Book Review – Fairy Godmothers, Inc.

This book was provided to me via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Book – Fairy Godmothers, Inc.

Series – Fairy Godmothers, Inc. #1

Author – Saranna DeWylde

Genre – Adult Contemporary Fantasy

Release Date – 29 December 2020

Rating – 3.5 blossoms

Book Review:

I actually don’t know where to start with this one, maybe that this was the most fun read to start off December with.

This is a true real-life, feel good, fairy tale for adults looking for an escape. With witty banter, sarcastic comebacks that will have you laughing out loud, and the fairy tale “happily-ever-after” you know you’ll get!

Now, we get a few viewpoints throughout this story. While it’s not fixed when you’ll read from what perspective, it is clear when there’s a change in narrative. There wasn’t a single moment when I didn’t know who was talking.

Lucky Fujiki is nothing like her name suggests. Her whole life unluck has followed her around, spreading to others who touch her. Nothing is more true than in her relationship with Ransom Payne. They couldn’t even have sex and their relationship definitely didn’t end well.

So, when her three godmothers (actual fairies, but she didn’t know that yet) asks her to get fake married with him, she isn’t sure she can face him. And what if her unluck gets worse?

Book Review – Lights at Midnight

This book was provided to me via Book Sirens in return for an honest review.

Book – Lights at Midnight

Series – Lights At Midnight Series #1

Author – Orchid Leigh

Genre – YA Fantasy

Release Date – 1 December 2020

Rating – 2 blossoms

Review

This book took me almost two whole weeks to read. While the concept was interesting and the mythical world, Glacia, piqued my interest, we only saw about 30% of watered-down action.

Most of this book is about teen angst. Cordelia, or Ellie, learns she is not just a normal teen but has a larger destiny. It’s all good, except that most of the book focused on her friendship with Peter and her ‘divided’ heart. Her ‘will she return’ game lasts until the final few chapters of the book, then there is a brief Glacia conclusion…

In my opinion, most of this book reads more like a Young Adult Contemporary – which is not what I signed on for – with a tiny sprinkle of the fantastical. This one might need some work and a better definition of the story arc.

Book Review – Two Can Keep a Secret

Book – Two Can Keep a Secret

Author – Karen M. McManus

Genre – YA Contemporary Mystery

Release Date – 8 January 2019

Review – 3.5 blossoms

Book Review

In Echo Ridge, homecoming queens disappear or are killed. The mystery is the connection between the two, since these events happened years apart. But who would do something like this?

Ellery and Malcolm are right in the middle of the latest mystery. Ellery is a possible victim and Malcolm a possible suspect. The town’s secrets keep growing; no-one is telling the truth!

Initially, I had thought I knew where this one will end and who was responsible but I was way off. I liked that I was surprised by the ending.

Ellery was my favorite character and I wished we saw more of her twin, Ezra. They moved in with their estranged grandmother, who reminded me of my own wonderful grandma… Ellery is obsessed with true crime and wants to solve all the mysteries within Echo Ridge.

Karen’s writing is superb, sucked me in, and made me invest in the characters and mystery (not easy to do).

In the end, I read this book in one sitting, enjoyed the secrets, the mysteries, fell in love with the characters and want to read more of Karen’s books. That’s good, right?

Book Review – The Lake Never Tells

Book – The Lake Never Tells

Author – Alex Tully

Genre – YA Contemporary Mystery

Release Date – 21 May 2020

Review – 3.5 blossoms

Book Review

Sunny Shores Trailer Park is home to Zoe and Parker. They may not be family by blood, but everyone at the trailer park feels like family. Next door, at Crystal Waters, is where Ethan stays for the summer holidays. A spoiled, rich boy, like all the others there, only he isn’t like that. He’s awkward and sweet.

With the opening chapter, we know this isn’t a typical romance, but rather a murder mystery. We get to see this story play out from the point of view of Zoe, Parker, and Ethan, and each voice is distinct.

Alex’s writing style is fun, easy-to-read, with a clear plot to follow. I enjoyed the ideas he touched on about loss and PTSD. It’s nice to read a book that focuses on friendship. My favorite character to read about was definitely Shirley, Parker’s grandmother. She will remind you of being a kid and loving life at your grandparents’ place.

A feel-good, fast-paced read that’ll make you miss the characters when it’s finished.

“Don’t worry, I can keep a secret,” Parker smiled even bigger, “and the lake never tells.”

Book Review – Whiskey Kisses

Book – Whiskey Kisses

Series – 3:AM Kisses #4

Author – Addison Moore

Genre – New Adult Contemporary

Release Date – 12 May 2014

Rating – 5 blossoms

Book Review

This installment focuses on Izzy, Laney’s older sister, and Holt, Bryson’s twin. Their secrets keep them from loving each other fully. While there’s a lot of hints to what their secrets could be, I refused to guess. I wanted the characters to reveal them when they’re ready.

The first book in this series doesn’t come close to this one. Addison’s writing improves with every book and since we meet a lot of the characters in previous books already, it feels like the amount of friends and the insight into them grows with each one.

I loved this book most, for the premise, and substantially more emotional story. These two had to overcome some serious personal issues and guilt to really be able to love each other. There might have been some tears at one point, but I’m a real softie (so it might just be me)…

Best read in the series so far, but there are a lot more to get to!

Book Review – To The Bone

This book was provided to me via Xpresso Reads in return for an honest review.

Book – To The Bone

Author – J.R. Johansson

Genre – Mystery

Release Date – 25 August 2020

Rating – 4.5 blossoms

Book Review

Harley’s whole life was turned upside down with her parents’ divorce, so when her aunt gave her a chance to spend the summer in Paris with her cousin, she went. If only she knew what was in store for them…

One of Gretchen’s friends invites her and Harley to an off-limits tour of the Paris Catacombs with an expert cataphile (someone who knows the catacombs well). After a cave-in kills him, three hours into the tour, they are stuck down there and they don’t know the way back out. When one of the group is murdered, things get difficult.

We follow Hadley throughout the story, with some insight into the police investigation, after her aunt finds she and Gretchen are missing. As time goes on and they seem to get more and more lost, one of them might be a killer, paranoia and fear sets in. The group fights, they throw suspicions around, and the hungrier and more dehydrated they get, the more confusing I got as to who the killer could possibly be.

J.R. Johansson had a well crafted, creepy, nail-biter ready with a surprise ending that gave me goosebumps. I’ll probably have to sleep with the lights on tonight, just to feel more safe.

P.S. Read this one in one sitting, once you start you have to keep going – the ending will be worth every hour spent! Also, I just could not put this book down…

Book Review – The Code for Love and Heartbreak

This book was provided via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Book – The Code for Love and Heartbreak

Author – Jillian Cantor

Genre – YA Contemporary

Release Date – 6 October 2020

Rating – 4 blossoms

Purchase Link (affiliated)

Book Review

A modern update of the classic story Emma. In this story, Emma wants to focus on her senior year, her academics, and the Coding Club project. But when she envisions a matchmaking app called ‘The Code for Love’, her whole world is turned upside-down and maybe now numbers just won’t be enough to get her through the year.

Emma likes numbers more than people, because numbers don’t lie. But she is so oblivious about what is going on around and right in front of her. There were times when I wanted to beat her with her own book, she’s just so clueless!

The other characters that feature help to make the story come to life, each of them unique. Whether Jillian modeled these characters from nothing or based them on real people doesn’t matter, you’ll find you have something in common with at least one of them.

I never realized how a lot of books put extreme emphasis on gender to distinguish LGBTQ+ characters, until this book didn’t. It felt way more realistic, because love is love and we shouldn’t need to label it.

All in all, this is a great read for when you need a break from all the thrillers and spooky books this fall. Who doesn’t want to find love, right?

Book Review – Kingdom of Sea and Back

This book was provided to me via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Book – Kingdom of Sea and Back

Series – Crown of Coral and Pearl #2

Author – Mara Rutherford

Genre – YA Fantasy

Release Date – 6 October 2020

Rating – 5 blossoms

Purchase Link

Review

Their mom redeemed herself in this installment and I’m just so happy!

Ceren thinks that love is weakness, but what he doesn’t know, what he couldn’t understand, is that love gives you strength to fight for others without regard for yourself. Love can transcend even fear sometimes.

Because this is a sequel, my perdicament is how much can I reveal without giving away any big secrets or spoilers… Well, we still follow Nor, only this one introduces so many more characters and more of this incredible world Mara has created! Honestly, I would love to be a Galethian!

The group now goes on a journey, learning more about themselves and each other on the way. Mara has left so many new characters open for their own stories. I’d even love to read more about Nor’s next big adventure, as I’m sure there will be one, or whatever trouble she gets herself into.

“My girl, take heart. No journey worth taking was ever easy.”

What I can say is that I loved this sequel, they world felt real and I wished I had a sister like Nor. This reminds me of fantastical worlds, with magic and diversity, as well as relateability! Mara will go on my auto-buy author list after this duology…

Book Review – The Glass Queen

This book was provided to me via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Book – The Glass Queen

Series – The Forest of Good and Evil #2

Author – Gena Showalter

Genre – YA Fairy Tale Retelling/Fantasy

Release Date – 29 September 2020

Rating – 5 blossoms!

Purchase Link

“Once upon a time, in a magical land teeming with good and evil, a beautiful queen birthed an incredibly special daughter.”

“Strong of heart and fast as wind. A warrior set apart, unwilling to bend.”

Princess Ashleigh Charmaine-Anskelisa is to play a part in ‘The Little Cinder Girl’ fairy tale. Her role is not pre-determined though, which means she could have the potential for either good or evil. The choices of all characters involved in this fairy tale can change the outcome.

First, I cannot get enough of Gena’s writing style. This is the first book of hers that I’ve read and I couldn’t stop until the book was done. She writes with twists and turns masterfully placed, so you won’t know what to expect next…

Saxon Skylair is the prince of my dreams (and I’m sure he will be for others too). If I could trade places for a role in this fairy tale I would – is all I’m saying.

What makes these characters so incredible is their flaws. None of them are perfect (a pet peeve in YA books are perfect characters). They screw up, make wrong choices, try to do what they think is the right thing.

“Love is patient, love is kind. Hate will stab you from behind.”

Wow, I only have two questions: how excited are you to read this book? And when can we get this series made into some movies? I’ll be first in line to see them!!

Book Review – Crown of Coral and Pearl

Book – Crown of Coral and Pearl

Series – Crown of Coral and Pearl #1

Author – Mara Rutherford

Genre – YA Fantasy

Release Date – 27 August 2019

Rating – 4.3 blossoms

Amazon Purchase

Book Review

Nor and Zadie are identical twins, their names literally means coral and pearl. In Varenia the girls are taught that beauty is everything and the most beautiful girl will get to leave Varenia. This girl gets to marry the prince of Ilara and become queen. Nor had always wanted to leave Varenia and see the world, but because of an accident that gave her a tiny scar, she was not ‘beautiful/perfect’ anymore. Her sister, who didn’t want to leave, seemingly the most beautiful girl in the village, had been chosen to marry the prince.

When I started this read I didn’t know much about the story or what to expect. I loved Nor and Zadie and the focus on their sisterhood. Their love for each other, trust and faith in their way of life was fun to read about. The mother though, is a shallow fool!

Mara created a stunning world, Varenia and Ilara felt like polar opposites, making both stand out and feel unique. You’ll love Varenia if you love the ocean.

If you were given the opportunity of a lifetime, would you take it if it meant leaving everything you know behind? Given the opportunity, our protagonist did not at all understand what she had gotten herself into…

Be sure to keep an eye out for a review of the sequel as well, releasing on 6 October 2020.

“Beware the lionfish, my dear,

Beware the fish that’s made of stone.

Beware sweet nothings in your ear,

And the heart as hollow as a bone.

Beware the shark and ray, my dear,

Beware the jellyfish of blue,

Beware tongues sharper than the spear,

And a lover’s heart that isn’t true.

Lull yourself with the blue whale’s song,

Cradle yourself in Thalos’ arms,

But don’t stay under for too long,

Steel yourself against false charms.

Love is greater than the ocean,

Time is longer than you know,

But once your fate is set in motion,

There’s not telling when you’ll go.

Can you hear the ocean humming?

See the blood go sweeping past?

The child of the waves is coming.

To set our people free at last.”

-Mara Rutherford

Lullaby or a prophecy?