book reviews

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After LifeThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.


France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2020. I am a huge fan of V.E. Schwab and this book was no exception. I loved every minute of it. Schwab is just a great writer and storyteller in general. Every book she writes just draws you in and tugs at your heart. She has such a beautiful writing style that makes her books impossible to put down (even when they are super long). 

As soon as I got the notice for the ARC, I could not wait to read it. At this point in time, I have read it twice and I’ve listened to the audio book once. I will say REREAD IT AGAIN!!! You will catch so much more the second time around! 

The ending was a complete surprise, but then again so was the story. So much time and emotion went into this amazingly dark collection of moments about a forgettable girl turned into an unforgettable story. 

Can I give this a 10 out of 5?!

Thank you kindly to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this review copy.

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Book Review: All Stirred Up

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. She returned to save her family’s dying legacy–but found the ghosts of her past alive and well.

Susan Napier’s family once lived on the success of the high-end restaurants founded by her late grandfather. But bad luck and worse management has brought the business to the edge of financial ruin. Now it’s up to Susan to save the last remaining restaurant: Elliot’s, the flagship in Edinburgh.

But what awaits Susan in the charming city of Auld Reekie is more than she bargained for. Chris Baker, her grandfather’s former protégé–and her ex-boyfriend–is also heading to the Scottish capital. After finding fame in New York as a chef and judge of a popular TV cooking competition, Chris is returning to his native Scotland to open his own restaurant. Although the storms have cleared after their intense and rocky breakup, Susan and Chris are re-drawn into each other’s orbit–and their simmering attraction inevitably boils over.

As Chris’s restaurant opens to great acclaim and Susan tries to haul Elliot’s back from the brink, the future brims with new promise. But darkness looms as they find themselves in the crosshairs of a gossip blogger eager for a juicy story–and willing to do anything to get it. Can Susan and Chris reclaim their lost love, or will the tangled past ruin their last hope for happiness?

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am a huge Jane Austen fan and this book is a great retelling of Persuasion. My only issue with this was the pacing. It started off super slow and really drug through the first couple chapters and continued through the first half of the book. Then it really just sped through the end of it too fast. It just felt disconnected in a way. 

I think it was a very interesting take on the Austen classic and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys Austen’s stories. 

Thank you kindly to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this review copy.

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Book Review: Eventide

MADNESS, SECRETS, AND LIES

Wheeler, Arkansas, 1907

When their father descends into madness after the death of their mother, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves on an orphan train to rural Arkansas.

In Wheeler, eleven-year-old Lilah is quickly adopted, but seventeen-year-old Verity is not. Desperate to stay close to her sister, Verity indentures herself as a farmhand. But even charming farm boy Abel Atchley can’t completely distract her from the sense that something is not quite right in this little town. Strange local superstitions abound, especially about the eerie old well at the center of the forest. The woods play tricks, unleashing heavy fog and bone-chilling cold…and sometimes visions of things that aren’t there.

But for Verity, perhaps most unsettling of all is the revelation that her own parents have a scandalous history in this very town. And as she tries to unearth the past, sinister secrets come with it—secrets that someone will go to violent lengths to protect….

A haunting tale of long-buried secrets, small-town scandal, and single-minded vengeance by talented debut novelist Sarah Goodman.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this so much! It has such a creepy feel to it. I loved the atmosphere of the town they lived in. Creepy small towns are something I live for! I thought the characters were super well written and the plot was just a mysterious masterpiece. I thought it was dark and creepy in the best way possible. 

It was so fun to piece everything together. It wasn’t easy to piece together, but you still were able to figure out everything before Verity and her sister did!

Overall, I found this book a great spooky read for October! I absolutely could not put it down. 

Thank you kindly to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this review copy.

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Book Reviews: The Hollow Places

A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Award–winning author) The Twisted Ones.

Pray they are hungry.

Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become.

With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s LabyrinthThe Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t be able to put down.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really connected with Kara’s character a little too much. I kind of love the moments where Kara would get lost in her head. It made me really resonate with her. A lot of people have had an issue with the internal dialogue, but I really enjoyed it. I am one of those people who have a lot of internal dialogue with myself, so I enjoyed it. 

Overall, this was a great horror sci-fi that I just really loved.

Thank you kindly to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this review copy.

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Book Review: Hush

“Hush has all the trappings of a great fantasy: a curse, a labyrinthine castle, many secrets, and powerful magic. At the center of it all, a girl unwilling to allow her world to be twisted by lies when she knows the truth. A truly gripping read.” – Emily A. Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints

They use magic to silence the world. Who will break the hush?

Seventeen-year-old Shae has led a seemingly quiet life, joking with her best friend Fiona, and chatting with Mads, the neighborhood boy who always knows how to make her smile. All while secretly keeping her fears at bay… Of the disease that took her brother’s life. Of how her dreams seem to bleed into reality around her. Of a group of justice seekers called the Bards who claim to use the magic of Telling to keep her community safe.

When her mother is murdered, she can no longer pretend.

Not knowing who to trust, Shae journeys to unlock the truth, instead finding a new enemy keen to destroy her, a brooding boy with dark secrets, and an untold power she never thought possible.

From Dylan Farrow comes Hush, a powerful fantasy where one girl is determined to remake the world.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So, I am a bit on the fence with how to rate this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed it on the other I felt like it could have been better executed. I loved the POV. I thought Shae was a strong choice. 

What I did really love is the magic system. I loved how intriguing it was. The premise for the book was also amazing. The romantic aspects of this book felt a bit awkward. You can tell the author is going for a love triangle in later books but it still felt a bit off to me. I think it will get better as the next book comes out. 

I really hate the instalove books, but I think with better execution this could be a great series. I will definitely read book two because I need to know what happens. Overall, this was an easy and enjoyable read with a great magic system and a good premise. 

Thank you kindly to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this review copy.

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Book Review: Reverie

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.
As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was such an interesting book. It wasn’t written in the usual young adult format. It almost was written more as an adult sci-fi novel. It was a truly unique story that pulls you in. This is one of those plot heavy books, it is not driven by its characters but it is made up for it by story substance. It was very fun to read. 

My one real complaint is the magic system was very confusing, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was happening and how it was happening rather than enjoying my time. I reread a lot of the book just to figure out what was going on. I feel like we could have had the magic system explained a lot earlier and it would have saved a lot of headaches. 

I absolutely adored that there was a solid LGBTQIA presence in this book. We need more books with a strong queer representation, and we get that with Reverie. Kane was by far my favorite character. Even though this wasn’t a character driven story.. Kane’s story was very compelling and had me very interested. I love that he was forced to battle his past even though he could not remember it. 

Reverie kept me very excited through every page turn, and I found myself contemplating what was going to happen even when I wasn’t glued to my kindle. I really enjoyed Ryan La Sala’s writing style. He is incredibly honest and assertive in his writing and it is almost refreshing to the YA universe. 

I really enjoyed Reverie and really hope we see this turned into a series. This is one of those stories that could easily have multiple books to follow and in my honest opinion.. It would make a stellar movie! 

Thank you kindly to Ryan La Sala, NetGalley, and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to review this book.
Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley

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Book Review: The Stone Rainbow

Jack Pedersen is finding life complicated ever since he came out to his mom. Even though she’s been doing her best to understand, it’s obvious to Jack that his mom still wants to cry every time she says the word gay.
Complications go into overdrive when a new student named Benjamin arrives at his high school, and Jack starts experiencing feelings he’s never allowed himself before. When a near tragedy turns life upside down, Jack realizes that it’s time to stop hiding and to stand up—for Pride, for Benjamin, and for himself.

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to like this book, but if I am being honest.. I almost DNF’d it. It just really did not sit well with me. This book was so obviously written by a straight person who has never identified with the struggles and issues that members of the LGBTQIA+ community has faced. 

And what was up with Jack’s homophopic friend (and why the heck was Jack just accepting of his homophobia?!)

I had an almost impossible time connecting with Jack, well with any of the characters really. The dialogue was super confusing and I had a hard time figuring out who exactly was saying what. I had to reread most of the dialogue. I did rather enjoy Jack’s growth throughout the book. And I did love that some bigger topics were addressed. I do want to add that this book needs a trigger warning. The Stone Rainbow contains suicide/suicide attempts/suicidal thoughts and that should be known before picking this title up to read.

⭐️ ⭐️

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

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Book Review: Slumber

A YA retelling of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.
Prince Thomas cannot take the throne without a queen. Though the problem isn’t his lack of suitors but his refusal to marry a princess that is less than perfect. 
The cardinal presents him with an opportunity: a quest to find the most beautiful princess in the land who has been in slumber for a century. 
But, unbeknown to the prince, the cardinal plans to kill him as soon as the prince embarks on his quest, and take the throne for himself. 
Luckily, Prince Thomas’s path crosses with Lucy, a spirited orphan runaway, who saves his life and convinces the prince to continue the quest. When they eventually find Princess Aurora, they also find another contender – Prince Philip – vying for the princess’s heart.  
Despite their mutual disdain for each other, Lucy agrees to assist the prince, and Thomas accepts her help to keep him alive long enough to beat out his competition and return to rule his kingdom alongside his perfect bride.  
They just don’t count on falling for each other in the process. 

I received a free digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Anyone else go simply nuts for a classic Disney retelling? I know I do and Slumber was an absolute gem for me. I must admit, this book had everything my little nerdy heart could ever want in a retelling.

I originally requested this book so I could tell my best friend about it. She is absolutely nuts over Sleeping Beauty (shout out to Jill, love you boo).

I won’t go into too many details about this book, because this is one of those stories that is better to read it than read about it.

Lucy is adorable I loved her tomboy-eques know it all attitude. I feel it is something we haven’t seen in a sleeping beauty character before. I also loved that we got to see this from Prince Phillip’s point of view (though I am still hoping eventually we get to see this from Jack’s perspective as well). I don’t think we get enough fairytale stories with a good prince backstory. Sure.. We know they are handsome and they save the princess, and will shower her with riches.. Etc.. but I loved that I got to hear more about them in this story. I love that the relationship aspect is between Jack and Phillip (we stan this all day every day).

I absolutely adored how this book ended. 2 princes, 1 princes, and one amazing love story.I cannot wait to see what else Becky Bird comes up with. I am watching you lady! I gave this novel a solid 3 star rating, it was cute, adorable, swoonworthy.. but was still somewhat predictable. I loved it though..

Special thank you to Becky Bird and Netgalley for allowing me to review this novel.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

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Book Review: Queer Second Edition

Teen life is hard enough, but for teens who are LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer), it can be even harder. When do you decide to come out? Will your friends accept you? And how do you meet people to date? Queer is a humorous, engaging, and honest guide that helps LGBTQ teens come out to friends and family, navigate their social life, figure out if a crush is also queer, and challenge bigotry and homophobia. Personal stories from the authors and sidebars on queer history provide relatable context. This updated edition is a must-read for any teen who thinks they might be queer or knows someone who is.

I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Oh how I wish there were books like this when I was growing up. Being a teenager is hard enough with the angst, hormones, and growth spurts. Add in confusing feelings of sexuality and you have a recipe for true hardship. As a bisexual identifying female who often questioned my own sexuality many times through my teenage and adult years, I found this book to be refreshing. I spent so many years as a young adult feeling like an outsider and like something was indefinitely wrong with me because I wasn’t like everybody else. I feel this book will help so many young people in the acceptance of themselves as well as others. 

I really enjoyed the stories. I felt I could really connect with the characters and resonate with their stories. I feel this is one of those books that is important to the society we live in now. 

I am giving this book 4 stars because it was truly a work of art. I enjoyed everything about it and I think it will help many of our youth accept themselves. I also believe this would be a fantastic book for parents of the LGBTQIA+ youth in understanding what their son, daughter, or non-gender conforming child may be going through.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.