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: The Poppy and the Rose

Death can take a lot of things, but it can’t take your memories.
1912: Ava Knight, a young English aristocrat, boards the Titanic and meets three people who will change her life forever.

2010: Taylor Romano arrives in Oxford for a summer journalism program and is invited to tea at an old manor with a cursed history.

When Taylor discovers that the Lady of the house knows an uncanny amount about Taylor and her family’s secrets, she knows something isn’t right. But before she can find answers, the old woman dies suspiciously, leaving Taylor with a single clue: the story of a Titanic survivor named Ava.

With the help of a brooding chauffeur and some historical sleuthing, Taylor must uncover the link between Ava’s past and her own before her most cherished memories are tarnished forever.

Told across time, The Poppy and The Rose is an atmospheric tale of family secrets, intertwined destinies, and the power of memory.

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

So can we take a moment to discuss how gorgeous the cover art is?! That is immediately what drew me into the book. I had to know what magical tale lay between these pages. I must say, the cover art isn’t the only thing impressive with this novel!

I did not expect to love this  book the way I did, the only complaint I really have was it was too short. I wanted more. I loved how the author blended the past and present in such a beautiful way. It was remarkable how you needed both time frames to unravel the mystery. 

I will warn you, don’t go into reading this and expect everything to be factual. While this is historical in nature, it is also fiction. You have to read the story for what it is. I do feel there could have been more loose ends tied up, but it was still good regardless. 

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

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Book Review: The Opposite of Falling Apart

After losing his leg in a terrible car accident, Jonas Avery can’t wait to start over and go to college. Brennan Davis would like nothing more than to stay home and go to school, so she can keep her anxiety in check. When the two accidentally meet the summer before they move away, they’ll push each other to come to terms with what’s holding them back, even as they’re pulled closer to taking the biggest leap of all—falling in love.

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

What a beautiful story about overcoming obstacles. The story follows Jonas and Brennan whom are both battling either physical or psychological disabilities and their journey to helping one another heal. 

I loved how Micah Good tackles disabilities with such relatable characters. As someone who has suffered from anxiety for most of my life, I really resonated with Brennan’s storyline. The ‘what ifs’ she went through really struck home with me. 

I enjoyed how the love story was not the main focal point. Yes, it was present but the main point of the story is the healing and character growth. I feel like we have needed a more honest representation of mental illness in today’s novels, and this one does it justice. 

I enjoyed the two perspectives, it really kept you from guessing what was going on in the other character’s head. I feel this was definitely needed to be written this way because if this had been from Brennan’s perspective, I would have been just as anxious wanting to know what was going on in Jonah’s mind. I loved getting both sides of this story. 

I felt the chemistry between Brennan and Jonah was so organic and real. I was team “Jonnan” from the first time they met. I would highly recommend this book to absolutely anyone. 

A big thank you to Micah Good, Wattpad Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to review this book.  I really enjoyed it!

Images and Synopsis taken from NetGalley.

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Book Review: This Light Between Us

In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he’s forced to become pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris, France—a girl. He thought she was a boy. In spite of Alex’s reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic—and along with them, the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature.
From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.

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

I was so excited when I got the notification that I would be reviewing this book. I was completely hooked from the synopsis and I couldn’t wait to dive in. This book is so full of emotions. I felt absolutely everything. I felt sadness, anger, happiness, bewilderment, and embarrassment. Even though it was an emotional read, it wasn’t overly sentimental.  

I read a ton of historical fiction and I will almost always pick up anything written about WWII but this one grabbed my attention in such a way that to be honest, I just cannot explain. It was so raw and heartbreaking in such an organic way. My one complaint (usually) with historical fiction is the lack of research on the authors part, but Andrew Fukuda did such a beautiful job 

Alex and Charley’s story made my heart ache for them. They made me laugh and cry. I worried for them. I hurt for them. I wanted to know everything about them. I rather enjoyed reading this from Alex’s perspective. I feel that the story really couldn’t have been as compelling if it had been from Charley’s perspective. Even though you only really hear from Charley when you are reading the letters from her to Alex, you really get to know her deeply as a character. 

The ending was completely unexpected but it was still an amazing read and I feel it should be on everyone’s TBR list! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Andrew Fukuda, and Macmillian-Tor Forge for letting me review this wonderful story. It broke my heart, but I still really enjoyed it.

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley

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Book Review: Jane Anonymous

Seven months.
That’s how long I was kept captive.
Locked in a room with a bed, refrigerator, and adjoining bathroom, I was instructed to eat, bathe, and behave. I received meals, laundered clothes, and toiletries through a cat door, never knowing if it was day or night. The last time I saw the face of my abductor was when he dragged me fighting from the trunk of his car. And when I finally escaped, I prayed I’d never see him again.
Now that I’m home, my parents and friends want everything to be like it was before I left. But they don’t understand that dining out and shopping trips can’t heal what’s broken inside me. I barely leave my bedroom. Therapists are clueless and condescending. So I start my own form of therapy—but writing about my experience awakens uncomfortable memories, ones that should’ve stayed buried. How far will I have to go to uncover the truth of what happened—and will it break me forever?

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

God what a book. I haven’t cried this hard in a LONG time. This book was so intense and I just found myself hurting for Jane. Her story is so provocative and scary. This is one of those stories so raw and painful that it’s almost hard to read. I could feel my chest tighten and a lump in my throat through most of it. I had to step away a few times to compose myself. Laurie takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and even though this book is not one of those action-packed thrillers, it still takes you for a ride. 

Laurie does such an amazing job of telling Jane’s story both before during her captivity and while she is trying to get her life back after. I really enjoyed the journal type format. I felt like it really kept me in suspense and I felt like a friend of Jane’s peering into her life from her diary. It almost felt uncomfortable in a very invasive way like we were invading Jane’s privacy again after all that she had been through. I loved how Jane spoke directly to us, it just made the story feel almost too real. 

I found myself a big fan of Laurie’s writing style as well as her character development and plot structure. I would highly recommend this novel! Thank you so much to NetGalley, Laurie Faria Stolarz, and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to review this title.

Image and synopsis taken from Netgalley

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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