Review | Down Comes the Night

I finally had a chance to finish Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft. Let me first say, this was not the book’s fault at all! I was reading it before I went to bed on my Kindle at night and I’ve been tired recently!!

Firstly, I absolutely love love love that the main character in this book, Wren, was portrayed as empathetic and sensitive. As a empathetic and often emotional person myself, it was so wonderful to see a main character with those same traits (and still be awesome!)!! Seeing her grow and accept these traits made me so happy and I think it was done really well.

I think the plot moved relatively quickly, and I loved the setting! It was creepy and sinister and so atmospheric! The other characters were well-developed and I loved the slow-burn of Wren and Hal learning to trust each other. The mystery was intriguing and the plot moved pretty quickly! I felt I had a good understanding of the world without any info-dumping and the world itself was unique!
Overall rating: 5/5 stars!

Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.

The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.

With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.

Flamefall Review

I finished Flamefall by Rosaira Munda last weekend and let me tell you, this book packs A LOT of punches!! I loved this book so much, despite the emotional rollercoaster it took me on, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

Book Review

As I stated above, this book was a rollercoaster! I couldn’t put it down and it took over my life in a way a book hasn’t yet this year. The pacing is fast and you jump right back into all the problems of Callopolis and see the characters grow all over again. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed a new POV character and how quickly I became invested in his wellbeing just as much as I care for Lee (Annie is on a whole other level for me. If there were teams, I would definitely be #teamAnnie haha). The politics and battles of Callopilis are well developed and went in an interesting direction in this book. I’m also happy that we really got to spend more time with the dragons in this book!!

This book made me cry, laugh, yell at the characters when I thought they were doing something I didn’t think they should be doing (which happened a lot!), and left me counting down for the next book! I cannot recommend this series to enough people!!!

Overall rating: 5/5

Synopsis for Fireborne

I don’t want to post the synopsis for Flamefall because I don’t want there to be spoilers for anyone new to the series, but I will link it here for those who’ve already read it

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone–even the lowborn–a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

The Castle School (For Troubled Girls) | TBR & Beyond Blog Tour

“Sometimes you have to break the promises you make to protect the people you love.”

The Castle School (For Troubled Girls)

Thank you to TBR&Beyond Tours for once again letting me participate in a blog tour! Click here to check out the rest of the tour stops! I didn’t really know what to expect going into The Castle School (For Troubled Girls) by Alyssa Sheinmal. I thought maybe it was going to be a YA mystery/thriller, and while that wasn’t the main component of the story, I ended up loving this book!

Book Synopsis

When Moira Dreyfuss’s parents announce that they’re sending her to an all-girls boarding school deep in the Maine woods, Moira isn’t fooled. She knows her parents are punishing her; she’s been too much trouble since her best friend, Nathan, died―and for a while before that. At the Castle School, isolated from the rest of the world, Moira will be expected to pour her heart out to the odd headmaster, Dr. Prince. But she isn’t interested in getting over Nathan’s death or befriending her fellow students.

On her first night there, Moira hears distant music. On her second, she discovers the lock on her window is broken. On her third, she and her roommate venture outside…and learn that they’re not so isolated after all. There’s another, very different, Castle School nearby―this one filled with boys whose parents sent them away, too. Moira is convinced that the Castle Schools and the doctors who run them are hiding something. But exploring the schools will force Moira to confront her overwhelming grief―and the real reasons her parents sent her away

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

“Saying what if never helped anyway. You can’t undo the bad things that have happened. Pain cannot be avoided, but it can be accepted.”

The Castle School (For Troubled Girls)

Book Review

Like I said at the start of this blog, I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. There is a slight mystery element throughout the book, but this book is so much more about grief and mental health and I loved how it represented all different kinds of mental health issues. Being a mental health professional and dealing with anxiety myself, I’m always worried that books won’t fairly represent both treatment and actual disorders and Alyssa Sheinmel did a great job depicting both the setting and the mental health problems each of the 12 girls deal with.

I fell in love with all the characters, and enjoyed that the book gave us brief POVs about how each of the characters ended up at The Castle School but ultimately returned to Moria’s POV to tell the actual story. I think it helped move the plot along relatively quickly and also spoke to how what we perceive of other people’s issues isn’t always accurate. The characters all had their issues and flaws, but were quite loveable and I got very invested in their wellbeing. I highly recommend picking up this book, I think it can speak to just about anyone.

Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

“The words we use are very powerful.”

The Castle School (For Troubled Girls)

Author Info

Alyssa was born in Stanford, California, and even though she moved across the country to New York when she was six years old, she still thinks of herself as a California girl.

She still remembers the very first chapter book she ever read—The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo, by Judy Blume.  Before long, reading was her favorite thing in the world.  She loved it so much that when there was nothing to read, she wrote my own stories just to give herself something to read.  And when there was no pen and paper to be had, she just made up stories in her head.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads

The Project | Book Review

I was so lucky to snag this E-ARC from Netgalley, I loved Sadie by Courtney Summers, so The Project was one of my anticipated releases this year!!

Synopsis:

Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.

When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its leader, Lev Warren and as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to.

Book Review

This book hooked me within the first few pages. I wanted to know what happened to Bea immediately and how she was drawn into The Project. I admired Lo’s tenacity as she investigates her sister’s role in The Project and determination to reunite with her. There was definitely a point where I was frustrated with something that happened towards the end of the book but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment overall. This was definitely a page turner and I flew threw it!

Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars

Isoldesse Review | TBR & Beyond Tour

“Don’t forget to take care of your friends.”

Isoldesse by Kimberly Grymes

I am so excited to be back with another TBR & Beyond Tour! Today I’ll be reviewing Isoldesse by Kimberly Grymes, a ya sci-fi novel with some magic and witchy vibes thrown in! Be sure to check out the other blogs on this tour as well!

Synopsis

Friendships are tested, new alliances are made, and the truth of one woman’s actions from over a millennia ago are revealed.

Kenna and Meegan are college students dealing with upcoming finals, needy parents, boy drama, and what to do with their lives after they graduate in a few weeks. What they weren’t expecting was for Kenna to receive a powerful crystal necklace that ultimately changes their plans for a relaxing summer.

Strange things begin to happen to Kenna, like being the only one who can see and talk to the mysterious old woman with a golden aura. Or how in her dreams, a man with vibrant orange eyes keeps appearing who may or may not be real. Though, not all of Kenna’s mysterious encounters are pleasant as she’s haunted by massive beings carrying long swords and wearing armor covered in black scales.

Besides solving the mystery of where the crystal necklace came from, Kenna, Meegan, and their friends are taken to another world for a routine evolutionary assessment. The assessment gets sabotaged and causes more chaos for Kenna and her friends, especially for Meegan who is forced to open up and reveal her true identity and the magic she hides.

There’s one name that Kenna, Meegan, the Sendarians, and the monsters who’ve been hunting Meegan and her family for over a century all have in common…

Book Review

I really enjoyed this book! The multiple POV jumps threw me off initially, however, each perspective was used to continue to tell the story and done wisely. I loved our 4 best friends who are at the hear to of the story- Kenna, Meegan, Darci, and Ally and found myself relating to all of them I liked watching their friendships evolve as the stakes got higher. It kept me interested because I wanted to know how all the different POVs would end up meeting and I wanted to find out more about Sendara and their world. I definitely will be reading the 2nd book because I need to know what’s going to happen!!

Overall rating: 4/5 stars

About the Author

When Kimberly Grymes is not writing, reading, or blogging, she’s usually hanging out with her husband and kids, baking treats, or keeping busy with crafts. As much as she enjoys reading books, she loves watching movies and TV, and is always on the lookout for the next great sci-fi or fantasy show to watch. Her favorite part of the day is TV time in the evening with her husband and two min-pins, Jubilee and Cori. She currently lives in Kansas, where her allergies are much better than they were in Connecticut.

Kimberly has a small book blog called the Plum Report in which she reads and reviews science-fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and or dystopian books. She also enjoys taking bookstagram pictures and sharing them with the book community on Instagram.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

You Have a Match | Book Review

“If you learn to capture a feeling, it’ll always be louder than words.”

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

Last March, I read Tweet Cute by Emma Lord and it was the escape and lightheartedness I needed at the time to get through the start of lockdown. Given everything happening in the US right now, I am really grateful that You Have a Match was able to provide that escapism for me again. This book left me smiling and happy crying and had me reading to find out what happens until 3AM last night.

You Have a Match is a fresh spin on Parent Trap, and as someone who grew up on the Lindsay Lohan movie, this made me so happy!

Synopsis

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents — especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Review

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I could not get enough of this book!! There was a relatively diverse cast of characters, the mystery of how Savannah and Abby were separated, family dynamics, summer camp, and a lot of cute romantic relationships!! As someone who never got to attend summer camp, it was fun to read a book set in one, and it definitely would be the perfect summer read! The side characters made me laugh and were well fleshed out. The mystery of Savannah’s adoption was not one that I saw coming and I definitely couldn’t put the book down until I found out what happened.

The pacing in this book was excellent, once Abby discovered Savannah, things moved quickly to summer camp and all the various shenanigan’s that happen there. Abby and Savannah both grow as characters as the summer continues and watching them bond was heartwarming. There was plenty of drama to mess with my emotions just a bit and some excellent quotes. I also love books that can poke fun at themselves so I loved all the jokes about Abby’s life becoming a CW drama. If you’re looking for a little escape or a book that will leave you smiling, look no further! I highly recommend this book and am giving it 5/5 stars!

Disclaimer: I was given an E-ARC of this book I’m exchange for an honest review.

The Camelot Betrayal | Book Review

Review

I was so lucky to be sent an ARC of The Camelot Betrayal by GetUnderlined and Penguin Random House!! Thank you so much for sending me a copy of the 2nd book in Kiersten White’s The Camelot Rising series!!

This book was a little slow to start and it took me a minute to get pulled back into Camelot, however, I really enjoyed this book! I loved new side characters introduced in the novels and seeing more of Camelot and the surrounding kingdoms. The book had me shouting at the characters at time, face palming, and rooting for them. It absolutely did not suffer from second book syndrome and I can’t wait to read the next book!

One aspect of the book I really enjoyed (and felt it merited it’s own section) is the character development. I really feel like Guinevere and Lancelot evolved a lot as the novel progressed. Without giving away any spoilers, it was interesting (and at times stressful) to see their relationship change too as they both grew more into their roles as queen and knight. I feel like they’re both more confident and it was great to see how they got there.

Overall rating: 4/5 stars!

I definitely recommend this series, if you’re interested be sure to pick up a copy ASAP! I think Camelot is the perfect setting of a book for this time of year!

Book Summary

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

Born at Dawn Review | TBR and Beyond Tours

I’m back with another review thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours! I am so excited to participate in the Born at Dawn tour, for a look at the full tour schedule, click here! This book drew me in straight from the cover- isn’t it absolutely stunning?!

Book Info

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publishing Date: November 15, 2020

Book Links

Amazon

Goodreads

Synopsis

When a heist goes terribly wrong and the binding spell holding 17-year-old Neva’s powers at bay is shattered, the half-human thief knows she’s in trouble.

Neva has always hidden her Da’Valian heritage while working risky jobs to make a name for herself and serving at her family’s tavern, but she won’t be able to hide much longer. She can either risk the safety of those she cares about or seek out her mother’s people to gain control over her emerging powers.

The Da’Valia are beautiful, brutal creatures created by the god of war, and the austere Da’Valian soldier Astiand reluctantly agrees to take Neva to his clan under his protection. She makes unexpected friends, including the handsome fighter Emiliand, and a new enemy in the clan’s ruthless leader.

Spying on her guardian, the sly heroine quickly discovers just how deep she has stumbled into a dangerous, developing clan feud.

Will she be able to embrace who she is in time to keep her loved ones safe?

Review

Whew! This book does not pause! You jump right into the action, which I really loved! You aren’t left for a lack of world building though, and the author does a fenomenal job of weaving the two together. I loved learning about Neva’s history right along with her while she’s sneaking and fighting her way out of some tricking situations! The world is new and not something I’ve encountered before. While the Da’Valian remind me somewhat of fae depicted in a lot of popular YA fantasy novels, there were plenty of differences and their history and culture are new and exciting.

I also really loved Neva as the protagonist- she is strong, sure of who she is, and loyal. Watching her grow as a character was really great to see and I cannot wait to see what happens in the rest of the book!! The side characters were also intriguing and I want to see how they all fare over the series. I highly recommend this book and hope that ya’ll pick it up soon!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

5 Reasons to Read Born at Dawn

  1. Who doesn’t love a good heist or 2?!
  2. Strong, fierce, and loyal female protagonist
  3. Action packed adventure from start to finish!
  4. Unique new fantasy world for you to explore
  5. A wintery setting perfect for this time of year!

About the Author

Christina Davis was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is a California girl at heart. She spent much of her childhood in and out of hospitals and embraced reading as an escape. After being home-schooled through high school, she graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University and attended NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute before embarking on a decade-long career in journalism. She enjoys chocolate, cosplay, coffee, and board games, but not necessarily in that order. She now lives in beautiful Monterey County with her husband and daughter. 

Author Links: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour and Review: The King’s 100

Oh my goodness! This book surprised me in the most wonderful ways! I am so excited to bring you another review thanks to TBR and Beyond’s Blog Tours for The King’s 100 by Karin Biggs! Make sure you check out some of the other blogs on the tour!

Book Review

This book surprised me from the get go with its unique world! I absolutely loved not only seeing female characters in a STEM setting- but ruling a STEM driven kingdom! I then quickly fell in love with our main character and her misadventures in trying to navigate totally new territory- it lead to a lot of laughs! All of the side characters had their own quirks and endearing qualities, and the story moved quickly enough to keep me engaged the entire time! The dynamics of the King’s 100 definitely reminded me of my days in high school theater and the drama that inevitably ensues. There were definitely times when I face palmed at what the characters did- but I actually found that to be part of what I enjoyed about the book, because I felt that the characters 100% acted like the teens they are! By the end of the book I found that I thoroughly escaped the real world for a bit, which was desperately needed, and I sincerely hope there will be a chance to dive back into into these 2 kingdoms again!

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars!

5 Reasons You Should Read the King’s 100

  1. This book takes place during some of the best seasons (hint, it’s fall and winter!) making it a very cozy read!!
  2. There are some delightful cinnamon roll characters you need to meet!
  3. This book will let you get lost in a fun new world!
  4. There is plenty of court intrigue and drama abound!
  5. There’s plenty of young love and romance!

Book Synopsis

Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 320
Publisher: Immortal Works Press
Published: July 21st, 2020

Sixteen-year-old princess, Piper Parish, is a disappointment to the citizens of Capalon, a STEM-structured kingdom where innovation is valued above all. Her older sister, the queen, views Piper’s tears during their parents’ funeral as a weakness, not to mention her strange affinity for singing. When Piper receives an anonymous note stating her mother is still alive and living in the enemy kingdom of Mondaria, Piper chooses to risk death and flees Capalon to prove once and for all that she’s not just the queen’s defective little sister.

Posing as a Mondarian citizen named Paris Marigold, Piper bumps into a cute black-haired boy named Ari who encourages her to audition for the King’s 100, an esteemed performance court of singers, magicians, and drummers. Piper lands a spot as a singer and dives head-first into a world of glittering dresses, girl-code, sugar, blackmail, and physical contact-all while taking direction from an evil maestro. Under Mondarian law, Piper will be killed if her identity is revealed. But living a life without the freedom to love might actually be the most dangerous risk of all.

Order The King’s 100: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

About the Author

Karin earned her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Purdue University and served as an event planner for two Big 10 universities and various non-profits for over eight years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom. She enjoys chocolate-covered peanuts, uninterrupted sleep and singing with other people. Karin lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, cat and dog.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

Book Blitz: Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

I am realizing that I am definitely missing out if I don’t start picking up all the amazing middle grade books out there! That’s why I’m really excited to participate in this book blitz hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours for Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron!! Be sure to check out the other blogs on the blitz schedule, you can find a full list of the schedule here!

Book Info:

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publishing Date: 9/22/2020

Book Links:

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository
Indigo

Synopsis

In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya’s search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret.

Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams.

When Papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a world both strange and familiar as she uncovers the truth. Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark—where an army led by the Lord of Shadows, the man from Maya’s nightmares, awaits. Now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it’s up to Maya to stop him. She just hopes she can do it in time to attend Comic-Con before summer’s over.

About the Author

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school.

From a very young age she loved reading stories where kids saved the world, tamed dragons, wielded magic, flew spaceships, became the chosen one. She desperately searched for characters in books who looked like her and was always disappointed to find none, which fueled her early interest in writing.

Before HarperTeen acquired her Young Adult Epic Fantasy, Kingdom of Souls, Rena spent 10 years in the query trends–writing across multiple genres and age groups in the pursuit of publication. In 2017, she entered Pitch Wars, a popular and highly sought-after online mentorship program that included an agent showcase round. Rena’s entry (then titled “The Last Witchdoctor”) received multiple offers of representation. She signed with Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary shortly after, and the manuscript went on to sell in a heated auction.

In addition to the Kingdom of Souls series, Rena also has written a middle grade epic fantasy titled Maya and The Rising Dark debuting in Spring 2020, pitched as Stranger Things meets Percy Jackson, that sold in a pre-empt to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

On a personal note, Rena loves all things science fiction and fantasy, ghosts, and superheroes. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads