Book Review: Invictus By Ryan Graudin

Author: Ryan Graudin
Pages: 464 Pages
Genre: Science Fiction, YA
Publication Date: September 26th, 2017 
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Invictus, books, coffee n' notes

Blurb

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Review
5 Stars

This is my first read of Ryan Graudin and I loved it. Usually, I don’t like read different POVs but here Ryan did an amazing job and it was very satisfying.

I love how the author implements the time travel here and from the start with the heist, I was deep in the story and I finished it in one sitting…Well in two, lol. This story reminds me a lot of Firefly, Timeless, and Doctor Who all jumbled up together, and it worked. The time travel makes everything feel better here and the plot moves faster. The author paints wonderful images of the time travel, that you just can’t fall deeper into the story.

The plot itself is very gripping and you just find yourself at 2am still reading 😀 I loved the jumps through history and the none stop excitement and adventures. This is definitely a more plot-driven story than a character-driven, but it was still a wonderful read. Even the romance here was written beautifully and didn’t take the spotlight from the plot or other characters.

The characters were very well made, even though I did want more information on a few characters. It felt as if something was missing (it didn’t make the story less great).

Far – I loved how the author made this unusual character as the lead character, but I think we could’ve gotten more details and more of his story here. It felt a bit like something missing and it was hard for me to relate to Far.

Gram – Is the Engineer of the Invictus. I loved reading more about him, lol. He is so smart and logical – I guess that’s what made me relate to him more 😀

Eliot – The mysterious girl character, was such a wonderful addition to the other characters and even though I was very suspicious of her from the start, she is still an important part of the plot.

Priya – Is Far’s girlfriend from the start and it was written beautifully which made the story relatable. This relationship reminded me a lot of  Zoe and Wash from Firefly, lol. and maybe my favorite of the characters

Imogen – Far’s cousin. I loved her quirky style and her unique hairstyles and I really enjoyed reading more about her.

From the middle of the book, things get clearer and more adventurous, but what I loved here best is that the middle of the book just made me read faster, I was so invested in the plot and the characters and I obsessed in knowing more and more.

By the end I was so sad it was over…

Overall, Invictus was a very gripping, fast paced, action packed story and I highly recommend this book to you all ❤

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

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Book Review: Raelia (The Medoran Chronicles #2) By Lynette Noni

Author: Lynette Noni
Pages: 403 Pages
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publication Date: April 1st, 2016 
Publisher: Pantera Press

Raelia, Book Review, Coffee n' Notes

Blurb

“Life is full of crossroads, Alex. Full of choices.”

Returning for a second year at Akarnae Academy with her gifted friends, Alexandra Jennings steps back through a doorway into Medora, the fantasy world that is full of impossibilities. Despite the magical wonder of Medora, Alex’s life remains threatened by Aven Dalmarta, the banished prince from the Lost City of Meya who is out for her blood. To protect the Medorans from Aven’s quest to reclaim his birthright, Alex and her friends seek out the Meyarin city and what remains of its ancient race. Not sure who—or perhaps what—she is anymore, all Alex knows is that if she fails to keep Aven from reaching Meya, the lives of countless Medorans will be in danger. Can she protect them, or will all be lost?

#EmbraceTheWonder

Review
5 Stars

Oh, my… Trying to sort out my feelings and thoughts a bit before starting this review.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read the first book Akarnae but everything stayed fresh in my mind and this book starts just a few months after the first book ends.

The author Lynette Noni did a great job with grabbing my attention from start to finish. The world is filled with magic, incredible places and interesting characters that you will want to know more and more about.

As I said, this is the second book in this series and here, Alex and her friends are back at Akarnae Academy for another year of dangerous adventures.

The friendships Lynette has created here is a rare unicorn to read in books, it is so well written and well thought of.

These friendships between all the characters make the story of what it is. Even the not so main characters were well written and made Medora more real and the adventures in this book more exciting.

The storyline resumes shortly after Akarnae, (no spoilers here), but after the first book, Alex is back more determined to protect the institute. When Alex travels to an ancient kingdom, we meet new characters that now play a key role in the story and are part of Alex’s group, which makes the story even more exciting to read.

I will add that this story has a unique feel to it just like Harry Potter and for me, that means that the story and the characters will surely make me laugh, angry and cry, as I go through their adventure with them and I will remember them forever.

Even the villain Aven, is written well, and you immediately love to hate him, Lynette truly did a wonderful work with him, like all the other characters in this series.

The ending really punch you in the feels 😀

The last few chapters were brutal and heartbreaking, and I can tell you now that as soon as I finished with this book I grabbed the next one as fast as I could. I had to know what will happen, I just had to.

Overall, it is a fun and fast read (I couldn’t let go of the book from the start), and there was much tension, making it a perfect blend of a wonderful story. The Medoran Chronicles is definitely a series worth reading, you will not regret it ❤

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

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**** Here’s my book review for Akarnae (book 1) 🙂

Book Review: The Book of Pearl

Author: Timothee de Fombelle
Pages: 384 Pages
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publication Date: 06 Feb 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press

The Book of Pearl, Coffee n' Notes, Book Review

Blurb

Joshua Pearl comes from a world that we no longer believe in — a world of fairy tale. He knows that his great love waits for him there, but he is stuck in an unfamiliar time and place — an old-world marshmallow shop in Paris on the eve of World War II. As his memories begin to fade, Joshua seeks out strange objects: tiny fragments of tales that have already been told, trinkets that might possibly help him prove his own story before his love is lost forever. Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon translate the original French into a work both luminous and layered, enabling Timothée de Fombelle’s modern fairy tale to thrum with magic. Brimming with romance and history, mystery and adventure, this ode to the power of memory, storytelling, and love will ensnare any reader’s imagination and every reader’s heart.

Review
3 Stars

Before I start this review I wanna take moment and say something about this cover. This is a beautiful, gorgeous and so attractive cover, I love it ❤

This book was really hard to review, I’ve been struggling to finish it. I think most of the issues I had with this book was that it felt like something just got lost in the translation.
From the first chapter, I fell in love with the characters and I was nose-deep in the book, and the love story here is so well written and engaging.

At first, I cared about these characters, I wanted to know more and I thought the story itself is a unique and beautiful tale. Somewhere in the middle, I just stopped caring, I got bored and most importantly, I got confused by all the timelines switching and the plot.
There were moments in this book that were written so beautifully and on others, I truly struggled to keep going.

The last few chapters were beautiful again and the story concluded in such a wonderful way that made me change my mind and give this book 3 stars and not 2.

The Book of Pearl had a very strong fairy tale vibe to it and so it was very exciting reading it and fall in love with the characters and the worlds, but somewhere in the middle it got more and more confusing for me and I lost interest. From the Pov changes, the timeline switching and the plot within a plot 😀 But even though I got lost in all of this, I still think it was a nice book to read and the ending of the book was truly satisfying for me.

Overall it was a nice read, even with the mid-book struggle and I think that the original version of this book (in French) will be an amazing book to read.

I received this book in a format of PDF from NetGalley for an honest review.

You can find the book over at

Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

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Book Review: The Host By Stephenie Meyer

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Pages: 829 (my paperback)
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Publication Date: May 6th, 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company

The Host Book, Coffee n' Notes

Blurb

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Review
5 Stars

Before I will go into the book review, I just wanted to say how much I love this book and that I enjoy reading The Host every year ❤

This book is beautifully written and the characters are well developed. Stephenie did an amazing job with this book, miles apart from the Twilight series (and I loved Twilight a lot). The characters here are strong and real, and my connection with the characters was easily made. I don’t know if Stephenie Meyer will continue this book, but I would certainly love to read anything she will write about these characters and about this story. The host will make you laugh, get angry and cry all throughout the book.

The Host is about alien creatures, tiny ones that take control of a host and by doing so they take over their mind and body. This happens all over the universe until they arrive at earth and the humans fight back.

Melanie will fight to survive and keep her own identity and memories. While Wanderer slowly learns of the human interactions. The humans in this story are very cruel and seek to destroy the ‘souls’ while most of these ‘souls’ are kind and gentle. These souls take the body of the dead host, but Melanie was still there, trapped.

Even the love story between Jared and Wanderer (Wanda ) and Ian, was written well and I enjoyed that aspect of the story very much. What made me read more and connect more to the story, was the conflict between Melanie and Wanderer as they both fight to find their own identity. At the end, Wanda is driven by Melanie’s strong need to find her little brother, Jamie and by her passion towards Jared. There is so much tension in this book, and every time I read this book, more question rise up. I want to know more 🙂

I loved the writing style in the Twilight series as it was very emotional, fun and easy to read but in my opinion, Meyer’s writing style improved so much in this book, miles apart from Twilight.

The Host is a captivating story full of friendships, love, and survival, all bundled up in a beautifully written story. I know a lot of people saw the movie, but just know that the movie is nothing to the book and even if you’re not Meyer’s fan, you should read this book at least once.

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

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Book Review: The Hawkman By Jane Rosenberg LaForge

Author: Jane Rosenberg LaForge
Pages: 318
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 5th, 2018
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

The Hawkman, Coffee n' Notes

Blurb

A great war, a great love, and the mythology that unites them; The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War is a lyrical adaptation of a beloved classic.

Set against the shattering events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at the tale’s heart are an American schoolteacher—dynamic and imaginative—and an Irish musician, homeless and hated—who have survived bloodshed, poverty, and sickness to be thrown together in an English village. Together they quietly hide from the world in a small cottage.

Too soon, reality shatters their serenity, and they must face the parochial community. Unbeknownst to all, a legend is in the making—one that will speak of courage and resilience amidst the forces that brought the couple together even as outside forces threaten to tear them apart.

Review
4 Stars

Before I start, I will say that this book wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I did enjoy reading The Hawkman a lot. Let’s take a moment and talk about this gorgeous cover, wow. This cover is beautiful, luring and has a romantic feel to it, I love it.

Jane Rosenberg LaForge created a lovely story with an interesting plot and characters. It took me about a week to read this book, so it was a relatively fast read and the ending of this book was the cherry on top.

The story is set in England after WW1, where two broken people meet and fall in love. The Hawkman is a musician soldier broken from the war and Eva is a teacher who saw that man needs her help. Eva gives the Hawkman a hand when no one will show him any kindness and she brings him to the cottage. There, they hide from the cruel world until the world finds them. The fairy tale story made me more hooked on the book and read even though some parts were a bit slow for me.

I will say that the major reason I gave it 4 stars, was because even though I enjoyed following the characters and overall I did care what will happen next with them, from time to time I found myself not caring about them and I felt a bit bored.

I received a copy of The Hawkman through NetGalley for an honest review.

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

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Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down By John Green

Author: John Green
Pages: 286 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, YA Fiction
Publication Date: October 10th 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books

John Green, Turtles All The Way Down

Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Review
5 Stars (and beyond)

I absolutely loved and enjoyed every second of reading this book. From the simple but gorgeous cover to the wonderful and powerful words of John Green, everything in this book made me read it more than just once, but 4 times already, hehe.

I knew John Green’s writing from before so I knew this will not be just another mystery story and I was so happy to find out that it is much more than that.

If you ever had trouble with OCD, anxiety this book will resonate with you more. I used to suffer from OCD and I still have major anxieties and that is what love about this book. It shows you yourself through mystery and friends.

For me, Aza is a very relatable character, as I could easily understand her struggles and thoughts. This entire book focus on her inner demons and her mental health. Her struggles made me feel so much, from anger and joy to just crying uncontrollably. Aza reminded me how much I have overcome in my life and how much I still have to overcome. Through her friends Daisy and Davis, Aza gets the support she needs, and I loved how Daisy and Davis played a huge role here.

John Green’s writing is always enjoyable and easy to read, but here you get the more intellectual side of him, mixed with his own struggles with mental health, which made the book even more phenomenal to read. The ending was perfect and made the story even better and more powerful.

Finally, I truly enjoyed reading turtles all the way down and about these characters and this book meant a lot to me, so much that I’ve read it over and over again 🙂 I highly recommend this book to anyone. However if you do suffer from any mental illness know that it might trigger, but for me, this was an amazing self-reflect and getting to know more about how others feel about anxiety. Even if you don’t suffer from any mental health, this is still a fun and intellectual book to read.

For me, this book was powerful and honest, it’s a must-read for us all ❤

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Book Review: Philippines’ Resistance: The Last Allied Stronghold in the Pacific by Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas, Klytie Xu

Author: Stacey Anne Baterina Salinas
Pages: 85
Genre: Educational
Publication Date: 2017
Publisher: Pacific Atrocities Education

Books, Coffee n' Notes

Blurb

The people of the Philippine Islands during the early half of the twentieth century experienced various waves of Western Imperialism, two wars of attempted secession from western powers, and two world wars. And yet, the Philippine Islands and its people have received only small subheadings in many American textbooks and histories. The wartime experiences from the perspectives of the Philippine people have gone unnoticed and have become overshadowed by the socio-political dominating legacy of American figures like General MacArthur, leader and historical symbol of the Pacific Theater during World War II. MacArthur’s famous phrase “I came through and shall return” are etched into every facet of World War II historical narratives, textbooks, and monuments that pay tribute to the Allied forces in the retaking of the Pacific from the Japanese. But It is the lesser known people and leaders of the Philippine resistance against the Axis powers whose efforts and contributions allowed for the effective and speedy return of MacArthur’s military forces…

Review
4 Stars

Philippines’ Resistance was a very illuminating and educational book to read. It shows about the true heroes of the WWII in the Philippines, and just by looking at the gorgeous cover, you see the power and the will of the people.

This book showed how these heroes fought for survival and freedom and fought for others in those horrible times. It’s a short but well-written book, full of captivating images that helped a lot to connect to the history and to the people in the book.

The book showed the history through the locals eyes and those who fought for the land, and how they had to survive and what they needed to do, in order to overcome the horrors of the war.

It was a powerful book to read and very knowledgeable, I was really loving the information on a place I know very little of, and gave me the chance to learn more about this beautiful land and about the power of the people.

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

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Book Review: Lulu’s Ballam-Bam-Bam Grooves By Serina Adham

Author: Serina Adham
Pages: 20 Pages (PDF)
Genre: Children’s Books
Publication Date: August 16th, 2017
Publisher: Amazon

Blurb

There is nothing Lulu loves more than dancing by herself. With each new song, she practices the “Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves.” She slides her feet, claps her hands, and bumps her hips against a tree trunk.

There is just one problem. Lulu is a gorilla! When she stamps her feet and shakes the trees, she ends up disturbing all the other animals in her jungle home. Poor Squin Squirrel cannot even sip his nut tea without Lulu’s dancing rattling his tree home. Squin and the other animals try to tell Lulu that her dancing is disruptive, but they cannot get through to the gorilla.

Then, Lulu’s loud music and dancing ends up waking up the mighty king of the jungle. The angry lion Jhawfors then confronts Lulu with the problem. Will the animals be able to find a compromise?

This rhyming children’s tale imparts valuable lessons to young readers. Lulu does not want to stop doing what she loves, but she needs to understand that her actions affect others. Through Lulu, children will learn the importance of respect, compassion, and compromise.

Review
4 Stars

This was such a cute book to read and I am sure that kids will enjoy this one 🙂

This is a book about Lulu who loves to dance and try new dance moves. Her dance moves making too much noise and they aren’t acceptable by all, but there is a plan a great plan that will help all.

I loved the bright blue colors in the book and the writing is so fun and really makes the reader enjoy the story, almost as a song by itself. The words came to life and the images popped out as I continued to read.

This could be such a fun way to dance with your child or even make a new dance together.

The only thing that made me give this book 4 stars and not 5 is the cover. This book is fun and full of bright colors, the cover is a bit a bit boring, I think it needs a bit more color.

To end the review on a good note, I really think Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves is a fun, colorful, and engaging book and I think kids can really enjoy this book.

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Book Review: Nightblade by Garrett Robinson

Author: Garrett Robinson
Series: Nightblade Epic #1
Publishing: The Vince Davis Trilogy
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: September 12th, 2014
Publisher: Legacy Books

Nightblade

Blurb

Fight for your dream or they will take it from you.

Loren dreams of escaping her cruel parents and becoming a great thief: Nightblade, a warrior of darkness and a champion of the light. Following the fugitive sorcerer Xain out of her forest home, she wears a stolen noble’s cloak of fine black cloth and carries a dagger the world has not seen in centuries—a blade that can turn enemies to allies when she least expects it.

