Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Wanted eArc Review

Wanted (Spelled #2) by Betsy Schowwanted

Publication: February 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This eArc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

In the sequel to Spelled, can Robin Hood’s daughter, Rexi, stop the Wicked Witch from finding Excalibur?

Fairy-Tale Survival Rule No. 52:
No matter how difficult the obstacles or all-powerful the evil villain, one can rest assured that the hero of the story never dies. The sidekicks though…they should be worried.

Rexi Hood is proud to be an outlaw. After all, she’s the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood. But sidekick? Accomplice? Sorry, that wasn’t in her story description. Yeah, she and Princess Dorthea of Emerald have been inseparable since they teamed up to fight the wickedest witch. But if Rexi doesn’t figure out how to break the curse that binds them, forget being overshadowed by the spirited princess, Rexi’s going to become a Forgotten, wiped from the pages of Story and reduced to a puddle of ink.
Not happening. No way in Spell.
Rexi’s plan? Steal the sword Excalibur and use its magic to write her own tale. But Gwenevere has opened a new Academy of Villains in Camelot and danger lurks behind every plot twist. And you know how it goes in Story: keep your friends close and your enemies closer…

Wanted
I read the first book a little over a year and a half ago, and I don’t really remember it all that much. Which after reading this book, I probably should have reread beforehand. I was a little lost in the beginning, but once Schow moved away from it and more into Rexi’s story I started to really enjoy the book.
Probably for half the book I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Rexi and all the situations she was put through. Half of the time it wasn’t even her fault, but Rexi was the one who had to deal with the fall outs. For instance, in the first book Rexi sacrificed herself for Dorthea and then Dorthea brought her back to life. The catch was that Rexi’s life is now attached to Dorthea’s. In this book, Rexi seems to be dying a lot. At least 10-15 times, and each time she has to give up a memory to the Grim Reaper and eventually she started to become more and more like Dorthea. This unfortunately created a love triangle between Dorthea, Rexi, and Kato. Although, I am not really sure how Kato was developing feelings for her since he is “in love” with Dorthea. The whole situation didn’t make much sense (except from Rexi’s point of view) and Dorthea’s jealousy was just uncalled for.
One aspect that I didn’t like about this book was the fact that it seemed to jump around a lot from situation to situation. It seemed a little chaotic and not flushed out completely. At some points it even got a little confusing. Especially since I was reading an eArc copy, in the beginning of each new chapter the first letter of the word would be somewhere else in the sentence. This book definitely suffered from the middle book syndrome. All it really did was set up for the final book in the trilogy without really advancing that much plot-wise.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I liked that Schow incorporated different legends instead of just fairy tales into this story. She also created some very interesting curve ball situations that was very creative. I hope in the third book Rexi gets to be involved with the love interest I want her to be with. ::crosses fingers::

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Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Shadows of the Forest eArc Review

Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaelsshadowsoftheforest

Published: November 4th 2016 by CHBB Publishing

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

This eArc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

Everyone is dying to live in the Shadows of the Forest.
They gave me three rules to follow in exchange for my brother’s life:
1. Do not enter the West Wing;
2. Do not go outside after darkness falls; and
3. There is only one exit; The Gates.

This is what happened when I broke them…

Shadows of the Forest

What drew me to this book was the premise and the cover, lets be honest its gorgeous! I have never heard of Emma Michaels before, so I thought I would give her a shot. It was definitely not what I thought it was and for a 144 page book, it seemed to drag on in some places making it seem much longer.

This book is heavily influenced by Lily’s abuse from her father growing up, and how she is dealing with it now that her parents are dead. This would have been fine if it didn’t define all of Lily’s actions for the first half of the book. In the beginning it’s understandable how her past would define her, I get it, but for it to continue for half the book and then all of a sudden she’s over it it doesn’t make sense. There was no character development whatsoever, one minute she was “don’t touch me” and the next she was all over Arro (or whatever his name is, I don’t remember anymore =/).

I liked that Lily wanted to make sure that her brother lives and that she would do anything for him. It’s understandable that she has no idea where she is and that she keeps getting information at each new step instead of all at once. What would have been better for the book is if we weren’t reminded of it on every single page. Not only is this the driving force of the plot, it is also very confusing. Mainly because we will be in one scene where we get confusing descriptions and half sentences, and then next will be a flashback. Nothing is ever explained coherently or in an order that makes sense. There was a heavy mix of Japanese folklore in this, and unfortunately I don’t know enough to know if it was done properly.

Overall, this book needs a major edit overhaul. The way it is now, I wouldn’t suggest reading it. Just enjoy the cover and go enjoy another YA fantasy book.

Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Threats of Sky and Sea Review

Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellisionthreatsofskyandsea

Book 1 in the Threats of Sky and Sea Series

Published: May 16th 2014 by Createspace

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I received an e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

“Monstrous men will turn and flee. When faced with threats of sky and sea.”

This book started off really good. It was fast paced and had a lot of action and injustices that you just wanted the main character to fight her way out of! And then…the story starts to lag. A whole lot of nothing seems to happen while at the castle. Bree goes for training/education, she talks to her Da, reports to the king, and sneaks out and talks to Caden, Aleta, and Tregle. Repeat that for at least a quarter of the book, and then add in a random party/social event. Don’t get me wrong, there was some parts in all of that talking and training that was really good and helped move the plot along, but some scenes could have just been left out. The writing style and characters really helped me keep going in this book.

“I do so enjoy your particular brand of honesty”

As far as main characters go, I think Bree might be one of my top favorites. She is smart, resourceful, snarky, and has a conscience. She tries not to get bullied by Lady Kat and the King, and shows her defiance when appropriate. She also tries to fix her mistakes, but knows if she isn’t the one to blame then it is not her fault.

“‘They think I am glass,’ she says. She’s hard again. “But I am not. I am not delicate. I am stone. If they want to break me, they will have a hard time of it. I am unbreakable.” We say no more that night.”

The relationship Bree has with her father and her trio of friends were great. Bree and her father treated each other as equals and she wasn’t afraid to tell him what he needed to hear. Even when she was mad at him, she could never truly stay mad and she kept trying to come up with an escape plan for them both. Although Tregle wasn’t in the story much, he was there when the plot started to move. So we got to see him evolve as a character more so than Aleta and Caden.

“It is like an untrained marksman loosing an arrow. Without proper direction, there is no telling who he will down.”

I just loved the last quarter of the book! I wish it was a little bit longer, but of course we had to end at a cliffhanger. This book had a little bit of everything for everyone. A very light romance, tons of action here and there, magic, politics, and great world building. There were some twists and turns that I was not expecting, and I can’t wait to see how that affects the next book in the series!

Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

Moon Chosen Review

Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World #1) by P.C. Castmoonchosen

Expected Publication: October 18th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffen

This eArc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

#1 New York Times bestselling author, P.C. Cast, brings us a new epic fantasy set in a world where humans, their animal allies, and the earth itself has been drastically changed. A world filled with beauty and danger and cruelty…

Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating clan strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…

Now, darkness is coming, and with it, a force, more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By forming a tumultuous alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and obliterate the forces that threaten to destroy them all.

“It’s not about how much time we spend together. It’s about how much fun we have when we do, and we have lots of fun!”

This was a decent start to a new series for P.C. Cast, I just hope that it won’t be as long as her House of Night series. The Kindle edition that I read is 608 pages, and I think that is 300 pages too long. Cast took a very long time in world building and letting us get an understanding of all of the characters. Which started off great, but then it just took forever for the plot to progress. I would say that plot moved in the first 100ish pages and then the last 100ish pages. Everything in the middle just seemed like filler.

“Rigel has changed everything and nothing. Everything and nothing.”

Mari is a very selfish main character. She has spent most of her life hiding who she is from her clan and has pent up aggression towards them. Mainly because Mari is different and has to hide that she is both Earth Walker and Companion, she felt as if she didn’t owe anyone anything especially after her mother died. At that point in the story, Mari really started to annoy me. She had been training all of her life to be the Moon Woman and yet she refused to help train Sora or help any of the Clan members. It isn’t until Sora points it out and asks why she hates them so much, that Mari is finally honest with herself and Sora. I loved how Sora didn’t let Mari get away with her feeling alienated from the Clan, when she did it to herself. Thankfully near the end of the book she becomes more sure of herself and starts to help people like her mother would have wanted her to.

“What’s the old saying? The cone doesn’t fall far from the pine?”

This is definitely a book for a more mature young adult audience. There are strong themes of violence, depression, and abuse. On the flip side, there is also strong themes of friendship and loyalty. With a small dash of romance that slowly built up but didn’t amount to anything until the end. I thought that fit in perfectly and didn’t have that insta-love relationship most YA’s seem to lean towards these days.

Overall, if you like dystopian novels that have multiple view points then you’ll really enjoy this novel. It has elements of magic, animals, and creepy bad guys to help you through the lengthy novel.

Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

Lost in Wonderland Review

Lost in Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave #1) by Nicky Peacocklostinwonderland

Published: April 14th 2016 by Evernight Teen

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:

Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder…

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.

“You used to be much more…muchier. You’ve neglected your muchness, Mouse”

For a book that is only 124 pages, it sure did contain a lot of information and action. Instead of being in the world of Wonderland, it is set in the United States and Wonderland is their organization to help the families who have lost loved ones. This is definitely the most interesting Alice in Wonderland retelling that I have read this year alone. Which is saying something since this seems to be the year for retelling Lewis Carroll’s book.

Kayla, aka Mouse, is our main protagonist who has a constant fear of being lost. She had a very tough childhood that has made her a little bitter towards her brother and a normal way of life. So how does she deal with all of that? She becomes a Wonderland operative and baits serial killers into taking her so that she can end their lives. When her brother comes back to try to save her, she just gets angry at him and blames him for most of her problems.

“‘No rest for the wicked,’ Cheshire says with a grin.”

Throughout the entire book is references to the original Alice in Wonderland and it just helped the book become curiouser and curiouser. I thought it helped show that just about everyone is a little mad to be able to chase down serial killers and dispose of them. The only problem I saw in this book, was that it wasn’t longer. I wish the author dragged out finding the killer in the end. For an event that shaped Kayla and Shilo’s (her brother) life, it was over in one day. Kayla could have singled out the murderer after two days or at the very least gone into more than one store.

In the end though, Shilo still told Kayla that the real monster is still out there and Kayla just doesn’t believes him. So what does she do? Drops him off back at the insane asylum. It’s not until she is leaving and has an encounter of her own that she realizes her brother might not be as crazy as everyone thinks he is. Which sets the series up perfectly for the next installment.

“‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,” I say. “Oh, you can’t help that.  We’re all mad here. I’m mad, you’re mad.'”

If you need a short fast read, I definitely suggest picking this book up! You won’t be disappointed in it.

Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Withering Rose Review

Withering Rose by Kaitlyn Davis26805518

Published: May 17, 2016

Book 2 out of the Once Upon a Curse series

I received an arc of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Summary:

What if Beauty was cursed, and the Beast was the only one who could save her? Don’t miss WITHERING ROSE, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Beauty & The Beast.

“As the heat finally disappeared, I felt the bloom blossom in the very core of my soul, a rose just like my name–a ticking clock hidden behind a façade of beauty. From that moment on, my life would become a countdown, and all I could do was wait and watch as the petals of time slowly started to fall.”

Omorose Bouchene has a secret–magic. There’s only one problem. At the age of seven, an earthquake struck, catapulting her into a new world. A land made of skyscrapers and cell phones. Fast cars and fluorescent lights. A land where magic isn’t supposed to exist and anyone who wields it is the enemy.

But after ten years of hiding, she’s desperate to find a place where she can be free. Because all magic comes with a curse, and her curse is time–every ounce of power she uses strips days off of her life. The clock is winding down, and the only option left is to escape to the realm of the Beast. But the king of monsters isn’t what he seems. And the more Omorose opens her heart, the more she comes to realize that the only person she may need to fear is herself.

I received this arc from NetGalley without having read the first book. I was a little nervous about reading a sequel in a series, but what sold me was the fact that the books are inter-connected but stand-alones. After reading the book, I felt like I wasn’t missing a lot from the universe even though I didn’t read the first book. So that was nice.

After reading the Lunar ChroniclesI kind of have been reading a lot more fairy-tale reimaginings lately. I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. At first, I thought that the main character wasn’t going to be up to par but she proved me wrong. I didn’t like that Omorose just jumped to conclusions all the time without thinking of the situation, but she quickly grew out of that. In the beginning she was a very weak and meek person, having to hide who she is, but throughout the story Omorose quickly grew into the person she was supposed to have been if the earthquake that changed everything didn’t happen. (I kind of wish that the earthquake event was explained a little bit more, especially since it was the main event that collided Omorose’s world and Earth together.)

“‘Dance with me,’ he whispers. My gaze drops to his. I don’t understand the pain in those eyes, but I understand the hope. And it guides me to him.”

Cole was a great beast and I enjoyed reading his story! I liked that Cole and Omorose’s love wasn’t instantaneous, but grew slowly as they grew to trust each other. They each have secrets and past experiences that hinder them in the beginning, but they slowly got over it. Their relationship felt natural and the chemistry was palpable throughout the whole book!

Overall, this was a quick and easy read. This book followed the original story fairly well, but obviously with a whole new twist to it. The characters were enjoyable, the plot was action packed and moved somewhat quickly, and the setting was original. I couldn’t immediately tell the ending, but I was hoping for Omorose and Cole the entire time!

Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

Class Zero Review

Class Zero by Y.A. Marks

Expected Publication: May 24, 2016 by Sugarstone Publishing

Goodreads summary:

I’m sixteen. I’m p*ss poor, and I steal to eat. Me? My life is great.

In my brilliance, I “adopted” two hungry orphans. When I’m not with them, I avoid every human being I can, trying to keep the kids safe and protected. It’s pretty easy to do because half the country lives in abject poverty.

A week ago, I treated myself to a cup of coffee, and ran into a mysterious boy with intense gray eyes. After a security drone worth billions blew up above my head, he chased me down to simply tell me that “change was coming.”

“What?”

When I got back to the homeless shelter, where I live, guess what was on TV? Me and the gray-eyed idiot who happened to have half his face covered. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky.

Oh, but there’s more! The government, which shoots first and asks questions later, not only think that I’m a part of a rebel organization that they’ve been trying to eradicate for the last seven years, they actually believe that I’m the leader.

I could stop there with joy, but unfortunately the government kidnapped the two orphans—my two orphans. That’s when they really started to tick…me…off.

This dystopian novel is set in Atlanta sometime in the future. How convenient that I happened to be in Atlanta visiting family, when I started reading it! So as far as dystopian stories go, this one wasn’t terrible. I was glad that it wasn’t as long as Divergent, but it was still long enough that I understood what was going on.

Alright, so first off let’s talk about the characters. Paeton for the most part is a believable character, she has her quirks, and out of all of the characters is the most flushed out. You can easily see her strengths and weaknesses, and you know what drives her every day.

“Yeah. You’re special, Paeton.”

Why does every lead character have to be the “special” one? Why can’t they just be normal and be thrust into situations out of their control and somehow over come them? Anyway, most of the other characters were a little more one dimensional than Paeton. It was more of what you see is what you get and very little growth from that.

Plot: The plot was very similar to a lot of books that are already out there. The population is split into three different categories; Upper-C, Middle-C, and Lower-C. (I believe you can guess which category our main character is in.) Paeton gets dragged into the rebellion because she is caught on camera with one of the rebels, and she just happened to be the only one without a face mask on. So what does the government do? Label her as the leader of the “terrorist” group. When does a 16-year-old, who has to steal to survive, have time to plan and organize a terrorist group? This is probably one of my main problems with reading YA sometimes, but I can’t seem to stop myself from reading these type of books! It is one of my guilty pleasures in life.

“I looked at the star. All my life the flag meant very little to me, but in that moment I tried to search deeper, to see the hope the American flag once symbolized. I wondered, when did it become popular for Americans to only care about themselves? When did the powerful begin to loath the weak? When did humanity begin to die?”

Romance: I was glad that the romance wasn’t one of those insta-love type of situations, or a love triangle. Rylan, or Gray-Eyed Fox as Paeton refers to him in the beginning, is one of the characters that I wished had more growth. As the love interest in the story, I wish he had more of a voice rather than dropping everything and doing Paeton’s bidding. Other than that, I liked that he taught Paeton how to live like a teenager again instead of the way of life she was used to. I thought they were really cute together, even though it’s totally cliche, I liked that he kept saving her no matter how many times she pushed him away.

“I recognized I just had to live long enough to try for my first kiss again”

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

The Assassin Game Review

The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay27969100

Expected Publication: August 2, 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

Goodreads Summary:

Who will be left after lights out?

At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game- it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “Killed” during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the “Killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join the Assassins’ Guild, she know it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she’s the next target?

Originally published in the United Kingdom by Chicken House in 2015 under title: Killer game.

I found this book for the most part to be really entertaining. Although, it did take awhile for the real “killings” to start, but after it did boy did the book really start to pick up speed. The first half of the book we get the backstory on the game, as well as a little bit about Cate and her friends. After Vaughan arrives, it seems as if Cate just drops her other two friends and the relationships don’t really evolve past that. If it helped the plot, then we saw Cate interact with them but other than that it was like they were acquaintances rather than best friends for the past two years.

Aside from the slow moving plot, in the beginning, I really enjoyed this book. I felt like Nancy Drew trying to solve the mystery before I was the next victim. Although, left to my own devices and following Cate’s judgement, I would not have been able to figure out who the Killer is in the game and the Killer in real life. After the revelation, it totally made sense and I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it sooner.

I liked how at the end, we got to see how Cate was handling the events a few months afterwards. It made her a more believable character that she didn’t just go riding off in the sunset with Vaughan. We saw that she was still affected by the real killer and was suffering from PTSD. I almost wish that this was a series, rather than a stand alone just so that the author could have gone into more detail about life on the island, and the game specifically.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

Ophelia Adrift Review

Ophelia Adrift by Helen Goltz30054281

Expected Publication: July 1st, 2016 by Atlas Productions

Goodreads Summary:

In her wildest dreams, Ophelia Montague never imagined she would leave the city, her friends, her school and move to a seaside village. But when her parents die in an accident, that’s just where she finds herself – ensconced in a rambling house on the beach, with her uncle Sebastian, his boarder – nineteen-year-old Adam Ferrier, and two Great Dane dogs named after shipwrecks. By the ocean’s edge she meets Jack Denham who seems to command the sea and the moon—and if he has his way—Ophelia, too.

This book probably contained the number one worst insta-love romance, I have ever read in a YA book. Not only does Ophelia fall instantly in love with Jack, without even knowing him, she is “consumed” by him and gets depressed if she thinks he is with another girl. And then there’s Jack. Who knew who she was before she even set a foot in town, and he was already claiming her as his soulmate. Crazy.

The plot itself was pretty slow, and basically nonexistent. We start off with Ophelia moving to a new town after the death of her parents, and then she meets a lot of new people. While being stalked the entire time by Jack, but of course she doesn’t know that. But thanks to his narration, we get to hear it all.

“I wanted to hold her, absorb her, crush her to me and become one, feel her around me; I have to own her.”    

And this is just one example, there are plenty of other inner thoughts from Jack that border this psychotic, obsessive line of thinking. Then all of a sudden after he finally shows himself to Ophelia, Jack decides that he has to disappear from her life. Who was already depressed about her parents deaths, and is now even more depressed because he broke her instantly in love heart.

“He might come tonight. Maybe I should just join my parents…I could be buried at sea. Not a healthy thought, but I didn’t have many bright thoughts at the moment.”

I do have to say that the plot twist (if you can call it that)  with Jack was pretty great. Although I could guess what it was in the beginning, it was still a refreshing idea for a story. I also enjoyed the mystery of the shipwrecks surrounding the area, the little that was in the story for it to be part of the plot. After a whole lot of nothing in the book, the climax happened way too quickly, and was over before I could register what happened. I feel this was a wasted moment, we slowly built up to this climax, and then all of a sudden we find out Jack’s true intentions? (Well, really we knew it from the beginning. But Ophelia didn’t) On top of that, we didn’t even get to read it from Ophelia’s perspective, it was from Holly’s, who didn’t really do much.

Aside from all of the plot issues, it was an interesting book. It had a good premise, and after some editing I think could be a great series. Since this is an arc, I am hoping that the final version is better!

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Gilt Hollow Review

Guilt Hollow by Lorie Langdongilthollow

Expected publication: September 27th, 2016 by Blink.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Willow Lamott’s best friend is a murderer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. For four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow reminded him what he’d been missing. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton fears his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves, especially the girl he left behind.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this stand alone book. It was fantastically written, and the characters were very believable. I enjoyed the setting, the minor characters, and the plot of the story (although it did move a tad bit slow in my opinion, but it didn’t bother me as much).

My intention was to uncover the truth and somehow clear my name. But someone’s been working overtime to send me back to jail.”

This story is told by two first person narratives, Ashton and Willow. Their chemistry was palpable through the page and I couldn’t help but root for them.

The mystery behind who really killed Ashton’s friend four years ago gets very convoluted and leaves you guessing until the very end. I got very invested into the who done it aspect, that I read this entire book in one day! The author could have cut some scenes out that were unnecessary, but by the end I didn’t even care.

If you are looking for a good mystery then you should definitely check this book out!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.