Book Confessions #1: Covert Op

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It’s here ladies and gents. Finally! I spent hours trying figure out what book confession I should fess up. I have a lot. At first, I wanted to start with one of my biggest secrets, then I thought maybe I should be tame. Don’t want to scare people away or be too boring, right?

So, after said hours I finally came up with something in the middle. Here it goes…

I’m pretty sure that many of you are familiar with Ally Carter, Best-selling Author of the Gallagher Girl series and now Embassy Row series. She also wrote Heist Society.

I started the Gallagher Girl series in Grade 11 (junior year) and boy did I latch onto this series like those tight jeggings. I first read the third installment in the series because someone had taken the first and second book out from the school’s library. And boy, the minute I met Cammie and the squad, the series became my world. Literally. I barely slept. I don’t really know what hooked me in first, romance (’cause I’m a sucker for book romance- Zack and Cammie, Joe Solomon and Cammie’s Mom?) or a world of espionage. I think it was the espionage, because as I finishing high school, I was convinced I was going to be a spy. And I was still sad that Fringe ended. Anyone remember that series?

Gallagher Girl Series

I really loved the unravelling of secrets that came up and how the girls were a united front. Smart and they can be anything they wanted. The mere fact there was a black British girl in the series, Bex, I took it as a sign. This is who I was supposed to be. Not British. I was supposed to be a spy like Bex. I loved all characters in the series, but Bex was my girl. Fearless, fierce, and ready to knock you out. I even had a picture where I posed as her with my bitten apple (cover #3) on my BBM. Remember BBM? Ole Blackberry days. Lol, I even asked my dad why he was not a spy so that I could be his legacy. Bless my dad for not institutionalising me.Lol, I even started doing research, about agencies in my country and other countries. I started searching information about different agents and assassins. Learning the lingo. I even attempted teaching myself different languages. Movies like RED, series like Covert Affairs, and the rest of action entertainment became more than entertainment, they were my drug, my drive, and motivator to make it into the espionage world. I watch documentaries on the subject. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *I’m laughing out loud where I am right now.*

I was so serious about this spy thing that I changed my personality. I wanted to be more like Bex. Minus the exercising part, I wasn’t into exercising then. My arms got enough exercise from flipping pages at night, thank you very much. I became more paranoid, cynical and aloof. I even stopped using my phone. In fact, during my summer holiday after high school. I told my dad not to buy me a phone, and only half-way through my second semester of Uni did I slightly let go of the idea of being a spy and started using a phone- LOL. I found out that I don’t take orders well. I’m inherently defiant and stubborn, so going into that world would have been being my fastest ticket to early death. Imagine the hits on me. By MI6, the CIA and the Russian Government. Let’s not forget assassins and private contractors. Although I must be honest, I’m still holding hope that someday I will be a spy. Maybe I’ll start my own agency. When I’m not too busy reading that is.

Side track: In United We Spy, Liz Sutton gave the most beautiful valedictory speech ever, and  it stuck with me all throughout the first year in varsity.

“A Gallagher Girl can be anything and anyone…” – I stand to be corrected for the exact words used. But you get the idea. Trust me, if you read the series, you were a Gallagher Girl. Period.

Back to my encounter with Ms. Carter, once I had to return the rest of the Gallagher Girl books, for a week because I was basically hoarding the series, I got myself a copy of Heist Society. Man, talk about addiction. On top of being a spy, I wanted to be a thief too. Lol! I being serious. I even remember my English teacher giving me the look…the-did-you-read-these look. I don’t know if it was obvious that I had fallen hard for the dark world. Or if the look was because of my looonng reading list, looonng wacky reading list. And it was bad. I probably had a handful of romance but mostly it was on the extreme end of thrillers, horror, crime and espionage. But really, I figured if I don’t become a spy at least I will be a con artist. Logical and rational. Like the espionage world, I Googled everything there is to know about that world. Sometimes when shopping with friends or on a lunch date I casually pass my knowledge about spies and con artists. In public. Like I’m talking my a new method of taking a selfie.

Heist Society Books

If I had to choose the world I would want to live in, I’d choose the con artist world. That squad did everything in style. If I had to choose to be who I want to be, I’d choose both. Yes, I’m that messed up. Please don’t inform the authorities… this is a false alarm, NSA.

I started reading Embassy Row, and I liked it but I’m waiting for the series to be done then can I only continue.

Ally Carter’s books were not the only one’s I read that convinced me that I was ‘meant’ to be a spy or con artist. Authors like Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Robin Benway played a role too. And much more.

Ally Carter has new editions out of the Gallagher Girl series with some extras. Check them out.

I hadn’t intended to write this much, but once I started fessing up this story I couldn’t stop. I hope you enjoyed my Book Confession. If you have had similar predicament as me here, let me know so that we can have a good laugh about it.

Covertly,

Duchess♥

P.S. I’m hoping to do this tag every second Friday. Be on the lookout. If you want to the tag, please acknowledge me (for my idea) and you can tag anyone you want. You can also use the logo. 😉

Celaena Sardothien

Bedtime.png

Where do I begin? Throne of Glass is an adventure in so many ways. Every page takes you deeper into the continent of Erilea; and deeper and deeper into Celaena’s life. The first page tells you that this is no mediocre story. The first line and first chapter promises an adventure. Everything about the book heralds something beyond expectation.

Sarah J. Maas created an engrossing world that seems so real, you ache to read the next book.

The characters are the story and the story is the characters. Does that make sense? Hope it does. Let me explain.

The blurb and the book cover tell you that Celaena is no ordinary eighteen-year-old girl. I personally like how the book cover introduces Celaena: A heart of ice. A will of Steel. Meet the assassin. First I want to say the introduction itself creates one of heck of an expectation. And Celaena does not disappoint. She’s more than the expectation. The girl cannot be boxed. She is dynamic. Every node planted into our heads before reading the book, as we read the book from her perspective and the perspective of others weave the story that is the Throne of Glass. Her will of steel is seen in every little thing she does. The assassin is seen in ways you wouldn’t expect. Her heart of ice tells a story of its own. And proves to be more than what people think the heart of an assassin would be. The reasons she is the way she is tells the story. It tells you the why and the how of Celaena Sardothien, the assassin and of Celaena Sardothien, the girl.

Dorian, the Crown Prince of Adarlan, is also dynamic. When we first meet him via the eyes of Celaena we know he has the potential to be more. He only shows what he wants you to see. We first see him as your typical spoiled prince, one who is gifted in looks and is not afraid to use them. But as the story journeys you see that he’s more than what meets the eye. He’s compassionate. He has an understanding that many of his caliber don’t.The inner struggles that he goes through nicely twines into the story, making it one with Celaena’s. His character contributes to the meaning of Throne of  Glass, what it is and why it is the title of the book. Its significance.

Captain Chaol Westfall is my dream. Forever dressed in black. The way his character knits into the story breaks my heart. I think he is the presentation of both reality and fantasy. He hides his feelings well, he’s handsome and has unwavering loyalty to his continent. And he’s more. I don’t want to say more because I might just tell you the whole story…with spoilers.

The other characters make your heart sing because of their role in the story. At the end of the book, they make you want jump from wherever you are in a beatific manner. And for me personally, they make me wish I was one of them. And there are the villains of the story, they equally makes this book the adventure it is.

There are themes that explored that ordinarily will make me put the book down. But that’s where the story is the characters. The story of a girl with a destiny so great and skills so deadly tells you something stupendous about Celaena and the prominent female characters. The story of a prince trying to find his place in the glass throne and doing his best to lead from the heart tells you the prince is remarkable. And it shows he’s more than just a prince. The story of a Captain of the Guard is the story after my own heart. The story indicates a valiant character. Chaol will you be mine? For now? *Bats eyelashes like Celaena*

What truly stood out for me, above everything else, is how each character grew as the story develops. This includes the antagonists as well. All the changes that took place made this story relatable. And understandable. It was not just a great story to read. It was a great story to understand.

And there’s something I want to say that is a spoiler but I won’t say it. Instead I’m going to throw in my favorite lines to satisfy my heart.

“She’d survived Endovier, yet she could still laugh.” -Chaol

“I give you this name to use with honour, to use when other names grow too heavy. I name you Elentiya, ‘Spirit That Could Not Be Broken.” – Princess Nehemia

“Arobynn told me that second place was just a nice title for the first loser” – Celaena

-Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

Before I recommend this book I just want to say because of the hype I thought it was going to be disappointing. However, I can personally attest to its bewitching magic, its  transfixing story and its mesmerizing characters.

With that said, I completely, wholly give my recommendation to read Throne of Glass and its sequels, why? Because it’s a portal to untold magic. It is an entrance to a whole new world, a promise of an adventure.

I loved it…and you’re going to love it if you don’t already.

Like and share. And let me know your thoughts on Throne of Glass. I know I’m a little late but bare with me.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

I saw this book tag on My Tiny Obsessions and I thought it was an awesome tag… so I decided to do it. Why not?

The Rules are as follows:

  • Pick any five books randomly (or not randomly, your choice).
  • The first name you see when you flip open the book on a random page, will be the person who is the answer to the question.
  • Each book must answer two questions.

I chose the first five books on my desk. And here they are:

FangirlThe DUFFBecause it is my bloodTake me onEmbassy Row- All fall down

1: THE FIRST PERSON TO DIE? 

Fangirl – Levi

LOL! I can see it happening. He’d probably die making sure Cather is running away from the zombies, or waiting for her at the library. Or he’d smiling at the zombies. Yep, I can see it.One of the three, if not one. I think it’s sweet…the waiting. Until he dies, of course.Levi1

2: THE PERSON YOU TRIP TO GET AWAY FROM THE ZOMBIES?

The DUFF – Wesley

Wesley

Ok, I don’t know how I feel about this one. At the beginning, I’d probably trip him, but at the end I’d trip myself so he can carry me. After all he is Wesley Fucking Rush!

3: THE FIRST PERSON TO TURN INTO A ZOMBIE?

Because It Is My Blood – Gable

Yep…I would most definitely turn him into a zombie. It’s not like he’d be adding any value anywhere. I can hear him complaining. I’d turn him and eat his brains. Why? He’s an asshat!  Mwahahahahahahahahaha!!

Gable

4: THE PERSON THAT TRIPS YOU TO GET AWAY FROM THE ZOMBIES?

Take Me On – Jessica

Hahahahahahaha! She would trip me, along with everyone else. I can see it. LOL! She would trip me with a smile on her face. That B in front of the itch.

Jessica

5: THE IDIOT OF THE TEAM?

All Fall Down – Grace

WWWWRRRROOONNNNGGG!! SSSOOOO WRONG! Grace, an idiot? Never! She’s the opposite of an idiot. I can see her as a team captain or the weapons expert, especially with a military background. Again, Grace, an idiot? That’s laughable.

Grace

6: THE “BRAINS” OF THE TEAM?

Fangirl – Simon

*Cough* Bullshit *Cough* Just joking!

Lol, it’s so true! I can see Simon coming up with the strategy and the whatnots. Of course, he’d be telling Baz to shut it. Hahahahahahahahahahaha

simonbaz

7: THE TEAM’S MEDIC?

The DUFF – Jessica

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I’m laughing because if Jessica is the team’s medic it’s because Harrison is the patient. Otherwise, nope, don’t see it happening. I would die because she’d be busy drooling all over me, checking out Harrison.

JessicaD

8: THE WEAPONS EXPERT?

Because It Is My Blood – Anya

On point! The girl knows how to swing a machete and knows about guns. I mean, you can’t be born in the mafia family without learning a thing or two about weapons. Plus she has the attitude of a weapons expert. I’d bet my life on her. #TeamAnya

Anya

9: THE BRAWLER?

Take Me On – West

Yes, West would start a fight with the zombies. And he’d probably leave the zombies in pieces. As long as he doesn’t start a fight with people on the team all should be well.

West

10: THE TEAM CAPTAIN?

All Fall Down – Alexei

Yes, Alexei has all the qualities of a captain. Although, I have a feeling Grace will fight him.

Team Russia



I had fun with this tag! And most of the characters were on point. If you haven’t done the tag and feel like doing it, just do it.

Like, share and tell me what you think.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

Live, don’t exist!

“I watched the way our fingers intertwined, and I thought, what are hands made for but this? For holding. For holding on.” – James Patterson, First Love

James-Patterson-First-Love

First Love by James Patterson and Emily Raymond… Where do I begin? Let’s see, I read the sample from my kindle and decided that it was worth reading on paperback. So I went to look for it and it was not at my favorite book store. A total UHRG! moment. But I was not discouraged. I looked around a lot. In fact I did not only look around, I went on a daily forage. To all book stores. And then I found it….a year later. Yes, a year later. *Insert intensive nodding*

As you can imagine, I was so happy that I never bothered checking the price. Who cares about price anyway? I do! Student budget.

After paying this was me… Well, there no actual fireworks and a glass of apple juice white wine champagne  whatever that is.giphy (2)

Okay, back to the novel!

The novel was REAL, RAW and HEART-WRENCHING.

I felt all these after finishing the novel as the story line was gripping. I mean, you honestly forget to react because you are so taken by the story. Taken by the adventure. The tragedy. And I loved every letter, every word and every paragraph. It is a James Patterson novel after all. Hello! I, especially, loved when Robinson tells Axi to tell their story and she says  “And I did it; I told our story. You hold it in your hands.”

I dare ask… What’s better than that?

The story follows Axi’s road trip with Robinson, her best friend whom she’s secretly in love with. The road trip for Axi is more than rebelling; it’s escaping her grief and getting out of her comfort zone. It’s exploring life and expanding life’s horizons. And boy, don’t they explore and expand. From the Harley, Vegas, camping to Hollywood and more, what’s not to explore and expand? I was secretly jealous.

The story was from Axi’s perspective, at first I was not happy about that. But as I read more, I got why she told the story. Because it felt like she was telling me face to face and I was listening, instead of reading her (their) story. I could feel the emotions, the surprise, the happiness, the sadness. She made the words come alive.

I loved that it was not predictable. I didn’t read the first two chapters and immediately know the ending. You had to follow what Axi was saying in order guess the plot twists. I say guess because I did a lot of guessing. And many were wrong as I had myriad preconceived ideas. But the realness of the story flushed those ideas down the drain.

What I extremely and tremendously appreciated was you never lost what both Authors had to say. The subject of the novel was perspicuous…absolutely crystal clear! Because Axi Moore was no cliche character on a teenage quest for first love. She was an ordinary young woman, a human being, who had to learn to accept life’s tragedies and live. To love and lose it. And continue to live instead of existing. Live to inspire, to tell her story and to share her wisdom.

I could say that I wished for more. Extra pages. But, I think the story would’ve gotten lost in unnecessary words. It was perfect the way it was. And I recommend it to everyone. Worth five crowns for ratings.

The title may be first love but this novel, in my eyes, was Axi first living. And, of course living results in love. Pshh! Duh!

So, what you can take from this is: Live, don’t exist! Life’s too short.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

P.S.: Like, share and comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

The DUFF chat with Duchess

This is homemade video with a friend, over FroYo.

Mind the background noise and the quality. Please don’t forget to like, comment and share.♥

Yours Truly,

Duchess

P.S.: We made +/-3 videos before this and they were super long, or just borderline insane. I wanted to make the video more informal, and just a tad bit crazy. And our landscape orientation was not working properly thus the video is portrait.