Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2018

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend! This is the first Easter I’m not working in a few years so I’m looking forward to spending time with my family. I’ve kept on track with my reading goals for March and I’m excited heading into next month! April is going to be a month of reading mostly ARCs for me; I have a lot of ARCs that I’ve put off reading for a few months and their release dates are starting to creep up on me 🙈 

Book Reviews

36682619DAUGHTER OF THE SIREN QUEEN: Daughter of the Pirate King was such a fun read last year, and this sequel was high on my anticipated releases. I’m loving this new trend in the Young Adult genre of books featuring all female (well, mostly) pirate crews. Alosa is a ruthless heroine not afraid to get her hands dirty, and I was glad to see her relationship with Riden develop. I definitely recommend this series if you’re looking for a fast-paced book full of action and nautical goodness.  ★★★★

34275232THE HAZEL WOOD: I guess the one word I would use to describe my experience reading this would be disappointed. The premise sounds really cool and intriguing, and I was totally digging on the vibe of the story which was eerie and dark, but the execution was done poorly. A big issue was the pacing. The plot and action didn’t start to pick up until the very end of the book and it almost felt like a whole different story at that point.My other problem with was the main character, Alice. She comes off as rude, selfish, pretentious and was an utterly unlikable character. I’m not sure if I will bother to read the sequel, but I would love to pick up Tales From the Hinterland when it’s released to read more of those fairytales!  ★★  [review]

34964921THIS HEART OF MINE: A very compelling, touching story focused on family, friendship, grief, love, and life. Some people felt confused by the strange mix of genres, YA Contemporary + Mystery, but I thought it was intriguing and was executed perfectly. I also really loved both the protagonists, Leah and Matt. The romance that develops between is so freaking adorable. I was unsure about the romance aspect going into this when I read the synopsis, but I was really happy about the way it was portrayed. It’s easy to see that this book means a lot to the author by the love and care infused into the writing. If you’re looking for a light, fun, uplifting read, I would recommend reading This Heart of Mine!  ★★★★  [review]

35575184ORPHAN MONSTER SPY: I love historical fiction and books set during WWII so this sounded exactly like the kind of book I would want to read. The plot was well done and intriguing, and I was interested in the characters – especially Sarah – but I feel like a lot of things were just glossed over in the story. Parts of Sarah’s history were briefly mentioned and then never brought up again, which left me with a lot of questions by the end of the book. The story starts out fast-paced, slows down for a good chunk of the book, and then picks back up again. Orphan Monster Spy is an engaging story, but I think the book moved almost a little too fast at times and left a lot of loose ends and questions after the ending for me to be fully captivated by it. ARC provided by the publisher through Penguin First to Read.  ★★★  [review]

35297394THE WICKED DEEP: So many conflicting feelings from just one book.  I was over halfway done with this, completely enamored by everything in the story, and then something happened that unfortunately evaporated most of my good feelings. The good: great writing, an atmospheric setting, really interesting plot. The (very) bad: the way the romance and the ending of the story were wrapped up.  ★★★  [review]

 There were parts about the book that I liked, and there were parts about it that I didn’t like. The intriguing synopsis is what first piqued my interest, and as I began reading, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this is actually a New Adult novel in the Fantasy Romance genre, not a Young Adult Fantasy. The story was not entirely unique, however, and loosely followed the same formula as many other fantasy books. I also spent a majority of the time confused about the setting and the world-building. Had there been either a really unique and gripping plot, or stronger world-building, I would have enjoyed the story a bit more. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★  [review]

30129657HONOR AMONG THIEVES: Space adventure books are one of my favorites, and while I’m happy that they’re becoming a more prevalent genre, that also means a lot of them of starting to follow the same basic plot. Honor Among Thieves breaks the mold as a unique, engaging book unlike anything I’ve ever read. The entire concept of the book, from the Leviathan and Nadim to the Honors program, was completely fascinating. The authors have created a story that will capture your attention and refuse to let it go. It’s a fantastic story full of adventure, action, and thrills. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in the sequel. If anyone is looking for a great Sci-Fi story, I would definitely recommend!  ★★★★½  [review]

18782855PRINCESS OF THORNS: I’m mad at everyone who never told me this book existed. Standalone fantasy books are rare, but good standalone fantasy books are even rarer. This book contained some of my favorite tropes: mistaken identity, a girl pretending to be boy, a charming, arrogant prince, a long journey together, and a slow burn hate-to-love romance. The banter between Niklaas and Aurora was some of the best I’ve read in a long time. Both Niklaas and Aurora started out as slightly annoying characters, but they developed greatly over the course of the book and I loved how the story ended. I want more standalone Young Adult Fantasy books like this.  ★★★★

32667458THE LAST NAMSARA: Looking for an awesome fantasy with dragons? Look no further. Asha was a totally kickass heroine and I loved every second of reading this book. The world-building is fantastic and the writing is very impressive for a debut author. I was really excited about reading the sequel until I found out it was actually going to be a companion novel. I’m still looking forward to it, but I’m a bit upset I don’t get to read more of Asha and her story, which was left unfinished.  ★★★★

34728667CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE: If you’re nervous about picking this up because of all the hype like I was, don’t be. It’s well worth every ounce of hype and praise it has received. This book was a thrilling fantasy full of adventure, expert writing, and a cast of superb characters. It was very easy to be drawn into the story from the beginning due to a combination of Tomi Adeyemi’s excellent writing and the compelling characters she has created. There’s no doubt that the second book will be one of my most anticipated for next year.  ★★★★★  [review]

35900323OVER RAGING TIDES: This had the recipe to be a great book: a ship full of lady buccaneers, an entertaining plot, competent writing, interesting characters, and fun dialogue. Unfortunately, in a year full of many other Young Adult female pirate books, this just didn’t stand out that much. The main issue is that the book is severely undeveloped. The plot is too fast-paced, there is hardly any world-building, the characters don’t have any time for growth, and the ending is very abrupt. Overall, it was not an unlikable book, but it was definitely premature and lacking. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★½  [review]

35997816ROYALS: I had so much fun reading this. Royals is a light-hearted, funny, easy read that’s sure to entertain. I connected with Daisy from the start, and loved her sassy, headstrong personality. I also found myself a bit jealous of her situation: I mean, who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by a group of young, attractive, amusing members of the Scottish aristocracy? If you like light, fun, entertaining reads then Royals is a book for you! ARC provided by Penguin First to Read.  ★★★½  [review]

30118749GARDEN OF THORNS: This was a perfectly enjoyable book, and while it wasn’t the greatest of fantasy books, there was really nothing that I didn’t like about it. The writing was good, the characters were diverse and intriguing, and the world-building was different and unique, drawing inspiration from East Asia. I’m sure I’ll read the sequel when it releases because I’m very curious about these characters and how their story will end.  ★★★

35238072NOT IF I SAVE YOU FIRST: The premise sounded so good, but I was unimpressed by this book. I think part of the problem was that it’s somewhere between a Middle Grade and a Young Adult novel, and so it was a bit too juvenile for me. There was hardly anything to the plot, the characters had no depth, and the dialogue was cringe-worthy at times. ★★


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Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2018

I’ve been really proud of myself this month for the amount of books I read and for staying on top of my TBR. I also managed to cross a few books off my list for the Beat the Backlist challenge. February was a pretty great month for reading for me and I’m hoping this trend continues into the next month!   

Book Reviews

33803113BENEATH THE HAUNTING SEA: The writing was really beautiful and the story was intriguing, but there were a few things that left me less than impressed. The romance, for the most part, had me feeling meh. I also felt like the last part of the story was rushed and left quite a few questions and problems unanswered for a standalone.  ★★★


34448985BLOOD OF A THOUSAND STARS: Like with the first book, Empress of a Thousand Skies, I was impressed with the setting and world-building. Unfortunately, also as with the first book, I didn’t find myself connecting with any of the characters again,so I couldn’t get into the story and I became unmotivated to read. The action and plot did pick up towards the very end, but for the most part I had to force myself to finish the book. ARC provided by the publisher through a giveaway.  ★★★

30975382BLOOD AND SAND: I’m pretty much trash for historical fiction set in Ancient Rome + Gladiators, but after reading the Mistress of Rome series it’s been difficult to find a book I enjoy in this setting (especially young adult) because I’m always comparing them. That being said, I loved this book. For a young adult novel in this genre, it’s really well-done and I’m so impressed by it. The story is very, very loosely based on the legend of Spartacus and I enjoyed it so much that I was flying through the chapters. I loved the characters, the writing, the romance, the story – everything! The ending was cruel and unnecessary, however, and if the author doesn’t fix what she did with that cliffhanger in the next book I will revolt.  ★★★★

35068744BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE: While this was an enjoyable enough book to read, there was really nothing about it that stood out for me. I did give it an extra half star because the background story surrounding Mick’s birth was tragic and heartbreaking.  ★★★½



34499221TO KILL A KINGDOM: I needed zero convincing to read this story once I saw that it was about lethal sirens, arrogant princes, and pirates. It’s like a loose retelling of The Little Mermaid, but way more awesome and vicious. I breezed right through this book because it was just so entertaining! Alexandra Christo’s writing, setting, terrific pacing, and great characters all blended together seamlessly to create a stunning story. I loved the interactions and witty banter between Lira and Elian, and the slow build of their hate-to-love romance. To Kill a Kingdom is a spectacular debut book by Alexandra Christo and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future! ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★★½  [review]

35238069THE TRAITOR’S GAME: First of all, that cover is gorgeous and even prettier in person. Unfortunately other than that, the story was pretty similar to many other books in the Young Adult Science-Fiction/Fantasy genre. It was full of the same cliches and tropes, down to the somewhat predictable ending and insta-love romance. While it wasn’t the most unique or intriguing, the book did manage to keep my attention and I never grew bored or impatient while reading, which is a huge plus. Overall, it was a pleasant reading experience. This was my first Jennifer A. Nielsen book and I look forward to continuing the rest of the series. ARC provided by the publisher through a giveaway.  ★★★  [review]

33158532BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS: Every since I read The Lovely Reckless, I’ve been itching to read another one of her books. I was just as impressed by this one was I was with her previous work. I think my favorite part of the book were the characters: Peyton was very relatable as a student-athlete, Owen was a fantastic male lead, and I adored the twins. Seriously, I want a book starring Christian and Cameron, please.  ★★★★

IMMORTAL REIGN: I’ve never been shy over the fact that the Falling Kingdom series is my guilty pleasure. They’re not the greatest fantasy books, but I have a lot of fun reading them, even if I am only mostly here for the Magnus and Cleo chapters. Immortal Reign was a satisfying ending to the series, and I’ll admit that I gave it an extra star for all the Magneo goodness I was blessed with, including the cover. I don’t think I’ll ever be over the fact that my trash ship from the first book not only eventually became canon, but got their HEA. #blessed  ★★★★

34726469SKY IN THE DEEP: I said it before and I’ll say it again: this book is amazing and everyone needs to add it to their TBR. This is exactly everything I want in a story. I read the entire thing in one sitting because it was that amazing and I couldn’t put it down; this is is the kind of book that reminds me of why I love reading. The dynamic relationships the author creates is one of the best features of the book; they were capable of evoking emotions in a meaningful and achingly real way. I’m not convinced that this is a debut book because everything was executed perfectly to created a breathtaking, emotional story full of grit and heart. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★★★  [review]

30653880THE SHIP BEYOND TIME:This was a great conclusion to the duology! I really love the time-travelling aspects and the mythologica/fantasy worlds that Heidi Heilig has brought to life in these books. I love pirate books and nautical settings so it was right up my alley. I greatly enjoyed reading The Girl from Everywhere and I think this was the perfect sequel.  ★★★


28421168RENEGADES: Marissa Meyer has once again created an amazing world full of amazing characters. The book focuses on the ongoing struggle between the Renegades (the “good” superheroes) and the Anarchists (the “bad” superheroes). I think the most impressive aspect of the book was the author’s ability to create two different sides with very different agendas, and yet I was able to find things about both sides that I agreed with. And I loved Nova! She’s one of the two alternating points of views and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.  ★★★★

35098412THE QUEEN’S RISING: I think the Young Adult Science-Fiction/Fantasy genre has become diluted with so many books that follow the same setting/plot/characterization structure that it’s hard to go into any new ones without a sense of apprehension. This book totally bypassed my expectations. The atmosphere Rebecca Ross creates is refreshing for the genre and made reading the story so much more enjoyable because it didn’t feel like something I’ve already read. This seems to be the year for wonderful, fresh debuts and this was no exception!  ★★★★  [review]

6931356THE DUFF: I only picked this up because the movie was on TV the other day and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it (and Robbie Amell). Deciding to read it before bed, however, was a gigantic mistake because I couldn’t put it down and ended up finishing the whole thing in one reading. I figured there would be a few differences between the book and movie (as with all adaptations) but the book was like a completely different story and so much better. I’m honestly mad that I haven’t read this before.  ★★★★★  [review]

30523827INK, IRON, AND GLASS: The things I did like about this book were the setting, the idea of scriptology and worldbooks, and the plot. However, I had an issue with the writing which caused me not to enjoy the book as much as I would have hoped. The characters were all really interesting and I would like to know what happens next, especially since there was a minor cliffhanger, but I’m on the fence as to whether I’ll want read the sequel or not.  ★★½


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Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2018

Since I don’t write reviews for every book I read, I decided it would be a good idea to bring back my Monthly Wrap-Up posts! At least this way, I can share a few thoughts for all the books I read in a book. My biggest struggle this past month has been in deciding which books to read next, the new releases on my TBR or the backlisted books? But as much as I try to keep a game plan, the heart wants to read what the heart wants to read!

Book Reviews

26032825THE CRUEL PRINCE: I had waited so long for this book to come out and I was not disappointed. This was my first book by Holly Black and now I can see why everyone loves her work. The Cruel Prince was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I loved the world Black created, the Fae courts, the twists, the reveals, the characters; it’s all amazing. ★½


32320661EVERLESS: Everless was another book that I had really been looking forward to reading in the new year, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. My biggest issue was that it felt like this was a story that I’ve already read before. The concept of time and blood irons is unique and intriguing, but as for the rest of the book, it followed the same plotline and tropes similar to whole bunch of other YA fantasies and became too predictable. 

I’ll be honest: I only picked this up because I wanted to read the other two books in the series. I didn’t have a whole lot of high expectations going in, especially considering all the negative reviews I had read, so it more of a “I just have to get through this” kind of read. Eventually I’ll read The Wish Granter and The Traitor Prince, which seem to have way better reviews, but I’m not in a great hurry. 


30694168SHADOWSONG: It seems like a lot of people have been disappointed by Shadowsong, but as for myself, I really enjoyed it! I absolutely love the lush, lyrical writing and descriptions and find it matches the tone of the story perfectly. Shadowsong differs from Wintersong in that the story focuses almost entirely on Liesl and her growth as character, including her changed relationships with Josef and Käthe. Overall, I was ecstatic to be thrust back into the world S. Jae-Jones created and was very pleased with the sequel! ARC received through NetGalley. ★[review]

10572A CLASH OF KINGS: A Clash of Kings was just as page-turning and entertaining as A Game of Thrones, and I actually found myself liking some of the characters’ POVs that I didn’t enjoy reading previously. Arya’s chapters and storyline became more interesting to me and I didn’t mind Catelyn’s chapters as much either, even though my opinion of her as a character more or less remained apathetic. I also really enjoyed reading Theon’s chapters, surprisingly. I despise him as a character, but I couldn’t deny that his chapters were engaging, informative, and full of action. A Storm of Swords is a mammoth of a book, but I’m determined to start it soon! 

33413958YOUR ONE & ONLY: If you’re looking for a unique YA Dystopian story with excellent execution, skillful writing, and great characters, look no further than Your One & Only. What seems like would be a typical YA Sci-Fi novel, rife with tropes and romance-heavy, Your One & Only actually focuses on plot and character growth, with the romance riding shotgun, much to my pleasant surprise. I highly recommend this book and I think other readers will become as enraptured by the story and characters as I was. ARC received through NetGalley.  [review]

33555224THUNDERHEAD: I’m glad I reread Scythe beforehand or I would have been very lost and confused. I was so thankful to be back in the world created by Neal Shusterman. I loved following Citra’s and Rowan’s stories as they continued (more Rowan next time please, thanks), but there was a new character added whose chapters I didn’t really care for. Thunderhead ended with a huge cliffhanger (rude) and I cannot wait for the third book in the series! 

The best thing about this book was the world-building and setting. It was completely magical and unique. Unfortunately, the rest of the book was pretty mediocre and followed the same recipe as many other YA fantasies, unnecessary love triangle included. That being said, I wasn’t ever bored while reading and I am stilled interested in reading the sequel, especially after the final twist at the end of the story. 

