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.

Uncategorized

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.

Uncategorized

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.

Uncategorized

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.

Uncategorized

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.

Uncategorized

Book Review: The Silvered Serpents

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

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

Chokshi has done it again! Silver Serpents picked up almost immediately where Gilded Wolves  left off. It felt so fluid and seamless. 

Again, the characters are my favorite part of this series. I love them and I think they just really make everything about this story better. Silver Serpents has a very emotional and heartbreaking ending. So do not read if you don’t want a good cry. 

This story moved at such a fast pace and had such a steady flow. It was a rollercoaster of emotions but it was up and down at all the right times. I did feel like I was left with a lot of unanswered questions. I hope we get another novel to answer them. 

The villains were a tad predictable, but it was still very intriguing. Honestly, I feel like I liked this a lot more than the first book of the series. I love that the plot was more fully formed.

The writing was so descriptive and super vivid. As usual Chokshi does a wonderful job of world building and character creation and development. This book hurt me. I cried so much. I really hope we get some closure! 

Thank you so much to Roshani Chokshi, NetGalley, and St. Martin’s press for allowing me to review this title.

Image and Synopsis taken from netgalley.

Uncategorized

Book Review: Ruthless Gods

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone…or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

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

I read Wicked Saints when it came out in April of this year and it had to be one of the bloodiest and darkest novels I have ever read. But Ruthless Gods takes the cake, it is bloodier and darker than its predecessor by 100 percent 

I did find the story to be a bit repetitive. It felt like I was rereading Wicked Saints with more blood and gore. I did really like this better than the first of the series, which is saying something because I truly enjoyed Wicked Saints. 

The pace in this book was much faster than the first book and the action definitely keeps you in suspense and glued to the page. 

The ending had me really confused, but I think that it was part of the books magic because even the characters seemed really confused. My heart breaks for Nayda. I really just want things to work out for her. Malachiasz and Nadya will be the death of me, I am sure of it. I just want them to get their happy ending. I find their story so compelling and I just want all the happiness in their chaos ridden lives. 

I cannot wait for the next installment. It is such a good read. I hate that now I have to wait even longer since I got this one early!

Thank you so much to Emily Duncan, NetGalley, and St. Martin’s Press for sending me a digital copy of this book for review.
Image and Synopsis taken from Netgalley.

Uncategorized

Book Review: The Sound of Stars

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

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

What a wonderful debut novel by Alechia Dow! I love alien stories, I really just adore anything to do with space. I grew up watching things like Star Trek and Doctor Who, so when I read the synopsis of this book I knew I had to read it as quickly as I could. 

From the first page, I was immediately transported into Dow’s fantasy world. Dow is phenomenal at world building and I really felt like I was right there.  I did feel like the book dragged a bit during the middle, but overall it was fantastic. 

I loved that the book contains real life issues we are facing in today’s society and how they were weaved in and out through every chapter. There are tons of current pop culture references throughout this book, so it is not really something that can be  “timeless” read. However, the story would have been really lacking if those references weren’t a part of it. I love the general theme of music can help you get through tough situations. 

The relationship between Ellie and Morris was my favorite. It felt so genuine and unique. It wasn’t rushed or forced it was just pure, innocence, beautifully organic. Dow’s writing style keeps you wanting more. I really do hope we see a sequel to this. Maybe I am a sucker for a series.. But I really want to know more about Morris and Ellie and their future together. 

Thank you so much to Alechia Dow, NetGalley, and Harlequin TEEN Publishing for allowing me to review this book.
Image and synopsis taken from NetGalley

Uncategorized

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

Uncategorized

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