Book Review | The Hunt (The Twisted Kingdoms, Book #1)

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: The Hunt (Twisted Kingdoms, #1)

Author: Frost Kay

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 326

Categories: Fantasy, Romance

Death marked her from her very first breath.

Being sired by a Madrid is supposed to be a blessing, but for Tempest, it’s a curse that leaves her orphaned, penniless, and enslaved to a blood thirsty crown on the brink of war.

Found too unruly to become a ward of the court, she’s thrust into the care of the King’s Hounds – the assassins and warriors responsible for protecting the kingdom. Driven by rage and an oath to avenge her mother’s memory, Tempest throws herself into training.

But becoming the first ever female assassin isn’t enough. Now, she must obtain the heart of her kingdom’s most feared enemy – the jester – a deadly shapeshifter hidden in a land twisted by myth and darkness.

Revenge is never easy or cheap. Tempest is willing to sacrifice everything to see justice served. Even her own soul and freedom.

I don’t recall the story of the Fox and the Hound – I’m sure I read it a long time ago, but despite that, I thought the premise for this book sounded pretty interesting.

Tempest is an orphan, raised by the King of Dotae’s ruthless guards, the King’s Hounds. When she becomes of age, she takes part in the trials to become the first ever female Hound. Tempest also is trying to thwart the King’s advances so she makes a deal with him. If she finds the infamous shapeshifter and leader of the rebels, the Jester, and brings his heart to the king – Tempest gets a seat on the War Council. But if she doesn’t succeed, she will belong to the king. Will Tempest complete her mission or will she be entrapped by the king forever?

  • I like stories about female assassins and Tempest is definitely a worthy adversary. We don’t see her much being a Hound in the story but on her mission to find the Jester, she shows the skills she’s known for back in Dotae. As a character I found her at times naive but willing to look at the evidence if things feel wrong, so I think there will be a lot of growth in the sequel with her, at least I hope there is.
  • Gotta love a sexy, flirty shapeshifter and we definitely have that with Pyre. He is a kitsune or fox shapeshifter. I like seeing how he cares for his people and yet knowing he is dangerous under the wily smile. I’m loving the attraction that is growing between him and Tempest. It’s a slow burn too, which is nice!
  • I enjoyed the world building in The Hunt. This book focused mostly on the kingdom of Dotae and the Talagans (shapeshifter community). But in the beginning of the book it explains in the prologue how this world came to be, a world filled with dragons, fae, shapeshifter, humans, etc…until the peace between them broke.
  • I did like Tempest’s bond with the men she grew up with, her uncles, the Hounds…of course she comes to question what they stand for later on but I think it will be interesting to see how Tempest deals with the information she has about the men she loves.
  • I think King Destin is a bit cringey especially how he preys on Tempest who is only eighteen years old. He is in his 40’s! 🙄 He is definitely the villain in this story.
  • And though I do like Pyre, why is Tempest getting caged in by these men?! 😕 I guess it’s trying to show how powerless she is as a woman in this world where the men are the leaders but I hope to goodness somewhere in the sequel or down the line in the series she gets her power back and kick some major ass, especially King Destin’s. By the way, these two men are not the only ones interested in her…🤷🏻‍♀️ but I hope that storyline doesn’t go anywhere. I don’t want a love triangle in this one, please!
  • Triggers: fighting, death, physical wounds

I really enjoyed Pyre and Tempest’s interactions with each other in this first book. It looks to be a long series according to the information on Amazon, so there is a lot more story to unravel here and I hope a juicy romance between the two eventually. I think the position Tempest is put in made me weary about the story a bit but I have hope she will overcome these traps these men put her in! 💁🏻‍♀️ I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

ARC Review | Sting

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: Sting

Author: Cindy R. Wilson

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

Categories: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance

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

They call me the Scorpion because they don’t know who I really am. All they know is that someone is stealing from people with excess to help people with nothing survive another day.

But then a trusted friend reveals who I am—“just” Tessa, “just” a girl—and sends me straight into the arms of the law. All those people I helped…couldn’t help me when I needed it.

In prison, I find an unlikely ally in Pike, who would have been my enemy on the outside. He represents everything I’m against. Luxury. Excess. The world immediately falling for his gorgeous smile. How he ended up in the dirty cell next to mine is a mystery, but he wants out as much as I do. Together, we have a real chance at escape.

With the sting of betrayal still fresh, Pike and I will seek revenge on those who wronged us. But uncovering all their secrets might turn deadly…

Thank you to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

And…I read this in one sitting! It’s been awhile since a book held my attention so much that I did not stop reading.

The city of Victor is divided into two sectors, the Darkside and Lightside. The “lightsiders” live in a world of light and glow in the dark fashion, they have enough to eat and have jobs to live a comfortable life. The “darksiders” live on the outskirts of the light, in the dark, with no food, jobs, and barely surviving. The Scorpion is known as a hero, somewhat like a female Robin Hood, stealing from the Lightside warehouses to bring supplies and food back to her people in the Darkside. But when she gets caught her world is turned upside down. Revenge is on her mind as she plans to take down the city’s leader, Campbell, without losing herself and the people she learns to love along the way.

  • The pacing of this story flowed so well it took me from beginning to end without stopping and kept me engaged in the story.
  • The world is set in a place where the poor and wealthy is clearly divided. Tessa, is known as The Scorpion because she builds little bots with scrap pieces and she uses these bots to get information on warehouses she will steal from. But she steals items to give to the poor in the dark side. She is their hero, but to the lightsiders, she is their enemy.
  • I liked seeing Tessa grow from this anonymous hero hiding under her ball cap, to becoming strong in prison and then changing again when she gets out. She has to transform to achieve her ultimate goal of revenge and exposing Campbell to take him down – and I did wish the scar on her stayed but I think it shows even when that was taken away from her, deep down she was still Tessa, one that was learning about who she was or who she was going to choose to be…but still Tessa.
  • Tessa and Pike… I loved their relationship. I love how he was level headed where she wanted to rush in with guns blazing. He kept her centered and was a shoulder to cry on. Their relationship grew from friendship and that made me so happy.
  • I like that everything tied up nicely! It’s been awhile since I read a standalone that just ends on a good note without me questioning so much or leaving an open ending.
  • I think the biggest thing about the book that might bum readers out…it has a love triangle! I know, I know…a love triangle. 😩 And I don’t mind love triangles, but if you do mind…well…this one has it. Tessa is immediately drawn to her best friend, River in the beginning of the book, like it starts off right away – you know they have history, it’s becoming a friends to lovers thing…and then bam. Things happen. 🤷🏻‍♀️ But then she meets Pike in prison and it isn’t insta-love…she’s confused, she’s dealing with some major emotions and events…she’s definitely allowed to be confused. But there were some parts I was like, no, please, don’t do the back and forth…PLEASE. 😅😩 Thankfully it IS resolved in the end.

I enjoyed this book a lot. From the beginning to the end, it hooked me and I was loving Tessa and Pike’s growing relationship through their hardships, challenges and fears. They made an awesome team and I was so happy for Tessa in the end. There was a lot for me to take away from this story – the importance of hope for people in despair, helping those in need, keeping people you love safe and knowing when enough is enough. Tessa risked a lot to help the darksiders but in the end she also learned there was more to life she wanted than just being a hero. I look forward to reading more from this author.

ARC Review | Foul is Fair

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: Foul is Fair

Author: Hannah Capin

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 336

Publication Date: February 18, 2020

Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary Sexual Assault, Rape Culture, Revenge, MacBeth Retelling, Murder

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

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target. 

They picked the wrong girl. 

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly. 

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes

Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

Golden boys beware, for real! Here we have a crew of four mean girls, but on one special night when Jade (Elle before the party, Jade is what she is after…) is celebrating her sweet sixteen they crash a St. Andrew’s prep party and their lives are changed forever.

After the party we are in Jade’s head as she plots and plans the demise of the golden boys of St. Andrew’s prep that hurt her. Jade’s got a kill list and she’s crossing out names: Duncan, Banks, Duffy, Conner, Porter, Malcom, Mack and one girl, Piper. It is time for revenge, and these girls don’t play, their claws are out and they are ready to draw blood.

  • I learned this was a MacBeth retelling but I knew as I was reading the line “foul is fair, fair is foul” that it felt familiar. Jade’s best friends, Mads, Summer and Jenny are like the witches in MacBeth. Jade refers to them as her coven. They’ve had things done to them when they were younger and these girls learned to fight back and rule the school. They refuse to be victims and they take what they want. They make things happen, they ruin lives if anyone tries to come for them. Not only was MacBeth all over this story, I got Heathers vibes too (which I grew up with and love) and it also made me think of the new tv series Euphoria (I’m kind of obsessed). It’s like Euphoria, in the sense of how the story flows from Jade’s thoughts, memories of the party, and other events that take place.
  • This girl squad is tight, they are honest, they are all in and got each other’s backs. But I also loved that the revenge wasn’t only for Jade, but for all the girls who came before her. I know it was kind of sick with the murders but damn was I cheering them on.
  • I loved how the “house of cards” fell and how Jade plotted the downfall. I was scared for her and scared of her – but she and her friends took those St. Andrews boys and one girl down like bosses! How are these high school kids so vicious? It helps they are all the rich kids and have power, fast cars, big houses and parents that are hardly around it seems. And lawyers, they have lawyers on hand! So important!
  • The story is a powerful message about rape culture. Here we have these golden boys who, in real life, would probably get away with this behavior for the rest of their lives. There was no remorse in these boys, they took what they wanted…but here comes Jade who comes to take what is hers, reclaim the power that they stole from her. Jade plays them like puppets on a string! I was like, damnnnnn girl…I think a lot of us females have had enough so we resonate with her rage. And Jade wouldn’t have have been able to do all of this without the support of her friends who believed her. They didn’t see the rape happen, but they believed her 100%.
  • This story is in your face, and unapologetic. The writing is poetic, but sometimes just a few words left an impact. Jade is not a sweet girl – she is hell bent on her plans of revenge. She gives no F’s, she is ruthless, she’s scheming and ready to spill blood. The story is violent, and at times bloody. Jade manipulates Mack to get what she wants.
  • I think the author did a great job showcasing each character, especially Jade and the boys at St. Andrew’s prep that was involved and their strength and weaknesses.
  • There are so many triggers in this books: sexual assault, rape, rape culture, attempted suicide, murder for the sake of revenge, violence.
  • Because this book is so dark, it may not appeal to some readers, especially because Jade comes off as a psychopath, she’s getting high off these murders! Also I enjoyed the poetic writing but I can see how some readers would get confused with the metaphorical writing.
  • The way Jade uses Mack to take down the golden boys was at times, for me, not believable. He fell for her so fast and was willing, just because she smiled a certain way, whispered the right words, kissed him a lot, now he’s about to murder his friends? She was doing a lot of emotional manipulation on him, but it didn’t seem like she needed to try very hard. I definitely had to suspend my belief there and go with it.
  • What happens next to Jade?! I need to know.

Some books capture the sign of the times so perfectly and this book does it well. It’s the rage we feel these days with the MeToo movement, unleashed through Jade and her coven. Women are fighting back the powerful golden boys that have ruled for what seems like eons and it’s about time.

If you can handle the triggers in this book, I think it’s an intense, bold story that dares you not to look away from the damage rape culture can cause. I believe this is the first book in a series or duology, I’m not quite sure, but I am VERY curious to see what happens next after the ending of this book. I think this book could have stood strongly as a standalone already, but maybe we get to see how society paints Jade when they find out what happened to her and what she’s done in retaliation. Things could get intense, I look forward to reading the sequel.

ARC Review | Heart of Flames

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: Heart of Flames (Crown of Feathers, #2)

Author: Nicki Pau Preto

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 640

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

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

Veronyka, Tristan, and Sev must stop the advancing empire from destroying the Phoenix Riders in this fiery sequel to Crown of Feathers, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake calls “absolutely unforgettable!”

You are a daughter of queens. 

The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders.

Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire. 

Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself.

Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin. 

As tensions reach a boiling point, the characters all find themselves drawn together into a fight that will shape the course of the empire—and determine the future of the Phoenix Riders. Each must decide how far they’re willing to go—and what they’re willing to lose in the process.

I pray you are able to pass through the flames. 

Thank you to Simon Pulse and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Crown of Feathers, but for some reason, I could not get into this second book, Heart of Flames. Maybe it’s a mood read kind of thing, maybe I’ll reread in the future and enjoy it more.

Things pick up where it leaves off in book one. Val’s identity is revealed and the tension between the empire and the Phoenix Riders have grown. There is a spy, Sev, who is taking a very big risk. Tristan and Veronyka’s relationship grow further and my favorite characters, the phoenixes are back! This sequel is more in depth but for some reason failed to hold my attention.

  • I love the covers so far in this series, all that fire and flames. It’s gorgeous!
  • The phoenixes of course! They are my favorite part of the story because they are awesome beings who can communicate. Reading this series makes me want to be a phoenix rider too!
  • The world building is so detailed and vivid, the author does a good job at making it all come to life.
  • Veronyka and Tristan’s relationship is growing but it has it’s frustrating moments. The romance doesn’t overtake the story which is nice because they have a bigger mission at hand but it was nice to get more acknowledgement between them about their feelings. Also the other relationship that I enjoy a lot is Sev and Kade. Sev is taking a big risk being a spy and the two of them have gone through some tough events together. Love that they are together again in this book.
  • I was just bored reading this story. 😕 I was slugging through the beginning and started not to care about Veronyka and Val’s history. And for me this felt like too long a read, especially when my interest started to wane. I read the first book in one sitting, but this installment I picked up and put down so many times. 😞
  • There are many characters in this book and they are all pretty fleshed out which is great, but because it jumped from one perspective to the other, I lost interest. Usually, I enjoy different perspectives but for some reason this one didn’t cut it for me.

I skimmed a lot of the ending of this book unfortunately because I just wanted to finish but my interest was gone by the halfway mark. I might pick this up later again when I’m in the mood to read about phoenixes because that is my favorite part about this series, the magical creatures and their bond with their riders! But I know a lot of people will enjoy this sequel but for me, it fell flat.

BLOG TOUR} Temporary Wife Temptation by. Jayci Lee

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: Temporary Wife Temptation

Author: Jayci Lee

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 224

Publication Date: February 4, 2020

Categories: Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Fake Marriage

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

Much more than he bargained for…
“You want me to find you a wife?”
“No. I want you to be my wife.”
Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose
as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…

Thank you to Harlequin Desire and NetGalley for a chance to be on this blog tour and providing me a copy of this eARC to read.

Temporary Wife Temptation is a fake marriage romance as an employee, Natalie, ends up married to her boss, Garrett, to help him out. The situation also helps Natalie who is trying to adopt her late sister’s daughter. What starts off fake becomes something real as Natalie and Garrett learn to navigate their agreement and their feelings before things come to an end for good.

  • This is a korean drama in the form of a book, but k-drama lite! My mom loves k-dramas and I used to watch them when I had more time on my hands but this book has all the drama on a light romance level, but heavy on the seduction!
  • I love the explanation about Korean family hierarchies and how grandparents are regarded. Garrett tries to buck convention when his grandma and the woman who helped start the family empire wants to arrange his marriage. Garrett and Natalie both have strong ties to their families, though Natalie has sadly lost her sister and now is trying to adopt her niece. It’s a sad situation but I love how family is important in this story.
  • Garrett and Natalie’s attraction grows right away, so fast actually, but this is a VERY short book, at 224 pages! So I can see why the sparks were happening so quick, though the actual sex in the story only happens after they get married and near the end of the book.
  • It’s a happily ever after, with not too many obstacles in the way. If there were any, the solutions were easily implemented.
  • It’s a quick story and everything seemed to fall into place when they should but at times it felt rushed.
  • The story focused on the attraction growing between Garrett and Natalie, so though there was some underhanded corporate espionage happening in the background, it was never a focus. When the fake couple who is turning into a real one becomes…FEELINGS are growing between them, the mini break-up they have didn’t seem major to me at all. It’s predictable – he will apologize and they will get back together. So there are no surprises in this book.

Overall, I enjoyed this fake marriage story. It was a fast read, with some sizzle and there was a focus on family which I loved. This is the first book I’ve read from this author but I would definitely read more from her.

About the author JAYCI LEE: Jayci Lee writes poignant, funny, and sexy romance. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is semi-retired from her 15-year career as a defense litigator, and writes full-time now. She loves food, wine, and travelling, just like her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal. She hopes her books will do the same for you.

Book Review | Scythe

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Format: Paperback (owned)

Pages: 435

Categories: Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

I finally read Scythe and I’m glad I waited this long to read it while the hype has died down. But now I know why there was hype around it. It is a thought-provoking story and it made me question a lot of things.

Here we have a utopian society, where it’s “perfection” is basically taken care of by the Thunderhead. It’s what we know as the “cloud” right now but in Scythe it eventually becomes a sentient being. Isn’t that why people are afraid of AI? Well it comes true in this world of Scythe.

But there is one domain the Thunderhead cannot intervene and it’s in the process of gleaning or killing for the sake of population control. Scythes are experts in the art of killing because it is their job to keep the human population under control, because in this future time, immortality has been achieved through science. When Citra and Rowan become apprentices to become a scythe they know only one of them will get the job. They train under different scythes and learn about killing but they also find out there are some serious issues going on in the Scythedom.

  • This story made me think and question many issues like immortality and if we ever achieve it. It is all achieved in Scythe and yes I had to suspend my belief a lot because I barely know anything about nanites (though I’ve heard of it before). It’s crazy, and wondrous to think immortality can be achieved through science and yet as you read the book…it gets a bit frightening too. Because humans experience boredom and even in the story we have a teen jumping off rooftops, getting a good “splat” and being revived. Over and over again…and I was like…say what? 😳
  • This book is about killing, because it is the Scythe’s job to glean. It’s a sacred job to some and others take it very to the next level of crazy but I thought it was interesting to see how different the scythes were in their methods of gleaning, their approach to gleaning and what they believe is their purpose when gleaning. They make the choice of WHO gets gleaned, and in our day and age, we’d say they are playing God. Scythe Goddard definitely thought he was a god. 😒
  • I enjoyed the twists and turns in the story. It moved the story along. The beginning of story was a bit slow because of the world building and Citra and Rowan going through training but I didn’t mind that. I found myself enjoying the slow reading.
  • I like how we get two apprentices that give us a glimpse into how different scythes go about their business. But I was bummed for Rowan going through what he did. 😞
  • Triggers: KILLING. And I mean, suicide (of course they get revived), all manners of killing with knives, guns, poison, flamethrowers, mass killings. Abuse. I didn’t think I could read this book because of the subject matter.
  • Citra and Rowan’s romance – if you are looking for a love story in this book – this book isn’t it. Their relationship grows but it’s kind of unnecessary to make them fall for each other, yet they do declare their love for each other. There are no romantic parts whatsoever.
  • Did I connect with the characters? Not on a deep level, I felt the most for Rowan because he got a bad deal with Scythe Goddard. And he changed a whole lot in the book. He is probably my favorite character.

