The Forbidden Wish | This Book > Disney’s Aladdin! {Review}

img_0940Title: The Forbidden Wish

Author: Jessica Khoury

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Arabian Nights Retelling, #diversebooks

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury

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Book Blogging 101 | How to Write Reviews Like a Queen 

  
The first step to writing reviews like a queen (aka me. confidence, darling) you must plan your basic structure. I find that there are generally two main types of reviews:

  • Short and sweet. These reviews are on a strictly need-to-know basis, they essentially tell you whether you should read the book or not, careful to stay away from even the smallest spoilers. Looking for examples? See all of my reviews here: Bookish Reviews. Shameless self-promotion and I’m not even sorry.
  • Reviews twice the size of a novel. These reviews are long, really long. They tell you everything you wanted and didn’t know you needed to know. Because they’re generally going to be completely analyzing a book, these will likely include a few very minor spoilers. If you’re looking for examples, check out Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts’ review. I don’t know he can write so much about a book. Not that I’m complaining.

You should choose the basic structure that flatters your writing style. For example, I have the habit of taking information and squeezing it down to be explained in the fewest possible words. (Which is great when I’m have to write a one-pager, not so much when I’m assigned 20 pages.) Because of this, my reviews end up very concise. If you’re more detail-oriented and like to write about every aspect of a book, longer reviews are the right choice for you. 

  
Now that you’ve got your basic structure, you’ve got to organize it.

Example time!

Bad:

The writing was very beautiful. The action was rickety. I really got invested in the characters. Bananas! 

I really liked the poeticness of the writing. My favorite character was Soap.

Better:

The writing was very beautiful, I really like the poeticness of it.

I really got invested in the characters. My favorite character was Soap.

Unfortunately, the action was rickety.

Bananas!

What I’m trying to say is whether your reviews are long or short, you need have similar ideas about the book grouped together. So instead of talking about the writing then the action then the characters then the writing then the characters, talking about the writing in one section, characters in the next, and action last.

Bonus points for organization? Transitions!

Example time once more!

Bad:

Writing was bad. It really made everything fake, I couldn’t enjoy it at all.

Action was nice. Those scenes were well-thought out.

Better:

Writing was bad. Because it made everything fake, I couldn’t enjoy it at all.

However, the action was nice. Those scenes were well-thought out.

Do you see what I’m saying? Transitions really make everything clearer and more organized.

Want to go even further than transitions? Use sections!

Example time again woohoo!

Transitions:

I loved the way the writer pieced every word together, it was poetic and brilliant.

Unfortunately, the characters weren’t well-thought out. They were one-dimensional and all alike.

Even worse, I had significant problems with the plot. It was messy and hard to follow. By the end of the book I hardly knew what I had been reading for the last 20 pages.

Sections:

Writing:

I loved the way the writer pieced every word together, it was poetic and brilliant.

Characters:

Unfortunately, the characters weren’t well-thought out. They were one-dimensional and all alike.

Plot:

Even worse, I had significant problems with the plot. It was messy and hard to follow. By the end of the book I hardly knew what I had been reading for the last 20 pages.

Though it’s not essential, sectioning your reviews makes them even more organized.

If you really want to take the prize home for organization then use the following tips:

Put key words in bold or italics.

  • Use bullet lists or
  1. Numbered lists 

Put quotes or book synopsis in highlights

Then you’ll be the Queen Bee of organization 100% guaranteed.

  
This is the most basic rule of writing reviews and also a given for you. (I hope) One time I saw a post that actually said: This review has not been proofread, sorry for the typos.

Are you serious?

This brings me to my new reviewing motto: Don’t proofread? Then don’t post.

Of course we all miss a typo, I’ve done that, quite embarrassingly, numerous times. But that’s not what proofreading is about, not completely anyway. Proofreading is a symbol that you’re willing to put that extra time into your reviews, that you really want to produce the best posts you can. If you’re not willing to do that, then why have a blog? 

 
Believe in yourself, because you’re a Queen Bee too! 

When reviewing, the best thing to do is let your voice shine through. Write the way you write, analyze a book the way you analyze a book. If you try to imitate someone else or try to impress another in writing your reviews, it’s just not going to work. Let yourself shine and the rest will follow.

Other Book Blogging 101 posts: Click Here!

Comment.

Please.

    Silent Echo | Review

    Title: Silent Echo

    Author: Elisa Freilich 

    Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

    Rating: 4/5 stars

    Synopsis:

    Haunted by silence, a mute teenage girl is mysteriously given back her voice … and it is divine.

    Rendered mute at birth, Portia Griffin has been silent for 16 years. Music is her constant companion, along with Felix, her deaf best friend who couldn’t care less whether or not she can speak. If only he were as nonchalant about her newfound interest in the musically gifted Max Hunter. 

    But Portia’s silence is about to be broken with the abrupt discovery of her voice, unparalleled in its purity and the power it affords to control those around her. Able to persuade, seduce and destroy using only her voice, Portia embarks on a search for answers about who she really is, and what she is destined to do. 

    Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, Silent Echo: A Siren’s Tale is an epic story filled with fantasy, romance and original music.

    Review:

    First off, a BIG thank you to Diversion Books for sending me this eBook! 

    Fans of Greek mythology and  the music obsessed, you’ve found your book!

    This book started off feeling a little silly, but after about 100 pages, I found myself really engrossed in the story and hanging on to every word. I absolutely LOVE the Greek mythology woven into the novel. The writing style also makes it a really quick read. I read it in only two days, despite having the flu, and the book being over 500 pages!

    I loved how Portia’s (a mute girl) has Felix (a deaf guy) as a best friend! How absolutely perfect!

    The story starts to get a very eloquent and intense feel, dealing with some intense topics, both fantastical and very real nowadays.

    Okay, there’s a love triangle. But it’s not that bad, I promise, and it really shouldn’t keep you from reading this book. 

    Despite a slow start, I really enjoyed this book! I can’t wait for the next one!

    I absolutely recommend reading this book! And if you do, #teamfelix 😏

      

    The Winner’s Crime | Review + Discussion

    Title: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2)

    Author: Marie Rutkoski

    Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

    Rating: 5/5 STARS!!!

    Warning! Contains Spoilers for The Winner’s Curse. See that review here.

    Synopsis:

    The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

    As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them. 

    Spoiler Free Review:

    I didn’t think it could get any better than the first book.

    I am SO HAPPY that I was wrong!

    The writing was so beautiful, I felt myself feeling all of the emotions expressed, and having a crystal clear picture in my mind. 

    And the story is just perfect. I was even more attached to the characters than I was in the first book, so it was an insanely emotional read. And when I say emotional, I mean:

    

    Marie Rutkoski is extremely talented in characterization. All of the characters are complex, making you love them or hate them with every fiber of your being.

    If you like fantasy, purely beautiful writing, and a heart wrenching story, please, PLEASE pick up this book!

    Spoiler Full Discussion:

    DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK. SERIOUSLY.

    Wow. Just wow.

    

    So, let’s start with the emporer. That guy makes me SO FREAKING MAD. He’s so despicable and creepy. Then he makes her watch the Herrani’s torture, and oh my goodness, I was about ready to throw up myself.

    And then we see Arin, and–excuse me, I need to go sob now.

    When I thought Arin wasn’t going to come to the palace, UGH I WAS DEVASTAED. 

    But, HE MADE IT!!!! That scene me so happy and so sad. So very sad. The emotions!!!!!!


    The scene with the emporer digging his thumb into Kestel’s arm freaked me out  SO MUCH. I was just sitting there cringing.


    I like Prince Verex, he’s nice. I think he’ll be a really good friend for Kestrel.

    THE MISUNDERSTANDINGS BETWEEN KESTREL AND ARIN. THE FRUSTRATION.

    But the ending. What was that. What. What.

    6 Books with Epic Plot Twists

    I absolutely LOVE those books that just blow your mind and leave you stuttering in disbelief. These 6 books have the most EPIC plot twists from all the books I’ve read. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil a thing!

    

    Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

    I finished this book yesterday, I’m still in a state of shock. HOW DID I NOT SEE IT? Because Victoria Aveyard is a genius and made sure you didn’t, that’s why.

    

    

    Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

    This plot twist actually made me a little depressed, but I didn’t really dwell on that since my mind was too busy thinking: HOLY CRAP. WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED.

    

    The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

    This is actually a Middle Grade series, but like the Percy Jackson books, readers of all ages can enjoy it. AND THAT PLOT TWIST. It puts many YA plot twists to shame! I think I probably should have seen it coming, but it took me completely by surprise.

    

    Allegiant by Veronica Roth

    If you still haven’t read this, and still haven’t gotten spoiled, I applaud you. Talent. You’ve got talent.

    

    City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

    THIS PLOT TWIST MADE ME QUESTION EVERYTHING, MY WHOLE LIFE. MY FISH. EVERYTHING.

    

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

    I promise you, you will NEVER see this plot twist coming.

    There ya go! PLEASE let me know if you’ve read any other books with plot twists in the comments, because I will read them and then fangirl with you.

    Book Review: Sweet

    Title: Sweet

    Author: Emmy Laybourne

    Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

    Publication Date: June 2, 2015

    Rating: 4/5 stars

    Synopsis:

    Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

    Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

    Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong. 

    My Thoughts:

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Goodness, where to start?

    This story starts out fun and lighthearted, with a cute cruise romance. It was full of fun personalities and lots of laughs.

    The the story took a creepy turn towards the end, but I found myself still reading, which is particularly odd for me.

    The problem I usually have with dual POV is that I always like one POV a lot more than the other. However, I didn’t have that problem here, since I found both sides of the story really entertaining.

    There is a quirky, unconvential romance feautured that I think fans of Elanor and Park might enjoy, though the romance definitely doesn’t take over the story. 

    Let’s say, Cute Contemoporary Romance meets The Walking Dead.

    March 2015 – TBR

    I ended up reading 17 books in February, so as you can see, it was a pretty awesome reading month. 

    I’m not sure how much I’ll read in March, but there are a few I know I’ll get to.

    NetGalley and ARCs:

    You can expect reviews for all of these!




    New Releases this Month:

    Library/Borrowed Books:

    What are you planning to read this month? Have you read any of the books above? I would love to know!

    Book Review: Dream a Little Dream

    Title: Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy #1)
    Author: Kerstin Gier

    Genre: Young adult, Fantasy

    Publication Date: April 15, 2015

    Rating: 5/5 stars

    Synopsis:

    Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals. 


    The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what’s really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn’t possibly know–unless they actually are in her dreams? Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute….

    My Thoughts:

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Well, Kerstin Gier really never disappoints, now does she?

    From the very first paragraph, this book was adorably hilarious, and all the interactions were entertaining throughout! 

    The synopsis is really vague, but I feel like this is the kind of book that’s best if you just go into it not knowing anything. If you liked the Ruby Red trilogy, I promise you will love this book.

    I love the mysterious air in this book, it really kept me turning those pages.

    If you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted read with fantasy elements and a contemporary feel, read Dream a Little Dream!

    Book Review: An Unexpected Choice

    Title: An Unexpected Choice

    Author: Jody Hedlund

    Genre: Young Adult, Historical Romance

    Publication Date: March 3, 2015

    Rating: 3/5 stars 

    Synopsis:

    Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father’s enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents’ will left a second choice. If Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow. 

    Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights the one who appears the most guilty had not already captured her heart.

    My Thoughts:

    I received this book fromNetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Okay, I feel like I’m the only person on goodreads who thought this books was just okay. 

    Let me explain why.

    I felt like some of the scenes were just unnecessary and dragged on too long. I also felt like Rose’s narrative was really immature at times.

    I did really enjoy the fairy tale feel romance, but I feel like this book just didn’t do quite enough for me.

    But again, literally everybody else on goodreads likes it, so if you like the synopsis, go for it!


    Manga Classics: Les Miserables – Book Review

    Title: Manga Classics: Les Miserables 

    Author: SunNeko Lee (Art)Crystal Silvermoon (Adaptation), Victor Hugo (Original Story)

    Genre: Romance, Historical Drama

    Rating: 5/5 stars

    Synopsis: 

    Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo’s classic novel of love and tragedy set in 19th century France is reborn in this fantastic new manga edition!

    Gorgeous and expressive art brigns to life the unforgettable stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the tragic Fantine in this epic adaptation of Les Misérables!

    My Thoughts:

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Les Miserables is a timeless tale, though the original novel can be pretty tough to get through for the average, modern day person. 

    But this manga edition is easy to read, with all the beauty of the original novel.

    The artwork is flawless, and I found it really interesting seeing all the characters in manga form.

    If you’re looking for a heart wrenching, breathtaking and beautiful book, this is it!