Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Kingdom of the Wicked,” by Kerri Maniscalco

  • Rating: 3.5 out 5 stars

This story was very unexpected. That 3.5 rating is not a bad rating but it is also not a great one. I loved Kerri’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series, I thought they were full of life and had the most authentic characters in them. In this one, however, I found myself getting lost while reading the story because I couldn’t necessarily find the true purpose of each character. I know that for a story to develop there needs to secrets for the reader to unfold but at the end of the book, I couldn’t help but feel unsatisfied at how the characters of this story were developed.

In this book, we follow the story of Emelia Maria di Carlo, she is a witch that lives in Italy with her family. She and her twin sister were once very close, but as they grew older, that trust became more of a frail thing. While Emilia worked in their family’s restaurant, Vittoria–Emilia’s twin sister–snuck off to do who knows what. Ignoring her grandma’s wishes for them to stay inside and practice protection spells, Vittoria still went about the night not caring for her grandma’s cautious words about how demons were roaming the earth. It wasn’t much later when Emilia found her sister’s corpse. So now Emilia, filled with sadness, grief, and anger, tries to seek vengeance for her sister promising death to her killer, little does she know that she’d need help from the wickedest of all demon princes, Wrath.

Emilia’s character was more so like when you try to blow a candle but even though you keep blowing the candle won’t go out. I completely understand that while you’re trying to deal with grief you want to focus all that energy on something productive, something that sort of makes you forget. The way Emilia dealt with her grief was trying to find her sister’s killer. And while I don’t condemn her for doing so, I believe she could’ve been smarter about it. 

Wrath, one of the Seven deadly princes of Hell, was a mystery to me throughout this book. Even as I read his character development in the story, I still couldn’t figure out his purpose. I never felt a connection between Emilia and Wrath at all. She was using him and he was using her. Kerri didn’t give us enough sentimentality in this book for us to fall in love with them as characters, which is why I was so confused in the end when Emilia felt like Wrath had betrayed her. 

The entire book felt like something was missing, the more I read, the more I kept trying to find something that wasn’t there. In the end, when I finally thought the book would climax, I didn’t feel anything at all. This is such a shame because this story had so much potential. I was waiting for Emilia to kill one of the princes, or for her to take hold of her life and make it make sense. I don’t even know how to explain it other than it was lackluster. I would probably read the next book because I’m curious to see what’s next for these two characters, but make no mistake, this is not a story about forbidden love. This isn’t the story where a witch falls in love with the most dangerous prince of Hell. In this story, you won’t fall in love with the prince either. This story is about a witch that lost her sister and will do anything to avenge her.

If you like, Jennifer Armentrout, Richelle Mead, Brigid Kemmerer, S. J. Jones, Sarah Henning, Natalie Parker, etc; then you’ll enjoy this book. Fifteen-year-olds and older can read this book. And as always, I want to thank you guys for reading my post. I truly appreciate it.

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Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Blood & Honey,” by Shelby Mahurin

  • Rating: 3/5 stars

I don’t know how to feel about this one. It’s been about a year since I read the first book, which I loved. It was such a good book, but I have to admit that going into this one, I didn’t remember much. However, with that being said, it didn’t take me too long to catch up—halfway through the book, I knew the general idea of what I was missing from the last one.

Now the thing that irked me from this book is the fact that Reid and Lou didn’t act as they did in the first book. Well, at least not Lou. I really don’t know, there was something off about the book, you know? I wasn’t expecting them to act so distantly towards each other. After what they went through in the first book, I thought that in this one they’ll be closer, and yet I didn’t see the love for each other until towards the end. 

Ried was always in his head, always resenting magic and resenting Lou at the same time for using it. I’m sorry to say it (not really) he acted like a child throughout this book. Lou, I understood, she was trying to hold everything together and keep the peace while trying to save the world basically. However, because both characters were thinking more to themselves instead of speaking to each other, there were so many problems that they could’ve avoided.

The story was also very somber, I didn’t have fun reading this book. It was very heavy and full of death—even more than the first one. I understand that they had a tough journey ahead of them and what they would face wasn’t going to be easy, but there wasn’t a moment were each character wasn’t too stuck in their head for us to truly enjoy it. 

I had a hard time getting through this one, I’m not going to lie. The ending was also lackluster, I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t that. I’ll probably read the other one when it comes out, but I’m not going to put my hopes up.

If you enjoy Claire Legrand, Brigid Kemmerer, Jennifer Armentrout, then you’ll enjoy this series. For 17 year old and older. Thank you guys for reading my post, I truly appreciate it.

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Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Kingdom of Flesh and Fire,” by Jennifer L. Armentrout

  • Rating: 4/5 stars

Oh my gods, (see what I did there), this book is going to be the death of me. That ending! What does that ending mean!!!! I’m so astounded right now, I don’t even know what to do. How can she decide to end the book like that?! I hate to say it but I need to read the third one right now.

I’ll try not to spoil the first book too much just in case you haven’t read it. But this the second book in the Blood and Ash series by the wonderful Jennifer L. Armentrout AKA JLA. I have so many questions, as one normally does after one is left with a cliffhanger that big. One thing is for sure, the people of Atlantia were scared and I’m not sure if I like that.

There’s too much going on in this book if I’m being honest, too much for me to care to explain. All you need to know is that besides everything that went down between Hawke and Poppy in the first book, they manage to find each other and be real for once in their lives. Without giving too much away, Poppy realized that there was nothing she could do to fight her undeniable feelings for him. She accepted her fate by his side. 

I just wanted to tell you in this review that things got more intense in this book, there was also a lot of blood and fighting. I loved the dynamic between Hawke and Poppy, I don’t think that I’ll ever get tired of it. I really want to tell you more but there isn’t much to say that doesn’t spoil the book, so I’ll just leave you with the suspense. Also, we may possibly have a threesome in the next book…? Which I can’t say I’m mad about, LOL. I may be stretching it though, I highly doubt that’s going to happen, but who knows?

Anyways, if you like Holly Black, Sarah J. Maas, Renee Ahdieh, Claire Legrand, then you’ll for sure enjoy this story. Please only read it if you’re over 18 though, haha. Thank you for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it. Ugh, I can’t believe I have to wait till April to read the next one *insert crying emoji*

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Non-Spoiler Book Review | “From Blood and Ash,” by Jennifer Armentrout

“Those slippers are likely to be the death of you, and that dress…the death of me.”

Rating: 4 out 5 starts

It’s 1:30 am, you know the normal time one finishes reading a book that just makes your toes curl, in a good or bad way. I have to say, I have so many mixed emotions about this book. First, I loved it, and then I was bored (not really), then I was anxious, then I was hella suspicious, and then I was SO turned on, and then I was hella confused, and then I was betrayed but like in an I-knew-it kind of way, and then I loved it, and then I was mad again. Ugh, so many emotions.

*cracks fingers*

In this book, we follow the story of Poppy, she is a Maiden, which basically means she was chosen by the gods to become the next person who would take their people to the ascension. The Ascension is too complicated for me to explain and honestly, I only got what the meaning of that was by the end of the book. Poppy feels restricted because as a Maiden her life isn’t her own. She had suffered through so much and wasn’t allowed to do practically anything, Poppy was tired. Then enter Hawk, who’s a guard that gets assigned to her because her previous guard was murdered and, well…

I really don’t want to get into describing too much of the story because it’s complicated, and to explain too much would give everything away. Honestly, there’s no way I can think of summarizing the premise of the book because even the description of the book doesn’t do this book justice. Something I can do, though, is talk about Poppy. Wow, she impressed me. Throughout the entire story she just kept pushing, you know? Was I happy that she fell for the first guy that batted his eyelashes at her? No, but when you are young and innocent and SO inexperienced, it is expected–so, I can’t say I blame her.

She’s strong-willed and defiant, and even though she knew she would suffer for it, she chose to stand up for herself and steal some of the life that was taken from her. I admired her for that. It was foolish, but it was also brave. She was also very caring and felt the pain and the sorrow of everyone around, not just because of her gift, but because she was so aware. She did annoy me though, many times, and at times I wanted to choke her, lol. Why was she so obsessed with him not calling her names? Like, I’m sure 65% of the book is just her saying, “stop calling me that,” or something of that nature. But overall, I liked her, she had her moments, and there were certain times where I thought she was going to react differently to a situation but she surprised me. And is it just me or do you ever stop in the middle of reading and play out a scene in your head the way you would’ve wanted it to go? Because I did that so many times throughout this book, lol. But I guess we would have no story if we reacted my way to this book.

I do want to say something about Hawke though, nothing spoiler-y so don’t worry. You know how when you know–you know? Well, I knew, immediately. I was like, Bitch LOL. And that’s all I’m going to say on that.

The book was impressively long–like, every time I thought it would end, it didn’t. And don’t get me wrong I didn’t want this story to end but there were so many plots evolving at the end that I didn’t know what was happening. And the more I kept reading, the more the book seemed to keep going and going–not dragging, but it still felt long. There were some parts of the book that maybe I could’ve done without and then maybe the book wouldn’t feel as long. However, I think that the main reason the book felt long to me was that everything happens at the end. Like there are probably five chapters of the plot unveiling and each chapter felt like an ending to me, if that makes any sense.

Oh, I also have to mention, this book is sexy, like way too sexy, like you may need help to get through this book if you know what I mean. But that’s all I’ll say about that.

JLA killed it again, although I’m not surprised. If you like Sarah J. Maas, Claire Legrand, Renee Ahdieh, etc, then you’ll enjoy this book as well. This book is for eighteen-year-olds and older, sorry kids. Thank you for reading my post y’all, I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Bookish and the Beast,” by Ashley Poston

3.5/5 stars

This book was quite adorable. Even though this book had been out for quite some time, I was excited to jump back into the Geekerella world. This time we follow the characters of Rosie and Vance, on which both points of view are told during this book.

Rosie recently lost her mom and she’s struggling with grief and the only way she manages to do this by meeting this mysterious guy at the fair that they go to each year. Needless to say, it was only for a moment and now she’s back at reality with her friends and having to go back to school, etc.

Now, enter bad boy Vance, he is the actor who plays the villain in the new movie. He’s done some stupid stuff in his life and now he’s being excited by his stepfather into this middle-of-nowhere town. And you guessed it, it’s the town where Rosie lives. It’s no spoiler to say that Vance was the guy that Rosie met on the roof earlier that year, and through a series of unfortunate events, they get to meet again. Only this time, he’s an asshole and she gets to work for him in his in-house library.

I love the representation in this book, there’s a nonbinary character in this book which is always nice to see because you get to learn more and more about different people as you read. The story remains coherent throughout the book and it entertaining as well. Sometimes Rosie went on a tangent, but besides that, the book was well written. And besides, this world is super cute! We get to hear from the characters of the other books, kind of like a reunion, and it’s overall super enjoyable. It also helps that the book is super short too, lol.

Anyways, if you like books by Jenna Evans Welch, Nicola Yoon, Morgan Matson, Emma Mills, then you’ll enjoy this series too. I recommend this book for fourteen years old’s or older and I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “By the Book,” by Amanda Sellet

2/5 stars

For those of you wondering if this is me coming back, let’s be real. It’s not. I’ll tell you that I’m back and then disappear for another few months. Today, I just happened to finish a YA book and finally wasn’t lazy enough to not write about it.

This was a cute book, but it was also very meh. I don’t know what I was expecting it to be like, but this wasn’t it. It’s not a bad story. I think it is perfect for those coming of age girls that are in High School and have a hard time associating with people—which is a great topic for 15-year-old girls.

In this book, we follow the story of Mary as she transfers to a new school. There she struggles with making new friends until she overhears this conversation between these three girls and she decides to bring her book knowledge into the conversation. She is very introverted, but I guess you would be too if you spent most of your life reading classics books and keeping to yourself. At some point through this story, I kept thinking that she was going to find her voice and speak up for herself, but that kinda never happened. But you know, that’s alright. Not everyone has to be outspoken all the time.

I like the fact that our main character loved to read books, especially classics. That’s a treat I wish I would have, but unfortunately, my love for romance books and YA books is too grand for me to venture into the classics world. Although, I did read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and loved it—I guess I should jump on that bandwagon again. But anyway, I feel like this is the perfect story for sweet and innocent fifteen-year-old girls that are just stepping out of their shells and would like to know more about High School and friendship, and love for that matter.

If you like books by Jenna Evans Welch, Julie Buxbaum, Morgan Matson, and any other author that writes fluffy contemporary romance books, then this would be your cup of tea. Also, thank you for reading my review, I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “The Upside of Falling,” by Alex Light

  • Rating: 3 out 5 stars
  • Pub Date: February 18th, 2020
  • Genre: YA Romance
  • Publisher: Harper Teen
  • Product: 9780062918055
  • Pages: Hardcover, 288

I finished reading this one and I’m happy to say I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t mind-blowing, nor was it excellent but it was a quick and easy read for me. I have to say I was a little skeptical when I first started this book, but it was a nice read and I’m glad I got to read it.

In this book, we follow two perspectives–Becca and Brett. Their relationship started all of a sudden because they started fake dating. Becca because she was being bullied about not having a boyfriend or ever being in love and Brett because he wanted to impress his father. Little did they know that what they get is more than what they bargained for. They’re honestly super cute from the beginning and nothing like you thought this would play out to be. They are good friends and there’s never “bad blood” between them, so it just feels natural that they end up being really together in the end.

One of the things that I really enjoyed from this book was Becca, her character and I really related throughout this book, and yes, I’m about to get deep and personal for a second. I read romance sort of for the same reason Becca reads romance. I only read romance books, whether they are YA or adult books–for me to be able to read a book it has to have some sort of romance in it. If not, I won’t even bother with it. My reasoning behind it is that those books represent the impossible, the things you know will never happen to you or anyone because they are a work of fiction. But reading these kinds of books is a way of pretending that something like that could happen to you. If you have an even bigger imagination, you can pretend that it is happening to you. However, for me, it feels like it’s a great way to escape and pretend my life is going to have the perfect ending, just like those books. Becca and I differ in love though. Yes, I do have to agree I’m a little pessimistic when it comes to relationships and love but not because of what she thought. More because I know what I want and I’m not going to settle for anything less. And why does that make me pessimistic, you ask? Well, because there are not many men out there that meet my high standards and so I’ve sort of given up in trying to make something happen or trying to change someone so they can meet my standards. I’m more or less waiting for things to happen now rather than me trying to go find them.

So, if you are an avid romance reader like Becca and I are, you’ll really relate to this book. You’ll enjoy this book if you read Jenna Evans Welch, Nicola Yoon, Jeff Zentner, Jennifer Niven, etc. Thank you, really, for taking the time to read my post. I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Tweet Cute,” by Emma Lord

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Pub Date: January 21, 2020
  • Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • Product #: 9781250237323
  • Pages: Hardcover, 368

Tweet Cute–when I saw the ratings on Goodreads I was super excited because it had high ratings and I told myself that this was the book that was going to bring me out of the slump. Boy, was I wrong. It wasn’t a bad story per se, but again, it wasn’t my story.

Enter Pepper, her family owns a big chain of fast-food restaurants and they decided to release a new item on their menu called “Grandma’s Special,” which was grilled cheese. The problem starts when a small New York restaurant notices that the ingredients for their grilled cheese is the exact same as their own grilled cheese and they call them out on twitter. And well, enter the twitter war. Jack, our other main character and who’s other point of view we see on this book, is the son of the owners of the small New York City restaurant and he’s in charge of the store’s social media, and Pepper is the one who’s in charge of the multi-million dollar twitter account for their family business.

Honestly, the story was alright–a little too long for my liking. I felt like I kept reading and reading and the story never ended. Pepper kept getting on my nerves. You could see her struggling trying to juggle school, baking, twitter and her growing feelings for Jack. They go to this elite private school in New York City and it’s hard to keep up with their demands as well as trying to manage everything else. But the thing is, Pepper was never outspoken and it killed me that she never went off on her mom. Sort of felt the same way with Jack, I felt like he never got that “heart-to-heart” talk with his twin brother which he always seemed to be in a constant back and forth with.

I think this book had great potential to become something bigger, but it felt off for me. But I don’t want to put your hopes down, you might enjoy it. I just find it a little impossible that a 17 year-old girl never traveled outside of seven blocks in the Upper East Side in the four years she has lived there. She didn’t know how to use the MTA or just go anywhere in NYC. I was so annoyed, LOL. But by all means, go ahead, read the book. It has a cute storyline. I think there were many scenes that we could’ve been without. So many things going on that didn’t apply to the end of the story at all.

But hey, read it if you like Jenna Evans Welch, Nicola Yoon, Becky Albertalli, Jenn Bennett, etc. And as always, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it.

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Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Chasing Lucky,” by Jenn Bennett

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Pub Date: November 10th, 2020
  • Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Product #: 9781534425170
  • Pages: Hardcover, 416

Should I give up on her books? I really don’t want to because Alex, Approximately was so good and I know I have to let my obsession with that book go, but damn, a girl just wants that. With that being said, I told myself, fourth time’s the charm–right? Well, it sure was honey.

For this book, we follow the story, Josie. She moves back to her hometown after five years of her touring the east coast with her mother. And by touring I mean her mother moved around a lot and hated her hometown “Beauty” so it comes as a surprise to Josie when they head back. There she meets with her long lost best-friend Lucky. Many feelings stirrup and it gets complicated and it gets interesting. Josie has many issues because of her mom and father but also because her family is not the one that communicates.

So, this leads to Josie not to trust anybody for everyone in this book to avoid talking about feelings or just talking in general. I think one of the biggest things that were missing in this book was communication and trust, but I also feel like many people will relate to this book because of it. Josie, having an unreliable mom, has let those trust feelings get involved with everything she does which I can’t blame her for. However, I think had she spoken to the people closest to her from the beginning many issues could’ve been avoided but then I guess the book wouldn’t have had a purpose.

With that being said, I’m not going to totally fault this book because it isn’t bad–not at all. It just wasn’t my kind of story but I do feel like many people would relate to this one. Now, read this book if you like Jenn Bennett, Kasie West, Jenna Evans Welch, Emma Lord, etc. And thank you for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Serious Moonlight,” by Jenn Bennett

Cute cover though…
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
  • Pub Date: April 16th, 2019
  • Genre: YA, Contemporary
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Product #: 9781534425149
  • Pages: Hardcover, 426

Well, here we go again. With everything going on in the world right now, I decided to start reading again, but to read light and fluffy books. Nothing too heavy or complicated. I was actually reading Alex, Approximately for like, the third time, (it’s that good I dare you to argue with me). And then I realized that I’ve yet to read her newest book. So, here I was, hoping it wasn’t anything like her other book, Starry Eyes because I really wasn’t a fan of that one–but anyway, let’s get to the review.

Birdie Lindberg, home-schooled, gets a job for the first time working the graveyard shift in a Luxury hotel. There she meets the guy that she’s been trying to avoid for a while now because of a mistake she made. Anyways, now she has to deal with the awkwardness of working with that guy all while trying to solve a mystery with him.

I think one of the most interesting things about this book is that it talks about narcolepsy and that our main character suffers from it. Birdie is embarrassed about this condition and that’s mainly why she doesn’t want to acknowledge that she’s suffering from it. That and the fact that she hates doctors and hospitals, etc. Other than that, the book felt a little lackluster for me. I can’t put my finger specifically on what it was, but this story just didn’t do it for me.

Maybe it was the fact that they spent the entire book trying to solve a mystery that in the end wasn’t totally necessary. And listen, I get why he did it. Daniel wanted to spend more time Birdie–and it was actually a great idea until it wasn’t. I just wish that Bennett would bring back her awesomeness from Alex, Approximately. I know I can’t expect every one of her books to have the same momentum but I sure do.

In the end, would I recommend this book? Yes, but only because we get to learn about narcolepsy. Other than that, not really. Read this book if you like What to say Next, Jenna Evans Welch, Julie Buxbaum, Kasie West, Emery Lord, etc. Thank you for reading my post, I really appreciate it.