Book Review: Fountains of Silence

Rating: 4 out of 5.

  • Author: Ruta Sepetys
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Page Count: 475
  • Date Started: December 1st
  • Date Finished: December 4th

A Brief Description

A portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.

Goodreads || Amazon

The Review

Okay. The atmosphere in this book was pretty great. You could feel the cold hand of Franco’s reign wrapping tighter around the characters as you read this.

The story of Ana, Puri, Daniel and Rafa really sticks with you.

Daniel Matheson, son of an American oil tycoon and a Spanish immigrant is an aspiring photographer who is visiting Spain with his parents. He comes with these ideas of what Spain is, mainly what the Francisco regime has told Americans and the world what Spain is, but finds a very different Spain exists for its inhabitants. One of the inhabitants of Spain is a young girl, a maid in the hotel he is staying in, named Ana.

Ana, a girl with secrets, works at the Castellana Hilton hotel, meets Daniel when she is assigned to his family.

Rafa, Ana’s older brother seemed almost… like a caricature? He has an interesting past, and has a friend who wants nothing more than to be a torero, a matador… but again, I feel like his character was very much a caricature.

Puri, Ana and Rafa’s cousin, is a nun who works at an orphanage, who begins to uncover some very unflattering things that are being done by the Franco regime involving children.

While all the characters were given colorful histories, I felt almost as if the surrounding areas were put on the back burner. The author captured Francoist Spain very well. The juxtaposition between the “American quarter”, or what I would describe as the “tourist area” of Spain and the area where tourists visited versus the areas where Spaniards actually lived very well. The tourist areas were described very richly, and had vibrancy, while the areas where natives lived were rundown and very crowded.

The author used snippets and clips of propoganda that was used in Francoist Spain to subjugate the people. For example, the Sección Femenina, which is the Women’s Section, told women that they were inferior to men and that they belonged in the home and in the role of being a mother. This is based mainly on extremist religious and Catholic beliefs, but this is what guided Franco. No other religions were allowed to be practiced in the open. This included weddings and funerals. Any Republican (those that were aligned against Franco and his government) were tortured, imprisoned, killed, or all three.

That being said, where was the flamenco? Where was the music? Where was the bright Spain that I grew up hearing about from my mom? (Who also grew up in Franco’s Spain).

In addition, this story was slow. It took a while for the characters to get to where they needed to go and the story almost seemed to end abruptly and it left me hanging with quite a few story strands.

All of this being said, I enjoyed this story and would recommend reading this if you have any interest in Francoist Spain, or even if you just enjoy historical fiction!

Have you read this? What did you think?



WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is pretty simple, every week you dedicate a post to the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

What am I currently reading?

The Grace Year- Kim Liggett

I just started reading this, so I don’t have many thoughts on this one quite yet. Have you read it yet? What did you think?

What have I just finished reading?

The Fountains of Silence- Ruta Sepetys

I enjoyed this one, but it left some things lacking. I’m going to go more into this when I review it. Look out for my review soon!

What am I going to read next?

The Fever King- Victoria Lee

I’ve heard so many good things about this book, and I am beyond excited to start it. I’ve had it on my shelf for a while, and the cover is amazing!

What books did you just finish, start, or are in the middle of currently reading! Did you participate in WWW? If you did, please link yours in the comments!

Much love, have a great day, and as always, keep reading.


Tropes I Dislike

I’ve posted on my blog previous about tropes I love so I figured it was time to talk about some of the ones I dislike. I should add a disclaimer here and say that just because I dislike these does not mean that you can’t love them. I just want to be clear that these are tropes that *I* don’t like to read. If you have any recommendations for books that might change my mind, please recommend them! ❤

The Love Triangle

I realize that this is a very popular, I just don’t enjoy the drama of it. I want to read a story that has romance as a part of it, not necessarily follow the dramas of a “him/her, but no him/her too?” romance? Does that make any sense?

The “Abusive” Romanticized Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Do I need to explain why I don’t like this one? This is the trope where the romantic partner, usually a boyfriend, is very controlling, rude, yells, and is generally and abusive ass-hat, but it is seen as romantic. He is seen instead as caring and protective, and passionate. I particularly don’t appreciate the fact that there is a large portion of young-adult and new-adult romances that feature this trope.

Soft Magic Systems

This is magic systems that doesn’t have hard rules. The magic is just willy nilly. Someone uses some magic that you never knew they had, that they just used for the first time, right in the nick of time, and they succeed? Soft magic system. Someone has unlimited power, with no checks, and no practice? Soft magic system. I like magic systems that have rules and that sticks by those rules, even if it makes life hard for the characters. I feel like this also makes it so that the character has to really think outside of the box on how to overcome their obstacle.

“I’m Not Like Other Girls”

This trope is one I dislike because it feels like a “pick-me.” It feels like a girl saying “Oh, I don’t like dresses” or “I don’t like pink” or “I don’t wear makeup” or whatever other things the author thinks are, first of all, only something women can enjoy, second of all, are something that makes someone less-than due to that enjoyment. You like pink? Cool, you can still be an interesting character. You like makeup? Cool, you can still be an interesting character. You like fashion? Cool! You can still be an interesting character. Same goes for you as a person by the way.

These are just some of the tropes that I dislike. What are some tropes that you dislike, and why? Do we share any of those?

I want to reiterate: Just because I don’t like these does not mean that you can’t. We can love and dislike different things.

Have a wonderful day and as always keep reading ❤


November TBR

I didn’t get to finish this one last month, so I will be finishing it this month hopefully.

Alright, so… I know I said I was going to get better about posting regularly, but alas. It’s now November, and that means it’s Nanowrimo! I have to write 50, 000 words in 30 days and still want to read that many books. Will I do it? Tune in to find out!


October Wrap-Up

Read my review here.
Find my review here.

Alright, so… I know I said I was going to get better about posting regularly, but alas. It’s now November, and that means it’s Nanowrimo! I will be posting a “review” of all of these books at some point this month, but I’ll be doing it all at once. I hope everyone had a good reading month in October and has an even better one in November!


Book Review: The Diviners

Rating: 4 out of 5.

  • Author: Libba Bray
  • Genre: YA Horror
  • Page Count: 468
  • Date Started: October 8th
  • Date Finished: October 13th

A Brief Description

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Goodreads || Amazon

Life don’t come to you. You gotta take it.

My Review

Hi there old sport! This review is late. It’s really, really late. But it’s here. I’ve had a rather busy few weeks with school and my mental health taking a nose dive, but I’m finally getting back into the swing of things and plan to be more active come November. Anyways, on to the review!

This book was so incredibly atmospheric. The world was very well built and it shows that the author did research on the era. I felt like I was in 1920s New York City. Everything from the phrases and language used to the speakeasies, flappers and dance clubs added to the atmosphere. The author blended the atmospheric elements with the horror elements in a really new and amazing way. This book didn’t scare me. The villain was well fleshed out and scary, but the book itself did not keep me up at night. I would say that the story was more dark than scary.

One thing I will say is that the main character of the story, Evie was likable, but she annoyed me. She got herself into situations that could have easily been avoided and I found that she was… imperfect, which means that the writing for her character was well done. I find that many times authors write a character that is perfect in every way, and this makes the character unlikable to me. That being said, she still annoyed me, at least at the beginning. She definitely had a character development arc and I’ m intrigued to see what happens in the rest of the series. The rest of the characters were well fleshed out and had back stories that hurt to read about. Each character had a distinguishable voice and personality.

This book also had some romance elements that I found to be realistically portrayed. That being said, I hate love triangles. I find them completely unnecessary and this book was no different. One of the “interests” does not need to be portrayed romantically, yet he was. (Love triangles is up there on my most hated tropes list) I don’t want to spoil who the main character ends up with, but let’s just say it went in the opposite direction than what I was expecting. That being said, I think that where the romance stands now is the most realistic option for the characters. I’m intrigued to see if this changes.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and will probably keep reading this series. While there were a few things about it that bothered me, they weren’t prominent or annoying enough to hamper my reading experience.

Have you read this? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss in the comments below! Have a wonderful day, and as always, keep reading ❤


Things I’m Loving: Caravan Clubs

I have been MIA recently. I’m sorry. I’ve been rather busy with work and school, and to be honest, my mental health took a nose dive for a bit. I needed some time to myself and I think I’m ready to come back to posting content. I wanted to start with something positive and talk about something that I have been loving lately. It’s called
“Caravan Clubs”

Have you guys heard of Caravan? Caravan is an online browser app that works in tandem with Discord (which is an online community that allows you to host group chats etc). On Caravan’s website, you can sign up to be a group chat with others who are also reading that book. This lets you have online book clubs with friends or with new people!

There are many different groups going on at a time. It’s something that I highly recommend looking in to if you have every wanted to be a part of a book club.


Use my referral link by clicking -> here.

Let me know if you want to read a book together! I would love to get more involved in the community! Have a wonderful day/night, wherever you are, and as always, keep reading. ❤


WWW Wednesday: October 9th

This tag is hosted on Taking on a World of Words It’s easy to do, just answer the three questions below!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

The Diviners- Libba Bray

I literally just started this yesterday, so I don’t have many thoughts on this one quite yet. Look out for a review soon.

Recently Finished Reading

Into the Drowning Deep- Mira Grant

I just finished and wrote a review for this! Check it out here.

To Be Read

Ninth House- Leigh Bardugo

This is one of my most anticipated releases for October. I would have started it yesterday, but it was delayed in shipping. 😦 I’ll start it as soon as I have finished the book I’m reading. Look out for a review soon!

What about you? What are you currently reading? What did you finish recently? What are you planning on reading soon? Let’s discuss in the comments! Have a wonderful day and as always keep reading.


Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep

Rating: 4 out of 5.

  • Author: Mira Grant
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Horror
  • Page Count: 440
  • Date Started: October 3rd
  • Date Finished: October 8th
  • Spoilers? Sort of? Proceed with caution maybe? Definitely not going to spoil major plot points.

A Brief Description

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

Goodreads || Amazon

My Review

I read this book recently, and I’m still thinking about it. I still feel a cold shiver down my spine every time I think about it. I’m really excited to talk about my thoughts with you.

What can I say about this book? The idea is that this group of scientists and journalists aboard a ship called the Atargatis try to visit the Mariana Trench in search of legendary mermaids for a “mockumentary” style movie. They find them. These mermaids aren’t your “Disney’s Little Mermaid” type of mermaid. These are your horror of the deep, killer, lure you to your death, kind of mermaids. The Atargatis was lost with all hands. The footage that it filmed is believed to be a hoax and it is written off as a tragedy at sea.

Seven years later, a new crew has been formed. This time they sail on a state-of-the-art vessel named the Melusine. This ship is filled with scientists, some who are seeking vindication, others still who are looking to validate their life work, and journalists alike who have one task: to find mermaids and boy do they find them.

This book was CREEPY. This book made me terrified of being on open water and of the things that you might find in the deep. The book does a really amazing job of immersing yourself in this creepy atmosphere. I think part of the reason for this is that the story is told in omniscient third person POV. The narrator almost becomes like another character, one that knows all and sees all as it happens and it will drop hints for thing that will happen later in the future. This gives you some major foreshadowing for things that are going to happen later in the story.

The trouble with discovery is that it goes two ways. For you to find something, that thing must also find you.

Another thing that really boosts this book is the diverse characters. Here is a short list of the characters that stood out to me:

  • Victoria Stewart: A sonar scientist and sister of Anne, one of the dead from the Atargatis. She’s a bi icon and I love her.
  • Luis Martines: her rich, nerdy, adorable cinnamon roll of an assistant.
  • Jillian Toth: Sirenologist who is here to prove everyone wrong. Half Hawaiian, post production problem child and an activist who tried to stop the whaling boats in her prime. I love her sarcastic, badass attitude.
  • Theo Blackwell: This is Jillian’s physically disabled, very morally gray ex husband. He is one of the reps for Imagine Entertainment (who is the entertainment company sending this expedition)
  • Olivia: An autistic, lesbian reporter who is there to be a face for the movie. She took some getting used to, but I love her. She’s nerdy, fierce and fearless. She grew to be one of my favorite characters.
  • Ray Marino: Olivia’s friend, assistant and camera operator. He’s a sweet cinnamon roll too.
  • The Wilson Sisters: Hallie, the oldest, a sign language translator and audiologist and the deaf twins Holly and Heather, who are a data analyzer and an underwater explorer. I loved all of these girls. Something that should definitely by mentioned is that Holly and Heather’s deafness is never used in a way to diminish them and it even touches on some of the ways that those that hear belittle those that are deaf, mostly with the lack of interest in learning how to communicate (signing) with them and instead speaking directly to their translator sister, almost as if they are not there. These girls are badasses
  • Finally, Jacques and Michi Abney: A murderous hunter power couple who I could not relate with in the slightest but I loved to hate them.

As you can see from this list, this is a VERY diverse cast. There are so many different kinds of characters from so many different places and backgrounds. This led to many disagreements with others, but I think that this just added to the drama.

Something to note is that this book had a lot of “science” about the mermaids. Obviously we are talking about mermaids that don’t exist, but the mermaids, their anatomy and physiology, their behavior, their lives were all very fleshed out. It was interesting to find out more about the sirens and the reasons for their behavior.

The plot of this novel was fast paced and I could not put it down. I couldn’t stop reading. I thought about this when I was at work and class. One thing I will say is that this book is very gruesome in it’s descriptions of people getting eaten. It doesn’t shy away from gore and violence. It was BRUTAL. I think this is why it was so creepy to me. There were characters walking around the deck of the ship while it was being attacked by mermaids and you sit on the edge of your seat wondering when a mermaid is going to attack next. I loved every minute of it until the end.

That brings me to why I rated this 4 stars and not 5. I loved everything until the very anti-climactic ending. I felt like there was all this building up only for it to fall a little flat. It ends very abruptly, which hopefully means that there is a sequel coming up.

All in all, I would say that this book is 100% worth a read. The thematic content was great and it reads just like a movie. I can’t wait to see what else this author has to offer in this world and I definitely plan on reading more of Mira Grant/Senan Mcguire’s books.

Have you read this? What did you think? If you haven’t, do you plan on reading it? Let’s discuss in the comments! Have a wonderful day, and as always, keep reading!


Book Review: The Final Empire

Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • Author: Brandon Sanderson
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Page Count:
  • Date Started: September 14th
  • Date Finished: September 28th

A Brief Description

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

Goodreads || Amazon(US)

Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope.

Brandon Sanderson
pg 495

A Review

The Writing

Long story short? I loved it. I loved every minute of this. I truly love Brandon Sanderson’s writing due to how simple, yet atmospheric it is. You really feel like you are in the city of Luthadel. Almost like you can smell the streets and feel the ash falling on your skin. The action sequences make you feel like you are there watching them happen, like you can hear the crunch and slap of punches on skin. I love how Sanderson’s writing is also simplistic. It’s easy to devour and it’s easy to follow. Most fantasy novels tend to be dense and take me a long time to finish due the density, but Sanderson’s writing is nothing like this. It’s easy to follow, but it still enraptures me.


The characters in this are all very distinct and have their own motives. Vin, one of the main protagonists and a Mistborn, while naive and unlikeable at times was overall a very well written character. You could feel her pain and how much she had struggled in life. Her motives were clear and she really grew into her and her powers. Kelsier, another of the main protagonists and a Mistborn, was arrogant. He was arrogant and put himself and others at risk for the sake of his plans, but all that being said, I love him. He was well written and had very clear motives for overthrowing The Lord Ruler and destroying the Final Empire.

This book had A LOT of characters. There were many more that I won’t go into here, but I loved them all. They each had very distinct and clear motivations and very clear voices. You could tell when one character was speaking due to the voice and candor that they had. Some stories struggle with the characters all sounding a like and this book was definitely not one of them.


This book probably had the best fight scenes I have ever read. The plot is easy to follow and was predictable until it wasn’t. Sometimes there was a wrench thrown in there that changed everything. Those are spoilers which I’m not going into in this review. That being said, I loved the plot of this. It was interesting to see the way that the events that occurred in the 600 or so pages of this book changed each of the characters. The twists and turns were unexpected but were not outside the realm of reason. I’m not going to go farther into this because I think it’s best to go into this particular book without knowing much else.

Final Thoughts

Have you read The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson? What did you think of it? Did you enjoy it? Have you read anything by Brandon Sanderson that you would recommend? I hope you have a wonderful day, and as always, keep reading! 🙂