Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

air awakens seriesI’m so glad Facebook advertised this book/series to me. This has become one of my favorites, and I actually hadn’t planned on re-reading them, but then I decided why not and went for it. I listened to the first three through Audible, and I highly recommend it, they are so good. I didn’t listen to the fourth, because for whatever reason, there was a new narrator and I didn’t care for her (she wasn’t bad) after listening to another woman give voice to the characters for three books. Maybe if I hadn’t been bingeing them it would have been different, but it was too jarring and the names didn’t sound right, so I switched over to my physical copies.

This time reading through these books, I noticed some things I didn’t notice before – or maybe it was because I was listening to them, rather than seeing the words on the page. My ratings for these books haven’t changed from the first read to this re-read, because I still absolutely love them. But there are some things that I’ve come to realize. The major one being, I now have this love/hate relationship with Aldrik.

I know. It’s weird.

I also have an issue with his phrase of endearment for Vhalla later in the series. And again, maybe it was just the audio books, but damn, I could not stop rolling my eyes every time he said it. It was just so cheesy.

And I actually fell for a different character that I don’t remember falling or feeling for in my first time reading – that would be Daniel. I love him so much.

I really do think that listening to the audiobook version of the books offered something new to the story, and I think the woman who read them did an amazing job at bringing them fully to life. Elise is an incredible writer, and I never have any issue seeing what she’s describing, and all of her characters are unique, but actually hearing them come to life, it blew me away, and I want a Netflix Show, animation, anything, something I can watch about these books.

But, enough said. Let’s get into these tiny reviews/gushing about the books!


Air AwakensAir Awakens – Book 1

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

 A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

This book is such a great start to this series and so much happens. A lot of mouth gaping and gasping happens and Vhalla’s world is turned upside down, and nothing goes according to her plan and she quickly becomes a pawn in a much, much bigger game. But her and Aldrik’s note passing was adorable, and I do like how they complement each other, and kind balance each other out. Fire and Air and what have you.


Fire FallingFire Falling – Book 2

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

 Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

 The ending of this book makes me scream. The first time I read it, I couldn’t scream due to the fact I was on a plane, and it was late, and just overall would be frowned upon. With this re-read came the screaming, a loud gasp that hurt my chest and tears. I knew it was coming, but I was so lost in the story it didn’t matter. So…be prepared for that.

But other than the ending, one of my favorite scenes is in this book between Vhalla and Daniel at the Crossroads.


Earths EndEarth’s End – Book 3

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

 I mean, how many times does she have to prove herself? Vhalla does everything she is asked of, besides staying away from Aldrik, but that’s whatever. And yet, the stupid King can’t have a bruised ego. Vhalla’s not stupid, she’s smart and everyone can see that except him. The King angers me. Moving on.


waters wrathWater’s Wrath – Book 4

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light.

Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

 If you want a book to break you, look no further. Because this one probably will. I was reduced to tears at a certain scene, and if you’ve read it, you know which one I’m talking about, because IT’S HEARTBREAKING. It’s also unfair and in my opinion shouldn’t have happened at all. I think I’ll forever be bitter about it.

But Vhalla’s won her freedom, only for everything to hit the fan at full force and there are only pieces left.


Crystal CrownedCrystal Crowned – Book 5

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

 Long live Solaris. One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

 I’m a procrastinator and I legit just finished my re-read of this book at 12:28 AM…so there’s that, and the book is pretty fresh in my mind. Reading through this one, made it very evident that Elise intended to continue the books (Vortex Visions out now!) I picked up on some things that I never picked up the first time through. This wasn’t my favorite book, and it kind of lagged a bit through the beginning and then felt a little rushed through the end. And maybe that’s because there is more story left to be told.

A lot happens in this book, some sad, some happy, but a lot happens.

I don’t know what to say without spoiling!

So, I’m just going to leave this here, as it is.


 Now that I’ve finished my re-read of the series, I can move on to Vortex Visions! You don’t have to have read the Air Awakens Series to read Elise’s new book, but I felt like it had been too long and wanted to reread them before diving back into this world. Now I can…well it’ll have to wait until April, since I have a few books already lined up to read that I need to get to first. That’s another post if you want to check it out – here.

It’s been fun being back in this world, with these characters, and I’ve been reminded how much I love them. It’s a series definitely worth rereading, and it does hold up, which is fantastic!

Currently Reading & Watching #1

I want to start a new thing on my blog – a new series, I guess. Just a short little post about what I’m currently reading and watching, as the title suggests.

