Book Review | The Shadow of Kyoshi

Title: The Shadow of Kyoshi

Author: F.C. Yee

Publisher: Amulet Books

Published: 21 July 2020

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How does Yee make me fall more in love with both Kyoshi and Rangi? It’s a mystery but these two characters have my heart forever. Also, if I could ask the gods, spirits, the Avatar themselves to find someone to love me like Rangi loves Kyoshi, that would be great. Thanks!

The second book in Avatar Kyoshi’s series and I’m surprised that I enjoyed it just as much (if not more) as the first book. We first see Kyoshi in the Earth kingdom trying to handle the gangs that have infiltrated the lower ring of Ba Sing Se. There is also an introduction to a new character Jinpa, a monk from the Southern Air Temple, who has become Kyoshi’s secretary since she visited there.

Kyoshi receives a letter from the Fire Lord asking for the Avatar’s assistance with a national matter. She aquieces, mostly because she wants to reunite with Rangi (refresher: Rangi went to the North Pole with her mom, Hei-Ran, who needed to be healed from Jianzhu). Seeing them reunite was so stickin’ adorable, but it was also great to see the first interaction between Rangi and Jinpa play out like they were old friends. They both ganged up on Kyoshi for not taking care of herself.

Yet, the Fire Nation is not the pantheon of peace that most people think. There is a coming civil war in the land and Fire Lord Zoryu needs all the help he can get to keep his country intact. Not only that but it appears that Yun is not as dead as we thought.

The content of this book really begins to highlight Kyoshi coming into her own power and having to make those difficult decisions. We see her grow and mature, just like all the other characters in the book. And of course, we have some prime Kyoshi and Rangi romance moments that I can’t help but highlight:

  • Kyoshi had gone so long without her center she almost forgot what it felt like. Rangi made her human again, balanced and whole (pg. 74)
  • Rangi tells Kyoshi before the party with the Fire Lord that Kyoshi can’t touch or kiss anywhere above Rangi’s neck because it’s a sign of disrespect. To which we have this great line of narration: “But those were Kyoshi’s favorite parts.” And I definitely like to imagine Kyoshi’s face as someone who has kicked her puppy.
  • On a whim, she picked Rangi up by the waist and whirled her around. No one was there to schold them for inappropriate touching. Rangi laughed despite herself and tried to swat at her but couldn’t reach as far. “Stop it! You’re embarrassing me!” “That’s the point!” (pgs. 156-157)
  • The word echoed with bitterness and dread in Rangi’s throat, and through it Kyoshi saw deeper into the fire of her glowing girl than she ever had before. (They then go on to discuss Rangi taking Kyoshi to visit her home). (pg. 160)
  • I can’t tell you anything for certain about the future. Only that I’ll be there with you. (Rangi to Kyoshi, pg. 328

I cannot get enough of these two! But there was more to the story. This one had political intrigue and clans vying for power that developed more of the history of the Avatar world, specifically the Fire Nation. In the end, there is the hints of the clan system soon ending and the Fire Nation being only loyal to the Fire Lord (the seeds of the power-hungry Sozin and Ozai being planted).

This book was mostly a focus on not just power and the lengths we would go to achieve power, but also a focus on revenge and how corrupt we can become when we decide our self-regard is more important than the entire world. I’m super upset that this is the last book in this series, but I’m hoping that there are more books in the future that have more spin-offs of other characters or Avatars.

Happy Reading Darlings!

Book Review | Malice

Title: Malice

Author: Heather Walter

Publisher: Del Rey

Published: 13 April 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Oh my word!! Not only was this book such an amazing retelling of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, but the world building, the characters, and the LGBTQ+ representation was wonderful as well. I’m just completely blown away by how much this book exceeded my expectations.

In the kingdom of Briar, Graces live to dole out charms and elixirs to the wealthy and nobles of the land, while the common people strain to feed themselves day to day. It’s a land of greed and materialism. Long ago, before the Graces existed, the humans kept trying to obtain the Fae’s gifts, their power and magic. It wasn’t until Leythana came and retrieved Oryn’s crown that the Fae’s made a pact with humans, but only with Leythana’s line. The Vila, dark Fae’s for lack of a better term, cursed Leythana’s line. Of course, the Fae slightly mitigated the curse that the Vila cast on Leythanan’s line. Each daughter would have 21 years to find true love or die. Alyce doesn’t think much of this. She’s the only surviving Vila left forced into service by the Briar King and the ambassador of the Fae, Endliwild. Yet, by a twist of fate Alyce and Aurora, the last descendant of Leythana meet, and create a pact to try to break the curse without having Aurora kiss any other prince. Soon Alyce begins to fall in love. But it can never be that easy, can it? Because Aurora is the princess….and Alyce, Alyce is the villain.

I’m going to break this review down into 3 main categories that I want to talk about, to make it easier to follow: world-building, characters, and themes.

World Building:

Wow! One of the most impressive parts of Walter’s book is that it wasn’t a strict retelling of the Sleeping Beauty Maleficent storyline. IN actuality, the name Maleficent is not actually named in the book. The closest the author comes to it is the cruel nickname that one of Alyce’s “sisters” (one of the other Graces) bestows on her “Malyce.” Walter truly did take the Sleeping Beauty story and created her own version, while still remaining loyal to the themes and ideas we know. There is still the spindle that curses Aurora at the end. There is still the ostracization of Alyce (Maleficent) in the book. Of course, in the story we actually know the princess and the fae do not fall in love. Disney’s live-action Sleeping Beauty did give us a new version as well by showing the love a mother has for her daughter. In this one, we see the romantic love bloom between Alyce and Aurora.

The world-building for the rest was so well-detailed and expansive. The storyline of the war between the Fae and Vila that started everything and would eventually lead to Alyce’s downfall. How Briar is ruled by Queens who over the years gave more and more of their power over to their husbands, becoming nothing more than figureheads. The Grace system that was put into place when the Fae and Humans created their alliance. The Fae give certain humans their power, in turn they are able to create elixirs and potions for patrons. Of course, over the years this system too has become corrupted and twisted. As I was reading, I could definitely see that great time and effort was taken to fully flesh out the world that Walter built.

Characters:

I love, love, love Alyce!! I do. I saw so much of myself in Alyce, from the way she is treated by society to her anger and rage by the end. There are many times when I just want to burn it all down because they do not deserve anything. Alyce was such a complicated and wonderful character. There were many characters throughout the story who were complicated and again, it shows the strength of Walter’s writing that none of these characters were flat (except maybe the King but eh, you can’t win them all). With Aurora, she’s so young and naïve in her viewpoint of how to rule and what will happen when she takes the crown. Mariel is someone who deeply loves her daughter but when I was reading the parts with her in it, you can feel frustration leaking off of her in waves. It felt like she didn’t even know how she got to this point of being married to a man who broke her curse one day and took all of her power now. Laurel the only Grace who was kind to Alyce had layers to her as well, and definitely has me considering some ethical conversations about right, wrong, and the greater good. Even the Graces you don’t like, Rose and Marigold, are more than what they seem through trying so hard to hold on to this fleeting power because it’s all that matters.

These characters were not lovable at all times nor were they supposed to be because people aren’t lovable at all times. They’re complicated and ugly and gray and so, so beautiful.

Themes:

The last part to bring up is themes which I did start touching on in the characters section. There are many themes a reader can pick out of this book. From the idea of good vs. evil, to ostracization and otherness, to the question of is it okay to hurt the one to save the many. There is no shortage of themes in this book to choose from. I particularly want to focus on the ostracization of the other because that was obviously a big one that the author focused on.

As someone who lives in a world that ostracizes people who are not white, straight, cis-gendered, I completely felt much of the pain that Alyce felt throughout the book. The horror inflicted on me was not nearly to the extent that Alyce had to go through as a child, but the psychological and emotional pain is still there and one I struggle with. It’s also telling how much Alyce does grow throughout the book, how much she changes and reconsiders her viewpoints once Aurora comes into her life.

Before Aurora, Alyce was ready to cast Briar away. To leave the place that had tortured her and never look back. But then Aurora changes it all. Call it love or foolishness but Alyce does see that burning everything to the ground out of vengeance does not always solve our problems. She just needed one person, someone, anyone to truly see her. Not as Vila or a monster or mongrel or abomination or any of the cruel words they threw at her her whole life. She just wanted someone to see Alyce, just Alyce and love her anyway. Yet, even in the end they couldn’t do that. They couldn’t listen to what really happened and take her word for it. Alyce is the monster. That’s what they’ve been told. That’s what they believe, so that’s what she becomes, because what’s the point anymore. They’re not going to change their minds, so she might as well burn it to the ground.

Happy Reading Darlings!

eARC Review | Summer Sons

Title: Summer Sons

Author: Lee Mandelo

Publisher: Tor

Publication Date: 28 September 2021

Trigger Warnings: Cutting, self-harm, homophobia, death, torture

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Andrew and Eddie were best friends, bonded more deeply than brothers. But Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, a few days before Andrew will join Eddie in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew not only his entire family’s inheritance and estate, but also a roommate he doesn’t want, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

Andrew decides to search for the truth of Eddie’s death, and he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trust most, discovering a family history soaked in blood.

First off, for a debut novel, it was a great and fascinating read. The way Lee Mandelo cleverly weaved together this modern-day, gothic story was creepy and satisfying. It was so great to have it set in the South, and I kept thinking of the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood while reading this. I thought the journey that Andrew had to go on to confront the relationship between him and Eddie, along with his own self-discovery was what kept me reading. However, the story itself was okay.

I’m still not sure if I understand what the curse was for Eddie and his ancestors (the curse was passed down to Andrew when him and Eddie were children). The reveal at the end was kind of a let down as well, I was hoping for something a bit more juicy than what we were left with.

I truly appreciated the wide variety of characters! Andrew and Eddie had this interesting friendship (romantic feelings that were never acknowledged when Eddie was alive), along with many other LGBTQIA+ representations! There was Andrew’s new roommate who is in a throuple with a man and a woman, and then there’s the roommate’s cousin who is also on a journey of his own sexuality it seems.

Overall, it was a fun book to read, and I’m definitely looking forward to what Mandelo writes next!

Happy Reading Darlings!

eARC | The Real Valkyrie

Title: The Real Valkyrie

Author: Nancy Marie Brown

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: 31 August 2021

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I received an advanced ebook from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

In 2017, DNA tests revealed to the collective shock of many scholars that a Viking warrior in a high-status grave in Birka, Sweden was actually a woman. Nancy Brown weaves together archaeology, history, and literature to imagine this woman’s life and times, showing that women had more power and agency than historians have imagined.

Nancy Brown uses science to link the Birka Warrior, whom she names Hervor, to Viking trading towns and to their great trade route east to Byzantium and beyond. Brown imagines Hervor’s life interesting with larger-than-life but real women, including Queen Gunnhild Mother-of-Kings, the Viking leader known as the Red Girl, and Queen Olga of Kyiv. What Brown reveals in these pages that much of what we have taken as truth about women in the Viking Age is based not on data, but on nineteenth-century Victorian biases.

One of my favorite parts of reading this was that the beginning of each chapter began with a fictionalized account of what Hervor would’ve been doing based on Viking literature and stories. It was able to grab a hold of me before learning about the culture and life of women, men, and society as a whole during this time period.

The way she crafts the story makes a fascinating read, but also is still approachable to those who may not know much about Viking history (this girl here). I was excited to read this and was blown away by how much I learned and how fun it was to read this book. This is definitely an important book not only for historians but for the every day person. We have this preconceived idea (again, largely based on Victorian misconceptions) that women weren’t only regulated to the domestic sphere.

Book Review | Written in the Stars

Title: Written in the Stars

Author: Alexandria Bellefleur

Publisher: Avon

Published: 20 November 2020

Pages: 384

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love, love, love the fake dating trope. I don’t care how unrealistic it is, I’ll always love it!

Darcy Lowell is a no-nonsense, analytical, skeptical, actuarial analyst is done with trying to find someone. She doesn’t believe in “the one” or “soulmates,” but trying to get her well-meaning brother to stop playing matchmaking is a herculean task.

Elle Jones is a free-spirited, head in the clouds, astrologer behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars. She dreams of finding her soulmate. Yet, she knows, without a doubt, that it is NOT Darcy Lowell.

Darcy’s brother and now Elle’s business partner, set them up on a blind date, both came in with different expectations but by the end of the night, it was disastrous for both parties. Yet, Darcy doesn’t want to be set-up by her brother anymore, so she lies and tells him the date with Elle was great and they’re testing the waters together. She does make him promise to keep it a secret, but he blabs to Elle when she’s out with her mom at brunch.

Elle is pissed because now she’s locked into lying to her new business partner, since she does agree to continue this fake dating for the rest of the year. This gets Darcy’s brother off her back about dating and Elle can take Darcy home to her parents to show them that she is a well-off adult and can take care of herself.

Yet, as with most fake dating tropes, feelings between Darcy and Elle start showing. For Elle, this seems perfect as she realizes that there is more to Darcy than her no-nonsense attitude. Elle finally stands up for herself at family dinner and tells them how she actually feels about how they treat her. We later find out that Elle was on her way to receive a PhD in astronomy, but she found that she was unhappy in the Academy (I understand this, as someone who used to be on that same track, I stopped after a masters). So, she decided to work on what she loved about astronomy and astrology, which upset her parents that she didn’t take the typical, normal path of a regular 9-to-5 job, house with a white picket fence, etc., etc.

Darcy grew up in a house where her parents divorced when she was a child, and her mother was never really responsible, first from depression, and then going from husband to husband. She never believed in true love, as she never saw it in real life. It didn’t help that she was engaged to someone and they completely broke her heart by cheating on her with one of their friends. So, it’s understandable why she thinks that the one and soulmates don’t exist.

Thankfully, it all comes together in the end and it’s so stickin’ adorable that I cannot handle these two. All of the characters are adorable but real.

Happy Reading Lovelies!

Book Review | The Lightning Thief

Title: The Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books

Published: 1 March 2006

Pages: 377

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Oh, Camp Half-Blood, how I have missed you! I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to re-read the Percy Jackson series, and to then go on and read the other series from Rick Riordan. I absolutely forgot how much I love this book!

Percy Jackson is a good kid or well he tries to be. He can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. Lately, Percy being away at boarding school is only getting worse. Percy could’ve sworn that his algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him, but the other teachers and students and even his best friend all say that that algebra teacher never existed.

Percy does manage to finish out the school year and head back home to his mom and his step-dad Smelly Gabe. Percy’s mom decides they need a vacation, just Percy and his mom, no Gabe. But while there, Percy’s mom knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe: Camp Half-Blood.

Yet, while they try to get there a Minotaur chases them and Percy’s mom sacrifices herself. Once at Camp Half-Blood Percy starts realizing that a lot of the things that got him into trouble at school was due to his demigod genes. Soon, he actually beings to belong someplace, but then his dad, Poseidon (one of the Big three Gods) claims Percy as his son, which means now he’s alone again at Camp Half-Blood.

Then a quest comes up for Percy. And he is joined by his best friend from school, a satyr, Grover, and another demigod daughter of Athena, Annabeth. They set out on a quest to find Zeus’s lightning bolt that leads them across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood, which #accurate) to prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

I remember reading this book the first time when I was in middle school (I’m pretty sure it was in 7th grade but it may have been 8th grade) and being completely pulled into the world. The story was fascinating, especially as someone who was already into Greek mythology and finding the twists to the myths I already knew so much fun.

Re-reading it as an adult did change some aspects, as well as make me think of all the twists that were going to come up in the end in different ways (I’m looking at you, Luke). But the feelings that came up when I first read it as a young child was still present as an adult, and that is what stands the test of time.

Also, it was great reading a book by an author who is NOT a TERF and one who recognizes intersectionality, supports Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ peoples, and diversity in general and actually has diversity in his later books because he learns. So, read Rick Riordan if you want the feelings that Harry Potter used to give you (I haven’t been able to read or watch Harry Potter since last summer, as it just gives me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach).

Happy Reading Darlings!

P.S. This was Rick Riordan’s response after George Floyd’s murder (click here).

eARC | Maiden Voyages: Women and the Golden Age of Transatlantic Travel

Title: Maiden Voyages: Women and the Golden Age of Transatlantic Travel

Author: Sian Evans

Publisher: Two Roads

Published: 10 August 2021

Pages: 368

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Yes, I am behind on posting this! I’m behind on posting reviews in general. It’s been a rough almost two years, and I, as most everyone, am ready for this pandemic to be done (Get Vaccinated and Wear a Mask)!

Sian Evans explores not only a specific time in history, but also explores the way women used transatlantic travel. Evans tells us the stories from passengers to stewardesses through diaries, letters, and published accounts. She begins in the early twentieth century and goes through to the end of WWII, as we see how these women’s lives are changed as they travel from the Old World to the New.

Maiden Voyages is a wonderful exploration into the lives of these women as they crossed the Atlantic. From the luxary of the upper deck to the cramped conditions of steerage of third class travel, readers are given a first-hand account of how women lived, worked, and socialized on these luxury liners. In first class we meet A-listers like Marlene Dietrich, Wallis Simpson, and Josephine Baker, while second class housed a new generation of professional and independent women, like interior designer Sibyl Colefax. Down in third class, we follow the journey of emigre Maria Riffelmacher as she escapes poverty in Europe. Of course, we cannot forget the women hustling between decks, including Violet “The Unsinkable Stewardess” Jessop, who survived the Titanic disaster.

A wonderful and engaging look into a specific time period where women weren’t bound to just the Old World for a life, nor were they bound to the land alone.

I found this book absolutely lovely. I knew about some of these people, Wallis Simpson, Josephine Baker, and Mary Anne MacLeod (Donald Trump’s mom), but only from how and why they are famous not their personal transatlantic journeys. This made it interesting and eye-opening to see how these women’s lives were affected because of traveling across the Atlantic.

For Mary MacLeod’s case, she was escaping abject poverty in Ireland and a ship across to the New World was a way out. Then, unfortunately, we had to deal with her son many, many years later. Who knows what would’ve happened if Wallis decided to stay in America instead of going abroad? Or if her friend had never introduced Wallis to Edward? The even more fascinating aspect of transatlantic travel was how many doors opened for women in terms of work on ships. It’s definitely a book for someone who is interested in social history or women’s history.

Happy Reading Darlings!

Book Review | The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Title: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Author: Cynthia Hand

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: 24 October 2017

Pages: 400

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Another book I read over the Christmas Holidays, and it was a fun, easy read, which was the whole point. So, I guess technically it served it’s purpose. However, I wasn’t as blown away as I was hoping I would be.

On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to mend her ways. She didn’t. She died. As you can already tell, this is a retelling of A Christmas Eve, as now Holly works for the top-secret company Project Scrooge, as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Each year they save another miserly grouch. And each year, Holly stays frozen at 17 while her family and friends go on living without her. Yet, this year is different, as the Scrooge this year doesn’t fit the usual model of the Scrooge. Holly decides to become friends with him but has to keep it from everyone else at Project Scrooge, as it’s against policy. Of course, feelings start forming between Holly and Ethan.

The story is pretty much a typical YA romance book with ghosts thrown in for a good twist. Holly realizes that she needs to be honest with Ethan to save him, which she does, but then in the end she ends up back in her bedroom five years earlier. The Christmas day she died. She then goes on to make amends and fix the things she needs to fix. Not only does she make amends with those in her own life, but she even goes to save Ethan’s dad, the big turning point in Ethan’s life and what made him turn into his grandfather.

She does go to find her boss and ask him about what happened and the readers find out that this year’s Scrooge wasn’t really Ethan but Holly. Her boss tells her that they never give up on a Scrooge. All in all, the book gives us that nice, warm, Christmasy feel that we all want around the holidays.

Happy Reading Lovelies!

eARC Review | Blackout

Title: Blackout

Author: Marco Carocari

Publisher: Level Best Books

Published: 30 March 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received an ARC ebook copy of the book from Books Forward in exchange for an honest review.

To start off, if you’re looking for a fun, beach read for the upcoming summer break, I’d definitely keep this one in mind. Carocari’s debut book was an interesting book for the genre of mystery, murder, and crooked cops. I read it in 2 sittings (would’ve been one, but I had a class to get to), so it definitely kept me hooked enough to keep me reading.

Franco saw someone being murdered across the street from his apartment…or did he? There’s no body nor crime scene and Franco was not exactly in the right mind. He was having a one-night-stand and his “date” offered him a joint laced with drugs, so Franco’s memory is a bit spotty. As the protagonist, Franco is a relatable character and really fleshed out. He makes mistakes, still hooking up on dating apps, but he tries to do right by his friends and family.

A few days after the supposed murder, there is a body found in an alley down the street. Not only does Franco know the dead man, but all of this connects back to the murder of Franco’s dad, 40 years ago.

As I said, it’s definitely a fun and easy read. I definitely wanted to keep reading but it wasn’t a book that I completely lost myself in. I absolutely loved Franco’s friends, they were all so supportive of him and also fleshed out like Franco. The scenes of the back and forth between all of them was well-written as well.

I was a bit surprised by one of the twists at the end, but I was also not that surprised. I also felt that the plot was a bit reminiscent of the TV show Castle (if anyone has watched the show and know what happens to Kate’s mom, then you’ll probably figure out the ending of all of this). The only difference between the two was more Italian and a straight couple instead.

The red herring in the book, O’Shea (Franco’s dad’s old partner), was super annoying and not as fleshed out as I would’ve wanted, as well as some other side characters. Most of the less fleshed out characters were the bad guys. They all seemed a bit one-dimensional and the motives were unclear at the end, besides saving their owns skins and money. Which are good motives, but they can be a bit boring and over-used. By the end, everything with the case is wrapped up, but it felt a little rushed and slapped together. I also didn’t understand the last chapter; I felt like there was supposed to be another chapter or two to really finish strong.

There was a romance sub-plot between Franco and one of the other lead detectives on the case Aidan Torrance, which I’m all for Queer romance in any book.

Again, overall a good weekend or beach read book for anyone who wants something light and fun to read!

Happy Reading Darlings!

eARC Review | Tools of a Thief

Title: Tools of a Thief

Author: D. Hale Rambo

Publisher: Fiercewood Press

Publication: 25 May 2021

Pages: 170

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I received an ARC ebook copy from Books Forward in exchange for an honest reivew.

I’m not even sure where to start on this. I read this in one sitting not out of interest really but out of complete boredom (and the fact that I had to write a review). To start off, Zizy assumed quitting her job, stealing from her boss/aunt, and magically crossing across the continent was a way to stop being a thief and get away from her insane aunt. Not so much because Zizy’s aunt catches up to her and wants Zizzy to steal something else for her to repay what Zizy stole. On the way, Zizy befriends Laysa (romance soon blooms between them) and Pace, and Zizy will either have to finish the job or loses the people she loves.

First, I don’t even know what’s going on in this world. I felt mildly confused most of the time as I was reading by the world that Rambo created. It didn’t feel well explained or planned out. It felt like I was starting in the middle of a series or even on a side story, instead of the first book in a series. I’m not even sure if it is a series.

As for the characters, they were fine. Nothing to really complain or hype about. Zizy was probably the most fleshed out of the three main characters, but the story was also so short I didn’t even feel like I had a chance to get to know or connect with any of the characters. Not to mention the fact that the three main characters all became a team and friends quickly with no real strife.

The story itself was interesting and so was the set-up. But then it just all kind of fell apart for me. Each time there was a problem, something magically saved them. I didn’t even feel any suspense or terror with Emba, Zizy’s aunt, or Carmela, the woman who Zizy is supposed to steal from (and as a sidenote Emba and Carmela know each other).

All in all, the whole thing just felt off. The pacing was weird and the characters felt too much like cardboard cut outs. I can’t even say that the romance between Zizy and Layla made up for it. Again, the story line sounded interesting which is why I wanted to read it, but I do think it needs a lot more work.

Happy Reading Darlings!