Even with all it’s imperfections, this story stays with you, at least it did with me. I love how it made me question our lives as humans and also wonder about the future of AI and a world of immortality (not through vampiric means, which to me is WAY more romantic 😂). Would I want to reset my age to 21 again, three times over? What would I do with all that time? And the scythes…oh man, I would not want to become one and I wouldn’t want to be in a room with one. As for Citra and Rowan’s journey, I need to see what happens to Rowan and I need to learn more about the Thunderhead. How did it come to be? I have so many questions and with that said, I’ll be reading Thunderhead right away! I think I did good finding these two books on discount from Bookoutlet! 💃🏻

BLOG TOUR} ARC Review | Don't Read the Comments

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Don’t Read the Comments

Author: Eric Smith

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Categories: Gaming, Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age

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

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight. 

Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

Don’t Read the Comments hit home for me because my son, he’s 7, wants to be a YouTuber, gamer, streamer – and I’m trying to learn the lingo. Can you tell? 😂 My hubby is a PC Gamer and my son is already following in his footsteps so the fact that this story is about the gaming world – is awesome.

Divya is an online gamer and she streams herself playing this one popular game. She’s built a big enough following that gaming companies send her product to advertise, which is helpful because she sells it to help pay the bills. Yes she’s a teenager, but her dad left and it’s just her and her mom.

Aaron Jericho loves gaming too but he’s not a pro like Divya, in fact he wants to work in the video game industry writing stories and scripts for the game itself! Of course his parents want him to be a doctor, sounds about right!

These two teens have a moment where their online worlds collide and maybe, just maybe they can actually have a relationship in real life. But first Divya has to help her mom and deal with these trolls trying to ruin her life.

  • Just this being about the gaming industry was interesting to me because my son and hubby are gamers. I own a Nintendo Switch lite so I’m not big on it – but it’s eye opening to see the problems that are present in the gaming world with the trolls bothering Divya and ruining her reputation to seeing the process of Aaron and his friends creating a game. I like how we see two sides to the gaming industry.
  • Diversity is a given in this book and I like that.
  • This book shined a light on girl gamers in this masculine world – it’s amazing what they have to put up with in the online world and the real world. Some real world problems that arose in the book was connected not only to Divya but her best friend, Rebekah, who was assaulted by a group of boys at her college. The fear is there in Divya and Rebekah and I’m glad the story didn’t shy away from what they felt. The story also brought up issues like bullying, trolling and doxing.
  • Divya and Aaron’s relationship is a slow burn and they don’t meet in real life until late in the book. But their relationship is cute because it starts off as friendship. I enjoyed watching the two of them get to know each other.
  • Love that no matter how hard it got for Divya, with those trolls harassing her – she kept fighting back. Even though she was scared, she fought back. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
  • Aaron’s family dynamics seems like what most parent/teen relationship would be like when said teen wants a career in gaming. Already I have talks with my son trying to point out that games are made and created, someone takes the time to illustrate the graphics, the story line, the big companies that make them, etc…and he’s 7!! I relate to Aaron’s mom wanting the best for your child and a steady path, a steady career…you know – with benefits and a retirement package. 😂
  • I was interested in this book because I have gamers in my life. For people not into gaming, I don’t know how much this story would interest them. There is a lot that takes place in a virtual world, the online game that Divya plays. I found it fun and interesting, but I don’t know if that is everyone’s cup of tea.
  • Triggers: memories of assault, harassment, online trolling/bullying

Like I said earlier, this one hit close to home for me and it made me learn a lot of things I didn’t know about the gaming world. I loved how it show cases the gamer and the game creator. Most importantly it brought up the issues of the toxic online culture that is present in the gaming world and social media and it talks about boundaries too. I enjoyed this one and it was a super quick read for me. I look forward to reading more books from this author!