Book Review

ARC Book Review: Into the Churn by Hayley Reese Chow

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: YA Sci-Fi
Length: 367 pages
Author: Hayley Reese Chow
Publisher: Whimsical Publishing
Release Date: April 4th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Earth was tame. Belethea is not.

Seventeen-year-old Ezren Hart interns in her mother’s terraforming lab, studying Belethea’s deadly storms with the dream of giving her backwater planet open teal skies. But when budget cuts threaten to shut down her mother’s lab, Ezren enters Belethea’s Race Royale, the system’s deadliest and most lucrative race. To win, she’ll have to run, drive, and fight her way across Belethea’s barren landscape while navigating its savage and volatile storms. With her planet’s future, and her family’s, on the line, she can’t afford to lose. But first, she’ll have to convince her handsome royale partner that their planet is worth saving.

Foster Sterling is a jaded ex-prodigy royaler still reeling from his partner’s death in a training accident. When Ezren Hart comes charging into his life, her passion reminds him of what he once loved about racing and his dream of returning pride to their planet. Still, no matter how fast they go, they can’t outrun the mysterious string of deadly accidents following them like a curse. As Foster falls harder for Ezren, he races to piece the clues together. But with time running out and their survival on the line, he’ll have to decide if their dreams are worth their lives.

Perfect for fans of underdog heroes, slow-burn romance, and high-stakes sci-fi, INTO THE CHURN races across a new planet of savage storms and dazzling tech. Fall in love with Ezren and Foster as they battle side-by-side to save their scrappy world on a ruthless interplanetary stage where appearances are everything, speed means survival, and the only thing deadlier than the storms are the other racers.

Thank you to Whimsical Publishing for the eARC.


I just wholeheartedly enjoyed this book. It was a fantastic young adult read and as a standalone I thought it encompassed everything needed to close off story lines and feel satisfied by the book as a whole.

The romance was SO DANG SWEET. A super low angst, unlikely partners to friends to lovers. I loved all of the tender forehead and temple kisses. The encouragement Foster and Ezren gave each other to keep going and the way they took care of each other. They were a partnership you wanted to cheer for and cheer for them I did!

And it was absolutely filled will ALL the action. Brutal storms and intense physical matches that sped the pace and my heartrate. I kind of love race themed books because you never know quite who’s going to actually win and how that plays into the story itself. I liked the mystery aspects within the sub-plots that brought this entire book together. Everything was well balanced and I continually wanted to pick this up and see what happened next.

Easily recommend. Fits perfectly into the YA category as well (i.e. appropriate for the actual age group). Wonderful characters, high action, adorable romance and an all around great read.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Sci-Fi
  • Language: a little, light
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: med-high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: near death experiences, loss of life, physical altercations, blood depiction, major weather systems

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Book Review

Book Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Length: 390 pages
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 10th, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.


Laughing at my own pun if you’ve read this book.


Uh first and foremost, this is a standalone series. I was not aware as I don’t read synopses very often. If you also do this, here’s your heads up now. It didn’t really take away from my reading, I was just surprised whenever I looked up the next book and noticed a new couple on the cover. Apparently they all interconnect which is nice.

I really liked this forbidden romance! It was very fast paced and the audio was perfectly accomplished. I read through it quickly wanting to know what was going to happen next and if anyone was going to rescue Lilac and Tarver. The pacing of the romance was pretty spot on too. For an initial standalone I liked the slow burn nature as they started to truly rely on one another to survive a new planet.

There’s a lot of interesting nuggets about the world building and other species present in space. Things definitely tripped me out at times and I was rather shocked with how some of the last moments occurred. The authors kept this action packed and even with a bit of a slow middle I was all for this adventure in space.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Sci-Fi Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: space ship crashes, major loss of life, explosions, loss of loved ones

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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


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.


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


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.


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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