eARC Review – Just Saying

Title: Just Saying

Author: Sophie Ranald

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: July 3rd, 2020

300 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

I almost gave up on love. My ex, who called his private parts ‘Nigel’, was enough to put me off men forever. But then I met Joe.

Alice thought she’d found Mr Right. Her blue-eyed boyfriend Joe gives her butterflies, makes her bacon sandwiches when she’s hungover, and doesn’t have a nickname for any of his body parts.

She should have known it was too good to be true. Because one day, Alice and Joe bump into Zoe. According to him, Zoe’s ‘just an old friend’. But Alice saw the way they froze, and heard the strange note in Joe’s voice when he said her name.

Then, out of the blue, Zoe needs a place to live. And Joe has the bright idea of inviting her, and her fluffy ginger cat Frazzle, to stay with them.

Alice tries her hardest not to feel threatened. But the thing is, Zoe doesn’t survive off microwave meals, or go days without washing her glossy copper-coloured hair, or accidentally get mascara in her contact lenses.

Joe’s ex might be pretty much perfect, but there’s no way that Alice will let Zoe steal him. She’s on a mission to prove that three (four, if you count the cat) is definitely a crowd…

Review

TW: sexual assault

Just Saying follows Alice and Joe, trainee lawyers in England as they finish up their training years. Alice and Joe have been dating for a long time, and it’s just natural that they will continue to be together. Until it all starts to come apart. They bump into Joe’s college girlfriend Zoe, Alice loses her job prospect and becomes a bartender at a dive, and Zoe moves in with them when she breaks up with her boyfriend. Alice is convinced Zoe is there to steal her man, and it doesn’t help that Joe doesn’t particularly approve of her new profession. But as Alice comes to love her work at the bar and Joe becomes more distant, Alice wonders if they can continue like this. Are they meant to be together, or has he been in love with Zoe since college? Time will tell…

I genuinely thought this was a cute story with a LOT of layers to it. Just Saying tackles not only relationships and the drama that comes from exes, but sexual assault, career crises, and just in general being friends with the opposite sex. There are some communication problems between the characters, but I didn’t feel the main conflict could’e been resolved with one conversation so that’s a positive for me. As much as there are a lot of layers in this book, I didn’t feel like they were overwhelming or popping up randomly. The story arc flowed pretty smoothly even with new topics being broached.

The book in the end did not go how I was expecting, in a GOOD way. It avoided the one part of romance novels that I don’t like. I can’t really be more clear without giving away a spoiler, but it ended the way I would have wanted it to. Alice makes tremendous progress in tackling her own issues through this book, and as much as he is her boyfriend Joe really is a side character in this story almost. It is THEIR story as a couple it’s really Alice’s story which I appreciate.

The story was missing something to take it to a full 5 star level, I think some subplots were cut off too quickly or easily. Some more depth could have been added to take this to a 5 star level for me. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and stayed up until about 2am to finish it!

Thank you to Bookouture, Netgalley, and Sophie Ranald for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review

Happy reading, folks!

July TBR!

If you read yesterday’s post you know that I didn’t do so well with structured reading in June. I’ve been having some rough mental health days and took a step back from reading. For July, I’d like to get back into it because reading always makes me feel better. Also, I’m going on a week vacation so I’m sure I’ll be able to do lots of reading!

For July, I’m taking part in #fournationsreadathon, an Avatar the Last Airbender themed readathon! I’m going to read in honor of the Water Nation, so some of my planned books will be going towards that readathon, and that will be denoted in the list. If you’re interested – visit instagram @fournationsreadation.

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  1. The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1), Kalyn Josephson
  2. The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2), Kalyn Josephson
  3. The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow #1), Margaret Owen
  4. The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow #2), Margaret Owen
  5. Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1), Janella Angeles (also for netgalley)
  6. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1), Suzanne Collins
  7. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2), Suzanne Collins
  8. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3), Suzanne Collins
  9. A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0), Suzanne Collins
  10. Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), Sarah J. Maas (fournations)
  11. In the Neighborhood of True, Susan Kaplan Carlton (also for netgalley)
  12. The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff (fournations)

NETGALLEY/EDELWEISS/AUTHOR EARCS

  1. Set Fire to the Gods (Set Fire to the Gods #1), Sara Raasch, Kristen Simmons
  2. The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins #2), Amanda Hocking
  3. One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and A Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, Cara Sue Achterberg
  4. A Tortured Soul, L.A. Detwiler
  5. The First to Lie, Hank Phillippi Ryan (fournations)
  6. Hieroglyphics, Jill McCorkle (fournations)
  7. The Baby Group, Caroline Corcoran
  8. I Hope You’re Listening, Tom Ryan
  9. In a Holidaze, Christina Lauren

AUDIOBOOKS

  1. The Lost City (The Omte Origins #1), Amanda Hocking
  2. Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassins #3), Robin LaFevers

It’s a lot of books, and I definitely won’t read them all. But I plan to choose between these books in a mood reading way, so we’ll see how far I get! I’m currently in the middle of In the Neighborhood of True and The Tao of Pooh.

What are you reading this month?

Happy reading, folks!

June Wrap Up!

I was very unmotivated to read this month. This month really was hard emotionally as I’m trying to work on my mental health (unsuccessfully). I didn’t at all read near the amount of books I planned, but honestly it’s okay. I’m up to date on my publisher and ARC reviews – and that’s really what matters. Next month I’m hoping to pick my reading up again because I do miss it, but I want to make sure I have the time and mental capacity for it – so we’ll see!

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  1. Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3), Kerri Maniscalco – 4/5 stars
  2. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Sarah J Maas – 4/5 stars
  3. The Guest List, Lucy Foley – 3/5 stars
  4. The Bone Houses, Emily Lloyd-Jones – 4.5/5 stars
  5. The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1), Helen Hoang – 5/5 stars

LIBRARY EBOOKS

  1. Mirage (Mirage #1), Somaiya Daud – 4/5 stars
  2. If I Never Met You, Mhairi MacFarlane – 4/5 stars
  3. Redwall (Redwall #1), Brian Jacques – 5/5 stars

NETGALLEY EARCS

  1. Ever Cursed, Corey Ann Haydu – 4.5/5 stars
  2. These Vengeful Hearts, Katherine Laurin – 4.5/5 stars
  3. Court of Lions (Mirage #2), Somaiya Daud – 4/5 stars
  4. Faking It, Rebecca Smith – 3/5 stars
  5. Chosen Ones (The Chosen One’s #1), Veronica Roth – 3.5/5 stars
  6. Just Saying, Sophie Ranald – 4/5 stars

What did you read this month?

Happy reading, folks!

June Haul

In a month where so much stuff happened, I managed to acquire a good amount of books from several different outlets. Quarantine has definitely made me more click happy with purchasing books, but next month I need to purchase a wedding dress so I will need to work on not buying more books! Though I do know I have another order or two that will come in early July…

SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

I received both May and June OwlCrates during this month along with my larger than normal BOTM haul!

  1. Ashlords (Ashlords #1), Scott Reintgen – BOTM
  2. Home Before Dark, Riley Sager – BOTM
  3. The Last Flight, Julie Clark – BOTM
  4. Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1), Zoraida Cordova – OwlCrate
  5. Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1), Janella Angeles – OwlCrate

GIVEAWAY WIN

I won a giveaway on bookstagram so I got an ARC of this book!

  1. The Other Mrs., Mary Kubica

BARNES AND NOBLE

Due to everything going on in the world, I decided to buy two books by BIPOC authors in order to support them in the book community. Too often they are underrepresented not just as characters in books but as agented and signed authors as well.

  1. Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls #1), Rena Barron
  2. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1), Roseanne A. Brown

BLACK OWNED BOOKSTORES

With everything going on in the world, I also bought two book from black owned bookstores in order to support them.

  1. The Boundless (The Beholder #2), Anna Bright
  2. Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2), Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

AMAZON

There was a sale, what can I say. I’m not a perfect person.