My plan is to keep these short and sweet, with a sentence or two on my thoughts. Though, this one might be a little longer since it’s the first one.


Reading:Image result for reading gif

 Crystal Crowned – Elise Kova

I’m finishing up a reread and so far, I’m really enjoying it!

Stain – A.G. Howard

I’m actually listening via Audible, but so far, this book is amazing, but it’s making me so angry on behalf of Lyra.

Bloodleaf – Crystal Smith

I’ve only just started this, but I’m hoping it’s going to be a favorite.


Image result for watching tv gifWatching:

Britannia – on Prime

Just finished watching this with my parents. It’s pretty weird, but the plot is good, the writing is good, it’s fast paced and interesting.

Vikings – on Prime

This is a semi re-watch for me, I’ve started it so many times, but now I’m watching it with my parents and we just started S2. So far, I’m enjoying it, but I’ve also seen all these episodes so far, so I’m waiting for the parts I haven’t.

Gilmore Girls – on Netflix

Okay, watching might be a bit of a stretch with this one, only because I’ve been falling asleep to it.

Lost Girl – on Netflix

I started this forever ago, and only started it again to clear it from my queue. It’s not a bad show, the acting could be a little bit better, but it’s got an interesting storyline. My only issue is that the rules of the world the writers have created seem to keep changing, so that’s a little annoying, but I’m not going to stop watching.

I also watch Grey’s Anatomy and The Walking Dead when they come on during the week, but as of right now, that’s it!


What are you currently reading and/or watching? Let me know! I’m always looking for new reads and shows!

The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Greek Mythology: ✔️

School Setting: ✔️

Good Plot: ✔️

Kick Ass Characters: ✔️

This is one of my all-time favorite series, and I’m so glad I finally got around to re-reading them.

Jennifer Armentrout is an auto-buy author for me, and whenever I’m in a reading slump, I tend to turn to her. I’ve pretty much read everything she’s written, so it’s really easy to pick up a book and know I’m going to love it.

After I read Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas I was in a huge slump and didn’t know what to read, didn’t want to read anything, I was kind of spiraling downwards. Then I decided to ignore every new book I owned and needed to read to go for something comforting, familiar. I decided to read The Covenant Series. It had been years, since the books releases, since I had read the series, and it was so fun being back in Alex and Aiden’s world, and they are still two of my favorite characters.

I always tell people they should read the series because it’s fun, original and the characters are great. If you liked The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Meade, you’ll definitely love this series.

These aren’t necessarily be mini-reviews, or anything, because I’ll be honest, it’s been a few weeks, and I’m behind on my reviews, and I more or less just wanted to briefly gush about the books and introduce them!

Let’s start at the beginning of the series:


DaimonDaimon – Book 0.5

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she’d been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she’s pretty much accepted that she’s a freak by mortal standards… and that she’ll never be prepared for that duty. 

According to her mother, that’s a good thing.

But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she’s being hunted by the very creatures she’d once trained to kill.

The daimons have found her.

As this is a prequel, it’s not a favorite, but I’m always excited about extra content!  You definitely don’t need to read this before starting the series, it’s background, extra, adding to the story. I’d recommend reading it before starting, but again, you do not have to!


Half BloodHalf-Blood – Book 1

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is.

If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck. 

This book is great, it puts you right into the story, and you’re instantly drawn in. Alex is probably one of my favorite characters. She’s stubborn, loyal, fierce, kick-ass, hot-headed and never gives up. And I’m always here for forbidden romances that equate to slow-burn romances. This isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it’s a great first book that will drag you right in, and you’ll be wanting book 2 as soon as you’re done!


PurePure – Book 2

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

 There is need. And then there is Fate… Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome—especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom—so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do—and sacrifice—for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies—lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone

I forgot how much I was not a fan of Seth in this series, because I absolutely love him in the Titan Series. And while I’m not a fan of him, he does amuse me (until he doesn’t) and there are some moments I actually like him, but the overall feeling is “not a fan”. I feel for Alex, she has so much thrusted upon her, the fate of the world and its inhabitants – it’s a lot. Things start getting a little dicey and now more than ever does Alex need to be prepared.

Also, by this point I’m already raging that Aiden and Alex aren’t together. Because I love them.


DeityDeity – Book 3

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

History is on repeat, and things didn’t go so well the last time.

Alexandria isn’t sure she’s going to make it to her eighteenth birthday–to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she’s a goner… and so is Aiden.

