REVIEW | The Forgotten Girl: A Thriller by Rio Youers

Title: THE FORGOTTEN GIRL

Author: RIO YOUERS

Released: 28TH MAY 2019 by TITAN BOOKS

TWs Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation.

Genre: ADULT THRILLER | SCI-FI | HORROR


This was an awesome novel! It more than met my expectations and I truly enjoyed it. I’ve never read Youers before, but after this I’ll definitely be adding him to my list of authors to watch! I am so glad I was able to pick this up.

The plot was so interesting and unique. I can’t say I’ve ever read anything quite like this. There is so much life, and death, in The Forgotten Girl. I found myself thinking about this story even when I wasn’t reading, and there were several times I kicked myself for not bringing it along with me to read in my downtime.

The characters were so real and the writing actually made me feel I was in the room with them dodging bullets and engaging in high speed car chases! Even the secondary characters were so well written and captivating.

It is such a page-turner and I urge you to pick this up as soon as possible! It will surprise you in the best way.


“She possesses a unique and powerful ability. Just like we can erase data from a computer hard drive, Sally can erase memories from a person’s mind.”

Abducted and brutally beaten by a group of thugs, street performer Harvey Anderson is convinced he’s a victim of mistaken identity when they demand to know the location of his girlfriend, Sally Starling. Harvey Anderson has been single for years. 

She dominated my dreams. Sometimes as a lover, more often as a scared, lonely girl running from something that slathered and swooped. I woke with her name on my lips, clutching the empty half of the bed, knowing beyond all doubt that she should have been next to me. 

Aided by his thugs, a sinister man known as “the spider” has tracked Sally to Harvey. He has pursued her for nine years, desperate to possess her remarkable talents. Yet emotion runs deeper than memory, and so Harvey goes looking for a woman he loves but can’t remember, and encounters a danger beyond anything he could ever imagine.


Thank you so much to Lydia Gittens at Titan Books for the review copy!

eARC REVIEW | Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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Title: WICKED SAINTS (SOMETHING DARK AND HOLY #1)

Author: EMILY A. DUNCAN

Released: 2ND APRIL 2019 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: TEENS + YA/DARK FANTASY

Rep: LGBT+, POC, DISABILITY | TWs: SELF-HARM, ABANDONMENT, ABUSE BY A PARENT, VIOLENCE

“You could be exactly what these countries need to stop their fighting. Or you could rip them apart at the seams.”

WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

This has been one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 – and it completely exceeded my expectations! I am so glad to have gotten this beautiful book! It filled the gap in my heart that was left by the ending of the Bardugo Grishaverse, and I can safely say I will be 1-clicking the rest of this series as they go live for pre-order! The writing was stunning and completely brilliant. I absolutely devoured this story and nearly died when I reached the end – I couldn’t believe it! The plot points and big reveals were phenomenal. I can’t say I ever saw any of it coming.

Duncan owns my heart now and I can’t wait to see what these characters do next! Nadya is amazing, of course! A talented girl who can speak to the gods and wield their magic? Totally impressive. She’s also hilariously funny – her banter with the gods is comical. And Malachaisz – the blood mage – just…whew! He’s dark and beautiful and surprising and obviously hiding an assload of secrets! I loved him even though I knew I shouldn’t because something was going on in that stunning mind of his. And boy, I sure was not disappointed.

“Are we so different, Nadya?” He lifted his hand, fingers tipped with long claws, and pressed his thumb against her lips. “We both long for freedom. For power. For a choice. We both want to see our kingdoms survive.”

 

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Photo credit to Waricka Art

 

Moral ambiguity – do you love it or would you rather more black and white personalities? You’ll be very happy with this novel if you love a characters with questionable morals. I honestly love when characters are little..twisted and they make it hard for the reader to figure out their motivations. These aren’t your traditional characters – Duncan has taken this fantasy to a new level and created a unique and compelling story.

While there is a hell of a lot going on, this dark, twisty novel is, at it’s heart, about a war between religions (differences) and how that has impacted the shaping of their world. While both sides are similar, one side feels they were justified by the gods, while the other depended on their innate power. It’s interesting to see the power plays among acquaintances and interconnectedness of various characters in the story (because I can’t wait to see how certain things play out!).

I have honestly thought about this book SO MUCH since I finished reading it. I’ll definitely be reading it again. I feel like my words don’t do this beautiful book the justice it deserves, but you MUST GO BUY IT IN ALL FORMS! I have the audiobook that I cannot wait to start on asap… I only wish I could rate this higher than FIVE STARS.

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A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Thank you so much to Emily A. Duncan and Wednesday Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

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ARC (rant) REVIEW | Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

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Title: NEVER-CONTENTED THINGS

Author: SARAH PORTER

Released: 19TH MARCH 2019 by TOR TEEN

Genre: TEENS + YA/DARK FANTASY

Rep: LGBT+, ORPHANS/FOSTER FAMILY, POC, | TWs: FOSTER SIBLING INCEST, ABUSE, DISCUSSION OF RAPE,

Let me just preface this review with I nearly DNF’ed this book. I should have DNF’ed this book. It was terrible. I pretty much hated it and yet I had to finish the story to see how it all ended – in the hopes it would get better. But it didn’t. At all.

Some scenes felt entirely too forced and fake to be believable – even for the world of fantasy. This was meant to be a novel about faeries, but, while set partially in the faerie world, this was more about the foster siblings than anything else. The faeries made several cameos, but didn’t seem essential to the story in the way most faerie stories have faeries that shift the plot along. If you’re looking for a The Cruel Prince-esque story, this is not it. I know because I read that, and having done so cannot fathom why this is being compared to it at all. The story doesn’t even really go into the faeries and why they’re there in the first place. Pretty sure the word isn’t even mentioned throughout.

Now, let’s talk about Josh and Ksenia…wtf! Again I say, what. The. Actual. FUCK?! Foster sibling intended incest? Okay, fair, they’re not actually related, but they ARE being raised as brother and sister. Josh is always whinging about wanting to have sex with Ksenia, but she doesn’t seem into it really. You can tell she loves him, but not past wanting to take care of him. It was really cringy to be entirely honest. As someone who was in the foster care system for a time, I felt really weird about that entire part of the story. And maybe that was the whole point of it, but it definitely wasn’t for me (nor at all what I expected from the synopsis, so maybe it needs to be marketed differently).

Now, there was an overarching discussion of forgiveness, which was kind of interesting. Basically, if someone close to you betrays you, can you forgive them (even if they aren’t trying to redeem themselves)? I think if you care about someone, maybe you owe it to yourself to try to help them overcome the problem, but not at the expense of your mental or physical health. Betrayal is hard to get through and nothing is ever the same on the other side. Sometimes, you really do just have to walk away from the situation in order for all parties to come out healthier on the other side.

The writing itself was probably the only thing that really had me keep reading. It was pretty good and very descriptive, without being flowery or overwhelming. The pace was also decent once you got a fair bit into the story. The first 25% or so was pretty slow, though.

Anyway, this had so much potential, but it really fell short for me.  Unfortunately, just a ONE STAR read for me.


A new YA standalone novel about dark faeries with surefire appeal by Sarah Porter, the critically-acclaimed author of Vassa in the Night and When I Cast Your Shadow

Seductive. Cruel. Bored
Be wary of… 

Never-Contented Things
A Novel of Faery

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries—until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price—and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.

Written based on the content in the manuscript and subject to change upon publication. Thank you so much to Sarah Porter and Tor Teen for the ARC.


1 star

ARC REVIEW | The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

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Title: THE COLD IS IN HER BONES

Author: PETERNELLE VAN ARSDALE

Released: 7TH MARCH 2019 by SIMON & SCHUSTER CHILDREN’S UK/22ND JANUARY 2019 by MARGARET K. MCELDERRY BOOKS (US)

Genre: TEENS + YA/FANTASY

The Cold is in Her Bones is a decent Medusa-inspired read, but wasn’t for me, if I’m honest. I liked it well enough, but found the overall story to be boring and I couldn’t relate to the MC at all. She seemed weak and tedious and a ‘boo hoo baby’ like her mother. The world and characters were very well written and realistic, but I couldn’t get over the pace of the story. I really wanted more from this novel. The prologue was truly the best part of the novel and I thought we’d get more of Hulda’s story or that maybe she’d feature in it a bit more. No such luck. Also, Gitta and Jakob are just terrible people, which actually made me like the writing a bit more than I would have otherwise because I love when an author can make me hate a well-developed character. I guess you could argue that the mother was just trying to not get so attached in the case her own daughter wound up cursed, but I found that a massive character flaw for her. Gitta nearly redeems herself in one of the end scenes, but I needed more from it. The last 15% of the story was pretty good, though. I liked the way it wrapped up.

I really loved that this focused more on friendships and there was the allusion to love, but romance was never the main focus of the book. The themes of desire to be accepted for who you are and overcoming your demons were also great! We need more books that explore those and other hard themes that teens struggle with.

All that said this was just a THREE STAR read for me. I would recommend picking it up from your local library if you’re interested in trying it out.


One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.

Thank you so much to Peternelle van Arsdale and Simon & Schuster Children’s UK (via Netgalley) for the ARC.


3 stars