The Bone Houses: Book Review

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36524503._SY475_Title: The Bone Houses
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Horror
Publication Date: September 24th, 2019

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Synopsis: “eventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

Here’s the thing, calling an undead being a Bone House is a lot nicer than zombie but it is still a zombie! Also, I am terrified of them and they have been haunting my dreams for 21 years! Seriously, it dates back to Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, ha.

Anyways, enough of my boring background. As a certified chicken, I would say that this book had its creepy parts but overall it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. That’s probably for the best so I wouldn’t have nightmares.

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But, let’s talk about the characters! Ryn is not afraid of death and carries an axe with her to deal with the ones that rise. Just like her father, she becomes the next gravedigger for their town after he goes missing. Ryn and her siblings have suffered a lot of loss and even then the local Lord is also a dillweed to them. She is always trying to protect them and will do everything to make sure they have what they need to live.

Quickly into the book we are introduced to Ellis. There isn’t much that is known about his background and as the plot progresses, so does his background. He is very witty and I enjoyed the humor he produced during the worst times, ha.

Although you would think Ellis would be considered the comedic relief, a goat steals the whole show! The goat is funny, loyal, and her horns pack a punch! No fear for the undead can be found when it comes to her. I always enjoy a good animal companion and this one did not disappoint.

As for the plot, it was fast paced, interesting, and left me wanting more from the characters. I will say that the plot twists were easy to spot out after learning a bit about the curse. I also thought the ending was a tad anti-climatic.

It took until the last book of the page to make me sad. I wasn’t expecting the last couple of sentences to be so impactful but I think it’s what I needed to hear since I am dealing with my own grief.

“And perhaps this was the truth about the dead.
You went on.
They’d want you to.”

Overall, I enjoyed it and I am glad I have the Owlcrate copy because it’s definitely one I would read again.

The Widow of Pale Harbor: Arc Review

 

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42867746Title: The Widow of Pale Harbor
Author: Hester Fox
Genre:  Gothic Historical Fiction
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019

I was provided an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

Where do I even begin with this one? Fox’s books are always wonderfully written and filled with gothic vibes. I was expecting something different than I read but this took me on a thrilling ride I never knew I needed!

As I began this book, I thought I would run into something that involved the paranormal as her other book did. This book took me by surprise because it didn’t but I’m not at all upset because instead it combined Edgar Allen Poe’s work with the murders taking place in Pale Harbor. I love Poe and that was just the icing on the cake!

Another great thing is the point of views. I enjoy books with multiple ones because I feel that it’s easier to connect with the other characters. Sophronia Carver and Gabriel Stone came from different backgrounds but at the same time shared a common factor that they bonded over and yet it kept them a part at times. I will say that the relationship was a bit more on the insta-love side than I would have liked, but it didn’t steer me away from being completely enamored by the love between them!

Although the plot felt a little slow at first, it still exceeded my expectations! I found myself not wanting to put it down because with each page turn the plot thickens and I found it hard to not second guess each character and their motives. I really thought I knew who did it but I was far off! There are many twists and turns that take place among the pages and I was not expecting how everything would be revealed at the end.

Fox’s writing is nothing short of phenomenal and each of her books has captivated me. The Widow of Pale Harbor is dark, shocking, and intriguing. I highly recommend this one be added to your TBR especially with the spooky season coming!

Resurrection Girls: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

44174348.jpgTitle: Resurrection Girls
Author: Ava Morgyn
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

You ever read a book and the first thought that pops into your head after you finish is, “What the heck did I just read?”. Well, this is how I am feeling! It’s not in a bad way but the whole book just caught me off guard.

The main character of this book is Olivia and the plot focuses around her family and how each one is dealing with the loss of her little brother. Grief is a terrible thing and can take over our life and can lead us down a path of bad decisions. The way that grief plays out in this book is unique and adds a touch of supernatural. It breathes life into their family once again.

I enjoyed reading about Olivia as well as the quick friendship she finds herself in with Kara. Olivia is more timid and focuses on the bad while Kara is wild, careless, and wants to pull Olivia out of the grief that is consuming her life. Kara brings out another side of her and things get quite interesting when they start being pen pals with murderers!

The plot was more interesting than what I had expected and the added plot twists were  either bizarre or just shocking, but I was definitely here for it.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and if you are intrigued by the synopsis or my review, definitely check it out!

Five Dark Fates: Book Review

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35391237._SY475_.jpgTitle: Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns #4)
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019

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Since this is the fourth and final book, a synopsis will not be posted here but can be found here.

Book review for Three Dark Crowns
Book review for One Dark Throne
Book review for Two Dark Reigns

You can find reviews for the first three books by clicking each title.

I will also have a paragraph at the bottom of this review to talk about my opinion overall for the series.

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My Review:

I had high hopes for this one. Maybe it was because it’s the last book in the series or maybe it was that ending from book two. Regardless of what the cause was, I just had my expectations set too high.

For a book that is so long there wasn’t much substance to it. I found myself bored more times than I could count and was skimming bits here and there. It reminded me of the first book in a lot of ways and I am not sure how this got better in book two and three to slide back down to just being, “yeah, I guess it was alright.”

This was very much plot driven and the characters lacked because of it. The side characters were also the stars of the show and I wasn’t a fan of it. Don’t get me wrong, I do like good side characters and usually I do want more from them but for this particular book, I didn’t like the characters. I really wanted to see more from Mirabella and Katherine but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Even the dead queens were kind of thrown to the side and when you thought you would see them in action it never happened and we only saw the aftermath of what they could do. I also wish Pietyr would have stayed down or died. He was unnecessary and was only used as a plot twist that didn’t really go anywhere.I just needed more from everyone!

Since the book was plot driven, I thought the plot twists would be interesting. Sure, there were some that I was surprised/emotionally effected by but overall they just kind of felt like too much. A few of the plot points from book three appear again but don’t even add anything to this plot really. They are there and then gone. No loose ends were ever tied. The ending, and pretty much the whole book, felt rushed and was disappointing to say the least.

Overall, I did really enjoy book two and three. I don’t know what happened when it came to book four but it had the potential to be great and it was just lackluster. This year has been one disappointment after another when it comes to book series and this one will be added to that list.

 

Saving Fable: Mini NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

36952394._SY475_Title: Saving Fable (Talespinners #1)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “Indira has been a character-in-waiting her entire life. So she can’t believe her luck when she’s finally chosen to travel to Fable and study at the renowned Protagonist Preparatory, a school known for producing the best heroes.

But Indira’s dreams of achieving hero status don’t exactly go as planned. A failed audition lands her in the school’s side-character track, and her best efforts to prove advisors–famous characters like Alice from Wonderland and Professor Darcy–wrong are constantly sabotaged. Indira is starting to feel like an evil antagonist might be to blame.

As the danger spreads, Indira discovers all of Fable is under siege. With her friends Maxi and Phoenix by her side, she pieces together clues that will reveal who is behind the dark magic threatening them all. But the more Indira uncovers, the more doubt she feels about her place in this world of stories. After all, can a side character really save the day?” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

Saving Fables is the first in a new series about characters that get chosen to be a part of a book. I thought that this was very creative and have only read one other book that was somewhat similar but was based around plays instead. This book really makes the characters come to life and even mentions other characters that have been enjoyed for years: Harry Potter, Dracula, Darcy, and Alice.

It is full of great characters and a plot that is both fun and intriguing! I wasn’t sure how this book would turn out but I liked how the ending brought everything together. It is definitely a good read and perfect for kids who love to read and want a different take on how books are made.

 

 

Lost and Found: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

44144248Title: Lost and Found
Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “That’s the question that has haunted fourteen-year-old Ezekiel Blast all his life. But he’s not a thief, he just has a talent for finding things. Not a superpower–a micropower. Because what good is finding lost bicycles and hair scrunchies, especially when you return them to their owners and everyone thinks you must have stolen them in the first place? If only there were some way to use Ezekiel’s micropower for good, to turn a curse into a blessing. His friend Beth thinks there must be, and so does a police detective investigating the disappearance of a little girl. When tragedy strikes, it’s up to Ezekiel to use his talent to find what matters most.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

The cover and synopsis is what pulled me in from the start as it usually goes. I had high hopes for this one and although it hit a few of them, there were parts to this story that just fell a tad short.

Ezekiel Blast is full of sarcasm. He is a real “blast” to be around (I couldn’t help myself, haha). He is pretty closed off until Beth makes an appearance into his life and its never the same. I enjoyed the character development for Ezekiel. He had dealt with loss at a young age and even some criminal issues that weren’t warranted but came with his ability which inevitably labeled him as a thief. He was relatable because at times he wants to give up and forget what he can do but realizes that helping others outweighs the bad that can come with it. He is realistic with his choices and that’s one thing I always enjoy about characters.

Beth is a minor character but major in the plot and character development for Ezekiel. She isn’t really shy but builds up walls around her because of her height, being bullied because of it, and family issues she is dealing with alone. She is very present in the beginning and because of the plot, steps into the back but is still on the mind of Ezekial. She was a decent character but at times it felt like her and Ezekial were one in the same when it came to their dialogue. It also felt this way with other characters and when everyone is saying sarcastic things it just isn’t that appealing to read.

The one thing that saved this book was the plot. At times it was very obvious as to what was going to happen and very unbelievable with how quickly things were solved. Even with these issues, I was still hooked with the plot and wanted to continue reading to find out how it would all play out. The micropowers are pretty micro in this story and it is more about the characters than the powers.

Even though I had some issues with this book, it was still a pretty enjoyable read.

 

The Green Children of Woolpit: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

40500417._SY475_.jpgTitle: The Green Children of Woolpit
Author: J. Anderson Coats
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “It is the autumn of 1160, and twelve-year-old Agnes is helping with the harvest when she hears a frightened voice calling from the nearby woods. When she goes to investigate, Agnes can’t believe what she sees. There, at the bottom of the deep wolf traps, are two children. They are shouting in a language no one understands—and their skin is bright green.

Agnes soon discovers that these are no ordinary children; in fact, they aren’t even human. They are of the Fair Folk, and they are here to take Agnes home to their world. Trusting that the Fair Folk cannot lie, Agnes agrees to venture underground. But she soon learns just how dangerous their world is—and what it will take to break the ancient bargain meant to keep her there.” (Amazon)

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My Review:

I will say that in the beginning it was hard to get into this book because it was quite slow and I wasn’t a fan of the writing style. As the story progressed, I found myself being intrigued with the plot but the characters were just alright.

Agnes has heard stories about The Good People from her granny and she repeats the lessons she was told throughout the book. Although she may have this advice, she still manages to find herself in trouble. I did like that she didn’t give up. Besides the green children, the other characters are pretty minor. They don’t have any background or character development. They are simply there for minor parts in the plot and that’s about it. The green children have the most development and are really the driving force for everything that goes on. They are sneaky but even then, nothing always goes as planned.

The plot had its slow parts in the beginning but it eventually smoothed out and continued at a rapid pace. There were a few plot twists and they were quite surprising so I did enjoy them. There are two point of views in this story once you get a bit in and at first I was confused by it because there isn’t much of an indicator for it but as I got used to it, it does help to understand the characters.

Overall, it was an interesting tale and if you are a fan of fairy folk or like fairy-tales then you should definitely give this book a try!

The World on Either Side: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

43865513Title: The World on Either Side
Author: Diane Terrana
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: Sept. 10th, 2019
Contains: Sexual assault, Attempted suicide, Animal cruelty

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “After the death of her boyfriend, sixteen-year old Valentine stops going to school, quits seeing her friends, and, finally, won’t leave her bed. Desperate for her daughter to recover, Valentine’s mother takes her on a trek in Thailand. In the mountains north of Chiang Mai, Valentine finds a world she didn’t know existed, where houses are on stilts and elephants still roam wild. She learns about the Burmese civil war and the relentless violence against the Karen and Rohingya peoples.

Then she meets Lin, a mysterious young elephant keeper tormented by his hidden past, and an orphaned elephant calf, pursued by violent poachers. Together, the three flee deep into the jungle, looking for refuge and redemption.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

Let’s just talk about the cover first. It is the first thing I noticed and it is gorgeous! Once I read the synopsis, I was hooked. I am not usually one for contemporary but this one just seemed too good to be left unread.

Valentine has had a hard six months and you can feel her pain seep off the pages. It is hard to lose someone that meant everything. It was easy to connect with her and it was nice to see the process of her coping throughout. Although some of her coping wasn’t the best, it was still choices some tend to make while they are grieving. Dealing with grief is basically what her character development involved but I was okay with that.

The other characters in the book are pretty minor besides Lin. He is intriguing and catches her eye. Lin has had a hard life and is full of secrets, some he wants to keep to himself which does lead them into danger. He does teach Valentine a lot and grows from the experiences she encounters. When I read through the synopsis I thought that this book would be filled with a relationship, but that was not the case. I think I enjoyed it more because of that since usually jumping right into another relationship isn’t always the best when it comes to dealing with grief.

The plot was thrilling and the twists were ones that I didn’t see coming. I felt myself not wanting to put this book down.

If YA Contemporary is your thing, definitely check this one out!

Tiger Queen: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

42281646.jpgTitle: Tiger Queen
Author: Annie Sullivan
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

I don’t know why I pushed this book off for so long but I am glad I decided to read it finally because I really liked the story and the characters that were involved!

“There was only one piece of jewelry I did want. My Mother’s crown.”

Kateri is a very strong willed girl. She has grown up with family issues and most of the time being looked over because of her gender. Which was a topic that was discussed quite a bit. The generations before her have always fought for the crown because to them the desert chooses. She knows what she wants and she fights for it with everything in her body. I just loved everything about her. Even though she is strong, that doesn’t mean everything comes easy and she must make decisions that not only put her life at risk but also her people if she becomes queen.

The minor characters were intriguing and some didn’t feel minor at all. I loved learning about Cion and his past as well as Dimic. Of course, this wouldn’t be a good story without its villains and let me tell you, they were quite villainous. They made me hate them and that’s what I like!

The romance that was included was my favorite trope, enemies to lovers. I was here for it! It wasn’t insta-love and it built up throughout the book. I may have saw it coming but I don’t care, I loved every moment of it!

The plot was thrilling and kept me engaged. It was hard for me to step away. I loved the details of their culture when it came to the desert and even the details that involved jewelry when it came to marriage. The pacing was great and didn’t leave me wanting more. It was perfect!

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and will definitely be reading her other book soon!

 

Eclipse the Skies: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

41542345._SY475_Title: Eclipse the Skies (Ignite the Stars #2)
Author: Maura Milan
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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I would usually put the synopsis here but since this is a sequel I will keep it out so that it doesn’t spoil the first book. You can click here if you would like to read it.

 

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My Review:

Well guys, this author literally crushed my hopes and dreams and I refuse to believe that this is the end. Eclipse the Skies took me on a crazy ride of emotions and I don’t know if I will ever be okay.

If you haven’t read the first book then definitely skip over this review and go read it!

Ia is back along with all of the other characters we were introduced to as well as a couple new faces. Ia’s personality definitely takes a backseat for a bit of the book as she becomes quite vulnerable. I liked to see this side of her because it shows that she isn’t just a kickass character but a girl that also deals with not feeling good enough.

Brinn also did a 180 for most of the book. Sweet and by the books Brinn had a lot of character development and I was here for it! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed her a lot in the first book but it was also exciting to see this new change and how she became more of a morally grey character. Definitely one of my favorite character developments of all!

Knives is still Knives and although he does some pretty heroic stuff, he wasn’t that big of a character in this book. Well, for me at least, he wasn’t. I was okay with this because I enjoyed reading about Brinn more. Knives does go through quite a bit and even when he starts to feel like all hope is lost, he manages to find the inner strength to continue on.

There were a couple minor characters that I just fell for from the beginning, Goner and Vetty. Goner is another criminal just like Ia and although he is such, I couldn’t help but find him to be quite interesting. He is pretty morally grey and I loved every plot that included him. Vetty was talked about in the first book but never made an appearance. As the ex of Ia, it seemed like he would make things pretty awkward but honestly it was just the opposite. They were still great friends and he would do anything for her. I loved it!

Just like in the first book, the romance is very minimal. A couple kisses, maybe an “I love you” but its not a major plot point and I was okay with this. Sometimes you just need more action and less romance. I mean I do anyways.

The plot was interesting and kept me engaged the whole way through. Just like in the first book, there is political talk and a civil war forming due to a group of people being different than the rest. This is a very important topic and I think the author always does a nice job of discussing it. As for the plot twists, there were so many! I didn’t expect any of them and may have had a standard shock face permanently glued to my face because of them. The ending is gut-wrenching and honestly just thinking about it makes me sad. I need more and I need it now!

Overall, I really enjoyed this sequel and actually liked it more than the first book. If you are a fan of YA sci-fi then definitely give this one a shot! I did and I loved every moment of it.