If that’s not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time “training”–which really is just Seth’s code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time–she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she’s caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed… and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate…

Ugh, this is probably one of my favorite books in the whole series. SO much happens in it, and then there’s the ending which is omfg and screaming. And then there’s pesky “Sethie” who JUST HAS TO GET IN THE WAY. Ugh. I love this book and everything that happens in it, even though it’s super rough on all of the characters.


ElixirElixir – Book 3.5

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

 Aiden St. Delphi will do anything to save Alex. Even if it means doing the one thing he will never forgive himself for. Even if it means making war against the gods.

Okay, maybe this is my favorite book, solely because it’s from Aiden’s POV. To be perfectly honest, I’d read the whole series over from his point of view if I could, if they existed. This follows the events at the end of Deity, right before the story picks up in the next book. Again, not crucial, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t see through Aiden’s eyes.


ApollyonApollyon – Book 4

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

 Fate isn’t something to mess with and now, neither is Alex. 

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole an Apollyon can’t be killed theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer or she might become the God Killer herself.

 This is probably my favorite of the main books, one of my favorite scenes between Alex and Aiden is in it, and I just love how much their relationship grows and expands. Things are really tense and starting to spiral as the big finale is looming on the horizon, but this book is all about relationships and choosing what is right, even if it might seem impossibly hard. It’s also about coming to terms with past choices and decisions and working to not let them define you.


SentinelSentinel – Book 5

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GR

It’s a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

I enjoyed this book, but it’s probably my least favorite out of the main books, mainly because while the ending was satisfying, I found it a little rushed and short for five books of build up. Granted, you can go on and red the Titan Series (Seth’s books) which continue to the story. It’s also the last book I get to read about Alex and Aiden on every page. Have I mentioned they’re my favorite?


I think this will always be one of my favorite series, and I’m so happy I found the time (well, made the time) to finally re-read them. It had been way too long, and I love the world, and the characters and the way Jen tells a story. I’m really gald that they held up, and that I loved them as much as I did the first time, I read them. The good thing was, was that I could binge read them instead of having to wait for a year in between! Now, having re-read them, I want to go re-read some of her other series that I haven’t touched for years.

Book Review: Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3)

Escaping from HoudiniTitle: Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3)

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Pub. Date: September 18, 2018

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . 

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?


This WON’T BE A SPOILER FREE REVIEW.

I wanted to make this a spoiler free review, but I’ve been struggling to write it for days now and I have FEELINGS about this book and they’re quite rant-y.

Like always, I loved this book and I’m annoyed at myself for taking so long to read it. Audrey Rose and Thomas are two of my favorite characters ever created, and I love their chemistry and personalities, but I’m going to start this review off with a yelling confession.

Be prepared.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE EPILOGUE, I WOULD HAVE HAD TO DISOWN AUDREY ROSE AS A FAVORITE CHARACTER BECAUSE SHE MADE ME SO MAD AND SO ANGRY.

Okay, now that’s off my chest, I can continue. Take from that what you will, but I promise it spoils nothing, because we all know that characters make us mad from time to time. It’s nothing new.

This book picks up right where Hunting Prince Dracula left off, with Audrey Rose and Thomas on their way to America. This book is a roller coaster of twists and turns of death, intrigue and dismay. As always. Audrey and Thomas are haunted by death and it’s up to them to figure out what is actually going on.

I’m going to move onto the rant-y / spoiler section of this review, so this is your final warning.


















I’m not lying when I say I actually really enjoyed this book, but I honestly do think that I’ll love anything Kerri Mansicalco writes pertaining to these two characters. But I can also honestly say that this book angered me. I raged at it. I raged and raged and raged at Audrey Rose, who I nearly disowned. Do I think the Epilogue erases her of her treatment of Thomas? Nope. And her realization at the end of the book felt a little contrived.

I went into this book expecting the Audrey and Thomas to use their abilities to solve a murder, but Thomas was woefully missing throughout most of the book. It was like he was an afterthought, because Mephistopheles had Audrey’s attention.

Yes, he was charming. Yes, he was interesting, but hell, he was SO annoying. I didn’t get Audrey’s fascination of him. I get it, you’re 17, and Thomas is the only guy who’s ever really caught your attention, but damn, Audrey, you treated him like crap.

 God, just writing the review for this book is bringing back all my feelings of rage. I wish I could reach into the book and freaking shake Audrey out of her stupidity.

Legit, this whole review could be summed up with * aggravated yelling into the void * because Thomas Cresswell deserved so much better in this book.

