Storm by Amanda Sun

Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Pages: 304
Source: purchased
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 
After almost a year in Japan, Katie Greene has finally unearthed the terrible secret behind her boyfriend Tomohiro's deadly ability to bring drawings to life—not only is he descended from Kami, the ancient Japanese gods, but he is the heir to a tragedy that occurred long ago, a tragedy that is about to repeat. Even as the blood of a vengeful god rages inside Tomo, Katie is determined to put his dark powers to sleep. In order to do so, she and Tomo must journey to find the three Imperial Treasures of Japan. Gifts from the goddess Amaterasu herself, these treasures could unlock all of the secrets about Tomo's volatile ancestry and quell the ink's lust for destruction. But in order to complete their quest, Tomo and Katie must confront out-of-control Kami and former friend Jun, who has begun his own quest of revenge against those he believes have wronged him. To save the world, and themselves, Katie and Tomo will be up against one of the darkest Kami creations they've ever encountered—and they may not make it out alive.--Goodreads
The Paper Gods series is back with this riveting conclusion.  No one can out run their past.  Tomohiro and Katie are no different.  Despite their desire to be normal, Tomohiro’s drawings are still coming alive, in deadly ways.  Jun believes the only way to control the world is to put his plan of world domination into motion.  He starts by murdering those he believes have wronged him and gathering followers to start a war.  When Tomohiro is put to the test, he begins to slowly succumb to the darkness his fate predicts.  Each Kami are plagued with nightmares which tell them how to break the cycle, how to end the suffering and save the world.  In the end, they come face to face with true evil—the storm they have been anticipating.  The nightmares have prepared them for the battle but not for an outcome.  Save the world, or die trying.

I’m not one to complete series.  Sure, I talk about finishing series but it always difficult to get into that mindset, “Yes, I am finishing this series today.” Finishing a series is like seeing a friend off at the train station.  I have a problem about goodbyes.  The Paper Gods series is over—I can never get the same reaction as I did the first reading around; my thoughts will always be different.  It’s quite sad really.

Despite my qualms about goodbyes and as far as goodbyes go, Storm was a sweet goodbye.  It wasn’t too dramatic and there wasn’t a cliffhanger.  It was nice and sweet.

From the very beginning, I loved this series as a whole.  Ink killed me, it was the perfect combination of setting to drag you in and plot which held you still.  Rain wasn’t as amazing but still a good path for the series to take.  Storm was just the icing on the cake.  Here is the complete package.

Throughout the first two books, I found myself disliking Tomohiro.  Ever since that scene with the love motel, I was definitely turned off by Katie’s boyfriend.  I explain a little more about my dislike in my previous reviews.  Jun was my guy: the strong, coffee lover who totally cared about Katie and tried not to get her too involved.  In Storm, my team switched and here’s why.  Jun took a huge back seat in this book.  He was barely mentioned and if he was mentioned, he was brought up in fear, disgust, or caution.  Total turn-off.  Storm was Tomohiro’s story.  It was the book where I started warming up to him—liking him much more.  Throughout the whole series, Sun created gorgeous characters with intense depth, power, and form.

Sun is a fantastic author.  Her genius lies in description, whether she delves deeper into war upon a battlefield or she depicts a perfect picnic in Japan.  Readers will be forced to read on to experience as if it was happening right beside them.

As much as I hope for another book in the series, Storm concludes The Paper Gods series.  It was a good ending to a great series.  Readers will love the final battle between the past and present.  Amanda Sun has truly created a work of art.

Ink (6/25/2013): 5 stars
Rain (6/24/2014): 4 stars
Storm (6/30/2015): 5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is: Top Ten Characters I Invited to Fictional Thanksgiving.  If I were having a fictional Thanksgiving and could invite 5 book characters and 5 TV show characters, who would I send a invite to?  And better yet, what dish would they bring.  As we are defrosting our turkey and thinking about what we are thankful for, let's send out invites to the most awesome fictional Thanksgiving ever.

It would be pretty hard to miss the outgoing personality that encompasses Willem from Just One Year by Gayle Forman.  Not only will he never run out of things to talk about, he would definitely be the life of the party.  Food he'll bring: nutella and french bread

I know a lot of people have so much against this show but I kind of dig it.  It's different and unique.  In the most recent season, the audience got to meet Sherlock Holmes' father, Morland who is basically Sherlock with social skills.  Yes, I want him at this Thanksgiving.  Food he'll bring: the most expensive wine

I loved Reawakened by Colleen Houck and when I was thinking about sending my invites out, I couldn't not send one to Prince Amon.  He loves feasts and even though this particular feast will not be for him, I still think he would enjoy dining with those from the present rather than his dusty brothers from his Egyptian past.  Food he'll bring: nothing (he is a prince, after all)

It shouldn't be a secret that I LOVE Kill Me Heal Me and it definitely shouldn't be a secret that Oh Ri-On is so special.  A famous mystery writer and loving brother would be sure to liven up the Thanksgiving meal.  Food he'll bring: Kimchi and other assorted side dishes

Silas and his family, of course, from Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers.  They were all given invites.  Not only would Silas quote literature and continue to be as adorable and kind as ever, but his sister would be able to drive the conversation to talk about reality.  One of my friends, Jackie took philosophy last semester and simply fell in love with all the concepts.  She would love all the dinner conversation.  Food he'll bring: secret family stuffing recipe and green bean casserole

Pretend for a second that Supernatural hadn't killed off any of its characters.  It seems, always, that the show is killing everyone off (including the main characters, but they always come back).  I hope she doesn't mind being at the table with a bunch of fictional guys.  From the range of different characters invited, I think she would be fangirling almost as hard as I would be.  Food she'll bring: salad and chips

Mark Watney is a genius and also has a sense of humor which makes him sort of awesome.  He'll definitely fit into the Thanksgiving crowd.  The Martian by Andy Weir is one of those books that just doesn't have a lot of characters.  And Mark is a character of pure gold.  When he finally gets down from Mars, he can come to my dinner.  Food he'll bring: Potatoes (all kinds) and condiments

Having multiple people who can save the day at my Thanksgiving is going to make others think my Thanksgiving may need saving.  But never fear, even though super heroes and other awesome people are invited, doesn't mean anyone will need saving unless Mark makes a detour towards Mars or Charlie is stuck between a wall and a demon.  But I doubt that would happen anyway-- at my Thanksgiving, at least.  I know Jung Hoo is more of the stay-home, never-socialize kind of guy but this dinner would definitely get him out of his shell a bit.  Great food and awesome people!  Food he'll bring: coffee and desserts

As much as I like that turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving, I wouldn't mind if I didn't have any leftovers and Pippin would definitely be able to make that happen.  The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is known for its hobbits.  Pippin can even invite some of his friends.  It'll be a party! Second breakfast, anyone?  Food he'll bring: fruit bowl and fresh veggies

And even if we had leftovers, Robin Hood would be able to stop at the soup kitchen on the way back to his house so the poor can enjoy some Thanksgiving food too.  Robin Hood and Jung Hoo would have endless conversation, discussing their "missions" and goings-on.  It would be an awesome to listen to all their crazy stories. Food he'll bring: salad and pasta

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday!

Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Pages: 336
Source: BEA
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.
As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence's life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever. --Goodreads
Cassandra is forced to spend the whole summer with her mom, little brother, and step-dad at his rich estate which has its own private beach.  Oh, horrors, I know.  While her friends from school are off on their various internships or glamorous summer jobs, she is stuck with her family feeling empty and rebellious.  It’s not until she meets Lawrence, an intriguing boy, does she start to feel like she was meant to be here.  Lawrence is from the 1920s.  And Cassandra is from 2015.  A complication, to say the least.  When Cassandra discovers Lawrence’s pending demise, she must do everything in her power to stop the murder from happening and saving Lawrence.

I don’t read a lot of time travel dramas, but let me tell you that this one: Until We Meet Again is not a book to pass up.  This is certainly a time travel like no other.  It’s original, magnificent, and everything a reader could ask for in a romance.

Renee Collins is a genius.  When there are books about vampires, readers expect blood (and sparkles, maybe).  When there are books about zombies, readers expect death.  When there are books about time travel, readers expect traveling to another time.  Right? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?  Romance with another from a different time.  Collins takes the time travel genre and morphs it to an individual spot.  This spot, the private beach, can hold two different time periods at once.  Collins’ concept is so original, my questions are endless.  I want a sequel just about the private beach.

Cassandra is sassy and sometimes a bit too cliché.  Her witty comebacks make for some laughs.  Lawrence is, of course, the bee’s knees.  Renee Collins captured his 1920s personality perfectly, but when it came time to switch perspective, introducing readers to the period as a whole, the atmosphere and some other characters were lacking.  The different perspectives between chapters flowed nicely into each other.  It created a fast read that draws out emotions.

The ending was outstanding.  As much as the ending didn’t close the exact way I wanted, the end of the novel was clever.  It makes me want to read it all over again.

Until We Meet Again is an extraordinary novel, a new-favorite, that will blow your mind.  Renee Collins steals readers with her masterful writing which will glue you to your seat. Until We Meet Again will have you counting down until the next time you give it a reread.

Since it’s Official Sequel Month, this November, I am bringing you some awesome posts about sequels, whether it’s discussions, specific sequel reviews, or book tags.  It is a fun month so far, especially since last week we got to celebrate the release of Winter by Marissa Meyer, the fourth in the Lunar Chronicles series.  Can’t wait to dive into that one!

Today, while I am knee deep in completing series for the end of the month, I thought I would bring up a discussion some of my reader friends and I had a while back.  Thoughts on recaps, anyone? 

Recaps can either break or make the sequel.  For some, recaps are awesome.  For others, recaps totally suck. And for the unsure, recaps depend on a few things.

Recaps in sequels can be pretty cool.  If you read the first one years ago and just don’t have time to read a whole book, the recap is there to make your life much easier.  You open the sequel and they start naming characters you have no clue, you're like:

You may be one to love recaps but sometimes the author wants to get into the meat before you even remember half of the first book.  That’s where recaps from other sources comes in handy.  If you’re super into recaps, there is even a site for recaps—in case, the author doesn’t do a good enough job on the recap in the sequel. 

Let’s talk TV shows.  I think TV shows definitely need a recap before each episode.  After all, if you are watching as the show releases, you’ll need to remember what happened a week ago.  However, do we really need recaps when we are binge watching? And what about binge reading?

Some recaps can span pages and even whole chapters.  Who has time to read all of the little details of book one? We just want to get back to the good stuff—we came for the sequel, not the previous book. 

When you’re binge reading, it is the worst.  You definitely remember everything that happened in the first one because you had your nose in it five minutes ago. 

As for me, I can sway either way depending on the read.  Sometimes I love recaps because I truly don’t remember anything of the first book but my patience weighs a bit thin when the recap continues for a whole chapter.  Like, no, thank you.

What about you? 

What sort of recaps do you love?  What recaps do you hate?
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is: Top Ten Quotes I Love From Books I Read This Past Year.  In senior seminar, last semester, my professor mentioned her quote book.  She, literally, has a notebook that follows her everywhere, in which she writes quotes she loves.  The idea intrigued me.  I never thought about carrying around a quote book.  During the summer, I decided that I was going to start and have since then writing the quotes I love from books I read.

What quotes did you love from the books you've read this year?