I Finally Read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern...

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Pages: 512 pages
Release Date: September 13th, 2011
Source: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway - a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Buy it now!
**This review is formatted a little differently as it's one I wrote for my school newspaper. Thought I would share it with you guys anyway!**

Erin Morgenstern published her book The Night Circus 7 years ago, but the international bestselling novel just recently caught my attention and instantly became one of my favorite books of the year. Despite all the praise that this book received from fellow reviewers and acclaimed authors, it sat on my shelf for three years before I decided to pick it up. Now after finally completing the novel, I can say that it is worth all the hype. 

The circus arrives without warning. When it arrives, circus-goers line up at the front gate anxiously waiting for the sun to set and the doors to open. Striped tents, breathtaking circus acts and sweet-smelling popcorn stands furnish the circus grounds. It is called Le Cirque des Reves, and it is only open at night. 

Behind the curtains, two magicians, Celia and Marco, duel to become the last one standing in an ancient challenge that stems back to their mentors that trained them. As the two meet and begin to develop feelings for each other, the challenge only becomes more burdensome. Meanwhile the circus, sustained on the lives of the two magicians that hold it together with their magic, is transforming beyond the audience's eyes. Read more to find out what happens next. 

Out of all the books I've ever read, The Night Circus has the best writing. It's very atmospheric and descriptive, without being too lyrical or obnoxiously metaphoric. The imagery is so intense you will feel like you're walking through the curtains with the audience, watching the magic unfold. The use of dramatic irony gives the reader a sense of control over the characters when the stakes are life and death.

One of my only reservations with the book was that the story was not told in a linear sequence. As the story jumped from year to year non-chronologically, my understanding of when the events happened became hazy. A few chapters in, however, I got used to it. 

The story actually has quite a dark tone to it. Betrayal, deception and even death characterize this seemingly lighthearted tale of two magicians falling in love. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a book that undermines their initial expectations and brings a new and adventurous twists to what might have been a simple love story. Lovestruck magicians at odds, chocolate mice and clocks that come to life? Sounds like the perfect read to me. If you're still torn over the fact that the Harry Potter series has ended, I'd recommend this book to any HP fans out there! Both The Night Circus and the Harry Potter series will make you want to run away to an imaginary world! 

Sadly, this is Erin Morgenstern's only published book, leaving her readers anticipating for more of her work. However, not to fear because theres a good chance she is working on something huge as we speak!

They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera | My End Day + Stranger Things GIFs

Title: They Both Die At the End
Author: Adam Silvera
Pages: 384 pages
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Source: Hardback from Barnes & Noble
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 stars
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day. 

Buy it now! 
After reading Adam Silvera's newest book, I questioned a lot of things in my life. I thought it'd only be fitting to write a post about it and share my thoughts with you guys. Hopefully, I get some feedback and am not the only one feeling this way.

If you didn't know, TBDATE takes place in a world like ours with one difference- people know when they are going to die. This changes the game. A system called Death-Cast is responsible for these death notifications. On the day you're going to die, you will receive a call from them and the way you spend your last hours are up to you.

It's no doubt that TBDATE made me think about a lot of things, death especially. Death, although inevitable, is something I don't like to dwell on. There comes a point in our lives where we ask ourselves: Is it better to know when we are going to die or stay oblivious? I'd rather not know when I'm going to die because then I'll be spending the rest of my days or hours in fear of that moment. It's better to live life to the fullest and not take advantage of anything, so that when the time comes you have no regrets. But let's say for some strange reason, Death-Cast existed. If I was called, how would I spend my End Day?

1. Goodbyes

Goodbyes are the hardest. If it were my End Day, I would likely want to get the goodbyes out of the way because I'm not the type of person who does the hardest things last. I wanna rip that bandage off as soon as possible, so the wound has time to bleed. Goodbyes are pretty self-explanatory. I think I'd rather do it like it was done in the book, with everyone saying a personal eulogy in front of me. 

2. Adopt a pug and give it a home

If you guys don't follow me on Instagram and Twitter, you wouldn't know that I have an obsession with pugs. It's always been a dream of mine to adopt a pug and to satisfy years of pining for one, I would adopt a pug from a shelter. My parents don't want one at the moment because they don't like the breed, but I think they'd make an exception for my last day. This wouldn't just make me extremely happy to spend part of my last day cuddling a FREAKIN' dog, but I'd be giving a homeless dog a new home and family. 

3. Record my End Day on Youtube

I have a Youtube channel,  so I think it'd be a good idea to record my End Day and have someone upload it to Youtube if I don't get the chance to. I use my Youtube channel as documentation, whether it's documenting my vacation to Florida or the books I've read in a month. It's all there for memories-sake and for people to stay updated in my life. I think posting my End Day video will serve a purpose to family and friends who could rewatch it from time to time. It would also allow me to get one last video up for my subscribers. You rock! 

4. Send my love to my loverrrr (channeling Adele) 

I mean it's my End Day; might as well go with a bang! Those feelings I've been harboring for that special someone? I think I'd have major regrets if I never told my crush how I felt about him. The best part of it is that you can't get rejected because I probably wouldn't be alive to find out. 

5. Cry (a lot)

Of course, I'm going to end up crying.... a lot. If I cry just from watching Wicked on Broadway, you can be sure I'll generate a bucket of tears on my End Day. There's something sad in knowing when your time is up. I would cry for all the people I am leaving behind, the things I have yet to experience, and the people I have yet to meet. 

Overall, my End Day would be pretty lowkey. I'm not gonna lie and say that I would spend the day crossing off everything on my bucket list- skydiving, seeing the Great Barrier Reef, freediving and etc. Truth is, I can say that I have no regrets in life. There's nothing I'd rather be doing than spending time with friends and family, crying, cuddling a pug, and making it right with the most important people in my life. 

How would you spend your End Day? 

A Line In the Dark by Malinda Lo | Book Review

Title: A Line In the Dark
Author: Malinda Lo
Pages: 288 pages
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Source: Hardcover from publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, LGBT
Rating: 4/5 stars
The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark. Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”

A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.

Buy it now! 
**Disclaimer: The book was sent to me by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.** 

Happy Halloween, folks! I was initially hooked onto reading this when I saw that this was a Young Adult psychological thriller with Asian and LGBT rep. That combination is hard to come by these days, especially in YA, so I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce you guys to something different during this spooky time of year.

What I like most about this book is that it's not just a story you can read during the week of Halloween. It's not about ghosts or witches or vampires. It's about identity, high school and friendship. So when the spooky season officially comes to an end after today, don't feel too bad about picking up this book to read.

One of the reasons this book is so unique in its storytelling is that it touches upon representation quite a lot, while also keeping that thrilling and mysterious vibe of the story. It was like at one moment the main character would be talking to the police officer about a homicide and then next thing you know, the story gets quite personal and we get a glimpse into some of the insecurities the main character has about being an Asian-American. The representation of a Chinese main character in this book was absolutely heart-warming to read about. The author, speaking from her own life, adds a lot of relatable insecurities that all foreigners (not only Asians) have when speaking to natives. This book was hard to read in the sense that I was forced to face some of the insecurities I had with my own culture and background, yet it was entirely refreshing. We also have a variety of characters on the LGBT spectrum. I can't speak for the community, but I thought the rep was well done and informative.

I'm going to go into my only qualm with this book. It's quite slow in the beginning. Because this book was pitched as a thriller, I was hoping for there to be a lot more buildup earlier in the story. Keep in mind this is a relatively short book, at least shorter than most thrillers I've picked up before. For the first 100 pages of the book, it reads like a contemporary.

Page 150 is where the good shit starts to happens. Part two is told in a series of interviews mixed with narrative storytelling. I loved the interview aspect of the book. I thought it added a lot of suspense to the conflict that arises midway into the story. It also added a sense of sophistication that made the story all the more real and like a real murder trial yassss muahahhahah.

The main character is also a comic book artist, which gave me major Eliza and Her Monsters vibes. Her comics play a huge role in the story, so I wish we could have gotten a glimpse of her actual drawings/comic strips. It's honestly not a huge gripe I had, but just something I would have liked to see in this book. Malinda Lo was very descriptive in her explanations of the comics though, which it w these parts of the book were so easy to visualize, even without the drawings.

A Line In the Dark is one of the most unique books I've read in a long time. With a perfect balance of mystery and diverse representation, this title is a one of a kind story about navigating through identity and ethnicity, in the midst of a harrowing murder mystery. Despite its slow start, this book is sure to keep you on your toes. I highly recommend this book for readers who are looking to read more diversely, but don't want to change it up too much from what they are normally used to reading.

EDIT: I don't normally read other people's reviews before writing my own because that creates a bias for me. However, after I finished the book I went to see other people's reviews and read something interesting. I notice now that there was a POV shift from Part 1 and Part 2 of the book. I did not notice this shift at all! It seemed to bother a lot of readers, but maybe it would have bothered me more if I had noticed it! Just interjecting with this little note :D

BLOG TOUR | Satellite by Nick Lake + Field Trip Around Earth

Title: Satellite
Author: Nick Lake
Pages: 464 pages
Release Date: October 3rd, 2017
Source: ARC from publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
A teenage boy born in space makes his first trip to Earth.

He’s going to a place he’s never been before: home.

Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.

Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight.

But has anything really prepared them for life on terra firma? Because while the planet may be home to billions of people, living there is more treacherous than Leo and his friends could ever have imagined, and their very survival will mean defying impossible odds.

Buy it now!
Hey everyone! I'm back with another blog tour to celebrate the release of Nick Lake's newest release, Satellite. This book takes follows a main character who takes his first trip to Earth! Usually science fiction books set in space are about characters born in Earth who travel to space, so I find it interesting that the author decided to write about a character born in space. In order to make Leo's trip as productive and awesome as possible, I thought I'd make a little guide to Earth for this week's post!

Field Trip Around Earth: Places To Visit
  • NYC, New York 
    • I might be a little biased since I live in NYC but non-residents and even some New Yorkers seem to think it's magical. The city is something that people have to experience themselves. You can't rely on a postcard of a photo on Google to give you the same feeling. 
  • Paris, France 
    • Paris is on my bucket list too! If there's one place in Europe that you're planning on visiting, Paris should be it. It's the capital France and houses some of the world's most famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre museum. 
  • The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia 
    • Visiting the GBR is the top activity on my bucket list. Better get a move on it because rising temperatures and the increasing acidity of the ocean threatens this massive coral reef structure and its inhabitants. Wether its scuba diving in some of the most well-known reefs or sunbathing on the white sand, there is a plethora of things to do when you arrive at one of the world's greatest wonders. 
  • Antelope Canyon, Arizona 
    • I personally believe that the Antelope Canyon beats The Grand Canyon. It's super underrated and most people only know about The Grand Canyon. I'm going to let the picture speak for itself... NATURE IS INCREDIBLE!  
  • Dean's Blue Hole, The Bahamas
    • I dreamed about going here as a little kid but now that I think about it, it looks kind of scary! I figured I would put this on the list so I could get the chance to live vicariously through you. Dean's Blue Hole is the world's second deepest known salt water blue hole. It's popular for freediving, which is a sport of competitive diving that relies on the swimmers ability to dive down as far as they can on a single breathe. When I was little, I was obsessed with learning how to freedive and often tried to see how long I could hold my breathe in the bathtub. It's a truly fascinating sport that you should try! 
  • Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, China 
    • Nothing you learned in space will prepare you for this! A transparent glass bridge suspended 260 meters over the ground between two mountain cliffs, how cool! It's so terrifying that some people have to be dragged across the bridge in order to cross it. 
  • Highlands, Iceland
    • What better way to capture the beauty of the aurora borealis than visiting Iceland's highlands. Seeing the northern lights should be something on everybody's bucket list. Bet you've seen a lot of lights up in space, but nothing like this! 
  • Rice Terrace Fields in Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam 
    • There's something about repeating patterns in nature that is so appealing to the eye. I know you've been living in space for your entire life, so you're probably wondering how people on Earth grow their own food. On the slopes of the mountains, the people of Mu Cang Chai have created terraced fields that are leveled enough to grow rice. 
  • The Great Wall of China, China
    • One of China's greatest landmarks is their Great Wall, built and improved from the 14th to the 17th century A.D. Coming down to Earth will allow you to learn not only about the wonderful sights of nature but also about the history of our world. What better place to learn about the history of China than at its most recognizable symbol. Plus, how amazing would it be to walk on a raised fortification structure stretching 5,500 miles? 

Help Leo out! Any other places that you think he should visit on his first trip to Earth that I missed? 

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