Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L.Armentrout Review.

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Synopsis:

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger…and they know it.

Review:

I can’t think. My heart is still racing. My sense of dread won’t disappear. And my cheeks, well they are still damp with tears. But you know what? I loved Opal. I loved every single heart wrenching, giggle-inducing, sighing moment. It has every element that I always seek in a book. That’s why I love Jennifer Armentrout’s writing so much, she always delivers! So now I find myself desperately trying to sort out my thoughts as quickly as possible so I can start the next book in this series. I have to know what is going to happen, until then, my heart will still hurt.

“Screw going home. This wasn’t the 1950s. I wasn’t a fragile human being. And I sure as hell wasn’t the Katy Daemon had initially met. He was going to have to deal with it.”

The ending of Onyx was phenomenal, in almost every way imaginable. Katy is back safe and sound and so is Dawson. They are both forever marked from the torture that they endured, but poor Dawson is almost crippled by it. He is barely a shadow of who he used to be, and that has everyone on pins and needles. Because he has to go back and get Beth. How could he ever live without her? But Dawson isn’t the only wild card in this book. Whatever happened to Will? Did the mutation take, are they bound to him forever, or did it fade away? And where did Blake go? Is their secret safe? With so many unknowns hanging in the air, this book was exciting, fast-paced, and shocked me quite a few times!

“I clamped my hand over my mouth, stifling a giggle. He was such an asshole, and I loved him.”

But my favorite element in this book, besides getting to see Dee a lot more (I LOVE her!), was that we get to see Katy and Daemon function as a team. Finally, yes finally, one wasn’t pushing the other away. And don’t worry, because even though they are together at last, we don’t lose out on any of our favorite types of moments that had us falling for them in the previous books. There’s still the snarky banter, which they do perfectly. There’s still the steamy tension. And they still have those moments that make you sigh and melt into a puddle. But with so much chaos constantly surrounding them, these moments felt exceptionally special and more meaningful. This along with my favorite characteristics (a kick-ass heroine who won’t take anyone’s crap and a bad boy who use to be a jerk but always had a heart of gold and will do anything for the ones he loves) makes it impossible for me not to still love them, even as they continue to still make mistakes.

“My heart stuttered and then skipped a beat. It sunk in and threatened to pull me through the seat. Shock washed over me, quickly followed by a bolt of anger so fierce I jerked forward. I couldn’t sit here. I couldn’t breathe.”

Of course, I’m not going to tell you any more than that. I never do but there were tons of things that happened that I never once saw coming. Neither did Katy or Daemon. The most shocking was that ending. That ending nearly destroyed me. I’m still in a state of panic and I can’t shake out of it. Wow, this series just keeps getting better and better!

My Rating: 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L.Armentrout Review.

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Synopsis:

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Review:

This was a brilliant second installment to the Lux series. The tension and chemistry between Daemon and Katy were so steamy that I thought I would melt, the mystery that surrounded people and events left me reeling trying to figure out what was really going on and again that ending left my heart crying out in happiness and sadness for what had happened. Onyx was thoroughly addicting, and when I was done absorbing every single word and meaningful moment, I was desperately reaching for the next book in this series.

He took a fortifying breath. “I always liked you. From the moment you first flipped me off.”

We start out in one of my favorite situations. Daemon and his damn pen pestering Katy in class. How can something as simple as poking and bothering someone put the biggest grin on my face? Daemon is harassing Katy that they have to work off her trace, again. But things are different. Her and Daemon’s heartbeat are in sync, she can tell when he is near because her neck tingles, and after Katy gets sick she ventures into the unknown. With a thought, Katy can move and cause things to happen. Locker doors are opened, the shower is turned on, but why? Shouldn’t aliens be the only ones to do that?

Sometimes I seriously wanted to just punch him in the face, but it made me warm in all the right places to see this side of him again, too. “You’re insufferable.” “You like my kind of suffering.”

A new kid transfers to the school, a hottie who is a surfer named Blake. Let it be known that I loathe Blake. My heart is 1110% Daemon and it exasperated me that Katy would even fathom hanging around another boy. I understood why, but still, it drove me crazy! Katy feels a kinship to this normal, human boy and when she’s around him all things alien can momentarily be forgotten. Because after that epic battle, she needs some reprieve and normalness in her life. But Daemon has other plans. His jealousy and hatred for Blake was nothing short of entertaining. Daemon refused to call Blake by his real name. Ben, Brad, Bob, Biff, Bart, Bo and so on. I laughed each and every time! His confidence and cockiness knows no limits and he definitely lets Blake know that. Daemon and his infuriating sexiness (YAY!!!!!) is back in copious amounts in this book, so be prepared to be swooned while he tries to win Katy over!

I was used to the sarcastic and rude Daemon. In an odd way, that version was easier to deal with. We could trade insults all day. But this Daemon…this one who wouldn’t give up was kind and gentle, funny and – dear God – thoughtful.

I don’t want to say anymore, other than you are in for an exciting ride! My assumptions for events and people and my patience for stubborn Katy were definitely put to the test. And at the end of the book, I was elated with how the story progressed and ended. This is such a fun and sexy read and I highly recommend it!

“Not when you’re mine.” Daemon backed us up and slid down the wall, pulling me into his lap so I was straddling him. “And you’re mine.”

P.S I usually have a huge problem with nicknames. They rub me the wrong way and bug me throughout the whole book. BUT when Daemon calls Katy Kitten, oh my gosh, it makes my heart race! I love it!

My Rating: 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L.Armentrout Review.

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Synopsis:

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Review:

I’ll be honest here, I didn’t think I was going to love a book about aliens. That’s why I put off starting this book for so long. After listening to my good friend Christine rant about how amazing this series is pushing me to read it(Thank You Christine!) I decided to pick it up.  It’s not that I had anything against them, I just wasn’t sure if they were my ‘thing’, you know?? I was wrong. Horribly wrong. They are SO my thing. Well, at least Daemon is. Holy hotness. He’s just… *fans self*… seriously for a YA book, the sexual tension is just out of CONTROL!! I mean wow! I totally loved it!!

Ok… let’s talk about the book…

In an effort to ‘start over’ after her Dad dies, Katy’s mom moves them to a small town. And although Katy would much rather spend her time reading books or writing her review blog (yes, she writes a blog. So cool!! Instant bond!), her mom encourages her to get to know the neighbors… and she does. Meet Daemon Black. Gorgeous, tall, alluring. with dreamy emerald eyes. But after her first conversation with him, she quickly realizes he’s also arrogant, stab-worthy and oh-so-very-very-infuriating.

“He was probably the hottest guy I’d ever seen in real life, and he was a total douche. Go figure.”

“Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys.”

But something just feels a little off about him and his polar-opposite warm, sweet, fun twin sister who has befriended her. The way people treat them, little glances, tricks of the light… something about them is different and Katy is about to find exactly what it is.

I fell in love with this book and with the characters from the first chapter. It was fresh, fun, and catchy. The dialogue was snappy, the banter was awesome, the story-line was engaging, and there was Unresolved Sexual Tension thick enough to cut with a knife. I mean holyyyy!!

The writing style had an easy flowing pace that never dragged or felt rushed. Honestly, it just a purely enjoyable experience. Total brain candy 🙂

I loved the light feel of the book. The little hints at mystery. The humor. The snark. The intrigue. But despite the ‘alien’ thing, it never felt over-the-top fantastical. And it was quite refreshing to have a new twist on the typical paranormal storylines.

Daemon… I couldn’t help but fall for him. Underneath all the bad boy, arrogant, stab-worthiness was a really gorgeous softie that we got little glimpses of here and there. Oh, and he apologizes!!! I’m such a sucker for guys who are badass enough to apologize and still remain badass 🙂 Even before you read his POV scenes at the end, you can tell that he’s a good guy despite some of his infuriating actions.

But I loved that despite his chemistry with Katy being undeniable, she didn’t put up with Daemon’s crap – not even for a minute. She called him on it, gave him the middle finger on occasion, and just because she swooned over him, didn’t mean she just turned into a puddle of goo. She stood up for herself, held her own (I’m thinking about a certain cafeteria scene here involving pasta being dumped on someone’s head) and honestly, never annoyed me.

“Holy Hawt Chemistry, Batman!”

No kidding!! Half the time I just wanted to shove them at each other and be like ‘just kiss already!!!!!’

“Geez, I thought you guys were supposed to be nice and charming.”
He frowned. “What guys?”
“You know, the knight in shining armor and saving the damsel in distress kind.”…
“I’m not your knight.”

This book is a little different than a lot of romances because the main couple isn’t officially a couple for the whole of this book. There is a lot that comes between them. His kind isn’t supposed to mingle with humans and she is a huge liability to him, his family, and his people. But events just keep throwing them together and by the end, we do get some feeling of ‘togetherness’ between them. And quite honestly, with his attitude in the beginning, if they had gotten together any sooner, it wouldn’t have felt right.

As for the ending, this is the first book in a series of 5 so there is definitely a lead into the next book. But there is no nail-biting cliffhanger and although I promised myself that I would only read book #1 to see what all the fuss was about and then stop until the rest came out but I need MORE!!! So yeah… I’ll keep reading them as they come out 😛

Bottom line – definitely add this to the YA to-read pile! 🙂

My rating: 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The Raven King ( The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater Review.

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Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: 26th April 2016

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Amazon

Synopsis:

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Review:

The story is set one week after the events of Blue Lily Lily Blue, with Maura and Artemus back in Fox Way along with the cryptical Gwenllian —the latter two who are not exactly getting along well— while the Gangsey & Co are still in the search for their Welsh King of Myth. A new addition to their group is made in the form of charismatic and brave Henry Cheng, who will reach and touch Gansey in more ways than one.

One final kiss will be shared.
Two last glimpses of special someones will be given, and without a goodbye they part.
Three relationships that will at last set sail. 
And one final door will at last close 
but it will leave so many more open, so many many more.

This book also highlights the relationship not just between Blue and Gansey, but also between Ronan and Adam. Both entanglements are depicted in lovely passages that capture the glimmering moments of hesitancy, tenderness, and passion common to first love. There is no one better, in my opinion, in capturing the mood and moment of young romance than Stiefvater:

“[Ronan’s] feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”

Gansey talking about why Henry’s toga party was wonderful:

“It was this: Gansey saying, ‘I like you an awful lot, Blue Sargent.’

It was this: Blue’s smile – crooked, wry, ridiculous, flustered. There was a lot of happiness tucked in the corner of that smile, and even though her face was several inches from Gansey, some of it still spilled out and got on him.”

And when Gansey and Blue are watching the magic made by Henry’s magical device, the RoboBee:

“As they watched it together, Gansey opened up his overcoat and tucked Blue inside it with him. This, too, was a weird and specific magic, the ease of it, the warmth of him around her, his heartbeat thumping against her back.”

Gansey, who is only 17, has started to realize that “He wanted the rest of his life.” . . . “He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”

He would never really say this to his friends, or ask them to help him, and yet they do. It has to do with, as Henry explains to Gansey, the concept of jeong. The way Henry explains it is:

“We are friends at once, we would instantly do what friends would do for each other. Not just pals. Friends. Blood brothers. You just feel it. We instead of you and me. That’s jeong.”

The Raven King is what the Raven boys’ friendship is for Blue: Breathtaking, all-powerful, all-consuming and engrossing. Maggie’s ever praised prose is better than ever, it makes you feel everything you have never been able to put into words between all of the character’s arc climax, the creepier and scarier atmosphere throughout the entire book, her ever-present quirky humor, and the larger than life vibe this book is. Its entire more-ness, because that is what it is. More.
The Raven King is more than YA itself, its more than fantasy and its more than The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily Lily Blue ever was. It is the ever so deserved end, carefully wrapped up in a satisfying end that leaves open the possibility of so much more.

Ronan is a sensible, sensible thing. If anything the entire opposite of Blue’s sensible, prudent. No, Ronan feels too much, too hard, and too deep. He wasn’t your YA charismatic bad boy, Ronan was broken and angry, but Ronan craved for love and affection and most especially handing it to others. It had all been so subtle up until that quote, where I put my book down and had to smile to myself for a good ten minutes before I could pick it back up.

Ronan would start wars and burn cities for Adam Parish’s smile. The power of those words hit me like a rock, and no, I didn’t suddenly suspect they would get involved romantically even then.

IT WAS AMAZING.
I will be honest when I say I was half bored and half doing something else when I read this chapter and I missed Ronan leaning in to kiss Adam. Instead, I sat through Adam’s description of a kiss before going back and realizing it was Ronan who had just kissed hi,

I felt my heart stop in joy.
Then tears in my eyes.

THESE BOYS ARE JUST SO BLESSED? I’m NOT OKAY HOLY CHRIST.
Like, let’s just sit back and take a moment to appreciate Maggie didn’t just do this to please all of her LGBT+ readers once and move on? We had three heartfelt kisses between these boys that moved me three times as any interaction between Blue and Gansey could’ve ever. We had several descriptions and accounts for how much they had kissed, and how it felt and the intensity of their feelings.

My feelings are an oil spill. I am so pleased Maggie reached this concussion between her characters, Adam and Ronan did deserve the best. They grew and changed together, this relationship is the one that could feel the most deserved in the entirety of YA.

Shoutout to Blue and Ronan’s friendship. 
This and Ronan trying to dream Blue eye cream in the middle of his life going to shit. I’m so happy to see how their friendship has evolved.

“Gansey asked, “Do you have time to run an errand with us? Do you have work? Homework?”
“No homework. I got suspended,” Blue replied.
“Get the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. “Sargent, you asshole.”
Blue reluctantly allowed him to bump fists with her as Gansey eyed her meaningfully in the rearview mirror.”

And one last shoutout all the way back to The Raven Boys.

“Ronan said, “I’m always straight.”
Adam replied “Oh, man, that’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told.”

THOUGHTS ON HENRY CHENG:

He…. Happens.
And it’s weird.
People love him and I don’t…. Get it.

Henry Cheng is an absolutely useless, diversity pick character who Stiefvater decided to throw in at the end of the series. Oh forgive me, he did give Gansey some life-changing thoughts on beating your fears and like that’s chill; but it feels like something any other character could’ve done if they would’ve been given the right exposition or backstory. Like Ronan or Adam, who are both characters who have been through some shit and could believably have more to their backstory than what we already know.

But why would you add a main character who adds nothing to the story and add around 200 pages of filler about him? Not to mention Gansy and Henry became instant best friends The Toga party was by far one of my favorite scenes simply because of the simplicity of it. It was a break from the creepy and omnious tone to remind us: Yo, they’re still kids js and it was a nice and very welcome addition. The scene that actually made me appreciate Blue and Gansey as a couple too and I had Cheng to thank for that… Now, why couldn’t we leave it at that? Robobee and the dream black market arc was just… Odd. And the way he came in, helped Gansey fight his fear, the robobee acted as a glorified GPS was way too convenient in my opinion. The book could’ve done perfectly without and it was absolutely irrelevant and especially distracting. Especially through the end scenes where he just seemed to be mindlessly following and strutting along while getting… Absolutely nothing.

The worst of it is the fact that Cheng got more spotlight than Noah. A character that was long established in the previous books and that fans were actually curious about his development and what was going on with him. We had a Cheng word vomit in exchange for Noah’s ever-continuing loose ambiguity.

 

My rating: 4.75/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐.75

Blue Lily, Lily Blue ( The Raven Cycle #3 ) by Maggie Stiefvater Review.

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Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: 21st October 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Amazon

Synopsis:

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Review:

When I finished The Dream Thieves I never expected that Blue Lily, Lily Blue would suck me into the plot so much. Oh boy, what a journey this book has been! I wish that the previous book would have been that great and now I really hope that The Raven King won’t disappoint me, but here we go.

“There was something unfamiliar about him. Something ferocious about his eyes, some sort of bite in his faint smile. Something altogether hectic and unsettled. She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge.”

 

I have mixed feelings for this one though. I mean, it was okay-ish for me, but definitely, the third book in the series could do much better than being the “filler” book in the series. I felt like there wasn’t much happening in the book and it dragged on, relentlessly. The first chunk of the book was interesting because I was once again invited into the familiar setting of the books and I really, genuinely, wanted to know why Maura disappeared. However, the search for Maura was slightly tiresome to read and I really had to sludge through the middle of the book, which fell a bit flat, for my liking. Thankfully, things did pick up in the end and there was the whole grand ending of the book that did set up the finale of the series in The Raven King.

“There is no good word for the opposite of lonesome.
One might be tempted to suggest togetherness or contentment , but the fact that these two other words bear definitions unrelated to each other perfectly displays why lonesome cannot be properly mirrored. It does not mean solitude, nor alone, nor lonely, although lonesome can contain all of those words in itself.
Lonesome means a state of being apart. Of being other. Alone-some.”

 

Blue Lily, Lily Blue was more emotional than all the other books. By now, we know the characters and how they used to be, but this book changed a lot and went deeper with everything. It slowly builds towards the big showdown, the final revelation of what we expected to happen since book 1.

As for the characters in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Maggie Stiefvater never fails to impress me with the way she gets into her characters’ heads and express all their doubts, feelings and insecurities for the readers to interpret. I did appreciate the slight romance between Blue and Gansey. Three cheers for Bluesey, guys! It happened. Sort of. But it wasn’t enough. It took three books to get the shipping out of the docks. Maggie Stiefvater, I really hope there’s more of Bluesey in The Raven King or else I would combust.

“How unfair she’d been to assume love and money would preclude pain and hardship.”

Another issue I had with this book was the absence of Noah and Ronan. I understand that the latter had the entire book focused on him (The Dream Thieves) but I really wanted Maggie Stiefvater to give him a bigger arc, romance-wise, after the revelation of his sexual preference in the previous book. I needed more Ronan. I really hope the tiny sparks between him and Adam would burst into fireworks in the final installment of the series. Great play with the hand lotion, by the way, Ronan. You playa.

“Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”

There were some baddies introduced in this book, like Greenmantle, the Gray Man’s former employer who disguises himself as the boys’ new Latin teacher and his eccentric, smart-mouthed wife who reminded me of that evil blonde in 22 Jump Street – Channing Tatum though – which were a good addition to the storyline.

Like, finally some progress of being a step closer to finding Glendower! Or that Adam has enough of being his old self and Ronan of doing something good with his dream power. Gansey showed some vulnerability as well and doesn’t seem to be this perfect, polished guy anymore. He is still the obvious leader of the group, but something raw starts to show through. Which for me, is character development and less boring than having Gansey from books 1 and 2.

“They regarded each other. Adam fair and cautious, Ronan dark and incendiary. This was Ronan at his most truthful.”

Also, finally, there is some attention to Blue’s character and her power. Everything seemed far more interesting this time around. There are new characters (funny ones!!), new locations, more in-depth moments. I’m starting to repeat myself, but woah, just so much happened that makes me happy (and sad?!).

Sadly, I didn’t enjoy Blue Lily, Lily Blue as much as I hoped. I really wanted to love this one but I wasn’t blown away. It didn’t surprise me with the same spark like the previous two books had and I just wanted things to piece together so I can finally see the gang awaken Glendower. Though I might have had some issues with Blue Lily, Lily Blue, it did succeed in getting me excited for The Raven King.

I can’t mention it enough, but the story moved forward and I’m so excited about this! I can’t wait to read The Raven King, because I’m psyched!

My rating: 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The Dream Thieves ( The Raven Cycle #2 ) by Maggie Stiefvater Review.

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Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: 17th September 2013

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Amazon

Synopsis:

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Review:

OH MY GOD!!!

I don’t know how to write this review.

This seems really dramatic because I get the feeling that this feeling is going to be even worse with Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I’m draining all my “ohhhhh my god” energy early, but still.

I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO SAY, LET’S SEE IF I CAN KEEP IT COMPREHENSIBLE.

So much of this book is character-driven instead of plot, which sucks for people who love plot BUT GREAT FOR READERS LIKE ME who don’t even pretend to give a damn about plot and are 100% here for the characters. Honestly, if you asked me what progressed in terms of the Glendower plotline, I would find it very difficult to give you a straightforward answer. I don’t even know what went down with Cabeswater to be honest, except somehow it’s inside of Adam??? I think??? One thing I definitely did not like about this book though was that the boys (and Blue) spent a significant amount of time separated from one another. Noah is absent for a good chunk of the book due to his ghostliness, but Gansey and Adam spent a bit of time in Washington and we’re left with Ronan and his brothers (bless Matthew though) or even worse, Ronan and Kavinsky. I AM NOT HERE FOR THESE BOYS BEING SEPARATED. I mean don’t get me wrong it’s great to see them break off a little bit for some individual character growth, BUT I NEED THEM TOGETHER AT LEAST 90% OF THE TIME. So much of what I love about them is their dynamic between each other as a group and I don’t like being deprived of that. I do have a note about Kavinsky though, which is ??????? I don’t understand his role and why he was so much in this book and why we had more of him than Noah, an actual Raven boy. Okay, so he’s Ronan’s guide-person regarding his dream-thieving but couldn’t that have been done by like, a ghost of Niall Lynch or something. Like what is the point of Kavinsky (who has the same name as Peter Kavinsky, which is annoying because that Kavinsky is SO MUCH BETTER).

Okay, I think I’m going to do this Raven boy by Raven Boy. Let’s start with Noah.

Noah is absent for a good part of this book, which is probably-almost-definitely due to the whole “where did Cabeswater go” thing. Which I definitely wasn’t paying close enough attention to as I probably should have, but anyway. He’s a ghost and is not subject to the same corporeal rules as the rest of us. What I do want to talk about though is his amazing interactions with Blue in this book!!

“Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.”

I wish I had friends I could practice making out with. They’re not even a couple to be shipped but I am 100000% here for their friendship alone. The rest of them could all leave but if I were left with Noah and Blue as friends for all eternity, I could be okay with it!! It’s a precious thing between the two of them because Noah is so much more present when Blue is around. She needs to be there in order for his other relationships to grow stronger. Which only makes their relationship grow stronger. I love it so much. Also, I missed Noah a lot in this book, but tragically didn’t even notice until he reappeared later, because I’m the worst.

Ronan. I am still not as obsessed with Ronan as I feel I could be. I think if I were to read this book a second or third time, I would be. Based upon my experience rereading The Raven Boys, I definitely liked him more the second time around. Part of it is because of his particular plotline in this book I think. I didn’t like the parts about Kavinsky, I didn’t like him being separated from the boys. My heart continually broke throughout the whole story when it came to his mother and how he was banned from seeing her or stepping foot in his childhood home. I just felt for his whole life, and his whole family, you know? And, because I can’t stand the idea of not knowing something even though I desperately craves going into something spoiler-free, I read the epilogue and also his Wiki page, which I didn’t really want to do but I think helped me connect with him more and feel more sympathetic to his plight.

Adam was… Weird, again in this book. Maggie foreshadowed pretty well he was no longer the same person, after all, he just sacrificed a part of himself during the Raven Boys and honestly, it was great. It was a good weird, it was well done and very interesting seeing Adam coping and slowly changing as Cabeswater lived inside of him.

Now here’s the thing though— I really thought Adam was going to become a bad guy. Like I said, I could recognize his struggle and his change, his obvious moodiness and the constant fights with Gansey were at least deeper and complex (added to the ones I absolutely loathed where he’d reproach Gansey trying to be a good friend, even when it turned out it wasn’t even Gansey’s doing)… But I thought he was changing for the worst. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I was enjoying it nonetheless, but I’ll have to charge myself guilty for actually thinking this was going to be the way Maggie pushed Adam out of the way to make way for King Gansey of all things good for Blue.

I was so pleasantly surprised she didn’t and that instead, it was simply a complex battle inside of Adam to figure out who he is like identity is a recurring theme in TCR books, and what Cabeswater and the Raven boys now meant to him, finally independent, finally his own person, finally away from his abusers. For someone who complains about being spoonfed my feelings so much in your average YA formula, I am sadly guilty of really thinking —and kind of looking forwards— Maggie was heading down this path. In the end, I’m just blessed she changed my mind.

One more time though, I had to find myself enjoying Adam more through the eyes of Ronan. Their interactions bless me.

Gansey and Blue can share a paragraph because I think a lot of what happens to both of them in this book is in regards to the other. In The Raven Boys when we weren’t entirely sure that Gansey was Blue’s true love, I was really voting for it to be Adam. Not that I wanted him to die, but I desperately wanted him and Blue to stay together, even if they could never kiss. In The Dream Thieves it’s not even a question but solely exists as fact that Gansey is The One. Which is not surprising, but a little disappointing. On the other hand, though, I thought it was precious when Gansey argued with himself about how he shouldn’t like Blue but was losing the battle. I think he also wanted Adam to be able to have her, but his connection to her was just too strong. I’m glad she finally came out with the truth because then Adam could begin to heal and move on to his next love interest that I definitely don’t know the identity of. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t upset with her for still hurting him after doing so. One of the worst parts was when he called her his girlfriend, and I heard my heart shatter because I knew Blue hadn’t thought of him that way for a while – or like, ever maybe. She was stringing him along and he was innocently following! Because he is a puppy and JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK.

But the sensible part of Blue, which was usually the only part of her, thought that had more to do with Richard Campbell Gansey III having a nice mouth than with any blossoming romance. Anyway, if fate thought it would tell her who to fall for, fate had another thing coming.

Gansey added, “I would’ve thought you had more muscles. Don’t feminists have big muscles?”
Decidedly not in love with him.

In fact, while the entire Adam and Blue dynamic developed in this book and the previous book, I was sort of waiting situations where Gansey and Blue found themselves interacting alone and to find a slow connection brewing between them. Because it’s there, and it exists, but it bothered me the fact I barely got any sort of interaction between them on that regard until After Blue broke up with Adam, supposedly because she, at last, acknowledged her feelings for Gansey but I had no reason to believe she suddenly had a crush on this man she’s barely interacted with.
I found the aforementioned quote to be adorable and endearing, and especially believable. While I know this paragraph doesn’t actually mean Blue dislikes Gansey, there is nothing that would make me think this girl has anything remotely close to a crush when in the next paragraphs go something like this:

Adam allowed Blue into their circle as well, his eyes meeting hers for a moment.

I’m picking this one, Fate, she thought ferociously. Not Richard Gansey III. You can’t tell me what to do.

I’m sorry, but to then be met with this halfway through the book:

As they baked in the sunlight, she let herself think it:
I have a crush on Richard Gansey.”

 

I liked the involvement of Blue’s family, though. I’m super-appreciative that Neeve has gone, although I have a suspicion she’ll be back sooner rather than later. I didn’t wholly understand the tarot cards thing and the Gray Man thing, but I’m hoping that won’t be too much of an issue. I picked up enough and I’m sure that will be fine. I like him and his perspective a whole lot more than Barrington Whelk, so I am grateful for that. I think his relationship with Maura is a little weird, though. I actually find myself looking forward to his role in the next book, so I expect to have my feelings for him evolve.

The writing in this book is stunning once again, and I am in awe of Maggie Stiefvater’s talent. Contemporary is not a favorite genre of mine, but fantasy is, so it’s a little bit of a mash-up that could have turned out to be something average, but it definitely isn’t and I commend her for that. There’s a lovely balance between the two and her selection of words and their placement together is like a melodic stabbing to my heart – but like, in a good way in which I thank her.

Her craftsmanship of these characters is phenomenal, and they’re all so hashed-out with the perfect amount of detail that makes you instantly feel a connection to them. Even though he’s not my favorite (although he is growing on me), I love the way Maggie has created Gansey, and all the different layers of the boy he is. I love that Blue can look at him and see the different personas just because his face twitched or he glanced at one of his friends. There are so many different layers to this boy and I am just itching to know all about them. He’s such a mom character and he wants everyone to be comfortable and happy, and he knows he can provide that if only they would all listen. He has this outpouring of love but they all seem reluctant to take it based upon their own personal battles, which makes him struggle with it all piling up inside of him.

cannot wait to read the next book. I do want to know more about the Glendower search, so hopefully, the next book has a bit more and I can convince myself to pay more attention I’m not sure that will happen, but I’ll try. This is such a wonderful series. I am so grateful to exist in a world where my path can cross with it.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater Review.

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Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: 18th September 2012

Genre: Paranormal

Source: Amazon

Synopsis: 

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them-not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Review:

THIS BOOK IS MIRACULOUS.

I have to admit, I was skeptical of all the hype around the series at the beginning. But it literally took me seven chapters to fall in love with the storyline and the characters. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to be a fan of the multiple perspectives, but it was very well done and it really added to the story.

The storyline itself is so encapsulating that it definitely has power over me. I’m all ready to go out and get the rest of the series, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. There was a mix of comedy and seriousness in this novel, and it was perfect for me.

“We have to be back in three hours,” Ronan said. “I just fed Chainsaw but she’ll need it again.”

“This,” Gansey replied, “is precisely why I didn’t want to have a baby with you.”

This story is mainly built on its characters, and boy did they not disappoint. The ending of the novel had me wondering how in the world did they get from the rich and powerful raven boys to the cold and broken raven boys. I’m honestly in love with every one of the characters.

I highly recommend this, the hype is real guys. Overall 4/5 stars. I love being a part of this fandom.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

 

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin Review.

Serpent & Dove

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: 3rd September 2019

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Source: Amazon

SYNOPSIS:

Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. Book one of a stunning fantasy duology, this tale of witchcraft and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Sara Holland.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

Set in a world of powerful women, dark magic, and off-the-charts romance, book one of this stunning fantasy duology will leave readers burning for more.

REVIEW:

THIS BOOK IS 528 PAGES OF PURE AMAZINGNESS!

We read in two perspectives, a witch and a witch hunter. We have one of my favorite enemies-to-lovers tropes. I picked it up on a complete whim during tome topple, because the premise of a witch and a witch hunter being forced into holy matrimony sounded too good to pass up. Nothing makes me happier than enemies to lovers romance either. A good one at that. But to say Serpent & Dove was merely a ‘good’ enemies to lovers romance undermines all that is special about this debut.

This book really lives up to its hype and then some. As someone who is a slower reader and is easily distracted, I read this 500 something page book in a few days. A feat that may usually take me a week. Which is a testament to what a great story I thought this book was? I was seriously on the edge of my seat. Itching for more and more breadcrumbs that Shelby Mahurin was giving me every time Lou and Reid so much as breathed in the same room.

This story is set in Cesarine, a french inspired city that also feels Victorian-y, partially because of the medieval views on women. To be a witch in the city of Cesarine is a death wish, as The Archbishop and the church (and by extension the Chasseurs aka witch hunters) are the pillar of this city. Anyone found guilty of using or being associated with magic and witches risk being burned at the stake by the church.

“Wicked are the ways of women—and especially a witch. Their guile knows no bounds.”

Personally, I really loved the setting and thought it complimented the story incredibly well. I have the benefit of not being historical buff, so any inaccuracies just happily go over my head.

I just adored Lou AND Reid as individuals. I’ve capitalized the ‘and’ here because often the F/M characters in romances can feel very… one-sided for me. By this I mean I often adore the female character and feel a bit lukewarm towards the male character. Serpent & Dove is the exception to this because I enjoyed both Lou and Reid’s perspectives immensely.

Although… I still marginally enjoyed Lou’s perspective more in this story. I think anyone who has read (and probably enjoyed) this story will agree that she just shines off the page. More so, she is just so much damn fun. On a relentless quest to live, Lou is uninhibited by social constraints. I loved her foul-mouth and wild spirit. Seriously, she scales rooftops, robs aristocrats, wears disguises, and gets into brawls. She’s also gifted with magic, completely unbeknownst to Reid when they marry. But she’s forsaken magic in order to remain hidden. I love her arc and figuring out just who Lou was hiding from kept me turning the pages.

“I didn’t want a husband. Didn’t want to be shackled to anyone in marriage, especially someone as stiff and self-righteous as this Chasseur.”

Where Lou is crass and unrestrained, Reid is a civilized and proper man of society. He needs to be as a Chasseur, a holy man dedicated to the Church and to eradicating the witches tormenting his city. Upon meeting Lou, Reid immediately detests her because of her loud and unapologetic ways, and for not acting like a proper lady of society. Their differences make for the best banter and it just helped to fuel their romance. He soon learns that he can’t control Lou, which makes this story all the better because Lou refuses to sit down and listen to anyone, especially Reid.

“Now move, or I swear to God, I will strip naked right here and dance the bourree!”
I thrust my hands on my hips and looked at him expectantly.
He didn’t even glance at the people around us.
Instead, he kept his eyes trained on mine, a slow smirk spreading across his face.
“Do it.”

I loved how Reid had a gradual arc of coming to love and accept Lou, not wanting her to conform, as they became closer and more intimate. Despite the fact that he’s a witch hunter with abhorrent views on magic, he isn’t the obvious ‘bad guy’ in this story that I anticipated he might be. I thought that a lot of the characters here existed in grey areas and I enjoyed them all the more for it.

Oh and the romance I keep mentioning? Well, I think the best should be left unsaid. The excitement of how Lou and Reid meet and the circumstances they find themselves needing to marry one another was so much fun. There’s that word again… FUN! Also, the Nina and Matthias feel are strong here. The dynamics are pretty similar – Lou being the witch and Reid the witch hunter. But this story is definitely unique in its own right. But if you’re having Nina and Matthias withdrawals… you’re just going to love this. Also, this is story isn’t strictly a young adult. There are steamy scenes (very minimal). Much to my surprise and approval. Not going lie, I loved it. Just as much as I love the one-bed trope, which naturally makes an appearance… 😉

I loved the unique magic system Shelby Mahurin has created for her world here and seeing the ways different types of witches wield magic. I think I only picked up on two types of witches – blood and… whatever Lou is. I’d be interested if there were more in the forthcoming books, but would nevertheless still be happy just to see Lou wield more of her own magic.

I do think this is a story largely driven by the romance. So I’d be more inclined to recommend it to readers who want to read a fantasy/paranormal romance. Because this book could seriously be your next favorite.

“I loved her. Despite everything. Despite the lies, the betrayal, the hurt. Despite the Archbishop and Morgane le Blanc. Despite my own brothers. I don’t know if she returned that love, and I didn’t care. If she was destined to burn in Hell, I would burn with her.”

My rating: 5/5 stars. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lord of Shadows ( The Dark Artifices ) by Cassandra Clare Review & Recap.

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 22nd May 2018

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Source: Public Stores

Lord of Shadows was amazing. I loved it so much more than Lady Midnight, I’m so invested in the storyline and the characters ( my blackthorn babies )…I’m so glad I decided to get the paperback edition so I would be able to buy Queen of Air and Darkness also. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Cassandra Clare’s books is how layered they are. The first time you read them, they’re just pure entertainment. You laugh, you cry, you sit on the edge of your seat, and you occasionally set the book down so that you can take a moment to compose yourself. But the best part is that once it’s over, you cannot stop thinking about it. Whether you’re coming up wit crazy theories, scouring the book for references to Cassie’s other series, or just calmly reflecting on all the philosophical questions ad subtle references to the real world issues contained within the 700 pages you just read. Or maybe that last one’s just me.

Lord of Shadows was no exception to this rule. In this second installment of the Dark Artifices trilogy, Cassandra Clare wove together a beautiful masterpiece that continued the story laid out in Lady Midnight, set up the upcoming The Last Hours series, and stood out on its own at the same time. Diehard fans will not be disappointed.

This is the biggest book Cassandra Clare has written yet, but it doesn’t read like it. The plot is engaging, the characters are as dynamic as ever, and the appearances of characters from other Shadowhunter series are exciting without taking away from the story. It’s the kind of book you can’t stop reading, partly because you want answers to all your questions, and partly because you don’t want to leave the world.

In other words, Lord of Shadows is a typical Shadowhunter novel, except a bit darker, and a bit more daring. It’s similar enough to the other books to satisfy long term fans, but different enough to keep everything new and interesting. If you’re a fan of Cassandra Clare’s writing, I don’t know why you wouldn’t pick it up.

The book begins with Kit trying to steal the Shadowhunter bling. Jace shows up and is like, nah dude you’re a Herondale.

Emma, Julian, and co are at the pier fighting sea monsters. There is romantic tension and ichor everywhere. Emma is pretending to date Mark and Julian is not a fan. They are summoned back to the Institute where they discuss sea monsters and secret missions with Clary and Jace. Clary secretly tells Emma she’s had visions of herself dying, so she can’t agree to marry Jace. Excuse me?? ( I’m so shocked but I understand where Clary is coming from).

Julian and Kit go to the Shadow Market to find something for Arthur’s faerie-induced madness. It doesn’t go well for anyone. Meanwhile, the others explore the burnt-out warlock Malcom’s house, where they find a faerie glove and a tentacle. It’s probably important.

The Centurions arrive at the Institute to “take care of the sea demons” like Julian and Emma need their help! Perfect Diego has a secret fiancé! Rude! Ty think Zara and the Centurions are up to something (samesies) and makes a tentative peace with Kit so he will stop trying to run off.

Despite Emma trying desperately to keep away from Julian, the two of them make out in a storm and it’s beautiful. The leader of the Wild Hunt shows up and wants Mark to rescue Kieran who has been sentenced to death. Everyone says NO WAY but Mark sneaks off to do just that. Emma, Julian, and Christina follow him to the Unseelie court. They find Kieran and demand he be freed. The Lord of Shadows aka the faerie king himself allows Emma to fight his best warrior in one-on-one combat for Kieran’s life. She wins even though the fairies have tricked her into seeing her dead father’s face on the other warrior. ( For a moment I thought that Cassie’s was making her father to be alive all this time and being captive by the Unseelie King. THANK GOD it was just a glamour ). Chaos ensues but they escape with some help from the Seelie court.

Back in the human world, Ty, Livvy, and Kit overhear Zara’s plans to overtake the LA Institute. Sea demons attack and a waterlogged (not dead!) Malcom shows up demanding Blackthorn blood. Diana spirits the kids away to London but Arthur stays behind.

In the Seelie court, the queen shows Julian a vision of Arthur sacrificing himself to Malcom who then promptly resurrects Annabel. Annabel straight-up stabs Malcom. He dies for real. After they watch this gruesome scene, the queen tells Julian of a way to end the parabatai bond (so love can prevail!). The queen also bargains that if they bring her the Book of the Dead, she’ll help them against the Unseelie King. Julian, Mark, Emma, Christina, and Kieran (my fab 5) fly away from Faerie land on some awesome Wild Hunt horses.

Everyone is reunited in London. But they quickly part for further adventures and/or detective work. Julian and Emma head to Malcom’s old house. Cristina has to stay behind because she has been bound to Mark through a Faerie prank. Kieren isn’t into it. Or is he?? Diana is off to Idris to barter for warm peace. Ty, Livvy, and Kit head to investigate Blackthorn Hall.

At Malcom’s old house, Julian and Emma discover sketches by Annabel and Malcom’s old diaries. Annabel appears and tells Julian the Unseelie king gave Malcom the ability to raise her. She’s not happy about it and no, Julian can’t have the book. J&E (Jemma? Carhorns? What is their ship name?) capture some piskies to find out where she went- Porthollow Church. But it’s a trap! They battle a blood demon. There’s more blood everywhere.

At Blackthorn Hall, the kids discover a memory stone. They go to the Shadow Market and a warlock named Shade shows them how to reveal memories of Annabel, tortured for loving Malcom. The Downworlders attack them but Magnus shows up and saves them (YAY MAGNUS!). Livvy is injured but they escape and she is healed. Alec and the kiddos (aww) are at the London Institute and together they research all the things.

Cristina and Kieran and Mark have a moment. We get major 3some vibes (later Emma calls this “sexy weirdness” cuz she is getting the vibes too). Kiernan goes to meet with this brother and kills his other brother. It’s not good even though that guy was such a jerk. Kieran learns that the Unseelie King has sent the 7 Riders of Mannan after them all. Danger!!!

The kids fight off the Riders- Gwen (of the Wild Hunt) and Diana (they’re sort of dating, it’s adorable) show up to help and they escape. Meanwhile J&E fight off the other half of the Riders and Emma kills one with Cortana. It seems important and mysterious. High on feelings, Emma and Julian confess they still love each other and things get STEAMY. Julian reveals that the Seelie queen said there was a way to break the parabatai bond but it would break ALL the parabatai bonds and they can’t do that!

Back at the London Institute, Dru discovers Jamie lurking around. She arranges a meeting between him and Cristina and he says she has a secret artifact that might allow passage to Faerie. Dru has a weird trip to Faerie picking up a stone in Jamie’s bag.

In Idris, Diana confesses she is transgender to Gwen. He’s totally cool with it. They have a hot date but discover an anti-Shadowhunter blight taking over the land.

Everyone is reunited back at the London Institute. The Unseelie King is accidentally called on some sort of supernatural telephone and gives Kieren his memories back. Kieren is pissed and thinks Mark has been using him this whole time. Julian real-talks with Magnus who says he and Emma should take their love problem to the High Inquisitor aka Alec’s dad.

The Riders show up at the Institute and a battle ensues. Our fave Shadowhunters are nearly beat when Annabel appears and threatens to tell everyone the Unseelie King’s name. The Riders disperse. Annabel demands an audience with Julian. The two of them hatch a deal and everyone portals to Alicante in Idris.

Magnus falls ill before Annabel’s testimony begins and it all goes downhill from there. Zara and her hate friends throw stuff at Annabel as she is forced to testify with the Mortal Sword. She gets upset and kills the Inquisitor with the sword (poor Alec!). A fight breaks out and Emma’s sword Cortana breaks the Mortal Sword. Enraged, Annabel kills Livvy. The books end with ALL OF MY TEARS.

My rating is 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Anti-Virginity Pact by Katie Wismer Review (ARC).

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Publisher: Ahimsa Press

Publication Date: 16t June 2020

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Source: ARC provided by NetGalley

I’m speechless. Being someone who does not gravitate towards YA contemporary, my main goal for pursuing an advanced copy of this book was to support the author, but I was immediately blown away by how emotional I found this story to be. The book hooks you right in the beginning. As you go through the story you are enthralled by a lot of what is going on, but you very much stay for the story, not anything deeper. Despite the average rating of this book I read the synopsis and instantly knew I wanted to read it. Katie manages to spin a well-written and important story about a teenage girl that struggles not only to live her identity as an atheist in a Christian family but is also a social outcast in her high school. She’s known as Mute Mare because she’s learned early on in Bible studies that expressing her own viewpoints can get her into trouble quite quickly. That being said, I like how The Anti-Virginity Pact deals with Jo and Mare’s attempt to finally making ‘the best’ of their high school experience. Just because one thing in your life is absolutely terrible it doesn’t mean you can fix that with diving headfirst into Mission Lose Your Virginity. It proves that your life’s going to be a struggle in many ways. This story has so many ups and downs and I felt every single one of them in my heart. All in all, a wonderful story that kept me guessing and screaming and crying. I look forward to purchasing this book when it comes out in print, and I do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and thrilling read that is as important as it is fun.

My rating is 4/5 stars.