book review, coming of age, contemporary, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega | Book Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

Author: Crystal Maldonado

Format: eBook – borrowed (Overdrive Library)

Pages: 308

Publication Date: 2/2/21

Publisher: Holiday House

Categories: Teen/Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Body Image, Family, Friendship, Dating, Coming of Age

Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. 
Harder when your whole life is on fire, though. 

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter. 

But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.

  • Love the message for girls and guys in here about body image and loving yourself no matter what size you are, no matter what skin color you are, no matter who you love. Charlie has to live with a mom who has chosen a fitness lifestyle and is trying to get Charlie to do the same. It causes Charlie’s self-esteem to take a beating and her relationship with her mom is strained. It was very relatable. It’s hard growing up in a family that points out every time you gain weight, I can definitely relate!
  • Charlie deals with a lot of body issues but the one thing she excels at is her writing, which is fantastic. I love that she has that outlet for her creative ideas and she’s good at it.
  • Charlie and her best-friend Amelia have an amazing relationship until Charlie finds a boyfriend. But they have a long hard talk about what came between them and I love that they had this moment. Charlie needed to speak her truth and Amelia as well. I love that even though they took some time apart, the came back together, maturely and talked it out. That’s what makes a friendship grow, when you can get through the rough parts.
  • Charlie’s romance with Brian is sweet because it starts as a friendship and I love that for her. Even the drama that came with it was realistic, especially because Charlie has some emotional issues to deal with that have nothing to do with Brian.
  • The cast of characters are quite diverse in this story, Charlie is half white/puerto rican. Brian is Korean with two mothers, and Amelia is black and pansexual.
  • Triggers: grief, fatphobia
  • Charlie’s mom really gets on Charlie to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to lose weight. It comes between them a lot. At times her mom seems to understand where Charlie is coming from and then the next scene it’s back to normal, shoving diet drinks in Charlie’s face. Even after Charlie lets her know how she feels, I felt like her mom didn’t truly get it.
  • The beginning was slow for me, it was turning out to be just an okay read for me because it seemed liked a story that was only about Charlie’s self-image but the second half of the book is where it gets really good and emotional.

Charlie Vega, despite her weight and self-image issues comes out shining in this story. She goes through some challenges with her mother, her first attempt at dating and best friend drama but she gets her happy ending. This book is great for teens and young adults because it’s totally relatable. I enjoyed this one, even though I thought it had a slow start, the second half came through with lots of emotion.

💛 ~ Yolanda

Quotes from the book:

book review, fantasy, magic, netgalley, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

The Stolen Kingdom | ARC Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: The Stolen Kingdom

Author: Jillian Boehme

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 336

Publication Date: 3/2/21

Publisher: Tor Teen

Categories: Young Adult, Teen Readers, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Court Intrigue

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

  • World Building ~ Mara lives on a vineyard that produces the best wine in Perin Faye. That all changes when she discovers she is from a royal bloodline, and she is maybe the true heir to the throne. The Thungraves have ruled Perin Faye since they stole the magic and throne from the Dallowyn line. There is dark magic, good magic and politics at play here which makes it an intriguing story.
  • Characters ~ I thought Mara was pretty level headed even if she was thrust into a high pressure situation. She also knew she didn’t want to just be a winemaker all her life and I liked that she accepted her role as Queen. There were two sides to this story, and two perspectives being told which I appreciated. Prince Alac didn’t want to be royal but he is tied to this dark magic his father has entrusted upon him. What will he do when someone comes to take the crown from them? Will he fight or surrender? I think he was the perfect spare, kind of aloof, didn’t care for the royal duties and out of sync with his father and brother.
  • Romance ~ slow burn, enemies to lovers – I think it was perfect. Mara had her goals and really did good sticking to them until she came to care for Alac. Alac had his own dreams too until something major comes between them. I was fascinated to see how it would work out for them after the major scene that took place to throw all Mara’s plans off but in the end it worked out well. And this story is very PG rated, basically only kissing happens and not a lot of it.
  • The story is written well. I read it in one sitting which was unexpected but I was drawn to Mara and Alac’s story.
  • Triggers: death
  • A little bit of insta love? Maybe – Mara and Alac only knew each other for like…2 weeks? I didn’t mind it and this is a standalone so I think it fit because they did fight their feelings for one another and the ending left me satisfied.

I really enjoyed The Stolen Kingdom. I found Mara to be a strong main character and Alac equally intriguing, they made an interesting pair who in the end had a common goal to save their kingdom. I think this is more for teen readers than young adult but can be enjoyed by both.

📚 ~ Yolanda

Blog tour, Book Excerpt, book review, bookish, coming of age, contemporary, Teen Readers, Young Adult

BLOG TOUR } Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices

Welcome to the book blog tour for Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices by. Masuma Ahuja!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Title: GIRLHOOD: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices

Author: Masuma Ahuja

Format: ebook (NetGalley)

Pages: 256

Publication Date: 2/9/21

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Categories: Non Fiction, Girls

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

What does a teenage girl dream about in Nigeria or New York? How does she spend her days in Mongolia, the Midwest, and the Middle East? 

All around the world, girls are going to school, working, dreaming up big futures—they are soccer players and surfers, ballerinas and chess champions. Yet we know so little about their daily lives. We often hear about challenges and catastrophes in the news, and about exceptional girls who make headlines. But even though the health, education, and success of girls so often determines the future of a community, we don’t know more about what life is like for the ordinary girls, the ones living outside the headlines.

From the Americas to Europe to Africa to Asia to the South Pacific, the thirty teens from twenty-seven countries in Girlhood share their own stories of growing up through diary entries and photographs, and the girls’ stories are put in context with reporting and research that helps us understand the circumstances and communities they live in. This full-color, exuberantly designed volume is a portrait of ordinary girlhood around the world, and of the world, as seen through girls’ eyes.

  • It is wonderfully multi-cultural! So many different girls from around the world are featured in this book. I love the full color pages of the girls, it’s wonderful to see their smiles.
  • I love the diary entry format and scrapbook style of the book. This is the kind of book I would have loved to read when I was a teenager. It’s inspiring and makes me want to travel to experience the different cultures out there.
  • Showcasing different girls around the world and their own thoughts makes one feel not alone. Though the girls come from different places and live unique lives, there is something relatable about each girl whether it’s how they feel about school, friends, their family and the future.

This is a wonderful collection of stories and thoughts from girls all over the world. It is inspiring and relatable and perfect for young girls to add to their book collection!

📚 ~ Yolanda

Author: Masuma Ahuja

book review, coming of age, contemporary, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

I Wanna Be Where You Are | Book Review

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Title: I Wanna Be Where You Are

Author: Kristina Forest

Format: Hardcover (own)

Pages: 256

Categories: Young Adult, Teen Readers, Contemporary, Romance, Family, Friendship, Coming of Age

A debut young adult rom-com about an African American ballerina who finds love on the road to an audition.

When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast—two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.

  • I love the cover and the pastel aesthetics. It’s so pretty and makes me feel like it would be a good spring/summer read.
  • Chloe and Eli’s adventure was eventful although they did lie or withhold information from their parents. I thought it something that mended their friendship and then some.
  • Chloe is a talented dancer and want to realize her dream of joining a company but she’s at odds with her mother who doesn’t feel like it’s a good career choice for her. Eli is going through the same thing with his dreams of wanting to be an artist as opposed to his dad’s dream of him pursuing law just like he did. That was very relatable to me because I remember feeling lost as a teen, wanting to please my parents but knew my major wasn’t what I really wanted to do in life.
  • The romance is sweet, and this is a quick, light contemporary read with a happy ending. It covers family dynamics and pursuing your dreams, so it’s perfect for teen readers.
  • Triggers: car accident, grief, anxiety
  • Other than Eli cursing a few times using the F word, this book is fairly rated PG. Or is PG-13 with swear words? I don’t know – I’d rate it PG though haha. It’s more for teens than young adults.

I enjoyed this quick read and in my teen years, this was the kind of book I’d have devoured in one sitting. This is a solid debut and I think Kristina Forest will definitely be a name to watch for in the contemporary teen and YA romance genre.

📚 ~ Yolanda

book review, coming of age, contemporary, E-book, magic, New adult, paranormal, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

Love Spells and Other Disasters | ARC Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: Love Spells and Other Disasters

Author: Angie Barrett

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: 2/1/21

Categories: Romance, Young Adult, Witchcraft, Friendship, Family, Contemporary

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

I didn’t know when I wrote the first love spell that it would actually make things happen. Like, actually make people fall in love with each other… 

How could I have known something like that? I mean, magic isn’t real, right? 

