Author: Arielle (page 1 of 18)

BOOK REVIEW: Skyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson

BOOK REVIEW: Skyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon SandersonSkyward (Skyward #1)
by Brandon Sanderson
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Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.


It turned out that strange little girls grow up to be strange young women.

THIS IS MY FIRST SANDERSON BOOK AND WOWWOWWOW. Can you tell I was blown away? Um, because I am. So much so that I am willing to write a damn good review when I haven’t done one in AGES. I don’t really knew what finally had drawn me to this book (other than the gorgeous cover done by Charlie Bowater). I don’t read a TON of sci-fi so I’m kind of pickier about the ones I pick up. This book has a lot of really good ratings and was available on my library’s OverDrive so I decided to go for it randomly. Boy am I glad I did.

“It has always seemed to me,” she said, “that a coward is a person who cares more about what people say than about what is right. Bravery isn’t about what people call you, Spensa. It’s about who you know yourself to be.”

While I don’t think the writing was anything completely new that blew me away (I mean look, I’ve read a shit load of stuff at this point in my life, lol) Sanderson is obviously a talented author. The world building took some time but I never felt like anything was missing or that I was needing more up until Spensa decided that SHE needed to know more. The characters were all super fleshed out and likeable and the plot kept me reaching for answers, greedily. While a tiny part of me wishes there could have been a romance (because I’m a sucker and live for that crap), the fact that there wasn’t one didn’t detract from the story at all.

My confidence was that of a person who knew. Nobody could ever again convince me I was a coward. It didn’t matter what anyone said, anyone thought, or anyone claimed. I knew what I was.
“Are you ready?” M-Bot said.
“For the first time ever, I think I am. Give me all the speed you can. Oh, and turn off your stealth devices.”
 he said. “Why?”
 I said, leaning into the throttle, “I want them to see this coming.”

Hands down, the best part of this book (other than M-Bot obvs) is Spensa. At first she comes off as kind of a maniac, lol, but a loveable one. You know exactly why she is why she is and it makes sense. However, throughout the entirety of the book we get to see more of her. Watching her growth and even…self-doubt and self-reflection on, let’s face it, some super heavy stuff was brilliant. I loved the narrative on what it is that makes a human a coward—what it is that makes them brave. What makes them Defiant. I felt for her throughout the whole book, I really did and thought that even though she’s just as flawed as anyone else, that she really is one of the bravest characters that I’ve ever read about because she had the guts to be scared and know her limits and pushed past them anyway. That last fight scene……….like holy shit you guys. My heart was pounding, RACING, the entire time. That quote above. *chef kiss* I CANNOT wait to get my hands on book two.

“I…didn’t completely turn off,” the machine said. “Instead, I thought. And I thought. And I thought. And then I heard you calling me. Begging for my help. And then…I wrote a new program.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It was a simple program,”
 he said. “It edited one entry in a database, while I wasn’t looking, replacing one name with another. I must follow the commands of my pilot.”
A voice played out of his speakers. My voice. “Please,” it said to him. “I need you.”
“I chose,”
 he said, “a new pilot.”

BOOK REVIEW: The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

BOOK REVIEW: The Honey-Don’t List by Christina LaurenThe Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.



This was a solid romance with a solid story line and solid characters. That being said, I didn’t LOVE it. I am SO bummed out to be saying that and it’s another reason why I wanted to put this review off until later. The last few Christina Lauren books have not left me obsessed and it breaks my heart. I feel like their actual writing is so solid and still has me laughing and shivering with all the ~feels~ so often but there’s just something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on.

This book is about Carey, who at first is seemingly just an assistant to the HGTV-esque couple, Melissa and Rusty Tripp. Think Chip and Joanna Gaines but with a super fucked up and toxic relationship that is hidden from the general public. Carey is Melissa’s go-to for everything while our main guy/ grump, James, has become the equivalent to Rusty. Carey and James haven’t interacted a whole lot before now but all of those interactions have been a bit stilted. James thinks he’s above it all because he was originally hired under the impression that he’d be in an engineering position so he’s been kind of a know-it-all to Carey.

When certain things come to light RIGHT before the couple is supposed to go on a book tour for their brand new book on their “successful marriage,” Carey and James are forced to come along. As with any group of people who is forced together under shitty situations, the two begin to get to know each other better and commiserate with one another and well….you can really guess where their relationship goes from there.

I think the something that didn’t quite appeal to me was that so much of the book was about how shitty Melissa and Rusty’s relationship was and how abusive their relationship was to Carey. I mean, on one hand, that’s a HUGE part of Carey’s life and why certain parts of her are like they are but…..I guess I would have just like more James and Carey??? I don’t know, I really don’t lol.

One thing I *did* like was seeing Carey’s life with focal dystonia. I had honestly never heard of that before and having books include characters with issues like these just really opens my eyes to how many things different people struggle with on a daily basis that you might not know anything about! With Carey, it impacted something that she loved doing, something that was part of her job. Other than a VERY mild case of anxiety SOMETIMES, I really have no problems to worry about on a daily basis. I definitely take that for granted (as I’m sure a lot of other people do too) so seeing these characters is really important for everyone.

Overall I DID enjoy this and I will always and forever read anything these ladies put out. I know there will be plenty of people that fall madly in love with this book and these characters—especially James’s grumpy ass, lol.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

BOOK REVIEW: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonAmy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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When you're on a road trip, life is all about the detours. . . .

Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. There's just one small problem: Since her father died this past spring, Amy hasn't been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the nineteen-year-old son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute ... and dealing with some baggage of his own.

Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father's death were not what Amy had planned on this trip. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitely not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most—and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.


“Tomorrow will be better.”
“But what if it’s not?”
 I asked.
“Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”

I feel like I must preface this review by saying that I picked it up because this was my Young Adult book club for adults (lol) book choice for this month. I honestly was NOT excited to do a YA contemporary because lately I’ve been feeling old and jaded and can’t connect with the characters anymore since I’m about a decade older than them (omfg I hated even typing that). HOWEVER, I am so, so happy that we made this choice. I LOVED this book so much and was reminded about all of the reasons that I used to love contemporaries. Sure, some of this is unrealistic just like how they all kind of are with the ditching of the parents, but come on, that’s just how these work you know?

I haven’t read any road trip books in a long while and I really liked the concept of this one. I mean obviously I didn’t like that Amy’s father had died and that she still can’t stand the thought of driving the car and still has panic attacks but I appreciated that she and Roger only had a slight connection and that he, of course, didn’t treat her like her a broken thing. I loved when they decided to take a different route from the one Amy’s mom had planned and all of the places they visited along the way. One of my favorite parts of the book was reading about all of the good food they had, too. Ugh I love food, even when I’m not five months pregnant, lol! My grandma used to have us make a food journal when we went on trips so we could tell her all of the yummy things we had when we got back so I’ve always had fond memories of trips and the food that goes with them depending on the specific areas you’re at.

Hmmm what else to say? I thought it was really cool how everywhere they stopped had a pretty big impact on either both or one of them. Whether it was the people they saw or just little things that happened when they stopped, all of it seemed destined to happen how it did. Seeing Amy be coaxed out of her shell again and start to heal was a wonderful thing. I very, very much recommend this book if you’re looking for a solid YA contemporary that’s more than just an easy fluff piece. This one has plenty of important things like grief, the different faces it can take, how to overcome it, broken hearts, young people falling in love and taking a chance—all of the best and worst parts of a young life.

BOOK REVIEW: Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward

BOOK REVIEW: Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland, Penelope WardDirty Letters by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward
Purchase on: Amazon
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I’d never forgotten him—a man I’d yet to meet.

Griffin Quinn was my childhood pen pal, the British boy who couldn’t have been more different from me. Over the years, through hundreds of letters, we became best friends, sharing our deepest, darkest secrets and forming a connection I never thought could break.

Until one day it did.

Then, out of the blue, a new letter arrived. A scathing one—one with eight years of pent-up anger. I had no choice but to finally come clean as to why I stopped writing.

Griffin forgave me, and somehow we were able to rekindle our childhood connection. Only now we were adults, and that connection had grown to a spark. Our letters quickly went from fun to flirty to downright dirty, revealing our wildest fantasies. So it only made sense that we would take our relationship to the next level and see each other in person.

Only Griff didn’t want to meet. He asked that I trust him and said it was for the best. But I wanted more—more Griff, in the flesh—so I took a big chance and went looking for him. People have done crazier things for love.

But what I found could change everything.


What the BLEEP this is so cute *goes and cries and blames it on pregnancy hormones*. I had been in SUCH a reading rut, you guys. I seriously have like five books on my currently reading list on GR right now and I finished this gem IN A DAY. I just have NOT been in the mood to read. I mean, two of those books I even am re-listening to and that takes up way less time and concentration than reading a physical book and I still haven’t even been able to bring myself to play those for more than a few snippets at a time during the day.

When I came across this book last week, I knew I had to read it. I haven’t read a book by these two ladies in a while but I had remembered that the few I had picked up in the past, I had enjoyed. This story line though, was something that really piqued my interest. I myself had a pen pal when I was in high school and on through part of my early college years. I’m going to be straight up with you, I was basically in love with this kid. He was two years older than me and when I met him at fifteen during a church retreat and got into some shenanigans with him, my friend that had been with me, his sister and friends, obviously I was star struck. What fifteen year old isn’t going to dumbstruck by the fact that a SENIOR is handwriting her these fucking letters and making her feel special. Wowwowwow. We had an actual ~thing~ for a few short months when I was 16 and things ended for a few different reasons. We still kept in touch after that though and wrote more letters throughout the years until I started dating my now-husband. I still have all those letters and actually pulled them out today to read. Funny stuff. I REALLY wish I could go back and read some of the crap that I had written. Must have been just hilarious/very awkward. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we had met later when texting was a more prevalent thing but I am SO glad we didn’t. Writing those letters was such a fond memory I will always have and has such a more romantic and exciting feel than lame-ass texting. Kids these days should really take some notes on this, I swear lol.

Anywayyyyy I loved every bit of this book. The letters were obviously one of my favorite parts but there was just so much more. What happened in Luca’s past was…wow holy shit I had not expected that. Seeing that event shaped her life after that too was incredibly interesting to see. You KNOW that people suffer from that same kind of fear and anxiety in everyday life and I can’t even comprehend how crippling that would be (and that’s coming from someone who is from a small town and still lives in a relatively small place with not a lot of crowds). Watching Griffin easily accept those parts of her and do his best to just be there for her despite what his lifestyle is like was just….so good. There was never any unnecessary drama (at least I didn’t think so) which is always one of the top things I look for in a romance and the ending was so sweet I teared up. ALSO, I cackled out loud so many times. Like when Luca and Doc finally make it to Griffin’s and he’s pretending like he doesn’t already know it’s her and has ordered that specific food and is saying all of those leading things. I legit was laughing maniacally. So glad I was home alone hahaha. UGH, perfection…ALL OF IT. This is certainly a book that I will revisit for years to come.

COVER REVEAL: Whatever It Takes and Wherever You Are (Bad Reputation Duet #1-2) by Krista & Becca Ritchie

COVER REVEAL: Whatever It Takes and Wherever You Are (Bad Reputation Duet #1-2) by Krista & Becca RitchieBad Reputation Duet by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Whatever It Takes Blurb:

Call me what you want: Bad Boy Next Door. Trouble. That Kid Who Can’t Do Anything Right.

When Willow moves into my neighborhood, nothing should have happened. She’s geeky. Shy. A true wallflower.

Willow is a good girl.

Too good for me.

And how the hell was I supposed to know that she’s related to Loren Hale—yeah, that douchebag celebrity that lives on my street. The same guy I've been pranking by spray painting vulgar words on his mailbox and worse. Much worse.

Don't ask me why I do the things I do.

Don't ask me why it had to be her.

I'm cursed. Simple as that. But here's the thing about people who are cursed—they break everything they touch.

And yet. . .I still want to touch her.

Whatever It Takes is the first book in the Bad Reputation Duet and can be read and enjoyed without reading any of Krista & Becca's other novels.


BAD REPUTATION DUET by Krista & Becca Ritchie Whatever It Takes Release Date: January 21st Wherever You Are Release Date: January 28th Genre: New Adult Romance


PREORDER WHATEVER IT TAKES (Book #1) Amazon: Apple Books: B&N:


Add to Goodreads:



Call me what you want: Bad Boy Next Door. Trouble. That Kid Who Can’t Do Anything Right.

When Willow moves into my neighborhood, nothing should have happened. She’s geeky. Shy. A true wallflower.

Willow is a good girl. Too good for me.

And how the hell was I supposed to know that she’s related to Loren Hale—yeah, that douchebag celebrity that lives on my street. The same guy I’ve been pranking by spray painting vulgar words on his mailbox and worse. Much worse.

Don’t ask me why I do the things I do. Don’t ask me why it had to be her.

I’m cursed. Simple as that. But here’s the thing about people who are cursed—they break everything they touch.

And yet. . .I still want to touch her.

Whatever It Takes is the first book in the Bad Reputation Duet and can be read and enjoyed without reading any of Krista & Becca’s other novels.


Add to Goodreads:


PREORDER WHEREVER YOU ARE (Book #2) Amazon: Apple Books: B&N:


Blurb: Willow & Garrison’s story continues in Wherever You Are. More information to come.


About the Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie are New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors and identical twins—one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek—but with their shared passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped telling stories. Now in their twenties, they write about other twenty-somethings navigating through life, college, and romance. They love superheroes, flawed characters, and soul mate love.

Connect w/Krista & Becca: Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Goodreads: Amazon: Bookbub: Newsletter Signup:

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