Weekly Reading List #55


By Cynthia Ayala

Summer vacation is coming to a close. I know for some that the school year has started. Mine will start in a matter of a couple of weeks. It’s my last semester at Emerson College. It’s weird thinking that it will be my last semester. I just have to pass my classes and then I’m okay. Man, it’s weird that it may be coming to end soon. My last summer vacation, it’s crazy!

Anyway, here is my weekly reading list for the end of the summer. Happy reading!
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #55

A Bogged Down Fantasy | Review of ‘The Waking Fire’ (The Draconis Memoria #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
Orbit
Image Credit: Goodreads

The blood of drakes offers powers and abilities to those considered blood-blessed. Out there lies a drake with untapped power, bringing an unregistered blood-blessed into the control of a powerful blood-blessed syndicate who seek to use him and hunt down the mythical white drake. But with empires clashing together and the drakes rising out of the depth with anger and hatred, these characters will discover that they may be the only thing that stands between humanity and destruction.

Published on July 7, 2016, by Orbit, The Waking Fire by acclaimed author Anthony Ryan is the first in his fantasy series The Draconis Memoria.
Continue reading A Bogged Down Fantasy | Review of ‘The Waking Fire’ (The Draconis Memoria #1)

Worth the Watch | Review of ‘Nerve’


By Cynthia Ayala

Nerve starring Emma Roberts & Dave Franco
Lionsgate
Image Credit: IMDB

“A high school senior finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of ‘watchers.'”

—IMDB

Are you a player or a watcher? Nerve, based on the novel of the same name, is based heavily on the extreme’s some people take to be YouTube famous. But the film takes it to another level taking the control out of the daredevil and putting it in the hands of watchers, people who control the player and the game, giving them reckless dares that could cost them their lives. For Vee (played by Emma Roberts), becoming a player on Nerve is all about trying to prove herself, that she isn’t just the meek shy girl everyone thinks she is. Thrust into this game of do or die, she meets the handsome Ian (played by Dave Franco), another player in the Game who knows more than he is telling her.
Continue reading Worth the Watch | Review of ‘Nerve’

Weekly Reading List #54


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there fellow book lovers, I hope that you are all having a wonderful weekend. It is quite possibly the best time of the week to get some reading done. Well it certainly is for me at least. I love the weekends and I love the relaxing time that I get to spend with my feet up being lazy.

Anyway, here is my selection of books for the upcoming week. It was busy last week so I only had a chance to finish one book. Although I have started The Dollhouse here and let me just say that it has been impossible to put down. I’m probably going to finish it later today. Happy reading!

Image Credit: Goodreads

1. The Dollhouse

By Fiona Davis

‘The Dollhouse. . . . That’s what we boys like to call it. . . . The Barbizon Hotel for Women, packed to the rafters with pretty little dolls. Just like you.’

Fiona Davis’s stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City’s glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success in the 1950s, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon’s glitzy past.

When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren’t: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn’t belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she’s introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that’s used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon’s gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby’s involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman’s rent-controlled apartment. It’s a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose’s obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.”

Image Credit: Goodreads

2. Traitor Angels

By Anne Blankman

“Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects. 

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s men arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.”

Image Credit: Goodreads

3. Three Dark Crowns

By Kendare Blake

“Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.”

*Disclaimer: All synopsis are provided by Goodreads.

A Strong Narrative on Identity & Belief | Review of ‘Firstlife’ (Everlife #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Firstlife by Gena Showalter
Harlequin Teen
Image Credit: Goodreads

There are three choices after death. Two realms that fight for power and one where the lost souls go to suffer. Ten hasn’t chosen an afterlife, and her family has made her suffer for it. Both realms want her and have sent their top Laborers to recruit her in their war, but with one side desperate to force her hand, the real struggle is surviving long enough to make her choice.

Firstlife by Gena Showalter is the first in her new young adult series, Everlife, published on February 23, 2016, by Harlequin Teen.
Continue reading A Strong Narrative on Identity & Belief | Review of ‘Firstlife’ (Everlife #1)

A Bundle of Love and Laughs | Review of ‘The Secret Life of Pets’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Secret Life of Pets starring Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate & Ellie Kemper
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.”

    —IMDB

Where should I start? As an animal lover, I adored this movie, and as a filmgoer, I loved it. This movie had a compelling story to it that also didn’t shy away from what it means to be an animal and an animal lover. Pets get lost all the time, their collars break off, they get taken by animal control, or they are just abandoned. This film touches all of this making this a dynamic movie to behold. The best part about that is that it has a lot of heart, it has a lot of strength, and it has a lot of humor in it. This film is an adventure in the eyes of lost dogs and his friends as they try to find him and bring him back home.
Continue reading A Bundle of Love and Laughs | Review of ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

Weekly Reading List #53


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there readers I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Got my eyes checked out last weekend. Luckily, I’m not totally as blind as a bat, but as it is, I’ve spent my time reading and writing as usual. And as I read I find that my current reading list is dwindling! Can you just imagine the horror! I’m gonna have to go through my Goodreads list and my shelves sort through what I want to read next. I still have to finish the Pretty Little Liars series and I’m utterly hooked on the Dorothy Must Die series after the first novel, so there’s something. And I have tons of books to read on my Kindle and Nook, because yes, I have both.

In the meantime, check out this weeks’ reading list. Happy reading! Oh, and if you have any suggestions for me leave them in the comments section. Continue reading Weekly Reading List #53

Strong & Thoughtful | Review of ‘The Legend of Tarzan’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Legend of Tarzan starring Alexander Skarsgård, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson & Margot Robbie
Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.”

—IMDB

I have to say this film touches on some tough subjects regarding racism and slavery. It’s not a terribly unique plot device, but it is one that still matters today. Why? Because the past always matters. Otherwise, no one would learn anything from it.
Continue reading Strong & Thoughtful | Review of ‘The Legend of Tarzan’

An Addicting, Dark and Gritty Retelling | Review of ‘Dorothy Must Die’ (Dorothy Must Die #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
HarperCollins
Image Credit: Goodreads

Oz has changed since Dorothy returned. Oz is darker, a nasty place where the Good Witches are evil and the Wicked are just trying to survive and return Oz to the beautiful place it once was. Power and fame went to Dorothy’s head, and with that, her hunger for magic grew, forcing her to take it from the World of Oz itself. But now her power is truly threatened by one Amy Gumm, the other girl from Kansas who landed in Oz in a tornado and who has been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked for one purpose: to kill Dorothy.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige is her debut novel in and the first in the Dorothy Must Die series published by HarperCollins on April 1, 2014. The story takes an interesting retelling for the young adult audience that is dark, gritty, incredibly entertaining, and impossible to put down.
Continue reading An Addicting, Dark and Gritty Retelling | Review of ‘Dorothy Must Die’ (Dorothy Must Die #1)

Weekly Reading List #52


Woah, 52 weeks, a whole year of reading and book sharing, seems crazy that a whole year has passed but a year has passed indeed. Anyway, I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and a lovely weekend. I’m getting my eyes checked out this weekend for a new prescription and such, so here’s hoping that that goes well. Anyway, here is my weekly reading list, a list of books to get your book senses tingling. Happy reading.
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #52

Bringing you the latest reviews on films & novels. – Cynthia A.

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