Book of the Month – April 2017


By Cynthia Ayala

Here you have it readers, your votes have spoken, and this month was quite the surprise. This month’s winner is Out of the Shadows, the debut novel by Ashlee Nicole Bye, beating out bestseller authors. Congratulations Out of the Shadows! Check out what it’s all about right here and stay tuned for a review right here on Cyn’s Workshop.
Continue reading Book of the Month – April 2017

Shockingly Entertaining | Review of ‘Toxic’ (Pretty Little Liars #15)


By Cynthia Ayala

Toxic by Sara Shepard
HarperTeen
Image Credit: Goodreads

One A has been captured, but Alison is still out there, lurking around, stalking the girls. The police don’t believe them, and after the scandal, not many people are on their sides. These girls are going to have to rely on themselves and track down their tormentor, once and for all.

Published June 3rd 2014 by HarperTeen, Toxic by Sara Shepard is the second to last novel in her YA mystery/thriller Pretty Little Liars series.
Continue reading Shockingly Entertaining | Review of ‘Toxic’ (Pretty Little Liars #15)

A Richly Layered Space Opera | Review of ‘The Dark Between the Stars’ (The Saga of Shadows #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson
Tor Books
Image Credit: Goodreads

It’s been twenty years since the elemental war tore through the Spiral Arm. Peace has all but become the norm for the inhabitants of the space. But now an old evil has seeped through the darkness eager to obliterate everything in the galaxy, leaving nothing in its wake. Now humanity must put aside all differences to fight this new foe from the darkness.

Published June 3, 2014, by Tor Books, The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson is the first in his new series The Saga of Shadows, a space opera spin-off of his best-selling series Saga of Seven Suns.

Continue reading A Richly Layered Space Opera | Review of ‘The Dark Between the Stars’ (The Saga of Shadows #1)

Weekly Reading List #80


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers. I hope that everyone is doing well. Recently my kitten past away this week so it’s been a hard few days. I miss going to sleep at night without him walking all over me. He was 18, so not really a kitten, and at least I had so much time with him, but it hurts, having to let him go. But I’m doing okay, reading at night seems to help me sleep without him. It’s something at least.

Anyway, check out my reading list and see what I’ve got on my to-read list.
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A Tale as Old as Time | Review of “Beauty and the Beast”


By Cynthia Ayala

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline & Josh Gad
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.”

—IMDB

A magical live action remake of the classic tale following Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the cursed prince. Needless to say—but it has to be said—this film had exceptional casting. Emma Watson has become an exceptional actress, taking on the part of Belle and molding her into something new. She was able to capture the essence of Belle from the original, the stubborn opinionated girl with dreams as vast as the eye could see. And her performance was breathtakingly amazing. She is Belle, there is no question about it. Then there is Luke Evans. God, what a wonderful Gaston he made. Much like Watson, he was the perfect person to take on this role, to sing the songs, the be the perfect narcissist.
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Racially Empowering…and Thrilling | Review of ‘Get Out’


By Cynthia Ayala

Get Out starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams & Bradley Whitford
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.”

    —IMDB

An amazing film that really looks at society and racism, taking it to another extreme that isn’t all that unbelievable. This is one of those films that’s just incredible because it works so well and builds so well. The beginning is so stark, it’s amazing how it works to create this atmosphere of eerie suburbia that everyone sees and no one talks about. But it also tackles society and racism in a remarkable way. It’s a fresh new take on racism and how it functions and can mutate in society taking on several forms, all of which are harmful to any individual. Acting like you’re not racist doesn’t make it true and this film addresses that.
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The Horror Here is the Flat Ending | Review of ‘Asylum’ (Asylum #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Asylum by Madeleine Roux
HarperTeen
Image Credit: Goodreads

Dan Crawford, a sixteen-year-old, has taken off to the New Hampshire College Prep program for the summer. It’s exciting, but for Dan, he has discovered that his dorm used to be a sanatorium that housed the criminally insane, some of which were tortured in barbaric experiments. With his newfound friends, Abby and Jordan, they explore the dark depths of the sanatorium, they discover that some secrets were better left unburied.

Published August 20, 2013, by HarperTeen, Asylum
by Madeleine Roux is the first in her Asylum series, a young adult horror that brings the past and present into a twisted collision course.
Continue reading The Horror Here is the Flat Ending | Review of ‘Asylum’ (Asylum #1)

High Tension Riveting YA Sci-Fi | Review of ‘Wandering Star’ (Zodiac #2)


By Cynthia Ayala

Wandering Star by Romina Russell
Razorbill
Image Credit: Goodreads

Stripped of her titles, disgraced, Rho is ready to set her sights on working quietly at the Cancrian refugee camp on House Capricorn. Unfortunately, Ochus has other plans for her. Ochus gives her insight into the Marad, a terrorist group of unbalanced persons, those constantly shifting between houses, and their plans. Now Rho must decide whether to trust the man who destroyed her home and name, of face a threat much larger than Ochus.

Published December 8, 2015, by Razorbill, Wandering Star by Romina Russell is the second in her young adult science fiction series, Zodiac, that takes astrology to a new level of cool.
Continue reading High Tension Riveting YA Sci-Fi | Review of ‘Wandering Star’ (Zodiac #2)

Weekly Reading List #79


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. Not much time for reading lately. Or writing. It’s so hard to find time. I’ve set aside time in my calendar for writing and editing and all my files FINALLY seemed to have synced up so I can FINALLY continue editing my book and preview the first five chapters up for readers to read. So much to do before my August 30th pub date. Here’s hoping I won’t have to move it back. Wish me luck!

Anyway, all work and no play is never fun so check out these titles and hand me some reprieve from my workaholic schedule.
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #79

Shyamalan Does it Again | Review of ‘Split’


By Cynthia Ayala

Split starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley & Haley Lu Richardson
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, they must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.”

—IMDB

Shyamalan does it again. Split is such an amazing film that takes the scientific basis of dissociative identity disorder and expands upon it in an extreme way. Enter James McAvoy with a breathtaking performance. McAvoy plays a variety of personas within this film, creating a different identity for each, well, identity. He’s amazing. Not once does he break character, but he creates and moves between the characters, between the personalities so effortless it’s scary. What makes it scary is how good he is at switching between the personas when he brings them to life.
Continue reading Shyamalan Does it Again | Review of ‘Split’