I'll Give You The Sun By Jandy Nelson Review | First Favorite Of 2017

I'll Give You The Sun | Jandy Nelson
Release Date: September 16, 2014 | Dial Books
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Pages: 371
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell.

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. 

The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

* Wipes Dust Off Of Laptop *

I can't believe it's been five months since I've been here . . five whole months since I've shared my thoughts with you all. Has it really been that long though? Probably so. I lost count after month three, and after many failed attempts at reviewing, I sat myself down and said " Listen sis, it'll happen when it happens. Don't push it, don't rush it, " and well, here we are. Months after the fact, but still.

 As some of you know, I landed a really cool job working as a Technical Support Advisor for Apple. It was such an exciting life change for me, and while I love the holy shit out of my job, I never thought about how mentally challenging this position would actually be. Juggling work, raising my little monster, a social life, and any other things adulting throws at me, kinda knocked blogging off kilter and pathetically, I've been struggling to bounce back ever since. But the right book came in at justtttt the right time, pulling me off my ass and throwing me back into the world of blogging.

I hope you scoundrels have missed me. 😉

A monster of feels. Have you ever loved a book so much, that you have too many words and not enough all at the same time? It's definitely something that's hard to explain, but in short, this story was beyond just fiction for me. It felt more so like I was watching old VHS tapes of my own past experiences. So much hit so close to home and in some instances, the line between this book and my life melted together, becoming one big ball of emotions.

I'll Give You The Sun follows Noah and Jude, the moon and the sun as I like to call them, as they navigate life in their teenage years. The story has quite an interesting timeline in which the events are told, a dual point of view with Noah covering the past, and Jude the present. With Noah and Jude being twins, this perspective worked to build not only their development as individuals, but their dynamic as siblings as well, but even that wasn't what knocked me off of my feet.

The writing, lawd it had to be one of the best I've ever read in YA. I'm not exactly sure if it would be considered magical realism, but it was enchanting nonetheless, making the book nearly impossible to put down. The author had such an unconventional way of describing things, such a quirky style that I fell in love with from the very beginning. 

He floated into the air high above the sleeping forest, his green hat spinning a few feet above his head. In his hand was the open suitcase, and out of it spilled a whole sky of stars. 

Jandy's writing style evoked so many different emotions from me. Within one chapter, I was either cheesing like a mad fool, sighing because I was just so freaking satisfied, or sobbing uncontrollably. You just never knew how you would feel as the story progressed and if the author's goal was to create something that was loaded with feels, she most certainly nailed it. Speaking of feels, I don't think I've ever really felt an emotional connection towards characters like I did with the twins. Noah was my precious baby, Jude my fierce little beast. They were like night and day but miraculously ended up being one in the same, two fragile individuals suffering from a loss and so much more.

Reading I'll Give You The Sun, helped me to see so much of myself in the twins. The way our main characters dealt with their life-changing moment, sort of mirrored my own experience with losing my brother. I was so angry that I didn't get to properly say goodbye, felt this strange guilt in regards to the fact that maybe, maybe I could've spent a little more time with him, (death is just so fucking unexpected) and just heartbroken af that I lost my only sibling in the first place. While our tragedies weren't completely similar, I was still able to relate to these fictional human beings, and that in itself is the greatest thing an author can give.

If this title isn't on your TBR list for this year, you seriously need to add it. I'll Give You The Sun delivers in all aspects with its heartwarming story. The message of death, grief, guilt, sexuality, and most important of all, family, packs a powerful punch. It also brilliantly showcases unexpected friendships and relationships built with the most peculiar, most unforgettable characters ever. My love for this book is oh so real.


Swear On This Life By Renee Carlino ARC Review | When Everyone Loves It But You.

Swear On This Life | Renee Carlino
Release Date: August. 9, 2016 | Atria Books
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

I have a list of authors, (not literally) that always appear on my " ooothissoundsgoodmaybei'llreadit " radar, yet I never pick up their titles. Renee Carlino is definitely one of them. Even though I purchased Sweet Thing some odd months ago, it's still sitting on my kindle waiting to be read, but honestly, I have zero motivation to actually do so. I'm sure it was a cover buy, (like most of my book purchases) but since I spent my coin, I might as well just read it right? Right would be right of course, but like I said, something about Renee just doesn't stand out to me, and Swear On This Life kind of proved that I'm not missing out on much . .

Well, sort of. 


It's 2016, where's the option to swap out characters technology? Have you ever read a book where you absolutely despised the main character? Not only can you not connect with them on any type of level, but their presence alone makes you want to pull your hair out, (no scratch that) makes you want to gouge out your eyeballs and make a character killing potion Harry Potter style? That was me reading Swear On This Life. I didn't exactly hate our main character Emiline or anything, it's just that reading from her perspective was the most agonizing thing in the world. In this story, we follow little Ms.Emmy, our aspiring writer MC. She's an adjunct writing instructor at a university, an avid runner, and . . . okay yeah, that's pretty much it as far as interesting goes. The problem that I had with Emmy, was that she read so juvenile. She was in her mid 20's, so around my age, yet if you didn't tell me this was new adult, I would've easily mistaken her for a 15-year-old. Like guys, the immaturity level was on 1000. It wasn't just difficult for me to like just her either. Her boyfriend, her roommate, most of the supporting characters, just didn't do anything for me. I kept reading in hopes that I would connect with someone, literally anyone, that moment never came, unfortunately.

Books Within Books FTW. As readers, we can all appreciate a book with a cool concept, especially when it's executed well, which happened to be the saving grace for Swear On This Life. While I wasn't feeling the characters and felt the writing wasn't on the level that I expected, I certainly was able to appreciate the fact that the author decided to step outside the box a bit by giving us two books in one. Yes I said it, this story includes not one, but two stories weaved together flawlessly. What would normally be considered flashbacks of Emiline's past life was told in her perspective, yet fictionally, in the bestselling title All The Roads Between by J.Colby. While I enjoyed reading about her past, especially with it showcased as an entirely different story, I do wish that we were able to get to know Emmy through the eyes of Jason. Think about it. A handsome and very important guy from your past writes an entire novel about you. Instead of him writing the story in the perspective of yourself, you get to read it in his, to see what he thought of you, what he saw when he looked at you -- all of his emotions towards you, just in the form of a fictional, (but not fictional) story. I don't know about ya'll, but I'd melt faster than a mcflurry on a hot summer day. That would've been such a hit for me, and I'm sure I would've been able to see Emmy as an entirely different character. I maybe would've liked her, but nope, it didn't go down that way. Bummer.

While I didn't go into this with many expectations, I still dived in with the hopes that I would be blown away. Most of my friends, especially my fellow new adult lovers, have raved about this book, and yet I sit here, bored as ever, clinging to the fact that the only thing I really liked was the concept. This story isn't a bad read, oh no, nothing close to that, but I had no connection to it whatsoever. Like It Ends With Us, it taps into the topic of abuse, both mentally and physically, yet I couldn't find it within myself to feel any sensitivity towards the characters involved. Like always, I'll forever enjoy books with controversial or tough content, I just need a little bit more substance to help support it, something Swear On This Life failed to do for me.


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It Ends With Us By Colleen Hoover ARC Review + GIVEAWAY | Queen Of The Feels.

It Ends With Us |  Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 2, 2016  | Atria Books
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

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Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most. 

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. 

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. 

Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

 If you're apart of this community and don't know who Colleen Hoover is, riddle me this: What have you been doing with your life? Colleen, " CoHo " for those of us who think we're her best friend, is one of new adult's top authors, delivering popular titles such as my personal favorite, Ugly Love, Maybe Someday, November 9, and much more. She's known for creating unforgettable characters with dynamic relationships, as well as her gutsy twists that are sure to pull a heartstring or two, but does this mean that some of her books aren't a miss for me? Certainly not. While I absolutely loved UL, I DNF'd Slammed just after 30%, and after finishing off Maybe Someday a few months ago, I felt a bit indifferent about it. After being a little letdown, I figured that maybe the invisible author didn't quite have the " Midas touch " as I initially thought . .

and then I was struck by It Ends With Us


Buzzworthy. Being Traumatized by Zenith's hype and it's failed attempt to live up to it had me so freaking hesitant to start another popular title. The hype around Colleen's titles are always at an all-time high, but it seemed like the buzz was on fire when it came to her new upcoming release. Tons of reviews swarmed in with high praises deeming this, " Her Best Book Yet, " which talking CoHo language basically means " this shit slays harder than Beyonce's edges, " which is definitely a whole lot of shoe to fill. I tried to go in with a neutral mindset, but by the time I started I was way too excited, (like I just seen Zayn Malik naked excited), and unsurprisingly my expectation level had reached 1000. Now you guys know I have to keep it real, so I'll be one of the first to admit that this story isn't without flaws, but not only did Colleen close this book out with such finesse, she managed to deliver a genuine, gut-wrenching, eye-opening message, that is beyond important for women but young and old to receive.

Going into this story blind definitely worked into my favor. I had zero idea as to what the story was even about, only that I wanted to love it, and for the most part I did. After the end of the first chapter, I noticed that CoHo took a completely different approach with the concept this time around. It has a very ' heavy ' vibe to it, so going from Maybe Someday, (a cutesy title IMO) to something slightly darker, was for me, a very nice change. In this novel, the story follows Lily Bloom, as she navigates life as a normal 24-year-old. She moves to Boston, meets this older guy, (gross) a neurosurgeon by the name of Ryle. She hits it off with pretty well, things move into high gear at a pretty fast pace, (including the relationship. I need to buy her a ' slow-the-hell-down button ') flashbacks are told, cute boy from the past makes his debut, and there, right freaking there, is where shit goes from, " oh, this is kinda cute and annoying, " to " oh fuck what is going down?! "

For some odd reason, I never cared too much for the leading females in Colleen's books. I would like them of course, but not enough to say, " wow I really enjoyed reading about this character, " however, Lily was completely different for me. First of all, she was quirky as hell, which I absolutely adored. She read alot like how I picture Colleen to be, strong, feisty, clumsy, and incredibly hilarious, with a vibe that in real life, I'd be able to connect to. I also enjoyed how flawed she was, how all of them were actually. Ryle was funny, annoying in a cute way, arrogant, and hella ambitious, yet he had a dark side to him no one expected to be brought to light. (Not even me ya'll) Then there's my favorite Atlas, a guy from Lily's past who proved to be the sweetest fictional guy I've ever read about. The dynamics between these leading characters are strong, which helped to support the concept in many ways.

It's one thing to be blindsided by a concept, but it's another to be blindsided by a concept that packs this much of a punch. If " Queen of the Feels " was an award she was fighting to receive with this story, then dammit it's hers for the taking. Domestic abuse is a topic that has been showcased before in fiction, but never have I ever, (to my knowledge atleast) have read a story where the words are actually memories of the author's. There are scenes in It Ends With Us that aren't fictional, making this the most authentic experience I've ever received.

The most frustrating thing about It Ends With Us is that for me it was super predictable. With this type of concept, I need to be on the edge of my seat, and I was . . sort of, it just was watered down a bit since I was able to guess 95% of the plot and it's twists. This also affected the way I connected with the story as well. I failed to connect emotionally with all of the first half and most of the second, it wasn't until an unexpected plot twist came about, that I truly began to feel. (Code-word for cry FYI.) The last 20% including the author's note had me balling like a baby, so to say Colleen redeemed herself would probably be an understatement.

I've noticed this in some of her previous titles, but for some odd reason, most of her relationships feel so rushed. So many things, life changing things, go down between Lily and Ryle within just a couple of months, and honestly it was the most annoying thing ever. Why can't things happen gradually? It wasn't insta-love, but then again it was? Idk, just trust me when I say, shit hit the fan so quickly, I didn't even have time to smell it before it hit me in the face. Colleen also focused so much time on Lily's relationship with Ryle, that she failed to completely develop Atlas. His backstory is both beautiful and inspiring, I just wish she took the time to give him more of a story line within the plot, instead of sticking him in only when it was convenient.

When it comes to storytelling within the NA genre, Colleen is one of the best, there's absolutely no denying her talent. While I had a few problems with this novel, I couldn't help to appreciate her courageousness for shedding light on a reality that she witnessed first hand. Even with flaws, her poignant message still managed to overshadow it all, giving me a truly unforgettable experience . .

And that is why Colleen and her gutsy novel It Ends With Us deserve every bit of praise it receives. 


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Gemini By Sonya Mukherjee Blog Tour | Spotlight + Giveaway!

Gemini | Sonya Mukherjee
Release Date: July 26th | Simon & Schuster
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 336
Source: Irish Banana Blog Tours

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In a powerful and daring debut novel, Sonya Mukherjee shares the story of sisters Clara and Hailey, conjoined twins who are learning what it means to be truly extraordinary. 

Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Clara and Hailey have lived in the same small town their entire lives—no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence, and they’re slowly becoming more apparent. 

Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sister’s, and figure out what it means to be her own person. Told in alternating perspectives, this unconventional coming-of-age tale shows how dreams can break your heart—but the love between sisters can mend it.

I don't know about you guys, but Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee is one of my most anticipated contemporary reads of this month! I was drawn to not only the cover, (You all know I'm a cover whore HELLO!) but to just how unique the concept actually sounds. Reading about conjoined twins will be a first for me, (A first seeing it showcased in the young adult genre actually. If you know more titles like this, pass me some recs!) and even though I've watched a million and one documentaries on conjoined twins, never have I ever followed their lives within the fictional world, and I'm beyond excited to see what the author has created. I'm already loving her take on the title " Gemini, " a clever way to deliver a story that follows two twin girls that are polar opposites. Let's not forget it's told in my favorite, alternating perspectives. If this doesn't have you guys excited, then you clearly suck . . . just kidding.

Okay I lied, no I'm not.

Anywho, if Gemini has you just as pumped to read it as I am, then try your luck in the giveaway!

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Zenith By Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings | Worth The Hype? I Think Not.

Zenith Part 1 | Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Release Date: June 21st | Mirabel Inc.
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 62?
Edition: Ebook
Source: Borrowed


There is darkness sweeping across the stars.

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness: a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her fearsome glass starship the Maurader, she’s just Andi, their captain, and protector.

When a routine mission goes awry, the all-girl crew’s resilience is tested as they find themselves in a most unfamiliar place: at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter connected to Andi’s past and a harrowing betrayal.

Meanwhile, on the far side of the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The final pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship—or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles towards the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only thing certain is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

From internet sensation Sasha Alsberg and author Lindsay Cummings comes a new serialized space opera, full of action, fantastical intrigue, and steamy star-crossed romance.

For fans of popular sci-fi books and fantasy books for teens such as Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Wool by Hugh Howey, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

I know, I know, it's been about a full month since you guys have heard a peep from me, and I promise I have a solid explanation .

Adulting + (blogging slump) x reading slump = My Situation.

Yes, adulting mixed with the worst case of the slump known to man, literally kicked my ass into the fetal position. I had no desire to read, to blog, to talk about books, to look at books . . pretty much anything that represented this community, my brain wanted no parts of. I tried for weeks to gather enough motivation to post a review with no such luck. I've even read, (sorta kind of) a few books that I actually enjoyed, The Problem With Forever, The Bird & The Sword, This Savage Song, but because of my gruesome slump, I didn't finish either title. However, thanks to the fairly new release Zenith, I was able to come out of my slump hell to give you guys an unfiltered and completely unbiased review on this over-hyped, over-killed, carbon copy of anything science fiction you've ever read in your life, just because I felt as though a truthful review needed to be put out there. (I've seen a handful, not enough though.)

If Zenith is considered an NYT Bestseller, then fuck it I'm running for president.
#Tikaforprez20whatever #bettertovoteformethanTrump 


Shame On You Sugar Plum Fairies For Sugarcoating Everything. I don't believe in writing disclaimers. (Disclaimer: This does not include mature content, triggers, etc.) So you'll probably see why I don't understand the point of readers and reviewers writing a long heartfelt message about how they like Sasha's personality, how her hair reminds them of strawberry jello, or how her bookshelves are goals. All of that is A: Irrelevant as hell, and B. paired with, " I had some problems with this book, but I love Sasha's bubbly personality and her channel so I think . . . yadda, yadda, yadda. " makes the whole review sound like a bunch of bullshit. After reading so many reviews, I'm completely convinced that 95% of these readers didn't C. Read the book . . like at all, or that D. They're afraid of being the black sheep, so they sprinkle glitter over the negative parts of their review to instead showcase a love letter they've written to the booktuber turned author.

You guys do realize that even if you spray air freshener over a shit smell it still smells like shit right?
FYI: It's just scented shit at that point. 
Oh and Lindsay wrote this book as well. Just a small reminder because it seems as if most of you have forgotten. Poor tink.

Galactica Yawn Fest. If you're going to sell me a book that's only 62 pages, make it the best 62 pages I've ever read in my entire life! Make it feel like the pages were written with holy water, that Rhysand himself came down from the Night Court and blessed the words with his beautifulness. I mean come on, you would think with a book being sold as a serial the authors would've gone the extra mile to blow us away right? Unfortunately no. One of the major problems I had with Zenith, was that it was incredibly boring. There's a load of info-dump in the very beginning of the book -- a hoopla of irrelevant information and details with little to no explanation, that served absolutely no purpose to me. I read the entire book in just under an hour I believe, and after finishing, I literally said to myself, " wait that's it? " Things happened, of course, introduction of characters, (oh boy I can't wait to spill the tea about this) a fight scene, (* nods off *) and I don't know some other things, everything was just so . . uneventful, bland, dry, boring.

BE YOU. Characters included. When I skimmed reviews and saw mentions that this book was " TOG in space, " I immediately knew I'd be annoyed, but honestly, they weren't lying. (And I don't mean that in a good way.) What's frustrating, (atleast for me) is that you have a seasoned reviewer and an established author with quite a few titles under her belt, yet both of them failed to deliver a story that wasn't a replica of something else. Zenith had ZERO personality, and this was all due to the fact that their entire crew of space people read like pre-existing characters from other stories, especially the main character. I don't know if Sarah J Maas was their inspiration, but it's one thing to be inspired, another to give me an exact replica of something that author has already done. When I say the MC, (such a shame that I can't remember her name, any of their names tbh) was a watered down version of Celaena I most certainly mean it. Down to the mannerisms, she read just like Ardalan's Assassin, even went as far as to deem herself " one of the most notorious criminals in all of Mirabel. " (* chuckles *) She was supposed to be the " Bloody Baroness " a ruthless killer with a squad of bad ass space pirates, and honestly it was all a joke. You have Celaena jr, some blue lady that reminded me way too much of Mystic from Xmen, some other chic, and a young girl that was said to be a complete pyscho, yet every time she was in a scene, I pictured her sitting Indian-style, humming a nursery rhyme while blowing hello kitty bubbles. There's also an ex-boyfriend of Celaena jr's in the picture, a Queen Levana wannabe lady, and some other folks. I can't think of a single thing about these characters that stood out and it's not due to poor memory, but to the fact that they just didn't read like themselves. Why did this feel like a novella that included my favorite characters written by other authors? Definitely not a good way to be remembered.

I think in the case of Zenith, the popularity of one of the authors is the reason why the hype skyrocketed as it did, unfortunately, the story wasn't strong enough to back it up. It was far too unoriginal for my tastes. This is my first time reading the story, yet it read with such familiarity. Then you have the weird case of the story being set in space, (with makes the possibilities endless IMO) yet someone came up with the bright idea to have no world-building. Like come on, it's space! How can you not have world-building IN SPACE?! (An asteroid shaped like a skull doesn't count either bruh.) The writing was okay, it was the redundant use of the word " FIKE " a substitute for the word " FUCK " that made all of the dialogue feel so damn childish. No one uses a word that much in one sentence ladies. If that wasn't enough, I was still left to sludge my way through a lackluster plot, praying to the bookish gods to keep me awake long enough to make it past the halfway point. (Which they did BTW) If these are qualities you're looking for in a book, then hey, knock it out trooper.

Unfortunately for me, reading this book was like drinking Koolaid with no sugar. 
I think that sums up my experience good enough.

Run By Kody Keplinger ARC Review + Giveaway -- Best Friends 4LYFE

Run | Kody Keplinger
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 288
Edition: Paperback
Source: Irish Banana Tours 

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter -- protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and -- worst of all -- confronting some ugly secrets.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

Can you guys guess where I am? Okay duh of course not because this place isn't even real, but EEK I'm back in my " damn this book is good " oasis! The bookish gods have decided to leave me alone, for now atleast, and I took full freaking advantage of that when I picked up Run by Kody Keplinger. To say my literary ghost and I are pleased, would be an understatement. (I need to give my dawg a name for real.) We kicked back with our feet up, grabbed some snacks, and dived into this wonderful story about friendship and overcoming all odds. 

Babysitter's Club vibes yall. Like how can you not read this?

Sit a spell sugahs, I'm fixing to make this ya'll next read. I remember when I first read The Duff. It was welllll before the hype, and unlike many other readers, I didn't care for it too much. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, * cough, Frayed is that you? * but I thought the writing was incredibly MEH, and the characters, especially miss fast-in-the-ass Bianca, was just way too immature for me. So, I did what I normally do in this situation, shoved Kody into a " not sure if I want to read your work " box, stashed it in someone's fictional attic, and went along with my day. That was two or three years ago, and even after the release of LOL and the movie adaptation of The Duff, (which I really liked, go figure), I sort of forgot about her . . . until I stumbled across Run

I am a sucker for anything southern. Southern fried chicken, southern mac and cheese, (drools) southern ice tea mixed with lemonade, even southern characters, so when I picked up Run and actually began to read it, guys, I seriously fell in love. The atmosphere Kody managed to create was by far one of the best things I've read in a novel recently. I could practically picture everything about this small town, the gravel roads and wooded areas, the double wide trailers, the folks walking around in their camouflage -- there wasn't anything that was missing from this country setting. But what truly made this story come to life, was something people where I'm from like to call " redneck slang. " While I'm a city girl born and raised, I have family that is from the south, (and some that are just country as hell) and I could almost hear the character's accent spoken in the same fashion as my cousins, aunts, and uncles. This story had a sista reminiscing about trips I've taken to visit my family. Being chased by chickens, (most traumatizing event of my life) walking a mile just to get to a neighbor's house, playing outside in the pitch dark because there were no streetlights, catching lightening bugs, pigging out on pulled-pork sandwiches with coleslaw wedged between, Run truly gave me a nostalgic experience, one I haven't felt in a long, long time. 

 You guys know that for my past couple of reads, I've been having trouble connecting with the main character(s), and I'm so relieved that changed this time around. Told in dual perspectives, (my fave if it's done correctly) we follow Bo and Agnes, (I had a bullmastiff named Bo!) two girls from the same town, but from completely different side of the tracks. Before writing up my review, I was trying to figure out which one of the girls was my favorite, and honestly, I couldn't decide. They're so different but similar in so many ways, which made it nearly impossible to choose. To a certain extent, Bo definitely had my personality. She was so kindhearted, but would rough you up in a hot second. She was a victim of constant slut-shaming, bullying in general actually, however, that girl let insults bounce off of her as if she were swatting at a fly. She had a tough exterior, and often stood up for not only herself but for Agnes as well, but while my firecracker didn't take any shit from anyone, deep down inside she was very much a warm, soft little muffin.

Agnes was not only a great character, but she also brought some diversity to the table. She was born with an eye condition called LCA, Lever's Genital Amaurosis, causing her to be legally blind. As with Kody, she doesn't see complete darkness, but her vision isn't clear, resulting in people, colors, and objects, to blend together. It was definitely an eye-opening experience to read from Agnes's POV. I have poor vision as well, (I have astigmatism in my right eye which makes it harder for me to see far away) but viewing the world through the fuzzy image of hers, just made her character that much more special to me. Writing a character that mirrored her own disability? Yep, I have so much respect and admiration for Kody.

This book is beyond perfect for all readers who value a strong friendship. Together as well as seperately, both of these girls went through trials and tribulations, but they still managed to stay afloat, to stay uplifted. Run made me happier than a dead pig in the sunshine, and if you know like I know, you better pick this up when it releases, or I'll be on yall's asses like white on rice! 

Okay, I so have chill with this country talk LOL.


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Frayed by Kara Terzis ARC Review | Call Me Negative Nancy.

Frayed | Kara Terzis
Released: June 7th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre(s): Young Adult, Thriller
Pages: 304
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

Dear Kesley,

My therapist tells me I should write you a letter. Like flushing all my thoughts and feelings out of my system and onto paper. I tell her it's a stupid idea.

But here I am, writing a letter to a dead girl. Where do I start? Where did our story begin? From the moment you were born...or died?

I'll start with the moment I found out the truth about you. Your lies and my pain. Because it always begins and ends with you.
And that end began when Rafe Lawrence came back to town...

Ava Hale will do anything to find her sister's killer...although she'll wish she hadn't. Because the harder Ava looks, the more secrets she uncovers about Kesley and the more she begins to think that the girl she called sister was a liar. A sneak. A stranger.

And Kesley's murderer could be much closer than she thought...

A debut novel from Wattpad award-winner Kara Terzis, Frayed is a psychological whodunit that will keep you guessing!

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

Next to contemporaries, thrillers -- especially psychological, are my favorites to read. I love not only the " whodunit " aspect but also the suspense that comes with trying to piece together the plot of a good mystery novel. I like the feeling when my heart starts beating when I'm derailed by an unexpected plot twist, the feeling I get when I'm on the edge of my seat, biting my nails in anticipation of what is to come next. Long story short, thrillers are . .  well, thrilling. Exciting almost. So how come I had such a terrible experience while reading Frayed by Kara Terzis?

Hmm, where do I even begin?


Where's The Mystery Scooby? The essential part of any mystery novel is of course, the mystery itself, so you can probably imagine my confusion when I discovered that this aspect was completely missing. Yes, people. Missing, as in: nowhere to be found. There wasn't anything mysterious, let alone thrilling about this story, and the cause boiled down to two different things: the setup and its execution. In Frayed, we follow our main character Ava as she tries, (and horribly fails) to navigate life months after her sister's brutal death. The story kicks off with a shit-storm of face-palms when Rafe, (her sister's best friend and the only one in this book with any common sense) returns to town. This causes a domino effect of ridiculous events, I-seen-you-coming-from-a-mile-away plot twists, and an ending that sent my kindle flying straight into my closet door. I had so many issues with this monstrosity, that I literally felt as if I were drowining in them.

Can We Trade Main Characters? Someone? Anyone? If there was ever an MC I didn't like, it would be Ava. I desperately tried, and failed to connect with her in any way, shape, or form. She was quite strange, (I'm guessing that was supposed to be the point, who knows) but it was her logic, decision-making, and her incredibly shallow perception of others, that irked my soul and almost caused me to DNF the book altogether.

There's A New Sherif In Town. Ava suspected everyone who crossed her path of being Kelsey's killer. The trashman, the people at the grocery store that stocks the milk, her mom's co-worker that's sleeping with their boss, I mean everyone honey. If you had any connection with Kelsey, (or have been to juvie since all people that go there are bad apparently) then you were briefly slapped on the " omg they so killed Kelsey " list. It was definitely apparent what the author was trying to do here. Add in the supporting cast and make them unreliable so that it raises suspicion, resulting in us readers being distracted from what's really going on. Do you know how suspenseful that would've been? The classic guessing game of " whodunit " would've been in full-effect! I wanted to tap into my inner Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes to crack this case wide open, there just wasn't anyone or anything to be suspicious of. I didn't have an actual case to solve.

Easy Peasy. One of the main reasons why the story failed to deliver as a mystery/thriller novel, (In my humble opinion of course) was the nature in which the plot was laid out. Everything was so easy. It was as if the entire plot was dropped Hansel & Gretel style -- follow these chicken nuggets to the yellow brick road, then turn lef-- wait, watch out for cheating boyfriends, unrealistic kidnappings, and all other irrelevancy until you see the " what-in-the-actual-fuu-reveal!  " Obvious clues popped up at just right the second, and with everything so straightforward, there were literally no twists, nothing that threw a curve ball into the mix to derail us off track.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink . . Nah That Was Thrown In Too. If drama was supposed to be the forefront of the story, then the author most definitely delivered, and if she wanted me to feel as if I were watching a classic episode of Jerry Springer, then hell she achieved that too. So many events transpired, and my goodness was it the biggest circus act in YA history. As I mentioned before, the kidnapping, Ava's boyfriend's infidelity issues, (how do you have sex with her sister AND her best friend, come on bruh) her lowkey hater of a best friend, the weird relationship between her and Rafe, the fights, that unbelievable ending, I mean I can go on and on. It was all too much and my question to the author is, " How much filler can you possibly " fill " a story with? "

I think what bothered me the most about Frayed, was that we spent sooo much time on things that had absolutely no relevance to the murder at all. Supporting characters played key players when they didn't need to be, clues and " twists " were gift-wrapped and handed to us on a silver platter, (I knew the ending reveal before I even reached 10%) and let's not forget the unnecessary drama that turned this mystery novel into a watered down, cringe-worthy rendition of Pretty Little Liars. I'm so sorry guys, but I was not impressed.

Beyond The Red By Ava Jae ARC Review | True Definition Of Redemption.

Beyond The Red | Ava Jae
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 360
Edition: EARC
Source: Publisher

A story of betrayal, love, and loss—all on a technologically advanced alien planet where monarchy reigns, but lies rule.

Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, amounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being half-blood. But that doesn’t stop him from defending his people—at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He is given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him. When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves into the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

Bouncing back after 2 DNF's last week, I'm now ready to share my thoughts on today's title, Beyond The Red by Ava Jae. I straddled the fence of feelings for quite a bit on this one, debating if a strong concept, likable characters, a forbidden romance and action-packed scenes were enough to overpower a writing style that was far too simplistic, almost bordering a snore-fest in some areas.

Trust me, you'll want to keep reading


If you're going to snatch my attention make sure you keep it. In chapter one of Beyond The Red, we start off with such a huge bang. The story kicks off in high gear with an interesting action scene that shifts a bunch of core pieces together, lining them up for what's to come ahead. I really liked this. There aren't too many stories that throw you straight into the fire pit, and if Ava wanted a fast paced novel, then she delivered just that. But then something happened. Towards the middle, that supercharged, alien awesomeness fizzled out, and in its place was a sluggish pace that caused the plot to move in slow motion. I found myself incredibly distracted, and just like with The Wrath of The Dawn, everything but reading was more appealing. Finally after I: A. Put this aside and read about 3 other books and B. Had epic GIF reactions to said books via twitter, I finally hopped back into the story, in hopes that it would eventually pick back up. It did. The true definition of redemption

Aliens make everything cooler. Although I was marching my way through the story moving at 0.00006 WPM, there were a few aspects that kept me thoroughly entertained. For one, I really, really enjoyed the characters and their perspectives. As you all know, I'm usually always sold on a story that includes a male POV and this was no exception. Eros, this half human, half alien warrior-boy was so freaking adorable. After his family is killed by a rival colony led by the alien queen Kora, (our second main character) he is sent to her lands to become a slave along with the other rebels that were captured and taken prisoner from his camp. I absolutely loved his personality. He was every bit of a warrior, clever, determined, strong-willed, but there was also another side to him that was incredibly sweet and compassionate. He made the best of his not-so-ideal situation. Being imprisoned in enemy lands, while still trying to fight for your people? Admirable. Kora, who became one of my favorite female characters, was an awesome mixture of Princess Jasmine and Katniss. Her own people are against her being on the throne as queen, (including her vicious, back-stabbing brother) but she was fierce and passionate about her position, as well as a beautiful person inside and out. Even when she wanted to break, she held her own. #girlpowerbitches 

Forbidden fruit is always the sweetest. I rarely read the synopsis of books these days, but I was still very much aware that eventually Eros and Kora would become a " thing " (we are talking about YA here) it was just a matter of how and when. Since Kora had his family slaughtered along with most members of his camp, I had this notion in the back of my head that it wouldn't happen. Can you believe that I was actually, banking on it to happen?? Their companionship was beyond enjoyable, especially their banter and how naturally awkward they were around each other, so when their situationship finally blossomed into something else entirely, I was pretty damn excited. You can't go wrong with forbidden love, especially one as dangerous and scandalous as theirs. 

Ava Jae's debut novel Beyond The Red surprised me in more ways than one. I thought I was getting a typical story of two rivals, yet Ava served brilliant messages of love, friendship, sexuality, forgiveness, unity, and so much more on a platter that was piping hot. This is definitely one of the few times I'm glad I pushed through a book to the end.  


Suffer Love By Ashley Blake ARC Review | I Suffered . . & Not In A Good Way.

Suffer Love | Ashley Herring Blake
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: HMHKids
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 352
Edition: Paperback ARC
Source: Publisher
Rating: Did Not Finish

“Just let it go.”

That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

Before reading this, if you would've told me that I:
A. wouldn't like it, and B. that it features a god awful joke that actually turns out to be a jab towards POC, I seriously would've thought you've lost your mind. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, or just chat with me on twitter, then you know that I am the biggest fan of all things bookishly dysfunctional. When I first discovered that Suffer Love showcases a very screwed up family dynamic with the aspect of cheating, I was so onboard . . until I actually started the book.


Not even five pages in, my literary ghost strolls in simultaneously nibbling on a cold slice of pizza and sipping orange Fanta as he squealed, " oooooo you hate this don't you? Your face is all screwed up and pinched, sorta how you looked while reading The Wrath & The Dawn but worst! " I couldn't even deny it, he was right. I've never been a fan of overly descriptive writing that's shoved down our throats as beautiful prose, (my friend Ari calls it " dramatics " ) so I was already off to quite a shaky start. Breezing past that, (especially since it didn't happen quite often) I stumbled into an even bigger issue -- an issue that I for one, refuse to put up with.

Here we go again. We haven't even scratched the surface on debuts in 2016, and I already feel like authors are snatching recipes from the next person, switching up ingredients as they go. Upon finishing chapter one, I literally groaned with annoyance after noticing this would be another formula where (daddy issues/family issues + self-esteem issues) x promiscuous = our female main character. So far I've seen this displayed with Mercedes in Firsts, Zephyr in The Girl Who Fell, and Eden in The Way I Used To Be. Although these girls are light years ahead of our MC in the sex department, the common denominator is still there: young girl using intimacy to piece together the shambles that is her life. While I love when my contemporaries feature realistic situations, it's the redundancy of this aspect that gets to me.

 Suffer Love follows Hadley and Sam, two teens that are dealing with some serious shit at home. Hadley's father had an affair with Sam's mother, completely destroying one marriage, while the other is hanging on by mere threads. I actually liked the depiction of this situation . . sort of. I felt it was both realistic and unrealistic all at the same time, mostly because of its execution. While Hadley is in the dark about who her dad's mistress is, Sam knows everything. After being at school for all of 30 mins and learning that Hadley's last name was St.Clair from a guy he talked to for 5 of that 30, he was able to piece together that Hadley was indeed the daughter of the man that fucked up his family. St.Clair is a pretty common last name and you mean to tell me he was able to click this together in all of 2.5 seconds? Okay, Sherlock JR. If someone commits a crime with the last name Willis, hopefully, I won't be held accountable. Guilty by last name association is apparently a thing folks. But even this wasn't the tip of the iceberg.

Physical (p.17) Ebook (5%)
Sam in reference to Ajay, who we believe is Indian.
" If I hadn't known the guy since I was six, I'd probably report him as a terrorist threat. "

This was clearly a joke meant to poke fun at the fact that Ajay loves to put things together, problem is, why did the author think this was okay to say? I used to take apart and put together VCR's when I was younger, does that make me a terrorist too? If I were Middle Eastern, would someone profile me as such? Outside of the community, we are dealing with enough as it is. Satan running for president, (Donald Trump #sorrynotsorry) the terrorist group ISIS, mass bombings in countries outside of the US. It is far too soon to make such a distasteful joke . . actually, such a thing shouldn't even cross your lips, let alone be put on paper for millions of readers, especially young adult readers to see. We've been fighting for diverse reads, even pushing hard to support AOC within the community, so to see authors not using their better judgment, (especially those who always appear to be advocates of diversity) is beyond disheartening. This sentence made it past the beta stage, editor(s), the ARC, down to the finished copy, without anyone speaking up about it, and honestly I'm baffled. Surely out of the hundreds of readers and authors that have read this book, someone had to have seen it right? When it comes to POC, is it so easy to sweep us under the rug? Is this a case of I-wanted-to-say-something-but-I-was-afraid-of-backlash? or even worst, I- didn't-say-anything-because-it-wasn't-directed-towards-me?

I was taught that if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. Sadly in our community, there aren't many ppl willing to rise above. 

While the author has used her twitter platform to apologize, I'm still having a bit of trouble accepting it. It felt like a cop out, a way to cover her ass, however, everyone is human -- everyone makes mistakes. Let's hope this will be an eye-opening experience for us all. 

The Wrath And The Dawn DNF Review | & The Biggest Disappointment Of 2016 Goes To . . .

The Wrath & The Dawn | Renee Ahdieh
Released: May. 12, 2015
Publisher: GPSB for Young Readers
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Pages: 395
Source: Amazon
Rating: Did Not Finish

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

On this chilly rainy day, I'll be discussing my thoughts on one of the most popular hyped books of 2015, The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. A re-telling of A Thousand And One Nights, I had such high hopes for this coveted novel and was let down tremendously.

If you're a loyal reader of my blog, seeing a DNF review will come as no surprise. I've been pegged as the DNF Queen of the community, most likely due to not only my love of writing negative reviews, but my funny nature of going about them. It's been quite some time since I've actually written one, I've been off in some fairytale land where every book I picked up was pretty damn good, but when the bookish gods come marching into your oasis demanding you to entertain them, you know something sucky is brewing ahead. Here goes their entertainment I guess.


Not liking a main character can ruin everything for me. It never takes me long to determine whether or not I'm going to like, love, or dislike a book. I usually get a visit from a literary ghost around 10% that tells me " okay, so far so good, OMFG this is fucking amazing right, or yeah this shit is definitely not for you. " When I initially picked up The Wrath & The Dawn, so many of my friends excitedly tweeted me, " OMG you're going to love this! It was one of my favorite reads of last year! SO GOOD! This gave me such an adrenaline rush that by the time I started, I had extremely high expectations to the point I just knew I was going to love it. Well, by 6% that ghost sat beside me with a tray of cheesy nachos and whispered, " The main character has you a bit peeved eh? " Yep peeved wasn't even the word.

The biggest issue that I had with the story, was our main character Shahrzad. After her best friend was killed by Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, Shazi volunteers as tribute, (hehe as tribute) in hopes to avenge her bestie's death, (as well as all of the other young girls he has murdered) by killing him. The problem? Not only was she irritating as all hell, her character wasn't believable. Yes, characters have to be believable for me to buy what they're saying. When Shazi's perspective first came into play I thought, " damn she's fierce! " As one feisty sista to the next, this made me excited. But as I crawled deeper into the story, her personality started to feel incredibly forced. Smart alec-y and sassy just didn't fit her at all, which gave such an unnatural air to everything she did and said. Often times, especially during her inner thoughts and dialogue, I felt as if she were rehearsing lines for a role in someone's play, trying to fit the mold of what the real " Shazi " was supposed to be. She was selling me this strong, I-don't-take-anyone's-shit vibe, and I damn sure wasn't buying it. Make no mistakes. I swear I will live to see as many sunsets as it takes. And I will kill you. With my own hands. Oh girl pulease, you ain't bout that life   

I'm easily distracted as it is. You know a book has gone to shit when you're supposed to be reading, but in between paragraphs, you're A. Stalking people on twitter B. Liking endless photos on Instagram, especially of books and food. C. Watching Uncharted 4 Gameplay on Youtube. Long sentence short, I was doing any and everything besides reading. When I was dreadfully reading again, I couldn't find anything that interested me enough to keep pushing to the end. I felt incredibly disconnected from the characters. Y'all know I couldn't stand Ms.DoingTheMost, Tariq could've died from thirst in the desert, (I liked Rahim though) and Khalid was just okay. The multiple POV's from each person didn't bother me and were surprisingly seamless despite the fact that they began without notice, but I believe it was the switching of perspectives that took away my chance to become not only fully invested in the characters but with the story itself. Ah and the romance? I wasn't sold on this either. Shazi and Khalid didn't spend a great deal of time together, so when their feelings for each other blossomed, I rolled my eyes and took a 3 hour haitus from the book. No one has time for insta-love. Their dialogue was either Shazi trying too hard to be a boss bitch, or Khalid speaking to her as if he's never seen a girl in his entire life. Oh cliche YA, I adore you. 

I tried so hard to like this book, I really did. Unfortunately, it just wasn't for me. The writing was pretty damn good, but I ended up being incredibly irked that there was virtually NO WORLD BUILDING. While the author could describe the hell out of a feast, sand, or a damn pillow, everything else was non-existent. Getting through the book felt as if I were sludging my way through cement. I was getting nowhere fast, and when I guessed the big " reveal " around 30 something percent, I just knew it was my time to thrown in the towel and call it a day. 

Best book of 2015 my ass. Yall owe me big time you scoundrels * shakes fist *

Water's Wrath ARC " Inter-Review " | Team Work Makes The Dream Work.

Water's Wrath (Air Awakens #4) | Elise Kova
Release Date: April. 26, 2016 | Silver Wing Press
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 378
Edition: Paperback ARC
Source: Author

Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.
The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla's fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she'll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

Today I'm discussing my adoration for the 4th book in the Air Awakens Series, Water's Wrath. A strong novel that covers love, betrayal, independence, redemption, and so much more, Elise shows readers why she's still a force to be reckoned with in the fantasy genre.


Series Continuance Syndrome
noun? idk. eye-maid-dis-up 
The act of having difficulty continuing a series due to being placed in the same world, with the same characters. SCS has the side effect of repetitiveness which causes dizziness and nausea. 

Yes, people, I suffer from Series Continuance Syndrome. I have such a hard time finishing anything that isn't a standalone, dualology, or a trilogy, and even when I do push past book #3, it's like my brain shuts down and I'm forced to stop. I find that things get repetitive for me. I get tired of being forced to wander within the same world -- tired of reading perspectives of characters I'm bored of, it's just difficult for me to finish an entire series unless I'm blown away. Then came the Air Awakens series. My experience hasn't been without flaw, I definitely stumbled in Earth's End, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the miracle Elise has worked on me. I am now impatiently waiting to devour the final installment Crystal Crowned, which will be my first time completing a series in years . . shocking I know. So instead of doing a traditional review, I decided to team up with my new friend Skylar to generate a discussion by answering a few questions centered around the story, while sharing our thoughts on Water's Wrath! 

After reading the first three books in the Air Awakens series, what were your initial thoughts going in to WW?

Skylar With EE ending so abruptly I was outraged. WHERE THE HELL IS MY PRECIOUS BABY VHALLA GOING. I needed WW so that I could atleast feel secure about her. Even though Aldrik is of course suffering..... he's that character that is constantly going to suffer and so with Baldair's help, I knew he was going to be ok. Though Vhalla is still just a newb. She's still learning how to use her power! How she said fuck it and ran from Aldrik, the emperor, the government, "the man"; I was immensely inspired but also worried. So I knew shit was gonna go down in WW but I needed as fast as possible.

Tika I'm not even going to lie, I was nervous as hell! Air Awakens was an amazing start to kick off the series, and Fire Falling being my favorite, completely jump-started my obsession with the story, but when I finally dived into Earth's End, I struggled . . alot. Vhalla and Aldrik's relationship became a bit over-bearing for me, (blame SCS lol) and trying to sludge my way around their relationship, hindered my experience tremendously. Don't get me wrong, I still very much enjoyed the story, but after feeling let down, I was quite unsure about how I would feel once I moved on to the 4th installment. Similar to what Sky mentioned, Earth's End closed out with such a bang, I completely felt like curiosity the cat! There was no way I couldn't continue after that cliffhanger, and honestly, I couldn't get enough of the world and characters anyway.

Once you reached the midway point of the story, what were your thoughts on the first half?

Tika  I think for me, the first half really made me sit back and think, " damn this is why I fell in love with this series to begin with. " As I stated in the previous question, Vhalla and Aldrik's relationship sorta clouded my vision. The plot felt very centered around their romance, which affected my experience, so to see Vhalla regaining her independence, taking time to herself, and really putting her best interest first, fucking impressed me. (Love is blind, and it'll take over your mindddd . . Sorry had a moment) It was refreshing to see her learning to survive on her own, and by the time she reunited with the supporting cast, I felt she was almost renewed. She still made mistakes, as she should, which excitedly resulted in a few unexpected plot twists that pushed the story into high gear. To say I was #stressed going into the second half is an understatement lol.

Skylar The first half was....interesting.... to my surprise, Vhalla is doing remarkably well on her own. Well, I knew she could survive on her own for maybe a week or two without help but it seems she survived on her own for a while. The independence, leadership, and survival skills she gained were truly needed. She is certainly not the small, quiet librarian we were introduced in the first book. The tempo was a little sporadic for my taste. Some interesting things were happening too fast and unnecessary parts too slow. Though I think Kova did that to give the characters more flavor. Either way, readers will be proud of Vhalla's character development.

What do you like the most about Water's Wrath?

Tika  This is going to sound so funny, but my favorite thing about WW is Elise. If it wasn't for her awesome brain, we wouldn't have this series. We wouldn't have a heroine that isn't trying so hard to be the next Celaena, we wouldn't have a fiery, swoon-worthy love interest, we definitely wouldn't have a whole crew of characters that you feel so dear to you know? But to answer the question, (ya'll know I love being difficult) I think my top two favorite things other than Adrik #daddyfireking, is the character development and magic system. If you've been following the series, then you've witnessed the amazing development of all of the characters. Elise definitely wanted her novels to be character driven, and I really love how she didn't just focus on just Vhalla and Aldrik. Everyone in a way has their own story that seamlessly ties into the main plot. My other fave, the magic system, reminds me of a modernized version of Captain Planet. It's beyond nostalgic, and it gives the story an intriguing flare, especially with each element being created to be the foundation of each book. I just adore it to pieces.

Skylar  I know I already talked about this in my last response but I love the independence Vhalla gained. The way she basically said FUCK THIS SHIT and left and did her own thing.... groundbreaking. Also, how everyone respects her independence is also great. No one is treating her like a little girl, incapable of doing pretty much everything. If you read EE you know that shit was getting real annoying. She has blossomed into her own person finally and everyone is totally ok with that. If not makes her more threatening, which is shit I LIVE FOR. Love character development. It also increased her attractiveness to the golden knights, Baldair, Aldrick, even a few other characters I will not name.

Of course, since we covered likes, what are your dislikes? 

Skylar As much as I do love this series, I wasn't happy with this book. I love the excitement and enthusiasm Kova has in her writing but the tempo really threw me off. Some things just felt unnecessary (Baldair, but I'm not spilling any tea) and rushed. I was rereading all the good parts because I felt like it wasn't explained thoroughly. In the beginning, things were slow but got uncontrollably fast in the middle and end. Though I'm still interested in what Crystal Crowned has to bring!

Tika I thankfully don't have many dislikes, but I do feel as though the ending was a bit rushed, or atleast it felt that way for me. Elise does a great job of both telling and showing us great detail within her stories, allowing us to visually imagine what she has created, however, the ending was more so " this happened, then that happened " and it all went down rather quickly. The pacing of the overall story definitely was satisfying, especially because it sent us on an emotional rollercoaster of feels, buttttt I do wish the ending dragged out a bit . . . or maybe that was me not wanting the story to be over yet

And finally, to people who haven't read this book/series, what would encourage them to do so?

Tika You mean other than me standing over them with a knife while they're sleeping? Just kidding. Okay maybe not, but this entire series is definitely for readers that are looking for something more in fantasy. As we all know and have experienced, this genre has a way of getting repetitive. (Well, all genres do actually, but still.) There are so many re-tellings and concepts being heavily inspired or molded after each other, so diving into this series and seeing that it steered clear of that, made me want to hold on for dear life. Elise has created such a creative storyline set in an intriguing world, with imaginative writing, and characters that are not only multi-dimensional but extremely well-crafted. As a whole, the series showcases a slow-burning romance, strong friendships, great-and-not-so-great family dynamics, action, a useful magic-system, (yes I said useful, and yes I'm being shady ) amazing character development . . just everything we could ever want. If I had to give a one sentence pitch to encourage readers to pick this up: Read This Shit Now Before I Attack You would suffice. 

Skylar I feel like this series is for people who are desperate for change because Vhalla hated change. She was perfectly content with being a librarian but she blossomed fast and furious. People want change, people crave for it but have no means to change (Aldrick). Some people are scared of change but it's unavoidable(Vhalla). Of course, you're not going to get powers overnight or suddenly "awakened" but there will be an instance where life can be twisted, beaten, turn upside down and around, that's what its all about.


Are any of you fans of this series? If so, how did you feel about Water' Wrath? I'm sure we're all counting down the days till Crystal Crowned!