Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

“Kansas, 2065 Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before Launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934 Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called The Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire — and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life — Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919 In the recovery following World War One, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?

While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here with another review!

First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing me this ARC to review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.

“No one wants to disappear. Words pin things down and make them real, and they last so much longer than we do.”

Stars (Out of 10): 6/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: This was a pretty interesting book. It was at times slow, and I never truly got hooked into the story or connected to the characters, but I did end up enjoying it all the same. I especially liked the three POVs, and their connection to each other through a century of time.

The Good: Interesting premise, pretty decent plot, and some interesting character growth. Also loved how all the eras/POVs ended up being so connected!

The Bad: Didn’t really end up caring for any of the characters, felt slow at points, and was a bit short

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

“Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

 

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review!

Stars (Out of 10): 10/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: Not only was the cover of this book absolutely gorgeous, but the story completely matched up to it. It was fantastic, and I felt entirely immersed in the world every time I picked the book up. It was a phenomenal book for so many reasons, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book, and finish this author’s other series!

The Good: Witty and interesting characters, a fantastic blending of tech/steampunk and magic, and wonderfully crafted world, and a gripping and exciting plot!

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.

Mine broke Bale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review!

Stars (Out of 10): 6/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I ended up enjoying the book, but I was far from loving it. The beginning felt boring, and I had some trouble originally liking the main character. Snow’s relationships and thoughts on things also felt jumpy at points. However, I did end up liking the action-packed ending, and that made me give the book a higher rating than originally expected.

The Good: An interesting premise, with a pretty developed magic system it seems. Also, the boring build up does end up being worth it, with tons of interesting twists near the end of the novel.

The Bad: Not a fan of the beginning, felt somewhat slow, and I was honestly a bit bored. In addition, the romance of the book felt super all over the place, with Snow practically falling in love with every boy she meets, and somewhat forgetting about them when she gets transported to a new area/cast of characters. In addition, the characters Snow was working with and meeting seemed to switch a lot throughout the book, which often felt rough and unplanned unfortunately.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure

“Eden Jones, a 17-year-old girl, feels lost after surviving a near fatal accident. Unable to connect with her family and friends, Eden forms an unlikely relationship with Joe, a boy who comes to the hospital to visit Jasmine, a friend who may soon be gone forever. Eden is the only person who can get through to Jasmine, but is she brave enough to face a world that’s bigger and more magical than she ever would have allowed?”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review! This is another one of the books I picked up at ALA Midwinter!

First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing me this ARC to review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.

Stars (Out of 10): 3.5/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: This book fell really flat for me. The description seemed fairly interesting, where this girl, Eden, had leftover “magic” and connection to the other and could use that to possibly communicate to this other girl in a coma, but bring it back. However, I never felt this plot was even well explored, because the romance and family drama plots seemed to take over. In addition, almost all characters lacked continuity, with their personalities, if they had one, all over the place, and changing to fit the situation, not the situation changing to fit the characters.

The Good: A semi unique plot, not necessarily a concept I’ve seen before.

The Bad: Flaky characters, a random on and off romance, actually writing and scenes felt jumpy and unplanned (ex: Eden has tantrum/breakdown in middle of the hospital, five paragraphs later they randomly decide to go bowling?)

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

“Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! It’s Meaghan here again with another review!

“We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.”

Stars (Out of 10): 8/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: This book exceeded my expectations. If I’m being honest, the description didn’t exactly draw me in, and I haven’t read any of this author’s books before, so I wasn’t expecting much. However, I ended up reading the entire book in practically one sitting, and loved it!

The Good: Characters were very likable, situations of both families were written quite realistically, worked together nicely to both drive Natasha and Daniel together, and create drama in their wish for that. Also, my absolute favorite thing about the novel was its extra POVs. I loved how, with each side character we met, we learned a bit of their backstory as well, which added an entire new layer to the story, and was not something I have seen before!

The Bad: The speed of using the word “love” seemed a tad unrealistic, which also kinda killed some moments for me.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hello all! It’s Meaghan here, back with another review! This was another ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy), which I received through Netgalley!

First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing me this ARC to review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.

“The only sight I seem to possess nowadays is hindsight.”

Stars (Out of 10): 9/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I actually really enjoyed this book! While it was slow in the beginning, and took a lot of time and dedication to finish, I ended up loving it, and everything it sets up for the rest of the series!

The Good: I really liked the italic portions at the ends of the chapters, and the look into Tea’s current situation it gave. I also seemed to like the story in general, and while it wasn’t necessarily action-packed, the build up for the rest of the series, and setting of the world, actually still interested me, which isn’t always the case with slow fantasy books.

The Bad: It was very slow, but I found that the pace still matched the story. I can definitely see a lot of people putting it down at first though.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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The Infernal City by Greg Keyes

Four decades after the Oblivion Crisis, Tamriel is threatened anew by an ancient and all-consuming evil. It is Umbriel, a floating city that casts a terrifying shadow–for wherever it falls, people die and rise again.

And it is in Umbriel’s shadow that a great adventure begins, and a group of unlikely heroes meet. A legendary prince with a secret. A spy on the trail of a vast conspiracy. A mage obsessed with his desire for revenge. And Annaig, a young girl in whose hands the fate of Tamriel may rest…

Based on the award-winning The Elder Scrolls, The Infernal City is the first of two exhilarating novels following events that continue the story from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, named 2006 Game of the Year.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! It’s Meaghan with another review! This time I picked up a book based on a video game series I play, which is not a genre I read often!

Stars (Out of 10): 8/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: While some reviews on this book originally had me worried on how well I would understand the novel (I’ve personally only played Skyrim, not Oblivion), I actually was able to follow the plot and references fairly well (after a quick 2 minute search on the plot of Oblivion.) In addition, the cast of characters and somewhat complicated plot completely drew me in, and I love how well the author transferred over the video game universe to a novel.

The Good: I really liked the plot, and the characters as well. There are also so many intertwining stories at once, and seeing them all connect to each other later was awesome. I also loved how well the world of Tamriel and the Elder Scrolls games was intertwined into this novel, while it still remained its own separate tale!

The Bad: Hard to understand with little background knowledge of the Elder Scrolls series, as most things don’t get explained right away. In addition, many places are mentioned randomly with little explanation of them, with their background/history somewhat hinging on background knowledge, but I found that the farther into the book you got, the less this hindered the reading experience.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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By Your Side by Kasie West

“In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here with another review!

First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing me this ARC to review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.

“Even though I knew this might end in heartbreak, that he might make my life scary and complicated and unpredictable, I knew I couldn’t let him walk away. Because I knew he’d also make my life happy and comforting and full.”

Stars (Out of 10): 6/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I liked this book, but didn’t love it. It was a quick and enjoyable read, but wasn’t the most unique in terms of characters or plot. But it still managed to draw me in, and I was pretty invested in the relationship by the end! I would have liked to see some more scenes better developed, and the solutions to the differing plot lines as well.

The Good: A good ending with closure, overall a decent and interesting book. A likable cast of characters for the most part as well.

The Bad: In terms of plot, seemed plain, somewhat “unoriginal” and matching the standard cliche of YA romance. In addition, some loose ends were never brought up again or resolved.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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