Arc Review: No One Is Alone by Rachel Vincent

Title: No One Is Alone
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: July 12th, 2022
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

“Michaela is a junior in high school, close with her single mom. Her dad lives a few towns away and pops in and out of her life only on holidays and birthdays. They barely know each other beyond surface obligations.

That is, until her mom dies. Suddenly on her own, Michaela has to move in with her Dad . . . and learns he’s been married with kids all this time, and she was the product of an affair. Before she can even grieve her mother, Michaela is thrust into a strange house with a stepmom and three half-siblings, including new sister Emery, who is in the same grade and less than thrilled at the prospect of sharing her room and school life. Will Michaela be able to let go of everything she’s ever known-and find herself anew-with a family who didn’t ask for her in the first place?” (Goodreads)

A read this author last year and it was a YA Fantasy. It was good but not a favorite and was curious how her contemporary would be. It definitely was a lot better and had me wanting to continue reading into the night. It was hard to put down.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Michaela. She is going through a lot right from the beginning when her mom suddenly dies from an accident. To make matters worse, she didn’t know her dad had another family with other kids. Talk about turning your world upside down! Because of all this, Michaela has a lot to navigate through and it isn’t always easy.

I may not have gone through anything Michaela has besides grief. It’s one of the worst things to go through. Even though that was the only thing we had in common I didn’t have a hard time connecting with her. You could feel her pain through the pages and you just want to give her a big hug.

The other characters are pretty memorable as well, especially the grandma. I had to deal with mine having dementia and it’s hard to watch them forget who you are. I understand why Emery distanced herself from it all. The siblings don’t always get along together but it’s easy to understand why they would have an issue with the circumstance of finding out you have another sibling. Sometimes I would get just as upset as Michaela at her stepmother but then I found myself seeing her point-of-view and it’s just a crappy situation for everyone involved. Each person really tried their best.

There is a lot of drama from family dynamics to school. Not everyone at her school has her best interest at heart and it’s easy to lose ourselves when grief is involved. The book does a good job of showing how each person deals with it differently as well as the stress of life.

Romance does have a very small part and although it has its hurdles for Michaela, she at least gets a happier ending.

Overall, this was a heartbreaking read but one that I really liked.


Arc Review: Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent

Title: Red Wolf
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 20th, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: ⭐⭐✨

This high stakes, pacey reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood is perfect for fans of Stephanie Garber and Megan Spooner.

For as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember the village of Oakvale has been surrounding by the dark woods—a forest filled with terrible monsters that light cannot penetrate. Like every person who grows up in Oakvale she has been told to steer clear of the woods unless absolutely necessary.

But unlike her neighbors in Oakvale, Adele has a very good reason for going into the woods. Adele is one of a long line of guardians, women who are able to change into wolves and who are tasked with the job of protecting their village while never letting any of the villagers know of their existence.

But when following her calling means abandoning the person she loves, the future she imagined for herself, and her values she must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her neighbors safe.” (Goodreads)

I haven’t read a retelling for Little Red Riding Hood before and so I was looking forward to starting this one. Although there are certain things I did like about this one, there were still things I didn’t like that left me questioning a lot of what the main character did.

When it comes to the retelling aspect of the book, I thought it was unique. You can definitely see where it is similar to the original but the author does take creative liberty to make it her own and she does that well.

Adele is a character that I just couldn’t get behind when it came to her actions. She was set in her ways and didn’t want to listen to others opinions about situations that would cause harm to her loved ones or even the village. It felt like she didn’t take her job seriously and cared more for those she should be killing than the ones she was meant to protect, aka the village she lived in.

I also didn’t care for the love triangle that she found herself in. Grainger was very controlling and Max was a bit to enamored by Adele’s abilities to where it was borderline creepy. Sure, he knew about them coming from a family who also has guardians but it still was odd. Adele also turns on one rather quickly and basically does what her mother did but berates her mother for the choice she chose.

The plot at times was intriguing but I did get tired of all the marriage and bearing children talk. It took up too much space where I think it would have been better to see Adele become more adept with her abilities. I also felt like the beginning of the book was rushed through to get to the point of her turning into a guardian which took away most of the mystery. There were some good plot twists but one I saw from the beginning and couldn’t help but think, “What an idiot you are, Adele.”

Overall, it was okay but for a unique retelling it was good which is why I bumped it to a 2.5 instead of just a 2. I’m sure others will enjoy it more than me but I just couldn’t get behind Adele and when you don’t like the main character that much it makes it hard to fully enjoy the book.