April May Fall was such a breath of fresh air after reading so much fantasy. I especially felt a connection to this story because I, myself, started my yoga journey at the beginning of this year. The feelings of anxiety and stress that the main character was feeling were reflected in my own life and I could understand April’s need for grounding. This was a sort of slow burn romance alongside a mother’s journey into finding and accepting herself. I really enjoyed all the humor and playful bits of the story as well. Highly recommend to anyone who wants a fun light read with a hint of steaminess! Available for purchase now! Go ahead and do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today!
Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff | Spoiler-free Review
Jay has done it again! I can’t get enough of Jay’s snarky and give no fucks writing style. It’s what drew me to his writing when I read Nevernight and I was not disappointed with this work of art! Gabe is the most interesting and mysterious protagonist and there was never a moment I wasn’t thirsting to learn more about him, his past, his relationships with others, etc. Not only is our main character thrilling, but every side character that Jay writes is so full of life and personality as well! I am eagerly awaiting Book 2 and it can’t come quick enough!…..If it wasn’t clear, 5 freaking stars goes to this one!
Spells Trouble by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast | Spoiler-free Review
I received an ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. (3.5 stars)
I really enjoyed this witchy read! I think it was a solid beginning to the trilogy as far as the plot/story. I loved learning about the Goode witches and I was completely captured by the Prologue! One thing I felt was lacking was a bit more character development. I think it would have helped to see some more interactions between the twins and their mom in regards to their learning about spells/magic. I’m not sure if we will get more of that in the next books, but the characters felt just a tad flat to me. I love the idea of the trees being gates to other worlds and the symbolism behind each tree. Like I said, the story was great and I can’t wait to read what happens next! I’m hoping we get more development in the next book, but I will definitely be picking it up when it comes out!
Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton – Spoiler-Free Review
Thank you so much to Page Street Publishing for providing me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Lucky Girl is much more than a book about a girl winning the riches of her dreams and deciding what to do with the money. It’s a book that filled me with joy, sadness and much more as we follow her thought process before telling anyone that she just won millions. First off, she’s too young to cash in on this for herself, so she has to really ponder and weigh her options as to who to trust with this information and this little ‘golden ticket’ of wealth.
Second, I had points where I was literally yelling at the pages to tell Jane what to do with the ticket and then realized she can’t hear me 🤷🏻♀️. I am thoroughly satisfied with how this story ended and I must say that I shed a few tears as it concluded. 😭
This book is releasing on May 11, 2021 (a day before my birthday!) so get your pre-orders in! This was a sweet and quick read and I will definitely pick up more from this author in the future!
Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala | Spoiler-Free Review
Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an advanced copy for review. The thoughts in this review are entirely my own.
If you’re in the mood for something dazzlingly gay, delightful and creative, you should read this book! This has the feel of every teen romcom movie you’ve ever seen, with a dash of your favorite reality competition show thrown in. There was a dash of cuteness, some heated arguments, a few shed tears and that feel good feeling when it all comes to a close. This was probably the best choice I could have made for a book to start my year off with because now the tone of my year is set and let me tell you, 2021 is going to shine!
This book is being published this Tuesday, January 5, 2021. Don’t forget to preorder your copy! I promise it will make you feel magical when you read it!
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall | Spoiler-Free Review
Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Casablanca for sending me finished copy of this book as well as the e-arc.
This book was just the absolute cutest! I loved Luc’s not-a-care-in-the-world attitude, but also, he really cares a lot and Oliver is just the cutest thing ever; perfect and poised, but there is so much more to him underneath the surface. These two polar opposites were destined to meet and be each other’s shining light! We not only had a whirlwind slow-burn romance between these pages, but we had a deep look into some of the feelings and insecurities that plague many of us on a daily basis in a variety of ways. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed reading Luc and Oliver’s story! There were times when I was giddy with delight, turned on, and some devastating moments, but they all pulled together to form this beautiful story. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun, romantic and witty read! This book is available in your favorite bookstore NOW! Leave me a comment below if you have read this one and tell me your thoughts!
Fable by Adrienne Young | Spoiler-Free Review
Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
If you are looking for the perfect, seafaring, romantic adventure, look no further! Fable is such an amazing MC full of bravado and determination. The entire plot of the story was so fast-paced and energetic; I literally could not put the book down. There is a small amount of magical element in the story, but I’ll leave that to you to find out about when you read the story. Throughout my reading, I had so many theories about what was going to happen or who was going to do what and after finishing the book, I can safely say that my theory list has grown considerably! LOL. I desperately want to get my hands on book 2, Namesake, ASAP! This book focuses more on the adventure part of the story, but romance fans will also love it just as much (I’m secretly hoping for more romance in the next book)! This book also incorporates the idea of blood family vs. found family and found family is one of my absolute favorite tropes! Highly recommend picking this book up for a fun “piratey” type read! It hits shelves this Tuesday, September 1, 2020!
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco | Spoiler-Free Review
Thank you so much to Jimmy Patterson Books for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Where do I even start? This book was definitely so highly anticipated by myself and the rest of the book world and OH BOY did it live up to the hype! I was quickly immersed in such a lush Italian landscape seething with olives, tomatoes, basil and thyme. This was a reading experience for the taste buds! Pairing the luscious food descriptions with dark, wicked fantasy and you have a recipe for a spellbinding novel. There are witches, demons and more than a little magic in this story. Plus, there is a murder mystery behind all of the gore and glamour that fills out the story nicely. Don’t forget about our bad boy demon, Wrath (move over Rhysand)! Kerri is a storyteller for those of us who love to play along and be a part of the narrative. Be sure to add this to your immediate TBR shelf! It will hit shelves on 10/27/20 and it will be the perfect book to read during this spooky time of year!
Have you read this one yet? Have you read any of Kerri’s other books? I’ve read Stalking Jack the Ripper and I’m about to dive into Hunting Prince Dracula this week! Let me know your thoughts on any of them!
There Will Come a Darkness | Part Two: Oath #TWCADReadalong with @FierceReads, @KatyRosePool and @utopia.state.of.mind
The Age of Darkness approaches.
Wow, it has been such a ride to be back in this lush fantasy world that Katy has created! Whether you guys are reading this for the first time or rereading it for the second or third, I hope you guys are enjoying this experience as much as I am! As soon as I finished reading Part One, I had to continue on because the story is just so captivating, but before we head into talking about part two, let’s recap part one:
We meet our 5 main characters: Ephyra (the assassin), Hassan (the prince), Anton (the gambler), Jude (the protector) and Beru (the innocent). We also have these bad guys, called The Witnesses, led by their seemingly worse leader, the Heirophant. There are people in our world called the Graced and they have special abilities/powers like healing, being able to sense others by their esha (kind of like a person’s soul), enhanced strength and speed or the ability to create artifacts imbued with unique properties. The Witnesses hate the Graced and want to kill them all (well, destroy their Grace, which is just as bad). Now, there’s also this other group called the Order of the Last Light, who were basically living under the radar for the last hundred years, harboring some big secret prophecy that no one else knows about but them — talk about being selfish.
We start out learning about Ephyra and Beru. These two are sisters and Ephyra has been out murdering people (only bad people who deserve it though; don’t get crazy) in order to use the esha of the dead to help heal her sister from some strange illness that has befallen her. Ephyra, like any good serial killer, leaves a mark on her victims; a pale handprint. This earned her a fun nickname — The Pale Hand.
Hassan, we find out, is the Prince of Herat, but he’s in hiding with his aunt because the Witnesses invaded his homeland and captured his parents. He is what they call Graceless, so far, but there is still time for his Grace to manifest. He wants to explore, but not be recognized (he is a prince and all), so he disguises himself and ends up meeting a pretty badass girl in a refugee camp, Kehpri, who happens to be looking for the Prince of Herat to help her take back their land. He doesn’t tell her who he is — coward.
Then there’s Jude. Jude is next in line to be the Keeper of the Word (leader of the Order of the Last Light) and has to choose his own crew to lead soon. His dad tells him they finally found The Last Prophet and now its all up to him to lead the Order. Jude ends up picking his crew and choosing his best friend (that showed up back at the Order last minute after having left the Order on some soul searching) for the final spot. Even his dad thinks this is a bad idea.
Anton. Oh, sweet Anton. He has a real gambling problem, this kid. Honestly, I’m not surprised. He’s had a hard life. Running from someone who terrifies him and wants him dead (turns out it’s his brother) and dealing with being Graced and all. Apparently, he’s really powerful, but he’s too scared to use his Grace because it brings up some really bad memories from his past and gives him horrible anxiety. His brother is finally hot on his trail, but who should show up to rescue him, but Ephyra. She’s not doing this out of the kindness of her heart though — she needs him to use his Grace to help find the cure for Beru. Only problem is, he’s still having trouble using his Grace, so Ephyra offers to kill his brother for him. Problem solved, right?
Well, Jude and his crew end up sailing to the city where Hassan is living with his aunt. This was no happy accident. The Order is there for Hassan. Remember how Jude’s dad had said they found The Last Prophet? Yeah, that’s him. Hassan is him. The Last Prophet is the Prince of Herat.
Wow! What an explosive start to this epic journey! So, I get to discuss Part Two with you guys! The story just gets more interesting and interwoven from here.
Here is where we learn about The Age of Darkness. What is this thing that has people on the edge? Basically, it’s the destruction of the Graced; no one left to heal, protect or create for the people. The prophecy says that three things will bring about The Age of Darkness: A Deceiver, the Pale Hand of Death, and one who would rise from the dust. There’s also something called The Reckoning, all part of the Heirophant’s plan to destroy the Graced and it seems like it could actually be a real thing. So, if “the deceiver” is the Heirophant and Ephyra is “the Pale Hand of Death”, who is “the one who would rise from the dust”? Well, The Last Prophet, is supposed to be able to see how to stop the Age of Darkness, but Hassan can’t see how this is possible since his Grace hasn’t had the decency to show up yet.
While all this is going on, Anton sets up a meeting with his brother, Ilya, so that Ephyra can kill him, but maybe has a change of heart after seeing possible remorse in his brother’s eyes? Well, hesitation killed the cat…or…something like that. Sentry guards end up capturing Ephyra and Anton thinking they are trying to steal from the temple where they met Ilya. Ephyra can’t stay locked up for long and tries to escape, but gets caught. Remember Jude’s friend who left to find himself and ended up being part of his crew? His name is Hector and he happens to see Ephyra when she’s caught trying to escape and recognizes her. She’s the one who killed his family. This sets him into a revenge spiral, from which, he will likely not return. Jude tries to help him and in doing so, realizes how much he really cares for Hector…like, really cares, but this is a big no, no for the members of the Order. Their lives must be devoted to the Prophet and only the Prophet.
Our Last Prophet is still infatuated with Khepri from the refugee camp. She takes him to see Reza, who was attacked with Godfire, which is used to burn the Grace out of people. Sounds painful; looks that way too after seeing Reza. This is how the Witnesses plan to bring about The Reckoning. One night, Hassan has a dream…or is it a dream? Seems too real to be a dream, maybe its his Grace showing him a vision of how to stop the Age of Darkness! That must be it, so he tells everyone and their mama about it, which sets the gears in motion for plans to defeat the Heirophant and the Witnesses. Oh, and he tells Khepri that he’s The Last Prophet and he needs her army. No biggie. Also, Hassan’s aunt decides to flaunt her big guns and provide a fleet of ships as well.
So, Hector is off trying to get revenge on the Pale Hand by looking for her sister, with Anton’s help, and Jude needs to find him to stop him before he does something stupid. Hector ends up finding Beru and learning of her “sickness”. Basically, Beru died a long time ago and is kind of like a zombie risen from the dead by her sister. She’s not sick, she’s just undead. The call her a Revenant and she’s one of the things that will bring about the Age of Darkness (one who would rise from the dust). Jude catches up with Hector and they argue, then Jude ends up falling off a roof and hurting himself. Anton ends up taking him to a healer at a tavern. There are people gambling in this tavern. Uh oh. Things don’t look good for Anton, get this boy outta here! Too late, he steals Jude’s special sword and gambles it for passage to Tel Amot. Jude finds out and demands to be included in this passage to Tel Amot (this happened to be where Hector had said he was going to find Beru). Anton may have a gambling problem, but he’s good at what he does, so naturally, he wins. Before they even have a chance to leave, Ephyra and Ilya find them. Turns out Ilya is working for the Witnesses and he’s a pretty good liar. He really had everyone fooled. Even me! He ends up capturing Jude and Anton with using chains forged with Godfire.
Jude has been gone from Pallas Athos for a while now (this running around after Hector is really cutting into his job duties), so Penrose becomes interim Captain of Hassan’s guard. Perfect time for her to show off her skills because the Witnesses decide to attack just then. They’ve cornered people in the temple and set it on fire. One of the acolytes dies. This acolyte happened to be in Hassan’s vision of how to defeat the Age of Darkness, but he was alive and well…this can’t be right. Maybe he’s not the Last Prophet after all? Oops, too late, one of the people in the Order is already telling the people of Pallas Athos that Hassan is their Last Prophet. Now, everyone will be counting on him to save them.
- What do you guys think is going to happen?
- If Hassan isn’t the Last Prophet, who is?
- Honestly, who was fooled by Ilya for a while there? — C’mon I know I can’t be the only one!
- What do you think Hector will do to Beru?
- Will Anton and Jude be able to escape from Ilya?
- Who is the Heirophant?
So many questions! Let me know some of your answers in the comments or some other questions that you want answered! I hope you all are having so much fun with this read along and I can’t wait to finish this out with a bang with you all! Don’t forget to check out @utopia.state.of.mind and follow along with her for Part Three!!
The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning | Spoiler-Free Review
Thank you so much to Tor Teen for sending me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Now, I was born in the 80’s, grew up in that time period, but I have never seen The Princess Bride. What?! Blasphemy, you say! I know, I know. Let me just say, even without knowing that storyline, I thoroughly enjoyed Sarah Henning’s story inspired by this classic! I was drawn in right from Chapter 1 and found myself loving Ama’s character so much!
This book is full of political intrigue, female empowerment and a romance to sweep you off your feet. I loved the many twists and turns the story took along the way and found myself trying to guess what exactly was going to happen before it did (I was wrong most of the time LOL). I am so engrossed in Ama and Luca’s story at this point. I feel like the plot moved very quickly (but not too quickly), the action was there as were the romance and friendships! I can’t wait for book 2! I need it now!
Definitely pick this up if you like books that read like you’re watching an epic movie!