Yet something keeps her from using that dagger to take a life.

Soon she crosses paths with the smuggler family of Yerrin, invoking their wrath by stealing their most precious treasure. Yerrin’s reach is long, and they will not stop until they silence Loren forever.

If she can survive, Loren may become the most infamous thief in the world. But if she fails, she will be only the first to burn in a war that threatens all the nine lands.

Review
5 Stars

I love watching Garrett Robinson on his youtube channel and when he reached out to his community for a review, I asked to read his book. I was completely hyped to read his books after I saw that he was streaming his writing on youtube as well.
I asked for the first book and soon enough it arrived and since then I read nightblade twice.

From the first chapter I just kept reading, forgetting what time it was (1 am) and I was deep in the story. The author did a wonderful job with the world building and the characters. You can’t help yourself but want to know more of this world and see how the characters are growing and the adventures they are facing.

Nightblade is about a girl, Loren, who runs away from her parents, especially from her abusive father, just after she meets a young man who was running from the law. Their adventure turned into a fight to survive. I love the author’s imagery and how everything came to life in the book, I mostly loved the dialog between the characters, it felt as you are right there next to them eavesdropping on them.
Everything felt as a true adventure 🙂

Loren is a very relatable character, she has big dreams while trying to escape her abusive parents. The author made sure to build the world and the main character in such a real way. It felt so real, every fear and every success felt as real as in real life.
Loren will not marry for money and when she meets Xain her dreams and wishes comes to reality and she sees a way out of her current life. I will not spoil the rest of the story for you but I will say that when she took her first step out of her village, things became more complicated and very quickly Loren finds herself in bad situations.

My favorite character I must say is the young mystic boy and Loren, they are both well thought of and I felt very connected to them both.

By the end of the book, I wanted more… To know more about the characters and to see if she finally found what Loren was looking for. I love fantasy book (it’s my main genre) and this book didn’t fell short of my expectations. I am so happy that I got the chance to read this book and know of this series.

Can we take a moment to look at that gorgeous cover… I love the cover so much.

Nightblade is a great read and if you love young adult fantasy/epic fantasy, this book is for you. I can’t wait to read the next books in this series.

Books

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Book Review: The Legend of The Washo Gold (Book 1) By Jon Budd

Author: Jon Budd
Series: The Vince Davis Trilogy
Publishing: The Vince Davis Trilogy
Pages: 177 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: October 17th, 2015
Publisher: Jonathan H Budd

Book Review, Coffee n' Notes

Blurb

To prevent a repeat of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Hank, a modern day Native American Indian, overcomes his doubts about his tribe’s ancient religion and leads a war party to recover a cursed Indian treasure.

Succumbing to the genocide brought down upon them during the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush, the Washo Indians were teetering on the brink of extinction. With the help of a mysterious stranger, they devised an ingenious plan to survive. Many years later, when the secret of their survival is threatened, the tribe appoints a modern day warrior to lead a war party to San Francisco to recover stolen Indian treasure and secure the secret of the Washo Gold.

This novel enables the reader to experience the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush from the perspective of a tribe of Native American Indians who lived through it.

Review
4 Stars

This was a short read but a very intriguing one. The beginning was a bit hard to read, and it made my reading slower. It was a bit confusing, but after the first 30 pages of the book I was completely immersed in the story and felt connected to the characters. But the slow pace made a nice buildup for the rest of book which was truly great read.

This is a very well thought of and well-developed story and characters. I loved the native feel to it and how the author took the history and showcased it here in the book – very well done and so emotional.

This book shows us in a very simple way how dark life can be, how people mistreat others, especially towards the minorities and how hard they need to work only to just survive.

The writing was so good and it made me feel close to the characters and I was very emotional throughout the entire book. The characters were interesting and helped me push through the difficult parts at the beginning and helped me become very close to their own story. The ending of the story was both unexpected and very revealing, can’t wait to read the next 😀

I love the cover, it’s really beautiful and very enticing to read the book. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn more about the human nature and to those who like historical fiction.

You can find the book over at

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

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