Book Review

Book Review: Storm from the East (Glass Alliance #2) by Joanna Hathaway

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 496 pages
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 11th 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Battles, revolution, and romance collide in Joanna Hathaway’s stunning, World Wars-inspired sequel to Dark of the West

Part war drama, part romance, Storm from the East is the second novel in Joanna Hathaway’s immersive, upmarket YA fantasy series that will appeal to readers of Sabaa Tahir, Marie Rutkoski, and Evelyn Skye.

War has begun, and the days of Athan’s and Aurelia’s secret, summer romance feel a world away. Led by Athan’s father, the revolutionary Safire have launched a secret assault upon the last royal kingdom in the South, hoping to depose the king and seize a powerful foothold on the continent. Athan proves a star pilot among their ranks, struggling to justify the violence his family has unleashed as he fights his way to the capital—where, unbeknownst to him, Aurelia has lived since the war’s onset. Determined to save the kingdom Athan has been ordered to destroy, she partners with a local journalist to inflame anti-Safire sentiment, all while learning this conflict might be far darker and more complex than she ever imagined.

When the two reunite at last, Athan longing to shake the nightmare of combat and Aurelia reeling from the discovery of a long-buried family truth come to light, they’ll find the shadow of war stretches well beyond the battlefield. Each of them longs to rekindle the love they once shared . . . but each has a secret they’re desperate to hide.

TORN.

My heart hurts after this one y’all.

HURTS.

BOOK THREE STAT.

For a middle book, I enjoyed this! I’ve been loving reading these through audio format. Great narrators. Capitvating and makes me want to listen as fast as I can to know what’s going to happen next.

My sweet souls Aurelia and Athan. This is one of those reads where you shout at the book, WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BE HAPPY?!?! I’m begging the last book to give me some hope or I might have committed to a series that will destory my bookish soul.

One of the only things that frustrated me was how it took until over halfway for our main’s to even SEE each other again. I don’t like when an obvious ship is separated for so long. It makes things drag a little between them even if the action is roaring around them.

And wow does the action roar. This war is only amping up and there’s so much to unpack. Betrayals, lost family lines, secrets, hidden identites and it’s amazing. I love how intricate this plot is and that I rarely find myself bored with a scene.

Really great read. Really excited that I get to read the sequel soon because I MUST know what happens next. I love these characters. I know more heart crushing is going to happen, but dang it, someone give me an at least hopeful ending by the time this is all over.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: kisses to a closed door scene
  • Violence: often; depictions of war and skirmishes, physical altercations, plane crashes, gun violence
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: suicide (a scene near the end), loss of a loved one, plane crashes

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Echoes and Empires (Echoes and Empires #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 4th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

ENCHANTED.

This didn’t have the best start for me. I wasn’t vibing with the main character at all. But I also could recognize the option for some major growth and gave Josslyn the benefit of the doubt. It paid off!

Josslyn really grew on me. From high and mighty, stuck in her opinions and way to learning to listen and absorb new information to fit into a better narrative of the world around her. I liked how she found strength and called Jericho out when he needed it. Joss had so much thrown at her and many reveals that she handled well and now she’s a main character I can get behind.

I adored the beginnings of some enemies to lovers romance. The banter is top notch and I found myself smirking right alongside Jericho. The teamwork and a few quiet scenes. Yesss. The only thing missing were a few more kissing scenes. Though I imagine book two is going to bring the heat.

The plot gets kind of wild and even when I saw the reveals coming I still appreciated the set up and ingenuity. The world building is interesting and took me a minute to grasp. It’s a mix of urban fantasy + technologically advanced society + elemental magic I want more info on. A unique combination that I look forward to further exploration in the second book.

Lots of good stuff here. I just couldn’t put it down. I loved Rhodes Falling Kingdoms series and have been anxiously awaiting getting a chance to read this. Not one to miss!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical, gun violence, magical altercations, blood depiction, torture, loss of loved ones

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Book Review

Book Review: Life’s Too Short (The Friend Zone #3) by Abby Jimenez

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Abby Jimenez
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: April 6th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A brilliant and touching romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist.

When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn’t expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn’t just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn’t want to take anything for granted.

But after her half sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her baby daughter, life goes from “daily adventure” to “next-level bad” (now with bonus baby vomit in hair). The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she’d be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua.

Now she’s feeling things she’s vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see.

BEST OF THE SERIES.

This series (but not a series because you can read them out of order) has progressively gotten better with each book. I’m so happy I kept up with it because WOW. This was a gem.

Adrian has me absolutely smitten and swooning all over the place. He was such a dreamy guy. And his relationship with Vanessa was perfectly imperfect. They had me smiling, wanting to pass around many hugs, and full on cheering for them. I loved the conversations and shortcomings both characters had. There was raw emotions and learning to come to terms with the possible futures ahead. There whole dynamic was everything I could hope for in a romance. It was fast-paced and felt authentic.

My only tiny tidbit I didn’t like was Vanessa’s family dynamics. It came across as trying to add a bunch more drama to the story, but instead was overdone. Each member had something intense happening and I wanted to go back to Vanessa and Adrian more than anything.

Filled with plenty of moments to make your heart thump faster I couldn’t recommend this enough. It was just SO SWEET. I couldn’t put this book down and I’m not even mad about the super cheesy ending. CAUSE I LOVED IT.

If you choose to read any from this series, I’d say this one easily. Nothing is spoiled for the other two (besides who ends up with who, but honestly it’s a HEA romance, you know where those are going?).

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loved one dealing with substance abuse, loved one exhibiting extreme hoarding, loss of loved ones through illness, main character dealing with potential incurable condition (ALS)

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: December 2021

Hellooooo the end of the year. Wow did I end the year with a lot of reads. All of those short Christmas novellas added up! Even if only a few were okay.

Favorite Reads: All My Rage, The Mistletoe Motive, Project Hail Mary, ACOTAR [reread], Faking Under the Mistletoe [reread], Tokyo Ever After, The Bird and the Sword [reread], Our Violent Ends, Lore Olympus [reread]

Least Favorite: Falling Under the Mistletoe, Kiss the Girl

  • Falling Under the Mistletoe by Evelyn Mae
  • [ARC] Hunt the Stars (Starlight’s Shadow) by Jessie Mihalik
  • [Novella] (Not so) Alone for Christmas by Jenny Proctor
  • [Novella] The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese
  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9) by Diana Gabaldon
  • A Shadow in the Ember (Flesh and Fire #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • A Loyal Heart (An Uncertain Choice #4) by Jody Hedlund
  • Christmas As We Know It by Sarah Sutton
  • Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • [ARC] Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead (Finlay Donovan #2) by Elle Cosimano
  • Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier
  • Lake Mistletoe by Amber Kelly
  • [ARC] Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter
  • Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross
  • [ARC] All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
  • Kiss the Girl (Creekville Kisses #2) by Melanie Jacobson
  • Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  • Charting Stars (The Nine Realms Tales #1) by Micheline Ryckman
  • Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
  • Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • [Reread] A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J. Maas
  • Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila Gray
  • [Reread] Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd
  • Tokyo Ever After (Tokyo Ever After #1) by Emiko Jean
  • [ARC] Always Jane by Jenn Bennett
  • If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1) by Julie Murphy
  • On These Black Sands (Aisling Sea #1) by Vanessa Rasanen
  • [Reread] The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #1) by Amy Harmon
  • The Twelve Dogs of Christmas (Pine Hollow #1) by Lizzie Shane
  • The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo
  • You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus
  • Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights #2) by Chloe Gong
  • [Novella] Silver Bells and Secrets (Twelfth Night Novellas #1) by Laura Rollins
  • [Novella] Stranded Ranch by Cindy Steel
  • [Novella] Believe Me (Shatter Me #6.5) by Tahereh Mafi
  • [Graphic Novel] Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe
  • This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman
  • A Trial of Sorcerers (A Trial of Sorcerers #1) by Elise Kova

How did reading go for you in December?

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