Format: eBook

A Favorite Series Ends

Posted October 18, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 14 Comments
A Favorite Series Ends

Finishing a series is always such a bittersweet experience. I have loved The Gold Seer trilogy since the first book, so I went into this finale with a lot of expectations, but also a bit of hesitancy as I didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters. Into the Bright Unknown wraps up Lee and her friends’ story brilliantly, and I know for sure that this is one series I will be revisiting over and over again. Without a doubt, this book and this series’ stars are the characters. Lee, in particular, is a terrific protagonist. She has come a very long way since the first book when she lost her parents, went on a long trek and faced danger after danger. She has learned a lot from her experiences, and has become a strong, bright and tenacious young woman. I didn’t just love Lee for her strengths – I admired her even more for how kind and selfless she was. Every action of hers was driven by her love and desire to protect her friends and her family. It’s a quality that makes you root for her through and through. Into the Bright Unknown would not have been a good book had it not been for the secondary cast. They are all so engaging, unique in personality, and make […]

Girl Power, Girl Power & More Girl Power: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Posted October 9, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 26 Comments
Girl Power, Girl Power & More Girl Power: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Can Leigh Bardugo write a bad book? I think not! Once again, she’s written a novel that’s a complete blast to read from start to finish. Though I’m not as excited about this new YA superhero series as a whole, I was itching to get to Wonder Woman for two reasons. Firstly, it’s Leigh’s first full-length book outside of the Grishaverse. Secondly, after that amazing WW movie, I was ready to devour everything and anything Wonder Woman. Thankfully, I was entirely satisfied by this book, and I’m hoping that we’ll get to see Leigh write more books for teen Diana! There are innumerable reasons why this book and I clicked, but mostly, I just loved all the girl power. I have been loving this trend of female empowerment in YA lately, and Leigh Bardugo takes it to a whole other level. It’s a book that focuses 100% of femininity, the power of female friendship and the absolute strength that women wield. Diana, our beloved Amazon princess, is just the perfect sort of heroine for teens and adults to look up to. A lot of Diana’s strength undeniably stems from her powers and abilities, but the emotional strength and intelligence that she exhibits throughout Warbringer make her powerful in all the ways. She’s not an all-perfect specimen though. She falters, and […]

When An Unnecessary Twist Nearly Ruins A Good Book: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Posted September 6, 2017 by Nick & Nereyda in ARC, Audiobook, review / 19 Comments
When An Unnecessary Twist Nearly Ruins A Good Book: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Nereyda: I had no intention of reading this book. I haven’t been too impressed with contemporary YA as of late, this author’s last book was a little bit of a letdown (considering all the rave reviews) and this audiobook was narrated by one of my least favorite male narrators. All signs pointed to a no for me… but my brain sometimes (aka almost always) forgets things like this and before I remembered about all the reasons why I didn’t want to read this book, I had already downloaded the audiobook. I don’t like to not review audiobooks I receive for review (unfortunately I don’t have the same mentality when it comes to eARC’s…sigh) so I figured I would give it a try. When I say Nick talking about how much it surprised her in a weekly recap, I moved it up my list. Surprise, surprise, I actually ended up liking this quite a bit… up until the point that I didn’t… but it still wasn’t enough to make me dislike the entire book. Nick: Yeah I’m not sure what exactly prompted me to pick up the book either, but I saw it available in my library’s Overdrive, and decided to give it a shot. I definitely enjoyed What to Say Next more than I liked the author’s YA debut last […]

The Book That Did Not Stop Surprising The Two of Us: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Posted August 10, 2017 by Nick & Nereyda in 4 stars, ARC, Audiobook, review / 16 Comments
The Book That Did Not Stop Surprising The Two of Us: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Nereyda: I had honestly never even heard of this book (to be fair, I’m so out of the loop when it comes to books) until it came up on my emails for audiobooks. I had heard good things about her last thriller even though I never got around to reading it, but there was something about this book that intrigued me. I don’t usually bother with YA thrillers because most of the time they are way too predictable, but Little Monsters managed to escape the predictability with an unexpected POV and some added twists along the way. Nick: I was curious about Little Monsters but didn’t pick it up until Nereyda mentioned that she liked it. I read it over the weekend and thought it was one of the more brilliant YA mystery I have read. What I liked the best about this book was how it kept making me second-guess my theories at basically every turn. Nereyda: When Kacey’s friend Bailey goes missing, the whole town is shocked and desperate to find her. Kacey is determined to find answers since no one seems to take her disappearance seriously.  When a few of her searches land her at the wrong place at the wrong time, Kacey starts looking more and more like a suspect. Now, not only does she have […]

