Book Review

ARC Book Review: Stealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1) by Alyson Noel

Rating: ★★★☆
Audience: YA Magical Realism / Fantasy + Romance
Length: 480 pages
Author: Alyson Noel
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: June 28th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

These days, I’ve been killing it when it comes to letting people down. Now I’ve been kicked out of high school, arrested, and accepted into a remote, off-the-grid school owned and operated by an inscrutable billionaire tech guru.

Gray Wolf Academy is looking for a certain kind of student. Ones that no one will miss. Like me.

Then there’s Braxton. The beautiful, oddly anachronistic guy who showed up right when the trouble started. And he’s a total enigma—which means that I definitely can’t trust him, even if there’s something about him that makes me want to.
They all tell me I have a gift. A very rare gift. And Gray Wolf Academy wants me to learn it. To use it. Because if what they say is true, I have all the time in the world.
And that makes me the most dangerous high school student you’ll never know…

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an audio ARC.

KIND OF INTO IT.

I picked this one up after a lot of hype from Bookstagram friends and I think it did it’s job well. As this was an audiobook ARC I’ll speak to that first, LOVED. No complaints here about the narration or anything. I thought it was wonderful and I was able to listen at a 2.5x – 3x speed easily.

The set-up for this was fun. I liked the time travel aspects and getting to see different facets of history. The school setting wasn’t a big factor (as someone who doesn’t love that setting). It was more in the background to everything else Nat was learning and doing.

I didn’t love the side characters. Some in the context of not great antagonists which came off childish. And others is just that I wanted more! There were many opportunities for some found family moments and I think those should have been capitalized on.

This was somehow upper YA and lower YA all in the same book. The dialogue and personalities leaned towards younger while the themes and some of the scenes (like attempted rape) were definitely in the older group. This clash caused a issue with me finding the right niche for the story overall.

I am intrigued by the plot though and definitely want to continue. I really liked the banter at the beginning of the romance and am curious how that is going to continue to play out. Maybe a love triangle? I’m not sure. BUT I did like what Braxton brought to the table.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Magical Realism/Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some light
  • Romance: heated make-outs
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: sexual assault, attempted rape, loss of loved ones, near death experiences

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Book Review

Book Review: Come Back to Me (Waters of Time #1) by Jody Hedlund

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Release Date: June 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

AN INTRIGUING IDEA.

This plot was interesting!! It had been described to me as Outlander-ish (without a very long list of trigger and content warnings). I’d have to agree, this did remind me of that series, but it’s also very much its own book.

Marian was a intelligent woman who ends up in the 1300’s trying to save her Dad. Little does she know, she’s about to fall in insta-lust/love with William Durham. With the instantaneous nature of it all I never caught up to fully being invested in the romance, but I did like it by the end. They seemed well matched. I did wish I knew going in that this is a STANDALONE. The second book follow another couple. You’ve been made aware.

I definitely had a hard time putting this down. The story is engaging and the pace moves fairly quickly. I would have loved more set-up on both sides of the world, but it was good overall. More length would have made the present time period have a clearer direction. There’s much more here and I hope the second book will expand on that.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs
  • Violence: sword battles, physical altercations, being beaten
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: hostage situations, loss of a parent, loss of a spouse, brief mention of a side character discuss miscarriage, a sibling with a terminal illness

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Book Review

Book Review: Cytonic (Skyward #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Sci-Fi
Length: 432 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: November 23rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Reckoners series, the Mistborn trilogy, and the Stormlight Archive comes the third book in an epic series about a girl who will travel beyond the stars to save the world she loves from destruction.

Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary. She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell—the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades. What’s more, she traveled light-years from home as an undercover spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home.

Now, the Superiority—the governing galactic alliance bent on dominating all human life—has started a galaxy-wide war. And Spensa’s seen the weapons they plan to use to end it: the Delvers. Ancient, mysterious alien forces that can wipe out entire planetary systems in an instant. Spensa knows that no matter how many pilots the DDF has, there is no defeating this predator.

Except that Spensa is Cytonic. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy.

The only way she can discover what she really is, though, is to leave behind all she knows and enter the Nowhere. A place from which few ever return.

To have courage means facing fear. And this mission is terrifying.

AMAZING AS USUAL.

If I can trust in one bookish thing, it’s that Brandon Sanderson books will always be enjoyable. This was, of course, no different. I loved this installment and am now anxiously awaiting what I know will be a stunning finale.

I LOVE Spensa. She makes me laugh, want to shake her, and also be best friends. Spensa is bold and a little headstrong, but I love her awareness and the passion with which she cares for her loved ones. She found herself wrapped up in a new found family situation and leaned so much about herself and how to save the galaxy.

A sucker for romance, the absolutely SOFT MOMENTS between Spensa and Jorgen melted me. I am so happy these were included!!! It helped to see that side of things (though I’ve read both novellas which was a big help too, definitely read those!) and have a better understanding of all the happenings in Detritus.

Sanderson has created a unique world in the nowhere and I was fascinated by its exploration. There were a ton of new races to meet, old friends showed up, more fighter pilot space battles and more. And who knew I would be attached to another sentient AI?! M-Bot had me feeling all the things by the end and I love the wheelhouse of emotions pulled out of me by this incredible writing.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Sci-Fi
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: near death experiences, fighter pilot battles

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Book Review

Book Review: Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Sci-Fi
Length: 512 pages
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 9th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The squad you love is out of time. Prepare for the thrilling finale in the epic, best-selling Aurora Cycle series about a band of unlikely heroes who just might be the galaxy’s last hope for survival.

Is this the end?
What happens when you ask a bunch of losers, discipline cases, and misfits to save the galaxy from an ancient evil? The ancient evil wins, of course.
Wait. . . . Not. So. Fast.

When we last saw Squad 312, they working together seamlessly (aka, freaking out) as an intergalactic battle raged and an ancient superweapon threatened to obliterate Earth. Everything went horribly wrong, naturally.
But as it turns out, not all endings are endings, and the te4am has one last chance to rewrite thirs. Maybe two. It’s complicated.
Cue Zila, Fin, and Scarlett (and MAGELLAN!): making friends, making enemies, and making history? Sure, no problem
Cue Tyler, Kal, and Auri: uniting with two of the galaxy’s most hated villains? Um, okay. That, too.
Actually saving the galaxy, though?
Now that will take a miracle.

WHAT AN END.

I’m going to miss this crew. Oh so much. Can this duo just write YA sci-fi books forever? I adore them whole heartedly. I love every single character for who they are and the different personalities, banter, and strengths they brought to the table.

This book had me tense the entre dang time. I honestly didn’t know how things were going to work out until the end. It was FULL of action, but also the soft moments. I wanted to quote half this book because I was smitten. Not to mention the ships? HAD MY SOUL. Wow am I obsessed with Tyler and Saedii. They might have toppled my love for Auri and Kal. And then some of the others (spoilers so won’t say) had me heart fluttering too.

There’s three different timelines here that [impressively] never confused me. I love the ability to follow a story even when things are moving in different directions. The past, present and future collided to finally wipe the sickness from the galaxy.

I love this series and really grateful that the ending game me everything I could have wanted. Everything was as it should be. Heart melted. Soul on fire. Wonderful series. Hopefully this duo has more in the works because I am all over reading them.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Sci-Fi
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: large scale explosions, loss of loved ones, blood/gore depiction, physical and magical altercations, gun wounds

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