Book Review

ARC Book Review: When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary + Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Emma Lord
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 4th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream to become a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super-introverted dad, who after raising Millie alone, doesn’t want to watch her leave home to pursue her dream. Not her pesky and ongoing drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not the “Millie Moods,” the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm, always at maddeningly inconvenient times. Millie needs an ally. And when a left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do. She’s going to find her mom.

There’s Steph, a still-aspiring stage actress and receptionist at a talent agency. There’s Farrah, ethereal dance teacher who clearly doesn’t have the two left feet Millie has. And Beth, the chipper and sweet stage enthusiast with an equally exuberant fifteen-year-old daughter (A possible sister?! This is getting out of hand). But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one, without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an eARC.

ABSOLUTELY LOVED.

New favorite of Emma Lord’s books!!!

I in no way, connect with Millie and her expressive, extrovert self. But wow did I enjoy the ride. This was everything I could’ve hoped for when I got this book and refreshed my love of young adult contemporaries.

Millie is a force to be reckoned with. I love her wild sense of self and how slowly over the chapters, layers were peeled back and I was able to see the true heart of what Millie was trying to prove and accomplish. She’s a teen searching for more, trying to forge a path for her future, while not wanting to lose the connections she already has.

I adore a great Dad/daughter dynamic and this had it. Along with a wonderful Aunt/Niece relationship too. Even her best friend, Teddy was a dream. All of these characters were well conceived and I felt like I knew and wanted to cheer for them alongside Millie.

The ROMANCE. It’s one of the many plots here and it was perfect. A dash of enemies to lovers that moved at a beautiful pace. I was full on grinning whenever the kiss scenes finally arrived and looooove Oliver and Millie so much. Shipping them was the easiest move.

Millie finding her Mom tore at many heart strings. I was tearing up at some deep, needed conversations between Millie and her Dad, and then Millie when she met her Mom. There was plenty to unpack and I was completely enthralled by how everything was going to work out.

Enter a little epilogue that gave closure to many avenues. Absolutely precious and what was needed. Wow do I love Emma Lord’s books. I can’t wait to see what she writes next. I love the combination of coming of age, first love, and finding your truth.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary + Romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: parental abandonment

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Book Review

Book Review: The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 7th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with The Last Legacy, a captivating standalone about family and blood ties, reinventing yourself, and controlling your own destiny.

When a letter from her uncle Henrik arrives on Bryn Roth’s eighteenth birthday, summoning her back to Bastian, Bryn is eager to prove herself and finally take her place in her long-lost family.

Henrik has plans for Bryn, but she must win everyone’s trust if she wants to hold any power in the delicate architecture of the family. It doesn’t take long for her to see that the Roths are entangled in shadows. Despite their growing influence in upscale Bastian, their hands are still in the kind of dirty business that got Bryn’s parents killed years ago. With a forbidden romance to contend with and dangerous work ahead, the cost of being accepted into the Roths may be more than Bryn can pay.

IT WAS FINE?

I don’t know what the point of this book was. And that became my main conclusion after talking to others about it too. Fable and Namesake are both gems (even though Sky in the Deep is my forever favorite) and this felt like a forced story in the same world.

I ended up minding more than I expected that we never saw a character from the previous two books. I know this is a separate story, but it almost felt like a different place because the world building went out the window since it was apparently discussed enough prior.

Bryn was a solid main character. I did like her and thought she was passionate and the kind of manipulative I love seeing in a mafia-esque book. She weaved her own destiny and did what was best for her and within her relationship with Ezra. Ezra was great too, but them together lacked intensity. They moved quicker than what was written so by the time a love scene (closed door) rolled around I didn’t feel invested.

The ending wrapped up SUPER quick. I’m still surprised that’s how it closed because it left a ton on the table. There just could have been a lot more added here and a lot more taken away that felt unnecessary. I’m truly feeling all the frustrated feelings of working through this one.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to one closed door
  • Violence: physical altercations (including slapping a minor), loss of loved ones

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2) by Janella Angeles

Rating: ☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Author: Janella Angeles
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: October 5th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The competition has come to a disastrous end, and Daron Demarco’s fall from grace is now front page news. But little matters to him beyond Kallia, the contestant he fell for who is now lost to this world and in the hands of a dangerous magician. Daron is willing to do whatever it takes to find her. Even if it means embarking on a dark and treacherous journey, risking more than just his life, with no promise of return.

After awaking in darkness, Kallia has never felt more lost. Especially with Jack by her side, the magician with who has the answers but cannot be trusted. Together, they must navigate a dazzling world where mirrors show memories and illusions shadow every corner, one ruled by a powerful game master who could all too easily destroy the world she left behind — and the boy she can’t seem to forget. With time running out, Kallia must embrace her role in a darker destiny, or lose everyone she loves, forever.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

SOMETHING BROKE.

I am struggling with duologies lately. It’s like every time I go into the second book it feels way too dragged out as if there wasn’t enough plot for an entire new novel. I would rather read longer standalone fantasies than muddle through 75% of a book to get to the ending.

I wanted to love this, the beginning picked up almost right after the ending of the first book. Things got moving and I saw where things were going. My satisfaction dropped off when I realized how slow the pace was. I hate when a relationship is set up and confirmed in book one, then the couple doesn’t see each other again until 80% of the way through the last book. Where is the rest of the chemistry and romance?!

There was too much information thrown into this one. An entirely new cast with new relationships and villains. A dynamic that didn’t match all of the cast from the first book. Why couldn’t they have taken more center stage? [As you can see, I have many questions on the choices here]. By the time the ending rolled around I was through with it all. It was a bit confusing and with the devils at play I’m still not quite sure what happened.

I just missed the overall vibes that I felt with the first book. A lot fell flat. It’s an interesting world and I adore the magician set-up. The characters were initially great and I’ll hold on to what I liked about them in the beginning. I’m curious to see what books this author has next and hope to give those a chance.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: a little strong
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scene
  • Violence: physical altercations, magical attacks and illusions

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Erin Hahn
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 7th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Raised by conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. Instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet what’s left of the family she never knew existed.

While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship about the church. The clock is ticking on Pastor Allen’s probation hearing and Micah, now 19, feels the pressure to forgive – even when he can’t possibly forget.

As Meg and Micah grow closer, they are confronted with the heavy flutterings of first love and all the complications it brings. Together, they must navigate the sometimes-painful process of cutting ties with childhood beliefs as they build toward something truer and straight from the heart.

In Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming, sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find yourself.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an eARC.

I LOVED THIS.

Hahn’s books are only getting better and better. Oh wow did I love this. My favorite of her books so far.

I am a religious person so I wasn’t sure how I would feel reading this. But the way that many important topics were discussed and approached made me tear up and want to hug this book. It hit home in many ways and honestly strengthened how I feel in my spirituality. It’s okay to question. It’s okay to love. It’s okay to find what works best for YOU. I may not 100% agree with every little thing in this book, but faith is handled differently by each of us and no two experience life the same way.

The absolutely precious first love romance between Micah and Meg had me grinning from ear to ear. IT WAS SO CUTE. I loved it. They truly hit it off and I couldn’t get enough of their open conversations and meaningful dialogue about their struggles and triumphs. Even better, there wasn’t some wildly dramatic conflict between them. The conflict lied elsewhere and I could shout for joy about how that was handled.

NSYC had me hooked from the first chapter. I read it in a day because I needed more more more. The characters were flawed and beautiful. I ended up loving the themes of faith and the essence of human nature versus God himself. It wasn’t a book of belittling, it was a book of hope and growing up. Being resilient in the torrent of trials and leaning on what matters to you most.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to heated make-outs; some implied closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: brief mentions of suicide and self harm, an incarcerated father, loss of a parent by drunk driving

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