Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi

Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Shatter Me, Book 2.5
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback (part of Unite Me)
Source: Borrowed
Buy: Amazon
Goodreads ● Website

Read my review of Shatter Me HERE.
Read my review of Destroy Me HERE.
Read my review of Unravel Me HERE.

As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam's focus couldn't be further from the upcoming battle. He's reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend's life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James's safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It's time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam's newly discovered half brother, won't be that easy. The Reestablishment can't tolerate a rebellion, and they'll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.

Okay, so since Unravel Me I'm heading towards the direction of Team Warner, but I'm glad Fracture Me was written from Adam's perspective because it definitely allowed some Adam appreciation from me! I'm sad that this love triangle is changing a ton, because in Shatter Me is pretty obvious who Juliette should end up with, but the novella and book that came after complicates things–both for Juliette, and for me because DAMN...I don't know who to side with now!

A lot of the events that took place in Unravel Me appear in this book told from Adam's perspective. While it's all stuff that we know, it's kinda cool to see how his character perceived things, especially since he didn't know a lot of the info that Juliette was hiding from him in the second book in the series. **SPOILER** What we also get is the story of what happens after Juliette is captured, and how everyone seems to think she's dead, as well as what they plan to do next.

I know I had some mixed feelings about this series to begin with, but now? Now I'm so excited to see how it ends. I'm captivated by Mafi's debut series, and I need to know how it all ends. I can't wait to pick up Ignite Me!

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Release Date: August 24, 2017
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Rated: MG 12+
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores soon!

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is in fact a good witch who shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna's thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge - with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth's surface. And the woman with the Tiger's heart is on the prowl . . .

Before reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon, I'd heard a lot about it. I'd seen that it won the Newbery Medal a while back, so when the opportunity to read and review it arose, I took that chance. There's something about diving into classic-esque middle grade fantasy books. They really take me back to my childhood, because I absolutely adored the fantasy genre growing up and couldn't get enough of places like Narnia or Lyra's Oxford. Anyway, I knew that there was no way that this could disappoint, and I'm so glad that it didn't. The Girl Who Drank the Moon was a magical, multi-layered story that I couldn't get enough of.

I say multi-layered, because there are several stories going on at once, with jumps in time, setting and so if you're unaccustomed to stories that swing from place to place, this could get a little confusing. I was a little perplexed to begin with, with the interjecting characters of a one-sided conversation that doesn't really make any sense until the end, as well as with the random characters that eventually turn out to be not-so-random. Initially, even though they were pretty interesting, I was wondering what the point of including them in the story was. As it turns out, everything is connected and the level of detail that the author attributes to interweaving the various characters and their stories is stunning.

I loved the misconceptions and mishaps between the different character groups! Obviously the fact that the people of Protecotorate thought that there was a witch that demanded babies so that they'd have to turn over they're youngest children was horrifying, but the fact that Xan was actually a lovely, grandmotherly witch made this story so much more intriguing. Then we have a wonderful duo that comes with her–the poetic and philosophical Glerk, and the hilarious Fyrian. Fyrian is the small talkative dragon friend I wish I had! I truly enjoyed his random observations and singing moments–it was a lovely ice-breaker at times when the book got a little dark. Luna, our main character, of course sounded like a tiresome (but adorable) child when she was younger, but I loved her growth and discovery that came along with it. There are so many people in here that keeping track of everyone, as I mentioned before, will be a bit tricky, but trust me–it all comes together in the end.

The writing is absolutely GORGEOUS. I was sucked into this world almost immediately, and navigating the landscape through the perspective of various characters gave it that extra sparkle. There are creatures and various kinds of magic in here that I never could have imagined. Barnhill's The Girl Who Drank the Moon was wonderful–it's a beautiful tribute to the classics that have come before, as well as being a new and unique take on the fantasy genre that will without a doubt lead to it ranking among the frontrunners of the genre. 

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

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Waiting on Wednesday – Week 193

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases that I'm DYING to get my hands on!

This week's WoW is:
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a "suitable" Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City--and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she's only known from afar. There's the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya's last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

January 16, 2018 ● Goodreads

Thought that this title would be pretty relevant considering all that's been going on this week the past few months throughout history. As an Indian Muslim, even though I haven't grown up in the US, this is such an important book. A little personal input from me: I've never actually been afraid of being called out or hated on because of my race and religion until I went to the US for university. Seriously. It hasn't ever happened, thankfully, but I haven't been back to Trump Presidency-era America, so going back after being 9 months away due to study abroad and summer holidays is going to be a different that hopefully involves positive change (#resist). That being said, I can't wait to read this one, because now more than ever this is something we–the Muslim community, POC, etc.–need.

What are you waiting on?

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Shatter Me, Book 2
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed (thanks Richa!)
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Read my review of Shatter Me HERE.
Read my review of Destroy Me HERE.

it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

After my slightly mixed reaction when I re-read Shatter Me, but also my thankfully super positive, renewed-faith-for-me reception of Destroy Me, I was looking forward to reading Unravel Me, but I didn't know what to expect. I'm happy though, because this series seriously just keeps getting better. Some of the things that annoyed me in the first book are still there, sure, but man–I can't WAIT to find out how this originally-a-trilogy-and-now-something-more? will end.

Compared to the last book, there was definitely a bit more world building present in Unravel Me. I managed to get a better grasp of the world that Juliette and the rest of the characters live in, especially since they visit more of the Sector they live in. The writing was also a lot better this time round, for me. It was pretty flowery in the last book, and there was still evidence of that in this one, but it was a lot more tampered down. Tahereh Mafi is wonderful with words, but as I mentioned in my review of Shatter Me, it was overpowering at times it didn't need to be. After reading Destroy Me, I was completely taken away though. Speaking of... Destroy Me continues into this novel! There's a part maybe a quarter or so into the book that picks up where the novella ends. Good thing too, because WARNER.

Ah yes, my friends, I am absolutely all aboard the Warner train. I was taken by him during Destroy Me for sure, but this book kinda sealed it because DAMN DOES IT GET STEAMY. That, and Juliette's character annoyed the shizz out of me, and unfortunately so did Adam. Oh Adam. I loved him in the first book, but in this one both Juliette and Adam were lovesick saps that didn't care about anything. It was just so aggravating to see them run around in circles after each other, hooking up and then breaking up for the same reason every time. So yeah, Warner was a welcome character, but of course, no one can EVER beat my all-time fave, Kenji. Kenji basically voiced my thoughts about Juliette at one point–

"And I'm sick of you being so caught up in your own little world all the time. You act like this whole thing––everything we do––is a joke. You don't take of it seriously––"
      "What?" I cut him off. "That's not true––I do take this seriously––"
      "Bullshit." He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. "All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You've got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo," he says. [...] "And I'd really appreciate it if you'd grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it's stupid," he says. "It's stupid, and it's ungrateful. You don't have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don't have a clue, Juliette. And you don't seem to give a damn, either."
–p. 146, paperback

PREACH, KENJI. I may not agree whole-heartedly on the attack on having feelings bit, but moping around as if your problems are the worst thing ever is just a big nope. So YES to this entire rant, and here's to hoping that she finally grows a spine or something. And some control over her capricious mindset because damn–does the girl flip-flop between Adam and Warner. I have a feeling she does get better though, since everyone's told me that book three she's not as annoying, and by the end of Unravel Me she definitely seemed to be more badass and get better, so I'm just praying that it all pays off in the next book.

I'm super excited about finishing this series–well, the first three books, because I'm unsure how the next three books are connected to this one–because despite all the problems I've had with this series, I'm glad I'm finally getting around to reading it. I now see what I've been missing out on (a hell of a lot of steamy scenes, by the look of it), and I'm all in to see how it plays out. Unravel Me thankfully didn't fall under second-book syndrome and a lot actually happened in this sequel to Shatter Me. Things are about to heat up–in more than one way–and I can't wait to pick up Ignite Me.

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Stacking the Shelves (39)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, sharing the books I've acquired in the past few weeks. I'm finally back to blogging after taking my GRE for the third (and thankfully final since YA GURL GOT THE SCORES SHE WANTED!) time, and there's a lot to catch up with, so hopefully this means back to a regular flow of posts. Not blogging for a while also means that there are a ton of books that I got, so here it goes!

Here are the books I borrowed:

Gone by Michael Grant ● Review
Hunger by Michael Grant
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

For some reason–which irks me a little, not gonna lie–I put the third book in the Shatter Me series above the second. What is this random order, Rabiah?! Anyway, thanks to my awesome friend Richa I'm FINALLY getting to some series that I started AGES ago, but never finished. I just finished Unravel Me (review coming soon!) and should will be done by the series early next week.

Here are the books I got for review:

The Invasion by Peadar O'Guilin (ARC)
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Here is what I got from the SG Bookdeals Books Box Sale:

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Lies by Michael Grant
What I Thought Was True by Becca Fitzpatrick
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I also got a Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland colouring book! I am super happy with all the books I got, and I can't wait to start reading them.

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Thank you so much to Richa at City of Books, Sasha and Samantha at Pansing, and Julie at Penguin Random House!

SG Bookdeals Books Box Sale 2017 + Recap

Hello everyone!

It's summer 2017, and that means...

*previously called the Warehouse sale.

This sale is absolutely amazing because there are so many categories and so many genres of books available for a pretty good price! I went last year and the year before that, so I knew that I would be in for a treat this time round too. I got the wonderful opportunity to be invited to the media preview again, so I can tell you: no disappointments here, for sure.

This is just the YA section of the sale, folks. Yeah–it's HUGE.
I spotted so many amazing titles–my TBR pile is crying, but I'm a very, VERY happy Rabiah.
The Raven King was one of the titles I picked up. There were several titles from Simon & Schuster, Electric Monkey, Candlewick, and several other major publishers!
As I mentioned, there are several other categories of books at the sale. Look at this mouth-watering array of cookbooks!
I basically died when I saw the colouring book section. SO. MANY. COLOURING. BOOKS.

I came home with more than a few gems:
Like I said: so many fantastic books available! They really wanted to make sure that there were no repeats of titles from last year's sale, and it shows: I found so many amazing new titles this time round, and I seriously can't wait to go through this delicious pile.

Books Box Sale Info:

Dates: August 4th until August 13th
Timings: 1pm-6pm Mon-Fri ; 10am-6pm Sat, Sun & Public Holidays
Prices: 1 book for $8, 3 for $20, a box for $50*
*all the books I got fit in one box!!
Address: Level 3, Pansing Building - No. 438 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Industrial Park 1, Singapore 569619

There's a special deal for students
"To encourage young people to get into the habit of reading, [they] are giving away 100 books per day to students. To be redeemed with their student pass. Limited to ONE book per student.
This offer is valid from 4 to 13 Aug during the public sale hours (not valid during private sale)."

The flash sale is back!
Check out the special area at the sale for amazing deals, especially on children's books and coffee table books.

Check out more details at SG Bookdeal's Facebook page or Instagram.

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Thank you so much to Sasha and Samantha!

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 192

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases that I'm DYING to get my hands on!

This week's WoW is:
The Window by Amelia Brunskill

Anna is everything her identical twin, Jess, is not. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside—it’s hard to believe that the girls are even sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says Anna’s death was a tragic accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her? 

And as Jess digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may contain dark truths that no one else wants her to find.

April 3, 2018 ● Goodreads

I seriously can't get enough of thrillers recently, and this one sounds like another winner. I love the simple yet creepy cover, as well as the promise of suspense, mystery and twists. Can't wait!

What are you waiting on?

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Harper
Series: Shatter Me, Book 1.5
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback (part of Unite Me)
Source: Borrowed
Buy: Amazon

Read my review of Shatter Me HERE.

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Okay, so NOW I get the whole Team Warner thing. Not completely on board over here, but my goodness does a novella in his perspective make me more sympathetic towards him. I'm still a little meh with the idea of novellas, because while it's nice to read the extra bits part of the story, because if you miss out on reading them you sort of miss out on part of the story. Anyway, it was short, and I thought pretty important to the plot.

I remember some review mentioning that this book shifted them to Team Warner (or at least was a cause of that change), so I knew that it was crucial to read this one. I do like that the book was from his point of view. We learn so much more about some of the events that took place in Shatter Me from his perspective, and from that it humanises him a more than just a little bit. We also get introduced to his father, who makes Warner in Shatter Me look like a puppy.

I'm definitely more pumped to read the second book after reading Destroy Me, because I'm curious to see how it all turns out with this complicated antagonistic figure and his feelings towards Juliette.

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Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Harper
Series: Shatter Me, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads  Website

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster

I'm more than human

My touch is lethal

My touch is power

I am their weapon

I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Before I begin, can I just say how glad I am they changed the cover? I love a good dress on a cover, don't get me wrong, but the new series covers are BEAUTIFUL. Also, I just think that this one in general didn't fit the entire vibe of the book, so yay for actual good cover changes in a series. Anyway, I read this one a super long time ago because my amazing friend gave it to me for my birthday, and while I didn't write a review on it, I'm kind of guessing that I enjoyed it because of the 5-star rating I gave it on Goodreads. I never actually continued with the series, and in a desperate attempt to avoid spoilers FOR LIFE, I'm actually trying to get through series that I've neglected over time. Well, it's the same case as was my re-read of Fallen–I understand why I loved it so much back then, but now I have some problems with the book. Doesn't mean I didn't hate it! I enjoyed a lot of the story, but there were just a few issues I had with the book here and there.

Okay, so I'm kind of half-and-half on the writing. On one hand, it's beautiful. I love the descriptions, because sometimes they're really something else. However, flowery language shouldn't be confused for good language. I feel like a lot of it was overdone and overly descriptive when it didn't need to be. With emotions, sure. But for every single movement? Not necessary. I didn't really need to know how every action that Adam made affected Juliette. It was also kind of repetitive, which was kind of annoying, so I'm hoping that the rest of the series sorts that out. I did like the style of writing though, with the crossed out parts–it made reading Shatter Me a different experience.

As for the characters, I can't say that I have any complaints. Other than the slightly irritating voice of Juliette through the descriptions, I think they all were pretty solid. I liked Juliette, I liked Adam, I loved to hate Warner (I've heard whispers of spoilers of him later in the series, so I'm curious to see how it all plays out), so it was pretty good all around. I LOVED Kenji though, I gotta say. I love a hilarious character in the midst of a serious situation, and I remember loving him the first time I read this book, too.

What I missed in this book, however, was the world building. Like, what even happened to this world? On one hand, the mystery sort of adds to it, but when the characters are sort of running around here and there, it's like um–what does this scene even look like? How's the state of everything on the outside??? World-building is definitely a must for dystopian books because they distort the reality we live in to present potential problems, so give us a visible setting to visualise it clearly please!

All in all, I'm super excited to continue on with the series. I finally get to see what all the hype was about, and finish one of the big, blockbuster series that EVERYONE used to talk about. Shatter Me, despite my thoughts on the writing and somewhat lack of world building, is a promising start to a series, and I know I'm in for an emotional and thrilling ride.

If you like this, try...

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Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Release Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

I really enjoyed reading The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes (read my review), and while Liars, Inc. was by no means a cute romantic comedy, I'm a sucker for psychological thrillers, so I was ALL IN. Of course, anything with with words like lying or liars or never comes home is an immediate DING DING DING in my head, so when I finally decided to pick this one up–as part of my scheme to try to read older books for review–thankfully I was not disappointed.

It's difficult to execute a plot that has a plausible twist that still manages to shock people. The downfall of psychological thrillers or ANY kind of thriller is that the ending falls flat. That just ruins the entire story for people, and it's not hard to see why. This mystery had me guessing till the very end. I was absolutely blown away by that climax, because even though I generally have had a good record with predicting the ends of mysteries, I only managed to piece together a small part of what actually turns out to be the truth. Say what you want about the characters–the plot is very well put together.

Speaking of the characters, they're part of the same category that I find most characters in thrillers fall into–I didn't like them. Not a bad thing with thrillers, considering how you don't know how it plays out until the very end and you can't like certain characters in fear that they might be behind it all. I liked Max well enough, but Preston and Parvati were kind of meh. Meh as in they were alright, but they weren't amazing. I enjoyed the interactions with Max's family though–those moments were really cute and humanised Max's characters, which is probably why he was the best character out of the three of them.

Liars, Inc. presents a deadly mystery that becomes more complex as the plot thickens, and concludes in an ending that blew me away. I was delightfully surprised by how gripping this novel was, and by how much I needed to know how it all ended. Paula Stokes's certainly has a knack for writing in a variety of genres, and I'm looking forward to reading more from her.

If you like this, try...

Show Stopper by Hayley Barker

Show Stopper by Hayley Barker

Release Date: June 1, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores!

Sabotaged high wires.
Ravenous lions.
A demonic ringmaster.
A circus without a safety net.

Ben, the teenage son of a powerful government minister, attends on opening night and falls under the spell of Hoshiko, the tightrope walker and star attraction.

But as he steps beyond the dazzle and spectacle of the arena, to reveal the horrors that lurk beneath, can he find the courage to resist, to rebel, to help end the cruelty and the carnage?

Before I got around to reading it, I thought Show Stopper sounded quite a bit like The Hunger Games. They both have the same idea of the rich upper-class watching the bloody sport and torment of the lower classes for entertainment. I couldn't wait to get to this one for that reason, as well as the fact that the tagline "the deadliest show on earth" sounds so ominous, so I knew I was in for a high-stakes read. My goodness, this one was PHENOMENAL. The plot was fast-paced, and every moment had me on the edge of my seat.

The story's content, despite the fantasy setting, was so true in depiction with regards to the attitude towards minorities, known as "Dregs" in this book. Barker clearly reflected today's mentality that unfortunately more than a few people have towards minorities, particularly in the western world. While I wish there was slightly more world-building–because I'm still a little clueless as to HOW different the world in Show Stopper is in comparison to our world today–the plot was packed enough to satisfy my appetite for this dystopian-esque world.

The characters were amazing; I enjoyed the dual-perspective narrative. Ben's storyline was pretty interesting, but Hoshiko's point of view is where it's truly at. It was quite harrowing to learn about her past, as well as the torture and torment she and the other performers go through on a daily basis. The only part I didn't really enjoy was the romance. It was slightly too insta-lovey for me. Like, if their romance had time to develop, then sure, it would make sense. However, Hoshiko basically goes from hating him to having conflicting feelings about him to loving him just like that.

When I got to the end of the book, it sounded like there might be a sequel. I guess it could work as a standalone, but how things ended left me wanting more. Nonetheless, Show Stopper was both terrifying and mesmerising–dark, lush and grim, this one had me flipping pages like mad. A sensational and allegorical narrative that mirrors attitudes in our world today, Hayley Barker's debut is one not to miss.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

If you like this, try...

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