All the Stars and Teeth: Review

Thank you to Edelweiss for the e-galley.

I’ll go right into it and tell you the things I liked:

This book smacks you in the face, right off the bat. We’re introduced to Amora, a princess who does some crazy stuff and ends up on a ship with a pirate who is strangely intriguing in a Nikolai Lantsov kind of way when he does that thing to what’s her face but is still charming AF. Amora is neat as a character because she’s powerful, yet sensitive, and knows herself enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong and how to go about making things right and all that. Side characters were a major plus, especially Fennick…poor cinnamon roll. He just had the hardest of times.

THE THINGS THAT DID NOT MESH WITH ME:

The world-building confused me as it reminded me a whole lot of different worlds that have already been done, but all smashed up into one. I sort of couldn’t get a grip on what sort of book it was. Quirky fantasy, dark in your face violent fantasy or what.

Amora was also up and down for me. It turns out she’s just the typical princess character we see in most YA books. That is not to say she wasn’t a great character, because she was. I like fierce women in literature. I love princesses who go after what they want and not settle for what their parents, kingdom, society, etc., want. She was just familiar to me, and nothing truly stood out about her.

The story dived about the time when the antagonist arrived, and I found myself skimming. The reveals weren’t too surprising, save for pretty cool one.

All in all, I relished the journey, and I’ll probably buy the book for the cover alone. To have on my shelf, and hope to have someday a cover for one of my books that looks this delicious.

If These Wings Could Fly: Review

Normally, when writing reviews, I use an abundance of “amazing” and “fantastic”, but this book deserves a better word. Maybe by the end of the review, I’ll find it.

****Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a chance to review this title ahead of its release date.

Gut-wrenching, magnificent…familiar. Just a few words to describe Kyrie McCauley’s IF THESE WINGS COULD FLY. This book follows Leighton and her two younger sisters as they live through an abusive father and their complacent mother. It’s Leighton’s last year of high school, so she grapples with escaping her house for college, as well as the guilt of leaving her two sisters behind in a house that seems to fall apart around them. Amidst all of this, a strange influx of crows begins to appear in the town. As the boiling pot of her home begins to pour over, the population of crows soars, almost coincidentally. Woven together, we see a small town that turns a blind eye to those in need; children caught in the realization that their father could finally tip past the breaking point at any moment and destroy their lives forever.

To touch upon a few things…

The theme of domestic violence in the home was all too real, especially having lived through some of it myself so some scenes struck such a chord with me. It’s true that, as children, to cope with such scary things we turn to fantasy and our imaginations and hoping that something outside the realm of the real world would come and save us, and sometimes realizing that maybe nobody was coming at all.

When coming to the love interest part of the story, I was afraid he’d come in as the savior, as most books tend to make the male character’s. But Liam was not a savior. He was no even the rock that held Leighton up. He was just there for her, which is a good place to be.

MAGICAL REALISM. That is all.

Oh, did I mention I read this book in one sitting?

This is one of those books that every teen should read that may be in a situation of crisis. It’s so real and so gorgeously written. This book is a lullaby for hope. I still didn’t find that one word to describe IF THESE WINGS COULD FLY, but I don’t know, maybe the five-star rating and my glowing review will speak for itself.