ARC Review: More Than Bones

More Than Bones

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

This will be a quick review as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. I was surprised by what I read and I mean that in a good way.

The main character, Emily, was a surgical resident who just moved to Baltimore to start an internship. Things do not go according to plan and Emily has a horrible streak of bad luck. I do mean that nothing is going her way – on her first day of internship, she has a flat tire; several of her patients start becoming sick, and she somehow becomes involved in a social media storm that truly has nothing to do with her. She had no idea where all of this bad juju came from. She was not a spiritual person but she did have a small nagging thought that maybe it all came from the bizarre amulet her neighbor left her before his passing. Could it be linked to that?

Full of simple writing and a fast plot, this was a light read. While it was a very quick read, I had moments where I thought it was too quick, if that makes sense. It felt like I was being rushed through the short novel. Just when I thought I was getting a grasp on one event, things quickly moved on to the next. It felt like a whirlwind.

The characters were flawed and quirky, which made me like them. They were not perfect in every way, they were much more believable than I thought they might be. Emily’s character did feel relateable and I appreciated that.

I enjoyed this but magical realism is not always my cup of tea. The overall message is what had me turning pages until the very end. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would and I urge everyone to give it a try.

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Katie McGarry’s ONLY A BREATH APART – Review & Excerpt Tour

Excerpt & Review at bottom! Scroll down to read more!

 

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people’s opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), order your copy of ONLY A BREATH APART now!

 

About ONLY A BREATH APART:

They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.

The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.

A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she’s psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

 

Amazon | Kobo | Google Play

B-A-M | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books

     

Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series


 

Add it to your Goodreads today!

     

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Katie McGarry’s ONLY A BREATH APART – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

January 21st

@booksniffer7 – Review

Bickering Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Book Ballistic – Excerpt

Book Hoarder Mom – Review

Brittany and Elizabeth’s Book Boutique – Review & Excerpt

Celindareyesblog – Excerpt

Cinta Garcia de la Rosa – Excerpt

Crystal’s Book World – Excerpt

Do You Dog-ear? – Review & Excerpt

Little Shop of Readers – Excerpt

Novel Addiction – Excerpt

Resch Reads & Reviews – Review

Sister Sister Book Blog – Excerpt

This Jabberwocky Eats Books – Excerpt

Writing My Own Fairy Tale – Review

January 22nd

A Book Lovers Playlist – Excerpt

Beware Of The Reader – Excerpt

Beyourselfbebhaltair – Review & Excerpt

Booknerd1107 – Review

CeliaMoontown – Review & Excerpt

Crazy Chaotic Book Babes – Review & Excerpt

Echoing Books – Excerpt

GataLeitora – Excerpt

Its a mun thing – Excerpt

Mean Girls Luv Books – Excerpt

Mythical Books – Excerpt

Read more sleep less – Review

Stellar Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Lovely Teacher Addictions – Excerpt

The Romance Reviews – Excerpt

Words Are Life – Review & Excerpt

January 23rd

A Novel Glimpse – Review

Bewitching bibliophile – Review & Excerpt

Book Freak – Review

Books Are My Life – Review & Excerpt

Bookworm Misfit – Excerpt

ClaryNathanWill – Excerpt

Craves the Angst Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Latteandbook – Review & Excerpt

Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Phishbowl’s bookshelf – Review

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Excerpt

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

The Readdicts Book Blog – Excerpt

Velarisreads – Excerpt

January 24th

A Court of Coffee and Books – Review & Excerpt

Avid Reads – Excerpt

Book Boyfriend Reviews – Review

Bookishly Nerdy – Review & Excerpt

Collector of book boyfriends – Review

Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt

Kick Back & Review – Excerpt

Lisa Loves Literature – Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Review

Star-Crossed Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Sweet Red Reads – Excerpt

Tale Out Loud – Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Excerpt

The Lovely Books – Excerpt

The Start of Something New – Review & Excerpt

January 25th

A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

Abellafairytale – Excerpt

Book Bite Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Boundless Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Confessions of a Wordaholic – Review & Excerpt

Fandomly Bookish – Excerpt

Girl Plus Books – Review

I Heart Romance & YA – Review

Kaidans Seduction – Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Excerpt

Tales of dreams and nightmares – Excerpt

The Book Branch – Excerpt

The Book Trollop – Review & Excerpt

VoxLibris – Review & Excerpt

Witchy Richey’s Booktastic Reviews – Excerpt

January 26th

Ali’s Bookshelf – Review & Excerpt

Beauty and Lace – Excerpt

Blunt Book Blog – Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Bookish Intoxication Writes – Review & Excerpt

Confessions of 2 Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Family, Books and Food – Excerpt

Jesssiereads – Excerpt

Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt

Lovelyreadspublishing – Excerpt

Madison’s Library – Review & Excerpt

Rainy Days and Pajamas – Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt

January 27th

3 degrees of fiction – Excerpt

All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt

As the Book Ends – Excerpt

Book Bitches Blog – Review

Books 4 Girls – Review & Excerpt

Bumbles and Fairy-Tales – Review & Excerpt

Chasing Faerytales – Review

Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review

K&M Sultry Reads – Excerpt

K’s Korner – Excerpt

Less Reality More Books – Review & Excerpt

My Fangirl Chronicles – Excerpt

Poetry law and something more – Review & Excerpt

Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt

Two Books in a Shelf – Excerpt

January 28th

Aaly and The Books – Review

A Book Fanatic Obsession – Review & Excerpt

BenderDreamerGirl: read.dream.escape – Excerpt

Book Reader Addicts – Review & Excerpt

Bookishly Slytherclaw – Review & Excerpt

Contagious Reads – Review & Excerpt

Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Escape 2 Fiction – Review & Excerpt

Midnight Book Girl – Excerpt

PBC – Excerpt

Rad Babes Read – Review & Excerpt

The Book Hookup – Review & Excerpt

Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

We Live and Breathe Books – Review & Excerpt

January 29th

A Gingerly Review – Review & Excerpt

A Lovely Book Affair – Excerpt

Bangor belle books – Excerpt

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Books & Tea – Review & Excerpt

Chapter by Chapter – Review & Excerpt

Cupcakesandbookshelves – Excerpt

Desperately Seeking HEA’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Echosreviews – Excerpt

GotToReadThoseBooks – Excerpt

Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt

Lita’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Margay Leah Justice – Excerpt

The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt

The Library of Belle – Excerpt

January 30th

Actin’ Up with Books – Review

Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

Bookistry_by_Ashleigh – Excerpt

Buttermybooks – Review

Ficwishes – Review & Excerpt

Geeky Reading – Excerpt

Little Bookworm Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Lo’s Lo-Down on Books – Review & Excerpt

Read. Eat. Love. – Review & Excerpt

Taylor Fenner’s Bookish World – Review

The Butterfly Reads – Excerpt

The Writing Finch – Excerpt

YA Bibliophile – Review & Excerpt

January 31st

Adventures in Writing – Review

Becca’s Bookish Life – Review

BookCrushin – Review & Excerpt

Here’s to Happy Endings – Excerpt

Little Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt

Margaux – Excerpt

Ms. Me28 – Excerpt

Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt

Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Review

TBR Book Blog – Excerpt

The Bookish Introvert – Review & Excerpt

True Story Book Blog – Excerpt

February 1st

Alotabooks13 – Review & Excerpt

bad boys and bedtime stories book blog – Review

Caitlin’s World – Review & Excerpt

CJR The Brit – Review

Court of Binge Reading – Excerpt

Hedwig Reads – Excerpt

Literary misfit – Excerpt

Moonlight Rendezvous – Excerpt

Readers Retreats – Excerpt

The Reading Faery – Review

Total Book Geek – Excerpt

Twirling Book Princess – Review & Excerpt

Vera is Reading – Excerpt

Whoo Gives A Hoot – Excerpt

YA/NA Book Divas – Excerpt

    Katie McGarry Bio: Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.      

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumbler | Instagram

Excerpt:

~JESSE~

“So you’re the decision maker now?”

He waits too many beats before speaking or maybe not enough. “I took on this role because, believe it or not, I care. I won’t pretend to understand the pain you’ve gone through, and I won’t pretend to understand your connection to this land. I’ve watched you grow up. I know, for you, this farm is like a Band-Aid on cuts that won’t stop bleeding.”

If that was meant to make me feel better, it didn’t. “You’ll never vote for me. You’re biased.”

“I’m not biased.”

For days I’ve been a stick under pressure, being bent too far. Finally, I snap. “I know you told Gran not to take me in after Mom died and to put me in foster care. You told her I was too broken and couldn’t be fixed. I know because I heard you. Tell me now you’re not biased.”

Guilt flashes over his face, and he tries to hide it as he flips through the folder in his hands. “If it helps, that’s why your grandmother set up the tribunal and chose two other people to help make the decision. Majority vote will win, and she believed you’ll rise to the challenge.”

I’m not sure if I respect him or hate him for not denying what we both know is true regarding the foster care. I’m also not sure how I feel that he doesn’t apologize either.

“She chose people who will give you a fair shake,” he continues. “This isn’t a death sentence. It’s a wakeup call. It’s August, and you have until May to prove you’re responsible. You have time. Take it. Prove me wrong.”

A growing sense of purpose takes root within me, and I do my best to funnel my anger and grief into it. “Who, besides you, is on the tribunal?”

If I tell you then I run the risk of you putting on a show for those people. This is your chance to change for the better. Take advantage of it.” Marshall leaves the paperwork on the antique table, shoves his folder back in his leather bag, and stands. “If it’s any consolation, I want you to succeed, but I want you to truly succeed. I won’t vote for you to keep the land unless you show me you understand what it means to run a farm of this magnitude.”

It’s no consolation. That’s him attempting to ease his guilt for when he votes against me.

“I’m sorry for your loss, Jesse. If you need to talk or if you’d like to stop by for a meal, you’re welcome at my house. And if you get tired of being here alone, you can live with us. We have plenty of room.”

I don’t believe any of that, but I nod because doing so will get him out of my home faster. Marshall stares at me for a few more seconds, as if contemplating saying more, but he doesn’t. Instead he walks out, shutting the door behind him.

His engine purrs to life and rocks crack under his moving tires. Then there’s silence. Maddening silence. I drop into Gran’s recliner, lower my head into my hands and close my eyes. I’ve lost Gran, and now I could lose my land. The only thing left that I love. The only thing in my life that brings me peace. “Why, Gran?”

I strain to listen in the silence, and my gut twists that there’s no response. “I miss you.”

Still no response and my head begins to throb. My cell in my back pocket vibrates. I dig it out, expecting to see a text from one of my friends, but I pop my neck to the right at the sight of Glory’s name. You need to stop by tomorrow night.

Me: No

Glory: I know of your grandmother’s plan

Me: So do I

Glory: But I know who the people are who will be deciding your future.

Me—stone cold frozen.

Glory: Stop by tomorrow at nine. I should be wrapping up my last session then.

Me: I won’t be there.

Glory: Yes, you will.

Review:

I am going to do my best to only give you a GLIMPSE of how much I loved this story without giving anything away.

I am not one to normally cry at books. I barely shed a tear while other readers can be bawling their eyes out. I’m here to say that this book caused me to cry like a hungry, angry baby. This gutted me in the best way possible. BUT! With that being said, this was not an easy book to get through. There are parts that are gut wrenching, heart shattering, terribly difficult to read. There are some trigger warnings I feel I need to mentioned: abuse – physical, emotional, psychological, and mental. I don’t want to be heartless when I say these topics do take place every day but… they do. I am a domestic abuse survivor and as one, the way McGarry portrayed them felt real and believable. That blew me away.

This was a powerful, gritty, raw, and gutting story. I also feel this type of story is necessary. As mentioned, there are very tough topics covered but I feel they need to be covered. I believe the topic of abuse (no matter what form) isn’t discussed nearly enough. While it is a very sensitive subject for me, I feel if it is talked about more that maybe more people will understand they do not have to endure torture like that. Maybe if this helps just one person get the help they deserve, it will be worth it.

I’ll get off of my soap box now.

I will briefly say how much I loved the characters. I wanted nothing more than to embrace them in a hug and whisper how much everything will work out. I wanted to remind them over and over that nothing was their fault and they did not deserve anything that happened to them. I was blown away by their amazing character development and how they still felt real the entire time. They were deeply flawed and wonderfully complex.

The overall story itself was perfect. I thought I read somewhere that someone categorized this as “Magical Realism” and I’m happy I never read that – thank goodness. I do not jive well with magical realism books. Instead, there are spiritual elements references, but that was in line with fortune telling, palm reading, and tarot cards. It certainly did not over-shadow any part of the story.

Long ramble short – this book was everything I wanted. It was heart felt, cry inducing, gut wrenching, and utterly breath taking. I needed this book and I wasn’t even aware that I needed it. Please give this a chance. I feel this may be one of McGarry’s best works to date.

ARC Review: A Curse So Dark and Lovely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

I am STILL tore up over this one! I’ve been struggling to figure out how to write this review as I adored it so much. You know how that goes, right? You love a book and you find it difficult to express that properly but if you strongly dislike a book you have no issues getting your thoughts out. That’s the boat I am in, my lovely readers. I will try my best to let you know how brilliant this retelling was.

**POSSIBLE SPOILERS SO BE WARNED!**

You should already know by now that this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. However, this isn’t like any retelling you’ve read before. Sit back and strap in because it is a heck of a ride.

This is the tale of Harper and Rhen. Harper is a whip smart girl from a rough neighborhood in the DC area. Her family has had nothing easy in life. Harper has constantly tired to provide for her mother (who is dying from cancer) and her brother but she can only do so much as she has
cerebral palsy. BUT! She has never let that get her down. She was so full of passion, smarts, backbone, and grit that I immediately adored her. She found herself transported into Prince Rhen’s world by a gentleman named Grey. See, Grey was given the ability to move between worlds. Over the years he had traveled several times in the hopes of finding “the right” woman to break the curse on Prince Rhen. Harper spotted Grey trying to take a woman back but mistook it for a kidnapping and jumped in to help. Hence her being transported back to this fantasy kingdom.

What I found fresh about this story was how Rhen and Grey were rather upfront with Harper about the curse (well, about almost everything…). She knew that a woman needed to fall in love with Rhen for the curse to be broken – that was never hidden from her. She went through the story knowing this fact and I loved it. But what she did carry with her throughout the story was the knowledge that she left her dying mother and brother behind with no way to contact them. While she had the ability to possibly break the curse, she would lose what little family she had.

The characters in this story were beautifully flawed and wonderfully complex. I found myself quickly cheering for Harper. She will be my girl forever. She was tough as nails, never backed down from a fight, and would spit in a man’s eye if she needed to. I will be singing her praises for a very long time. I loved her character arc because it came across as believable.

If I could claim Prince Rhen now as my book boyfriend, I’d like to do that. I did not fall for his charm but I fell for his heart. The man was so broken and beat down yet always carried that small sliver of hope. I found it endearing. Plus, I like how he never forced his will upon Harper (or any female) just because he was the Prince. He was humbled and it was amazing to witness. My heart constantly went out to him anytime he talked of the pain of The Beast and what that creature did to his family. And the romance between him and Harper was the textbook definition of slow burn. It was just … perfect.

Grey, the Captain of the Royal Guard, was the other main character and he was utterly brilliant. I really loved everything about him. His dedication to Rhen knew no bounds. This man gave up everything to serve his Prince. His dynamic interactions with Harper had me grinning ear to ear. Those scenes were masterfully done.

Of course there is an “evil witch” in the story that bestows the curse and thankfully she was not in the story as much. She was truly a nasty creature and I wanted nothing more than someone to run her through with a stake (and it actually do damage). She did have times when she came across as rather cartoonish but I let it slide. She was wickedly evil and such a vicious character. I know most readers will join me in detesting her and her gruesome ways.

Overall, I loved this story. It was everything I wanted and more! I never thought I would read a BatB retelling that became a series but I am here for the long haul. I am hooked and cannot wait to find out what happens next. The characters, the plot, the arcs, the slow burning romance, the feels, all of it! I need more but am sad I have to wait until 2020 to read more about my latest ship.

ARC Review: Internment

Internment

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

This book is going to be huge. HUGE. It is brilliantly timed and incredibly relevant. While it is a work of fiction, I promise you that it feels as if it could read as if it is current and real. Oh so real.

Layla and her family live in an America where they are being heavily discriminated against based on their Muslim faith. They live in a time where the current President (no names are ever given but it is painfully clear exactly who the character is mirrored after) chose to rule the US by fear and prejudice, almost encouraging the non-Muslim faith people to rally against the “enemies” and “terrorists”. This was a terrifying glimpse into what could realistically happen in our country. I was hooked.

While I gush and will continue to gush about the serious plot of this story, it certainly was not without its faults. I had a hard time connecting completely with the protagonist – Layla. While she was only 17, she had the potential to be a powerhouse of a character. What stopped that from being achieved – in my eyes – was her consistent immaturity. She had moments where she shined and stole the page, but she would ruin that all by doing something so incredibly stupid that I had to put the book down and walk away. I won’t give a lot away but here is an example:

Layla and her family are “rounded up” and taking to a camp for those that declared they were of Muslim faith. The Government declared anyone who made this declaration on the most recent census was to be moved to an Internment camp, much like the camps from WWII times. Instead of rolling over an accepting her situation, she chose to fight in the only way she could – defiance in whatever form: hunger strike, sneaking notes outside of the gate to be published, etc. Those were powerful and necessary, but it seemed she was far more concerned about risking her life and the lives of her parents simply so she could sneak 5 minutes with her boyfriend, David. She felt more boy-crazy and that being able to see/talk to/kiss David was the most important thing in the world – NOT trying to survive or keep her parents out of harms way. I didn’t feel her risking all of that was an equal trade off.

Another thing that bothered me was that not a lot of detail was given about the camp itself. As a reader I was told about the buildings and the location in which it was placed, but not about much else. I would have liked to have had more insight into the faith and prayers that were brushed over, or the practice of the Islam. I feel that would have given the story more depth.

There was one character that really stood out to me in the worst way possible: the Director. He was badly portrayed and felt cartoon-ish. He could have been hunched over train tracks twirling his mustache he was so absurd. He was the stereotypical “bad guy” that was nice to the cameras to save face, but was rotten to the core away from the public eye. He had the shortest temper and was quick to punch anyone that smarted off to him, regardless of the age of the other person. I get it, this was a time of war and he was trying to prove he could Make America Great Again by running the first camp with an extreme iron fist, but the extreme and unbelievable way he did it was almost comical.

This is an almost 400 page book and it did drone on a lot. I skimmed the last 100+ pages because reading Layla have the same internal conversation about her love for David started to wear on me. There were a lot of fluff paragraphs that could have (should have?) been removed and it would have read just fine. I’m not sorry I read this but I was hoping for a wee bit more. I had no sense of time within the story so I don’t know how much time is actually covered in this story, but I’m sure there was enough to give more insight into the daily life of the people within the camp. I would have liked to read more about that and so much less about the “romance” that was completely unnecessary.

Regardless, this story will still be HUGE and it is still very necessary. It will hopefully give motivation to all to stand up and fight with actions and/or words. I hope it sparks a movement that is needed in society today.

Lady Smoke – ARC Review and Giveaway

About the Book:

Title: LADY SMOKE (Ash Princess Trilogy #2)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 512

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&NiBooksTBD

The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people. 


The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.


Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.


To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.


Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.


A darkly enchanting page-turner you won’t be able to put down.” –Bustle on Ash Princess, Book 1 in the Ash Princess series

About Book 1:

Title: ASH PRINCESS (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 432

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&N,  iBooksTBD

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Review:

The second book in the Ash Princess trilogy did not disappoint. I’m starting my review that way because I want to stress how good this was, how surprising it was to read a middle book that impressed. You all should know me well enough by now that I can struggle with fantasy books but I did not with this one. I enjoyed it immensely.

While I do gush about the wonder that is the a second book that amazes, the overall plot was not overly unique or complicated. While there is a lot going on within the plot, it could seem like too much to some readers so keep that in mind. Here are some examples: Complex politics, secrets, betrayal, fighting for the rights to the kingdom, and more. I won’t talk about the romance because it was not the part of the plot I chose to focus on. It did not do much for me, if I’m being honest. However, Sebastian took what could have been a mediocre story and put her touch on it to make it enjoyable. I was hooked and couldn’t put this down until the last page. Then I screamed because I won’t know how it turned out until next year.

Theo (or Theodosia) was still our protagonist and her character arc continued to amaze me. She was complex, flawed, and relatable. I won’t beat the dead horse that is how much I found myself connecting with her character. What I will talk about are the rest of the characters and how much they added to the story. Thankfully the full cast helped give this story a much needed depth and fullness.

While my review does sound rather vague, I did that in the hopes it would peek your interest in reading this series if you have not already. But if you have and were on the fence about the second book, I hope I have pushed you to the side of the fence that causes you to pick this one up. I do not believe you will be disappointed.

About Laura:

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LADY SMOKE, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2874/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/1/2019- To Be Read– Review

1/2/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

1/3/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

1/4/2019- Random Bookish Banter– Review

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews– Review

1/8/2019- Jrsbookreviews– Review

1/9/2019- Omg Books and More Books– Review

1/10/2019- Fiction Fare– Review

1/11/2019- Du Livre– Review

Week Three:

1/14/2019- Loie Dunn– Review

1/15/2019- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

1/16/2019- Paws and Paperbacks– Review

1/17/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review

1/18/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review

Week Four:

1/21/2019- Paper Reader– Review

1/22/2019- Adventures and Reading– Review

1/23/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review

1/24/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/25/2019- YA Books Central– Interview

Week Five:

1/28/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

1/29/2019- Colorimetry– Interview

1/30/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

1/31/2019- Kat’s Books– Review

Two Can Keep A Secret – ARC Review and Giveaway

About the Book:

Title: TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET 

Author: Karen McManus

Pub. Date: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 336

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&NiBooksTBD

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Review:

HO

LEE

SCHNIKES

McManus’ new thriller was just as good as I hoped it would be. It was a fast-paced, action packed novel that kept me turning pages long past my bedtime.

I loved reading about Ellery and Ezra, twin siblings, and how they tried to adjust to living a small town way of life. These twins have not had an easy life: Their mom was court ordered into rehab, not growing up with a father, barely knowing anything about their family, and forced to accept the reality that they may always just scrape by. Now, forced to live with their only known living relative – their Grandmother – Ellery and Ezra will soon be thrust into something much bigger than they could ever realize. They always knew their mom’s twin sister disappeared decades ago and then years later their mom’s babysitter’s daughter was murdered. Whatever happened to their missing aunt and the babysitter’s daughter will soon be revealed and it is more than anyone could have imagined.

I know I did not describe that very well but let me tell you – it is an edge of your seat, double bolt your doors, and check your locks kind of read. I could not get enough of this once I started. Sure, I had my guesses of who the murderer could have been but I’m not a detective in real life so I could only speculate. Or, perhaps, I wanted to be surprised. Either way, this did not disappoint. The characters were flawed, complex, and relatable. I especially enjoyed how Ellery claimed to be good at solving mysteries but couldn’t figure this one out. HA. Well done, McManus.

I am not going to give anymore away. I urge you to read this. McManus now has a forever reader right here. I will read whatever she publishes, even if it is her grocery list. This author can write and she has won me over. If you are on the fence about this, this is me pushing you to read it. You won’t be disappointed!

About Karen:

As a kid I used to write books when I was supposed to be playing outside, and not much has changed. I’m a marketing and communications professional who also writes Young Adult contemporary and fantasy fiction in Cambridge, MA.

When not writing or working I love to travel, and along with my nine-year old son I’ve ridden horses in Colombia and bicycles through Paris. A member of SCBWI, I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Which I have never, ever used professionally.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2873/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/1/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review

1/2/2019- Paper Reader– Review

1/3/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/4/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Pink Polka Dot Books– Review

1/8/2019- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

1/9/2019- Adventures and Reading– Review

1/10/2019- The Phantom Paragrapher– Review

1/11/2019- Book Dragon Lair– Review

Week Three:

1/14/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review

1/15/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

1/16/2019- Sweet Southern Home– Review

1/17/2019- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review

1/18/2019- The Hermit Librarian– Review

Week Four:

1/21/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

1/22/2019- Owl always Be Reading– Review

1/23/2019- BookHounds YA– Review

1/24/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review

1/25/2019- Eli to the nth– Review

Week Five:

1/28/2019- The Clever Reader– Review

1/29/2019- All the Ups and Downs– Review

1/30/2019- Two Points of Interest– Review

1/31/2019- EatingbetweenthelinesINC– Review

ARC Review: The Wicked King

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

**I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. A HUGE thank you to LB for trusting me and my voice.**

I have been digesting this for a bit now and still find myself struggling to find ways to properly express how I feel about this book. I will say that book 1 did not wow me as much as I had hoped but it did hook me enough that I wanted to read the next book. I was curious to find out what happened and I’m glad I did. This book was the razzle dazzle that was needed to revive my love for the series. I know the book has released but I’m still going to give a spoiler-free review.

This book picked up right where The Cruel Prince left off. The constant dynamic between Jude and Cardan had to be one of the sexiest and most intense I have encountered in a while. I couldn’t get enough of it. Both characters were delicious, complex, and yet heavily flawed. I felt this added to their depth and development. These two were clearly made for each other.

As the story progressed, I really did not see anything coming. I thought I would be able to predict events but I was oh so wrong. There was so much betrayal, lying, under-handed dealings that I was on the edge of my seat turning pages as quickly as I could in an effort to find out what was going on. Masterfully done on Black’s part. She proved she knows how to engage an audience and keep them guessing and does so in a way that makes it look easy.

While I am gushing a lot about the characters, let’s not forget there is a lovely romance tucked between the folds of a compelling action story. It’s so wonderfully hidden that when parts of that do come up, it simply catches you by the feels and never lets you go.

I know a lot of people have been on the fence about continuing the series since the first book didn’t hit home for everyone. I’m here to urge you to read the second book. It is better than the first and will have you dying to know what happens in the next book. Pick it up NOW.