Book Review, Favorite Reads

Book Review | THE QUEEN’S RISING, by Rebecca Ross

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The Queen’s Risingby Rebecca Ross

Publish Date: February 6, 2018
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 464
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.**


When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

My Review:

This was one of those books for me where I knew from the first chapter that I was going to love it. It drew me in utterly and completely, kept me thinking about it whenever I wasn’t reading it, and altogether left me feel satiated and happy. Rebecca Ross has created a gem of a novel that, if you are a lover of fantasy, is something you should definitely add to your TBR. It’s bright, heartwarming, and hopeful, while also full of intrigue and action, a romance to fall in love with, and characters that make you wish you knew them in real life. Continue reading “Book Review | THE QUEEN’S RISING, by Rebecca Ross”

Book Review

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

Book Review: The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz

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The Gallery of Unfinished Girlsby Lauren Karcz

Published by: HarperTeen

On Sale Date: July 25, 2017

**I received this as an e-galley from HarperTeen through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)


Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn’t been able to paint anything worthwhile since her award-winning piece Food Poisoning #1 last year.

Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is lying comatose in faraway Puerto Rico after suffering a stroke. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings.

Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.

At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she never has before. She can share her deepest secrets and feel safe. But Mercedes can’t take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. As her life continues to crumble around her, the Estate offers more solace than she could hope for. But Mercedes can’t live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality. 

Continue reading “Book Review: The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz”