Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a chance to review this title.
Okay so, this was my absolute favorite contemporary book of 2019.
Let’s start with the meat on this adorable rom-com of a book:
Pepper: she’s the daughter of a family-owned burger empire, excels at school in an almost obsessive way, a swimmer, and loves to bake and runs a blog with her older sister.
Jack: Aspiring app creator, twin, diver, and son of local deli owners.
These two meet in three different platforms. First is the anonymous high school chat app that Jack created where everyone has animal names and nobody knows anyone’s identities. Second is on Twitter when Pepper’s mother decides to roll out a new menu of grilled cheese and confidently names one after Jack’s family’s specialty. Pepper and Jack, unbeknownst to anyone who they really are in real life, find themselves in a Twitter war. Third, they both go to the same school and end up friends after the dive team cuts into the sim teams’ training sessions.
Both kids are equally as obsessed with the Twitter war they rage, even when they discover who each other is in real life and eventually through the chat app.
The Twitter war, no matter how petty it was The budding romance between two rivals The subplots into their family dynanimcs The food The morals The pop-culture references GAH DID I SAY THE ROMANCE???
Not a fan of:
Yea, that’s blank. I loved this book for its cheese (quite literally). I cannot wait to see what else Emma Lord has in store for the future. She is one to watch.
Also, my Grammarly account is on hold so tough out the grammatical mistakes I am too lazy to fix.
When I first read the synopsis for this book I said to myself, this sounds like some weirdo dreams I used to have when I had a crush on Joshua Goodwin back in elementary school. I seriously imagined my mother divorcing my dad and marrying Josh’s father (where his mother went, I don’t know. Dead maybe. I was a weird kid) and OMG the scenarios that would play in my head. GAH. Anyhow, the synopsis had me all, wow, I’d love to read something like my juvenile romantic inventions, but sexier.
So, here we have Lane who, after her dad announces with engagement, finds herself living with the very boy she’s had a crush on, like, FOREVER. Cue the fans because is it hot in here? Not only that, but he’s the boyfriend of Lane’s friend AND NOT ONLY THAT she finds herself crushing on a mutual friend, Conner. When Lane hooks up with Conner, she finds that her feelings toward her step-brother Grey become muddled.
Gibson’s writing is literally to die for. At first, I thought it would too flowery for my taste but NOPE. It worked and it worked so well I need to take a class on how to write like her because she is GOALS.
The open discussion about Lane’s periods and endometriosis was a welcome topic seeing as a lot of women, including myself have suffered from such a thing and her doctor brushing her off saying she’s too young for such a thing, even though her mother had it, is so real-life. Women’s pain is often discredited. I was told the same and I ended up wth stage four endo that nearly rendered me infertile. Endo needs a cure. Fist pump.
The other topics I need to mention are that Lane’s family are Wiccans and that is not something we see in YA. Also, the slut-shaming that Lane puts up with not only from her school, but from Grey and her friend would have been infuriating if not for Lane’s attitude. She’s no pushover and makes it known.
Grey is one jerk of a character. For one, he’s controlling. He doesn’t show the least bit of interest in Lane, save for a few tiny moments, until she gets with Conner and then he goes all crazy, like some boys do when they want something they can’t have. Thank the gods that Lane sees it for what it is. Although her relationship with Conner becomes strained when her fantasies about Grey still vying to become reality.
And Sadie, Grey’s girlfriend, and Lane supposed friend is pretty much a sh&t person. The comments she makes regarding Lane’s clothing cannot be blamed on her conservative upbringing. She’s just downright rude.
And Conner, poor cinnamon Conner. I just fell for him. Hard.
All in all, this was a fantastic book and I loved every moment of the time I spent reading it. This book deals with some heavy topics and there is a trigger warning, but my final thoughts are that I feel like YA needs to tackle more topics like mental illness as well as homelessness, suicide, insomnia, as well as other health issues like the endo I mentioned above. It is doing a disservice to teens not to touch upon this and publish more books with these issues.
Wow, there was a lot going on in this book! Warring clans. Magic. Revenge. Horses from the underworld. Yep, you heard me.
ASHLORDS follows three POVs, Imedle, a Dividian alchemist, Pippa, an Ashlord who comes from a family of Racing champions, and Adrian, a Longhorn whose only focus is to win. I love multiple POVs, so having three was no bother. It helped me get a perspective of each clan. I did not even know who to root for; I loved them all.
This story was incredibly unique. As the synopsis states, it is compared to one of my favorite books of all time, THE SCORPIO RACES, and although ASHLORDS lacked the heart of TSR, it was not diminished. I mean, horses that are phoenixes (as they are rightly called in the story) and have the ability to rebirth themselves with attributes depending on how the rider pours in the components into their ashes is f43king awesome. As I said, this did lack a bit of the feels, but it was a good story nonetheless. ASHLORDS had a lot to tackle, and Scott did it with expertise. I cannot wait to read the second!
