Waiting on Wednesday: A Heart So Fierce and Broken

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)

From Goodreads:

In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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ARC Review: Scared Little Rabbits

Scared Little Rabbits

**I received an arc from the author in exchange for my honest review**

I was beyond words excited when Geiger announced her next thriller. I was shook after her first duology, Follow Me Back and Tell Me No Lies, so I knew I had to read her latest novel. It promised to be a page-turning thriller. I’m sad to report that this fell short of my expectations.

Nora has been accepted to a programming summer camp and can barely function due to the excitement she feels. She has high expectations for herself as the same summer camp hosted the brain child behind the uber popular app, InstaLove. This app allowed users to immerse in an interactive game that combined Instagram and PokemonGo, and pushes the users to be more social. Great idea, right? Nora hopes she can come up with a great idea like that but while at camp, the biggest adventure she encounters is a missing person and the death of another.

I won’t keep giving you the synopsis of the story because I want you to read the story for yourself. Nora’s character was easy enough to like but there was not anything about her that immediately stood out to me. I was not her biggest fan because she was overly-awkward and I felt a lot of the story focused on just how awkward she was. That was not necessary. It was stressed so much how ordinary yet brilliant Nora was. Ok, I get the pictures so move on already.

The other characters were not that original either – Maddox was the cute boy and Eleanor was the queen bee. No surprise but Maddox and Eleanor have a past. Nora spends most of the book jumping to conclusions about what happened between the two to cause them to split. All that did for me was point out Nora’s insecurities and self-doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I get that nearly every female has those but it felt like they were highlighted throughout this entire story. Also, there felt like an insta-love meeting between Nora and Maddox at the start of the book and I’m not here for that. I never believe insta-love and never will. Sure, they can find each other attractive but not instantly become each others only thought. It was just no believable.

The pacing of the book felt slightly off. Normally I would have torn through the story but I found I could easily set the book down and not have a strong desire to pick it back up. I was curious about what was going on but I didn’t have a strong desire to finish. Maybe it was the random Eleanor POV chapters that were trying to be cryptic but did nothing more than confuse me. Whatever it was, it didn’t work for me.

Overall, I felt let down by this one. The ending felt predictable, along with all of the characters. It was not a thrilling story for me to read as I predicted the ending very early on. I am not upset that I read it but I am just disappointed by what I read. Would I recommend it? EH, maybe I’m just not the right reader for this one and someone else will really enjoy it. Either way, I do say give it a shot by borrowing from your library.

Review: Jackpot

Jackpot

I do not ever hide the fact that I adore the Queen that is Nic Stone. I have met her several times and not only is she humble and relatable, she is my Harry Potter sister from another mister. I could talk Harry Potter with her for weeks. All of that aside, she wrote another outstanding, thought provoking, and emotion tugging story when she penned Jackpot.

Rico and her family have never had much money… ever. They are constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul and barely making ends meet. Rico was at her job as a cashier one day when an older lady came in to buy a lottery ticket. It just so happens that the multi-million dollar winning ticket was sold from the store Rico worked at. She just knew it was the older lady and now Rico was on a mission to find her and hope she could talk her way into some of the winnings from the ticket. Along the way, Rico starts to become friends with Zan, a rich boy who never wants for anything. He tries to be the voice of reason for Rico, trying to tell her that money won’t fix her problems. Rico will not be detoured and is set on tracking down the winning ticket and hoping for a split of the prize.

Rico’s voice was the most powerful thing in the story to me. I could feel the sense of desperation coming off of her character as she sent off on a quest to track down the ticket and maybe get some of the winnings. I felt for her. I have lived the life of not knowing where my next meal would come from and how hard it is to work only to have just enough to pay bills – nothing more. I lived that life in my 20s, no teen (or anyone!) should have to experience that. Rico’s character was forced to grow up too quickly and make adult decisions to take care of her younger brother because her mother certainly wasn’t going to do it. To read about all of the normal teenage experiences Rico was robbed of was heart breaking.

This story was not as cut and dry as girl tries to find winning lottery ticket to ask for money. There are twists and turns that will keep you on your toes. Just when you think you know what is going on or what is going to happen, BAM!, Stone throws you a curve ball. I highly recommend this to everyone as it felt like a necessary story. There was no preaching, only masterful story telling. Please read this if you have not already.

Books Left Unread #194

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

Rewind by Carolyn O’Doherty

Rewind (Rewind #1)

This seems exactly like the book I love to read but cannot give a good reason why I haven’t started it yet. Have you read it?

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Review: Sick Kids In Love

Sick Kids in Love

**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review**

Before I get into my review, I want to stress that this is not your typical book about sick kids so don’t even try to compare to TFIOS. NOBODY DIES! WOO! Still, it’s a story that will stomp on your feels and make your heart hurt (in a good way).

Isabel was a teenage girl living with rheumatoid arthritis and doing the best she could to be as normal as possible. She was at the hospital receiving her RA treatment when she meets Sasha. This started the whirlwind relationship for two sick kids who, while they do not look sick, really have their own trials and tribulations to overcome.

While I gave a very brief overview of the story, there was so much more to Isabel and Sasha’s story. The private thoughts and struggles Isabel went through were understandable and believable. She battled with negative thoughts, self doubt, and some abandonment issues since her father, a well respected Doctor, was absent most of the time and her mother was not in the picture. The girl practically raised herself. Her bond with Sasha was a great balance to someone that needed another soul to connect with. Sasha was a delightful character and I wanted to be friends with him in real life. He was witty, sarcastic, and amazing. The dynamic between the two jumped off of the page.

What stood out to me the most was how this author did a wonderful job of portraying characters that had real life medical issues yet not weighing down the story with medical speak. Everything was explained masterfully and I didn’t feel like I had no idea what was happening. It also made me realize just how many people around me could have serious medical issues but chose to remain private about it. I speak from experience because I have a slew of medical issues that most people would never know existed. (Ask me about them sometime. I am an open book because the more people know, the more educated people can become. Not every serious medical issue is as public or well known as you might think.)

I could keep going but I want to entice you enough to get your hands on this book! It was so well written that I know I will now get my hands on whatever this author writes. Please, add to your TBR today if you have not already. You need some Sasha humor in your life.

Waiting on Wednesday: Sabrina: Daughter of Chaos

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Sabrina: Daughter of Chaos by Sarah Rees Brennan

Daughter of Chaos (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, #2)

From Goodreads:

Half-witch, half-mortal sixteen-year-old Sabrina Spellman has made her choice: She’s embraced her dark side and her witchy roots. Now her power is growing daily… but will it come at too high a price?
Sabrina Spellman has just made the hardest decision of her life: She’s leaving behind her beloved friends at Baxter High. Now it’s time to follow the path of night and find her way among the witches and warlocks at the Academy of Unseen Arts.

Sabrina has always been good at the school thing, but now she has a whole new world to navigate. Her power is growing daily, but it comes with a high price. She must always remember her new allegiances and the cost they have on her friends… and on herself.

And then there’s her new classmates. Prudence, Dorcas, and Agatha are friends, kind of, but can Sabrina trust them? And what about Nick Scratch? He’s as charming as ever, but will his feelings for Sabrina last?

Based on the hit Netflix show, this original YA novel tells an all-new, original story about Sabrina.

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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ARC Review: Orpheus Girl

Orpheus Girl

**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.**

I’ve been struggling with my post for this story because it was so heart-breaking and soul shattering that I was afraid my limited vocabulary would not do it proper justice. This is now a book that I will recommend and push on everyone because I feel it needs to be talked about more.

Set in the a small religious town in the South, 16 year old Raya has not had an easy life. Her mother left when she was young and was forced to move in with her Grandmother. The small town does not offer much in way of adventure or escape so Raya did what she could to keep her sanity, especially when she did everything she can to hide the secret that she prefers girls. Nobody would understand or come close to accepting this truth. When Raya’s secret was outted, her Grandmother made the decision to send her to a religious camp that could help her “pray the gay away”. What Raya went through and experienced at this “religious camp” was nothing short of barbaric, torture, traumatizing, and downright evil.

This truly was a difficult story to get through because it was so powerful and necessary. My heart went out to Raya and everything she went through. She was a well written and developed character. She knew who she was and did not detour from that. She knew that she could not change who she liked/loved and would not stop fighting. Her character development was amazing for such a short book (less than 200 pages). I wanted nothing more than to reach into the pages and give this girl a hug. Her Grandmother, on the other hand, I wanted to smack with a reality check. She was selfish, closed minded, and a nut. I was mad at her for doing what she did but also knew that was part of the generational difference. The mind set between these characters – family or not – was unbelievable but so real.

The events that took place at this “religious camp” were not for the faint of heart. There was some terrifying and hard to get through scenes. I know camps like this existed and still exist to this day, but that didn’t make it any easier to read. I’m not sure I could have been strong enough to survive what Raya and the other “campers” went through.

I made mention that the book in total is less than 200 pages but the words will stay with me for a long time. This was lyrically written and hauntingly beautiful. This author has a bit of magic coursing through her veins because the words flowed. Everything about this story flowed and resonated with me. I don’t know how she did it but I’m not going to question it. I just know I think everyone should read this.

If this has not been added to your TBR, please add it now. You really don’t want to overlook this one.