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 | When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

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Title: WHEN SUMMER ENDS

Author: JESSICA PENNINGTON

Released: 9TH APRIL 2019 by TOR TEEN

Genre: TEENS + YA/COMING OF AGE/CONTEMPORARY

I really loved this story. I’ve been following Jessica’s journey as an author ever since I heard about Love Songs & Other Lies, which I haven’t gotten to read yet, but will be adding it to my TBR for next month now that I’ve gotten to read this.

Olivia and Aiden trade narrating throughout. I generally love this style of writing, so I was able to immerse myself in it all the more. The perks of this style are that you get two PoV’s and so more details regarding various scenes, but this can be a serious downside if one of the characters is boring. Luckily, Jessica writes amazing characters, so I was happy to read both PoV’s throughout the novel. The pacing of the story was also really great. It was quick enough that I was able to read it fairly quickly, but still detailed enough that I felt I could nearly step into their story. 10 points for storytelling!

Olivia learns early in the story that her aunt, whom she lives with, has taken a new position in a different state – taking Olivia away from her hometown right before her senior year of high school unless she can find an alternative. She asks her boyfriend, Zander, if they can talk to his parents about her living with them. Said conversation doesn’t go to plan. Aiden is the varsity pitcher of the baseball team, and also Zander’s teammate. Aiden, it turns out, is having some issues with his pitching, so quits the team and takes a job with his family’s business – River Depot. Where Olivia ends up getting a summer job!

I think the bit I struggled with most was her mother re-entering the scene. I have had a tense (non-existentent) relationship with my own mother for more than a few years now. Obviously, it wasn’t the same situation, but I don’t believe I would have been able to forgive mine so quickly or easily as Olivia did in the novel.

I really enjoyed the setting of River Depot because it’s exactly the kind of place I would have loved to work at during the when I was in high school! It is quintessential summer on the river. This was a cute summer story with some heavy topics explored throughout. I felt some of it deep in my soul… There are a few themes I’ve struggled with in my own life, such as abandonment by a parent as well as the vision issues, so that was a bit hard for me. Made me relate to Olivia and Aiden, and I think it made me love it even more. Pennington explored those topics very well and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Had to be a FIVE STAR read for me.


Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.

Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?

Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.

Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.

Thank you so much to Jessica Pennington and Tor Teen via Netgalley for the ARC.

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