Thank you to Edelweiss for the e-galley of this most insane and wonderous book.
Here are a few things that I loved:
morally grey characters. Everywhere.
a heroine who knows what she likes and is unapologetic for it.
a sexy king with serious Darkling vibes but in a more shadowy way
a slow burn romance
a fashion-forward heroine
This was probably the most fun I’ve had reading a book all year. Alessandra is a woman who knows what she wants and gets it. She wants power so she plans to seduce the un-seducable (this is not a word, I can feel it) king, get him to marry her, kill him, and rule the kingdom. Along the way, she finds herself so wrapped up in her schemes that she doesn’t notice that she’s falling for the mark. Oh man, what a crazy gal!
Kallias, The Shadow King is the Darkling, but sexier IMO. Is this possible? Yes, my friends, it is. This is why I could not get enough of the romance in this book, and let me tell you, there’s a lot of it so don’t get all, waaaah there was no action. you won’t care. Because of sexy Kallias. KALLIAS. Gosh, that scene in the brothel. I was wiping sweat from my brow. I swear to the gods.
But I must say, I was super sad that I almost cried right there onto my Kindle upon reading that this is standalone. I FEEL LIKE I LOST A LOVED ONE.
Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to review this title in exchange for an honest review.
Well, folks, I found gold in the sea of garbage. Ok, that’s harsh, but I have been reading some subpar novels lately and this one came at a good time. I’ve come to realize how much of a sucker I am for any sort of boo, involving video games. Ready Player and Otherworld are up there with my top favorite books ever so I guess that says a lot.
On one side of the tracks we have Div, a popular streamer from a struggling family and on the other side we have Aaron, a budding writer for an indie game developer. For Div, her streaming Reclaim the Sun pays the bills, and for Aaron, it causes a rift between him and his mother, who wants him to become a doctor like herself.
When Div suddenly becomes the focus of an online bullying group, she realizes that being a girl and being a non-white in the gaming world as well as the internet can be dangerous. Aaron meets Div by chance while gaming and they become fast friends, but for Aaron, aligning himself with the controversial streamer may cause his own dreams to suffer. It all comes down a boiling point during a gaming convention and nobody is backing down without a fight.
First things first. Eric Smith. He’s my dream agent. I’d sell my left foot to even get him to read a partial of my manuscripts. That being said, I scooped this title right up when it became available on NetGalley expecting nothing but perfection. Now, this isn’t a ploy to get him to message me and be all smitten over my review because let’s be real. He appreciates reviews but doesn’t go scouting for talent on Goodreads ha.
Smith writes the female perspective perfectly. He shows what it’s like for a female in the gaming world; a female anywhere on the internet or in the real world, honestly. All of his characters are relatable and I found myself so invested that I read this book in one sitting. This was a fun book carrying heavy topics like bullying and the pains of being a teenager which, we can all agree, is a struggle in itself. Sprinkle in some female empowerment and feminism and we have gold.
Read this book is you like:
Gaming culture (it’s the best)
For such a long time I wished that someone would write a book sorta like Kiki’s Delivery Service; a book similar to the magic I felt watching it for the first time, but not so close as to be a carbon copy. THIS IS THE BOOK, EVERYONE!!!
Eva is semi-magical which causes a ton of problems. She’s almost not even let in the Novice Witch trial and to top it off, she ends up in a town she may not even know is hers. Because you see, to complete her quest to become a Novice, she ust stay in a town for one full moon and prove that she can do good there. When Eva lands in Auteri, she discovers more than just a pretty coastal town. She finds heartbreak and loss that even her repair affinity magic cannot fix. Along with her newfound friends, she preps the town for a storm that could cause major damage is left to its own devices. Will her small magic be enough to stop it?
Reading this book put me right into a Ghibli film. If you follow my review you know that when I say that, I am probably going to give the book a high rating because of GHIBLI. The world that Julia Abe created took her child in me and brought her back to a time in her life where everything was magical and fun and amazing. I won’t compare this to Kiki anymore than I have to because it does Eva Evergreen a disservice. This book has set its self apart and in all the right ways.
The writing was easy to follow and super descriptive enough for us to fall into Eva’s magical world. The side characters who help her along the way hold their own. I’d rec this book to anyone looking for a Ghibli inspired middle-grade or anyone looking for a witch book with heart.
The only thing I did not like was the ending and that probably brought it down a star. But shoot, you know I’ll pick up the second book in a heartbeat.
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the e-galley!
Arthurian myths are my jam. They are so much my jam that I have been writing a YA reimagining for the last two years (I’m going to finish it, I swear). That is why I was iffy to read this mostly because I was bitter that somebody got a King Arthur retelling out before me and also because I was scared that it was similar to what I was writing and I would be soooooooo sad and if I published mine people would be all, ehhh she copied Kiersten White. Wow, rambling over.
