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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

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Book Review: Coral

There’s more than one way to drown.
Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?
Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?
Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?
When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?

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

I am usually a sucker for retellings, but this one was just okay. I am also a sucker for books written in multiple perspectives, and again this was just okay. I felt really confused most of the time. It jumped too much and too quickly from person to person and made me feel a bit whiplashed. 

I felt something was missing from this story and I just can’t put my finger on it.. It just didn’t grab my attention. As I said before, I love retellings and this one did not really feel like a true retelling. Despite reading the phrase “the Little Mermaid” 100 times in the book. I wouldn’t have really compared like I usually do a retelling. I feel this is more of it’s own book than a retelling of the Little Mermaid. 

Kudos, to the author for tackling such tough and sensitive issues such as suicide and mental illness. But there really should be more of a trigger warning for this title. 

The writing style while wonderfully descriptive, was still a bit confusing. I wish it had been just a little easier to get through because I really wanted to love this book. 

Thank you kindly to Sara Ella, NetGalley, and Thomas Nelson Fiction for allowing me to review this title.
Image and synopsis taken from NetGalley.