Deviate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Jay Kristoff

Series: Lifelike (#2)

Published: June 25, 2019

Synopsis from Goodreads: **skip this part and go straight to the review if you haven’t read Lifelike, the first book in the series**

Lemon Fresh has seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.

My Mini Review:

Once again I’m in awe of Mr. Kristoff’s writing. How does he do it? Kristoff has created such real and relatable characters in this series, so much so that I’ve even become attached to some of the villains. How does he make up such catchy slang words? True cert, and at the risk of sounding like a total lunatic, I find myself wanting to use these words in real life all the time.

Kristoff also makes you ponder moral, environmental, and life questions as you read, while also inserting lots of humor. He shows you the issues from both sides, and in different characters’ perspectives. I personally love reading post apocalyptic books like these, because I enjoy seeing the different ways humanity would react and adapt to the end of the world as we know it.

I highly recommend this series to all Sci-Fi/ Fantasy fans. The third book in the series, Truelife, will be released June 30, 2020, and I can’t wait!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

House of Salt and Sorrows

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Erin A. Craig

Published: August 6, 2019

ISBN: 1984831925

Pages: 403

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

My Mini Review:

It took me a while to get into this twisted tale of the twelve dancing sisters. I love fairy tale retellings, but this one was so slow. Thankfully, the action finally picks up after the sixtieth percentile or so. What kept me reading you say?

The descriptions of the scenery and various settings were hypnotic to say the least. I love the ocean, and just like the main character Annaleigh, I grew up in an island. I found the whole ocean setting to be magical, and it awoke so many fond childhood memories.

I’ve never wanted to leave the sea. It’s my home.”

Annaleigh

I know this was supposed to be a creepy story, but as I’ve said before, ghosts just don’t do it for me. I’ve made a mental note to do some research before I read a book to see if it has anything to do with ghosts so that I save myself the trouble, or at least I’m mentally prepared to not be scared.

I found it hard to keep track of all the sisters for a while, it took me half the book to get the hang of all their names and ages. The romance aspect of the story was nice and sweet. I also admit I didn’t expect the final plot twist. If you love ghost stories and don’t mind a slow start to a book, I recommend this one. If not, then I would say you’re better off skipping it.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

Twice in a Blue Moon

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

twice in a blue moon by christina lauren

Author: Christina Lauren

Published: October 22, 2019

ISBN: 1982135700

Pages: 358

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

My Mini Review:

This book wasn’t as full of humor as I’ve come to expect from Christina Lauren, it had a more serious tone. Maybe that’s why a lot of her fans didn’t enjoy it? On the other hand, I enjoyed it tremendously. I fell in love with Tate and Sam as a young couple, and then as they grew into themselves and tried to find their paths in life. Lauren is especially good at capturing all the awkward scenes, and I could sometimes feel myself blushing along with the characters.

I was very intrigued by the whole acting industry. I’m not familiar with what goes on behind the scenes of a movie, and I learned a lot from this book. Lauren goes into detail about the film industry, the media, and the situations actors are exposed to. There was also the more serious racism theme, as the book dealt with the story of a biracial couple back in a time where this kind of relationship was not accepted.

My favorite side characters were Marcus and Charlie. Marcus was always there for Tate when she needed him to ground her and help her, and Charlie was the free spirit. I always have a soft spot for the wild ones. I enjoyed how different this book was from any others I’ve read before, and I was surprised I even enjoyed the celebrity point of view. I recommend this book to all Romance fans, and to all those interested in the film industry.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Christina Lauren

Published: September 4, 2018

ISBN: 1501165852

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

My Review:

I fell in love with Christina Lauren’s writing after reading her book The Unhoneymooners. Josh and Hazel’s story was full of all the humor and laugh-out-loud moments that I’ve come to expect from Lauren’s writing. I’ve added most of Lauren’s books to my TBR after reading this last one. I feel like all her books would make great romantic comedy movies one day.

Hazel reminded me of Louisa Clark, one of my favorite Contemporary female characters from the novel Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes. She was so full of life, and so unapologetically herself. She dressed how she wanted, and was not afraid to speak her mind.

Josh was down to earth, and so sweet. His OCD reminded me a lot of myself. Except, I honestly don’t know if I would ever be able to deal with someone like Hazel. Although I feel like you don’t really “deal” with Hazel, you just suffer through and hope you survive in one piece.

I enjoyed how realistic the story was, full of awkward moments, and a lot of romantic tension. I admit I did not expect a lot of the plot twists, and they kept me very engaged and invested in the characters’ futures. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all Romance fans, and to readers who just need a feel-good book along with some good laughs.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

Imagine Me

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me (#6)

Published: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 006267644XX

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Juliette Ferrars.

Ella Sommers.

Which is the truth and which is the lie?

Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong—between Ella and Juliette—blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The day of reckoning for the Reestablishment is coming. But she may not get to choose what side she fights on.

My Mini Review:

It’s hard to describe. It’s a pleasure so close to pain I sometimes can’t tell the two apart.”

Warner

I had so many feelings when I was done reading this one, and isn’t that the number one sign you have read a great book? Books are supposed to evoke all these feelings and emotions in us. But mostly…I was disappointed.

This was definitely not the satisfying ending to a series that I was hoping for. This book honestly could’ve been a novella. Nothing really happens the first 80% of the book. The only thing that kept me reading was Warner and Kenji’s relationship. I enjoyed that most of the narration was done by Kenji, who is my favorite character.

Mafi’s writing was wonderful and poetic as ever. The last 20% of the book was as gripping and action packed as I was hoping, and the ending was very satisfying. There were a few loose ends, but for the most part I had closure.

In my very humble opinion, this series should’ve ended with Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3), and I don’t recommend anyone read past that one. I’m very happy Mafi’s has announced that her next book will be a Contemporary novel called “An Emotion of Great Delight” which is to be released in 2021. I do look forward to reading more of her future books.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

Chain of Gold

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Last Hours (#1)

Published: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 1481431870

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.

James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.

My Review:

Humanity is drawn to light, not darkness”

Mathew

First, let me start by thanking Cassandra Clare for once again creating such an amazing group of lovable Shadowhunters. Each character was wonderful in their own right, and also had great chemistry with the rest of the group. Cordelia quickly became one of my favorite female Shadowhunters of all time. I loved how strong and tenacious she was, and how even in a time where women were viewed as meek and submissive, she was not afraid to speak her mind. I knew that James, being Will Herondale’s son, would quickly steal my heart and I wasn’t wrong. He reminded me so much of Jem (Will’s parabatai) as well. James was a good mix of brave, smart, and gentle.

Do not let those who cannot see the truth tell you who you are. You are the flame that cannot be put out. You are the star that cannot be lost. You are who you have always been, and that is enough…”

Jem

My favorite side characters were Lucy and Mathew. How could I not fall in love with Lucy when I see so much of myself in her? Lucy sees the world in stories, and she carries her writing materials with her most of the time in case a good scene pops into her head. Mathew is dark and mysterious, he carries a burden that I hope we will find more about in the books to come. Of course I loved the appearance of Magnus, one of my all time favorite characters. His humor always makes any situation better.

She thought of the secrets people kept and the way they were like scars or wounds beneath the skin. You could not always see them, but if you touched on them in the wrong way, you could cause great pain.”

Cordelia

The story did have a slow start, and it took me a while to get into it. At first, so many Shadowhunter family names were being thrown around that I admit to having to go look at the Shadowhunter family trees to keep track of everyone (by the way NEVER do this unless you want a lot of spoilers). Once the action got going it became hard for me to put the book down.

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.”

S.J.

My only issue with this book was the fact that the plot went around in circles. At the end of the book I felt like we were right back where we started. There was a lot of character development and transitions, but not a lot of progress was made in the story itself. Thankfully, this is only book one in the series, so I’m expecting the plot to be much more developed in the books to come.

We do not get to choose when in our lives we feel pain…it comes when it comes, and we try to remember, even though we cannot imagine a day when it will release its hold on us, that all pain fades. All misery passes.”

Mathew

I find myself enjoying Clare’s books more when they are set in the 1800’s-1900’s, than when they are set in modern times. The characters seem to express themselves with a lot more passion. If you haven’t read Cassandra Clare’s books, I highly recommend her other series The Infernal Devices, set in the late 1800’s, and I recommend this one (Chain of Gold) which also seems very promising.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

House of Earth and Blood

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Series: Crescent City (#1)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Published: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 1635574048

Pages: 803

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.

My Review:

Let me start by saying that I’m a huge Sarah J. Maas fan, and I have been anticipating this book for quite a while. SO… I might be a little biased. Now that I got that off my chest let’s get right to it.

The power shall always belong to those who give their lives to the city.”

When I started reading this book I felt that there was a LOT of information being thrown at me at once. It felt more like a high fantasy novel than the usual Sarah J. Maas novel. The names of important people, races, and hierarchies were being named too fast for me to process or care. I also did not appreciate not starting the story in the middle of the action from the get go. I guess I got used to it in her other series: Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses. But thankfully the action finally picks up around Chapter 5, so if you are a true Maas fan, I urge you to stick around. You will not regret it.

That’s the point of it, Bryce. Of life. To live, to love, knowing that it might all vanish tomorrow.”

Danika

Maas is the queen of “damaged and insecure on the inside but seemingly confident and badass on the outside” characters, and Bryce and Hunt are no different. I fell in love with Bryce right away, I liked her tenacity and the fact that she never gave up no matter how bleak the situation. I dare say I liked her more than Feyre from the Court of Thorns series, but definitely not more than Aelin from Throne of Glass. My favorite side characters were Rhun and Queen Hypaxia, and I really hope to see more of them in the books to come.

Not that I’m complaining or anything, or maybe I am. This was supposed to be an adult book, but apart from a lot more cursing, there were a LOT more explicit sex scenes in Maas’s other YA/ New Adult books than in this one. With that said, I enjoyed the slow-burn romance between Bryce and Hunt. I liked that it took them most of the book to realize their feelings for one another and that their relationship was not “insta-love.” I do have to admit that at times the sexual tension between them was a bit intolerable, but it was one of the factors that kept me glued to the pages.

I’m really hoping Maas turns this series into one of those where each installment focuses on a different set of characters. I feel like Bryce and Hunt’s story is not completely over, but they could probably stay on the side lines on the books to come. I really want her to expound on the rest of the characters, but somehow I don’t think I will get my wish. I also wish to learn more about the magic system overall, so hopefully she gives us more details on that. Overall, I highly recommend this book to all Fantasy and Sarah J. Maas fans. If you’re not one of her fans yet, then what are you waiting for?

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