DNF Book Review: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1)

Wicked as you wisTitle: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1)

Author: Rin Chupeco

Pub. Date: March 3, 2020

Rating: DNF @ Page 28


Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….


This will be a rant-y, possibly spoiler-y review, but I only got to page 28, so…

I wanted to like this book.

Prior to receiving it in the December FairyLoot Box, this book wasn’t on my radar as something I wanted to read. I figured that having received an ARC, I should at least attempt to read it. Based on the synopsis, it sounded like something I could possibly and would probably enjoy.

So, I went into the book with an open mind and by page 5 I was confused. Honestly, that’s not a good sign. I took a breath and tried to focus, but that proved a bit hard the further I got into the story…which albeit, wasn’t very far.

The world is chaos and without a map (is there even going to be one in the finished copy?) I couldn’t make heads or tails of how it was laid out. I’m a pretty visual person, and I always love a map when it comes to fantasy worlds.

But it was more than just being unable to picture the world, but take every fantasy story, every mythology, lore, and history fact you know, and throw them all in a book and you’d have this. Then add a whole heaping of modern-day world problems and concerns and politics.

It was just kind of a mess, and I felt so loss amongst everything going on in the beginning of this book.

Now, maybe I’m in the minority here, but I absolutely hate it, and it’s almost always an automatic turn off, when a book includes thinly veiled, media hyped political rants that do nothing but bash the US. I read fantasy books to escape.

I’m in NO WAY saying that fantasy books shouldn’t include real world elements, whether it be political, social issues, etc. They should, because it rounds them out and makes them better. But if you’re just going to rant for rant’s sake because you’re pissed at some media hyped and exploited, parroted political rant, I’m almost never going to finish your book.

Usually, when books do this, or any variation, I can just roll my eyes and continue reading. I can usually just ignore whatever part and enjoy the book. That is always my goal when I go into ‘new to me’ reads. Maybe there is a purpose to the rant, and I just didn’t get to it. If that’s the case, it’s a shame that I have no desire to find out what happens next. I like escapism when it comes to fantasy, and that rant just hit a bit hard and a bit real, and I decided I couldn’t continue. I’m sure we all have one or two things that we adamantly don’t like when it comes to reading.

I know I won’t be picking up this book again and I’m not going to recommend it. I can’t.

I also can’t recommend it, because I haven’t finished it and now, I’m not going to. I wanted to like this book, because it really does sound like something I could get behind and love. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. If you read this, I hope you really enjoy it.

On top of that, I only got 28 pages into this book, I didn’t care for the characters, they felt very one dimensional and flat and I could not get behind the writing style.

I know there’s always going to be the argument of when it’s appropriate to show versus tell, and the opposite, but if you’re going to spend time telling me everything, you’d better make sure I understand what’s going on.

And guess what?

28 pages, and I still didn’t understand the world, the connections, the politics, any of it really. And yes, that could be because I didn’t read far enough into the book, that’s fair, but now we’ll never know. I kind of feel bad for maybe not giving this book the time it needs to capture my interest, but honestly, my interest is gone. There was a lot of info dumping, which didn’t help my confusion and didn’t clarify anything. I also want to state that I was already struggling to stay interested in this book, due to my lack of connection with the characters and issues with the writing style, but I was forcing myself to continue to read it, to give it a chance. I don’t like DNFing books, because I want to like every book I pick up. I want it to be my new favorite thing that I can yell about and convince everyone to read. This, unfortunately, just wasn’t the book for me, and that’s okay.

I don’t really know what else to say…I only read 28 pages of this book before I stopped. I can’t speak for whatever happens in the rest of this book I’m not going to recommend this book, because I don’t feel like I can, but I do urge you to form your own opinions. If you have any interest in this title at all, check it out! Read it! Potentially fall in love with it! This book wasn’t for me, but maybe it’s for you. I’m definitely going to be giving this author’s other works a go, and I’ve just been urged to read The Bone Witch, so that’s been moved up my TBR. Hopefully I haven’t put you off this book, and I hope you enjoy it if you do/have read it!

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Mageborn (The Hollow King #1)

magebornTitle: Mageborn (The Hollow King #1)

Author: Jessica Thorne

Pub. Date: February 18, 2020

Rating: 4.5


A dark and addictive fantasy read for fans of Graceling and Sarah J. Maas. The life of an orphan soldier becomes entwined with that of the mysterious heir to the throne, whose very presence draws out the secret magic living inside her: a magic that breaks every law she is duty-bound to uphold…

The room is small and dark. Row upon row of jars line the shelves, each one sealed with blood-red wax. The seal’s mark is a twisted circle of briar with gleaming, gold-tipped thorns. And in each jar a flicker of forbidden magic dances… beautiful, but deadly.

Sold to the Crown in the aftermath of the Last Great War, Grace Marchant has never known her parents. Now, she trains as an elite soldier tracking down mageborn – those born with an ancient and long-outlawed magic – and destroying them if they don’t surrender their power to the Crown.

The mageborn who submit are collared, then handed over to the King’s cousin and heir: the elusive Bastien Larelwynn, Lord of Thorns, locked away in his shadowy workshop deep inside the castle. What becomes of them is hard to say – the Lord of Thorns keeps his secrets close.

Grace has always fought the voice inside her that questions whether the law is truly just – but when her closest friend is next on Bastien’s list, Grace’s loyalties are tested to the limit. Confronting Bastien – searching his strangely compelling obsidian-black eyes for answers – Grace is shocked to feel herself begin to change, to show the first signs of the wild magic she so fears.

Only the Lord of Thorns has the power to save her and the rest of the mageborn – if he doesn’t destroy them all first…


This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to review, and thanks for bringing it to my attention! Otherwise I might have missed it completely.

Have you ever just picked up a book, and almost immediately know you’re going to absolutely love it, and be absolute trash for it?

Yes?

Then you know exactly the feeling I’m talking about.

Because I am. Completely.

I was pretty much sold on this book, from this line alone:

 

“A dark and addictive fantasy read for fans of Graceling and Sarah J. Maas.”

 

But, honestly, I think a better comparison is to Elise Kova’s Air Awakens Series. I got major Vhalla and Aldrik vibes from Grace and Bastien.

Ugh, Grace and Bastien.

I love them.

Basically, if you’re a fan of Aelin + Rowan, Vhalla + Aldrik and Lou + Reid, you’ll really love Grace and Bastien. They all share very similar dynamics, but definitely the most comparable is Vhalla and Aldrik. Which, I’m totally okay with, because those books are some of my favorite fantasy books.

Anyways…god, I always digress in reviews. Back to Mageborn, the book you’re actually here to read about.

This was such a good, upper YA, borderline NA fantasy read. It should be on everyone’s radar.

I mean, the cover alone should make you want to buy it, because look at it – it’s stunning!


Y’all, my brain just went blank and all I can think about is how much I loved this book and how much I want to just scream at you all to read it. Reasons why I loved it – legit just flew out of my head in favor of taking a copy of this book and shoving it into your faces to read.

Image result for read the book gif

I think this stems from the fact that no one I know has read this book, so I have no one to talk to about it. It’s a problem.

Okay, let me see if I can form a cohesive thought that actually makes sense and will convince you to buy this book.


I’ll start with a selling point.

Bastien.

Jfc. I love him.

If you like big dark, moody royals, who are all tough guy on the outside, but legit a gooey puddle internally, you’ll love him.

If you like dark, moody royals, who are all tough guy to everyone else, paired with spitfire, take no shit, fierce heroine, who doesn’t put up with anything, you’ll love him.

You’ll also love Grace.

Their dynamic is very much –

Bastien – dark ‘prince’ (though, not a prince), who everyone fears, so he dons that cloak, because why not present as what everyone thinks.

Grace – bad ass, take no shit, soldier, who calls everyone on their crap, doesn’t put up with it, and sees through the facades that people hide behind (i.e. Bastien) and allows them to be themselves.

All while denying their feelings, and then in a moment of ‘weakness’ giving in, only to put walls back up and continue the stupid dance of pretending to not be into one another, because ‘I’m not good enough’ for the other person.

It’s great. They’re great. And if that’s your thing, you’ll be very happy with this book.

Oh, also, there’s a single bed scene.

Yep, you read that correctly.

Single.

Bed.

Scene.

It’s full of tension and kissing, so if that’s also a weakness…enjoy!

Have I convinced you to read this book yet? Please say yes.

From the start of this book, we’re taken on Grace’s journey as she tries to ignore the blankness of her past, and the ever-growing power inside of her. We follow her as she does her job, dutifully upholding the laws. Her job causes her to come in contact with Bastien, the Lord of Thorns, a supposed ‘monster’ and there’s instant attraction, because tall, dark and handsome is everyone’s type. Let’s be real.

Things get a little chaotic, a kingdom is on the line, and everything they do, could lead to the end of everything. Overall, it’s a very, very good read, easy to sink into and get lost in.

I’m pretty sure I mentioned it earlier in this review, but this is definitely an Upper YA novel, if not NA. It’s not overly graphic…or at least not my opinion on what I consider overly graphic, but sex is on the page. There are also some scenes that deal with potentially triggering topics (i.e. rape). I won’t go into too much detail, but no physical acts beyond drugging, are depicted.

I don’t think this book is any more graphic that a SJM book, or Elise Kova book, so if you’ve read either of those authors, you should be okay with this one/series.

I think my favorite thing about these less popular fantasy books – though, this one needs all of the hype, I’ll be screaming about it for days, be ready – is that they don’t feel tired. They feel fresh and easy to fall into. Like, I don’t know what I’m getting into when I open the book.

I didn’t see the reveal coming at the end of this book. Not at all. I would not have pegged this book for doing that.

Sure, it’s a take back the throne book, in a sense, but it doesn’t feel like it follows the typical YA fantasy trilogy format. I love it.

I think my only complaint about this book, was that it was a little slow. But even then, I don’t think it’s truly a complaint because I legit could not put it down. I read like 80% of it in one sitting yesterday. I’m pretty sure this book, where tons happened, is just setting up for the next one.

And speaking of the next one, I need it. I desperately need it! I need to know what happens next.

Slipping back to my statement about the end of the book, can someone who has read this book message me, because THOSE LAST FEW CHAPTERS?? Jfc, I thought I was going to die. I was so nervous and terrified and quite honestly upset with how those last few chapters went down.

I mean, they were SO GOOD, I just didn’t want it to [REDACTED FOR SPOILERS]. Sigh.

So, yeah, I need book 2.

I hope that in this jumble, mess of a review, I’ve managed to convince you to read this book. It’s out today, I’ve already ordered my copy, because I need a physical version in my life, so you can check it out whenever. I recommend this week, so you can bump it to the top of your reading list, so I can have someone to talk to about it. I’m going crazy, bottling up all my thoughts about this book. So, seriously, if you’ve read it (and if you made it this far in this very long review, sorry) please message me, dm me on twitter, and I will gladly chat.

Like I said, if you’re a fan of SJM, Air Awakens and Serpent & Dove you’re going to love this book. Out today, February 18, 2020, check out Mageborn! Everyone should be reading this book, so get to it!

 

 

Book Review: Undone (Unknown #3)

undoneTitle: Undone (Unknown #3)

Author: Wendy Higgins

Pub. Date: December 5, 2017

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Amber Tate never dreamed their heart-wrenching escape from the enemy’s attack would lead them to the most beautiful place she’s ever seen, marred by one ugly fact; it’s under enemy control. Like everywhere else in the world, Elmendorf military base in Alaska has been captured, and it’s time to take it back—all of it—one base, one city at a time. After losing so much, Amber clings to the only precious person she has left, and vows to sacrifice everything to help save the Earth.

Remy Haines is a lover, not a fighter, so when she finds herself in enemy territory, expected to feign allegiance while gathering intel for the rebel cause, she’s never been more out of her element. Tensions only increase when her feelings for Jacob “Tater” Tate won’t go away, and the enemy’s leader takes an interest in her. She’s torn between what her heart wants, and what she knows she should do. As for what her body needs…well, it’s always had a mind of its own. 


This will be a spoiler free review.

I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read this trilogy.

It’s so damn good, and you all should read it.

It should be on your radar.

It’s slow burn…so slow burn that if nothing happened between Amber and Rylen in book 2, I was going legit riot.

Y’all, I miss dystopian books.

Can they make a come back?

Please?

I didn’t realize how much I needed to read this trilogy until I read it. I didn’t realize how much I was missing it as a sub-genre until I read it. Now I need more.

Bring back the era of Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and all of the other dystopian sci-fi books, it’s time for them to be the next wave in YA.

Anyways, I really enjoyed this finale to the Unknown Trilogy. The last 50 or so pages of this book had my heart rate skyrocketing and my blood pressure through the freaking roof, and for a moment I thought Wendy was going to rip my heart out of my chest.

It’s amazing just how much happens in these three books, and this final one was no exception. It’s make or break time, the battle for humanity is on, and if they don’t win…let’s just say that, that isn’t an option.

Up until this book, the enemy is just that, the enemy. We get to see another side to them through Remy’s eyes. While it doesn’t excuse what they’ve done/are doing, her interactions almost humanize them. Her viewpoint differs from Amber’s, who is keen on taking down the enemy and just wants to make it out and to the other side alive. I liked that the book alternated points of view. I was a little iffy at first, but quickly grew to enjoy

Tensions are higher than ever for the characters and this book just doesn’t stop.

I couldn’t put it down – not that I even wanted to.

When I got to the end of the book, I just wanted to continue reading, but that’s hard to do when you read the last page.

Overall, I liked how the book and the series ended. I don’t think I really have any complaints, except that I wish there was another book, but I’m pretty sure I already said that. I could definitely read a whole book about what happens after the final battle.

Wendy makes you fall in love with these characters so quickly and so easily. She makes you feel connected to them, and has you rooting for their successes and mourning their losses.

She’s also so freaking good at creating a world and a story that completely captures your interest and makes you not want to put down the book.

So, make sure you check out the Unknown Trilogy as well as her other books. If you’re looking for a NA Dystopian series, look no further!

Reviews for: Unknown / Unrest

 

Book Review: Greythorne (Bloodleaf #2)

greythorneTitle: Greythorne (Bloodleaf #2)

Author: Crystal Smith

Pub. Date: June 2, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Princess Aurelia’s life is turned upside down when the kingdom she thought she saved turns to ruin, a loved one is tragically killed in a shipwreck, and her home country refuses to respect her brother’s legitimate claim to the throne. With no place left to call her own, Aurelia returns to Greythorne Manor—her best friend’s family mansion—only to get swept up in a coup d’état on the night of her brother’s coronation.

With everyone turned against her and enemies closing in on all sides, Aurelia has nothing left to lose in a mad fight to protect the only people she has left—her family. But in her darkest moments when all seems grim, will Aurelia find a spark of hope from a love she thought long lost?


This will be a spoiler free review.

It’s taken me days to write this review.

Mainly because I’m still not over how it ended and the fact that I have to wait for book 3.

Also, because I haven’t been able to form any kind of cohesive thought that wasn’t a scream or just ‘so good’ on repeat.

So, yeah, it’s taken me a few days, and I can’t promise that I won’t just scream at you to read this book when it comes out, because you definitely should, it’s fantastic. But I’m going to try and be calm and rational and not just a crazed reader shoving this book in your face.

I read Bloodleaf last year, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t a favorite…or at least that’s what I thought. It was one of those books, that once it sat with me for a bit after reading, I realized just how much I loved it and how much of a good book it was. It was like my reaction was massively delayed and once I came to that conclusion, I needed book 2. ASAP.

I also think part of my problem was that when I was reading it, I had zero idea there was going to be a second book, let alone a third. So, I think my feelings were skewed, and once I found out that there was going to be more books, that’s when my feelings towards Bloodleaf changed and I really needed book 2. Anytime Crystal posted about it, I got so damn excited. Then when the post pre-order campaigned happened, and my swag arrived in the mail, I freaked. Bloodleaf had quickly gone from a good, enjoyable read, to an absolute favorite, and my excitement and need for Greythorne was probably a bit out of control.

I’m a fan, what else can I say.

But I digress, and this is a book review for Greythorne.

It took me a moment to familiarize myself with the world and the characters, and to remember what happened at the end of Bloodleaf. It had probably been over a year, maybe? I’d have to go back a look at exactly when I read my ARC of it. It didn’t take long and then I was completely hooked. I flew through this book, despite trying to savor it. I was too damn excited to wait to read it.

I remember not being the biggest Aurelia fan in book 1, but that’s since changed. I actually really liked her character in this. She’s been through so much and really doesn’t have the time to deal or even remotely process anything. It’s one thing after another, and while that’s terrible for her, I kind of enjoyed the constant emotional swings she had to endure.

Does that sound bad? I don’t know. It found I was able to sympathize and root for her, knowing that everything she was doing, every choice she made was for the best interest of others. Like, despite everything she’d suffered and gone through, she was able to see past it to the bigger picture. I can’t even call her self-sacrificing, because of the knowledge she has. I just really loved her in this book. So much.

You’ll have to wait until the book comes out to understand what I’m talking about because spoilers.

Which leads me to the end of the book, because while the whole thing was fantastic, what Crystal pulled off in the end is one of my favorite things – when done correctly. Crystal knocked it out of the damn park, and suddenly things that happened throughout the book made so much sense and I was so giddy. She so cleverly pulled it off, and it makes me so damn excited for book 3.

Y’all, let me break this down for you. The last couple chapters were blood pressure raising, heart stopping, oh my god, I can’t believe this amazing, and then there was the Epilogue and that was tense and sad because of certain events that happen in the last chapters. But then there’s this final page, only a couple of paragraphs and I inhaled so hard with excitement I went a tad lightheaded, because omfg I really cannot wait for book 3.

Those last couple paragraphs, on that last page were just * chef’s kiss* so good, and it really gets you ready for book 3.

I’m finding it really hard to explain exactly why I loved the ending so much but telling you what about it that’s my “favorite thing when done correctly” is a massive spoiler. I can think of only one other author who’s done it this well (I’m sure there are others, but none come to mind) and I’ve reviewed her stuff on this blog. Like, I’m back to the point where I just want to scream READ THIS BOOK, IT’S SO GOOD because I’m now thinking about the ending and I can’t. Ugh, so good.

I feel like this thing can be so hard to get right, to plant the right seeds, the right threads, and Crystal – in my opinion – did it phenomenally. I read it, and it was like little lightbulbs went off when I realized how it all tied back into other moments in the story.

Okay, I could drone on and on about the ending of this book and how good it is, and how you should read this book solely to read the phenomenal ending and be blown away like I was, but I’ll stop. Mainly because I want to talk briefly about Isobel Arceneaux and I might start talking spoilers if I don’t cut myself off.

Now, Isobel Arceneaux. I couldn’t stand her. I know we’re not supposed to like her, but damn. I definitely didn’t guess her backstory/reveal, and I don’t think I would’ve, if it hadn’t been told/Aurelia kind of figuring it out. There’s no denying she had it really rough, and that her past definitely shaped her actions, as shitty as they were. Sorry, they were, there’s no denying it. I think she’s my least favorite part of the whole book but facing off against Aurelia…it was pretty interesting and entertaining to watch it. I can appreciate the parallels between them and how Crystal created their dynamic the way she did.

So, even though I didn’t really like her as a character, I do understand her role in things and I’m really curious to see what happens next for her. What Aurelia does at the end…there are definitely going to be some consequences and I cannot wait to find out what they are. Maybe my opinion will change about her, the same way it did about Aurelia – only time and book 3 will tell.

I’m just going to sit here, slowly and quietly dying inside until I can read book 3, because omfg this book was A++, so good. Knowing that there’s like over a year wait might kill me, so Crystal if you need or want someone to read it early, I volunteer! But seriously, not knowing what happens next, is going to be the end of me…unless the TV show just happens to come out before then – wishful thinking, I’m aware – I might be okay. I’ll also add that I did a bit of Live Tweeting while I read the book, and if you’re interested, you can check out the thread here – make sure you click through to the actual thread – still spoiler free!

Make sure you check out Greythorne when it comes out in June, and if you haven’t yet, make sure you read Bloodleaf before June to be ready for Greythorne. You are not going to want to miss this book, I promise you.

Excerpt Review: House of Blood and Earth (Crescent City #1)

crescent cityTitle: House of Blood and Earth (Crescent City #1)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Pub. Date: March 3, 2020

Rating: TBD


#1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas launches her brand-new CRESCENT CITY series with House of Earth and Blood: the story of half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.


This will be a mini, spoiler free review.

I’m so ready for a new SJM book.

I know it’s only been – holy crap, it’s been 2 years since KOA? – honestly, I was about to say that it’s only been a year, but I lie.

Anyways, I read the first 5 chapters of this new book, because I couldn’t wait, and curiosity got the better of me.

Holy crap am I read. March 3rd cannot come soon enough. It’s cruel to cut off the excerpt right as something major happened. I need to know what happens next!

On the other hand, I hate that I read this excerpt because now a month long wait is going to royally suck.

I will say that I found it a little slow and a little confusing in the beginning, but I feel like that’s forgivable since this is a whole new story, whole new set of characters, whole new world that she’s introducing us too. By chapter 4 I was hooked anyways, so I don’t really have an issue with it.

I’m so excited to meet the love interest – I’m pretty much a sucker for how SJM writes relationships and I tend to devour her books. I’m also pretty sure I’m going to really like Bryce. It feels too early to make any definitive declarations, but I think she’s going to be really fun to read.

So, I’ll just be sitting here, impatiently tapping my foot, waiting for March 3rd so I can finish this beast of a book.

If you’re someone who doesn’t mind the tease of an excerpt, I highly recommend checking this one out.

 

Book Review: Havenfall (Havenfall #1)

havenfallTitle: Havenfall (Havenfall #1)

Author: Sara Holland

Pub. Date: March 3, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .


This will be a spoiler free review.

Maybe I’m becoming too jaded when it comes to reading.

Or maybe we as a community just hype books too much.

Either way, anticipated reads seem to be falling short left and right.
I hate that.

Seriously.

It’s not every anticipated read, but so many of them since September 2019 have just been missing the mark.

I think part of the problem is that a lot of YA feels tired, the same, and rewrites of stories that already exist.

Yes, I’m aware that nothing is truly *original* but books are just missing the mark for me.

I was super excited for Havenfall. I read an excerpt a few months ago, and I was so damn excited for it. I couldn’t wait to read it, so when I got approved on NetGalley for an eARC I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to read it.

Well, I read it.

Image result for not fair gif

Ugh.

I don’t know where that initial excitement went. I have no idea where it ran off to. But it became pretty clearly early on, that it wasn’t going to be showing up again.

Now, I will be completely clear that I wasn’t a fan of Sara’s second release – Evermore. It was disappointing after reading Everless – which I loved. I went into this book with a clear mind, completely intent on giving her writing another chance, and I don’t know what it is, but this book just didn’t hit the mark.

Let me back up – overall, sure, I enjoyed this book. It had elements that I like in a story, and I did stay interested enough to keep turning the pages.

But with that being said, I never felt a connection with it. I didn’t connect with the characters…at all. Not once did I feel anything for the characters. I also had trouble picturing them…well everyone except Taya. I could picture her easily. You would think that as the reader, I should be able to picture the MC – Maddie, but nope. All I remember about her physical appearance is that she has short hair. It extends further than just the characters. I struggled to picture Havenfall. Ultimately, I just pictured like a Victorian Mansion, but I have no idea if that’s right.

Also, as a reader – tying into the whole not being able to picture anything or anyone – I felt like I was told everything. Told everything, and still unable to picture anything, or even fully understand everything. It was like I was dumped into the middle of this book, this world and expected to know things, which clearly wasn’t the case.

Then there’s the plot.

So much goes on, plot wise, and it’s all kind of a jumble.

By ‘so much’ I mean, so freaking much.

Like, it’s one thing after another, and some of it just feels unnecessary?

And yes, I understand that, ‘one thing after another’ is how a plot progresses, but by the end of this book, the ending feels cheap, easy and wholly unjustified. Then there were the moments that elicited this expression –

Image result for seriously gif

You know what I’m talking about. The ‘of course this is how this played out, because it couldn’t possibly have played out any other way’ sarcasm response, that makes you thin your lips and roll your eyes. Every reveal felt so damn obvious and generic. Like, of course that person isn’t who they seemed or of course that issue with a group of individuals is just a massive misconception and my favorite of course I have some life altering connection that connects our pasts with a person I have feelings for – like, really? Really?

I just don’t know.

I don’t know what happened.

Did I mention that it took until the 30% mark for me to even get remotely interested in this book? No? Well it did. I don’t know what that relates to page count wise but come on.

I think through it all, my least favorite part was the ending. For everything I went through as a reader – hell for everything Maddie went through, the ending sucked. I know there’s another book coming to conclude the story, but literally nothing is wrapped up at the end of this book. Nothing.

It’s so open, a breeze is blowing through it.

You should see me sitting here, thinking about this book as I write this review. I’m so annoyed I keep staring at a wall, like it’s a camera on the Office. You know the look. Like, ‘please see what I’m talking about’.

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I’m just so annoyed and so over these books that ultimately feel like almost a waste of my time.

I know some people absolutely love this book, and that’s fantastic, I’m so incredibly happy for you! I wish I did, but I don’t. The concept is really cool and unique, but the story – how it was written, just fell short for me. My excitement is gone, disappeared, blown away with the breeze. I didn’t connect to this book at all, on any level and I don’t know if I’ll pick up the second one when it comes out. I also have no idea how everything is going to tie up by the end of that book, but I’m sure it’ll be very convenient and easy.

Okay, I’m going to end this hear before I start truly ranting and start talking specific spoilers.

If you’re interested in Havenfall, hopefully I haven’t put you off of it. I’m going to tell you to check it out and form your own opinions. I don’t want to convince you out of a book that might become your favorite read.

Book Review: Twisted Palace (The Royals #3)

 

twisted palaceTitle: Twisted Palace (The Royals #3)

Author: Erin Watt

Pub. Date: October 17, 2016

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.


This will be a short spoiler free review.

When picking the books, I was going to read for my 3-month TBR, I figured that I’d finally finish this series. I knew from how I practically inhaled the first two, that I would undoubtedly inhale this one as well.

I did.

Not surprising.

These books are addicting and are kind of hard to put down. I enjoyed reading it and seeing how Ella and Reed’s story came to a close.

I will say that the big reveal towards the end of the book, wasn’t what I was expecting. The person who was at the center of everything wasn’t who I thought it was going to be? Though, to be fair, the person I thought it was going to be doesn’t really make much sense, and it would have been a very strong reaction.

I hated Ella’s father. There wasn’t a single moment where I thought ‘oh maybe he’s redeemable’. Not one.

I do have a complaint though.

For all the books really, and not just this one.

I find it so hard to – I don’t know if believe is the right word…buy into, maybe? – Ella and Reed’s relationship, and how any parent would be okay with it. I also found it so weird that this is clearly a New Adult novel, but the characters are still in high school. I also understand that this is centered around very rich, entitled people, and the shit they get away with is incredible. I get all of those things, and I while I have a slight issue, these books are addicting as hell and very easy to get lost in. I also get that even when you’re not dealing with the rich elite, that teens are doing these things. It’s not lost on me, I promise. It just kind of rubs the wrong way.

I just know that I wouldn’t be okay with my kid doing what Ella or Reed does, but hey, I’ve not been through everything these characters have, so what do I really know?

If you read books 1 & 2, then you should be picking this one up to finish out their story. I definitely want to read books 4 & 5 which follows Easton, and eventually I will. If you’re looking for a quick, enjoyable, New Adult read that will keep you wanting more, then you should check out these books, for sure.