Author: Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Havenfall (Havenfall #1) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Havenfall (Havenfall #1) by Sara HollandHavenfall (Havenfall #1)
by Sara Holland
Purchase on: Amazon
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A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it--at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds--each with their own magic--together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie's brother. It's where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it's where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens--a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She'll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she's letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie--no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .


Is this the year of the 3s for me???!?! I don’t think I’ve ever rated this many books a three in such a short period of time. Again, it’s not that any of them have been bad, I’ve just been missing some kind of wow factor.

This story in particular had the structure to be great. I honestly think we’ll see more of that in the next book if Maddie is able to travel to different realms, it just seems like this one spent the entire time setting up for future events and because all of it took place within the walls of Haven (or just outside of them) I really didn’t feel like I could rate it any higher than a three.

There still were quite a few twists and turns that had me really guessing who the mysterious bad guy was going to be and honestly you don’t get all of the details on certain things until right at the end which made the suspense more real and exciting. Along with that, I really liked the writing in general. I haven’t read Holland’s first series, Everless, yet even though I’ve heard really good things especially about the first book. I can’t say for certain then that those of you who loved that will love this but I really think she set up for an amazing second book.

Other than more action, one thing I hope to see more of is character development from Maddie. I think she came a long way over the span of this book but it seemed like every other second she was doubting herself and being self-depreciating and just going through a LOT. Given her circumstances, I really do ~get~ it but…it was a lot to handle. I just wish she had made some better decisions a little earlier or tried to get help or something, anything really. I don’t know, I’m conflicted, lol because I can see how everyone kept her in the dark and it makes complete sense that she was such a novice at everything. I keep playing devil’s advocate with myself to see both sides of the picture but I also can’t help but feel what I feel immediately as I’m reading, ya know?

Overall thoughts, this wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t something that WOWED me–it was just good. It was solid. Will I still read the next book? For sure!

Huge thanks to Bloomsbury YA and NetGalley for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara HollandEvermore (Everless #2)
by Sara Holland
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads


Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.

Thank you Edelweiss, Sara Holland and HarperTeen for my ARC! Evermore will be available on December 31, 2018.

When I was a child, Papa told me my dreams could never hurt me – but he lied. Two weeks ago, the girl tore out of my nightmares and stepped into the world.

Evermore was an excellent bookend to its companion, Everless. I remember flying through Everless, but not 100% loving it. I definitely didn’t have the same feeling this time around, as I absolutely loved this book!

Evermore picks up right after the events of Everless. If you thought life was get any easier and less tragic for Jules, think again. This poor girl keeps losing those she loves to Caro’s (the Sorcerer) desire for revenge on Jules (the Alchemist), which has spanned many lifetimes.

However, Jules is not alone. Liam (who is so definitely not evil) is right by her side, as well as two excellent new excellent characters, Elias and Stef.

Elias’s teeth flash again in that smile. “Don’t you know, Jules? Everything worth doing is dangerous.”

Throughout the book, Jules struggles to what it means to be the Alchemist, and rightfully so. For so many years of her, albeit, short life, she has only known her father and friends and her life as Jules Ember. And then to find out she is so much more, that she is the latest reincarnation of the Alchemist and has flashbacks of her past life, is something she deals with almost the whole book. While I did feel some of the flashbacks slowed down the pacing of the book, it did provide context for the past relationship between Jules and Caro.

If the Alchemist stays sunken in me forever, revealing herself in shards of broken memories, never whole – who am I then? Not Jules Ember. Not anyone.

But as much as I loved the friendships and other relationships, I really loved Jules’ growing love towards Liam. I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel strongly toward him in Everless. But my mind was completely changed in this book. He was sweet and strong and stubborn and smart and a little rash sometimes. But at the end of the day, he cared for Jules and wanted her to succeed and be her own person. I loved Holland making him a big book nerd and getting very excited about research and history. It was a small touch but went a long way in making him his own character.

In this moment, I’m not the Alchemist. I’m only Jules, alone and frightened and hoping and wanting, and Liam Gerling is reaching out to me, a hand across the dark.

I honestly wish this wasn’t a duology. I know there’s a lot of three and four book series, and not so many duologies, but I wanted more time with Jules and Liam and Ina and Stef and Elias. Holland also set up some interesting world-building that there just wasn’t time to explore. But most importantly, I really grew to enjoy these characters and want to know what they will do next. And also more romance, because, again, I am so here for Liam Gerling.

“Nothing is unstoppable, not really,” I say quietly, slipping the dagger into my belt. “You only need to find something stronger.”

BOOK REVIEW: Everless (Everless #1) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Everless (Everless #1)  by Sara HollandEverless (Everless #1)
by Sara Holland
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads


In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

What. A. WONDERFUL surprise. I absolutely adored this masterpiece of a novel. When I try to think of what book I want to read next, a weekly occurrence, I immediately think back to this story time after time after time. I read this the first week it came out, yet I’ve been backlogged horribly on time with which to write a review it so rightfully deserves (I was sick, then husband, then daughter-then fast forward and daughter gets it again and BLAH just TOO MUCH)…so I waited. And I waited. And I waited. And do you know when I have finally found the time? While getting my hair done lol. 

Yep. I’m processing right now and I’m just tap tap tappin’ away on the keys. So. ANYWAY. I am so happy I can finally express my thoughts on this beauty-and the amazing characters this author brought into existence.

I think when trying to find a YA fantasy, there are few and far between that really reach into my soul and make me pine for more, wish that, even though terrible things are happening repeatedly, there was more we could read, that the story wouldn’t end. Those books are a dime a dozen…but this story was one of them.

With its lush visuals and deeply flawed, intricately layered characters, I was a goner from the moment I met every single one of them. Vivid storytelling led to endless possibilities, causing me to guess every theory in the book-until I realized I had no way to truly guess what was happening and I just needed to chill out and enjoy the ride.

A strange feeling flowers in me, like I’m standing at the edge of a cliff, looking out to the green-and-blue sea, which I’ve only ever seen drawn in books, its waves sloshing and beautiful and endless—and from this height, deadly.

Jules hates the Gerlings…chased from the castle when she was younger and still ‘in hiding’, she wants nothing to do with the royals that caused her and her father such pain and worry. She can stop time, but doesn’t know why. Blood is the price for security, its value only worth something so long as you’re not paying with your whole life. When backed into a corner with house payments, Jules finds that her father has been paying with his blood to keep them afloat-but she sees that he’s withering away with each pull, years dwindling away into oblivion.

She decides it’s time to take action, and when news gets out that Prince Roan has chosen a bride, help is required to prepare for the big day and it’s the talk of the town-those hired get a hefty amount of money, enough that it would get Jules and her father out of debt. Jules’s father begs her not to go, for that would mean facing the Gerlings once again and maybe being found out after all these years-But we all know what Jules decides to do, don’t we? The next morning she’s off before her father has risen, hoping to be chosen so she can pay off their debts and perhaps find the mystery as to why her father said to NEVER go near the Queen. What is he hiding? And why can’t she be near the Queen?

Lying feels like trying to hold an eel in my stomach: the truth wants to wriggle its way out.
I’m used to the feeling by now.

I’ll admit that I was all in for the romance. I mean, who would I be if not myself? I need a ship, and my ship was a lovely ship. My ship has/had promise. My boy was just…oh my gosh…ahhhh I need it. I just need it. And I need him. I love him. Adore him. I would do anything for him. But…unfortunately, I don’t think I should be saying any names. It’s a mystery until the end, I tell you, and it was a wonderful journey indeed.

Have I grown distracted, my head turned by Ina’s beautiful gowns, Caro’s friendly gossip, Roan’s smiles that seem just for me, and forgotten the promise I made by the lakeshore after View Spoiler »?

I’ll admit I guessed mostly who she might possibly be with or end up with or pine for or what have you (how many different ways can I say I think I know who she will end up with, in the end?), but I second guessed myself on EVERYTHING. And here I am, I find, trying to fangirl about a boy that I can’t say the name of and not able to tell anything that happens or why I like said person. I can’t really say her past or why she likes who she likes or who she stops liking or ends up liking or who she continues to like (holy hell this is confusing lol)….so I feel as though my normal review format is screwed and I’m just left a rambling mess. It sucks. I want to talk about my guy, dang it!!!!

And then all those characters. All these dark corners and twists and turns we go through. The stories and myths and childhood memories-it all builds up into this beautiful story, this seamless weaving of epicness, gripping you more and more with each passing page. I was sucked in until I was drowning, until I couldn’t breathe….and I STILL wasn’t prepared for the inevitably devastating (and STILL devastating) turn of events. I had my suspicions, but I tell ya, this author? She is the definition of epic. No holds barred, she goes all in. No tiptoeing around, she slits your throat and is in your face.

She wins. You lose. That’s all. This story is beyond your imagination. It’s new, imaginative-it seeps elegance out of every pore (eew). When I say this, I mean it-This book is the underbelly of the tainted royalty game. Who can you trust? Who SHOULD you trust? Is everything as it seems? And, almost always, the answer is no. Keep your head high and eyes forward, because you might just miss something. You might think you know where its going, but I can assure you, even if you’re partially right…you’re not even close. And if you are?? You’re a wizard, my friend, because this author is a wonderful, tricky mistress….and I adore her.

Liam doesn’t react for a moment. Then, to my shock, he grins, a wide, earnest smile breaking across his face like sun through storm clouds. It only lasts a moment, but smiling, he looks like Roan. No—he looks like someone all his own.

Sigh. I’ll shut up. But I just…I loved this book. I really loved it. And its been a month, so it’s so hard to write a nice review that’s worthy of such a strong book and a strong set of characters. It’s like…I don’t know. I am so frustrated because I’m reading all these amazing books that mean the world to me, but then I can’t put down my thoughts the next day like I used to…BEFORE. Lol. I love my daughter but UGHHH she puts a damper on mama’s reviewing skills. I like to think I can post a review about a book I’ve read now more than a month ago, but even I find it difficult these days. I’m reading so much faster than I can put out quality reviews and…it breaks my heart.

Oh well. I will continue to try and catch up on past reviews-even if they review is a shadow of what it could have been. I needed this on hardback after reading the ebook-so I got it (that and cruel prince). And if that’s not saying enough, I don’t know what will.

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Everless by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Everless by Sara HollandEverless by Sara Holland
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

Oh, I loved this. Full of mystery, intrigue, and… well, more mystery.

The plot was super fun and unique, and for the life of me, I couldn’t predict a thing. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a page-turner here. I’m pretty sure I read the whole thing in almost 24 hours – I seriously couldn’t set it down after the 20% mark.

Really quick – a big thank you to the publisher for providing me with an arc!

In a world where time is bound to blood, and people exchange blood/time currency to live, we follow Jules, the protagonist, as she makes the difficult decision to return to work at Everless, an estate owned by one of the most powerful families in the kingdom (and dangerous, I might add.) Jules and her father previously worked there, but due to a nasty accident and threats from one of the Everless sons, Jules father was determined to keep her from ever going back.

But now she needs the money.

Sooooo Jules returns and works as a servant, though she is quickly noticed by the two sons she knew as a child. All the while, she discovers some big secrets about her past and why she was really kept away from the Everless estate. Craziness ensues when the Queen arrives. Jules’s father shows up and begs her to run away and stay far away from the Queen. BUT WHY?! So basically, we have a very confused Jules who keeps finding tidbits about her past and how its woven through a mysterious history linking back to when time was originally bound to blood iron. Which probably makes no sense without reading. Just roll with it.

Anyway, I can’t say anything else without giving up some major secrets, but I recommend going in blind. There are so many twists and turns, and wowzah, a major plot twist. I did NOT see it coming, and I always see them coming. I’m not even sure if I’m particularly happy with the direction, but I don’t care because the concept was SO COOL. My only complaint is the magic system, while it was SO AMAZING, also felt a bit muddy at times, and the book was a *touch* slow in the beginning. Whatever, I don’t even care because I loved it overall.

Basically, all the stars for the crazy cool, totally original tale. One of the most unique magic system’s I’ve ever seen. And if you’re wondering about romance? Literally, anything I say will be a spoiler, but it was fairly minimal – but a really interesting set up for the sequel. I typically have to have a *smidge* of feels or someone to root for romantically, and you’ll definitely feel that way here, so don’t worry. And if you’re someone who prefers romance to be minimal and not take over the plot, well… check. You’ll be pleased as well.

Needless to say, I’m ready for book two…


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