Audiobook Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Title: A Torch Against the Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill

“Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.” (Goodreads)

I still feel like my original review still stands true to my feelings. Just as my feelings never changed with book one, my feelings were still the same here too. It was just so good and this author knows how to write!

There are a couple things that I did like more this time and that would be Helene and the tribes. I love the loyalty and Helene took so much and gave so much too. Her story continues to be tragic but she is strong and pulls through!

It’s also been amazing to see all of the foreshadowing that has been going on.

I’m still glad that I decided to reread this series before the final book.

Old Review:

Where do I even begin with this book! It literally broke me and made me shed a few tears and honestly I don’t even know how I will ever survive!

A Torch Against the Night begins right where An Ember in the Ashes left off. Elias and Laia are escaping Blackcliff and on their to save her brother, Darin. They run into a few problems along the way as well as being tracked down by the new Blood Shrike, Helene.They will risk their lives and hope that death isn’t over the horizon.

The characters were just like I remembered them from the first book. Although, a couple I had to try and remember since it has been awhile. It didn’t take long to sweep me back into this world as her writing and world building are nothing short of perfection. My favorite character is probably Elias followed by Helene but Harper is pretty interesting and I can’t wait to see how his story flushes out since there was an interesting cliffhanger that includes him.

I am so glad I recently purchased a signed copy of Reaper at the Gates because now I don’t have to wait to continue the story!

Overall, I am deeply in love with this series and it gives me all the feels. I highly recommend you read these! You won’t regret it.


A Pack of Blood and Lies: NetGalley Review

37531542Title: A Pack of Blood and Lies
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Publication Date: April 30th, 2019
Rating: 4 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

A Pack of Blood and Lies follows Ness as she returns to her hometown after her mother dies. One Secret Boulder keeps is that there are werewolves. Ness is one and since being absent her pack is all but inclusive especially because of her gender. As she vies for the alpha role, she must confront her past head on and the secrets that could change everything.

Ness is a girl who is strong and independent and her background has molded her into that. She is loyal and stands up for what she believes and doesn’t back down when times get tough. Even though she is cocky at times, her actions are always normal human responses and I appreciate her being so real. The banter between the younger pack members was wonderful and made me want to be a part of their bunch. The relationship in this book is your typical hate/love and it had its cheesy moments but I was all for it!

Going into this book I wasn’t sure what to expect and frankly I was pleasantly surprised. I love a good werewolf plot and this one did not disappoint. There were a lot of twists and even though a few were obvious, a couple of them took me by surprise. There is romance, murder, and unique family dynamics like the wolf packs.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and even when I took a break from reading I still kept thinking about the book and what could happen next. It drew me in and I literally can’t wait for the next book to see what the pack is doing. If you are a fan of Twilight or just enjoy a good werewolf romance then this is the book for you!

Never-Contented Things: NetGalley Review

39863312Title: Never-Contented Things
Author: Sarah Porter
Publication Date: March 19th, 2019
Rating: 1 star

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

Never-Contented Things follows foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia as they become entangled with fairies and find out that their gifts come with a price.

I had a few expectations going into this book because the synopsis mentioned fairies but what I read didn’t add up to anything I could have ever imagined and it got weird quick.

The weirdest, most uncomfortable part was the relationship between Josh and Ksenia. Of course, they aren’t actually siblings but she puts herself in a caregiver role so it just doesn’t seem right. Also, the word baby in this book was used one too many times and was very cringey.

Even if their relationship was not part of the book I didn’t like any of the characters. They were flat and Josh was rather annoying. I also thought that Prince would have a much larger role in the story than he did. There was enchantments at work but he was more of a behind-the-scenes guy as were a majority of the fairies. I wanted more fairies and a fairy world but the reality they were in was basically another version of the not siblings house.

Overall, I didn’t like this book for many reasons. This is one you have to go in with no expectations and probably without reading the synopsis. I hope others have more success with liking it because there are some great concepts but the execution was not there.

The Perfect Assassin: NetGalley Review

39863314Title: The Perfect Assassin
Author: K.A. Doore
Publication Date: March 19th, 2019
Rating: 4 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

The Perfect Assassin follows Amastan who has  completed his training to become an assassin and now must try to figure out who the killer is that is hunting his own and if he has the courage to take a life with his own hands.

Amastan has doubts about his new position in the family business and I think that’s why I like him. It makes him feel more realistic. He fights a lot of battles inside himself with right and wrong and it really makes you feel for him. The other characters, including Amastan, were well developed and their backgrounds were interesting. I enjoyed knowing what they did before they got into the business or what they still do. There is a relationship in this book between Amastan and another character but it isn’t overbearing and I appreciate that.

The plot is a murder mystery and the murderer, for me at least, wasn’t obvious. The pace was on point and it kept me intrigued. Her world building is intricate and was refreshing to have a fantasy be in the desert because it doesn’t happen often. I love the added bit of paranormal beings called the jaan. They really added to the suspense and were different than many other paranormal beings in other books. The writing is nothing short of phenomenal and I felt as I was there right in the action.

Assassins are one thing that I love and this book didn’t disappoint. I am so glad I was able to read it. If you love murder, vengeance, and assassins I would highly recommend this book!

The Waking Forest: NetGalley Review

thegeekishbrunette review


36165054Title: The Waking Forest
Author: Alyssa Wees
Publication Date: March 12th, 2019
Rating: 2.5 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

The Waking Forest follows young Rhea and her visions of a witch in a forest. A boy comes and visits her in the darkness of her family’s attic and stranger things continually happen. She must uncover the truth before its too late.

I was pretty hyped to read this book and in some ways it lived up to that hype and in other ways it fell short. This book is categorized as young adult/teen but I would say it is more middle-grade. The plot of the book was intriguing and the way she wove in a lyrical story in between was magical. The book is written with two perspectives and eventually they collide into one which is very unique and something I have not seen before. Usually I am one to complain about slow pacing but the problem for me was that in this case it felt rushed and some of the plot was not fleshed out enough.

The characters were also a let down for me. I didn’t feel connected to them and that killed a few of the plot twists. There wasn’t enough background to any of the characters, including Rhea.

Overall, I liked the plot of the book and it was different than others I have read before but the lack of character development is what ultimately lost me.

Arc Review: The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

Title: The Deceivers
Author: Kristen Simmons
Genre: YA Contemporary / Mystery
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Rating: 4.5 Stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

The Deceivers is a new spin on the Valhalla myth. Vale Hall isn’t just any private school, it is a school where con artists flourish. Brynn Hilder has a chance to get away from her not so great life with a fresh start at Vale Hall. It will take everything she knows to survive, one lie at a time.

Its a hard thing to find contemporaries I want to read and this book left me wanting more! I was swept away into this world of scandals, lies, and mean girls. If I was still in high school Vale Hall is where I would want to be. It’s refreshing to have a new take on an old myth and give it a contemporary spin. The author really outdid herself with this plot as I have not read anything that even comes close to it.

The characters in this book are everything you would picture at a high school. They are fleshed out and all have unique backgrounds as to why they have found themselves at this school. I loved seeing Brynn deal with her own personal battles as well as the pressure she faces from and at school. Although the relationship between her and Caleb was quick, they were adorable together and I can’t wait to see where their relationship goes.

This was such a great read! The plot was intriguing and the pace was just right. I finished it in one sitting, it was too good to put down. If you are a fan of contemporary retellings, or scandals I would highly recommend this book!

Arc Review: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

Title: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Publication Date: February 19th, 2019
Rating: 2 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried follows Dino who’s family owns a funeral home and as a result he has to take care of an ex-best friend named July who died recently. Although she is supposed to be dead, weird things begin to happen and now that she is up and moving no one is dying like they should.

The cover and synopsis pulled me in but the story fell short. Although the plot was interesting and unique, the characters were flat and the friendship between Dino and July didn’t really seem like much since they hadn’t been friends for awhile and seemed to have moved on before her death. I am sure the author had a point in a lot of the death talk since their was a significant scene but it was lost since I felt no connection towards the characters.

The book is also filled with a lot of fart jokes, rotting flesh smells, and just weird disgusting things decaying bodies do. I am sure others would find these things to be hilarious but I am not one of those people.

It may have fallen short in numerous areas but the relationship between Rafi and Dino was cute even if their characters lacked a bit of development. Overall, it just wasn’t for me but I am sure others will love what this book offers.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling


Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: June 26th, 1997
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Rating: 4 stars

->Click for Synopsis<-

Everyone is familiar with the tale of Harry Potter and it shames me to say that I am just now reading through the series while there are others who are on their 5th reread.

I have seen all the movies so I guess that might count for something but it has been a few years and so they haven’t clouded my mind and I enjoyed what the book had to offer.

There are quite a few differences between the book and the movie. One being the beginning. We get a lot more from his muggle relatives and it made me despise them even more. When it came to meeting the Weasley family. I don’t remember all the talk about Ron’s brothers so it was nice hear about them and be introduced to little Ginny.

Snape is a character that I have mixed feelings about and this book does a good job of leading you to believe things that might not be accurate, especially when it involves him. Poor, poor Snape.

Overall it was a very enjoyable book and I can’t wait to read the next in the series and continue my journey at Hogwarts!

Arc Review: The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

Title: The Dead Queens Club
Author: Hannah Capin
Genre: YA Contemporary / Retelling / Thriller
Publication Date: January 29th, 2019
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

“What do a future ambassador, an overly ambitious Francophile, a hospital-volunteering Girl Scout, the new girl from Cleveland, the junior cheer captain, and the vice president of the debate club have in common? It sounds like the ridiculously long lead-up to an astoundingly absurd punchline, right? Except it’s not. Well, unless my life is the joke, which is kind of starting to look like a possibility given how beyond soap opera it’s been since I moved to Lancaster. But anyway, here’s your answer: we’ve all had the questionable privilege of going out with Lancaster High School’s de facto king. Otherwise known as my best friend. Otherwise known as the reason I’ve already helped steal a car, a jet ski, and one hundred spray-painted water bottles when it’s not even Christmas break yet. Otherwise known as Henry. Jersey number 8.

Meet Cleves. Girlfriend number four and the narrator of The Dead Queens Club, a young adult retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives. Cleves is the only girlfriend to come out of her relationship with Henry unscathed—but most breakups are messy, right? And sometimes tragic accidents happen…twice…” (Goodreads)

The Dead Queens Club is a retelling of Henry VIII with high school girlfriends instead of wives. It is told in the PoV of his close friend Annie Marck aka Cleve who is a school journalist. She tries to find out the truth of what happened to his exes before another one bites the dust.

When I started this I didn’t know what to expect. Sometimes retellings are great while others fall short. With this one, the high school setting really fits because sometimes high school can feel like a royal court. There is always drama no matter what. I also liked it being about girlfriends because it makes it more relatable. Now a days, there has been a lot of talk about women empowerment and women coming together  to support one another. The author does a great job building up the relationships between the girls all the way up until the end. The titles for the chapters were interesting because they were meant to be like news headlines.

The reason I’m  not sure about it is because there was a lot going on. It was like the movie Mean Girls but on steroids and it was just a little too much for me at times. I also wasn’t a fan of the writing style. I did end up reading it in one sitting because I just wanted to know where it was going so obviously it wasn’t all bad!

If you want to go on a crazy ride of high school drama, mean girls, and deadly relationships this book is for you!

Arc Review: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Title: White Stag
Author: Kara Barbieri
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.” (Goodreads)

White Stag is about a seventeen-year-old girl named Janneke who has been stuck in the permafrost after tragic events. The permafrost is ruled by goblins, but they aren’t your average goblins. There are power struggles, dark pasts, family feuds, and even some Nordic mythology. I like how she took goblins and tried to create them as something nice and enticing. I also enjoyed Janneke questioning her feelings towards Soren and not just jumping into a romance like we see in most plots. Although I liked a couple parts of the book it wasn’t enough as the book fell flat in many areas.

One of my concerns with this book is Janneke’s past. I just couldn’t get over the rape. I am sure it was added to show how a certain character treated her but it just sat with me wrong and it was a large part of the story.

Another issue I had was how quickly we were thrown into this new world without any context. There was a lot going on and I’m not even sure I realized that they were goblins or that she was a human slave to them until the second or third chapter. I also am still not entirely sure how the power transfer worked or even what they gained from it and why it was important. I wish there would have been more world building and more character development to help make the plot make sense.

Lastly, Janneke just wasn’t a character I felt connected too. She was a strong character but at times it felt she was too over powered especially during the fighting scenes. There were times she effortlessly killed someone who was older and I am sure more powerful than her.

I wanted to love this book. I considered DNFing it but chose to continue in hopes that it would get better. I still think that the plot was a great idea but the way it was executed just wasn’t for me.