Tag: Young Adult Contemporary

BOOK REVIEW: Magic Bound (Ravencrest Academy #1) by Theresa Kay

BOOK REVIEW: Magic Bound (Ravencrest Academy #1) by Theresa KayMagic Bound (Ravencrest Academy #1)
by Theresa Kay
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Starting a new school is never easy and this time not fitting in could cost lives.

Despite being raised by shifters, my life was fairly ordinary . . . until I tried to break up a fight and got zapped with magic.

Then, all hell broke loose.

Power I didn’t know I had came surging out of me, revealing me as a witch and drawing unfavorable attention to my adoptive parents.

Now, as the witches attempt to use my concealment as an excuse to push an anti-shifter agenda, the only way to keep my parents—and myself—safe is to enroll in the elite Ravencrest Academy and prove I can control my newfound abilities.

Unfortunately, raw power doesn’t translate into competency and everything is way more difficult than I imagined.

Even with all the things working against me (like my complete ignorance of magic and witch society), I manage to make a few new friends and there's a spark of something more with the last person I expect.

But I can’t let that distract me from the ugly truth that many who walk the halls of Ravencrest are eager to see me fail. To keep the peace between shifters and witches I must succeed . . . no matter the cost.

Magic Bound is the first book in an exciting new YA paranormal academy series with a slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance. Perfect for fans of Supernatural Academy, Shadowspell Academy, and Evermore Academy.

Review:

Magic Bound was heartwarming, addictive and completely mesmerized me.  With characters that were easy to relate to and a story line that made this book impossible to put down, I devoured this book so fast!  It was just so much fun.  With enemies to lovers, magic and friendship swirling through the pages, Magic Bound easily landed on my favorites list!

The fragile hold I have on my emotions shatters, and the tears come down full force, followed by a hiccuping sob.
I can’t do this. I don’t want to be here. I want to go home.

Selene had been raised by her adoptive parents, who were shifters. She thought she was a blank, a child that had no magic and was from two witches. But a moment at a party went awry, and she discovered she had magic.  To help protect her adoptive family, since shifters should not have raised a child with magic, she was shipped off to Ravencrest Academy.  But life wasn’t easy there for Selene, and what unfolded had me turning the pages faster and faster.

The level of arrogance dripping off this guy is ridiculous. And I’ve dealt with moody alpha level shifters. It makes me want to punch him. Hard.

Selene is definitely one of my favorite heroines.  She was brave, kind, held her own, and acted from her heart. So she was someone I easily looked up to and respected. But oh my gosh did she struggle. She had problems with something as simple as opening a door, with her magic.   And because of how she was raised, and her lack of knowledge, others weren’t kind to her.  She was different.  She was an outsider.  But even though Selene struggled with magic, she was still completely kick ass. She had so much fire in her and I loved that she had a backbone and stood up for herself.  Especially when it came to her interactions with Tristan.

From the very first moment I met Tristan, he irritated me. The fact that he’s a St. James just makes it all the worse.

Ohhh the illustrious Tristan St. James.  I. Loved. Him!  He landed on my favorite book boyfriend list, but it wasn’t an easy path.  You see, Tristan was a total douche bag.  He wasn’t nice to Selene and he hurt her at times.  But I always looked for the tiniest of clues that Tristan was so much more than what he showed the world. And what I saw underneath it all, made me fall for him so hard.  As more of his past came to light, and we saw how he was raised, it all started to click together.

“You are a St. James after all. I don’t know why I ever expected better. You’re just as bad as everything I ever thought about your parents. Maybe worse. Perfect, pretty Tristan who always gets what he wants.”
“I always get what I want?” he asks, the question carried on a huff of incredulity. “If only that were true . . .”

Selene and Tristan had the most addictive slow burn enemies to lovers romance.  Especially since there was a forbidden feel to it, because of who they each were.  So I loved watching their interactions.  They butted heads, each had their preconceived notions and it was rough at times.  But I fell so hard watching them interact.  Moments made me smile and sigh, and others had me wondering how they could even be in the same room together lol.  So hold on because it was a bumpy ride.  On top of Selene and Tristan, there was friendships, family, school and even politics in the pages.

Tristan grabs my arm. “You didn’t have to do that. There’ll be . . . repercussions for you, won’t there? With your pack or whatever.”
“Did you think I was going to stand there and let you get hurt? That’s really not my style.” I tug my arm out of his hold.

The side characters rounded out this story so perfectly.  There was Basil, the eccentric “Grandpa” who helped guide Selene at the academy.  And whose quirks made me smile.  To Isobel, who was Selene’s roommate and was the sweetest girl ever.  To even her cousin Reid, who felt more like a brother and was someone I cared deeply for.  But my favorite side character was Adrian.  He was a fellow student who made me laugh and smile so much.  He seemed to have a lot of secrets, so I can’t wait to learn all about him in this series!

My entire world narrows down to nothing but the feel of his mouth on mine, his breath against my face, his fingers around my waist. And I am lost in it.

So, yup, this book had it all!  And that ending had me beyond excited to see what will happen next.  It was such an easy book to devour and understand their world.  Plus I loved so many of the characters.  So if you’re a fan of enemies to lovers, academy books or paranormal stories, then definitely add this one to your list!   I can’t recommend it enough!

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

BOOK REVIEW: It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

BOOK REVIEW: It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina KenwoodIt Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From debut author Nina Kenwood comes a tender, funny, and compulsively readable novel about first love and its confusions, and all of the awkwardness of teen romance.

When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day―in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

It Sounded Better in My Head is a compulsively readable love letter to teenage romance in all of its awkward glory, perfect for fans To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Emergency Contact.

Review

I decided after finishing this book that I need to be more…true to myself(?) with ARC ratings this year. I sometimes tend to rate higher than what I actually feel because I have this weird sense of guilt when I rate them under a four and I don’t think that’s fair to anyone, really. However, with this book specifically, I think it’s truly a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” This book had a lot of parts that gave me butterflies and made my heart race and other parts that were so….truthful, that I had a lot of appreciation for it. However, it just wasn’t for me. I have been mostly avoiding YA contemporaries lately and this just kind of reaffirms that I can’t read them like I used to. I’m pretty sure that if I had read this in high school or even during my first few years of college, it would have been a five star read.

Even though I can appreciate the conflicts in this book, it’s getting harder and harder for me to put myself back in those shoes and deal with some of the other immaturities that realistically come from being that age.

What I liked: Natalie the main characters has PCOS (which is an aspect of life that I don’t think I’ve ever read about a young character suffering through), which made her acne bad. When I say bad, I mean BAD. I mean like physically scarring but also emotionally scarring in a way that changed her entire personality to that of a shut in during high school basically. You read about bad acne and typical puberty problems in a lot of YA books but this is the worst of the worst. That felt SO real and I felt for her so hard. But again, there were some aspects where I was trying to put myself in my mom’s shoes more and trying to decide how I would have handled things for my own daughter if she had been suffering through that. We get first relationships, all of the messy bits that that can entail, we get college acceptances and failures, and friendships tested. We get all of that stuff in the realest way possible and while I LOVED that, I just couldn’t love the book as a whole.

Again, I think a ton of people will really, really enjoy this. For being Kenwood’s debut novel I really am impressed! I just…probably should finally take a break from YA contemporaries for real this time, lol.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinions!

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
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

“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.

© 2020

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: