Book Review, Favorite Reads, ya sci-fi, YA Superheroes/Vigilantes, young adult

Book Review | COLLATERAL DAMAGE, by Taylor Simonds

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Collateral Damage, by Taylor Simonds

Publish Date: June 25, 2019
Published by: Parliament House Press
Length: 309 pages
Genre: YA Superheroes/Sci-Fi
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)


Power. Courage. Invincibility. The marks of a true hero.

Meg Sawyer has none of these things.

Meg has never stopped a moving bus with her bare hands, been bitten by a radioactive insect, or done anything moderately resembling saving the world. She doesn’t have to. She’s a background citizen, a nobody, one of the swarms of faceless civilians of Lunar City–where genetically enhanced superhumans straight out of the comics have thwarted evil for years.

For as long as the Supers have existed, Meg has had one goal: to not become a casualty in their near-daily battles for justice. And for the last seventeen years, she’s managed to do just that. Sure, her minimum-wage job at the local coffee shop isn’t great, she can’t even leave her apartment without loading herself up with protective gear, and her car was just hijacked to throw at a supervillain (again), but she’s not dead yet.

But when Meg accidentally finds one of the city’s perfect, invincible protectors murdered under extremely suspicious circumstances, her whole “innocent bystander” strategy falls apart. After being coerced by his determined girlfriend into a mission to help prevent the deaths of the remaining Supers, Meg finds herself forced into the foreground of a story she never wanted to be part of-one that challenges everything she thought she knew about both her city and herself.

My Review: 

Okay I just have to say I LOVED this book. It was SUCH a fun read. From the start I was absolutely hooked. Taylor Simonds gives such a great voice to her narrator, Meg, that it was difficult not to fall in love with her from the first line. This book is full of action, strong friendship, conspiracy, mystery, and lots of running from danger of course.
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Book Review, Favorite Reads, ya fantasy, ya urban fantasy, young adult

Book Review | SUGAR SPELLS, by Lola Dodge

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Sugar Spells (The Spellwork Syndicate #2), by Lola Dodge

Publish Date: October 30, 2018
Published by: Ink Monster, LLC
Length: 270 pages
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


After her run-in with a jealous warlock, apprentice baker Anise Wise can’t wait to get back the kitchen where she belongs. But thanks to her brush with death, the land of the living isn’t all cupcakes and marshmallows.

Anise’s magical mojo is way out of whack and her evolving powers are stirring up trouble. As the town buzzes with news that Anise can bake deathly spells, unsavory characters start lining up for a taste. They’ll stop at nothing for the chance to use Anise and her witchcraft to further their own plots.

She plans to hole up researching magic recipes until the attention dies down, but then she discovers the horrifying terms of her bodyguard’s contract. Wynn has saved her life so many times, she can’t leave him trapped. But doing the right thing will mean risking death or worse—being cast out of her dream job.

For this witch, justice might not be as sweet as advertised.

My Review: 

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Book Review, Favorite Reads, ya fantasy, ya urban fantasy, young adult

Book Review | DEADLY SWEET, by Lola Dodge

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Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate #1), by Lola Dodge

Publish Date: January 16, 2018
Published by: Ink Monster, LLC
Length: 336 pages
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad no one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.

The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.

If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

My Review: 

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Book Review, ya fantasy, ya romance, young adult

Book Review | WHERE DREAMS DESCEND, by Janella Angeles

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Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1), by Janella Angeles

Publish Date: June 2, 2020
Published by: Wednesday Books
Length: 464 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)

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


In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

My Review: 

Where Dreams Descend is a lustrous story that weaves magic and performance together in a Phantom of the Opera inspired setting where romance reigns supreme and mystery hides in the shadows. The writing is exquisite, however the plotline tends to drift more towards the romance and leaves the mystery floundering a bit in the dust, forgotten often and struggling to make much of an impact until the very end. This is one of those books that I really want to love, but unfortunately leaves me feeling somewhat frustrated with how little questions were actually answered by its conclusion.
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Adult, Book Review, mystery, Romance, superheroes/vigilantes

Book Review | THE QUEEN CON, by Meghan Scott Molin

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The Queen Con (The Golden Arrow #2), by Meghan Scott Molin

Publish Date: July 9, 2019
Published by: 47North
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Mystery/Romance
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


What’s a comic book writer’s life without a real-life archnemesis?

MG Martin thought she’d turned the last page on the dangerous Golden Arrow case. The bad guys are behind bars, and the rest is up to her detective boyfriend, Matteo Kildaire. But when Golden Arrow impersonators start popping up all over Los Angeles, the writer in MG can’t help but be intrigued. Are they impostors, or has the original Golden Arrow returned for another story arc?

A reemergence of drug crime has left the LAPD baffled, and golden arrows are once again being left at crime scenes. Matteo asks MG if she’ll resume consulting on all things geek, and she jumps at the opportunity. No need to mention that she may also do some sleuthing, with her friends’ help, right?

It’s rumored that the Golden Arrow will make a guest appearance at an exclusive queen party, and MG, Lawrence, and Ryan go undercover to sniff out the truth. But the sting goes sideways in a deadly way, and it’s up to their little crew to prove that the Golden Arrow might actually be the supervillain they’re chasing. Because looks can be deceiving, and every good writer knows the sequel is where the real plot twist happens…

My Review: 

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Book Review, YA Contemporary Fiction, ya fiction, young adult

Book Review | WHAT IF IT’S US, by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

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What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

Publish Date:  October 8, 2018 
Published by: HarperAudio/HarperTeen
Audiobook Narrated by: Noah Galvin & Froy Gutierrez
Length: 9 hrs 48 min (437 pages)
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction/Romance/LGBTQ+
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)


ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

What if it’s us?

My Review: 

I was sadly unimpressed by this book. I really wanted to like it, and that first chapter really had me hooked and ready to go. But after that, things started to decline.

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