And I Darken, by Kiersten White 👿

One of the best books of 2016. And the Wallachian setting (which is Romania today, which is where I’m from) didn’t influence my rating, even though it played a big, big part in gripping me into the story. 🙈



Fantasy/ Young Adult/ Historical Fiction/ Romance


475 (hardback)


  • New York Times Bestseller
  • “A dark jewel of a story, one that gleams with fierce, cunning characters. Absolutely riveting.” — Alexandra Bracken #1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger
  • “An intense, risky, passionate novel that dragged me through love and danger with the force of its heroine’s heart and the power of its hero’s faith.”— Tessa Gratton, 

  • “A brilliantly envisioned alternate history that is meticulously detailed but compulsively readable, this is a story I could not put down. I demand the sequel like Lada demands Wallachia!— Beth Revis, 

Goodreads Synopsis:

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My rating: 5/5



First things first. This book is dark. Really dark. Not the wannabe type of dark that every YA book aspires to, but a motivated one, from the characters to the challenges they go through and to what life means for them (and it’s quite a life).

The background is particularly unique, set in the Ottoman Empire and in Wallachia, in a world filled with complicated politics and conflicts. The descriptions are detailed enough to give life to the story without being boring (except for the political ones…). One aspect I enjoyed was the way that the cultures of the countries were exploited, specifically the religion one, which is a pretty big part for some of the characters: you get to understand how much it means for them and don’t feel like you’re being indoctrinated.

Our main character, Lada, is fierceful and savage. She’s mean and unwilling to put up with everyone else’s nonsense, and also not the princessy kind of beautiful we are accustomed to. Moreover, she puts herself first. I liked that she was bossy, although there were a few moments when her attitude was unjustified. Her development is acknowledgeable as in the beginning she’s this boyish girl that is not keen on women only to discover that being a woman is more than bowing to men. I feel like she indeed grew up, discovering femininity and that it is not necessarily linked to dresses and fanciness. Still, I would have liked to see her DO more and put her rage where it belongs. I admit that she lost her way at some point, but I don’t think it will be the case for the next volume.

Her brother, Radu, is the opposite of her. He’s beautiful, lovely, charming, intelligent and the list can go on and on. Certainly more likeable for other character and for the reader. The relationship between them, back and forth, hot and cold, is complicated, consisting of jealousy and enough miscommunication to make you bang your head against a wall. However, they protect each other no matter what and I am living for it. He’s not so much in the spotlight, which bothered me because I really really want him to be happy, if not independent from Lada.

The romantic interest, Mehmed, who’s their best friend, is… nothing to talk about, I’d say? Ultimately he was annoying and I didn’t feel any chemistry between him and any of the characters and I hope this is the way it’s meant to be. Otherwise… not nice AT ALL.

There’s not a lot of action, in the end. To me, it’s more like an introduction to something bigger, but it is worth it. The world building, although interesting, takes some pages, just like the infancy of the characters, which is to be understood considering their issues with the world and with themselves- and yet. In terms of brutality and violence- which And I Darken claims to have plenty of, there’s room for more graphicness ’cause there are passages where you feel like you’re told things, rather than showed. Nevertheless, the action is unpredictable and it keeps you in some sort of suspense.

All in all, this book is great. Sure, it is ready for improvement, but the story is simply fascinating and the characters make up for its missing pieces.  Recommend it to everyone craving for something fresh and astounding!

“The sooner you stop fighting, the easier your life will be. That is what your purpose is.”
Lana stood so abruptly she nearly fell backward. “No.”


Top 10 Bookish Pet Peeves ❎

Oh, those little things that drive every bookworm crazy! I know we all have them, so I’ve decided to talk about mine a little, because I find this kind of discussions fascinating, God knows why. 😂

These are about the stories themselves, as I’m not that easily annoyed by covers or formats at the moment, thankfully. Also, these pet peeves are mostly found in YA novels and in contemporaries. Fantasy usually deals perfectly with some of the ones I’m going to mention, because there are mostly different centuries and worlds where you just can’t apply today’s moral code.

Let’s begin, shall we?

