Tag: Young Adult (page 1 of 124)

BOOK REVIEW: The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

BOOK REVIEW: The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley ChuThe Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1)
by Cassandra Clare, Wesley Chu
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

WHAT THE WHAT?! That ending….???!?!?!

It literally pains me that I can’t add quotes to this review but hey, I get it, it’s an ARC and things are subject to change. Just know that I was highlighting like crazy the last 25%.

I can’t lie, when I first found out that Cassie was writing ANOTHER series based in the Shadowhunter world, I was a little peeved. I mean I love Magnus, I really do, but I was just like “how much longer can all this be drug out?!”…I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, too. Even throughout this book, I was enjoying it but kept thinking okayyyyy was this really necessary?! What is this story adding to the bigger picture besides just basically being fanfiction for Magnus x Alec shippers??

Yes. Yes it was necessary. For numerous reasons but DEFINITELY because of what happened in the epilogue. But really, no, even though *you know who* was found *you know where* that isn’t why I will devour the rest of this series, no no no. I will soak up every single page of the next two books because finally being able to see Magnus and Alec’s love front and center was a beautiful thing. Like literally I’m tearing up just thinking about it.

There are so many times when Magnus can be TOO MUCH…like, basically all the time. I find myself wondering often, how can he be so glib and joke-y about everything?! It’s almost exhausting to read. Aaaand then you catch a small glimpse of who he really is, and why his facade is like that, and you understand. Magnus has been alive for a VERY long time. He has seen a lot of terrible things and lost a lot of people he had truly loved. He was almost killed as a child because of who he is and I’m sure since then there have been many more attempts on his life. He has lost friends, and he has seen the deep prejudices of the Clave play out against his fellow Downworlders. It’s no wonder that he doesn’t like to be serious. I think that is 100% his coping mechanism for dealing with the pure shittiness of the world. But there is so much more to him than that and it is really explored here. Magnus is so good it hurts. He is one of the best characters Clare has ever written.

And Alec, oh Alec. You sweet, strong, kind, and caring man. Guys, I LOVED getting Alec’s POV in this book. I literally can’t wait to see him in action View Spoiler » in The Wicked Powers. He has grown SO MUCH from the boy in City of Bones who was the epitome of a rule follower. He has learned that while the most Shadowhunters abide by the saying “The Law is hard, but it is the Law” that things can’t always be taken care of properly and fairly by the stupid “Law.” Watching him in love with Magnus was like watching the most beautiful flower bloom (AND I DON’T CARE HOW CHEESY THAT SOUNDS). They are one of my favorites OTPs of all time.

Also, we get to see Aline and Helen meet and see the very beginnings of their relationship too which was great. Even though they are a big part of TDA overall, we don’t get much time with them at all. Getting to know their personalities a little more was great. Also Raphael. I feel like I took him for granted during TMI. He’s funny and snarky AF and cares so much more than you will ever know. Any who has entered and even just liked the world of the Shadowhunters will fall in love with this book and like I said, after that epilogue I am dying to get my hands on the next book!

This eARC was provided by Edelwiess and the publisher in exchange for an honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) by Holly BlackThe Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

I wonder if there’s a limit to what I will let them do, if there is something that would make me fight back, even if it dooms me.
If there is, that makes me a fool.
But maybe if there isn’t, that makes me a monster.

I guess that’s the thing about being in love with a series. You love the first, you anticipate the second, and then wonder what’s to come with the third-but you can’t ever really know if that author is going to do what you want. Do things that make sense to you while also coming off as exciting and better than you possibly could have anticipated. If that author will make you happy while also crushing your soul, like the best possible twist of the knife and manipulation of your heart. This never happens. Yes, I have MANY favorites. YES, lots of things happen that I like and that placate me. But rarely-VERY RARELY-does an author do every maniacal thing I could possibly imagine-and even take it farther than I could even fathom. And this is what Black did. She came. She wrote. She F****** conquered.


“Power,” he said. “Power is the ability to get what you want. Power is the ability to be the one making the decisions. And how do we get power?”
“We learn how to fight well?”
“We get power by taking it.”

I just…this NEVER HAPPENS. Yeah, there might be one little thing I wish wasn’t a part of the end. But, like, that is nothing in the way of how excellent, how thorough, how utterly magnificent she wrote this book. The scheming. The lies. The betrayals. The heat. The ROMANCE. There was not one thing that I love about a fantasy book that was not in this story. There really and truly wasn’t. In fact, this book taught me far more about myself than I’ve learned in a long time.

“It seems I have a singular taste for women who threaten me.”

If you recall, or care at all, I read Outlander and The Diviners (how could you forget?) last year and they were so far out of my comfort zone that I read them YEARS after I was told to. A big mistake, I’ll admit. And they consumed me-I’ll just say it. Especially the prior, making the month of October a big waste of a TBR because all I read was the three books available in that series. But Outlander did something to my being, too, that possessed me for quite some time around the holidays. To say I was possessed in body, mind, and soul a few times last year would be an understatement. I even found Mariana Zapata and was a big ‘ol mess when I read her books, too. Let’s just say that 2018 was interesting, to say the least.

“The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock.” Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. “Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.

But then this. THIS masterpiece. The thing is, I’ll be frank, that I hate middle books. I LOATHE THEM. They never go right. Ever. And I actually have started to hate final books, too, because authors just don’t have what it takes to end things right, to wrap them up nicely, and, I’ll say it again, rarely do they meet the expectations I’ve upheld through the series and give me what I am craving, needing, wanting to put the series down wholly satisfied. And-I always try not to have any expectations, to not fangirl too much before a release, and to not expect much. Sadly, I still always fail. My entire being always wants more, whether I try to keep it chill or not, and I end up with a broken heart. Always.

He smelled like smoke and dried blood, and Jude let herself sag against him. It was good to be hugged. Even by a monster.

But here’s the thing, and my entire point: I didn’t, not once, doubt Holly Black or her writing before the release, so I anticipated and fangirled freely. I’ve read her White Cat series, and it was nothing short of all consuming, even if not many talk about it. I loved it. Cassel was my first thief and conman, and he lead me to Kaz from SOC. So, to say Holly Black can finish a series with a bang, wrap things up neatly and how I love and expect is, again, an understatement. I legitimately, for the first time in as long as I can remember, wasn’t the least bit worried that I would be bored, unhappy, or underwhelmed. I had that much confidence in this author. I had no worries at all. Well…except for what was to come. But that’s a different beast entirely.

“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”

What came with this story wasn’t a fairy tale romance, nor an underhanded, leisurely stroll in politics (following the first book’s end). No, it wasn’t action every minute…but there wasn’t a chapter that didn’t steal my breath away. This book was pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, butterfly inducing panic and mayhem, wrapped in sexual tension and explosive….erm….developments. It was underhanded, dirty, and altogether a total mind bender that never let you have your guard down, your mind not spinning, and your soul not entirely invested. It was a home run, triple play, and home base stealing ride-you could never take your eyes off the page for reality and day to day activities because you couldn’t ever possibly get enough.

“For a moment,” he says, “I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.”
I make a face at him. “And what made you decide it wasn’t?”
He grins up at me. “They missed.”

I read both too fast and too slow, a perfect symphony of chaos and calm, and I never wanted it to end-But I had to know what was coming next. Where it was going…and what predicament my darlings would inevitably get themselves into, in the end. And I couldn’t be happier with the absolutely soul-crushing finish.

My body has acclimated, and now it craves what it should revile.
An apt metaphor for other things.

And, before I can wrap this up, I have to embark on the journey that is Cardan and Jude. I can’t say much, and I promise I won’t (though it kills me slowly not to), but you must know that any feels that overcame you, possessed you, enraptured you in TCP…they are tenfold…and you just cannot be prepared. I don’t believe in overhyping-in fact, I discourage it. But here, I am confident that even if you don’t love this, you will feel something when it comes to the sexual tension between these two. I am THAT confident. And I would never do that to you, unless I believed it with my very being.

…and the single last thing in my head: that I like him better than I’ve ever liked anyone and that of all the things he’s ever done to me, making me like him so much is by far the worst.

The heat, the tension, the pure and utter HATE they have for one another…it’s so intoxicating. Sick. Depraved. Wrong. Yet you can’t not ship them. You can’t not love them. And, inevitably, you can’t not hope for them to just do it already. He loves her. I know it. And she loves him. I know that, too. THEY HAVE TO. I just….I can’t say anything. But, I will say this: I got everything I could ever want and more-without getting everything I want….and more.

It occurs to me that maybe desire isn’t something overindulging helps. Maybe it is not unlike mithridatism; maybe I took a killing dose when I should have been poisoning myself slowly, one kiss at a time.

