First of all, that cover is absolutely apt for this book. It was what drew me to it. I have anxiety and depression and sometimes it feels like I’m drowning and the surface feels too far away. This cover emphasized that and resonated with me.
Maybelline’s brother was the perfect one, who had his life all figured out, who he wanted to be, where he wanted to go to college whereas Maybelline can’t seem to get her mother’s approval for even one achievement. Then the unthinkable happens and Danny takes his own life, leaving May and her family reeling in the aftermath.
The author’s writing was exceptional. She did a remarkable job emphasizing and showing difficult issues such as mental health and racism. I liked that she didn’t just focus on Asian but Black people and the ignorance of others over the prejudice they have to endure.
Best of all, you could see May’s character growth as she fell down and picked herself back up, how she learned to see the world as it was and not how she wanted it to be. And you couldn’t help but love Tiya, Marc, Hugh, and Celeste.
The emotions in the story surged through and had a huge impact on me. The grief and the guilt, the sibling love between May and Danny, the friendships, that glimmer of hope at the end. And there were scenes that ripped your heart out and left you in tears.
The fact that the author could pull these powerful emotions in me says it all. This is by no means an easy story, with powerful scenes that will change you forever. And that is exactly why you need to read it.
Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Being a Holloway Girl means your kiss is literally magic. One kiss and good luck knocks on your door. Each Holloway girl gets one kissing season. But there are rules to follow. Break one of those rules and who knows what peril will befall you?
Remy’s older sister, Maggie, had her kissing season and now it’s Remy’s turn. She hopes and dreams of an amazing, successful season. Alas, her luck runs out with her choice for her first kiss, which starts a mess that spirals her life down the drain.
The story started out well, though I can’t imagine kissing anyone just to bestow luck. I did like Remy’s outlook on that, on being more selective than Maggie, on choices that actually meant something. I loved all the baked goods and the new characters were quite charming. I loved the intensity and pull between Remy and the new boy.
That said, the book dragged a bit at times, and the ending was kind of anticlimactic for me. I wanted the people who’d wronged Remy and her family to actually get their comeuppance and wished Remy had a stronger character. But all in all, it was a nice story.
I was going to review the book a day before the release date but decided to wait a few days because of my 3-star review. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
As a die-hard fan, I’m always on the lookout for new book releases of Nora Roberts and though lately there have been more misses than hits, Nightwork did not disappoint. From the get-go, I loved Harry Booth. He snuck in my heart and stayed there.
I empathized so much with him, over the huge responsibility he shouldered, what he took upon himself to try to pay the bills and take care of his mother. How can you fault him his choices?
I loved how the author portrayed him from a child to a teen to a young man, and as an adult. Harry Booth already had the maturity of an adult at a very young age but you could see the difference in age and experience as we followed his journey into adulthood.
The period of his life when he first met Miranda had me chuckling over how she baffled him. He needed that upheaval in his life. I can go on and on over how much I loved this book and it will still not be enough.
This story right here, is why I love Nora Roberts’ books so much. Her ability to craft a poignant story, with compelling characters, vivid descriptions, dashes of dark humor here and there, a deep abiding love, passion, intrigue, and an apt ending leaves me in awe.
Thanks to the publisher St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
An unbeatable thief in a world of shadows and secrets, how can you pass over a book like that? The answer is you can’t. From the book cover to the back, Holly Black’s new adult novel, Book of Night, is designed to entice and sink its claws deep into you so you can’t escape.
Charlie Hall isn’t your typical character, rather she’s an unlikely one, with a history of mistakes and bad decisions under her belt, but she did the best with what life handed to her. It’s all we can do, isn’t it? Play the cards we’re dealt.
Vince, another unlikely hero, the mirrored surface of a lake. Among the myriad characters in this book, he fast became my favorite. I wanted to know more about him and his story. How he and Charlie met, what happened to make him end up where he did.
I enjoyed the concept of the shadows and the power they held. This story had a lot of potential but I felt like the back-story kind of detracted from the main story. At times, there were too many details about the past and other characters that could have been shortened. In her young adult novels, Holly’s Black’s writing is compact, tight, and captivating. But the writing in Book of Night was kind of flat.