1. “I’m not like the other girls”, says the bitchy hypersensitive heroine.

Ummm… Excuse you? Don’t you have two legs, two hands, two eyes, hair, like the other girls? How are you not like them? Why are you SO special? Because you play hard to get? ‘Cause your insecurities and undeveloped mind don’t let you solve your problems in a healthy way? Or have you had to deal with some really nasty things in the past? Breaking news, honey: everyone does that at some point in their lives.

2. The stereotypical mean girl.

Keyword: stereotypical. You know her. She wears make-up, has a loser of a boyfriend, usually a football player. Sometimes she can’t be on her own. She bitches about EVERYTHING and has a problem with the main female protagonist. Only with her. Why can’t she be smart and beautiful and even kind sometimes? Why? Make-up doesn’t make you a bad girl, just like hanging out (not dating) with more than one guy doesn’t make you a slut.

3. The bad boy that gets to do everything he wants to/ with a girl and that is allowed to be an abusive jerk because he’s equipped with a sad childhood and a six-pack.

Being hot doesn’t mean you’re a keeper. Being an asshole doesn’t mean you like a girl. Books (and writers) should stop romanticising abusive relationships. After having read many novels that swim in these waters, I still don’t think that being disrespectful to someone who is being genuinely nice and kind to you is sexy or attractive. Just like I don’t think that rough experiences give you the right to step on the people that want the best for you. You’re not your past. You have no excuses. Stop victimizing yourself.

I often find myself thinking that the female characters that fall for this behaviour are simply stupid.

Remember that young girls read these books and, sadly, they end up looking for this type of character in real people to love and to “fix” and, in the end, to get heartbroken by, if not worse.

How about romanticizing healthy romantic relationships instead? 🙂

4. Love triangles.

To me, love triangles are a source of unnecessary tension and anger. Why add another love interest to a story when you already know who is gonna get the girl, because that was the plan all along?

5. Miscommunication.

Many problems would be solved if only the protagonist(s) asked the right questions. I get that writers use miscommunication for intrigue and tension, but there are times when it is completely useless and it becomes SO annoying and tiring and unrealistic.

6. Cheating.

Since when is it okay to betray someone’s trust? It doesn’t matter that both parties are unhappy in that relationship, the right thing to do is talk about it and break up before hooking up with others. Moreover, why are you in a relationship with someone you don’t love anymore or with someone that doesn’t make you happy anymore? Because that would be the logic explanaition for which you fell for someone so hard that you forgot about your lover.

Being in a romantic relationship does come with expectations and responsabilities, despite the fact that people like to fool themselves with the contrary.

7. The 16-17 year old that is the only person who can save the world.

How come you are more qualified and wise than an adult who actually lived and gained experiences and you can do everything on your own?

8. The female protagonist that is loved by EVERYONE, but that thinks she is inferior to everybody.

 You ought not to be adored by every single person you encounter, in the first place. It is boring for the story. And no one buys the part where you say that you’re neither beautiful nor sexy, but you still have all the male characters at your feet. 

9. Insta-love.

“Loving” someone due to their looks is not actually love. It’s attraction. Which, again, is not love. Don’t mix them.

 I prefer slow-burning romance and for a good reason: it shows you why the characters fall in love with each other. Isn’t it great when we see two people in love even after their flaws lay naked on the table? The answer is yes, it is.

10. Pushing away people for their own protection when everything goes bananas.

It’s like a rule now: things go wrong and the protagonist decides that it would be better to lie to their loved ones in order to protect them than to tell them what’s going on them so they can prepare for what’s coming. Pointless, as almost every time this happens, the loved ones discover the truth. Only it happens in violent, ugly, hurting ways. Nice job, protagonist.

There you have them, my top 10 bookish pet peeves. I know I’m not the only one when it comes to them and I probably have more, but why annoy myself for longer than necessary, right? 😂

On another note, I hope you don’t settle for these and spend your money wisely, on pieces of fiction from which you can learn something that’ll help you improve yourself. These pet peeves are common and this is because we make them so, by buying and buying and buying them over and over again, leading publishers to believe that they are the future. 

