Just One More Chapter

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. 

-Vera Nazarian


I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time. 


Falling For the Opposition by Lola West





This book is one bingeworthy story of, (at times) mentally abusive and quite often toxic, kismet... but in a good way... if there is such a thing. If there is sweet, sensual, repeated torture then this is it!! This was a (loveable) Jerk ---> (respectable?) lover trope. Our two MCs, Drew and Lua, weren't star crossed lovers so much as meteors being smashing together and then repelling off one another... pulled along by the sheer force of their intense gravitational pulls. The writing was raw, and realistic. The dialogue didn't feel forced or pretentious. It was a guilty little pleasure that quickened my pulse and had my attention 'til the very end.


~ Enjoy 

Clockwork, Curses, and Coal Anthology





Although I am a steadfast lover of (almost) all things Steampunk, this book was... frustrating. It turned out being a tedious chore to get down to reading these stories so I put the compilation aside, hoping it was my mood that was the problem. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't get into this book. The writing was okay, everything was just okay, but the stories rang flat and were just plain old boring. It might be a case of It's Not You, It's Me but for me this one was a dud.


~ Sorry


*** I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. ***

The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming: Book One: Theory by Sienna Tristen





This was a slow paced Fantasy with wonderful world building. It had Strange The Dreamer(esque) vibes and believe me when I say that's a HUGE compliment. But here was this expansive, rich world with not much happening in it. It was a shame to waste such a promising foundation and use it as the backdrop for a book mostly filled with denigrating self talk and no drive, no tension no BAM! It sounds dreadful right? Well it wasn't all bad. The redeeming quality for this book was its writing, I just wish that it didn't linger in the quagmire of our MC, Ronoah's self-doubt so much. Our MC had the absolute WORST case of mental self-flagellation. We are bludgeoned repeatedly with this constant state of panic, reminding us over and over (in a bevy of different ways) of our MC's brutally toxic/painful mental state... it was borderline torture to read and that alone might be a draw for some readers but for this bibliophile... not so much. I wanted to scream... ball my hands into fists and glare daggers at my poor ereader... this, plus the plodding pace almost caused me to chuck this one into the DNF pile... something I hate to do but I'm starting to warm up to the idea. BUT it got rave reviews (somehow) so I soldiered on.


Unfortunately I kept finding myself having to reread sentences, sometimes a few times, trying to suss out what was actually meant. It might have been due to my sleep deprived, addled brain that is currently experiencing this book in the wee hours of the night/morning causing me to periodically drift off into the ether. I somehow doubt that that's the culprit but with all of the rave reviews this book has I guess it's a case of It's Not You, It's Me and I'll leave it at that. 






This is sloooow... molasses on a Winter's day slow but the characters (including Gods, Godlings and other beings) were decent. I didn't love or even like our MC. This is usually the kiss of death for a book in my world. We are reminded of Ronoah's mental situation time and time again... the repetition and denegration alone, in and of itself, were annoying but having an amazing background for merely decent characters and a boring plot is a travesty. The rehashing of our MC's constant state of panic (and self loathing) took up too much page real-estate (imo) where some sort of action or tension should have been cultivated. I wanted to be empathetic but I just wasnt feeling this one.


For me, this is a tricky one to rate. On the one hand we have the slogging pace, the lackluster characters, the repetitive self-flagellation and the absence of any sort of action. On the other hand there is the evocative writing and well crafted world building. I'd put it at 2.5 Stars but GoodReads doesn't do anything in half measures so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt that it was a Me Thing and round up to 3 Stars.


~ Sorry 





A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir







::: deep breath::: 


Right off the bat I have to admit that I am little nervous... scared I won't do this series the justice it deserves. My mind is stuck in fangirl mode soooo basically it's mush. Coherent sentences may be beyond me at this point BUT I'll try.


I have loved this series with all of my heart since the very first chapter in An Ember In The Ashes. I have smiled and cried and raged and my heart has broken and mended so many times throughout this series that I am surprised it's not just a handful of shards unable to fit back together again properly. I am constantly blown away by Sabaa Tahir and her gorgeous mind, her amazing characters, her writing's tone and tempo and all around Majesty. She has the power to transport the reader directly into the middle of the action. I was there, living the story alongside the dynamic cast, and it was glorious.


This time around I enjoyed the series as an audiobook and now I can't see myself enjoying it any other way. In fact, I came to Audible for the ease and left with a transformative experience. Steve West and Fiona Hardingham will FOREVER be Elias and Laia to me. I have obsessed over and dreamed about Elias... actual REM type encounters. Not since Will Herondale have I wished, wholeheartedly, to be seen through another's eyes, truly seen... and Laia of Serra, sweet, strong, adaptable, dependable, loving, avenging bad ass Laia... she is the resident kick ass/djinn reaper/Nightbringer's scourge yet she also holds Elias's heart (and soul) protectively, in her tender, steadfast, loving hands. She is the definition of Woman's Pride AND, being a woman myself, I love that she is unapologetically Female, an avenger against the sexist world around her and the gender/station biased expectations that her world places on her. She's a character that I 100% wish I could be or at least be like. BUT there is also Helene, the Blood Shrike, to admire and I wish I was more like her as well. She is another warrior female that embodies all that women are capable of and showcases the ease with which one can be both Woman and Warrior at the same time. Mrs. Tahir writes the most beautifully, humanly complex characters and then throws them into seemingly impossible and gut wrenching scenarios. Then she kills them off, sniper style, one or two at a time just when you have started to love them and root for their happiness and longevity. I swore to myself that I wouldn't cry and yet...


Is no one safe Mrs. Tahir? 


This leads me to the final quarter of the book. This section was absolutely B.R.U.T.A.L! I fear my heart will never be the same. Don't get too attached to any one character because all are on the chopping block and only a few survive the cut. Is it a fair ending? For some, the answer is a resounding NO. There are some Happily Ever Afters that never come to fruition no matter how much heartache they have endured and no matter how much we wish for their happiness. I think the ending is fitting for our war tested, love battered and transformed heros for they definitely do not end up being the same (naive) characters that we fell in love with in book #1. 




I can't believe it is over. I have waited so long for this book to grant me some much needed closure and frankly, I am both grieving for its end and cheering for its splendor. Sabaa Tahir played me like a well honed instrument. Her artistry is apparent and I am thankful for having been emotionally tossed about her beautiful world because, in the end, I feel fulfilled... now THAT'S worth every penny, minute and tear shed. 


I reccomend this book, and more importantly this series, with all of my battered heart and soul. There is absolutely NO way you'll regret spending time in this rich world with these unforgettable characters!!


~ Enjoy 

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales





Perfect On Paper could have easily been called Perfect On Any Platform... I know it's not as polished sounding but it's 100% accurate. I listened to this one on Audible and when I say listened to that makes it seem like a tame, blase experience... too passive... I rabidly ingested, devoured, inhaled it... we are now one, this novel and I, forever and ever and I can't tell you how very happy that makes me. When I read the synopsis I just knew it, deep down where such feelings are harbored, that I'd love this book but the reality was just SO much more hard hitting, visceral. By the end I felt complete and seen and loved and how often can someone say that in this self centered, preoccupied, love starved world?

This book has all sorts of representation! I can not stress that enough. This book, at it's core, is a call to EVERYONE no matter what they identify as, a call telling EVERYONE that they are Perfect no matter what they feel to the contrary, no matter what they are told or who they love or what society has them feeling. This book is about acceptance and is not bloated or over stated. It does not beat you over the head, ad nauseum, with pithy, Hippy(esque) rhetoric. It is extremely cohesive and it made my day just knowing that it exists. The characters seemed EXTREMELY self aware and mature for their years. They did seem to have the perfect things to say at any given time which was a little off-putting/unrealistic but it was executed in a clever way so it did not detract from the story's brilliance. The dialogue was fresh, flowed smoothly and felt truly genuine. I love how it tackled some relevant, poignant, complicated scenarios of today. It saw them, named them, addressed them, dissected them and conquered them coherently... delivered to us in a perfectly wrapped up YA gift.


