“Crank Palace” by James Dashner

Hello again, lovely followers! I hope you’re not sick of me yet! I have another review to share today. James Dashner, the author of The Maze Runner series, has written a novella for Newt. Newt has always been my favorite character, so I had to read this book! If you’re a fan of The Maze Runner, read on for my review of this novella!

5/5 stars

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

If you haven’t read the first three books in The Maze Runner series, don’t read ahead. You have been warned!

What do you do if you have a disease that destroys your mind, turning you into what is essentially a zombie until your death, while all of your friends are immune? What’s worse: abandoning them or letting them watch your descent into madness? Newt makes the choice to leave them, though it pains him to do so. He doesn’t really have a plan or goal since he’ll just fall into madness and die anyway. But he meets a mother and child who are determined to survive together, and that is just what Newt needs to give him purpose. Eventually ending up in the Crank Palace, Newt’s story is finally told. The events that took place in The Death Cure are told from Newt’s perspective.

You think I would have been prepared to be devastated and heart-broken after reading this, seeing as how I know the conclusion of The Death Cure. And yet, like a dummy, I went and read this book anyway simply because I love Newt. Thank you, James Dashner, for once again breaking my heart into pieces. If you thought The Death Cure was bad, this is on a different level. As Newt leaves his friends and succumbs to the Flare, you hear his thoughts, you watch him struggle until his inevitable end. Now you know what went through his head during all of this. Poor, sweet Newt–he deserved so much better. Once again, I’m left heartbroken over him.

To my fellow readers who also read this series and fell in love with Newt, this book offers some closure that I felt we did not get in the original series. However, getting this closure will most likely break your heart in the process. I recommend this book, as well as tissues, a warm blanket, and ice cream, to any Newt fans out there.

“Daphne’s Questionable Bet” by Sara Jo Cluff

Hey everyone! I’m back today with another review for you all! Hope you enjoy it!

5/5 stars

            I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

            When Daphne’s mom decides they’re moving back to California, Daphne is thrilled! She’s especially happy to finally be reunited with her childhood best friend. However, she discovers that her new neighbor is her mom’s old arch-nemesis from high school with a daughter in her grade. The two girls make the decision to resume the rivalry, betting on who will get Bentley Anderson to ask them to prom. But the bet gets out of hand—spying, sabotaging, blackmailing… Not to mention, something Daphne definitely didn’t bet on—falling for another guy.

            Okay YA readers, how many of you have ever read a YA book where the main character was practically a Barbie doll? She’s perfect, she gets Ken, and they live happily ever after. Daphne is no Barbie, and I mean that in the best possible way! How can you not love a onesie-wearing, junk food-eating, Captain America-loving girl with an amazing taste in music?! For once, this story is about the quirky girl and I loved it! Daphne is such a fun and refreshing character! Her best friends were also super fun, and their friendship was cute! As fun and adorable as this book is, there are some difficult subjects as well. Divorce, anxiety, death, family relationships all come into play. They just add to the quality of the book by making the characters more realistic and relatable. Also, Weston is adorkable! He’s very sweet and his nerdiness is so cute!

            I can’t leave out Daphne’s taste in music! A lot of her favorite songs are mentioned throughout the book, and I definitely loved her song choices!

Readers of YA and YA romance, grab a copy of this book! The quirky girl gets the happily ever after (it’s about time!) This book is fun, enjoyable, and adorable! If you want a book that makes you laugh out loud or if you want some music recommendations, get this book!

“Calculated” by Nova McBee

Greetings! I’m back again today with another review for you all! First of all, let me just say how grateful I am for all of you! I started this blog along with my bookstagram on a whim while I was at college. I never expected for it to go anywhere, and I actually considered deleting this blog on a few occasions. It means a lot to me that people actually care about the books I read and what I have to say about them! Thank you all for sticking around! With that said, here is my review of this gritty YA novel!

4/5 stars

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jo, a girl of many names, was kidnapped by a very famous criminal. Jo has a unique ability–she sees the world in numbers. She’s forced to use her ability to make money for criminals. Hating her gift, Jo is miserable until she meets Red, a fellow prisoner who helps her see the world differently. When an opportunity to be free appears, Jo takes it and finds herself faced with even larger problems that will impact the entire world. She’s the only one with a chance at solving these problems–but even she can’t do everything by herself.

This book was pretty interesting! It takes place in Shanghai, China which was pretty cool! Jo is an interesting character and her gift is fascinating as well. There is a lot going on in this book–Jo’s mission for Chan, Jo’s personal goals, etc. The different POVs from the past through the present told the story in an intriguing way. However, a lot of this book is spent in the narrator’s head. The story mostly is told through the thoughts of the narrator. That makes sense due to the nature of Jo’s gift, but the lack of action made it hard for me to stay interested. Towards the end, the action does pick up and it was enjoyable! I thought this book was going to be a stand-alone, and I was surprised when some stuff at the end suddenly made a sequel seem necessary. I thought the plot was wrapped up rather nicely, and I thought it would make a great stand-alone book. Hopefully the sequel is just as intriguing as this book was!

Ultimately, this book has a lot of good concepts and the author is an incredible writer! I really enjoyed the fact this book takes place in China. I think a lot of readers would love Jo and her story!

“The Thief and The Throne” by Helena Rookwood

Hi everyone! Hope you all had an excellent weekend! With Thanksgiving over, I have officially begun to get ready for Christmas! I’m one of those people who won’t get ready for Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving! When do you start getting ready for Christmas? Leave a comment and let me know!

Today, I have a fantasy review to share with you all! This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Read on for my review of book 2, or look for my review of book 1 (The Prince and the Poisoner) on here or my Goodreads account!

5/5 stars

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

After escaping from the Grand Master, Lira and Kit continue their escape to Vespera to get information from the House of Wands. Tarben, aka Eirik, joins them. When they arrive, they find that Davorin has beaten them there and the House of Wands remains suspicious of them. Lira’s questions about her abilities only lead to more questions, not to mention she attracts some very unwanted attention. When Kit throws his own plans into motion, Lira finds herself unsure of who to trust and faces betrayal over and over again. She finds help in unlikely places and is left to wonder what she is.

Once again, I was captivated by the plot of this series. Lira is becoming more and more interesting as the story goes on. Not to mention Kit, Tarben, and Davorin aren’t at all what I expected them to be. Helena really kept me on my toes the whole way through this book! Crazy political games, ruthless leaders, strange magic, fae, handsome princes, and incredible world-building…what more could you want in a book? I can’t wait to read book three as I also have a lot of questions! I’d definitely recommend this series! (For the record, these first two books have been clean!) Get your copy now!

That’s all for today! I’ll be posting again soon! Have a lovely day, everyone!

“Dearest Josephine” by Caroline George

5/5 stars!!!

               I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

               It’s 2020 and Josie is having a horrible year. Her father passed away, she and her boyfriend broke up, and she has a rough relationship with her mom. She suddenly finds out that her father owned property in Northern England and decides to move there temporarily. What she finds there starts an adventure unlike any other—letters and a novel addressed to her, but they were written over 200 years ago. The man writing them, Elias Roch, was the previous owner of the property. Josie sets out to solve the mystery of what happened to Elias and Josephine, all while trying to deal with her own life in the present.

               This book was so amazing that it caught me off-guard! I just binge read this book until 1:30 in the morning and had to review it immediately. First of all, this book is told through emails, text messages, letters, and a novel. I was not expecting that, but it worked for this book. I was a little confused here and there, but the writing and the plot totally sucked me in. I desperately wanted to solve the mystery of how Josephine was connected to past Josephine, and I wanted to know more about her relationship with Elias. I don’t know how I expected this to end, but the ending was so sweet and unpredictable! I was trying very hard not to squeal in delight! For the sake of spoilers, I won’t go any further than that!

               Josie and Elias are the two main characters. I was very interested in both of their lives. Josie’s life was expressed in emails and texts while Elias was expressed in his letters and novel. The side characters also had such a key role in the story, mostly Faith and Oliver! I loved how the reader gets to learn a lot about Faith; the author didn’t just invent her as a random character to progress the plot! She has a life and issues that the reader gets to learn about. Oliver and the other citizens that Josie interacted with made the story so fun and sweet! The mystery and tragedy between Elias and Josephine were balanced by the warmth and joy Josie, Oliver, and Faith brought to the story. I was captivated by the mystery, but I adored the cast of characters and their antics!

               I would definitely recommend this book! Anyone who loves YA historical romance or is looking for an interesting read should pick up this book! Elias somewhat reminds me of Mr. Darcy and Josephine’s personality is similar to Lizzy’s, so I think lovers of Pride and Prejudice would enjoy this book!

               On a somewhat related note, where can I buy a “My Heart Belongs to Elias Roch” mug and is there also a “My Heart Belongs to Oliver McLaughlin” mug? Asking for a friend…

“Lore” by Alexandra Bracken

I was honestly surprised I received a review copy of this book! It was the first book by Alexandra Bracken I’ve read, and it was amazing! Check out my review below!

5/5 stars!!!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Monsters had fangs, but that was why lionesses were given claws.”

The Hunger Games meets Percy Jackson in a world where Greek gods are hunted down and slaughtered by mortals seeking their power.

The Agon–a hunt that occurs every seven years where nine of the Greek gods become mortal, vulnerable. Hunters attempt to find them and kill them as the one who kills a god gains their powers. This was the world Lore grew up in…at least until her whole family was brutally slaughtered. After hiding and trying to stay out of the upcoming Agon, Lore is drawn back into the hunt when two interesting players seek her out: a friend who should be dead and goddess on the verge of dying. Making a deal with the goddess and binding her fate to hers, Lore re-enters the game, aware that this year’s Agon is the deadliest of them all.

I was captivated as soon as I read the first page. This book was unpredictable, riveting, and left me hanging onto every word. Never boring and never slowing its pace, Lore had me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.

“‘Surprise?’ she said, because Lore had never met a situation she couldn’t make even more painfully awkward.”

Lore is such an epic main character. She is fierce, determined, and stubborn; however, she cares deeply for those close to her and is actually a very kind person. Struggling with the ghosts of her past and the horrors of the present, Lore wrestles with figuring out exactly who she is and who she is meant to be. I was rooting for her from the first page and I definitely got drawn into the story thanks to her.

Castor is another great character! I can’t say much about him without spoiling things, but he is sweet and charming! Like Lore, he is a talented fighter who also has a very kind and gentle heart. The other characters (Miles, Athena, Van, etc.) are super interesting! Miles is hilarious and had me laughing out loud!

The plot itself was the most mesmerizing part of the book in my opinion. The concept of various houses trying to outdo each other by killing gods and taking their powers during a week-long hunt is darkly fascinating. Lore’s fight to protect her friends and to keep an evil god from rising to an even higher level of power was intense, and I was constantly going back and forth between shock, horror, and joy. To call this book an emotional roller-coaster would be an understatement!

Needless to say, I loved this book whole-heartedly! I’d definitely recommend it to other readers! If you love The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Greek mythology, or just simply an intense and unpredictable read to keep you up until 2 in the morning, this book is for you!

“Escaping Eleven” by Jerri Chisholm

5/5 stars!!!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

First things first, I binge-read this book until 4am. I couldn’t put it down and just read it for hours until it was over. And then I hated myself because it was over and now I have to wait a while for book 2.

This book is like Divergent meets The Maze Runner with a heroine who could break your face in roughly ten seconds. Yeah, it’s THAT good.

When the sun scorched the Earth, humanity had no choice but to flee underground. Compound Eleven is one of these underground facilities. But hierarchy is everything, and Eve is from the second floor. She’s better off than those on floor one but not by much. She’s a fighter–a good one. However, Eve has a secret, one that could get her killed if someone found out. She has no intention of staying in Compound Eleven.

Suddenly, Eve has a match against a Preme–one of the residents of the fifth floor who live glamorous lives. Eve has spent her whole life hating these people, but he seems different. And then he destroys her in the ring…

This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first page. Sometimes I get a little burned out with the YA dystopia genre, but this book was definitely worth the read! From the plot to the characters, I loved the whole thing!

Eve is so cool! She’s been trained to be tough, unfeeling, uncaring. But she’s just as human as everyone else. She loves her friends and has a huge obsession with the world aboveground. I loved how she stood up for herself and how she looked after her friends. She also has a unique perspective on life, or rather, death. Anyway, she’s absolutely amazing!

Wren is also such a great character! Instead of being the entitled jerk he was raised to be, he actually is a kind and good person. Like Eve, he is strong and powerful. I love how he’s got Eve’s back when she needs it, but he’s also totally aware that she often doesn’t need his help!

The side characters were also really intriguing! Eve really loves her friends, and they each have their own issues going on. I thought the author did a really good job giving them unique personalities and making them realistic.

The plot was also fascinating! I loved watching Eve attempt to find a way out of the compound. I was so invested in whether she would actually make it out or not! I can’t say anything else about this without spoiling anything so you’ll just have to read it for yourself!

As I mentioned above, I really am regretting reading this so fast since I’m desperate to get my hands on book 2! My curiosity is piqued and I will definitely be looking forward to the next book! I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian books and strong female characters!

“Par for the Course” by Sincerely Mickie

4/5 stars

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Madi just wants to have a normal, peaceful junior year of high school. But Hannah, Madi’s best friend, has bigger goals—she wants to be popular. Her solution is to join the cheerleading team, dragging Madi along with her. Madi doesn’t want to lose her friendship with Hannah, but cheerleading is not her thing. And when Hannah decides to date Levi, the school’s star golf player, she convinces Madi and Levi to fake date each other to hide the relationship from her dad. The problem? Hannah is often with her new friends, leaving Madi and Levi alone which only brings them closer. Madi starts to realize that she and Levi are a little too close, but she doesn’t want to let Hannah down…

This is Mickie’s debut novel and it was so good! I really liked Levi and Madi. They were so good for each other, and they have a lot of really sweet moments together. I felt bad for Madi as her life was kinda falling apart, but she put herself through some rough situations for Hannah’s sake. Levi has his own struggles too, but I loved how he and Madi were there for each other. It was rather refreshing to see a male love interest who played golf instead of football! Hannah was a character that I really, really didn’t like. She was self-centered, dishonest, and rude. I liked most of the rest of the characters, like Elliot who runs the science club! As cute as this story was, there are some deeper elements too. Family dynamics, loss of loved ones, etc. are some of the themes in this book. I think it was handled very well by the author!

This was definitely an excellent debut novel! Fans of YA romance books should definitely read this! It’s a very cute story and I’m looking forward to more books from Mickie!

“Throne of Silver” by K.B. Anne

Hey everyone! As you’ve probably seen, I’ve been slowly getting into the habit of posting my reviews again! Consistency is not my specialty, but I’m working on it!

3/5 stars

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I had a really hard time writing this review because there were a lot of things about this book that I liked and a lot that I did not like. This story follows Starr, a regular high school girl with big dreams for the future. When she goes to take a leadership test, she is shocked to discover that the test was a cover-up for an Organization who wishes to recruit her as an assassin. Next thing she knows, she’s on the run from this crazy Organization. To her surprise, Christian, a goth boy from school who hates her, comes to her rescue and they team up to get her as far away from the Organization as possible.

I’ll start with the pros. All in all, I really liked the concept of Starr being on the run from this Organization. It seemed interesting and I was curious about who they are and what they do. I also liked the side characters as they seemed really amusing and made the story more fun. I might grab a copy of book two just to figure out what’s going on with the plot because it did intrigue me.

However, there were some cons as well. First off, I know this was supposed to be an enemies-to-lovers thing but it seemed like insta love. Also, some of the dialogue was kinda cringy. Sometimes random information was introduced and the main character just moved on like it was completely normal while I would still be trying to figure out what was happening. (Head to my Goodreads if you want to see a spoiler about something that confused me.)

Ultimately, I thought the concept was cool but it kinda fell flat for me. Maybe it suits other readers better? I’m probably going to read book two out of curiosity and that might help clear some things up.

“Love in the Aisles” by Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla

3.5/5 stars (rounded up to 4)

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Southern hospitality turned into hostility when Charlotte Dawson married Jake, the hero of Sunrise Valley. Accused of breaking up his previous relationship, Charlotte had to put up with the constant judgmental looks from the townspeople. However, things got much worse after Jake died, leaving Charlotte alone with their son and her sister. Things change when Charlotte meets Ian, the newest employee at the local grocery store. He doesn’t seem to mind her clumsiness and he’s super attractive. Charlotte starts to consider being in a relationship again, but she struggles to ignore the harsh insults from the townspeople. Not to mention, Ian has secrets of his own, like the fact he’s a famous actor who ran away from Hollywood…

The premise of this book sounded adorable so I couldn’t resist reading it! Charlotte is a widowed young mom, just trying to get by. Unfortunately, the GOLs (gossipy old ladies) won’t leave her alone. I loved Charlotte’s character development; she’s come a long way from playing hide-and-seek in grocery stores! Ian is also a great character and he really helped Charlotte get her life back on track. As much as I loved this adorable duo, there were some things that bothered me. Charlotte is definitely a klutz, but I think it’s a bit overdone in this book. The number of incidents she has is a little excessive. It was also a total insta-love which I’m not completely against but it felt like the characters saw each other for two seconds and fell for each other immediately. Other than that, this was cute and I enjoyed it!

I’d recommend it to rom-com lovers who like fluff with a bit of angst! This is pretty much a clean romance (nothing sexual besides a cheating reference and minimal language) so if you’re a clean romance lover then check this out!

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