The One Where I Really Liked Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery #1) by Tirzah Price #BookReview #YA #Retelling #JaneAusten #BookBuzz ☆☆☆☆

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit.

When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.

Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed. 


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

A wholly enjoyable P&P retelling–This book was truly a balm after reading a very emotionally heavy book (A Court of Silver Flames). Pride and Premeditation plays fast and loose with P&P’s setting, characters, and motifs, refreshing them and making them more interesting for the new generation. You get the archetypes you have known (and perhaps loved) for many years now, but with a twist and a more focused look into the struggles of POC and women in general.

I did enjoy how P&P isn’t wholly invested in following the society’s norms of the time to the letter. It really let Lizzie be able to investigate the murder at her own pace. Not all of society’s rules are thrown off the window (the mother is still super invested in getting her girl’s married for instance) so you get a good balance of freedom with restrictions making the plot interesting. I loved seeing Elizabeth’s world view change as she is confronted with real life issues, coming to terms with her limitations as well as her innate privilege when compared to other women such as her half-POC best friend Charlotte. It is refreshing seeing this tackled in the book and not just ignored or set aside by not adding any POC characters to the story. Well done.

If you are looking for a historically accurate retelling–THIS IS NOT IT. I think fans of Stalking Jack the Ripper will enjoy Pride and Premeditation immensely. There are other books out there who attempt to be historically accurate, and sometimes suffer for it. I like that Pride and Premeditation is trying to do its own thing while playing within the beloved world of Jane Austen. I liked the murder aspect, I loved Lizzie, and am really looking forward to future books.

It wrapped up nicely; I didn’t get a sense of what the future of the series would entail. Will every book be about a different sister? Will we follow Lizzie and her career? Maybe Lizzie will be involved in solving crimes that relate to other Jane Austen’s books like Sense and Sensibility (the second one is titled Sense and Second-Degree Murder, WHICH I LOVE). I want to keep Lizzie as the MC, because I loved her character so much, but I guess we need to wait to see what the future will entail when the blurb of the second book is out. At least Pride and Premeditation does not end on a cliffhanger, so we have that as a consolation at the very least. 

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I Really Liked The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis #BookReview #YA #Retelling #EdgarAllanPoe #BookBuzz ☆☆☆☆

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Welcome to Amontillado, Ohio, where your last name is worth more than money, and secrets can be kept… for a price.

Tress Montor knows that her family used to mean something—until she didn’t have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. She might still be a Montor, but the entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the “White Trash Zoo,” – a wild animal attraction featuring a zebra, a chimpanzee, and a panther, among other things.

Felicity Turnado has it all – looks, money, and a secret that she’s kept hidden. She knows that one misstep could send her tumbling from the top of the social ladder, and she’s worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors the night they disappeared. Felicity has buried what she knows so deeply that she can’t even remember what it is… only that she can’t look at Tress without having a panic attack.

But she’ll have to.

Tress has a plan. A Halloween costume party at an abandoned house provides the ideal situation for Tress to pry the truth from Felicity – brick by brick – as she slowly seals her former best friend into a coal chute. With a drunken party above them, and a loose panther on the prowl, Tress will have her answers – or settle for revenge.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

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“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.” -THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO By Edgar Allan Poe – Published 1847

That quote is not from the book itself, though there is one very similar which I loved, but from the original short story this story sprung from, The Cask of Amontillado. I had never read that short story to be honest with you, but after finishing The Initial Insult I just had to find it and see how they compare. Edgar Allen Poe is quite macabre, and Mindy McGinnis manages to stay true to the short story while giving it a second life. Mindy McGinnis adds background, texture, contemporary grit into this dark tale 🖤💀

The Initial Insult gives us concrete reasons as to why Tress is angry enough to want to bury her ex best friend behind a wall of bricks…

“I must not only punish but punish with impunity.” -THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO By Edgar Allan Poe – Published 1847

… and she could have lived with the “injuries” Felicity did upon her, with or without forethought, but it was until Felicity took the very last thing connecting Tress to her past life, her parents, that Tress decided enough was enough. She was getting answers, or someone would die as she tried.

I do like the story and the many stories told within the overall narrative. As Tress and Felicity hash out their problems we get to see stories from their past from both POVs; giving us a lot of prespective. Felicity might have not meant to hurt Tress, but she keeps on doing it again and again–by being a follower, by not standing up for her, by keeping the truth to herself. Not every hurt that Tress has had in her life connects directly to Felicity, but it sure feels like it when you see the story through her eyes. What’s even more screwed up is that these two young women really do sort of love each other, but just can’t find a way to fix the broken bridge between them. Maybe only blood can very well do that.

It isn’t a pretty story–there is a lot to dislike about these two characters. Felicity can be quite a follower, to the point where she knows bad stuff is being done around her, by her friends, and she is aware of it, but doesn’t have the backbone to stand up for herself. I blame this on her mother, who has taught her to hide her true self behind pleasantries and be as fake as possible in order to fit in. Her mother tells her to hide her seizures because, and I quote, “no one would want to marry her.”–SHE SAYS THIS TO HER AS A YOUNG CHILD… yeah, not the best mother. On top of her seizures, Felicity is also dealing with a bunch of trauma from the night Tress’ parent’s disappeared. Doesn’t excuse her shitty behavior, but it puts it into perspective.

Tress on the other hand was dealt a really bad hand–after her parent’s disappeared she is carted off to live with Cecil, who is technically a grandfather in name only. He is neglectful, emotionally abusive, a drunk, good for nothing. Tress was stripped of every thing she ever had, love, comfort, security, basically overnight, and the worst part is she doesn’t even know what ended up happening to her parents… but she thinks she knows who might… and she has nothing to loose.

There is also a lot of other side characters who are not completely bad (Hugh, the football player who is a nice guy who acts like a bad guy), legit good characters (Brynn, the volleyball star, and only black student in this small backwards town in which your last name has more value than even your bank account), and others whose jury is still out. My main drawback from the story is that while I understand the build up that was needed, and the payoff was great in the end, it does feel like it can drag along, specially since the only way you see any story progression is from the scenes told in the past, while in the present only hours pass along.

I am so very excited for the next book in this duology!! I want to pre order it right away 😀 I can’t wait to find out what happens next with these two ex-friends.

PS; SUPER COOL panther in the story. Loved how the panther’s inner thought’s were portrayed, as if the cat could see the past through the blood . Kind of think this is going to play a big role in the sequel, maybe the panther will tell us the secrets of what actually happened to Tress’ parents.

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I Really Liked Curse of the Divine (Ink in The Blood #2) by Kim Smejkal #BookReview #YA #DarkMagic #BookBuzz ☆☆☆☆

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Return to the world of inklings, tattoo magic, and evil deities as Celia uncovers the secrets of the ink in order to stop Diavala once and for all. This eagerly anticipated sequel to Ink in the Blood is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Wicked Saints.

Celia Sand faced Diavala and won, using ink magic to destroy the corrupt religion of Profeta that tormented her for a decade. But winning came with a cost. Now Celia is plagued with guilt over her role in the death of her best friend. When she discovers that Diavala is still very much alive and threatening Griffin, the now-infamous plague doctor, Celia is desperate not to lose another person she loves to the deity’s wrath.

The key to destroying Diavala may lie with Halycon Ronnea, the only other person to have faced Diavala and survived. But Halcyon is dangerous and has secrets of his own, ones that involve the ink that Celia has come to hate. Forced to choose between the ink and Diavala, Celia will do whatever it takes to save Griffin—even if it means making a deal with the devil himself.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

If you like magically macabre books, then this duology is for you 🖤

Curse of the divine picks up right where Ink in the Blood left us. Celia and co. brought down the Profeta Religion, freeing a to of people who might have otherwise not ever known they had been manipulated. This of course came at a great cost to Celia, who lost the most important person in her life. To add insult unto injury Diavala did not die, she instead hitched a ride with the nearest available body which so happens to be Celia’s Plague Doctor. Together, Celia and Griffin will set off to get rid of Diavala once and for all with the help of the only “saint” who managed to survive Diavala’s touch; Halycon Ronnea.

I love how creative Kim Smejkal is. She ventures out to create her own world full of her own rules and pretty much nails it. I remember really liking Ink in the Blood when it came out last year, and not knowing how the sequel would hold up. Let me tell you, it holds up in an extravagant way. I might even like it more than the first book. You get Diavala in a more close and personal scenario, giving her story texture and even making you sympathize with the she devil. After all, she wasn’t born an immortal being… someone made her this way. Celia also walks the line between the good guy and the less than stellar girlfriend. She makes mistakes and spends the entire novel with the ghost of her best friend right on her shoulder–she is engulfed in sadness and grief. Pretty realistic portrayal, I am glad her trauma wasn’t brushed off.

Griffin is not a favorite character for me–he is just very dramatic and I’m just not too into that, but he is perfect for Celia. I was glad he was there to guide her through the darkness they both face. We get a lot of background into the Ink; where it comes from, who created it, why they created it… It is all very marvelous and not totally surprising, but the book is all about the journey and not the twist for this reader.

I hope Kim Smejkal gets to publish a lot more books! She can only get better as a writer, and her stories more wonderful.

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I Really Liked Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce #BookReview #NA #Thriller #BookBuzz ☆☆☆☆

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After a horrifying public rejection by her crush, Ellie Nichols does what any girl would do: she flees the country. To be more precise, she joins her high school’s study abroad trip to England. While most of her classmates are there to take honors courses and pad their college applications, Ellie is on a quest to rebuild her reputation and self-confidence. And nothing is more of a confidence booster than getting a hot British boyfriend.

When Ellie meets Will, a gorgeous and charming Brit, she vows to avoid making the same mistakes as she did with the last guy she liked. Which is why she strikes up a bargain with Dev, an overachieving classmate who she’s never clicked with, but who does seem to know a lot about the things Will is interested in—if he helps her win over her crush, then she’ll help him win over his.

But even as Ellie embarks on a whirlwind romance, one that takes her on adventures to some of England’s most beautiful places, she still needs to figure out if this is actually the answer to all her problems…and whether the perfect boyfriend is actually the perfect boy for her.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

“A spark of hope lights inside me.
If I can get on this trip, if I can avoid Crystal and Andy and everyone else for a few months, maybe my life won’t be a living hell. I can start fresh. And in England of all places.”

Such a cute, fun, YA ROM COM 😍

Not gonna lie, I found the beginning of this book to be super annoying, because I found the MC to be so superficial. Her only interest in the beginning is this a hole of a guy, and fitting into her new school. She has tunnel vision throughout the first few chapters. But after she escapes the states and gets to the UK… she still has tunnel vision, but the side characters get her out of her single mindedness and help her grow as a person.

We get to meet this young woman who is scared about her future because she has never really been pushed to ask for more, and is scared to try and get rejected. She loves fairy gardens, unicorns, and new experiences, but has been burned in the past by “friends” when she lets out her true self so she keeps her interests hidden. In her mind, after being burned and made a paraiah, the only thing that can bring her an ounce of cred/respect is to quickly find another guy, a better guy, and show the stupid world that she is over it. Not the best plan, but you get where she is coming from.

Truly, this novel would not have shined without the side characters. I loved them all–Sage, Huan, Dev, and even Frank. Sage is this over achiever who wants to make a difference in the world, but she is not truly the stereotypical shy overachiever, she is just a very focused young woman who knows what she wants and what she has time for. Huan is also a super smart guy who has a passion/talent for beat boxing (and british men). He, along with Ellie, finds himself a british boyfriend, but unlike Ellie, Frank and Huan are truly a cute couple which I was rooting for throughout the novel. Then there is Dev, overachiever who is on track to become a doctor to make his parent’s sacrifice worth it/set an example for his siblings–but Dev’s true passion lies in art history. Dev is funny, charming, geeky (he loves and plays Quidditch), and quickly becomes Elli’s best friend. Thus, ensues the romantic tension that had me at the edge of my seat.

I don’t think I’ve truly read another YA rom-com quite like this. I really really liked it, and I look forward to reading more from Kristy Boyce in the future.

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I LOVED The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa #BookReview #YA #Fantasy #FAE #IronFeySeries ☆☆☆☆☆

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You may have heard of me…

Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool… King Oberon’s right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known as never before, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before.

With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck’s longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

Julie Kagawa has done it AGAIN.

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I am so giddy, because The Iron Raven was just perfection. We get to go back to the world of the Iron Fey, meet up with all of our favorite characters, explore some old hurts, meet new interesting characters, and FURTHER explore this magical world.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for not sucking exceeding expectations.

🗡️ PUCK was SO much fun to read about! I love that he becomes more than just the jester, or Meghan’s best friend/romance rival to Ash. There is still resentment that Puck has to deal with, but that only makes him human and I appreciated that we get to see him work through his emotions and get to the bottom of them. Puck’s descent into wickedness allows Julie Kagawa to explore not only the good side of Puck, but the way he used to be the feared Robin Goodfellow.

The Iron Raven also works to flesh out the world of the Fey, and showcases Puck’s past. There are stories set in the past that speak to Puck’s evolution from Robin Goodfellow to Puck, and I enjoyed every single one of them. Specially, the one about when Puck met Ash. I am a total Ash fan, but even I can admit this is the story in which Puck shines leaving Ash in the background (as it should be) while still bringing back the old scooby gang. We get to tour the Iron Realm as it stands today (lots of bug contraptions), and even re-visit some old haunts. I love the descriptions of the different Fey and how distinct they are–I like to picture the forgotten as the Heartless from KH, and the Iron Fey (while being superior in every way) still manage to be kind/weird/quirky in true Meghan fashion.

Yeah that’s right, we get to hang out with Meghan again! We also see Ash, Kierran (briefly–he is much less ROMEO in this one and much more badass), and Grimalkin. I also loved the new characters! Nyx, a forgotten who used to protect The Lady, awoken from her slumber, an assassin with a tragic past, and Coaleater, a descendant from Iron Horse who serves to be the tank of the group.

All in all Julie Kagawa managed to create an RPG team out of the group: Puck (the bard), Meghan (the dark mage), Ash (the swordsman), Nix (the assassin), Coaleater (the tank), and Grim… the know it all? He doesn’t fight so he really doesn’t count.

The new baddie is interesting and brings new life unto the world. The characters are a joy to return to, the world is further expanded and fun to explore, Puck is both his worst self and his best self and I enjoyed getting to read about both sides of him. I think we got a winner and I can’t wait for the sequel!

PS; I find it funny this story can still be classified as YA–no explicit scenes-but all the characters are like eternal Fae that got stuck as teenagers somehow. Golden.

PPS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I Weirdly Liked Unchosen by Katharyn Blair #BookReview #WeirdlyUnputdownable #YA #Sci-Fi #Dystopian ☆☆☆ 1/2

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.

The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.

Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.

When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.

The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.

But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

I am legit stumped on how to rate this book–let’s settle with 3 1/2 stars and round up cause Goodreads still doesn’t do half stars in the year of 2020.

Like, it has its faults not gonna lie, but at the same time I devoured it? I don’t know if it was the author’s writing of the inner monologue of the MC, the romantic tension, or the colorful set of characters (found family is my kryptonite)… but it just worked for me. The only thing that didn’t “click” perfectly was the blending of dystopia/pirates/curses because to me it seemed like we were reaching for a little too much. Think on the lines of The Walking Dead set at sea, and instead of a virus think of it as a “curse”– it felt like trying to fit a wrong puzzle piece that really looks like it should work but it is not quite the right fit.

We lived in a world that predicted our doom at least twice a week. We had shows about it; people stood on street corners, screeching about the end. We were so ready for the fall of mankind. But, when it actually came—we didn’t see it coming.”

However, the rest of the novel really worked for me! I loved getting the POV from the “middle” child who feels like she isn’t good enough because her older sister is a rock star, and her younger sister is a pro gymnast. She is the average one of the bunch. And even after the “curse” hits the world she is still the average one–her older sister ends up being an integral part of their new community, and her younger sister is the chosen one.

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On top of dealing with that, Charlotte also has to deal with falling in love with her sister’s boyfriend (who is Charlotte’s best friend). I liked the change of pace. While Charlotte might not be the chosen one she is the only one paying close attention to her sister Vanessa and jotting down all the things she says when Vanessa has night terrors. Which is how Charlotte is able to fool those around her into thinking she is in fact the chosen one, and get them to do what she wants in the name of saving the world.

Is Charlotte manipulative? A little yes, though for the most part she has her reasons. And frankly, I like reading from the POV of a less than perfect MC.

I think in order to fully enjoy Unchosen you have to suspend your disbelief. Whenever something else got added to the pile of the curse, or how the world is working now, I just nodded my head and said “okay sure”. For example, there is a way to become immune to the “curse” but you can only achieve that by giving the curse to three other people (like, tag you are it but in multiples), and only if you do it within 24 hours. That seems… oddly specific. Okay fine whatever, if you say so. The cursed ones (which are referred to as “Vessels”–did not like the word choice) are actually sentient (well, some of them, and nobody knows why coughsplotcoughs) and they pass on the curse by just looking at someone (kind of like Bird Box by Sandra Bullock). They are also super strong, have a great sense of smell, are fast… exactly how can any human survive under these circumstances?

It seems rather impossible.

But I digress, let’s buy that the humans SOMEHOW are still alive (did I mention the only way to kill them is by decapitating them? SH-YEAH, they are a tiny bit OP). If I was in the middle of an OP curse like this I would also run to the sea. It makes sense as you can more easily control your environment and only stop at land when you need supplies. The idea has legs. Other aspects of the novel were predictable (who the bad guys were for example) but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the novel.

BUT anyways, what I really liked about Unchosen was the characters really. I loved seeing the sisterly bond between Charlotte, Harlow, and Vanessa. The romantic tension and friendship developed with another character (yes, there are two hotties, but I would not consider this a love triangle). The found family theme with Rielle, Lucia, and Thomas. The convoluted plot is something I can forgive in liu of the rest.

I think I am looking forward to Katharyn Blair’s next book.

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I sort of liked Lore by Alexandra Bracken #YA #GreekMythology #UrbanFantasy ☆☆☆

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees. 


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

I am very conflicted when it comes to LORE. On one hand, it is a neat concept–the old gods are punished by Zeus to run along and be hunted by mortals every 7 years. Once a mortal kills the original god that mortal then takes over that god’s abilities. On the other hand the execution was… so so.

I was not a fan of the entire novel being set in NY–I love NY, for the most part it is a great setting, but in Lore it felt constricting. If it had branched out, maybe to the god’s home turf for example, in order to discover the origin of the Agon and make Athena confront her past transgressions in that way, and maybe even get an actual confrontation with Zeus…

Maybe it shouldn’t have been a stand alone? Perhaps a duology would have served it well. That way not everything would have been so clustered together, you would have gotten some time to fall in love with the characters,etc. A LOT happens, a lot of characters are at play, and maybe they didn’t all get the page time they deserved.

Overall my favorite characters would have to be Lore and Miles–in fact, if this entire novel had been just them facing Lore’s past I would have been fine with it. Miles is the regular best friend to Lore. He is funny, he is brave, and a joy to have on the page. Lore is complicated and conflicted. In her heart she wants to fight, but she also knows that is not the right path. She battles her inner demons/desires on a daily basis, but once presented with the opportunity for revenge from Athena she is hooked.

Athena is seriously fun to read about. She is one of the few original gods left, and feels oh so disgusted to have to go to a mortal for help. Her dialogue is fantastic. She gets confronted by Lore about her past, in one of the best chapters of the entire book, and has to tell her side of the story when it comes to her neglect or even her seemed attack on women (aka Medusa). And I mean, is anybody surprised that the patriarchy would have used her stories to further their agenda? I don’t think so.

I really think Lore should have been bigger, longer. It feels like a story that is being chocked by its limitations. It is a lot of fun, and a lot of interesting things happen, but if it could have been expanded it would have been truly great, and those reveals would have punched us a little harder.

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2) by Kiersten White #BookReview #YA #ArthurianRetelling #Magic #Chaos ☆☆☆☆

Rating: 4 out of 5.

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

“The constant dissonance of being both queen and witch, Guinevere and not-Guinevere, was disorienting. It would be so much simpler to be just one thing.”

We are BACK in Camelot! Dare I say, it is looking better than ever. It could be because of the addition of Sir Lancelot, could be the borderline dirty dreams Guinevere keeps having of Mordred (yes girl, get it), or it could be that there is danger on the horizon due to the big bad having been resurrected at the end of Camelot Rising #1. Any of those are valid.

I loved that Guinevere got to have her own quest this time around. All of her choices are difficult, and unlike Merlin she doesn’t have the foresight to know if what she is doing will eventually damage or help humanity. It is her constant struggle, apart from not really knowing who she is or where she belongs. She wants to belong in Camelot, to fight the good fight, even though her heart is calling her to the forest, the chaos, Mordred…

I’m just going to outright say it–I am team Mordred and not Team Arthur. I just can’t buy into the Guinevere/Arthur pairing. He is so vanilla, and she is fire. He treats her like a friend, like a business partner, and not a lover or someone he has any romantic feelings towards. Even their “romantic” interactions felt awkward.

Aside from the little romance we get with Guinevere, there is a lot more of Tristan and Isolde and Brangien. We get their full story with new developments! I really enjoyed that entire side of the story–I also liked how Kiersten White structured the stories inside the book–kind of like real life fairytales inside the book with their own twists that shed light into different aspects of Arthurian legends (specially when it comes to the woman’s POV versus the male). It gave them a more magical feel than just the characters discussing among themselves what happened. We get a lot of revelations, some more surprising than others, but still I can’t wait for the next book because I NEED ANSWERS.

The ending left us in this sort of cliffhanger, yearning for answers. The first book in the series started off slow, but The Camelot Betrayal lit a fire to the story. I cannot wait for the sequel (and the probably gorgeous cover that will come along with it).

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I Really Liked Beautiful Wild by Anna Godbersen #BookReview #YA #Historical ☆☆☆☆

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You are invited to set sail on the maiden voyage of the SS Princess of the Pacific in this indulgent historical romance from Anna Godbersen, the New York Times bestselling author of the Luxe series.

Vida Hazzard can see her future: aboard the heralded “Millionaire’s Ship of the West,” she’ll charm the young scion Fitzhugh Farrar, resulting in a proposal of marriage.

But Vida didn’t plan on Fitz’s best friend, Sal, a rough-around-the-edges boy with a talent for getting under her skin. Nor did she anticipate a hurricane dashing their ship to pieces, along with her dreams.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

“The first voyage of the Princess is one of those events that bring all the best people together, for it promises lavish parties and gossip galore.”

You know what, I actually enjoyed this book a lot. You have to be in the right mood to read an Anna Godbersen book. Beautiful Wild was glamorous, far fetched, dramatic, and it dealt with a small kernel of truth about appearances and what matters most in life at the end of the day. Are you living your life for you, or for those around you? Will a life of beautiful glamour be the right path for you, or do you crave the wild? Why not both?

“She was a huntress–her hunting grounds were drawing rooms and polo fields, it was true; but that did not make her any less a huntress.”

Our MC, Vida (which means life in Spanish btw), was the sort of grown girl I love to see in historical sort of setting–improper while still navigating the rules of her society, daring, willing to paint outside the lines. Her life revolves around her society and the expectations her parents place on her to marry well so she may continue to live big. That is one thing I did enjoy about Beautiful Wild, Vida’s parents legit only want what is best for her, and encourage her in her adventures (to a certain point). They are not there to make her miserable. Vida thinks what she wants, and is best for her given the rumors and her parents ultimatum due to the rumors, is to snag the richest boy on the cruise and have him propose to her. She has a bigger than life personality that just attracts people to her, even though she will admit she is not the most beautiful girl. She has charisma, and is willing to go for what she wants. I loved that.

“Which is it? Do you like the fussy dresses, or do they hold you back.” “Have you never felt two contradictory things strongly, truly, and at once?”

Beutiful Wild does not make our MC choose to be only one thing. Vida loves her life, but is also aware of the constraints her society places on her and women in general. She craves adventure and finds it where she feasibly can, in the ballroom. But this cruise is going to push her to extremes, allowing her to get to know herself in the most realest of ways and find out just how capable she can be.

“The glittering world in which Vida had first encountered the grand Mrs. Carlton Farrar was gone–the ocean had swallowed their way of life whole.”

I found Beautiful Wild to be a love letter to Vida. There is romance, of course, but sincerely I didn’t think it was central. Vida’s journey of self discovery was what I loved about Beautiful Wild. The romance was sweet though. You have a love triangle of sorts, both boys representing different aspects of the lives Vida thinks she wants/might actually want. Her decision in the end is courageous (for the time) as she chooses herself. She goes after the adventure she always wanted, and the boy that her heart calls out to adventure alongside her.

I’d totally recommend this read, just know what you are in for. A “Titanic”/”cast away” mix YA book with feminist undertones and a bit of romance to spice things up.

“On this island she could see, from first light to last, that the world was much bigger than she had known.”

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I Sorta Liked Reading “Ravens” by Kass Morgan, Danielle Paige #BookReview #MatureYA #NewAdultVibes #Witches ☆☆☆

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches.

For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

I am just not impressed. It is a decent novel, the pace works, the characters are passable if not memorable (other than Scarlet), but the college setting/sorority as a witch coven thing was not used to its fullest potential. It brings nothing new/exciting to the table. We get so hung up on the background mystery of “what did Scarlett DO?” or “Who is going after the witches?!” that the journey from the new witches is barely explored. From one chapter to the next the new witches are able to do ridiculous amounts of things just from memorizing a book of spells in 24 hours. It is a bummer.

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The magic system reminded me so much of Charmed. Witches make things happen by making funky rhymes and sometimes (for the major arcana) getting ingredients for spells. I just, wanted a more subversive experience. I wanted an exploration and melding of college life and the sorority lifestyle-I wanted a 20 somethings read and I feel like The Ravens reads very YA, which makes sense because of the author’s backgrounds but college is about forging into adult territory. The Ravens could have easily been set in an prep school to keep the kids away from their parents with minimal adult supervision and then it would have read a little truer.

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There is romance–it is not great. Vivi (the new recruit/witch) is instantly attracted to Mason, who happens to be Scarlett’s boyfriend (shocker). The relationship between Scarlett and Mason is on the rocks after one summer apart though, so you know that ain’t gonna last. My biggest problem was Mason, why in the seven hells are either of these girls into this guy? He is the worst. He was flirting with Vivi while still in a relationship with Scarlett, but has no issue in kissing Scarlett and doing other things. But Scarlett is his issue because he is going through a phase and Scarlett is really confused as to where this sudden change came from (girl, so was I and I barely knew the guy). He is also so BLAND, which I guess it would make sense for him to be into VIVI.

CHARACTERS! Vivi is a bland piece of toast. I’m sorry, but her character is so not interesting. I kept wanting to skip her parts just so I can read from Scarlett’s POV. On the other hand Scarlett is the f ing best–she tries to work on her relationship but understands that there are things more important than this less than stellar guy, like her standing in the sorority and her sisters. Kick Mason to the nearest moon please. Is she a bit self centered and cares too much about pedigree? YES, but those are flaws that the character can overcome/work around. She has issues with her family putting too much pressure on her; she is a product of her upbringing. It makes her interesting to read! While Vivi’s most interesting story line is her “forbidden” romance with Mason, which as I already stated is not great.

I was just disappointed. The Ravens makes for a quick read, if not a memorable one. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table and doesn’t go too deep into developing the college life setting (other than parties and a VERY short and kind of kiddie “Hell Week”). Maybe I’ll pick up the sequel, but probably not.

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!