Book Review

ARC Book Review: Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Allison Saft
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: March 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A gorgeously gothic, deeply romantic YA debut fantasy about two enemies trapped inside a crumbling mansion, with no escape from the monsters within.

Honor your oath, destroy your country.

Wren Southerland is the most talented healer in the Queen’s Guard, but her reckless actions have repeatedly put her on thin ice with her superiors. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate to cure his servant from a mysterious disease, she seizes the chance to prove herself.

When she arrives at Colwick Hall, Wren realizes that nothing is what it seems. Particularly when she discovers her patient is actually Hal Cavendish, the sworn enemy of her kingdom.

As the snowy mountains make it impossible to leave the estate, Wren and Hal grow closer as they uncover a sinister plot that could destroy everything they hold dear. But choosing love could doom both their kingdoms.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched, gothic, romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

GREAT ATMOSPHERE.

I’m grateful I got an ARC for this one, because reading it in September with all of the fall, spooky, and Gothic vibes was the perfect combination. The atmosphere of Down Comes the Night was written beautifully.

I loved Wren as a main character. She was emotional, brave, intelligent, and devoted. I really loved her compassion for others and the fact she was emotional. It’s okay to feel things and to show those feelings and I loved knowing and seeing that in a character.

Her relationship with both Una and Hal worked amazingly in this standalone. It was somehow a love triangle, but not. Just a movement and progression of Wren’s relationships as the story grew. I thought the way it worked out with Una fit well, and appreciated that it wasn’t some blown out of proportion break-up, but an acknowledgement of where they both were in their lives. And moving with Hal felt right for the now, and he was just SO PRECIOUS. I love a brooding guy with a soft heart.

There’s a LOT of medical terminology used. More so than I’ve seen in any book I’ve read in a good long while. I do have a background in this kind of medical jargon so I didn’t mind it and kind of enjoyed this different addition to a young adult fantasy book. Wren works as a healer and whenever she explains something she’s trying to do, it’s in a more medical based format.

Our villain is a little roll your eyes worthy, but they have a flair all their own that was very creepy and fit into this entire setting well. I wish the story wasn’t confined to essentially one location, but there was enough overall to influence the narrative. Adored the ending and there’s plenty of highlight worthy quotes in here about choosing peace. Definitely a must read!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a very little detailed fade to black scene
  • Violence: bloody/gory; murder, physical altercations, poisonings, magic attacks

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: You Have a Match by Emma Lord

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary
Length: 320 pages
Author: Emma Lord
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 5th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

ADORED THIS.

You Have a Match is the parent trap, found family, summer camp mash-up I didn’t know I needed. I loved this so much. Emma Lord is cementing herself as an auto-buy author for me. After loving Tweet Cute, I’m so happy I got a chance to read her next book!

I absolutely loved all of these characters. There were weaknesses and strengths. So much growth, and seizing opportunities and finding your future path. It was such a perfect young adult book. Watching Abby cope with learning about her new sister felt raw and real. Abby and Savannah conquered a lot because they realized they truly wanted to be in each other’s lives. Trapping their parents together was such a gem and seeing how the adults worked out their prior conflicts enhanced everything. I honestly couldn’t peg down the full story until it was revealed and I love that it remained a well-timed mystery.

The side story romance between Leo and Abby was PRECIOUS. Such a sweet friends to lovers that definitely had me shipping them from the beginning. I love where it fit in because it never over shadowed the main plot. It clearly was meant to be on the side and it appropriately remained there.

There was just so many little things that added together to make this story what it was. I felt like I learned more about myself just from reading it. Wanting a place to belong, understanding that our parents aren’t perfect, finding that sister you didn’t know you had, and falling in love. Incredibly heart-warming and intensely charming, You Had a Match needs to be on your TBR ASAP.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Author: Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

YES.

That’s how I feel about reading Adrienne Young’s newest book. Just, YES.

Lets start off talking about the setting, ships, islands, deep-sea diving, pirates, OH MY. I loved it. I’m a huge fan of all things water related and getting another book with that setting made me beyond excited. The way the land was separated, how the dynamics of the world worked, character interactions, all of it.

Fable is a fav. Loved her as our heroine. Her resiliency and ability to adapt to whatever situation was in front of her was bar none. Because wow, she was thrown into a rough situation that I’m still trying to grasp the point of (who abandons their child on an island?). She’s a bit rough around the edges from not having any positive interactions with those around her. But, Fable persists, and finding her family was one of the best parts of this book. I love the crew she ends up with and am so excited this book has a sequel.

The only small issue I struggled with (and why I gave it four stars) is that I had a hard time finding the full plot. Things were happening and the story was moving, and yet I didn’t see where it was all going. I guess that’s kind of how it still went about by the end, but the ending was filled with so much I overlooked a lot of it. The amount of action turned out in Fable keeps you on your toes.

I loooove the dash of romance here. It reminds me of how she wrote it in The Sky in the Deep (another fav). It doesn’t take up a lot of pages and it isn’t in your face. The subtle interactions and looks across the way totally add to the vibe between Fable and West. I adored the way it worked out and like how it only enhanced the story. Fable and her quest for her own place to be remained at the forefront.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses, one closed door scene
  • Violence: guns, physical, fires, murder, drowning, storms
  • Trigger warnings: child abandonment, loss of a loved one

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Book Review

ARC Book Review & Blog Tour: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Erin Hahn
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: May 12th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

SUPER CUTE.

I feel like I use that word a lot when describing books, but I like reading cute books! Maybe I’ll come up with another adjective at some point, but for now, I found this book super cute.

When I read Erin Hahn’s first book (You’d Be Mine), I found it charming, but only alright. Upon seeing her latest book and the summary, I was enthralled and it sounded completely up my alley. Take a chance? YUP. And I’m happy I did.

There were plenty of pop culture references throughout. I usually find them more on the obnoxious side, but guys, these made me laugh. Actually giggle at my book because they were spot on. They reference would hit at the right moment and I loved them in this book.

I love allllll of the music. One of the few things that could make this book better would be putting it together as an actual movie. I would be all over hearing these songs because the lyrics are stunning and heartfelt. I was pleasantly surprised that I knew most of the songs referred to by Vada and Luke. Music plays a big role in the feelings and emotions and creates a great backdrop for the story as a whole.

Luke and Vada were adorable. Simply adorable. I LOVED the way their relationship developed over the course of the book. It didn’t need an enemies to lovers trope to sway me. This friends to lovers things was perfect. The awkward, young love flirtations made me smile and I was smitten with them together. I liked both of their personalities and interactions and the natural way everything came together for them. The side characters were great in their own right. Cullen and Zack were a sweet and funny couple. I love how accepted they were and what they added as a brother and friend to Luke.

Not to mention, the side story between Vada’s Mom and Phil (Vada’s boss) was everything I needed in a sub-plot. These two were flippin’ cute and I am so happy we got their full story too. I love when other characters who get page time have a beautiful and moving adventure too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; mentions of sexual relationships (side characters), but no actual scenes in book
  • Violence: drunk/belligerent father

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