BOOK REVIEW: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

*no spoilers included*

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When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian–the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

(source: goodreads)

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I have often mentioned my disinterest of YA contemporary books. I prefer the fantasy side of it more. But sometimes a blurb will get my attention and it becomes nearly impossible to resist reading the book. A List of Cages by Robin Roe is one such book. I stumbled upon it on Goodreads and then was lucky enough to get an ARC in exchange of my honest opinion.

A List of Cages revolves around two boys, Adam and Julian, who lived together for a little while after Julian’s parents passed away and Adam’s mother took him in. When Adam is assigned by the school psychologist to bring Julian in for his mandatory sessions he is happy to reconnect with him but there are things about Julian that confuses him. Adam being older than Julian remembers him as a totally different, very cheerful person, than what he has become now which is very reserved and shy. Ignoring this, Adam’s friendly and persistent personality helps him become friends with Julian again. Soon he starts noticing strange things about Julian like how small his clothes are on him, how he never has any money, and how stepping into Julian’s uncle’s house where he lives is a big no-no.

The book is written from two POVs; Julian and Adam’s. It talks about issues that are present in our world but are seldom talked about. I wouldn’t want to name it because I want you guys to find it out on your own like I did. I was going crazy with all my theories and I want you guys to experience the same. Also, if you are someone like me, even a single word would be considered a spoiler and we are talking about the theme here so I will stay shush on this.

I liked the writing style. It was very to the point and yet entertaining. While reading the first ten pages I wasn’t sure I was into this book but it grabbed my attention soon after and I found it very hard to put down. It was written in a light-hearted manner but spoke about situations that would bring intense pain to your heart just reading about it and then to think these things do happen all over the world and yet never talked about. I also liked how the book spoke about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I don’t know anyone with ADHD but the representation made me feel like I knew Adam as a real person.

Adam and Julian were beautiful characters. Adam’s fidgety behavior and wanting to do good for everyone was so refreshing to read about. But Julian’s character broke my heart into a gazillion pieces. Everything he went through after his parents died, right from the moment he was informed of it to the very end, made me want to rip him out of the pages  and keep him safe with me. My heart ached for him from his first lunch time to his very last avoiding-the-crowd act.

The other characters in the story. Adam’s friends were such amazing people to read about. I feel like this book depicted high school in a very real and rational way. There was no over the top gooey till-death-do-us apart lovers, or crazy friendships. These were genuine people with genuine friendships who would always have their back and love stories that come as ordinary as there can be. I loved Charlie who is Adam’s best friend. I also liked Emerald. The whole friends’ gang was great really. I loved Adam’s mother. She was such a protective force like any of ours mother are and I found her concern for Julian relatable.

The best thing about this book is that the love story and side characters did not take all the focus away from the main story but they were visible enough to leave an impression on you.

I won’t say A List of Cages is a relatable book for all but I would say this book will really have an impact on you and make you think long after you have closed it.

Would I recommend it to you? Yes. A 100%.

Rating: 5/5

A List of Cages by Robin Roe comes out on 10th January 2017. I would suggest you grab a copy ASAP. It’s a book that shouldn’t be missed. Also, look at that gorgeous cover. How can one say no?

*ARC provided by Net Galley – Thank you, guys!*

MOVIE REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

*spoiler free*

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I am pretty sure by now almost everyone has watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But I do know a few friends who haven’t because they are uncertain about their feelings towards the ‘new era’ of the wizarding world. So if you are one of those people who haven’t watched FBAWTFT yet, this spoiler free review is for you.

I was absolutely thrilled to know a new J.K. Rowling wizarding world movie was coming out. I knew I would watch it as soon as it hit the cinemas here but when it released I started having mixed feelings and semi decided that it is fine, I will watch it on DVD. Then by some stroke of luck we made a sudden plan to watch it.

In my opinion it was amazing and I would highly recommend everyone to go watch it. Even if you are not sure, just go. Watch it once and then you can decide/be sure if you want to watch the later installments because I think there are four more movies coming over the next couple of years.

The storyline was superb. It was intriguing, magical and a bit spooky too. I wasn’t ready for it, ha. The new set of characters were interesting. They all had a different story to tell. I absolutely loved the new gang. They were dope. I usually lose interest in movies even if I am watching them in the cinema but this one had me all my attention from the very beginning.

To be honest, I didn’t miss anyone from the HP movies even though I love those characters and world to bits. This just proves how good FBAWTFT was. Now, I am super excited to know what the next install in this series will be like and a bit curious to know what characters will make a reappearance. Definitely dying to see Dumbledore.

Did you see FBAWTFT? What did you think about it?

Much love xx

Latest Book Purchases And Why I Bought Them

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I wasn’t sure what to keep the title for this post because I ordered these books by the end of September, got them in the end of November, and am writing about them in December, so it feels really wrong to name it just one month hence Latest Book Purchases it is.

The first book I got is Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual by Bobbi Brown. This was to keep in spirit with buying and reading some nonfiction books this year. I won’t be reading it till next year but I am so happy I have it in my possession. I have been after this book ever since I got a fascination for beauty about two years back. So happy with this purchase.

The second book I got is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Penguin Classics Edition). I am not really a classics lover. I do read Jane Austen and Charles Dickens from time to time but there hasn’t been any other classics that I have read. My only reason to read Wuthering Heights is because Bella (Twilight Saga) loves it and if you are following me on my bookstagram (@BigBooksTinyHeart) you would know I am *OBSESSED* with everything Twilight related. I was going to pick Wuthering Heights in paperback because I wasn’t sure if I would like it too. Then my best friend R told me it’s one of her favorite books. I made the decision of getting it in hardcover as I have developed a love for rereading books and if I end up liking this one, it might become my go-to later. By the time I was picking a cover, I decided it’s time to think about a serious collection. I didn’t find any that I liked more than Penguin Classics edition. I invested in it because I think you can never go wrong with classics. Someone or the other in the family would eventually read it one day. Anyway, it didn’t look that pretty in the display picture but I searched it on google and someone had posted a good close up. The hardcover is made of cloth and I think it is one of the most beautiful books I own.

The third book I got is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Puffin in Bloom Edition). I have been having a bit of classics moment these few months. The reason I looked up Little Women is because I remember reading one of its chapters in school when I was in grade 6th. I was very intrigued with the story and confused too because I didn’t know it was just a chapter and not the whole story.Later I told myself I will get the book one day and read it. I randomly typed in Little Women and Puffin in Bloom edition popped up. I was again uncertain if I should spend so much on it so I looked it up on Instagram. A fellow bookstagrammer @inspirit_pages owned it. I got chatting with her and that’s when I made my mind up to get it. By the way, follow @inspirit_pages as she has some of the best book collections. I am always browsing her feed to look at them.

I am absolutely chuffed with my purchases and hope I can add a few more books to my collection soon.

I’ll see you guys in my next post.

Bye! 🙂 ❤

July Wrap Up // I Got Lucky With My Picks

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I didn’t think I got as much reading done this month as I would have liked till I started writing this post, ha. The thing is that July was a crazy month. I was uninspired and life was getting too real so I took a bit of a break. I didn’t start reading till 20th July I guess.  I know people in a reading slump might be looking at my post crossly because I could read and I did not. It is just that I believe in taking a bit of a break from time to time so that I don’t end up overwhelming or exhausting myself. I go through those two things a lot so this is a good approach for me. Anyone else does that?

I read two books in July.

1- The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay (Goodreads Synopsis Here)

Rating: 5/5

I had this book on my e-reader from a while. I didn’t think I would pick it up ever and then one night I was getting bored and started reading it. So frickin’ glad. I loved every single thing about this book. It has become one of my favorite contemporary read.

2- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Goodreads Synopsis Here)

Rating: 5/5

After the awesomeness of the book above, I really needed to read more so I ended up with this one. I was convinced I would hate Me Before You and picked it only because I made a pact with myself that I would read the book before the movie. I couldn’t wait more I was absolutely losing it because Sam Claflin was killing me with his gorgeous smile. This book was fantastic. I watched the movie right afterward and felt they didn’t catch the essence of the book. I might be wrong due to ‘books are better than movie’ syndrome but this is my opinion.

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Have you guys read any of the above books?

Love ❤

~F x

Find Me On Social Media: Twitter | Instagram

June Wrap Up // When You Decide To Not Read But The Universe Has Other Plans For You

June Wrap Up

Hi guys!

Sorry for being almost a month late in posting this. I was very busy with life and shizz.

I had no plans of reading anything in June because of Ramadan (religious month). Life is always hectic during that month. But then one night I was pretty much doing nothing and I opened a book and then one thing led to another. xD

I read 4 books in June. There was a series and a contemporary novel.

1- The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

(First Book Synopsis Here)

The Winner’s Curse #1 || Rating: 5/5

The Winner’s Crime #2 || Rating: 5/5

The Winner’s Kiss #3 || Rating: 5/5

First ever series where I gave 5 stars to all three books. If you want to know my complete thoughts, I did an in-depth review that you can read here. (CLICK CLICK!!) The first half is spoiler free. The next half has spoilers and you will be warned beforehand.

I loved reading these books. They were far more than what I expected and is one of my most recommended series now.

Another thing, I don’t link synopsis of sequels when I am doing a monthly wrap or reviewing a series because obviously if you read the synopsis of book 2, 3, etc, you can end up reading spoilers and that’s one thing I hate, ha.

2- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Goodreads Synopsis Here)

Rating: 3/5

I plan to put up a review for this book soon. This book was good and I liked reading it. I am just not that into contemporary novels but I do try to read a few now and then because I like to stay in the loop.

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Hope everyone had a good June and are reading some fun things this month too. I will catch you guys in my next post very soon.

Lots of love ❤

~F x

Find Me On Social Media: Twitter | Instagram

SERIES REVIEW // THE WINNER’S TRILOGY BY MARIE RUTKOSKI

*no spoilers included*

The Winner's Trilogy

Even though I decided I won’t be reading much during June and July, I just could not stop myself from starting another book. All I can say is I am obsessed with fantasy reads at the moment and even the thought of not reading one right after another scares me.

The Winner’s Trilogy caught my eyes on bookstagram. I haven’t noticed much hype around it or maybe the accounts I follow don’t post about it much. I looked it up on Goodreads and felt it was interesting.

Synopsis: Click here for Goodreads Synopsis (In case you haven’t read the books yet or have no idea about the storyline, please read the synopsis so you will have an idea what I am talking about in the rest of the post)

Plotline: I liked the story a lot. It had a strong base and the world and the characters were so thoughtfully created and placed in every scene. The whole fight for one’s rights and freedom was eye opening and thought provoking.

Writing: I absolutely adored the writing style. From Book 1 to Book 3, there was not even one place where I felt the flow was disrupted. It was so continuous and I admire such brilliance. A person’s writing evolves with time as any other skill would, so it can get hard for an author to write a series in the same way. So whenever one does I am always in awe. 😀 Also, complete series is from third person’s perspective which I now believe is awesome. (Thanks big bro!)

Feels: I won’t call this series one that revolves around just the romance. Yes, it was an integral part of this series but there was so much more to it. There was a lot of action in it and violence too. There were varying emotions invoked by family drama, acceptance, and approval. There was friendship and kinship that were tested throughout. I loved how every emotion was placed and there was never anything that made me feel like ‘oh, that’s overdone’.

Overall I won’t say this series killed me with the feels but it had so much stuff like slavery, oppression, etc., that was food for thought. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have liked it any other way. 🙂

Characters: So our main female character is Kestrel and for a change our heroine is not a badass ninja killer but a beauty with a strategist’s brain. Her moves are very calculated which makes it very interesting to read. Our main male character is Smith/Arin who has hidden secrets of his own but is not a pain in the ass or over the top perfect. He is an ordinary guy but with leadership qualities and is ever so humble and doesn’t realize his full potential. I loved these two character. They were so good to read. I loved their developing romance that got me so excited that I had to express it by updating my Goodreads status

‘Things are getting soooo interesting here!!! *heart eyes emoji* excited!!!!’

Please bear with me; I am a sucker for romance. That’s what happens when you stay single for way too long and read romance/fantasy novels.

Books: I have thoroughly enjoyed all three books. They were such page turners.

The first book – The Winner’s Curse – lays down the foundation, explains the past, shows different relationship and portrays the developing romance between Kestral and Arin which is why it is my favorite book in the series.

The second book – The Winner’s Crime – has more strategies based with a lot of consequence. It was interesting but at the same time so infuriating because of certain characters and their ploys.

The third book – The Winner’s Kiss – is 60% war based but there was never a dull moment. I don’t like reading books that have wars or elaborate details because I am not that imaginative I believe. I got a little wary thinking I won’t be able to keep up with this book but I was kept interested throughout. And that’s saying something really.

All the three books are packed with emotions and feelings so it will never become just an action/war packed book, so don’t worry it won’t focus on just one topic! 🙂

Favorite Characters: If you’ve read the books you will know the people I talk about now. Apart from Kestrel and Arin, Roshar was my most favorite character. His humor was always oh-so-endearingly-sarcastic and on point. I love what he did in the end of the series. It will be a crime if I don’t include Little Arin to this list. Roshar might just have my head for it. Sarsine was such a sweet soul. I loved Ronan. There were parts where I was shipping him and Kestrel so bad. Verex and Jess’s were nice too.

My Rating for The Winner’s Trilogy as a Series: 5/5

My Individual Rating:

The Winner’s Curse: 5/5

The Winner’s Crime: 5/5

The Winner’s Kiss: 5/5

I rarely ever like all the books in a series the same way so it was quite a surprise when I checked my Goodreads profile to get the ratings for this review and saw I gave all the three books 5 stars. 😀

Do I recommend this series? As if you can’t tell. Hell yes!!!

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!!!SPOILER ZONE!!!

Please stop reading now if you haven’t read the series because I am going to crying about a few situations in the book in the section below. You’ve been warned.

Can we just talk about how freaking evil the Emperor was?? Character wise he was brilliant but I hated his cunningness and the power he had to do anything because he would never be questioned. By the time I was 70% done with The Winner’s Crime #2 I was soooo angry I wanted to punch him in the face. His always had a few tricks up his sleeves. Like Verex said to Kestrel, that it’s not about competition and more about experience. The Emperor had so much experience with manipulating people and getting his own way. I hated it when he threatened her not to cause more problems than she is worth. Grrr!! And Kestrel’s father – OMG!!! Why would he do what he did??? I was soooo heartbroken!!! Even though he slipped a few tears in the third book after listening to what happened to Kestrel, he could just not redeem himself in my eyes. I understand he was hurt… but what he choose to do to her was too much.

Can we also talk about me wanting to throw myself out of the window at the end of the first book when Arin asked Kestrel ‘what did you do?’ OMG!!! I fell more deeply in love with him that very moment. And then when he said ‘Please don’t do this, Kestrel, you don’t understand.’ And she argues that she does and he says ‘you don’t, Kestrel, even though the god of lies loves you.’ I was so heartbroken!!! Why do books give me such painful feels, man!! The kiss in the kitchen in the first book was so cute!! And when he says that we can find a way to be together here – oh gosh my heart was in my mouth. Too cute!!! And when he comes and saves her from the Tundra. I was so worried he would never get to know what happens to her. I loved his possessiveness and protectiveness. Can I please have an Arin on the go? Thank you.

Verex – I was so conflicted about him. I was guessing that maybe he would be gay that’s why he isn’t interested in Kestrel but just turned out he was in love with some other girl. I didn’t think he would care about Kestrel so much that he would try to help her but it was very sweet when it happened.

Let’s talk about Roshar a little more because I am obsessed with him lol but the way we get to know his sexuality and how he teases Arin after that is just super hilarious.

I liked the Herrani culture. It was so mythical. I especially loved the design of their houses. So many rooms for just one person, how cool!! Loved the idea of a garden between the east and west wing that belongs to the Wife and Husband. 😉

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Okay I am done now!

Cya later!! 😀

~fatima x

Find Me On Social Media: Twitter | Instagram

 

May Wrap Up // Shortest One Ever

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I read The Selection series by Kiera Cass throughout May. I am going to keep this wrap up as short as possible without giving much away because I plan to do a detailed review on the series because too many feels!! 😀 Also, if you haven’t read it yet, I would suggest read the synopsis for the first book only. Get the idea of the storyline and then let the novels take you through the journey.

I read all the five books and four novellas. (First Book ‘The Selection’ Synopsis Here)

The Selection #1 || Rating: 4/5

The Elite #2 || Rating: 5/5

The One #3 || Rating: 5/5

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The next two books were based on a different character.

The Heir #4 || Rating: 3/5

The Crown #5 || Rating: 4/5

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Novellas

The Queen #0.4 || Rating: 2/5

The Prince #0.5 || Rating: 1/5

The Guard #2.5 || Rating: 4/5

The Epilogue #3.1 (The bonus/second epilogue) || Rating: 5/5

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I know I am missing one novella and some parts that are included in the Happily Forever book but I am not fond of novellas I realized so I might not really give them a go. Not right now at least.

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And we are up to date. Hurrah!!! 😀 Now I will post reviews, tag and all my bookish feels!! 😀

Until next time,

~F x