Pandemonium

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

pandemonium by willow anderson
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Author: Willow Anderson

Published: April 27, 2020

Pages: 360

Goodreads Rating: 4.55/5

For fans of: Fantasy, Caraval, and the Night Circus

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author. I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Lace Ashburn was only twelve years old when she witnessed a murder behind Pandemonium’s grandeur – a strange, magical traveling show where admittance is hard to gain. With a dead Ringmaster and his murderer in jail, Pandemonium packed up and fled in the middle of the night, remaining missing for five years.

When Lace’s older brother steps up to take the throne of Falhaven, he announces not only the return of Pandemonium but an arranged marriage for her with their neighboring country’s prince. With less than a week to discover a way to keep her freedom from her fiancé, Lace finds her way back into the heart of Pandemonium.

With a new Ringmaster heading Pandemonium, Lace is pulled into a competition run by the strange show with an invaluable prize at the end should she win. Paired together with a mysterious partner, Lace fights through the contest to keep not only her independence but her heart safe.

Come one, come all, to the show that will enthrall…welcome to Pandemonium where in order to win, you must lose it all.

My Review:

This was a great story. It was a surprisingly good mix of the competition trope (one of my favorite tropes) and a love triangle (one of my least favorite tropes). Thankfully, the romance aspect was subtle and did not take center stage. The ring master was a morally gray character which I always find enjoyable. Lace was a strong female character, but without an aggressive disposition and not afraid to show some vulnerability at times.

I enjoyed the strong friendship between Lace and her sister, they had a bond I don’t see too often in Fantasy books. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of sibling rivalry and sisters being pitted against each other, and this change was refreshing.

The plot developed with a sense of urgency, but without sacrificing any details or descriptions. There is a mysterious undertone to the story which I enjoyed. As a reader I was able to compete and solve the riddles and clues alongside Lace. I do love a good twist and Anderson definitely delivered. I highly recommend this book to all Fantasy fans!

One of Us is Next

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

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Author: Karen M. McManus

Series: One of Us is Lying, #2

Published: January 7, 2020

ISBN: 0525707964

Pages: 377

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

For fans of: YA/Mysteries, Who done it trope, High School drama, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

My Mini Review:

Once again McManus delivered a fast-paced and action-packed YA/Mystery. I solved part of the mystery by the middle of the book, but the other twists were completely unexpected. This book had my heart racing in some parts, something the first book did not do for me. I liked that there were some familiar elements from the first story mixed in with completely new content.

I really enjoyed our two new characters’ point of views, Phoebe and Knox, and I liked learning more about Maeve (who was Bronwyn’s sister from the first book). All of these characters went through a lot of growth throughout the story as their lives were taken apart and they attempted to put themselves back together. McManus puts an emphasis on leaning on family and friends when you need it, and the fact that you shouldn’t hide things from those you love. If you enjoyed One of Us is Lying, I highly recommend you don’t wait to read this sequel, and if you are a fan of YA/Mystery then you will definitely enjoy this!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

booktag image

The Hopeful Book Tag

We need a bit of hope in the world, especially during these uncertain times. I’m sure this year is kicking all our butts, and reading has been a nice escape for me. This book tag was a lot of fun to write. Thanks to Soulful Thoughts for tagging everyone. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Remember to tag me back and I can’t wait to read all your answers!

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone by j.k. rowling
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

1. A book world you would like to escape to: Hogwarts

I will forever be waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Always. This is the series I turn to for comfort, and I love rereading it when I’m in a reading slump. I also like to re-watch the movies when I need a reminder.

beach read by emily henry
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

2. A romance that left you all mushy inside: Beach Read by Emily Henry

This was a much heavier romance book than I expected, both from the cover and from the synopsis. It was all very misleading, but in a good way. I thought about this book a lot as I was reading it, and for some time after. You can read my review here.

the existence of amy by lana grace riva
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

3. A friendship we should all aspire to have: Nate and Amy in The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

We would all be lucky to have a friend like Nate. Nate did things for Amy that I wondered if I would ever do for someone I work with. I think I would only go so far to help my husband and kids, and maybe my sister. Honestly, there is maybe only one work friend who I might go that far for. Am I a terrible person? Maybe. Go read my review for this book here.

my siberian husky names leah
Picture taken by me.

4. Intermission! Insert the cutest picture of your pet or the cutest animal you can find.

Meet Leah, my nine year old husky 🙂 She was named during my Twilight phase after the only female wolf in the pack. Don’t judge me!

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon
Picture taken by me. Buy the book on Amazon.

5. A character in a leadership role that inspires you.

Even though this wasn’t an amazing read for me, I still consider Samiah to be a great role model for little girls and grown women alike. Samiah taught the girls she mentored that the color of their skin did not determine the career they should follow, and that they should work hard and do what they were passionate about. I was also inspired by the fact that Samiah went back to school as an adult to obtain another degree in the field she loved, as opposed to the degree she first got in order to please her parents. You can read my review here.

The house in the cerulean sea
Picture taken by me. Buy this book on Amazon.

6. Recommend three books that fill you with hope.

1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune -read my review here

This book filled me with hope for humanity. If more people like Linus exist, then perhaps there is still hope for this world.

2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes -read my review here

These women were heroines in their own right, and as a bookworm this story about a traveling library made my heart happy.

3. Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa -read my review here

This story spoke of resurrection, and this is something that I’ve always wanted to believe in so badly. It gave me hope that maybe those who love us never really leave us, and their souls will always find us again.

7. (Optional) Tag People.

If you are reading this consider yourself tagged, and remember to tag me back. I want to see all your answers!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

my favorite half-night stand book by christina lauren
Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon.

For fans of: Romantic comedies, friends to lovers trope, roosters (inside book joke)

Author: Christina Lauren

Published: December 4, 2018

ISBN: 1501197401

Pages: 384

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Millie and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

My Review:

This was another laugh-out-loud book from Christina Lauren. I really enjoyed the romance between Millie and Reid, mostly because I am a big fan of the friends to lovers trope. I liked how the authors explored the new online dating trends and explained the different websites available. It was interesting how they included group chat conversations, texts, and emails between Millie and her friends, which helped to show how friendships have evolved along with modern technology.

I liked that Millie was a strong woman leading a successful career in a field she had been passionate about her whole life. The authors delved into the nuances of finding the right man for a woman who knows exactly what she wants, but might not be ready to open herself up completely. I would have liked a bit more emphasis on the hardships of being a successful woman in a man’s world. Also, there is always that part in a Christina Lauren book when I start screaming at the characters to “just talk to each other already!”

As always, there was a very important emphasis on friendship and family, and being there for those who love us and need us. I enjoyed the relationship between Reid and his family, and I really liked his mom (her cooking sounded delicious). Seeing their close family bond pushed Millie to try to mend her own relationship with her sister and father. I highly recommend this one to all Romance fans for a light hilarious read.

Reveal Me

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

reveal me by tahereh mafi

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me, #5.5, Novella

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: October 8, 2019

Brief Goodreads Synopsis:

The explosive revelations in Defy Me have left readers reeling and desperate for answers. This fourth and final novella in the series will bring readers back to the world of the Shatter Me before the final novel installment hits shelves in winter 2020.

My Mini Review:

Let me start off by saying that I love Kenji, and I will always love anything written from his point of view. He is real and down to earth, and I like reading his crazy thought processes, random thoughts, and raw emotions. No one can write emotions like Tahereh Mafi. She gives simple words different and elegant meanings, and her writing is poetic in nature.

All that aside, I just really wish this book was longer. I understand it’s a novella but I cannot stand how short this was, and how instead of satiating my “Shatter Me” thirst until the next installment, it left me feeling empty and wanting. Now, I realize I sound like an addict, but I really needed more! Needless to say, this novella got me super hyped up for the next book releasing in 2020. I absolutely cannot wait!