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.

One of Us is Lying

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

one of us is lying by karen m mcmanus

Author: Karen M. McManus

Series: One of Us is Lying, #1

Published: March 30, 2017

Pages: 361

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

My Mini Review:

This was a very fast paced and entertaining read. It had me guessing who the killer was for a while. I also really enjoyed the audio book because it’s voiced by four different characters. It was interesting learning about the story from different perspectives, and not knowing what kind of information was being withheld from me. It was also refreshing and fun having four unreliable narrators.

My favorite character was Nate, I loved his humor and the way he handled the cards he was dealt in life. I also thought Addy had a very impressive character arch, and she went from being one of my least favorite characters to my favorite at the end. I highly recommend this book to fans of books such as A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and YA/Thriller/ Mystery fans. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, One of Us is Next, which was published January 7, 2020.

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 🙂

The Grace Year

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the grace year book by kim liggett
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Kim Liggett

Published: October 8, 2019

ISBN: 1250145449

Pages: 416

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

My Mini Review:

This book was a mixture of a female version of Lord of the Flies meets The Hunger Games. It delves into what happens when teenage girls are left to their own devices to survive by whatever means necessary. I found Tierny to be a strong female character who did her best to stay alive even when all odds were stacked against her. The plot was action packed and it kept me engaged and invested throughout. The premise of the story, despite the similarities to the other stories mentioned above, was very unique. I also admit to not having expected some of the plot twists.

Many people seem to have enjoyed this book. I really liked it, all they way until that terrible ending. Usually I don’t mind endings, to me it has always been the journey that matters. But this ending was so bad that it almost negated everything that came before it. Almost, but not quite. I believe there could be some redemption in the next book, if she does end up writing one. I don’t do spoilers, so I won’t say anything else on that matter. I would recommend this book if you are looking for a quick thrilling YA read, and if you are able to deal with an unsatisfying ending.

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

Ivory

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Ivory by Lola Dodge
Ivory by Lola Dodge

Author: Lola Dodge

Series: Manhattan Ten, #1

Published: October 22, 2019

**If you want to buy this book, please consider using my link and supporting a fellow blogger**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If Ivory’s fellow flight attendants whisper that she has ice in her veins, they’d be right. She’s spent years ruthlessly suppressing her dangerous ice powers, pretending she didn’t grow up wild on the tundra.

Her legendary coolness has held solid—until a crazed attacker snaps her composure, unleashing her ice beast and blowing her cover. And she’s not sure if the man who defuses the situation is any less dangerous.


When Panther’s trans-Atlantic catnap is interrupted by Ivory’s ice spear through his mark’s gut, he doesn’t hesitate to claim her as one of the Manhattan Ten. It’s the only way to shield her from prosecution. It doesn’t hurt that the Nordic beauty puts his inner cat on the prowl.

Panther tempts Ivory in every smoldering way, but to let him melt her resistance is a risk she can’t afford. But when her past rises up to claim her, Pan is caught in the crossfire…and the only way to save him is to let the beast claim her, body and soul.

Disclaimer: I was given a free review copy of this book via Netgalley and INscribe Digital, the Publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

My Mini Review:

This story was fast paced and to the point like a novella should be, but without leaving any major plot holes. I enjoyed the introduction to this group of “Supers” who have familiar super powers such as mind reading, shifting, and ice, but yet their story is told in a new and futuristic setting. I loved the modern take on Super heroes, as well as the adult romantic aspect of it. I enjoyed the chemistry and slow building romance between Ivory and Jag. Even in a novella, the romantic aspect did not feel rushed which is always a plus.

The book was short enough to read in one sitting, and there was enough action and suspense to keep me hooked throughout. There was a serial killer involved, which offered a very interesting and unique twist on the super hero trove. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series, and finding out more about the other Supers and what their stories are. Mostly, I want to figure out who the killer is. I would recommend this novella to all Adult Fantasy readers who enjoy a quick, fast paced, action packed read.

Warning: This book includes explicit sexual content.

Darkdawn

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

dark dawn by jay kristoff
Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Author: Jay Kristoff

Published: September 3, 2019

Publisher: Thomas Dune Books

Series: The Nevernight Chronicles, #3

**If you are considering buying this book, please click on my link to support a fellow blogger**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

Fear was Can’t. Fear was Won’t. But fear wasn’t ever a choice. To never fear was to never hope. Never love. Never live…Part of having is the fear of losing. Part of creating is the fear of it breaking. Part of beginning is the fear of your ending. Fear is never a choice… But letting it rule you is.”

Darkdawn

My Mini Book Review:

I’m doing a mini book review on this because there is no way I can put ALL my thoughts about this series into coherent sentences. How do I review a series like this one? These books made me cry tears of happiness, of sadness, frustration, and despair. In short, they made me feel everything a good series should.

I did pick Darkdawn up a couple of times to read it in September, but I ended up putting it down twice. First, I did not expect the religious aspect of the books to take center stage in the story, and that is always a turn-off for me. Second, I read so many dark books in September that I felt like I needed some happiness in my life. I finally got my hands on the audio version (the narrator Holter Graham does an amazing job), and this helped me get through it. Once I got through most of the setting up part, I could not stop listening.

I loved all the characters in these books. I fell in love with all their stories and I was proud of their growth throughout. I came to respect Mia and her strength and perseverance, and how she was set on revenge, but not willing to cross certain moral lines. I liked the side stories, the humor, the colorful cursing, and yes even the footnotes. I’m sad that this series has come to an end, and I cannot wait to see what Kristoff comes up with next. If you are a fan of dark Fantasy, read these!

City of Ghosts Mini Review

⭐️⭐️/5

My Bookstagram

Series: Cassidy Blake, #1

Author: Victoria Schwab

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

Likes:

I appreciated the fact that Cassidy’s parents were both alive, together, and had a good relationship with each other as well as Cassidy. I don’t see many healthy parent-child relationships in the YA/Fantasy genre -either one of the parents has passed away, or they’re estranged, etc. I really liked Jacob, Cassidy’s ghost best friend, I honestly thought he had a lot more personality than Cassidy herself. The descriptions of the scenery in Scotland were also nice and made me want to visit in the future.

Dislikes:

Maybe I’m just not a ghost story person? I went through this same disappointment when I read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I had trouble getting into this story and found it very bland. I understood some of the parts were supposed to be scary, but I couldn’t get into it. I kept reading the book expecting it to get better, but it never did. When I was done I was not the least bit interested in reading the next book in the series at all, and I probably never will.

Conclusion:

If you love ghost stories you might enjoy this book, I know many people on Goodreads who loved it. I enjoyed Victoria Schwab’s other books, and I think her writing style is phenomenal. This book just wasn’t for me.

Godsgrave Mini Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Picture from Goodreads

Godsgrave is the second book in Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight series. This series continues to impress me and surprise me at every turn. It has lovable characters that I cheered for even though I knew he was probably going to kill a few of them off, I had the first book as precedent and I really tried not to get attached. Needless to say, I failed miserably. I fell in love with ALL the characters, including many of the side characters, Maggot and Belle to name a few.

That’s the power of words: twenty six letters can paint a whole universe.”

Wavewaker

The plot was gripping, and full of twists and turns. I admit it was a bit slow in the beginning as the narration switched back and forth between the past and the present, but once again Kristoff made the switch seamless. The story involved a series of master plans which only the narrator knew about, and we as the readers got to find out as a they developed. I love those kinds of plots, and once the action picked up I could not stop reading.

Never listen to fear…fear is a coward.”

Belle

I would highly recommend this series to all Fantasy lovers. I was very glad I had pre-ordered the last book in the series “Darkdawn” and that it arrived just a few days after I was done with Godsgrave, otherwise I would’ve been highly disappointed by that cliffhanger ending. Once again, a warning that this story contains very gory descriptive writing with explicit sex scenes.

When you take a person from the world…you take everything they were, too.”

Maggot

Geekerella Mini Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

geekerella book by Ashley poston
Picture from Goodreads

She wears life like Elvis wore sequins, with no apology laced into the seams.”

Elle

Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1) by Ashley Poston was a fun and entertaining take on Cinderella. I personally love fairy tale retellings, and this modern take on it was no exception. Darien and Elle are two lonely teenagers trying to figure out who they really are in a world set on sticking a label on them. This story was fast paced, and once I started reading it was hard for me to stop. Sage was one of my favorite characters, she was strong and confident and lived life with no apologies. (the quote above was about her) I liked the character growth for both Darien and Elle. I especially liked that they were both eventually able to speak up and stand up for themselves.

I’m strapped to the pilot chair of my life, and my hands are tied.”

Darien

I took off one star from my rating for two reasons. First, the relationship between Elle and Sage felt forced at first. Suddenly this girl (Sage) that has never crossed two words with Elle wants to talk to her? AND she happens to have amazing sewing skills? Second, I don’t like it when girls fall in love with guys they barely know. Elle and Darien just shared a few texts and all of a sudden they were in love, but I guess it wouldn’t be a fairy tale if they weren’t. Overall, I loved this whole geeky world and how the author shines a light on the fact that just because you “cosplay” or dress up as one of your favorite characters, doesn’t mean pieces of your true self can’t shine through. Sometimes pretending to be someone else can help you figure out who you truly are.

Starlight, star bright, you can be anyone you want to be tonight.”

Elle’s Dad

I love Poston’s writing, and I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. Did you read the book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments 🙂