Posted in Young Adult

Wintersong Book Review

Wintersong (Wintersong #1) by S. Jae-Joneswintersong

Published: February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

It took me a very very very long time to finish this book. I started it back in the middle of January and just finished it a few days ago (edited to add that I started this blog post in February, and it is now June…safe to say that it took me a very very very long time to finish this review as well). To say that this story moved slow is an understatement, but I pushed through and I am glad that it’s finally done!

The writing in this story was great, it was probably the only aspect about this book that I enjoyed the most! I thought the book was very well written,  and I think what makes me dislike this book is the main character and the very slow moving plot. Since the plot moved so slowly, the world building was fantastic. I could visualize exactly where Liesel was (it also helps that she is underground in a cave, so not much is really needed for that).

What bothered me the most was Liesl, the main character in this story. She was constantly being described as the not so pretty sister, that was very hard working, and had to be the one who kept everything together or nothing would get done. It annoyed me a little bit when Liesl would use this as a reason to try to get her way. But on the flip side,  I liked that there wasn’t a fairy godmother to give her a makeover to get the guy in the end. Liesl also had a tendency to flip back and forth with her decisions on whether or not she wanted to be with the Goblin King, queen of the underworld, and basically almost everything.

I could go on, but then I think at that point I’ll just be rambling. I’ll end on an aspect that I enjoyed about the book. I liked that this book didn’t have a traditional relationship or one that necessarily ended with everyone having a happily ever after. It’s nice to see that not every YA book has to follow what has become a cliche. I didn’t feel like I could connect with Liesl and the Goblin King as a couple, but I could definitely understand his reluctance on a lot of things.

If you can handle slow moving plots, and indecisive main characters then I would definitely suggest you pick up this book. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you don’t mind waiting and just totally emersed yourself with Liesl and her story then you will enjoy this book.


Posted in Young Adult

Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet Book Review

Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meetmeetcute

Jennifer L. Armentrout (Goodreads Author)Sona Charaipotra(Goodreads Author)Dhonielle ClaytonKatie CotugnoJocelyn Davies(Goodreads Author)Nina LaCour (Goodreads Author)Emery Lord (Goodreads Author)Katharine McGee , Kass Morgan (Goodreads Author)Meredith Russo (Goodreads Author)Sara Shepard (Goodreads Author)Nicola Yoon(Goodreads Author)Ibi Zoboi (Goodreads Author)Julie Murphy (Goodreads Author)

Published: January 2nd 2018 by HMH Book for Young Readers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

I read this book back in January, and I am just now getting around to writing the review of it. Woops. This was my first anthology in a long time, and it took me awhile to get used to the short story format. Once I did though, I really enjoyed most of these stories. Below I will break down my thoughts on each story without giving much away and my rating for each one.

Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno ★★★

As the very first story of this anthology, I thought that it was alright. The MC was kind of the stereotypical queen bee, at least that was what she seemed like at the beginning. We get more of her backstory, or the reason why she puts up a front and then I felt for her and understood what she was doing. Although, I don’t know technically if how she and the guy meeting is considered cute, and plus she already knew him from school.

Print Shop by Nina LaCour ★★★★

I thought this one was very cute. The MC starts working at a print shop, and she thinks she will get to learn how to make all these fabulous prints but they just want her to help with the social media aspect. She spends the entire day helping a disgruntled customer (mainly via twitter) and when they finally meet it was super cute.

Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi ★★★

I don’t really remember much about this one, except that the MC’s best friend is pushing her to go to a dance and then she finally decides to go. She spends most of the time looking for a dress at this one store, and then finally decides to go to this African American shop that customizes clothing to their clients specific needs. The meeting in this story was super brief and I thought it was okay.

Click by Katharine McGee ★★★★

This is about a program that sets you up with your perfect match. The main character goes on a date with this guy who she matched with, and accidentally leaves her phone in the taxi. So they spent the whole date looking for her phone and getting to know each other. This story was cute, but not very memorable in my opinion.

The Intern by Sara Shepard ★★★

This story is about a girl who is forced to intern at her dads company. Since her mom died, she has been very angry towards everyone and standoffish. Since no one wanted to deal with her they make her “babysit” a celebrity who wants to tour the city. Their tour kind of had a date like feel, and out of everyone who tried to talk to her, he was the only one who made her talk. This story was alright, but not very rememberable in my opinion.

Somewhere That’s Green by Meredith Russo ★★★★★

This story has two different points of view. Nix the transgender who just got permission to use the girls bathroom at school, and Lexie the girl who is petitioning to have Nix’s access removed. They are both in the school play and Nix doesn’t hold back any of her feelings while Lexie tries very hard to stay in the shadows. One night at a party Nix finally confronts Lexie as to why she is getting her bathroom privileges revoked when Lexie doesn’t even know her. The characters in this story was very well written and you understood both sides of the story. The way things were resolved was great and it wasn’t something I expected to happen.

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton ★★★★★

This story is set on an island where all the citizens believes in soul mates, and that the fates tells you when and who your soul mate is by these magic bands that appear. The main character spends the story wondering if soul mates is even a true thing or even worth it. Then she saves a guy from the ocean and they go on this journey down different paths that could happen in the future. I thought this story was right on the money with being cute. It had just the right amount of fantasy elements thrown in for me to really enjoy it.

Oomph by Emery Lord ★★★★

This story is about two girls stuck at the airport and how they pass the time. Their banter and flirting was super cute and seemed like the most natural thing in the world. Makes me wish my meeting of my SO was just as effortless.

The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★★

Ah, I really loved this one! This story is the start to my ideal YA contemporary book. If the author wrote a full length version, I would buy it immediately and then try to find a book signing close to me. A volunteer at a library spends her time reshelving books and calling people who have books that are overdue. One person she has been calling for awhile now to remind him to return the dictionary he borrowed. The outcome of this story is exactly what every book nerd wished would happen to her.

The Unlikely Likelihood Falling In Love by Jocelyn Davie ★★★★★

This story was super cute! A girl in AP Stats has to an end of the year project. While on the train on the way to school she happens to look up and see this guy, so she devises a project on whether or not it was love at first sight. I loved this story for how innocent it was and I was totally invested in whether her project worked or not!

259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan ★★★★

This story was a little bit unexpected. The main character in this one is trying to run away from his problems by trying to get selected to be a participant to colonize Mars. He and this girl are stuck in a room or 24 hours to have their personalities evaluated for compatibility. The way this story ended was a bit sad, but empowering at the same time.

Something Real by Julie Murphy ★★★★★

This one has a Bacheloresque feel to it. Two girls are competing to win a date with a musician that everyone loves. Just like every reality show, they are pitted against each other. As they start to learn more about each other, they start to feel bad about competing against each other. Of course the musician is a jerk, so the girls don’t think twice about leaving. Their personalities in this and back stories were really well thought out and I wanted them both to win a date with the celebrity!

Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick ★★

I don’t really remember much about this one, other than the fact that it was super weird and not romantic whatsoever.

The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon ★★★★★

They picked a great story to end this anthology. I loved everything about it! After a recent break up, a guy goes through the system to try to get a do over so that he can figure out how it went wrong. This story opens up at the last department, and he has to tell his whole story over again to this girl who gets to determine if he gets a do over or not. After telling his story and getting to know the girl, the guy has to figure out if it will be worth it or not. If Nicola Yoon decides to write a full length version of this story, I would pick it up in a heartbeat!!

So out of a possible 70 stars, I gave this book 57 stars. Which is about 81% or a solid 4 stars in total.

Posted in Young Adult

Three Sides of a Heart Book Review

Three Sides of a Heart: stories about love trianglesthreesidesofaheart

Natalie C. Parker (Goodreads Author) (Contributor)Rae CarsonBrandy Colbert (Goodreads Author)Katie CotugnoAlaya Dawn Johnson(Goodreads Author)E.K. Johnston (Goodreads Author)Tessa Gratton(Goodreads Author)Garth Nix (Goodreads Author) , Veronica Roth (Goodreads Author)Sabaa Tahir (Goodreads Author)Brenna Yovanoff (Goodreads Author)Renee Ahdieh (Goodreads Author)Julie Murphy (Goodreads Author)Justina Ireland (Goodreads Author)Lamar Giles (Goodreads Author)Bethany Hagen(Goodreads Author)

Published: December 19th 2017 by HarperCollins

Rating: 3/5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

You may think you know the love triangle, but you’ve never seen love triangles like these.

These top YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is sixteen fresh, diverse, and romantic stories you don’t want to miss.

This collection, edited by Natalie C. Parker, contains stories written by Renee Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagan, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, EK Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.