So, to say I didn’t love this and that another book will pass by my love for it this year would be a lie-so I just won’t say it. What I will say is this: If you didn’t love the first, I don’t know that you will love the second. But maybe you will. It has even more lies. Deceit. Chaos. Heartbreak. Longing. If you dig that, this is for you. It has it all. And it doesn’t just come from the human in a faerie world. Just. F’in. Sayin’.

********************


I am angry editing my Instagram pictures right now. My nerves are shot, my stomach is a mass of nervous butterflies. When, only moments before, they were butterflies of hope and romance and so much more. So, I guess what I’m saying in a nutshell is: Holly Black got me. She got me fucking GOOD. I am not alright. I am not okay. And I just don’t know if I can pick up the pieces of my fractured heart off the floor for this one-And I don’t think I’ve ever said that. Well played, Black-You own my soul.

**************

OMG JUST GOT MY EXCLUSIVE OWLCRATE VERSION BOX EARLY SO GUESS WHO IS STARTING THIS OMG THIS IS THE FIRST OWLCRATE BOOK IVE TAKEN OUT OF THE PROTECTIVE PLASTIC TO READ OMGGGG I CANT EVEN

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

BOOK REVIEW: Echo North by Joanna Ruth MeyerEcho North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart after her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an offer: for her to come and live with him for a year. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, Echo discovers centuries-old secrets, a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up—otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

Review:

First ARC of the year complete and just like last year, I started off with a good one! I feel like there have been a lot of re-tellings out/coming out recently. I had only vaguely remembered what the stories of Tam Lin, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and even the myth of Cupid and Physche were about. I myself looked them all up after I saw another reviewer mention them and I would actually recommend not doing so. While this story is obviously unique, there were a few things that I think I was able to piece together sooner because I had just skimmed those tales.

This is a story of Echo, named such for the fact that she echoed her late mother’s heartbeat with her own. When she is young, Echo is disfigured by a strange white wolf in the forest and grows up being reviled by her village. When she is sixteen, she has another encounter with the same wolf and ends up bartering one year of her life for the safety of her father. She ends up spending that year in this awesome house that all of these different rooms that she learns to tend to from the wolf. OBVIOUSLY my favorite one was the library that had the cool mirror books. Basically you could step into them and live out that particular story and leave whenever you wanted. It’s in those “books” that she meets Hal and the story progresses and mistakes are made and ~feelings~ begin, and……………….that’s basically all I’ll say about it. You’ll just have to pick the book up once it comes out and find out yourselves!!!

Anyway. I think I liked the second half of the book more than the first (even though the first had the mirror books). The second half featured Echo actually DOING something to try to save a certain someone. I felt like in part one there were too many instances of her wasting time, trying to figure things out. Maybe it’s just because I’ve read so many books and fairy tales but I was like damn, girl, you need to figure your crap out already! Overall I loved the ending and this was a very solid book to start out 2019. I very much recommend!

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Page Street Publishing for allowing me to honestly review a copy of this book early!♥

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

I am so excited to be participating in this blog tour, introducing the first book in Roshani Chokshi's latest series, The Gilded Wolves. I hope you all enjoy this thrilling new heist adventure with a cast of lovable, misfit characters!

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani ChokshiThe Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1)
by Roshani Chokshi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

Review:

Well I feel like I need to keep this short and to the point until it actually comes out! This was a good book. That being said, did I expect more? Kind of.

There were so many wants inside him that he doubted there was room for blood in his body.

At this point I honestly don’t know if I didn’t like it as much because I started reading it a few months ago, put it down and read a ton of books in-between, and then just now finally finished it. I do think that this might suffer from a case of the “people likened it to Six of Crows so my bar was set IMPOSSIBLY HIGH.”  And I get that, it had a cast of misfit and awesomely diverse characters that came together to pull of a heist and that was awesome. BUT. I guess there was also a lot I didn’t get. Maybe it was because unlike Six of Crows, which is set in a completely fictional world, this was set in France in 1889 and I kept forgetting that. There are instances of people being treated a certain way because of their race or class and talks of revolution and things of that nature that had me pausing for a second.  I just honestly have no idea what kind of a place France was during that time period. I do always feel slightly..guilty(?) too, when books are compared to a series that was hyped up so much and so loved by so many. I just want people to go into it knowing that yes, this DOES have some similarities, but it also is its own book with its own unique story and set of characters ready to be fallen in love with!

“Tristan, my love,” said Laila with dangerous calm. “If you get it the way of a woman’s battle, you’ll get in the way of her sword.”

EITHER WAY, this book has solid bones. The characters, like I said, were really diverse and fun and had hilarious banter with one another. A lot of things really intrigued me about them and I hope that we continue to get more back story on all of them, ESPECIALLY Laila..Also, the ending set the next book up in a way that I NEED IT *fans myself*. I need more Severin and Laila (the best kind of tortured romance, folks), I need to know more about last thing that was said about a certain someone being an heir or not..I just need to know a lot of things. So again, this wasn’t GREAT like I thought it was going to be, but it was  really good and I will be 100% checking out book two. Her writing is as amazingly rich and vibrant as it was in her previous books and I still think this will get a lot of buzz and that a ton of people will fall madly in love with the characters, too.

“When you are who they expect you to be, they never look too closely. If you’re furious, let it be fuel,” Severin said, looking each of them in the eye. “Just don’t forget that enough power and influence makes anyone impossible to look away from. And then they can’t help but see you.”

Huge thanks to  Wendesday Books and NetGalley for allowing me to honestly review this eARC! ♥  The Gilded Wolves will be out January 15th, 2019!

Giveaway:

 Enter to win a physical copy of The Gilded Wolves, that Wendesday Books has graciously offered to give away (USA only).

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Roshani Chokshi:

Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and Aru Shah and the End of Time. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers.  Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was long listed for the British Fantasy Science Award.

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BOOK REVIEW: Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson

BOOK REVIEW: Even If I Fall by Abigail JohnsonEven If I Fall by Abigail Johnson
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A year ago, Brooke Covington lost everything when her beloved older brother, Jason, confessed to the murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke and her family became social pariahs, broken and unable to console one another. Brooke’s only solace remains the ice-skating rink, where she works but no longer lets herself dream about a future skating professionally.

When Brooke encounters Calvin’s younger brother, Heath, on the side of the road and offers him a ride, everything changes. She needs someone to talk to…and so does Heath. No one else understands what it’s like. Her brother, alive but gone; his brother, dead but everywhere. Soon, they’re meeting in secret, despite knowing that both families would be horrified if they found out. In the place of his anger and her guilt, something frighteningly tender begins to develop, drawing them ever closer together.

But when a new secret comes out about the murder, Brooke has to choose whose pain she’s willing to live with—her family’s or Heath’s. Because she can’t heal one without hurting the other.

Thank you to NetGalley, Abigail Johnson and Harlequin Teen for my free ARC in exchange for an honest review.


“I’m not allowed to feel bad in front of you. I’m not allowed to feel bad in front of anyone, but especially not you, and I don’t know how to stop.”

“Even If I Fall” by Abigail Johnson is a hauntingly beautiful YA novel about love, family and forgiveness. As I described it to a friend, it reminded me of a more tragic, YA version of Mariana Zapata’s “From Lukov with Love.”

As the synopsis says, the story follows Brooke, who (along with her family) become social pariahs following her brother Jason’s murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke’s family is shattered, and each member struggles to deal with the loss of someone who is still alive, but admitted to committing an unspeakable crime. Also dealing with the loss of a brother, enter Heath, Cal’s younger brother.

“I resist another urge to press my back against my door. Not because I’m physically afraid of Heath, but because I’m afraid of what he might say and how his words could shred me if he wants them to.”

One day, Brooke offers Heath a ride into town. And that’s how the story of Brooke and Heath begins. Both are struggling with the loss of a brother, though Brooke knows Heath’s pain comes from the decision of her own brother. There are so many layers of loss, sadness and struggle. There’s also a good deal of anger and resentment. It’s a lot for our main characters to deal with, but I thought it was all very realistic and thoughtful.

After several other encounters, Brooke eventually asks Heath with his help training for an ice skating tour, as Brooke is an excellent skater. Heath ultimately agrees and they being spending more time together, but not before agreeing to keep it a secret from their respective families.

We keep trying to not hurt each other. But I did and he did. We are.

While it was fairly obvious what some of the main plot points were going to be, it didn’t make the story any less enjoyable. I adored both Brooke and Heath and their slow-burn relationship. It was so well done and the build up was great. I also enjoyed the cast of characters around Brooke. They were all well-defined and added so much to the story. I would love to see a novella or long-form epilogue some day, as I’d love to see what everyone is up to after some time has past from the book’s ending.

As steady as his arms are, my heart is beating wildly. And he just keeps holding me in the air like that, like I weigh nothing and he can go on holding me forever.

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