Category Archives: Romance

[Book Review] Losing Ground by Sasha L. Miller

23904009
Losing Ground

Sasha L. Miller

What rating would you give it?
3.75/4 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
Carter Bellwood’s family has Earth-claimed the Bellwood territory for generations and they’ve always had an excess of Earth energy to back it up. Until Carter, whose energy is barely a fraction of that his mother has. But he’s the only Earth wizard in his generation and set to inherit the territory—if there’s anything left of it. The territory is being ravaged by a disease that kills all plant life it comes into contact with. They can’t cure it, can barely contain it, can only watch as their territory turns into a barren landscape.

Then a new Earth wizard shows up. Tai is everything Carter is not when it comes to the strength of his magic, and more importantly he knows how to cure the disease. But he’s also terrified and clearly on the run from something, and Carter’s not sure Tai’s help is worth the risk of him trying to stake his own claim on the territory—or the risk that whatever he’s running from finds him…

What did you think of the book?

I honest to goodness enjoyed this story.

I found the world-building satisfying enough, although I would have liked more of it.

The pacing was good, a little slow at times, but still okay. I actually didn’t find this story boring like some readers did. It was actually kind of refreshing actually to see a real “slice of life” kinda story revolving around earth elementals that didn’t involve them fighting monsters or being warrior elves or being super badass or anything like that. Just… regular folk who take care of their territories, people, and land.

There was just enough intrigue about who Tai was and his mysterious power tho keep the story from getting truly boring or dragged out. (Although I do wish had been explained as to WHY…)

Plus the friendship and relationship between Tai and Carter was worth it. Much more believable than some of these insta-love situations M/M books are so often guilty of.

So yeah. That’s my take on it. Definitely one I’ll revisit at a later date to see how I still feel about it. For now? I’m loving it.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

One of the main characters gets hit by a car, but y’know. No big deal.  (His words, not mine! xD)

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Tons and tons, per usual.

Would you recommend this book?

Yeah, I’d say so. But I’d warn that if you don’t like books that don’t have action driving them or if you get bored easily, this might not be the book for you. The biggest issue with this book for me (besides the anti-climate ending) was that there were more than enough slow moments. I know that’s a deal-breaker for many readers, so just be aware.

Otherwise, enjoy! 🙂

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  Les Than Three Press
Publication Date: March 2015
Format: eBook, RvC
Pages: 140
Genre & Themes: Fantasy, M/M Romance,
Bisexual/Gay Sexualities, Magic, Elemental
Powers, Wizard, Diseased Lands
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (156),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
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[Book Review] The Dragon’s Curse by Victoria Zagar


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The Dragon’s Curse

Victoria Zagar

What rating would you give it?
3 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
War is brewing between the Greenlands and the Summer Kingdom, despite the efforts of Lord Aidan and Prince Varion, who have been meeting in secret in an attempt to maintain peace. When war proves inevitable, Aidan offers Varion asylum, loathe to see the man he’s come to care about become his enemy.

But Varion refuses, sacrificing safety and his own desires to stay in the Summer Kingdom in order to protect his little brother from their ruthless father. The two men instead declare a blood oath to always protect each other, an oath that will see them through war, transformation, and a deadly curse…

What did you think of the book?

I liked it. I mean there were moments when I just couldn’t, but it was still a satisfying read. It started out soooooooo strong and promising, even as it began to taper off at the end and eventually fizzled out with that ending. But all in all, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

World-building was acceptable, though I would have preferred to see more of it better visualized.

Characters, save for the brother Tiernon, were all quite likeable, and I was seriously rooting for a good many (especially two very old dads). That being said, that damned kid though made me wanna vomit. I can understand where he’s coming from with his decisions in life, especially since it was driven by fear of their father, but damn. A true survivalist would have taken the offer from Varion and left with him a long freaking time ago. Tiernon’s ultimate decisions just made him an unforgivable little shit.

Lastly, I will end by saying one thing though:

“MAGNIFICENT SCALED COCK”

Yeah…. the answer is NO. A RESOUNDING, EMPATHIC NO.

Me and this book could have done without that, thank you very much.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Sexual situations (eventually) and some general violence, but nothing really out of the ordinary or trigger worthy.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Tons and tons, per usual.

Would you recommend this book?

 

Uhh… I’m torn. Though I liked how it began, I can’t really say I’d definitely recommend it to someone who asks. It fell short in too many areas, only just getting the “like” status for the characters – which I really DID like quite a bit.

So… toss-up?

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  Les Than Three Press
Publication Date: June 2015
Format: eBook, RvC
Pages: 86
Genre & Themes: DRAGONS!!!, Fantasy,
M/M Romance, Bisexual/Gay Sexualities,
Magic, Politics, War, Paranormal, Betrayal,
Terrible Dad Of The Year Award, Greatest Dad
Of The Year Award, Family, Vows, Promises,
Goddesses,
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (155),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge

[Book Review] As Spring Rain

As Spring Rain

Valentina Heart

What rating would you give it?
1.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from Goodreads)

Michael only wants for his twin brother to be safe as he picks one bad boyfriend after another, never even lingering on the thought of loving Michael the way Michael loves him.

All Gabriel wants is Michael, each morning when he faces the day, and each night when he pulls a stranger’s face in for a kiss instead of the one he wants the most.

Fixing Gabriel’s boyfriend problems is a way of life for Michael, but what he doesn’t know happens behind closed doors, where Gabriel welcomes each kick or hit, and where he numbs his pain with the sharp edge of a razorblade.

Can they find a solution to their situation and make both of them happy?

What did you think of the book?

I decide to round up only because… well… ugh… Story wasn’t utterly horrible, but everything else was.

This was really bad. I mean, I understand it was a short story, but… this is ridiculous. So much went wrong, it isn’t even funny. And not to mention the writing. It was… *rubs at eyeballs and tries to erase image of horrible writing from my mind* I just want to forget the last half hour of my life ever happened.

This is how NOT to write a twincest book.

NEVER. AGAIN.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

There is SO MUCH to warn my readers away from. How about this? JUST STAY AWAY FROM THE BOOK COMPLETELY.

The end.

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Look, see? I’m smiling.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Tons and tons, hah ha~

Would you recommend this book?

DEFINITELY NOT. I just don’t know how a book could go so wrong. Really. I get the idea behind most of what happens in this book, but it’s just done in such a… fucking ridiculous manner that it all came across as some sort of twisted, demented, sick thing when it shouldn’t be. I get it. One brother wants the other, but in no way does it need to go down LIKE THAT just to get across the idea that he’s tormented by his feelings. Furthermore, who the fuck FUCKS SOMEONE “LOVINGLY” after finding them BLEEDING ALL OVER THE BATHROOM FLOOR in attempted suicide/trying to hurt and punish themselves? HUH? WHO THE HELL DOES THAT?!

Triple-Facepalm-Star-Trek

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publication Date: October 2012
Format: ebook, e-ARC
Pages: 85
Genre & Themes: Novella / Novelette,
Romance, Contemporary, Dark Fiction,
Twincest,  Incest, Attempted Suicide, Self
Mutilation, Cutting, QUILTBAG / LGBTQUIA
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (27),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge

Tour, Giveaway, & My Honest Review of “Alien Love”

Welcome the Alien Love sci-fi tour! 

Included in this tour is my review and a giveaway, so be sure to scroll down and check them both out! 😉

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9781620159019Title: Alien Love
Author: Stan Schatt
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Publication Date: April 30, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction

Purchase:  Amazon ~ Barnes and Nobles

In Stan Schatt’s latest Science Fiction novel, a dying astronaut reveals a secret that blows the lid on a government treaty with extraterrestrials while other alien races have come to Earth with their own agendas. Meanwhile an ancient alien race with a base on the Moon makes plans that could spell doom.

25 year- old EX-SEAL, Jack Starling, has plenty of his own problems, but he can’t help falling in love with the beautiful woman he rescues after she is brutally attacked. He learns how dangerous it can be to fall in love with someone who is not human who has her own plans for him.

Jack finds himself pitted against aliens far stronger and far more cunning than any human enemies. Once he learns what the aliens have planned for him and for Earth, he must race against time before it is too late.

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REVIEW & THOUGHTS

Rating: 3.75/4 Stars!

I actually REALLY enjoyed this book! Wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into at first, but the story proved to be an engaging one… One that didn’t drag on or bore me to tears as some sci-fi books tend to by simply adding too much information too quickly or just dumping it in weird places that don’t fit/add to the story besides, “HERE. HAVE SOME TECHNO-JUMBO, AND WE’LL CALL IT A NIGHT.”

Alien Love did none of the sorts, and for this I am most sincerely grateful.

This book was concise, tight, and held a bit of mystery as we tried to solve the bizarre situation our MC Jack suddenly finds himself in. One aspect of Jack that really made me interested in him was his ability to [HIGHLIGHT TO SEE SPOILER]see the color of other people’s auras[/END SPOILER]. I totally made me think of Cannan from the anime of the same name. She had the ability to [HIGHLIGHT TO SEE SPOILER]use synesthesia to aid her in combat, viewing the world in different colors to tell enemies from civilians… which is exactly what Jack does to a lesser extent all the time[/END SPOILER]. But it was also a big issue with me because I was like, “Hello? Why are people giving him such a hard time about this? It’s basically a super-heightened form of synesthesia folks! How – as a DOCTOR – do you not know about this???” *is directing that DIRECTLY TO his shrink yo*

come-on

You REALLY mean to tell me you’re THAT SURE he’s crazy? REALLY? Really? *judging you*

Another thing I liked was the way the author (Stan Schatt) handled the whole “alien conspiracy” thing here. It did feel a little X-Files-y at times (which was totally fine by me – after all, who doesn’t like a good X-Files marathon? XD ) but overall I really good read!

I can’t pinpoint exactly what I liked about this book. It wasn’t as mentally stimulating as some of the scifi I like to read typically is, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless! I’d recommend it to the alien and alien invasion sci-fi buffs in a heartbeat.

This book fits these 2015 Reading Challenges:

2015 GoodReads Reading Challenge

You Read How Many Books?

52 Books in 52 Weeks

Read A Million Pages

105 Reading Challenge (Categories: 1, 4, 5: ORANGE, 9, 10)

2015 New To You Reading Challenge (New Author To Me)

This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review. In no way does it affect my rating or review.

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Author Pic

Author Bio:
Dr. Stan Schatt spent many years as a futurist responsible for forecasting future technology products and markets for Fortune 500 companies. He served as a Fulbright Professor and taught at Tokyo University, USC, and the University of Houston. He is the author of over thirty books ranging from science fiction and paranormal mysteries to young adult novels. Schatt is a technology expert who has been quoted in the New York Times, Fortune, and BusinessWeek as well as CNBC.

Author Links:

Website || Facebook || Goodreads || Amazon || Twitter

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.

[Book TBBReview] In Despair (Princes of the Blood, Book 3)

In Despair

(Princes of the Blood, Book 3)

Megan Derr

What rating would you give it?
4.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from GoodReads)
Prince Telmé Guldbrandsen has been groomed since childhood to become a Prince of the Blood and Commander of the Legion. He will be the youngest person to ever take the Blooding—if he can behave long enough to prove he can be trusted with the responsibility. But behaving is difficult when he is constantly forced to endure Korin: heir to the Reach of the House and the Temple of the Sacred Three, and the snotty brat Telmé is expected to someday marry.

Then the unthinkable happens, leaving Castle Guldbrandsen—and the Legion—in pieces. Overwhelmed by fear and grief, Telmé convinces Korin to help him attempt the impossible. But rather than relief, Telmé’s triumph is met with anger and rejection …

What did you think of the book?

Note of point, I originally sorta skimmed In Despair on 1/22/15, but didn’t actually pick up the book to read until later. 🙂

Now, onto the review!

I gotta say, this wasn’t what I was expecting. AT ALL.

Thankfully, that means it was FANTASTIC and HIGHLY ENTERTAINING and WHOLLY PRECIOUS all rolled up in one.

I think, this one might just be my favour–second favourite in the series. XD I don’t know if I can ever like it better than the first book, which absolutely captured my imagination and made me fall in love with the wonder of this world, its characters, its customs, and its obvious build-up of potential storytelling that only grew and grew with each and every book. As I mentioned before in my review of With Pride, I truly love the aspect of moving backwards in time as you read each novel of this series, how with each book it builds on the last even as you descend further and further back in the original cast of characters’ lives. This story tells of the fateful events that led to Telme and Korin becoming the serious power-couple they are, as the youngest EVER Commander of the Legion and High Priest of the Sacred Three. I always wanted to know how they came to be who they were, ever since the first book when it was so obvious there was a story to be told there. I couldn’t have been happier with the results this book provided.

Now, lemme first start by saying — what little shits you both were! XDDD

god i hate you

oh my GOD you are both SO annoying but I can’t help but love you even more anyway ❤

What I really, REALLY did not understand, or perhaps didn’t grasp from the first novel, was that they were betrothed and – at least in Telme’s case – Blooded so young. (Telme wasn’t so bad since he was at least 17, but damn! Korin was only 15!) Furthermore, I didn’t realize they were such… oh, what’s the word? oh yes – BRATS for pretty much the duration of their ENTIRE younger lives. XD Hell – in fact, they never grew out of it (which I LOVE, by the way! XD) and continued to be as infuriating as they grew older. They just got a lot better at hiding it in front of others. XD I was really happy to be able to see them in a light that showed… that they were normal, average teenagers too. (Well, as normal and average as one could be given their circumstances.) They fought each other. They got emotional. They were both the most adorable crybabies, completely warranted for crying at the horrifying, COMPLETELY UNWARRANTED, fucked up, unbelievable events that literally turned their lives upside-down in a matter of days. And then kept their lives IN DESPAIR (aha? Aha? See what I did there? ;D ;D ) for longer than I think MY OWN sanity would have allowed before I tore the whole kingdom down and showed them what it means to be a half-demon.

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Which only shows that Telme is seriously a better person than me. I wouldn’t have endured that crap for as long as he did. And Korin, too – although he needed to stop whining so much throughout the book. That’s probably my only quip. That, and the abrupt… uh… sorta ending because I would have really liked to see what happened after they walked into that hall [highlight for spoiler] after they defeated the Incubus and went to check to see if people still hated their guts or not[/end spoiler]. I also think the book would have been better had Korin’s side of the story been seen as much as Telme’s… Y’know. So we could get the chance to sympathize a little more with his troubles and worries, instead of just hearing him complain about it or only seeing it from Telme’s occasional glimpses into the disrespectful actions of the Priests and the rest of the Legion towards him. Those mere glimpses seemed overshadowed by the utter ridiculousness of Telme’s situation, and I think if we had followed Korin around in some chapters instead of Telme, seen how bad it was for him as well, I (at least) would have had a bit more sympathy for him. As it was, I often found myself groaning whenever I heard Korin once again go off in a rage, and only sometimes caught myself to remember that he had it just as bad, if not worse in the long run.

That being said… I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t quite expecting some of the theatrics those two pulled in their misadventures or the turn of events that transpired in the walls of Castle Guldbrandsen, but hell, was it an amazing ride!

Highly recommended!

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Ehh… not really. There’s the usual blood and gore and youngins in bad situations, but nothing too horrific or graphic that you’ll lose your stomach. Some underage sexual situations, but no actual sex in this book.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

As per usual:

Would you recommend this book?

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I think I said that already!

A P.S. for any potential readers: Although this series does NOT have to be read in order, I have the feeling that the reader would enjoy it better if read in its proper book order (books 1-2-3) and not in its time order (books 3-2-1). And if anyone wants to completely skip around, I would still suggest this book be read last. Something about… getting to meet these two in their older and, ehem, “wiser” selves first AND THEN reading about their teenage bumbling (and super-duper-holy-crap-rockin-woozers! heroics, too) makes it so much more… refreshing, I guess? It all sorta comes full circle to see that underneath those masks of professionalism are still two boys, who are still brats, but are also still so very much in love.

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: July 2014
Format: ebook, RvC
Pages: 221
Genre / Themes: Medieval Fantasy, Bisexual,
Paranormal, M/M Romance, Magic, QUILTBAG /
LGBTQUIA, Shifters, Demons, Pseudo-vampires,
Coming of Age, Idiot Teenagers, Royalty,
Nobility, Misunderstanding, War, Monsters,
Arranged Marriages, Love+Hate Relationships
Age: Young Adult / Adult (I think…)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided upon request by Publisher/Author
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (21),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
Readathon Day 2015, 2015 LGBT Reading Challenge,
2015 Monthly Motifs & Keyword Reading Challenge,
Ethereal 2015,

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 4

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read Last Month (April)

Print ikenai otoko 16159888 12461407 124614191737706410386406 10386503

Haito Diamond 1 Haito Diamond 2 Haito Diamond 3 Haito Diamond 4

  1. Songs of the Earth (Sumeria’s Sons, #2) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  2. Ikenai Otoko by Hiroi Takao  [Review]
  3. Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda by Kou Yoneda [Review]
  4. Jigoku Meguri #1 & 2 by Siam Kuju  [Review]
  5. Dark Prince (The Dark Earth manga, #3) by X. Aratare & T.Wolv  [Review]
  6. Haito Diamond #1-4 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]
  7. The Abyss: Upon A Midnight Clear by X. Aratare  [Review]
  8. The Erl-King: Jealous Sons and Mistletoe by X. Aratare  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About Songs of the Earth… that everything was STILL NOT OKAY, NOT OKAY MAN!

About Ikenai Otoko… nothing actually. XD That is until I saw the cover and then one thing led to another and I ended up reading the whole thing in one go. No joke – the title does NOTHING to jog my memory of the story. Only the cover art brings the comedic escapades back in full swing.

About the Jigoku Meguri series… that I… I read it before… but somehow I felt like I hadn’t finished reading it or something? It’s possible that I started this series when it was being scanlated and never got back to it, which could very much so explain away why at least the ENTIRE SECOND BOOK and, maybe… the second-to-last chapter in the first book was such a blank to me.

Either that, or I have shit memory.

S’toss up between the two, fer sure.

About Dark Prince… that I had read most of it when it was being serialized but hadn’t finished it because 1) wasn’t completed yet and 2) membership ran out. Now that both of those things have been rectified, I decided it was about time to catch up on my favourite series.

About Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda… that… once again THE TITLE GAVE AWAY NOTHING TO ME. xD Just like with Ikenai, the only thing that helps is the cover art. Once I got a glimpse of that I had the same sort of feeling as I did with Jigoku, knowing that I HAD read it, but not ALL of it, so… yeah. *needs to get a physical copy of this one SOON* Anyone know where I can get one? xD

About the Haito Diamond series… that it will forever be one of my favourite fucked-up series that will live on in infamy till the end of time, because

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About Upon A Midnight Clear (A short holiday tale from The Abyss)… that it was fuckin’ cute and I wanted to re-read it. END OF STORY.

About Jealous Sons and Mistletoe (A short holiday tale from The Erl-King)… that it was EVEN MORE FUCKIN CUTE, AND I WANTED TO FUCKIN’ RE-READ IT. GOD 

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think I made myself clear with Jealous Sons and A Midnight Clear, so I won’t reiterate.

For Haito Diamond, I was actually dusting off my ATF (All-Time-Favourites) bookshelf and ended up picking up one book, dusting it off, reading it. Picking up the rest of the books, dusting them off, and reading all of them one after another. Then upon putting down my dusting cloth, went over to my computer and looked through my scanlations of all four books to compare and contrast the horrible “translating” to the original raws.

It was a gloriously entertaining afternoon. ❤

The rest were basically spurred on by random, “Oh! What’s that title? I don’t remember reading this—OHHH. Yes I do. Yup. Yes, I doo~ooh——fuck, I’m actually already halfway through this one, aren’t I? Might as well finish reading it. 8DDDD”

Only Songs of Earth was re-read again for the sake of refreshing myself for the next book.

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

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And I think that was pretty much for each and every book on this list. Nothing disappoints. XD

WOULD I Re-Read Again

I think the answer for all of them would be…

can i get a hell yeah

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 3

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read in March

   

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  1. The Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga  [Re-read Review]
  2. Twin Flames (Sumeria’s Sons, #1) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  3. 19 Days by Old Xian  [Review]
  4. Under Grand Hotel v.1 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About The Antique Bakery… not as much as I’d thought I would. o__O I actually remembered the anime in more detail.

About Twin Flames… that everything was perfect and I needed the next book immediately. xD

About 19 Days… that EVERYTHING IS PERFECT and EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A BEST FRIEND LIKE THIS GUY. XDDD

About Under Grand Hotel… little bits and pieces. I was actually looking for a scene that I wanted to compare another book I was reading against, but I couldn’t remember if it was in the first or second book so… one thing led to another. Next thing I knew I’d re-read the whole thing. XD

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think what triggered me wanting to read The Antique Bakery again was because I heard the theme song and it got me all nostalgic and shit. XD Which sort of plays along to why I re-read Under Grand Hotel, the first book… and ONLY the first book. I heard a song that reminded me of it, and wah-la! The instant, “MUST READ NOW!” trigger was switched.

I ended up reading 19 Days again because it made local online news, and I just couldn’t help myself. xD It’s so ridiculously funny that once you start – you can’t stop until you’re done. This is just one of those books. It’s also kinda funny (but in a different way) because the last time I’d read 19 Days there wasn’t as many strips yet, so seeing that an entire book was finished was quite surprising!

cover (1)

Twin Flames got another re-read because I got my hands on the next book, so REFRESHER TIME! HERE WE COME!

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

For all of them it was either refresher, “OH that’s right. THAT’S what happened. Right, right.” I didn’t feel any differently about the books than I did the first time reading them. Only love them all over again.

Under Grand Hotel and 19 Days won out though. Because after anothe re-read, I just love them ALL OVER AGAIN WITH GUSTO.

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WOULD I Re-Read Again

Definitely for all of them except The Antique Bakery. I really have nothing against it, it’s just… well… some books you like to AND CAN re-read again, and again, and again, with no problem and no possibility of ever getting bored of it. And then there’s The Antique Bakery, which – while being a good manga – can be a bit… eh… it’s not re-read worthy. That’s all I’m saying, y’know?

[A Book RE-READ Review] The Elf and Shoemaker

6139004The Elf and Shoemaker

M.L. Rhodes

What rating would you give it?
5+++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars
(I adore this book. Like, you do NOT even know. To me, this book can do no wrong asdfghjkl;lkhgfdsas)

Give us a summary.

(Taken from Goodreads)
Logan Shoemaker’s honest, hardworking, and loves what he does. Though he never expects to get rich, he’s fared well enough to stay comfortable with his quirky metaphysical store, Shoemaker’s Magick Shoppe. But when the economy falls on hard times, his store pays the price. As each month passes, slow sales turn into no sales, and soon Logan’s living off ramen noodles and sleeping in a freezing house during the cold winter nights as he struggles to make ends meet. His personal life isn’t much better—the worse business at the store grows, the more isolated and lonely he becomes. After a string of mishaps that wipe out the last of his small savings, he finally hits rock bottom the day he discovers the disconnection notice from the electric company hanging on his door. That night, desperate and in despair, he makes a plea to the universe, asking for help.

Needless to say, he never anticipates receiving a response so quickly. Not only does he awaken the next morning to find on his kitchen table four little bottles of a special potion labeled “PASSION,” but he keeps remembering the erotically charged dream he’d had during the night. A dream where a tall, gorgeous man with pointed ears comes to his bed and shows him just what kind of magick they can make together.

But was it a dream? All Logan knows is that his customers can’t get enough of the special potion—an aphrodisiac—and he can’t stop thinking about the sweet seduction of the nighttime visitor who made it. As he tries to sort out what’s real and what’s not, he discovers there’s a much bigger world out there than he’d ever believed, and his true heart’s desire might come in a most unexpected form…

What did you think of the book?

I honestly read this book at least a few times every year. Not for tradition or anything, simply because I love it so. Sometimes I’ll think back to it and say, “Oh, I wonder where it is…? I should read it again and see how they’re doing.” I kid you not. This little book has such a warm spot in my heart that I actually think of it and Logan and Hallan as old friends that I need to check on every so once in awhile. I just don’t know what it is about it… that’s just how I feel. :<

I don’t know what it is about the story that draws me to it so… It’s a romance, yes…. but there’s something else about it that’s so charming and… believable, too…. that I just can’t help going back for more. I’ve even created scenarios in my mind as to what’s happened to them since the end of the book. What adventures (or should I say misadventures) they’ve had trying to navigate their newly shared life together… this whole new world Hallan’s never been to before. For such a tiny book (barely a hundred pages) there’s SO MUCH WORLD-BUILDING, IT ISN’T EVEN FUNNNY. And it’s done tastefully so as not to overwhelm the reader with WAAAAY too much information all at once. In a short amount of pages, M.L. Rhodes has created an entire TWO WORLDS with substances and politics, history and depth. The magic actually makes sense, as does their romance. It’s kind of adorable too, because… though some (more cynical folk) might find some moments in it to be unbelievable, I would have to say – if you can watch a movie about a girl with magically enchanted HEALING HAIR that’s miles and miles long (AND HEAVY AS ALL HELL, TOO – LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT THAT, even as she prances around like it weighs nothing) then you can read a short novella about a young man who finds out he has a magic mirror in his shop and a handsome elf on the other end just waiting to be able to reach through and finally meet him face to face (and body to body ehem *COUGHCOUGH*).

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Sometimes I wish there was a sequel to this book… but then I realize I’m glad there isn’t one. It gives me the chance to make up whatever stories I see fit to follow this enchanted tale and lovely characters. asdfghjkl;lkjhg~~

Would you read this book again?

HA! You’re not seriously asking me that after I’ve just gushed all over this post, now are you?

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

None whatsoever. Except… y’know… beware of a possible and sudden onset of obsessive compulsion towards the book wherein you feel the urgent need to hold said book to your chest and stroke it muttering, “My preeeeccciiiooousssssssssss” upon completion OR DURING the reading of said book.

Because… y’know… that’s tend to happen. *EHEM* Occasionally. >.> Possibly every time I look at it on my bookshelf. *COUGHXOUGH* WHAAT? No! I don’t do that! What are you talking about? Ha ha ha… you must be mistaken. <A<;; You read no such thing only a moment ago.

No such thing. .____.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Yeah. I wasn’t really “reading” it for anything… but obviously it counts towards The Re-Read Reading Challenge, but also for these as well:

Would you recommend this book?

What do you think?

tumblr_m3y3pbITAT1r3zat8Go read already!! XD

 

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Amber Quill Press / Amber Allure
Publication Date: 2009
Format: Paperback
Pages: 120
Genre & Themes: Love, M/M Romance,
QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Elves, Magical World,
Alternative World, Elf Mirror, Royalty, Magic,
Contemporary, Fantasy
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (29),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge, Read A Million Pages,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 3, 4, 5, 8, 9),
The Re-Read Reading ChallengeEthereal 2015,
2015 Monthly Motifs & Keyword Reading Challenge

Tour, KINDLE GIVEAWAY, and Book Review! — Step into the world of “Wolf’s-own”

GhostTourBanner1

Hullo everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Xpresso tour for Wolf’s-own, Book One: Ghost!

Be sure to scroll down and check out my review as well as enter the GIVEAWAY for signed copies, a full set of the four books in the Wolf’s-own series, and even a Kindle!!


Wolf’s-own: Ghost

Ghost

Carole Cummings
(Wolf’s Own #1)
Publication date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

SYNOPSIS

Untouchable. Ghost. Assassin. Mad. Fen Jacin-rei is all these and none. His mind is host to the spirits of long-dead magicians, and Fen’s fate should be one of madness and ignoble death.  So how is it Fen lives, carrying out shadowy vengeance for his subjugated people and protecting the family he loves?

Kamen Malick means to find out. When Malick and his own small band of assassins ambush Fen in an alley, Malick offers Fen a choice: Join us or die.

Determined to decode the intrigue that surrounds Fen, Malick sets to unraveling the mysteries of Fen’s past. As Fen’s secrets slowly unfold, Malick finds irony a bitter thing when he discovers the one he wants is already hopelessly entangled with the one he hunts.​

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BUY

…………….new-buy-button Amazon-buy-now-button-orange  buy-from-barnes-and-noble

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REVIEW/THOUGHTS

4 Stars!

It was so weird picking this book up and starting to read it. I swear, I stared at it for ages because… well… I’d READ it before.

Or so I’d thought.

In actually, I discovered I had downloaded a preview of it a couple years ago (it was undoubtedly the 1st edition, too), read that, thought it was ‘ok’, but ultimately didn’t want to spend the money on buying it. (I think it was probably like… $7.99, or $9.99, or… something like that at the time too…) So basically it got put on the backburner.

You can thus imagine my surprise as I began reading Ghost and instantly began a internal tirade of:

“…the hell? Haven’t I read this? I HAVE read this. I *KNOW* I’ve read this somewhere. Is this a joke? Was this plagarized? Did someone else steal the beginning of this story and add it to their own? WAIT. Let’s not think so drastically here. Maybe I—DO I ALREADY HAVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK? DID I READ THIS ALREADY AND JUST COMPLETELY FORGET WHAT IT WAS ABOUT????”

So. Many. Questions ran through my brain! But, lo and behold, as I skimmed through the first chapter or so, it dawned on me that whatever I had read had only been up to a certain point, because everything thereafter was completely brand-new and had me saying, “WHAT-IS-GOING-ON, HOLD-UP-GOTTA-RESTART-THIS-FROM-THE-BEGINNING, MASS-EXCITEMENT-IS-ABOUT-TO-ENSUE.”

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DEEP BREATH. JUST BREATHE.

I’m so glad I did.

The world-building in this book is… crazy good. I can’t find fault in it, even if the beginning of the book starts off a bit complex and even gets a bit confusing. I think what would have helped a great deal, was if the glossary was mentioned (prominently) at the very beginning of the book, right before the first chapter, I think. Either that, or moving the glossary entirely to the beginning, because… even though a lot of the world-building had a sort of Asian-esque flair and aesthetic to it – and certainly drew inspiration from in terms of culture, appeal, names, etc – it’s NOT any known Asian culture that you can read about or visit. Although many words, honorifics, and such can sorta be deciphered as you read, I used that glossary as my bible for at least three-quarters of this book until I got most of the terms down. I think anyone just coming into this series will undoubtedly do the same. Otherwise, you’re just grasping. I generally prefer to be eased into a new world, not simply thrust into it… but all things standing, the book is a huge success! Such complicated characters, mythos, religion, and politics populate this world.

The romance wasn’t really the big factor for me while reading this, but it was definitely well done. Great chemistry between our main characters Fen and Malick; with explosive love scenes that are extremely passionate and sensual. I can already tell that their relationship will definitely be ramping up as the series continues. That you can be sure of. 😉

My biggest quip was that ending – which wasn’t just a cliffhanger, but also sort of… abrupt. As in, I don’t really know if there was a conclusion in this book, or if the entire series should be looked at as one big book that was simply split into parts instead of complete, consecutive books.

Still, I cannot wait for the next book! Hopefully it will get even better~

This book fits these 2015 Reading Challenges:

2015 GoodReads Reading Challenge

You Read How Many Books?

52 Books in 52 Weeks

Read A Million Pages

105 Reading Challenge (Categories: 3, 4, 9, 10)

2015 New To You Reading Challenge (New Series & New Author To Me)

Ethereal 2015 (Paranormal: Gods, Vessels of the Gods, Other-realms)

2015 LGBT Challenge (OTHER/MM)

This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review. In no way does it affect my rating or review.

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GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

giveaway

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carole lives with her husband and family in Pennsylvania, USA, where she spends her time trying to find time to write. Recipient of various amateur writing awards, several of her short stories have been translated into Spanish, German, Chinese and Polish.

Author Links:
Author’s Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Organised by:

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Follow the Wolf’s – Own: Ghost Tour

Books ‘N Tunes #5: The Specific Heat Capacity Of Love

Welcome back to another installment of my Books ‘N Tunes Reading Challenge!

So this week, we’ve got something really fun in store: AN ENTIRE PLAYLIST. Yes you read right. This… this… ASDFGHJKLKJHGFDSASDFGHJKJ book… LITERALLY CONJURED UP A WHOLE LIST OF HEARTBREAKING SONGS THAT COULD MAKE A HEARTLESS WRETCH CRY.

So I hope you enjoy! 😀 😀 😀 😀

Oh yes, AND BY THE WAY — My review is more rant than review. BUT IT’S NECESSARY. Read it. You will understand.

The Specific Heat Capacity Of Love
by Old Xian & Moss

Publisher: —
Publication Date: 2012
Format: electronic, ebook
Pages: 35
Genre: Tragedy, Romance, Slice of Life,
Shounen Ai, “Male” Friendship, M/M Friendship
(Possible Romance), Love, Trust, Nature,
Environment, Unlikely Friends, Separation,
Survivor, Major Character Death, Hurt/Comfort,
Animals, Brutal and Senseless Killing, Slashy,
Fantasy-esque/Surrealism, Wish-fulfillment,
Manhua, Full Color, Animal Characteristic,
Drama, Sweet’n’Cute But SAD ASS Story
Age: OT / Young Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Click here to read.
Challenges: 2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (42),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge (SA),
Read A Million PagesEthereal 2015Books N Tunes,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10),
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge
,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge (New Work)

SUMMARY

(synopsis taken from Publisher)

A girl goes to the seaside on her class field, accidentally meeting a mysterious boy who tells her a tale of transcendence and love.


Summarize in a word?:

HEARTBREAKING.

RATING

This one gets 5 Stars++++++++++++++++++.

THOUGHTS & REVIEW

 

MUST STAY STRONG - WHAT A TERRIBLE DAY FOR RAIN - DID YOU JUST

MUST STAY STRONG – AH, WHAT A TERRIBLE DAY FOR RAIN

MUST…. STAY… STRONG!
I… I just… Usually I don’t get emotional over anything but this—!
ASDFGHJKL:”:LKJHGFDSXDCFVGHJKLMJNHGFD

 

original (3)

 

Just leave me to die.

 

original (4)

 

The Specific Heat Capacity of Love,” or as I like to call it “The Most HORRIFIC, TEAR-JERKIN’, TEAR MY HEART OPEN WHYDONTCHA Book That Has Ever Existed” will forever be the bane of my existence. Because that — is its real title. I think something DIED IN ME after reading this short, 35-pager… something I doubt I will ever recover again.

The art is exquisite. It’s in gorgeous full color too, so there is SO MUCH MORE DEPTH AND GLORIOUSNESS TO EACH PAGE. It leaves you breathless. The story itself is sadly quite short, but that’s actually the point. It’s so… tragic, and overpowering. You will not know what to do with yourself afterwards.

When I finished reading this horrid little asdfghjkl;’lkjhgfdsadfghj back in March (I think… the 13th? or something…) I was just in shock. I STILL have NO WORDS for what I read, or for HOW I didn’t know about the inhumane topic the story talks about in great detail.

HEADS UP Y’ALL. THIS IS NOT ONLY A REVIEW BUT AN INSANELY IMPORTANT TIL (Today I Learned) WHICH Y’ALL SHOULD BE MADE AWARE OF:

I just learned about some horrible because of a manhua I was reading: shark finning.

Pictures are of a graphic nature. Proceed at your own discretion.

The cost of this disgusting act.

WHAT THEY *DO* TO THEM.

THE HELL PEOPLE! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?! Listen. I understand if you want to eat the fucking fish. I GET that. But why the hell can’t you just kill it properly and put the poor thing out of its misery first?! Why oh WHY would you LEAVE IT ALIVE AND IN PAIN TO DIE THROUGH SUFFOCATION AND DROWNING VIA A SLOW AND GROTESQUELY PAINFUL DEATH?!?

Assdffgghjjkkllllkjoiuuttfds Jfc Jfc jfc JFCCCCCCCCCHRIST what the hell is wrong with people? I don’t know if I’m more horrified I didn’t know about this or simply disgusted with humanity as a whole.

PLEASE. FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THIS WORLD: STOP. SHARK. FINNING.

As to any warnings I would give…

DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU WISH TO LOSE PART OF YOUR SOUL.

Because that is the price you will pay for reading the most tragically moving short I’ve ever laid eyes on.

You’ve been forewarned.

Would I recommend?

I DON’T KNOW!! I feel like EVERYONE should read this because it has such an important message (alongside an incredible beautiful and heartbreaking tale)… Yet at the same time, this book is PAINFUL. There is SO MUCH PAIN. I don’t want to send people to their early graves yet either…

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ZE PLAYLIST & LYRICS

(Because one song just isn’t enough.)

1. Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Are you here with me?
Just looking out on the day of another dream

Well, you can’t get what you want but you can get me
So let’s set out to sea, love

2. Aqua – We Belong To The Sea

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Come on into my waves
You can sleep in my caves
Let me know that you will hold me
Till the tides take my soul
.
We belong to the sea
To the waves you and me
Living in the ocean so blue
We belong to the sea
Open wide being free
A minute everlasting with you
3. Rie Fu – 2cm

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song works, but these lyrics in particular…)

We’re only 2cm away now, I’ll be home again
I’ll be home again to a place that might have been
Where people in the past times thought they were waterfalls around the edge of the sea
Catch a drop of tear for me and tell me who you’d be
.
Cause our love is deeper and believer of the sea
Cause you’re the waves of my ocean
You’re the waves of my ocean
4. Bic Runga – Heal

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Don’t forget me
Bring me down
Don’t let me promise you
Things I cannot do
This infection adds to my collection
Hoard my pain
And show it to you one day
You alone indeed
You sing so adamantly
And it fills my mind with thoughts so fine
Don’t ask too much of me oh Heal me now, heal me now
Heal me now, heal me now Don’t erase me
Cut me out replace me
I’m still here
I’m not going anywhere
You alone indeed
You sing so adamantly
Let it free what ever’s locked inside
Don’t ask too much of me
5. Assemblage23 – Lullaby

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

May you find solace in the gentle arms of sleep
Despite the wolves outside your door
In time you will see them all as harmless
And their idle threats easy to ignore

And if ever fate should choose to smite you
Stand your ground, never walk away
Please don’t ever let the world defeat you
Don’t get buried in its decay

Read more…

6. Mae – The Sun & The Moon

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

But when worlds collide,
and all that I have is all that I want.
The words seem to flow
and the thoughts they keep running.
And all that I have is yours.
All that I am is yours.
Ohh…
Painted skies.
I’ve seen so many that cannot compare
to your ocean eyes.
7. Radiohead – How To Disappear Completely

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

That there
That’s not me
I go
Where I please
I walk through walls
I float down the Liffey
I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here
I’m not here
In a little while
I’ll be gone
The moment’s already passed
Yeah it’s gone
And I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here
I’m not here
8. Mirah – Archipelago

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

So goodbye my love,
I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
Goodbye my love,
the ship is shipping on.
Goodbye my love,
I’ll give it up into the fog.
Goodbye my love,
I think I knew it all along.
9. Keane – We Might As Well Be Strangers

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

I don’t know your face, no more
Or feel the touch that I adore
I don’t know your face, no more
It’s just a place I’m looking for
We might as well be strangers in another town
We might as well be living in a different world
We might as well
We might as well
We might as well
10. Idiot Pilot – Strange We Should Meet Here

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

A moment we die
Our souls will re-allign
A murder so divine
We’ll heaven hell
Everything is fine, everything is fineCome on, I killed you anyway
You remind me
Come on, face the gun
Of someone I used to know
Come on, I killed you anyway
You remind me
Come on, face the gun
Of someone I used to know.
11. Keane – Somewhere Only We Know

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?

Read more…

12. Cat Power – Sea of Love

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

Come with me my love
To the sea
The sea of love
I want to tell you
How much I love youDo you remember
When we met?
That’s the day I knew you were my pet
I want to tell you
How much I love you

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BONUS TRACKS:

13. Tracy Chapman – You’re The One

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

Some say you’re bitter
Think you’re mean
Uncouth untamed and unrestrained
But I think you’re sensitive and sweet
Stay as you are don’t change a thing
.
Let’em talk you down
Call you names
My mind’s made up
It ain’t gonna change
I’m sure in my heart
Happy and free
You’re the one you’re the one
You’re the one for me
14. Ben Jelen – Give It All Away

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

But with demons sitting at my side,
An angel’s come to ask me why
And slowly I give up inside to say
To feel alive, I’d give it all away
15. Nine Inch Nails – Something I Can Never Have

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

I still recall the taste of your tears.
Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears.
My favorite dreams of you still wash ashore.
Scraping through my head ’till I don’t want to sleep anymore.
.
This thing is slowly taking me apart.
Grey would be the color if I had a heart.
.
In this place it seems like such a shame.
Though it all looks different now,
I know it’s still the same
Everywhere I look you’re all I see.
Just a fading fucking reminder of who I used to be.
.
I just want something I can never have
16. The Features – The Idea of Growing Old

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

We can talk all night, we can talk all day
We can play charades when there is nothing to say
You turn me on to the idea of growing oldNow it won’t be long
No, it won’t be long
Whoa, whoa, whoaYou turn me on to the idea of growing old
Turn me on to the idea of growing old
We can lay around and count the number of times
I’ve acted foolish and you’ve rolled your eyes
You turn me on to the idea of growing old

Reason for choosing these songs

Each one has it’s own special attribute that somehow resonates with me.

I could go into exact detail, but that would be giving too much of this story away, and it’s short enough as is. You need to read it for yourself to see what I mean, and then listen to the songs.

IT’LL JUST MAKE SENSE THAT WAY.

However, if you still want some vague reasons, we can do that too… (Just be prepared for some spoilers, even out of the highlighted areas.)

Track 1: From Bird’s POV. A song from Bird to Fish.

Track 2: Alternating between Bird and Fish’s POV. A song to each other.

Track 3: From Bird’s POV to Fish as he contemplates joining him once again in the ocean.

Track 4: Fish’s last theme song (but can also be seen as both Fish & Bird’s song, from the time of their separation)

Track 5: From Girl on the Beach to Bird & Fish as she reunites them together. Or even from Bird to Fish, or Fish to Bird… a death song. A requiem.

Track 6: Bird & Fish’s first meeting, and probably every one thereafter

Track 7: Bird’s theme song.

Track 8: Bird coming to terms with [HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILERS] Fish’s death[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 9: From Bird’s POV after so long being alone, missing Fish, missing what they once had and mourning what was lost

Track 10: Yet another death song, but this one more specifically from Bird’s POV. How he feels [HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILERS]it’s his fault Fish died, and how he wishes someone would just end his life too so the two of them can be reunited, and “the moment we die, our souls will re-align.”[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 11: From Bird’s POV. Life without Fish, and how he came to be on the beach in the first place. All his endless wandering finally brought him back here. To this place, where he lost Fish forever.

Track 12: Friendship/Love theme song; from Fish to Bird, from Bird to Fish.

Track 13: How Bird probably saw Fish / Probably also how Fish saw Bird (but we’ll never really know since we don’t get any of the story from his POV — still I think it can be inferred seeing his reaction to Fish whenever they were together)

Track 14: From Bird’s POV. The “angel” is the girl on the beach, the “demons” are mankind in general and the horrible memories of what happened. He’d “give it all away” to “feel alive again” by [HIGHLIGHT]ending his life so he can be with Fish again.[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 15: From Bird’s POV at the start of the story, he’s sitting there, remembering, dying, crying, wanting something he can never have.

Track 16: Though this one doesn’t completely fit the story, somehow… every time I hear it now I think of them. I think of it from both of their POV when they first met and however long a time they were together. Before meeting each other, they must have both been very lonely creatures, sort of shunned from their own kind. But after meeting and knowing one another… they… sort of “turned each other on to the idea of growing old” AKA “living a long, happy life”, so long as they had each other. So long… as they were together. And… uggghhuu… T________________T *UGLY SOBBING*