ARC REVIEW | Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

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Title: SPIN THE DAWN (THE BLOOD OF STARS #1)

Author: ELIZABETH LIM

Released: 9TH JULY 2019 by KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

Genre: TEENS + YA/FANTASY

REP: Asian Culture | TWs: violence, death (of loved ones), blood, imprisonment, war themes


Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.


ask me to spin the finest yarn or thread, and I can do it faster than any man–even with my eyes closed. yet ask me to tell a lie, and I will stumble and falter to think of one.

i have never had a talent for spinning tales.

WHAT A STORY!! I was actually worried this wasn’t going to live up to the hype of the reviews I’d seen around, but was still intrigued by the plot which is why I requested it on Netgalley. AND I am SO glad I did!!

Maia is the ‘obedient one,’ but really she is the glue that keeps her family together. Like her mother told her, she will be the salvation of them in the end. Maia is such a strong heroine. During her journey to become the imperial tailor, a post only held by men, she will come to find what it really means to be their salvation. She also goes through a lot of internal turmoil on this journey, which allows her to determine what matters to her most. She has to make a lot of hard decisions, but it only increased my love for her. As her story progressed, I found myself cheering her on and hoping things work out for her as best as possible!! This being a series, of course we don’t have an entire resolution; however, a lot of the situations surprised me! I never figured out how the journey would end before Elizabeth told us, which doesn’t happen to me all that often. Several of the other characters are also amazing! Specifically Edan, the Emperor’s Enchanter….

he broke his promise to me. at first I thought it was because the war and magic had blackened his heart, but that is just the way of men. for what is a promise if it’s made to a women?

The writing is absolutely stunning! It draws you in and holds you close while you wind your way through a wonderful tale of adventure, sacrifice, and the beauty of relationships. Elizabeth has given us a stunning tale and I am so appreciative to have received it. One of my favourite scenes is near the end – 88% mark or thereabouts – when Maia and Edan visit a monastery. The conversation between Maia and the monk beside Amana’s spring is beautifully written and heartrending. Pay special attention!

I guess I kind of see the comparison with Mulan – being a story of a girl striving to bring honour to her family in the guise of a man – but Spin the Dawn is a story all its own, as well. I hope you pick it up and love it just as much as myself!

and with that, i fell asleep with the saddest of smiles on my lips.


Thank you so much to Knopf Books for Young Readers via Netgalley for the ARC.

Add to Goodreads | Buy a copy


ARC REVIEW | Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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Title: WILDER GIRLS

Author: RORY POWER

Released: 9TH JULY 2019 by DELACORTE PRESS

REP: LGBTQ+ | TWs taken from https://itsrorypower.com/wilder-girls/: Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death, and animal death, though the animals are not pets; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Food scarcity and starvation. Emesis; A scene depicting chemical gassing; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation; Non-consensual medical treatment.

Genre: YA HORROR


This story made me highly uncomfortable and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. We really need a lot more novels that explore what people are able to become, even when it’s not nice to examine. Wilder Girls is a story about a boarding school in which the entire community is affected by something they’ve taken to calling the Tox, but they don’t know exactly what it is or how it came to affect them.

My favourite thing about this story is that it focused on female friendships rather than romance or anything else. Girls are so strong when we lift each other up and have each other’s backs! The POV switches between Hetty and Byatt, two of the main three girls. The triumvirate rounded out by Reese. The relationships between each are very different and seem to be held together by Byatt, so you can imagine how messy it gets once Byatt is gone…

The girls are so flawed! Not only are they conscious of that fact, but they’re also allowed to be so! There’s definitely a discussion on the ideals of society as regards young women in there. The only thing I’d change is getting more answers about all the things I still have questions about, because damn, I need to know!! There are so many things to love about this, though! The atmosphere, the girls, the plot, the tension throughout, and the not knowing what will come next! Rory Power just made my list of auto-buy. I just love her writing

Hands down a FIVE STAR read for me.

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It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


Thank you so much to Rory Power + Delacorte Press for the ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

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Title: WAITING FOR TOM HANKS

Author: KERRY WINFREY

Released: 11TH JUNE 2019 by BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Genre: ROMANCE


I don’t know if you’ve all noticed, but I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump these last few weeks. Between being so busy with my business and just life, reading some really wonderful books in the last few months, and feeling generally overwhelmed, I just haven’t been interested in much I’ve picked up. Enter Waiting for Tom Hanks, stage left…and I immediately felt pulled into this story!

Annie is a college graduate who thought she’d be further in life, love, and her career at this stage than she has gotten; however, her life hasn’t gone to plan. I must say, I didn’t love her as much as I expected I would, but she was necessary to the story. I wish she’d been a little bit of a stronger character, but I still enjoyed her. I loved her best friend Chloe, though! She was hilarious, down to earth, and totally not afraid of calling Annie on her bullshit when needed! Annie has some very high standards – her ideal man owns a houseboat, after all – and will settle for nothing less! Meaning she is waiting for her own Tom Hanks to show up in her life. I guess she’s lucky a romcom is being filmed in her hometown!

Drew is a very famous movie star who is cast in previously mentioned romcom, and Annie hates this idea of this jokester ruining this movie. So, obviously, she pre-judges him. There’s more to him than she knows, though. Turns out he’s a way better man than the gossip sites portray *shock*. She views their interactions way differently than himself and they take a little while to sort things out. But once they do, it’s magic! I loved them together and felt they were a really great match. AND THAT GRAND GESTURE – BE STILL MY HEART!

There are several minor characters I loved throughout -Uncle Don, Nick, and Tommy, to name just a few. They really gave the story added depth. I truly loved Kerry Winfrey’s storytelling and world-building. She’s a massively talented author, and I cannot wait to see what she gives us next!

This was a cute, fun story that kept me highly entertained start to finish! I just want to read Annie’s screenplay, now!

Definitely a FOUR STAR read for me. Keep reading for an excerpt!


A rom-com-obsessed romantic waiting for her perfect leading man learns that life doesn’t always go according to a script in this delightfully charming and funny novel.

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?

EXCERPT (Chapter 4)

I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.

In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his forehead.

“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”

“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”

“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.

“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.

Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches. “Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”

“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.

“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an interesting backstory!”

I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”

“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for destroying his probably very expensive coat.”

“Meet what?”

Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.

“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy 101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy meet.”

Everyone stares at her blankly.

“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.

“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.

Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure, Gary.”

“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.

I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”

“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.

Nick rolls his eyes.

“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”

“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still hot?”

“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.

“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.

“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”

“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your wedding to Drew.”

I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”

Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”

As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.


Thank you so much to Kerry Winfrey + Berkley Publishing Group for the ARC.

four stars

T10T: Ten Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

April 30: Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

I love quotes! I generally have loads in my screenshots from my ebooks, so here goes!

  1. Death is kind of turning out to be a mean, weird bitch. – How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow: Grief just sucks and doesn’t play by the rules.
  2. How could her brain conjure something that seemed so real, something laden with so much horrifying detail, and yet there be nothing at all? – Little Darlings by Melanie Golding: Holy jeez, this just brings to mind all the tricks our brains can play without our wanting it too. Sure, a few nights ago, I had a nightmare I was fired from a job I currently love (mostly).
  3. These books are filled with documents and accounts that expose that story for what it is: an appropriation of history by the East to hide its own sordid past. A twisted piece of propaganda to conceal its crimes. – Viper by Bex Hogan: So much of history and current events are like this. We really need to question things before we take them as truth.
  4. Are we able to separate what we were from what we are? Are are we what we are if we’re always hiding some of what we were? – All We Could Have Been by T.E. Carter: This was just a heavy novel start to finish… So much of it had me thinking and processing. I think the answer to this is yes, mostly. I guess it depends on what we’re hiding, but we should also be able to keep what we want from the world…not that we should have to do so, though..
  5. And I hate the moon. I hate the stars. I hate the darkening sky. And rain and fog. I hate hospitals. And beds with sheets. And every machine ever made. And nurses and doctors. Keep her alive, that was the one thing they had to do. That was the one thing I had to do. And I hate myself most of all. – Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds: I loved this scene for all the feeling involved.
  6. My point is we’re all monsters to someone or something by some definition. It’s the context of the situation that matters. – White Stag by Kara Barbieri: Someone will make you into a monster at least once in your life. Hopefully it’s no one important to you… But even if they make you out to be the bad guy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are indeed bad..
  7. It all suddenly, and belatedly, felt too real, the things these girls had gone through, what can happen to missing girls. – Sadie by Courtney Summers: This entire book wrecked me, but this line in particular hasn’t left my heart. To think about what the forgotten girls, the missing girls, the outsider girls have gone through because they weren’t safe just ruins me. This is so close to home for me because I had a very unsafe childhood and the men Sadie’s mother brought home could have been the very same types of men I saw with my own mother. It’s a scary world.
  8. No. It just gets different, sometimes easier, sometimes worse. Grief’s a mixed bag of different kinds of shit. – Ruin of Stars by Lindsay Miller: Grief sucks… see quote 1. Everyone handles it differently.
  9. Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are. – LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff: You are allowed to be human. We all go through changes. Just try to be better than your past self. That should be your only competition.
  10. Our heads are so fragile, but our hearts are even more delicate. – Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt: Isn’t it just so true?? We can rationalise a hell of a lot, but sometimes our hearts just will have none of it!

 

So, let me know if you’ve read any of these and your thoughts! Do you have a favourite quote this week? Thanks for stopping in!

 

ARC REVIEW | To Best The Boys by Mary Weber

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Title: TO BEST THE BOYS

Author: MARY WEBER

Released: 19H MARCH 2019 BY THOMAS NELSON

Genre: TEENS + YA FANTASY

Rep: Dyslexia, Autism, Downs Syndrome, Women in Science | TWs: Death, Near Death Experiences, Grief, Parent Illness

Initially, this story comes off very outdated being set in a world where women have duties to the home, family, and sometimes socially, and men are the breadwinners nearly exclusively – going to college to be trained in something or doing other work, such as fishing. We have Rhen, who is a woman scientist and flies in the face of everything her society takes as normal, so obviously she’s a bit of an outsider. But she’s so cool! She thinks differently and it takes her so far!

Rhen’s mother is sick from an illness, which has no cure so Rhen and her father are doing research to try and find the cure. She gets samples from dead bodies to study and experiment with, which I found highly fascinating. Rhen is extremely unconventional. When the letter for the competition arrives, Rhen starts to get ideas about how to get funding, or even support, for their research into the illness and upcoming cure  – leading her to enter the competition herself! Her cousin, Seleni, is her companion in nearly everything, yet very opposite in her future goals. I enjoyed that recognition that women don’t all have to strive for great things to be fulfilled in life. Seleni just wants to be a wife and mother someday, but she is all for supporting Rhen in her dreams! We all need ladies like that in our lives – or just people in general! Find you people who lift you up!

I quite liked a lot of the side characters. Beryll was lovable, even if he was a bit of a flop. Lute was a bit standoffish – for good reason – but has a heart of gold (one of my favourites). Rhen’s parents are so great and made my heart soar. And Mr. Holm himself was quite surprising, and very modern!

The story was a lot of fun, but the pacing was a bit slow at times. Sometimes I felt I wanted more (action or detail, depending on the scene) and it kind of felt like part of the build up was just filler and could have been handled better. That really didn’t detract much from me loving the characters and how the story happened. It was unique and fun, and I would recommend it – if only for the important conversations about standing up for what you believe in and not having to fit in to what society expects of you. Even if you only pick it up for the labyrinth aspect, I hope you take away some of the important points Weber makes in this story.


Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Thank you so much to Mary Weber and Thomas Nelson via BookLookBloggers.com for the Review Copy.

four stars

T10T: (First Ten) Books I Ever Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Topic – (First Ten) Books I Reviewed (These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too! Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

Girl of Myth and Legend (The Chosen Saga, Book One) – May 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review

Wow!!! So many emotions upon finishing this book…it’s a very strong piece and not straightforward at all, which made me want to read it all the more. Some parts of the story were a bit confusing, but seemed to be resolved by the end of the novel. Yes, there are stereotypical aspects to the story, but the originality to the majority of the story far outweighs the cliché. There always seem to be so many things happening beyond the immediate issue and the author always keeps you guessing. The strong female character is my favorite part of the novel. It’s nice to see a storyline in which the lead character is not only female, but independent, yet flawed. I love it and truly cannot wait to see what happens in the next novel.

Solace – May 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was easy to get into and interesting, but….

This was a very hard read….emotionally, I mean. As someone who knows multiple people who have been to war, I can totally identify with Corina, albeit not to the same extent as her actual experience. The plot is extremely well developed and satisfying, even if it doesn’t turn out to be the perfect ending. There’s conflict and danger and high emotions, and it all comes together in such a way as to leave you feeling as though there might be a silver lining in most outcomes given the right perspective.

Therin Knite is an amazing author and I really look forward to checking out other novels in the future. I would highly recommend Solace and hope to hear your take on it.

The Forgotten – June 2016 3/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

This book was truly a struggle to read for about the first half to three quarters of the story. I simply could not get into it. The writing was very strong (I do like Jennifer’s style), but the story itself was hard to finish due to the explanation and detail she put into it; and I actually read several other books to procrastinate finishing this. I feel that too many aspects were repeated throughout the novel that should have been obvious.

Of course, I’m bound to come across books now and then that I’m not complete enthralled by, but it could have been worse, I suppose. The last bit of the story, when it all starts to come together, was decently interesting and I would consider reading the next novel in the series to find out what happens to Emilie and Will, as well as Kell and Jakob. The characters were the main redeeming quality of the story. Especially the children themselves. Some of the characters were seriously terrible and I wished them ill, which ultimately happened.

The plot was really dark and sad, so I couldn’t get myself very interested in reading. There was quite a lot of fantasy aspects, which was great since fantasy is one of my favorite genres; however, a lot of the fantastical creatures were not well explained and so I could not clearly picture them as I read.

Sivec herself is a pretty good novelist, it seems, and I would definitely consider reading more of her work. This novel, however, was a trial and I cannot highly recommend it.

The Lost Soul – June 2016 4/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I enjoyed reading this book because it’s not what you would expect and each time you think you’ve gotten it figured out, something changes to throw you a bit. It turns out that, even in fantasy, not everyone is redeemable. Sometimes, there are simply factors that cause people to be lost from us. Yes, this title probably refers the THE ‘lost soul’ of Echena, but I wonder if the author meant it to apply to more than one character in her novel, as many of them are ‘lost’ in one way or another….

The development of the lead character throughout the novel was inspiring. She goes from a 16 year old, sheltered schoolgirl to this independent, strong, and capable lady of the land and leader of what the establishment considers a rebellion. However, it all becomes clearly a battle for human rights once you get into it. I won’t go into much more because that would spoil it! I will say, though, I love her companions and that they are very atypical.

I’m looking forward to reading book 2 in the series: The Oracle. The ending of The Lost Soul sets up a whole lot of action to occur in the next installment.

Marked – June 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I absolutely loved this book!! I got so stuck into it that I read it in just a few hours. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about what might happen next… Right up my alley with all the mystical creatures humanised and the lead character being so relatable. Not only is the author wonderful, but she is also hilarious and capable of writing the story of a strong female lead who may need the guidance of her companions in the new world she comes to, but is still more than able to take care of herself and kick some ass when needed.

I love when characters are multidimensional from the beginning and progress throughout their stories. Miss Tingey made all of that happen and more. I did realise within the first couple of chapters that Kayla is not all that she appears, but that really becomes obvious near the end of the novel. There’s always something that doesn’t add up throughout the course of the story; too many coincidences that are obviously not coincidental. Then, when one problem is solved, another arises. And, of course, as the story ends, she has the decision of a lifetime to make…

Will definitely be reading book 2 of the Soulseer series! As a matter of fact, I just downloaded it…

Bury the Living (Revolutionary #1) – July 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I absolutely DEVOURED this book! It was an amazing read – so gripping I actually couldn’t put it down until I was basically falling asleep.. McIsaac made Nora and the rest of the characters in the story come alive for me – I was cheering her on like I would any real person. I felt like I was right alongside her at times. She really makes you love the characters she brings to life for the novel. I was especially into it because it’s one of my favorite topics – Irish history. I find the history so rich and interesting, the fairytale aspect is so enchanting, and for her to combine both the way she did was so appropriate for the time period in which it was set – like adding magic to the real world. Then to make one of the characters an actual person taken from a fairytale? Unreal..

It was in the same realm as Outlander and Exit Unicorns – being a historical fiction – and a good way to fill the gap between those. While I feel it should have been longer and more in depth, that’s probably me being selfish because it didn’t last nearly as long as I wanted it too. I wísh there had been more detail, though, because more of the history could have used explanation – especially for those who know nothing about the time period. I got really into it, but felt it moved along too fast in some instances. I truly cannot wait for the second installation of this series. I believe it could be as good as the other series I mentioned above. I truly hope the next one is longer and more detailed! She’s an amazing author and this is going to be a classic series some day.

Of Fear and Faith (Death and Destiny #1) – August 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

Oh my steaming goodness!! This was such a great book… I enjoyed it from start to finish and wanted nothing more than to sit and read my book, damn the reality!

Anyway, a lot of the books I’ve been reading lately have some form of god/goddesses and mythology in them – this was no exception, but, damn, was it amazing! Such an original storyline and I loved the characters created by ND Jones. There was so much complexity to both lead characters and loads of secrets going on! Loved seeing the way they interacted with each other and gave a little while holding back a lot. It was interesting to try to figure out what was happening when the writing went really vague in order to not give it all away too early. I loved the mystery and romance and suspense! Would definitely recommend this to mature readers!

Obsidian (lux #1) – September 2016 5/5

To be completely honest, the moment I found out Obsidian was about aliens I nearly stopped reading. I am simply not a fan of alien novels. Not really my thing. However, since a really good friend recommended this to me, I decided to read at least the first book in the series. I am SO glad I did!! Daemon + Katy FOREVAH!

I am so in love with these two + Dee + a few other characters. This story is rife with love + betrayal + so many difficult stories. Also, I love that she’s a blogger! I totally connect with her character. ❤ She’s so real and complex, but all the characters are multi-dimensional through the story. How else would you be drawn so far into this world of aliens and alternate universes? I also believe that if the bad guys aren’t complex, they’re not realistic at all. So when I find myself truly wishing a character ill, I feel it’s an amazing story.

On of my favorite scenes in this first book is when Katy goes to the neighbor’s house since the kids living there are around her age. She’s simply going to ask directions, but the ulterior motive is to try to become friends with one or both teens. And man, there is some serious chemistry from the first interaction! I’m rooting for them from the beginning.

Armentrout has seriously made me an alien fan with this series, which is really saying something because any time I’ve experienced alien fantasy, I’m bored. This…well, I think aliens are pretty fantastic now! You’re gonna want to at least try the sample, but you’ll be sucked in within the first chapter if you’re anything like me!

Tied (owned #2.5) – November 2016 4/5

<strong>What if your hero was a bad, dark man?</strong>

That’s Charlie in a nutshell. He doesn’t think he’s good enough to be worthy of anything, but oh is he wrong… Vera + Charlie are perfection. My only complaint is this novella was too short!

ARC REVIEW | How to Make Friends with the Dark

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Title: HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE DARK

Author: KATHLEEN GLASGOW

Released: 11TH APRIL 2019 BY ROCK THE BOAT NEWS

Genre: TEENS + YA Contemporary

Rep: Foster Care, PoC, Disability. Mental Health, Found Family | TWs: Abuse, Grief, Loss of a Parent, Depression/Suicidal Thoughts, Substance Abuse,

this book 
is for the grievers 
this book 
is for the left behind
this book 
is for every broken heart
searching for a home

Kathleen Glasgow

This devastating masterpiece wrecked me entirely. I cried at least 3 times (probably more) and felt every bit of this deep in my soul. I’ve actually been dreading writing this review purely because I wasn’t sure that I would have the words to do it justice. I just…this is THE best book I’ve read this year –  hands down. I loved Tiger and her friends and family SO much! Tiger is in high school and it’s always been herself and her mom in their ‘good looking, good smelling, well-oiled machine,’ but when her mother dies Tiger’s world is completely upended. She feels a lot of guilt for several reasons regarding her mother’s death (read the book to find out why because I’m not telling), and then is thrust into a world she’s never experienced – the foster system.

This is where it got very familiar for me. I haven’t read many books that tackle the foster system, and definitely none that have done it so well! Kathleen approaches the topic with great care and respect, which I loved. She actually approaches all the heavy topics in this novel with the same care and respect, making it a beautifully written book. She wrote Tiger’s story as a way for herself to work through her grief, but in doing so has also given readers a book to do the same for them. For me, reading this novel was cathartic, especially after the loss of my fiance’s mother last year. I was very close to her and miss her like my own family – because she pretty much was. We miss her so much and I don’t think that ever stops. Grief is hard and it sucks, but I guess that’s the price we pay for that kind of love. That experience made me connect to Tiger even more.

death is kind of turning out to be a mean, weird bitch. – tiger tolliver

The characters in HTMFWTD are phenomenal! Tiger, the MC, struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide. She has her best friend, Cake (love all the unique names, by the way), who is like a sister to her and passes up other opportunities to be there for her several times, and Tiger also meets a few keepers along the way. I love her found family. The friends she makes in foster care and grief group specifically are perfect. And then there’s a twist I never saw coming! Again, go read the book to find out what happens! I hate spoilers!

There is so much more to say about this, but just go get the book and read it so you can feel all the feels like me! This was a TEN STAR read for me – but obviously all the rating systems only go to five, so I want to give it ALL THE STARS!! Now, go read this so you can love it as much as I do!


From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces comes a novel about love and loss and learning how to continue when it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness that Karen M. McManus, the New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, calls “rare and powerful.”

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.

 

Thank you so much to Kathleen Glasgow and Rock the Boat News/Oneworld Publications for the ARC.

five stars