Okay, let’s start at the beginning of this book. The first chapter was brilliant, opening with a murder and the atmosphere. I listened to the audiobook and it gave me chills. It was nice to see how everyone interacted with each other, and the tiny stolen moments between Thomas and Audrey were wonderful.

Then the murder and the suspects and enter Mephistopheles. The ringmaster of the Moonlight Carnival and the prime suspect. Audrey feels kind of drawn to him and his secretive air.

Then each night to follow, there’s another death, and none of them can seem to make sense of why and how they were happening.

Now, this is when I expected for Audrey and Thomas to start sleuthing around, quipping at each other as they tried to solve the murder. Instead some secrets come to life, like Audrey’s cousin having seemingly disappeared only to be a performing in the Moonlight Carnival. Audrey is furious with her cousin, and for someone who is all about having her own freedom and not being put in a cage or being owned by someone, she is quick to do the opposite to her cousin.

And then you have Mephistopheles – who I’m going to name M for the remainder of this review – and he did nothing but put Audrey in compromising positions and used her interest, infatuation, stupidity against her to woo her. He knew exactly what he was doing.

He offers her a deal, I’ll help you if you help me, BUT you can’t tell Thomas any of it, otherwise the deal is off”.

For someone so freaking smart and intuitive, Audrey was pretty dumb this book. I get why she made the deal, but she shouldn’t have, and she should’ve told Thomas. And she should have told Thomas, once Liza had been told about Houdini.

To me, it would have made perfect sense if he’d been behind it all, to drive a wedge between Cresswell and her, but he wasn’t and it just cheapened everything, and nearly ruined her and Thomas.

*also, side note, I kind of don’t get why the book is called Escaping from Houdini when he isn’t the antagonist? Not really? I mean, when you think of the first two, they were actually dealing with Jack the Ripper, and then the murders in the second where made to look like a vampire – aka Dracula – was killing them, but Houdini wasn’t the one behind the murders and was just as much of a victim because the murder affected his performances. I guess this one just doesn’t make as much sense to me as the others, unless we’re talking about Liza who leaves him. But I don’t know.

For a while, Thomas just assumed that Audrey is doing what she has to, in order to get information and while he’s not entirely comfortable with it, he trusts Audrey. It’s not until M starts really trying to break the two of them up that Thomas starts acting betrayed and hurt AS HE SHOULD BECAUSE HE DESVERED SO MUCH BETTER THAN AUDREY’S WISHY-WASHY FEELINGS.

Ugh.

 We’re just going to fast forward to the end, when they figure out who is the murderer, and Audrey decides to jump in front of a knife and nearly dies.

If you could only see my face right now.

Thomas is there, holding her, telling her to stay away, being there for her in a way that she hadn’t been for him the whole book. He loves her, so much so, that when she survives that he’s willing to walk away if she wants to be with M.

I volunteer to give Thomas all the hugs. I will literally take him if Audrey doesn’t want him.

I would have been heartbroken if Thomas had actually walked away, because I do like the two of them together, but he’d been used and played and hurt deeply by Audrey and had every right to leave her.

And I get it. It can take something as major as nearly dying to clarify feelings but COME ON. I don’t think there’s such thing as the Perfect Guy, but Thomas complimented her to beautifully, and they were meant to be together.

But Audrey has come to the realization that she loves Thomas and never wants to be without him and is ashamed of her actions and when he leaves, she breaks, but then he comes back.

Yeeeaahhhh.

I’m glad I read this, and it doesn’t break the series for me. I’m disappointed in it, sure, but maybe now that they’ve been through this test of their relationship, they’ll be stronger than ever. I have high hopes for Capturing the Devil and I can’t wait to be back with these characters.

September is so far away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Salt for Air

Salt for AirTitle: Salt for Air

Author: M.C. Frank

Pub. Date: October 3, 2018

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


Greek mythology meets The Little Mermaid in this delicious fantasy novel about a quiet, nerdy girl who meets a mer prince in her bathroom. Perfect for fans of The Heroes of Olympus and the Lux series.

Seventeen-year-old Ellie dreams of mermen. She writes fanfiction about them and spends time in underwater kingdoms in her imagination, trying to escape the sad reality: she is an orphan. And not only that, but she’s bullied every day at school -she’s a nerd, she hates sports, she loves books and she used to be overweight. What’s not to bully?

One day, the bullies go too far. They try to drown her, but at the last minute an otherworldly creature shows up in the water. He keeps her breathing and tells her to live: “How will you be able to save anyone if you can’t even save yourself?”

She thinks it was a dream, but the emerald-eyed merman boy who rescued her appears in her school the next day. Is he really the exiled prince of an ancient kingdom that’s on the brink of utter destruction? And is he asking her to save him? Or is something far more sinister and deadly lurking in the water that surrounds her little Greek town?

When myth and reality collide, can love save their lives?


I’m not going to say this is a spoiler free review, because I don’t know exactly how I’m going to discuss this book. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it. So, I’ll try and avoid big story ruining spoilers and will try to be vague, but I make no promises, because more or less I just want to vent about this book. So, this is your warning.

I’ll leave you with this. It wasn’t a bad book, but I didn’t think it was a good book. I was left disappointed, didn’t really care for the writing style or the characters. The plot was okay, interesting enough to keep me turning the page, but lacked enough that if I stopped reading it, it took a while to get back into it. IF you don’t want to be potentially spoiled for this book, stop reading now.










Spoiler-y/ranting part is coming up next.









I’m still so conflicted about this book, but I’m leaning more towards disappointed. I’ll be honest and say that I was enticed by the cover and had initially planned on buying it solely based on how gorgeous it is. Based on the synopsis, this book sounded exactly like something I’d love, and it wasn’t very long. I figured that I would be able to knock it out in a couple of hours.

It took me days to finish, and usually I would have just DNF’d it, but it was so short, and I wanted to give it a fair chance in the hopes that it got better towards the end. It wasn’t that the book was bad as a whole, once I got into it, I kept turning pages and got lost in the story, but anytime I had to put the book down, it took a while to get back into it.

I’m not sure if it was the way that it was written, or the pacing, or the characters, but I do think the author tried to execute some plot elements that just fell short, and therefore impacted the story as a whole.

Image result for supernatural dean beat up gifsI will say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main character Ellie. I get that we were supposed to feel for her, be sympathetic, but I didn’t feel that way. At all. In the beginning of the book it’s almost emphasized that she lives in a tiny Greek town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, that nothing goes unnoticed or not gossiped about. Except apparently her being bullied to the point of nearly dying, and this isn’t the first time she’s been bullied to the point of physical harm or evidence of being attacked, and yet no one, not a single person bats an eye at this. No one in her school, no teachers, not even the people she’s living with. Ellie tells them all lies, but come on, no one gets their whole head and shirt and pants soaked by splashing water on their face. You will never convince me of that. For something so emphasized, it plays no part at all. Are all the adults in this town oblivious or stupid? Or maybe my expectations are different, but if you have eyes and a girl is getting nearly killed multiple times by brats at school, I think someone would notice.

Ellie was also the girl who, because she was so alone, stayed home and wrote her own fantasy fanfictions, and dreamt about a handsome prince coming to take her away and rescue her from her aloneness.

I also wasn’t a fan of the way the book was written, that Ellie talked to me (the reader). She was also very cynical and tried to stay under the radar, but it never really worked out of her. Maybe this was a way to really get us to connect with Ellie, to feel her pain as if she were confiding in us, but what (as the reader) can we do? We can’t reach into the book and protect her.

And speaking of protecting, let’s talk about Ky and how much of an asshole he was. He was the gorgeous, godlike good looks, with the body no high school boy should have, and shitty attitude new guy. The prince that Ellie fantasized about taking her away. If she only knew. It was the same guy who had saved her the day she had almost drowned in the toilet, the same beautiful, otherworldly eyes.

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I was not a fan of Ky in the beginning, middle or end of this book. He came into Ellie’s life and just took over, demanding that she protect him, and that she just had to be okay with it. Of course, she accepts, because the new hottie popular guy in school can offer her some protection against the vicious bullies, she’s spent her life trying to avoid. But he’s not the nice, heroic, protective type. He has these moments where he’s fiercely protective of Ellie, but a lot of the time, he’s demeaning and mean to her.

There’s this back and forth between Ellie and Ky, one of hatred and then love, and their relationship went from wariness and infatuation on Ellie’s part, faked love on Ky’s part – to hatred and loathing – to true love, and it felt so rushed. I think it happened over a few weeks, but I didn’t find it very clear and it felt like insta-love which I’m not typically a fan of. Insta-lust, sure, but not love. You don’t just automatically fall in love with someone without some kind of fantastical involvement.

And speaking of the fantastical involvement in this book, i.e. Ky’s otherworldly secret identity that he can only (conveniently) reveal to one person, and “Congratulations Ellie, you are the Lucky Winner!”

We’re supposed to believe that all of Greek mythology is based on these creatures from another realm, a realm where death doesn’t exist, and it’s somehow managed to come to Earth and that’s why people die…

Yeah.

Ky’s been exiled for whatever reason, and he can’t go back home until he makes a sacrifice – something he leaves out when revealing himself to Ellie. It’s only by accident that Ellie finds out that she’s the sacrifice – sacrifice the girl to appease the gods! – and rightly so, when Ellie finds out, she’s livid. They had taken one look at her life, saw she was super alone, and picked her as the girl no one would miss if she just suddenly died

Does that rub anyone else the wrong way?

Image result for twue love gifsBut then Ky realizes that he *actually* loves her, and doesn’t want anything to happen to her, because ~ heart eyes ~ They are cosmically meant for each other, and Ky had been so wrong about her, and he was not sorry about everything that had already happened between them.

 There still needs to be a sacrifice otherwise Ky will never get to go home and take his rightful place on his throne, and literally become The Ocean. Ellie is still refusing to sacrifice herself, as she should, but things are starting to get dicey. Creatures from this other realm, hell-bent on killing Ky have started appearing.

Ellie does some serious introspection and realizes that she could never be told to sacrifice herself for Ky, that if she were going to do so, then she had to make the choice.

Hey, Ellie, how about we just don’t die?

Image result for sacrifice gifsSo, then one fateful day Ellie and her classmates are on a field trip, and those pesky evil creatures that want to kill Ky make a move and Ellie SACRIFICES herself to save him. Her reasoning is that she couldn’t bear to be a person to stands and watch someone die, so she did what she had to. The attempt on Ky’s life, leaves her severely battered and bruised – a head injury and spinal injury plus a myriad of other problems. Ky is besides himself that Ellie is dying, the typical “I can’t believe one body can hold this much blood” and “don’t leave me, I love you” all while sobbing with tears and snot pouring down his face.

Then we get the “GOTCHA!”

Ellie is alive, barely, in a hospital bed, unable to walk, not quite dead, but not quite alive. Ky refuses to leave her side, even though with her sacrifice he can go home, but won’t go without her, because * true love *

Can I just take a minute here – at this point in the novel, my eyes are just rolling around in my head, because OF COURSE Ellie didn’t die. It’s what? The second or third time she just ~ nearly ~ dies without actually dying? For a girl who is so ordinary, so plain, so alone, she spends an awfully lot of time escaping death’s clutches.

So, let’s fast forward a little bit, Ky tells Ellie that there’s a way to save her, because suddenly Ellie is really, truly, honestly dying, and now it’s a mad dash to save her life. And to do so, she would have to leave Earth behind and become one of them – like Ky – a mermaid, merperson – tbh I don’t remember was phrase they used in the book. HER WISH COME TRUE. (I mean I get it, we all wish that, but come on.)

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So Ky takes her out to the water and submerges her, because she basically has to die a mortal death – i.e. drown – to start her new life. Only there’s a catch! In order to save her life, Ky has to sacrifice his own!

Didn’t see that one coming did you, DID YOU.

Image result for mermaid gifsFast forward again, and one of Ky’s family members, his sister, but not his sister – listen it’s complicated – gives her life for his, because she’s lived for thousands and thousands of years, and a lot of Greek mythology is based off of her. So now we’re playing Musical Chairs: Life Edition, Ky and Ellie get to be together, but she can’t really ever come back to earth, but that’s okay because she’s with the love of her life.

The book ends on a happy note, Ellie is no longer alone, and she gets to live out her fantasy in a world where death doesn’t exist. Her life is just perfect.

I didn’t intend for this review to digress into a rant, but I’m not sorry it did. I find that so often I try to censor myself when it comes to reviews, but maybe sometimes I just need to let it go and be snarky and honest.

I didn’t know exactly how I was going to review this book, because I was so conflicted in my thoughts on it. I was so disappointed in it, and didn’t understand why? How? I was so upset with what this book was. Maybe I expected one thing and didn’t get it, or maybe my expectations got away from me. Whatever the reason is, I’m still not really 100% sure, but I do feel better having gotten all of this off my chest.

I have another book by the same author – and maybe it was premature for me to buy it before having read Salt for Air, but I do plan on reading it, and maybe I’ll love it. I don’t think the author is a bad writer. Despite the fact that this book sounded perfect for me, maybe it wasn’t for me. Maybe I missed some big underlying message that the reader was supposed to get out of it. But again, I didn’t. I read a book that had the potential to be so good, but ultimately fell flat.

The reason I’m giving the book a solid 3 out of 5 is because I did keep me interested and I was able to finish it. I feel like it wouldn’t really be fair to rate it lower, because again, it’s not a bad book.

Maybe if it had been slightly longer, if the characters had better arcs, or more time to interact with one another, maybe if things had been explained a little better, I wouldn’t have had so many issues, but as it stand, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. But if you think it’s something you might like, then it doesn’t hurt to give it a go. I’ve found some of my favorite books that way, and you have a 50/50 shot of loving or hating it.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Signing: Brigid Kemmerer, Susan Dennard & Elise Kova

img_3037.pngA few weeks ago, I heard about a signing up in Philadelphia. Three amazing authors would be there, talking about their books and chatting with the audience, and I wanted to go.

I asked my best friend – the one that I usually drag to book events (just kidding, I don’t have to drag her) but she already had plans to go to the Happiest Place on Earth – Disney. I was alone, and with the plan to go such last minute, I didn’t really have anyone else to ask.

So, I did what any sane person does and went to Twitter, putting a call out to see if anyone (in my area) wanted to drive up with me. Living in Maryland meant that it would be over a two-hour drive – verging on three hours with traffic, and I really didn’t want to make the drive by myself. It’s not a hard drive, but long, and I would have preferred company.

img_3033Amazingly someone offered to go with me, and I was thrilled. She was a fellow book lover and writer and while I figured it would be a little awkward making a three-hour drive with a complete stranger, I was willing to make it work, and what better way of getting to know someone, than being stuck in a car for hours?

Unfortunately, the day of the event (Friday, Feb 15) she had to back out last minute and I thought my plans for going to this signing were shot. I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed.

img_3038An hour before I had originally planned to leave my wonderful mother offers to go with me – something I didn’t ask her to do, because it ended up being an all afternoon, evening and night affair and I knew that wasn’t how she would have chosen to spend her day after having been at work.

It took us three hours to get from our house to the Barnes & Noble at Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem PA. I had to buy a THIRD copy of Bloodwitch just so I could actually participate in the signing.  (I had already pre-ordered it, which wouldn’t be here until Saturday, and I had bought a copy on Thursday so I’d have one for the signing) You got a wristband with the purchase that had number on it for the signing line.

img_3041.png*One copy has since been returned to the store, and the other one I got signed for my friend who couldn’t come, and she’s buying that one off of me, but for a hot moment, I had three EXACTLY THE SAME copies of this book, which was too many.

Anyways, I digress. We make it to the signing with about ten minutes to spare, and it’s already packed to “Standing Room Only”. The event was supposed to run from 6-7pm but I figured we’d be leaving closer to 8pm. If I only knew.

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Almost immediately did the three authors ask for questions from the audience, in leu of talking about their books. Most of the questions I couldn’t hear, due to people not speaking up, but just watching and listening to how Brigid, Susan and Elise interacted with each other and the audience was entertaining. Then it was time for the singing.

Remember that wristband I was talking about? I was #66.

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They called people up to get their books singed in groups of 10-15…and it took forever. They had to keep the Barnes & Noble open LATE to accommodate everyone. From my understanding there were only about 70 wristbands handed out, but it took 4 hours to get through everyone. We didn’t leave the store until about 10pm putting us home around midnight. The only good thing about leaving that late, it meant that there was absolutely no traffic getting home so it was roughly the two-hour drive Maps had estimated.

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Now, I totally understand wanting to talk and chat with authors, and the way the workers were doing the signing was a 1:3 ratio – one reader to the three authors. And each reader, or group of friends went up, was spending upwards ten minutes chatting with the authors, even after their items were signed.

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Probably on any other day this wouldn’t have annoyed me, but I had a 2.5-3-hour drive home and it was already 9:30pm and I was tired, my mom was tired after working all day and then driving up here, and it felt a little insensitive towards everyone else. I also don’t want to sound to whiny or like I’m complaining too much because these authors don’t have to come out and meet readers, and one day I do hope on being one of those authors, but as a reader who had to wait almost three and a half hours to get my stuff signed, I was a little annoyed at how poorly it was handled.img_3059

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Despite that, I did have a good time, and was able to get my books signed and have a few quick words with Brigid, Susan and Elise. Brigid’s a friend so I knew we’d catch up later, it had been a few years since I’d seen Susan, so it was nice to chat with her again, and it was my first-time meeting Elise so I kind of freaked out a little. I didn’t get all my Elise Kova books singed, because luckily, I’ll be seeing her again at the end of March for Apollycon in DC, but now I won’t have as many of her books to lug around at that event!

img_3055.jpgAll in all, it was worth the drive up there, but it will have to be a stellar line-up to get me to go there again, and if I do, I’ll be leaving at noon and just spending the afternoon up there so I can miss the traffic we ran into. img_3056

If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out Brigid’s A Curse so Dark and Lonely and her other novels, Susan Dennard’s Witchlands Series and the Something Strange and Deadly Trilogy, and Elise Kova’s Air Awakens Series and the Loom Saga and her other books!

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Call It What You Want

call it what you wantTitle: Call It What You Want

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: June 25, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4.5


When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?


 This will be a SPOILER FREE REVIEW.

At the launch for A Curse so Dark and Lonely, Brigid was so nice and handed me a copy of her upcoming Contemporary Call It What You Want – a very loose Robin Hood inspired story that she has worked her magic on, and you will feel for these characters.

It’s taken me awhile to sit down and figure out my thoughts on this book, because for the longest time I was just a bunch of squealing noises and grins. I know you know what I’m talking about, but that doesn’t make for a very good written review. I didn’t have words, but now I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to squeal about this book, and I will, but now I can formulate complete phrases and sentences to talk about just how much I loved this book.

Brigid has done it again with Call It What You Want, I have fallen in love with her characters, the world and the story, so much so that I would totally be happy with a prequel novel and a sequel.

Let’s start with the characters –

Rob – he needs all the hugs. All the time. He’s a social pariah due to his father’s bad business choices and everyone hates him. His classmates blame him for his father’s actions. It weighs heavily on him and he does everything he can to stay under the radar. No friends, no social life, he’s drowning. His situation broke my heart. I really liked that he was emotional – in the sense that we actually saw what he was feeling, that he wasn’t afraid to hide it.

Maegan – she’s a perfectionist who made a mistake, and now it’s haunting her. I felt like her social pariah status was a little extreme, but it is high school and teenagers can really freaking suck.

Samantha – I loved Samantha. She was funny and her personality was great, even with everything she was going through. She didn’t have it easy, but I really enjoyed that she didn’t act like a victim and realized that she was old enough to make the mistake, therefore she was old enough to take partial responsibility.

Owen – he was a nice little surprise and I would love to see more of him. I really enjoyed his and Rob’s friendship and how it grew.

The relationships between these characters was fantastic. Rob and Maegan are two outsiders who are forced to work together, and it’s only after some time, do they realize that they aren’t who everyone paints them out to be. That they are both lonely and misunderstood. Maegan’s relationship with her sister is strained due to the pressure Maegan feels trying to live up to her sister, and the pressure she feels from her parents to be the “good girl” which holds a whole new meaning now that her sister is pregnant. But that feeling of having to be good, to be perfect makes Maegan feel like she’s drowning and that she has to do anything and everything to stay that way in her parent’s eyes. As for Owen and Rob, they start off as tentative friends, unsure and unprepared for how well they get along. Rob feels awkward because of who his father is, and Owen, an outsider himself, decides to figure out who Rob is. Together they hatch a scheme that not everyone would agree with.

The pacing was good, though it did kind of feel like we were dropping into the middle of the story – hence why I said I’d like a prequel and a sequel! And the little twist at the end I didn’t see coming, which is something Brigid excels at and gets me every time I read her new books.

I wouldn’t say that this my favorite Contemporary Brigid has ever written – that belongs to More Than We Can Tell, but just like with everything she writes, I fall for the characters, the writing, and even more importantly I feel for them. I feel their pain, their excitement, their sadness and longing. Her characters are some of the most real feeling, and I absolutely enjoy reading anything and everything she writes, and I highly doubt that will ever change. I will say that I have a few qualms about the book, but I won’t post them because this is a spoiler free review, and they definitely don’t impact how good this book is, and how touching these characters are. But this definitely felt more like Rob’s story than Rob and Maegan’s story. As much as I loved the two of them together, her storyline felt a little less impactful, less important than Rob’s. I just loved Rob so much. I just wanted to sit there and hold him and tell him that the everything would be okay. My heart ached for him through much of the novel.

Call It What You Want is Brigid’s next book, and like always, you will be feeling every up and every down that these characters go through. You will fall in love with Rob and Maegan and go with them on their journeys to figure out that they are more than a single action, that if they don’t let it, it doesn’t have to define who they are. They can make their own choices and live their own lives, and sometimes finding someone is feeling as lost and alone as you are, can help.