1 year of blogging

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I decided to open up this little website on a small corner of the Internet universe. A lot has changed and the blog has evolved in unexpected ways. There’s much I’m grateful for and I wanted to dedicate this post to thank you all and tell you the things I’ve learned by being part of this community!

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Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Kingdom of Oceana
Author: Mitchell Charles
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release date: November 27th, 2015

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Description:

SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.


The Kingdom of Oceana is an adventure teeming with Hawaiian culture about two brothers’ rivalry and the fight between good and evil. It stands as a light, entertaining read reminiscent of Percy Jackson, though some aspects left me wanting for more depth.

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When authors approach you

Something that keeps surprising me as a blogger is when authors contact me and offer me their books for review. Me, a little spot on the community, receive and review your work? Truly amazing… and also nerve-wracking.

How do I say no?
Do I write a nice review to show I’m grateful?
Am I being rude if I rate it poorly?

As a small and fairly new blogger, I thought nobody would care to send me a copy of their book. To my surprise, I’ve received a fair amount of requests and, in the process, I’ve learned a thing or two about what to do when authors approach us. I am not an expert by any means, but if you are starting out as a book blogger, this might help you out a little.

I’ll tell you how I respond to review requests and what I do when I don’t like the books. Hopefully, you won’t be as lost as I was.
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Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Release date: July 26th, 2016

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Description:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.


I know I’m really late to the party, but I’m finally reviewing this one!

Dark Matter is a page-turner that offers a new perspective on the multiverse hypothesis. Through an action-packed plot and a strong main character, it highlights how each choice we make matters and all that a man is willing to risk to find his family and continue his path in life. It’s one of those books you don’t want to put down and that makes you wonder what you’d do if you found yourself in the same situation. Continue reading “Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch”

Review: Making Tracks by Ian Harding

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Making Tracks
Author: Ian Harding
Genre: Poetry
Release date: August 16th, 2016

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Description:

Ian Harding’s second collection of poems is a celebration of learning through observation. Life’s journey leaves an indelible print carved from the beauty of love and nature with many laughs, questions and twists with each stride. There are poems that offer readers simple observations where others delve deeply searching truths.


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Abandoning my books

I’m back! Maybe you noticed I was gone, maybe you didn’t, but if you’re wondering what happened, here you go: I packed two suitcases, left all my books behind, and moved to another country. Finding a new home and a job while getting used to having winter—among a bunch of other things new to me—takes time, so I decided to put a hold on blogging. But time has passed, life is finally getting back to ‘normal’, and I’ve missed blogging!

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Do reading goals suck?

Ahh, the beginning of a new year. The time when resolutions, goals, and dreams come together as a to-do list. For some readers, this is the time when challenges emerge, TBR books get organized, and classics are dusted off, all to accomplish an end goal.

  • To read more classic literature.
  • To reduce their TBR piles.
  • To pick up more books from different genres.
  • To read more diversely.

And the list can go on and on. Of course, that’s just one side of the book community. The other simple receives the new year as a new date and continues reading whatever they want, whenever they want it.

Why is it some people love setting reading goals for themselves while others hate it? Do reading goals actually suck the life out of reading? I’ve seen myself siding with both types of readers at one point or another, so I thought it would be an interesting discussion topic for today. Continue reading “Do reading goals suck?”

Book Traveling Thursdays: For the first time again

Every week, Danielle (from Danielle’s Book Blog) and Cátia (from TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch) host a feature called Book Traveling Thursdays on Goodreads. They give you a topic each Thursday and you choose a book that you think fits. Then comes the fun part: a cover showdown! You post the original cover, the cover from your country (which I won’t be doing because the books aren’t published here), and then your favorite and least favorite cover from any edition around the world.

This week’s topic is a book I wish I could read for the first time again. I have to go with The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I was blown away by that book and I’d love to be surprised by it all over again. Let’s check out the covers!

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Review: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams by Jeff Russell

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams
Author: Jeff Russell
Genre: Thriller
Release date: September 30th, 2015

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Description:

What if a person could live in their dreams? What if the power of imagination could erase the inequities of life? The staff at Eden Perpetual Life Care makes that possible and Katrina Hammond turns to them when nothing else can ease the pain of her mother’s progressive illness. The residents of Eden live in a medically-induced dream state, a fantasy world based on their secret desires. They are freed from the torments of their physical existence but at a terrible price, for where her mother goes Kat cannot follow. When Eden offers Kat the position of in-house neurologist, letting her pursue her vocation while watching over her mother’s dreams, she reluctantly agrees. And when investigative reporter Morgan Brewer shows Kat what it means to be young and alive her own dreams start coming true.

But dreams are not always what they seem. An anomaly in the brainwave patterns of some residents suggests subconscious distress, and when Kat defies management’s order not to probe deeper she discovers something sinister taking place behind the pristine walls of Eden. Unsure of what to believe or who to trust she must now find a way to rescue her mother and the other residents before she herself becomes trapped in their perpetual nightmare.


The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams holds an interesting premise: What if we can live on in our dreams? An idea that reminded me a bit of Black Mirror’s San Junipero. Though I loved that concept and appreciated how realistic the author made it sound, the novel failed to develop all the other aspects I was interested in.

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Reading ALL Around the World

I’m constantly looking to expand my reading and this time around I don’t mean just different genres. I mean reading about different people, cultures, and places too.

Finally, from this year on, I’m taking a step towards that goal. Jean, from Howling Frog Books, is hosting the Reading ALL Around the World club and I’m joining it! Here I explain the challenge a bit, but for the detailed description and sign up page, go HERE. Continue reading “Reading ALL Around the World”