Silver in the Bone by. Alexandra Bracken | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Silver in the Bone (#1)

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 480

Publication Date: 4/4/23

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Romance

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

Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

A series opener inspired by Arthurian legend and fueled by love, revenge, and pure adrenaline!

Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower. As a mortal with no magical talent, she was never meant to break into ancient crypts, or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside. But after her thieving foster father disappeared without so much as a goodbye, it was the only way to keep herself—and her brother, Cabell—alive.

Ten years later, rumors are swirling that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend. A run-in with her rival Emrys ignites Tamsin’s hope that the ring could free Cabell from a curse that threatens both of them. But they aren’t the only ones who covet the ring.

As word spreads, greedy Hollowers start circling, and many would kill to have it for themselves. While Emrys is the last person Tamsin would choose to partner with, she needs all the help she can get to edge out her competitors in the race for the ring. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .

Content Warning: violence, gore, death

I wasn’t sure what to expect when requesting this book. I enjoyed Lore which is from the same author. So I thought the concept for this one was intriguing. Here is what I thought:

+ Once I got my bearings in the story, and things started to gel a bit better I was really into the action parts of this story. It’s quite an adventure that Tamsin goes through in this book. It’s urban fantasy so it starts off in the modern world and there is magic, portals and yes Avalon. So I enjoyed all the places this book took me, it’s quite a journey.

+ I liked the characters. Tamsin is that girl who has abandonment issues, doesn’t have a traditional family, doesn’t have anyone really except her brother Cabell. She keeps people away with a gruff, pessimistic front which means she’s not the easiest to be around. Cabell is dealing with some things! Neve is this cool and kind hearted girl who is a sorceress and then there is the gorgeous Emrys who is a rich boy but he has his own issues to deal with. And then there are all the characters in Avalon that were fun to get to know.

+ I mentioned the action but can I say I didn’t expect this to get a bit scary/creepy too? There are zombies in this one and they are relentless and vicious. I actually enjoyed the scenes when they were fighting them even if it got bloody and gory.

+ The ending is a cliffhanger but wow, how the story leads up to it is pretty exciting. I think the second half of this book was the best part, there were a few plot twists that were unexpected. I need to know what is going to happen with Cabell, what is going on with Emrys and I am rooting for the girls to do what they need to do!

~ It took me awhile to get situated in the beginning of the book because I was thrown into it. I didn’t know what Tamsin was, what a Hollower was, if this was fantasy, if this was contemporary. I kind of wish I was lead into it a bit better.

~ Pacing – at times this book was going really fast, because the action is really great and then once it would get good, it pulled back. I had to check a few times how many more pages was left in the book because I was hoping I was near the finish line. It definitely felt like 480 pages.

~ The zombies or Children of the Night are reminiscent of the Whitewalkers in Game of Thrones. They are afraid of fire, they are freakishly scary and want blood, and come out at night. It’s what I totally pictured in my head when I read the scenes with the Children of the Night. Also the bodycount factor reminded me of GoT also! The author wasn’t afraid to kill off good people in this story – it was a heartbreaking scene but definitely makes me want to read book two. But anyway if you aren’t into zombies – this might not be for you.

Tropes: found family,

Why you should read it:

  • King Arthur legends, adventure, zombies, magic
  • the enemies to lovers romance between Tamsin and Emrys
  • you like urban fantasy

Why you might not want to read it:

  • you get thrown in to the story, pacing is all over the place, it’s kind of chaotic until you get your bearings

My Thoughts:

I found this book very entertaining for the most part! The pacing issues made it feel laggy in some places but the action was really good especially in the later part of the book. I will definitely read book two because I want to know what happens to these amazing characters.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lore by. Alexandra Bracken | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Divine Rivals by. Rebecca Ross | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Divine Rivals (#1)

Author: Rebecca Ross

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 4/4/23

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Categories: Historical Fantasy, War, Gods, Romance, Young Adult, Grief

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

Thank you to Wednesday Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.

To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish―into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.

When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever. Shadow and Bone meets Lore in this epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.

Content Warning: violence, death, alcoholism, war, wounds, grief

I requested this book because it said Rebecca Ross wrote it and I was not disappointed. Here is what I thought:

+ I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this story and I was so surprised at what I got. This is a historical fantasy, set in a time similar to the 1950’s – the main characters are reporters who use typewriters to write their article for the newspaper. The fascinating thing in this story is the war wasn’t started by humans that we know of, but gods. And the gods have used humans to fight their war. We get a bit of the lore between the gods Dacre and Enva and why they started fighting. There is even magic in this world, magic typewriters, enchanted houses, which I thought was really fun.

+ Because this is basically a war drama – there is sweeping rivals to lovers romance, there is loved ones missing on the front lines, the horrors of war, the strength of love and character and I experienced so many emotions in this one book alone. I think I teared up three times. And I wasn’t expecting this book to do that to me.

+ The romance is a big part of this story and I love it. It’s the type of romance I would expect in a war drama actually and fits so beautifully. I’m a sucker for written letters (I am old enough to have done this back in my day lol), two people who love the written word – falling for one another because of the words they are writing to one another. It grabbed the romantic in me by the heart and I was rooting for their love from beginning to end!

+ There is more to the story especially when it comes to Iris trying to find her brother. My heart felt for both Iris and Roman. Mostly Iris because she was so all alone in the world. But what a tough young lady to keep on going even when it seems she has nothing left. She’s determined to find her brother and know if he was dead or alive. And Roman for overcoming an accident in his past that has ruined his family forever. I commend both of them for trying to love again even when they’ve both been so hurt.

~ There is a cliffhanger at the end and this book is a series. The ending broke my heart for Iris and her crew at the end of this book.

~ I do want more back story about the Gods because other Gods are mentioned besides Dacre and Enva, but I’m hoping that information comes in book two.

Tropes: magical correspondence, rival journalists

Why you should read it:

  • fan of Rebecca Ross
  • it’s got a little bit of everything: war, drama, gods, romance
  • I love Iris and Roman

Why you might not want to read it:

  • some readers might the story lacking in world-building especially in the mythology department but I’m hoping there is more of it in book two – the Dacre/Enva story kind of reminds me of Hades and Persephone but different

My Thoughts:

Where does Rebecca Ross come up with these stories? She is becoming my new must-read author only because she tries different things, different time periods, different settings and I always enjoy what she creates. I went with 5 stars for this book because the way this story took me for a ride, an emotional one at that, it even though it made me cry. I was caught up in the heartbreak for Iris, the horrors of war and the sweeping love story between Iris and Roman. I am so excited for book two, I’m just sad I have to wait awhile for it.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sisters of Sword and Song by. Rebecca Ross | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

A River Enchanted by. Rebecca Ross | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Review: The Queen’s Rising ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Damsel by. Evelyn Skye | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Damsel

Author: Evelyn Skye

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 3/14/23

Publisher: Random House Worlds

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons,

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

Thank you to Random House Worlds for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

A damsel in distress takes on the dragon herself in this epic twist on classic fantasy—a groundbreaking collaboration between New York Times bestselling author Evelyn Skye and the team behind the upcoming Netflix film Damsel, starring Millie Bobby Brown.

Elodie never dreamed of a lavish palace or a handsome prince. Growing up in the famine-stricken realm of Inophe, her deepest wish was to help her people survive each winter. So when a representative from a rich, reclusive kingdom offers her family enough wealth to save Inophe in exchange for Elodie’s hand in marriage, she accepts without hesitation. Swept away to the glistening kingdom of Aurea, Elodie is quickly taken in by the beauty of the realm—and of her betrothed, Prince Henry.

But as Elodie undertakes the rituals to become an Aurean princess, doubts prick at her mind as cracks in the kingdom’s perfect veneer begin to show: A young woman who appears and vanishes from the castle tower. A parade of torches weaving through the mountains. Markings left behind in a mysterious “V.” Too late, she discovers that Aurea’s prosperity has been purchased at a heavy cost—each harvest season, the kingdom sacrifices its princesses to a hungry dragon. And Elodie is the next sacrifice.

This ancient arrangement has persisted for centuries, leading hundreds of women to their deaths. But the women who came before Elodie did not go quietly. Their blood pulses with power and memory, and their experiences hold the key to Elodie’s survival. Forced to fight for her life, this damsel must use her wits to defeat a dragon, uncover Aurea’s past, and save not only herself, but the future of her new kingdom as well.

Content Warning: self harm, injuries, violence

I love this book cover and I was intrigued with the synopsis and the fact that this is going to be a Netflix movie. This is what I thought:

+ I like how the story starts off as a fairy-tale, Elodie is about to marry a prince and their union would help her drought, water-starved country and people. Her prince is the gorgeous and everything seems to be going perfect…until it’s not!

+ Elodie is a very strong character and she has to be since she is thrown into a horrible situation. She perseveres and survives because she loves her sister. There is a very big theme about sisterhood and feminism in this story. And Elodie is the one to change the tide for females in this story.

+ I love all the action because it was unexpected. There is a sense of doom the more the story carries on and there is a lot of action! Because of the action, this will make a good movie.

~ This story was not what I was expecting. There is no romance, but I think that was okay. The bulk of this story is Elodie struggling to survive. It’s a very quick read, with the action moving the story at a fast pace but I just felt like I wanted more from the writing. I felt like this is for younger YA readers.

~ The ending was interesting and surprising but I felt like it was rushed.

Tropes: girl saves herself

Why you should read it:

  • you love a survival story in where the girl, who is supposed to marry a prince, saves herself
  • lots of action – would translate well into the movie

Why you might not want to read it:

  • wait for the movie instead

My Thoughts:

This one was an interesting read full of action, which I enjoyed and a character trying to survive for her sister. I wasn’t really engaged in the writing, and I have read The Crown’s Game series from this author and I feel like Damsel but the way it’s written makes it definitely apparent it’s going to be a movie. And I think it will be an entertaining movie!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Three Kisses, One Midnight by. Roshani Chokshi, Evelyn Skye, Sandhya Menon | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Book Review | Circle of Shadows ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by. Amélie Wen Zhao | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night (Song of the Last Kingdom, #1)

Author: Amélie Wen Zhao

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 512

Publication Date: 1/17/23

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology, Dragons, Demons, Romance

In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past–and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.

Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before she died.

No one can see the mysterious mark–an untranslatable Hin character–except Lan. Until the night a boy appears at the teahouse and saves her life.

Zen is a practitioner–one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumored to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.

When Zen comes across Lan’s unusual qi, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He’s never seen anything like it–but he knows: if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime.

Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.

Content Warning: violence, death

I got this book on my online library and really haven’t read many reviews for it or wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it. Here is what I thought:

+ I like the other series this author wrote, so I was definitely interested to see how this book would pan out. I love the writing because it’s full of action, secrets, a fallen kingdom, a people trying to hold on to their culture and heritage and passing on their knowledge. There is magic, there are demons, and even a tiny bit of a romance.

+ I thought Lan was a intriguing character – she’s a song girl, but she has a mysterious seal on her arm and I was invested in her story to want to desperately find out what that seal on her contained! This book is about power and the consequences of power when there is no balance – and Zen’s character really exhibits the fight inside himself, trying to control a demon, trying to contain his anger against the Elantians and wanting to not be helpless against them anymore. I sympathized with both characters and the rest of the Hin who was trying to preserve their culture and family name.

+ The magic system is really cool and uses the power of qi. I love how the practioners (magic masters) have these amazing skills to fight and write magic seals. It made me wish I could see this book on the screen, just to witness these battles in action. There were really cool scenes in this book, especially the one where Zen and Lan are at the Guarded Mountain and the climax, big fight at the school was amazing as well.

+ The romance is so slight, barely there and with the way things end. It’s not looking hopeful at the moment, but I can’t wait to read book to see where the story goes.

~ The villain is so villainous, I hated him and was rooting for Lan to somehow take him down but it didn’t happen. They need more to take him and the Elantians down and it’s one of those books that makes me want to read the next and the next just to see them taken down.

~ The only thing that took me awhile to grasp at times was the magic because it had to deal with yin and yang and qi. Lan does grasp everything fairly quick even though she’s only training for about 2 weeks – but it’s due to her bloodline.

Why you should read it:

  • great world building, action scenes and characters fighting for their communities
  • Lan and Zen’s internally battle with the demons and wanting power
  • cool magic system

Why you might not want to read it:

My Thoughts:

I went into this one not really knowing what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. I love the action and the whole story was just pure entertainment. There were moments I just was protective of Lan and Zen and I really, really want that villain to be taken down. I’ll be eagerly waiting to see where this story takes these characters in book two!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review | Blood Heir ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Red Tigress by. Amélie Wen Zhao | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In Nightfall by. Suzanne Young | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: In Nightfall

Author: Suzanne Young

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 384

Publication Date: 3/28/23

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal

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

Thank you to Delacorte Press for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

In the quaint town of Nightfall, Oregon, it isn’t the dark you should be afraid of—it’s the girls. The Lost Boys meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this propulsive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Treatment.

Theo and her brother, Marco, threw the biggest party of the year. And got caught. Their punishment? Leave Arizona to spend the summer with their grandmother in the rainy beachside town of Nightfall, Oregon—population 846 souls.

The small town is cute, when it’s not raining, but their grandmother is superstitious and strangely antisocial. Upon their arrival she lays out the one house rule: always be home before dark. But Theo and Marco are determined to make the most of their summer, and on their first day they meet the enigmatic Minnow and her friends. Beautiful and charismatic, the girls have a magnetic pull that Theo and her brother can’t resist.

But Minnow and her friends are far from what they appear.
And that one rule? Theo quickly realizes she should have listened to her grandmother. Because after dark, something emerges in Nightfall. And it doesn’t plan to let her leave.

Content Warning: underage drinking

I was definitely interested in this book because of the book cover and the synopsis. The Lost Boys meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Yes! Here’s what I thought:

+ I like the mysteriousness of the Oregon town, Nightfall. Something seems off to Theo but she doesn’t know what it is. I love the setting and I did like the addition of the paranormal podcasters which sets the tone for something spooky and amiss possibly going on in Nightfall.

+ I like the Theo and Marco sibling connection. I got a good sense of their family bond and the recent challenges in their broken family. And I like how Theo fights for Marco when things start to hit the fan.

+ The story moves quick and I thought it was an easy read.

~ Some issues I had with the story was that I wanted more action, wanted more danger, and wanted more tension. The villains didn’t come off super dangerous until the end climactic scene. I like my vamps to be dangerous – I want to be scared, but I wasn’t.

~ I didn’t get why Theo’s grandmother was so hostile and couldn’t help them out by telling them more about the town. If it’s to keep everything mysterious, it didn’t work, it just made me frustrated. She comes through in the end but honestly a little heads up on some of the things going in town would’ve been helpful to Theo and Marco.

Tropes: small town

Why you should read it:

  • set in a small town, a gender-bent The Lost Boys (vampires)
  • quick, easy read, lots of mystery and in the end some vampire slaying

Why you might not want to read it:

  • for me, I just wanted more from the story- more action, more danger

My Thoughts:

This was an okay read for me but I love the cover and the nods to The Lost Boys and Buffy. I just wish it had more spooky vibes and more danger but overall it was entertaining.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Misfit by. Elle Kennedy | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Misfit (The Prep Series)

Author: Elle Kennedy

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: 11/29/22

Categories: New Adult, Prep School, Romance

Finding out your mom is marrying some rich guy you’ve never met is enough to make any eighteen-year-old’s head spin. And for RJ Shaw, it gets worse: he’s being sent to Sandover Prep for senior year. If there’s one place a misfit hacker like RJ doesn’t belong, it’s an ivy-covered all-boys boarding school for rich delinquents. There’s no point trying to get along with anyone. That is, until he meets Sloane Tresscott in the woods on the outskirts of campus. Gorgeous and sharp-tongued, Sloane is pure temptation. Except Sloane is the one girl he’s forbidden from touching. The headmaster’s daughter. Good thing RJ doesn’t believe in rules. Sure, Sloane insists she’s swearing off boys this year, but he wants her bad, and he’s going to win her over if it kills him—unless her ex-boyfriend, the ruling king of Sandover, kills him first. Luckily, RJ’s unwittingly made some friends. His new stepbrother Fenn, a pretty boy with a self-destructive streak. Lawson, self-proclaimed agent of chaos. And Silas, the All-American good guy who can’t actually be as nice as he seems. If RJ wants to survive prep school and win Sloane’s heart, he’ll need to figure out a way to use all the secrets hidden in the walls of Sandover.

Content Warning: bullying, violence, toxic relationships, teacher/student relationship

Continuing on with my prep school book craving, I picked this one up Kindle Unlimited and this is what I thought:

+ I already knew this one would be a bit raunchy but whoa – okay are prep school kids really having this much sex? Because I hope they are getting tested and staying protected. I liked that the MC is a guy who doesn’t fit in – he’s a hacker and his mom married into money but usually I read these stories from girl POV’s and it was nice to get it with a male lead.

+ There is a whole cast of characters in this one and different POV’s – a lot of them are supposed to have done something bad to end up at this prep school but it’s definitely white collar crime stuff. And I find it interesting that Fenn and his friends aren’t the baddest kids at this school. There’s a guy name Duke who is the biggest bully on campus and Fenn and his friends are basically the party boys who try and stay on Duke’s good side.

+ I liked RJ and Sloane. She’s a man-eater with a really bad, douchey ex-boyfriend. RJ is on the quiet side, but still confident even if he’s not the physical and macho type. He’s a hacker so this is definitely the hacker-hero trope which I hardly get to read but always am eager to read. I think they balanced each other!

+ There is a mystery in the story too and I hope there is more progress in book two since it does concern Cassie.

~ It’s new adult but yes these kids (some are 18) are already having hot, steamy sex – some having it at a marathon pace (Looking at you Lawson 😆). Speaking of Lawson, he even has teacher relations – just a warning. And he is an equal opportunity kinda guy so he likes the girls and guys. But I always feel like these stories should be set in college – but I guess that’s expected in college. With Seniors in high school it comes off a bit rebellious which is the appeal.

~ There are multiple POVS in this one and I think it worked out okay for the most part but I think it slowed down the story a bit. I do wish it was just RJ and Sloane’s POVS. But the multiple POVS gives an intro to all the major players, I just wish it was a bit less. It gives a bit of a background into Cassie and Fenn who are the main characters for the next book. Silas’ perspective is not very exciting yet and well Lawson is Lawson.

Why you should read it:

  • you like the bad, rich boys who are up to no good – and there are the girls who want to tame them
  • entertaining if you like lots of drama and angst
  • RJ and Sloane make a cute couple once they get past some trust issues

Why you might not want to read it:

  • toxic relationships

My Thoughts:

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for these toxic drama stories and this definitely brought it! I’m definitely going to read book two because I want to know about Cassie’s situation plus book two is about Cassie and Fenn, so I want to see just what she does to tame this wild party boy.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

Good Girl Complex by. Elle Kennedy | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Bad Girl Reputation by. Elle Kennedy | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️

Thornwood Academy: Never Say Die by. L.J. Swallow | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Thornwood Academy: Never Say Die #1

Author: L.J. Swallow

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 212

Publication Date: 2/8/23

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Prep Academy, Mystery, Supernatural

I’m a vampire-witch hybrid with a fondness for necromancy.
Excuse me if I’m a little dead inside.

I tried to attend a human school, but they didn’t appreciate my behavior. Personally, I found biology class more interesting when the dissected animals fought back. The school didn’t.

My parents searched for somewhere new to send their deviant daughter, and doors open when your father is Dorian Blackwood. Then they close firmly behind once he dumps you inside an exclusive supernatural academy, along with instructions to become ‘a touch more amiable’.

Says the guy who spent his teen years tearing throats out. Luckily, I’ve inherited my father’s sociopathic tendencies and my mother’s magical skills, a lethal yet useful combination when navigating academy life.

Thornwood Academy. Home to the elite who strive to excel—and now me, who strives to leave. Since the supernaturals revealed themselves to the world, the unluckiest human kids join the vampires and witches at Thornwood. Hopefully, the humans aren’t dissected in this biology class.

I don’t care that nobody trusts me, but when the headmaster’s son is found unalived, fingers point at Dorian’s darkling daughter. Ridiculous. I would’ve reanimated the bullying asshole and demanded he perform tricks. Such a wasted opportunity.

If I want help clearing my name, I need to become ‘a touch more amiable’ to the three guys who seem oddly fascinated by me. Somebody doesn’t want the accords between humans and supes to last, and I’m not taking the blame just because I’m a Blackwood.

Looking for an academy read with Wednesday vibes? Meet Violet Blackwood: half-vampire, half-witch, smart, sarcastic, and slightly unhinged.

Never Say Die is the first in a new supernatural academy series from LJ Swallow,author of the Nightworld Academy books. The Thornwood Academy series features a girl who isn’t afraid to use her dark side, a magic school where humans mix with vampires and witches, and three guys with secrets in a town stalked by a serial killer.
Thornwood Academy is also a slow-burn romance… almost as glacial as our slightly psychotic heroine.

Content Warning: bullying, violence, death

I was in the mood for a prep school, bingeable book and picked this one up on Kindle Unlimited and this is what I thought:

+ I was reading the story and realized right away that Violet, our MC, is a dead ringer for Wednesday Adams from the show Wednesday on Netflix. And I LOVE that show. So I was enjoying Violet also since they are basically the same person, even though they look different. Violet has blue eyes I believe. Anyway so this reads like a Wednesday fanfic.

+ This is a SUPER short book, at only 212 pages – so it’s definitely bingeable, and clearly it’s a series but yeah I read this one quick.

+ I like the mystery and investigation – it keeps the story moving and once again, reminiscent of Wednesday.

~ I don’t mind Wednesday being an inspiration because I am obsessed with that show but there are too many similar things to the show. Violet investigates a murder and she sees a therapist in town – sound familiar? She even goes to the morgue just like Wednesday did and then the love triangles with the boys. Violet has a few more boys on her list but it still felt so similar to Wednesday. Violet’s whole personality is Wednesday Adams. Even her roommate – okay she’s not a werewolf, she’s a bubbly, optimistic personality though which is also reminiscent of Wednesday’s roommate in the show.

~ This is a spin-off to another series, I believe because I’m pretty sure Violet’s parents had their own series. I never read it though and I don’t think you need to read it to be able to read this one.

Why you should read it:

  • you love Wednesday (on Netflix) because basically this is the book version with very few differences
  • it’s quick and bingeable, entertaining

Why you might not want to read it:

  • its too similar to Wednesday

My Thoughts:

Am I going to continue the series? Yes because I need more of Wednesday and can’t get any more until they release Season 2 lol…so this series will have to suffice. Do I feel like the story could have been inspired and used less of what was in the show? Definitely yes. I love a character like Wednesday, but maybe not copy the scenes from the show and the secondary characters? I’m giving it a three because I still read it in one sitting and will definitely see how this reverse harem will work out. I mean, will it? She doesn’t even like being touched! So I’m curious to see what happens in book two and I hope it’s a little more original and not follow the Wednesday show.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

The Sweetest Betrayal by. Natalie Mae | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Sweetest Betrayal (#3)

Author: Natalie Mae

Format: ebook (own)

Pages: 394

Publication Date: 2/14/23

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Series, Magic, Adventure, Romance

In this heart-pounding conclusion to The Kinder Poison trilogy—which People magazine proclaimed a “delicious high-stakes adventure”—war looms over Orkena, but can Zahru save her people without losing herself?

War has come to Orkena.

Zahru has risen as Mestrah, and she is determined to peacefully end the escalating tensions with Wyrim, her country’s long-time enemy. Yet diplomacy proves to be futile, and when Zahru turns to Orkena’s allies for help, she finds that none are willing to come to her aid—not without Kasta ruling at her side.

As Wyrim advances on the capital, Zahru is desperate to protect her people, even if that means accepting Kasta’s help. But her enemy is merciless. And as ambushes and betrayals push Zahru to increasingly dark tactics, she wonders if perhaps Kasta had it right all along: maybe peace was never an option … and maybe she was never meant to do this alone.

Can Zahru spare her enemy without sacrificing her kingdom? Or will Orkena’s salvation only come if Zahru becomes the monster her people need?

Content Warning: violence, kidnapping

This is one of my most anticipated reads for 2023 and it did NOT disappoint. And the covers for these series – absolutely stunning. Simple and stunning and I will be adding this to my bookshelf for sure. Here’s what I thought:

+ Things carry on right away from the ending of book two and boy does Zahru have a lot to answer for and face in this last book of the series. She goes through some things! But she has to in order to grow. She has major trust issues especially when it comes to Kasta. But also she doesn’t know if she can even trust herself with this god-like power. Is she a good person? Is she bad? Is she a good leader? She has a lot of growing up to do if she wants to prove she can be Mestrah.

