Book Review, Favorite Reads, ya fantasy

Book Review | AS THE SHADOW RISES, by Katy Rose Pool

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As the Shadow Rises (The Age of Darkness #2), by Katy Rose Pool

Publish Date: September 1, 2020
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.
Length: 480 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead.

In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness.

As Jude, Keeper of the Order of the Last Light, returns home in disgrace, his quest to aid the Prophet is complicated by his growing feelings for Anton. Meanwhile, the assassin known as the Pale Hand will stop at nothing to find her undead sister before she dies for good, even if it means letting the world burn. And in Nazirah, Hassan, the kingdom-less Prince, forms a risky pact to try to regain his throne. When the forces of light and darkness collide in the City of Mercy, old wounds are reopened, new alliances are tested, and the end of the world begins.

My Review: 

You know how there are those series that suffer from the “middle-book syndrome?”

Yeah, this isn’t one of those.

As the Shadow Rises continues off where There Will Come a Darkness left, and keeps the story going. It kept my attention, held me captive, unable to put it down, and was chock full of adventure and intrigue. I loved absolutely every page of it. Continue reading “Book Review | AS THE SHADOW RISES, by Katy Rose Pool”

Book Review, Contemporary Romance

Book Review | WELL PLAYED, by Jen DeLuca

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Well Played (Well Met #2), by Jen DeLuca

Publish Date: September 22, 2020
Published by: Berkley
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

My Review: 

Weirdly enough, I found myself enjoying this one much more than I did the first book in this series. I think it had to do with the fact that I felt a bit more of a connection to Stacey’s situation than Emily’s. In terms of personality I have little in common with Stacey, but it was more about the fact that she feels stuck living at home, at a loss on how to start living the life she really wanted because she put it on hold for too long. I felt that so much. Continue reading “Book Review | WELL PLAYED, by Jen DeLuca”

Book Review, Favorite Reads, Urban Fantasy


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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V. E. Schwab

Publish Date: October 6, 2020
Published by: Tor Books
Length: 448 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

My Review: 

This book was gorgeous. I knew from the first few pages that it was going to be something special. It is unique and pierces the heart in so many ways. The characters pull you in and the prose sweeps you away. I lost myself in this book and I never want to find my way out. Continue reading “Book Review | THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, by V. E. Schwab”

Book Review, YA Contemporary Fiction, ya lgbtq, ya romance

Book Review | HAVING HER BACK, by Ann Gallagher

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Having Her Back, by Ann Gallagher

Publish Date: May 19, 2017
Published by: Createspace Independant
Length: 250 pages
Genre: YA Romance/LGBTQ+
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)


Trevor Larson is a Navy brat. He’s used to moving every few years, and thanks to social media, he can stay in touch with the friends he leaves behind. But shortly after he leaves Okinawa, his best friend, Brad Gray, cuts off contact and disappears.

Four years and two bases later, Brad resurfaces—and announces his family is coming to Trevor’s base in Spain. But a lot’s changed in four years, and Trevor is stunned to find out Brad is now Shannon. Their reunion isn’t quite what either of them had hoped for, but they quickly find their footing, both relieved to have each other back.

Except nothing is ever all sunshine and roses. The military is a small world, and there’s no keeping Shannon’s transition a secret. Parents warn their kids away from her. She can’t attend school on-base for fear of harassment or worse. And although her parents try to hide it, being ostracized by their only social circle while they’re thousands of miles from home is taking a toll on them too.

More and more, Shannon leans on Trevor. But she’s also drawn to him, and he’s drawn right back to her, feeling things he’s never felt for anyone before.

Trevor’s scared, though. Not of dating a trans girl. Not of damaging his chaplain father’s career or reputation. After finally getting his friend back, does he dare take things further and risk losing Shannon a second time?

My Review: 

This was an okay read but the writing left a lot to be desired. Continue reading “Book Review | HAVING HER BACK, by Ann Gallagher”

audiobook, Book Review, Favorite Reads, lgbtq+, Urban Fantasy

Book Review | THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA, by T. J. Klune

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The House in the Cerulean Sea, by T. J. Klune

Publish Date:  March 17, 2020 
Published by: Tor Books/Macmillan Audio
Audiobook Narrated by: Daniel Henning
Length: 12 hrs 12 min (400 pages)
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)


A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours

My Review: 

The House in the Cerulean Sea is a story that feels both timeless and unforgettable. It’s the story of found families, found selves, learning to live with and overcome fears, understanding the unknown, soft romance, and of course, finding home. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me cry. This is one of those books that will stay forever in your heart as a place of comfort, love, hope and belonging. Continue reading “Book Review | THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA, by T. J. Klune”

Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Romance

Book Review | WELL MET, by Jen DeLuca

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Well Met (Well Met #1), by Jen DeLuca

Publish Date: September 3, 2019
Published by: Berkley Books
Length: 319 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

My Review: 

This was a really fun and delightful read! It had me reminiscing about the Renaissance Faire (that I went to once), swooning over the romance, and enjoying the finding-home-in-a-small-town atmosphere. The characters were enjoyable and the storyline had me completely hooked. Continue reading “Book Review | WELL MET, by Jen DeLuca”