Book Reviews, Fantasy, Young Adult

Curses and Monsters and Magic, Oh My!

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Read 3/14/19- 3/30/19

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Yet another brilliant fairytale retelling. Gah. What a world we live in.

Okay, so I’m a sucker for fairytale retellings, but Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite fairytales so I’m always stoked to read them but nervous that I won’t like them as much. This one definitely held up to my expectations and then some. I just absolutely loved it.

First of all, the representation in this book is amazing. I mean, our MC, Harper, has Cerebral Palsy. Guys. That’s amazing. And she doesn’t see it as a disadvantage, it’s just something she has that means she’s learned to navigate life a little differently is all. She’s still brave, determined, smart, and, honestly, a straight badass. And then we have her brother, Jake, who’s this big dude in all sorts of trouble, who’s gay. She has no idea but seeing that unfold was also amazing, she supported him without skipping a beat and THAT is the kind of thing I love to see. I had a similar experience with a friend when they came out to me, and I just love seeing loved ones support the person unconditionally, because really, that shouldn’t even be a label or defining factor for someone, but I’m rambling now. BACK TO THE BOOK.

HARPER. I love a good, strong MC who isn’t afraid to stand up to others or for themselves and Harper was definitely that. She has one of the biggest hearts ever and goes out of her way for others time and time again and I have so much respect for her.

RHEN. I loved him. He was such an amazing Prince and I don’t want to spoil too much for those of you who haven’t read it, but his heart rivals Harper’s. Though things don’t always appear that way, when you start to boil things down, you can really see who he is under the walls he’s built up. He’s dealt with so much over the course of the hundreds of seasons he’s endured and it’s honestly a wonder he’s even still sane. So, props to Rhen.

Grey. Scary Grey. Can I just give that big dude a hug? Man. I adore that man so freaking much and I love how hard he fought to help keep Rhen safe over the years. Everything that he went through was just…. Wow. Especially since he was tortured time and time again at the hands of Lilith.

I have nothing to say for Lilith aside from this: What. A. Bitch.
She was aptly named, that’s for darned sure. (Lilith is the Queen/ Mother of Demons)

I loved the world-building for this book and I can just see how much is open to be delved into in future books and I cannot wait for that! I only just finished this book and I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel. Gotta love waiting for books.

The kingdom of Enderfall has such an interesting story so far though and I can’t wait to see how everything plays out after the events of this one. ESPECIALLY THAT EPILOGUE! GAH!

If you’re on the fence about this book but you enjoy retellings, especially if you enjoy Beauty and the Beast retellings, I say go for it! Give it a read.



I know it’s been a minute since I posted, but I promise from here out, I’m back on track. I recently got a promotion so I’ve been adjusting to that but things are finally settling down and I’m much more motivated to get some reading done!

-Laurenxx

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Book Reviews, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

On a Sunbeam

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On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

Read 2/1/19-2/14/19

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This would probably be closer to 3.5 stars, but I like to round up.

Oh boy. I’m so conflicted with this one because I wanted to love it. I LOVED the artwork, but I found some parts of the story to be a bit… lacking? The characters were interesting but I feel like there was a lot that could have been more fleshed out.

I did enjoy Mia as a character, but I didn’t feel very emotional when stuff happened to her. In fact, I think the thing that was the most off-putting for me was the fact that I really wasn’t attached emotionally to any of the characters and there’s usually at least one character that resonates with me. I liked them all, don’t get me wrong, but none of them connected for me.

My favorite parts of this was definitely the artwork and the overall story was definitely interesting. The artwork- the colors, the space, and those beautiful spaceships- was absolutely stunning. Some pages I would find myself staring at for a few minutes apiece simply because I loved the way they were illustrated.

I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a nice f/f representation, some beautiful artwork, and an interesting story in space!

-Laurenxx

Book Reviews, Fantasy, Paranormal

Discovering Witches

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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Read 1/25/19-2/4/19

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So, I totally understand all sides of this. Why people love it, why others don’t, and all of those who fall in between. It’s Twilight for adults, but it’s written sooooo much better and it’s so interesting. There’s a lot of backstory and a lot that goes into the story. Plus, Harkness definitely loves her detail and I know that for some people, wordy books are very off-putting.

I’m an Anthropology major, and I’m leaning towards either archaeology or forensics, so all of the DNA aspects of this book were super interesting to me. And being a history fanatic, I was enthralled to hear anything and everything when they talked about the past.

Diana was one of the best main characters ever. I loved how realistic she was, she wasn’t without her flaws but she’s such a badass and I absolutely adore her. And Matthew is probably my favorite vampire character of all time.

Learning about Matthew’s past was something I looked forward to in every instance it was brought up. With him being as old as he is, he lived through A LOT of history and hearing the stuff he experienced and lived through was amazing.

The lore in this book was absolutely fascinating, with the witches, vampires, and daemons, it’s definitely an interesting world, especially once they bring the genetic side into it. I can’t wait to find out more of what’s behind everything and just… can’t wait to continue reading this series.

I love that the setting wasn’t stationary and how much the characters actually went through over the course of this novel. Man, what a whirlwind!

The supporting characters in this book all brought something unique to the story and I just absolutely LOVE them all in their own ways. I would have to say that Hamish, Marcus, and Sarah are my favorites but I honestly adore them all.

This book was daunting when I first picked it up, but I am so thankful that I did, thanks to the suggestion of my friend, and cannot wait to pick up the second one.

Book Reviews, Fantasy, Young Adult

Princess of Ash

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Read 1/15/19-1/24/19

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I mean…. What the fuck was that?! GAH. That ending was just absolute chaos and I loved it so much.

Okay. First of all, this book was absolutely amazing. I’m actually quite thankful for the fact that I waited to read this until only a couple weeks before the sequel is due to release, because I would be going completely crazy right now otherwise.

What. A. Book. This was literally one of the most amazing books that I’ve ever read.

I love Theo sooooo freaking much, she’s one of my favorite female MC’s from any fantasy series (aside from maybe Aelin) and I honestly adore her. She’s such a badass and I loved watching her grow into who she was in the end. Her backstory was tragic and I feel so badly for her.

The one thing I don’t really care for is the love triangle. That’s probably because I’m biased though and don’t really even remotely care for Blaise, but I absolutely love Soren. Sooooo.

The world in this book is so freaking messed up and I love that different areas have their own culture and gods and everything else, it makes it so interesting and I cannot wait to see more of the world or see how things are expanded in the next one! It’s so intricate and there’s so much that goes into the world!

There’s so freaking much that happens over the course of the book and I just cannot get over how incredible the whole storyline was.

-Laurenxx

Adult Fiction, Book Reviews, Fantasy

Slinger of Guns

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Read: 1/9/19-1/17/19

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Okay, I’m not willing to give this that 4th star just because this one was so slow for the majority of it. I get that it was more of a prequel than anything and sort of set stuff up for the future, but I found myself bored most of the time.

The ending of this book was really really good though and it definitely made me that much keener to finish the rest of the series. I knew that this one wasn’t going to be the best of the series by any means, but I expected a bit more to it.

I love Roland and I think that I’m going to end up loving him more and more with each book. He’s a very complex character and I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of who he is or what he’s been through and I’m excited to see what happens.

I do like the whole western take on a fantasy world and I’m excited to see more of it as the series goes on. I do wish that we’d gotten a bit more world building in this one because it wasn’t nearly enough to get a good idea of what the world is really like.

I’m definitely going to read the next book in this series and I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy them more as the series goes.

-Laurenxx

Book Reviews, Contemporary, Young Adult

Country Girl, Shake It For Me

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You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Read: 1/9/19-1/13/19

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My first review for this book was sorely inadequate. This book was far far better than I had possibly anticipated when I requested it and was granted the copy via NetGalley. So, thank you, NetGalley, for allowing me the chance to read this book.

First off, I’m not usually a contemporary reader. When I do read contemporary, I’m usually fairly selective and don’t tend to venture too far from authors I’m comfortable with, so this was a first for me by this author and I’d never really read something that goes this far into the music industry and I loved it. Maybe it’s because I’m a country music fan and have been since I was little, so I understood the references and everything, but I enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes stuff for that world.

I adore Clay and Annie both for their own reasons. They both had a very troubled past, Annie haunted by the very industry she’s trying to find her place in, and Clay in ways more personal and close to home.

Towards the beginning and a few times throughout I found myself annoyed by Clay’s antics but over the course of the book as Annie got to know him more and as his other sides came out and he grew into who he was by the end, I absolutely loved him.

The chemistry between them was palpable and I definitely enjoyed watching this story, their story, develop and take shape over the fateful summer. I cannot wait for this to release and to see how other people enjoyed this one.

-Laurenxx

Book Reviews, Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Welcome, to Sawkill

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Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Read: 1/2/19-1/6/19

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s not often that a book captures my attention so thoroughly that I can’t stop thinking about it, whether I’m reading or not, but this book did that. I’d be at work, minding my own business, when I would just be consumed by thoughts of this book and what I thought would happen next.

This book was everything I’d hoped for it to be, but in ways couldn’t ever have expected. It was absolutely fantastic. I realized last year when I read Furyborn that something about the way Legrand writes just really appeals to me. This book was no different. I honestly can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but I ADORE the way she writes. It’s so real, so gritty, and so poetic.

The whole thing plays out on the island of Sawkill and let me say, the setting really makes the book that much better. It’s an isolated place, full of beautiful, rich people who seem to be completely oblivious to all the horror that’s going on right under their noses.

Then there’s the characters. Our three main characters, Zoey, Marion, and Val, were freaking fantastic. I don’t want to go into too much on how each one was personality wise but I can say that they were all unique and I loved the representation that Legrand included in this book. We even have an ace character and that doesn’t seem to happen too often, especially in YA books.

I loved how gruesome, how bloody, how fucked up this book and the story was. It was creepy and overall, it was such an empowering book for females. I loved this book overall and I absolutely loved how everything played out in the end.

-Laurenxx