Despite that, I would have loved the story if not for the ending. The ending left me feeling cheated – like I’d been put through the wringer for nothing with no prize at the end. I mean, this is supposed to be a standalone but feels like the first in a new series? I don’t like when a book is advertised as being standalone but ends up being a series. It feels kind of underhanded. That said, I enjoyed the potential of this story.
I actually bought the eBook and finished it on May 13, Friday night, only to find that the publisher sent me the ARC by post, which I received today, on May 15, Sunday.
I thank the publisher, Tor Books, for the ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Gallant wasn’t what I was expecting but that is not to say it was a disappointment. Far from it. In fact, from the first page, I was so invested in Olivia I needed to know what was going to happen next, and how her life would unfold.
I enjoyed the side characters a lot and I empathized so much with Matthew. I understood him, his frustration, his feeling of imprisonment caused by duty and obligation, the burden of responsibility, the grief of loss, the pain and guilt. I liked Olivia but Matthew was my favorite.
And is it weird that I found the Master of the House enigmatic? Creepy as he was, I was also fascinated by him. The ending wasn’t what I wanted but I can say that it was apt.
The measure of a good book, for me, will always be the author’s writing – masterful, interlocking words that bring to life the story so vividly in my mind that it allows me to live vicariously through the character. That is the best compliment I can give for Gallant.
I remember when I finished the book, Fable and I was in pins and needles after that cliffhanger. I neededNamesake. I was dying to know what happened next. However, when I did get my hands on Namesake, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read it. I’m glad I waited to read it, otherwise, I might not have enjoyed it as much as I did now. In fact, I almost missed my stop one afternoon because I was so engrossed in reading, lol.
I started Namesake on Tuesday and every day I anticipated when I’d be able to continue reading it. The first few chapters were a bit slow but as the story progressed and I got in deeper and deeper, I enjoyed the intrigue and plot twists.
I saw a softer side of Fable that I found at odds with her character in the first book – I mean, I wanted her to be stronger, fiercer. Alternatively, I liked the darker side to West though I didn’t agree with some of his decisions. I enjoyed the emergence of the new characters who added value to the story as a whole.
Overall, in this duology I loved the originality of the concept of gems found in the seas, gem sages, and the dredgers. The plot twists were excellent and I loved that climactic conclusion to the story. Bloody fantastic! The ending was another satisfactory conclusion. The one thing I admired the most was how the author’s writing drew you in with a vividity that left you breathless.
I’ve been a faithful fan of the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon since back when the books were still being released. 16 years later and I’m amazed at the evolution of the Dark Hunters and Dream Hunters and the connections between all the stories and characters.
Meet our tortured hero, Valteri – deemed terrifying and unlovable and a horrible demon – because of, guess what? The color of his eyes! People can be so cruel. The one thing I’ve always admired about Sherrilyn Kenyon’s stories is her ability to show the worst of humankind. And the best of it.
Stuck in a predicament not of her own choosing, Ariel still saw Valteri for who he truly was. I loved that about her. She didn’t let the prejudice and bigotry of other people stop her from seeing Valteri’s good heart.
And of course we can’t forget all the hidden nuclear secrets, appearance of some favorite characters, a surprising cameo and a satisfying end. The pacing was a bit slower than usual but overall it was a nice addition to both the Dark Hunter and Dream Hunter series.
A big thanks to NetGalley & Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I came across this book on NetGalley and the title – “The Tangleroot Palace” was the first thing to intrigue me. I’m so glad I requested it and was lucky enough to get approved for it. From the first page, the author’s words caught my attention and held it, refusing to let go.
The Tangleroot Palace is a collection of 7 short stories and usually, for this type of novel, I’d review the book as a whole. But there was such depth and individuality to each story that it’s only fair to review each one.
1 – Sympathy For The Bones This was such a creepy little story and bloody fantastic in its creepiness about fairness and justice and the difference between helping someone out of the kindness of your heart and helping only to keep someone beholden to you. A lesson the young girl forced into apprenticeship to a Blair-type witch learned in time to save as much of her soul as she could. Is there forgiveness and redemption for acts committed when you had no other choice to try to save your soul? I want to think so, at least for this young girl who should have had people to love and care for her.
2 – The Briar and The Rose Stuck in your own body, helpless to do anything but watch and scream inside. And the desperation of one who would do anything to release that imprisoned soul. It was heartbreaking to see the struggle and the pain. I wanted more details on the conclusion but it was an apt ending so it didn’t disappoint.
3 – The Light and The Fury There’s nothing pretty about war – no dignity, no honor. One woman alone, longing for peace but burdened with saving her people. Another intriguing plot-line, centering around crystal skulls, which can be fascinating but personally, I find kind of creepy at the same time.
4 – The Last Dignity of Man I found this one to be a heartbreaking story despite the creepy element – the hopeless, never-ending search for a cherished wish and the desperate struggle to find a way to get past the heartbreak of knowing that wish would never come true. The ending hit me totally out of the blue, I did not see that coming but it stayed with me for a long time.
5 – Where The Heart Lives Oh, this is definitely one of my favorites in this collection. I have a soft spot for paranormal romance and I loved the main characters. You couldn’t help but love Lucy and Barnabus. And the romance between them was intense yet sweet at the same time.
6 – After The Blood Ah, this collection wouldn’t be complete without at least one vampire story with an apocalyptic bend to it, and tragedy and heartbreak. I loved Amanda and you can’t help but empathize with her and Henry, our tortured vampire.
7 – The Tangleroot Palace One last story to round off the collection and leave you with smiles. I loved Salinda and Mickel and the plot-line was predictable but not without its charm.
For a collection of short stories, the 7 stories did not feel like short stories. They left a hell of an impact on me and with a wish for more. The author’s writing was a pleasure to read and I am definitely getting The Tangleroot Palace in hardback for my collection.
A big thanks to NetGalley & Titan Booksfor the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been a big fan of Margaret Rogerson since I read A Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens. So I was super excited for Vespertine. I buddy-read it with my bestie and the first three-quarters of the book were pretty terrific.
I have to admit I didn’t connect with Artemisia at first – she seemed insignificant, almost like a minor character. But I found myself invested in her and ended up loving her. The thing is. the author did a fantastic job of eking out little bits of her that kept you wanting to know more. I also loved the way the author disclosed vital revelations at significant times that made a huge impact on the main characters and the story as a whole.
The revenant was fascinating and I loved the snarky interactions between it and Artemisia. I definitely want to know more about it. Another character I loved a lot – the white raven – he was such a funny little tyke. The plot-line was pretty great with surprising friendships though the character that I think is supposed to be the main love interest was kind of disappointing.
The ending unfortunately tanked for me. It felt unfinished. I get that Vespertine is the first in a new series but the ending didn’t have the impact of a cliffhanger which would have been epic. I hope the second book won’t disappoint.
10 Blind Dates is one of the books from my backlist that I finally got around to reading. Doesn’t the title itself intrigue you?
Blind dates are already anxiety-ridden experiences, and family being how they are – some relatives good, some bad, and some just plain mental, but in a cool way – now imagine being set up by those family members. These blind dates definitely promise to be interesting, if not unforgettable.
I started 10 Blind Dates without any idea what I was in for and don’t worry, not in a bad way. I think I read the first few pages without much enthusiasm but the second I met Sophie’s Nonna and the cousins and the rest of the extended family, I was hooked. Those first few pages made me think Sophie was a studious, average 16yo. But there was so much more to her and as I read on, I came to know her better and I gotta say the now-ex boyfriend, Griffin was an idiot to want a break from her.
I loved Sophie’s Nonna and the cousins! Charlie and Olivia and the rest of the family were such a hoot. They made me laugh so much with all their antics that it was hard to put down the book. Sophie got through some epiphanies and we all know how epiphanies can hurt like hell.
The author’s writing style was a pleasure to read and if you know me, you know I don’t say that about a lot of authors. What I loved most about this book was the sense of family and friendship. The tight-knit connection you can make with the good apples in your family. And that last date? It was the best ever.
That ending scene with Nonna was both touching and fantastic. One thing I can say about Nonna is she does things with panache. I can’t help but hope that when I’m her age I have even an ounce of her style.
This book left me in smiles long after I finished it. Actually, I read the ebook and ended up buying the hardback edition because I know I’m definitely reading this one again.
Readers, I do hope you give this one a try. Stay tuned.