I Was In Food And Romance Heaven: North To You by Tif Marcelo

Posted August 3, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 35 Comments
I Was In Food And Romance Heaven: North To You by Tif Marcelo

Well, this book was charming, and sweet and so very endearing! I owe Ari big time for introducing me to North To You, a foodie romance debut that swept me off my feet. It’s not always that I encounter a debut novel that immediately makes me fall in love with the author’s writing, and turn me into a life-long fan, but Tif Marcelo’s North To You did exactly that for me. This is a book that has a lot of heart to it, and it’s all thanks to the lovable characters. These are characters that are built up so solidly throughout the book that you grow to know every aspect of their personalities intimately. And what great personalities they had! I immediately clicked with the heroine, Camille, a passionate food truck owner,  because of how resilient she was. She has had many obstacles thrown her way, but she continued to rise up from every difficult situation she has faced. Camille was hardworking, and very devoted to her sister’s success and happiness; the sacrifices she made for her sister warmed my heart! I just wanted for her to find the happiness she deserved. And she find that with Drew, quite possibly one of the best love interests I have ever read. Drew, a military man, was back home in San Francisco […]

5 Reasons Why Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde Was a Delightful Read

Posted April 6, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 17 Comments
5 Reasons Why Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde Was a Delightful Read

Queens of Geek came highly recommended from Aila and Madalyn. It sounded way too good for me not to want to pick it up. Going in, I was expecting a book that was pure nerdy fun with some romance here and there, and that’s exactly what I got from it. In my review, I’ll be sharing a few reasons why I liked this book. Diversity, diversity & more diversity The pages of Queens of Geek is just bustling with so much diversity, and never once does it feel forced. It’s there and it’s natural, just like in the real world. It has a bisexual Chinese character in the form of Charlie, a YouTuber and actress, and also a character with Asperger’s and social anxiety in the form of Taylor. I loved that even though the diversity in the book was inherently part of the characters, it was never made a huge deal out of, so it never felt like the author forced herself to write diverse characters. She handles it all like a pro, in my opinion, writing everything with respect all the while teaching readers a thing or two, which is something that I always want from a book like Queens of Geek. I especially appreciated how much she delves into Taylor’s Asperger’s. You can tell that this is either […]

One Of The Finest YA Fantasy Series Out There: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Posted April 3, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 20 Comments
One Of The Finest YA Fantasy Series Out There: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Even though I loved Six of Crows, I was a little nervous about reading Crooked Kingdom. I bought my copy on release day, but didn’t read the book until last week, mostly because I had spoiled myself and I wasn’t sure my heart could take it. Leigh Bardugo is one of the finest YA fantasy authors out there. Actually, she’s at the top of my favorites list along with Rae Carson. Crooked Kingdom was without any doubt a cleverly crafted story, but that one spoiler did take away from my enjoyment of the story a bit. For me, what makes this duology exceptional are the characters. These are not the typical kind of characters you would expect to find in a YA book. They are mature beyond words, yes, but they also straddle that line between good and evil. Despite that, Bardugo makes you sympathize with them and even root for their success, regardless of how nefarious they are. I think that’s a writing skill that not many authors possess. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Wylan and Jesper were slightly transformed in this installment, thanks to the life-threatening circumstances they got into in the previous book, but they also maintained all those characteristics that made them so unique. I loved reading all of their POVs, but I have to say, I grew […]

When A Character Steals The Thunder & A Finale Disappoints : Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

Posted October 21, 2016 by Nick in review / 39 Comments
When A Character Steals The Thunder & A Finale Disappoints : Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

I’ve been pretty enthusiastic about my love for The Royals series ever since the release of the first despite it containing tropes and cliches that I don’t particularly care for in my books. Even with those tropes, I found the first two books to be entirely too addictive for words. So even though there was only a few months’ wait in between Broken Prince and Twisted, Palace, I was so eager to get my hands on this last book. I don’t know what happened between the second book and this one, but Twisted Palace felt completely off for me and ultimately it led to my losing some of my appreciation for this series. What I really loved about the first two books was our heroine, Ella. She was so great with her fierceness, no bullshit attitude and her refusal to bow down to others just because they were on a higher social standing than she was. Numerous times throughout the series, she has impressed me with her resilience. In Twisted Palace, Ella has undergone some kind of character regression. No longer was she mouthy and fearless. Instead, she has turned into a meek and whiny character who honestly doesn’t get anything done throughout the book. I was frustrated, annoyed and not to mention, disappointed with had become of her character […]

Kick-Butt Heroine, ZZZ Romance & Conflicted Feelings: The Sight by Chloe Neill

Posted October 7, 2016 by Nick & Nereyda in review / 14 Comments
Kick-Butt Heroine, ZZZ Romance & Conflicted Feelings: The Sight by Chloe Neill

What We Liked: Nereyda: Chloe Neill is the author of one of my most favorite series (Chicagoland Vampires series) so I was very excited to start a new series by her last year. Nick and I both enjoyed The Veil and thought it had so much potential. While I liked the sequel, I have mixed feelings on a few things. One of the main things I like about this new series is the world that Neill has created for us in A Devil’s Isle. After reading 12 vampire books by her, I’m glad to have some new creatures to read about (although her vampires will always have a special place in my heart). What I liked the most about this book and the series is definitely the world that Neill created for us. I love the concept of humans being infected with magic when the Veil fell and were created into paranormals. I also love how realistic their reaction was to these paranormals, instead of embracing them they feared them (rightly so) and were forced to live with other paranormals in the Walled City of Devil’s Isle. Claire was another favorite part of mine, she was such a great MC. She was just an ordinary girl who happened to be a Sensitive. All she wanted to do was live her life […]

Demons & Exorcists Come To Life In The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent

Posted September 29, 2016 by Nick in Uncategorized / 13 Comments
Demons & Exorcists Come To Life In The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent

The Stars Never Rise was one of those unexpected hidden gems of last year for me. I fell head over heels in love with the cast of characters and the original story Rachel Vincent had crafted. Going into The Flame Never Dies, I was a little nervous. Though I can’t say that I enjoyed this final book of the duology as much as the first, I still thought it was a great conclusion and that the series as a whole was a brilliant ride. Anytime I read a sequel, I expect to see solid character development from the previous installment and Rachel Vincent certainly delivered on that front. Nina has from the start been a character that I have solidly rooted for and I loved how far she has come in this installment. She was more comfortable in her role as an exorcist, and still very much loyal and devoted to those around her. She faced numerous crappy situations in The Flame Never Dies and I was so impressed with how she handled herself with so much courage, grace and resilience. This girl is fierce, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. I also love the secondary cast in this series. They were such an entertaining bunch, but what clicked mostly with me was their loyalty to each other even though […]

A Mind-Blowing Finale: Burn by Paula Weston

Posted September 1, 2016 by Nick in 4.5 stars, review / 13 Comments
A Mind-Blowing Finale: Burn by Paula Weston

I don’t believe that “disappointing readers” is a phrase that belongs in Paula Weston’s vocabulary. Finales can be a hit or a miss depending on how the stories are wrapped up and while I was a little nervous going into Burn, I had no doubt that the author was going to do these characters justice. I was right. Burn was everything that I could ask for in a series ending – it wrapped up all the loose ends, answered all our questions, and left readers with a contented sigh. For the entirety of this series, I have been waiting for the events of this book to unfold: Gaby regaining her memories. As excited as I was, part of me was terrified at how she would react to it. I had nothing to fear though and I shouldn’t have doubted Gaby even for a second. She has always been a character that I have loved, but I grew more than respect and admiration for how she handled the resurfacing of her memories, smartly while taking the time to process it on her own terms. She has matured into an amazing protagonist, and she has come to the realization that her past can’t shape who she has become in the past few weeks. Even though the initial impact of having found out what really transpired […]

When The Steam Amps Up: Shimmer by Paula Weston

Posted August 26, 2016 by Nick in 4.5 stars, review / 16 Comments
When The Steam Amps Up: Shimmer by Paula Weston

I don’t know how Paula Weston seems to do it, but every installment in this series seems to be stronger than the previous books. With every book, she takes her characters, world and plot to an unimaginable level. With the cliffhanger ending of Haze, I was more than eager to get to Shimmer and it delivered in every way. This book was pretty bittersweet for my favorite protagonist, Gaby. She may have gotten back her brother, but now Rafa is missing. And she’s not too sure how to handle her emotions. In Shimmer, we get to see Gaby shine and stand out more than she ever has. I loved the determination and confidence that she exhibited here. She was so much more assertive, especially in the midst of the other half-angels, and I was proud of how far she has come from the previous books. I can’t stop raving about Gaby because she is absolutely amazing! As with the previous installments, we also get to see a lot of character development with the secondary cast. I was particularly excited to get to know Jude, mostly his dynamic with Gaby and I was not disappointed. Jude was a great guy and an even greater brother. What makes Shimmer an outstanding book was the fact that we got to learn so much more about the Rephaim. The tension […]

Your Favorite Angels Are Back: Haze by Paula Weston

Posted August 15, 2016 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 22 Comments
Your Favorite Angels Are Back: Haze by Paula Weston

Every time I go into the second book of a series, I have a nagging doubt that I just won’t enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed the first. Paula Weston’s Haze, however, proves that there are exceptions to every case. This sequel to Shadows was just as remarkable of a book as its predecessor, or perhaps even stronger. This book was all about Gaby’s conflicted feelings. At the end of the first book, she and Rafa realize that because her memories were altered, it might be possible that Jude’s were as well and that he is alive somewhere. Gaby has always been a strong girl, but it was interesting here to see more of her vulnerabilities. She clung to the manufactured memories that she had of Jude, and she was afraid of what she was going to find in Melbourne. So throughout Haze, she found ways to stall. This in reality should have frustrated me to no ends, but Gaby was a relatable character and it’s easy to see where she was coming from. Even when she was making decisions that had me feeling doubtful throughout the book, I understood her. To me, her ability to reach readers and make them understand her viewpoint were what made Gaby such a colorful protagonist. Then, there was Rafa, who was just as infuriating, attractive and genuine as […]

A Snooze-Fest of a Mystery: With Malice by Eileen Cook

Posted August 12, 2016 by Nick in 2 stars, review / 34 Comments
A Snooze-Fest of a Mystery: With Malice by Eileen Cook

With Malice wasn’t entirely on my radar until it blew up with all the praise in the blogging community. Because I’m always looking for well-written thrillers, I figured I’d give this one a try. While I liked the way the story and the mystery were told, I found nothing about this book to be particularly thrilling. The good thing about With Malice is that its writing is pretty strong. Eileen Cook definitely knew what she was doing here. I especially liked how this wasn’t just your typical first-person narrative and that you also get to see police interview transcripts with eye witnesses, blog posts, Facebook statuses and more. It made the book engaging and easy to flip through. I actually preferred those chapters to those told in Jill’s POV because they helped me form my own opinion of Jill and Simone outside of Jill’s views herself. I also thought the amnesia aspect of the story was handled well and it added a certain mysterious allure to the book. Regardless of the strong writing though, With Malice fell flat for me. I think part of that is entirely on me. The book kept reminding me of Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, the best YA thriller/mystery to have ever been written – they both have a similar premise of a dead best friend. […]

Angels And Demons Have Never Been Edgier And Sexier: Shadows by Paula Weston

Posted August 8, 2016 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 31 Comments
Angels And Demons Have Never Been Edgier And Sexier: Shadows by Paula Weston

Angel books and I just don’t mesh well together, but Paula Weston’s The Rephaim series is the exception to my dislike for them. This was my second time reading Shadows and I have a feeling that the more times I re-read this book, the better it will get. It’s dark, sexy and completely addicting! What makes Shadows one of the best paranormal/angel books out there in the YA market is the character development. Paula Weston is incredibly talented at making this cast come to life in such a brilliant way. Our protagonist in this book is Gaby, a young woman who has recently lost her twin brother and life-line, Jude, in a terrible car accident. When out of the blue the mysterious Rafa barges into her life and reveals to her that she is an angel and that her memories have been wiped out, her whole life is turned upside down. Gaby was a terrific main character, one that was easily loveable with how intelligent and thoughtful she could be. Being told that your whole life is a lie isn’t something that anyone can take easily, and we see that through Gaby’s eyes. The way she slowly grows to accept her new reality was one of the best parts of this book for me.  I wish more YA heroines would be written […]

A Touching & Powerful Exploration of PTSD: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Posted August 4, 2016 by Nick in review / 32 Comments
A Touching & Powerful Exploration of PTSD: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Underwater has been on my TBR for a long time, but I only picked it up recently thanks to Maja at The Nocturnal Library’s wonderful review. I’m so glad that her review gave me the push to read the book because it was an exceptional and memorable read about one young girl’s path to healing. I love books like Underwater, that are simple in their execution, yet are powerful and touching in a million ways. At the heart of the story, we have Morgan, an endearing protagonist who I cheered for from the very beginning. There was something special about her voice that spoke to me, and I can’t exactly pinpoint what it was. She was suffering from PTSD  after a horrific event, refusing to step out of her house. Before this tragedy, Morgan was a lively, friendly and social girl who loved to swim. But her whole life was turned upside down. Now she takes online classes, eats grilled cheese and tomato soup every lunch and only interacts with her mother, brother and therapist. Things dramatically change when Evan, a cute Hawaiian boy moves in next door. You feel every emotion that Morgan undergoes during Underwater in a very real and heart-wrenching way. Marisa Reichardt described her sadness, longing, guilt, anxiety, joy and love beautifully – it’s a rollercoaster and […]

5 Reasons Why I Loved Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Posted July 4, 2016 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 46 Comments
5 Reasons Why I Loved Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch is one of those books that scared me with how hyped it was. I don’t normally do well with hyped books because I build up my expectations too high, so I decided not to pick up a copy at the time of its release. But Jeann at Happy Indulgence reviewed it a couple of weeks ago and loved it. Since she and I have similar tastes when it comes to YA and I was feeling like reading a good YA fantasy, I jumped aboard Truthwitch and omg. It’s probably an understatement to say I’m a fan and that I very much regret not joining the fandom earlier this year. But hey! At least I fixed my ways, right? Anyways, here are the reasons why this book just worked for me. 1. Fierce & Vulnerable Girls Fantasy usually has a lot of fierce girls as main characters. While I admire these strong, physically badass girls, sometimes I just don’t relate to them because they come across as too perfect. In Truthwitch, the two main characters, Safi and Iseult, were those kind of fierce heroines. But what made them stand out for me though was how they had vulnerabilities and weaknesses. To me, it made Safi and Iseult very approachable. Over the course of the book, I grew to love these girls. […]

Review: The Epidemic by Suzanne Young

Posted June 23, 2016 by Nick in Favorite Quotes, review / 34 Comments
Review: The Epidemic by Suzanne Young

The Program series is one of the most memorable series I’ve ever read. I’m in love with these books, and it’s always a nice surprise to find out there are more books set in the same world. When I read The Remedy, I fell in love with the story, especially because of how strong the emotional impact it had on me was, but I was also rather frustrated because it ended on a cliffhanger and at the time, there was no news as to whether there would be a sequel. With The Epidemic, Suzanne Young took this series to a whole new level! ” ‘I love you so much that it might just kill me, Quinn,’ he murmurs. ‘But I’ll go ahead and keep on loving you until it does, because I don’t know any other way to be alive.’ “ The concept of this series is brilliant and scary. At the end of The Remedy, the protagonist, Quinn, who was raised to be a closer, an individual who poses and behaves as dead people in order to allow their families to grieve and provide closure, finds out that her life has been a lie. I won’t reveal what she found out, but it shattered her whole world and she was completely lost. She and her ex-boyfriend Deacon run away to find Arthur […]