+ One reason I love this series? The characters! From our main ones like Zahru and Kasta to all her friends her found family of sorts, they are all different, complex and amazing. They fight, argue, have fun together, support one another – intervene if need be. I love this group of characters. Hen is my favorite! I want her as my bestie.

+ Zahru and Kasta are off the charts and I didn’t even know if they would make it in the end! I didn’t even trust him for most of the story. 😅They had me anxious, eyes wide, palm over my mouth when some things happen. But wow the tension between them is so good and then also wondering as a reader if they are even good for one another made me question a lot of things but honestly and I don’t know if it’s my hormones but I teared up in some places of this book. I love them so much. They are the perfect couple in all their imperfections and I love that ultimately it was about them finding their way to trust one another and forgive. I can go on but yeah…I found a new favorite couple. They have a few steamy moments but what I love about it is it’s quick, not super detailed but you still feel the heat, maybe because it’s a long time coming and it comes as a relief that they finally stop fighting one another.

+ Wonderful story telling! It has humor, romance (and not only between Zahru and Kasta), friendship, battles, danger, adventure and more. I read this in one day without expecting to! And I wrote this review after I finished because I was feeling so much things about this book.

+ A perfect ending to a great series!

~ Some of the young characters sounded like the spoke in modern day speech which sometimes threw me off but I went with it and laughed a lot when it happened because it was mostly between Zahru and her friends. I didn’t mind it at all but I don’t remember if the previous books had the characters talking this way. I’ll have to re-read the whole series and I most definitely WILL since I loved this conclusion so much.

Tropes: enemies to lovers

Why you should read it:

  • Zahru and Kasta 🥰 – angst, bickering, tension, enemies to lovers and a very happy ending
  • great cast of characters – Hen is amazing
  • great story-telling, action, adventure, politics, romance

Why you might not want to read it:

My Thoughts:

I loved this conclusion – it had everything I wanted and really exceeded any expectations I had. I just wanted it to be as amazing as the cover and I can say it did it’s job in making me happy and satisfied at the end. Great series that I will be re-reading again hopefully soon! I want Natalie Mae to be working on her next series now with more enemies to lovers please 😅. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Kinder Poison | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

The Cruelest Mercy by. Natalie Mae | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sisters of Sword and Song by. Rebecca Ross | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Sisters of Sword and Song

Author: Rebecca Ross

Format: paperback (own)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: 6/23/20

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Family, Mythology

From the author of The Queen’s Rising comes a thrilling YA stand-alone fantasy about the unbreakable bond between sisters. Perfect for fans of Ember in the Ashes, Sky in the Deep, and Court of Fives.

After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder.

Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death.

Content Warning: whipping, violence

I am a fan of Rebecca Ross and when I saw this on an online bookstore and learned that it was a standalone, I bought it. Here is what I thought:

+ It’s a compelling story about two sisters, one a warrior, the other who has a bad leg – both very loved by their family. When Halcyon, the warrior, finds herself in big trouble with her command, her sister, Evadne tries to save her. But then Evadne gets embroiled with a secret, dangerous mission. Evadne and Halcyon are the key to this mission.

+ I love Evadne and her family. I could feel the love in their family from beginning to end and it was touching how she wanted to help her sister and the cost of being a slave. The other family is Straton who is Halcyon’s commander in the Legion she served. Though he comes off as a villain in the beginning, as the story unfolds I saw how much he really did care for Halcyon. I loved that both families had to work together to stave off a rebellion.

+ This story has everything! It has mythology, magic, politics, betrayal, love, romance, and friendship. The mythology feels like it’s inspiration is taken from Greek mythology.

+ Evadne has a romance with Damon and though it seems like something so mild as they work alongside one another, by the end my heart melted when they finally got a chance with one another.

~ I thought this story could have been darker and more intense. The magic and mission was very dangerous and what Halcyon is accused of is really so devastating for everyone involved. But I did feel there was a lightness to this story, very much a presence of hope throughout it all – maybe because of Evadne? Halcyon did have a darker journey though but I think I wanted to be fearful for the sisters, but I wasn’t. But also, I think it works and is perfect for teens and young adult…just for me as an adult reading, I wanted it darker.😅 Because it really is a great story.

Why you should read it:

  • it’s a standalone
  • you like books by Rebecca Ross, it’s great story-telling
  • the relationships are really amazing – the romance, the sisters, the family dynamics

Why you might not want to read it:

  • kind of wanted more in intensity

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining with the world building, the magic, and the dangerous mission. What I loved most though was the relationships between the characters. The romance between Evadne and Damon is the sweetest. The bond between Evadne and Halcyon is heartwarming. I read this one slowly mostly due to a busy week, but by the end of the book it really melted my heart – especially Damon’s journal entries. 🥺 Great story and I look forward to reading more from this author!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A River Enchanted by. Rebecca Ross | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Review: The Queen’s Rising ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Where Darkness Blooms by. Andrea Hannah | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Title: Where Darkness Blooms

Author: Andrea Hannah

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 320

Publication Date: 2/21/23

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Categories: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery, LGBT+, Horror, Magical Realism

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

Thank you to Wednesday Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Andrea Hannah’s Where Darkness Blooms is a supernatural thriller about an eerie town where the sunflowers whisper secrets and the land hungers for blood.

The town of Bishop is known for exactly two things: recurring windstorms and an endless field of sunflowers that stretches farther than the eye can see. And women—missing women. So when three more women disappear one stormy night, no one in Bishop is surprised. The case is closed and their daughters are left in their dusty shared house with the shattered pieces of their lives. Until the wind kicks up a terrible secret at their mothers’ much-delayed memorial.

With secrets come the lies each of the girls is forced to confront. After caring for the other girls, Delilah would like to move on with her boyfriend, Bennett, but she can’t bear his touch. Whitney has already lost both her mother and her girlfriend, Eleanor, and now her only solace is an old weathervane that seems to whisper to her. Jude, Whitney’s twin sister, would rather ignore it all, but the wind kicks up her secret too: the summer fling she had with Delilah’s boyfriend. And more than anything, Bo wants answers and she wants them now. Something happened to their mothers and the townsfolk know what it was. She’s sure of it.

Bishop has always been a strange town. But what the girls don’t know is that Bishop was founded on blood—and now it craves theirs.

Content Warning: rape, violence

I wanted to read something creepy and look at this cover – it’s totally creepy. This is what I thought of the story:

+ I like the four different main characters. Four girls, who’s mothers are gone/missing or dead – the town assumes they are dead. So these four girls: Bo, Whitney, Jude and Delilah all live together and basically are trying to move on with their lives. They had distinct personalities and their lives are intertwined with certain events that culminated at a bon fire party. There is a big mystery in this story and these girls are the ones trying to figure out what is going on. I like the feminism theme in the story

+ The town of Bishop is strange. Women and girls go missing or end up dead every few months – but why? There is no “hospital” even though one of the girls had to be brought to one. There are the Harding boys who seem like they are the popular boys in school who can get whatever they want, but what they is to mess with these girls. There are these random storms or tornados but they are in a small town so that doesn’t seem totally mysterious…or is it? And what’s with the sunflowers?

~ A few things didn’t work for me – I was thrown into the story and left to figure things out. And it took me awhile to care about what was going on in this town. All I knew was that the boys were awful and two of the girls were in love with one of these awful boys, and that sucked. I knew right away this town was killing it’s women, but why? And why didn’t anyone else in town care about missing women?

~ I’ve read a few books similar to this but I don’t think I enjoyed the execution of this one. Everything is a big mystery but it didn’t creep me out as much as I wanted it to and it had all the potential to do so. I didn’t know what the connection was to the tornados, sunflowers and missing women and when the mystery is revealed I wasn’t super surprised. I wanted to know more about the town and get a better feel for the people, even the villains. I just wanted more from the story and I wanted to be spooked. Sunflower fields and a strange, small town with missing women has such a big potential to scare me, but this didn’t.

Why you should read it:

  • you like lite-horror and magical realism
  • the feminism message in the story

Why you might not want to read it:

  • didn’t scare me enough
  • slow start

My Thoughts:

This one didn’t work for me. I liked the concept and I like the creepy town, and the sunflowers fields, but it wasn’t as scary as I was expecting. I also feel like the story just didn’t flow easily. The bright spot for me in the story is the one about the girls working together to figure out why the women were going missing. The girls survive what is coming for them together, which is awesome, especially because it is such a dark story.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble