Saturday, May 1, 2021

A WICKED AND BEAUTIDL GARDEN

Author: Katie McGarry

Year: 2021

Genre: Paranormal/ Romance.

Rate: 4.5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

 

A little about the book:

“Twenty-eight year-old Cassie Strega can’t escape fate.

All she wants is to live a normal, quiet life delivering the babies in her small town. But when she discovers she comes from a lineage of witches, her life becomes extraordinary—in the gravely dangerous type of way.

Then, she’s reunited with her first love.

Orion, the sultry Fae warrior who broke her heart years before, is searching for a baby. Not just any baby, but the queen of the Fae who will one day lead them in their final battle against the demons determined to rule the world. The same baby who has been calling to Cassie for help in her dreams.

Fighting the intense attraction of their former blood bond, Cassie and Orion work together to find the child. But when the heartbreak that nearly destroyed Cassie nine years before looms once more, she’ll have to decide whether getting involved in the supernatural war is worth losing everything, including her life.”

 My Review:

A wonderful book by one of my favorite authors.

With her first Adult/ Paranormal/ Fantasy Novel, McGarry delivers a story with her characteristic elements; intrigue, anguish, and of course deep emotions, in a world of magic, witches, fairies, and demons.

The narrative is outstanding, as well the descriptions, especially the action scenes and all these new lands. It felt like the author took the reader's hand to bring us inside the pages, and as I always say, Mcgarry has a gift to keep us over the edge, deeply connected with the story with every word.

I particularly enjoyed Cassie development, how she became stronger as the story progressed, also how she held her ground about what she wanted and what she believed. How she owned her mistakes and accepted the consequences of her choices.

Orion on the other hand seemed to be the perfect paper boyfriends, except for this something that didn’t convince me, maybe he was too martyr, and even when at the end I finally trusted him, it was really difficult to care for him.

Another thing that didn’t convince me was the dumped info, these dialogues with question-answer-question-answer. I understand the reader needs to know and maybe this was the best way to do it, However, it clashed with the well-written descriptions.

Overall is a fast-speed reading with a complex plot full of twists, and I can't wait for the next one!!!

100% recommended.  

 Enjoy!

I received an ARC from Admin@katiemcgarry.com in exchange for an honest review. And I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 Links to purchase: 

 
B&N Print Book: https://bit.ly/3s2rar4
Apple Books, Kobo, and other international etailers:  https://books2read.com/u/3JRpNg
 
Katie McGarry Website: www.katielmcgarry.com
 
Katie McGarry Social Media:
 
TikTok: @katiemcgarryauthor

Saturday, April 24, 2021

NEVER SAW YOU COMING

 

By: Erin Hahn

Genre: Y/A Contemporary Fiction

Year: 2021.

Rate: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



A little about the book:

“Raised by conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. Instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet what’s left of the family she never knew existed.

While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship with the church. The clock is ticking on Pastor Allen’s probation hearing and Micah, now 19, feels the pressure to forgive - even when he can’t possibly forget.

As Meg and Micah grow closer, they are confronted with the heavy flutterings of first love and all the complications it brings. Together, they must navigate the sometimes-painful process of cutting ties with childhood beliefs as they build toward something truer and straight from the heart.”

 “It’s a little like we are helping each other become who we are meant to be. No fixing each other, but pushing each other.”

 My review:

I’m a religious person. Also, I live my idea of religion in my own way, with my personal feelings, and I don’t argue with people about this topic, therefore when somebody starts a discussion, I just walk away. Because of that I almost walk away from this book, but something stops me from doing it, and I have to say my heart hasn’t been as completely full of and story, as it is with Never Saw You Coming.

Marvelous written, in this book, the author delivers a story not about religions or church, nor what is right or wrong, what is acceptable by society or not. It’s not about forgiveness or redemption, but about faith, belief and keeping true to yourself.

Meg and Micah have a complicated relationship with God and their own families, they have their own burden and “garbage,” however the important part is how they use their faith to find themselves.

Every character is fantastic, each of them plays an important role in the story and I think the author does a great job to present every perspective of these characters about the main topic of the story which makes this book richer.

I like that the author doesn’t go for the ‘black and white idea’ she uses more like every situation, every person has their own color. I totally enjoyed that each character speaks their mind as it would happen in real life, and the complexity of families’ dynamic, because let me tell you something, teens and young people aren’t the only with mixing feeling and broken hearts, adults can be pretty much mess up too.

And my final thought is: We really need Duke’s book. You’ll agree when you read it. 😊

100% recommended.

I received an ARC from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. And I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 Note: Image was taken from goodreads.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

IT SOUNDED BETTER IN MY HEAD

 By: Nina Kenwood

Genre: Y/A Contemporary Fiction

Year: 2020

Rate: 2 stars. 🌟🌟

“When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one
is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day―in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.”

 

It took me a while to understand how I feel about this book, and the best way I have to explain it is like a bouncing castle, all fun and emotion at first but then the bouncing castle starts losing air and then the excitement is gone.

The beginning of the book is great, I got lots of expectations about this girl that overthinks everything and creates multiples scenarios in her head just to be prepared, who had acne’s problems in the past that let her scarred physically and mentally, also she has to endure the separation of her parents, the idea of being the third wheel around her best friends and the new feelings for this guy. So yes, I was super excited!

But then everything was going in another direction; the writing and the narrative are fantastic, however, even when is good for the reader to be in the MC’s head, it took five pages or more of thinking between on line of dialogue and other, so much that in some point I needed to ask, wait, what was the conversation about?

The parents were terrible, something common in a Y/A story but these parents never made the effort to improve the situation, so there was this loose end in the story.

I loved that the protagonist confronted her friends and her parents, but she honestly never grew up enough. She was insecure all the time and she never talked about it with anybody. Also, I liked that she asked questions, but sometimes it was more like an interrogation by an FBI agent than by a girl with needs for answers.

Finally, there are some topics that I wasn’t comfortable with how they were handled, too easily too ‘whatever’ and I don’t think life is like that.

I usually post reviews of books with high rates in my blog, but I decided to post this one too, because honestly the concept of the story is great it’s the execution that didn’t reach my expectation.

 

Note: Image was taken from www.goodreads.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

WHEN YOU COME BACK TO ME

Author: Emma Scott

Year: 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Rate: 4,5 stars.

“At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys...

Holden Parish survived his parents' horrific attempts to make him "the perfect son." After a year's stint in a Swiss sanitarium to recover, he has vowed to never let anything--or anyone--trap him again. Brilliant but broken, he seeks refuge behind alcohol, meaningless sex, and uses his wicked sense of humor to keep people away. He only has to ride out one year in the coastal town of Santa Cruz with his aunt and uncle before he inherits his billions and can make his escape. Disappear.
Falling in love is not in the plans.”

 ***Sighs***

***Sobs***

***Sniff***

What a wonderful story about love and acceptance!

When you come back to me is a complex book, dealing with multiples sensitive situations, like, conversation therapies, addictions, death, mental health, sexual identity conflict.

It’s a story heartfelt to read, the tension is mixed with the slow pace making the reader to stand over the edge on every single page.

Both main characters are well done portrayed, they have and well constructed Arc, and as they grow up the reader has the chance to experience their changes from their teen years to adulthood (and this is one of the reasons why I don’t think this book should be labeled as YA.) Both characters have to endure so much in different ways, both are broken and both need to go deep in order to be able to resurface.

I loved the narrative, the mixture of anguish, beauty, and the poetic element, delivers an excellent description of every scene.

My two only comments are related to the absence of the lost boys at the end when they suppose to be the best friends, also after 70% of the book the story turns a little repetitive, I mean I understand the need to give the characters an open room to turn into a better version of themselves but there wasn’t need for the long dragging.

Aside from those two facts, the story is well done written and we an excellent concept and message at the end.

100% recommended

Best phrases:

“Thank you for loving me when I didn’t.”

“You deserve to be loved put loud.”

“We don’t make sense- like pieces of a puzzle that come from different boxes. Yet, we fit.

Note: Image was taken from www.goodread.com

Saturday, October 3, 2020

ANNOUNCING TROUBLE

Author: Amy Fellner Dominy

Year:  2019.

Genre: Y/A contemporary romance

Rate: 5 Stars.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“That’s the trick. Forward movement. You can’t take a next step until you take the first one.”


 “I may know everything there is to know about baseball, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Or like him. Garrett Reeves: sidelined player and the embodiment of everything I’ve learned to hate about baseball. He’s gorgeous, he’s cocky, he’s laser-focused on getting back in the game, no matter the cost.

When he convinces me to call games alongside him, our chemistry heats up the booth. We’re good together, whether I want to admit it or not. I’m finding that I like baseball again, but even worse, I’m liking Garrett. A lot.

But when he has to decide between our future and a new shot at his dreams, I know baseball will win out every time.”

This is a perfect example that we can’t judge a book by the cover. I mean, there is nothing really wrong with this one, but I have to admit sometimes a pick a book because a cover is better and prettier than this. However, this time it was more like a feeling. And thanks to God I was right.

Let’s start with the basics’ things I like in a good story: In this one, there is a great narrative, no repetitions, the story flows well, and descriptions are excellent. So far so good, right? well, it gets better. The plot is amazing, I love the concept. It seems a story about romance and healing but it’s more, much more. The story is about the future, what can we call dreams and what is real? Can we have both? Are dreams fair to us?

The tension in the story is excellent, I love that there is not intrigue, not lies, not misunderstandings. Instead, the conflict belongs to characters, their personalities and their need to grow up. I particularly enjoy Josie, she is a unique character, witty, smart, sweet, and I love how she finds the path to discover herself. Honestly, she makes me believe in strong heroin again.

Also, I loved Josie and Garret’s interaction, I don’t know how many times I burst into laughter or tears. Reading their dialogues felt magical. But not just with them, all the characters are great, every single one is well done portrayed, even the ones that are just mentioned.

And finally, I’m so grateful to the author for finding a way to explain baseball and makes it interesting and funny and not overwhelming with at all.

 I was craving a book that makes me happy, which make me believe in good stories and that leaves a smile on my face even days after reading. Announcing Trouble did that.

“A game where a bunch of guys spends their lives trying to get home. I press closer to Garret and smile. It Makes sense now that I’ve found mine.”

 

Note: Picture is taken from goodreads.com


Monday, April 20, 2020

HOW TO QUIT YOUR CRUSH


Author: Amy Fellner Dominy
Year: 2020
Genre: Y/A Contemporary Fiction
Rate: 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Mai Senn knows Anthony Adams is no good for her - no matter how hard she might crush on him. She’s valedictorian; he’s a surf bum. She’s got plans, he’s got his art. Complete opposites in every way. Vinegar and baking soda, they once joked. A chemical reaction that bubbled.

Yeah, they bubbled. Maybe still do.
Good thing Anthony’s got the perfect plan: two weeks to prove just how not good they are together. Whoever can come up with the worst date—something the other will seriously hate, proving how incompatible they truly are—wins.
Like taking a snake-phobe to the Reptile House at the zoo (his idea).
Or a cooking class where they don’t even get to eat the food (her idea).
It’s all about the competition, and it’s meant to help them finally crush their crushes. But it wasn’t supposed to be so hot. Or so fun. And when Mai’s future becomes at stake, will she be able to do the right thing and quit Anthony forever?”

How to quit your crush is my first book by the author, and as standalone, I didn’t have any trouble understanding the story even without reading the previous one.
The story is sweet and lovely, perfect for those afternoons when you are looking for some relaxing time. Although the beginning is too slow, there is too much dump info about how the romance starts. The three first chapters are mostly flashbacks, and I think it would be nicer if the reader would have the chance to live the experience with the characters, instant of being told. Also, the sense of time seems odd, when the characters talk about the time passed it feels like it was years ago when it was just days or weeks. However around 15% into the story the plot is unfolded, and everything starts making sense.
I liked the sensitives topic explored in this story, both main characters are struggling with fit in, in their own way. One of them after the death of a parent and the other is trying to belong to the family who adopted her.
The sense of growing and the message to be yourself despite being different from what everyone is expecting of you is well done developed especially at the end of the story.
Another thing that I enjoyed about this book is Anthony. He supposes to have a touch of rebel status, but for me, he’s just funny and adorable, He’s just trying to hide the idea of missing so much his dad. On the other hand, I’m on the fence with Mai, she’s so judgemental and it was hard to feel sympathy for her because of that.  Her arc is really flat through the story, not showing any sign of growing, thankfully almost at the end she has her moment of revindication.
Overall, the story is well written, with a strong plot and great concept.  Once I got hooked, it was impossible to put it down until I was done with the last page.
Give it a try and you’ll not regret it.
100% recommended
Note: I received an ARC from Entangled Publishing, LLC. Through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. And I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Another Note: Image was taken from www.goodreads.com


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER


BY: Sarah Dessen
Year: 2004
Genre: YA, Contemporary Fiction.
Rate: 3,5 stars⭐⭐⭐✨

“Don’t be afraid, Be alive.”

This is my fourth attempt with the author’s works and the first book I get to finish it without DNF.

There is something appealing about the narrative and the writing in Sarah Dessen’s books. She writes with so much passion and emotion, and maybe that was the reason I kept trying. People are right, there is wonder in her books. Actually, I never had a problem, following the story, to admire the writing or the plot.  

However, no matter how beautiful the narrative is, sometimes it is too much of on and on with the same topic. In this particular book, I found myself lost in a conversation after reading three pages of one thought about one single idea. Also, there are some repetitions, at first, I thought it was part of a character’s attribute, but then it was all over the story.   For example, I don’t think to repeat ‘you know’ it works the way it should. It’s a little distracting a least for me.

Another thing I have trouble to understand are the characters, after fourth tries, I found that there is so much unexplored potential in the characters, they could have been great, and in my opinion, they didn’t reach the point of to be likeable, or to care about them. I get it, a character needs to have flaws to be real, and more important to show how it grows in the story. But I’ve always thought that a character needs to be strong, to communicate their changes, and I didn’t find any of those qualities, in any of the protagonists or other characters I’ve read so far in any of the writer’s books, the low self-esteem, the silent, is too much to handle. Except for Kristy, in this story, she’s the new friend, the loyal, the hopeful, the crazy, the honest, the romantic, the optimistic, the soul. She’s everything that it should be spread among the characters in any kind of story. And she’s one of the reasons I keep reading and why this book is good.

Also, there is one situation that in this book, it didn’t work for me. It’s true, life and the world aren’t perfect, but they are moments of perfection. For example, if I need to buy a dress and I find one in the first store I enter, in my size, and it fits greats, that is what I call a moment of perfection, and it will make me happy, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I get it organization and chaos need a balance, but if a person is happy with organization, let them be. The problem for what I see, it isn’t about to be or no to be perfect, to like or not to like chaos, the thing here is to be happy whatever the way a person wants to be, and not just the way a protagonist says it should be.  And even when there are hints about ‘it’s okay to be yourself’ in the story, I think there is still something missing.

Anyway, I’m happy that I insisted on the Author. I knew that eventually, I’d find one that I’ll enjoy it, and I did. But I don’t think she’s the kind of author for me, maybe I’ll try again, maybe not. Still, I’m grateful for the experience. It was worth it.

Best phrase:
“This felt right Not just leaving, but how I was doing it. Without regret, without second guessing. And with Wes right there, holding the door open for me as I walk out into the light.”

Note: Photo was taken from www.google.com