Best Snow White Retelling So Far // Girls Made Of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

MY RATING : ★★/5 

When I started reading this book, I expected a very average teenage fantasy story because I’ve been disappointed in so many YA books lately. Surprisingly, as soon as I think that I find myself diving in the book and never let it go for the next 3 hours and read it one shot. YES, that’s how good it was!

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I would love to say that it’s the usual plot but nope this one is actually unexpected. Without spoiling anything, you have Mina, the step-mother, a beautiful woman with an exquisite charm and Lynet, the princess who become quite fond of her stepmother. Since she was a little girl, Lynet wanted to be like Mina, a beauty and those fierce traits that she always looked up to. Unfortunately, as the story unfolds their relations would turn into anger and a battle of powers take place. Don’t read the official blurb, it gives away too much of the story.  Continue reading

Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan

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“It may look like a comic, but it’s really a tragedy.”

— Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days

    Set around the year 2000, Ex Machina (Volume 1) The First Hundred Days concocts a New York city politics-filled drama mixed in with a dose of realistic superhero vigilantism. Writer of countless renown series such as Saga, Y: The Last Man and Paper Girls, Brian K. Vaughan offers us the story of Mitchell Hundred as he randomly lives through a freak accident that presents him with never-before-seen superpowers. This volume collects issues #1-5 and gives us a glimpse into the origin story behind Mitchell Hundred and how he went from being a simple civil engineer to The Great Machine to the Mayor of New York City. Albeit a throwback to the early 2000s, this volume succeeds in capturing the atmosphere and social dilemmas that troubled NYC back in the day. The story also does a wonderful job in presenting readers with a protagonist who’s not exactly special in any way possible and who’s core personality remains genuine and unaltered, even when he’s gifted with powers.

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Strange Fire by Tommy Wallach

MY RATING : ★★/5 

Wow quel plaisir ! That’s what I screamed to myself on my couch when I finish this book. It’s probably one of my favourite dystopian novel of the year.

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The overall plot of the book is between two brothers Clive and Clover. One is eighteen, has to be an adult and bears new responsibilities as a man and the other is one of the smartest in the family, recruited by The Library as a young age and has a big interest in knowledge. But knowledge and science are not welcomed in this society. Their family have been on the road to spread the message of The Daughter, worshipping a religion who forbids the thirst for knowledge. But as they travel together, both brothers discover a few things that don’t make sense, series of events that may reveal to them as the dark truth behind their father’s doctrine. Continue reading

Blackwing by Ed McDonald

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“I don’t like things that don’t make sense. Not until I’ve put a knife in them.”

— Ed McDonald, Blackwing

    It would be a mistake to overlook this book. Ed McDonald’s debut novel, the first book in The Raven’s Mark series, is a phenomenal piece of literature. It glows with fiery passion and an inhuman mastery of creativity. There wasn’t a single moment to take a breath as it held a tenacious grip on my attention to the point of chocking me with fast-paced action. Blackwing is a beautiful and sinister fantasy story. Its ability to create a wonderful and unique world is astonishing and bleeds with a desire to seduce you into the mind of Ed McDonald. Reading this felt like the work of a genuine mastermind who’s penmanship has went through hell and high water. Forget about soft clouds and pretty rainbows. Blackwing will show you misery and demise melded around hope, reason and humanity. This novel deserves so much praise and absolutely needs everyone’s attention. So what are you waiting for?

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

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“Everything is true. Everything anybody has ever thought.”

— Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    What is life? Such a mundane question, right? Philip K. Dick doesn’t think so. He sure as hell didn’t think so when he wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Although Blade Runner (1982) draws inspiration on this classic masterpiece, it definitely doesn’t tell the same story. This novel’s essence emanates from a desire to dive deep into the concept of life. To do so, there’s nothing more perfect than androids and electric animals to serve as a means to establish how simple existence is. In this novel, set in 2021, World War Terminus has sent mankind off-planet and introduced everyone to extinction. The remaining people now lay great importance to any remaining living creature, but each now go for great value. Those who can’t afford them are looked down upon, and to avoid such scrutiny, invest in electric simulacrum. The story however doesn’t solely focus on these creatures, but also on androids. These machines were so similar to humans, it is near impossible to tell the difference, hence forcing the government to ban them. Bounty hunter Rick Deckard however has the mission to find rogue androids and to “retire” them. In this journey, he’ll be enlightened in unimaginable ways that his life isn’t as easy as just buying himself his next big horse.

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Blade Runner 2049 – Movie Review

MY RATING : ★★/5

After reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K.Dick , I immediately wanted to watch the famous movie by Ridley Scott, Blade Runner. I’m sorry to say but that first movie of Blade Runner was pretty disappointing for me. I fell asleep man.

While I feel like the first movie didn’t deliver, Denis Villeneuve (Montreal REPRESENT 😀 ) makes an impressive move with the sequel, Blade Runner 2049. This movie at least, was very loyal to all the values and ideas that the Phillip K.Dick wanted us to understand.  It’s all about finding our own place in the world, to belong to someone or some cause.

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A clear narrative construction, this movie depends a lot on the plot and DAMN it was a good one! Director Denis Villeneuve has passed along a clear message to all the early reviewers to not spoil anything for the audience to discover for themselves, I’m going to respect that and say that tis movie is worth diving into it. All the characters, their interaction and how they are connected to each other is a masterpiece.

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On top of that, this movie has one of the most beautiful scenery and imagery I’ve ever seen. Playing with textures, lights, objects, creating an elegant design. This was always the tour de force of Denis Villeneuve but he really went above his limits and gives us a delightful eye-candy experience. There was a scene in the end that I  find very genuine,  it’s how he uses lighting to distinguish the emotions in the conversations. Switching from lights to shadowing each feature one by one.

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Everything from the music to the holograms, a beautiful dedication to Ridley Scott’s world while managing to have a strong script, a premise that questions the most controversial topic of all the AI and cyborg technology. The movie finally makes us feel something. Makes me feel attached to the characters. All that experience was possible thanks to the amazing background music, the cinematography and the marvellous acting of Ryan Gosling. Yes the movie was mostly about him. Nevertheless, all the side characters were pretty on point too.   Continue reading

Most Anticipated Releases in October

Hi everybody ! Trang’s back with another listopia posts 😀 I’ve spent a few hours reading about all the books coming out this month (so I can ask my family what books I want for my birthday *muahhha*) and I wanted to share with you my most anticipated releases ! So if you are looking to read some new books coming out this month, this post might help you 😉

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The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman : The author of Golden Compass returns for a trilogy prequel to Northern Lights series.  “La Belle Sauvage, is set 10 years before the events of His Dark Materials, and the rest of the story takes place 20 years after that: in fact, 10 years after Lyra comes home to Jordan College after her adventure in the Arctic at the end of The Amber Spyglass.” – Penguin Random House

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng: Thanks to my fellow bloggers for making me discovering this new book with an extremely original book cover (SEE PICTURE BELOW). Reviews are calling it a gothic fantasy tale.  This is one of the time where the cover completely thew me off and making me want to read the book ! Continue reading

Provenance by Ann Leckie

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“Oh, almighty powers, what had she just done?”

— Ann Leckie, Provenance

    All rise as bestselling author Ann Leckie enters the court with her new novel ProvenanceAfter her greatly appreciated Imperial Radch trilogy, kicked things off with Ancillary Justice, the author brings us this brand new space opera story filled with politics for fans to rejoice at. In Provenance, the story follows a young woman, Ingray Aughskold as she takes great means to get her hands on something that could help her make a name out of herself in her family. It doesn’t take long before you realize that her actions are risky and could put her in a sticky situation if not handled properly, especially if things don’t go exactly as she planned it. But when do things ever go as we plan, right? As you follow her around you’ll come to be submerged into a whole universe that takes a life of its own in a matter of seconds. Provenance is far from being anything like some of the debut novels out there. This is the work of someone who’s been there and done that.

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The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin

MY RATING : ★/5 

Honestly, if this wasn’t a book given me by a publisher, I wouldn’t review it for the world to see. I would’ve kept it to myself. I don’t know if I’m the only one in this but… I have those few VERY SUPER favourite books, so good, that mentioning it someone else would ruin its magic.

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It’s like the very existence of the book can decipher so many realities, so many questions that I’m selfish enough to want to keep it for myself. But as abook blogger, I have a duty here and it is to share my readings after all !

So here it is : an amazing book that has completely changed my perspective on life and on science. 

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Liu Cixin started out with this great concept: the three-body problem. It’s a physics problem that a lot of mathematicians and researchers try to answer FOR A LONG TIME.

“The problem of calculating the motions of three bodies in space moving under the influence of only their mutual gravitational attraction”- The Dictionary 

But if the author only wants to describe the problematic, it would be boring af for the readers so he articulates a whole premise around it and in the end we have one of the most brilliant science fiction story ever told in the modern area. Continue reading

Brother by David Chariandy

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“But most looked the way you do when you’re being studied unfavourably. When you’re being watched but also trying to see.”

— David Chariandy, Brother

    There are novels out there that are strangely tagged fiction for simply being the result of someone’s imagination. This one however strives to show you that even fiction can break through its walls, goad its readers, and make us wonder if it isn’t a true story. Brother tackles on the story of Michael and Francis, two kids living in a Scarborough housing complex right in the heart of Toronto, Canada, in 1991. Weighed down by the expectations of their Trinidadian immigrant mother, these kids face countless obstacles in various forms and come to see the struggles they live with amplified by their cultural background. Their lives however bifurcate as they each find their own ways to get by under the pressure of their situation. Veiled in a stunning prose that sticks to the necessary details, Brother succeeds in telling a moving story about immigration, family, identity and society.

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September Popular Reads Review

I’ve read quite some books these past weeks and I haven’t got the time to write a full post review on them, so I’m making these short reviews 😉 I will definitely write some more detailed reviews for these ones in the future!

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GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS 

MY RATING : ★/5 

I absolutely loved this book! I enjoyed this much more than I expected haha. What is very interesting with this book is a battle between daughter and mothers, two women who will discover their true powers and who must decide what to do with it. This retelling of Snow White is creative and full of spellbinding writing forming a rich and lush tale.

Thank you to Raincoast Books for giving me a free copy to review! 

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FIREBLOOD ( Frostblood #2)

MY RATING : /5 

I tend to be really picky on sequels, but gladly for me, this one is even better than the first book! I get to follow Ruby to Sudesia, land of of the Firebloods and my oh my that was exciting ! A book full of actions, character growth, a real training with other students 😉 That’s right y’all, a vibe of a magic and wizardy school here! ❤

Thank you to Hachette Canada for giving me a copy of this book  to review!

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GENUINE FRAUD 

MY RATING : ★★/5

If you’re looking for a great dark and psychological thriller for the fall, I would recommend this one! It’s not my usual liking since I tend to love REALLY gory and mind blowing thrillers but I thought some parts were very smart and genuine. I totally appreciate how raw and real this novel feels. Bad people do bad things, and sometimes, they do get away with it.

 A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

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A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carré

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“It’s over. I’ve fought to the last lie. I’m dead and I’m out of ammunition.”

— John Le Carré, A Legacy of Spies

    One of the godfathers of spy thrillers returns to the battlefield with A Legacy of SpiesIt’s hard to ignore the legacy of John Le Carré himself when brought to reflect upon the whole universe of espionage that he was able to bring to life, from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. His latest novel serves as a fantastic throwback to his greatest work and brings back one of his signature characters, George Smiley, in a story overflowing with tough moral decisions. As much as I would’ve loved to recommend this as a stand-alone novel which features one of the most charismatic, authentic and fascinating characters, Peter Guillam, also known as George Smiley top disciple, A Legacy of Spies will mostly please fans who have read his previous novels, notably the two mentioned above. Nonetheless, John Le Carré’s latest book continues to highlight his talent as a story-teller and immerses you in the world of spies like no other story.

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Frostblood by Elly Blake

MY RATING : ★★/5

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

I enjoyed this story so much! I saw a lot of negative reviews on Goodreads and a lot of them were complaining about how the plot and story is a stereotypical YA Fantasy.

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I mean, aren’t they all…?! They say that the plot is very similar to Red Queen but then again, Red Queen was very similar to other books as well but we don’t mention that huh ;P At least here we don’t find some Fifty Shades of Grey vibe where the main character falls for some jerk who likes to torture her…

Anyways,  I guess this is one of the times I have to disagree with the overall opinion and give this book a good rating 😉  I actually like Ruby for who she is: smart, rebel and likes to question everything.  Yes there is some insta-romance but her relation with Arkus is pretty enjoyable to watch. Since the day he starts to train her, they actually have to struggle and deal with their differences. Doubts, trust issues that are realistic.   Continue reading

Robin: Son of Batman (Volume 1) Year of Blood by Patrick Gleason

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“I am Robin. Son of Batman. And that’s all you need to know!”

— Patrick Gleason, Robin: Son of Batman (Volume 1) Year of Blood

    Leave it to Patrick Gleason to transform some of the most unique character’s in the Batman universe into unrecognizable and typical individuals. Robin: Son of Batman is a series that rose from the dead after Damian Wayne went through a whole ordeal regarding his life. Collecting issues 1 to 6, volume 1 explores the story behind the Year of Blood, a trial that Damian went through during his earlier and darker days under the watchful eyes of his mother. After his reappearance into the game and his countless lessons under the wings of Batman, Robin seeks to undo the evil that he had unraveled by going through a phase of atonement/redemption. As he attempts to set things back to the way they were prior to his trial, he quickly runs into countless obstacles, including a girl with a vengeance, Nobody.
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IT – Movie Review

MY RATING : ★★/5

I’ve always been sceptical with horror movies, because one I haven’t seen a good one yet. Two, I saw a horror movie once and it was spanish, that was one of my best experiences In my opinion and my own definition of horror, I’m sorry but American horror movie do not come even close in the horror section compared to Japanese, Thai or even Spanish. However, I was curious about IT movie and its phenomenon.

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AND…It was really good, not because it was a horror movie, it was very good because it was the perfect suspense and thriller movie. But according to the screams on the movie theatre, I think the horror side was on point.

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What is IT about? Basically Stranger Things with a lot more suspense and OMG-SCREAMING moments. 

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We have these children who are bullied by the tough guys and they are forming their own Loser’s Club. But Billy, one the boy has his brother disappeared a few years ago and is even more sensitive since there are a lot of children disappearances these last few days. While no adult in town would do anything, the kids are starting to see some hallucinations about strange things, supernatural and on top of it, a clown.  Continue reading

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

— William Golding, Lord of the Flies

    Them kids are crazy! William Golding really does dig deep into the soul of children to extrapolate human nature and all its ugliness. You’d think that children would be safe from all the evil that men are capable of. Let him tell you a story of kids surviving a plane crash and being stranded on a island. You’ll be convinced by the end of this one that there’s nothing pure and innocent in life when your life is at stake. With very little experience and only adults as a reference, these kids can only attempt to reproduce the safety of reason and the comfort of structure. Lord of the Flies is a story that will take these children deep into the wilderness, alongside the lush green trees and wide blue skies, and leave them with the colossal task of finding a way back to their lives, or even a safe path out of their predicament. However, this island has other plans for them. Can these boys come out of it all unscratched or stained by the vile behaviours that resides within us all?

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Warcross by Marie Lu

MY RATING : ★★,5 /5

Maybe because I loved The Young Elites trilogy too much that I had very high expectations for this one.

Marie Lu returns with a promising action-packed adventure of Emika Chen in the virtuality world, where she has to go through some struggles to hunt down the players who bet illegally on the game.

Untitled-2I guess if she stayed on the plot, where we follow a desperate teenager with 6,000$ in debts trying to hunt down the illegal players it would be a little bit more twisted and dark. However, what I feared the most had happened 10 pages into the book.

THE LUCKY MAIN CHARACTER SYNDROME.

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The Sandman (Volume 1) Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

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“What power would hell have if those imprisoned here would not be able to dream of heaven?”

— Neil Gaiman, The Sandman (Volume 1) Preludes & Nocturnes

    This definitely showcases the broadness of Neil Gaiman’s imagination. It’s boundless, colourful, enigmatic and complex. It’s simply impossible to reproduce, and infinitely beautiful. I do want to be that guy who raves and raves about this first volume of The Sandman, but then I wouldn’t be honest with myself. Preludes & Nocturnes introduces readers to Morpheus, Lord of Dreams, and transports us on an intimate journey alongside this mythical and mysterious being as he explores worlds like none other. The story is ignites when an occultist attempts an uncalled-for ceremony in the dishonest and mischievous intention of capturing Death, and then to bargain for eternal life. It is by accidentally capturing Death’s younger brother Dream that things go haywire and leaves Dream imprisoned for over 70 years. Being captured and stripped of his powers for countless decades, you can only imagine what his desire for revenge drives him to do as soon as he finds himself free of his predicament. Driven to recover his precious belongings that behold his powers, The Sandman (Volume 1) Preludes & Nocturnes brings fans to explore dream lands and hellish landscapes in all of its glory.
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