If you want to feel good then this is your book! If you have questions about who you are, what you feel and what sort of treatment you deserve then this is your book. If you have relationship woes of ANY nature (best friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, sibling, drug abuse, infidelity, disrespectful partners etc...) this is your book to feel seen. If you want to see some very Aware teens that do happen to make mistakes too, this is your book.

Bottom line: this is your next book (or should be)!

~ Enjoy





The Last Lumenian by S.G. Blaise





This quick, SFF romp through seven galaxies was a lot of fun. It was an easy read that had me up into the wee-ist of hours... Off on a guilty pleasure literary adventure. One of this book's most endearing qualities was its bevy of unique beings & creatures. I loved the diversity though the insta-love I could have skipped. It wouldn't have been a bad pairing if only it was more of a slow, smoldering burn instead of a super quick flare-up. Another point of contention was the insta-power. Our MC Lilla, suffered from the Golden Child syndrome where she was the last and only hope to fight the Evil and save every "living" species. Once she found out that she was magical... BAM, she's not only magical, she's (almost) all powerful. She has a direct connection to the goddess of Light... I mean DIRECT... she says "hey, we need to chat" and the goddess of all that's good and holy comes a running.... POOF, one goddess delivered.


All things aside, I thought the world developement was solid, the character build-up was strong and the premise was unique. The ending was a bit cliffy... easily leaving room for book#2. Will I read onward? I'm going to leave it as a definite Maybe. The pros were entertaining and unique but the cons were many and irksome and THAT usually leads to a Pass from me BUT we'll see.


~ Enjoy 

Magyk by Angie Sage





My family listened to this middle grade classic every night before bed for a week. It was exciting and endearing experiencing this anew through my daughter's eyes. She's 10 years old and she love, love, LOVED it!! I can't express that enough. She was begging for us to start book #2 even though it was waaay past her bedtime when we finished this book. Magyk has it all. There's a unique magical world occupied by all sorts of creatures both helpful and malevolent. There's (PG) action galore with wizards, and ghosts, an assassin and royal drama. There's betrayl, twisty turns and (easily sussed out) character reveals. 



This is great fun for bibliophiles of all ages. I can't reccomend this book highly enough. We're off to book #2, Flyte... well, we will be once we get some much needed ZZZZZs.


~ Enjoy

A Million Junes by Emily Henry





I fell for this book so hard that I wish I could eat it up... tiny pieces one by one into my tummy while still staying whole and safe inside. Weird? Yes! But deliciously perfect too. I loved this book from the very first page all the way through... praying all the while for more more more!! There were no slow spots, no iffy bits, no dwindling ardour of any sort just Love from cover to cover. I drowned in the torrent of Feels for this book. 



Let me backtrack a little. First, I'd like to shout from the rafters that I am a HUGE unapologetic sucker for a well honed tale of Magical Realism. This book had gentle moments where left brain analytical thinking needed to be malleable... stretched thin like salt water taffy. It had points where the characters were so tangible and real and relateable that I felt as if they were close friends long lost and I was witnessing their lives... eavesdropping on them from above. The world building was breathtaking, achingly surreal. All of this was brought together with ethereally poignant writing. It had writing so touching that I found myself replaying sections of the audiobook, over and over again... enticing me to taste the whimsy, darkness and its sophisticated yet concise prose. 


There were times that had me rooted, stuck within painful memories and times that had me chuckling out loud. There were a few squeeee moments and a few sections that had me screaming at my audiobook for June to just open up her eyes and appreciate what was right there in front of her... something so sweet and patient, and smart and yummmy. I yelled "Get Over The Past And See... Not Just Look But SEE The Amazing Things Slowly/Sweetly/Tentatively Blooming In Your Present!!!!" This boisterous reaction obviously didn't go over well with my family in the quiescent house in the wee hours BUT I regret nothing!


Anyway, I'm up to the characters and MAN I have to admit that I LOVED & felt for each and every one of them... secondary and tertiary included. June was an awesome, complex MC that was easy to get behind, easy to root for. All of her relationships were enviable. Her tortured family was definitely broken yet impossibly cohesive... even the magical aspects were done so elegantly that they felt like authentic normal everyday occurances. Then there was Saul. Saul was sweet and patient and understanding and attentive and smoldering and definitely book boyfriend material.






::: moon struck, doey eyelash fluttering, SUPER large heart shaped eyes:::




This book was a balm to my aching soul. Dramatic? Yes! Accurate? Also Yes! If you're in the mood to be swept away... if you're in the mood to have your emotions flung about until they settle back into some semblance of "normal" then I highly recommend reading this book if for nothing else then to meet Saul Angert my new book Amore!



Clockwork, Curses and Coal - Anthology





Although I am a steadfast lover of (almost) all things Steampunk, this book was... frustrating. It turned out being a tedious chore to get down to reading these stories so I put the compilation aside, hoping it was my mood that was the problem. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't get into this book. The writing was okay, everything was just okay, but the stories rang flat and were just plain old boring. It might be a case of It's Not You, It's Me but for me this one was a dud.


~ Sorry


*** I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. ***


Mind Riot by Ken Bagnis





Do you know those times when you say something was hysterical... those times when you automatically type out a quick LOL text but have barely cracked a real life smile? Well this book isn't that. Mind Riot is truly laugh out loud funny with honest to goodness giggling sounds and belly jiggling and tears of joy. Laughter that my hubby wasn't a big fan of in the wee hours when all was silent in the house except for that stupid clock from my mother in law ticking away downstairs, the branches scratching up against the window and me... bray-laughing like a silly, slightly crazed donkey AND I loved it. 


Salem (our complex MC) leads a ragtag team of musically (and mentally) beautiful messes and he (and his best friend Jace) fits in perfectly. The entire cast is a heterogeneous collection of cooky characters that are perilously close to representing all it means to be Human... cracks, ragged shards and all. 




I had alternating bouts of hysteria and silent(ish) crying and I didn't want it to stop. I felt jipped when it was all over. I wanted more, SO much more and that alone would have been cause to give it 5 stars. BUT it was more than that. It was full of great writing, characters that will have you fully invested and a backdrop perfect for a quirky story about misfits selfidentifying as such. I would have given it more than 5 stars if there were more to give. Maybe the ratings should be out of 10 from now on and if so, Mind Riot easily deserves them all!


~ Enjoy 



*** I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***



Broken by Jenny Lawson





Jenny Lawson is a mess... aren't we all to varying degrees? BUT she is cognizant of her situation and (mostly) on top of it. She sits firmly at the top of things with a unique style and loads of humor. I have no idea how she manages to be so funny, especially in the face of everything she has to deal with... including infuriating health insurance woes (which I am sure we can ALL relate to) and intrusive thoughts that are downright scary. Not every chapter is wildly hysterical, some hit way too close to home but all are poignant, introspective and honest... so very honest.


Her humor is a salve and a boon for all of us crazy messes... even more so for those that have trouble expressing their experiences/pain/neurosis and fragile bits. BUT in the chapters where she is guffaw inducing, bring tears to your eyes, Keegle busting, capital 'F' Funny... I was thankful that I padded up because the polite (knee-jerk) expression Laughing Out Loud was more like Braying (ladylike) Into The Night WHICH makes for a very unpopular reading choice (in my sleep deprived, grouchy husband's bleary eyes) in the wee hours at my house... though I regret nothing!


Jenny Lawson is the Queen of awkward encounters and a brilliant tactician, navigating a surprising amount of mortifying "Holy *bleep*, Why Me?" moments! She brings the power of laughter in the face of weird Reality and can easily boast the ability to make any situation weirder as her Super Power.


Mrs. Lawson's writing is often Self-Deprecating BUT she manages to do this in an admirably healthy, transcendent way. I swear that everyone needs this book in their lives, not only fellow sufferers but those that need a helping hand understanding/coping with other people's insanity as well. I'm a firm believer that this book can help all sorts of people traverse our murky emotional waters. Could you really ask for more? I guess you could physically ask so but you'll definitely get redirected right back here it's that good.




Broken by Jenny Lawson celebrates the Weird, the Awkward, the Misunderstood and the Broken. Come and be reminded that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! We are ALL messed up in our own messed up ways and we ALL deserve to be accepted and loved, sharp edged pieces and all! Speaking of loving acceptance, it makes me happy knowing that Jenny has Victor (her devoted, oft times patient, husband). I LOVED his contributions to the book, whether they were done so wittingly or not I'm not sure but it doesn't matter, his interjections play off her Crazy perfectly... they have that healthy Odd Couple balance going for them. Everyone needs a Victor in their life! Mine happens to be a grouchy, sleep deprived (mainly due to my nighttime reading choices) Eric who often grumbles whenever I share a (questionably) ingenious thought at 3:00 a.m. BUT he's my Victor and I'm lucky to have him. 




I highly recommend you hurry up and go get this book, you don't fully know it yet but you NEED this in your life!! You'll thank me later. 


~ Enjoy 


*** I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***

Ember of Night by Molly E Lee





This was a fun read. Here's the quick rundown:




*The book was easy to devour.


*It was entertaining from the very first page.


*The premise was intriguing.


* It set up book #2 quite well.


*That ending brought the whole rating up... what a twist!





*The writing was just on the right side of good. The love story was extremely frustrating... hot cold, colder, lukewarm, freezing, tepid etc... the sexier scenes never managed to get my heart thumping or hormones pumping which was not only frustrating, but disappointing to boot... I was looking forward to some steamy bits but alas, it was not meant to be.


*The characters were iffy. I found Harley (our stubborn, resilient, kick butt female MC) a bit hard to like. Yes, she loved her sister with every ounce of her being... a likeable quality but she played the consummate dejected broody loner card a little too hard... we were bludgeoned over the head with her brokenness and 'screw the world' attitude over and over again... WE GET IT, SHE'S DEBASED, DEPRAVED AND DETACHED FROM LIFE... Let's move on people. Then there's Draven. Draven is our preternatural male MC love interest (nonspoiler there, trust me it's evident from their first couple of interactions... cue stalkerish, possible insta-love music), is hard to love as well ALTHOUGH (to be fair) he is trying to be just that... an unlikable/unlovable/enigmatic bad guy (and for pretty valid reasons) for the majority of the book. Kai, Harley's questionable best friend, is another annoyance. It is easy to suss out early on that something hinky is going on with him... he feels larger than he lets on and his disappearances throughout the book (plus some pathetic lies) make him suspicious at best and horrific at worst. One character being unreliable and unlikable is bad enough but 3?? That number is too big to ignore. I did like Kaz (the Sorcerer), Ray (Harley's little sister) and Nathan (Harley's boss) so I put a win in the secondary and tertiary character's column. 





It might seem that the Cons outweigh the Pros BUT I assure you that what it had going for it was far more alluring than where it was deficient. Was this a homerun for me? With it being difficult to connect/ralate/ and get behind the primary characters plus the slightly bland(ish) writing I have to say that my answer is a resounding... Maybe! TA-DA!! Fickle? Yes, but that surprise twist in the epilogue brought up the rating and seriously piqued my interest. 


If you're in the market for a decent, quick, easy, loosely biblical, Magical Realistic Fantasy with a moody broody cast, a swoon-lite love interest and a kick ass female MC then this is a good choice. 


~ Enjoy 



*** I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***

In the Jaded Grove by Anela Deen





This Fae, Fairy, Pixie, Troll, Human Fantasy was exactly the book I was looking for to jump back into the genre after a brief hiatus... it surely hit the spot. It commanded my attention the entire time and before I knew it BAM, it's 4:00 a.m. and I had blown right through it. I don't want to jinx things but I have been super lucky with my biblio-choices of late and this one met my expectations. 


In The Jaded Grove ticked all the right Fantasy boxes. There was action and a slow burn. It had a simple Magic System, decent world building, solid writing plus cool characters. Yes there was a central insta-love BUT the book had a valid explanation for it so that annoying fauxpas gets a pass... this time. The Magic System was a hierarchy of magical power divied up amongst the different species which seems like pretty standard fare but it did have a few one-off aspects of its own like where their power came from, how it was wielded and who possessed the lion's share of it. The story's path was fairly easy to suss out ahead of time in certain areas but it was still fun watching it all play out. There was an easy plot manipulator that helped move the plot along at an accelerated pace requiring little effort from our MCs while allowing the characters to easily traverse some sticky spots... THAT always niggles.  




This book was a rather tame (for a book mostly taking place in the middle of a war zone), quick, Fae Fantasy with fun characters, a slightly excusable insta-love, detailed world building and proficient writing. 


All in all this read is a solid 3.5 Stars. 


~ Enjoy 


Opal by Maggie Stiefvater





It's Maggie Stiefvater, all I have are praises that you probably already relate to deeply... how could you not? She is an undisputed, undeniable force of nature in the literary world and this book is no exception.


This is literary gold! The World is phenomenal! I am SOOO ecstatic that this series exists since her Raven Cycle series is one of my all time favorites!! I loved Ronan & Adam then and I love them even more now with their own series set in the same beautifully, skillfully, expertly woven world that we have come to love. This short novella focuses on Opal (obviously, it's the title) who is a Dream Thing. She is not exactly like all of the other Dream Things and finding out what sets her apart from the rest is extremely interesting. Her attitude, her likes/dislikes, her mannerisms, her tilted/off kilter relationships/affections for things and people, plus her very unique, overall perspective is a thing to behold and extremely well crafted to boot. Oh, and the Audiobook narrator is AMAZING!!



If you like Raven Cycle and Call Down The Hawk, you'll definitely want to grab this book. If you haven't at least read book one of The Dreamer Trilogy then you're going to have to start there first... you'll be lost in the sauce otherwise. BUT starting with the Raven Boys will help you immerse yourself in the World and get accustomed with the lay (line... pun intended) of the land. You'll quickly be consumed by it like the rest of use Fanatics.


I highly recommend this book... especially in Audiobook format!!


~ Enjoy 

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune





I knew I HAD to have TJ Klune's next book as soon as I finished reading the very last page his previous book...which I absolutely love with every fiber of my being... called The House in the Cerulean Sea. That book had me feeling the gamut of Feels and those characters... ohhhh those characters... man can Klune write a good character!! Anyway, this book made me feel (almost) all of those (often) pesky things called Emotions just not on the same scale WHICH is fair since this book delves into darker and headier topics such as: Death, Grief, Hopelessness, Powerlessness, Suicide, Contrition, Depression and all manor of Dejectedness. I apologize for that made up word but it fits... so I think I'll keep it. 


Now, Under The Whispering Door had much of what's needed to be considered a memorable read for me. There was a unique premise that was both palatable and easy to grasp. There were loveable/quirky characters. The writing was touching and I even cried a bit... ok, maybe I cried a bit more than a bit (especially towards the end). The dialogue was good but not as organic as it was in his last book. It might not be fair to compare the two books but it's hard not to when The House in the Cerulean Sea was mind-boggling amazing... I still think about it randomly and smile.


Okay, back to the book at hand... the crux of Under The Whispering Door tackled the VERY difficult (and often extremely polarizing) topic of "What Happens After We Die"? I really enjoyed Klune's ideas on the subject and I loved how he incorporated a crew of (loveable yet sadly not quite morally gray enough) characters that had varying degrees of involvement (powers?) in aiding those on the road to the After-Life. I'll start with management. I felt that the Manager who oversees all was not relatable or likeable, which was most likely written to read as such since this reader is a mere human BUT His(?)... its(?) whole demeanor and almost complete lack of empathy for we creatures in his care was off-putting and it just felt "Wrong" somehow. Another near miss for me was our MC Wallace. Wallace was an almost instantaneous convert from Lifetime Selfish Morally Bankrupt Douche ---> loving, empathetic, caring, brave and selfless being. His rapid transformation felt unlikely and disingenuous which made suspending reality with respect to (new) Wallace a bit difficult. Of course then there were the times when he was so charming I wanted to squeezly squish him in a great big bear hug and pinch his cheeks raw... I loathed him, I loved him, (at times) I couldn't care less about him SOOO Wallace was a wash for me. The other characters however fell more squarely in the Absolutely Cherish category. I adored Mei and of course our Ferryman Hugo as well as Hugo's very charming, rapscallion grandad Nelson. I also found myself enjoying each and every part with Cameron in it... what a diverse and textured cast TJ gave us!


Then there's the beautific LGBTQ representation. It's inspiring and understated all at the same time. I especially love how Klune manages to make every type of Loving relationship (whether it be the love of a friend, family member or paramor) feel "Right" even when I have no idea how things went from indifference---> amorous Kismet... 0 - 180 in what felt like three heartbeats' time. One minute he's a stubborn ass and the next minute he's a love interest? I don't know... I merely went with the flow even when the pace was jerky. BUT at the end of this one of a kind ride I found that I was quite satisfied. SO even with some pacing issues, minor character annoyances and some sections that came off as cliche... it all sorted itself out in the end. 




This highly anticipated book came right off of the heels of Klune's WILDLY successful previous book, The House In The Cerulean Sea, making conditions prime for comparison between the two. Is that fair? Probably not but I found I couldn't help myself. When you love a book so much it hurts, the author that gifted you with said book can feel larger than life to you... a veritable God, right? Well this author might not be God but he writes about matters such as divinity, higher Beings, what The Call of the Afterlife must be like, Love in the face of impossible situations and what makes a life Good and Worthy ... as if he has some kind of inside information we don't have and he even does so with flair. Don't get me wrong, Klune isn't flowery or verbose... his writing sits snuggly in the Goldilocks Zone, it's juuust right. 


NOW, is this book worth your time and emotional investment? Will it play your heartstrings like a literary virtuoso? I say yes on both accounts BUT it is not without its hiccups like spotty pacing and some cliché moments WHICH makes me slightly sad yet still VERY thankful to have been able to get my hands on it at all. Yes there were a few clunky, sluggish bits but the flow never stuttered to a halt or made me feel like skimming so it all worked out in the end


Bottom line: this book is good... a tad slow in places and a touch cliche at times but otherwise this is a solid (tear jerking) read! 




*** I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***




These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan





All I can say is WOW!!! I wanted to get my hands on this book SOOO badly and when I finally did... I was not disappointed!! I love, love LOVED every minute in this world with these characters!


I watched the page progression like a hawk, willing things to slowwww down... all the while smitten with the perfectly set tempo. The writing was solid. The premise was unique and the plot was captivating with some romance, court intrigue, constant wondering what the motivations were behind each character's actions and a twist or two. The characters were rich, morally gray (just like I like them) and yummily textured. Together it all meshed beautifully. I have zero complaints. One of the biggest twists was easily sussed out early(ish) on but that did nothing to detract from the story when it came time for the big reveal. I was rooting for a certain prince right out of the gate and even though I might have lost faith in him, his intentions and/or his true feelings for our unapologetically kick ass MC, Abriella for the briefest of spells... I was extremely happy when all of the tea was spilled and everyone's dirty laundry was aired in the thrilling conclusion. 



This highly anticipated read was everything I expected and more with great writing, excellent character development and rich background building. You will definitely not be sorry if you choose to give it some of your precious time and emotional investment. It had a bit of A Court Of Thorns And Roses vibe working for it which, in my opinion, is a pretty big compliment. Because there was a bit of sexytime, it's not fully suitable for the younger end of YA even though it's just a smidgen of the overall plot. 


It left off on a rather heated, emotional cliffy which has me salivating for the second, and final book in this duology. Man oh man, only a handful of times has a year's wait felt so daunting! I can't recommend this read highly enough... it is Fae/human awesomeness!


~ Enjoy