Book Review

Book Review: A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence #1) by Rebecca Ross

Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: Fantasy + Romance
Length: 480 pages
Author: Rebecca Ross
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: February 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

House of Earth and Blood meets The Witch’s Heart in Rebecca Ross’s brilliant first adult fantasy, set on the magical isle of Cadence where two childhood enemies must team up to discover why girls are going missing from their clan.

Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.

As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.

With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.

NEED BOOK TWO.

This was one of those BIG HYPED books that I took a chance on because I trusted my reading friends. NOT disappointed in the slightest. This is worth the hype and you should get your hands on it ASAP. Highly recommend the audio too because it is FANTASTIC.

I looooved the slow weaving of this tale. It is not fast paced. There’s an incremental build that leads to some devastating blows. And also, incredible reveals. I did not see many of them coming and love a good *gasp* moment as the pages wind down.

Multi-POV books are my jam and this is no different. Starting out with just two, and then increasing as more players came into the story I was enraptured. Each took on a role I wanted to know more about and added history to the lay of the land. I liked the addition of the elemental spirits and the easy understanding of the world and magic system.

ROMANCE. I adored both of the main romances happening amongst the cast. Jack and Adaira were my favorite and even though it’s a sub plot, I was very much attached to them. I am shocked by the ending and can’t wait for the next book. What a fantastic fantasy adult debut!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: mild blood
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping of young girls, physical altercations, weapons use, loss of loved ones, assault

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Book Review

Book Review: It’s All in How You Fall by Sarah Henning

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Sarah Henning
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: May 31st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A contemporary young adult romance about moving on, finding your place, and recovering after life falls apart.

Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams are shattered and her life is flipped upside down.

Enter Alex Zavala, a three-sport athlete who’s both incredibly cute and incredibly off-limits. He offers to give Caroline a crash course in all the sports she’s missed, and she has an offer for him in return: For every sport Alex teaches her, she’ll play matchmaker for him. Deal done, Caroline “dates” new sports with Alex for the rest of the summer, which is loads more fun than wallowing in despair. Just as Caroline starts to see herself as more than her past athletic successes, she picks up something she didn’t bargain for: a big fat crush on Alex. Turns out life was way easier when it was just layout-fulls and beam burns.

THIS WAS AMAZING.

This was a read for any young athlete who’s had to give up a sport sooner than they were prepared for (hi, it’s me). I felt those opening scenes with every fiber of m athletic soul and the rest of the book carried a beautiful story I couldn’t get enough of.

The romance was absolutely the SWEETEST YA friends to lovers. Oh my goodness it was too much to handle. I loved Caroline and Alex. When Alex offered to hep Caroline find a new sport/activity she could possibly enjoy and sincerely took the time to show her the ropes? SMITTEN doesn’t even begin to cover it. This is exactly the kind of love story I want to see in young adult lit.

What was my favorite aspect was the COMMUNICATION. Multiple times things came up in the plot where it could have gone two ways. One being a major miscommunication that would lead to hurt feelings and drama, and the other a conversation to alleviate all of those issues. Time and again Caroline truly thought through how she felt, how she thought others would feel and chose to have a conversation rather than let things fizzle in a bad way. I LOVED IT SO MUCH.

I could spend a long time gushing about this read. It’s appropriate for younger audiences and older alike. I think there’s so much here and it really sang to my heart and I hope you give it a chance too.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: career ending injury, depression

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Book Review

Book Review: The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time #3) by Robert Jordan

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 608 pages
Author: Robert Jordan
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 15th, 1991
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The Dragon Reborn—the leader long prophesied who will save the world, but in the saving destroy it; the savior who will run mad and kill all those dearest to him—is on the run from his destiny.

Able to touch the One Power, but unable to control it, and with no one to teach him how—for no man has done it in three thousand years—Rand al’Thor knows only that he must face the Dark One. But how?

Winter has stopped the war—almost—yet men are dying, calling out for the Dragon. But where is he?

Perrin Aybara is in pursuit with Moiraine Sedai, her Warder Lan, and Loial the Ogier. Bedeviled by dreams, Perrin is grappling with another deadly problem—how is he to escape the loss of his own humanity?

Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve are approaching Tar Valon, where Mat will be healed—if he lives until they arrive. But who will tell the Amyrlin their news—that the Black Ajah, long thought only a hideous rumor, is all too real? They cannot know that in Tar Valon far worse awaits…

Ahead, for all of them, in the Heart of the Stone, lies the next great test of the Dragon reborn.

BETTER.

I have been waiting for my mood reading self to want to pick this up since book two kind of let me down. But it’s okay! This was an improvement.

Right now my favorite character would have to be Perrin. I want alllll of the POV from him. I liked his story arc for this read and the addition of a potential love interest. Mat was also a bit POV this round and I still don’t know how to feel about him? He kind of sketches me out, like I’m expecting him to do something shady. Mat will keep you on your toes.

Egwene is still a favorite and I loved her progression too. I feel like most of this book was focused on character production rather than plot. There wasn’t enough movement, some more knowledge did come out of it all eventually. I kind of missed Rand’s whiny self and can’t wait to see what he’s up to next.

The audio is fantastic per usual and I am finally settling into the story. Remembering who characters are and the larger goal of this story. Can’t wait for the next one.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Violence: mild blood/gore
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, physical and magical altercations, weapons violence

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