Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cover Reveal: Across My Heart

About the Book:
Title: Across My Heart
Author: Shanna Clayton
Publication date: April 27th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Meet the Serras: A Dynasty of Murders
My entire life has been a lie.
My name isn’t real. Everything I know about my family was told to keep me from looking for them. All this time, I’ve assumed my father was dead. Imagine my surprise when I find out not only is he alive, but I have two siblings I never knew existed. Oh, and the biggest lie of all? That I’m safe.

Only one man has the guts to tell me the truth.
Casper North is everything I’m not. Brave. Wild. Adventurous-with a reputation for living on the edge. My story unravels around the same time I discover he’s stalking me. Or as he calls it, protecting me. He invades my personal space, refusing to leave. Just being near me puts his life at risk, but he stays anyway, ripping away the illusions and exposing me for who I really am.
My real name is Amelia Serra. My family’s legacy is death. One by one, we fall like dominoes, until eventually, there will be none of us left.
Guess who’s next in line? That’s right-yours truly.
I can’t save her.
She’s naïve. Gorgeous. And a Serra. Meaning, she will die. Soon.
I was never even supposed to meet her. She was just a side job, some extra cash in my pocket, and a favor to her father. Watch her, find out if someone’s after her-that’s all I was told to do. Then she had to go and put herself on the brink of death, forever linking my life with hers.
Now I can’t stay away.
I should get out of her life. Stay unattached. Except I can’t. There’s something about her that draws me in, and I refuse to let go. The last time I lost someone, it almost destroyed me.
Amelia just might be the girl who buries me for good.
There’s a target on her back, but she’s marking an X across my heart.
Across My Heart is a FULL-LENGTH, standalone novel at 95,000+ words.
Recommended for 17+ due to mature language and adult situations.

Author Bio:
I live and breathe all things books. When I’m not writing, I can be found eating too much chocolate, obsessing over Game of Thrones, and spending time with my crazy family.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review: Roar (Stormheart #1)

Roar (Stormheart, #1)About the Book:
Title: Roar (Stormheart #1)
Author: Cora Carmack
Pub. Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 380 

Rating: 4/5 stars


In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind.” 

I knew I had to check this story out when I saw Cora Carmack's name attached. She's a fantastic author and I was excited to see her bridge into new territory with YA fantasy. And let me tell you, she did an excellent job!! I was almost immediately sucked into the story and the world that Ms. Carmack created and by the end, I was itching to read more. Honestly, it's been awhile since I have wanted a sequel as badly as I want the sequel to this story. This is a definite must read for all Cora Carmack fans and YA fantasy fans alike, as you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you will get sucked into the book!

“And I am here with you. If you have questions, ask them. If you have fears, shed them. If you have doubts, give them to me and I will crush them beneath my heel. If you need help, I will provide it. Even if you only need someone to yell at, I can be that too. And when the time comes that you need someone to trust, I will be that person. I promise.” 

I won't lie...I was a little hesitant to pick this one up (despite the promising and intriguing synopsis) because it sounded very much like every other YA fantasy book out there. Beautiful white female lead that is trapped in a place she doesn't want to be. Yeah, I'm getting a little tired of it. But where this book succeeds is that it shows almost right away how it will be different. There's a big twist at the start of the book that takes this book in a whole new direction than you originally thought!! And this was extremely refreshing to read and made me really want to delve into the story more. It made me stay hooked. 

“Sometimes she was Aurora. Confident. Clever. Cultured.

Sometimes she was Rora. Afraid. Alone. Ashamed.

And more and more, she was Roar -- bold, brash, and increasingly baffled by the situation in which she found herself. And sometimes she was none of them, lost and adrift somewhere in between, like the wildlands between Stormling cities.” 

Aurora (aka Roar), who doesn't have the magic that is desperately needed to aid her kingdom, fights back in the only way she knows learning as much as she can about the storms by observing and studying. She learns how to defend herself since she doesn't have magic to protect her. But when she learns of a way that she can obtain magic on her own, she makes a decision to embark on a journey that will help her accomplish her goal. Throughout the book, I liked how she was a little weak and a little strong at the same time. I think many readers will be able to relate to this aspect of Roar's personality and it made me like her that much more. She is a very fierce heroine, and I loved her feisty attitude and how she held her own. Roar proved that she was meant to be with the team of Storm hunters. 

“She had hoped. And hope broke more hearts than any man ever could.” 

There's obviously romance (because...Cora Carmack!), but what I loved is that 1) it didn't overshadow the story at hand. It felt like a very natural element to the story. 2) It wasn't rushed. The feelings that developed between Roar and Locke happened somewhat gradually over the course of the story. 3) There was NO (I repeat NO) love triangle!!! This was the element I was worried most about when beginning this story because I thought for sure there was going to be a love triangle and then I was ultimately going to hate the book. But nope, Cora Carmack did it right and just made the romance feature Roar and Locke and I was here for it! Their chemistry is undeniable, and I loved how they bickered/argued throughout the story. There was always some sort of spark between them and it was clear they had a connection.

“If she were a storm, she could destroy him, and he would never lift a finger to protect himself.” 

One thing though that I adored more so than anything else in this book was the world building. This was a very new world to be in and because of that I read a little slower at the beginning to truly understand everything that went into the Storms and the Stormlings. The whole idea is extremely original and creative, and honestly it was incredibly intriguing that I couldn't get enough! I quickly became fascinated over the fact that certain lineages could control certain types of storms better and the whole idea of storms having "hearts" or being sentient. How can you not be excited over that?! Although the book is a little slow in the beginning because of the explanations, I didn't mind it at all.

The other characters in this book give a nice diversity to the story and were extremely interesting themselves. I can't wait to learn more about them and their backstories in future books!! The entire Storm hunting team seemed to fit together nicely and it made for some quite humorous moments in the book.

“Blind belief is a comfort; it is the frame that puts the rest of the world into context. It allows us to block out the things that don’t make sense, that which frightens us. It narrows our vision so that the world does not feel so large. Would it comfort you to have the frame of superstition? To believe that if you say the right words and sacrifice the right things, then your world will stay exactly as it is? Or do you wish to choose what you believe, what you trust and understand?” 

I highly recommend checking out this book when you get the chance as it will quickly become a favorite! The ending is a bit cliffhanger-y but not in the typical's more that you just desperately want to see what will happen next. I am excited to see where Ms. Carmack takes this series and what she has in store for us in the sequel!!

Happy reading :)


Monday, March 19, 2018

Book Review: Bad Romance

Bad RomanceAbout the Book:
Title: Bad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios
Pub. Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Pages: 368
Rating: 4.5/5 stars


Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape. 

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.


“Maybe the only way you really know you love someone is it they can break you with a single sentence.” 

I am absolutely blown away by this novel by Heather Demetrios. It is an incredibly powerful read that I personally think everyone should pick up. I didn't go into this book expecting to like is as much as I fact I was praying that it was executed better than another book I read about a year ago that had a similar theme. And this book was everything that I was wanting that other book to be. Ms. Demetrios doesn't shy away from anything and because of that there should definitely be a trigger warning on this book. However, those triggers are what make up the best (and worst) parts of this book. Let me say, there is absolutely nothing bad about this book, so when I say worst, I mean the terrible nature of events the character has to go through in this story. 

“This is something else I will learn while I am with you-not now, but later: there are so many ways to drown.” 

The entire book is such a vivid and emotional story told from the 2nd person POV. Normally I hate these types of books and unless it is done well, I usually DNF it. But Bad Romance grips you right from the start. The fear, anxiety, anger, and other range of emotions our narrator feels is palpable in every single word your read. There is something very evocative about Ms. Demetrios' writing and this is where the story excelled. She didn't try to wrap things up in a pretty bow and cover up the worst parts of people. Instead she explored what it truly means to be in multiple toxic relationships, ones that no one in this world should have to endure. 

“This house is a prison, a suburban Alcatraz.” 

Even though this story is told in 2nd person, you get into Grace's head very easily. You feel what she is feeling. You feel how suffocated she is by her town and how much she is yearning to break free. You see just how damaging unsupportive parents and a very difficult home life can be for a person, as well as how much that affects every other decision in their life. How the things she witnesses or is involved with at home truly make up how she is as a person. Ms. Demetrios even uses phrases such as "The Giant" to describe Grace's stepfather and "Contrite and Subservient Female" to describe her mother. This tells you a lot right off the bat, and I knew that this is the story that I wanted to be reading last year. 