Also, needed, but not really needed disclaimer: not every book that has concepts from above is a piece of trash. Many great books have got pet peeves, but they don’t represent major parts of the books or the books themselves.

That being said, go back to your reading and have a nice day! 🙂


Mosquitoland, by David Arnold 🚞

Lately, I haven’t really been in the mood for contemporaries. This book hasn’t changed that.



Young Adult/ Contemporary/ Fiction


352 (hardcover)


  • Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction
  • “A breath of fresh air” —Entertainment Weekly
  • “Memorable” —People
  • “Illuminating” —Washington Post


After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.

So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

My rating: 3.5/ 5



I was so afraid that this book would be just an excuse to put deep quotes out into the world. Unfortunately, it was pretty much just that.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The story is enjoyable, it has potential and the main character, Mim, is really likeable and relatable, even though her immaturity is annoying at times and sometimes she acts like a whiny 6 year old. Also, you grow to adore the friends she makes during the journey: Walt, a kid with Down syndrome who… is compared to a pet (that represents every good aspect of the world, if you ask me), Beck, a guy with whom she falls in love in the blink of an eye (whose mentality is infinitely more developed) and Arlene, a nice old lady that, in my opinion, didn’t get as much attention as she would have deserved.

But they don’t feel like real people.  They and their actions feel like tools used to spread a meaningful, mind-blowing message that is not truly there. Once you discover that, the book is pretty useless, as the story is based on life-lessons wannabe.  There is not exactly a plot because, in the end, it seems that Mim gives up too easily on her oh, so great purpose. I wanted more closure regarding her relationship with her father; she often criticises him, but at the same time she claims she understands his decisions. Her stepmother’s behaviour is irritating too. I think that the narrator wanted to turn her into a “good” character in the last few pages, but it didn’t work out because the problems that started this whole misunderstanding are not really discussed, nor resolved.

On the other hand, the writing was beautiful and some of the metaphors did their job well. There were a few moments when I perceived Mim as alive because the physical sensations she was put through were so palpable.  However, this was not enough to erase the vibe that many, many, many phrases were exaggerated and pointless. Without them, the book would have probably been only 250 pages or so long.

Moreover, the mental illness aspect’s relevance as to the protagonist is questionable. Mim has something and then it’s gone? It’s not as severe as her father thinks?  It’s not affecting her… at all? And what is it (at a certain point I thought it was Schizophrenia, maybe Neurosis, but there aren’t that many clues)? Now this is a matter I would have loved to see expanded.

In conclusion, I must say that “Mosquitoland” is not bad. It only has curves in all the wrong places. I advise you to read it, though, but without expectations, and see for yourself. It is surely charming.

Every great character, Iz, be it on page or screen, is multidimensional. The good guys aren’t all good, the bad guys aren’t all bad, and any character wholly one or the other shouldn’t exist at all. Remember this when I describe the antics that follow, for though I am not a villain, I am not immune to villainy.


The Book Gif Tag 💥

Yep, we’re doing another tag. Yep, so soon. Because I love gifs so much and I find them so funny and entertaining and I just couldn’t say “no” when Diana tagged me to do it!


So this tag is about expressing my feelings and thoughts through gifs on ten books Diana chose for me. Let’s begin, shall we?

1) Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, J.K. Rowling

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Got some mixed feelings about this…

2) A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness

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Inappropriate gif, but my thoughts exactly. 😂

3) Wallbanger, Alice Clayton

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Kinda liked it. 😉

4) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin

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The supernatural aspect is still bothering me, but hey, there are two more books in the series. 😁

5) Daphnis and Chloe, Longus

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Many boring scenes.

6) Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

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You need to read it in order to understand.

7) The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, Jenn Bennet

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Different is good.

8) Illuminae, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

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…I had big expectations.

9) After, Anna Todd

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Just no.

10) Creatura, Nely Cab


Younger me, at least, it’s been long time. (Also, Dean *.*)

Oh, well, I wish I liked more of them. But this is it and I regret nothing. 😂 Hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you next time! 😺