If I were to describe this book using just a word, it's going to be: Roth. Which is pretty much synonymous to the word...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
If I were to describe this book using just a word, it's going to be: Roth. Which is pretty much synonymous to the word HOT. Scorching hot.
Layla sees souls and tags demons. It's the only thing she can do to stop herself from thinking too much about how she's unwanted, not accepted and not really either of the two species she's from: Warden and Demon. The Wardens, shifters with pure souls who turn into Gargoyles, keep the human world safe and the Demons do a little mischief to keep the balance of the world between Good and Evil. That is, until Layla finds herself being hunted by creatures from Hell with a very powerful demon as her protector. Hell wants her for a reason, but her family, The Wardens, aren't telling her anything. Why is a scorching hot demon helping her and why is her being a Half Demon Half Warden suddenly very important?
I had issues with Layla. Admittedly, I didn't like her at the start. She's the sort of girl that I do not like, the type who cries easily, whiny and demanding, who pities herself all day long and it took a while for me to warm up to her. She's not the typical kick-ass girl I see in most of Jennifer Armentrout's novels, she's that girl who's always sad and lost. Layla earned my sympathy at one point with the struggles she was facing and the trials she had to go through, trying to show the world that she's good when the rest of it thinks she's nothing but evil. I came to like her when she showed signs that she's changing for the better, slowly growing a backbone, and the gradual snark and fierceness she showed brought to life her character.
I can give you a pretty long list why I love Roth from the bottom of my very girly and all too romantic, giggly heart. He makes me swoon with the mere mention of his name. He's the perfect representation of all that is naughty and not so nice in a Demon. Every single word that comes out of his mouth was designed to make a girl do very, very bad things. What I liked about him is that beneath all that haughty, playful persona lies something more. He doesn't claim to be someone he's not, and he's not lying when he said he's not really nice. But beneath it all is a heart, though tainted, has the capacity to feel. And who says demons cannot fall in love?
This is also one of those times where I totally feel nothing for the other love interest. Zayne was automatically typecasted as the older brother in my book. He can't be anyone else. He's too good, and that goodness pales in comparison compared to Roth's deviousness. He is, however, swoon worthy in his own right.
Also, who wants to own a pet like Bambi? Or Fury, Nitro and Thor?
When I first read the plot, I find it intriguing how gargoyles, demons and angels can mix in a novel, and oddly enough, Jennifer Armentrout made it work. It was, admittedly, a very unusual combination, but the way Jennifer Armentrout spins such a tale made it sound so epic and believable. Zombies? Seeker demons? Giant snakes? It's fascinating how she was able to bring to life such a world without even sounding boring or preachy as it also touches base with words like free will, what is good and what is evil.
Jennifer Armentrout brings the HOT in White Hot Kiss. She has this uncanny ability to write such breath taking, heart racing scenes that you gradually get addicted to as you read. Entertaining, fascinating and over all a thrill of a read. To be able to craft such lively characters and a world filled with secrets and intrigue... where does she get inspiration to write stories like this? It's not just all about the sexual tension between Roth and Layla, it's about a girl's struggle to accept herself for who and what she is, and to be able to tough it out and see through what it's like to be in between. It's about seeing people for more than what they are and what they look like. Amidst the heart stopping action scenes, twisty developments and unexpected surprises left and right, there's that parting kick in the gut moments that just made the story all the more loveable. I was so engrossed in the novel that I almost ripped out the last few pages, hoping that there's more for me to read. Can I please have the sequel now?(less)
All the fears. All the gasping. All the screaming. All the frustration. (And most...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I can proudly say this: I HAVE SURVIVED.
All the fears. All the gasping. All the screaming. All the frustration. (And mostly me hitting my mattress repeatedly.) All the feels.
Every single blow Tahereh Mafi can give to her readers in this final installment of her wonderful, wonderful series.
I have survived them all, and still I wish it didn't end.
Before I started reading Ignite Me, I have this really irrational fear of plunging to the novel head on and finding out everyone ends up dead at the end. I felt like I had to prepare myself for any possible thing that might blindside me. But the funny thing was, the moment I've read that first line? The fear just became a really strong desire to see the story to the very end, no matter what happens.
I've said this before, and I will say this again: Tahereh Mafi is a brilliant writer. What fascinated me with the entire series was more than just the plot, but Tahereh's ability to get into your head with her writing, those disconnected sentences without punctuation marks? The striked out words? She has this ability to make you unable to breathe just by writing. One moment you are happily soaking those warm fuzzy feelings and the next you want to hit your mattress repeatedly because of frustration.
A lot of things changed in this novel. I think Ignite Me is story of change, for everyone but ultimately for Juliette. I tend to think of her as this whiny, emotional girl in the first two books and I loved how in this book, she admitted her faults, looked deep inside and accepted the things she was lacking, the good and the bad. She thought of things in life and love, sorted them out even though it's hard and painful and opened herself to the change. She examined her feelings carefully and made decisions for herself. Juliette grew up, and she grew stronger by embracing her faults and putting the effort to make herself better. That moment of self-realization, of finally letting go and breaking free from the walls she'd put up herself and not letting anyone stop her from doing so is one of the most satisfying points for me in the story.
I've long since pledged my allegiance to Warner. From the very first book, there's something about that sinister, stoic facade that intrigued me, and I wanted to see who that broken, struggling boy behind the cold, seemingly merciless persona really was. Find out more about himself, the things that make him laugh and cry, his habits. And it was so hard to see him break even more. If he did so in Unravel Me, he bared himself more in Ignite Me. You see a different side of him, see the pain, the hurt, the doubts plaguing him, the uncertainty, his love for Juliette and the intensity of it, what he's willing to sacrifice for it. And I loved how I got to see more of his vulnerability, that human side, that unapologetic attitude, that acceptance of who he was and what he has done, that brilliance. Every so often I just go "Warner, oh Warner." and sigh. Because he is, by no means, perfect. But his imperfections are the things that made readers like me love him.
Surprisingly, I find myself agreeing with the way the other characters changed in the novel. Reading Fracture Me somehow prepared me of the potential direction the story is headed, especially with Adam. I understand him, and sometimes I don't. Maybe because I loved the way Warner thinks, and it was drastically different from the way Adam does. The way he responded to a lot of things that happened in this book made me analyze his character as a whole, from the first book up to this one. And though he too is imperfect, I find that his imperfections are what actually made him unlovable at times. Also, if there's any other character in this book that I loved, it is, without a doubt, Kenji Kishimoto. He wasn't just the funny, happy go lucky Kenji that he was. He was a leader, a friend and a brother all at once. He had this ability to just make the most unbearable of times bearable for everyone. Those one liners, that strong personality. He was amazing and terribly funny!
People died, secrets were revealed, a new version of selves emerged, evil was defeated, things were destroyed to pave the way for a new beginning. Tahereh Mafi just went ahead and put together an amazing final book in a beloved series. I loved how everything just came together in a really good way in the end, and not just because I got the ending that I wanted, but because it was an ending that was satisfying and it made sense. Just when you thought you can't get enough of the romance, intense action scenes and sequences that will make you hold your breath appears and then moments where you just want to fan yourself pop up. I have never laughed, cried out of frustration and blushed as much as I did while reading this book. I was in a perpetual state of happiness long after I've flipped to the end and then I wondered "was all of it real?". It was like a dream. A very good dream I would gladly dream over and over.
And so I say thank you, Tahereh Mafi, for writing this series. Thank you for bringing to life such a wonderful world and a diverse set of characters. Thank you for the laughter, the tears, those evil moments when you don't know what's gonna happen anymore. It was hard to part with the characters I have loved, and bidding farewell to this world is a bittersweet experience.
But as much as I hate him right at this moment, I'm thinking... so is this finally the way the story's heading? Is Adam gradual...moreWell Adam, you douche.
But as much as I hate him right at this moment, I'm thinking... so is this finally the way the story's heading? Is Adam gradually pulling away from Juliette? And what the hell brought about this sudden change?
I get it, Adam loves James. I really do, I know that. But that change of heart? All of a sudden?
I guess it's time to find out and read Ignite Me.(less)
I always get nostalgic whenever I read stories about high school, given that it was such a fun time of my life. And th...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I always get nostalgic whenever I read stories about high school, given that it was such a fun time of my life. And the collection of stories in Luna East Academy brought out a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings in me while I was reading. There really is a story for anyone and everyone who've ever been through the good and the bad times, the crazy ups and downs and the confusing, exhilirating time that was High School.
Short but meaningful, each of the stories will bring out a different feeling from the reader the moment they finish reading. I started off feeling 'kilig', immediately responding to that sweetness that started off the stories in Luna East. It gradually pulled me in with the myriad of characters I meet in each author's work, each becoming a little more interesting as I navigate through the world of high school cliques, the social hierarchies, and the common denominator that binds all of the stories inside: friendship and love.
I really think the idea behind Luna East is brilliant! I love how I get to read works from different authors with different themes and writing styles and you not only get to see the contrasts in their works, but you get to know the lives of those within the fictional Academy that is Luna East. You are bound to meet a character that you will like and dislike, read a story that will make your heart ache or jump with joy, one that will fascinate you a lot and make you think of it even after you've finished reading. I love getting that wonderful, happy feeling.
All of the stories were really good, but some of them stayed with me long after I finished reading the Kindle ebook and they are:
Sitting in a Tree by Chrissie Peria
I've read this first on the Luna East blog, and it didn't get less sweeter or cuter after my second time reading. It makes one miss school fairs and all those booths that serves as "bridges" for some of the students to express what they feel for other fellow students.
Fifty two weeks by Mina V. Esguerra
I had a big smile pasted on my face by the time I finished reading this story. Anything Mina writes always seem to get under my skin, leaving me with extreme feels.
Yours is the First Face that I Saw by Ronald S. Lim
This story surprised me completely. I've read a handful of stories with LGBT themes, but Ron's just made me fall in love with his story immediately after reading the first few paragraphs. It's delightfully interesting and was written really well. My only complain: why does it have to end there? More!
Something Real by Miles Tan
My first taste of sadness in the world of Luna East. Gigi's story took time for it to sink in! There was something about her and what she's been through that makes me want to just hug her. The poor girl... and that guy. I have no words to express what I feel about James. It was a mix of frustration and disbelief and a little bit of sadness thrown in the mix. I love how this story brought out complex feelings from me. One of my top favorites!
The Rumor About Me by Kristel S. Villar
This has got to be my most favorite story in this collection! I just love anything that involves a shy, timid girl who learns to stand up for herself along the way and the jock who was completely different from what everyone thinks he really was. I wish it didn't end. I wish there was more.
Senpai’s #1 Fan by Anne Plaza
I was sold the moment the words "Kaname" and "Danny Choo" were mentioned at the start of the story, and later "Quatre Raberba Winner". Anne Plaza gave the readers a sneak peek into the world of Otakus, enough to gave Jannie a good foundation for her character. If I was a character in Luna East's world I'd probably be hanging out with Jannie and her friends. I will thrive at anime conventions and fangirl over goods and cosplayers, and still be focused enough to notice someone like Adrian. I also love how it wasn't just about anime or mecha costumes, but the transition to music is a good addition too!
Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Jayen San Diego
"I am always the second best, and I hate it." After I've read that line I knew I was going to like this story. I love how stubborn Maan can be, and how that stubborn streak in her draws Nico helplessly closer. There's something good about getting inside Maan and Nico's head and knowing how they feel about those around them and each other, which made me love the point of view switching. And those sweet moments at the end? I had to re-read them over and over.
If you think of each story as a part of a world you've yet to fully see, you will find something worth exploring in Luna East. There's definitely a lot of room for new stories and characters to appear, all of them existing in a world where anything can happen. But more than that, these collection of stories urges everyone to come not just explore life in Luna East, but try to write their own story. Each and every single tale can inspire a reader to write something, anything, to contribute to the world of arts, music, money and sports. What a really lovely work this is! Kudos to each and every writer in this collection! You are all a talented bunch! (less)