Category: Giveaway (page 1 of 26)

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

I am so excited to be on this tour because Fake It Till You Break was beyond adorable! So check out my review below and enter a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. NguyenFake It Till You Break by Jenn P. Nguyen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.

After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time―and then they’ll be free.

It’s the perfect plan - except that it turns out maybe Mia and Jake don’t hate each other as much as they once thought…

Review:

Fake It Till You Break It was absolutely adorable!  If you’re looking for a book that will make you smile and laugh, then look no further.  This hate to love and fake romance story was a ton of fun.  I got sucked in right away and I loved how it all unfolded.  So if you’re a fan of YA romance, Kasie West or cute movies like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, then you definitely have to pick this one up!

When he hooked his pinkie against mine, I couldn’t help remembering all the times we had done this when we were kids. All the promises and secrets. Then it all went away.
We haven’t been friends for nearly ten years, but today it felt like we never stopped. And I was glad some things never changed.

Mia and Jake had known each other since they were babies.  Their moms were bbfs and just knew that their children were destined to fall madly in love someday.  So both of their mom’s made numerous attempts to make their dreams come true.  And it was all over the top.  It was impossible not to laugh or roll my eyes at their crazy antics.  But all of their efforts were in vain since Mia and Jake became enemies over the year.  In an attempt to get their moms off their backs, they decided to fake date and then break up.  That way they’d never get shoved together again.

A small smile played on his lips. “Good night, Brat.”
“Good night.” The way he said “Brat” this time didn’t sound like an insult anymore. It almost sounded . . . nice. Sweet. Like an endearment.
Oh, God, what was wrong with me? This was Jake. He wasn’t nice or sweet. Ever.

I liked both Mia and Jake from the start!  Mia could be so sarcastic, but she felt like the sweet, girl next door.  Well except when she liked to mess with Jake, which was hilarious.  And even though Jake messed with Mia too, it was impossible not fall for him.  He was such a good guy who was not only kind, but thoughtful.  Jake also had this boy next door vibe, even though he was a neat freak.  So when I watched Mia and Jake interact, I realized they could be such good friends to each other.  Well, when they wanted to be lol.

“For future reference, that’s what a kiss on the cheek is supposed to be.”
Not sure why, but the kiss took me by surprise . I stared at Mia for a moment before finally pushing her away.

When Mia and Jake pretended to date, they could be so awkward.  Yet they knew each other inside out.  There was a comfort level to them that made them smile.  I loved that not only did they tolerate each other but they had fun together.  But to make their relationship believable, there had to be touching and kissing.  And when they threw that into the mix, lines between them became completely blurred.  It should have just been pretend.  What they felt for each other wasn’t real right?  But if that was the case, then why were they excited to see each other next?

Jake pulled back slightly, and the cool air hit me in my face, bringing me back to reality. My head swirled like I had stood up too fast. What the heck just happened?

This book was so much fun, that when I was in the middle of reading this story, I went and bought Jenn P Ngyen’s other book!  So if you love fake romance, hate to love and adorable stories then you definitely have pick this one up.  It kept me smiling and laughing till the last page and I can’t wait to read this author’s other book!

He let out a short laugh as he reached out to touch my arm. “To be honest, I want a lot of things. But at top of the list is that I always want to see you.”

PS I would LOVE to read Finn’s story!!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

 

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About Jenn Nguyen:

Jenn Nguyen fell in love with books in third grade and spent the rest of her school years reading through lunchtime and giving up recess to organize the school library. She has a degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans and still lives in the city with her husband. Jenn spends her days reading, dreaming up YA romances, and binge watching Korean dramas all in the name of ‘research’.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

 

 

Review:

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COVER REVEAL + GIVEAWAY: Superfan (Brooklyn Bruisers #6) by Sarina Bowen

I am SO excited to present the cover of Superfan, the latest book in Sarina Bowen's Brooklyn Bruisers series. I was so glad when Silas started to play a bigger part in the later books and I am dying to find out what his story is about!

COVER REVEAL + GIVEAWAY: Superfan (Brooklyn Bruisers #6) by Sarina BowenSuperfan (Brooklyn Bruisers #6)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis:

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart.

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.

Excerpt:

“Would you like a beer?” the cute bartender asks me.

I glance at the pile of mint leaves on his cutting board and hesitate. “Sure,” I say. But the mint looks so fresh and pretty.

“I could make you something different.”

“Beer is great. A cold…”

“—lager,” he finishes. “No glass, no opener.”

When I look up to flash him a smile, my heart does a little somersault. Those kind eyes are smiling at me, too. “Thank you,” I whisper.

“It’s really no problem.” He turns toward the beer cooler. “You’re an easy customer, trust me.”

But I really meant—thank you for remembering. As he leans down to grab a bottle for me, I find myself admiring the strong muscles in his back. Stop it, I admonish myself. It only gets worse when he turns around and places the bottle in front of me. I’ve never seen hands like his. I didn’t even know wrists could look muscular.

Even so. Ogling him is not why I came here. I pull out my keychain opener and remove the cap from my beer.

He discards it, gives me another pleasant smile and then picks up his paring knife again.

I take a sip, wondering when he’s going to mention my show at the Coconut Club. He was there. I saw him.

He separates some mint leaves from their stems and says nothing.

I last about seventeen seconds. “Well?”

“Well?” He looks up. “Sorry?”

“Jesus lord.” I close my eyes and then open them again. This is not going how I’d hoped it would. “What did you think?

“Of…?” His amazing eyes are studying me.

“Forget I asked.” I take a swig of beer.

“Think about what?” He pushes the cutting board aside, and his smile turns knowing.

“My set at the Coconut Club! I saw you holding up that wall in the back. Don’t lie.”

He tips his head back and lets out a sudden laugh. “I’m so busted. I loved your show, but I didn’t expect you to spot me.”

“You loved it so much you weren’t going to say anything?” The sentence sounds crazy to my own ears. I put down the beer. “You know what? Never mind. I’m just being psycho right now. This town is getting into my head.”

“Listen, girly.” He braces both (muscular!) hands on the bar and looks me right in the eye. “I loved it so much that I don’t even know what to say about it. From that moment at the beginning—when you shut that asshole’s maw? To the part where you made a lady cry.” He shakes his head. “I couldn’t look away. And I never wanted it to end.”

I give him a slow blink, just trying to take that in. It’s so much more than I was even hoping to hear.

“Shit, Delilah. If that set doesn’t win you whatever contract you’re looking for, they don’t even deserve you.”

Something warm and unfamiliar settles into the center of my belly. “That might be the nicest thing anyone ever said to me. Which only means you’re still trying to get my phone number.”

He laughs immediately. “Can’t both things be true? Both my musical assessment and my interest in your evening plans?”

“Because you know so much about music.” I flip my hair and take another sip of beer.

“Look. I don’t know shit about music. But I know plenty about talent.” He leans down on a set of forearms I shouldn’t be noticing. “I know that talent sometimes takes a nap at just the wrong moment, but it never stays asleep for long. I also know that luck matters, too. If they don’t give you what you want, it won’t be your fucking fault.”

“Thank you,” I say quietly.

But he’s not done. “I saw something else valuable the other night. You’re good in the clinch. And that counts for double, I swear to God.”

“The clinch?”

“Yeah. You’re not just good at practice.” He pauses, wrinkling up his interesting nose. “What word would a musician use? Okay—you’re not a rehearsal musician. That stage was like your home. Either that or you fake it really well. That’s going to pay your rent someday, I promise.”

“Wow.” It’s like he looked right into my terrified little soul and found the very thing I needed to hear. Those beautiful eyes of his are practically burning me right now, so I have to look away. “Thank you. Really. I really needed that pep talk.”

I make the mistake of looking up at him again, and, for a split second, I see pure yearning. It’s like our souls vibrate at exactly the same frequency. And I have no idea what to do with that.

 

Giveaway:

Be the first to read! Three winners (US or Canada) will win early signed paperback copies of Superfan! 

Enter here: https://geni.us/SuperfanGiveaway

 

Superfan will be available for purchase on June 25th, 2019!

About Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of 30 books, including: the True Northseries, co-author of Him/Us and the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy, The Ivy Yearsseries and the Brooklyn BruisersAnd more!
Are you looking for a friends-to-lovers story or maybe even a secret baby book? You can read a list of Sarina’s books broken out by trope and style.
Need to know what’s coming next ? Get all the latest news on Sarina’s website, and sign up for her newsletter so you don’t miss a book or a deal.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Prom-Wrecked by T.H. Hernandez & Jennifer DiGiovanni

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY:  Prom-Wrecked by T.H. Hernandez & Jennifer DiGiovanni

I’m so happy to be on this tour because I LOVED every single thing about this book! So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY:  Prom-Wrecked by T.H. Hernandez & Jennifer DiGiovanniProm-Wrecked by T.H. Hernandez, Jennifer DiGiovanni
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

Their prom night ended in a jail cell with forty of their closest friends. But that’s hardly the worst thing that happened to them…

When the principal announces prom is canceled this year, senior Riley Hart is determined to save it. Armed with little more than her own enthusiasm, she ends up working closely with Owen Locklear, who is more than completely off-limits. Because he’s the boyfriend of her ex-BFF, Catherine Reed. Still, Owen knows Riley better than almost anyone, and his charming ideas for turning the prom upside-down and backward win Riley over.

Catherine is willing to join Owen and Riley on the prom committee, but only because her legacy as prom queen is at stake. She’s already suffocating under the weight of her parents’ expectations for after senior year, and compared to that, ensuring prom happens should be easy. At least until everything starts to go wrong.

First they lose their deposit. Then they book a band full of octogenarians. And lose their venue... Twice.

Riley will have an unforgettable teenage experience, damn it, if it’s the last thing she does…

Review:

Prom-Wrecked was absolutely adorable and impossible to put down!  The characters leaped off of the pages and the story constantly had me wondering what was going to happen next.  Between the characters and the scenes that made me smile, I loved this book!  So if you adore ya romance with complicated friendships, swoon worthy guys, epic disasters and a story that will touch your heart, then definitely pick up Prom Wrecked!

“Please tell me prom isn’t destroyed. Again,” I whisper to myself – Riley

On that very first page was a group of high school kids in jail.  And it was all because their Prom night went horribly wrong.  From there we jumped back two months and watched how it all lead to that fateful day.  It was an insanely crazy ride getting there!  Friendships, betrayal, jealousy, love and finding their true selves was splashed across the pages.  But one of my favorite things was that this book was unlike anything I’ve ever read before since we alternated between two ex-bffs, Riley and Catherine. 

So many people are invested in this prom, and I can’t handle the idea of disappointing them. I stare at Owen, the person I want to disappoint least of all, even if he’s going to the dance with someone else. – Riley

First off we met Riley Hart.  She was passionate, tried her hardest, but she was self-conscious at times.  And while she kind of faded into the background around her classmates, to me she felt like the girl next door.  She was super involved with activities at school, but she had never officially been in charge of anything.  So when Riley found out that her Senior Prom was cancelled, for the first time in her life she took charge of something.  She was going to give her classmates a Prom. And her childhood friend aka the guy she had crushed on forever, Owen, promised to help her out.

The small amount of beer in my system starts to have its way with me, and my eyes sting with tears. “You’re so—” I stop before saying something I’ll regret. I’m not even sure what word would’ve come out if I hadn’t hit pause. Loyal? Good? Beautiful? Super-hot?
Smiling, Owen leans over the arm of his chair and tugs on a loose lock of my hair. “So are you.” – Riley

I absolutely loved Owen Locklear!  While he came across as popular and a great baseball player, I loved that he’d geek out and game with Riley.  They’re gaming talk and banter made my heart race.  And the way Owen and Riley connected had me smiling and swooning.  Especially when Owen tried his hardest to help Riley with Prom.  But there was one tiny problem when it came to Riley and Owen.  Owen was Catherine’s boyfriend.  While I definitely shouldn’t have been lusting for Owen and Riley to kiss, the heart wants what the heart wants…..

His eyes soften, and he reaches over to squeeze my hand. “You’re not a bitch, you know that, right?”
My laugh is more genuine this time. “No. I just play one on TV.” – Catherine and Owen

Ironically, I didn’t connect to Catherine Reed at first.  She came across as a little prissy and she tried so hard to be perfect.  But before I knew it, Catherine became my favorite.  While she was a cheerleader, who seemed destined to be her school’s Prom Queen, there was so much more to her than she showed the world.  Underneath it all was a girl that made my heart clutch for her.  Her relationship with her mom, her relationship with Owen and even her relationship with her friends pulled at my heart.  Catherine was flawed, loveable and I kept rooting for her to figure out her life and truly be happy.  So as the story progressed, I loved watching her grow.  And I loved even more that Jordan had a huge role in helping her out with that.

He’s quiet for so long that I lift my head to turn toward him. He’s studying me with both amusement and something else I can’t quite place.
“What?”
“Just now. You. This is the most real I think you’ve ever been with me. I like it. It looks good on you.”
I turn my face to hide my blush. – Jordan and Catherine

Jordan Oswald snuck up on me, just like Catherine.  Before I knew it, I was obsessed with him and added him to my book boyfriend list.  Jordan was sexy, charming and also inconspicuous at the same time.  He easily captured my heart and it was impossible not to smile when he was around.  So when Jordan and Catherine started to work together, for Prom, I loved their interactions and seeing how their friendship grew.  And again, I found myself wishing for a different couple to form.  This time I was rooting for Jordan and Catherine.  You could feel the electricity and sparks between them, any time they were near each other.

We’re in a jail cell with dozens of our classmates, but somehow all of that fades away until it’s only me and Jordon. He’s solid, safe, and the heat from his body so close to mine erases the goose bumps covering my arms. At least until his dark gaze, serious with intent, locks on mine. Then I get goose bumps for an entirely different reason.

While Riley and Catherine told us this story, Owen and Jordan played such a huge role too.  And I loved all of their dynamics, especially when you threw some jealousy in the mix.  But one of the things I loved most about this group was their perseverance.  They got knocked down again and again, yet we watched them slowly find strength in not only themselves, but with each other.  And by that very last page, I loved seeing just how far Riley and Catherine had come.  Especially since that ending left my heart feeling so happy.  So if you’re a fan of ya romance, that pulls at your heart and has fabulous angst, then you definitely have to check out this book!  It flew right onto my favorites list!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

About the Authors:

Jennifer DiGiovanni writes light fantasy and contemporary fiction for teens. You can find out more about her books by visiting www.jenniferdigiovanni.com or following her on Instagram or Twitter @jendwrites.

Website • Twitter  • Goodreads

T.H. Hernandez is a young adult author of six novels, spanning the contemporary, post-global warming/dystopian, and urban scifi genres. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband, three kids, and a zoo-worthy collection of animals. Her latest release, PROM-WRECKED, was co-written with Jennifer DiGiovanni and releases May 2019 from Entangled Teen.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads


Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad by Cookie O’Gorman

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY:  The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad by Cookie O’GormanThe Good Girl's Guide to Being Bad by Cookie O'Gorman
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Sadie is tired of being a good girl.

Her Career Aptitude Test results say she's ideally suited for a career in the clergy (aka a nun), and on top of that, she receives yet another rejection. An aspiring dancer/choreographer, Sadie dreams of being featured on Dancer's Edge—but they say she's too sweet, needs more life experience. Her BFF, Kyle, and her oldest friend, 79-year-old Betty, agree: Sadie is in desperate need of a life makeover.

But she'll need a coach.

Sadie doesn't lie, cheat or steal--heck she doesn't even curse (part of the reason she hasn't checked off anything on her "Carpe Diem List"). Sadie doesn't know the first thing about being bad. But Kyle's twin brother, Colton, does. And he's willing to teach Sadie on one condition: she has to do everything he says for the next month.

A dazzling first kiss, two smokin' hot brothers and a bet that changes everything. In this enemies-to-more YA romance, Sadie learns:

Breaking the rules can be fun—especially when it leads to happily-ever-after.

Review:

The Good Girls Guide To Being Bad was fun, flirty and absolutely adorable!  Friendship, kisses, lists, banter, first love and jealousy were wrapped into the pages and I loved every minute of it.  With a hate to love vibe and moments that made me laugh so hard I cried, this book easily flew onto my favorites list. So if you’re looking for a YA Romance that is swoon worthy and smile inducing, then this is definitely your book!

Don’t fall for his brother?  Colton Bishop?
That was one promise I was sure I’d have no trouble keeping.

Sadie Day found out she was destined to be a nun, or at least that’s what the aptitude test from school told her.  As if that wasn’t enough, Dancers Edge rejected her. Again. They said she was too nice and in need of life experiences.  Which she kinda did, since Sadie was the ultimate good girl.  She didn’t drink, cuss and and she had never been kissed.  Plus she had been madly in love with her best friend, Kyle Bishop, since the 5th grade.  But her gorgeous best friend had a twin brother. And while Kyle was preppy and clean cut, his twin Colton was a bad boy.  Sadie wanted to change her good girl ways, and Colton could be the perfect person to help her out.

“Gah!  Will you stop calling it that?”
“What?  Your naughty list?” he said innocently.  “I don’t know what you’re so ashamed about.  It’s natural for repressed good girls like you to want to take a walk on the wild side.”

I absolutely loved Sadie!  She was sweet and innocent, but at the same time she could be brave and fierce.  She was someone I’d love to have as a friend!  But watching Sadie try and crack out of her good girl shell rang me through the emotional ringer.  I actually screamed out loud for her, from embarrassment. Where’s a hole in the ground when you need it?!  And then there were times when Sadie’s naiveness had me shouting nooooo and then laughing so hard I’d cry. The whole time, I kept finding myself cheering for Sadie and her journey.  It was impossible not to be glued to the pages.

“Colton?” I said.
“Yeah?”
Okay, deep breath, Sadie.  You can do this. Time to swallow your pride and carpe freaking diem.
“I was hoping you might want to be my kissing partner.”

When Colton finally agreed to help Sadie work on her list, to gain life experiences, I just knew fireworks were in their future.  You see, Sadie’s relationship with Colton wasn’t anything like what she had with Kyle, his twin brother. Colton was Sadie’s arch-nemesis, so there was a strong hate vibe between them.  Banter was ensured and it was impossible not to smile or laugh when they were around each other.  But every once in a while something would happen between them that would have me sighing out loud.  And I’d find myself wishing that they could be more.

When I finally worked up the courage, I followed my instinct and pulled the ring into my mouth, giving it a short tug.
That was when I realized just how much he’d been holding back.
With something like a growl, Colton slanted his mouth over mine, and the kiss went from a slow burn into a wildfire.

It didn’t matter to me that Sadie had been in love with Kyle for forever. That’s because Colton was my favorite type of guy, sigh.  He’s one of those where you have to dig and look for clues, to see who he truly was.  And while he came across as a conceited, cocky, jerk who got into fights and skipped school, he could also be so sweet to Sadie.  So when he stood up for his brother or did things that would steal my breath, how could I not love Colton with everything I was. Colton was the ultimate pierced, bad boy who quickly captured my heart.

The thoughts I was having right before ending the kiss…they were trouble.  The dangerous kind. My heart was getting confused. This was Colton, not Kyle.  I was in love with Kyle. I’d always been in love with him—but then why was my heart still beating so hard after that kiss with his brother?

I love that Cookie O’Gorman writes swoon worthy stories that make you fall in love, laugh and want to be friends with the characters.  I couldn’t stop smiling while I read this book, I cant recommend it enough!  So if you love stories with bad boys, girls you want to be besties with, an adorable storyline and a hate to love vibe then you should definitely check this book out.

He chuckled, the air hitting my neck as he ducked his head.
When Colton leaned back, it was almost worse because now I could see his eyes, and they bore right into mine, seemingly cool and unaffected.  I had no idea what mine revealed, but I hoped it wasn’t too much.

PS If you’ve read Ninja Girl then you may recognize Sadie.  She was a friend of Ash, so yes, we get to see our favorites from not only Ninja Girl, but Adorkable too!

PPS I LOVED Sadie’s other best friend, Betty.  She was hilarious, that woman cracked me up!

About Cookie O’Gorman:

Cookie O’Gorman writes stories filled with humor and heart for the nerd in all of us. Fiery first kisses, snappy dialogue, smart girls, swoonworthy boys, and unbreakable friendships are featured in each of her books.

    Cookie is a hopeless romantic, a Harry Potter aficionado, and a supporter of all things dork. Chocolate, Chinese food, and Asian dramas are her kryptonite. Above all, she believes that real life has enough sorrow and despair—which is why she always tries to give her characters a happy ending. She is the author of Adorkable, Ninja Girl, The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder and The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad.

Website / Amazon / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Giveaway:

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BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY + REVIEW: To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY + REVIEW: To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY + REVIEW: To Best the Boys by Mary WeberTo Best the Boys by Mary Weber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Review:

What do you want?

I want my mum to live.
I want the right to earn an education.
I want to be the first female scientist.
I want to create my own happiness.
I want . . .

Okay this was a really interestingly good book. Like I almost don’t even know how to begin this review???? This is another case of me starting an ARC, being interrupted and reading a million other books, and then finally finishing it. Luckily, I finished the last 52% today all in one sitting so it’s still really resonating with me at this moment.

I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me was the writing. Weber is a new-to-me author so I really had had no idea what to expect. Sometimes though, you can tell right away whether or not you are going to like an author’s writing or not. With this book, I literally was entranced within the first paragraph. I can’t really put my finger on what it is about it but I can tell you right now that it was quality writing. I’m actually really happy I immediately thought of the word entranced to describe it. I think the same can be said about the actual story, too.

Like…..it was just so unique. There were times throughout the book where I found myself very interested in this world that Weber created because it all could feel very foreign at certain points but never in a way that made me feel disconnected. At times the language that was used and customs that were mentioned seemed to be a nod at almost a medieval, old fairy tale kind of place??? They all referred to each other and Miss and Mr and women were expected to just become mothers and wives but then Rhen and her father also worked on vaccines and she experimented on rats and dead bodies and there was a king and also an eccentric old man who no one had ever seen but hosted a game within a labyrinth and all these other things that kind of didn’t make sense together but also weirdly meshed and made sense and the same time. That was an incredibly long and convoluted sentence but that’s also how I felt reading this at times lol. BUT NOT IN A BAD WAY! That’s why it’s so hard to explain!

So basically I’m just going to stop trying so that you can pick this book up for yourself and be sucked into this new world and be entranced yourselves!

I will say this, though. I LOVED the characters. Rhen was so amazing and was a genius (while also having dyslexia and never letting it slow her down). She never tried to be anything other than who she was or tried to pretend like her interests (medicine and science and dead bodies) were any different to impress ANYONE. In fact, I loved that when she was truly happy she seemed to word vomit facts about the human body and it made me laugh and love her a little more every single time. Seleni and Beryll, too, were interesting and well fleshed out and I LOVED how Seleni always supported her cousin to the very end. And Lute. OH LUTE. BBF. Like from the very first time he was mentioned I knew I was going to love him and he never let me or Rhen down. Ugh what a dream boat. 

This, overall, is just purely a tale that warmed my freakin heart. I loved every single bit of Rhen and what she achieved over the course of this book (just all sorts of women empowerment in general). I loved that she didn’t have to sacrifice any bit of her happiness at the end, either. I was worried she might have to for a hot second. I also loved that note from Weber at the end explaining that certain characters were representative of people in her own life (Rhen having dyslexia and Lute’s brother having what seemed like autism to me). So while those things might seem different to other people who have dyslexia or know people with Down syndrome and autism, these specific characters and traits came from the people she knew and loved. I had an uncle with Down syndrome and he lived with my parents and me for the last four years of his life when I was in high school and community college. You don’t know what it’s like to be a caregiver to someone with those special needs unless you actually are one. Even with this challenges and specific quirks, I LOVED having him with us because it meant that I now have a better understanding and love for people with Down syndrome. I loved him more than almost anyone in my entire life so knowing Lute acted as caretaker for his mother and brother like that made me love him so much more than I already did. 

Gotta wrap things up before this gets too crazy long but I also kind of liked that this was a standalone? Or is it??? Seems like it is. I haven’t read a great fantasy standalone in who knows how long but everything was tied up perfectly in my opinion. I very much recommend! 

“You take this world and make it what it should be. And don’t let the beliefs of a backward system define you. You are the one who has to live with the future, baby girl. So you live it. You understand?” 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

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About Mary Weber:
Hi. I write books. I eat things. I kiss things. I believe in mermaids.
 
I’m also the author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series, and the March 2019 release, To Best the Boys. When not working, I sing 80’s hairband songs to my three muggle children, and ogle my husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. We live in California, which is perfect for stalking aging movie stars while wearing fanny packs and sweatpants.
 
For those who like to know such things (mainly my mom), Storm Siren was featured in the Scholastic Book Fair and my novels have been endorsed by such nice humans as Marissa Meyer, CJ Redwine, Shannon Messenger, and Jonathan Maberry (in fact, Marissa Meyer and I have a fun interview in the paperback of her book, CRESS). Also, Boba tea & sweatpants are life. {We can chat about life (in sweatpants over tea, obviously) in my Newsletter.

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