Book Review

Graphic Novel Book Review: Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve #2) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy/Sci-fi Graphic Novel
Length: 324 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer [Illustrators: Stephen Gilpin and Douglas Holgate]
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.

And to show he’s serious, Steele is taking hostages.

Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, and Winter and Jacin all feature in this epic new battle. But it is Iko who must face her deepest fears when she uncovers the truth about her own unusual programming.

LOVED THIS.

This was such a great conclusion y’all. I loved the artwork, the story, the characters. Ah, it was nice spending a bit of time back in this world.

I adored the addition of the new characters and getting to understand Iko’s humanity. I love her personality and sass. And just how incredibly great of a person she really is. Kinney and Iko definitely have that spark between them and it was precious seeing their friendship grow.

Smitten with all my fav characters all over again. BUT HELLO, where was my Cinder and Kai wedding? Honestly, only thing missing [Scarlet and Wolf were pretty dang cute though]. These are a must read if you love the original books. These are engaging and action-packed and I feel actually add to the original story. There’s a chance to see an in-depth look at what Luna and Earth are like post Levana.

Short and sweet (just the way graphic novels are). The plot is dynamite, Iko is the perfect main character for this volume and you get to see all of your old friends again, what’s not to love?

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy sci-fi graphic novel
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: swords, physical (not depicted in an overly gory/bloody way)

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 14th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

HEART-WARMING.

Wow. This book was a lot different than I was expecting. I know Center tends to write some heavy subject matter into her contemporaries and this was the case here as well. I’ll mention it now (and again in my content warnings) that this book is heavily influence by school shootings.

While still discussing such heavy subject matter, Center was able to also infuse light, love and bravery too. The main character, Samantha, was such a joy and I loved her ridiculous antics and fashion choices. Sam’s deep love for her school and the kids she watches over (she’s a librarian!) was evident and was the much needed positive light. Her contrast to Duncan, the ever-brooding, tough-nut-to-crack, new principal was great.

I was impressed with their push and pull, but also thought the slow burn, took way too long to catch any fire. It was over halfway through the book before anything really started to maybe happen. I think if there was a bit more romance I would have adored it even more. I looove that they knew each other prior (at a previous school) and how that played into both of their emotions. It was cute and relatable. And I really appreciated reading the quiet, strong moments between them as discussions of their past came about.

This was an overall enjoyable and touching read. I felt connected to the story and the trauma’s that were discussed. These characters kept me wanting to read to see the full scope of what this novel had to tell. There’s a couple nods to Happiness for Beginners characters (that’s where we first meet Duncan!). I definitely recommend reading that book too, and potentially even first if you want because that book is also a gem.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: kisses, heavy make-outs
  • Trigger/Content warnings: loss of a loved one (start of the book), epilepsy (that causes a car crash), PTSD from a school shooting, heavy grief

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Book Review

Book Review: House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy romance
Length: 816 pages
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

SJM’S BEST FIRST BOOK.

There, I said it. And I stand by it. This was the best first book I’ve read from Sarah J. Maas. What a brilliant debut. Man, have I have missed her writing. It never fails me by the time I finish the book that I have felt wrung out by my own emotions.

I’m not even sure where to begin or how to write this review because I’m still so wrapped up in the story. I loved Bryce. She started off poorly and her character arc and personal story was so captivating that by the end I had tears in my eyes as she finally left go of the heartache that had it’s hold on her. Bryce was another bad-a female lead to join the Feyre and Aelin gang. I thought she was had some similarities to her previous leads, but that Bryce stood all on her own.

Once again, we have a great swoon-worthy, broody male to entertain us. Hunt Athalar is slowly being etched in to my favorite book boyfriends list. We’ll see where he ends up by the end of this. Because I can’t be the only one wondering if he’s ACTUALLY Bryce’s final love interest? [Especially if you’ve read A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass, there’s just no way to know]. I liked what we got from him here. I was utterly smitten by his casual looks of just wearing a baseball cap while watching TV to his full armored self taking on demons. The flirtation and burn between Hunt and Bryce was on point and not over the top for a first book where we’re just getting to meet all of these characters. I liked their chemistry and compassion between them.

Not only were the main characters fantastic, the side characters tried to steal the show too. Especially, Ruhn. Y’ALL. He’s a new fav. I absolutely loved the brother aspect for this book. Giving Bryce a character to lean on and work through family drama with. Ruhn is funny, strong, and quite possibly my new favorite person. I think we’ll get a lot more of him and his story as the series grows. Along with him, I’d love to know more about Ithan and the wolf-pack. I feel there’s more to those stories then the original few chapters I got of them. I like that there’s many different facets to Crescent City.

I’m really curious about so many aspects of this series. The only issue I had with this was the amount of info-dumping that came out in the first few chapters. THERE’S A LOT OF INFORMATION. And that’s not an exaggeration. I feel like it took me about the entire book to really grasp the politics and set-up of the city and world as a whole. Now that I’ve latched on to those ideas I think it’ll set up for even greater installments. I liked that this was an urban + paranormal + fantasy, mash-up. Maas somehow combined all of them without making it feel silly (and I’m not usually a fan of paranormal).

Overall audience notes:

  • Urban/Paranormal fantasy romance
  • Language: a lot of strong language
  • Romance: mentions of masturbation, a detailed love scene, and a few detailed almost love scenes; kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: plenty; demon attacks, magic, physical, swords, guns
  • Trigger warnings: suicide ideation (and an almost attempt, method mentioned); depression and grief over loss of loved ones

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Book Review

Book Review: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult urban fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic,where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

VERY ATMOSPHERIC.

Well, I’m a bit disappointed in this because I think I hyped it up too much. I had heard how great it was and while I did like some parts it mostly fell flat for me.

I loved the atmosphere of Ernshaw’s novels. I feel the cold air, snow, witches, and everything else. She builds a well constructed small world that you can let yourself into. I liked getting the history of Nora’s family throughout the book and the mystery it left in solving what Nora’s gift would be.

Overall though, I found myself skimming portions. I thought it got really repetitive over the story line. Yes, there was a boy missing and a boy dead. And this fact was said over and over and over again. I wanted the characters to do something about it, not mention it one more time. When the action started to pick up in the last third of the book is when I was most invested in the mystery of the woods.

I did not see one of the twists coming because i had planned on a whole different scenario. I really enjoyed this and thought it fit right into the plot. A little bit creepy, a little bit sad, but the ending was great. I liked how it was written and gave the happy ending I’m always searching for.

Oh yes, the romance. I always struggle in one-book fantasy romances. I always think more should be added. In this case, I appreciated that the romantic aspects didn’t play a HUGE part, but were subtly woven in. They had a dark and charming aspect together that added to the whole vibe of the book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult urban fantasy
  • Language: some strong language throughout
  • Romance: kisses, a make-out in bed
  • Violence: murder by drowning, physical, forest fire, hypothermia

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