A teen girl who offers kissing lessons. Zombies in the Civil War South. The girl next door, the boy who loves her, and the girl who loves them both. Vampires at a boarding school. Three teens fighting monsters in an abandoned video rental store. Literally the last three people on the planet.

What do all these stories have in common?

The love triangle.

Overall, I really enjoyed that this anthology had a lot of diversity and LGBTQ characters in many of the stories. My biggest complaint though is that for a anthology about love triangles, in some stories it was very hard to figure out where the love triangle was! The preface did say that some are very out there and will make you think, but I didn’t think they meant every story! There was probably only two to three stories that had a clear love triangle. Below I will break down each story without trying to give much away and give my individual rating for each.

Riddles in Mathematics by Katie Cotugno  ★★★★

This was a very strong first story for this anthology. This one is about a girl who recently came out to her family and friends and is trying to deal with how they all view her now as well as dealing with an unrequited crush. The crush? Her brothers best friend that happens to be a girl.  There didn’t really seem to be a true love triangle in this though.

Dread South by Justina Ireland ★★

This one takes place in an alternate history after the American Civil War with zombies. The African Americans and Native Americans are forced to go to schools to train to kill the zombies, and then they are hired by white people to protect them. Louisa is gifted an African American girl to protect her by the guy she is hoping to be her fiance. It took Louisa the whole story to realize that she was born into privilege and that she didn’t even like the guy.

Omega Ship by Rae Carson 

The only reason why this one was a love triangle, was because there was only three people in the whole story. I thought this story was just meh. The girl in this story is literally the last human girl left and it is up to her and two guys to start repopulating before the human race becomes extinct. I didn’t really like the main character or any of her choices. I understand why she did them, but I also think that she did what she did without fully thinking things through.

La Revancha del Tango by Renee Ahdieh ★★★

A girl graduates from high school and goes to Argentina alone. While there she checks in to a hostile and talks to two guys. You think that would be the love triangle, but you would be wrong. She gets invited to a salsa club, and ends up watching this couple dance. Where is the love triangle?

Cass, An, and Dra by Natalie C. Parker ★★★★

This one is about a girl who has a gifted family. Cass can see possible outcomes and she always chooses the outcome that has her and her girlfriend An together. Then one day she see’s an outcome that if she goes to a party she will meet another girl named Dra and cheat on An with her. So she then spends the whole story avoiding any outcomes that have Dra in them until the very end. This story was interesting and besides the first story, my favorite so far.

Lessons for Beginners by Julie Murphy ★★★

This story is about a girl who is an expert kisser and gives lessons to fellow classmates who are not allowed to disclose her identity. Her most recent client is a couple, and the girl used to be one of her really good friends until they drifted a part. Normally she likes to keep things professional, but then she gets feelings for her client and tries to make her client choose her instead of the boyfriend. This was a decent story, kind of reminded me of Easy A. 

Triangle Solo by Garth Nix ★★

I really don’t understand why the triangle was so disliked by the guys best friend. I know for the main character it was only because his friend didn’t like it so he didn’t like it on principle. I wouldn’t necessarily say that there was a love triangle in this story, more of a debate and competition between two guy friends over a girl. And then said girl only liked one guy to begin with, so there wasn’t really a competition except for the ones that the guys made up.

Vim and Vigor by Veronica Roth ★★★★★

I loved this story! It was nerdy and had all the feels. It seemed as if the main characters biggest problem was which guy to choose for the dance (I think it was homecoming or prom…I don’t remember), but it was so much more than that. This one had a very strong theme of friendship and how it evolves after a something tragic happens. I would be totally okay with this becoming a full length novel!

Work in Progress by E.K. Johnston ★

With this one, I will just say that I was very very confused and did not get it at all. There was about three different stories, each told from three different perspectives but they all sounded like they came from the same person. This was definitely a work in progress, and if that was what the author wanted then she definitely succeeded.

Hurdles by Brandy Colbert  ★★★

This story dealt with a girl who has an over bearing dad wanting her to succeed and qualify for the Olympics. It also doesn’t help that her dad is also her coach and her boyfriends coach at the high school. It seemed as if she was just going with the flow and dealing with things as they come, until her best friends brother gets out of jail and comes back to school. When he comes back in the picture she has to decide who she wants to be with the boyfriend and the Olympic dream or her best friends brother with an unknown future.

The Historian, The Garrison, and the Cantakerous Catwoman by Lamar Giles ★★★★★

This was another story that I really loved! I will definitely be checking out the author to see what else they have written. This one had a true love triangle, and it was all about how far you would go for the one that you love. Plus it had a lot of demons, and demon fighting!

Waiting by Sabaa Tahir ★★★

The only thing I will say about this story is that she chose the wrong guy. I don’t care how long she has known whatshisface, the other guy should have been picked.

Vega by Brenna Yovanoff ★★★

This story was a little bit confusing at first. But by the end I finally realized who the third part of the love triangle was and I liked the story a lot more by then. This one did take me a little bit to get in to, mainly because I didn’t really like the main character. She was already jaded by a young age because her mom kept telling her that nothing good will ever happen unless she does it herself. And to basically not have any trust in men.

A Hundred Thousand Threads by Alaya Dawn Johnson ★★★★

This one reminded me a lot of The Mask of Zorro or something similar. I figured out early on who the third part of the love triangle was way before the guy did, but that didn’t bother me in the slightest. I liked how the rebel treated the almost blind nephew of the mayor, by questioning how he could love someone he just met when he had a steady girlfriend. This story was told from the three different perspectives, in a lluminae format, which I really liked.

Before She Was Bloody by Tessa Gratton ★★★★

The world building in this one was great. The author was able to give us a quick background on how the main characters family became in power, and the impact their god and goddess are in their lives. The main character kind of reminded me of the woman version of Vlad the Impaler (I know there is a book out that is just like that, but I can’t remember the main characters name or book at this moment). In this story she was ruthless, cunning, and understood what was needed to keep her family in power. I am assuming by the title, that she gets a little power hungry and is a take no prisoners kind of person. Which you got to see a little bit of in this story. I liked how the love triangle in this played out at the end.

Unus, Duo, Tres by Bethany Hagen ★★★★★

I was a little worried about this one when I found out that it had vampires in it, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out! I loved this one, and the way it ended was perfect for being the very last story in this anthology.

So out of a possible 80 stars, I gave this anthology 52 stars total. Which is 65% so about  ★★★ overall.

Posted in Young Adult

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things Book Review

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirrethequeenofbrightandshinythings

Published: April 7th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.

Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.

But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again…

“I’ve heard if you pretend long enough—or maybe wish hard enough—faking normal becomes real. I’m counting on that. Until then, I’ll carry on.” 

I picked up this as a whim off of my TBR shelf (okay shelves) because I needed something different than my normal genre. I just felt like I needed a break and wanted to branch out and read some contemporary (mainly because they are always typically stand alone books). This book was a fairly quick read, but it did leave something to be desired.

Sage is our main character who lives with her aunt and is always trying to be the perfect girl because if she doesn’t her aunt will send her back to the system. That is basically Sage in a nutshell, oh and that she can’t get mad because bad things happen when she does. This was hinted so many times throughout the book, which was the explanation as to why she leaves sticky notes on peoples lockers to brighten up their day. After this was brought up the first time, I really wanted to know what happened in Sage’s past to make her like this now. After the 5th or 6th time of it being brought up, I really didn’t care anymore and just wanted the book to be over already. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long after and the book quickly came to an end.

Sage’s love interest in this book was Shane. The hot new guy who is mysterious and moody and not part of the popular crowd. Although Shane is a very typical male character, I liked him a lot. I felt like he was more relatable than Sage or at least more flushed out or maybe it was just because he wasn’t the main character so we didn’t have to know every single thing about him. Just like Sage, Shane comes from a very troubled past and doesn’t like it when people try to give him hand outs or help really. When Sage over steps her boundaries, Shane isn’t afraid to point it out and I liked that a lot. Of course, that created a lot of angst in Sage in a “does he still like me, does he hate me” phase that happened quite a few times.

The overall story wasn’t for me, but Aguirre’s writing style was amazing! I loved it a lot! Even though I was a little bit annoyed with Sage, I still cried and laughed when she did because the writing was that good. Reading other reviews of this book say that Aguirre’s other books are really good, so I will definitely check them out to see if I like them better!


Posted in Young Adult

17 Books That I Enjoyed in 2017

2017 is about to come to an end and there have been many many books published, bought, and read this year! I always enjoy reflecting back on the books that I have read and enjoyed this time of year, and start new goals for the new year. This year my Goodreads goal was to read 100 books, that quickly got changed to 75, and now that the year is almost over? Well lets just say that I did not meet my goal of 75. =/ A lot of life events happened for me this year, and I am okay with that. After reading my list, leave a comment and tell me which books you enjoyed this year!

  1. The Language of Thorns and Roses by Leigh Bardugo
  2.  Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff
  3. Bellamy and the Brute by Alicia Michaels
  4. Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
  5. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
  6. House of Ash by Hope Cook
  7. Rook by Sharon Cameron
  8. Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
  9. The Girl at Midnight by Claudia Gray
  10. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
  11. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  12. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  13. The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid
  14. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
  15. Eon by Allison Goodman
  16. Emergence by S.G.D. Singh
  17. Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson

(Clicking any of the links above will take you to my book review)

Did you enjoy any on my list? What’s some of your favorite books this year?

Posted in Young Adult

Nameless Book Review

Nameless by Lili St. Crownameless

Tales of Madness and Beauty #1

Published: April 4th 2013 by Razorbill

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth… to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #1)

Reading the premise, I went in thinking that this was going to be a very great dark retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. With a bonus of vampires and other types of creatures mixed in. What I got was a lot different that what I was expecting to get.

First, I want to talk about Cami. I really liked her in the beginning. She was mysterious with a dark hidden past, and just trying to find her place in the world. But then, the “I’m not really a Vultusino, so I shouldn’t get comfortable” routine got old real quick. She’s been there since she was 6 years old, if they were going to get rid of her I think they would have done it by now. She definitely has the I’m a little rich girl with no real problems so I will create problems for myself syndrome. This was especially evident, when everyone is just trying to help her and keep her safe and she just runs off and tries to do things without consulting anyone. I understand being independent and doing things on your own, but when someone has to bail you out of every situation it’s time to grow as a character and figure things out. I think that was my biggest problem with Cami. There was no actual character growth, so therefore she wasn’t very relatable. She just seemed very whiny and then petulant when things didn’t go her way.

Cami’s relationship with Nico was an interesting one. At first it was kind of like a big brother/little sister vibe that turned into a romantic one? Then after her birthday, their relationship became super weird and almost like he was a father figure. At least, that was how it seemed she was treating it. It was like all before her birthday, Cami knew exactly how Nico felt about her and didn’t question it one bit. Then she did a complete 180, and acted like if she did one single thing wrong he would kick her out of the house and never speak to her again. To sum up, their relationship is not very believable and therefore are my least favorite couple this year.

Plot wise, this book moved very slow and I mean achingly slow. For the first half of the book, I think the author was trying to set up the world? But all I got was confusion, on top of confusion. There are so many different types of creatures and references to an event that happened to create the dystopian world, I have no idea what any of it means. We are left with a lot more questions than answers. The plot started in the prologue and then didn’t reappear again to about halfway through the book, or at least that’s what it seemed like. The big moment felt very rushed, and then for me the ending took way too long.

Overall, I was very meh about this book. I really enjoyed St. Crows Strange Angels series, so I was hoping that I would enjoy this one as well. At this point, I don’t think I will continue with the series as there is way too many books on my TBR shelves to read. But, if you do enjoy dystopianesque, vampires, and fairy tale retellings you may enjoy this book and hopefully more than I did!

Posted in book review Book Review by River Laurent

Published: April 22nd 2017 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published April 20th 2017)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Once upon a…hot cowboy

Loan sharks are circling, I’ve got my dad’s hospital bills to pay, and my landlord is about to kick me out onto the street.
It’s all doom and gloom until my best friend, Jesse, tells me that she’s found me a job impersonating the famous hotel heiress, Tamara Honeywell.
I get to live on a ranch in Montana for a month and take care of all my money worries. The only snag is I’ll have to have my lips injected, and act like a spoilt, demanding, selfish brat. but, what the hell? Collagen is temporary, and I can act like the world’s most bitchy heiress for a month.

Until I see the jaw-droppingly handsome cowboy who comes to collect me. All flashing eyes, sun drenched skin, steely muscles…and spitting venom. Oops, he can’t stand talentless celebrities. Absolutely hates them. Damn, he looks like he wants to put me over his knee and spank me.

This is going to be interesting!

In Montana it’s not just the sky that’s big. So saddle up for the hottest cowboy that ever walked the pages of a book.

This is a standalone with HEA and no cheating. ADULT content over 18

I received this book during one of LitCube’s live sale a few months back. After reading Lady of Sherwood, I didn’t have any expectations going into this book since the last one was an epic fail (to me). I actually ended up liking this story,  although I should have read the description to know that it had adult content. For most of the book I kept thinking this is a YA book? This can’t be a YA book, it has too much adult content to be a YA book. Well, it definitely isn’t a YA book and very much so a contemporary romance (but I imagine not as romancey as those books with the half naked sweaty guys with better hair than me). I thought LitCube was a middle-grade to YA subscription box, but I guess I am wrong about that. This is the first adult book I have ever received from them, and looking at the contents in the box (and the cover) I wouldn’t have expected that.

Anyway, on to the real review. Our Cinderella in this story is Cass who is a bit down on her luck and struggling to make ends meet. From the description (that I just read), you would think that Cass reads and understands guys body language very well. But, this is not the case, every time Lars (our prince) was upset or looked angry she would always ask why he hated her. So as our main character/princess Cass was ok, she wasn’t very re-memorable to me at least. My biggest problem with her is that she accepted a job to pretend to be this rich bratty celebrity for a month, and the whole time she complained about having to pretend to be someone she isn’t. If she was going to have such a hard time acting to be someone else, then maybe this job wasn’t for her but then we wouldn’t have had a book.

The plot in this book moved fairly well until the ending. I felt like the book needed a bigger ending than what happened, and everything felt very rushed. We had this sort of slow build up to the end of her month stay, and then all of a sudden the book was over in like 10 pages. The author did include a deleted scene at the end, that I think would have helped the story out a little bit.

Overall, I think this book is decent and has potential to be better if it had gone through one more edit. Although this wasn’t in my normal genre of reading, I enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s good to step out of your typical genres and find something new. Although I wouldn’t have picked this up myself if it wasn’t for LitCube.




Posted in Young Adult

Illuminae Book Review

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoffilluminae

Published: October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

I am frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short

I’ve had this book on my TBR shelf since last October, and I don’t know why it took me a year to finally pick it up and read it! I am kind of glad I did though, because after I read the second one I only have to wait a few months for the third and final book in the series to be released.

Most people would say I’m pretty cold, but I think of it more as…private. People are always saying “how are you?” to each other, and I guess I don’t see why I should answer such a personal question for just anyone

First off, I would like to say that I really liked the format of the book. It’s definitely not for everyone as it’s told through interviews, IM’s, e-mail exchanges, and a few other formats. I really liked the ones that made you rotate the book and where words made up pictures. So although it is almost a 600 page book, it goes by very fast because of the format. I was able to read it all from Friday night to Sunday morning (and while taking care of a baby in between).

Whatever the don’t want me to see, that’s where I’m digging. I need to be where the secrets are

Although the book starts off with interviews of Kady and Ezra’s experience of the invasion, you slowly start to get a sense of who they are as a person. By the end of the book, you know them pretty well and feel as if their fight is your fight as well. This book has three main obstacles for our MCs to overcome:  (1) they are being pursued by Beitech because they want to eliminate any witnesses to the invasion, (2) there is a mutated virus going around that command is being hush hush about, and (3) something is going on with the AI that is in charge of the Alexander (AIDAN). At first all three didn’t seem related to each other and I wondered how the authors were going to tie them all in, but thanks to all of the documentation you get a pretty good sense of what is going on. It doesn’t take very long for the pieces to start clicking together (with the help of Kady’s newly learned hacking skills of course).

What you do when stuff like this happens is you LIVE, you survive it, that’s how you honour the ones you lost

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! As someone who doesn’t read science fiction that often, I thought this book did an excellent job of living up to the hype that surrounded it when it first came out! I definitely recommend this if you are a sci-fi lover, or even if you just need to branch out and try something new!

Posted in Young Adult

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic Book Review

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugothelanguageofthorns

Published: September 26th 2017 by MacMillan/Imprint

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

This book included:

  1. Ayama and the Thorn Wood
  2. The Too-Clever Fox
  3. The Witch of Duva
  4. Little Knife
  5. The Soldier Prince
  6. When Water Sang Fire

Since I have already written individual reviews on three of them (you can click on the link to read them), I will focus mainly on the three new ones for this particular review.

Bad fates do not always follow those who deserve them

First off, I just wanted to say that the illustrations in the book by Sara Kipin were simply amazing. They were just as creepy and beautiful as the short story they are based upon. Even if you didn’t read the story, the illustrations themselves gave you a visual representation of what was going on during that time. I honestly, would love just a copy of the picture at the end of each story for my office!

This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart

Ayama and the Thorn Wood, kind of set up how we can expect the rest of the stories to be. As in not to expect the Brothers Grimm versions, where everyone has a happy ending with the perfect guy and running off into the sunset together. All these fairy tales take on a much darker theme and have completely different messages than the typical fairy tale.

What harm can a little hope do?

I couldn’t tell if Ayama and the Thorn Wood was a retelling or not, but the last two stories was definitely retellings of The Nutcracker and The Little Mermaid. I loved the direction that Bardugo went with these retellings, and if she wanted to do another book just like this (but longer) I would totally be okay with that. These were just the right amount of dark and imaginative that I expect from Bardugo. I don’t want to go into more detail and spoil anything for you, but there was definitely a Darkling cameo in When Water Sang Fire. I didn’t realize that when he first appeared, but by the end I definitely realized who he was and I wanted more!

This goes to show you that sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always the ones who do

Overall, I loved this short story collection and was very sad when it ended. Even if you haven’t read any of Bardugo’s other books, you should definitely check this one out. You don’t even have to read the others to understand what is going on since this is basically the Grishaverses version of our Brothers Grimm.

Posted in Young Adult

Just Listen Book Review

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Published: April 6th 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers

4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Just Listen
Don’t think or judge, just listen
This was the book I read last week during Banned Books Week 2017. I wasn’t aware that it was even on the frequently challenged list until I actually looked up the list in order to pick a book from it. I was amazed at how many challenged books were on there that I read in my high school English classes. This review might have some spoilers so please read with caution if you haven’t read this book yet!
There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying
This book begins at the start of a new school year, Annabel was one of the popular girls last year and this year she is an outcast. We learn pretty early on that an incident happened at a party that caused Annabel to basically fall from grace and her shutting everyone out didn’t help her situation. Throughout the book we get flashback chapters of the night in question, how Annabel became friends with Sophie, and how she lost Clarke as a friend. With these flashbacks it did seem that the plot kind of dragged a little bit, but at the end it was worth it.
Not only do we slowly learn about what happened to Annabel, the book focuses on her sister Whitney and her eating disorder. Because of what is going on with her sister, Annabel feels that if she tells her mom anything (like what happened to her or that she wants to quit modeling) that it will destroy her. So what does Annabel do? She just stays quiet and keeps everything in.
Silence is so freaking loud
Annabel as the MC was alright in my opinion. She didn’t really have that baby of the family attitude that I am used to seeing in my family or in books in general. But understanding what happened to her, her current personality makes sense. She does remind me of a bunch of other Dessen’s main characters, but Annabels story itself is unique to the Lakeview world (community?).
Just like Annabel is a typical MC for Dessen, Owen our “bad boy” is kind of just the same. It seems as if there are two different types of guys that the main character falls for. We have the silent, sometimes moody bad boy vibe, or the quirky, all over the place but still kind of cute somehow guy. Owen is the first type, and honestly he isn’t very rememberable amongst all the other bad boy types. His “quirk”, I guess you could say, was that he is obsessed with music. Every conversation that he has with anyone has to deal with music. It’s like he eat, breathes, and sleeps music.
I wondered which was harder, in the end. The act of telling, or who you told it to. Or maybe if, when you finally got it out, the story was really all that mattered
In typical Dessen fashion, her novels focus on a theme of friendship and then somehow a guy fits in to make the main character see that there is more than one way to view things. In Just Listen, I felt that Dessen went a little deeper and focused also on some harder themes, such as eating disorders and rape. This whole book (for Annabel) was to figure out how to live with oneself after such a traumatic experience and get the help that she needed. In her case it was finally listening to herself, finally telling her family, and then talking to the lawyer to help make sure this didn’t happen again. I’m glad that Annabel finally stood up to her attacker (it did take basically the whole book though) and she was able to move on and even mend friendships along the way.
I understood now. This voice, the one that had been trying to get my attention all this time, calling out to me, begging me to hear it — it wan’t Will’s. It was mine
Overall, this wasn’t may favorite Sarah Dessen novel but it is in the top 5! Even though it was slow in the beginning, it did pick up around the middle. I liked that Dessen focused more on stronger themes in this book than she has previously, and I hope that in future books that she continues to do so.