“Something in me is dimming, something that I already know I can’t get back. But you’re worth it. You are. I will tell myself this for several more months. And when I realize you aren’t worth it, it’ll be too late.” 

While reading this book, your heart just breaks for Grace. Everything that is her life-- from the chaotic and torturous relationship she has with her family to the slowly worsening/complicated relationship she has with Gavin--makes things more raw and poignant. I hated her mother and stepfather, yet Ms. Demetrios shows more human sides of these characters that leave you (as well as Grace) with conflicting emotions. You start to sit and wonder, should I actually be hating these characters? Should I feel sympathy for them? And that right there is extremely powerful. Because that is the exact emotional rollercoaster that many people who are in Grace's exact position feel as well. 

“When you're a stupid girl in love, it's almost impossible to see the red flags. It's so easy to pretend they're not there, to pretend everything is perfect.” 

And then there's Gavin. Even though we know the only outcome is a bad outcome right from the start, as soon as we're introduced to Gavin's character we see his appeal. He has that bad-boy-who- is-a-tortured-soul personality. We see why Grace was drawn to him and his heartbreak. Grace thinks that she and Gavin are two people cut from the same cloth...both suffering in ways deeper than most people are willing to look. Grace thinks that the two of them together will be the love she has always wanted and needed in her life, and that together they can overcome anything. They will help build each other up and support each other no matter what. And here is the question of the day...who wouldn't want that? There is no doubt what she saw in Gavin. This is another area where this book excelled: it makes you understand why people can ignore the signs of/actual controlling behavior because they need the person that badly; it makes you understand how a person could feel responsible for the other's well being especially when that person's well being is threatened by themselves; it makes you understand how difficult it is to break a toxic relationship because you only realize that you are in a toxic situation much too late. 

“You're a maze, all high edges and endless loops. I can't find a way out, can't see where I've been. It's all running, lost in the dark of you. Trapped. Everywhere I turn is a dead end. I keep winding up back where I've started.” 

One other thing that I want to highlight about this book is the female friendships. Grace, Lys, and Nat were the perfect trio. Lys and Nat are the kinds of friends every girl should have, even though they were all so different. They were there for Grace whenever she needed them, despite the fact that Grace wasn't always there for them. They brought humor to an otherwise very dark book. 

“We all wear strange armor to get through the day.” 

Bad Romance is a gripping read that should be read by everyone. It explores themes that are not well discussed in literature today and gives you a very realistic insight into what it means to be surrounded by toxic people/relationships. It shows how abuse tends to be cyclical in nature, and Ms. Demetrios doesn't sugarcoat anything. The 2nd person POV gives the story an added layer of drama that worked very well for this type of story. This is an important novel for everyone, so go read it now.

Happy reading :)


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Blog Tour: Dark Glitter

About the Book:
Title: Dark Glitter
Author: C.M. Stunich & Tate James
Publication date: January 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

Ciarah O’Rourke was born into torture.
A human spirit reincarnated in the body of an ancient fae goddess, she’s spent the last five years in iron shackles, her mind poisoned with magic for secrets she doesn’t know.
Waking up in a dirty alley with no memory of her escape, Ciarah finds herself in the hands of The Wild Hunt Motorcycle Club–a ruthless and violent group of bikers with faerie blood in their veins.
Arlo. Reece. Killian.
Three men drenched in death, sin, and old magic.
From their clubhouse in the middle of the Louisiana bayou, they’ll offer Ciarah the keys to unlock her memories and control the veil between worlds. But even her knights can’t erase the twisted scars that remind her they aren’t the only ones who hunt.
When The Wild Hunt rides, the souls of the dead join their parade.
All that’s missing now is their queen.

Author Bio:
Tate James was born and raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband, baby and furbaby.
She is a lover of books, red wine, cats and coffee and is not a morning person. She is a bit too sarcastic and swears too much for polite society and definitely tells too many dirty jokes.
Author links:
C.M. Stunich is a self-admitted bibliophile with a love for exotic teas and a whole host of characters who live full time inside the strange, swirling vortex of her thoughts. Some folks might call this crazy, but Caitlin Morgan doesn’t mind – especially considering she has to write biographies in the third person. Oh, and half the host of characters in her head are searing hot bad boys with dirty mouths and skillful hands (among other things). If being crazy means hanging out with them everyday, C.M. has decided to have herself committed.
She hates tapioca pudding, loves to binge on cheesy horror movies, and is a slave to many cats. When she’s not vacuuming fur off of her couch, C.M. can be found with her nose buried in a book or her eyes glued to a computer screen. She’s the author of over thirty novels – romance, new adult, fantasy, and young adult included. Please, come and join her inside her crazy. There’s a heck of a lot to do there.
Oh, and Caitlin loves to chat (incessantly), so feel free to e-mail her, send her a Facebook message, or put up smoke signals. She’s already looking forward to it.
Author links:


The girl I'd been fucking was now fast asleep and drooling all da hell over my pillow. I stared at her for a couple o' moments, smoking my cigarette, and then stepped out into the hall and shut the door to da damn room.      “You aren't leaving another one in dere for me to clean up, are you brother?” asked Donal as I made my way into the common room and paused, staring the vice president of the club down for a long moment. He was my superior so it woulda been prudent to look away, sure, but I was a dumbass on a good day, me.      “I'm just on my way to see Meme,” I said with a shrug, and heard Donal cursing under his breath.      “I'd just as soon eat her as I'd feed the bitch!” he called after me as I stepped outside, boots loud against the wood of the dock. An eerie fog hung over the water, broken up by clusters of Spanish moss and gnarled oak limbs.      I cracked open the old freezer next to the building's grubby exterior and pulled out a container of chicken, popping the lid and grabbing a raw leg.      “'Ey Meme!” I shouted, tossing the container back into the freezer and grabbing a bag of marshmallows to take wit' me. “Come 'ere, girl!”      I moved down da length of the dock and paused, knowing I looked like a fuckin' asshole and not carin' one bit. I made quacking sounds to try and draw da gator to the dock and then tossed a few 'mallows out there for her to munch on. Whenever I tried to bring girls out 'ere to impress 'em with da gators, they always asked me how I knew da damn things liked marshmallows. But what kind o' stupid question is that? Everybody know gators like marshmallows.      After a few moments, I saw her, gliding through the water toward me, her dark green head just barely visible in the fog. If I wasn't fae, I probably wouldn't come out here alone in the dark like dis. Meme was small for a gator, but there were others out dere in the swamp—I knew because the club often used 'em to dispose of bodies.      “Hey girl, where you been?” I asked, using the pole at the end of the dock to hook the chicken leg to. I dangled it out over the water and watched as Meme lifted her long, ugly snout out to grab hold of it. With a crunch of bone, she disappeared under the dark waters again.      I stood there for a few, takin' drags on my smoke, when the sound of a car drew my attention back toward the hard packed dirt of the parking lot. We didn't exactly get a lot o' visitors out 'ere in da bayou.      “Looks like even if we stay outta trouble, trouble finds us, eh, Meme?” I tossed a handful of marshmallows into the water and headed up the length of the dock and back inside. I stepped in through the rickety old screen door just in time to see Caley dragging this thin, frail wisp of a girl into the common room.      “She's got iron in her side, I think,” Caley was saying as she helped the girl into one of da old couches. I saw right away that there was blood—fae blood, sure—but the stink o' iron was unmistakable.      “And you brought her here, why?” Donal was asking, looking more annoyed than anything else as he stroked a hand down the dark, thick length of his beard.      “Arlo said Fionn needed to see her,” Caley began, ruffling up her hair and lookin' like she was in serious need of a nap or some shit. I just hoped all this raucous didn't wake da girl I left in the dorm room.      “Well, Fionn ain't here,” I said, moving over to stand next to the wilting fae on the club's couch. Her skin was a pale blue, almost white, but she was clearly still entertainin' some sort of broken glamour. I could smell it on 'er almost as bad as I could smell da iron. Who knew what she'd look like without it? I wouldn't be gettin' human girls for my bed if I wasn't wearin' one, that's for damn sure.      “I found her outside the diner,” Caley said, huffing out a breath and wiping sweaty palms on her uniform. “I don't think 'Lo knew she was fae or else he wouldn't have suggested I take her to the hospital …”      “You took her to da damn hospital?” Donal roared and then closed his eyes for a long moment. “May da goddess help you, you stupid girl.”      “The glamour's faded a lot since I got her there,” Caley said defensively, wrapping her arms around herself. Guess the girl couldn't help herself—she was half-human after all. “She wasn't this color and she didn't smell this bad until after …” She paused and leaned in close to Donal and me. “Someone is missing this girl bad. That iron in her side, it's got a dampening spell. That, and when she used her magic, I could feel it—some sort of signal went out.”      I turned my attention back to the frail, wispy thing sitting on the couch.      When she looked up at me, her eyes had the force of a goddamn train. I felt like I was just waiting for the collision, that I was looking at somethin' powerful, something old. And those eyes, like two sapphires, dark and thick wit' magic … I could damn near drown in 'em.      “Get yourself under control, brudder,” Donal mumbled, flicking me in the crotch. That's when I realized that I was holding onto a rock-hard cock inside my jeans. Over this frail thing? I'd break da girl if I tried to fuck her. The hell was wrong with me? “And call your daddy.”      “He's my president same as he is yours,” I snarled under my breath, turning away from the girl before I could think too hard about the rapid beating of my heart or the thickening of my cock. No way, no hell.      I was not gettin' mixed up with a woman as troublesome as all that.      I made enough trouble all on my own.



Monday, March 12, 2018

ARC Review: Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy, #1)

About The Book:

  Title:  Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy, #1) 
  Author: Laura Sebastian 
  Pub. Date: April 24th, 2018 
  Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
  Pages: 432
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 
  Rate: 4/5 stars 

Synopsis :

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.


Ash Princess is a new YA fantasy series debut starring an orphaned princess, a forbidden love interest, a rebellion, and some secondary characters that are used to drive the plot. As far as YA fantasys go, this one was pretty decent and I did like most of the characters. While I thought the plot was pretty typical, I still enjoyed it.

The main character, Theo, was orphaned as a little girl when the Kalovaxians came in and took over. Her mother and people were gifted with different kinds of magic that are better wielded when they are in the possession of these gems. Since then, the Kaiser (german for King), uses her as leverage to keep the Astrean rebels from inciting anything too violent. The Kaiser forces the Astreans to work in the mines and turn over these valuable gems to him. His leverage on Theo includes beatings, skimpy outfits, and an ash crown that she wears during most public functions. Her (kind of) friend Cress was one of my favorite characters. I loved her development and found her most interesting because she rode that line between good and bad. There is a love triangle and I think it was done ok. I like both Blaise (childhood crush and current rebel) and Soren (the cruel King's empathetic son), however I like Soren more. While he has a rough exterior, he tries to be a good Prinz (German for Prince) and he wants to change how his dad is ruling things. Plus I like the added tension that her friend, Cress, has a crush on him.

One thing I didn't like was the heavy impression that Germans are the bad guys. I am German, I know those words are all of german origin. The world building was decent. I loved the idea of the magic mines and all of the descriptions that went with it. I thought that was amazing. However, I wanted more of a description of the castle. OR A MAP! Yes, a map would actually contribute so much to the overall impact of the book and pack a better punch.

Ash Princess hit the mark as far as typical YA fantasy. It follows the basic YA fantasy formula, and that's fine. It was executed pretty well. So, all of my YA fantasy fans will definitely enjoy this one. I am going to be grabbing the follow up to Ash Princess when it's available basically because I really want to know what will happen to my favorite characters (Soren, Cress, and Theo). Overall, Ash Princess was a decent YA fantasy. However, I don't think it's necessarily something we haven't seen before.

Thank you to Penguin Young Readers for providing this
book in exchange for my honest review 

- Jocelyn

Friday, March 9, 2018

Book Review: The Intuitives

The IntuitivesAbout the Book:
Title: The Intuitives
Author: Erin Michelle Sky, Steven Brown
Pub. Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Trash Dogs Media LLC
Pages: 374
Rating: 4.5/5 stars



In Egypt, an archaeological team discovers the lost tomb of Alexander the Great. Seven years later, every public school student in America takes a strange new test, but only six are chosen to attend a summer program at the mysterious Institute for the Cultivation of Intuitive Cognition, where nothing is as it appears to be, including the students themselves.

Roman Jackson, 11—the lonely artist.
Sees things. Around people. Things he can never, ever tell.

Samantha Prescott, 16—the sarcastic nerd.
Isolated by a premonition even she doesn’t understand.

Daniel Walker, 17—the shy musician.
Hides his private thoughts in the soundtrack of his mind.

Kaitlyn Wright, 15—the bubbly engineer.
Can fix anything, except the one thing that matters most.

Mackenzie Gray, 17—the disciplined athlete.
Armors her deepest fears against a world she can’t control.

Ashton Hunt, 17—the frustrated gamer.
Hoping to turn pro, and a constant disappointment to his father.

But why is the U.S. government so interested in six outcasts? And what, exactly, is it teaching them to do? Now, they must band together to uncover the true purpose behind the institute—and the ancient secrets that lie hidden beneath its surface.

Before history catches up to them.


There is a lot to love about this story and I was hooked right from the start! With an interesting and unique plot, fantastic characters, and brilliant writing...there is no way you won't love this story! 

I want to intentionally stay a little vague in regards to the plot because it's better to stay in the dark until you actually find out what is going on. However, what I will say is that this story is told from multiple POVs. Every teenager has a unique ability--for example, Roman sees things no one else sees; Sam intrinsically knows the time; Daniel loves music and basically has a soundtrack in his head for every situation and person; Mackenzie is a skilled fighter: Kaitlyn can fix anything and everything; and Rush is an extremely talented gamer. The only perspective we don't read much from is Roman, which I definitely would like to see his side of things more. After each of the teens takes a standardized test that gives them the opportunity to join a "special" summer program, all of these abilities start coming into play in a way none of them (including the reader) expect. 

While the story was a little slow in the beginning, this was because we get background on each of the 6 main characters. We learn a little bit about each of them and what their lives are like (as well as the sacrifices they must make to attend the program). However, after they arrive at the program, the story quickly picks up the pace and has you at the edge of your seat! I definitely didn't have any idea where this book was headed which was exciting to me as a reader because I liked to be surprised. Each character is very well-developed by the end of this book in my opinion, and it was fun to see how each of their abilities figured in to the bigger picture and underlying plot. I loved watching all of them come together and form a team, even though initially none of them wanted to be working with each other. The group dynamic was fantastically written, and I am interested to see how this plays out in future books!

I think the thing I appreciated the most about this book is that it could have been incredibly predictable...but it wasn't! The Intuitives felt new and fun, like nothing I have read previously. There was the perfect balance of action, world-building, and character development throughout the story. The book just had a good flow, and that was something that kept me glued to the page. 

There was a minor subplot that tried to incorporate romance between several characters. However, I truly didn't think this was needed. This was the only part of the story that felt more forced and unnatural. It kind of seemed like an afterthought in some scenes. Maybe with a bit more development in future books, this aspect will grow to be something I like. But for now, not the biggest fan. The only other thing that was a bit confusing for me was the nicknames of the characters. Because there are 6 main characters it became a little overwhelming to remember who was who (especially when you can't actually see the characters except inside your head). On top of this, the characters went by both names throughout the story. So, in essence, you had 12 different main character names to remember. And that's a lot for anyone! I wish the authors just stuck with 1 name consistently.

I highly recommend this new novel! It's thrilling and exciting to the very last page, and something new and different. The story is unpredictable and will have you on the edge of your seat and begging for more after the conclusion. I can't wait to see what is next in the series!

Happy reading :)


Thursday, March 8, 2018

ARC Review: Circe

About The Book:

  Title:  Circe
  Author: Madeline Miller 
  Pub. Date: April 10th, 2018
  Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.
  Pages: 400
  Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology
  Rate: 4.5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.


This book is not only about Circe, it's submerging you in the ocean that is Greek Mythology. Like, I thought I knew a lot about Greek Mythology, and then I read this book. Let me tell you, what I do know is basically an abysmal fraction compared to the big picture of things, and it is seriously awesome.

Circe is the greek goddess of sorcery - so basically she is a witch. She doesn't even realize this until after she turns a human that she loved into a god and he ended up being a complete asshole and loving another nymph. When jealousy reeks it's ugly head, Circe turns the nymph into the infamous sea monster - Scyla. There are soo many characters in this book, but it's definitely necessary seeing as how we are taken through Circe's entire life and she is a goddess so she basically lives forever. Her punishment of sorcery is complete exile on an abandoned island. We also get to know a little of the more famous figureheads - Athena, Hermes, Odysseus, and the Minotaur. If it's one thing I can say, this book is never boring -there's always a new adventure.

This book would be nerd porn for people SUPER, SUPER into Greek Mythology. I think a family tree would be helpful in terms of this book because it would provide a visual depiction of who is related to who (We all know those Greek gods love messing around). Anyway, i did really like this book. The actual research that had to be done to compose this book is literal insanity - I can't even believe how information packed it was. I definitely recommend this book for those fans of Greek Mythology. I've heard Ms. Miller's previous novel, The Song of Achilles, is absolutely beautiful. I already bought it on my Kindle actually. I haven't read it yet because I like physical copies so much more, ah! Have you read The Song of Achilles? I am guessing this book would also be for fans of her previous novel - one of the reviews said this is a sort of sequel. Are you thinking about picking up Circe?
Thank you to Little, Brown & Co. for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Book Review: The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls #2)

The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls #2)About the Book:
Title: The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls #2)
Author: Alys Arden
Pub. Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 604
Rating: 4.5/5 stars


Is blood thicker than magic in La Nouvelle-Orléans?
Adele scours Storm-ravaged New Orleans for the truth about her family’s magical past, tormented by the fate she condemned her mother to, and by the lies she’s forced to tell to cover it up. But every turn leads her back to the one person she’s determined to forget: Niccolò Medici. Not even the multitude of enchanted locks on the attic door trapping Nicco within can break their connection.
Isaac tries relentlessly to keep Adele from exploring paths too dark that would endanger them all. But a new threat is rising: the Medici’s presence has attracted something else to New Orleans…an older enemy, one that will bring Isaac’s haunted past to life, test the witches’ friendships, and jeopardize Adele and Isaac’s blossoming relationship.
In this spellbinding continuation of The Casquette Girls saga, Adele must draw on the past—from seventeenth-century Florence, a time bubbling with alchemy and fraternal betrayal—and sort history from fantasy if she is to have any chance of saving her mother, her coven, and her magic.



Okay, so it hasn't been that long, but it's been 4 years, and I've been wanting this novel in my hands ever since 2013 (the book was later re-released in 2015 so it might not be as long of a wait for other readers). And I'm exciting to say this sequel to The Casquette Girls was well worth the wait! This was everything you could want in a sequel and more!! Alys Arden impressed me a great deal yet again in The Romeo Catchers and I honestly never wanted this book to end. Even though this book is HUGE topping out at just over 600 pages...I loved every single sentence. Ms. Arden has a way of making you feel like you aren't reading a super long book--you are engrossed from chapter 1 until the very end--and before you know it, you've read a 600 page novel! 


Her writing is absolutely gorgeous and captures the horror that is post-Katrina life in New Orleans. From the setting to the characters, the story is richly told and beautifully described. You feel as if you are watching a movie play out in front of you, or as if you are walking (or flying) among the streets of New Orleans with the characters. The story is told in multiple POVs: Adele's, Isaac's, and Niccolo's ('ll see what I mean when you read it). I loved this much more than I thought I would as it allowed us to delve deeper into these characters and understand their actions/motivations. Even though I already thought Ms. Arden did an excellent job in the first book at developing her characters and the supernatural world, she further developed everything and we were still learning new things throughout the story. I loved that she added even more depth to the story and it sets up the third book perfectly for new and exciting things!


I will say that I'm still not the biggest fan of the love triangle, but I am incredibly sad that my ship is sinking!!! This cannot happen and I am sincerely hoping that Ms. Arden finds a way for things to be remedied. I hated how things ended (not actually hated the ending mind you, just hated how things happened for a certain character) and want everything to just be okay again. Ms. Arden also did an excellent job (once again) at weaving in the history of New Orleans into the plot (and also having it play a large role in the supernatural elements). Everything just makes sense and I adore her creative mind!!

Even though we had to wait awhile for this sequel, it was worth every second! Alys Arden delivered in a big way and made me desperate for the third book in this series! The cliffhanger is brutal and will rip your heart out, but that makes the story even better (I'm still living in denial and trying to convince myself that everything will be okay...don't mind me). From rich descriptions to wonderfully developed characters, this book has a little something for everyone. You definitely need to read this one now!!

Happy reading :)


Monday, March 5, 2018

ARC Review: Sky in the Deep

About The Book:

  Title: Sky in the Deep
  Author: Adrienne Young
  Pub. Date: April 24th, 2018
  Publisher: Wednesday Books
  Pages: 352
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
  Rate: 5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield―her brother, fighting with the enemy―the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.


Sky in the Deep was the first viking book I read and I sincerely hope it won't be the last. Eelyn and her clan, the Askas, have been in a life-long feud with the Riki clan for as long as anyone could remember. So imagine her surprise when she sees her brother, who she saw die, fighting for the Riki. Chalked up to a spirit phenomenon, it's written off. Until she sees him again and finally demands answers. Instead of answers, Eelyn is knocked out and taken back with the Rikis to essentially make her a slave.

Let me tell you, this book is so original and fantastic, I just wanted to read it all in one sitting (but
responsibilities turned that into a tad longer). Ms. Young crafts a masterful, character driven story that kept me on my toes. I felt just as betrayed as Eelyn when she saw her brother fighting against her and I felt the shame and embarrassment when the Riki made her their slave. You will feel every emotions these characters do and you will LOVE IT. Without special snowflake syndrome, fairies, or a love triangle, this book is a breath of fresh air for the YA community.

Besides that - Eelyn is a badass, viking feminist. In fact, this entire novel is full of badasses. I honestly don't think I'd be able to pick a favorite if you forced me. I guess if I had to choose - it would either be Eelyn, Myra, Fiske, Iri, Halvard, or Inge (SEE I TOLD YOU I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO). These characters will attach themselves to you and never let go. Ms. Young intricately weaves a tale of family and community into this fantasy. And fair warning - you will become attached to each and every character!!

Sky in the Deep definitely took me by surprise. This was not one of my 'most anticipated for 2018', but it is now one of my 'favorite of 2018's.' This book is extremely fast-paced, and is armed with violence, family, and romance. What more could you want in a story? I wouldn't mind reading more viking mythology or anything else by Adrienne Young for that matter. Overall, Ms. Young completely nailed her debut novel, Sky in the Deep.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing this 
book in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn

Thursday, March 1, 2018

ARC Review: To Kill a Kingdom

About The Book:

  Title: To Kill a Kingdom
  Author: Alexandra Christo 
  Pub. Date: March 6th, 2018
  Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  Pages: 384 
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
  Rate: 3.5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


To Kill a Kingdom really captured my attention first by the beautiful cover, and next by the summary. I love the whole lore of the sea - it's so mysterious and I wish there were more novels set around it. To Kill a Kingdom centers on Lira, a siren princess known as the Prince's Bane because she kills a Prince every year on her birthday. Lira's mother, The Sea Queen, seems to hate her and everything she does because she ultimately threatens her rule. This novel also centers around Prince Elian, who hunts sirens across the sea. When The Sea Queen turns Lira into what she hates most - human - Prince Elian rescues her from the bitter cold of the ocean without knowing who she actually is and her ultimate goal, to kill him.

"Pirates are liars by trade and royals are liars by blood" 

I feel like this can sort of be a reimagining of the Little Mermaid, but it's definitely more creative than your typical reimagining - you can tell Ms. Christo really made this book her own. While very obvious, I absolutely loved the romance between Lira and Prince Elian. I also loved the world building constructed by Ms. Christo. She created the most believable and surreal world in only 384 pages. It really is very impressive. While I absolutely loved those parts of this novel, I wasn't a fan of the Sea Queen. I couldn't really wrap my head around her description or picture her in my mind. I was trying to picture her as an Ursula type ruler, but her description was some what more bizarre. I was also having issues picturing the mermen - which seemed more ghostly than person or fish. I couldn't really understand the politics of the sea, either. Why does the Sea Queen hate literally everyone? I wanted to see a different side of her - she was very one-dimensional and it would have been nice to see a more gray area than just black and white.

"Some people burn so brightly, it's impossible to put the flames out" 

With all of the various aspects going into a fantasy novel, writing a standalone is not an easy feat for authors. However, Ms. Christo definitely pulls it off. While there were parts I didn't like, the good outweighs the bad. I would love to read a spin-off novel of the different lands in his novel, their descriptions are absolutely beautiful. I would definitely read another novel by Alexandra Christo. If you are a fan of fantasy and romance novels but don't necessarily want to commit yourself to reading an entire series - To Kill a Kingdom would be a great book for you! Are you planning on picking up this new release? What are your favorite books set under the sea?

Thank you to Fierce Reads for providing this book
in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn