Book Review: Fae Conqueror (Tangled Fae #5) by Sarah K.L. Wilson

Title: Fae Conqueror (Tangled Fae #5)
Author: Sarah K.L. Wilson
Genre: YA Fantasy / Fae
Publication Date: July 13th, 2020
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

She can conquer the Fae – but at what cost?

From USA Today bestselling author Sarah K. L. Wilson comes this thrilling conclusion to a deliciously trope-filled young adult romantic fantasy series about a viciously funny mortal girl and her quest to hunt, trap, and conquer powerful fae.

Allie had an army, allies, and a plan, but with all of those things slipping through her fingers she is being driven further and further toward a path she hadn’t planned to take and a choice she didn’t want to make.

How selfless is Allie, really? Would she give her own life to save her people … and her new husband?

Or will she have to carve out another way forward? And what might that way cost her?” (Goodreads)

Fae Hunter / Fae Captive / Fae Nightmare / Fae Pursuit

I have finally finished the series! And with that comes heartache as I have to say goodbye to another group of characters and the world that they live in. It’s always bittersweet.

Since this is a conclusion there was a lot of plot lines that needed to be tied up before the end and I think the author did a really good job with this. The stakes are still quite high when it comes to the impending doom of the human world and Allie is giving it her all to rid the mortal realm of the fae. She is also throwing insults every step of the way while doing it, ha. Honestly, the humor never ends in these books and I love it.

The relationship between Scouvrel and Allie is still one that has big impact in the games they are playing but it’s very minor intimately between them. They aren’t always on the page together but when they are their moments together are still sweet but nonethless have a good amount of banter. I still wish there would have been a bit more from them though.

I did think her sister would have a bigger role after book three but with another evil introduced her role kind of minored out and the other was more of a threat. I didn’t mind it though as it gave more plot twists.

A lot of good messages can be found throughout the book like sacrifice and having hope that someone can change.

Overall, this was a great conclusion. I’m glad I have another series knocked off.

Arc Review: The Case of the Cursed Crop by Michael Anthony Steele

Title: The Case of the Cursed Crop
Author: Michael Anthony Steele
Genre: Children’s Fiction / Mystery
Publication Date: August 1st, 2021
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Rating: 4 stars

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

“When Batman and Mystery Inc. arrive at the same farm outside of Gotham City, they soon find themselves in for the fright of their lives! Every time an eerie fog rolls in, fearsome farm monsters come out to play. Can the Caped Crusader help Scooby and the gang crack this case of cursed cropland before the creepy creatures carry them away? Find out in this action-packed chapter book for fans of both Batman and Scooby-Doo!” (Goodreads)

Growing up I loved watching Scooby-Doo. When I saw this on Netgalley as a “read now”, I figured why not! I am always down for something that is Scooby-Doo.

This was a fun read and I loved the illustrations that were included. This reads as a children’s book, so just a bit lower than middle grade. I also know it’s one that my daughter would enjoy since it’s easy to get through much like the Magic Tree House series. The chapters are short and easily grasp your attention, even as an adult.

It was easy to read the words in my head as the characters would say them which made it that much more enjoyable. I also liked the inclusion of batman which reminded me of the older shows with him and Robin in them!

Overall, this was a fun mystery and I will definitely be checking out the other ones in this series with my daughter!

Book Review: Fae Pursuit (Tangled Fae #4) by Sarah K.L. Wilson

Title: Fae Pursuit (Tangled Fae #4)
Author: Sarah K.L. Wilson
Genre: YA Fantasy / Fae
Publication Date: June 5th, 2020
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Allie Hunter is playing a dangerous game for mortals.

From USA Today bestselling author Sarah K. L. Wilson comes a deliciously trope-filled young adult romantic fantasy about a viciously funny mortal girl and her quest to hunt, trap, and conquer powerful fae.

Allie thought she was saving her own mortality and stopping the Fae incursion when she killed the Balance – one of four Fae roles – and took a particularly essential Fae as her captive.

But Allie didn’t think through the consequences. Now, she has one of the four roles of the Faewald. A role she must fulfil by force of magic.

Worse, the Blood Moon has risen in the Faewald and that means it is the time of the Wild Hunt.

Can Allie find a way to save her people while fleeing the Wild Hunt and fighting against a magic that seeks to control her?

It’s still just one mortal girl against the Faewald, but now the stakes couldn’t be higher.

For lovers of The Cruel Prince and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a world of violent fae, trickery, and magic. Grab the fourth book of the Tangled Fae series today!” (Goodreads)

Fae Hunter / Fae Captive / Fae Nightmare

I have been determined to get some series I have started completed and I am back to this one! I can see the finish line!

There are so many good things to say about this book like the cat and mouse games that Scouvrel and Allie play. You never know which one is which because their roles are always switching. I also like that Allie is determined to play the fae games by her own rules. She is kindhearted and still tries to save the human world even when they weren’t kind to her. She definitely doesn’t hold a grudge towards them but the same can’t be said for her twin sister or Scouvrel, haha.

When it comes to the romance aspect, there isn’t much besides a few kisses here and there. I’m okay with this but I will say that sometimes I wish there relationship would progress past the games a bit more. I do like their back and forth but it still feels the same as previous books.

As with the other books, I am never expecting what will happen when it comes to the plot. Characters from previous books make appearances and really know what it means to be a plot twist. I liked that there was more from her sister and there has also been glimpses into the past when it comes to events that have previously happened in the faeworld. Everything is coming together and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the fifth and final book!

Overall, this was another great installment!

Arc Review: Sleeping Around by Morgan Vega

Title: Sleeping Around
Author: Morgan Vega
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: August 3rd, 2021
Publisher: Tearstain Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the author for reaching out to review this book!

Hard-hitting yet humorous, this young adult contemporary following a teen’s transition from foster care to college by debut author Morgan Vega is perfect for fans of What I Carry by Jennifer Longo and Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour.

Foster care always promised her a bed. Now she doesn’t even have that.

Coralee (Corey) Reed can’t wait to trade her current foster house for Harmony Hall, the dorm for music majors. Corey arrives at Borns College with her pawn-shop violin and a borrowed duffle bag, ready to leave her foster care baggage behind.

But Corey’s first day on campus starts on a sour note. She runs into her archrival violinist Dylan Mason, then her name’s not on the dorm’s roster. Worst of all, Corey can’t live at Harmony Hall. Period. Because she’s not yet accepted into the music program. Instead, Reslife shoves her into a temporary triple with two unsuspecting (and beyond different) roommates.

When one of her roommates does the unforgivable, Corey starts sleeping around campus—from air mattresses to random couches—while waiting for an open room. But how can she beat Dylan for first chair if she can’t keep her eyes open? How can she pass her finals without a good night’s sleep? Will college, the place she thought would launch her dreams of becoming a professional violinist, be the place her dreams end all too soon?” (Goodreads)

This hadn’t been on my radar before the author reached out as Instagram’s algorithm sucks and I miss out on content because of it! It sounded like a book that was definitely up my alley so I am glad that the author did reach out because it gave me a chance to read it early.

Content Warning (From Author): Underage drinking, very brief mentions-not-depictions-of infertility and police brutality; and lots of sexual innuendos

Coralee Reed aka Corey loves the violin and has a special connection with the one she recently purchased. She has been in foster care for a lot of her life and has rules to make due with it and passes on that knowledge to the other foster kids she has lived with .Corey is finally breaking free to go to college but things don’t always go the way she had hoped.

I have never had to deal with the foster care system so I can’t really give my two cents about that. It is heartbreaking though to see the news that circles around it. I will say that I feel like this book does a good job of detailing the feelings and hardships that come from it like changing foster homes, not wanting to get too close, and just feeling like you don’t have a place in this world. Corey deals with this among other things and when you add the struggles of transitioning to college on top of it any person would eventually break.

Even though it’s been years since I was in college myself, the author captures the first year of it well. Meeting people can be hard and sometimes the people who you think are friends aren’t. There can be roommate issues (luckily I lived off campus!) and sometimes the experience just isn’t what we thought college would be. I liked seeing Corey maneuver her way through the hardships and growing from the process. She does finally let her foster parents in and it was precious. I’m glad that it all worked out in the end.

There is a bit of romance but it is a very minor aspect of the book. The banter between Corey and Dylan was gold. I do think that their relationship was rushed through so it was hard to fully connect with them as a couple.

Overall, this was a unique plot that involved foster care and finding yourself through the struggles. I think it will do well for those going to college or someone who loves a good YA contemporary.

Manga Review: Those Not-So-Sweet Boys Vol. 3 by Yoko Nogiri

Title: Those Not-So-Sweet Boys Vol. 3
Author: Yoko Nogiri
Genre: YA Manga / Romance / Contemporary
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

From the creator of That Wolf-Boy Is Mine! and Love in Focus comes a story of a hard-working high schooler who falls for a bad boy, and discovers that the the lives of him and his friends are nothing like what she imagined. Don’t miss Yoko Nogiri’s newest shojo hit!

Midori is a high-schooler with a part-time job at a café-bar. Unfortunately, her job’s against the rules at her school, and when the principal finds out, he makes her a deal: Convince three boys who’ve stopped coming to school to return, and her transgression will be overlooked. Now, she needs to find a way into the lives of these not-so-sweet boys… one of whom just happens to be her crush!” (Goodreads)

I was excited to see that my library had this one available as I have read the first two and wanted to continue on with the series. I’m not going to lie, this was my least favorite of the three so far.

Nanami is still hanging with the boys but this time they need tutoring, but mostly Chihiro. Since we found out that he likes her his actions have been very awkward when she is around but I like that Nanami doesn’t see it and it just makes it a bit more humorous. Although I do feel sad for him since it seems that the girls always flock to the other two and not him.

The love triangle is still going strong but it’s more or less unrequited love from Nanami to Chihiro. I will say that the development between Rei and Nanami isn’t a favorite because it just seems rushed as we are only through vol. 3 and I feel like their confession is coming in the next one. They are still cute though. I love his dog Kota!

I did like that the boys got to try their hands at actually making money on their own. I liked seeing them work together and also seeing how Chihiro takes care of his siblings. It was sweet.

Overall, it was good but there are overused tropes that aren’t as developed as I’d like. I am still looking forward to continuing this series though.

Book Review: Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Title: Twice Shy
Author: Sarah Hogle
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: April 6th, 2021
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Rating: ⭐⭐

Can you find real love when you’ve always got your head in the clouds?

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.” (Goodreads)

I’ve come to the realization that this author just doesn’t work for me. It’s a sad fact that I have to deal with as each of her books have sounded great but I can never connect to the story or characters to actually care about what is going on.

This book in particular had all of the elements to make a great book and one that I should love but I just couldn’t do it. Some of the events that happen to Maybell are just too convenient and I didn’t like Wesley. He was kind of a wet blanket.

I did like the idea of the reno and them both getting the house. It was a cool concept and one I have only seen in a movie so far. I know this read has been popular with other readers and I’m definitely sad I’m not joining the group.

Overall, this would be a great read for any reader. It’s not just a book I could get into unfortunately.

Arc Review: Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

Title: Small Favors
Author: Erin A. Craig
Genre: YA Historical Fiction / Horror / Magical Realism
Publication Date: July 27th, 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

“Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range–five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned.

As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents’ deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.” (Goodreads)

This was a very interesting book! The blurb gives a few subtle hints as to what lurks in the pages but honestly, there were many surprises and it was darker than I had ever expected.

Ellerie Downing lives in a smaller town named Amity Falls. Visitors are few and far between. There are founding families and three make up the council for this town while also holding votes for certain circumstances. All of this makes for an interesting dynamic when it came to the setting and plot.

When a supply run caravan never comes back besides a horse with enormous gashes, things take a dark turn that left me with many questions, speculations, and being afraid to sleep at night, haha.

If it wasn’t for being tired and not wanting stay up past 11pm, I would have finished this in one sitting. Although it was a bit of a slow start and has parts that make it a tad bit slower, once it ramps up it really ramps up! The pacing does even out the farther you get into the book as it is split into seasons to help the readers understand the circumstances and give a bit of a backstory before crazier events take place.

There is a lot I can say about Ellerie. She is loyal to her family and wants what is best for her sisters. She has a twin brother who is debatable at times and her opinions of him do change over time. I do think even though he makes questionable choices, she wants to see him thrive. I also like that she manages bees with her father and enjoyed the moments we read about them. I honestly wasn’t sure how the bees would play into the overall theme of the story but it does make sense by the end.

My one complaint about Ellerie would be how trusting she is of newcomers. I understand the pull to them as you don’t get many visitors but trust should not be freely given. This one issue did make for the romance to be very instant and that wasn’t for me. I did like the love interests character and they do have fun banter but it just wasn’t believable enough for me.

When it comes to the plot, I can’t say too much because it’s better to go in not knowing much about it. It can be quite dark at times but I did like the use of human nature and the things we hide deep in our hearts. It shows that the world can be a cruel place. There is also magical realism tied into it and it added that extra spice!

The ending was the only other issue I had with the book. It is quite open-ended and I am left with questions that have no answers. These types of endings are hard for me to like because I just want everything to feel complete by the end.

Overall, this was a book I really enjoyed and lived up to my expectations from this author. As always, her writing is incredible and I can’t wait to see what else she writes.

DNF Review: The Emperor’s Blade by Brian Staveley

Title: The Emperor’s Blade
Author: Brian Staveley
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: January 14th, 2021
Publisher: Tor Books
Rating: DNF (Maybe a ⭐⭐ for what I read)

“The circle is closing. The stakes are high. And old truths will live again…

The Emperor has been murdered, leaving the Annurian Empire in turmoil. Now his progeny must bury their grief and prepare to unmask a conspiracy.

His son Valyn, training for the empire’s deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. He expected a challenge, but after several ‘accidents’ and a dying soldier’s warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Yet before Valyn can take action, he must survive the mercenaries’ brutal final initiation.

Meanwhile, the Emperor’s daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father’s murderer in the capital itself. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. And Kaden, heir to an empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God’s disciples teach their harsh ways – which Kaden must master to unlock their ancient powers. When an imperial delegation arrives, he’s learnt enough to perceive evil intent. But will this keep him alive, as long-hidden powers make their move?” (Goodreads)

When I started this book I said I would read 10% a day. That didn’t happen and I only made it 24% in two weeks. I just didn’t find myself wanting to pick it up if I were to be honest.

There are things to like about this book like the multiple point-of-views or a couple of the characters like Lin. Even with certain things being interesting when it came to the plot, it still wasn’t enough to make me want to continue on. I also read other reviews to help solidify my decision of dropping it.

Who knows, maybe I will try again one day but for now I have other things to read besides struggling with this one.

Arc Review: Isn’t It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club #4) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: Isn’t It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club #4)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: July 20th, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad wrote one.

Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.

Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page.

The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners. But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes and their happily ever after is cast into doubt.” (Goodreads)

From the beginning of this series, I loved the Russian aka Vlad. He was humorous and romantic. I’m so glad that the author decided to give him his own book because he deserves all the love and happiness that this book had to offer!

One thing I always enjoy about these books is the dual point-of-view. We already know Vlad but we know nothing about his mysterious wife, Elena. I liked getting to know her and the feelings she has towards Vlad both before and after their marriage of convenience. Also that trope was exceptional in this book!

Elena is very passionate about journalism and uncovering her father’s truth that is connected with his disappearance. When it comes to this series, this was the most intense. I do like seeing the continual theme of how women can be poorly treated whether it’s a work environment or being trafficked from another country in hopes for a better future. Trafficking is such an important issue and I’m glad to see it get page time.

Vlad is the best cinnamon roll in the world. His love life wasn’t what I was expecting at all but it made me appreciate him more. I also love his love for animals because it’s exactly how I am, haha. Give me all the animals! His life doesn’t just revolve around hockey either. Since Vlad is passionate about romance novels, he has decided to write his own. It’s always nice to get snippets of what the men are reading or in this case, working on.

Their relationship is rocky from the beginning. They tiptoe around one another and don’t have the best communication. I loved seeing them work through their problems slowly and get the help they need from those around them.

Another trope I loved in this book was the found family. Not only is the Bromance Book Club always there for their members but Vlad also had another group made up of ladies who had lost their husbands and were alone. They also came to the rescue for his marriage and worked with Elena. It just gave me all the feelings.

Overall, this was my favorite book so far. I’m glad I finally sat down to read it as it was so worth it! I am curious if there will be more books. I feel like there was a hint at a new relationship but only time will tell!

Audiobook Review: The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter

Title: The Dire King (Jackaby #4)
Author: William Ritter
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller / Paranormal
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.” (Goodreads)

That was not the ending I was expecting.

I have finished this series and I did it a lot faster than I have done! There have been a lot of plot twists throughout each book and this finale was no different. Things happened that I just wasn’t ready for and I don’t think I will be okay. It’s not a bad ending but it just was a big surprise. I’m sorry I am feeling vague but I want to keep it spoiler-free because it’s best to go into this series blind!

When it came to the characters, they have all went down different paths to all join together at the end to finish The Dire King. There is character growth from many characters. I’m glad that Jenny is still around and doing more than just being in the house. I love that Abigail is sympathetic and wants peace among everyone, including those that aren’t human. Jackaby has been a lot more humorous than he was in the last book.

The romance didn’t exactly go how I thought either but there were a couple sweet moments between Charlie and Abigail. Another romance popped up by the end too which I did suspect but didn’t know if it would happen or not! All around good surprises with the romance. It’s still light but I liked it.

Overall, this was an enjoyable ending to the series. The stakes are very high but there is always hope.