10 Truths and a Dare by. Ashley Elston | Audiobook Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: 10 Truths and a Dare (Messina Family, #2)

Author: Ashley Elston

Narrators: Sophie Amoss

Format: audiobook (borrowed)

Pages: 291

Publication Date: 5/4/2021

Categories: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Graduation, Romance, Teen, Family

It’s Senior Week, that magical in-between time after classes have ended but before graduation, chock-full of gimmicky theme parties, last-minute bonding, and family traditions. Olivia couldn’t be more ready. Class salutatorian and confident in her future at LSU, she’s poised to sail through to the next phase of her life.

But when the tiny hiccup of an unsigned off-campus P.E. form puts Olivia in danger of not graduating at all, she has one week to set things straight without tipping off her very big and very nosy extended family. Volunteering to help at a local golf tournament should do it, but since Olivia’s mom equipped her phone with a tracking app, there’ll be no hiding the fact that she’s at the golf course instead of all the graduation parties happening at the same time. Unless, that is, she can convince the Fab Four–her ride-or-die cousins and best friends Sophie, Charlie, and Wes–to trade phones with her as they go through the motions of playing Olivia for the week.

Sure, certain members of the golf team are none too pleased with Olivia’s sudden “passion” for the game. And sure, a very cute, very off-limits boy keeps popping up in Olivia’s orbit. But she is focused! She has a schedule and a plan! Nothing can possibly go wrong . . . right?

Content Warning:

How did I not realize this is from the same author as 10 Blind Dates until after I read the book?! I loved 10 Blind Dates and I think the author is on a roll with these family themed stories.

This is a really cute, fun and heart-warming coming of age story. Olivia comes from a tight-knit community and an even tighter large family, which made this story very wholesome. I loved the family aspects of the story because I could relate to growing up with all my cousins around me. Plus her cousin Charlie is the life of the party. I love her close bonds with Charlie, Sophie and her boyfriend Wes.

Olivia gets caught in a big dilemma and instead of telling her parents the truth, she tries to fix the situation by making up class hours and lying to them and almost everyone else she knows (except Charlie, Sophie and Wes). It was super funny when it was Charlie’s turn to help her out. And what is up with Olivia’s mom? I thought my parents were strict but maybe it’s a good thing I grew up in the age of no technology because if my mom tracked me back then – I’d be in a lot of trouble lol. I just thought her mom was so overbearing. Also I don’t think I’ve read a book with golf in it!

The romance is cute, the graduation events and parties sound like so much fun, and it ends happily.

Tropes: girl might not graduate from high school

Why you should read it:

  • you read 10 Blind Dates and want more Sophie’s family
  • a sweet love story
  • the family bond

Why you might not want to read it:

  • I think 10 Blind Dates was better

My Thoughts:

This one has been on my TBR for awhile so I’m glad I get to cross it off my list! I thought it was a cute book about family and graduation. I think I read it at the right time too since it’s graduation time!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Review | 10 Blind Dates ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫


Stranger Danger by. Maren Stoffels | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Stranger Danger

Author: Maren Stoffels

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 224

Publication Date: 5/2/23

Publisher: Underlined

Categories: Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery

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

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

From horror powerhouse author Maren Stoffels comes the next pulse-quickening read! There’s nowhere to hide when three teens find themselves in the middle of nowhere, with no internet and a killer hunting them down.

Don’t think you can get rid of me so fast. . . .

No phones. No internet. No social media at all. That’s what it’s going to take to finally get serious about school and focus on exams. Nova, Vin, and Lotus even rented a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere so they won’t get distracted. After that, everything can go back to normal.

But they aren’t alone. Someone is watching them from the forest. Someone who knows their secrets. Someone who wants revenge. And things will never be the same again.

Content Warning: bullying, threats, student/teacher relationship

Horror and thrillers are not what I usually read but I wanted to delve more into the genre this year and requested this one. Here’s what I thought:

+ I like how quickly the ball gets rolling in this story. I was thrown into, trying to get my bearings and figure out what is going on and things happen very quickly in this book. Plus it’s barely over 200 pages so it’s a VERY quick read.

+ There are three best friends Nova, Vin and Lotus who seem like good kids that are just going to do some major studying at some secluded farmhouse. They have big dreams after graduation so this big study weekend is important but then things start happening. Lotus gets mysterious texts. Nova and Vin get hurt…but who is doing all of this?

+ I thought the twist in the story was clever. I like how as the story moves along we dig deeper into everyones secrets and there are a lot! I felt like the story made me ask who is the real villain?

~ I think at times the story moved way too fast, for example in the beginning – but I think it was to throw the reader off because I assumed all kinds of things between the three friends before knowing the truth. So it did throw me off but it also felt like I missed something as I was reading, which was a little jarring.

~ Definitely for younger readers, minus the whole student/teacher relationship scandal situation going on! At times it reminded me of the movie Scream because they were alone in the house with someone out there messing with them.

~ I don’t think the title matched the story. Who is the stranger here? Because they figure out who was messing with them. I didn’t think the story was super scary, but definitely suspenseful.

Tropes: secluded house in the woods

Why you should read it:

  • a quick read
  • if you like movies like Scream, you will like this one – it’s more suspenseful than scary

Why you might not want to read it:

  • it’s such a quick read you get thrown into the story and then it’s over

My Thoughts:

The story didn’t wow me or give me major thrills and chills, though I did like the plot twist, but I think if you go into it just to have a little suspenseful fun then you will enjoy it. This one is a super quick read and you may enjoy it if you are into Scream.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

These Infinite Threads by. Tahereh Mafi | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: These Infinite Threads (This Woven Kingdom, #2)

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Format: ebook (owned)

Pages: 416

Publication Date: 2/7/2023

Categories: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Series

With the heat of a kiss, the walls between Alizeh, the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom, and Kamran, the crown prince of the Ardunian empire, have crumbled. And so have both of their lives. Alizeh, the heir to the Jinn throne, is destined to free her people from the half-lives they’ve been forced to live under human rule. When Kamran, the heir to the human throne, falls in love with her, he’s forced to question everything he’s been taught about Jinn. Kamran’s grandfather lays dead at the hand of Cyrus, ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Tulan. Cyrus has stolen Alizeh away to his homeland and plans to marry her there, giving her everything she needs to become the Jinn queen—and when she assumes the throne he will have fulfilled his own bargain with the devil. Alizeh wants nothing to do with Cyrus’s deal or the devil. But without a way to escape Tulan, and with the fulfillment of her own destiny tantalizingly close, she’ll have to decide whether she can set aside her emotions to become the queen her people need. Kamran, meanwhile, is picking up the pieces in Ardunia. Facing betrayal at every turn, all he knows is that he must go to Tulan to avenge his grandfather. He can only hope that Alizeh will be waiting for him there—and that she hasn’t yet become the queen of Tulan.

Content Warning: violence

I went into this with no expectations and of course, of course Tahereh Mafi throws in a love triangle. Is Cyrus the new Warner (Shatter Me series)? 😆 I can’t take it anymore. J/k, give me more! lol

What exactly happens in this sequel? I have no clue! Nothing much moves the story forward – so why did I enjoy it? Well, I didn’t enjoy Kamran and Alizeh being separated because then I wanted to read more of Alizeh’s interactions with Cyrus than all the emotional trauma Kamran was going through. He lost his grandfather, he lost the girl he was falling deeply in love with (he’s kind of obsessed but is it magic doing it to him or not?), and he’s now physically deformed and probably dying. Kamran’s scenes are best when he’s with Hazan, who he wants to kill but their bond goes deeper than that. I like their friendship, their banter is fun, even when it’s not meant to be.

Speaking of banter – what was going on with Alizeh and Cyrus? There is tension, hate, desire, and even at some points mutual understanding and maybe friendship – which I love. Alizeh is soft, beautiful, and naive. Cyrus is her exact opposite and when the two are together their fighting is so good – it’s pretty much the only thing that held me in thrall during the whole story. Who will Alizeh end up with? Cyrus who pretty much knows everything about her or Kamran, who fell in love with her before he knew what she was.

There is something about Alizeh that bugged me but I don’t know if that’s because I’m used to reading about bad-ass girls in books. Alizeh is a soft girl, and I don’t mean she hasn’t struggled, but her whole demeanor is soft. She’s a gorgeous girl who cries easily, a sweetheart basically and there is nothing wrong with that at all. She hasn’t had an easy life. She’s had to struggle in life because she’s different. I felt like she at least was stronger in book one. I think being with Cyrus brings out the fight in her though and I like that because she’s supposed to lead her people. If she’s someone destined to be Queen and lead her people, the Jinn, then I want to see her get stronger, while keeping her softness.

Where does this leave Kamran and Alizeh, I don’t know. He wants to kill her, but he’s also obsessed with her. I’m team Cyrus for now, but I’m afraid what the devil, Iblees, will do to him and I can imagine all the ways this story could break my heart if I root for Cyrus. 😅 I’ll root for him anyway.

Tropes: special girl, love triangle

Why you should read it:

  • the enemies to lovers between Cyrus and Alizeh, love how they fight and hoping to see them one day “love”

Why you might not want to read it:

  • it’s a filler sequel – nothing much happens
  • love triangle

My Thoughts:

For a sequel that’s basically just a filler, I know I gave it a high rating but Alizeh and Cyrus was really entertaining. I hate when there is a love triangle where I like both guys. It’s a guaranteed heartbreaker! I do wish more happened with the plot, because when I ended the book, I was left with the feeling of “what? that’s it?!”. Will I be reading book three? Most definitely yes, just to see who Alizeh ends up with – and I’m hoping it’s Cyrus, but the devil or Alizeh may kill him by then. 😒

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

This Woven Kingdom by. Tahereh Mafi | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Review: Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Book Review: Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Lightlark by. Alex Aster | Audiobook/Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Lightlark (#1)

Author: Alex Aster

Narrators: Suzy Jackson

Format: audiobook (borrowed) / hardcover (owned)

Pages: 416

Publication Date: 8/22/2022

Categories: Romance, Audiobook, Fantasy, Young Adult

Welcome to the Centennial.

Every 100 years, the island of Lightlark appears to host the Centennial, a deadly game that only the rulers of six realms are invited to play. The invitation is a summons—a call to embrace victory and ruin, baubles and blood. The Centennial offers the six rulers one final chance to break the curses that have plagued their realms for centuries. Each ruler has something to hide. Each realm’s curse is uniquely wicked. To destroy the curses, one ruler must die.

Isla Crown is the young ruler of Wildling—a realm of temptresses cursed to kill anyone they fall in love with. They are feared and despised, and are counting on Isla to end their suffering by succeeding at the Centennial.

To survive, Isla must lie, cheat, and betray…even as love complicates everything.

Content Warning: violence

I listened and read this book because reading it at first, I couldn’t get into it. I figured maybe if someone read it to me, I could get through the beginning much more quickly and it really did help! I listened to the book almost until past the halfway mark. The narrator did great for the most part but I really wanted my own imagination to voice Oro and Grim. But because I was listening to the first part, I can’t say I followed the story as good as I should have, because there were some parts that my mind just drifted like at times when they were discussing clothes.

I thought the world-building was interesting but also sometimes confusing. There are six realms in a competition, and one realm will die at the end. Each realm has powers, but the Wildling representative, Isla…does not. And she has to keep that secret. There is a way to break the curse and get her powers back though and that’s her main objective at the Centennial. Anyway, I didn’t quite feel the high stakes of the competition, but I did like the ending of the story.

As a character, Isla wasn’t my favorite, but I’m not sure if I had one. She has no powers but she’s a good fighter and that’s all I can really remember about her. The whole book feels like it’s written for teens, except there is an intimate scene – but it isn’t detailed. It’s pretty rushed through and I felt like that was the whole theme of this book. The chapters are short, which is fine, but everything in this book felt rushed – the writing felt stilted. But I’m hoping it will get better in book two?

There is a love triangle and I did like the drama around it, because I like drama even though I found myself rolling my eyes a lot of times! I did feel like Isla could’ve figured out a few things that was going around her if she wasn’t so caught up and easily mesmerized by Grim. She had goals and basically he was a big distraction and then some – so I’m leaning towards Oro, I guess. I did feel like she was not even on their level, like who is she?! 😅 My favorite part of this book I think is the ending and all the betrayal.

Tropes: special girl, love triangle

Why you should read it:

  • to see what the fuss is about
  • you like love triangles

Why you might not want to read it:

  • writing/scenes feel rushed and repetitive, and it needed more world-building and more character development
  • needed more high stakes in the Centennial competition
  • this is compared to ACOTAR and Hunger Games (a lot of books are) but I don’t think it should be because those are big shoes to fill

My Thoughts:

Did I read it because of the tiktok controversy? Probably, but also because I do like to consume bingeable YA fantasy reads with lots of drama, and a love triangle. Sometimes I’m just in the mood for it. But I couldn’t really get into this story though until halfway in because I saw no point of the Centennial competition. I did like the ending and I will read book two, in hopes there is more world building and character development – and maybe more betrayal. 😅 I also hope Isla becomes a stronger character. I feel like the girl wants to be a badass but is really not on the levels of the other realms and it was hard connecting to her. I think younger audiences will enjoy this one, unless the idea of love interest that are 500 years old turn you off. I’ll definitely borrow book two just to see what happens with the love triangle but I am predicting angst. Lots of angst.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Ever Since by. Alena Bruzas | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Ever Since

Author: Alena Bruzas

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 288

Publication Date: 5/23/23

Publisher: Rocky Pond Books

Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+

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

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

An intense, beautiful debut about the power of finding your voice and sharing your story after trauma. Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Kathleen Glasgow.

Seventeen-year-old Virginia makes bad choices. In fact, she’s That Kind of Girl, according to the whispers. But as long as she has her tight group of best friends by her side, she’s able to ignore the gossipers. Until she finds herself spending time with Rumi, Poppy’s boyfriend. Breaking with tradition, she doesn’t hook up with Rumi. Worse, she falls in love with him.

While Virginia and Rumi’s relationship grows in secret, she discovers that his little sister, Lyra, is being groomed for abuse. The soon-to-be-abuser is a respected member of the community, and only Virginia knows who he is and what he does. If she stays quiet, Lyra will become a victim. But coming forward feels equally impossible.

Content Warning: drug use, grooming, child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, suicidal ideation

First off, I love this book cover – it’s beautiful. This is a story with heavy topics but it’s an important book. The thing that really hit me about the story was that it resonated with me and not because I experienced these things but I have friends who went through some of these things and the way these girls are a tight group of friends, reminded me of me and my friends in college. The partying, the secrets, the drama – I felt like I knew these girls in this story.

I know a Virginia, a few Virginia’s and that’s a sad and scary reality. But although Virginia and her friends’ story is scary, and heartbreaking – they are courageous and brave. The ending is full of hope which I loved. I also loved the diversity represented in the story.

This story is under 300 pages and it’s a quick read. I found the story powerful but the writing didn’t flow for me. It was a bit choppy at times and I always had to find my place again. I felt like I missed a word or a sentence and had to reread the previous sentence. I understand it’s supposed to probably reflect Virginia’s panic, pain and her fears, but sometimes it took me out of the story. Despite all of that, this story is devastating.

Why you should read it:

  • powerful story about child abuse and the courage to stop it from happening again

Why you might not want to read it:

  • lots of trigger warnings

My Thoughts:

If you can handle the trigger warnings then read this book. This is a story filled with pain, hard issues like abuse, but a story about courage as well. Stories like these are never easy to read but I like how we get Virginia’s story because she’s that girl who has a bad reputation, yet people don’t know what she’s been through. And even though she is scared of her abuser her bravery to speak about what happened saved someone else from him, no matter the consequences and that matters.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lying in the Deep by. Diana Urban | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Lying in the Deep

Author: Diana Urban

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 384

Publication Date: 5/2/23

Publisher: Razorbill

Categories: Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery

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

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

A juicy mystery of jealousy, love, and betrayal set on a Semester at Sea-inspired cruise ship, with a diverse cast of delightfully suspicious characters who’ll leave you guessing with every jaw-dropping twist.

After being jilted by her ex-boyfriend and best friend, Jade couldn’t be more ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime—11 countries in 4 months, all from the luxurious Campus on Board ship—and to wedge an entire globe between her and the people who broke her heart.

But when Jade discovers the backstabbing couple are also setting sail, her obsession with them grows and festers, leading to a shocking murder. And as their friends begin to drop like flies, Jade and her new crush must race to clear her name and find the killer they’re trapped at sea with….before anyone else winds up in body bags.

Perfect for readers of Natalie D. Richards, E. Lockhart, and Karen McManus!

Content Warning: drug use, death, violence

Taking classes on a cruise ship? This is definitely something I would have wanted to do while I was in college! And I think this setting made this story even more fascinating. I loved the travel aspect of it, because they did stop at ports to do some sightseeing.

But this story is focused on Jade and the heartbreak and betrayal she endured from her ex-best friend, Lainey and her ex-boyfriend, Silas. She assumes this semester away at sea would help her move forward but when she sees the both of them on the ship with her, things get messy. Jade is all in her feelings about missing Lainey and Silas, hurt that now they are together, and angry that they betrayed her. So when Lainey is missing from her room with just a room full of blood – Jade is suspect number one!

I think the cast of characters did a really good job of leading us away from the real suspect. I had my suspicions and I kind of was right. I didn’t want to be right though, so I’m glad I was partially right! Felix is someone Jade gets to know on the ship but he’s mysterious and she doesn’t know what his deal is. I loved them together. There was even a moment of fake-dating between them, but the two of them investigating Lainey’s disappearance was really fun. There were a few times I wished Jade would let go of her jealousy and anger but I can understand where she is coming from.

There is suspense, mystery, and so much drama between new friends and lovers, and a really good twist in the story. Also it’s another book set in college, which I’m happy about because we need more.

Why you should read it:

  • entertaining and full of suspense, mystery and even a little romance
  • a good plot twist

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into suspense

My Thoughts:

This one was a fun read especially because the romance brewing between Felix and Jade was a nice edition! I read it in one sitting because I really was invested on trying to figure out what happened to Lainey and if Jade was maybe an unreliable narrator at some point! This is the second book I’ve read from this author and have really enjoyed both. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

These Deadly Games by. Diana Urban | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Last One to Fall by. Gabriella Lepore | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Last One to Fall

Author: Gabriella Lepore

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 5/9/23

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Categories: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

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

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

Six friends. Five suspects. One murder.

Savana Caruso and Jesse Melo have known each other since they were kids, so when Jesse texts Savana in the middle of the night and asks her to meet him at Cray’s Warehouse, she doesn’t hesitate. But before Savana can find Jesse, she bears witness to a horrifying murder, standing helpless on the ground as a mysterious figure is pushed out of the fourth floor of the warehouse. 

Six teens were there that night, and five of them are now potential suspects. With the police circling, Savana knows what will happen if the wrong person is charged, particularly once she starts getting threatening anonymous text messages.

As she attempts to uncover the truth, Savana learns that everyone is keeping secrets—and someone is willing to do whatever it takes to keep those secrets from coming to light.

Content Warning: attempted sexual assault, bullying, toxic relationship, alcoholism

Five teens are a suspect in a murder of one of the most popular boys in school, Raf. He was the ring leader in his friend group but he wasn’t the nicest guy. I like how the story starts off with the incident of Raf’s fall and Savana gets called to the area it happens. Right away we start getting into how these teens are involved by going back to the “start” so to speak. The timeline worked pretty well and I liked that it was told between Savana and Jesse’s perspectives. We are introduced to the five friends, Raf, Jesse, Tara, Freddie and Owen – the coolest kids in school. Savana is not part of the group but she’s close to Jesse who is the boy next door.

I easily read this book in one sitting and I felt like the story moved quickly. I thought Savana was a really good friend to Jesse and even Tara later. There is a mild friends to lovers romance going on between Savana and Jesse – though it takes a back seat with all the drama going on with Raf.

There are some tough topics discussed in this story like alcoholism, divorce, cheating, abusive relationships, bullying, and sexual assault but the story doesn’t go deep into the topics but it does give some suspects a motive for killing Raf.

As for the mystery of who committed the act – it was definitely someone I didn’t expect, but after hearing why the person did it, it made sense. But it would have been nice to have more hints about it throughout the book! Also Savana was supposed to be observing this popular group for a research project she was doing but it didn’t seem that important since we never see her doing any research whatsoever expect for observing the group of friends.

Why you should read it:

  • it’s a quick read
  • you like young adult murder mysteries

Why you might not want to read it:

  • it’s an easy read – it has hard topics but doesn’t go deep into them

My Thoughts:

I like that this was a quick and easy read because sometimes mysteries can get too slow and boring for me. I finished this in one sitting. I thought Savana was a great character as she and Jesse try and figure out what happened the night Raf died. There are a lot of tough topics in the story but it doesn’t get too deep into them. It showed how each character was going through something behind closed doors and even though the five friends were supposedly close – they still kept secrets from one another. Overall, this was an enjoyable young adult mystery.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

BLOG TOUR} This is Why We Lie by. Gabriella Lepore | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Forestborn by. Elayne Audrey Becker | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Forestborn (#1)

Author: Elayne Audrey Becker

Format: hardcover (own)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 8/31/21

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Political Intrigue, Shape Shifters


Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness–and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble.

When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up–and to which she swore never to return.

But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley’s is not the only life that hangs in the balance.

Content Warning: violence

It took me a few months to finish this book and not because it’s bad at all! I was in the mood and then not in the mood for a few months, so I read this little by little until finally I was recently in the mood to finish!

The things I enjoyed about this book: the world building, the shape-shifter magic and the political intrigue. I love the sibling relationship between Rora and Helos. There is very slow burn romance brewing, one that I just put to the side because it was barely there for a long while in the book. I just concentrated on the relationship between Rora and Helos.

There is a lot of travel and adventure in this story and it’s where Rora and Weslyn finally lower their guards to get to know each other better. It will be interesting to see what happens in book two.

Tropes: slow burn, sibling bond

Why you should read it:

  • adventure, world-building, shape-shifter magic
  • slow burn romance

Why you might not want to read it:

  • no reasons I can think of – maybe if you are not in a fantasy mood

My Thoughts:

Once I pushed through the story, I actually enjoyed the story. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Rora and her brother Helos. I love their shape-shifter magic and the adventure they go on. I look forward to reading the next book..

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Outlet

**I got my copy from Book Outlet but sometimes they don’t have it in stock, so keep that in mind if you click the link**

Love Radio by. Ebony LaDelle | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Love Radio

Author: Ebony LaDelle

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 320

Publication Date: 5/31/23

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

Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.

Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners. Until he meets Dani Ford.

Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan: ace senior year, score a scholarship, and move to New York City to become a famous author. But her college essay keeps tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago. And that’s one thing Dani can’t do.

When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for. Three dates for the love expert to take his own advice, and just maybe change two lives forever.

Content Warning: sexual assault

Love Radio is a sweet simmering story about two teenagers, Prince who is a Dj on Love Radio giving out love advice (from a 17 year old?!) and Danielle, who is an aspiring writer with big dreams but a painful secret. These two falling in love did remind me of the romance movies Danielle’s mother is obsessed with like Love Jones (that movie came out when I was in college and I loved it and the soundtrack). Speaking of Danielle’s mom being obsessed with 90’s movies – I guess I could relate to her very well. And boy did I feel my age when Danielle and Prince mention loving Lauryn Hill and wishing they were alive when she was big! 😅 I went to a Miseducation of Lauryn Hill concert back in 1999 when I was in Los Angeles for college. I was blown AWAY and in awe…but I just had to let out a big laugh when Dani says “I wish I was born around the time she was making music.” I felt my age lol.

Prince is a capable young man who is already working, maybe not getting the best grades in school, but he’s also taking care of his younger brother and a mom who has Multiple Sclerosis. He’s a good guy and the way he woos Danielle shows it. Danielle is navigating a lot of feelings. She wants to go to NYC and become a writer and love doesn’t have a place in her life right now but Prince is going to try his best to convince her she can have her dreams and love too.

The romance between Prince and Danielle is a slow burn and I like that they get to know each other slowly because Danielle has trust issues and triggers. Prince is always so careful around her because he knows she’s holding back a piece of herself and I appreciated that about him. Prince may be giving love advice on the radio but they are both young with their lives ahead of them so it really touched on lots of coming of age topics like friendship, family, college and dating.

I do think because it was a slow burn there were some lulls in the story but I still read this in one sitting. I loved all the mentions about music, writing, and Detroit history in the story as well.

Why you should read it:

  • sweet, slow burn
  • love the 90’s/00’s romance movies and music references
  • heartwarming love story

Why you might not want to read it:

  • might come off a little boring because it’s a slow burn

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story a lot because of the nostalgia in the music and movie references and I liked seeing a boy trying to woo a girl slowly. Prince and Danielle are two young people who is just trying to get through high school and figure out what’s next while slowly falling in love. This one was a cute read!

Book Links:

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A Hunger of Thorns by. Lili Wilkinson | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: A Hunger Thorns

Author: Lili Wilkinson

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: 4/18/23

Publisher: Delacorte

Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, LGBT, Magic, Paranormal, Young Adult

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 for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Maude is the daughter of witches. She spent her childhood running wild with her best friend, Odette, weaving stories of girls who slayed dragons and saved princes. Then Maude grew up and lost her magic—and her best friend.

These days, magic is toothless, reduced to glamour patches and psychic energy drinks found in supermarkets and shopping malls. Odette has always hungered for forbidden, dangerous magic, and two weeks ago she went searching for it. Now she’s missing, and everyone says she’s dead. Everyone except Maude.

Storytelling has always been Maude’s gift, so she knows all about girls who get lost in the woods. She’s sure she can find Odette inside the ruins of Sicklehurst, an abandoned power plant built over an ancient magical forest—a place nobody else seems to remember is there. The danger is, no one knows what remains inside Sicklehurst, either. And every good story is sure to have a monster.

Content Warning: violence, death

The cover on this book caught my eye really quick. It’s gorgeous! As for the story, this is what I thought:

+ This is a dark fairy-tale and some parts of it reminded me of the book, The Hazel Wood. There are modern and fantasy elements and there are monsters and violence.

+ Maude is an unreliable narrator and a pretty good one meaning I couldn’t tell if what she was remembering was a dream, hallucination or a memory. As the story unfolds and the story comes together, it starts to make more sense. I did like the concept of the story.

+ I found the magic system intriguing and the world is unique. Maude is from a line of witches and magic in the town seems like it’s a forbidden thing. I also liked the fairy-tale characters that come to life, they were interesting!

~ The pacing didn’t work for me. Most of the action takes place in the second half of the book.

~ It took too long for me to feel like I understood the world. It’s contemporary with fantasy elements but in the beginning of the story I was trying to figure it out because it had some modern things like the power plant and the way the characters talk. I didn’t feel settled into the story until almost the end. I think if it was pure fantasy it would have worked much better for me.

~ I didn’t connect to the characters but it kept me hooked enough to finish because I wanted to see how Maude would fix things. Maude was a bit obsessed over Odette but I guess that’s something she was working out with her other issues about losing people in her life.

Tropes: unreliable narrator

Why you should read it:

  • you like dark fairytales, unique world building and interesting magic system
  • unreliable narrator

Why you might not want to read it:

  • slow beginning, got interesting in the end

My Thoughts:

I love the book cover and I love the concept of the story. I think the dark fairytale aspect of the story with the unreliable narrator was enough to keep me interested. The thing that was a miss for me was the pacing, which was too slow in the beginning with flashback memories that made the story feel like a dream at some points. Also the characters were interesting but I couldn’t connect to anyone. It seems like there will be a sequel but I’m not sure that I will continue the series. I think people who like dark fairytales like The Hazel Wood.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble