Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review| “Bloodmarked,” by Tracy Deonn

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I think there’s such a bittersweet feeling to receding an ARC of a book because on one hand, you get to read a book that you’ve been waiting a long time to read and you get to read it before anyone else. On the other hand, you have to wait longer for the release of the new book, not of the one you just read—but of the one that comes after.

And even though I’m about to write a full essay on how this book made me feel—I fear that there are not enough words to make me express the way I felt while reading this book. Please be aware that there will be spoilers for the first book because I can’t truly review the second book in a series without mentioning the events of the first one. This will probably also be a long review so buckle up.

In this book, we follow the story of Brianna a month after Nick’s disappearance. The war between the Legendborn and Shadowborn still remains a threat. Brianna still struggles to understand her past and her abilities with her ancestors on her mom’s side. Bree understands the responsibility she has as Crown Scion but feels at a crossroads when the Order won’t let her fight. Between trying to find Nick, worrying about the Order’s true purpose and fighting demons left and right, Bree has no choice but to trust her gut and learn to harness the power of those who came before, all without hopefully losing herself.

I believe one of the first ways to start this review is by telling you how this book made me feel. Tracy Deonn has grown so much in her writing. I didn’t think it was possible to make your writing better after already writing the perfect book, but she has managed to do it again. I was raptured from the first chapter all the way to the end. I was so excited to continue Bree’s story because I relate so much to her. Deonn takes this story and without preambles gives you a swift taste of her world in a way that it’s mostly inexplicable. And I will try to do her world justice in my review.

Even though only a month has passed since the last book, you can immediately tell the growth that Bree has gone through throughout the story. More importantly, the way her character keeps growing as the story develops is one of the aspects that make you stay glued to this story. As many of us know, women of color, especially Black women, have always grown at an inexplicable rate. That’s to say, many of them seem older than the years they have (mentally, and emotionally) because of the circumstances that surround them every day. With Bree is no different. Not only is she Black and dealing with racism in her normal everyday life, she now has to face racism in a world that she didn’t know about. A world that she didn’t get a choice to choose. Part of what I loved about the story was her little outburst and displays of emotions—sometimes without thinking. She made choices that put others at risk because she didn’t stop to think before her emotions took the best of her. And some may find that annoying, I know I did at points, but honestly, what did I expect? Bree is a sixteen-year-old girl, for God’s sake. She has every reason to react that way. The boy she loves was taken away from her and her whole world is crumbling down as she knows it. I can’t blame her for acting rash in certain situations. With that being said, she does learn her lessons as the book progress and it is wonderful to see her growth. I say all this to say that while Black women have been conditioned to grow up faster than any other women, Tracy took her time building Bree up. She didn’t make her act like a full-grown adult—when she really isn’t. She gave her character room to grow, to make her mistakes (as all of us do at that age), and learn from them.

As we all know, Bree struggles with her grief. Losing her mother was something she didn’t process fully in the first book and it’s not something I think the author can fully solve by the end of the series. On top of that, as she struggles to understand her heritage’s power, she also carries the weight of the grief of her ancestors. The lives that were taken from them. The choices they didn’t make. She is all of her mother’s daughter and she carries their grief with her. Bree is her grief and her grief is part of her and you can see how much it affects her throughout the story. To not only learn that her ancestors had no choice but to be brought onto this world with the Order and Legendborn but also to learn that many sacrifices had to be made in order for her to stop running and face her destiny. These are all part of her character growth throughout the story which makes you fall in love with Bree even more.

The story in and of itself it’s beautifully written as mentioned above. The wording gets complicated at times so it may be easier to get lost on this one. Deonn brings more Welsh words to this story too making the story a lot more intricate and beautiful. The world building although confusing at times still manages to flow perfectly with the world we once knew from the first book and even though we are introduced to more characters and more elements in this story it still holds together nicely.

Besides grief, racism is still a great threat in Bree’s life. She deals with it almost every day in this book. The grief she suffers in this book in part is due to the racist abuse that her ancestors went through. And now, living in a world she didn’t choose to be in, racism is still part of it and Bree feels helpless as she can’t help the odds are against her. Whether it is subtle microaggressions, like comments against her hair or more direct comments about the color of her skin, Bree can’t seem to escape the segregation of her people. And yet, the way this story is written makes me believe that Bree is a superhero. Because no sixteen-year-old should go through what Bree is going through and yet, she does handle all of these issues with her chin held high. But just as an FYI, you will cry for her during this book.

