth with the idea of eliminating my wrap-ups as a whole. I’ve been easing my way back in from a huge blogging slump and content has been on my mind a whole lot lately. Whelp! this is up mid June which means I decided to keep them but there will be some changes. I’ve been here for 2 years now and found that I really enjoy getting to know the bloggers behind the posts. I love reading a good wrap-up that gives me the 411 on the highlights some of my favorite bloggers experienced throughout the month. The bloggers who talk about the books they read, movies & tv watched, foods cooked/restaurants visited (extra lurking when baking is thrown in), travel, and anything really that gives me a better sense of the person behind the blog.

So I guess this means I’ll be sharing a little more of me on the blog on my Wrap-ups for now. This isn’t as easy as it sounds since I don’t really enjoy talking about me lol but sometimes breaking out of your comfort zones can be a good thing? this is what I’m going with haha! I’ve also been bitten by the travel bug which means future travel posts may be a thing as well. I hope you enjoy getting to know the bit of me that I do share here, especially since there are quite a few new bloggers subscribed. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you so *exhale* onto this Wrap-up…

Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) (5 STARS) This sequel was EVERYTHING! finished it last week & it’s still on my mind. If by any chance you enjoyed Labyrinth Lost but it possibly didn’t blow you away…this is the sequel to do just that for you! not to mention the epic world expansion. Currently eyeing Zoraida’s Twitter for any kernel of news on book 3 smh 🙂

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over (4 STARS) Cute & fluffy were just what I needed when I picked this one up and it did its thing haha!

MIRAGE (5 STARS) (Review to come next week)

Picture Us In The Light (5 STARS) I was very happy to have been invited to participate in the blog tour for this poignant read! this is one that has something for everyone and leaves you with a little hope but not before breaking your heart 😉

Nyxia: Unleashed (5 STARS) the author of this book Scott Reintgen is fully aware of how badly I want that last book in this trilogy, I hide nothing about my love for these books! honestly, if you’re looking for an AMAZING YA Sci-Fi look no further! the diversity is strong, the action intense, plot full of twists, female characters empowered & respected…I can go on & on but only ask that you pick this one up and see for yourselves cause it is SOOOO worth it!

CORRUPT (Devil’s Night #1) (4 STARS) I don’t really review NA on this blog but I think going forward I will leave some thoughts on Goodreads (link at the end of this post). I was recommended this book by my wonderful friend Melanie from Meltotheany & I’m now a full fledged Penelope Douglas fan! I will read anything she writes grocery list included bahhha! jk…not really smh. This is a very dark NA & there are a ton of trigger warnings Melanie lists on her review here. I will say this, if you’re looking for full fledged smut…this may not be the author for you lol. Douglas enjoys making her MC’s torture each other with epic long waiting/mind games but when it gets going it is A+ my friends! 😉

The month of May let me squeeze in two flicks at the theater & those were Avengers: Infinity War & Deadpool 2.

Image result for Avengers: Infinity War

    

Infinity War did NOT disappoint & it was a fun time watching all of my favorites come together for this AMAZING movie! perhaps most surprising of all was the complexity & depth of the villain Thanos. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy his story line so much but I did & it made me really appreciate how that took the story to the next level. Of course there was some heartbreak along the way with some losses but I’m still very excited to see the next chapter cause THAT ending *raises eyebrow* haha!

Image result for Deadpool 2

   

Not quite the 5 stars in my book & that came as a surprise cause I am a HUGE fan of Ryan Reynolds. The first Deadpool was effortlessly funny in my opinion but this one was laying it on to thick which made it seem to me as if they were trying to hard to keep up his rep for baddest mouth in the Marvel Universe. However, the second half was epic for many spoilery reasons so I’ll leave that out. I will say that I enjoyed the addition of Zazie Beetz as Domino and Josh Brolin as Cable (pictured above). Also, THAT ending threw me for a whirlwind but then again I should’ve expected that from the MCU 🙂

May was such a hectic month & reading 6 books was a feat cause my mind was in a million different places as was I hehe. Some of you may already know this, I am a mom of 2 tiny humans ages 4 & 7 and so that meant celebrating Mother’s Day was in the plans. I had this amazing breakfast cooked up my sister & hubby and some awesome gifts from said tiny humans and hubby. Had a wonderful dinner at this Japanese Steak place in Brooklyn called SALT + CHARCOAL. Their steak was AMAZING but I only ended up with a photo of their “green tea” cake which wasn’t my favorite at all but they put some effort into the presentation so…

I also came home to a package from hubby with the entire Mother’s Day LUSH collection which smells amazing & had some kick ass super hero bombs in it! I’m a scent LOVER & these all were the PERFECT gift that keeps on giving cause HELLO! ME TIME! baths + books = BEST LIFE!

The last week of May saw us take a road trip to Virginia to spend the holiday weekend with some family. Although I didn’t get to take pics cause we were having so much fun in the moment we all ditched our phones smh. I really do wish I had taken some photos of our bowling competition and trip to a sea side restaurant in the rain that was….interesting haha! I did however get a photo of my new haircut the day before we hit the road so I’ll just leave that down here…#shorthairdontcare

I’d like to say that the madness stopped in May but the very next weekend we got back from VA, there was BEA & Bookcon…


We are 6 days away from the first day of Summer & already life feels both lighter and busier all at the same time <3’s! I hope you’re all having an amazing month reading, watching, doing all of the lovely things! ❤


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May Book Haul

Hello Bookworms! a part of me wanted to believe I could abstain from buying or collecting books in any shape or form in May… what with BEA/Bookcon right around the corner first week of June SMH. Things didn’t quite pan out that way & May ended up being the month of book mail/approvals every other day. This isn’t the norm around these parts haha! but nonetheless I rolled with it & also finally purged my shelves of some books to make space for new stories…

The Poppy War | CIRCE | A Court Of Frost and Starlight | FURYBORN | To Kill A Kingdom | Girls’ Night Out

*Both FURYBORN & To Kill A Kingdom were 5 star reads, so happy to have them on my shelves! Girls’ Night Out is the only physical arc I received in May, super excited for this one since the thriller/suspense bug has finally bitten me 🙂

The Hating Game | The Astonishing Color Of After | Filthy Gods | OPAL | Ramona Blue

*Here’s where I started justifying my purchases smh…I have physical copies of Astonishing Color & Hating Game but I just couldn’t resist a good Kindle deal ($1.99) & said why not?!?  

No words…well maybe a few 😂 I can honestly say I’m excited over each & every one of these titles. I’ve already rated Bruja Born 5 EPIC stars!!! Scream All Night is not a book I’d gravitate towards cause spooky and I don’t mix. However, the publisher reached out after reading my review of The Dangerous Art Of Blending In & sold me on this book! Both What If It’s  Us & Blanca Y Roja are on my HIGHLY anticipated list. Adam Silvera & Anna-Marie McLemore are two of my FAVORITE YA authors, ANYTHING they write is a MUST read for this Bookworm! 💜

FAIRYLOOT

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ONYX & IVORY BY MINDEE ARNETT

    

Sprayed edges is almost always a win for me but Onyx & Ivory is one of those book I’ve really been looking forward to. This box was a slam dunk! from the beautiful book sleeve to the practical lip scrub I had heart eyes while unboxing 😍 the art print is STUNNING & I’m already using the page flags 💜 my least favorite item is perhaps the tea once again 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

BOOK OF THE MONTH

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THE PERFECT MOTHER BY AIMEE MOLLOY 


I hope you’re all having a wonderful day while squeezing in a good read or two along the way! 💜 if you’ve read any of the books I’ve posted here & think I should boost up on my TBR, drop a comment down below 💜


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Spoiler Free Review: Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

Title: Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2)

Author: Scott Reintgen

Pub. Date: July 17th, 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Format: eGalley

Content Warning Provided by the wonderful Melaniemurder, death, gore, blood, violence, depiction of PTSD, abandonment, kidnapping, torture, animal death, talk of past outing, talk of past homophobia, genocide, colonization, loss of a loved one, loss of a friend, and war themes

Buddy Read: Melanie from Meltotheany

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*HUGE thanks to Crown Books for Young Readers and Scott Reintgen for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

    

Last year I won a Twitter giveaway for Nyxia & I didn’t really know much about the book other than it was Sci-fi & I dig sci-fi so it couldn’t hurt throwing my hat in the ring. I also attended Bookcon last year & remember standing right in front of Scott Reintgen’s table as he set up for a signing & again, I had no idea what for…hadn’t won the contest just yet. Well *sigh* I did read the book & I also gently kicked myself afterwards for not having read it sooner & missing my grand opportunity to talk Scott’s ear off about book 2!

Nyxia remains one of my favorite YA Sci-Fi books & you can check out my spoiler free GUSH review (here) but Nyxia Unleashed has definitely taken over the mantle, Scott Reintgen delivered & I couldn’t be happier with this sequel! well…I could but I’m reserving that for book 3! Now onto this GUSH review…

We start off right where we left off and that means there’s a ton of hurt and pain to last a lifetime. The events from Nyxia have left Emmett and his friends rattled and looking over their shoulders. The corporation known as Babel who they’ve basically signed their lives away to in exchange for financial stability for themselves and each of their families, has many secrets. They’ve all been through the ringer Hunger Games style in the first book & are now realizing that “Space Exploration” and mining of the Nyxia substance found on the planet they’ve been shipped off too, isn’t Babels real agenda. They’re also realizing that for all the rigorous training Babel put them through, it’s not quite enough when faced with the actual dangers and species on the foreign planet Eden.

“I’m always surprised when people expect me to not notice the little details. So many lies are like badly buried bodies, just waiting for a little rain to unearth them.”

We meet the “Adamites” who inhabit Eden and have a working relationship with Babel. In exchange for access to the Nyxia naturally grown in Eden, the Adamites asked for Babel to send them only their youth. Teens like Emmett and his friends, the reason given is that their planet has no youth left. Females are almost all extinct and therefore no children have been born in recent years. If you’re raising an eyebrow at this…you are NOT alone! I was suspicious of them all the way til’ the very end! you just never know with these Sci-Fi books if they’re trying to steal your organs #jussayin haha! with the introduction of the Adamites we get layers of world building & Adamite culture from the foods they eat to their social class construct. I am a sucker for world building, details, and just about anything that can make a world come alive on the page & transport me right into its midst. Reintgen not only continued to deliver on some of the BEST character development to hit the page, he also expanded the world tenfold and in the process hooked me in once more. We also get discussion on colonization, corporal punishment, the broken prison system here on Earth, and structural racism.   Food for thought is always welcome especially when it mirrors much of our current day lives. Emmett has trained himself to observe as opposed to reacting right away & so we get to follow his train of thought as he realizes the similarities between Eden and Earth.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Babel’s out here playing the role of colonizer, slapping labels on the originals and pretending they created it all in the first place. It’s pretty standard procedure for folks like them.”

One of the things I love the most about this trilogy is the dialogue. From the author bio we get that some of the research for these characters came from Reintgen’s experience in the classrooms he teaches in. The language is authentic and flows very easily with a ton of personality infused in each and every one of the characters. This is a big cast & yet I always knew who was saying what just by how well fleshed out they all are. Our MC Emmett shares the leadership spotlight with his love interest Morning who is a take charge Alpha personality not really waiting to be given the reigns. I LOVED seeing these two in action & just how respectful Emmett is of Morning, he admires her strengths and bravado. Morning in turn takes a very protective role over  Emmett. It wasn’t made to be Emmett coming to her rescue, Morning got him out of quite a few jams. Each has different strengths in character but both bring out the best in those they cross paths with. There’s a recurrent theme all throughout this sequel of a sense of shedding their innocence. They aren’t doing “normal” teen things and Emmett is very much aware of this when he self reflects. The humility is still very much there, kept alive through flashbacks of conversations with his father who sort of plays a side characters in the shadows. For the most part all of these characters have a past heavy with burden and pain, injustice and poverty. It’s their desire to want more for those they love that keep them in the game…

“My whole life’s been rough, but somewhere I picked up the idea that it wasn’t supposed to be that way. I don’t know where I learned about justice, when I started thinking I deserved something more. There’s a part of me that knows, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that the world is supposed to be better, more.”

One thing is for certain, these characters are much stronger together than apart. I am so ready to see how certain relationships play out in the next book and whether they will endure whatever comes their way. This was such a fun read, these characters feel so familiar and alive that it really does feel like seeing old friends again after some time has passed. I am more than looking forward to returning to this cast of characters but for now I’ll just live vicariously through my hubby who will be starting Nyxia next 🙂

“We walk together, shoulders touching, like we’re walking home from school on a normal day. But that’s not reality. Reality is a new world. Reality is two moons hanging in the sky, bright and beckoning. Reality is what we’re leaving behind as we move through an empty forest and out into a world that feels full of ghosts.”

*Quotes have been taken from ARC and may differ from the final publication.


Nyxia Unleashed the sequel to Nyxia by Scott Reintgen will hit the shelves July 17th!!! & your girl has already pre-ordered a copy. All I need now is some fan art, bookmarks, candles, the works inspired by this trilogy fathom?!?! 😉


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April book Haul

Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re all having magnificent starts/ends to your  day 💜 this post is scheduled so I imagine by the time you’re reading this I am somewhere under the concrete jungle that is NYC playing Frogger jumping from one train to the next all in an effort to get to work. Your comments down below are the first thing I see when I get in the office (with some time to spare 🤞🏼) & reading them is my fave way to decompress in the AM before adulting. Feel free to comment down below if you’ve read any of these titles or if you feel I should bump up any one in particular on my TBR 💜

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All Out: The No Longer Secret Stories Of Queer Teens Throughout The Ages | Moonstruck Volume 1: Magic To Brew | Leah On The Offbeat Creekwood #2) | The Wicked Deep (my review)

The Black God’s Drum | Mirage | The Queen Of Crows (The Sacred Throne #2)Girls Of Paper And Fire | The Wicked King (The Folk Of The Air #2)

* I’m currently buddy reading Mirage & enjoying it SO MUCH! I had no idea it was a sci-fi/fantasy so it was a nice surprise 💜

Empress Of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

*I was approved for this one on Netgalley early on in April for this Asian inspired Fantasy & I couldn’t be more over the moon hyped for this 💜

April Fairyloot

Beyond A Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

*I’m already using the Carpe Diem notepad cause one can never have too many stationery 😂 LOVE the travel mug 💙 the candle I can do w/out, I’m just not a fan of strong musky scents. The art print is beautiful 😍 and this is honestly one of the books I’ve been really interested in. Definitely cool getting a book I hadn’t read as an arc but had high interest in 🙌🏼 Overall this box gets…

   

April Book Of The Month

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Circe by Madeline Miller

*I was fully prepared to start this one two nights ago until I realized I had a buddy read scheduled & this had to be paused. I feel like Circe is going to need my undivided attention, super stoked to get to this one next 💜



I hope you all are having wonderful days & reading all the great books! I also wanted to congratulate Darnell again on winning my Dread Nation Giveaway! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 I hope to have a few more giveaways throughout the rest of the year, for books as good as this one! 💜


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

*Purple Rain Purple Rain* I LOVE every shade of Purple there is, some more than others but they all get my love! These are just a few of the books I’ve either read or own a copy of to be read very soon ☺

May 8th 2018: Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title)

March Book Haul

Hey there Bookworms! March was a bit of a slow month for me here on the blog & I’m not sure there’s any specific reason. We all experience those lows but I will say that it thankfully didn’t hinder my reading. I read some hefty books that blew me away & I can’t wait to discuss those in my wrap-up which I promise to have up this week. Here I come to you with my March Book Haul in which I once again didn’t buy very many yet somehow ended up with a good stack. No complaints here though, this is the time of year I kick my reading into high gear, so without further ado…

This is probably the look I give a book with with a epic cover haha!

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Sweet Black Waves | The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) | Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) 

I’ve already read Obsidio & The Heart Forger, RTC ☺ Also, I messed up & forgot to include my fave book hauled this month…Children of Blood and Bone *sobs*

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Toil & Trouble | Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over | To Be Honest| Grim Lovelies | Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2)- finished copy

I finished Grey Sister & it was EVERYTHING I could’ve ever wanted! RTC ☺

Undead Girl Gang | From Twinkle, With Love | LIFEL1K3 | The Way You Make Me Feel 

Spring is in the air! 💜💜💜

March Fairyloot

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State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

I’m currently rocking the hell outta this scarf! the runes are so friggin beautiful & it legit goes with everything I wear. I’ll be using the soap tonight so cross your fingers for my skin please, it smells amazing I just don’t want it to morph me into anything 😂🤞🏼

March Book Of The Month

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Rainbirds | The Astonishing Color of After | Not That I Could Tell


Happy Thursday Bookworms!!! I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to the month reading ALL the good books 🤗 I’ve been having such an AMAZING reading year so far & hope to keep it going in April 🤞🏼Are any of the books I hauled on your TBR? I am LOVING the different types of rep in this haul & will continue to seek out diversity of all kinds in my books 💜


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Review: The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Title: The Final Six

Author: Alexandra Monir

Pub. Date: March 6th, 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 345

Format: eGalley

Content Warning: attempted suicide

*HUGE thanks to HarperTeen and Alexandra Monir for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

  

When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.

As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.

March was the month of Sci-Fi for this little bookworm & I really had  a blast spending time with one of my fave genres. After reading Scott Reintgen’s Nyxia last year, falling head over heels for the Illuminae files, and being blessed with Pierce Brown’s Iron Gold… I decided reading all Sc-Fi is vital in my life. I caught wind of The Final Six & immediately jumped to request a galley from Harper in hopes of finding my next beloved crew of characters. There was SOOO much good packed into this book but it wasn’t without it’s flaws. If you’ve been around my blog for a bit, you know 3.5 stars means I enjoyed the story & still very much recommend the read. As a matter of fact I hear this isn’t a stand-alone anymore & a sequel is in the works. Also on the horizon is the film adaptation acquired by Sony (see here). So it’s definitely one filled with potential & I’m actually very interested in seeing the next chapter in this space adventure after THAT ending *eyes wide open*

Humans at war against the environment, this is a story that takes place in our present day world with one very sobering difference…Climate change is no longer being challenged as fiction. Natural disasters have led to the Earth being practically inundated with water. Tsunamis are now a natural occurrence & the world is desperate for space exploration to bear fruit. The Earth is becoming increasingly uninhabitable, food is scarce, and families are being torn apart by the destruction. To say I wasn’t thinking of our current state of climate all along while reading this book would be untruthful. I appreciated this topic being explored in a YA book since it’s one currently being silenced in our real world.  I also found interesting how close it stayed to actual events like El Niño and the effects felt around the world many years later. In many ways it can be compared to many other post apocalyptic books currently on the shelves but I felt the authors efforts to have it parallel our present day situation with climate change, makes this one stand apart from the majority. Sobering in many ways because I could see this actually happening versus the zombie apocalypse (I haven’t quite completely ruled this out haha!) that is a bit far fetched.

The Mission: The Final Six will establish a civilization on Jupiter’s Moon Europa 

Told in multiple POV’s, we get the story from our two protagonists Naomi & Leo. Naomi is Iranian American & her area of study is science (major kudos for giving us women in STEM), she is one of the 12 recruited to compete for a position as one of the final six to join the space program. Naomi is also the only candidate whose family is still intact, both father & mother are alive as well as a little brother. Leo is a Italian Olympic medal Swimmer who lost his parents and sister to a natural disaster. Up until the moment he is recruited, he was scavenging the personal belongings of his neighbors (now currently under water) in order to survive. For Leo, the call to compete for a spot on the final six is a lifeline he is more than happy to take. Feeling like he has nothing to lose, we meet Leo at his very lowest point. Leo is my favorite character in this book because he’s a survivor who is willing to fight for a second chance at life. He could’ve been moping around the entire book because his entire family was wiped out but instead he chose to go hard for Italy & the love for his country jumps off the page.

Naomi on the other hand is what you’d call a unlikeable character 🤷🏻‍♀️ & that’s ok, it wouldn’t be interesting if everyone carried the same personality so I always tend to appreciate these characters. Naomi is a Scientist & true to her field of study she is also a skeptic. She is NOT at all enthused over being selected & would much rather stay on Earth looking for a cure to help her sick little brother. Deciding very early on to self sabotage her chances on making the final six, only to find that the head Scientists in charge have already thought of this. This isn’t a voluntary thing, you are given no choice and being selected means that those who do have loved ones will not see them for years to come. I thought Naomi was seriously bad a** just off the strength that she’s a young woman in STEM doing her thing with a patent pending. However, I could’ve done with less selfishness from this character. I loved that she wasn’t naive & saw right through certain things but the reality is that Earth is about to be fully under water. She was selected for her brilliant mind & putting the seedy things governments tend to hide aside, a real asset to a team entrusted to start anew. Also, her teammates are in danger and she seems to be the only one aware but she’s still trying to ditch them for about 80% of the book. This book also falls into the insta-love trope & I wasn’t the biggest fan because Naomi’s selfishness seeped into it placing Leo in harms way one time too many.

I wasn’t too focused on world building this time around since our setting is literally mostly under water and it’s as grim as it gets folks. This being said, I was expecting to get some really fleshed out characters since there are 12 candidates to begin with. These 12 were to go through some challenges that would narrow the crew to 6. I didn’t get the  camraderie I was hoping to get, which is probably the only thing I was really counting on. We did see the expected internal competitiveness between our MC’s & other candidates but the antagonists themselves weren’t fleshed out either. The challenges themselves weren’t detailed with the exception of one. I feel showing the readers some of what the candidates had to overcome would’ve enhanced this story & also given us some camaraderie. Especially when faced with a government that is hiding many secrets placing all their lives in harms way.

The last 30% of the story took a very interesting turn that left me very intrigued on how this story would end. At the time, I believed this to be a stand-alone & after a quick google search found that a sequel was in the works. This made me relax a bit since I feared being left in the lurch right when things were taking off. The Final Six was fast paced & very easy to digest in two sittings & after THAT ending, my guess is that the sequel will take off running at the same speed. My only hope for the sequel is that we get more fleshed out side characters. After all these personalities will be the basis for which a new civilization is established on Jupiter’s Moon. On that note, I’m giving major kudos to the author for selecting candidates not only for their skill set but for their diverse cultural backgrounds. There were so many real life issues in this book that I LOVED seeing discussed & also hope to see more of. Would I recommend this book? YES, it’s relevant and speaks on a subject currently being silenced. Will I continue with the sequel? YES, I’ve got questions & need answers 😂 Will I watch the movie? ABSOLUTELY! the book trailer alone (see above) packs enough punch to have raised my interest in seeing it on the big screen 👀


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The 20 Questions Tag

I was tagged to do the 20 Questions Book Tag by the amazing Melanie over at Meltotheany *whispers* follow Mel she really is amazing <3’s

I thought I was going to bust out this tag real quick earlier today while working & then I realized these ummm questions…required some thinking on my behalf. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my IG story where I’m an emotional mess after finishing Obisido & couldn’t process a single thought other than what now Jay & Amy? but on to the…

1. How many books is too many books in a book series?
I used to think this was a toughie cause the selfish reader in me just doesn’t want to let go of some of fave series. Now, I really do wish some of them would just STOOOOOP in the name of sweet mercy! I’d say no more than 5 & even that might be too generous for some.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
cruel cruel techniques used by writers to keep us shamelessly crawling back for more! It honestly sucks a bit more now tbh because for those that I’ve had the blessing of reading in advance, the wait is torture (I’m looking at you The Cruel Prince smh)

3. Hardback or paperback?
I’ve always preferred hardback & will still buy all of my faves in hardback however…my wrists just aint the same! baha! maybe it’s all the book lifting I’ve done throughout the years but I just can’t do it smh! I carried Obsidio this entire week & was so close to getting some Ace bandages *flair for the dramatic*

4. Favorite book?

This question legit feels as if I were being asked which of my tiny humans is my favorite…I mean if I had to…just kidding! Ok so If I had to choose a favorite book, it would always be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When I think of Harry Potter, the Triwizard tournament is one of the first things that springs to mind. It was also very festive & brought Hogwarts to life both on the page & the big screen. Also, THAT scene with Hermione confronting a clueless Ron…💔

5. Least favorite book?
Like Water for Elephants *Lé sigh* 😌

6. Love triangles, yes or no?
to date I’ve only come across a couple that I enjoyed. I’d say yes cause those that I read were some of the BEST ships EVER!

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
I almost DNF’d The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert after nodding off in the tub 4 times at different hours of the day 😂 but I’m glad I stuck with it cause the last 20% really did grab my attention for the next book 🤞🏼

8. A book you’re currently reading?
Ok so as I mentioned when I 1st started this tag (see the very top), early this morning (on the elevator up to work) I finished Obsidio (Illuminae Files #3) and I’m still NOT ok & don’t think I ever will be w/out this crew in my life 😭 but the show must go on & the arc pile is threatening to crush me so *drum rollllll* I am set to start reading (if I’m not too busy swallowing my Obsidio tears)  Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (The Shadow Game #1)😉

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

I recently recommended Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (my review here) to my BFF on a trip to Barnes & Noble. The plan is to get him to read it before the movie so that we can watch & compare the two 💙

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)
had to pull up Ol’ Goodreads & at first I thought it was Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina but it seems that Mel & have yet another thing in common 😂 The Illiad & The Odyssey are also my oldest (favored) read books 💜

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)
OBSIDIO 🖤🖤🖤 is the most recently published book I’ve read & it was worth all of the stars in all of the galaxies

12. Favorite author?
I have 3 that I can’t choose between, whatever they write I am reading! Adam Silvera, Leigh Bardugo, and Laini Taylor. Jay Kristoff is quickly claiming the #4 spot in my 💜

13. Buying books or borrowing books?
Buying. My local library is just for show they have but a few shelves with books & all others must be requested from the city. As for borrowing from friends it isn’t really something I’d feel comfortable with unless it’s one of my BFF’s then it’s a possibility haha!

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?

I don’t think I’ve read a book that fits this description but The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert was definitely one that many of my bookworm buddies were split down the middle for…I just wasn’t a fan 👀

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?
Bookmarks all the way! the more the merrier 🤗 as a matter of fact I am currently looking for some Obsidio/Illuminae Files bookmarks, please help & leave some shop reccomendations in the comment section down below 💜

16. A book you can always reread?
I’m tempted to just copy & paste Mel’s answer cause well it is Goblet of Fire you know! but my other choice would be The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (my review) for its atmospheric vibes & magical powers of teleportation. Opening a page in that book is like stepping into another land 💜

17. Can you read while hearing music?
Instrumentals are what I pull up on Spotify unless the author has a set playlist which is the first thing I search for when starting a new read. Life in NYC means public transportation for most of us which means…

18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views)
Books with multiple POV’s tend to be my faves just cause I enjoy getting to know the characters better this way. It’s like getting a free pass to be in someones head…creepy I know smh but I enjoy these 🤷🏻‍♀️

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
Multiple days, it’s rare that I read a book in one sitting but it has happened. Books with a train wreck I just can’t find it in me to tear my eyes away from Orrrrr a New Adult that sinks its teeth into me 💜

20. A book you’ve read because of the cover?

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman 

Not only are they STUNNING on the outside, without their dust jackets they’re actually great ice breakers hehe! sometimes they also invite unwanted attention from chatty strap hangers on the train but can you really blame them?!? If I saw this book naked, I’d be breaking my neck too bahhha! smh…

 Who do you tag?

Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm.

Sofii @ A Book. A Thought

Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek

Danielle @ Books, Vertigo & Tea

Amy @ A Court Of Crowns and Quills

LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks

Kayla @ Books and Blends

Sarah @ The Clever Reader

Kelly @ Just Another Book in the Wall

Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer

This was a fun tag & a great way to share some of my bookish secrets with you all (Thanks Mel!). I invite everyone who is interested to take a stab at it 😉 also, friendly reminder when tagging a fellow blogger, choose one of their posts to link back to so that they get a ping aka notification letting them know you tagged them or were tagged by them <3’s


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WWW Wednesday 3/14/2018

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words and to participate all you have to do is answer the three W’s listed below. Once you’ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Sam’s comments <3’s!

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco

I’m 75% into this buddy read with Melanie from Meltotheany and enjoying every minute of it! This 2nd installment in the Bone Witch Trilogy takes off right from the very 1st page. All of our well loved characters are back & this being a book about necromancy, you can expect some of those to be from the land of the dead. There’s also a ton more action & battle in this book than its predecessor. Tea is still traveling with Bard the Chronicler & she is done with being in exile. Fully out to seek vengeance, Tea isn’t holding back no matter who comes at her! I can’t stop flipping pages, I NEED to know if Tea has fully gone dark cause that is the road she was on at the end of the 1st book & she’s still blazing a trail down into questionable paths. Also, Prince Kalen totally has the keys to my ❤ smh…*reddened cheeks* haha!

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

I’m reading The Final Six in eGalley, trying to get back in the habit of reading more than one book at a time cause Le struggle is real haha! I was approved for a egalley from Harper & I’m about 30% into this story. It’s sort of post apocalyptic by way of most of Earth having been inundated with water. It’s legit Humanity vs. the Environment. Similar to Scott Reingten’s Nyxia, there’s a space exploration program & 24 young adults are chosen from every corner of the planet. Out of these 24, only 6 will be chosen to form the final team that will probably be sent to their deaths…just kidding…or am I? lol that’s typically how Sci-fi books go amiright? They’re going on a mission to colonize Jupiter’s Moon. It’s still too early to tell on this one but it’s definitely turning out to be more character driven & well ya know how I feel about these types of books, give me someone to love & my heart will bleed for them haha!

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

If it weren’t for the the fact that I’ve been anticipating The Heart Forger for over a year now, I’d probably be struggling with a book hangover. Children of Blood and Bone (my review here) is holding the crown for #1 book of 2018 & I honestly don’t see anything taking its place. There’s a reason why this book is making waves & I fully believe it’s well worth all the hype! Today I updated my review & added Tomi Adeyemi’s Quiz link where you can find out which Maji Clan you descend from *excited face* I took the test & included my results in my review (linked above).

Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire LeGrand

Last week I also finished a Furyborn buddy read & it was quite the EPIC journey with this book! Told from the perspective’s of two Queens 1,000 years apart. This is one of those that has very polarizing reading experiences but it was a hit in my corner. Yes there were some minor flaws but my rating/review is mostly based off of my personal enjoyment. Legrand took a complex plot/story line & served it up in a way that was easy to digest. I have a review going up this Friday 😉

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobhao Rao

I really stared at my spreadsheet long and hard trying to decide what I’d read next which is probably why this post is going up so late in the day *hides* I need a tiny bit of a Fantasy break before I plunge into some heavy ones next week. I decided it was time to start this one, Flatiron approved me for this galley & after reading some reviews, I started getting worried I wasn’t ready for this read. I know I’m going to love this book but I also know it’s quite heavy in the subject matter but I’m way overdue so *pulls out box of tissues*

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Jay Kristoff

I’m trying to not throw shade at Barnes & Noble buuuuut…they crossed the line with my Obsidio Pre-order smh LOL! all of my pre-orders this month have been really delayed making for one sad Lilly. I’m really hoping to receive my copy no later than the end of this week cause I have every intention of binge reading in 1 maybe 2 sittings to keep with tradition haha! *fingers crossed*


What are you wonderful bookworms currently reading? planning to read next? any good ones? & if you’re reading any of the ones I mentioned, sound off in the comments down below! ❤ ❤ ❤


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