Book Review, Favorite Reads, ya urban fantasy

Book Review | THE HAZEL WOOD, by Melissa Albert

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The Hazel Woodby Melissa Albert

Publish Date: January 30, 2018
Published by: Flatiron Books
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an ARC from the publisher as a bookseller for barnes & Noble in return for an honest review.**


Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

My Review:

The Hazel Wood is the wish of every fantasy lover out there, who dreams of finding a magical door to another world that is home to their favorite stories. Or is it? This book takes the idea of doors-between-worlds and fairy-tale adventures and turns them upside down on their heads and hands you their bleeding hearts on a corroded silver platter. It’s dark, it’s twisted, it gives you chills, but also keeps you completely entranced for the entire ride. Continue reading “Book Review | THE HAZEL WOOD, by Melissa Albert”

Book Review, Fantasy, Favorite Reads

Book Review | CREATURES OF LIGHT, by Emily B. Martin

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Creatures of Light (Creatures of Light #3), by Emily B. Martin

Publish Date: January 23, 2018
Published by: Harper Voyager
Pages: 384
Genre: 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.**


Queen Gemma—although she isn’t sure she still has claim to that title—is in prison.

To her people, it’s simply called “The Retreat,” but in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by guards and unable to speak to her husband, King Celeno, there’s no other word for it. The only comfort she has is knowing she might not be there long—the Prelate has let her know in no uncertain terms the council is, even now, deciding her ultimate fate.

And Gemma would resign herself to that if it wasn’t for a mysterious stranger breaking her free and setting her on a course that could change the world. With precious information—and a skeptical travel companion— Gemma must undertake a journey to find answers to the questions that have defined her life for years…and her country for centuries.

If she can make this desperate scheme work, she might not just forge peace between Alcoro and their neighbors, but win some peace of heart as well. And, perhaps, she’ll learn the same lessons Mae and Mona learned: that being Queen doesn’t mean having to do everything alone.

My Review:

From the moment I realized I had fallen in love with Woodwalker two years ago (I realized it around the same time I realized I had finished half of it in one day), I knew this series was going to be something else. And this conclusion was both beautiful and heartrending, perfectly imperfect in everything it was, and just a wonderful end to an incredible journey. Continue reading “Book Review | CREATURES OF LIGHT, by Emily B. Martin”

Book Review, YA Contemporary Fiction

Book Review | FAR FROM THE TREE, by Robin Benway

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Far From the Treeby Robin Benway

Publish Date: October 3, 2017
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Fiction
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

My Review:

In all honesty, if I had just read the synopsis on this book, I probably never would have picked it up. It’s just not my normal cup of tea. But I had come across a sample of the first chapter it in a booklet I had gotten at an event somewhere (I think the BN B-Fest), and that sample alone just wouldn’t get out of my head. So when it came time for my reading mood to go “man, I need a contemporary”, I thought that this one should be it. Continue reading “Book Review | FAR FROM THE TREE, by Robin Benway”

Book Review, ya fantasy

Book Review | REIGN OF THE FALLEN, by Sarah Glenn Marsh

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Reign of the Fallenby Sarah Glenn Marsh

Publish Date: January 23, 2018
Published by: Razorbill
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an ARC from the publisher as a Bookseller for Barnes & Noble in return for an honest review.**


Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

My Review:

When I first came across this book I was extremely stoked and excited to read it. It quickly became one of my highly anticipated reads for 2018, and when I managed to get me hands on an ARC of it, I was ecstatic. But sadly, it just didn’t work for me in the long-run. Continue reading “Book Review | REIGN OF THE FALLEN, by Sarah Glenn Marsh”