Book Review

ARC Book Review: A Feeling Like Home by Haleigh Wenger

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 270 pages
Author: Haleigh Wenger
Publisher: Sword and Silk
Release Date: August 3rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sixteen-year-old Paige Williams can’t stop self-sabotaging.

Not when her dad gets sick, not when her relationship implodes, not even when her parents send her to another-freaking-state for the summer to live with her sister. Paige just wants to have fun, spray paint a few walls, and block out everything stressful, including her growing concern that she might be sick as well. To make things worse, her parents threaten her with boarding school in the fall if she can’t prove she’s changed her bad habits.

Paige’s parents sign her up for a rebuilding project in Texas where her sister lives. Meanwhile, Paige reluctantly befriends her sister’s straight-laced teenage neighbor, Joey, who is a frequent guest. He’s so different from her, but Paige realizes that may not be a bad thing, especially since being around Joey curbs her urge to vandalize and ignore the rules. He even makes her forget about the debilitating stomach cramps she struggles to hide.

Just as Paige begins to feel settled in Texas, her dad’s worsening Crohn’s disease brings her home to Seattle. When her own health fails her, she has the choice of staying at home and receiving care. Or, she could go back to Texas and prove for once and for all that she’s more than her mistakes and more than a disease. Torn between two worlds and two versions of herself, Paige must decide where, and with whom, she truly feels at home.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

MIXED THOUGHTS.

There’s some good and some bad here. Trying to wrangle my thoughts for this one.

Something I could understand were the emotions coming from 16 year-old Paige. She’s going through a lot and I recognize the thoughts and feelings she would be going through during a hard time in her life.

Now an item I really didn’t love. Paige. While I mentioned above, some stuff was fine, the rest definitely was not. One major issue, cheating. I don’t like it. Ever. I can’t get on board with any reasoning as to “why it’s okay.” It’s not. She dragged on a love triangle that was ridiculous and rubbed me the wrong way multiple times.

This book covered a lot of difficult subject matter (See trigger warnings). It was painful to watch the story unfold searching for hope. I liked the way Wenger brought that out in the end and gave Paige (and her family) a chance to reconnect and find some measure of peace.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loved one with a chronic disease, loss of a parent, being diagnosed with a chronic condition, vandalism, cheating

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Book Review

Book Review: The HOOK (The PAN #2) by Jenny Hickman

Rating: ☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 350 pages
Author: Jenny Hickman
Publisher: Midnight Tide Publishing
Release Date: March 3rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Tomorrow isn’t promised, no matter how immortal you think you are.

In the aftermath of Vivienne’s capture, she discovers she’s destined to become one of the forgetful P.A.N. The devastating diagnosis leaves her questioning her relationships—and her place in Neverland. While on her second recruitment mission, she ignores a cardinal rule, and one of her fellow P.A.N. pays the ultimate price for her mistake.

Outrage over the death spurs Lee Somerfield’s growing rebellious faction to fight fire with fire, leaving H.O.O.K. in ashes and Neverland ripped apart from within.

Navigating new love and old secrets, Vivienne must now face the consequences of her actions … and decide if living forever is worth forgetting everything.

INCOMING.

A rant is incoming because I can’t even with this book.

First and foremost THERE WAS NO PLOT. NONE. Nothing happened.

The whole time the book focused on Deacon and Vivienne trying to bang each other but they keep getting interrupted. Or my personal favorite, they would get in a stupid argument and blow up at each other without communicating whatsoever to turn around and get back together within a chapter. AAAAAAAND the MANY instances of CHEATING that was played off as nothing. It was cheating. It should be taken seriously. Goodness gracious the rage I felt was next level.

I just couldn’t handle the level of immaturity Viv and Deacon resonated. They’re older teens (19 and 26). You would think they would be a bit more rational. I’m just begging for a little.

I am definitely not continuing this series. Even if a few side characters were okay and the only redeeming thing about this entire book.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Violence: physical altercations, fires, gun violence

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: June 2021

My reading was a bit all of the place this month. Started off super strong and I feel like downhill was the only place to go. That’s okay! Definitely a positive month overall.

Favorites: The Poplar Falls series (of which I binged in 3 days), KULTI!!!!!, Ugly Love if you’re looking for a good cry, Southern Sun Northern Star (for crying reasons as well), The War I Finally Won, and We Free the Stars

Least favorites: The Roommate Situation, and The Trustworthy Groom

  • Stone Hearts (Poplar Falls #2) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Wicked Hearts (Poplar Falls #3) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Fragile Hearts (Poplar Falls #4) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Crazy Hearts (Poplar Falls #5) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Kulti by Mariana Zapata – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • In the Penalty Box by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount – (☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] A Feeling Like Home by Haleigh Wenger – (☆☆☆)
  • A Fate of Wrath & Flame (Fate & Flame #1) by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆)
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic] Heartstopper Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic] Heartstopper Vol 2. by Alice Oseman – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Between You, Me, and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett – (☆☆☆☆)
  • A Fall from Grace (Clavering Chronicles #1) by Jennie Goutet – (☆☆☆)
  • Southern Sun, Northern Star (Glass Alliance #3) by Joanna Hathaway – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life #2) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bone Thief (The Bone Charmer #2) by Breeana Shields – (☆☆☆☆)
  • At Love’s Command (Hanger’s Horseman #1) by Karen Witemeyer – (☆☆☆)
  • Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery #1) by Tirzah Price – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Eye of the Beholder (Stone Springs #1) by Gracie Ruth Mitchell – (☆☆☆)
  • [Reread] The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Roommate Situation (Only in Atlanta #1) by Katie Bailey – (☆☆☆)
  • Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Only When It’s Us (Bergman Brothers #1) by Chloe Liese – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic] Soppy by Philippa Rice – (☆☆☆)
  • The Trustworthy Groom (Texan Titans Romance) by Cami Checketts – (☆☆)
  • We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2) by Hafsah Faizal – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Knitted Hearts (Poplar Falls #6) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend – (☆☆☆☆)

How was your reading month? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Sinking City (The Skilled #1) by Megan Walker and Janci Patterson

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: YA Urban Fantasy
Length: 315 pages
Author: Megan Walker and Janci Patterson
Publisher: Garden Ninja Books
Release Date: October 19th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

On the streets of Venice, magic burns and wars wage, while powerful illusions and mind-bending magic keep the world of The Skilled hidden from ordinary people—or typics. The powerful Mardova Family rules Venice with an iron fist, keeping their powers secret and their eyes on their enemies.

Zan Mardova would rather use his magical Skills to do tricks on his motorcycle or fly over buildings than involve himself in Family politics, but when he discovers a rival Family has brainwashed a beautiful typic girl named Ellie, he begins to unravel a web of dangerous secrets with Ellie at the center. Zan’s loyalty has always been to the Mardovas and the fate of Venice, but as Zan’s feelings for Ellie grow, he can no longer ignore his suspicions about members of his own Family.

Even in a city as narrow and twisting as Venice, secrets can’t stay buried forever. Zan fears there’s a traitor in the Mardova Family—and it might be him.

Thank you to one of the authors, Megan Walker, for a copy in exchange or a review. All opinions are my own!

WELL.

This was unfortunately disappointing. Urban fantasy is a tough genre for me to get into, and that how it felt here too. I do think a younger audience would be more into some of the tropes/story lines than I was though.

Insta-romance abounded for these two teens. There was one cute date, and then BAM. Couldn’t be without each other. It wasn’t that Zan and Ellie didn’t have chemistry, I just wanted more of a build-up with them, a little more angst. So much was trying to happen at once that this story line fell to the side and then felt disjointed.

There’s a lot of action! Sinking City keeps you busy. The nature behind the magic system was interesting and I appreciated that it seemed to have clear definitions on what could/could not be accomplished. It always seems more ridiculous when magic doesn’t have boundaries so I’m glad they were present here. The Italian setting was nice too. It was a nice wanderlust adventure around the cities.

I liked Zan as a main character. I think he holds a lot of promise for the next book in growth and coming into his power. Ellie, on the other hand, needs to drop the damsel in distress vibes. There were many times she admitted it as well and I get annoyed when a character can’t take care of themselves (I’m cool with them learning/growing into it, but this was a continual issue).

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Urban Fantasy
  • Language: a little; light
  • Romance: Kisses
  • Violence: murder, magical attacks, physical altercations, guns
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a loved one

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