Genre: YA

One of the Worst Books I’ve Read: Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Posted December 12, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 12 Comments
One of the Worst Books I’ve Read: Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Oh boy. I honestly don’t even know where to start with this book so apologies in advanced if my review is all over the place… there will be ranting and obviously spoilers as well. This book… was so fucking awful I’m kind of a loss for words. I happen to love the hate-to-love trope and the enemies to lover’s trope but it’s so damn tricky to pull off.  Honestly, Penelope Douglas is one of those authors that can pull it off, or so I thought. I loved Rival and I really enjoyed Punk 57 and Bully as well.  I’ve had my eye on Corrupt since it was first announced but I was always a bit weary of it because this one seems to have a darker tone. I wish I would have listened to my instincts and stayed far away from this book… The tone of this book is definitely darker, absurd and at times just plain wrong. There were times when rape was insinuated/implied and although it was never […]

The YA Fantasy I’ve Been Waiting For: Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

Posted December 5, 2017 by Nick in 4.5 stars, ARC, review / 24 Comments
The YA Fantasy I’ve Been Waiting For: Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

I’ve been craving a sweeping YA fantasy story since the beginning of the year, and sadly before I read Rosemarked, I could not find it. Then came this brilliant book, which completely swept me off my feet and took me on an amazing journey. Engrossing stories like this are why I simply adore reading. By the end of Rosemarked, I was desperate for the sequel – I mean, isn’t that just a sign as to how amazing this book was? In YA fantasy, I’ve always loved side-characters that are healers. It’s such an intriguing element, especially with the mirroring of reality, but healers are hardly ever the center of a fantasy series, so it was refreshing to see that here in Rosemarked. There’s a lot of rich history, world-building and politics in this book. The author does a stunning job at making her world come to life here with her prose. I sometimes find YA fantasy tedious to read because it can get very entangled quickly, but here everything flows […]

The Book That Didn’t Want To Be Read: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Posted November 27, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 18 Comments
The Book That Didn’t Want To Be Read: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Guys, I swear this book did not want me to read it! I received the audiobook copy of this book back in May and it wasn’t until recently that I was finally able to finish it. First, I had issues downloading the audiobook, when I finally did download it, my laptop messed up, when I was able to download it, I had to find a way to get it from my barely working laptop to my hardrive to transfer it my working computer. And just when I managed to add it to my phone and almost listen to all of it, I got a new phone. This audiobook is long, almost 24 fucking hours long, but it was okay because the book was really good and the audiobook performance was phenomenal, but I had less than 30 minutes left in the audiobook. I got an iPhone and it’s soooo hard to add audiobooks to this damn thing. Either the files for this audiobook wouldn’t play (all my other audiobooks worked) […]

Come For The Wild West Setting, Stay For The Brilliant Characters: Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

Posted November 9, 2017 by Nick in 5 stars, ARC, review / 9 Comments
Come For The Wild West Setting, Stay For The Brilliant Characters: Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

Retribution Rails is a testament to how brilliant Erin Bowman is at crafting these YA Westerns. She pens a harsh, gritty world, but with sympathetic characters, so deftly. Her stories are easy to sink it, and she keeps you glued to the pages until you turn the last page. If you enjoyed Vengeance Road, then this half-companion half-sequel will absolutely wow you. Though the landscape is a historical one, Bowman finds a way to make readers feel like you are part of the story through her characters. These are characters that brave and flawed, and beautifully realistic. I had high hopes going into Retribution Rails, especially after loving Kate and Jesse from Vengeance Road, and Erin Bowman does not disappoint. Both Charlotte and Reece are complex and layered characters who easily find a way to settle in your heart. Charlotte, with her aspirations to become a journalist, her love for her mother, and her desire to save her father’s legacy, was a fantastic character to become acquainted with. She’s a […]

The Rarity of Platonic Boy-Girl Relationships in YA : Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Posted November 2, 2017 by Nick in 3.5 stars, ARC, review / 15 Comments
The Rarity of Platonic Boy-Girl Relationships in YA : Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

I have such conflicting feelings about Top Ten by Katie Cotugno. On the one hand, I absolutely loved that we got the story between two friends, one with a bisexual character too. And I was hoping that this would  be like what Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg was for me. While there are some very strong elements to Top Ten, I do think the way the book is organized led to some confusion on my part. The book is told in the dual voices of Ryan and Gabby, two unlikely people who unexpectedly forge a friendship that has a lot of ups and downs throughout its progression. I enjoyed both Ryan and Gabby’s voices and I thought Cotugno was very adept at giving the two unique personalities. Gabby is the quieter of the two, the sort of girl who turns out has a very bold and vivacious personality once you get to know her. Gabby also struggles with severe anxiety, that’s explored realistically throughout Top Ten. Ryan is the […]

Bikers, Magic & Romantic Drama: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Posted October 30, 2017 by Nick in 3 stars, ARC, review / 13 Comments
Bikers, Magic & Romantic Drama: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Devils & Thieves gave me old-school YA vibes, which I’ve been craving lately. I loved the idea of bikers and magic, and was curious to see how Jennifer Rush would weave them together. Though the book wasn’t without its flaws, I found to be quite enjoyable, and by the end, I was definitely invested enough to want to continue on with the series. The magic system in Devils & Thieves was quite interesting and was was what predominantly got me going through the book. It’s a world in which some people have magic and some don’t. Jemmie, the protagonist, has magic, but hasn’t been able to use it for a while now because it makes her grotesquely sick. This leads her to feeling isolated among her friends in the biker gang, and the story goes deeper into her struggles with this. Her relationship with her father is also a highlight of Devils & Thieves. It’s a contentious relationship as Jemmie is still hurting and angry that her father left her […]

Absolutely Revolutionary: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Posted October 23, 2017 by Nick in 4.5 stars, ARC, review / 12 Comments
Absolutely Revolutionary: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I was nervous to pick it up because there was a lot of hype surrounding it, but also my expectations were ridiculous. I had nothing to worry about because Nic Stone has written what has got to be one of the most brilliant YA books of 2017. I can’t wait for this book to revolutionize YA as I know it will. This book is short at around 220 pages, but it packs such an emotional punch. Dear Martin is a book that’s powerful in its subtlety. I adored the protagonist, Justyce. His voice was just completely captivating from the very start. His thoughts, his struggles, his emotions, were described so deftly. As the book progresses, you get to know Justyce intimately. Nic Stone does a fabulous job at not only building up his character, but also developing him. Even though at first glance, I had nothing in common with him, I grew a very strong connection to him. […]

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 […]

What Is Family, Really? Read This Beautiful Story To Find Out

Posted October 16, 2017 by Nick in 4.5 stars, ARC, review / 16 Comments
What Is Family, Really? Read This Beautiful Story To Find Out

Quite frankly, I’m of the opinion that Robin Benway can do no wrong. Far From The Tree just went ahead and proved me right in that regards. It’s a poignant and powerful tale of love and family that struck deep with me, and is one of my favorite reads of the year. This is a book of three teens who are each at different points in their lives, but who are linked to each other through their birth mother. Far From The Tree is told in the compelling voices of Grace, Maya and Joaquin, who have grown up in very different homes. Grace has just given birth and has given her baby, who she lovingly names Peach, up for adoption. Though she knows that Peach is growing up in a good home, she’s still struggling with regaining normalcy in her life. Her grief and guilt are palpable throughout the book. My heart would ache with her. Robin Benway did such a lovely job with her characters. She made me feel […]

Underwhelming & Soooooo Annoying: A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Posted October 12, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 5 Comments
Underwhelming & Soooooo Annoying: A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Holy crap, this book was so annoying! If you haven’t noticed by now, I am so out of the loop when it comes to what books are currently out/coming out. I pretty much read what Nick tells me she thinks I will like, a romance book by an author I love or an audiobook that I think sounds interesting. This book fell into the last category. It showed up in my audiobook monthly email and I was like ‘hmmm, this one sounds like it could be pretty good’ *hits download.* Sadly, in this case I was wrong. I found myself in a constant state of annoyance. Annoyance with the characters. Annoyance with the plot. Annoyance with the way the story was told. And annoyance with myself for not being able to DNF this book because I simply had to find out just what the hell happened between Emma and her sister Henri that would make Henri turn into such a rotten bitch and Emma into a doormat. Spoiler alert, the […]

Imaginative & Addicting: Warcross by Marie Lu

Posted October 10, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 12 Comments
Imaginative & Addicting: Warcross by Marie Lu

I’m not normally into sci-fi books like this, but there was something about this book that was calling me. I would like to say that the fact that I enjoyed Marie Lu’s last series was the main reason that I got this book, but let’s be real, that eye-catching cover probably had more to do with it. This book is a little bit longer than I normally like my books to be (especially if they aren’t contemporary books) so I ended up saving this one for last when it came to listening to my audiobooks. Right away, I really fell in love with Emika. There’s just something about a normal girl in a high-tech and advanced world who is just doing her best trying to get by in life. Her mother abandoned her as a child and her father passed away a few years ago, leaving her in a mountain of gambling debt. Emika has a dead-end job but she makes ends meet (barely) by using her hacker skills to be […]

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 […]

Smart & Brilliant… Yet Pointless: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Posted October 5, 2017 by Nereyda in ARC, Audiobook, review / 9 Comments
Smart & Brilliant… Yet Pointless: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

I have such mixed feelings about this book… I don’t even know where to start. In all honesty, I probably should not have read this book. I hated We Were Liars and I had a feeling that this book would make me feel the same way as that one. But,  I am such a sucker for Rebecca Soler as a narrator that I caved and ended up downloading this book when I saw she was narrating it. Despite the fact that Soler was brilliant in her performance of the book (what else is new?), I was not a fan of this book. The sad thing is that it had so much potential and the writing was great, but it just fell flat for me in more ways than one. The book starts with Jules in a luxury resort in Mexico, she’s living the life and soon we find out that it may not be her life she’s actually living. She’s  a con artist and uses other identities to live her […]

Irritating But Redeeming: Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen

Posted September 28, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 12 Comments
Irritating But Redeeming: Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen

I do believe that I downloaded this audiobook by mistake. I was sending Nick a list of the audiobooks I had to listen to so she could pick one for me to listen to next and this one was on the list. Neither of us had heard of it so once I looked it up and read the summary, I knew I must have downloaded this one on accident. Since it wasn’t that long and the summary did sound interesting, I went ahead and kept it on my list. I did struggle with this one a bit in the beginning because Wren was so damn irritating. Also, the narrator’s… raspy/skeaky voice, especially in the beginning was kind of annoying. But I kept with it, and I’m glad I did because seeing Wren grow up was so damn satisfying and totally redeemed the book for me. Wren has been on a downward spiral for the last few years. It was hard for me to figure out at first why the hell […]

I Don’t Know What I Just Read But I Really Liked It: A Semi-Definitive of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

Posted September 26, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 15 Comments
I Don’t Know What I Just Read But I Really Liked It: A Semi-Definitive of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

I think I can honestly say that this is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read! I’m not even sure what category this would really fall into, it’s definitely contemporary, it has great friendships, a crazy family, a sweet sibling bond, a super adorable slow build romance, it deals with mental illness (which was done really well) but it also has some quirkiness, some mythology (maybe?), and a bit of silliness all the while hitting you with some hardcore feels here and there. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and it was such a refreshing story, nothing like what I was expecting! Esther and her twin brother Eugene have grown up on stories of when their grandfather met Death. Since then, it seems her family is cursed. Cursed with their one great fear that will eventually lead to their death. Esther’s mother is obsessed with bad signs that pretty much make her useless. She refuses to pick up her daughter from work because she saw […]

A Gorgeous & Memorable Book Every Teen Should Read: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Posted September 18, 2017 by Nick in 5 stars, ARC, review / 23 Comments
A Gorgeous & Memorable Book Every Teen Should Read: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Trigger warnings: Poignant and heart-breaking, Akemi Dawn Bowman’s winning debut novel tells the story of a half-Japanese half-white teen girl struggling with her identity, anxiety, art and family. It’s a story that shines from every page and stands out among other YA contemporaries. The book world is in for some spectacular books if Starfish is just a glimpse at Akemi Dawn Bowman’s elegant writing. Social anxiety-ridden Kiko has one dream – to attend the prestigious art institute, Prism, to pursue her dream career. Bonus, it will also help her escape her narcissistic mother, whose only impact has been to embed a deep lack of self-confidence in her daughter. Starfish is the emotional journey she goes on as she experiences rejection from her dream school, and decides to get out of her toxic home life with the aid of a friend. It’s a journey that is necessary for her growth, and one that helps her understand her self-value. Kiko is a protagonist who will speak to many teen girls, especially mixed-raced […]

The Most Creative 2017 Debut: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Posted September 11, 2017 by Nick in 4.5 stars, ARC, review / 25 Comments
The Most Creative 2017 Debut: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens is a stunning debut novel that will lure readers in with the gorgeous prose, and keep them glued to the pages of the book with its vibrant characters. It might be Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel, but she pens An Enchantment of Ravens like a pro and will leave you in awe. This is a YA fantasy novel that will stick with me for a long time. The book shines for its unique take on magic. In Rogerson’s world, humans have the ability to Craft, basically they all have a talent that the Fair Folk are able to purchase. It was refreshing to see this different sort of power dynamics. Margaret Rogerson takes common themes and elements from fae mythology and puts her own twist on them. The magical world was beautifully and subtly built throughout An Enchantment of Ravens, and most importantly, it was easy to envision. Rogerson’s writing is lush, gorgeous, and vivid, especially when it comes to the protagonist, Isobel’s artistic skills. This is […]

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 […]