Book review: The Queen’s Rising (The Queen’s rising #1) by Rebecca Ross (3.5 stars)


The Queen’s Rising (The Queen’s rising #1) by Rebecca Ross

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 3.5/5 stars


(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)

After seven years training at the Magnolia House for her passion, all Brienna wants is to be chosen by a patron. She went through all passions; art, music, dramatics and wit, before settling on knowledge. But she fails at getting a patron. Months pass and disgraced Lord offers to be her patron, engulfing her in a plot that consists of overthrowing the King of Maevana.

Initially, I was definitely intimidated by the map/family tree at the start of the book and constantly stared at it, trying to make sense of everything. As I continued reading on, I started ignoring it and only referenced to it when unknown names were mentioned.

I was pleasantly surprised at the intricate and layered world building which was introduced at a steady rate, making it easy to absorb. There was a nice build up and progression of the story, although it might be kinda heavy for non-fantasy readers.

I liked that the ‘prophecy’ was interweaved into the visions, not like many other novels where they suddenly spring it upon the reader. I personally felt that this book would have done really well as a stand alone book! The writing is great and the story was too! The world building was exception, the only problem I had was that I didn’t relate to the characters.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

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Storytime #3: Keep those Aspirations alive

Hello my bookish friends, I am back! (I didn’t go anywhere LOL, but most of my posts are schedule and I go for days, maybe weeks without really checking up on my blog, aside from comments)

Here are my previous Storytimes:

1- Toxic friends

2- First love and Heartbreaks


As stated in the title, today I’m going to talk about Aspirations and others I would have considered taking!

When I was in primary school, I was about 10 (?) and I knew I was good in science (I honestly didn’t study much then, but I will have another storytime for studies!), so I wanted to be a Scientist.

Yes, wow, that was pretty weird for me now that I think about it.

But when I poured my heart and soul out into writing when I was 12, I immediately knew I wanted to become a Writer and from that day on, I never changed my mind.

Of course I was deterred a ton of times, but my classmates were really supportive, they read my handwritten short stories and even demanded for me to write more, which definitely made me happy and fuelled my love for writing. At one point, my math teacher was so interested in what my classmates were reading that we all stopped class for a few minutes so that she could read it.

A ton of my english teachers also really helped, they knew I had a knack for writing and they always pushed me (once, I cried when I failed an english essay because I have never failed it in my life, but that was a really good lesson. I swear I wasn’t angry at the teacher, in fact, I was thankful that he pointed it out and taught me there was always a different perspective to things). They also made me believe in myself just a tad more.

I must say that my ex wasn’t supportive and honestly when I was with him, that was the only time I stopped writing (RED FLAG RIGHT THERE. I should have seen it haha.) And he also didn’t encourage me about my writing and all.

Well, now that I’m way older, my love for writing hasn’t changed, in fact, it has grown even more. Writing isn’t just writing for me, it’s a way for me to express my emotions (that was why I ended up blogging) and it always helps me to cope with my anxiety and depression. As of this moment I have 4 first drafts, yes, I realise I can complete drafts, but I haven’t gone back to edit any of them and a new story idea has been swirling around my head LOL. I swear I’m going to edit SIREN SONG soon (starting end Feb) and tomorrow’s library visit, I’ll try to get some books to help. I hope that by this year, I can start querying and even sending out my manuscript (wish me luck)

The sucky thing is that my country is so obsessed with the idea of working a stable 9-5 job. I get that people like stability, but I am someone who loves aspirations. Honestly, I’m not working, but I am trying to turn what I love into my work because I know I would love it nonetheless.

There are degrees for English Literature (I was rejected by universities because my GPA was too low since I didn’t do well in design school, but hey, life isn’t all about grades. And if I had taken something more academically dependent, I swear I would have gotten into university. I’m more of a book type of girl, haha.) but in my country, if you don’t study full-time, you need to have a job to study it part time.

And honestly I grew up with the misconception that you need to have a degree in english literature if not you can’t be writer, which is absolute bullshit. No matter where you’re from or what you study, as long as you have a story to write or to be said, you can write and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. Because you can.

My family doesn’t support me and honestly I don’t get much support, they don’t read my blog or anything like that. But I’ve grown used to it, you are your biggest cheerleader. Do it for you then, because you deserve it.

Moving in to another part of this post, I would want to talk about other paths I could have chosen instead of writing that I think I would equally love. (Ha, look at me go, talking as though I’m a New York Times Bestselling author LOL.)

  1. Baking
    This hobby/interest came out quite weirdly. I actually never knew about baking much, I mean we had like one subject called Home Economics were we would learn cooking and there was minimal baking involved. I swear we only baked once.

    I actually found out I liked baking when I first baked chocolate chip cookies for my ex. I realised that hey, I’m not a bad baker and I actually watch a ton of baking videos on YouTube. I now bake pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year, but I usually do cookies and I actually don’t bake often since it’s pretty expensive and well, I don’t have that many people to feed haha.

    My ex clique did say that my cookies were nice though, haha, but they didn’t seem to appreciate it much LOL.

  2. Music
    For music, I’ve actually liked it for a long time. My parents actually sent my older sister for keyboard classes in primary school and we had a keyboard set up at home. I would always go there and play the songs on the keyboard and then memorise them by hard and would spend an endless amount of time on the keyboard.

    I ended up falling in love with both the piano and violin when I watched an anime named La Corda D’Oro! There was something about the protagonist and the music in the anime that drew me to the violin.

    I ended up buying a violin and learning to play for a few months, but I quit because the teacher REALLY wasn’t good, he was very half-hearted and sloppy. If I played it half-decently, he would just pass and go on to the next part.

    After stopping the violin, I went to learn pop piano for 3 years, but I left when my teacher left because I really liked that teacher (I had 2 other teachers before him and the other two always took my silence as agreement, but this last teacher took my silence as pondering, which was what it really was) and he even let me choose my own songs. Yup, you got that right, my other two teachers didn’t let me choose songs that I wanted to learn just because I was the quiet kid. Until now, I actually still want to play the piano, but I think it might be a little late for that, haha.

    As of now, I’ve actually been playing the violin (I picked it up again) and have been playing for 5 years (including this year) and I’m at an unofficial grade 4! Haha, my teacher actually has been asking me to go for exams, but my anxiety scares the heck out of me and I heard during the exams, you have to SING in front of the examiners. That is a big NO THANKS from me LOL.

    Honestly, I wished I had started learning the violin or piano when I was a child because if I did, then I could have ended up studying it for a diploma or degree. This was one thing I am really upset with my parents about, Oo! And ballet! I’ve always felt that I think I can do ballet, but I never got a chance to try haha.

  3. Astronomy/ Astrophysics
    Now, Astronomy must be the weirdest out of the bunch of paths I would choose. I mean I did say I want to be a scientist, but my love for writing overtook that a long time ago, so why suddenly Astronomy?

    So I actually fell in love with Astronomy very recently when I researched for one of my novels, PROMINENCE. And after that, I’ve been hooked ever since.

    There’s something comforting and scary about space. When I look up into the sky, I’m reminded that my anxiety and my negative emotions are just a small part of a large universe, a small part of a big picture. It makes those emotions feel worthless and makes me feel less anxiety about things.

    But liking space is more weird, but I’ve never grown up living under the stars. I know logically this doesn’t make sense, but I live in a small country (Singapore) where there is a lot of Light pollution (meaning that there is a lot of light over a small surface area), so if I can even see one star in the sky, it would be a miracle already. I mainly only spot out the moon.

    Now that I really like space, I’ve always tried to look up, because I think we spend too much time looking down at our phones and the Earth around us that we forget to look up and see that everything is so much bigger and problems are so insignificant in comparison.

    Unfortunately, my country has NO COURSES, yes, not even a degree in physics for me to even try out. All Astrophysics degrees are in other countries and my parents would never send me overseas to study.

Yup, so that was my post about aspirations.

I know that sometimes, it’s though. The voices in your head question whether you are good enough for your dream. That everyone else can do it better than you, everyone else has achieved more than you. That you would never make it and the adults tell you that you should give up because dreams are just stupid things that fade over time when reality sets in.

It’s not about proving them wrong, it’s about you showing yourself that you can do this. The voice in your head? That’s you, the side of you that will do anything to tear you down.

Everyone goes through insecurities, even famous celebrities, we’re all human and designed this way.

But let me tell you, NEVER give up on your dreams and aspirations, because when you work hard at it, it will pay off. Time will take its toll and success will definitely not come easily, but nothing worth it comes that easily.

If I could tell my past younger self a ton of things, one thing that I will make her listen to is this:

“I know everyone else thinks you can’t do it. I know you have wanted to give up, many, many times. But you are worth it and you deserve it, don’t give up. Because if you do, it means that you’re giving up something you love, and you know as well as I do that this is one thing you can never let go and not regret for the rest of your life.”

Of course there are things I would have done differently, like make wiser choices about my friends and relationships, maybe even change the course that I had studied a diploma for. But unfortunately we can’t travel through time.

So live in the present and make it worth it.

God gives his strongest soldiers his toughest battles.


Michelle (Firstbooklove)

What are your aspirations?

Book review: The goose girl (The books of Bayern #1) by Shannon Hale (Did not finish)


The goose girl (The books of Bayern #1) by Shannon Hale

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: Did not finish


(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)

Ani is the crown princess of Kildenree and while growing up, spends time listening to her aunt’s stories and learning the language of birds, especially swans. Ani is arranged to wed a foreign prince, but when her lady in waiting stages a mutiny, Ani becomes a goose girl.

I’ve actually never heard this fairy tale before even after I had attempted to read the book. I actually did like the writing, but the story fell flat for me. I was easily bored and wasn’t a fan of the characters either.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

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Book review: Desperation (The Island #1) by C.B. Stone (3.5 stars)

(I received a free book from Instafreebie.)

Desperation (The Island #1) by C.B. Stone

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science-fiction

Rating: 3.5/5 stars


(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)

Reagan is sent to Grandy Island’s reintegration camp for helping out a friend, but she got in trouble instead. On the way there, she leaps off the ship and finds herself somewhere else, Halcyon. Where it almost seems to perfect to be true.

I actually enjoyed the world building and the mysterious factor that surrounded the island. I liked the story progression and the revelation that unravelled throughout the story.

For a short story, it was pretty good, but I wished that there was more build up for the mystery of the island before the big reveal. I finished it in one shot.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

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Book review: Spies, Lies and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts (4 stars)


Spies, Lies and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4/5 stars


(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)

Laurel’s fun summer is dashed when she gets a job at her father’s company to assist the new interns and to have a deciding vote as to which intern would get a scholarship from the company. Carlos is extremely distracting, but there is no fraternising since the interns could lose their scholarship. Someone else in the company is trying to sabotage it and things are getting more out of hand.

There were a ton of star wars references (Which unfortunately I couldn’t relate to because I’ve never watched Star Wars).

I love that the story took it’s time to develop and although the book was pretty long, I wasn’t bored at all. I really liked seeing Carlos and Laurel together.

I loved the story progression, character arc and the HEA ending of this book. It was definitely interesting and fresh.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

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