Book Review

Book Review: Exile (The Extinction Trials #2) by S.M. Wilson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Dystopia
Length: 384 pages
Author: S.M. Wilson
Publisher: Usborne Publishing LTD
Release Date: June 1st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to The Extinction Trials.

After surviving on Piloria once, Storm and Lincoln are the obvious candidates to return to the dinosaur continent to test the new virus that should clear the way for human settlement. But they have their own priorities – finding a cure for the plague that’s sweeping Earthasia, and keeping themselves alive.

DINOSAURS, OH MY!

Wow am I so happy I found this series! It’s pure entertainment for me (as a dinosaur fanatic) to get to read these. I love the dystopian-type setting and the exploration of Piloria.

Once again we have our two main characters, Lincoln and Stormchaser. I still liked them this time around. Though it looks like there might be some feelings there and I want more exploration of that. More exploration of all the characters interactions and musings. It’s a continual high stakes read with being chased by dinosaurs and surviving in the wild, that I’m realizing I’m not getting a lot of character connection.

I did see it come out towards the end and am so happy that it went the direction I was hoping. I think Strom and Lincoln both have some big decisions to make and it has amped up the finale. This series is overall an intriguing premise and I will practically read anything that involves dinosaurs.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: dinosaur attacks, endemic of a skin disease, physical/weapon attacks

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Book Review

Book Review: Simply Starstruck by Aspen Hadley

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 256 pages
Author: Aspen Hadley
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Release Date: November 13th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Kate Evans never imagined she’d be a young widow and single mom, staying in her aunt’s guest cottage. She also never imagined she’d live next door to Jess Sullivan, an actual movie star. Struggling to put herself back together, Kate gets swept up in a whirlwind of dating, but can she keep ignoring what her heart really wants?

KINDA STARSTRUCK.

This book was neither here nor there. It’s a very positive three stars and I’m not upset I read it. There were just some pieces that missed the mark and caused me to lower my rating.

I liked Kate as the main character. She was witty and had a pretty funny inner monologue. What bothered me was how long some of her growth took until the very very end of the book. It was drawn out wayyy too much. Kate flounced around dating a bunch of different men (which was fine initially, but didn’t need to take up 75% of the book). So instead of feeling like this book was about her and Jess, it became an odd episode of a dating game.

I loved Jess. Really really did. Anytime he was on screen I was excited. Jess and Kate bantered well and had some tender moments that made me want to swoon. This was the best part of the book and I wish there was a whole bunch more. Jess and Kate were a great match and I loved how Kate’s son was apart of everything too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: car accident
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a spouse, cancer, car accident

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Book Review

Book Review: Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Paranormal
Length: 480 pages
Author: Erin A. Craig
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: July 27th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range–five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned.

As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents’ deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.

PERFECTLY SPOOKY.

I think I enjoyed this read more than the author’s first book! What a delightfully creepy read perfect for autumn.

This is a slower read with this great building to a climax. Each chapter kept pulling me in and a subtle cliffhanger at the end led me deeper into the woods. I cringed at the descriptions (in a good way) of the mutilated creatures and eyes following the members of town. There was a nice sense of paranormal that fit in to the small community hidden by the mountains.

I liked the little dash of romance and the way that played into the overall plot. It had some twists and turns on its own and I love how it worked out. I also really liked that this was focused on a family. Ellerie and her siblings had to take care of themselves while their parents were gone. Some bonds between the siblings broke and others strengthened as the watchers brought chaos to their doorstep.

The only thing I wish this book had was a longer ending. Things wrapped up SUPER quickly (while things were still burning down around them) and I don’t feel like I got everything I needed. I’d explain further but I might accidentally spoil, so that was my biggest issue in the end. Otherwise, great read and I can’t wait to continue reading whatever comes next from this author!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Paranormal
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: intense blood depictions, emesis, execution, gun violence, animal death and injury

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Book Review

Book Review: The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Paranormal
Length: 384 pages
Author: Rachel Griffin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.

In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.

In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.

In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.

In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.

Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.

WONDERFUL DEBUT.

I enjoyed this so dang much!

First off, the romance was so sweet. Like sugary syrup sweet. I couldn’t get enough of Clara and Sang together. There was passion and new experiences. Learning to lean on each other and the support Sang gave Clara was off the charts. Some swoony kissing scenes that really nailed this relationship for me.

I love the character growth in Clara over the year. She had to work through a lot of emotions and truths she had lead herself to believe for too long. Clara was pushed outside of her comfort zone and forced to face past relationships and trials too. By the end she had made some beautiful strides in owning her magic and herself.

There was a little bit of a repetitive nature to the story. Each season Clara would tackle a rogue weather pattern and then do that again and again. They did push Clara’s character forward, but it became extremely formulaic for me. And something that didn’t affect my rating, but that I did struggle with was how high my anxiety got reading this. Since climate change is front and center it caused my dooms-day anxiety to spike and made it tough to read at times (and this was a me thing, but wanted to mention to others who might be wary too).

I’m really excited to see what Griffin writes next. This was a witch book that I adored, and those are hard to come by for me.

Overall Audience Notes:

  • YA Paranormal
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Violence: minor physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: grief and loss depiction, death of a parent and best friend, extreme weather patterns

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