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“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” Review

“We are not broken things, neither of us. We are cracked pottery mended with laquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved.” — Mackenzi Lee, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” Review


This post may contain spoilers.


This book was one of my favorite spur-of-the-moment-buys-due-to-a-Tumblr-post that I’ve had in a while. The Tumblr post in question listed various reasons as to why one should buy this book, including race diversity, sexual diversity, pirates, and a journey around Europe for precious treasure. Mackenzi Lee certainly delivered with this fresh and lively story.

The story stars a young lord by the name of Henry Montague, who prefers to be called Monty because Henry reminds him too much of his father. Monty is a bit of a rascal, falling into beds of men and women alike while squandering away his inheritance as his way of rebelling against his parents. While he’s not anxious to become the next lord of the estate and learn under his father, Monty believes that it’s the only course for his future.

His solution is to gallivant on one last Tour of Europe with his best friend Percy, whom he is utterly in love with. It is Monty’s wish to have one last year having as much fun as possible flirting with Percy, gambling, drinking, and trouble alike. Yet, when Monty’s penchant for mischief causes more trouble than he would like, the Tour turns into a manhunt across Europe with Monty, Percy, and Monty’s sister Felicity as the targets.

This book was a brilliant page-turner. The action of the adventure that Lee conjures for the reader never stop — even if the starring trio seem to get a chance to catch their breath while on the run, something troublesome is always lurking around the corner. The dynamic between the three main characters is absolutely wonderful, with them representing strong ties in platonic, romantic, and sibling relationships, and each of them are strong enough to develop and grow amidst exterior and interior troubles. Side and minor characters are even fully developed, each getting his or her own voice that are easily recognizable.

As if the characters and the adventure aren’t enough to keep you reading, the sheer wit and, at times, delicious sarcasm of Monty as the narrator will keep you invested. Monty has no filter, not as a narrator nor as part of conversations with the other characters, and it is wonderfully refreshing with plenty of comedic quips. Aside from adoring Monty and Percy together (even if there were times when I wanted to shake the two by the shoulders as I want to do with most pining teenage and young adult characters), the sibling relationship between Monty and Felicity was a delight. Reading their interactions and how they grow together in the story was amazing.

If you’re interested in a period story about high-stakes adventure, witty description and dialogue, sibling banter, pining love, diversity in race and sexuality, and pirates that haven’t quite figured out how to be good pirates yet, then I highly recommend Lee’s “A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.”

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” gets a 5 out of 5 stars.


Posted by on July 26, 2017 in Book Reviews


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Review: Six of Crows

“None of us move on without a backward look. We move on always carrying with us those we have lost.” — Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

“Six of Crows” Review


This post may contain spoilers.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a book that has enormous hype around it. Due to all of the wonderful praise I had been hearing about it, I picked it up during one of my Barnes and Noble shopping sprees. It hung out on my bookshelf for quite a while before I picked it up during the blizzard my area had yesterday.

I finished this 450+ book in a day.

I could barely put the book down! Despite the fact that I was initially confused at the magic system the author had incorporated, seeing as I hadn’t read the previous trilogy by her, this book was fantastic. I was able to figure out and keep up with the lore, even though I was new to the author’s world (as I’m presuming that I would have had more background information if I had read the previous trilogy).

The story, after the first few chapters, was fast-paced and action-packed. The plans and trickery were well-written in their adventure, and you could never tell if everyone was going to make it out alive from the dangerous heist they had been contracted to pull off. Trying to kidnap a scientist that had created a powerful drug for the world’s magic-users from the most notorious prison in the world was something only those who had nothing left to lose would try to do, yet there they went.

Each character was distinct and the diversity surrounding their cultures was fascinating. Despite their differences, they didn’t kill each other (although it wasn’t for lack of trying on some of their parts) as they raced through their mission. The dreams and friendships kept them all hanging on to an impossible hope that they would live through the job and have better lives in the end.

There were women friendships! There were men and women friendships that didn’t end in romance! There was sexuality diversity! There was no instant romance — rather, you saw and experienced the characters falling in love amid the chaos of the mission, and it was all beautifully written.

My only obvious grievous with this book is that I obviously have to go out and get the sequel now. If you enjoy magic, dangerous odds, and snarky but lovable characters, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy Six of Crows!

“Six of Crows” gets a 5 out of 5 stars.


Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Book Reviews


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Review: Circus Mirandus

“[I]t was a ridiculous, amazing thing to do, and once in a while, it’s good to be ridiculous and amazing.” — Cassie Beasley, Circus Mirandus

“Circus Mirandus” Review


This post may contain spoilers.


Circus Mirandus is a fantasy story aimed at children, mostly around the middle school age. Nevertheless, it involved a magical circus, prompting me to pick it up and read it within a few short days.

The story follows young Micah, a ten-year-old who believes in magic thanks to the wonderful stories his Grandpa Ephraim tells him about the Circus Mirandus. The circus was a haven for children who believed in magic, a safe place for them to explore and marvel at the wonders the performers acted for them. One such performer was the Man Who Bends Light… or, as Ephraim names him, the Lightbender. The Lightbender is an illusionist, taking children on fantastic journeys to all corners of the earth, and found young Ephraim special enough to promise him a miracle within his power.

It’s years later when Ephraim is terminally ill that he asks for his miracle to be granted. The Lightbender, however, feels as if he cannot grant it.

Micah, along with his friend Jenny, refuses to accept that answer and journeys to find the circus himself to make the Lightbender keep his promise. Micah believes that the miracle his grandpa had asked for was to cure him, yet Ephraim had a much better miracle in mind…

The story itself goes back and forth between points of view, including Micha’s, young Ephraim’s, and the Lightbender. Two to three timelines weave themselves together to fill out the novel, the prose showing even the most dislikable characters in an understanding light by the end of it. The characters’ developments were one of my favorite parts of this story — even minor characters had their own agendas rather than any of them feeling like cardboard caricatures.

My other favorite aspect of this novel was the magic, of course. Following along with the descriptions of the people and acts of the circus gave me a sense of excitement and even nostalgia for my childhood.

Being catered to children, Circus Mirandus was a light read for me, but I nevertheless enjoyed every chapter.

“Circus Mirandus” gets a 4 out of 5 stars.


Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Book Reviews


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I don’t have a book review today. I had an awesome long weekend and forgot to finish a book. Sorry!

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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Home


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“Tuesdays with Morrie” Review

“There is no such thing as ‘too late’ in life.” – Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)

“Tuesdays with Morrie” Review

This post may contain spoilers.

If you only read one more book in your life, make it “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

This beautiful book, which will make you laugh and cry equally, details the final leg of a professor’s journey through life. The author was the only student in the professor’s “last class,” a class that met on Tuesdays and was about The Meaning of Life. There were no grades, no tests, but oral exams, along with the student being expected to ask and answer questions. The professor taught through experience.

Professor Morrie Schwartz was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ASL), a terminal disease that attacked one’s neurological system, while in his sixties. Mitch Albom had been one of his students years before and, upon hearing that Morrie had gotten sick, finally went to visit the older gentleman again. Together, the pair hatched an idea to do one last thesis. Thus, “Tuesdays with Morrie” was born.

This book — this thesis — covers several topics that most avoid: regret, money, the fear of aging, and, of course, death. Morrie shares his experiences and wisdom in gentle, simple, sometimes heartbreaking, ways. His words make you want to copy down quotes, sentences, entire paragraphs, and paste them up on the wall, decals to look at and put the rest of the world in the right perspective.

Ultimately, this book is about love and living even while you’re dying. Don’t just wave as life passes by — join life on the ride.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” gets a 5 out of 5 stars.

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Posted by on March 30, 2016 in Book Reviews


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No Review… Again

Sorry everyone! I recently switched jobs, so training and getting used to the new one kind of interrupted my reading time.

I’ll have a new book review next week. I hope everyone else’s week is going by wonderfully!

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Posted by on March 16, 2016 in Home


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“The Boy Next Door” Review

“Aaron, in order to die, you have to live a little first.” – Meg Cabot (The Boy Next Door)

“The Boy Next Door” Review

This post may contain spoilers.

The book was a light, quick read, something that can be devoured in a day or two if you’re lucky enough to have a day you can devote entirely to reading. It’s considered romance, a genre I don’t normally pick up, but Meg Cabot is the famed author of the Princess Diaries series, so I thought I would give her books a shot.

Besides Meg Cabot’s name, I picked up “The Boy Next Door” mostly because there’s a Great Dane on the cover. (I’m a sucker for dogs, I can’t help it.)

Anyways, the book is told entirely in e-mail format. It was quite an interesting style choice, but it worked well. Every character has a distinct voice, even through typing, and they were well-woven in each other’s stories and plots. The main plot of the story revolved around the main character, Mel Fuller, finding her elderly neighbor hurt and caring for said neighbor’s giant Great Dane and cats until the neighbor’s nephew was able to move in to care for the animals. Mel and the nephew, Max, hit it off very well.

Except Max the nephew isn’t actually Max the nephew.

Instead, Max had gotten an old friend named John to go and care for Max’s aunt’s animals. John went along with it and hadn’t expected to fall for his friend’s aunt’s neighbor. Gossip and rumors start flying around Mel’s workplace while John e-mails his brother and family for advice on what to do regarding his parading around as someone he’s not.

Then there is the matter as to the aunt’s injury and how she got hurt…

Overall, the book was a fun read. The characters were fantastic, the romance wasn’t too heavy, and the mystery of the aunt’s injury kept me in suspense as the characters’ interactions moved about like a whirlwind.

“The Boy Next Door” gets a 4 out of 5 stars.


Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Book Reviews


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