Book Review: Crown of Coral and Pearl

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen…and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

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

Oh did I enjoy this book. I started this book with absolutely no expectations. But I found Mara Rutherford’s dark and magical world of Illara so inviting that I now never want to leave. From page one, I was completely hooked. I adore Nor and Zadie, in ways it reminds me of the relationship I have with my own sister. I did find that Nor was a tad weepy. Someone get this girl a tissue! After I finished the book, I immediately googled Rutherford and I was so pleased to find out that this is going to be a series and I cannot wait to see where she goes with this story. It is definitely far from over. 

The ending was incredibly enjoyable though unexpected. A giant four star rating for this gem of a book. I would like to personally thank Mara Rutherford, NetGalley, and Harlequin Teen/Inkyard Press for the opportunity to review this title. 

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

Book Review: Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep #1)

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Who doesn’t love a badass viking chick? I love the harsh truth of viking culture within this book. I will admit, this book was not on my radar until I received an ARC of the sequel. I found myself drawn in almost immediately. I love how fiercely loyal viking clans are portrayed and how even if you are a woman you are equal on the battlefield. 

The writing in this book really sticks with you because of its sheer poetic beauty. I love that most of the characters are strong women. We need more of these in today’s fiction!
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

Book Review: To Be Your Girl (To Be Yours #1)

Staying away from Cade Renner is easier said than done—because he’s my brother’s best friend and my new roommate.
I know he’s trouble when I meet him—half naked, covered in tattoos, and kicking an anonymous girl out of his bed.
I’m not supposed to become his friend, and I definitely shouldn’t be thinking about him at night.
Especially after I meet Adam—he is the perfect gentleman and he wants to be my boyfriend. To him, I am a sweet, innocent girl not to be defiled.
But I’m done being innocent.

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

I enjoyed this novel because it is something we can all relate to. We have all experienced a crush on a bad boy at one time or another in our lives. Or maybe a crush on a brother’s friend (or a friend’s brother–Guilty!)

I will be honest though, I found the plot to be a bit predictable. I had a lot of “girl I told you so” moments. But overall, I did enjoy the story and it was a pretty easy read. I will probably finish out the series as a palate cleanser for some of the heavier books I read. 

Rae Kennedy provides a fun, super easy, adorable, and some what smutty story that will keep you entertained throughout! Solid 3 star rating.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

Book Review: Mimic (The Prodigy Chronicles Book 2)

In 2012, one cycle of an ancient calendar system came to a close. Humanity predicted its downfall, but it wasn’t the end of their evolutionary climb. It was the beginning.
Willow Kent is discovering that life as a second-phase prodigy comes at a price. Trapped in the London Core, her choices are limited, made difficult by her forbidden romance with Reece and the presence of a new commanding officer who establishes harsh rules. With unpredictable skills and a growing distrust in her birth parents, she is struggling to play the Core’s game. But when opportunity arises in the form of a mysterious shapeshifter, Willow realizes there’s more to her own evolution than meets the eye. She soon learns that keeping secrets is a key move, and the more dangerous they are, the greater her need to evolve into the powerful prodigy nature intended her to become.
But those closest to her have their own secrets, and her status has made her an easy target for betrayal. Who will she turn to, when nothing is as it seems?

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

I am so glad that I got to read Gambit and Mimic back to back.. Now if we could get the third installment like yesterday… That would be great. 

This book is wayyy more intense than its prequel. Willow develops her abilities more and discovers ones that vastly surpass all expectations. SHE HAS A FREAKING TIGER GUYS. I love that this book doesn’t shy away from Willow also being a typical teen. All teens have those emotional moments that make them seem like a know it all or a brat. Willow is absolutely no exception. I love the attraction between Willow and Reece.. Come on y’all.. We are all shipping that. 

This book really just has everything from political alliances to complicated relationships. One of my favorite things about Denault’s writing is the realistic protagonist development. Everything just seems to naturally grow and flow. Denault has built this amazingly realistic world that I just want to immerse myself in and never leave. Mimic will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew. What motives to the people around you really have? Would you make the same choices? Who can you really trust? I found myself nervously excited at every page turn. Put C.L Denault on your list of authors to watch.. We got a gem here!
I gave this a solid 4 star rating just like its predecessor. This is a great read, and I cannot wait for the next installment. Denault!! Get on it! (Also.. can we just take a moment with that gorgeous cover art!!!)

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

Book Review: The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter

Sixteen-year-old Anna sees things from another world, the spiritual world, a skill that isn’t exactly useful in high school. It’s bad enough that her mother, possessed by a demon, took her own life when Anna was a child, a loss she remains tortured by. Now her father makes his living “clearing” haunted objects, and Anna’s job as his assistant makes her a social misfit. Most kids in her suburban New Jersey town refer to her just as “Goblin Girl.”
Only Freddy and Dor remain loyal friends. But Anna’s so focused on her own problems, she’s missed that her connection with Freddy is moving beyond the friend zone and that Dor is in crisis.
As junior year approaches, a rare solar storm lights up the night skies and the citizens of Bloomtown begin to act strangely: Anna’s teachers lash out, her best friends withdraw, and the school bullies go from mean to murderous. When Anna realizes she can harness this evil power, she sets out to save Bloomtown and the only family she has left.
But to do so, she must keep her own increasingly dark urges at bay.

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

I really wish I had paid a bit more attention to the trigger warnings on this book. The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter while amazing, was also incredibly triggering for me for many reasons (i.e Pedophilia, bullies, suicide, sucide idealization, self harm, etc..) I actually had to step away from reading on several different occasions just to calm myself down. Nevertheless, I decided to power through and finish the book. 

The story follows a 16 year old Anna who sees creatures from another world. This tends to complicate her highschool career quite a bit. After her mother’s demonic episode leading to her suicide, Anna has a really hard time coping. She is bullied because of her father’s career as a ghost hunter and taunted by the nickname “goblin girl.”  

Anna starts being haunted by nightmares, violent thoughts, etc. She knows that something supernatural must be at play and she must harness her connection to the source to uncover the truth. 

Overall, it was a great read It was super dark and at times very heavy, but I love Caroline Flarity’s confidence in her writing. She wasn’t afraid to tackle uncomfortable subjects. I do recommend this book but I will say please heed the trigger warnings. I give this book a 3 star rating due to the amount of triggering situations, but still a very very solid read.

A personal thank you to NetGalley, East Side Press Publishing, and Caroline Flarity for allowing me to review this book. 

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

Book Review: Gambit (The Prodigy Chronicles Book 1)

In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.
Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.
Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?

So, I will be really honest here.. This series was not on my radar prior to receiving an ARC of Mimic. But I must say.. WOW. 

The story follows 16 year old Willow Kent. One day a genetically enhanced military official arrives in the Outlying lands and reveals to Willow that she is a long lost heir to one of the most powerful families. She was taken from her family and trust into her new life. Willow must learn to adapt to this new society. With no one one to trust, Willow must learn how to master her new abilities, survive the rebels, and hold on to the last little bit of freedom she has. 

I am an absolute sucker for “your life can change in a moment” stories. I feel we all wished to be a secret heir to a vast fortune, to be a superhero, or a long lost princess. This novel really spoke to that part of me from so long ago. While reading this, I got The Red Queen vibes. 

I found Willow to be super relatable without coming across as predictable or boring. C.L Denault has a beautifully unique writing style that makes you really feel every emotion.  This was a fantastic debut novel, and I am excited to now dive right into Mimic.

I gave this book a solid 4 star review! It was a solid read, and I am excited to see more from this saga.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.