The Forest Queen Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Betsy Cornwell

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads

Amazon (Contains my affiliate link)

*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The Forest Queen gives me all the nostalgic feels of my childhood favorite fairy tales. It is a Robin Hood retelling with a girl named Sylvie, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. I loved the adventure to be had here!

The Story. For being a shorter book than what I usually read, the story was actually pretty well rounded. There were a few questions I had, and when I re-read through some paragraphs to see if I missed something, I didn’t find what I was looking for. But they weren’t any major plot holes, more like how did this character get from A to B.

The Writing. I liked Cornwell’s writing but it wasn’t my favorite. She is a good storyteller, but I feel as though the story could have gone to higher places if she had added more descriptions. Sometimes I was confused when Sylvie dreamed but then it turned out to be real life. Or if she was imagining something or not. I had to re-read paragraphs a few times.

The Characters: I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I thought that Sylvie’s character progression was actually quite good! The romance was cute but not an essential part of the story. The side characters were really likable and had personality. Especially Little Jane! And Bird is just the cutest! I also have to say that I felt as though Cornwell threw in LGBT characters at the last moment to try and give it some diversity. It just seemed random, like she was like, “Whoops, forgot to add diversity. Let’s just quickly add in some new side characters at the end here.”

Final Thoughts. I almost gave this book 3 stars but the nostalgic feel of it along with the ending bumped it up to 4 stars. I had a good time reading this retelling, and would love to read more of her work! Also, that cover is completely drool worthy.

Grim Lovelies Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Megan Shepherd

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

My Rating: 3 Stars

Goodreads

Amazon (Contains my affiliate link)

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Alright lovelies (Ha. Ha.), here’s the deal. I didn’t love this book, I just liked it. I honestly have half good things to say and the other half things I didn’t really like. 

The Story. The premise and story of this book is insanely interesting. The story itself kept me hooked until the last page. Shepherd is an excellent story teller with an eye for extravagant details. She paints Paris through the eyes of someone who has never been outside before. How incredibly beautiful. Makes me want to go to Paris more than ever now!

The Writing. I can’t say enough good things about Shepherd’s writing style. It’s descriptive yet she doesn’t lose you in it. Like when you read some paragraphs about each tiny detail about a house and four pages later you don’t remember where you were in the actual story (looking at you, Game of Thrones…). She’s not like that. She built a magical world that didn’t leave me hanging but at the same time left a little mystery to it. And y’all, she’s actually quite funny. I wrote down a few quotes and lines that actually made me laugh out loud. “Goblins take their tea very seriously.”  And they do. And it’s funny.

The Characters. This, sadly, is the part I didn’t really enjoy that much. I felt as though they weren’t developed enough. Even at the end of the book I still didn’t know who they actually were as people. I think Cricket was the best out of the five, but she just showed more personality that the others. That could change in the second book, but for now, I just didn’t really care for them that much. And the romance? Nope. Wasn’t a fan. I for once wanted the main character to remain single. Beau was too whiny and weak.

Final Thoughts. I definitely liked this book enough to continue with the series. Like I said, the story is very compelling. My best pitch for this would be if Stephanie Garber wrote a story that Cassandra Clare pitched.

 

Happy Adventuring

 

Like Never and Always Release Day Blitz and Giveaway!

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I am so excited that LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS by Ann Aguirre is available now! This was an anticipated read for me and I am ecstatic that I am on the Release Day Blitz tour for this book! Ann Aguirre is an amazing author! I have read her Razorland series and loved it! And y’all, guess what?! There is a giveaway for a Kindle AND signed Like Never and Always books!!! Link at the end of the post! 
About the Book:

Title: LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS

Author: Ann Aguirre
Pub. Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Tor Teen
Formats: Hardcover, eBook,
audiobook
Pages: 336
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD
On a hot summer night, a screech of
brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.

 

Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s
a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face
in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.

 

Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly
disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that
feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s
grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.

Excerpt
“Just let this be the second secret you
keep for me,” I say then. “Thanks for not telling Nathan, by the way.”
Clay leans his arm along the door frame,
tilting his head slightly out the open window as if he needs the air. “You
couldn’t pay me to talk to that jackass lately.”
“You two fighting?”
“No. He’s just . . . Nathan.” He
hesitates. “I wasn’t going to tell you this . . .”
“What?” Anything that could divert me
from my precarious situation, even momentarily, seems like a welcome
distraction.
“He brought a girl home last night.”
From his tone he expects this to destroy me.
And sure, there’s a twinge because
before, I thought Nathan and I had a soul-deep connection. Fact is, he’s a
little immature, a lot selfish, and I just never noticed. They say love is
blind, but I’d say that infatuation is blind, and love is tolerant. When you
really love someone, it’s not that you can’t see the flaws; you’re just willing
to forgive them.
Belatedly I realize he’s expecting a
reply. “I’m not surprised. Nathan is used to getting what he wants just like
you’re using to giving things up. Oh, I was going to ask him to drop this off,
but since you’re here . . .” I fish in my backpack for his hoodie.
Yes, I’ve been carrying it for like four
days. First I hesitated to wash it, but I didn’t want to be a sad girl who’s
still smelling her ex’s clothes a month later. Then I didn’t return it because
that felt like final acceptance, —superstitious, I know. Over is over, and
random articles of clothing don’t change anything.
“You didn’t need to bother with that.
I’ve had it forever.”
“All the more reason for you to have it
back,” I say.
“Do you need to be this cool about
everything?” he bursts out. “I know you have to be scared and hurt—”
“Yeah, I am, all those things. And yes,
I have to be this way, or I can’t function. Why are you even here anyway?” The
pain and frustration cracks my voice, and I really wish I was anywhere else.
“Because I’m worried about you.”
“Then stop. I accepted your decision,
now respect mine. It’ll be easier if I don’t have to see you.”
His jaw clenches, showing the force he’s
exerting to bite back whatever he wants to say.
Finally he just takes his hoodie but he
pauses with his hand on the door. “You know you can call me, right? Even if
we’re not together, I’d never let anyone hurt you. One call and I’m there.”
My heart feels like it’ll crack in two,
but I’m resolute; I have to be. “I already deleted your number.”

About Ann:

 



Ann Aguirre is a New York Times &
USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she
began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a
savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow
house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her
husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action
movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.



Giveaway Details:
1 winner will win a Kindle Oasis, US
Only.
5 winners will win a finished copy of LIKE
NEVER AND ALWAYS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To Kill a Kingdom (Spoiler Free)

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“And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.”

– Alexandra Christo

Author: Alexandra Christo

Publisher: Feiwel Friends

Publication Date: March 06, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis Here

Mermaids, sirens, and pirates, oh my! This was pitched as a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid, and dark it was! Let me say that it was more akin to the original Little Mermaid, by Hans Christian Andersen. It was so wonderfully bloody and intense.

Lira, the main character, is a siren hell bent on killing princes, because that’s her thing. You know, we all have our thing and hers is taking the heart of princes… She is a ruthless killing machine earning the nickname “Prince’s Bane.” Heck yes. Enter Prince Elian, who’s mission in life is to end all sirens, most importantly the Prince’s Bane. Oh yeah, it’s getting good now. What happens when you put two of the worlds top killers together? Sparks fly. Literally and figuratively.

I loved them working together because they furthered each others character development. They slowly, through their murderous intent, started thinking about peace, and what the world would look like without the Siren Queen. I would say Lira had a stronger turn around than Elian. Elian at least had emotions and felt things where Lira started out with only pure savagery. Could have been their upbringing since Lira’s mother literally had no emotions except wanting power over the whole world.

Why I gave this four stars: It was too easy to put down. I didn’t think about it constantly like I do five star reads. I also wanted a little bit more world building because it sounded extremely interesting and vast. I mean, there were 100 kingdoms! But the plot, the character development, and the writing were phenomenal!

All in all, I highly enjoyed this book! I thought the writing was really well done! It wasn’t overly flowery and yet it wasn’t plain. I thought it was a satisfying standalone with keeping it open enough to possibly have more books in the future! At least, I hope so! 

The Cruel Prince (Spoiler Free)

“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.” – Locke from The Cruel Prince

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Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little Brown

My Rating: 5 Stars

Find Synopsis Here

This book was dark. bloody and painful in all the right ways. Do you ever get that feeling when you read a book that makes your blood run faster because you just can’t get enough? Yeah, that was this book. I felt like I couldn’t read fast enough or get enough. It was THAT magical.

It wasn’t just the writing that was pure magic, it was the world. The way Holly Black describes everything makes me think of something similar to the Garden of Eden. The world seemed so lush and colorful, with danger lurking around the corner. It was somehow dark and vibrant at the same time. Especially seeing it through the eyes of Jude, the main character.

I felt as though Jude was relatable in the sense of how she reacted to the world around her. She had to survive somehow. She did end up being slightly cruel herself, however, she needed that cruelty to live. Literally. But I liked how she still felt guilty. That was what made her humanity stand out. And, um, I don’t want to give any spoilers, because I ain’t about that spoiler life, but I’m just going to put this here… CARDAN!!!! *sobs*

Literally everything was perfect. The world building was rich and vibrant. The character depth was immeasurably deep for the main characters. The side characters were interesting enough to make me want to know more about them. The plot twists were insanely good. And the ending was a cruel (see what I didn’t there?) cliffhanger, leaving me needing the second book like I need air.

All in all, this will be a re-read book for sure. I literally just finished it and I’m pretty sure I feel a book hangover coming on. I really didn’t want to leave that world! I also loved that Holly Black blended very traditional fairy lore with her own take! Read this. Just do it. 

Happy Adventuring! 

 

Ink, Iron, and Glass (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Gwendolyn Clare

Publisher: Macmillan/Imprint

Publication Date: Feb. 20, 2018

Find Synopsis Here

My Rating: 4 Stars

Ink, Iron, and Glass was a really unique adventure ride that I wish I could take again for the first time! Steampunk set in late 19th century Italy is a really fresh take on the genre, in my opinion. There are scriptologists who can write whole new worlds into existence. Think about every book you’ve ever read. Now, if a scriptologist wrote it, you could travel inside that world!! How freaking awesome is that?! There are also mechanics who can build crazy inventions that defy their time. And there are alchemists who can mix up a potion (or antidote…) on the spot. Very interesting stuff to read about, y’all!

Elsa, a scriptologist, was a really engaging character to read about. She had the most character growth going from a major loner who didn’t need anyone in the beginning of the book, to relying on a few trusted individuals who earned it. I enjoyed reading how all four of the characters came together and solved their problems together. There is a part in the book where they go to a labyrinth and each person adds something important in solving it. It kind of reminded me of The Infernal Devices trilogy a little bit because of the group camaraderie and steampunk feel.

I gave this book 4 stars because it was such a fun read, however there were a few things stopping me from giving it 5 stars. I thought that the romance felt a little forced. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry there. I also feel like I won’t re-read this book. It didn’t stay in my head and I moved on really easily to my next book.

All in all, I thought this was a really fun read. It had everything I love in a story; romance, a BA heroin, good world building, and a plot twist that hurts.

Happy Adventuring!