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Gypsy Reviews

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Quintana of Charyn
Melina Marchetta
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4)
Rick Riordan
Amalie Howard
The Bride Wore Size 12
Meg Cabot


Resist - Sarah Crossan 3.5/5Some things were definitely unclear and we never found out why Jude was helping the rest, felt very uneasy over how easy and convenient everything was. It definitely bothered me about Sequoia and how they have this whole breeding program which made no sense. Would have appreciated more depth to Vanya's intentions and how she and Petra differed in their opinions. It was good to see the characters again though I admit I forgot quite a few of them. -- Full review to come!
The Sea of Monsters  - Rick Riordan I definitely remembered this to be longer but anyways it was fantastic and you can start to see that development between Percy and Annabeth which will lead to y'know *wink wink* I would have liked more adventure in their journey but I guess with so much going on, they were strapped for time.

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson & the Olympians)

The Titan's Curse  - Rick Riordan So much love for this book because ARTEMIS!! I felt Bianca's ending was too swift, I definitely didn't remember it being so quick. I do like that Annabeth and Thalia had both been contemplating to join the Hunters, I feel like the series is progressing more in terms of character development. We're seeing them grow and face these decisions.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1)

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1) - I don't write reviews for books I'm rereading but never got a review up but I loved rereading this. It is quite different than the movie version which unfortunately was the version I remembered the most but I prefer the book one more because it's more complicated. This just bought back the magic of Camp Half-Blood and these familiar characters.

Tandem (The Many-Worlds Trilogy Series #1)

Tandem - Anna Jarzab Despite an unlikable MC who was bordering on Mary Sue because she literally does not have a single flaw at all, the story is interesting and enough to make me want to continue the series. The storyline is complex and unpredictable and it surprised me so I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in Tether. The other characters were all fleshed out well too, I enjoyed them much more than I liked Sasha.-- Full review to come!
Skulk - Rosie Best A pretty average book, it is unique being that the animals are those that you wouldn't expect, they're very ordinary. It was nice to see an MC who had a different interest. But the book never fully grabbed my attention, it was unfortunately quite flat and a lot of things weren't explained well enough or done too late to boost the story. The foundation of it was all there but it could have been more engaging. -- Full review to come!
No Sex in the City - Randa Abdel-Fattah Originally posted at Gypsy ReviewsI received a review copy via TBD Affiliates. Thanks!No Sex in the City was just as I expected it to be – quick, sharp and witty. It takes on the perspective of women who haven’t gotten their happily ever afters yet and are still in the midst of finding someone but yet also have trouble because they have their own standards for example, religious reasons. It also embraced diversity and different cultures and religion and Esma is a MC I can imagine having dinner over, laughing and joking.Esma is sharp, witty, funny and is frustrated. She’s looking for someone to spend the rest of her life with but she doesn’t want a boyfriend – she wants a husband and he has to be Muslim and not drink alcohol too for religious reasons. It isn’t easy finding the right match and especially with her father’s debt on her shoulders and her boss sexually harassing her. But she has her 3 fantastic friends who provide the support she needs. I really liked Esma, she’s straightforward, to the point, follows her principles, is a feminist and refuses to let anyone tell her how to live her life. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for Esma when people like her boss, Danny, tell her that her standards are too high and she needs to lower them even when she repeatedly tells him not to interfere with her love life and to keep his personal life away from her.Esma shoulders a huge responsibility from her father’s debt and she has to keep it from the rest of her family. I could relate to her on this front with having such a big responsibility, it is not easy and very easy to get crushed by this emotional baggage. It was so frustrating for me to read about how Danny was treating her, he was threatening her and taking advantage of his position as her boss. I wanted to hit him on the head with a pile of feminist essays.I always appreciate books with diversity because there are not enough books that feature characters of various ethnicities and cultures but No Sex in the City provided a variety of them and it was very informative too. We got to see how culture plays a large part in some people’s lives and how precious that is to them but yet refusing to let that overcome and cloud your own decisions and overall happiness. I liked the different perspective this book provided to us, it’s not everyday you see a book with a POC character who won’t marry just anyone due to religious reasons and who was conservative.I enjoyed this book so much, it was a breeze to read through and so funny. Also you think it might be humourous throughout but it can get serious when it’s time to. The thing about adult books is that I find they’re handled with much more clarity and maturity. It’s not wish-washy with all feelings involved and everything and gets so messy. It’s straight to the point. I also absolutely loved that the woman in here were all huge advocates for women’s rights and feminists.This definitely isn’t a book I would have picked up from the bookstore if I saw it but I’m so glad I gave this book a chance when I could select it for review. It was everything I expected and more and just such a fun read.Verdict: You might want to add this to your wishlist for when you’re looking for something funny. --------------------A funny, honest book that talks about the difficulties of finding the right person. It was wonderful to get an MC who was conservative in a sense and wanted to find someone who was Muslim and was okay with going straight into a marriage and not drinking. So diverse, we have many cultures integrated into this book. I could really relate to Esma, for being so filial to her parents and keeping that secret for her family. It was a very feminist book too which is always good. Really enjoyed reading this!-- Full review to come!

Hereafter (Shadowlands)

Hereafter - Kate Brian It was an okay book, not as good as Shadowlands but I read this within one day so it was hard to tear myself away from it. The romance was pretty much horrible. But glad that Rory still is a decent MC since she's unwilling to let this entire issue go and quite persistent. It was predictable but still got me interested enough to keep going to the end. The abilities of a Lifer seemed too convenient though. Seems like this might be a trilogy from the ending, will look forward to it!-- Full review to come!

The End Games

The End Games - DNF at pg. 114The book didn't really impress me from the beginning. I didn't like the writing, it was choppy and ridden with details that just made the whole scenario confusing. The flow of the story was just not there, it just went from here to there with no explanation. I was wowed by it in one moment but it went away quickly because it went back to being slow and boring right after. I would have continued reading if not for the writing, it just made reading it so much harder than it should be.
17 & Gone - Nova Ren Suma 3.5/5It was a good book but I didn't enjoy it fully, it never fully drew me in despite the mystery. I was expecting a lot more so I was disappointed. I would still recommend this.-- Full review to come!

Tumble & Fall

Tumble & Fall - Alexandra Coutts

Originally posted at Gypsy Reviews


I received an eARC from the publisher, thank you!


I was surprised by the surge of negative reviews and DNFs on this book, the summary seemed interesting and I didn’t expect such a reaction but as I went into it, I could see why. Tumble & Fall fails to hold and maintain most reader’s interest because of how boring the plot is, it seemed like aimless walking with nothing remotely exciting. It wasn’t an interesting book but I didn’t hate it either.


Tumble & Fall is told from three POVs, in the 3rd person and in the present tense. Few books are told in the present tense and it unnerved me, I was uncomfortable with the writing style and it was hard to get into but after a while, it didn’t bother me so much. We have Sienna who is dealing with her dad’s engagement and the fact that he wants to spend their last few days together as a family, Zan who is still reeling from the death of her boyfriend and finding out something about his last day and finally Caden who is kidnapped by his father who he hasn’t seen in years.The problem with the characters was that there were simply too many, once I went onto the next POV, I couldn’t remember the name of the other character’s POV I had just read about. No one stuck to me, they were easily forgettable and didn’t leave an impact at all. It took me a while to remember whose POVs were in the book and then remembering the secondary characters took quite some time too.


Tumble & Fall is really about coming to terms about your last few days and deciding how you would spend them. So in other terms, there isn’t much actually going on in the story, there isn’t a plot because all the characters are doing are waiting out the days before the end of the world. A lot of the decisions the characters made definitely don’t seem likely at all but seeing how the world was going to end, I guess you could say it was reasonable for example, Sienna falling in love with an old childhood friend and them proclaiming their love for each other. Normally I would just be shaking my head at them but I guess if the world is going to end, you want to live as much as possible during your last days.Some of the events were pretty bizarre, I mean Caden’s father kidnaps him and he buys him a prostitute. Uhm crazy much? They were definitely questionable and I know a few people were uncomfortable with that. Out of all the POVs, I think I liked Zan’s the most although I was so tired of her feeling as if she owned her dead boyfriend and couldn’t move on because it would be marring his memory. Girl, the world is about to end, I don’t think he would begrudge you doing what you wanted if you were going to die soon.


I did like some of the quotes in the book though.


Sorry is a feeling, a passive state of heart and mind. Forgiveness is something you give. (98%)

He’s the best because he only lies when he wants something badly enough; and usually, what he wants is to be telling the truth. (1%)


I definitely do find it hard to recommend this book because it’s not your normal contemporary novel. Bottom line is I think if you’re curious enough about this novel and you’ve read a variety of reviews of it and still want to read it, you should. But if you find anything you don’t like, you would be better off not reading it.


Verdict: If you’re curious enough about it, try it out. If not, it’s probably not worth your time.


I didn't like this book yet I didn't hate it. I can see why people DNFed it but it was an okay book though. There didn't really seem to be a pkot, it was mainly just the three characters coming to terms with themselves and self-discovery.-- Full review to come!

If You Find Me

If You Find Me - Emily Murdoch 4.5/5Such a powerful book full of raw emotion and sisterly love. I absolutely adored the focus on family here and my heart completely went out to Carey and Nessa. If you have a younger sibling you might understand what it means to fiercely love them and to do anything for them. -- Full review to come!

Book of Broken Hearts

The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah Ockler A really sweet book, got me a little emotional because the thought of a parent having Alzheimer's is very hard to bear. I love the bond Jude had with her sisters and the fact she was trying so hard to help her father. The romance was good too, in overall an enjoyable contemporary!-- Full review to come!
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake Originally posted at Gypsy ReviewsI received an eARC from the publisher. Thank you!Despite not being a fan of Kendare Blake’s other series, the Anna duology, Antigoddess immediately sucked me in the moment I saw the name ‘Athena’. It’s a compelling take on Greek mythology and does well in staying true to the original mythology. With a tinge of horror and little romance, Blake no doubt has me drawn to this new series with her writing and ability to draw you and keep you engaged throughout the story.Athena is still as headstrong as ever, as is her nature, and I don’t think I would expect anything less from the Goddess of War. For some it might be hard to like Athena, she puts feelings aside for the best battle strategy but that’s what makes her a great leader in these situations. She’s not afraid to be the bad guy if it means getting something that will help her in the battle. In some ways you might call her ruthless or even heartless but she is also the Goddess of Wisdom so she knows what she’s doing. I liked Blake’s version of Athena, I was a bit iffy about the attempted romance because Athena is supposedly a virgin goddess. But it was interesting to see Athena explore these attractions for the first time and battle it, especially now that she was essentially ‘human’.Oh Cassandra and Aidan, I should have seen it coming. I didn’t really like Cassandra in the beginning because she never really stood out to me, she really started to shine towards the end but I guess that’s all due to the plot too. I didn’t really care much for Cassandra and Aidan in terms of their relationship, I wasn’t supporting them yet I didn’t detest them. They’re not a couple you really care about, not sure if this was Blake’s intention but at least I didn’t hate them. I’ve never read The Odysseus before but I really liked how it was intertwined in this story and how the whole reincarnation worked. I am interested in seeing Blake expand on more Greek myths and legends but I’m not sure she might seeing as The Odysseus could just be enough but I’m hopeful, it could open up a world of possibilities.The antagonists were pretty awesome if we’re talking about being bad. Hera’s never known to be a nice goddess, I mean it’s hard to be chipper when your husband keeps going around cheating on you with other women and surrounding you with his children. But Hera’s pretty hard-headed in this one, she’s got the brains to go against Athena and proves a worthy opponent to Athena. I was surprised to see Aphrodite and Poseidon though but not until I realised how they were dying. I am extremely interested in seeing more of the Greek gods and goddesses, that mere mention of Artemis got me jumping up and down excitedly and I NEED HER IN HERE. Also if Aphrodite is involved, where’s Ares? Also, I really want to see how this ‘disease’ is affecting the others too and especially about where is Zeus?! I would definitely like to see why the gods are dying, I don’t think that got explained in the book so I’m hoping as they find out more, this will be addressed.The book was pretty gruesome enough, Blake isn’t afraid to give out the details, she won’t sugarcoat it to you. But I was wondering about some of the descriptions because they just didn’t seem possible and visualising them was really weird for me. That battle between Athena and Aidan, I mean flaps of skin from her head were flapping out? Uhm, it just sounds weird and unrealistic. The chapters are quite long but Blake always manages to build up the pace as you go further in the chapter so it never did feel long. Blake knows how to write action scenes well, that’s for sure.Antigoddess was a really enjoyable read for me, satisfying the Greek mythology geek in me and I will have high expectations for the next! But seriously, more mentions of Artemis please, especially after that ending. I mean Athena and the rest have to go contact her right? RIGHT?-----------------------A very good Greek mythology retelling, some aspects I was displeased with but on the whole Blake did a good job with keeping to the personalities of the gods and goddesses. I hope Blake expands this and includes more of the gods and other mythological characters in the sequel.-- Full review to come!


Defiance - C.J. Redwine Meh. I didn't like this book a lot, the romance was so off-putting. I was really confused as to what world this was set in, only a vague description was given but the way it sounds it seems really medieval but the technology is too advanced to be in that era. The writing was good but that was probably the only good part, I guess some may enjoy it with the romance aspect but it seemed really unrealistic and unbearable to read about.-- Full review to come!

The Elites

The Elites - Natasha Ngan 4.5/5Originally published at Gypsy ReviewsI received an ARC direct from the publisher. Thank you!I went into The Elites with low expectations and was wowed by it. It might seem like your typical dystopian but underneath it all, there are subtle messages about racism, family, freedom, loyalty and trying to figure out which is the side you want to be on? It has elements that you wouldn’t expect to see from many dystopians as it embraces diversity and managed to pop out such an engaging climax that was reminiscent of Mockingjay.Silver is a Red and an Elite which means she’s one of the select few who guard Neo-Babel. All Silver has wanted to do is to live up to who she is and to prove that she is a worthy Elite and she can protect her city. But things go wrong and everything starts to crumble and everything Silver knows is about to change completely. Silver’s situation is not as good as you think, not only is she an Elite but she’s a Red too (I presumed she was probably Chinese). The people in Neo-Babel are separated according to race and Reds are looked down, reasons for this were not explained but it was stated that Mainlanders (presumably Caucasians) were of the higher ranking. I liked that The Elites sought to address racism and prove that someone is not defined by their race but rather their abilities and who they are. It provided a lot of diversity to the book as there are many cultures in the book and I definitely appreciate a book that seeks to include all cultures out there and not focus on one predominant race. It’s hard for Silver, she is an Elite but there are people who look down at her and thinks she’s unworthy because she is a Red.When she realises Neo-Babel isn’t what she presumed, it’s difficult for her to accept that because it’s been drilled into her for so long. This side of Neo-Babel is the only side she’s known about, how can she just change her entire opinion about it in such a short span? She doesn’t want to believe that this is what is happening but she can’t ignore the facts that are staring right in her face. But it wasn’t just Silver who faced these conflicts, there were also other characters who we get to see who chose sides and had reasons for sticking to them. So we get to see from both sides and I really liked how we got to see how the characters reason why they chose to side with Neo-Babel and why they don’t. It provided more depth to the characters.Silver is a flawed character, she doesn’t pretend to be perfect, she knows her weaknesses and struggles with overcoming them but in overall, her heart is in the right place and she knows what’s important to her. I did enjoy the other characters too, I wasn’t too crazy about the names. I mean Silver’s best friend is called Butterfly?! No matter how minor the characters were, there was layers to them and they all managed to connect to the story, somehow or another they were intertwined together. There’s a sort of hidden history behind some of them which made me wish I could find out more. I wasn’t a big fan of a part of Butterfly’s story though, I found it all a little too convenient. I mean finding your mother and sister who were presumed to be dead in the first place you come out of Neo-Babel? Uhm… I wasn’t pleased that they died either, so basically they were first dead, then alive and dead again.The world building was good, it was straightforward and easy to visualise and understand how it came about. It was not hard to figure out how Neo-Babel worked and what was going on outside the walls of Neo-Babel. The concept of the Elites wasn’t anything very new I found but I did love the quotes in the book pertaining to them.Silver had heard the rumours about the Elites, that they were superhuman, that they didn’t bleed. But of course they did. They were no more or less human than anyone else. And what they didn’t understand was that bleeding wasn’t a sign of weakness; it was a sign of strength. It demonstrated to the world that you were vulnerable and ordinary, but when you wanted something enough, and fought hard enough for it, you were capable of doing extraordinary things. (pg. 355)I felt that Ngan had put in a lot of thought into her book and dealing with the aftereffects of people’s choices and the part they play in defining an entire city’s fate. Do they have the right to decide what is right for an entire city? Would it be better to let it be? Is it right to overshadow your own desire over others? I don’t find that characters inside the story come to terms with how their current world became this way so it was a welcome addition, usually they simply disagree with how society works but here, Silver tries to reason why Neo-Babel became like this and says why it’s wrong.The Council had got it wrong. No, Neo-Babel’s founders had got it wrong all those years ago when the city was first created. A person’s DNA shouldn’t dictate their lives. Skin-tone, genetics; how could any of those things decide what a person could become? That sort of thinking only bred hatred and created people like Ember who thought science had proven that their races were superior and Reds like Silver weren’t worth a thing. But science had done nothing of the sort; it was people who had used science to turn their prejudices into justifications. (pg. 330)What really won me over was what happened from the climax onwards, it was spectacular and I didn’t know that Ngan would be able to pull it off but she did. It was gut-wrenching, shocking and I was on the edge of my seat as I read it. In that short span, many people are forced to make choices they thought they would have more time to decide on and for others, they’ve lost everything they knew about. It feels like everything is going downhill and it’s not going to work out and it was a great book feeling because you’re not even sure if it could turn around and everything would be okay in the end. It did remind me a lot of Mockingjay’s climax and evoked the same feelings. It was my favourite part of the book and it made up for all the faults in the beginning.I thoroughly enjoyed this and I was so surprised by how much I loved it. Natasha Ngan is definitely an author to keep an eye out for, she’s got potential and I’ll be looking forward to her future releases.Verdict: Tired by all the disappointing dystopians? This will turn things around!----------------------This book exceeded my expectations by so much, despite a few bumps where you know one of the characters is called Butterfly and is a guy which is hard to take seriously. The Elites delves deep into what it means to embrace who you are, family ties, dealing with loss, being under a dystopian society and trying to come to terms with your past. It's a powerful book and I loved it, I couldn't tear myself away from the second half. -- Full review to come!