Review: The Other Merlin

I read a sample of this book on BookishFirst, and while I didn’t win a copy, I did find a book that I was dying to read! The sample was so good and immediately peaked my interest. I was so happy when Penguin Teen offered this as a book I could download for review, I immediately jumped on it.

Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

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Review: Iron Widow

Holy. Shit.

I just finished this book. My mind is blown. I didn’t think I could read a book so intense with an ending that made me want to scream, but here I am. Literally screaming.

Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

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Review: The Lost Girls (A Vampire Revenge Story)

Vampires are back and I love the direction Sonia took this story. From the first chapter, I was invested in forever 16 y/o Holly who has to work at Taco Bell because she decided to be turned into a vampire and can’t manage to get a job anywhere else.

I loved the story, but for the love of God, publishers PLEASE allow the pdfs to be sent to kindle! I had to read this on my laptop, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it was seriously annoying. I would have much rather read this on my iPad or phone where I can at least take it around with me, instead of having to remain somewhat stationary. So for future reference, please don’t force me to read this on my laptop, please and thank you!

Thank you to Page Street Kids and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

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Review: The Corpse Queen

I love the cover of this book and how simple, yet eerie it is. I wasn’t sure how scary or intense this book was going to be, but it ended up being really good and not too much! I love the historical fiction elements, the murder mystery, and the female empowerment all wrapped up into one book.

Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review, and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

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Review: The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for selecting me as a winner for this book! I was drawn in by the cover alone and the description just sealed the deal for me, so I was so happy when I won a copy! I went into this story semi-blind, open to what was going to happen, and I absolutely loved it. I can’t even articulate how much I loved this book and how hard it was for me to finish it, I did not want this story to end.

This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

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Review: The Girls Are Never Gone

Okay, listen. I know I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal thrillers (I mean, come on, they’re so good!) and I know we’re ready for some new genres, but listen. LISTEN! This book is so, so good and it just came out on Tuesday, so you need to do me a favor and pick it up ASAP!!!

Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!

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Review: Vampires Never Get Old

I have had this book sitting on my kindle for over a year. I hate having books sit on my Netgalley shelf or kindle shelf for a very long time, so I made a vow to read this book as soon as I could. And, finally, I did!

Thank you to Imprint and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for a review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!

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Review: Mary, Will I Die?

Hey everyone, I’m happy to to be participating in the book tour for Mary, Will I Die? hosted by Terminal Tours. Check out my review and moodboard below! Be sure to check out the tour schedule and the other amazing posts for this tour!

Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with a physical ARC in exchange for a review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

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Review + Interview: The Witch Haven

The Witch Haven Tour Banner (1)

Hey everyone! Today I have a special review because I was lucky enough to get to interview the author, Sasha Peyton Smith, for Turn the Page Tours – The Witch Haven tour! This book has everything I love in it: historical fiction set in NYC, with magic, romance, and a murder mystery! It’s literally all of my favorite genres in one book and I loved it!

If this sounds like a book you’d be interested in, be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of the post to win one of TWO finished copies of the book! And check out the tour schedule to see the other amazing posts for this tour!

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!

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Review: This Poison Heart

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be able to share my review This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron! I loved Cinderella is Dead and was so excited for this new series! Last year, I binge read Cinderella is Dead  in one sitting (took me about 2.5 hours) because I couldn’t put the book down. It was so, so good and when I saw that Kalynn had a new series coming out, I was so excited!!! Surprisingly enough, I somehow managed to receive an ARC of the book, but it arrived a few days before release day, so I didn’t get a chance to read it in time. Then, I got the Owlcrate version of the book and put it on my July TBR! Well, July turned into August and two months post release, my review is finally here! Yay!

I received an ARC from Bloomsbury for This Poison Heart in exchange for an honest review. I read the finished copy so this review is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!

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Review: Burden Falls

Another day, another thriller novel review! But this one is just thriller, no paranormal/fantasy thriller today. I know, you’re so sad! I promise you though – this book is so good. And terrifying. I was dumb enough to read this late into the night and ended up finishing it at 2am. Yeah, not a great idea. But I can definitely say that this book will creep you out and scare the heck out of you. So, let’s dive in!

Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review! This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
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Review: Devil in the Device

I managed to snag an ARC of Goddess in the Machine at YALLFest 2019 with my friend Grace and I really liked it! It was hard to get into at first with the changes in vocab and syntax from the futuristic characters, but once I got the hang of things, I was so excited for the story.

Thank you to Penguin Teen for sending me an e-ARC and a finished copy of the sequel, Devil in the Device, for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

***This may contain spoilers for the first book, Goddess in the Machine. If you’ve not read the first book, feel free to check out my spoiler free review here, or proceed at your own risk!

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Review: Dark and Shallow Lies

Welcome back to another review of a paranormal thriller! If you missed these, me too, so I’m back again to review the upcoming release of Dark and Shallow Lies!

Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own! And with that, let’s dive in.

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Review: Defy the Night

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Bloomsbury YA for sending me an ARC of Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer!! I love Brigid’s books and when I saw this new series coming out, I HAD to request it!

This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own. I’m going to do my best to be coherent, but honestly, this book was just too damn good!

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Review: A Lesson in Vengeance

Are we surprised that I read another thriller? Because I’m not. This book had me doubting my own sanity and I absolutely loved the lead up, the reveals, the ending. All of it was just so well done, I couldn’t force myself to read this book quickly if I tried. This is a book that needs to be savored until the very last line! I’m obsessed lol

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Review: Mark of the Wicked

Mark of the Wicked tour banner

I am so excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers, hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours!

This book was everything I want in a paranormal thriller: death, doom, and destruction! I really enjoyed the story and while I wish some things were different, this review is spoiler free, so I won’t be touching on them today. But, I will share some thoughts I had while reading the book!

Be sure to check out the tour schedule for the other amazing posts on this tour!

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Review: The Dead and the Dark

I have been alternating between fantasy and horror and this book is a little bit of both. I read this book in less than 24 hours and loved the overall vibes, though I was getting a little freaked out reading this book at night!

Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Review: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire

Today I am reviewing the second book in the From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. If you haven’t read From Blood and Ash, this review may contain spoilers for the first book, and I highly recommend you check out my spoiler free review of book one instead.

From Blood and Ash spoiler free review. 

If you have read From Blood and Ash, this review will be spoiler free for the second book, so buckle up. I have some thoughts.

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Review: Small Favors

I’m a big fan of historical fantasy books, so when I saw Erin was writing one, I knew it was going to be good! If you haven’t read her first book, House of Salt and Sorrows, you should definitely check it out! It’s a twelve dancing princesses retelling and very, very creepy!

I was excited for another fantasy horror and this book did not disappoint. Thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy for review!

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Review: They’ll Never Catch Us

I have been reading so much fantasy lately that I needed something different to switch things up. I loved They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman and I was so excited to receive an e-ARC of her next book, They’ll Never Catch Us! While both murder mystery/thrillers, these books have totally different vibes and I was happy to see this book wasn’t a carbon copy or remixed version of her debut.

If you haven’t read They Wish They Were Us, no worries! These stories are unrelated, so you can read one and not the other. If you want to check out my review of They Wish They Were Us though, you can find it here!

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Review + Interview: Untethered

Untethered tour banner

I love Shielded, the first book in this series, and I was lucky enough to interview KayLynn for its release last year. Now, I get to do a second interview and review the second book in this series too! If you’d like to read my review and interview of Shielded, check it out here! While this review is spoiler free, this may contain spoilers for Shielded, so read ahead at your own risk.

Thanks to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour. This is such a great series and I’m glad I can help promote it! Be sure to check out the tour schedule and follow along!

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Review + Favorite Quotes: A Dragonbird in the Fern

A Dragonbird In The Fern tour banner

Hey everyone! I’m very excited to be able to participate in the tour for A Dragonbird in the Fern by Laura Rueckert! This cover is so pretty and the contents of this book were so good. It’s definitely going on a favorites list for me and possibly a re-read list too. Thanks for stopping by for my review and favorite quotes from this book! I hope you enjoy!

Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours and Flux for allowing me to participate! Be sure to check out the tour schedule for all the amazing posts this week!

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Review: The Dragon and the Queen

I have been following along with this series since before book one even came out. I received an ARC of The Raven and the Dove and fell in love with this story and with this world. If you haven’t read books 1 and two, you can check out my spoiler-free reviews here:

The Raven and the Dove review

The Hunter and the Mage review

This review may contain spoilers for books 1 and 2, but will not spoil book 3. Please read at your own risk.

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Review + Favorite Quotes: The Taking of Jake Livingston

The Taking of Jake Livingston tour banner

I am obsessed with this cover and after reading the contents of this book, I’m obsessed with this story too. While I have some issues on background and the general spooky world, mostly the lack of information, this book is too good not to read. This book made me cry and think and feel so many different things that I read it in less than three hours because I couldn’t put it down.

Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour! Be sure to follow along with the tour schedule and check out all of the other amazing posts!

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Review: These Hollow Vows

Guys, I am obsessed with this book. When it says The Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses, they weren’t lying. I think that is one of the most accurate taglines I have ever read and I cannot emphasize how good this book is. I read it in one day because every second I wasn’t reading, my mind drifted to this book. To what was happening. And I had to know what was going to happen next. And now that I’ve finished it … I need the next book immediately!

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Review: From Blood and Ash

I had been trying to read this book for months. Every time I thought I would be able to sit down and read it, something came up. And it didn’t matter that it was staring at me on my shelf, patiently waiting for me to pick it up and read, oh no. None of that mattered.

But, finally – FINALLY! I had some free time to really sit down and devour this book. I read this in less than 48 hours and I probably could have finished it in a day if I didn’t have to work. I had some doubts going into this book, but after reading it, all I can say is wow.
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Review: Ruinsong

This book took me by surprise because while I was expecting a dark fantasy, wow some of these scenes were pretty intense. I mean, like torture intense. It definitely was not what I expected but it was still pretty good! I originally got an e-ARC of this book wayyyy back, but then eventually bought a physical copy, which is what I will be reviewing today!

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Queer YA Books I Recently Read and Loved

Happy Pride month everyone!

While you can read queer books at any time of the year, I know a lot of people love to scream recommendations during Pride month. While I don’t wait or save books to recommend just during June, I did want to make a list of some queer YA books I’ve recently read, reviewed, and loved! Because recently, there’s been a lot.

I will put a label with the representation in this book. I tried to stick with books that have queer main characters (MC) or prominent characters. I have also linked my review if you’re interested in hearing my thoughts or finding out more about the book!

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Review: Heartbreakers and Fakers

This – this is the summer book I was dying to read. This is the enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, YA romance that I was looking forward to and I loved it! I read this in one sitting yesterday because I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to read more from this author and you should definitely pick it up if you’re looking for a great summer romance read!

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Review: Better Together

My friend Alexa over at Writing the Universe somehow managed to get an extra ARC of Better Together from Wednesday Books and she was kind enough to give me her extra copy (thank you!). We ended up somewhat buddy reading this book together and um… it was interesting. Definitely interesting.

I’m going to link her review as well, since she has some strong opinions about this book too. 

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Review: The Wolf and the Woodsman

I have been sitting in front of my computer for days trying to put into words how this book made me feel. All of my incoherent thoughts just swimming around my head and unfortunately, I have no way of getting them down nicely on paper. So, instead, here is my incoherent screaming about The Wolf and the Woodsman. Thank you so so much to Harper Voyager for the ARC!

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Review: Spells Trouble

Many years ago, when I was in middle school, I was obsessed with the Marked series. I loved the storyline and the world and while I never finished the series, I got 8 books in before I ran out of books and moved on with the series. When I saw P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast were writing a new series together, I was so excited! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the publisher and some swag as well! (pics below!)

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DNF Review: Sky Breaker

I will start off by saying that I liked Night Spinner. I read it over a year ago (pre-pandemic) and thought it was a really interesting book, though I had some issues with it. Unfortunately, I did not like this book as much and I actually DNFed it.

Feel free to check out my review of the first book, Night Spinner, before reading this review. May include spoilers for book one.

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Review + 5 Reasons to Read: The Ones We’re Meant to Find

The Ones We're Meant to Find tour banner

Dystopian has been making a comeback and this book is no exception. This breathtaking book about two sisters desperate to find each other as the world is ending is honestly a masterpiece. I’m so thankful TBR and Beyond Tours chose me to participate in this tour because I cannot stop thinking about this book and I’m so excited to share this story with you! Be sure to follow along with the tour and check out the schedule to see all of the amazing posts!

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ARC Review: Our Last Echoes

I am a big thriller fan, but I’ve never been someone who could get into horror. While this isn’t Stephen King esque, it is pretty gruesome and intense and there were several moments that I had to take a break to calm my heart rate down. But this book was so fantastic that I could get past all of the horror elements because I had to know what was going on. The mystery of this world, of Sophia’s experience, and the disappearances on this island captivated me and I absolutely loved it!

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Blog Tour: These Feathered Flames

These Feathered Flames tour banner

I am so excited to be able to participate in this tour today! I received an e-ARC from Inkyard Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and so when I saw this tour was open, I knew I had to sign up. This book was so amazing and good, I’m so glad I can help promote it!

Be sure to check out the other tour posts this week and see all the amazing reviews and Instagram posts. You can find the tour schedule here.

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ARC Review: The Theft of Sunlight

I finally finished this book! It has been so hard trying to find time to read these past few weeks. If you weren’t aware, my fiance and I are currently in the process of buying a house! And at the same time, I’m also unfortunately dealing with some medical issues and too many doctors appointments. Oh and this week is the week of Passover.

I’m a little busy. So trying to read has been pretty difficult. But, I finally found time to finish this amazing book and I’m so desperate for more!

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ARC Review: Havenfall

And here we go again – another ALA 2019 book that I had sitting on my shelf for forever before I finally picked it up… Today, I am reviewing Havenfall by Sara Holland, an ARC that I managed to snag and just haven’t had the time to pick up. I finally decided to read it because I also had an ARC of Phoenix Flame sitting on my kindle that I had to read – so I read both!

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Blog Tour + Favorite Quotes: Sing Me Forgotten

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Today, I am reviewing one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2021 – Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson! This is a genderbent Phantom of the Opera retelling with magic and I was so excited to be a part of this tour! Thank you again to Turn the Page Tours for allowing me to participate in the Sing Me Forgotten blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to share my favorite quotes and 5 reasons to read this book. Be sure to check out the tour schedule for more amazing content!

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Sweet & Bitter Magic

Sweet and Bitter Magic tour banner

I could not believe I am able to participate in this blog tour for Sweet & Bitter Magic. This is one of my most anticipated reads and WOW did it live up to that expectation! I am not joking when I say that I’m obsessed with this book and I need a series continuation of at least 10 more please.

Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate and review this book! Be sure to check out my post on Instagram as well as the giveaway being hosted! More information at the end of my post. And be sure to check out the tour schedule on TBR & Beyond’s website for more reviews and other amazing posts!

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Review: The Gilded Ones

This book has been on my radar for a while, especially since my blog tour company, Book Terminal Tours, did a blog tour for this book! Seeing everyone’s amazing reviews and gorgeous posts got me so hyped for this book and while I have some qualms with it, this book definitely lives up to its hype.

I received an ARC of The Gilded Ones from Delacorte Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Blog Tour: The Castle School (For Troubled Girls) Review + Interview

The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) tour banner

I’m so excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for The Castle School: For Troubled Girls by Alyssa Sheinmel! I was so happy I got to read this book early because I absolutely loved it. Be sure to check out the other posts on this tour, schedule link here. Thanks again to TBR Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate.

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ARC Review: Amelia Unabridged

I have been reading a lot of books about grief recently. A person I was friends with in high school passed away from cancer a few weeks ago. We weren’t close, but I knew her. Spent time with her. Watched her journey from diagnosis to the end, and it broke me to hear she had passed. In fact, three people from my school have passed from cancer. Two people I knew and was friends with.

Reading these books about grief have helped me understand my own. My sadness, my grief, my frustration. This book took me on Amelia’s journey to accept the loss of her best friend and I will tell you, I sobbed.

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DNF Review: City of the Uncommon Thief

I really don’t like having to put down a book before I finish it. It’s just a sad feeling, but I could not push through this book. Maybe one day I’ll come back to revisit this story and see if I can understand what’s going on, but as of right now, I had to stop at 25%.

I was given an e-ARC of City of the Uncommon Thief from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

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ARC Review: Down Comes the Night

I was lucky enough to win a physical ARC of Down Comes the Night from Allison in one of her giveaways (which I’m still screaming about!) and received a digital ARC from Wednesday Books through NetGalley. This is one of my most anticipated reads for 2021 and I absolutely loved it. If you’re a fan of enemies-to-lovers, only one bed trope, and some strange, but awesome magic – then keep reading!

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Review: A Court of Silver Flames

I finally was able to read my copy of ACOSF and I loved it. I connected with Nesta’s journey a lot and found ways to help myself heal through her story, so if you’re not a fan of SJM and were planning on coming to my blog to harass me for reading this book, please don’t. I know SJM is a polarized author, I know not everyone supports her, but her books have really helped me face my own trauma and mental health and I appreciate her writing about those experiences. 

Please remember to be kind and that everyone has their own story to tell. Thank you. 

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Review: Crush

I read Crave several months ago and fell in love with it. After that ending, I was so curious to see where this series was heading and how we were going to have any more books! I was lucky enough to be accepted to participate in a blog tour for Covet and knew I had to overcome my fear and read Crush.

And oh my gosh – you need to read this book.

If you haven’t read my review of Crave, you can check it out here. This review may contain spoilers for the first book, so be warned!

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ARC Review: The Electric Kingdom

I won an ARC of The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold from BookishFirst, so thank you BookishFirst and Penguin Teen for sending me a copy! I was pulled in by the premise and the first few chapters and wow, this book only gets better from there! I absolutely loved this story and once I got halfway through I physically could not put this book down.

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Review: Shadow City

Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for sending me a finished copy for review! I was lucky enough to receive a manuscript of Diamond City back in 2019 and fell in love with this series. This may contain spoilers to the first book, Diamond City, but will not contain spoilers from Shadow City.

Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy and without further ado, here are my thoughts!

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Valentine’s Day Books You Need To Read!

Valentine’s Day is Sunday and while this year is going to be very different, I think self care is always needed. So I made a list of recently published YA romance/contemporary books you need to read for Valentine’s Day! Whether you have plans with someone or not, these books are a great way to love yourself and enjoy some quality me time. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and feel free to leave suggestions for other great romance books!

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Blog Tour: Hot British Boyfriend

Hot British Boyfriend tour banner

I am very excited to be doing another tour with TBR & Beyond Tours! Today, I am reviewing Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce including top 5 reasons why you should read this book! Be sure to head over to my Instagram to see my post over there as well, and be sure to check out the schedule for this tour! There’s also a giveaway for a finished copy of Hot British Boyfriend at the end of this post, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested!

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Books I Refuse to Read

Have you ever picked up a book and thought “Yeah I’m never reading this”? Or a friend has tried to push you to read a book that you know you won’t like? Or heard about issues with an author or book and thought, “Good thing I found out so I can never read their stuff again”?

Well, same. And here’s that list of books I refuse to read!

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Jan ’21 Wrap Up

January was a great first month of the year. I got to read some amazing books for blog tours, as a buddy read with my friend, and just new books I loved in general!

Along with great reading goals, I’ve also been working on personal goals and have felt so good this past month. Even with all the chaos my family has experienced, things are starting to turn around for the better.

So, clearly, I’m in a good mood so here are some of the books I read this month!

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Blog Tour: Wench

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I am so excited that I am able to participate in the book tour for Wench by Maxine Kaplan! Thanks to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate and thank you to Amulet Books for providing me with an e-ARC of the book for review. This has not impacted my review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.

Be sure to check out the tour schedule to see all of the other amazing posts for this tour! And stay tuned to find out more information about the giveaway TBR & Beyond Tours is hosting!

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ARC Review: The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry

I was really excited to read this book and I was so happy to receive an ARC through NetGalley! But, after reading the story, I had some issues with it that unfortunately made me have to lower my rating.

I received an eARC of The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner from NetGalley and Ace in exchange for an honest review. This has not impact my thoughts or feelings towards this book and all opinions are my own.

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Blog Tour: Unchosen

Unchosen Blog Banner 1

I am so excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for Unchosen by Katharyn Blair! This was a highly anticipated book for me and it did not disappoint. Thank you to Turn the Page Tours for allowing me to participate and to Katherine Tegen Books for sending me a finished copy for review!

Be sure to check out the tour schedule to see all of the blogs for this tour, as well as the giveaway they’re hosting! And check out my Instagram for the exclusive photo I took for this tour!

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ARC Review: You Have A Match

January is my catch up month, which means I’m reading a bunch of January, February, and overdue ARCs to try and play, well, catch up! We have another NetGalley ARC review today for You Have a Match by Emma Lord, which was so freaking good!

I requested a copy through NetGalley from Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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ARC Review: Lore

I absolutely love Alex Bracken’s books, so when I saw she was writing a Greek mythology inspired standalone, I knew I needed to read this immediately. I was lucky enough to receive an e-ARC from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my thoughts and all thoughts are entirely my own. This is a spoiler free review.

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Review: Woven in Moonlight

I have always been interested in reading this book, ever since it came in a Fairyloot box last year. When I received an e-ARC of Written in Starlight, I knew I needed to get moving and read this book and I finally did! It was my final read of 2020 and I ended up loving it! But based off the ending, I’m curious how there’s going to be a sequel. While I have some ideas I’m excited to see what we have in store for us next. As for now, here are my thoughts on Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez!

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ARC Review: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss

This was a book we did a tour for at the end of December/beginning of January, and it was too cute not to read! This was my first read of 2021 and it was a great way to start off the year. 

I received an ARC from Amulet Books through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This has not impacted my rating or my thoughts on this book. 

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Blog Tour: Review + 15 Thoughts I Had While Reading Glimpsed

I am so excited to be able to participate in another book tour for TBR & Beyond Tours – this time for a new contemporary fantasy, Glimpsed by G.F. Miller! Thank you again TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate – I absolutely adored this book and I can’t wait to share my review and 15 thoughts I had while reading Glimpsed

Be sure to check out the schedule for other amazing posts! The tour starts today, January 5th and goes through January 11th!

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ARC Review: Super Fake Love Song

I was lucky enough to receive this ARC from Penguin Teen and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This has not impacted my opinion of this book – all thoughts are my own. 

Thanks again Penguin for allowing me to review this title early (even though I was a little late in getting it out). I was so excited to read this new book from David Yoon and it did not disappoint!

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Review: A Sky Beyond the Storm

The final book in the An Ember in the Ashes series, A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir has officially crushed my soul. Did I expect to be upset once the series ended? Yes. Did it still hit me hard? Absolutely. I cried like a little baby once the story was over and I’m just so glad I was able to follow along this journey. Here is my spoiler free review!

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Mini Review: How the Prince of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

It’s Christmas Eve Eve, I’ve been drinking, and I don’t have anything planned for today, so it’s a great day to do a mini review! Today, I am reviewing  How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black. This is a short story collection told from the perspective of Cardan from The Cruel Prince. If you have not read the trilogy yet, this short story collection will spoil you for the series, so please be warned.

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ARC Review: Rebel Sisters

I finally finished it! I started reading this book on December 6th and finished it on December 21st. TWO WEEKS. It took me two weeks to finish this book because A Vow So Bold and Deadly put me in a reading slump! Ugh!

Anyways! Yes, I finally finished Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi. If you haven’t read War Girls yet, I highly suggest checking out my spoiler free review of that book. This review may contain spoilers for the first book though it will be a spoiler free review. I received an ARC from Razorbill through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my review and all opinions are my own.

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Mini Review: The Princess and the Pawn

Today, I’m doing a mini review for The Princess and the Pawn (The Raven and the Dove #0.5) by Kaitlyn Davis. This is a prequel novella for The Raven and the Dove, which if you haven’t read, you absolutely need to! I will link my review here for that book. You can definitely read the prequel before reading the first book, as it’s intended, although it’s not necessary to read the first book.

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ARC Review: Soulswift

Today I am reviewing Soulswift by Megan Bannen. No joke, this book is a perfect combination of Serpent & Dove and Wicked Saints in terms of some tropes and the overall vibes. Forced marriage between two enemies? Check. Religious differences impacting the fate of the world? Check. Creepy, disturbing monsters hunting main characters in the woods? Check again!

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ARC Review: A Vow So Bold and Deadly

This is such a hard review for me to write. I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely and when I received an ARC of A Vow So Bold and Deadly in the mail, I damn near fainted. Now, the series is over and I just – I’m dead. This review might be a mix of coherent thoughts and babble, but bear with me! Just know that this book is amazing and I loved every second of it!

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Blog Tour Review + Interview: The Ballad of Ami Miles

I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour for The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley, hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours! Thanks again for letting me participate, and thank you to Swoon Reads for sending me an ARC of this book for review! Be sure to check out the other posts this week and follow along with the tour schedule!

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Blog Tour + Favorite Quotes: The Bitterwine Oath

Today I am so excited to be able to participate in the book tour for The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West. Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours and Holiday House for letting me participate in this tour! You can follow along with the tour schedule here

I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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ARC Review: The Camelot Betrayal

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White from Delcorte Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Camelot Betrayal is the second book in Camelot Rising trilogy, the first book being The Guinevere Deception. If you have not read The Guinevere Deception, I would recommend you head over to my spoiler free review of that book instead.

This review may include spoilers to The Guinevere Deception, but will not include spoilers for The Camelot Betrayal. This is a spoiler free review.

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Blog Tour + Interview: Those Who Prey

I am so excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett! Thank you Turn The Page Tours and Simon & Schuster for letting me participate! Be sure to check out the tour schedule and the other tour hosts! And they do currently have a giveaway for a copy of this book, so be sure to check that out if you’re interested!

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ARC Review: Kingdom of the Wicked

I finished Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco in the beginning of September and wrote my review immediately after, but wanted to wait until AFTER the #GetWickedTour ended to post my review. Thank you JIMMY Patterson Books for sending me a copy! We’re so thankful you got to be our first ever tour! 

I’m going to be formatting my post as if I am a part of the blog tour, though technically, I’m not. So if you’re confused, sorry about that! It’s just a fun way for me to include everything and express my love for this book!

If you haven’t been following along, please take a minute to check out the other posts from the tour and give the bloggers and bookstagrammers some love! You can access the schedule here

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ARC Review: Hush

I received an eARC of Hush by Dylan Farrow from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I hadn’t heard a lot about this book when I requested it except that it was a fantasy novel, so I didn’t have any preconceived thoughts going in (besides what the synopsis said). I didn’t know if I would like it, but I’m here to report that I loved it!

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ARC Review: The Silvered Serpents

I saw that The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi was Read Now on NetGalley and without thinking, I downloaded it to my kindle. I hadn’t read The Gilded Wolves, in fact, I had DNFed it originally. But I downloaded it anyways because *cue the theme song* I’m an idiot!

But I ended up loving The Gilded Wolves and, not surprisingly, I loved The Silvered Serpents even more!

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ARC Review: White Fox

I received an eARC of White Fox by Sara Faring from Fierce Reads in exchange for an honest review.

I have been on such a thriller kick lately that this book sounded like exactly what I wanted to read. A ten year old disappearance? A chance to investigate what really happened? Spooky, creepy clues as to what may have happened popping up? It was too interesting to resist – and I loved it!

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Audiobook Review: Haunting the Deep

Today, I am reviewing the audiobook for Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather. This was the first audiobook I’ve ever listened to (at least fully) and it was pretty good! Finding the right speed for me was tough and I’m pretty sure I missed like half the book just zoning out listening, but I really liked the experience! Especially since I can get them through my library through Libby.

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ARC Review: The Hunter and The Mage

I received an eARC of The Hunter and the Mage by Kaitlyn Davis in exchange for an honest review. Kaitlyn sent this to me a couple of months ago and I finally got a chance to read it!

The Hunter and the Mage is the sequel to The Raven and the Dove – so if you haven’t read book 1, be sure to order a copy today! I’ll also link my review here if you want to check that out!

This will be a spoiler free review, but I cannot guarantee that this review will not include spoilers from The Raven and the Dove – so if you haven’t read it yet, you have been warned!

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ARC Review: Legendborn

Today I am reviewing Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and I’m so glad I got to read it early. This book has quickly become one of my all time favorite books and I was so happy to find out it’s going to be a series!

This book is filled with magic, adventure, and some American history and it is AMAZING

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Review: The Gilded Wolves

I originally DNFed (did not finish) The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi last year. I had started reading in February 2019 and gave up after 100 pages in August 2019. The beginning was so slow for me, I just could not get through it. I tried to push through, but it felt like I was going nowhere with this story, like I was moving backwards. 

Then, November 2019 I got an ARC of The Silvered Serpents from YALLFest and decided I should give this book another try. And I finally finished it!

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ARC Review: Meme

I received an e-ARC of Meme by Aaron Starmer through NetGalley from Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been on such a thriller kick recently I couldn’t resist requesting this book. This is one of the titles from Penguin’s Influencer group and it was a really good pick. I honestly think I’ll re-read it for the spooky season and if you’re hunting for spooky books to read this year, you’ll want to check this one out!

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ARC Review: Watch Over Me

I received this book from Penguin Teen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

First off, can we just admire this cover? Like, I absolutely love how beautiful it is. And the contents match it. This book was so beautiful and healing for me, I couldn’t put it down. With less than 300 pages, this was a book I devoured in two sittings – 50% before bed, 50% when I woke up. I really enjoyed Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour and couldn’t stop myself from reading.

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ARC Review: Fable

Today I am reviewing Fable by Adrienne Young. This was a Read Now option on NetGalley and I absolutely dove for it! Thank you Wednesday Books for letting me snag a copy of this book for review!

Before I start this review, can we just admire how beautiful this cover is! And Namesake is so cool too for being the other side of her face. I just love it!

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Review: A Touch of Gold

I’ve been in this awful habit of requesting sequels I have the first book for and just haven’t read. It’s such a bad habit that it’s caused me to have more than 20 eARCs I had to read and simply not enough time. Which is why I’m basically bingeing off all the upcoming September and October reads right now. I’m overwhelmed!

I received an eARC of A Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan through NetGalley from one of these requests. I owned the ebook of A Touch of Gold, so thankfully it wasn’t too much of a panic to receive book 2, but I was still panicking a little.


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ARC Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

I had to take a few days to really digest this book, because if I wrote my initial thoughts after finishing this it would just be screaming (AAAHHH) across the screen.

I won an ARC of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini from Bookish First and Tor in exchange for an honest review. I’m going to start off by saying that I love the Eragon series (though I haven’t read it in many years) so I was a little biased going into this. But let me tell you, this book is so good, it blew my expectations out of the water!

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DNF Review: Sanctuary

I received an ARC of Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher from Penguin Teen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t think I’ve ever written a DNF (did not finish) review before, so this is a first. Usually when I DNF a book, it’s not an ARC I’ve been given by the publisher for review, it’s one that I decided to read on my own. After the whole debacle on Sunday regarding an author calling out a reviewer for DNF-ing and posting a “bad” review on Goodreads, I am a little nervous to post my thoughts.

But, the whole point of reviewing books are to review them, good or bad. So I’m gonna talk about why I DNFed this book and what my thoughts are. Surprisingly, they’re not bad at all!

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ARC Review: The Whitsun Daughters

I received a copy of The Whitsun Daughters by Carrie Mesrobian from Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review.

So my initial read of the description got me really excited! Until I got to the ending. There were so many good things in this book and then it ultimately flopped for me. There will be some spoilers in this review, but I have marked them in case you want to remain spoiler free.

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ARC Review: Wicked Fox

I have been holding off reading Wicked Fox by Kat Cho for a while. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book honestly but it sounded so good that I didn’t want to ignore it. When I got approved as a Penguin Teen Influencer, one of the first books I received was an e-ARC of Vicious Spirits, so I knew I had to read this book.

And here we go, adding another book to the “WHY THE HECK DID I WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK!?” list. Because I cannot believe that I didn’t read this book sooner!

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

So when I moved, I didn’t bring the finished copy of this book with me, I decided to bring the ARC. So yes, technically this is an ARC review – don’t come for me! lol

So off the bat, from page one, I was invested in this story. I don’t know much about the gumiho legends, so reading this book was so much fun for me! I loved learning about the legend and how these gumiho survive in today’s society, especially since people are so crowded together now.

Miyoung’s character is complex and realistic. She’s not overly friendly and good, but she’s not evil – she’s pretty human in that respect. While she’s cold to most people as a way to protect herself, she warms up around Jihoon enough for a friendship to blossom. And they’re friendship is really cute!

I loved Jihoon’s character a lot. Reading from his POVs made me so happy, except when he’s going through some not so fun stuff, because he has such a positively infectious attitude! Every time he’s positive, or nice, or optimistic, I found myself emulating that. It was so refreshing – especially compared to Miyoung’s cold, calculating demeanor. Usually we see the guys as reserved and cold and the girls are peppy and sweet, but this flip was great! It was way more realistic and showed that girls don’t have to be peppy or sweepingly optimistic to be good people.

I think my favorite thing about this book, besides the legends its based off of, are the characters. I found myself connecting with them easily and getting a good feel of their personalities and emotions. It was refreshing. Not to say that the plot isn’t great, because it is! This book was so well thought out I couldn’t stop myself from reading what happens next. In fact, most of the book I read in one sitting because I had to know what was going to happen next.

I’m so glad I have Vicious Spirits already!

This book is really, really good and I think fantasy lovers will adore this book! Especially people who enjoyed The Mortal Instruments. You have the fantasy world mixed with the real world and all the mess that comes with it!

I love it so much, it’s a starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars for me!

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If this book sounds interesting, check out A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow.

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

ARC Review: The Companion

I received an electronic galley of The Companion by Katie Alender from Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review. This review will be spoiler free.


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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

The other orphans say Margot is lucky.

Lucky to survive the horrible accident that killed her family.

Lucky to have her own room because she wakes up screaming every night.

And finally, lucky to be chosen by a prestigious family to live at their remote country estate.

But it wasn’t luck that made the Suttons rescue Margot from her bleak existence at the group home. Margot was handpicked to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. At first, helping with Agatha–and getting to know her handsome older brother–seems much better than the group home. But soon, the isolated, gothic house begins playing tricks on Margot’s mind, making her question everything she believes about the Suttons . . . and herself.

Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with Agatha – but the real nightmare has just begun. 


I’ve been on a thriller/horror kick recently, so when I received this book from Penguin Teen, I was jumping for joy! I really enjoyed this story and how it builds up on itself. We go from a somewhat calm beginning to terror filled mayhem and it was pretty epic!

For starters, poor Margot is suffering from nightmares after she is the sole survivor in a car crash that killed her entire family. After losing all her friends and no family to take her in, Margot ends up at a group home. Luckily, her father saved the life of Mr. Sutton, who wants to repay his debt by taking Margot in.

But Margot is not brought in selflessly – they want her to be a companion for Agatha, who has come down with a mysterious illness. Unable to talk, barely take care of herself, and generally absent from reality, Agatha isn’t much of a bother. Weird things start happening in the house and Margot realizes that things aren’t what they seem.

There were some moments in this book where I thought this was going to be a ghost story. If you’re not into that, don’t worry, it’s not! But from the creepiness level of this book it was a strong possibility. Margot experiences some scary and weird things in the house and those experiences alone would have made me run screaming for the hills. I don’t know why she didn’t run on the first day!

This book was not only very well written, but the story, the cast of characters, and Margot’s experiences made this book one of my favorite thrillers. I had suspicions on what exactly was happening, but the ending still blew my mind! I really liked the set up of Agatha and Margot’s friendship. Even though Agatha is not coherent, they still manage to communicate and cultivate a trusting friendship. It was really cool to watch this progression, especially later on in the book as Margot starts to figure out that something isn’t quite right.

One thing I didn’t like about the story though was the ending. Specifically, the fact that it ends so shortly. We get some kind of resolution, but not enough details that I felt satisfied. The book leads up to the climatic moment and the resolution afterwards fell flat for me. I either wanted a better recap of what happened or another scene before the end that explains what is going on. The ending is just too short and quick in my opinion. It’s why I can’t give this book 5 stars.

While the ending may have not been to my liking, the rest of the book is so well thought out and planned, I’m still reeling over what happened. The last 25% of the book was so fast paced and intense I didn’t want to look away to take a sip of water. With a different ending, this book probably be a 5 stars for me, but with what we have, this is a starstarstarstar.5 // 5 stars. The Companion releases on August 25th, 2020, so be sure to preorder your copy today!

Thank you again to Penguin Teen for sending me a copy for review!

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If this sounds interesting, check out They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review: Steel Tide

Today I am going to be reviewing Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker, the second book in the Seafire trilogy. I received an ARC of this book back in June 2019 from the ALA (American Library Association) Convention and just never got around to reading it. Finally, after getting an eARC of Stormbreak, I knew I had to make time to read this book immediately!


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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

The second book in a heart-stopping trilogy that follows the captain of an all-female ship intent on taking down a vicious warlord’s powerful fleet.

Caledonia may have lost her crew, but she’s not done fighting yet. After nearly dying at the hand of a powerful foe, Caledonia is pulled from the sea and nursed back to health by a crew of former Bullets that call themselves Blades. The Blades escaped Aric Athair’s clutches and now live a nomadic existence, ready to disappear at a moment’s notice should trouble come their way.

But Caledonia wants to do more than just hide. She wants to find the Mors Navis and her beloved sisters. She wants to continue fighting Aric’s fleet and to take back the Bullet seas. She’ll need to do everything in her power to convince the Blades that fighting is their only option, that there has to be a life better than the one under Aric Athair’s reign, and that finding the women of the Mors Navis is the first step to revolution.


It’s been awhile since I last read Seafire, probably two or so years now, so jumping into this book took me a minute to get reacquainted. But once I got myself situated and familiar with what happened, it was like I never left! This book picks up where Seafire left off as Caledonia is resting and recovering from her near deadly fight with Lir. She is nursed back to health by a group of Blades, ex-Bullets who have escaped Aric’s clutches.

Maybe this was just because I had to figure out what the heck was going on, but the beginning felt a bit slow to me. After Caledonia starts to recover, she’s living life with the Blades and I was just waiting for something to happen. I remembered the first book being filled with action and adventure and I was patiently waiting for it to start back up again.

It did.

Okay, so once the action started it was actually nuts! There was so much fighting, sneaking, danger, and sailing my brain didn’t know what to do. And as we make our way to the end of the book – dread filled me. I knew what was coming.

But I guess I didn’t, cause I was totally wrong and the ending was way better than I could have guessed! I would crack open Stormbreak right now if I didn’t have other books to read right now.

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I really enjoyed the storyline and the challenges that Caledonia has to face. While revenge is always on her mind, she shifts her focus to helping the people around her too. I also appreciate the new cast of characters we get acquainted with – Pine being my favorite.

There was a certain thing that I wasn’t a fan of, but it was kind of minor in the scope of things. Overall, I really like this book, and the series in general, and can’t wait to read the final book in the series! This is a starstarstarstar // 5 stars for me.

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If this book sounds interesting, check out A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow!

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review: The Shadows Between Us

I am so happy I read this book when I did. I was reading some not so great books recently and now my luck has turned around, this one included! I’ve heard such great things about this story and it did not disappoint for me.

Today, I will be reviewing The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

Wow okay where to start with this one? I guess let’s start with characters.

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I loved Alessandra as a character. She’s tough, but not cruel. She owns her body and her sexuality, but doesn’t shame other girls for having different opinions (ie. while she may be sexually active, she does not shame other girls for waiting until marriage). She’s pretty funny and she gets stuff done! She’s pretty impressive. Then Kallias. Ugh – King Kallias is too much for me sometimes. Not because he’s ignoring Alessandra or being rude – which he definitely is – but because he’s so tortured and he just needs a hug. But, you can’t touch him, so air hug? Then we have Alessandra’s friends who are all so funny. It’s a perfect set up.

So plot wise, I couldn’t find any faults that I thought needed to be changed or were bad. In fact, I really like how the plot went and the ending is spectacular. I gasped, I was happy, I was sad, shocked, disturbed, and in the end, satisfied. This story had so many ups and downs between Alessandra and Kallias and even between other characters! So much is going on.

I was cheering on Alessandra the whole time, even when her goals changed because she’s a fun character. I liked seeing how cunning and smart she was and the fact that Kallias appreciated that! They’re one of my favorite couples now.

SPOILER ALERT!!! I will be discussing spoilers below. I will mark once the spoiler talk has ended!

SPOILERS START

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Okay so first off I have a question, because I realize this may not have been answered in the book. During Kallias’ assassination attempt at the ball, the little girl tells Alessandra that it was the man who made a toast and the woman in black who told her to come. And that the woman in black was now wearing green tonight. Lady Zervas matched the description but she claims it wasn’t her – do we know who this woman was? Is it confirmed or denied that it was Lady Zervas? And if it wasn’t – who was it?

I don’t know if we ever got that answer and I’m kinda of sad. I wanna know who it was. I was hoping that it was one of Alessandra’s friends, like Hestia or Rhoda who were actually in on the whole thing. But that didn’t end up happening.

I think that’s my only complaint plot wise – we never confirm or deny who this woman is and why she’s important.

One other thing I do want to mention too was I wasn’t a fan of how Kallias reacted to Alessandra’s murder charge. He doesn’t worry that she will try to murder him? He pardons her immediately? I just don’t understand his reasoning besides wanting to keep the engagement and letting it slide?

I was kind of hoping for some dramatic thing where he gets upset and locks her up or throws her out. Or even her Father and her sister get her and take her home. But that didn’t happen and I wish it did. I feel like that would have been pretty intense too.

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SPOILERS END

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I love the characters, the story, and certain scenes just made me fall in love with Kallias. I also really wanted to give him a hug, poor thing. All in all, this is a great fantasy standalone that I’ll probably be recommending for a while, so I think it’s obvious this is a starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars for me!

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If this book sounds interesting, check out Tricia’s other series, Daughter of the Pirate King!

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review: The City of Brass

HOLY COW WHY HAS NO ONE SHOVED THIS BOOK IN MY HANDS BEFORE NOW!?

I won an ARC of Empire of Gold, which is book three of the Daevabad trilogy so obviously I have to read the other books. I have been wanting to read City of Brass for so long and just never got around to it and DANGIT I hate myself for waiting so long!!

So here is my review of The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

First off, I love historical fiction fantasies. I love seeing how fantasy can fit into our past and shape the way we see history. We set our story in Cairo in the 1700’s and off the bat I was ready to go. I knew this was going to be insane and I was right!

The plot was so good. Like I’m speechless with how good the plot is and again, no one said anything? No one bothered to hit me on the head with the book and say, “read it!”?! I’m a bit disappointed. We have magic upon magic, a city filled with Daeva’s and djinn, a poor girl mixed in the middle of a mess she knows nothing about. And don’t forget the protective warrior with her.

The characters were perfection. Nahri is the kind of girl who can take care of herself until she’s thrown into this new world and has to rely on her warrior hero Dara to take care of her. Ali is like a german shepherd: tough, follows the rules, and yet is still a big softy underneath. And Dara? Well, he’s a psycho warrior, kind of like a pitbull, where he’s sweet unless you mess with him. Then he’ll mess you up. And there’s so many other fantastic characters in this story with completely different personalities. It’s great.

I found myself getting heavily invested into this story. The world building was intricate but not overwhelming and the writing made the magic come to life. By the time I finished this book I wanted to start Kingdom of Copper immediately, but I can’t and it’s killing me.

City of Brass has become one of those fantasies that I can’t stop thinking about and at this point, I’m becoming obsessive. Soon I’m gonna be hunting down fan art and bookish items for this series and all my money is gonna fly away. We’re entering the level of Throne of Glass obsession right here, so be warned.

I’m going to dive into some spoilers, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, skip down to the end!

SPOILERS START HERE:

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Okay so the ending. WHY!? First off, love the whole scene with Ali under the lake. Hearing the marid talk to him as he’s being eaten alive by this magical lake was intense and it didn’t help with the battle going on overhead. The battle on the ship was heartbreaking, especially Muntadir crying over Jamshid. And then when Ali literally rose from the dead to “kill” Dara – I WAS SCREAMING.

One thing I noticed and want to discuss is the relationship between Muntadhir and Jamshid. First off, they’re totally together and in love and I feel like Muntadhir is hiding his relationship because he knows he has to marry and have children. But then again, I’m not sure if this book discusses the Daeva’s feelings towards homosexuality and if it’s something they approve, disapprove, or are neutral on? I can’t remember. I just want everyone to be happy and if that means shipping Muntadhir and Jamshid, I’m all for it.

But as of right now, we have Muntadhir and Nahri betrothed and I’m so upset!! I don’t know what exactly happened to Dara yet and I really just want him to come back. Everything is just going to shit with them right now and it makes me so sad. I want Dara and Nahri to be able to be together even though I have a feeling that is not going to happen, at least not easily.

Plus now Ali has been banished!? What the heck!? I’m getting really invested into this world and it’s taking over all my thoughts now! I just want to know what happens next!!

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SPOILERS END HERE:

Overall, I loved this story. It mixes all my favorite genres into this one epic book that I can’t stop thinking about. I’m still recovering form the ending and I’m desperate to know what’s next. This is a strong starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars for me!

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If this book sounds interesting to you, check out The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang!

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

 

 

Review #2: Avatar: the Last Airbender Comics (4-6)

I finally finished the last few collections and wow, I have thoughts!

*Warning, this may contain spoilers for Legend of Korra, so if you haven’t watched the show, be warned!

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Smoke and Shadow synopsis from Goodreads:

The Fire Nation is threatened by a prophecy told by the Kemurikage–mysterious figures thought only to exist in legend: “remove Zuko from the throne or the country will perish!” Unrest is brewing as the New Ozai Society prepares to make its move against the crown, and children begin to go missing from their homes under mysterious circumstances! Avatar Aang and his friends are doing everything in their power to save them–but will it be enough?!

North and South synopsis from Goodreads:

When Katara and Sokka return home to the Southern Water Tribe, they are shocked to find that it has gone from a small village to a bustling city! Malina, a Northerner, is behind the change and plans to unify the two groups, but Gilak, a Southerner, leads a fierce rebellion to stop her. In the face of these two opposing tribes, Katara will have to make peace with her nostalgia and distrust to save the home she loves from being permanently torn apart.

Imbalance synopsis from Goodreads:

When Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph return to Earthen Fire Industries–the factory owned by Toph’s father–Aang is surprised when their arrival is met with a cold shoulder. As soon as the team is asked for help at a business council meeting, the reason for the slight becomes clear: a massive bender-versus-non-bender conflict has gripped the town and is threatening to turn violent. In order to heal the divide and save the town, Aang and the team will all face tough decisions about power and identity that could tear them apart.

Okay so – gold. This whole series is just pure gold. I feel like this review is going to be very short and very repetitive because I only have nice things to say about the show and the comics honestly! But I’ll do my best to get some kind of review out of this.

Book 4, Smoke and Shadow, Aang is in the fire nation as Sokka and Katara move on to the Southern Water Nation to visit their family. I’ll start off by saying I loved the way the Kemurikage are drawn in this book. It really amplifies the spookiness of what is going on as they are kidnapping children and taking them hostage. We get more time with Zuko and other friends like Mai, Ty Lee, and others. Without spoiling, we also get to see another character that’s been missing for a bit. While not ideal it is nice to see the gang back together, even if said gang is fighting.

Book 5, North and South, I think is on the same timeline as Smoke and Shadow, just showing what Katara and Sokka have been up to. If you haven’t watched Korra, I would definitely be warned cause there’s some spoilers coming. I loved how this book sets up the conflict between the Northern and Southern Water Tribes. As we see in Korra, the water tribe is now a large city instead of the small town that Katara and Sokka left. And it kind of foreshadows the sibling rivalry we experience in Legend of Korra book 2 which I thought was smart. Overall, I really enjoyed getting to see the water tribe and Hakoda again!

Book 6, Imbalance, is the final book in the comic series for Team Avatar and I loved so many aspects of this book. Warning, another Korra spoiler! I loved how the set up the situation of a town with benders and nonbenders, and the benders are from different nations which would ultimately lead to Republic City. Plus getting to see the little island Aang creates as Air Temple Island where I assume he and Katara raised their children. It was just heart warming and made me a little sad even. I also thought it was interesting that they had the bender vs. nonbender conflict. We see how years of “superiority” have lead to benders feeling like they are better than others and creates this overall conflict. I’m sure this scenario relates to many other issues going on in our world today even and I appreciate how this is discussed.

Overall, I thought this was a great end to the comics. I legit cried at the end of it because I know what comes later for Team Avatar and how their lives ultimately turn out. It was bittersweet getting a continuation on this series and I’m addicted! Now I just need to read the Korra comics and the Kyoshi books!

Obviously these books are starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars for me. Team Avatar for life!

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If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

 

 

ARC Review: Splinters of Scarlet

This was another book that I was supposed to review for Fantastic Flying Book Club as a part of their blog tour before I ended contact with them. Obviously, I’m going to post my review of this book, just not in relation to FFBC.

Today I will be reviewing Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy. I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by HMH.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

A YA historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, where secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift.

For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—and she has vowed never to use her thread magic. But when Eve, a fellow orphan whom Marit views like a little sister, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, Marit will do anything to stay by Eve’s side. She decides to risk the Firn and uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household.

But Marit has a second, hidden agenda: her father died while working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines—and it might not have been an accident. The closer Marit gets to the truth about the Vestergaard family, the more she realizes she and everyone she’s come to love are in danger. When she finds herself in the middle of a treacherous deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark, magic may be the only thing that can save her—if it doesn’t kill her first.

From the start, this book had my full attention. There wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t enthralled with what was going on. We have a historical fantasy, set in Denmark, and a mystery all packed into one? I was smitten.

I loved the alternating POV’s in this book. We get to see the story through Marit and Philip’s eyes with Philip going between the past and the present. I thought it added extra mystery to the story instead of just seeing the world through Marit’s eyes. I kind of wish we got to see the world through Eve’s eyes as well, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t add that much to the story.

Plot wise I loved this book. We are shot forward from the very beginning as we follow Eve and Marit from the orphanage to the Vestergaard home and meet all the new people in their lives. As Marit tries to uncover what happened to her father, please Mrs. Vestergaard, and prevent the Firn from killing her, this story gets intense. The last 25% I was absorbed as we find out what exactly is going on.

Another aspect I love about this story was Marit and Eve’s relationship. Sister’s by choice stories just make me so happy and the love these two girls have for each other is endearing. It melted my heart every time they interacted with each other, especially with how Marit treats Eve. As the oldest of three girls, I know the feelings Marit has towards Eve, even if she doesn’t go through moments of rage like any normal sisters might. The love and protectiveness she has towards Eve hits home, even if they are much kinder to each other than me and my sisters are.

There wasn’t much I disliked about the story except I wish we got more background on some of the other people in the house. Liljan and Jakob become friends with Marit quickly, but we don’t really get to learn about them as much as Marit or Eve. I wanted a bit more time to get to know some of these other characters before we’re thrown into action.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I adored this story. I was so sad to finish because I didn’t want it to end. I have to give this a starstarstarstar.5 // 5 stars.

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If this story sounds interesting, check out Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

ARC Review: A Wicked Magic

This book was given to me for review by the publisher and Fantastic Flying Book Club. After hearing all the awful things that FFBC was doing, I formally left the tour. I was supposed to post my review for their blog tour, but instead, I will simply be posting my review for the author and the publisher.

Today, I am reviewing A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens, a debut YA paranormal novel about two teenage witches who unwillingly band together to fix the magical mess they’ve made. This title releases on July 28th, so be sure to preorder a copy today!

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The Craft when modern witches must save teens stolen by an ancient demon in this YA fantasy-thriller debut.

Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless.

During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?

Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with.

When another teenager disappears, the girls know it’s no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?

Set in the atmospheric wilds of California’s northern coast, Sasha Laurens’s thrilling debut novel is about the complications of friendship, how to take back power, and how to embrace the darkness that lives within us all.

I really enjoyed this book. It was magical and fun with some very interesting characters. The beginning pulled me in quickly, but I found that the middle was pretty slow. I felt like the beginning and end were well thought and executed, but the middle was lagging in terms of action. It began to feel repetitive as the same issues rose up for Dan and Liss that they had to work through.

Alexa’s story on the other hand got my attention. I wanted to read more about her and what was going on with Lorelai’s investigation. The whole first half of the book was focused on Dan and Liss’ situation with occasional sections on Alexa – but in the second half we get to see her a lot more and that’s when things get interesting.

Focusing on the plot, this book was so good. The actual events that go on and what these girls have to face was insane and super creepy. I wish I had read this book for Halloween with the amount of creepy, eerie things that happen. I also was a bit upset about who Alexa ended up with, because I was kind of rooting for someone else. On the other hand, she ends up with a really sweet girl and seems really happy.

For the characters, we see a lot of growth between the three, especially for Liss in my opinion. Honestly, I didn’t like Liss’ character at all in the beginning, but after finding out more about her home situation and her motivation for things, I just feel sorry for her. The changes she goes through made her into a much healthier person and I loved seeing her growth. Dan also goes through a much needed change and comes out a healthier, hopefully happier, person.

One thing that I think the author was trying to make cannon was Dan’s sexuality. We know Liss is straight (or at least very interested in her boyfriend Johnny) and Alexa is gay, but we never learn about Dan. Not that it’s important, but I can’t help but wonder where the author was going for her. See, in the book, Dan comes across as ace (asexual) or somewhere along the ace spectrum. But it’s never confirmed, denied, or really discussed. Part of me wants an answer, but it doesn’t really affect the story much whether or not she is. I’m just curious, I guess.

Overall, this book was written beautifully and it dives into things like self harm, depression, abusive home life, and other important conversations like that. These issues are discussed and handled carefully and I appreciate the work the author put in to represent these topics well. Though the middle was really slow for my taste, I think this book was still awesome. I loved learning about how magic worked in this world and pairing it with real teenage problems.

I think a lot of people will not only enjoy this book, but learn that things aren’t always what they seem. So, I’m giving this a starstarstarstar // 5 stars!

 

 

ARC Review: Wicked As You Wish

I received an exclusive advance copy of Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco from Fairyloot and I loved it! My review is not in affiliation with Fairyloot and I paid for the box the book came in.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

When a hidden prince, a girl with secrets, a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, and a legendary firebird come together…something wicked is going down.

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.

A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

I was worried, going into this book, that I wasn’t going to like it because a friend of mine didn’t like it and DNFed it really early. But once I started reading it I was immediately sucked in! There is a lot of American history and politics at the start (because this world is set in an alternate universe from ours), but it quickly moves along quickly.

The plot is immaculate. I mean such good plotting and storytelling goes on in this book. Even with all the crazy politics that have to be followed, and there are some crazy politics in this world, it’s so captivating. Especially once we meet the Snow Queen’s minions.

With a diverse cast of characters we’re off to save the world and the kingdom of Avalon from the evil Snow Queen. One thing I really like about this world is that it’s not only a magical version of ours, but incorporates actual fairytales into the history. Snow White, Sleeping Beaty, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Robin Hood, King Arthur, any and all fairytales you can think of are real people in this world, just not all at the same time.

Our rag tag team is so much fun too and each personality adds another layer to our group’s overall personality, and makes the team that much more interesting. I love a lot of the jokes between these new friends and I kinda miss them. Each has their own weapon and their own skill to help Prince Alex, or just Alex, as well as their own distinct trait/thing that they add and feed off of each other.

Because this is a political fantasy, if you don’t want to read about American politics then I would avoid this title. But, I would recommend looking past the few pages of political history for this epic fantasy if it really bothers you. I personally loved the history and the discussion of America’s current political climate and thought it helped me connect with the story and the characters better.

Overall, this book is really good! I can’t wait to read the next one, especially after that ending! This was a solid starstarstarstar.5 // 5 stars!

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If this book sounds interesting, check out An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir or Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton.

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

ARC Review: Warmaidens

Warmaidens by Kelly Coon is the sequel to Gravemaidens and releases on October 20th, 2020. If you have not read Gravemaidens yet, feel free to check out my spoiler free review here. This review will be spoiler free, but I cannot guarantee it will not spoil content from Gravemaidens

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Warmaidens is the dark, action-packed conclusion to the heartwrenching Gravemaidens fantasy duology. Kammani and the maidens are now going to war against the ruler who tried to entomb them.

Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.

But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.

Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.

After reading Gravemaidens, I wasn’t sure how there was going to be a sequel. After reading it, I now realize there was a lot more that needed to get done after the maidens fled the tomb. 

I really enjoyed Gravemaidens and was excited to hop back into this story. Warmaidens takes place nine months after they escaped the tomb and fled Alu to Manzazu. In those nine months we see the changes these characters have gone through, especially in Kammani’s sister, Nanea. Nanea went from a wishful thinking child to a more mature women very quickly. Escaping death might do that to you. 

I found myself not liking Kammani in this book in comparison to Gravemaidens. I’m not sure what about her rubbed me the wrong way, but I was really frustrated reading through some of her thought processes. It was always brought back to being a healer and wanting to not do any harm. I felt like that was her only personality trait and it was so repetitive. Any time something happened that she was involved in, it was always brought back to this thought point. I wanted more out of her personality than that and I thought we lost some of her from Gravemaidens.

I can say though that I appreciate her growth through this book a lot. Her ability to change her viewpoint allows her to continue to develop her relationship with Dagan and Nanea in a more loving and fulfilling way. It was so sweet. 

Another thing I didn’t really care much for are the fighting scenes. Again, not sure what about them rubbed me the wrong way, but I wasn’t a fan. Except for the final fight scene – that was intense! I also didn’t like the pacing. It was a quick book, but it felt like it dragged at some points. It ended up being the same sequence of events. Plan, attack, fail, retreat – over and over again and it got repetitive. Maybe that was the point as Kammani is stuck in this loop and tries to find her way out and save herself and her friends? But it was rough reading. 

Plus, with all the jumbledness of their failed attacks and other people’s interference, the book felt jumbled as well. I liked the character growth, I liked the ending, and I liked certain scenes, but the book has some issues. 

Warning: there are remarks of rape and an attempted rape. There is also a comment of someone being “broken” after losing an arm. This definitely was hard to read through and didn’t feel right, so I did want to make note of that. Other possibly concerning things discussed are child brides and the common mention of the lack of rights for women. I understand why this was included in the book and it is discussed, but this might be upsetting so I wanted to include it. 

Overall, it was an interesting book. I wanted to reach inside the story and nicely smack some of the characters but unfortunately, I can’t. But, it was a quick read that nicely wrapped up the series for me, even if there was a lot going on. So I think I’m gonna give this a starstarstar.5 // 5 stars.

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If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review #1: Avatar: The Last Airbender Comics (1-3)

This review is going to be for the Avatar: The Last Airbender comic book collections. I thought about writing reviews for each, but honestly – that’s too much, even for me. So here is my overall review of the first three comics!

These comics take place immediately after the end of the show, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The comics, in order, are:

  1. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise
  2. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search
  3. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift
  4. Avatar: The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow
  5. Avatar: The Last Airbender – North and South
  6. Avatar: The Last Airbender – Imbalance

Today I will be reviewing Avatar: The Promise, The Search, and The Rift!

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads for The Promise:

The Avatar’s adventures continue right where the TV series left off, in this beautiful, oversized hardcover of The Promise, from Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko! Aang and friends must join together once again as the four nations’ tenuous peace is threatened in an impasse between Fire Lord Zuko and Earth King Kuei! As the world heads toward another devastating war, Aang’s friendship with Zuko throws him into the middle of the conflict! Featuring annotations by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artist Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), and a brand-new sketchbook, this is a story that Avatar fans need in an edition they will love!

And the synopsis from Goodreads for The Search:

The biggest mystery of Avatar, the fate of Fire Lord Zuko’s mother, is revealed in this remarkable oversized hardcover collecting parts 1–3 of The Search, from Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko!

Featuring annotations by Eisner Award–winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artistic team Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), and a brand-new sketchbook, this is a story that Avatar fans need in an edition they will love!

And finally, the synopsis from Goodreads for The Rift:

Avatar Aang and friends honor an Air Nomad holiday that hasn’t been celebrated in over one hundred years, but when cryptic visits from the spirit of Avatar Yangchen lead Aang to a refinery operating on land sacred to the Airbenders–they soon find themselves in peril as a dangerously powerful ancient spirit awakens with vengeance and destruction on its mind!

This collection of The Rift Parts 1-3 features annotations by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artists Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), with a brand-new sketchbook section!

After my rewatch of Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix, I had to read the comics. I had been wanting to read them for years and it made sense to read them now that the show was fresh in my mind. Since these comics pick up right where the show left off, it really was like another season, just printed instead of animated.

Since I had watched Korra several years ago, I knew that Aang and Katara end up together, but seeing their fresh relationship in the comics is really cute! And Toph and Sokka’s reactions to it make it that much cuter.

For The Promise, we get to see Zuko as the new Fire Lord and what happens to the Fire Nation after Ozai is overthrown. I really liked the story line and the overall changes that happen in this world. How separate nations can not only live together, but become integrated into their own world – kind of like how our world is now. You can have people from different nations living in different areas of the world and people aren’t restricted to loving people solely from their group.

For The Search, I was just happy to find out what happened to Zuko’s mom! We never got resolution from the show and to finally know what happened to her is so nice. Plus all the stuff that comes afterwards. I thought her story was not only really cool, but also really sad. We get a lot of backstory into Zuko’s relationship with his mom, her relationship to Ozai, and how this all affects Azula as well.

For The Rift, we get some closure for Toph. We know from Legend of Korra that Toph teaches other people how to metal bend and in this story, we see her first students at her new school. And we also find out about some history with the last airbender Avatar along with some other cool things in the spirit world! The thing I love the most was this one scene with Toph, which I will not spoil, because it just gives everyone some much needed closure and it’s really sweet!

Overall – I’m a huge Avatar nerd. I love the show, I love the comics, and I love the spin offs! After I finish the rest of these comics I am definitely reading the Korra comics and the Kyoshi comics too! I just need more Avatar in my life overall. I don’t even have to rate these because it’s very clear that these are all a starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars for me!

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I haven’t read many comics in my life, so I’m just gonna suggest you watch Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legen of Korra because they’re great shows. Also, read the comics!!!

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review + Blog Tour: Mayhem

I am so excited to be a part of the Mayhem blog tour through Wednesday Books! I was lucky enough to win a copy of Mayhem by Estelle Laure through the Wednesday Books giveaway, Nostalgia Hour, a couple months ago and when I saw the opportunity to jump on this blog tour, I had to take it!

Book Information:

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Here is the synopsis through Goodreads:

A YA feminist mash up inspired by The Lost Boys and The Craft.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.

Review:

When I read the synopsis I knew I had to read this book. Feminist mash up? Inspired by The Craft? Sign me up! I was so excited to read this book, until I start reading it. This was a really intense book that I honestly didn’t expect and I have a lot of thoughts on it. 

One thing I wish I knew going into this book was that the beginning (and some of the tones in general) are pretty heavy. In the final draft there will be a note from the author discussing some of the more serious topics in this novel, but I didn’t get a letter or a warning for the ARC. There is a lot of heaviness to this book, including rape, suicide, assault, murder, and drug abuse. I didn’t realize how intense this book was until I started reading, but Laure does a great job in discussing these issues and not just using them as a shock factor or background. While I would have liked to know those topics would be discussed, I think the author did a good job in discussing them.

I will include Laure’s note, which will be printed in final copies, below in the Author Information section.

The beginning was a bit “slow” in a way as we’re introduced to Mayhem and Roxy, as well as their past. We learn about why Roxy left Santa Maria and why they’re returning home after all these years. I like how Laure mixes in the past with the present to give one cohesive story. Though, I found that the plot of the book didn’t start until more than halfway through.

I wanted more of The Craft, feeling wise, and I didn’t get it. The majority of the book felt like a contemporary novel as Mayhem deals with her and her mother’s past once they return to Santa Maria. The fear of Mayhem’s step-father coming after them, relearning how to feel safe, dealing with her mother’s addiction – it’s a lot for a teen. And honestly, if that was the whole book, I would have been satisfied. The focus on Mayhem and her mother’s relationship, and working through their trauma, would have been a beautiful book.

But once the magic is added in, about 50% through, it changes the feel of the story. I liked the magic, though I didn’t understand it fully. My only complaint is that since the magic and this new storyline comes in late, I wish we had more time with it.

The main climatic event is fast and it left me unsatisfied. I wanted more to solving the mystery, more to the magic, and more in general.

Overall, I like the story and I loved watching Mayhem and Roxy reconnect. I thought the murder mystery was a cool aspect, though it wasn’t really touched on much. And the magic had so much potential, but it just felt underdeveloped unfortunately. Though I do love Laure’s writing and the Mayhem’s overall journey.

In the end, I would give this book a starstarstar.5 // 5 stars.

Author Information:

AP Estelle Laure_Credit Zoe Zimmerman

Author Bio:

Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.

Author Note:

Dear Reader,

Like Mayhem, I experienced a period of time when my life was extremely unstable. I can still remember what it was like to be shaken so hard I thought my head would come off, to watch the room vibrate, to feel unsafe in my own home, to never know what was coming around the next corner. I wanted to run. I always wanted to run.

I ran to friends, but also movies and books, and although girls were more passively portrayed in movies like The Lost Boys back then, that feeling of teenagers prowling the night, taking out bad people, being unbeatable . . . that got me through it.

I guess that’s what I tried to do here. I wanted girls who feel powerless to be able to imagine themselves invincible. And yes, I used a rape as the seed for that fierce lineage, not without thought. For me, there is nothing worse, and I like to think great power can rise up as a result of a devastating trespass.

Please know I took none of this lightly. Writing this now, my heart is beating hard and my throat is dry. This is the first time I not only really looked at my own past, the pain of loss, the pain of the loss of trust that comes when someone puts hands on you without permission, the pain of people dying, the shock of suicide, and put all of it to paper in a way that made me feel victorious, strong, and warrior-like. It is also terrifying. I know I’m not the only one who had a scary childhood, and

I know I’m not the only one who clings to stories as salve to smooth over burnt skin. I am so sick of girls and women being hurt. This was my way of taking my own vengeance and trying to access forgiveness.

Thank you for reading and for those of you who can relate, I see you and you are not alone.

Estelle Laure

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Review: Crave

I have wanted to read Crave by Tracy Wolff since way before it came out. Alexa (Writing the Universe) won an ARC box for this book and absolutely loved this book! She talked so highly about it I wanted to read it ASAP.

Well, you know, life happens! I didn’t get a chance to read it when it came out, but finally, FINALLY, I read this book and OMG I LOVED IT.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.

Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.

I will admit, I was a die hard Twilight fan back in middle school. It was the book that kicked off my obsession with vampires. After Twilight I read Vampire Academy, Cirque du Freak series, Marked series, Vampire Kisses series, Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, Night World series, Vampire Diaries series – literally anything vampire related, I read it.

So when I picked up this book my inner middle schooler was SCREAMING. I mean I was thrown back in time and feeling all the same feelings as a kid. Especially the way Grace describes Jaxon and her surroundings. It’s very reminiscent of the Twihard era. Then we have Jaxon Vega. Our main love interest who’s mysterious, sassy, and all together swoony who can’t help himself when he’s around Grace. UGH, the teenage hormones in this book were WILD.

I loved the addition of other magical creatures though. This world doesn’t just have vampires – we have dragons, witches, and werewolves together bringing us a magical story that I could not put down. And those are just the creatures we know about. I can only imagine there might be more magic just around the corner and honestly, I need to read Crush like NOW.

Wolff does make fun of the vampire tropes, like instant love and insatiable attraction, and it’s hilarious. I loved the humor throughout this book and I think that’s what made it so much fun to read. I wanted more with every page and those chapter titles: gold.

The beginning is a bit slow and the revelation Grace has comes in pretty far into the book. While I like how it was revealed, part of me wanted it sooner so we could jump into all the magic!

I wasn’t sure what I was going to rate this book, but after the ending, it’s a definite starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars from me! I can’t wait to get sucked into Crush when it releases on September 29th, 2020!!!

Plus, check out this gorgeous cover!

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If this book sounds interesting, check out the books I read/recommend up above! They’ll satiate all your vampire needs!

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