Mini Reviews: Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, Can’t Escape Love, & A Prince on Paper

Today I’ve got mini reviews on three Reluctant Royals stories from Alyssa Cole. Check out my thoughts below!


OnceGhosted,TwiceShyOnce Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole

Published by Avon Impulse on January 8, 2019

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 106 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

While her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed, Likotsi had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app. But her romance had ended in heartbreak, and now, back in NYC again, she’s determined to rediscover her joy—so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.

When Likotsi and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later, Fab asks for just one cup of tea. Likotsi, hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped, agrees. Tea and food soon leads to them exploring the city together, and their past, with Fab slowly revealing why she let Likotsi go, and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance into a happily ever after.

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Mini Reviews: That Kind of Guy & The Bride Test

Today I’ve got some thoughts on a couple of contemporary romances from authors I love. Check them out below!


ThatKindofGuyThat Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert

Published by Nixon House on May 2, 2019

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 272 Format: eBook Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

She wants a fake relationship. He needs something real.

If there’s one thing Rae can’t stand, it’s pity. She’s forty, frazzled, and fed up—so attending an awards ceremony alonewhile her ex swans about with his new wife? Not an option. To avoid total humiliation, Rae needs a date of her own. And her young, hot-as-hell new best friend is the perfect candidate…

Zach Davis, king of casual hookups, has a secret: the notorious womaniser craves emotional connection, and anonymous encounters leave him feeling hollow. After years of performance, Zach’s desperate to be himself. So why does he agree to play Rae’s fake boyfriend? And why does it feel so easy?

When the line between pretence and desire blurs, Zach’s forced to face an unexpected truth: there’s nothing phoney about his need for Rae. But the jaded divorcée’s been hurt by playboy men before. Can a weekend of faking it prove that Zach’s for real?

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Mini Reviews: Storm of Locusts & Aru Shah and the Song of Death

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on two sequels with exceptional stories and authors. Check them out below!


stormoflocustsStorm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhoarse

Published by Saga Press on April 23, 2019

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia

Pages: 313 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.

Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.

Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.

Dropping back into Dinétah was such a thrilling experience and Rebecca Roanhorse continues to deliver a riveting dystopian fantasy world full of native culture and mythos. The plot was fast paced, the locusts were seriously creepy, and the threat level was incredibly high. While the first book definitely focused heavily on Maggie opening up and her burgeoning relationship with Kai, Storm of Locusts delves deeper into the female friendships of the series. Maggie is responsible for others now and the way it develops her as a character is remarkable. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next adventure!


AruShahandtheSongofDeathAru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi

Published by Rick Riordan Presents on April 23, 2019

Genres: Children’s, Middle Grade, Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: 400 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

Gosh I just love Roshani Chokshi’s writing so much and this middle grade series is full of funny, heartwarming moments that left me on the edge of my seat. Aru continues to be a wonderful character and I loved exploring her feelings of inadequacy when it came to her original Pandava counterpart. It was also great to see her friendship with Mini on display and how Brynne and Aiden fit into the mix. I’m also thoroughly enthralled with the mythology of these stories and Chokshi does a phenomenal job of weaving it into the modern world. Obviously I recommend any Aru Shah!


Have you read either of these books? Enjoy books with mythology?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Internment & How to Make Friends with the Dark

Today I’ve got my thoughts on two powerful, emotional reads so check them out below!


InternmentInternment by Samira Ahmed

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 19, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Realistic, Dystopia

Pages: 387 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

I loved Samira Ahmed’s debut and while Internment is just as breathtaking and compelling, it certainly has it’s differences. With a near-future setting, this book tackles Islamophobia and the dangerous paths that hate has a way of leading people down. It’s terrifying and all too real especially in this day and age as well as the past. Layla is passionate and stubborn and her inner voice is just as powerful as her outward actions. This book is definitely one of hope despite it’s hard to read moments and I honestly think it’s a vital read for everyone.


HowtoMakeFriendswiththeDarkHow to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

Published by Delacorte Press on April 9, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Realistic

Pages: 421 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Here is what happens when your mother dies.

It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.

That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.

Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.

If you’re looking for a book that will tear you to pieces and leave you weeping, than look no further than How to Make Friends with the Dark. It’s an emotional tale of a mother’s death and how a daughter copes with the aftermath. It’s also opens the reader’s eyes to the foster care system and the realities that many children face. Even though I know the pain of losing a parent, Tiger definitely deals with drastic differences and suffers on a scale far removed from what i know. That doesn’t make this book any less powerful though. Where I found some issues were with the writing and connection to characters outside the MC, otherwise it’s an interesting take on loss, grief, and moments that change everything.


Have you read either of these books? Enjoy stories that leave you emotionally drained?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: The Red Scrolls of Magic & Enchantée

Today I’ve got two mini reviews with books at least partially set in the iconic city of Paris. Check out my thoughts below!


TheRedScrollsofMagicThe Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 9, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 350 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Magnus Bane, a centuries old High Warlock, has taken possession of one of the great relics of the supernatural world, a powerful spell book of dark magic known as The Book of the White and there are many who want to claim it for themselves.

After the Mortal War where the part-human and part-angel Shadowhunters teamed with the part human-demon Downworlders to fight against the incursion of an army of demons, Magnus and his new lover, the mortal Alec Lightwood celebrate their survival and victory by escaping the supernatural battlefield of New York City by touring the world, but the world won’t leave them alone.

Finally we get to see Magnus and Alec’s vacation that took place during City of Fallen Angels! I love these two so much and it was wonderful to get their own perspective. Each of their voices was brilliant and it was amazing to see the growth and emotion through their own thought processes. While the story was simpler in nature it was actually refreshing to engage in something less heavy but it still had the Shadowhunter spark. It was also great to see some of my side faves show up and I cannot wait to see what the next book has in store. Absolutely recommend to Clare and Shadowhunter fans!


EnchanteeEnchantée by Gita Trelease

Published by Flatiron Books on February 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Pages: 464 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Love. 
Magic. 
Revolution.

When smallpox kills her parents, seventeen-year-old Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic–la magie ordinaire–Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With the dark magic she learned from her mother, Camille transforms herself into ‘the Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. Her resentment of the rich at odds with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille is astonished to find that her would-be suitor Lazare, a handsome young inventor whom she thought shared her dreams of liberty, is also living a double life.

As the Baroness de la Fontaine, Camille gambles at cards and flirts, desperate to maintain her place at court and keep herself and her sister off the streets. But la magie has its costs. When a scheming courtier blackmails her and Lazare’s affections shift, Camille loses control of her secrets. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose–love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality or la magie–before Paris burns.

Trelease brings the city of Paris on the cusp of the French Revolution to life in exquisite detail. Everything from the struggles of poverty to the decadence of the aristocracy was on full display. Camille was an intriguing character and her magic was pretty darn cool. I did enjoy this one but the plot was too long and drawn out and their was a lack of connection with characters at key moments which left me wanting. If you’re a fan of historical Paris and fantasy dripping with details, you may want to check this one out.


Have you read either of these books? Ever been to Paris?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Mini Reviews: The Everlasting Rose & Queen’s Shadow

Today I’ve got my short thoughts on two March 5th releases. Check them out below!


TheEverlastingRoseThe Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton

Published by Freeform on March 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 344 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia’s Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies-a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely-and the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans.

Picking up nearly right after the end of the first book, Camille faces hard choice after hard choice as she tries to stop Sophia. The magic and setting of this story still captured my imagination and even expanded its beauty and intricacy in this one. Camille’s journey is compelling and Clayton’s writing soars when it comes to descriptions. With that being said I did find the drastically different pacing off putting and it strained the emotional connection between characters as well as the reader. If you’ve read The Belles though, I definitely recommend picking up this conclusion.


QueensShadowQueen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston

Published by Disney Lucasfilm Press on March 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Opera

Pages: 345 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

The end of her reign is just the beginning…

When Padmé Amidala steps down from her position as Queen of Naboo, she is ready to set aside her title and return to life outside of the spotlight. But to her surprise, the new queen asks Padmé to continue serving their people – this time in the Galactic Senate. Padmé is unsure about the new role but cannot turn down the request, especially since, thanks to her dearest friend – and decoy – Sabé, she can be in two places at once. So while Padmé plunges into politics, Sabé sets off on a mission dear to Padmé’s heart.

On the glistening capital planet Coruscant, Padmé’s new Senate colleagues regard her with curiosity – and with suspicion for her role in ousting the previous chancellor. Posing as a merchant on Tatooine, Sabé has fewer resources than she thought and fewer options than she needs. 

Together with Padmé’s loyal handmaidens, Padmé and Sabé must navigate treacherous politics, adapt to constantly changing landscapes, and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow.

Finally a book to rep Padmé! Exploring her transition from queen to senator, Johnston tackles the nuances of Padmé and her loyal handmaidens, giving insight into everything from her vocal choices to how she allied herself in the Galactic Senate. I was also fascinated by Sabé’s story line and the deep devotion each one of the handmaidens had for each other. While this is very light on the action and only gives us a few new plot threads to follow, I was totally invested in this book. Obviously a must read for Star Wars fans!


Have you read either of these two books? Interested?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: The Brooklyn Bruisers So Far

In the past week I’ve binged all available installments of Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series and want to share my thoughts on these hot hockey romances. So check them out below!


RookieMoveRookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Published by Berkley on September 6, 2016

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold… 

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

This introduction to the world of the Brooklyn Bruisers was all I could have wanted and more. Georgia’s a hardworking publicist trying to put the past behind her while Leo’s getting his first big break with the team that just happens to employ his ex. The love and respect that Leo has for Georgia is the absolute sweetest and how the two of them come back together and work through their issues is perfect. Plus all the hockey action was quite fun too. For my first Sarina Bowen novel, I’ve got to say I’m quite impressed!


HardHitterHard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Published by Berkley on January 3, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

He’s a fighter in the rink, but he’s about to learn that playing nice can help you score…

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O’Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O’Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she’s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O’Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O’Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good…

Next up is the closed off, gruff enforcer that has my heart. Patrick’s not as young as he used to be and the sport is taking its toll on his body. Enter Ari, a massage therapist/yoga instructor whose just gotten out of an unhealthy relationship. The romance is definitely slow burn but it was wonderful to see the softer side of O’Doul and how the two of them interacted when alone. They complimented each other really well. I also enjoyed how Bowen tackled Ari’s relationship with her ex and the dangers domestic disputes can entail.


PipeDreamsPipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Published by Berkley on May 2, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

This book is the pinnacle of complicated situations and relationships. Mike and Lauren shared a wonderful year and half together before his estranged wife got a terrible cancer diagnosis that threw everything out of whack. Lauren’s got a hard exterior but with good reason and I loved seeing that inner side and her motherhood planning. Mike’s a great guy though despite the tough calls he had to make and his love for his daughter is totally endearing. Obviously these two were meant to be and the ups and downs of their second chance was absolutely beautiful.


BrooklynaireBrooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Published by Rennie Road Books on February 12, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 452 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

The Brooklyn Bruisers wouldn’t be the same without new owner Nate and office manager Rebecca. Turns out that these two need each other as well and when Rebecca gets hurt Nate cannot help but do everything in his power to help her heal. Nate is such a sweetheart and of course a genius to boot and it’s clear from the start that he loves Rebecca. On the other hand, she is so focused on work that she’s missed the signs but being sidelined opens her eyes to her boss’ affection. Their relationship was definitely steamy but I also enjoyed the humor especially with Bingley’s antics.


BountifulBountiful by Sarina Bowen

Published by Rennie Road Books on October 20, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 315 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on. 

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life. 

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

After a summer of sexy shenanigans Zara is left with a little bundle of joy and no idea how to contact the father. That is until Dave returns to the shock of his life. I loved how bossy Dave was in bed and how motherhood really worked for Zara. I enjoyed seeing how Dave learned how to trust himself with a child and all of Bess’ moments. While Dave’s a member of the Brooklyn Bruisers, this book is actually a part of Bowen’s True North series and since I loved it so much I’ll probably have to read all the rest now.


OvernightSensationOvernight Sensation by Sarina Bowen

Published by Tuxbury Publishing LLC on January 22, 2019

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 341 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Everyone knows the girl is off limits. But it’s so good to be bad.

There’s this girl…
Heidi and I have been trading hungry looks all year, and everything she does makes me smile. But I don’t do girlfriends, and I certainly can’t get involved with the league commissioner’s daughter. I need shots on goal, not a hookup and a widely misunderstood paparazzi photo.
Can I resist her, though? The way she teases me should be a game penalty for interference with my libido. 


There’s this guy…
Jason wants me, but he won’t admit it. That man looks at me the way a hockey player eyes the lunch buffet after practice–and I love it. 
But when victory is finally within my grasp, I blow it and humiliate myself. Even then I can’t even avoid him–as the team intern, I’m in constant view of his hard body and cocky smile. 
I need another chance. Jason Castro is about to learn the true meaning of an overnight sensation.

Jason Castro may be a player both on and off the ice but he’s certainly a nice guy. Yes, his past has kind of made him second guess falling in love and his new position has thrown off his game but he’s just trying so hard. And at first I thought I wouldn’t like Heidi but she’s actually an exceptionally hardworking and kind person that deserves the world. The two of them just work together and there was some incredibly steamy moments. I also liked seeing more of Silas and Bayer (while Silas is getting his book this summer I hope Bayer gets his shot at love too)!


Have you read the Brooklyn Bruisers series? Enjoy hockey?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: On the Come Up & Two Can Keep a Secret

Today I’ve got two reviews for titles the high school book club I co-run is reading. Check out my thoughts below!


TwoCanKeepaSecretTwo Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Published by Delacorte Press on January 8, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller

Pages: 336 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

This is my first Karen McManus and I’ve got to say I’m a little impressed. It’s got everything a good mystery/thriller should have with a carefully plotted mystery, suspenseful situations, and suspicious people. The compelling characters and the dynamics between them take this book to the next level though and I didn’t want to put it down. The ending too was super satisfying and yet super chilling at the same time. I totally recommend this for mystery/thriller fans!


onthecomeupOn the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Published by Balzer + Bray on February 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Pages: 447 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

Angie Thomas does it again with another incredibly compelling and powerful book set in Garden Heights. She pours so much into these novels and seeing her tackle stereotypes and poverty while also sharing her love for rapping was pretty phenomenal. Bri was such a great character; passionate with a sharp mind as well as her super geek cred. The character dynamics stand out with both friendships and family fleshed out and on full display. Honestly her writing is just out of this world and everyone needs to read these books.


Have you read either of these books? Read the authors’ previous works?

Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

VengefulVengeful by V.E. Schwab

Published by Tor Books on September 25, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 478 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.

They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then—Eli killed Victor, once and for all.

Or so he thought—but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.

If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?


Continue reading

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

ACurseSoDarkandLonelyA Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Published by Bloomsbury YA on January 29, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling

Pages: 496 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


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