Tag Archives: Book Review

[Review] The Assassin’s Curse — Kevin Sands

Book Title: The Assassin's Curse (Blackthorn Key #03)
Author:     Kevin Sands
Number of pages:  384

Synopsis:

Wherever Christopher Rowe goes, adventure—and murder—follows. Even a chance to meet King Charles ends in a brush with an assassin.

All that’s recovered from the killer is a coded message with an ominous sign-off: more attempts are coming. So when Christopher’s code-breaking discovers the attack’s true target, he and his friends are ordered to Paris to investigate a centuries-old curse on the French throne. And when they learn an ancient treasure is promised to any assassin who succeeds, they realize the entire royal family is at stake—as well as their own lives.

(re: Goodreads @ The Assassin’s Curse by Kevin Sands)


Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– MG ‘The Da Vinci Code’ set in Paris in the 1600s
– Mystery and puzzles are based on wordplay and the nuances in language
– World building might take the assumption that readers know what each landmark looks like; might be a concern re: imagery
– Expands the lore of Benedict Blackthorn’s legacy
– Although 500+ pages (in the ARC), the dialogue reads very quickly and the story is well-paced

Initial Thoughts

Kevin Sand’s The Blackthorn Key series is a middle grade book that should be on everyone’s radar. Full stop.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Assassin’s Curse from Simon & Schuster Canada.


Continue reading [Review] The Assassin’s Curse — Kevin Sands

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[Review] Lucky in Love – Kasie West

Book Title: Lucky in Love
Author:     Kasie West
Number of pages:  333

Synopsis:

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

(re: Goodreads @ Lucky in Love by Kasie West)


Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Protagonist (although means well) spends her winnings frivolously, lets people use her for cash, gets angry etc. – gotta be okay with the growth that comes with naivety
– Love interest is somehow unaware of the above
– The Vietnamese rep in this story is basically non-existent (if not for the cover, I would have imagined him as a white boy. full stop.)
– Good inclusion of the importance of familial and academic dynamics in this story
– The dialogue is fluffy af

Initial Thoughts

For your reference: this is not my first Kasie West book but I gave this one a shot because of the male Viet-Am experience I wanted to read about.

I know what you’re thinking “why do you read books you know you’ll dislike, Joey?” Read on to see why.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Lucky in Love at Book Expo.


Continue reading [Review] Lucky in Love – Kasie West

[Review] I Believe In A Thing Called Love – Maurene Goo

Book Title: I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Author:     Maurene Goo
Number of pages:  336

Synopsis:

She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

(re: Goodreads @ I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo)


Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Great concept bogged down by the relationship not reading too genuine and too much of a social experiment for the protagonist
– Excellent fatherly figure and family dynamics that underscore the plot
– Contemporary world building inclusive of Korean culture (e.g. multimedia, food, random trivia)
– Plethora of Korean drama references
– Romance can feel thin as reliance after fulfillment of utilizing Korean dramas develop relationship

Initial Thoughts

I can appreciate the clever intent of this story as I too went through a dorama phase when I was much younger.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of I Believe in a Thing Called Love from Raincoast Books.


Continue reading [Review] I Believe In A Thing Called Love – Maurene Goo