Tag: Young Adult (page 1 of 135)

BOOK REVIEW: Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn

BOOK REVIEW: Resurrection Girls by Ava MorgynPurchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara's morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.

Thank you to Netgalley the publisher and the author for an ARC in exchange for a honest review.

I was death’s sister.
She was a murderer’s daughter.


Resurrection Girls was a really interesting book and not really like anything I’ve read before. The blurb doesn’t really do it justice – it seemed like it was going to be a dark book with a bit of a paranormal or thriller aspect. But that’s not the case. The subjects discussed in the book are certainly dark and heavy, but there’s really no mystery or paranormal to be had.

Olivia Foster is drowning in guilt after the death of her younger brother three years ago. Her parents are barely functioning, and Olivia is drifting through life. That is until a new family moves in across the street. Kara Hallas is the spark that Olivia needed to break out of her solitary life.

If Kara were punctuation, she’d be an exclamation, never a period. I…I would be an ellipsis, a thought waiting to happen, to complete itself, but never fully arriving. Prescott would be a hyphen because there was more to him than what the eye.

As Olivia and Kara begin to spend time together, they begin to write letters to men on death row and sign it as the Resurrection Girls. Their neighbor (and Olivia’s long time crush) Prescott gets roped in to their group and soon the trio begins to spend a lot of time together. There’s a charged dynamic between the three of them and it constantly feels like they are balancing on the end of a board together, always close to ruining the balance and crashing apart.

And while there’s no paranormal occurrences, there’s a kind of magical realism surrounding the Hallas women.

If you’re looking for a book that will thrill you or feature things that go bump in the night, this isn’t it. There’s a lot of focus on grief and what it takes to heal from horrible tragedies. Overall, once I understood better what this was, I really enjoyed it. Olive, Kara and Prescott were great main characters, especially Olivia. I truly felt for her and her family situation and was rooting for her the whole time.

Somewhere between the scented lip gloss, deadly pen pals, and crazy grandmother lay the real Kara Hallas. A girl who was haunted by far more than I had ever been. And I had just met her.

Content Warnings: Discussion of death, death of a child, drug use/overdose, drug addiction, depression and sex.

BOOK REVIEW: The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

BOOK REVIEW: The Upside of Falling by Alex LightThe Upside of Falling Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

It’s been years since seventeen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true love. But when her former best friend teases her for not having a boyfriend, Becca impulsively pretends she’s been secretly seeing someone.

Brett Wells has it all. Being captain of the football team and one of the most popular guys in school, he should have no problem finding someone to date, but he’s always been more focused on his future than who to bring to prom. When he overhears Becca’s lie, Brett decides to step in and be her mystery guy. It’s the perfect solution: he gets people off his back for not dating and she can keep up the ruse.

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy though, especially when you barely know the other person. But with Becca still picking up the pieces from when her world was blown apart years ago and Brett just barely holding his together now, they begin to realize they have more in common than they ever could have imagined. When the line between real and pretend begins to blur, they are forced to answer the question: is this fake romance the realest thing in either of their lives?

I mean, there’s a reason all books end right after the couple gets together. No one wants to keep reading long enough to see the happily ever after turn into an unhappily ever after. Right?

Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Harper TEEN and Alex Light for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Upside of Falling is an adorable book that plays with the fake relationship trope, which is easily one of my favorite tropes. So when I saw that there was a new book coming out with this front and center, I knew I had to have my hands on it. And once I had it, I read it in less than 24 hours haha. I couldn’t put it down.

TUoF centers on Becca Hart and Brett Wells. Becca loves to read romance books, but has never experienced true love in real life. She lives with her mother and helps with her local bakery. Becca doesn’t have too many close friends, especially since her former best friend found herself in the popular crowd and left Becca behind.

Brett Wells, meanwhile, seems to have everything going for him. He’s popular and captain of the football team. He’s smart and kind and his parents dote on him. However, he’s just focused on getting out of high school and securing a college scholarship to make his parents proud. He’s too busy to focus on normal high school things, like girlfriends, and has no problem with that.

That is, until one day when he hears Becca telling a lie about having a boyfriend, he decides to jump in and be that boyfriend. Becca is shocked but goes with it as well and the two come to an easy arrangement. Becca gets to have a popular boyfriend, while Brett gets his parents off his back about having a girlfriend without all the drama and commitment. What could go wrong?

“First you run away when I kiss you. Now you want to break up with me when we haven’t even been dating for a day. Way to break a guy’s heart, Hart.” He poked my leg. “See what I did there?”

I’ve never read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (sorry!) but I have seen the movie twice and there’s definitely some similarities in terms of them coming up with ground rules, assimilating between their worlds and the fact that both of them, not surprisingly, might begin to feel real feelings.

There’s a lot of wonderful themes in this book past teenagers falling in love for the first time, such as complicated friendships, how complicated relationships with parents can be and the feeling of rejection from those you care about.

If I had to provide any kind of constructive feedback, it mostly boils down to two things: It doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the genre and I wanted more from it. Don’t get me wrong, I adored this book, but I didn’t find anything, outside of maybe the complicated family dynamics, to be new and awe inspiring. I wish the trope had been twisted more, but I imagine that was not the author’s intent. And when I say more, I feel at 288 pages, it was a little light. I would have loved to see this be a little longer, so the relationship between Becca and Brett could have been more complex. It hit all the right notes, but I felt like it was skimming toward the top. I feel we could have gotten a little more in depth with these two and given the book a little more weight.

But overall, I adored this book. If you are looking for a fairly fluffy and happy YA romance, especially with the fake dating relationship trope, you won’t be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t.

The Upside of Falling is available February 18, 2020.

“I’m confused,” I said, “because one day we were strangers and then, bam, we were pretending to be in love. All these lines between what was real and what was fake started to blur and I can’t tell the two apart anymore.”

“Just because we were pretending doesn’t mean it wasn’t real.”

BOOK REVIEW: Find Me Their Bones (Bring Me Their Hearts #2) by Sara Wolf

BOOK REVIEW: Find Me Their Bones (Bring Me Their Hearts #2) by Sara WolfFind Me Their Bones (Bring Me Their Hearts #2)
by Sara Wolf
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn't ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

Review:

Find Me Their Bones was an incredible continuation of the Bring Me Their Hearts Series.  This book started off right where the last one ended.  The action packed pages were filled with secrets, friendship, betrayal, and finding faith in yourself.  And it never once slowed down.  So hold on because you’re about to be taken on a fabulous journey!  So here are some of my favorite things about this book…..

I’m being forced to choose again. Between my heart and him. But this time… this time I’ll make the right choice.

 

✮ Zera & Sacrifice:

“How can something that was a lie mean anything at all?”

Zera was a force to be reckoned with.  The fact that she was a heartless who could weep, she was wanted for something special.  No matter how dark that path would become, she still had her voice.  Zera still had her snark.  But she had so much to learn.  Who to trust.  How to choose what was right.  While Zera made some excellent decisions, she also made some that hurt my heart.  Even if it was truly for the best.

A thousand things flood my mouth and jockey for first place: I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you. I didn’t mean to hurt you—

I loved that Zera was smart, quick witted and had a heart, even if it wasn’t in her chest.  I hoped she’d finally find the path that led her to happiness.  Because she had lost so much.  Her life felt even more horrific now and I cried for her, for the injustice of it all.  It hurt that she had to tarnish herself and the friendships she had with others.  Her lies hurt.  Her actions hurt.  It all hurt.  But her reasons behind it were pure hearted.  She wanted to make amends with those she betrayed.  But I wanted her to be selfish for once.  To take what she wanted.  She deserved happiness, love and friendship.  She was such an amazing person and I kept waiting for her to realize how truly astounding she was.

 

✮ Prince Lucien & The Truth:

He’s beautiful. And I can’t bear to tear my gaze away. No matter how much I know I should, no matter how much I know I need to push him away, I can’t bring myself to.
Neither of us speaks.

Prince Lucien was even more swoon worthy in Find Me Their Bones.  And don’t tell Zera, but I loved him the most!  Just like the first book, I looked for clues surrounding Prince Lucien.  He emitted anger and disgust towards Zera.  After all, she was a heartless who deceived him and murdered others.  Yet I kept my fingers crossed that he would see the light for who she truly was.

“You actually think I would tell you the truth? After everything I’ve done?” I whisper up at him.
“I’m giving you another chance to,” he says.

My heart was in my throat when Prince Lucien would say things that made me pause or second guess what he was saying.  A touch here.  A glance there.  Was I only reading into how I wanted it to all turn out?  But Prince Lucien was also on an emotional journey.  One I can’t say why, other than I was so extremely proud of him!

 

✮ Lost In The Story:

This one moment is all I could ever ask for. It is all I will ever have, and I tattoo it into every part of my aching flesh.

Find Me Their Bones was perfectly paced and always kept me entertained.  There were twists and turns and while I saw a lot of them coming, I was still in shock.  I was in disbelief that that truly happened.  With heart stopping peril and moments that made me laugh out loud, this book was the perfect combination.  So much was revealed and it all became so clear what was happening and where it was all leading us to.  

 

He laughs softly, hollowly, keeping his mouth by my ear. “Don’t look so troubled, Lady Zera. You and I both know it’s true. It was only two weeks. What sort of love is ever true after only two weeks? We were infatuated, and nothing more.”
His thoughts mirror mine, the truth like needles piercing any joy I held secretly.
“And yet,” he says, “emotions aren’t convenient pieces of jewelry you can put on and take off whenever you want to.”

Looking back, I was even more emotional with this story.  I had tears for the tiny remnants of friendship I found.  I had tears for when the truth was spoken.  And I even shed tears for what Zera was able to accomplish.  I was SO proud of her. But this story isn’t close to being over, so I’ll be desperately counting down until the next book is released and I can be back in this world I love.  I can’t wait to be back with my friends.  So yes, I definitely recommend this series. But be prepared, it’s a wild and fabulous ride!

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

BOOK REVIEW: The Bookworm Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts

BOOK REVIEW: The Bookworm Crush by Lisa Brown RobertsThe Bookworm Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

This spinoff of The Replacement Crush featuring Amy and Toff is sure to melt your heart.

Shy bookworm Amy McIntyre is about to compete for the chance to interview her favorite author, who hasn't spoken to the press in years. The only way to win is to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight, but that level of confidence has never come easy.

The solution? A competition coach. The problem? The best person for the job is the guy she's secretly crushing on…local surfer celebrity Toff Nichols.

He’s a player. He’s a heartthrob. He makes her forget basic things, like how to breathe. How can she feel any confidence around him?

To her surprise, Toff agrees to help. And he’s an excellent teacher. Amy feels braver―maybe even brave enough to admit her feelings for him. When their late night practices become less about coaching and more about making out, Amy’s newfound confidence wavers.

But does Toff really like her or is this just another lesson?

Review:

Surfer Boy + Bookish Girl = Cutest Story Ever!
 
I laughed, cried, sighed and fell madly in love, so it’s no surprise that The Book Worm Crush became an instant favorite!  This story was the perfect mix of being cute and fluffy while also being deep and emotional.  And with characters that leaped off of the pages and easily stole my heart, sigh, I absolutely loved this book.  If you’re looking for one last summerish read or if you love ya romance that is swoon worthy then definitely pick this one up!
 
God, he was a cliché . So was she, with her ridiculous crush on him. Maybe they belonged together after all, like the Instagram commenter suggested.
Yeah, right.

 

Amy is a heroine everyone can root for. She was sweet, shy, loved books, and she was not only a book blogger, but a bookstagrammer too.  So I understood how she felt about wanting to win a contest to meet and interview her unicorn author. She knew that she had to step out of her comfort zone if she wanted to win.  And who better to help coach her on winning and being confident then local surfer celebrity, Toff.  It shouldn’t matter that she’d crushed on him since they were little kids.   Or that she got even more shy and nervous when he was around.  But after the book started off with a huge bang, go raccoons lol!, I knew Amy had it in her to step up to the game and even possibly win.
 
She wasn’t sure how much longer she could pretend to be immune to Toff— fake, real, and everything in between. Her resolve was fading, which was no surprise.

 

When Amy and Toff were together, I couldn’t stop laughing.  There was a whole lot of banter and joking around going on.  And even though Toff was the confident, flirty one, I couldn’t stop grinning any time Amy would throw him off his game.  Their interaction was smile inducing and I felt like I was in on all of their inside jokes.  Btw Bonnie and Clyde was the cutest nicknames ever!  As Toff helped Amy with the contest challenges and becoming more confident, I loved watching their friendship grow.  Even if there were a lots of bumps along the way.
 
He willed her to look him in the eye, hoping she could tell he was serious for once. She took a breath and met his gaze. The energy between them shifted, like an electrical storm descended right over their table, crackling with lightning bolts.

 

Toff was charismatic, insanely talented, and absolutely gorgeous, but he had a guarded heart.  He got through life joking around and not being too serious.  And surfing, competing and girls were his life.  But when Amy came crashing into it, she started to shake everything up.  And as we slowly got to know Toff inside and out, I found myself falling even harder for him.  Yes Toff had some growing up to do, but his progress pulled at my heart and made me love and root for him that much harder.
 
Being with her felt so good. Easy. Fun. Fiery.
Safe.
Right.

 

You guys, I loved every single tiny thing about The Book Worm Crush.  Not only did we get to switch back and forth between Amy and Toff, but there was also so much book talk.  And while this story was absolutely adorable, it had a strong emotional side too.  I kept finding myself getting hit with all of the feels.  I was sitting on a beach reading and couldn’t stop crying.  And then later on I was not just crying, but sobbing.  This story truly has it all!
 
As Toff sat across from her, she drank him in. Suntanned and smiling, blue eyes sparkling, he made her heart skip a beat. Confused or not, she was going to enjoy this. Enjoy him. Them.

 

So if you’re a fan of ya, romance, gushing about books or falling in love then definitely add this one to your tbr.  With all of the book love sprinkled throughout the pages, I think book lovers will be just as obsessed about this book as I was.  And while this book is a spin-off from The Replacement Crush, you definitely don’t need to read that book first.  This can easily be read as a standalone, but I fell madly in love with that book too.  So I recommend them both!  So when you pick this book up please come and obsess with me.  I desperately need to talk all about Amy, Toff and of course penguins too!
 
PS I loved Amy’s younger brother, Brayden!  He was sneaky, hilarious and constantly cracked me up.  He is someone I’d love to read about when he’s older.  I can’t even imagine all of the trouble he’d get into as a teenager lol.
 
Happily Ever After, Happy for Now, whatever this was, Amy was embracing it.
No regrets.

 

PPS  There’s a video scene and it was so funny that I re-read that chapter four times.  Yup, it was that fabulous!

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

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW: The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Burning Shadow (Origin #2)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the world of the Lux with The Burning Shadow, the steamy, shocking second installment of the Origin series that will leave readers reeling.

When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux―only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.

Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is―and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.

Her search for the truth brings her ever closer to Luc, the Origin at the center of it all. He’s powerful, arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, extremely dangerous…and possibly in love with her. But even as Evie falls for him, she can’t help but wonder if his attraction is to her, or to the memory of a girl who no longer exists.

And all the while, a new threat looms: reports of a flu-like, fatal virus that the government insists is being spread by Luxen. A horrifying illness that changes whoever it touches, spreading panic across a country already at its breaking point.

Review:

The Burning Shadow was absolutely brilliant.  It started out slow and steady and grew into an intricate story that was deep and emotional.  I loved the ties into the Lux Series and that we got to see all of our old friends.  It felt like coming home.  But this book toyed with my emotions in the best way ever!  Lies, love, betrayal, friendship and secrets splashed across the pages and it was beyond impossible to put this book down.

“Evie.” Luc said my name as if it were a prayer and a curse.
I took a breath, but it went nowhere. His forehead touched mine, and I swore my heart stopped right then and there.

Within those first few pages, I was already laughing so hard.  That’s because the story started right where The Darkest Star ended.  With Evie’s mom, Sylvia, making lunch for Evie and Luc.  Sylvia and Luc butted heads in the most horrific ways.  They were a disaster in the making and I couldn’t look away from that train wreck or stop the laughs that were bubbling out of me.

I wanted him to kiss me. I wanted to lose myself in him. I wanted to forget, and I wanted to remember.

From there, we were taken on the most epic adventure.  So I was beyond grateful that Evie and Luc got moments where they could sit back for a few minutes and enjoy each other.  Their banter was smile inducing, but they also had these deep, emotional conversations that gutted and elated me.  Especially when Luc gave Evie little pieces of her past.  It felt like we truly got to know everything there was about them and they brought so many emotions out of me.  It wasn’t a surprise that I kept finding myself with tears falling down my face.

“Tell me what you want.” His lips brushed mine in the darkness. “You need to say the words, Evie.”
“You,” I whispered into the space between our mouths, while my heart beat so fast I didn’t understand how it could keep going. “I want you.”

But there was also heart pounding action that made it feel like I was standing on the edge of the cliff.  I was so scared I was going to fall with them down into the abyss, so I was that glued to the pages.  And as the story unfolded, we were given little clues.  When those clues started to come together I literally had chills.  And while some of the twists I figured out, a few of them knocked me on my butt.  My mind was blown.  So hold on because this book turned into a wild and twisted ride.

“You,” he spoke. “It’s only ever been you. Before. Now. Later. There’s been no one else. There . . . just can’t be.”

Luc is still holding onto my number one spot for favorite book boyfriend ever (sorry Daemon!).  The lengths he would go to protect the ones he loved was astronomical.  He did everything to keep them safe, and while sometimes it was selfish, I loved him more for it.  I also loved that he had no idea how to be modest lol.  With hysterical t-shirts, cheesy pickup lines, and being naughty and listening into Evie’s thoughts I seriously loved everything about him.  Even when he was a little too matter of fact or being violent.  His actions shouldn’t have made me laugh, broken hand scene cough cough, but it’s Luc.  I couldn’t help smiling and laughing every time he was around.

“Because I’ve already waited forever for this— for you. I’ve done nothing but watch and wait, and I am not walking away again. If I kiss you, if I touch you again, I will not be able to go back to the way things are now.” The next breath he took trembled as much as I was. “I won’t be able to pretend that you aren’t my everything.”
I couldn’t breathe.

Evie was on a huge emotional journey and grew so much!  She definitely struggled trying to figure out who she truly was.  She had her past and Evelyn Dashed mixed into who she was and my heart hurt for her.  But Evie was strong, resilient and she grew in leaps and bounds.  I was rooting for her every step of the way!  And I loved that she never once lost her confidence, snark or sassiness!

Daemon was quiet for a long moment. “Luc and I would do anything to protect the people we love.”
I stilled, unable to take more than a shallow breath as I stared at the male Luxen. I didn’t know how to respond to that.
“I would beg, plead, barter, and kill to protect Kat,” he continued, voice low, but every word struck me like thunder. “Nothing in this world would stop me, and there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do— and it’s the same for Luc when it comes to you.”

The side characters rounded out this story perfectly.  Zoe was the ultimate bff, I loved Heidi too and everyone from The Lux Series.  You guys.  My heart was elated with how many we got to see, I was screaming.  Ohhhh and be prepared because when Luc and Daemon go head to head, I didn’t know whether to laugh or hold my breath because of what would happen next.  So yes, I loved this book!  It definitely didn’t suffer from second book syndrome.  I loved every twist and turn and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, The Burning Shadow will definitely keep readers hooked and become an instant favorite!

“Evie.” Luc’s voice was quiet but strong.
Drawing in a deep breath, I nodded. “I’m okay. I’m ready.”
And then I stepped forward, hand in hand with Luc, into the unknown.

PS Diesel gets a part in this book and it was so perfect!

PPS I love their Halloween costumes!

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

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)


The Darkest Star   #1
Reviews:
Jen
 
The Burning Shadow   #2
Reviews:
Jen
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