Monday, December 28, 2015

Mark These Books Monday: Mini Reviews of Written In The Stars & Hollywood Witch Hunter!!

Hello there guys!!

After the craziness of the holidays and my work and juggling everything and getting a lil sick on Xmas day and the craziness of the Top 10 of 2015 week, I'm back with a more regular schedule of reviews.

To start this week right I'm gonna have mini reviews for Mark These Books Monday because the backlog of reviews that I have is rather insane, and I want to start reviewing books before the year ends!

Both books count towards my Diverse December challenge and one of them, Written in the Stars, I feel that is a most poignant book, and one that needs to be better known and more widespreadly read!

Written in the StarsWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an amazing book. Tough and poignant, it confronts us with a reality we might not know or might not want to acknowledge, but one we need to face and change. And what a debut! Very much deserving of 5 stars.

Written in the Stars is NOT based on a true story, at least not in one narrative only. There was no Naila in real life that is telling us her story, but that's how real and raw this book feels. You feel like this has happened, and we are reading about it in a biography of sorts, but it also feels as we are watching it as it unfolds, discovering what is happening as Naila does.

Everything feels so real, so like we are there! Naila's secrets, how they're discovered, how she goes on vacation with her family and finds herself trapped... I felt like I was right there with Naila! With the language, the descriptions, the relationships between the characters. Everything felt raw and real.

I know about the different kinds of arranged marriages that are still quite usual in Pakistan & India (and other countries) but I wasn't sure that'd be as spread on the communities from those countries living in the USA or the UK, but reading this book made me realize how some families do keep even those traditions no matter where they might live.

Adults and teens alike need to read this book. It'll help us understand a different culture and also maybe even help those that might be in a similar situation. Really, anyone and everyone NEEDS to read this book!!

Hollywood Witch HunterHollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those books with positives and negatives and where the balance ends up being an in-the-middle 3 star rating.

I really enjoyed reading about a Latina main character that kicks arse and is proud of her heritage, and I really liked Iris as a character. I really liked that she had decided that she would not back down from her being a witch hunter no matter how many things would get in her way, and how much disdain she'd get from the rest of the all-male Witch Hunter Special Ops Team.

Iris knows she is good and she doesn't back down when she feels she is treated unfairly and wants to get to the bottom of a few strange happenings that are challenging what she knows about both witches and the hunters. She has a good relationship with her brother which was really nice, since he supported her in being the only female hunter and a not so good with her dad.

I felt the pacing was fast and kept me engaged and wanting to continue reading, the world building quite interesting and a different twist to the usual witches and hunters, but I had two main issues with the book.

One, the two possible love interests being introduced in very opportunistic ways... the moment they came on the page, you knew they'd be involved with Iris. And two, there was too much telling and not enough showing. I felt that I was being told things all the time instead of them being shown happening. And that tends to make it hard to connect or be engaged with book for me.

So as much as the pacing and the world building was interesting and fresh, the telling more than showing style really took out a lot of the enjoyment of the book for me. With more showing and less telling, this would have easily been a 4 stars for me!

View all my reviews


  1. So glad to hear that you loved Written in the Stars, glad to hear that it explores a different culture well particularly the arranged marriages! The love triangle sounds pretty manufactured in the 2nd book! Great reviews Pili.

    1. It's a fantastic book, Jeann! I really hope you'll get to read it!

  2. Definitely need to try Written in the Stars Pili, anything you speak that highly of must go on my list! And glad you enjoyed Hollywood Witch Hunter for the most part despite the two love interests (hopefully that gets resolved quickly in the next book if there is one!) and the telling instead of showing:)

    1. YES JENNY! You really need to read Written in the Stars ASAP! I'm pretty sure you'll love it too!

  3. Gorgeous reviews Pili. <3 Thank you for sharing about both books :D The first one is making me curious. Sounds so interesting :) But yeah, that second one don't sound like it would be for me either, lol. But so happy you loved the first one so so much :) And sorry the other book disappointed :\ Sigh. But glad you didn't hate it :) But aw, I'm sorry you have been a bit sick sweetie :\ I got sick at Christmas too. And I'm still sick. Ugh. It is the worst, lol. Hope you are doing okay. <3

  4. Have you read Homeless Bird? I really liked that book, so I think I would like Written in the Stars. Thanks for the reviews. :)

  5. Hopefully you are feeling better! :)

    Idk about the second one but I've added the first one to my Pili-Pushed list! I remember being intrigued by it around the time it published, but never really looked into it. Five stars is too good to pass up on though. :D

    Lovely reviews, Pili! Happy New Year!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Alyssa! And YES add Written in the Stars to the Pili Pushed list! It's a MUST READ!

  6. Happy 2016! I have heard about Hollywood Witch Hunter, but maybe I'll wait on that one...

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    1. Happy 2016 Kate! Yeah, it wasn't bad per se, but I hope the sequel will improve on the weak areas!


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