Monday, April 8, 2019

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

“For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.

The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.

What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I have enjoyed reading Emma Mills’ books since her first, First & Then, but this one blew me away. Readers will go in thinking that the book is just about getting a famous singer to return to her hometown but Sophie and her friends go through some heart-wrenching journeys to make it out on the other end. Lots of shocking revelations occur. Definitely, my favorite book of her’s so far.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

“Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I loved the author’s first book, One of Us is Lying, but her sophomore novel absolutely blew me away. Ellery Corcoran is a true crime fanatic in part to her mother’s twin sister’s disappearance during their senior year homecoming dance. With their mother now in rehab in California, Ellery and her twin Ezra move across the country to live with their Nana in Echo Ridge, a small town full of secrets. With multiple stories and layers of mysteries to be solved, readers will be gripping tightly to their books well after the last line is read.

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

“How do you kill a god?

As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.” - taken from Goodreads.com 

Once again, Ms. Levenseller crafts a flawed but preserving female heroine who stands up for what she believes in. In this standalone novel, Rasmira has everything going for her until the day she is betrayed and banished from her village. Set forth with what seems to be an impossible task, to kill an unrelenting god, Rasmira is determined to get back to her five sisters. Meeting two boys who were banished from a neighboring village, the three devise a plan to complete their tasks.

This was a book I quickly read to see how Rasmira and the boys fared. I can not wait to see what this author publishes next.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

"Lacey Barnes has dreamt of being in a movie for as long as she can remember. However, while her dream did include working alongside the hottest actor in Hollywood, it didn’t involve having to finish up her senior year of high school at the same time she was getting her big break. Although that is nothing compared to Donavan, the straight-laced student her father hires to tutor her, who is a full-on nightmare.

As Lacey struggles to juggle her burgeoning career, some on-set sabotage, and an off-screen romance with the unlikeliest of leading men, she quickly learns that sometimes the best stories happen when you go off script." - taken from Goodreads.com

I literally devoured this book because I just couldn’t put it down. Lacey Barnes, a high school senior and actress, is on the set of her very first movie. Away from home and living with her single dad, he is bound and determined to keep Lacey grounded while she is on set. Enter Donovan Lake, the cute tutor that her dad hired to help Lacey with her school work. Neither wants to become involved with the other and here is where the magic takes place. While figuring out her feelings and trying to act on them, Lacey also realizes that someone is sabotaging the movie set. With Donovan and the help of both old and new friends, Lacey sets out to stop the perpetrator and keep her career on the right track.

A true slow burn romance, this latest Kasie West book is now one of my favorites from her. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza (Empress of a Thousand Skies book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Empress of a Thousand Skies, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Empress

With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown.

Fugitive

Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home.

Princess

Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was.

Madman

Villainous media star Nero is out for blood, and he’ll go to any means necessary to control the galaxy. 

Vicious politics and high-stakes action culminate in an epic showdown that will determine the fate of the universe.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I really wish that I had picked up the ending to this duology sooner than I did for the simple fact of remembering all of the little details from the first book. It really didn’t take me long to fall back into the story of the Ta’an sisters and their quest to regain the throne from Nero. Our main characters are separated for most of the book. Told from the POVs of Rhiannon, Kara, and Aly, the story ends on quite a dramatic note.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Cursed Sea by Lauren DeStefano (The Glass Spare book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, The Glass Spare, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

“Wilhemina Heidle, the exiled princess of Northern Arrod, the girl thought dead by her family and friends, must return home. The only way to save Loom, the cursed prince of the Southern Isles, is to revisit the castle and discover the origins of her own curse.

But home is very different from how she left it—Wil’s unstable elder brother is now king, leading a war against the Southern Isles. And the rest of her family must reckon with the truth of what happened to lead to Wil’s exile. With time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family if she’s going to find the truth and save the boy she loves.

When she’s finally able to reach Pahn, nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives, again and again, as the Southern King is out to punish his children for all they’ve done. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil, Loom—and his ruthless sister Espel—have to work to make peace with their own struggles if they hope to secure the future of their kingdoms.

But when their plans lead them right back to evil marveler Pahn, and to Baren—who is more dangerous than ever—can Wil and her friends outsmart their enemies, this time, for good?” - taken from Goodreads.com

When Wil returns home to face the fallout from her curse and to find a way to help Loom, she isn’t prepared for what she discovers upon her arrival. Readers uncover along with Wil the origins behind her curse and the royal family. For me, the ending was especially satisfying. Another great fantasy read.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Wicked King by Holly Black (The Folk of the Air book 2)


SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, The Cruel Prince, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Check out Book Series Recaps for a refresher of the first book.

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

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

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

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

Five months have passed since the surprising betrayal and upheaval that occurred at the end of The Cruel Prince, Our girl Jude has placed herself in a precarious situation where she can trust very few. When Carden begins to take his role seriously and someone close to Jude double-crosses her, control slips from her grasp.

Holly Black’s Folk of the Fair Air trilogy is definitely not lacking. In fact, after enjoying the first book tremendously, I can honestly say this book is even better. Readers, be prepared. The ending is killer!

The finale to Jude’s story, The Queen of Nothing, is expected in 2020.