Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Kingdom of Ash

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Title: Kingdom of Ash

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 984

Series: Throne of Glass, Book 7

Publishing Date/Publisher: October 23, 2018 by Bloomsbury YA

Format: eBook

Review: At this point in the game, I know exactly what I am getting into each time I pick up a Sarah J. Maas book. Kingdom of Ash was what I expected it to be in nearly every way, and I am totally ok with that. It was a satisfying ending to an epic saga (roughly 7,000 pages!). I think it is safe to say at this point that I am a dedicated Sarah J. Maas fan. Her writing is not perfect by any means, but I know that any book I pick up by her will be engaging and thoroughly enjoyable.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_Gold
All_Star_Gold
All_Star_Gold
All_Star_Gold

Contemporary · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Felix Ever After

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Title: Felix Ever After

Author: Kacen Callender

Page Count: 368

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: May 5, 2020 by Balzer + Bray

Format: Hardcover

Review: First off, can we take a minute to appreciate that cover…gorgeous! I would have picked this book up for the cover alone if it wasn’t already in my TBR pile as a Mock Printz Committee selection. In the novel, Felix is an artist with a penchant for painting self-portraits. I like to think that this would have been one of those portraits.

But anywhoo, this book was a nice coming-of-age story filled to the brim with tropes. Misunderstood teenager? check. Angsty art school students? check. Mysterious online admirer? check. Confusing feelings about an attractive best friend? check.

Tropes aren’t necessarily a strike against a novel. When done well I enjoy them, however, I can’t say that about all the tropes in this book. I thought the romance angle in particular was weak. There was a weird quasi-love triangle that I didn’t feel did justice to either of the love interests. I could have cared less if Felix ended up either or neither of them.

So in summary, do not read this book for the romance, but rather for the character arc of a trans teen achieving self-acceptance and figuring out that it is ok to not have it all figured out.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_Gold
All_Star_Gold
All_Star_Gold

Contemporary · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Second Chance Summer

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Title: Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Page Count: 468

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: May 8, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Format: eBook

Review: If you love nostalgic beach/lake house in the summer vibes, this book is for you. It is a sweet story filled with friendship, romance, and above all, family. True to it’s title, this story is all about second chances. So if you are into that sort of thing, check it out. I personally found it to be an enjoyable summer read. I didn’t have to think too hard and I was satisfied by the ending. It had a tone very similar to The Summer I Turned Pretty (just with less angst), so I would definitely recommend it as a read-alike to Jenny Han fans.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_Gold
All_Star_Gold
All_Star_Gold
Fantasy · Fiction · Paranormal · Romance

House of Earth and Blood

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Title: House of Earth and Blood

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 803

Series: Crescent City, Book 1

Publishing Date/Publisher: March 3, 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Format: eBook

Review: When I heard that Sarah J. Maas was officially taking the leap into New Adult/Adult Fiction, I was dying to get a copy of this book.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much, but darn it, Maas exceeded my expectations.  I LOVED this book.  In fact, I think that New Adult Fiction is really her jam.  Considering that her YA series have a tendency to tip into this realm, it wasn’t really that much of a leap, but I am glad she finally just stopped flirting with that line and crossed it.

Maas has a lot of dark content in her YA books, and this book goes just a bit darker.  It has been awhile since a book has made me cry, and more than once this book had me in tears.  Two scenes in particular were just so damn beautiful, they haunt me still.  Interestingly, it wasn’t even the romance that evoked this level of emotion in me, but rather the friendships.  The friendships in this book are by far it’s strongest element.  If I am being honest, the romance followed her typical formula, so no surprises there, and her heroine is very reminiscent of Celaena .  BUT I DON’T EVEN CARE.  Somehow she made it work and I can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released (or even announced for that matter).

If they adapted this book into a movie I would fangirl so hard.  I am not usually one to fancast, but I envision Madelaine Petsch as Bryce Quinlan.

Madelaine Petsch Biography, Family and Childhood Photos, Height and More. -  Biography Pen

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Tower of Dawn

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Title: Tower of Dawn

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 680

Series: Throne of Glass, Book 6

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 5, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Format: eBook

Review: For the most part, when I review a book from this series I feel like I am constantly repeating myself, so my review of this book will be short and sweet.  My thoughts on this book are very similar to my thoughts on the previous five books, so feel free to look at those reviews if you feel so inclined.  That aside, it was nice to step away from Aelin’s story for a bit, and I really enjoyed the POV of Nesryn.  As with all of Maas’ books, nearly every character gets paired off with someone.  It’s nice but predictable.

