Starry-Eyed Love

Title: Starry-Eyed Love

Author: Helena Hunting

Series: Spark House #2

Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 352

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: ★★★★★

*I received an ARC of Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “Charming, hilarious, and emotional, Starry-Eyed Love is Helena Hunting at her very best!

Having just broken up with her boyfriend, London Spark is not in the mood to be hit on. Especially not when she’s out celebrating her single status with her sisters. So when a very attractive man pays for their drinks and then slips her his number, she passes it right back to him with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’. As the business administrator for their family’s event hotel, the Spark House, London has more important things to worry about, like bringing in new clientele.

As luck would have it, a multi-million-dollar company calls a few months later asking for a meeting to discuss a potential partnership, and London is eager to prove to her sisters, and herself, that she can land this deal. Just when she thinks she has nailed her presentation, the company’s CEO, Jackson Holt, walks in and inserts himself into the meeting. Not only that, but he also happens to be the same guy she turned down at the bar a few months ago.

As they begin to spend more time together, their working relationship blossoms into something more. It isn’t until their professional entanglements are finally over, that London and Jackson are finally ready to take the next step in their relationship. But between Jackson’s secretive past and London’s struggle with her sisters, London must question where she really stands – not just with Jackson, but with the Spark House, too.”

Review: Is it too obvious to say, if you were a fan of When Sparks Fly, you’d be a fan of Starry-Eyed Love? Well, it’s true! Not every book in a series is created equally but this is definitely just as romantic and as fun of a read!

For whatever reason I’ve never been a huge fan of these kinds of series where the story follows another character. I tend to get attached to the first character and just hope for more. However, if I were to have read this book without having read the first one in the series, I would enjoy just as much! As much as I’d prefer long series, I still finished this book in less than five sittings. I’m clearly a sucker for a good romance novel and Helena Hunting provides just that!

As the weather gets warmer, this is the perfect romance to grab and read at the beach! It has some familiar characters, but provides a new plot line, (a fun one if you like the whole ceo trope). This is both exciting and romance-filled and a great quick read.

Cover: ★★★★★

Flirting with Fate

*I received an ARC of Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Ava Granados will never forgive herself for being late to her beloved nana’s deathbed. But due to a flash flood that left Ava in a fender bender with a …

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Hotel Magnifique

*I received an ARC of Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “For fans of Caraval and The Night Circus, this decadent and darkly enchanting YA fantasy, set against the backdrop of a Belle Époque-inspired hotel, follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she …

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Edgewood

*I received an ARC of Edgewood by Kristin Ciccarelli through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “No matter how far she runs, the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark. The scent of damp earth curls into her nose when she sings and moss creeps across …

Continue reading Edgewood

Four Treasures of The Sky

*I received an ARC of Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “A propulsive and dazzling debut novel set against the backdrop of the Chinese Exclusion Act, about a Chinese girl fighting to claim her place in the …

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All My Rage

*I received an ARC of All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story …

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Servant Mage

*I received an ARC of Servant Mage by Kate Elliot through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Fellian is a Lamplighter, able to provide illumination through magic. A group of rebel Monarchists free her from indentured servitude and take her on a journey to rescue trapped compatriots …

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Flirting with Fate

Title: Flirting with Fate

Author: J.C. Cervantes

Series: Flirting With Fate #1

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Contemporary

Pages: 384

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*I received an ARC of Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “Ava Granados will never forgive herself for being late to her beloved nana’s deathbed. But due to a flash flood that left Ava in a fender bender with a mysterious boy, she missed her grandmother’s mystical blessing–one that has been passed between the women of her family upon death for generations.

Then Nana’s ghost appears with a challenge from beyond the grave. As it turns out, Nana did give Ava a blessing, but it missed its target, landing with the boy from the night of the storm instead. Was it fate? Ava refuses to believe so. With the help of her sisters and Nana’s rather bumbling spiritual guide, she’s determined to reclaim her share of the family magic and set Nana free.

For guarded Ava, befriending some random boy is the last thing she wants to do. She’s gotten along just fine protecting her heart–keeping people at a distance is a great way to ensure no one ever hurts you. But as Ava embarks on her mission to retrieve the lost blessing, she starts to wonder if getting close to thunderstorm boy is worth the risk.

In her YA debut, J.C. Cervantes weaves a tale about family, fate, and finding love where you least expect it.”

Review: I always love a fun romance and Flirting with Fate has such an interesting premise that definitely caught my attention. With a sprinkle of magic, I had a lot of hope for this story.

The premise didn’t disappoint, the magic was interesting and helped push the plot along. I also really enjoyed the character dynamics, especially the relationship between the sisters.

While I still enjoyed this story, I think it’s a story best read in 1 or 2 sittings. I read it in multiple sittings and I honestly found the story a little difficult to follow. So while I leave the story a bit hazy on the details, I still leave it with a general feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes: “Cas- tles are very pretty,but they are dangerous too.Some princesses get locked in them and they become prisons.”

Starry-Eyed Love

*I received an ARC of Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Charming, hilarious, and emotional, Starry-Eyed Love is Helena Hunting at her very best! Having just broken up with her boyfriend, London Spark is not in the mood to be hit …

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How to Love Your Neighbor

*I received an ARC of How to Love Your Neighbor through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Interior Design School? Check. Cute house to fix up? Check. Sexy, grumpy neighbor who is going to get in the way of your plans? Check. Unfortunately. Grace Travis has it …

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Echos and Empires

*I received an ARC of Echoes and Empires through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York …

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The Excalibur Curse

*I received an ARC of The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “The gripping conclusion to the acclaimed Arthurian fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White finds Guinevere questioning everything—friends and enemies, good and evil, and, most of …

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The Gilded Cage

*I received an ARC of The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Kiva trades one cage for another when she leaves behind a deadly prison for a deceptive palace in this dark and dangerous sequel to The Prison Healer, which Sarah …

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Vespertine

*I received an ARC of Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: The dead of Loraille do not rest. Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; …

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Hotel Magnifique

Title: Hotel Magnifique

Author: Emily J. Taylor

Series: Standalone

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

Pages: 400

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: ★★★★

*I received an ARC of Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “For fans of Caraval and The Night Circus, this decadent and darkly enchanting YA fantasy, set against the backdrop of a Belle Époque-inspired hotel, follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she uncovers the deeply disturbing secrets of the legendary Hotel Magnifique.

All her life, Jani has dreamed of Elsewhere. Just barely scraping by with her job at a tannery, she’s resigned to a dreary life in the port town of Durc, caring for her younger sister Zosa. That is, until the Hotel Magnifique comes to town.

The hotel is legendary not only for its whimsical enchantments, but also for its ability to travel—appearing in a different destination every morning. While Jani and Zosa can’t afford the exorbitant costs of a guest’s stay, they can interview to join the staff, and are soon whisked away on the greatest adventure of their lives. But once inside, Jani quickly discovers their contracts are unbreakable and that beneath the marvelous glamour, the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets.

With the vexingly handsome doorman Bel as her only ally, Jani embarks on a mission to unravel the mystery of the magic at the heart of the hotel and free Zosa—and the other staff—from the cruelty of the ruthless maître d’hôtel. To succeed, she’ll have to risk everything she loves, but failure would mean a fate far worse than never returning home.”

Review: As someone who loved the Caravel series, I think this is definitely a fun read for anyone who loved Caravel. If you haven’t had the chance to read Caravel, I would still recommend this to anyone who is a fan of a slightly mysterious fantasy that is also intertwined with romance.

The Hotel Magnifique itself reminds me of the Hogwarts castle, and is something that makes the story constantly changing and surprising. The magic is this story is unique and playful, yet has a hint of darkness. The characters are also similar in that sense.

Although the romance in this story was somewhat predictable, the other plot lines helped provide movement and suspense. Meanwhile, the glamour of the imagery and the beauty of the magic helped provide the imagination with lots of colorful information.

Although I usually prefer when a fantasy is in a series to help better picture the magical world, this standalone tied up all the loose ends all while providing a detailed snapshot of this magical microcosm.

Cover: ★★★★

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven

*I received an ARC of Teen Titans: Beast Boy loves Raven through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From #1 New York Times bestselling author KAMI GARCIA (Beautiful Creatures) and artist GABRIEL PICOLO, the creative duo behind the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven, comes the romantic meet-up we have …

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Beasts of Prey

*I received an ARC of Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome and magical creatures …

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When Sparks Fly

*I received an ARC of When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, …

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The Thousandth Floor

Synopsis: “NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough. WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118. A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone …

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Victories Greater Than Death

*I received an copy of Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders from Tor Teen, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Outsmart Your Enemies. Outrun the Galaxy. Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’—she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, …

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Super Fake Love Song

*I received an ARC of Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon from Penguin Teen, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the bestselling author of Frankly in Love comes a contemporary YA rom-com where a case of mistaken identity kicks off a string of (fake) events that just may lead …

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Edgewood

Title: Edgewood

Author: Kristin Ciccarelli

Series: Standalone

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 400

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5/5)

*I received an ARC of Edgewood by Kristin Ciccarelli through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “No matter how far she runs, the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark. The scent of damp earth curls into her nose when she sings and moss creeps across the stage. It’s as if the woods of her childhood, shrouded in folklore and tall tales, are trying to reclaim her. But Emeline has no patience for silly superstitions.

When her grandfather disappears, leaving only a mysterious orb in his wake, the stories Emeline has always scoffed at suddenly seem less foolish. She enters the forest she has spent years trying to escape, only to have Hawthorne Fell, a handsome and brooding tithe collector, try to dissuade her from searching.

Refusing to be deterred, Emeline finds herself drawn to the court of the fabled Wood King himself. She makes a deal—her voice for her grandfather’s freedom. Little does she know, she’s stumbled into the middle of a curse much bigger than herself, one that threatens the existence of this eerie world she’s trapped in, along with the devastating boy who feels so familiar.

With the help of Hawthorne—an enemy turned reluctant ally who she grows closer to each day—Emeline sets out to not only save her grandfather’s life, but to right past wrongs, and in the process, discover her true voice.

Haunting and romantic, Kristen Ciccarelli’s Edgewood is an exciting novel from a bold, unforgettable voice in fantasy.”

Review: In terms of genre, a romance filled fantasy novel is pretty much at the top of my list. So while Edgewood already meets that criteria, let me go into more detail and explain how it compares the many other fantasy romances that exist.

The premise of Edgewood was pretty interesting too me, a girl who is drawn to a fantasy realm. Although it’s familiar, it’s not so familiar to me that it feels like a trope. Compared to other fantasy novels, it’s more romance heavy and though the magic of this world is still really interesting and plays a big part in the story, it’s not as fantasy heavy as the “real world” still exists in this story.

What I am about to say next may sound negative, but I mean it in the best of ways. This books reads like a wattpad story. I don’t mean to say that this sounds unprofessional, but rather it’s one of those easily digestible romances that is also such a page turner. It’s almost addicting and makes you want more. However, if you’re looking for a book that makes you question life or has you analyzing every other sentence, this probably isn’t the story for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an adventurous, fast-paced, romance, you should definitely pick this one up!

Frankly in Love

*I received a copy of Frankly in Love from PenguinTeen, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule …

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The Dating Dare

*I received an ARC of The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Jayci Lee, author of A Sweet Mess, returns with The Dating Dare—her next witty, chemistry-filled romantic comedy. Tara Park doesn’t do serious relationships. Neither does she hop into bed with virtual …

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A Sweet Mess

Synopsis: “Korean-American author Jayci Lee delights with this delicious and light-hearted romantic comedy that readers will devour and ask for more. Bake a chance on love. Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When …

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These Hollow Vows

*I received an ARC of These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously …

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Cast in Secrets and Shadow

*I received an ARC of Cast in Secrets and Shadow by Andrea Robertson through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Game of Thrones meets An Ember in the Ashes in the second book in this action-packed fantasy from Andrea Robertson, the internationally bestselling author of the Nightshade series. Ara has …

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Forged in Fire and Stars

Synopsis: “Ara has always known about the legend of the Loresmith: the blacksmith who served alongside the kings and queens of every generation to protect the kingdom. It was her fate to inherit the title–though she never truly believed it would come to pass since the monarchy’s downfall years before. But when the lost Princess …

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Four Treasures of The Sky

Title: Four Treasures of The Sky

Author: Jenny Tinghui Zhang

Series: Standalone

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Rating: ★★★★☆

*I received an ARC of Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “A propulsive and dazzling debut novel set against the backdrop of the Chinese Exclusion Act, about a Chinese girl fighting to claim her place in the 1880s American West

Daiyu never wanted to be like the tragic heroine for whom she was named, revered for her beauty and cursed with heartbreak. But when she is kidnapped and smuggled across an ocean from China to America, Daiyu must relinquish the home and future she imagined for herself. Over the years that follow, she is forced to keep reinventing herself to survive. From a calligraphy school, to a San Francisco brothel, to a shop tucked into the Idaho mountains, we follow Daiyu on a desperate quest to outrun the tragedy that chases her. As anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country in a wave of unimaginable violence, Daiyu must draw on each of the selves she has been—including the ones she most wants to leave behind—in order to finally claim her own name and story.

At once a literary tour de force and a groundbreaking work of historical fiction, Four Treasures of the Sky announces Jenny Tinghui Zhang as an indelible new voice. Steeped in untold history and Chinese folklore, this novel is a spellbinding feat.”

Review: If you look at the books I have read, it would be clear I don’t read many like this. However, as a Chinese American, this was a story I both wanted and needed to hear.

First of all, this is not a feel good read. If you plan to read this story beware of potential triggers like rape, racial slurs, and hangings. It can be hard to read, especially knowing that despite all the time that has passed, history has a way of repeating itself and that despite the leaps and bounds we have made in technology, our society’s values hasn’t quite done the same.

Despite this being a difficult read, I still appreciated it because I can connect to this story. Not necessarily the characters themselves, but just the sheer fact that I know Feng means wind or other Chinese references.

Finding out that this story is based on real historical events was shocking, because like the author I wasn’t ever fully taught the extent of hate and racism Chinese people in America have faced. I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that there was some hatred, but I still never knew about the actual events that occurred, so I am also grateful to learn a little more about Asian American history.

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes:

  • “My mother spoke of the sea with romance, my father with reverence, my grandmother with caution. I felt none of those things.”
  • “These were my favorite memories of my time at home—being cared for and loved by all of them, every sign of that love passed on through the things they taught me.”
  • “In the list of things that I have lost, I add myself.”

The Summer of Lost Letters

*I received an ARC of The Summer of Lost Letters by Hannah Reynolds through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Ruta Sepetys, this sweet, summery romance set in Nantucket follows seventeen-year-old Abby Schoenberg as she uncovers a secret about her …

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The Cruelest Mercy

*I received an ARC of The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “In this sequel to The Kinder Poison–which People magazine proclaimed a “delicious high-stakes adventure”–the magical kingdom of Orkena is on the brink of war, and the only person who can …

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The Kinder Poison

Synopsis: “Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown. Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s …

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Heartbreakers and Fakers

*I received an ARC of Heartbreaker and Fakers by Cameron Lund through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the author of The Best Laid Plans comes another fresh voiced, hilarious rom-com perfect for fans of Tweet Cute and The Rest of the Story. Penny Harris just ruined her life. As one of …

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We Are Inevitable

*I received an ARC of We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “‘I got this whole-body feeling… it was like a message from future me to present me, telling me that in some way we weren’t just bound to happen, that …

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All My Rage

Title: All My Rage

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Series: Standalone

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: ★★★★★

*I received an ARC of All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.

Lahore, Pakistan. Then.

Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.

Juniper, California. Now.

Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.

Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.

When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.

From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.”

Review: First of all I cannot get over how beautiful Sabaa Tahir writes. Sometimes books don’t need beautiful words, I can enjoy them for the plot alone. However. I can tell when an author is great at evoking feelings and images because I want to highlight every other sentence in the book.

The story switches between the perspective of Sal, Noor, and Sal’s mother: Misbah. Each bring their own unique perspective and their feelings flood their respective chapters. Although I haven’t experienced many of the things these three have, they each bring emotions or thoughts that are so relatable.

There are many trigger warnings that Sabaa Tahir mentions at the start of the novel, so please check that out before starting the novel! Otherwise, I would say this is a beautifully written, slightly tragic, romance that illustrates some of the harder emotions that life can bring. So, if you’re ready for a beautifully written, heart wrenching story, this is for you!

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Hope was, in fact, a shit strategy.”
  • “I’d forgotten how crying hollows you out, drains away all the shit, and leaves everything clearer.”

Better Together

*I received an ARC of Better Together by Christine Riccio through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Jamie’s an aspiring standup comic in Los Angeles with a growing case of stage anxiety. Siri’s a stunning ballerina from New Jersey nursing a career-changing injury.They’ve both signed up for the …

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Slingshot

*I received an ARC of Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Grace Welles had resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid …

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The Prison Healer

*I received an ARC of The Prison Healer through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer. When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged …

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Fireborne & Flamefall

*I received an ARC of Flamefall through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* FIREBORNE: Synopsis: “Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone–even the lowborn–a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders. Now they are both rising stars in …

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Renegade Flight

*I received an ARC of Renegade Flight by Andrea Tang through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Aurora Rising meets Top Gun, with the addition of cybernetic dragons, in this is the witty, romantic, and electrifying sci-fi novel by Andrea Tang. Viola Park’s life is over. She’s gone from …

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A Queen of Gilded Horns

*I received an ARC of A Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “In this sequel to A River of Royal Blood, Eva and Isa must find a way to work together if they want to save their queendom in the thrilling …

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Servant Mage

Title: Servant Mage

Author: Kate Elliot

Series: n/a

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic

Pages: 176

Publisher: Tor

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*I received an ARC of Servant Mage by Kate Elliot through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “Fellian is a Lamplighter, able to provide illumination through magic. A group of rebel Monarchists free her from indentured servitude and take her on a journey to rescue trapped compatriots from an underground complex of mines.

Along the way they get caught up in a conspiracy to kill the latest royal child and wipe out the Monarchist movement for good.

But Fellian has more than just her Lamplighting skills up her sleeve…

In Kate Elliott’s Servant Mage, a lowly fire mage finds herself entangled in an empire-spanning conspiracy on her way to discovering her true power.”

Review: I love that so many fantasy novels come in series because you can really become immersed in another world. Although I think the premise of this story is pretty interesting, I didn’t get completely hooked into this story, so I’m definitely hoping that the books following this one in the series will bring more to the table.

Reading this story made it very clear that this was the first in a series. Although that’s not exactly a bad thing, it does make me wish I knew more about the main character as well as want to see how the plot progresses. Essentially I had a slight cloud of confusion while reading this story that I hope the future books will help clear up.

Cover: ★★★★☆

Favorite Quotes:

  • “As Grandmother often said, ‘What you believe you know of another’s thoughts is generally just your own hanging in front of you.’”

Our Chemical Hearts

Title: Our Chemical Hearts Author: Krystal Sutherland Series: Standalone Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, Mental Health Pages: 320 Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Rating: ★★★★☆ *I received a copy of Our Chemical Hearts through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Henry Page has never …

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The Queen’s Secret

*I received an ARC of The Queen’s Secret by Melissa de la Cruz through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Lilac’s birthright makes her the Queen of Renovia, and a forced marriage made her the Queen of Stavin. But being a ruler does not mean making the …

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The Wide Starlight

*I received an ARC of  The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “The Hazel Wood meets The Astonishing Color of After in this dreamy, atmospheric novel that follows sixteen-year-old Eli as she tries to remember what truly happened the night her mother disappeared off …

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Stormbreak

*I received an ARC of Stormbreak by Natalie C. Parker through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “In this epic conclusion to the Seafire trilogy, which Booklist called “Mad Max by way of Davy Jones,” Caledonia Styx will risk everything–her heart, her crew, and even her life–to defeat Lir and …

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City of the Uncommon Thief

*I received an ARC of City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynne Bertrand through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “A dark and intricate fantasy, City of the Uncommon Thief is the story of a quarantined city gripped by fear and of the war that can free it. “Guilders …

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shine your icy crown

*I received an ARC of shine your icy crown by Amanda Lovelace through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “‘Make them rue the day they underestimated you.’ This is a story about not letting society dictate the limits of your potential. it’s time to take back your …

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How to Love Your Neighbor

Title: How to Love Your Neighbor

Author: Sophie Sullivan

Series: Standalone

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Fiction

Pages: 352

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*I received an ARC of How to Love Your Neighbor through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “Interior Design School? Check. Cute house to fix up? Check.

Sexy, grumpy neighbor who is going to get in the way of your plans? Check. Unfortunately.

Grace Travis has it all figured out. In between finishing school and working a million odd jobs, she’ll get her degree and her dream job. Most importantly, she’ll have a place to belong, something her harsh mother could never make. When an opportunity to fix up—and live in—a little house on the beach comes along, Grace is all in. Until her biggest roadblock moves in next door.

Noah Jansen knows how to make a deal. As a real estate developer, he knows when he’s found something special. Something he could even call home. Provided he can expand by taking over the house next door–the house with the combative and beautiful woman living in it.

With the rules for being neighborly going out the window, Grace and Noah are in an all-out feud. But sometimes, your nemesis can show you that home is always where the heart is.”

Review: A fun and spark-filled romcom! I’m a sucker for a good romance, and though I can’t say this is one of my favorite romance novels, it was still a fun read overall. It’s a perfect read for a sunny day in the park!

If you’re looking for a lighthearted read that has some great tension and fun characters, this is for you! I really enjoyed the situation that was set up! Though of course, the plot itself was somewhat predictable, it simply brings a new twist on the neighbor/boy next door trope.

The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was the voice of the Noah. I had a hard time believing someone would speak that way (it was just a bit too poetic or perfectly spoken in my opinion). That was really the only reason I found the story a bit cheesy. However, I tend to forgive it a bit given that this was a quick romance read.

Cover: ★★★★★

Winterkeep

*I received an ARC of Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Something is rotten in the heart of Winterkeep… Four years after Bitterblue left off, a new land has been discovered to the east: Torla; and the closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep. Winterkeep …

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Crown of Bones

*I received an ARC of  Crown of Bones by A. K. Wilder through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Raise. Your. Phantom. For fans of epic fantasies and sweeping adventures, this ensemble cast will immerse you in a world of unique magic, breathtaking action and unforgettable characters. …

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The Lost Manuscript

Title: The Lost Manuscript Author: Cathy Bonidan Series: Standalone Genre: Adult, Fiction, Romance Pages: 288 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Rating: ★★★★☆ *I received an ARC of The Lost Manuscript: A Novel by Cathy Bonidan through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Cathy Bonidan’s The Lost Manuscript is a charming …

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Lore

*I received an ARC of Lore by Alexandra Bracken through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love and redemption. Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past …

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The Camelot Betrayal

Title: The Camelot Betrayal Author: Kiersten White Series: Camelot Rising #2 Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Historical Fiction Publisher: Delacorte Press Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “The second book in a …

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A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse books Anthology

Title: A Universe of Wishes Author: Dhonielle Clayton (Editor), Samira Ahmed (Author), Libba Bray (Author), Zoraida Córdova (Author), Tessa Gratton (Author), Kwame Mbalia (Author), Anna-Marie McLemore (Author), Tochi Onyebuchi (Author), Mark Oshiro (Author), Natalie C. Parker (Author), Rebecca Roanhorse (Author), V.E. Schwab (Author), Tara Sim (Author), Nic Stone (Author) Series: Anthology, some short stories are connected to stories/series outside of this collection Genre: Anthology, Short Stories, Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Science Fiction, Romance, Retelling Pages: 416 Publisher: Random House Children’s …

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Echos and Empires

Title: Echoes and Empires

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Series: Echoes and Empires #1

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Science Fiction

Pages: 400

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5/5)

*I received an ARC of Echoes and Empires through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.”

Review: What a great start to a series! If you’re looking for a fun fantasy that has some romance, drama, adventure, and some crazy plot twists, this is for you!

I love when stories catch me off guard and this one definitely pulled quite a few twists! I started the first few chapters thinking this might turn out to be too predictable, but by the end I had easily missed quite a few large plot twist which made this a much more exciting read!

The magic of this world is unique but seems to follow a familiar guideline. However, this magical world is definitely interesting and I can’t wait to see more details in following books! The same applies to the characters! They all present quite interesting personalities, but I can’t wait to see their growth and more of their complexities as the plot progresses.

The only reason this didn’t reach a full 5 stars was because it felt geared for slightly younger readers (as it should be with a 17 year old protagonist!) However if you’re a life longer reader of YA, like me, it can feel a little youthful (which is to no fault of its own!)

Cover: ★★★★★

More Than We Bargained For

Title: More Than We Bargained For Author: Fiona West Series: Timber Falls #4 Genre: Romance, Contemporary Publisher: Tempest and Kite Publishing Rating: ★★★★★ Synopsis: ” Wanted: renter for rural Oregon mountain lodge. Single mom divorcees named Starla preferred. Starla Moore despises a mystery, and there’s no bigger mystery than Sawyer Devereaux. He comes into the …

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Pistouvi

Title: Pistouvi Author: Merwan, Bertrand Gatignol Series: Standalone Genre: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Comic Book Pages: 192 Publisher: Magnetic Press Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Pistouvi by Merwan through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Jeanne is a little girl who lies with …

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Love & Olives

Title: Love & Olives Author: Jenna Evans Welch Series: Love & Gelato #3 Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction Pages: 352 Publisher: Simon Pulse Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From the New York …

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A Golden Fury

*I received an ARC of A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: Set in eighteenth century England, Samantha Cohoe’s debut novel, A GOLDEN FURY (Wednesday Books; October 13, 2020), follows a young alchemist as she tries to save the people she …

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Breathless

*I received an ARC of Breathless by Jennifer Niven through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “From Jennifer Niven, the New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places, comes an unforgettable new novel about a sensitive girl ready to live her bravest life–sex, heartbreak, family dramas, and all. …

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Secret Legacy

Title: Secret Legacy Author: Carissa Andrews Series: The Windhaven Witches #1 Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Suspense Pages: 289 Publisher: Author Revolution LLC Rating: ★★★★☆ *I received an ARC of Secret Legacy by Carissa Andrews through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Family Secrets Shrouded in Death. An …

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The Excalibur Curse

Title: The Excalibur Curse

Author: Kiersten White

Series: Camelot Rising #3

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Retelling, Mythology, Romance

Pages: 278

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★☆

*I received an ARC of The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*

Synopsis: “The gripping conclusion to the acclaimed Arthurian fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White finds Guinevere questioning everything—friends and enemies, good and evil, and, most of all, herself.

While journeying north toward the Dark Queen, Guinevere falls into the hands of her enemies. Behind her are Lancelot, trapped on the other side of the magical barrier they created to protect Camelot, and Arthur, who has been led away from his kingdom, chasing after false promises. But the greatest danger isn’t what lies ahead of Guinevere—it’s what’s been buried inside her.

Vowing to unravel the truth of her past with or without Merlin’s help, Guinevere joins forces with the sorceress Morgana and her son, Mordred—and faces the confusing, forbidden feelings she still harbors for him. When Guinevere makes an agonizing discovery about who she is and how she came to be, she finds herself with an impossible choice: fix a terrible crime, or help prevent war.

Guinevere is determined to set things right, whatever the cost. To defeat a rising evil. To remake a kingdom. To undo the mistakes of the past…even if it means destroying herself.

Guinevere has been a changeling, a witch, a queen—but what does it mean to be just a girl?”

Review: The FINALE. After the ending of The Camelot Betrayal, The Excalibur Curse picks up where they left off and brings you right back into the chaos and drama of this Arthurian universe.

Honestly, I forgot a bit of the context of the previous stories, but it was easy to get back into the world as each line brought back memories and landscapes, etc. Like the previous, the plot is full of magic, adventure, and growth.

This is such a beautiful story of growth and Guinevere’s exploration of herself and her relationships. While it’s fun to get swept up with the adventure and magic of it all, I found this story so beautiful because of finally seeing the deeper thoughts and feelings of Guinevere.

Cover: ★★★★★

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Only those without honor doubt the honor of everyone around them.”
  • “Sometimes we have to be false in order to be true.”
  • “It is hard to show something to someone who refuses to look.
  • “Kindness could be just as powerful, just as useful as force.”
  • “We may have come from them, but we are not like them.”
  • “please do not forget that if every life has value, yours does, too.”
  • “Things do not have to be perfect to be good,”

Somebody Give This Heart a Pen

Title: Somebody Give This Heart A Pen Author: Sophia Thakur Series: standalone Genre: Poetry, Young Adult, Romance, Empowerment, Relationship Pages: 112 Publisher: Candlewick Press Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Somebody Give This Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “A …

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The Four Profound Weaves

Title: The Four Profound Weaves Author: R.B. Lemberg Series: Birdverse Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, LGBTQ+ Pages: 192 Publisher: Tachyon Publications Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of  The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Wind: To match one’s body …

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Wayward Witch

Title: Wayward Witch Author: Zoraida Córdova Series: Brooklyn Brujas #3 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal Pages: 384 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “Rose Mortiz has always been a fixer, …

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Fable

Title: Fable Author: Adrienne Young Series: Fable #1 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Adventure Pages: 368 Publisher: Wednesday Books Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Fable by Adrienne Young through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: “As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, …

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Teen Titans: Beast Boy

Title: Teen Titans: Beast Boy Author: Kami Garcia Illustrator: Gabriel Picolo Series: Teen Titans #2 Genre: Young Adult, Comic, Graphic Novel, Superhero, Fantasy, DC Comics Pages: 208 Publisher: DC Ink Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo through Netgalley, but this in no way affected …

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Vicious Spirits

Title: Vicious Spirits Author: Kat Cho Series: Gumiho #2 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal Pages: 429 Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Rating: ★★★★★ *I received an ARC of Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.* Synopsis: …

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