But here’s the thing—the spell does work and so does the next one and the next one…and suddenly I’m getting a whole lot of attention from everyone at my high school. Me, Blend-into-the-Walls, Please-Let-Me-Introvert-in-Peace Rowan Marshall. And not only that, but I’ve also caught the attention of Luca Russo, a godlike, football-playing hottie who claims he likes me just the way I am. Ummm…

But as I’m about to learn, playing around with things you don’t understand means when things go wrong—like really, very awfully wrong—you don’t know how to fix them.

  • Rowan has an interesting mom who is famous for being a parapsychologist, someone who studies the mystical and unexplainable. Ro feels like people at school thinks she is weird because of it. She has one best friend, Ethan who’s been friends with her since childhood and that pretty much consists of her social life, or lack there of…until a project at school makes her realizes she has the power to cast spells.
  • The romance is cute with a touch of heat. There are some sexy scenes but it stays PG-13 for the most part. Luca is the hot jock who is actually a nice guy. The romance comes of as insta-love but he did confess he was into her way before he talked to her. I mean, there are love spells involved so it gets complicated.
  • I did like how Rowan and her project partner, Abby, innocently start making these love spells for a project without thinking of the consequences but when it all hits the fan…the consequences are bad. Rowan does the right thing and takes responsibility. She tries her best to fix broken relationships by doing acts of kindness, which I thought was awesome.
  • I think this story had a good blend of romance, drama, and witchcraft.
  • Rowan isn’t your typical strong girl who can stand up for herself, Ethan helps her do that. Abby pushes her around when it came to doing the spells, but I guess Rowan felt guilty also for her part in ruining Abby’s science project years ago. I think Rowan is strong in her own way, not loudly, but in telling the truth and acts of kindness.
  • We don’t learn much about Rowan’s magic lineage in the story until her mom starts finally talking about her dad which is near the end of the book. It would have been nice to get some idea of how she could do the spells earlier in the book.
  • Ethan was her best friend until that spell really took a turn for the worst and he turned on her. That sucked to see since yes Ro cast the spells, but Ethan asked for the spell. I’m just glad they made up.
  • I read an arc copy so there were some errors near the end of the book which probably will be cleaned up by publication.

I enjoyed reading this witchy romance story because it was a nice blend of sweetness and drama. I liked seeing Rowan blossom as she starts dating Luca and also it was good to see her tackle the consequences of the love spells going bad by helping the ones she hurt. Even though Rowan and Luca seems like an insta-love kind of deal, he actually was into her way before the spells and I loved their relationship. We get a happy ending and it gave me all the feels in the end, that’s all I wanted, so goal accomplished.

♡ ~ Yolanda

book review, contemporary, E-book, magic, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

Instant Karma | Book Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: Instant Karma

Author: Marissa Meyer

Format: eBook (borrowed)

Pages: 400

Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In this young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her—both good and bad.

Chronic overachiever Prudence Barnett is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate. 

  • I enjoyed the slow burn of Prudence and Quint’s relationship. Their partnership during the school project was quite intense. They do not like each other and honestly…I can see Quint’s point because being micro-managed is the worst! Yet I relate to Prudence where you know you will pick up the slack of the other team member if need be for a good grade. I like that we see them get to be friends first though.
  • Love the theme of environmentalism and this story set in a coastal town. Who doesn’t love a story about trying to save wildlife?
  • Prudence isn’t perfect, she’s just Type A controlling at times and super ambitious – which is a good thing, because she is determined to reach her goals. I’m glad Quint was there to call her out on some things though because she was super judgmental when it came to Quint. I just wanted to shake some sense into her sometimes.
  • Prudence got on my nerves a lot. Poor Quint! I like that she learns a lot of things in the end, like how it’s not all about business and making money, that causes have to actually mean something if you want other people to care about it too.
  • The instant karma..”magic” for me didn’t work at times…especially when it kind of disappears in the middle of the book? Haha…I guess everyone was on good behavior or something? It was an interesting idea though, and Prudence learned from it in the end.

Overall, this was a quick read and I enjoyed the enemies to lovers vibe with Prudence and Quint. I’m not a fan of Prudence though, she seriously needed to let go of control but I’m sure my husband says the same about me. 🤣 Basically no one is perfect but if you can listen to the other person and let them help out, good things can actually happen.

📚 ~ Yolanda

book review, coming of age, contemporary, Teen Readers, Young Adult

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter | Book Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Author: Erika L. Sanchez

Format: paperback (own)

Pages: 368

Categories: Young Adult, Family, Friendship, Grief, Mental Health, Identity, Coming of Age, Sexual Situations

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American home. 

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend, Lorena, and her first love (first everything), Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

  • Julia is a Mexican American teen who is feeling trapped by grief and her family with their strict rules. I could relate to Julia even though I am not Mexican American, my parents are immigrants, so I remember not understanding some of their rules even silly ones like not shaving your legs. I couldn’t understand my parents, just like how Julia couldn’t understand hers. Her story is very relatable to me.
  • Julia is so judgmental until near the end when she becomes so overwhelmed with her thoughts and feelings about Olga’s death, her mom, herself…that I realized she needed help. I thought it was powerful that we saw her coasting through life, angrily and acting out (but nothing too crazy), thinking she’s going to be okay, she just needs to let time heal woulds and all that and then the situation becomes dangerous. This is very relatable too – how many of us think we feel trapped, not realizing we need help? I remember that in my teen years and beyond as well. I’m glad we see how Julia gets the help she needs.
  • I liked when Julia goes to Mexico. It reminded me of my parents taking us on our family trip to the Philippines when I was 7 years old. I remember seeing and hearing my dinner being killed, and butchered. It was quite an eye opening trip. But it was nice to learn more about Julia’s family in Mexico and glad she had that time to feel a bit freer from her anxiety.
  • Julia as a character is real as can be, her thoughts aren’t censored, she judges everyone harshly but it was refreshing. She wasn’t likable, but she didn’t even like herself, and who does like themselves as a teenager? Julia is dealing with so many things at one time: grief, her mom’s rules, trying to please her parents/family, hating her life, and investigating Olga’s past. She is imperfect and I loved the scenes where she is finally acknowledging her thoughts out loud to someone else who listens without judging her.
  • Triggers: grief, suicidal ideation, violence, sexual harassment
  • I thought this story moved slowly in the beginning and it almost lost my attention, especially since I thought investigating Olga’s past was the main thing about this story – but nothing much happens there until the big reveal at the end.

Despite it being a slow moving story, it is powerful in the way it explores immigrant Mexican American families, grief and mental health issues. None of us are perfect but most of us live with the pressure from our parents or other family members to be their idea of perfect. Julia was not about to conform to their ideals but she felt trapped and didn’t know who to talk to about it. This is a great book for teens coming of age.

📖 ~ Yolanda

book review, coming of age, contemporary, romance, Teen Readers

New Year’s Kiss | Book Review

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Title: New Year’s Kiss

Author: Lee Matthews

Format: eBook (borrowed)

Pages: 240

Categories: Romance, Young Adult, Holiday Romance, Teen Readers, Contemporary

A fun and upbeat paperback original romance about a girl who has a New Year’s resolution to make the coming year epic in every way—and is willing to put herself out there for love.

Tess and her opinionated older sister Lauren are spending the week after Christmas at the snowy Evergreen Lodge in Vermont and they aren’t happy about it. Their stern grandmother, who owns the holiday resort, is not known for her warmth and good humor. But when shy, straight-laced Tess meets Christopher in the lobby, things are suddenly looking up. And when she decides to get out of her comfort zone and create a bucket list of things to accomplish before the New Year-like singing in public and skiing a black-diamond slope-Christopher is happy to help, even as he keeps a secret that could turn everything upside down. When the ball drops, will Tess and Christopher share a magical kiss-or will Tess start the new year off alone?

  • It’s short, sweet, wholesome, and a quick light holiday romance story.
  • I like the setting of a holiday resort in Vermont where it’s got snow, skiing and a quaint town. It’s a perfect read for Christmas/New Year’s.
  • It’s one of those books where the main character makes a list of things she’s never done and tries to accomplish everything on the list before a certain time, this one would be by New Year’s – she has like a week to do it.
  • Definitely more for teen readers than young adult because it’s light reading. Tess’s parents are going through a divorce and she and her sister Lauren are trying to bond while at their grandmother’s lodge. There isn’t much drama going on in the book, no depth. I was bored in the middle since we pretty much knew what was going to happen.
  • Didn’t really connect to any of the characters.

For what it is, a romance teen holiday story, it hits all the marks – we have the right location, family time (that you dread) and meeting cute boys. Tess goes through some drama but nothing heavy at all and in the end there is a happy ending. If you want a quick holiday romance read geared towards teens, then you will like this one.

🎉 ~ Yolanda

book review, E-book, fantasy, magic, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

Among the Beasts & Briars | Book Review

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Title: Among the Beasts & Briars

Author: Ashley Poston

Format: eBook (borrowed)

Pages: 352

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance

Cerys is safe in the kingdom of Aloriya.

Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.

As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.

  • World Building ~ this book is told like a fairytale. It’s so light, magical, and full of fantastical things like a fox that turns into a boy. It has villains, a mysterious wild wood, a legend about a kind and so forth. All of it worked beautiful to me. There are two kingdoms, separated by the wildwoods. And in these woods are scary creatures like the ancients and bone-eaters and a fog so thick it’s easy to get lost in.
  • Characters ~ we have Cerys/Daisy a gardener’s daughter with a touch of wild magic in her. A fox, who becomes a boy. A villain who wasn’t always one. I love Cerys and Fox’s relationship even though Fox had to do some soul searching. Their romance was sweet, it was barely anything until the end, so I liked seeing them bicker as friends do. Fox might be my favorite character in the book because he is so conflicted but with good reason.
  • I love how whimsical the story is – but it did have it’s dark parts especially when dealing with the ancients and bone-eaters. I enjoyed it all! The story felt like it was a combination of Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty mashed together (without the sleeping parts, just the briars). For me it was about pure escape!
  • We get a happy ending…and maybe a sequel? I’m here for it if we get a story about Seren and the Lady of the Wilds.
  • This story is like a fairytale and so if you are looking for a heavy detailed ya fantasy, this is definitely not it. It seems like it’s made for teen readers (has some profanity in it), and I don’t usually enjoy teen fantasy and gravitate more towards mature YA or NA but I found this one was really fun to read!

I didn’t know what to expect with this book because I borrowed it mostly due to it’s beautiful cover art! I was pleasantly surprised when I couldn’t put the book down. I was swept away in this magical world with a girl and a fox trying to save the people she loves. If you like light young adult fantasy stories that read like a fairytale, you may enjoy this one.

🦊 ~ Yolanda

book review, E-book, fantasy, kindle unlimited, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

Shadow Knights (Knights of the Realm #2) | Book Review

My Rating: 2/5 Stars

Title: Shadow Knights (Knights of the Realm, #2)

Author: Jennifer Anne Davis

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 301

Categories: Teen Readers, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

With Prince Henrick dead, a foreign army in league with the king, and the palace taken, Reid must find a way to right the wrongs for the people of Marsden.

Reid never expected to find love, friendship, or her mother in the kingdom of Axian. She also never expected to become a leader for her people. With the king threatening to overthrow the dukes and take complete control of the kingdom, Reid realizes she may be the only one in a position to stop him. With the ring her father gave her, the commanders of the army at her side, and a master schemer in league with her, Reid just might be able to pull off the greatest upset in Marsden history—all she has to do in step into the role she was born for.

To protect her kingdom, Reid must outsmart them all. Luckily, she’s spent the last eighteen year learning the art of manipulation, and she isn’t above putting those skills to the test.

  • I read the arc of the first book in the series through NetGalley then saw the final books in these series are on Kindle Unlimited so I decided to finish the series. The first book didn’t was flat – but I did like the girl growing up as a boy, Mulan thing going on. So I wanted to see what happened. Reid is now living as a full on girl, but trying to adjust to it.
  • I do like Prince Dexter and his brother. They seem to have a close bond and are very different from each other.
  • The political intrigue between kingdoms is solid. I thought it kept the story moving.
  • I think this series is for a teen reader yet I was expecting young adult story levels. So this sequel fell even shorter for me than the first did! Reid just feels so weak for someone who grew up as a boy. She is so boring and doesn’t inspire me at all. What was her role as a knight really? She’s supposedly undercover but it seems like everyone knew why she was in Axian, there was nothing shadow like about it! That frustrated me the most.
  • Reid and Dexter lack chemistry. They didn’t do it for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • The writing was more telling than showing at times.

I will say this, if you want a simplistic, light, young adult fantasy story, you will enjoy this one. It’s a quick read. For me, I don’t think I’ll read the next book because I just want a bit more from Reid since she is the main character.

😘 ~ Yolanda