Genre: YA

A Favorite Series Ends

Posted October 18, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 0 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 / 13 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 / 13 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 […]

Oh, My Heart! : Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Posted September 4, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, ARC, review / 31 Comments
Oh, My Heart! : Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren are a wildly popular duo in the romance community, and with Autoboyography, no doubt the YA community will also go wild for this talented pair. Autoboyography is a lovely, heart-felt book about sexual identity, religion, love and family that teens and adults alike will fall in love with. Tanner and Sebastian could not be more different from each other, but somehow the two meet, and fall in love with each other. The book is predominantly told through the voice of Tanner, a proud bisexual boy who is only out to his family in his new Utah town. He is a total sweetheart, who captured my heart with his easy-going personality and kind soul. He is outgoing, smart, level-headed, and loves like nobody’s business. Sebastian on the other hand is more quiet, and very devoted to his Mormon religion. Tanner and Sebastian meet in Tanner’s seminar class where Sebastian is the teaching assistant. Somehow the book that they have to write in the class turns out to be an […]

I Expected More: Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh

Posted August 28, 2017 by Nick in 2.5 stars, ARC, review / 18 Comments
I Expected More: Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh

When a book is described as “Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas”, it’s hard for a fan of both of those things to ignore. Rebel Seoul comes highly recommended from fellow bloggers, which just added to my excitement of reading the book. Perhaps it was my high expectations, but Rebel Seoul wasn’t the book I was led to believe it would be. The premise of the book is certainly interesting. The futuristic/dystopian South Korean setting is fresh and unique, but only bare bones of the world are explored here, which makes it hard to become invested in the story. A lot of the world building, and the history of the war that led to this new Korean society feels like info-dumping, which means the book is peppered with these dense chunky paragraphs explaining the world. It’s not how I personally enjoy reading the world building of a book, and it led to moments of boredom for me. The plot is also slow-paced, which didn’t enhance my enjoyment of the story. […]

When A Favorite Author Disappoints: The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby

Posted August 18, 2017 by Nick in 2 stars, ARC, review / 13 Comments
When A Favorite Author Disappoints: The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby

I have loved every book by Jessi Kirby, and any time I hear about a book from her, I pounce on it. The Secret History of Us sounded very different from her typical book, but I had faith that she’d write yet another compelling, character-driven book. I’m so sad to even write this, but this book was a huge disappointment. I’ve decided to do this review in bullet form because it’s much easier for me to express my thoughts about this book this way. What I Liked The writing was lovely. As always, Kirby’s writing is stunning. I knew very early on this book wasn’t working for me, but I also was not able to put it down because of the writing. Olivia’s reaction to her amnesia was realistic. I thought the author handled that part brilliantly. When Olivia’s emotions surfaced, especially, I found the book to be very engaging. She’s obviously struggling with her memory loss and trying to figure out what happened to her over the years, and […]

Why Aussie Authors Are The Best: No Limits by Ellie Marney

Posted August 14, 2017 by Nick in ARC, review / 25 Comments
Why Aussie Authors Are The Best: No Limits by Ellie Marney

I only have one rule when it comes to Ellie Marney’s books: I read them all. We met Harris, the hero of No Limits, in the last book of the Every series, a Sherlock Holmes retelling, and while I was initially quite wary of his character, I grew to appreciate the important role he played in the series, particularly in Rachel’s life. I was very eager when Ellie Marney announced she would be releasing a standalone novel all about Harris. And folks, she’s done it again! She’s crafted a book that’s intricate, entertaining and just gorgeous in every way, and I’m in awe of her incredible talent with words. First things first, if you’re coming into No Limits expecting it to be like the Every series, then change your expectations ASAP. This book was much darker, more mature and more complex, in my opinion. Of course, it still had all those elements that make Ellie’s books Ellie’s such as the character development, as well as a vivid setting, this time of […]

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 […]

When An Aussie Author Makes Me Read A Genre I Normally Wouldn’t: The Undercurrent by Paula Weston

Posted August 9, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 25 Comments
When An Aussie Author Makes Me Read A Genre I Normally Wouldn’t: The Undercurrent by Paula Weston

Well, that was one heck of a ride. I’ve been in love with Paula Weston’s writing and books ever since I read Shadows, the first book in one of my all-time favorite series, The Rephaim. With The Undercurrent, a standalone, Weston delves into an entirely different genre, but once again, she has penned an engaging and thrilling story. If The Undercurrent had been written by any other author, I would have skipped it because it’s a futuristic thriller, and I personally tend to struggle with those. The Undercurrent however was compelling from the start. It opened up with a bang, literally with a building explosion, and the pacing did not let on. The story is filled with secrets, corruption, government conspiracies and bio-engineering, which made for an exciting book start to finish. What’s awesome here is that the story slowly built up, and you’re only fed information one chapter at a time, which made the book almost impossible to put down. The Undercurrent was non-stop action, non-stop revelations, and non-stop danger, which […]

I Laughed Until My Belly Hurt: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C Yee

Posted July 31, 2017 by Nick in ARC, review / 28 Comments
I Laughed Until My Belly Hurt: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C Yee

Bravo, F.C Yee! You’ve managed to make me laugh with a book until my stomach hurts. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo wasn’t exactly on my radar until some of my close bookish friends (shoutout to Eri, Aila & Aentee), wouldn’t stop raving about it. These ladies hardly ever lead me astray, so I decided that I was going to give it a shot and surprise, surprise – I had so much fun with it, by the end, I was just dying to have the sequel in my hands. Books like The Epic Crush of Genie Lo remind me why I love reading so much. They are temporarily able to whisk me away to a different world. Sure, I’d probably be the first to flop dead in Genie’s newfound world of demons, but it’s still fun to imagine myself in her shoes. It helps that Genie is a super relatable character. I think a lot of readers are going to love her. She’s just pure fun, but also smart, studious […]