I’ve made it this far, so I will definitely be reading the seventh and final book in the series.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

 

Fiction · Romance

The Roommate

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Title: The Roommate

Author: Rosie Danan

Page Count: 336

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 15, 2020 by Berkley

Format: eBook

Review: This book was actually better than I expected it to be, which is more uncommon than not.  I am a sucker for light romances, especially after reading books with darker content, and this was just what I needed.  I actually found the content of this book to be somewhat unexpected (in a good way), and the storyline brings to light social issues that most people rarely think about but are nonetheless important.  The romance was both sizzling and cutesy, a fun combination, especially if you are into the whole “opposites attract” trope.  I highly recommend this read if you are an avid romance reader.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

The Midnight Lie

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Title: The Midnight Lie

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Page Count: 358

Series: The Midnight Lie, Book 1

Publishing Date/Publisher: March 3, 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Format: eBook

Review: I was a huge fan of Rutkoski’s Winner’s Trilogy, so I was elated when I saw this book being offered up to readers on NetGalley.  Unfortunately, as with many books I hype in my mind, it did not quite live up to expectations.  I found both the setting and the romance to be boring.  I’ve seen this plot concept played out in other books, and I did not find this particular rendition to be anything special.  For folks who are interested, there is an LGBT+ angle, but there really isn’t anything else that sets it apart in my mind from other fantasy that I have read.  Although I would like to learn more about Nirrim’s magical gifts, I don’t think I am interested enough to continue forward with this series.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_Goldhalf star

Contemporary · Fiction · Romance

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

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Title: The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

Author: Kelly Harms

Page Count: 328

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: May 1, 2019 by Lake Union Publishing

Format: eBook

Review: This book can be summed up in one word: tedious.  I completely understand mommy guilt.  I’ve experienced it many times myself, so Amy’s resistance to doing something nice for herself made sense to an extent, but at some point it just became frustrating.  It took WAY too long for Amy to just accept the process of her “momspringa”.  I wanted her to have fun, but she moped through the majority of the great experiences that were basically handed to her and I just found it to be exhausting.  Also, has she never heard of the concept of a long distance relationship?  Just another thing she resisted to an extent that made zero sense to me.

The one aspect of this book I really enjoyed was her daughter’s journal entries.  Absolutely hilarious.  I looked forward to coming across them throughout the book.

Honestly though, if this had not been a book club pick, I would most likely have DNFed it and saved myself a few hours of rolling my eyes.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Contemporary · Fiction · Romance

Real Men Knit

Real Men Knit

Title: Real Men Knit

Author: Kwana Jackson

Page Count: 320

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: May 19, 2020 by Berkley

Format: eBook

Review: After reading some more “serious” books, I was in the mood for something light and fun.  When I read the premise for this book, I was hooked.  Hot men knitting?  Yep. Sign me up.  The book certainly followed through on it’s promise, starring four uniquely hot adopted brothers.  Although this book focused more specifically on the youngest brother, Jesse, I find it hard to believe that Ms. Jackson will not be turning this into a series.  There are, after all, three other strapping young men to find attachments for.

I could be off base, but I couldn’t help but think that the author was imagining none other than Jesse Williams when she penned the character description for Jesse Strong….

Jesse Williams - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Aside from the locs, he pretty much matches his physical description exactly.  I’m not complaining though, and I don’t think other readers will be either.

Naturally I had to investigate whether the hashtag #RealMenKnit exists and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it does.  Feel free to look it up for some eye candy.  Thank you, Ms. Jackson, for the share.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

 

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Queen of Air and Darkness

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Title: Queen of Air and Darkness

Author: Cassandra Clare

Performer: James Marsters

Length: 30 hr, 40 min, 56 sec

 Series: The Dark Artifices, Book 3

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2018 by Simon & Schuster Audio

Format: eAudiobook

Review: SO. MUCH. ANGST.  I generally enjoy Clare’s books for the most part.  They have intricate storylines and complex characters.  There are usually clearly defined conflicts and the endings are almost always satisfying.  This book checked all those boxes, but it was just so darn long and drawn out.  Every. single. relationship. was FILLED with angst.  Relationship building can do a lot to drive a story, however, there is a point where it starts to become tedious.  Clare loves writing forbidden love stories, as well as love triangles, and this series has that in spades.  I listened to this in audiobook format, and sometimes I would find myself tuning out during the more lengthy interactions between will-they-or-won’t-they couples/thruples.  There are a lot of characters to follow in this trilogy (including returning characters from past series), and I quickly realized that I needed to read detailed recaps of the previous two installments to get back up to speed on what was going on before the start of this book.  I did enjoy the story, but I think the book could have been significantly shorter without losing anything critical to the plot.

This is the first book of Clare’s that I consumed in audiobook format.  James Marsters has a voice that is well-suited to storytelling, though his volume fluctuates quite a bit and I had to constantly adjust the sound in my vehicle.  This was only a minor annoyance, however, and I found his performance to be appropriately dramatic for the content of the book.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Goldhalf star