  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0), Suzanne Collins
  2. Wild at Heart (Wild #2), K. A. Tucker

BOOK OUTLET

So Book Outlet sucks now, but I ordered this haul before they posted horribly discriminatory and racial stereotyping nonsense.

  1. Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1), Danielle L. Jensen
  2. Through the White Wood, Jessica Leake
  3. The Last Namsara (Iskari #1), Kristen Ciccarelli
  4. This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil #2), Emily Suvada
  5. Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes #3), Sara Raasch

What books did you all acquire this month?

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Crushing It

Title: Crushing It

Author: Lorelai Parker

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation

Publication date: June 30th, 2020

336 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

In life, as in gaming, there’s a way around every obstacle . . .

To pitch her new role-playing game at a European conference, developer Sierra Reid needs to overcome her terror of public speaking. What better practice than competing in a local bar’s diary slam, regaling an audience with old journal entries about her completely humiliating college crush on gorgeous Tristan Spencer?

Until the moderator says, “Next up, Tristan Spencer . . .”

Sierra is mortified, but Tristan is flattered. Caught up in memories of her decade-old obsession as they reconnect, Sierra tries to dismiss her growing qualms about him. But it’s not so easy to ignore her deepening friendship with Alfie, the cute, supportive bar owner. She and Alfie were college classmates too, and little by little, Sierra is starting to wonder if she’s been focusing her moves on the wrong target all along, misreading every player’s motivations.

Maybe the only winning strategy is to start playing by her heart . . .

Review

**Thank you to Kensington Publishing, Netgalley, and Lorelai Parker for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Sierra is a video game developer with a horrible fear of public speaking, which causes issues as she’s trying to convince her investor to let her present at Gamescon to promote their new game. Her coworker and roommate Aida convinces her to go to an event being put on by a new bar near their home, a competition to get up in front of everyone and tell humiliating stories for the amusement of others. The catch is that it is for mostly alumni of their college, and the reason Sierra has public speaking fears dates back to college. When the source of her fears is in the bar, also in the competition, Sierra has to face all of her demons if she wants to further her career.

I liked the premise of this book a lot, and I really enjoyed the resulting romance. I liked the growth that the characters went through, and the strides Sierra made in overcoming her fears. I didn’t enjoy all of the side characters, for reasons you’ll probably understand when you read! I won’t say who though, because it would be a bit of a spoiler for you all and I don’t want to do that. I respected Sierra’s investor for making her prove to him and herself that she can represent the brand and game how they want it to be represented.

This book was a tad predictable though. I could see where it was going, and what the big reveal would be. I still enjoyed it, but some parts were just too obvious and maybe could’ve been covered up better.

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Hunting Prince Dracula

“Humans were the true monsters and villains, more real than any novel or fantasy could invent.”

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books

Publication date: September 19th, 2017

435 pages

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine… and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Review

“For there are no limits to the stars; their numbers are infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by them. An amount too boundless to count.”

kerri maniscalco, hunting prince dracula

Audrey Rose and Thomas just can’t escape death. I mean, they *are* forensic examiners so they see death all the time but for our purposes I mean unexpected deaths. Our friends are off on the Orient Express to Romania to study at the exceptional school for forensic science as Vlad the Impaler’s old castle (nbd, right). And bam someone is murdered on the train. Like I said, they can’t escape death. So, they have to start figuring out why it seems vampires exist & people are being killed by them.

Okay first off, Thomas was a complete butt and tried to fork up his relationship with Audrey Rose in the first third of the book and I was not there for it. Like, don’t be dumb man. But he brought it back and returned to being a amazing lil cinnamon roll that I just want to steal and squeeze. Audrey Rose was having some PTSD issues in this book, but overall she is still a cool character and I’m here for females doing male dominated things, especially in this time period.

The plot was suitably creepy for the a vampire novel and it had the same level of surprise and suspense that STJR had. I love vampire books so the mystery aspects of who was trying to convince people in Romania that vampires back was super cool. I liked the additional characters that were added – Thomas’ sister & her girlfriend (here for LGBTQIA rep) were very cool and I wish they were more active in the book.

The ending scenes and chapters were amazing. Even better than the reveal in STJR, because there was so much intense build up to the final showdown. It was so well written and thrilling. Hats off to Kerri for handling that ending in such an fantastic way.

Excited to continue in the series! Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Grave Mercy

“One heart cannot serve two masters.” 

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)

Author: Robin LaFevers

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication date: April 3rd, 2012

576 pages

Goodreads Synopsis

Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Review

“I stare at him coldly. “I do not care for needlework.” I pause. “Unless it involves the base of the skull.”

robin lafevers, grave mercy

Another day, another review for a book with a young, female assassin! Whereas Grave Mercy has a similar main character to Throne of Glass, that’s pretty much the only similarity these two books have! But, I do still enjoy a good, female assassin!

Grave Mercy is the first in a trilogy following the lady assassins of St. Mortain, the god of Death. Set in the 1400’s in Brittany, Europe, Grave Mercy is a historical fantasy where the gods grant certain powers, abilities, and duties to those sworn to them. Ismae, our MC, hsa a horrendous childhood as she was marked at birth and seen as cursed. Her birthmark is really proof that St. Mortain saved her when her mother tried to abort her. Ismae was sold to a terrible husband, but quickly saved to go study to be an assassin for the god. The story jumps and Ismae is thrust into the political environment of Brittany as they try to stave off the French, and she is instructed to protect the young duchess ruling all of Brittany.

I have many thoughts on this book. First off, I don’t generally like historical fiction/fantasy that much, but this book reads more like fantasy than historical – so much so that I didn’t realize it was really based off real events until I read the afterword! It feels like a fresh, new world & the powers and abilities of the assassins of St. Mortain are interesting.

In terms of the actual assassinating, Ismae is good at what she does – but she isn’t written as all powerful like Celaena from Throne of Glass. She isn’t unstoppable, she’s methodical and take pride in her work, but not necessarily enjoyment. As a character, Ismae did not thrill me. I loved her budding romance with *redacted* but I found her character to be more boring than the other characters. There were chunks of the book I enjoyed her more in than others, so it was really a roller coaster experience for me.

The writing is superb, the world-building is phenomenal, and the political intrigue is top notch. I enjoyed these elements of Grave Mercy immensely, and definitely plan on continuing to read this series to see how the story goes with the Duchess and Brittany. The villain was also suitable evil and hateable, which I always enjoy!

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Throne of Glass

“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Publication date: August 2nd, 2012

404 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Review

“No. I can survive well enough on my own— if given the proper reading material.” 

sarah j maas, throne of glass

Celaena is a world reknowned assassin… but she was captured and thrown in prison for the last year. And not just any prison, Endovier is a salt mine where almost 100% of people perish before they serve their sentences. Celaena is approached by Prince Dorian to be his choice to compete for King’s Champion, a role that Celaena can’t imagine playing – but would in order to leave Endovier. But once the competition starts, it becomes immediately clear that there are magical forces at play, looking to wipe out the competition, including Celaena.

WOW. I read this book so quickly, and loved it so much. There were so many pieces and layers to ToG that it seems impossible that it was all done in a relatively shorter book. You’ve got assassins, competition, slight romance, magic, world-building, Fae, and adventure all wrapped up. Basically it has all the real components of adult fantasy, but set in a more YA world and tone.

Celaena as a character is dominant. I honestly think that is the best way to describe her. She is just fierce and basically unbeatable. Maas writes her as basically an assassinating prodigy (except for that one time she got caught but we’ll give her a pass for that one). Celaena is also sassy, moody, and a READER. She’s basically a normal human that was forced into being an assassin and now accepts her role in life. I also loved Dorian and Chaol, for very different reasons. If I could, I would have her end up with both of them at this point tbh.

Going back to an original point, there is so much going on in ToG, that sometimes it is hard to keep track of everything. There was almost too much plot happening to follow, too many threads to tie together. However, this did not lessen my satisfaction with this book, as I know this series is super long & it is setting up a large and complex universe.

Overall, I’m very excited to continue reading this series as I know there will be incredible twists and turns. The writing is easy to get through and isn’t super dense. Give me more!

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Beach Read

“Here’s the thing about writing Happily Ever Afters: it helps if you believe in them.” 

Title: Beach Read

Author: Emily Henry

Publisher: Berkley

Publication date: May 19th, 2020

361 pages

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

Review

“He fit so perfectly in the love story I’d imagined for myself that I mistook him for the love of my life.”

emily henry, beach read

I am obsessed with this book. Beach Read is the adult romance novel that you need in your life. January is going through a lot right now, her father just died, she learned he had a mistress for a very long time, and she just inherited their love nest. She also was dumped, lost her home, and has writer’s block – which doesn’t help matters as her next draft is due by the end of the summer. She moves into her father’s old house, and is shocked to find her arch rival from college is her neighbor. Augustus ‘Gus’ Everett is also an author, also having writer’s block. However, the two couldn’t author different genres if they tried. They team up to try & bust their writer’s block by writing each other’s chosen genres – and spend a LOT of time together as a result…

As much as this title would lead you to believe otherwise, this book is not entirely lighthearted. There are some serious topics tackled and discussed, but it is still an amazing romantic comedy. Janaury and Gus’ chemistry just leaps off the page, and they are both very funny and endearing. They communicate with each other via messages written on notepads and held up in mirrors ala Taylor Swift in the You Belong with Me video – which is completely heartwarming. And don’t get me started on the Gus in the tent scene…

The middle portion of this book has a slower pace which causes it to drag a bit. And I feel like there could’ve been more time spent wrapping up the bet they made – it could’ve just been longer and more detailed and I would’ve loved that.

I finished this book weeks ago and I still think about it pretty regularly – which I always find to be a great sign about how good a book is. It is definitely one I will reread in the future when I need to read an amazing book.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Chosen Ones

Title: Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones #1)

Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: HMH

Publication date: April 7th, 2020

432 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The first novel written for an adult audience by the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise: five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons—and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice.

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

Review

Thank you to HMH and Netgalley for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review

Chosen Ones flips the fantasy script and focuses on the aftermath of what happens when you’re Chosen to save the world. 10 years after they vanquished the Dark One, the gang gets pulled into another dimension/universe to slay another villain. Told exclusively from Sloane’s POV, Chosen Ones strikes a balance between being Chosen and being human. Characters are dealing with alcoholism, PTSD, drug addiction recovery, and racism is even touched on briefly. As readers, you don’t really get to see what happens AFTER the big battle – and especially not 10 years later.

The characters in this book all have problems, like serious problems. If you’re looking for redeemable characters that leap off the page with their airy lightness and happiness, keep it moving. Sloane is seriously dealing with PTSD and trying to hold it together. She is dating Matt, but when he proposes she freaks out and burns the relationship to the ground. Matt honestly isn’t much better, but it helps to show that they all aren’t quite back. I happen to like them even more that they aren’t redeemable, but I do feel like some conflict could have been avoided by having simple conversations.

I truly feel like Albie and Ines got shafted in this book. They have SO LITTLE page time, so I really wonder what the purpose was. The beginning to this book (where they existed) was fairly slow going and some scenes seemed unnecessary. However, the book really picks up when they are pulled into the other dimension. This is when the book really starts to get good and I got invested in the story.

THE ENDING. Without spoilers, the ending is a wild ride. I definitely did not see parts of it coming, especially not the big reveal. Along the way I picked up on some clues, but I was still fooled. The ending is fairly clear, there really isn’t a cliffhanger even though I believe there is a sequel. However, I found the writing in the ending to be very confusing and hard to follow. This could potentially be cleared up in edits, as this is an ARC.

Overall, I would give this a 3.5/5 (rounded up to 4 for Goodreads). I will read the next book, however there were some significant enough issues for me that I couldn’t give it a whole 4 stars.

Happy reading, folks!