The Wishing Heart by J. C. Welker

“With a book in her bag and a switchblade in her pocket, Rebel’s been thieving her way through life while hoping for a cure to fix her ailing heart.

But when the bejeweled vase she just tried to hawk turns out to be a jinni’s vessel, Rebel gets lost to her world and dragged within another. Now every magical being in the city wants the vase for himself.
Thrust into a game of cat and mouse in a world she never knew existed, Rebel must use her uncanny skills to find a way to free Anjeline the Wishmaker.

But wishes have consequences. And contracts. Anjeline’s freedom could unravel a love like Rebel has never known, or it could come at the cost of Rebel’s heart…”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review!

First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author (as well as Netgalley) 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): 8/10 stars

Overall Thoughts: I have a really bad habit of judging books by their cover. So while I was intrigued by the plot, I did not have high hopes because I wasn’t the biggest fan of the cover. (That, and recently the urban fantasy genre has not been working out for me.) But oh boy, this book was fantastic! It had a great, but not too overpowering, romance, interesting characters, great twists, and everything I love about books!

The Good: I really grew to like all the characters, and felt their actions, for the most part, were realistic. Additionally, I really liked that this book had representation, but did not make that the most major part of the characters. Anjeline and Rebel, while LGBT, still were their own people and did not have personalities defined by their sexuality, which is how diversity and representation should be.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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The End of Our Story by Meg Haston

“Meg Haston’s romantic and thrilling new YA novel explores a star-crossed high school relationship in a tale rife with deeply buried secrets and shocking revelations.

Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.

Then Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. As the fierce current of tragedy threatens to pull them under, they must learn how to swim on their own—or risk drowning together.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again, with yet 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.

Stars (Out of 10): 6/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I acquired this ARC during the ALA Midwinter Convention, and actually debated it a lot before choosing to pick it up (I even skipped over it at first.) Usually, the whole romantic tension only novels can get somewhat repetitive, and that’s exactly how I expected this book to be. I was pleasantly surprised though, when I found the romantic tension to actually not be the main plot, and for there to be a stronger plotline and conflict over the ‘event that brings Bridge and Wil back together.’ Overall, while it wasn’t my favorite book, I’m definitely glad I ended up picking it up.

The Good: The plot ended up being way more interesting and complicated than I first thought. Had twists and turns I would have never expected from original synopsis I read.

The Bad: Romance felt quick (the pair got back together absurdly fast, considering the issues that drove them apart.) In addition, abrupt ending with no real closure, and while I get the appeal for an “open ending,” this one was rather annoying because it could have gone in two completely different directions, and now we simply didn’t get to know how it ended, and if it was good or bad.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren

“In a thrilling fantasy that’s equal parts Prison Break and Frozen, Valor attempts the impossible—breaking her sister out of prison.

When Valor is arrested, she couldn’t be happier. Demidova’s prison for criminal children is exactly where she wants to be. Valor’s sister Sasha is already serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family and Valor is going to help her escape . . . from the inside.

Never mind that no one has escaped in three hundred years. Valor has a plan and resources most could only dream about. But she didn’t count on having to outsmart both the guards and her fellow prisoners. If Valor’s plan is to succeed, she’ll need to make unlikely allies. And if the plan fails, she and Sasha could end up with fates worse than prison.

This fresh and exciting middle-grade debut effortlessly melds an unforgettable protagonist, a breathless plot, and stunning world-building—and is impossible to put down.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys, Meaghan here again 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.

Stars (Out of 10): 5/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: This was a quite interesting book. It was middle grade, which is not a genre/type of book I’ve read in a while, but I ended up enjoying it nonetheless! However, it was far from one of my favorites due to the reason I will discuss below!

The Good: Interesting premise, loved the idea of a group coming together and working to escape the inescapable. Based on friendship/sisterhood/family more than a romance, but this was probably due to it being middle grade. However, I did love the twist at the end.

The Bad: Super open ending, especially for a book that’s supposed to be stand-alone. In addition, HIGHLY unrealistic that a 13 year old completed the events of the book. Also, world wasn’t really developed on, and I felt I didn’t know much about it at all besides of how royalty took the throne.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

“Pattyn’s father is dead. Now she’s on the run in this riveting companion to New York Times bestseller Burned, which Kirkus Reviews calls “a strong, painful, and tender piece about wresting hope from the depths of despair.”

Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that fatal night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated.

Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life as a migrant worker on a California ranch. But is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

Bestselling author Ellen Hopkins continues the riveting story of Pattyn Von Stratten she began in Burned to explore what it takes to rise from the ashes, put ghosts to rest, and step into a future.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan back again with another book review!

“I have no right to love you, but I do.”

Stars (Out of 10): 7/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I am really glad Pattyn and her story got this sequel. She deserved to find happiness, or an ending at least. And I am glad that both Pattyn and her family got the ending they did, as it both creates a realistic story of abuse, and how much it can wreck lives and individuals, but still show that there can be more to life than that current situation, and creates a story to show abuse victims that there is a reason to try for something more.

The Good: The switching of POVs was well done, as each one ended on an event that garnered my attention, and made me curious for the coming POV of that character. This created a cycle of finding things to like about each section, and I felt a balance of interest in each POV. However, on top of that, I also just liked the plot, and how everything ended up clicking together after the hardship. In addition, I felt the book did a good job of discussing the tough subject of abuse, and advertising the importance of telling others of the situation, and trying to get out of it. It brought attention to the issue without painting it as “taboo” or a thing brought on the victim, and rather strived to correct that idea.

The Bad: The speed of a specific relationship involving Jackie felt unrealistic and far too quick. Also, while I liked most of the ambiguous, poetic beginning chapters of each POV, some felt like they didn’t fit, and they often pulled me out of the story a bit.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again! I finally got around to reading Everything, Everything, and while I didn’t like it as much as The Sun Is Also A Star, I still loved it! Super excited for the movie on May 19th now!

“In the beginning there was nothing. And then there was everything.”

Stars (Out of 10): 8/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I really, really liked this book. Most of that is because of the fantastic twist at the end, since it made the entire book a tad more realistic, and I was having trouble at points with that. I also just love Nicola Yoon’s way of writing, and even though I can’t explain it well, it connects me “emotionally” to the characters more. And while this book wasn’t perfect, and it had it’s fault, I enjoyed every second I spent reading it!

The Good: It was a fast read. I ended up really liking the characters, but my favorite part has to be that ending (mainly because I didn’t expect it at all). I also just like how this author writes, and the humor used in the conversations between Olly and Maddy.

The Bad: It was almost too fast of a read. And while I liked the romance in the book, it felt way too fast. One month, and only like a few “visitations,” and they were in love. Maybe they talked a lot more over IM that we didn’t see, and that’s what is missing. But from what we were given, it was pretty fast.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

“Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again, with another review!

“The world was a merciless place. Hard and cruel. Except when you found someone to trust and love. Life, however fleeting, possessed meaning then.”

Stars (Out of 10): 5/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: While I liked portions of the book, and it definitely has potential for a great ending, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this first book. Parts felt kind of dull, and characters were kinda “eh” at points, but I did really like the entire concept of the novel, and am hoping for a good conclusion!

The Good: Interesting world, seems like there’s a lot more left to learn about it (and how the kingdoms work in the eclipse, etc.), and I really like the two main characters as well!

The Bad: Sometimes the characters weren’t consistent, and Luna changed for the worse for a portion of the book. In addition, some actions/events were just plain annoying and unplanned, and I felt like a bit more explanation of the world would be cool, since it has an apocalyptic feel to it, yet there are somehow still cities and kingdoms standing.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Soundless by Richelle Mead

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review! (Some of you may notice that I’m finally catching up with all the reviews on my Goodreads, and finally posting them here. Whoops…)

“Perfection is an admirable thing to strive for. But so is knowing when to stop.”

Stars (Out of 10): 5/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: This was a quick and enjoyable read. It wasn’t my favorite book, partly because it’s shortness didn’t allow all of the potentially interesting world and plot to be fully developed, but it was interesting and captivating for the hours of time it occupied. It had some interesting and unexpected twists, and overall was a pretty decent book!

The Good: Pretty interesting idea, and had a realistic ending. Wasn’t “happily ever after” right away, but rather showed a path to a good ending (while still fully finishing the novel, and providing ample closure.)

The Bad: Felt quick, and I felt the entire ideas presented weren’t explored enough. There were some things added in the last 100 pages that could have been really interesting if actually developed. In addition, while the solution was vaguely referenced here and there, it felt somewhat sudden, and didn’t seem to fully fit with the book.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again, and back with another review! I finally read All The Bright Places after hearing tons of great reviews!

“Sometimes there’s beauty in the tough words—it’s all in how you read them.”

Stars (Out of 10): 7/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I finally got around to reading this book, after hearing major hype about it over the past year or so, and I have to say it pretty much lived up to it. I was extremely hooked on to the beginning of the book, and the build up of the characters, their situations, and the plot. While I liked the ending less, and maybe it would have been better to read the entire book in one sitting, I still did enjoy it.

The Good: Interesting characters, interesting plot, had me hooked then heartbroken. Also, a main issue that I often find with books dealing with mental illness or other traits that lead to discrimination (such as characters in the LGBT community) is that those traits are often what makes up that character entirely, rather than just affecting an existing personality. I am super happy to report that this book did not feel like that at all, as Finch was an actual person, not just a walking mental illness. In addition, I also felt this book did not try to “beautify” or “promote” having a mental illness, another thing books and social media sometimes does, and manages to realistically show the tough parts of it, while still making Finch be a completely normal person. In this sense, I felt the book did a fantastic job.

The Bad: Didn’t care much for the ending, some parts felt unrealistic, or that connection to the characters dropped off for a bit, before it getting better again for the last few chapters.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

“The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review! (I know it’s been a while, and I’ve been reading, just haven’t been getting around to actually posting my reviews here yet.)

And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.”

Stars (Out of 10): 10/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: From the very first page, I was hooked. I loved Taylor’s “A Daughter of Smoke and Bone” (yet bizarrely never got around to finishing the series, but I promise to soon now!), and this book was on that same level. With great twists, amazing characters, and an endlessly fascinating world, the book was never dull, and I loved every word that I read. Currently, it sits in the spot of “favorite book of 2017,” having impossibly bumped down The Wrath and The Dawn as well as Alchemist’s of the Loom, if that gives you all perspective on just how much I loved this book.

The Good: Fantastic world building, characters that showed growth with two POV’s that led very opposite lives, and an overall thrilling plot, full of twists and grand reveals.

The Bad: It’s pretty slow, which I know aggravates some people. I didn’t mind it and felt the pace fit the book.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

“Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes.

Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who’s determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She’s not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden.

But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! It’s Meaghan, back again with another review!

“Remember my name. Because I’m going to be the one who kills you.”

Stars (Out of 10): 5/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: This was… okay. It had pretty decent premise, and I’m curious where this whole twisting mystery is going, and want to continue the series. But the main character, she sucked. A ton. She was soooo set in her ways, and unable to even see anyone else’s point of view. It felt like she was just using people at points too 😦 Ugh!

The Good: Pretty cool world (and while it is technically “urban fantasy” it seems to mainly stick to the fantasy world, which I prefer), and I also am pretty interested in where the plot goes, since book one

The Bad: It dragged on! And then all of a sudden tons of stuff happened somewhere else, that felt unrelated to the main plot of book 1 so far, in the last 50ish pages of the book? So that was rough. But the main thing here is Bryn, the main character. I liked nothing about her 😦 her personality didn’t line up with her dreams, she was stubborn in the worst way, and downright rude to whoever didn’t agree with what she was saying that exact moment.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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