Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book was recommended to me by my GR friends Julie and Tabetha ! Click on their names to read their reviews.

I was hesitant to read this. After reading Since You’ve Been Gone which is by the same author, I assumed that I would not like this. I liked the authors writing but I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the plot. I added after Julie recommended to it to me. I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised!

This book is written in first all in Amy’s point of view. What’s really cool is that to give it that road trip feel there are picture’s of the places they went to, Amy carries a book in which she writes some facts about the places she’s visited, there are receipts of the hotels they went to and places they ate at, there are playlists which they listen to, some doodles on those playlists, some notes that are passed between Amy and Roger, and pictures of emails. The chapter titles are some quotes from Dolly Parton, Elvis, the author of The Wizard of Oz, etc.

Amy’s life has not been easy. A few months prior to the book Amy’s father died in a car crash. And she was behind the wheel. Since they her mother and her brother have not been able to look at her. She blames herself for everything that has happened. After his death her brother Charlie was sent to rehab because his drug abuse was getting way out of control. Her mother left Amy in California to work in Connecticut. Amy has been living on her own since then.

Amy is an actress. She’s been performing in shows since the beginning of high school. After one of her shows her mother calls her and asks to bring the car over. Her mother cannot afford the movers to bring it over along with paying for Charlie and Amy’s move. Amy freaks out (rightfully so) and tells her mother that she isn’t driving anymore. Her mother then explains that she is having a friends son pick Amy up to bring the car. This son is Roger. Amy is baffled that her mother is leaving her with someone she has no recollection of. She tries arguing this but gives in.

Upon Rogers arrival Amy offers to navigate while he drives. As they look at the places her mother has suggested they realize that her mother picked a rather boring route. Amy feelings rebellious asks Roger if he wants to take a detour. He agrees and this is where their journey’s begin.

I should’ve known that I would love this. I happen to love road trips, which is what made it easy to connect to Amy. She would be astonished that all these places she visited were in America and that she was surprised that there was so much to the world. I completely understood this, having thought this myself. I liked how the author incorporated the pictures and whatnot! It made is interesting. I actually did not want to read them at first but then a doodle on one of Rogers playlists caught my eye and I made it a point to study them.

I liked how the author portrayed Amy’s grief as well as the rest of her family. It was realistic. It was nice when she finally started opening up about her emotions and even talked to her brother about it. Roger supported her a 100%. And was there for her when she needed to talk. He was actually pretty patient about the whole thing. She does end up deciding to work out everything with her family and her best friend Julia. At some point she starts driving again. To say the least her journey was beautiful and realistic.

While Amy was on a journey of self-discovery, Roger was on a journey of understanding. He and his ex-girlfriend Hadley broke up a few months ago. He has no idea why she dumped him and sets off to try and understand what happened between the two of them. At first it was annoying to read about the amount of time he mentioned Hadley but as I read on I understand why he mentioned her. He needed to talk about her before she just became some memory and he needed to let it off his chest. At some point he realizes that it doesn’t matter why they broke up but that they were over and have been for awhile.

The interactions between Amy and Roger were sweet. It was nice how they went from strangers to friends. I really enjoyed the fact that they started off as friends then became a couple. The romance is slow burn and that’s just how I like it. The character growth was phenomenal!

Overall this was a beautiful story! I recommend this to everyone because we can all relate to this and take something from this. The most important thing that I have taken is this not everything goes according to plan and sometimes great things come from that. I recommend that you read a physical copy because it’ll be much easier to read the notes and stare at the pictures. Also on a side note the author did actually take a road trip with all of the destinations that Amy and Roger took.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Review: Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

This book was recommended to me by my dear GR friend Lola ! Click on her name to see her review.

DNF

Back when I first read the synopsis it didn’t sound that great. It sounded odd. I assumed that it would be contemporary and possibly a thriller. I mean Oliver was kidnapped. So I figured it wouldn’t be worth it. But then all the positive reviews started coming. So after reading Lola’s review I decided to request it from my library. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this. I will only be mentioning the events from the flash back and some information from the first chapter. Thus there is no need for a spoiler tag.

The book begins with a flash back. Emmy and Oliver have been best friends since they were born. They were born on the same day and their parents are also friends with each other. In the flash back Oliver and Emmy are in second grade. Caro (short for Caroline) passes a note to Oliver during math class.

Emmy is completely surprised by this as she could get in trouble and they’re supposed to be paying attention to the lesson. Oliver looks at the note and replies. Emmy and Caro meet at the end of the day and Caro gives Emmy the note she passed to Oliver. Caro asked Oliver if he liked Emmy. He circled ‘Yes’ three times. Emmy tries to go and talk to Oliver but his father drives away quickly.

We are then taken to present day. It has been 10 years since Oliver was kidnapped by his father. It didn’t seem out of the ordinary at the time. Until Oliver didn’t show up to his mothers house (his parents are divorced). Oliver’s mom then called the police. His mother has not moved since nor cleared out his old bedroom in case he returns. She has gotten remarried and now has two daughters.

Emmy’s family have not moved since either. The rest of their neighborhood did but they remained. Since then Emmy’s parents have put a lot of restrictions on her. Emmy is surfing (behind her parents back) when Caroline informs her that Oliver has come back. She is in complete shock and the two agree to come with an excuse as to why her hair is wet.

This was a case of ‘It’s not you but me’. I couldn’t stand the writing style. While I was reading it I was thinking of ways that I could reword the sentences. I simply couldn’t take it and dropped it.

Overall I did not like this. But I still do highly recommend it. This book has a lot of promising aspects to it. How will Oliver adjust to his life? How the neighborhood with adjust to Oliver’s return? How will Emmy and Oliver work out their issues so that they could be more than friends? How and why did Oliver return? And why did his father take him away? I am positive that contemporary fans will enjoy this. I hope you all enjoy it more than I did!

View all my reviews

Review: Triple Moon

Triple Moon by Melissa de la Cruz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Bloods and Witches of East End

After they cause a terrible accident at their old high school, twin witches Mardi and Molly Overbrook are sent to live with their “Aunt” Ingrid Beauchamp in North Hampton, on Long Island’s mist-shrouded East End. Because the twins cannot control their powers, their father begs Ingrid to tame them over the summer, before the White Council exiles the girls to Limbo.

Trouble continues to bubble and boil when the girls meet the younger Gardiner boys, who are just as handsome and sexy as their older kin. But all is not as it seems. As Ingrid helps the girls learn to control their magical impulses, Mardi and Molly have just this summer to figure out how to grow up, how to love, and how to be a family.

Beware spoilers ahead!

When I first heard about this book I was hesitant. It didn’t sound like my kind of witch read. I have heard of Melissa de la Cruz . Click on her name to access her GR profile. She is extremely well known for writing Blue Bloods. When I went through the reviews I found positive ones. So I decided to try it. I am happy to say that I liked it!

This book is written in third person in Mardi and Molly’s point of views. It also has chapter titles such as: I Knew You Were Trouble Part One, Red Red Wine, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and other song titles. They were pretty funny! Hence why I put this in comedy.

The books begins with a prologue. Mardi and Molly are attending Bret Farley’s party. Bret happens to be fairly popular so the twins decided to go. During the party Bret flirts with Mardi and Molly. This is the first time the twins have been attracted to the same guy. And they are extremely jealous. The last thing the twins remember was Bret flirting with them. After that it is a blur. They arise the next morning extremely drained and tired. They don’t even fight over the breakfast like they usually do. They then receive word that Sam and Parker they’re classmates were pushed on the train tracks and run over by a train.

Mardi and Molly are not at all happy that they have to spend their summer at East End learning how to control their magic. She and Molly are spoiled brats, so they assumed that their summer would be in New York hanging out with friends and shopping. They also think that because they are Thor’s daughters therefore Goddesses they are better than anyone else. But after they are the prime suspects in murdering Parker and Sam their father enlisted the help of Ingrid and her family.

It’s not very surprising that they are the suspects as they usually pull horrible pranks on their teachers and peers. For example Mardi is getting a speeding ticket. To avoid this she makes him talk super fast making it seem like harassment. She then shuts his mouth and walks away without getting a ticket.

Despite not remembering the events of the party they know for sure that they did not kill Parker and Sam. They use their magic for pranks, manipulation, and revenge. Not for murdering anyone. Unless they get their magic under control The White Counsel is threatening to have the girls sent to the Underworld.

Whilst arriving they are introduced to Ingrid, her husband Matt, and their two children Joanna and Henry. Some time after they meet Freya who is Ingrid’s sister and the Gardiner’s. Their father wants them to take care of Jo and Henry on occasions as well as get summer jobs. To top it all off they are starting to investigate the murders of Parker and Sam. Someone else was behind the murders but wants to let Molly and Mardi take the blame…

This book was a breath of fresh air! I really liked the writing style and how well the author did in shaping Molly and Mardi. I do love a well written brat. Jo and Henry were so sweet! I loved them! Freya and Ingrid were awesome and treated the twins with such warmth and when necessary put their foots down. Matt was a good father and husband.

The writing style was good! I liked how the author brought out the expensive taste the twins had and how they were absolutely spoiled. It was interesting to read about how Norse mythology was linked the their magic. Very unique! The plot was good as well. It was nice to read about the twins getting along and their growth.

I had a few problems with this. When I got this book from the library and I started reading it, I was curious as to where the plot would head. I skimmed a bit and while I didn’t understand what I read I was content with the book. As I started reading I got very curious about a certain thing. And in the process of skimming the book to find this certain thing I ended up figuring out the whole plot. I feel that this kind of ruined it for me. Not too much though. I probably would’ve have seen some of it coming and rated it 3 stars.

I really did not like the romance. Molly’s character while she grows she spends a majority of the book with two guys. I felt that it was a waste of her character although I understand why it was necessary for the plot. I felt really bad for her! She went through quite a lot of ordeal. Mardi’s romance was not that much better. I didn’t dislike Trent but nor did I like him. I guess I didn’t really care for his character. The romance between them was fast and I didn’t understand how they were in love.

There were multiple times in this book with Molly and Mardi talking about if the guys they were with were different they would totally hex them. Specially when they made physical contact. Basically if someone they went to school with tried say touching their back or flirting with them they would use their magic on said males to shut them up. But because the guys they were with were different they didn’t do any of that. Instead they kept on repeating what they would’ve done had they been different people. It was frustrating.

The book also mentions that the twins have been fighting more often. I didn’t really feel this. It just felt like normal bickering. Yes they were keeping each others boyfriends’ a secret but that didn’t seem all that weird. They just didn’t want the other to know how they were with. Sure it was a bit strange but I still didn’t understand how that amounted to them bickering more.

There wasn’t a lot of training with Ingrid. There was a Jean who kept on coming to check on their memories of the night Parker and Sam were killed. But aside from that there wasn’t anything else. There was a larger focus on the romance than anything else. The case of course was still a focus but not as large as the romance. There were some parts of the book that were confusing. I feel that this author tried to pull off to much in this book. While it didn’t completely fail it wasn’t fantastic. Simply entertaining.

I still did enjoy this book despite it’s flaws. It had a nice ending and the twins were able to resolve the murders, avoid The White Counsel, and return home to their school.

Overall this was a good book! I kind of hope that the author will continue Molly and Mardi’s story. It would be nice to see where they are at in the future. I will definitely read some more books by this author. If anyone is looking for a fast, fairly well done fantasy, then I would recommend this. Also if anyone has ever tried to imagine what Blair Waldorf would be like with magic, you should for sure read this.

View all my reviews

Review: The Rules

The Rules by Stacey Kade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival-and that of her adoptive father-depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans, to hide in plain sight from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts Adriane in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening-and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules.

Beware spoilers ahead!

I had first heard about this book back in 2013. I had finished reading the authors other series The Ghost and the Goth, and I was pretty excited that she was writing a new series! Before the release date I went through some reviews. According to the one that I read it said that our main character Ariane was a love sick puppy. After that I lost interest. Then a few months back I came across the book series again. Deciding to give it a shot I added it. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this!

This book is written in first person Ariane and Zane’s point of view. Note that this is a light-hearted Sci-Fi. There is a bigger focus on the romance and characters versus the world building.

Ariane is half-alien and half-human and was created at Gen TexLabs (GTX) by Dr. Jacobs. It is assumed that the purpose for her creation was to work with the government in eradicating the enemy. When she was six years old one of the workers Mark Tucker saved her life and offered her a chance at freedom. Since then she has been living under the identity of Ariane Tucker, her adoptive fathers dead daughter. To make sure she stays alive her father has created all these rules so that she doesn’t get caught and get taken back to GTX.

The rules have made her life quite difficult and she doesn’t really interact with anybody. Except for her best friend Jenna. Since 9th grade Jenna had friends with Ariane. Ariane decided to keep in contact with her because she didn’t really give her much of a choice and she likes Jenna. Although to stick to the rules Ariane does not interact with Jenna outside of school.

On the first day of school Jenna excitedly tells Ariane that she has been talking to Rachel Jacobs. Who is the granddaughter of the man that created Ariane. Ariane is very suspicious because the year before when Jenna tried making friends with Rachel it didn’t end well. As Jenna continues talking Ariane gets a thought from someone in the school. She can’t really tell who it is and what said thought is. She can only get an idea that it is very personal and someone is dreading doing something.

As the two approach Jenna’s locker they see Zane. Jenna immediately starts a conversation with him. Meanwhile Ariane notices that there is something odd about him. She realizes that he was the thought that she felt. And that he has helped Rachel prank Jenna, by painting the words ‘Pain In My Ass’ on her locker. Ariane immediately tries to stir Jenna away from Zane and her locker. She claims that she hasn’t had any breakfast and says that she’ll go to the nurses office. Jenna says that she probably has something on her and for Ariane to wait until she puts her stuff in her locker. Once they reach her locker she is on the verge of tears.

Ariane shoves Jenna into a bathroom while Rachel and her cronies start approaching her. Ariane stars the rest of them down and tells them that they cannot go into the bathroom. Rachel gets defensive as Ariane is the first person to stand up against her. As Ariane starts to get mad the lights explode.

We are then taken to Zane point of view. He explains that ever since Ariane stood up to Rachel, Rachel has been making everyone miserable. Rachel tries to come up with a plan to get back at Ariane. She calls one of her friends over and asks whether he’ll ask Ariane to Bonfire week. So that she can humiliate Ariane when she gets dumped in front of everyone. Zane offers to do it. The whole group is surprised by this as Zane hasn’t been participating in any of their activities. Eventually Rachel agrees. Behind Rachel’s back Zane plans on telling Ariane what Rachel is doing. He will then propose that the two of them work together to take Rachel down.

Here’s some backstory on Zane. A year prior to the book Zane’s mother left their family. Since then it has been him, his brother, and his father. He does not like his father or his brother because they are mean and treat him horribly. His father also happens to be obsessed with status and such. His mother and him had an understanding of each other as they were alike. Before she left Zane started acting like his brother and father. He used to enjoy the pranks Rachel played on people and was proud of the fact that he was friends with Rachel. That all changed when his mother left.

Part of the reason that Zane still keeps up with his ‘friends’ is because they are all he knows. He doesn’t have to explain them his life and whatnot because they already know. Like Alona he doesn’t have a good relationship with his remaining family. He blames himself that his mother left him and that she never took him with her. He thinks that had he paid more attention to her rather than pushing her off to the side, she would still be with them.

Ariane’s relationship with Jenna was nice and slightly strained. Her relationship with her father is heart breaking and sweet. She has all these insecurities over the fact that she isn’t really his daughter therefore he doesn’t care for as much as he did he daughter. She is terrified of GTX finding her and what they would do to her loved ones. She constantly makes an effort to stick to the rules even if she doesn’t want to. I truly felt bad for her.

Just like The Ghost and the Goth Ariane is a better developed character. Zane was nice but that’s all there was to him. Ariane went through a lot in this book. With constantly trying to decide between her ‘logical’ side and her ’emotional’ side. And trying her utmost not to get involved with Zane let alone developing feelings for him.

Similar to The Ghost and the Goth while there is only one author there is still a big difference between the point of views. Ariane reads like a robot. She thinks logically and tries to rule out options. Whereas Zane is more emotional. The relationship between the two of them was sweet. They had a good understanding of each other, connected, and were each others best friends. Also they didn’t really think much of how the other one looked. They cared more for each others personalities.

I also liked how the author wrote Jenna and Rachel. The two of them do exist in real life. And while they weren’t likable I understood why they were like the way were. All of the characters back stories coincided with the decisions they made and what they said in certain situations.

The twist was unpredictable. It actually had me trying to think off up a bunch of questions. In other words it got me thinking. It was also nice to read about Ariane trying to control her powers and how Zane got involved in everything.

I only had three problems with this book. In the beginning nothing made sense. You had to read a bit more to understand everything. It was a bit slow. And some of the dialogue was odd. There would be a paragraph in brackets. So in a way it borders on info dump. The only reason I am giving this a four star is because of the relationships and characters.

Overall this was a really good book! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a Sci-Fi book that focuses more on the characters and relationships, and contemporary fans. I will definitely be reading the sequel and I’m pretty excited to see what will happen!

View all my reviews

Review: Slippery Things

Slippery Things by Lane Baker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jaded high school Junior and detention hall regular Larissa Locke has a recurring dream in which creatures sneak into her bedroom at night to perform experiments and extract her blood. Tiny scars on her arm suggest that perhaps she isn’t just dreaming. But wait! If she’s really the victim of blood-sucking alien intruders, then why is her bedroom window still locked each morning?

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this E-ARC via the author in exchange for an honest review. Back in late September I got an email from the author on whether or not I would be willing to read his book. I was pretty excited as this was the first email I have received from an author. I did some research and found very appealing reviews on Amazon. So I said yes. I am happy to tell you that I enjoyed it.

The book is narrated in third person and in Larissa’s point of view. The book begins with Larissa in the assistant principals office. She dumped manure in Christy’s locker. After constant probing from Mr. Miller Larissa explains that Christy had slept with her boyfriend. Mr. Miller suspends her for a week and makes an appointment with the social worker for her at the school.

Larissa’s father is not at all pleased by her recent track record. To make sure she doesn’t just sleep in for the rest of the week he wakes her up in the morning and has her do some chores.

That night Larissa has a nightmare that feels far to familiar. She is in her room and four men are there. She is strapped to her bed with a syringe in her arm. One of the men explains her that she is helping them and that if she doesn’t fuss it will be painless. After a few weeks of this happening she realizes that these men are aliens posing as famous golf players. And they need her blood for survival.

Here’s some backstory on Larissa’s character. Prior to the beginning of the book Larissa’s mother was put in a hospital for trying to burn their house down. Her mother and her father would always get into fights and then she started acting out of character. To the point where she nearly burnt her family’s house down. That is why Mr. Miller assumes that Larissa may have a mental illness.

Larissa is a very relatable character. I understood the situation she was in and felt bad for her. It was awful that she for the most part was alone with the alien situation. I liked how she grew in this book. She does do some reflecting on her life and the choices she made. Another I liked was how she didn’t run back to her ex-boyfriend when he started trying to apologize to her. I’ve seen that sometimes that happens in YA and it is silly. There actually isn’t any romance in this, so that was refreshing.

Considering the size of the book (it is really small) I was surprised that there were good relationships between the characters. I liked Larissa’s brother and father. I enjoyed reading about her relationship with them. Melissa whose Larissa’s best friend was nice as well. Although I did prefer Larissa’s neighbor Brittany over her.

One thing in which I was happy that was brought up in this book is something I like to call the ‘Perfect person’ syndrome. Melissa was extremely jealous of Brittany because she was pretty and had her life together. Thus making her ‘Perfect’. I hate how people assume that some people are perfect when in fact no one is. I was glad that was brought up in this book.

I liked how the author wrote believable teenagers. The voices were all well done and I especially loved the beginning of the book. Even with Christy that was believable and there are people like her and all the other teenagers in high school.

The twists were not predictable. Some of them actually surprised me. I liked how different the aliens were in this book. I should warn you though that there isn’t a lot of world building for the alien world in this book.

I only had two problems with this book. I really didn’t like how it was all up to Larissa to stop the aliens. I understood why she didn’t tell anyone because she thought that they would think she’s like her mother. But it was a lot of stress on her and very annoying. There is a fairly good alien and it really surprised me the little help he provided. He basically bumped all the weight on her. At times I was bored this could actually be in part that I was really tired while reading this. Nonetheless I still liked this.

Overall this was a unique Sci-Fi book! It would make an awesome movie. If anyone is looking for a fast, and unique, Sci-Fi story then I would highly recommend this.

View all my reviews

Review: The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A princess and a peasant girl must embark on a dangerous quest to outwit a centuries-old warning foretelling the fall of the Monarchy in this thrilling modern fairytale.

In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a black and desolate bog that the happy people of the land do their best to ignore. Little is known about it, except for one dire warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could possibly conceal that might topple her family’s thousand-year reign of peace and prosperity.

Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Emberfell, where everyone lives with unending joy, a girl named Aon hides a sorrow she can never reveal. She knows that something in the carse–something that sings a haunting tune only Aon can hear–holds the cure for her sadness. Yet no matter how many times she tries to enter, the terror-inducing dreadwillow trees keep her away.

After a chance meeting, Princess Jeniah and Aon hatch a plan to send Aon into the heart of the carse to unlock its darkest secret. But when Aon doesn’t return, a guilt-stricken Jeniah must enter the carse to try and rescue her friend–even if it means risking the entire Monarchy.

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse weaves together classic fairy-tale elements–a princess, a forbidden land, and a dangerous quest–in a clever, fast-paced adventure that explores the importance of asking questions and the power of friendship. 

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this E-ARC via Algonquin Young Readers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. When I saw this on Netgalley I simply assumed that it would be a sweet middle grade story. I did not except this to be slightly creepy and so engrossing. I am happy to be proven wrong.

The book begins with princess Jeniah. Jeniah is 12 years old and in short time she will soon be queen. Her mother is going to die soon leaving Jeniah orphaned and the only heir to the throne. By the beginning of the book Jeniah is queen ascendant.

Aon is a very different person than those in her village. The only emotion her townspeople seem to have is happiness. Whereas she has all emotions. More often than not she is sad. Her mother left her and her father years ago, for reasons unknown in the beginning. Since then she has been sad and lonely.

Jeniah is terrified of ruling and her mother dying. She has no idea how to rule and fears messing up. And she doesn’t understand the Dreadwillow Carse. Why can’t the royals enter? How will entering causing the monarchy to fall? Who came up with that warning? She desperately tries to find out all these answers while also getting tutored by Skonas who isn’t doing a very good job of teaching her how to be a good queen. Jeniah decides that if she is to be a good queen she must understand the Carse. And to do that she decides to get someone to go inside and report to her.

Aon has a secret. Behind everyone’s back she tries to walk into the Carse. Every time she does so she hears singing and that actually makes her happy. She only walks a few steps every time before the fear stops her from entering. She has not been able to enter. One day she hears a scream of help coming from the Carse. She saves the unknown girl. The girl turns out to be Jeniah. As she and Jeniah talk, the princess explains that she must find out what is inside the Carse and what is so bad about it. Aon offers to do so.

I actually had intentions of DNFing this. It was so disturbing to read about how the people were always happy and felt no other emotion! But because I liked the characters and the story I continued on. And I am very happy that I did so.

I felt so bad for both of the characters. They went threw so many struggles. Jeniah had so many fears. And they made sense. I could understand why she thought that she wasn’t ready to be a queen and that she was afraid of disappointing her mother. Skonas was frustrating in the beginning. But his lessons started making sense later on in the book.

Aon’s obsession with the Carse was also disturbing. It had a way of calming her down almost like a cure to her sadness. When she started making frequent trips to the Carse she found out that she is very much tied to it. Her friendship with Jeniah was sweet and it was nice that they both had an understanding of each other.

The Carse was terrifying! I had no idea that there was even a history behind it and some of the stuff in there along with the discoveries the girls make… To say the least it was completely unpredictable. The Carse is not your typical scary forest. It has a lot of mystery to it which I feel the author did a good job exploring.

There was a lot of character growth in this book. I was so surprised by some of the decisions and things Jeniah said towards the end of the book. She didn’t sound like a 12 year old but a grown, mature woman. Readers do find out why Aon’s mother left. By the end of this book Aon is happy and has another job to for Jeniah.

My only complaint would be is that there were times when I wondered why characters wouldn’t ask certain questions. Despite this the book had a nice ending.

Overall this was a sweet story with a bit of a mystery and creepy factor! I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read some middle grade creepy books, fans of middle grade, and anyone looking for another halloween story. It is still on Netgalley so you can request it.

View all my reviews

Review: Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…

Beware spoilers ahead!

DNF

I read this book a few years ago so my memory is a bit fuzzy. But I do remember some of it. This book has Cleo, Magnus, Jonas, and Lucia’s point of view. In third person.

The book begins with a prologue featuring Jana and Sabina. The sisters practice magic. They are going to take this baby girl from her home so that they can train her. There is a prophecy about how powerful said girl will become. Once they have the girl Jana goes on about the different ways that the sisters will train her. Sabina then tells her that they will not be training the girl. Jana is surprised by this and asks what they will be doing. Sabina then murders Jana and takes the girl away through a portal.

We are then taken to present day when princess Cleo and her friends Mira and Aron are going to travel to some place to drink the best wine. When they reach they are greeted by Silas the wine maker. They each take a taste and decide that the wine is delicious. Silas’s children Felicia, Tomas, and Jonas emerge. Aron agrees to buy some of Silas’s wine for a cheap price.

Tomas intervenes and says that they can either take the wine and pay the proper price or leave. Aron then makes a comment about having sex with Felicia which enrages both Tomas and Jonas. Tomas and Aron fight. Aron then pulls out a dagger and kills Tomas. The group flee.

At Tomas’s funeral Jonas swears to his dead brother and sister that he will get revenge on Cleo and Aron. After some reading readers find out that both Tomas and Jonas hate the rich. And only because they are rich. They have always wanted to get revenge and now with Tomas dead Jonas intends to do so.

We are then taken to Magnus. Mangus is a heartless warrior. He has not been raised in a loving environment to which he believes is the reason he is so heartless. His family King Gaius, the Queen, and his fathers mistress Sabina are all cold. Except for his sister Lucia. Lucia is kind to him and cares for him in a brotherly way. Whereas Mangus feels he is in love with her.

I’m going to stop here but I did read farther than this point. The plot was not that interesting to me so that’s part of the reason I didn’t finish this. The other part was Jonas.

I really hated how he blamed the rich people for all his troubles. Yes Aron was rich and murdered Tomas but he has hated them before this even happened. Then he all of a sudden claims that Cleo enjoyed watching Aron murder his brother. This is not true. She did not smile or smirk coldly while his brother was murdered. It was inconsistent for the plots sake.

Jonas and Cleo are love interests. So I guess this was done with the intention of creating a love-hate relationship? But it came off as stupid to me. You don’t have to worry about the incest in this book. After the first book the series has taken a different direction with Mangus and his feelings for Lucia.

There were however some things that I liked. Cleo did not instantly fall for Jonas. He made her life miserable in this book and she had no intentions of putting up with him. Theon who is Cleo’s guard and crush was pretty nice. The prophecy and The Watchers were cool.

Overall this was not a good book. If you really want to try this then go ahead. And if you think you can put up with Jonas then I would recommend it to you.

View all my reviews