This book was great. It follows, “Guinevere, the daughter of Merlin, who is sent to protect King Arthur. Theirs is not a marriage of love, but a necessity. Guinevere has magic, which has been banned from Camelot alongside Merlin, so she has to hide it. After a while, we find out the truth of why she’s been sent to Camelot, as well as discovering her feelings for Arthur, and his nephew, the dark and mysteriously hot Mordred.
GAH. Ok, so I flew through this book because my Netgalley approval happened four days before the book’s release. There were some aspects that I loved, which were sweet cinnamon roll Arthur and Darkling-like Mordred. The city of Camelot was a dream, and I simply loved being in this world! There were also things that could have been a bit fleshed out, such as Guinevere’s past. I could have also used some signs of the times, such as clothing and food that went with the setting and period. I also felt a bit cheated at the end. I had so many questions from the beginning that never got answered, and now I have to wait a whole year for the next book. BOOOO BUT THAT TWIST THOUGH.
Let me touch upon the romance. I LOVED IT ALL: the sweet moments and the secret looks. I WAS DYING. I need some fanart of Mordred because I have this unhealthy obsession with bad boys that kiss like wild animals, and I CANNOT HELP IT. The fact that these romantic aspects were sorta slow burned also delighted me. There is no insta-love, and the female friendships are spot on amazing.
I pretty much adored this book, and I vowed to hold back on my book box subscriptions for the rest of the year, but I may have to renew a particular one to get this book.
So, I was doing this thing where I read nothing but spooky stuff for October, and let me tell you something. Reading nothing but horror and thrillers can make your brain all weird. So, I needed a break. This book checked off everything I loved in a romance, so here’s my glowing review.
Isabel has rheumatoid arthritis, and she meets Sasha, who has Gauchers disease. Together, they form Sick Girl and Sick Boy, and they are the best couple in the entire universe. Seriously, the way their romance bloomed was so incredible that when there were those bouts of bad tension between them, I seriously feared for how much I would cry if anything happened to these cinnamon rolls.
Isabel has questions column in her school’s newspaper, and these breaks in the story were a delight to read. I found myself laughing out loud at Isabel’s humor. She is seriously one of the best protagonists not only for her strength but because she feels so deeply about the abandonment of her mother and the absence of her hardworking father.
And SASHA! AHHHHH He is a total book boyfriend material. He is stoic yet unafraid to show his feelings. I mean, the boy naps like a cat and he WILL NAP WITH YOU ALL DAY and lie around and do nothing but be near you and if that isn’t just the perfect relationship, I don’t know what is.
I learned a ton about these two diseases and how debilitating it can be. I had thyroid cancer and had to have mine removed in 2005 so I can relate to Isabel’s fears of people seeing her “faking” her illness, just because people aren’t able to see how she suffers on the outside. You constantly look at others who are way sicker and feel as though you have no right to feel the way you do, and sometimes these emotions drown you.
Isabel and Sasha navigate these feelings together and learn to support each other without trying to change each other. This book was an absolute breath of fresh air from all those sick kid books. I wish I could succumb to amnesia just for a day so I could read this book all over again.
How many of you want a demon-filled, Seven Samurai/anime/manga/Miyazaki inspired fantasy? If less than all of you don’t raise your hands, I’m coming over there and slapping some sense into you. You don’t know what you want, so let me tell you.
SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS is about our girl Kira, who is one of those strong and confident heroines, as she battles demons who attack her shrine in modern-day Japan looking for an ancient artifact. Alongside, Shiro, who s half fox and half boy mind you, they discover that the only way to beat the demon-lord and find the missing pieces of an ancient sword, they must enlist the help of seven shinigami (death gods) to aid the impending war.
This book read like I was watching an anime. The demons and ghosts that only Kira can see, as well as the fantastically grotesque monsters, were something out of a Miyazaki flick. There were absolutely no dull points I can think of. Every page was magical. If you have been following my reviews, when a book reminds me of Miyazaki, you can expect five stars. I’m just that easy to please.
The romance took a backseat, which was nice. Kira had a head on her shoulders and was not easily thrown aside against those who thought her weak. She relied heavily on those she loved and used their power to strengthen her. I love heroines who are goal-oriented, who have heart and emotions, and who are not afraid to take chances, and that is Kira rolled up in one neat package. We need more like her. Please.
I feel the one thing this book was lacking was food. When I think Miyazaki not only do I think of magic but of the delicious food the animation studio loves to makes us drool over. This was just my WANT, and it did not affect the rating. Clearly.
If you want a book rooted in Japanese culture and mythology and filled with an homage to Seven Samurai, this is your book.
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.