Review: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood Sarah J. MaasSynopsis:

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Favorite Lines:

“Remember that you will die, and enjoy each pleasure the world has to offer.”

“That’s the point of it, Bryce. Of life. To live, to love, knowing that it might all vanish tomorrow. It makes everything that much more precious.”

“There are worse fates than death, you know.”

My Opinion:

I actually read this book twice before writing this review just because there is so much to absorb. I also stayed up until 5am both times to read it; which should show how captivating it is. Sarah J. Maas is probably my favorite author. The way she can weave stories and tie everything together has always been amazing. She is my favorite storyteller and her newest book is no exception.

The story follows Bryce as she navigates a world full of magical creatures as a half human half fae. Because of her genetic makeup, she has always been looked down on by others but she still manages to find a way to survive and have fun with her friends. That is, until her best friend is murdered. Bryce finds herself becoming a part of a serial murder investigation that turns into something much darker and more sinister. It is up to Bryce to find out who is behind the murders while being hunted herself before it is too late.

This book obviously has a ship, multiple actually. It also has plot twists and easter eggs (if you are a fan of Maas’ other books, you will know them when you see them). While the start does feel like there is a lot of information being thrown at you, later in the book feels much more natural and has a smooth pace. I had said I reread it twice because after I knew what was going to happen and could finally take a second to breathe, I wanted to reread it and be able to pay attention to the details more fully. The second time around still had me on the edge of my seat and staying up until 5am. If that is not a sign of a good book, I don’t know what is.

Summary:

Overall, I really really enjoyed this book. Knowing how Maas writes her series with crazy character development, I am even more excited for the next book to come out. Too bad we will be waiting at least another year. Until next time, happy reading!

 

House of Earth and Blood


Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked KingSynopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Favorite Lines:

“Kill him before he makes you love him.”

“The Folk doubtlessly learned this lesson long ago. They do not need to deceive humans. Humans will deceive themselves.”

“’The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock.’ Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. ‘Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.’

“It is said we learn more from our failures than our successes.”

“If you’re the sickness, I suppose you can’t also be the cure.”

My Opinion:

I am going to be honest, I was kinda hella annoyed with this book ending. Slight spoilers ahead! I wasn’t really committed to the series, I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I just felt like I should finish what I started and I always feel like first books in the series can be the best or the worst so you have to read at least to the second one to give the series a fair chance. All I wanted in this book was there to be romance and sexual tension between Jude and Cardan; which, sure, I guess there was… but not nearly enough. AND that ending though! Jeez… Black doesn’t pull her punches. I read the last chapter and was like “What the f***”. Excuse the language kids!

So now, because of how it ended on such a cliff hanger (don’t skip to the end to figure out what I am talking about, don’t be that person) I have to keep reading the series and hopefully, HOPEFULLY get some closure and maybe even get my ship to realize they are good together and call it a day. If that doesn’t happen…I am not quite sure what I am going to do. Please, please just make it happen Black.

Summary:

Overall, this book was better than the first one in the series…so if you didn’t love that one, give this one a chance. I didn’t hate it despite my ranting above and I look forward to the next one in the series. Happy reading, everyone!

 

The Wicked King


Review: Hamartia by Raquel Rich

HamartiaSynopsis:

Grace’s nine-year-old son, Jordan, is dying. First, the Metagenesis disease will tear his soul from his body, and then it will kill him. Desperate for a cure, Grace agrees to take part in an illegal clinical trial cloning souls. Supported by her best friend Kay, the two embark on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation” to the past in search of the right soul to clone, racing against time to save Jordan’s life. But someone is trying to stop them and when they discover why, Grace must make a choice: let her son die or kill her husband. If she kills her husband she triggers widespread Metagenesis, sealing the fate of the human race with a new plague.

Humanity is counting on Grace choosing to let her son die.

Favorite Lines:

I was terrible and read the book all in one sitting without keeping track of quotes!

My Opinion:

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion…so let’s get started!

The story follows Grace who lives in the future with her son and soon to be ex-husband. The future is similar to present day with a few technological advances and a plague that is killing off the human race (no big deal). This plague, Metagenesis, causes people with old souls to lose their souls and die regardless of their current age. Grace’s 9 year old son is sick with Metagenesis and Grace is offered a clinical trial of sorts that requires her to travel back in time to save her son. During this journey, Grace not only learns a lot about herself but she also learns that she wasn’t told the whole truth about the trial. Now it is up to her to decide who lives; her son or her husband.

I love fiction of all types and was excited to read Rich’s debut novel. I will admit that this book started off just a tad slow for me. We are thrown into a world where Metagenesis already exists and go with Grace along her journey just as confused as she is at the beginning. I also was slightly turned off by Grace’s temper tantrums; she seems to be a very passionate woman. BUT once I got into the book, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what happened next and kept turning the page until I reached the end which only made me want to read more.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book, it is totally unique and Rich did an amazing job at keeping the reader engaged. She also was able to keep it unpredictable. While I was able to start to grasp what was happening, Rich constantly kept me on my toes by adding in new information. Sometimes this can be frustrating in books because you feel like you are never going to grasp everything that is going on but Rich did it in a way that still made sense and kept me wanting more.

Summary:

Overall, I loved the ideas in this book and really enjoyed it. It was so creatively done and well written; the ending especially. I can’t wait to read the next one and hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Until next time, happy reading!

 

Hamartia


Review: Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Storm and FurySynopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed….

Favorite Lines:

“What? Okay. Fake news right there.”

“You seem like someone who likes needles…Because I’m a pain in the ass?”

“What point are you trying to make with your Chewbacca argument?… you’re just saying a bunch of nonsensical words and stringing them together like they mean something.”

“My stupid, stupid heart skipped a happy little beat, and if my heart was right in front of me, I would’ve punched it.”

My Opinion:

This book is the first book in the spin-off series The Harbinger for the Dark Elements. It follows a girl named Trinity, a seemingly normal human girl who just happens to live at the regional seat of power for the wardens. If you are new to these books, I’ll fill you in a bit. In this amazing world that Armentrout created, Wardens are shape shifters who shift into gargoyles and fight demons to protect humans. The world knows about them rather than them still hiding in secret.

As mentioned above, the original series is called the Dark Elements series. While it is an amazing series and I love it, it is not necessary to read to understand this book. I personally would recommend it because you do see characters and mentions of events that happened in the previous series but again, it’s not mandatory to understand this book.

Almost all female characters across all of Armentrout’s books have similar attitudes; which I don’t mind. The banter in this book was entertaining right off the bat and had me grinning while I was reading; Trinity is a smartass which I thoroughly enjoy.

I’ll be honest without spoiling anything (hopefully). In the previous series I shipped Roth and Layla. That is why in this series I am happy that Zayne is getting his chance. I just hope to see more of my ship in the books to come!

There really isn’t anything Armentrout can do wrong. She’s been one of my favorite authors since I discovered her Lux series. I know her main characters are going to be badass but still relatable and that her writing style will be full of entertaining pop culture references.

Summary:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am upset there isn’t even a title released for the next one yet. Guess I’ll be waiting forever! Happy reading, everyone!

 

Storm and Fury


Review: Dominion of the Star by Angelica Clyman

Dominion of the Star by Angelica ClymanSynopsis:

The totality of a solar eclipse lasts only a few short minutes. That’s more than enough time for an apocalypse to erupt.

Almost eighteen years have passed since the Eclipse changed the Earth forever, and Sebastian Za’in rose from the chaos and seized control, imposing his order on the broken planet. In a world ruled by fear and superstition, where all gods have perished, there is no one who can stand up to Za’in, the man rumored to be one of the Nephilim—hybrid offspring of Angel and Man. In a few short months, another Eclipse will occur, and while there are those who expect a new natural disaster, Za’in has plans of his own . . .

Completely unaware of this global turmoil, Kayla Steelryn has spent most of her life in a quiet village, longing to uncover her hidden past. When she leaves her home in search of answers, she finds herself faced with the truth about her identity, forced to choose between the two men she loves, and thrust into a conflict where she alone has the power to stop an event more disastrous than the end of the world

Favorite Lines:

I honestly didn’t keep track!

My Opinion:

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

The story follows Kayla who has been sheltered for as long as she can remember. Before she knows it, she is thrown into a world she knows nothing about and is trying to learn who she really is. This book has romance, action, suspense, and many other things all added up to deliver a story that is totally unique to anything else I have read.

It has been quite some time since I have read a book dedicated to the Nephilim (not including Storm and Fury by Jennifer Armentrout). Clyman created her own world that was unlike anything else I have ever read before. I found myself constantly reading to find out what would happen next (and staying up way too late reading).

I did notice that there was a lot of jumping around in the book. Some events just were not clear enough. I felt like sometimes the scenes were sharp and other times I was watching them unfold through a foggy window. I personally have never written a book (yet), but I would imagine it can be difficult to express your thoughts onto the page in a way so that people don’t have to read your mind. I did enjoy this book but I think it really could have been much better if scenes had more detail and the pace had slowed down just a bit.

Summary:

Overall, I really enjoyed the world that Clyman created. I liked the romance that was involved even though I will always be wishing for more. I found myself excited to get in bed and read for the night which must mean this is a good book. I hope you all enjoy it as well! Happy reading!

 

Dominion of the Star


Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra ChristoSynopsis:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy

Favorite Lines:

“Everyone is a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with the color of discovery.”

“Lies aren’t answers. But they sound so much better than the truth.”

“That’s the thing about risks, it’s impossible to know which ones are worth it until it’s too late.”

My Opinion:

This book was a new one for me. It was like a twister little mermaid story except instead of being a sweet princess, she steals hearts…literally. The book follows Princess Lira as she is cursed by her mother to walk on land instead of live in the ocean. While on land she falls into an adventure with Prince Elian, the prince whose heart she wants the most.

Like I said before, this was a new one for me. I have never really read mermaid books in the past and I saw this book on a random Facebook post and I figured I would check it out. It was well written and actually really refreshing compared to some of the books I have read recently. It could have been quite boring because it is a little mermaid remake but I really liked how Christo kept it refreshing and interesting throughout the book. I also enjoyed the ship in this book. No spoilers but I will say that it was interesting to have a ship that wasn’t “BAM! I love you!” right off the bat. Lira starts off trying to kill Elian and it goes from there. Not very many books do that anymore, most are pretty cliché.

Summary:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was out of my usual interest zone but definitely refreshing and worth the read. If you aren’t sure what to read next, be sure to check it out! Happy reading!

 

To Kill a Kingdom


Review: Why She Lied by Julie Coons

Why She LiedSynopsis:

Will she have to lose her child to save her child?

The day she tells her boyfriend she’s pregnant, is the same day he tells her he’s been accused of molestation. His trial is set to begin the following day.

She needs answers…

To get them, she tricks her boyfriend into signing a release form, giving her full access to all of his legal documents. She uncovers the truth, he’s guilty.

To save her unborn child from this monster, she gets an abortion.

Five years later and still rebuilding her life, Julie finds out her ex-boyfriend has just become the most wanted man in America, involved in human trafficking. When detectives ask for her help locating him, she gets drawn into a baffling mystery. What began as a seemingly simple search soon turns into a much darker reality.

Someone from her past is watching…

Bit by bit, the tapestry of her own secret childhood begins to unravel. What she learns about her past will haunt her forever: family isn’t always what it seems.

Can she help bring this predator to justice, or will she die trying?

Why She Lied is a gripping psychological thriller full of mystery, intrigue, and buried secrets.

Favorite Lines:

“…we teach people how we deserve or want to be treated.”

My Opinion:

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Why She Lied is based on a true story. It revolves around Julie as she is brought into a mystery that makes her question her whole life. Julie finds out the man she is dating and the father of her unborn child is accused of molestation. She makes the hard decision to abort the child to save it from a life of potential suffering as the father would still have parental rights to the child. Five years later, Julie is pulled into an investigation when the man is one of the most wanted men in America. While helping the police, Julie begins to have weird moments of déjà vu and starts to think there is more to her past than she can remember.

This is what I would consider to be a pretty short story at 179 pages. It contained a lot of information and sometimes I felt like multiple stories were being told from different moments of time and that there would be some skipping around that made it hard to keep up at moments. But it wasn’t TOO confusing and did provide some useful backstory to the overall plot.

Summary:

Overall, this was an interesting book. I found myself wanting to know what happens and finished it in one sitting. It is crazy that it is based on a true story. You will have to read it to see all the craziness that Julie went through. That being said, there is talk of abortion in there so if you are sensitive to that topic perhaps this is not the book for you. Happy reading, everyone!

 

Why She Lied


Review: Keeping Promises by C.E. Benson

keeping promisesSynopsis:

Jason and Kamry met in the second grade. They were best friends who did everything together – it was inevitable that they would fall in love. And in any other lifetime, they probably would have ended up together – but that’s not how their story went – they didn’t get the “happily ever after” they thought they deserved. At least, they didn’t the first time around. It’s been five years since they’ve laid eyes on each other and the feelings that time should have erased are still raging strong for both of them – but they’re not kids anymore. Experience and caution have replaced recklessness and naivety. They aren’t the people they once were – but they are still far from strangers – and Jason wants nothing more than to keep the promise they made to each other as kids. Kamry is hesitant though because she knows the truth – some promises are just too hard to keep.

Favorite Lines:

“Life hadn’t happened to us yet – and that was the beauty of everything”

“It’s laughable to think I was willing to put that much power over myself – over my existence—into the hands of someone else – let alone, a man who didn’t even deserve my time. How silly I’d been to imagine the hands of the clock would bend to my emotions – that the sun would slow its rising to match the pace of my broken heart – that life was fair and forgiving and willing to let me sign out of it while I got myself together. I was too young to realize how naïve I was. My life did not end with leaving Jason – that was the point where it began.”

My Opinion:

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review… so let’s do it!

I’m always one for romance, it is one of my favorite genres. This book follows Kamry and Jason throughout their lives as they learn that their feelings for each other are deeper than either of them knew. I will admit I thought the book started off a bit slow; just a bit. It shows Kamry and Jason as kids and the development of their friendship and then relationship. I understand the importance of this, I’m just a greedy romance goblin.

I really enjoyed that the book was split into dual point of views. I’m always a sucker for seeing how each character feels about the other and it’s not in every book that a reader gets to see both sides of the love interest. I also like that Kamry plays video games; it was just a fun little fact that I relate to.

Without any spoilers, as the story goes on and the main characters grow up, I started to see a reflection of some of my more toxic relationships in the story. I am not sure how I felt about that; it hit a bit close to home. Because of this, I am not sure how I felt about the ending. I know where Benson was trying to go by showing that the characters have grown up and discovered themselves and that they are only human and such. Maybe I have more growing up to do personally, but I didn’t like the seemingly easy acceptance of toxic behavior. There wasn’t enough proof that things had truly changed for me to be comfortable with the ending. But that is just my personal opinion.

Summary:

Overall, this was a very well written book. Benson has her own unique writing style and voice that is reflected on every page. If you are looking for a quick and easy romance read, this book sits at 205 pages and would be perfect for you. Happy reading, everyone!

 

Keeping Promises


Review: Blue by Sarah Jayne Carr

Blue bySynopsis:

Blue Brennan is a runner.
She runs from her problems.
She runs from love.
She runs from her past.
What Blue doesn’t anticipate is running toward her hometown of Steele Falls, Washington, especially after she’d vowed to never go back.

Adam Rockwell is a fighter.
He fights his demons.
He fights for validation.
He fights for his future.
What Adam doesn’t anticipate is fighting for Blue Brennan, especially when he vowed to never let love get in his way again.

Favorite Lines:

“My concentration level was at a big, fat zero. I made tea without remembering to heat the water, and I poured milk directly in the box of cereal instead of into the bowl. Oops. I tried to brush my teeth with hair gel, a combination I don’t recommend. Of course, it was after I emptied the dishwasher by loading plates and bowls into the oven. Don’t worry. It wasn’t on. But for the record, don’t try it.”

“It was a race—me against myself. The longer I was awake, the more time I had to think. The more time I had to think, the longer I was awake.”

My Opinion:

This book really made me feel all the feels. Normally when I read romance books, I am looking for a lot of emotion. I am usually looking for a good cry at some point in the series and boy did this book deliver. I think I cried like 4 times.

The story follows Blue as she returns home to a town she left 2 years ago. Now that she is back, she has to face the people and the memories she left behind. This includes her family, friends, and the man she loved.

The overall story was very well written. Sometimes I feel like there are more amateur writers than others but that was not the case with Carr. The story didn’t drag, and she was able to really capture the emotions of the characters in a very relatable way.

There were also a lot of plot twists and things that I didn’t see coming throughout the book that really kept me engaged and interested, wondering what is going to happen next. But it was the ending that wrecked me. Don’t skip to the end and ruin it for yourself, read the book straight through and enjoy the journey.

Summary:

Overall, I really liked this book and will definitely be revisiting it when I need something emotional. It is worth the read but it is on the depressing and sad side so stay away from it if you aren’t looking for a feels train. Happy reading, everyone!

 

Blue


Review: Under the Scrubs by Katerina Baker

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]Synopsis:

My life is ordinary, steady, predictable. And I’m okay with that. Working long shifts at the hospital is all the excitement I need.

But when a simple rescue-attempt goes wrong, I find myself in the arms of an arrogant, yet sexy FBI agent.

Kai Evans is what I’d call way out of my league. Yet, we end up dating. Sort of. That’s if you count fast-bike escapes and kissing while bullets fly around us as a date.

While Kai tries to keep me safe and alive, Tyler Moore–an ex FBI agent with a smart mouth–slithers into my life. Turns out, Kai and Taylor have a history. The kind that can’t be erased with a simple handshake.

Now it’s all about settling the score between them, and Taylor has the perfect weapon to use against Kai…

Favorite Lines:

I usually don’t keep track of favorite lines for romances and I didn’t keep track for this one (sorry!)

My Opinion:

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

This story follows Emilia, a doctor who get caught up in a mystery when she delivers a famous heiress’s baby. We see her jump right in to whatever is thrown her way in her effort to keep the man she is falling in love with safe.

This story has a love triangle and I have to admit that I found myself rooting for both sides rather than one clear person over the other. Usually I know who I want my ship to be 100% but in this case, I would have been happy with either. Towards the end, I did find myself liking one more than the other but I wasn’t heartbroken when it didn’t work out the way I wanted.

I was pleasantly surprised that the plot didn’t go where I thought it was. Usually, I am pretty good at predicting the plot twists before they happen. In this case it was finding out who the father of the child was. I think that Baker put in some red herrings to make us think the identity was different than who it really was.

I have to say the only thing I found kind of odd about this book is that any of Emilia’s backstory didn’t really matter. She had medical training and she liked to cook. That was the extent of what we saw about her life. I wish that the story had more to do with her life and not the world she was whisked into.

Summary:

Overall, this was a really nice and quick read. It didn’t require a lot of brain power; which is sometimes a good thing. It was a book that held my interest and I would recommend it to anyone who loves romance with a little bit of suspense. Until next time, happy reading!

 

Under the Scrubs