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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Book Review: The Hive

Cassie McKinney has always believed in the Hive. Social media used to be out of control, after all. People were torn apart by trolls and doxxers. Even hackers — like Cassie’s dad — were powerless against it. But then the Hive came. A better way to sanction people for what they do online. Cause trouble, get too many “condemns,” and a crowd can come after you, teach you a lesson in real life. It’s safer, fairer and perfectly legal. Entering her senior year of high school, filled with grief over an unexpected loss, Cassie is primed to lash out. Egged on by new friends, she makes an edgy joke online. Cassie doubts anyone will notice. But the Hive notices everything. And as her viral comment whips an entire country into a frenzy, the Hive demands retribution. One moment Cassie is anonymous; the next, she’s infamous. And running for her life. With nowhere to turn, she must learn to rely on herself — and a group of Hive outcasts who may not be reliable — as she slowly uncovers the truth about the machine behind the Hive. New York Times bestselling authors Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden have teamed up for the first time to create a novel that’s gripping, terrifying and more relevant every day.

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

This is one of those novels that make you think…what if this were real? I found myself constantly wondering what I would do if I were in Cassie’s shoes. 

While wildly entertaining, this book really brings to light some very serious topics we face in today’s social media obsessed society. Any and everything you say can have a serious impact on you or someone else. Think before you post! I really found Baden and Lyga’s style of writing very easy to read. The Hive had a great speed to it and was never boring. I was super engaged the whole time I was reading and I really felt like I was right there beside Cassie the entire time. What a ride this was. 
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Thank you to Netgalley, Barry Lyga, Morgan Baden, and Kids Can Press Publishing for allowing me to review this book. 
Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.