Now, Selwyn, my beautiful baby. I can’t say too much because I’m afraid I’ll give too much away but my baby. I love him to death. Not as much as I love Bree and her story—but you should know that I ship them together. With that being said, Bree is trying to find Nick. Her heart is still with him even though she fights her growing attraction toward Sel every day. I just wish it was him, you know? I can see myself in him so much. I don’t think I’ve ever related more to a male main character before. But something I want to make very clear, Bree’s story does not shrink to her decision to choose between him and Nick. That’s not what this story is about so if you’re reading it for those purposes only then you’re not worthy of this story. Yes, she’s clearly attracted to both boys but doesn’t try to reduce this story to only mean that. Also yes, you are allowed to enjoy the story because of that, but that doesn’t mean that others parts of this story aren’t more important.

With all that being said, read this story if you enjoy authors like Ayana Gray, Nicola Yoon, Adam Silvera, Jordan Ifueko, Roseanne Brown, Kalynn Bayron, etc. I hope you enjoyed this review and thank you for sticking to the end, I know it’s a long one. As far as trigger warning goes, there are many racist elements in this book so beware of that. The book is for 14 and older. Till the next one.

Books · Reviews - Adult books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” by Gabrielle Zevin

  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Nah, like I can’t even begin to tell you how this book made me feel. But the first emotion I had once I finished it was to cry. What an emotional rollercoaster. And man did it make me cry—which is funny because it wasn’t an overall sad story but at the same time it was. I don’t even know how to explain the plethora of emotions I went through while reading this book. It was so beautifully written. Worth every penny and every second spent reading the story. And I have to tell you, whatever John Green said about this book on TikTok is true–he was the one who convinced me to buy it anyway, so if JG says it’s good, then it has to be.

“And as any mixed-race person will tell you–to be half of two things is to be whole of nothing.

I found myself wanting to speed up the book so I could finally read the end, but at the same time, I wanted to take my sweat-ass time so that the story would last forever.

“This is what time travel is. Is looking at a person, and seeing them in the present and the past, concurrently. And that mode of transport only worked with those one had known a significant time.”

There were many times throughout the story where I thought, where is this book going? Like, what’s this book’s point? But hell, maybe this book isn’t trying to go anywhere. Maybe this book isn’t trying to teach you something. Maybe this book is just about reading a story that doesn’t really go anywhere and that’s okay. But don’t get me wrong, this book taught me many things: how to love more fiercely and let go more easily. An appreciation for art in its simplest forms or even in its more complicated forms. It even taught me to appreciate life more often and to give love more freely.

“It isn’t a sadness, but a joy, that we don’t do the same things for the length of our lives.”

I hope you get a chance to pick up this book, if not to learn something from it then at least to read a good story.

“Anything was fixable if you took the time to figure out what was broken.”

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “This Woven Kingdom,” by Tahereh Mafi

  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m obsessed. I don’t know how else to explain how I feel about this story. It was amazing. It felt like reading a Jane Austen period book, the language the author used for her writing of this story reminded me of a lot of books like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Jane Eyre, etc. I couldn’t take my eyes off the pages as I read. It was an exquisite story. Let me tell you all about it.

In this book, we follow the story of Alizeh and Kamran. Alizeh is an orphaned girl working as a servant in a prestigious household. She has been more or less running her life from her past, but her past always catches up to her. Kamran is the crown prince of the kingdom of Ardunia, he feels pressure from the current king—his grandfather—to be the perfect king his grandfather wants him to be. Unfortunately for Kamran, his heart is at odds with his grandfather. His grandfather wants him to select a bride that will bring honor to his kingdom and Kamran’s heart is torn. Now, the real question is, are they destined for each other even though every star seems to point in a different direction? I guess you’ll have to read to find out. 

When I tell you I read this story in a night, I’m not joking. I started reading this book at 9pm and finished reading it at 3 am. Which is clearly my fault since I was the one who decided to start to read Tahereh Maxi’s new book at 9pm. That’s what I get. I wasn’t expecting to love it so much. 

But if I loved it so much, why didn’t I give it 5 stars? Well, that’s a great question. I found the story inconsistent at times and it derailed a little too much from the main point of the story. The end also felt a little rushed and that cliffhanger was horrible, lol. And yes, that’s my opinion. 

Otherwise, the story was great. I thought the writing was excellent and like I mentioned at the beginning, it really felt like reading a story back in Jane Austen’s era. Tahereh made you feel every single emotion these two characters were feeling. There were some inconsistencies with the story but nothing too grand. There’s insta-love from one part in this book, then there’s also knife-to-throat. Somewhat of a grumpy-sunshine trope as well. Ugh, it was just written so beautifully. The magic system was a little confusing to get, I’m honestly not even sure how magic worked in their world but I know it exists.

Anyways, read this book if you like period dramas like Jane Austen, The Brontë Sisters, etc. Especially if you like a little fantasy mixed in it too. The tension between the two main characters will have you sitting at the edge of your seat throughout this entire story. 14+ readers. Thank you for reading my post, I truly appreciate it. 

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Long Way Down,” by Jason Reynolds

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is such an incredible short book that I think everyone should read. WOW, I finished it in two hours listening to the audiobook and I was blown away. Jason Reynolds created a masterpiece when he wrote this book. The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking of how he came up with a story like this, and to write it in prose—just wow. I’m not disappointed, especially because I was skeptical about it being my first prose book. But I got a few things to say about it so let’s jump right into it.

In this book, we follow the story of Will. His brother was killed right in front of him and part of the rules he grew up with was to get revenge when necessary. So the night that his brother was murdered, he went to get revenge. On the elevator, on his way out of the apartment, people start getting into the confined space—people he thought were dead. They’re all somehow connected to him and his brother. In that elevator, he learns the truth about so many things. What it is to be a young black kid in a society that doesn’t allow you to succeed. How unfair the world is, and so much more. I can’t say much more because I would be spoiling it. But this is a story about grief, about black lives, about the hood, that Jason Reynolds does such a great job of putting together. I’m telling you, you must read it.

I rated it 4 stars instead of 5 mostly because I’m still confused about that ending. I’m not sure what happens there and I have so many questions. But otherwise, this book is written beautifully. If you never read a book in prose, then I highly recommend you start with this one. You will not regret it. And it was such a quick read too! The way each poem blended together as if they were part of each other not just separate parts of a story trying to fight their way together. Each of these poems blended together so naturally that it felt like listening to a song almost. Anyone can read this book to be honest. But anyways, read it okay. Thank you for reading my post too!

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Gallant,” by V.E. Schwab

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Even though I finished reading this book in one night I could tell that it wasn’t the story for me. Not a bad story but you know when you start reading a book and you can tell when it’s going nowhere in your head?–that’s how this story felt like for me.

In this book, we follow the story of Olivia Prior, a girl who has grown up in an orphan house with the only ties to her family being her mother’s old journal. Even though she doesn’t remember anything from her mother, her mother leaves her a warning in her journal telling Olivia that she’ll be safe as long as she never goes to Gallant. That is until she receives a letter from her uncle after years of being alone summoning her to Gallant. She hears her mother’s warning about that place in her head but years of being alone in that orphanage make her throw all caution to the wind and follow the call. Once she arrives at Gallant, she finds out it’s a house where her cousin Michael lives with two other people. The house is full of secrets and mysteries and she has so many questions about her family, her mom, her dad, and who she truly is–that she knows the only way to figure out the answers is to find them out for herself because no one wants to give them to her. So, against everyone’s warning for her to leave and be free of that place, Olivia takes matters into her own hands and goes searching for the answers on her own. But the real question is, is she ready for the answers? And what is she willing to sacrifice to find them?

Honestly, this book had a hard time holding my attention. Even though one of my favorite genres to read is YA, this book managed to fall flat for me, and halfway through the book, I found myself going to Goodreads to check its classification because it kept reading as middle grade at times. I finished it in one seating mostly because I was cross-stitching while listening to it.

The story didn’t go anywhere. The more and more I read the book, the less relevant it became. I felt like the author was clasping at straws while writing the book and I couldn’t get a connection. The book itself was too long. The entire first part of the book could’ve been deleted from the story and you still managed to get the entire gist of it. Moreover, there was nothing moving about this book, and despite the fact that it had a sort of magical element to it it felt incomplete. Schwab never explained the true reason why the Priors were drawn to the house other than they just were and it was very inconsistent. Honestly, if you read the last part of this book, you get the full takeaway of this story and do not have to wonder about the rest.

The one thing I will mention though is Victoria’s writing style. She’s an amazing author that can transform words into songs. She has such beautiful-melodic writing that is impossible not to keep reading no matter how subpar the story ends up being. I loved the fact that our main character Olivia couldn’t speak. She did such a great job writing that character. And for all that I mentioned above, I really don’t think it’s a bad story. I do think it should have been marketed toward a younger audience and maybe not painted as horror because it really wasn’t horrific what we saw in this story.

I recommend you read it if you like authors like Ramson Riggs, Madeleine Roux, Tahereh Mafi, etc. Anyone 12 and older can read this story. And thank you for reading my post, I really appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Adult books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “The Kiss Quotient,” by Helen Hoang

  • Rating: 3.7 out 5 stars

What a cute story, I enjoyed it more than I was expecting to. And I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest, I went into this story a little blind. I’d heard nothing but great things about this book on BookTok and I told myself, let’s take a break from all the fantasy and give this light-hearted romance a try. The story wasn’t written for me but it wasn’t a bad story. Let’s get into it.

In this book, we follow the story of Stella and Micheal. Stella has Asperger’s and she has difficulty being intimate with people. To solve her intimacy issue she decides to hire an escort–enter Michael. Michael comes from a hard-working family whose bills never seem to end, so he decides to pick up this job of escorting on the side to help his family out since their dad is out of the picture. When he first meets Stella, he thinks this is going to be just like his other jobs, something quick and easy to appease a lonely woman. However, he does not expect to find shy and timid Stella asking him for help in the bedroom department. Once they agree to their terms, neither of them knows that they’re in for way much more than they bargained for. This is a tale of learning to live with a disability, of learning that your family mistakes are not your own and learning to live with your life choices.

I think this book has an incredible message especially for people that have Aspergers. The author does an incredible job of writing Stella and her condition because she truly goes into heavy detail as to what Stella’s thinking most of the time and how her brain works. It was very entrancing at times to read from her perspective because as a (relatively) normal person, one never thinks about what goes through people’s heads when they have this certain condition. Michael was such a sweetheart most of the time and he took care of Stella. Even though Stella didn’t tell him about her condition right away, he could tell that she was different–not in a bad way–more like she needed more special attention than his other clients have. 

With all that being said, I didn’t enjoy the storyline perse. The characters themselves were great but the storyline lost me multiple times. I think that this story had the potential of becoming a little more than what it was but that’s not to say it’s a bad story. I know many of you will love this book. It just lost my interest multiple times while I was reading it and didn’t give me what I was supposed to give. 

Nevertheless, I recommend this book if you like authors like Nicola Yoon, Mariana Zapata, Colleen Hoover, etc. Anyone 18+ can read this book. And as always, thank you for reading my post, I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Better Than Movies,” by Lynn Painter

  • Rating: 3 out 5 stars

I kind of wanted to rate it lower but this bok did make me smile a couple of times, so I am going to give it a three. I just don’t even know where to start. This book was so predictable (and we’ll get into that later) and unbelievably corny, ugh. I really wanted to like it, but God, I didn’t. At all.

In this book, we follow the story of Liz, her childhood crush moves back into her hometown again after many years of not seeing him. A lot has happened since she last saw him. Her mom passed away, her neighbor and her fight all the time over a parking spot on the street, she has become best friends with a girl that wasn’t so friendly towards her when they were little. But anyway, I derail. Liz knows she’s not over her crush so she asks her infuriating neighbor Wes to help her win her crush over in exchange for a permanent stay at the parking spot. Wes agrees wholeheartedly as long as he gets the parking spot. So they start a fake-dating relationship of sorts where Wes tries to get her with Michael (her crush), but the more time she spends with Wes, the less she starts thinking about Michael.

And that’s it, that’s the story really. You can imagine everything else that happens in the book. It is so predictable. Honestly from page one, I knew who she going to end up with because of the way she described him. I rolled my eyes about 200 times reading this book. It was so annoying. It doesn’t help that Liz loves rom-coms and chick-flicks (there’s nothing wrong with that because I love them too and I’m a romantic at heart) because it quite literally follows all the stereotypes you can think of in a romantic movie. This book lacks substance, so much substance. I really can’t tell you how boring this story was and it was 200 pages too long.

Furthermore, the enemies-to-lovers trope in this book was so painfully obvious it didn’t leave any room for the imagination. You know when you’re reading a love triangle (a good one anyway) it’s really hard to tell who the MC is going to end up with. Not on this book. I believe that she was describing her enemy with the most absurd descriptions from chapter one and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, knowing damn well that’s the guy she’s going to end with. Moreover, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this story. It’s just a repeat of something I’ve read so many times that I honestly can’t believe the publishers went with it. Another thing is if they “slammed the door,” one more time–I swear, the author has never heard of closing a door in her entire life. They were slamming doors for no reason like the situation didn’t even seem tense or agitated for them to be slamming so many doors. On the other hand, the author really seemed like she had never met a teenager in real life because wow, the dialogue between these characters was so cringy. 

Liz, the MC, annoyed me to no end. I can’t really talk about her grief because I have never experienced grief like hers (thank God) so I won’t. But what I will talk about is the unnecessary lying. She was lying up and down for no purpose at all. I do get that as a teenager is harder to communicate the truth because you’re at such a vulnerable age and you’re so afraid of what people may think of you, but trust me, nothing good comes from lying as Liz saw in this book. 

Anyways, read this book if you like authors like Morgan Martson, Jenn Bennett, Julie Buxbaum, Jennifer Niven, etc. Thank you guys for reading my post. I truly appreciate it. 14+ readers can read this book.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Little Thieves,” by Margaret Owen

  • Rating: 4 out 5 stars

I’m not even surprised at this point–Owen can take any story and turn it into magic with her writing. I was able to leave my house and transport into this wonderful story of lies, hurt, betrayal, but overall, love. Let’s just jump right into it.

In this book, we follow the story of Vanja, daughter of Death and Fortune. By her thirteen birthday, Vanja needs to pick between choosing to serve either of her moms, but Vanja refuses–she refuses to be anyone’s servant any longer. Vanja also happened to work as a maid to Princess Gisele, and one night, fate goes in her favor and she’s able to switch places with Gisele. Now, Vanja is the fake princess that steals jewels in order to run away. But one day, she stills more than what she bargains for. The fake princess is now cursed and has to help to solve a mystery behind the death of the king all the while trying not to get caught by her Godmothers. This world is full of adventures, lies, deceit, and much more. You’ll have to read the Goodreads description of the book if you want more, but what I’m trying to say is that this story is worth reading. 

This is the second book I read of Owen’s, (I’ve yet to read Faithless Hawk, I know), but I loved her Merciful Crow book and when I heard she was coming out with a new book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Owen has such a way with words, her writing is melodic and it reminds a lot of Leigh Bardugo’s writing. This book was just so entrancing. There are very few authors who are able to transport into their world with their writing and Magaret Owen is one of them. 

I will say the beginning of the book was a bit slow, so you may find it harder to get into it at first. It took me until chapter eight to really get hooked on the story. I actually started reading this book at the end of 2021 but because it was so slow in the beginning, I put it down and read four more books before I was able to pick it up again. With that being said, after it picked up, I couldn’t put it down. Our main character Vanja got annoying at times, and yet I understood her perfectly.

Little Thieves was based on the children’s story “The Goose Girl,” written by the Brothers Grimm. We know in this story that Vanja is supposed to be the evil girl, and even so, I couldn’t help but feel compassion for the girl. She had been dealt so many wrong cards in her life and all she was trying to do was figure a way out. Even though while she did that, she kept digging herself into a big hole. She’s unapologetically herself no matter the hat she’s wearing. She’s sassy, smartmouthed, and hardheaded, but she does it so well. I hate that people may think she’s a pick-me girl because of her attitude and personality, but in reality, that’s the way the world has shaped her to be after it’s wronged her so many times. Vanja learns to not trust anyone because the people she’s trusted in the past have stabbed her in the back before. 

I’m quite literally obsessed with her character and all the hardships she’s been through. Because of her stubbornness, she gets herself into her problems but also manages to escape them. Her cleverness is what makes her discover the truth in the end. Her personality is what has kept her protected all these years and she shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting to do that. I related to this character in more ways than one. She was painted as the villain of the story her whole life and yet–all she was trying to do was survive.

This story made me emotional in more ways than one and it even made me cry multiple times. I recommend this story to anyone that wants to reminisce about a story of their childhood. Every time I picked up the book, it felt like reading a children’s fairytale. 14+, but be aware that there’s talk of emotional abuse and children abuse. I highly recommend this story if you like storytellers like Leigh Bardugo, Margaret Rogerson, Roshani Choski, etc. Thank you, as always, for reading my post. I truly appreciate it. 

Books · Reviews - Adult books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “The Poppy Way,” by R.F. Kuang

  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Oh wow, what a ride. I was not expecting this book to be this dense and heavy. I kept seeing this book all over Booktok and it’s on my list of “let’s read new things this year” goals, so I told myself to read this book outside my comfort zone. I have so many things to say about it so let’s jump right into it. 

In this book, we follow the story of Fang Runin, a girl that has been given many choices in life. Her childhood was not one she’d like to remember, an orphan herself, her foster parents were awful to her. They promised to marry her off to some random man and she would rather die than accept that faith. With that being said, there’s an option of her studying for a test that allows her to go to a prestigious academy for free if she scores the highest grade in her class. Once she does score the highest grade, she finds out that being her–a dark-skinned girl from the south, impoverished and orphaned–is harder than anything she would’ve imagined. After years of training at her school, her country is at war, and Rin is faced with the impossible task of trying to fight for a country when the odds are against them. This book is about death, loss, suffering, and much more.

It’s really hard to explain the contents of this book, so I’ll take an excerpt from the Goodreads description, A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth-century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.” I hope this provides a better understanding of what you’re getting into.

Let’s start with what I thought about the book itself. It felt very dense and heavy. The book starts with Rin being about fifteen years old and (correct me if I’m wrong), ends with her being about eighteen. The book slowly drags us through the years as they go by through the eyes of the character. It’s very slow-paced at times even though it felt rushed at the same time. I felt like this book could’ve been divided into three books rather than one but that’s mostly because I’m used to reading YA fantasy which tends to be less heavy with the amount of information it provides. But that has nothing to do with the overall story, it has more to do with my perception of the book. 

Many times I had found myself overwhelmed by the book because of the overwhelming amount of information that the author gave us. Most scenes in this book happened so quickly and I felt like the author didn’t give us enough time to process what had happened by the time she was switching up the pace of the book to move forward with the story. I mention that to say that the pace of this book felt all over the place. There was so much happening at the same time and we had little to no space to adjust to the changes made in the story. Moreover, there were elements of the book that the author spent too much time on that weren’t necessarily relevant to the overall plot of the book and it felt redundant to include these scenes most of the time. 

As a character, I wasn’t obsessed with Rin. I do think that she was acting as a normal girl would in a world where she was always put behind and not expected to succeed but at the same time she got quite annoying. It felt like the lessons that her masters were teaching her weren’t getting through her head because most of the things she learned at her school went out the window when she had to put them into practice. She was insubordinate, hardheaded, and tough to reason with. There were many times where many people told her not to do something and she did it anyway and then she audacity to be surprised when things didn’t go her way. That said, I do think she represents survival in a person because all of the elements of her personality that I mentioned were the ones that got her to where she is now.

This book on top of being heavy and very dense on world-building is also very dark. The author doesn’t sugarcoat anything. There’s talk about self-harm, child abuse, torture, body dismemberment, very descriptive blood-fighting scenes, and descriptions of rape. I would tread lightly around this book. I had to physically stop reading the book one night because I couldn’t get through some of these scenes. So, be careful when reading and check upon trigger warnings. 

Finally, it is clear to me that I ventured far away from my normal YA/NA fantasy world. The other fantasy I’ve read has been heavily involved with romance, so most of them have never been quite this dense. All things considered, the 3.5 stars review is not a bad one. I do think that this book was written beautifully and you can tell the effort and the academic background that the author put into this story. Just because it wasn’t my kind of story doesn’t mean it was a bad book. I wholeheartedly believe that this book was written for a certain audience and that they would love this book very much, nevertheless, I don’t think I’ll ever finish this series. 

Nevertheless, I recommend you read the book if you like high-fantasy worlds and heavy war talk. I haven’t read a book like this so I don’t know what to compare it to, but in a way, the book reminds me of Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto. 18+ only for this book. Please check trigger warnings before reading this book because it’s heavy. And thank you for reading my post, I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Adult books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Seven Days in June,” by Tia Williams

  • Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Seven Days In June, wow, what a story. I don’t even know how to feel yet. I finished reading it five minutes ago and still can’t get over it. What made this story different from any other romance I’ve read, you ask? The characters felt so raw and so real, it was almost intimidating. I can’t say I loved every second of the book but damn, did it keep me going. I couldn’t stop reading it.

In this book, we follow the story of Eve and Shane, two souls that separated fifteen years ago and that have now found each other again. They met each other in high school and spent a whole week together. The week they spent together felt more real than anything but then abruptly, they’re separated. Now, fifteen years later, Eve has a twelve-year-old daughter, has written a whole series, and has become a successful author. Shane has gone through it all, but he’s also become a successful author. Now that they are grown and have found each other again, they don’t know how to act around each other. But, now it’s a matter of believing in each other again and seeing if they want to risk it all and be together again, or are they going to let their past mistakes prevent them from reuniting?

I’m going to start talking about Eva, aka Genevieve, Mercy. She struggles so much as a successful author, single mother, and has a disability. She suffers from really bad migraines and has to be on very strong painkillers all the time. Not only that but taking care of her twelve-year-old daughter Audre, who’s very outspoken and has a mind of her own is also very challenging. To top it all off, she has written an erotica series about witches and vampires that is similar to Twilight I believe, but that has an incredible fandom, and she’s working on her last book of the series, book 15. With all of that going on in her life, Eve barely has time for anything else in her life, especially not love. She still somehow hasn’t gotten over her first love, her high school sweetheart after so many years. So trying to find love or to find someone new has felt impossible especially because of her disability.

Shane has gone through so much as a man, I felt bad for him most of the time. He used to be an alcohol addict and is now two years sober. The way he tries to cope now is by helping kids that had the same childhood as him. He teaches English in high school, because he wasn’t able to write sober, and he helps kids that don’t seem to have a future. Shane comes from a troubled past, a foster kid himself he was never able to feel safe or find a safe place for himself. That’s until he met Genevieve when he was seventeen. Finding her was his salvation but only to lose her so quickly he didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. 

Reading about these two characters was so painful, mostly because they were so real and raw as I mentioned before. This is not your typical romance story, where two regular people with their regular day-to-day issues fall in love. This story is about two broken teenagers that found each other when they needed someone the most and about two broken adults that reconnected even though they weren’t sure they could make it through this time. Even though this book is marketed as a contemporary romance, I do find this book quite dark. Each one of them goes through some form of self-harm or drug abuse when they were younger so I recommend checking trigger warnings before you start reading this story, but nevertheless, it’s a great story to read. 

Again, I would proceed with caution, it’s not an easy story to read because of all the pain and suffering each of these characters goes through throughout this story. This is not your fluffy piece of romance that you take with you on a plane. This author reminded me a lot of Colleen Hoover. Matter of fact, think of this as if it was one of Colleen Hoover’s stories but about Black people. 

One other thing I’d like to mention about this book before I let you go is that I loved how modern this was. Like, it was written in the 21st century, Gen-Z English and it was so refreshing to see it written in a not so corny way. 

I say read this book if you like authors like Colleen Hoover, Talia Hibbert, Jasmine Guillory, etc. Read this book if you’re 18+ and please check content triggers before reading the book. Thank you for reading my post, I truly appreciate it.