Alienated by Melissa Landers | Book Review

4:29 PM Ally M.G. 2 Comments

In Alienated by Melissa Landers.

We follow the story of top high school student Cara Sweeny as she is chosen to be the host to a exchange student from an alien race. 

Two years ago, aliens made contact with Earth and now Cara will have to share a bathroom with one. The alien race of the L’ehir hosts their first-ever exchange student with Earth hoping to build an alliance between humanity and L’ehirs. Cara was one of two other students who got chosen to be friend these aliens. She thinks her future is set and perfect with this opportunity. She will get a free ride to the college of her dreams, and will have the inside information about the mysterious L’eihr race that every journalist would kill for. (Perfect blog material).

The L’eihr that is sent to live with Cara and her family is a young teenage boy named Aelyx. With his arrival Cara’s life changes completely...for the better and the worse.

I originally bought this bought this book because the cover attracted my attention, when I bought I had no idea what it was going to be about….other than aliens and a possible love relationship. (Boy was I right!)

It was a fun read, because it was not exactly what I expected it to be. Yes, there was the obvious romance between Aelyx and Cara, but it was not the main story plot of the book! Their relationship did not bloom in any way till the last 60 pages of the book.

The story focused on the idea of how we, humanity, are so reluctant to change in the face of something new. There are people who did not like the L’eihrs and wanted nothing to do with them. That they'd go as far as to try to pass a bill to get rid of the three L’eihr students from Earth! 

Humanity’s fear of new things was mesmerizing, because it can be applied to the current world. I do not know if that was Landers’ key goal in this story, but it is scary that humanity’s fear stops us from achieving and learning new things.

L’eihrs have similar DNA from humans but as Aelyx always tells Cara, “They are not humans”. The L’eihrs are obviously much more advanced than humanity, since they were the ones to make contact with Earth, but at the same time the L’eihr race is a lot like humanity (beside the similar DNA). They have as much fear as humanity, but they don’t act upon it rashly like we humans.

I am not the biggest fan of plain romance novels, and if you are like too my dear reader, then you will not be disappointed with this novel.

Cara’s character took a while for me to fall in love with due to the fact that she would let other people influence her bit. But once she womaned up she was a joy to read. Cara is willing to stand up to what she believes in even if the rest of her classmates don’t. It takes a lot of guts to be able to keep a strong face when everyone pretty much hates you because you have an alien living in your house.

Aelyx’s character was my all time favorite, mostly because he is a bit sarcastic and he is like 110% done with human food (too many flavours). From the very beginning Lauders makes him very likable even when he is trying not be. He is an adorable baby who needs to be protected. Personally, I fell in love with him when he had to start reciting the human periodic table ( for reasons you’ll understand if you read the book ).

My biggest complain about this story is that it lacked enough descriptions. There were times where I couldn’t see the scene clearly and it bothered me because I wanted to have a clear image in my mind and I couldn’t. There were a few plot holes, but this a first book of a trilogy I believe so hopefully the holes are filled by the end of the overall story.

My rating: 3/5

GoodReads: 4.01/5



Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard | Book Review

1:00 PM Ally M.G. 4 Comments

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard will cause emotional turmoil and destroy all the trust you once held.

We follow the tale of seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow’s, a common girl whose magical powers draw her into the dangerous world of the king’s palace. Mare’s world is divided by blood – those with Red blood are the commons, who serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman gifts. Mare is a Red, she is a common, and she is helping her family survive by being a thief in a poor, rural village. Her life was plain, and it was simple until fate throws her in front of the Silver court one day. Right in front of the king, princes, and all the Silver-blood nobility, Mare discovers she has an ability just like the Silvers.

To cover up Mare’s anomaly, the king and queen force her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of the princes. Soon she is drowned further into the world of the Silvers, unable to get away. In her new position, Mare risks everything in order to help the Scarlet Guard – a growing Red rebellion – even when her heart tells her to go the other direction, the impossible direction.

The reader follows Mare as she plays this dangerous game that can cost her not only her life, but also the lives everyone and everything she cares about. Mare and the reader struggle for a positive outcome for both Reds and Silvers but there is no certainty, the only certainty is…betrayal.

 I experienced so many emotions. It got to the point that I wanted to crawl into a hole and cry. Aveyard does a great job making you fall with all the characters till the point that you see them as your children. Then…your children betray you and you just want to die. There are no words to properly describe the betrayal you will feel once you get to “THAT PART”. I have never been so emotionally abused by a story before.

Mare’s character takes a while to “like”. At first she is a bit like Katniss, living in a bubble and only seeing the world in black and white. After the 70 page mark, she goes through a massive character development as she discovers that she has Silver powers as a Red.

Other characters include: Kilron, her childhood friend. Kilron reminded me of Gale except Gale had a reason to fight and drive to live, while Kilron simply did not. Tiberias Calore VII (Cal), the first-born crowned prince of Norta and heir to the throne is unlike any other male character I have read before. Cal stands for what he believes in till the very end and does not let a girl cloud his judgment of what is right and wrong (unlike most lover boys in YA novels) which is god-flipping-tastic. Even when he is introduced in around page 50 you can tell see his high sense of morality. Maven Calore (my favorite character) is the second crowned prince of Norta and he is betrothed to Mare (reason will be explained once you read the book), he starts off a bit cold but he will warm up to the reader until you are madly in love. Maven caused me emotional turmoil, and he will cause the same thing to you my dear reader.

I believe Aveyard did an amazing job writing the character, especially covering the ever so obvious hints, which makes the betrayal much more painful than it needs to be. My dear reader I wish to tell you what occurred to spare you pain, but I want you to feel the grand pain I felt when the betrayal comes…and I have already given too much away. Just know, the plot twist is obvious if you, my sweet reader, don’t become distracted with the kindness.

Like most YA novels, there is an obvious romance aspect but it is not overwhelming and thrown into your face. The acute love square, triangle, line thing romance allows the story to progress smoothly as it ties in to events, causes and outcomes.

My small complaint, and the main reason why Red Queen does not receive 5 stars from me is: riddled descriptions. There are some points in the story that the description is riddled and it is difficult to properly imagine the scene. Certain scenes, like the Mare’s power reveal, took a couple of reads to properly visualize, but even so the image in my head was not very clear. Don’t be disheartened by this sweet reader, it is only a few sections where these riddled descriptions happen, rest of the scenes are clear enough to picture in the little theater in your mind.

Rate: 4/5

Goodreads: 4.15/5


Spring Tea

1:00 PM Ally M.G. 1 Comments

Tea has been part of my life for a couple years now. I don’t exactly remember when I became infatuated with tea…probably around age 14/15. I also don’t remember what came upon me to start liking tea….maybe it was because I did not like coffee? Who knows…what’s important now is that tea is part of my life and it is here to stay (FOREVER).

Recently, I have been in drinking loads of fruity green tea blends. Just like fashion, I feel like your tea routine should change to fit the weather and environment.

For the springy weather (that does not exist here in Miami, but I pretend it does) I usually go for herbal flowery blends that usually consist of whites and oolongs. I don’t understand what happened this year but I decided to be fruity rather than flowery. ( I blame the lack of actual Spring )

The teas that I have been drinking:
*Green Matcha
*Blueberry Bliss + Pineapple Kona Pop blend
*Camomile with Honey and Vanilla
*Peach and Jasmine Blend

*Various green teas

These are the teas that I am currently drinking. And yes...I am aware it is mostly Teavana...but after discovering that place there has been no stoping me. 90% of all the teas I own are from there. But mostly because I do not know where else to go for delicious loose leaf tea. Any recommendations?


Hollow City by Ransom Riggs | Book Review

2:41 PM Ally M.G. 2 Comments

Hollow City is Ransom Riggs’ sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Hollow City was a really wonderful book that is creepy, mysterious and thrilling and it has photographs that are usually found in antique fairs. The photographs being one of the key factors that makes this book and it’s predecessor so unique. These strangely developed photographs are the type of relics you would find in an attic of a creepy old abandon building in the middle of who knows where. Personally, it was the idea of a book with pictures that made me pick up Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Hollow City follows the same format of the first book, beautiful attention to detail, on the cover, on the paper and of course on its photographs. The most enjoyable part of the photographs is that they do not appear until after your finish reading the passage that describes the photographs. I like playing the game of “Is my mental image like the one on the photo?” usually it is because Riggs does an expectaculiar job describing every single new character and new scenery with excruciating detail (much like J.K Rowling).

Your mind slowly creates the scene and when you reach the page with the photography the scene in your mind enhances ten times more.

Right where Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children stops Hollow City picks it right up. There are no time lapses like most sequels tend to do. The reader continues on the journey with Jacob and the peculiar children as they are trying to help Miss Peregrine return to her human form.

In the previous book the reader had to be guided by Jacob as he tried to unmask the mystery of the peculiar children. The mystery of the stories that Jacob’s grandfather implanted in his mind.

 In this book the reader becomes peculiar, much like Jacob and the rest on the children, and sits in the rowboats trying to figure out how to get to London.

I do not want to spoil the story; for once I give my opinions and feelings about Hollow City then Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will be ultimately ruined. So if you are reading this right now, yes I am talking to you, and have not read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children please do yourself a favor and stop. Stop reading my words and get a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and once you are done snatch a copy of Hollow City. But once you are done with the first book please return to me.

I assume if you are still reading you have already read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. If you haven’t….this is your last warning.

The loop has been destroyed, Miss Peregrine has been rescued from the Hollows and Wights, and the children are stuck in the middle of a body of water trying to reach main land Great Britain.

Jacob and Emma being the leaders of the now homeless children (not much to Enoch’s liking) try their best to keep the children safe.

Jacob’s leadership role is what made me enjoy his character much more than before. He goes through a massive character development as his life and the life of his fellow peculiar friends are in danger. He grows up and matures as he has learned how to use his newly developed peculiar gift to keep everyone safe from the Hollows. Even though he matures, the scared child inside him still lives, but this time he does not let it get the best of him. Jacob realizes that fear is part of his life now, and he has to learn to use it in his favor. Which is god-flipping-tastic. I love character development.

In Hollow City Riggs allows the reader to learn more intimate details about the other children. You learn more about Bronwyn’s motherly instincts, Horace’s insecurities, Olive’s innocence, Enoch’s rotten attitude, Hugh’s age and power and Millard’s intelligence. It is no longer just about Jacob trying to figure if he is going insane or not, but about a cast of characters trying to survive as they deal with their own inner demons.

Personally that is my favorite part of any story, learning about the characters and watching them grow as they handle the situations that are thrown their way.

I have nothing to complain about Hollow City, other than the ending. The massive plot twist Ransom Riggs decided to punch the readers with. I did not see it coming and it made me angry because catching plot twists are usually my superpower.

If you, my sweet reader, have not finished reading Hollow City and want to catch the twist…

Let’s just say…would Miss Peregrine really murder a pigeon whom is part of The Tales?

Goodreads rating: 4.03/5

My rating: 4.5/5



The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | Book Review

3:00 PM Ally M.G. 11 Comments

There are many reasons why a book is special, for me the book has to have a way of making you see things in a way you have never even thought of before. Whether it is spiritually, intellectually, or mentally.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak hit the nail on mentally.

The last book that made me pause, and thoroughly think, “What am I doing with my life” was If I Stay by Gayle Foreman.

In this story we explore World War II Germany, and through Death’s eyes we watch a young girl by the name of Liesel Meminger, a foster child living in the poor neighborhood in Munich.

Liesel is the famous book thief that caught Death’s eye while he collected the souls of the fallen. He first met her when he collected the soul of her younger brother and caught her in the act of stealing her first book The Grave Digger’s Handbook.

I have never read a book where I can say that the narrator is completely reliable. He has no real attachments to this girl. He is Death; he has few emotions towards humans but even so he still feels for them. He feels: curiosity, pity, happiness and sadness. The most un-human character was the most human. (Does that make sense?) He has human-like emotions, but he is not allowed to be part of humanity.

Death was blunt with all the characters in story and even forewarned that they were all going to die. He also forewarned us of all the major events that were going to happen and gave us as readers’ small glimpses of how it was going to occur.

 There was some foreshadowing, by the first couple chapters you are already aware of the characters who will die by the end and it was heart breaking because you end up growing attached to a few them.

It was the worst feeling in the world watching yourself fall in love with a character knowing that he or she was not going to survive the story.

But I guess that was why The Book Thief was so special, you were Death, and you watched people live their daily lives unaware that you were aware that it was going to be over soon.

Liesel, Max, Rudy, Papa, Mama, Tommy. All these characters made it into my heart and watching most of them die was a painful experience.

I do not wish to give much of the story away, because The Book Thief is a piece of literature that everyone should read, much like 1984.

It is a story that will survive the test of time, because it creates awareness in the reader that life is unexpected and you never know when it will end. It can end in your sleep, like for most citizens of Himmel Street, or on your journey to someplace new. It can all end unexpectedly, not only your life but also the lives of people who you hold dear, it can end, and it may end filled with regrets.


Check out my latest youtube video