These books are so addicting. I stick to my original assessment that they probably will only appeal to a certain type of reader, but I love them. The drama and web of secrets continues in the sequel. Only this time with new lies, new twists, new secrets, and new characters. Avery, Atlas, Rylin, and Cord are still my favorite characters, but I was glad to see Leda finally redeem herself in this book. I absolutely despise Calliope, however, and I hope the third book involves her downfall. Also, there was definitely not enough Cord in this book (or Cord + Rylin interactions). Dear Katherine McGee: please fix this issue in The Towering Sky

25446297UNEARTHED: Oh man, this was such a fun read. I have a weakness for Sci-Fi books set in space and this was just my bread and butter. Jules and Amelia were amazing characters to follow and they really made the story so much more enjoyable. The setting, writing, and plot were all really well done. I figured out the big twist/reveal at the end when I was less than a quarter of the way in to the book, but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment at all and I’m excited for the next book in the series! 

I wasn’t as enamored by The Bear and the Nightingale as everyone else seemed to be, so I was initially apprehensive on how well I would like this. To put it simply: this book is stunning and it has become on of my favorites books. The atmospheric setting, lush writing, and vivid imagery all come together to create a magical, enchanting story full of history and elements of Slavic fairytales. 


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Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2016

I can’t believe December is here already! It’s crazy how fast the year seems to fly by. Overall, November wasn’t too bad of a month reading-wise. However unfortunately, I didn’t have time to write full reviews for any of the books I read. Eventually, I’ll write one for the ARC I received but I most likely won’t go back and write a review for any of the others. I started to slow down a bit towards the end, but I think that was because I was running out of interesting books to read.


26864835BLOOD FOR BLOOD: Wolf by Wolf was probably one of the best books I read this year, and this was a fantastic sequel. The character development of Yael, Luka, and Felix were phenomenal and the storyline continued to intrigue me. The ending was heartbreaking and bittersweet and I will never forgive Ryan Graudin. ★★★★★


Another amazing end to a series that I adore. If you haven’t read them yet, I highly recommend it! The writing and storytelling is masterful, the characters are wonderful and lovable, and the romance is very swoon-worthy. It also doesn’t hurt that the series is about parallel universes-one of my favorite things to read about. ★★★★★


27015399A PROMISE OF FIRE: I had been itching to find another really good adult fantasy book and then I stumbled upon this on accident. It was exactly what I had been looking for. It was such an unexpected surprise. I could tell I was reading a great book because I kept putting off the last few chapters because I didn’t want it to end! I think my favorite part was that the sexual tension and chemistry between the main character, Cat, and Griffin was so good it was palpable. Definitely cannot wait for the sequel. ★★★★★

Marissa Meyer’s retelling of the Queen of Hearts was a highly anticipated release for most people. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t find it that great either. The main character was annoying and naive, the romance was bland, and the overall storyline didn’t really draw me in. I gave it an extra half-star though because I thought the ending was the best part. ★★★½


28561926THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH: I mostly enjoyed this book, but my biggest problem was that there didn’t seem to be a plot? It honestly just read like a timeline of events that happen over a period of two years. There was no climax, no resolution, nothing. Which is a shame, because the characters were all super interesting to read about, and while it was easy to follow the connection between one another and the effect of their actions, I’m not sure how it all fit together to create a story. ARC received through Penguin First to Read. ★★★

28954189SCYTHE: I really liked this one. The writing was very compelling, the characters interesting and well-developed, and the world building was excellent. Shusterman creates a world that is both fascinating and terrifying. I’m looking forward to the next in the series! ★★★★



20980797FIRE IN YOU: Jennifer L. Armentrout can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned, especially with this series. While I didn’t think it was the best, or my favorite, I was still draw to the characters and their struggles. The time jump in the beginning threw me for a loop but once I got past that, I was fully engaged in Jill and Brock’s story. ★★★½


I really enjoyed this one. The concept of the book was intriguing and the plot was very compelling. The main character could be classified as an anti-hero and I absolutely adored her. She was vicious and calculating, but also full of heart and compassion. I don’t complain often that I wish stand-alones were part of a series, but I really do wish there was more to this story. ★★★★


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Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2016

Happy Halloween to all my followers! I’m super proud of the amount of books I read this month! I’m double the number I read both in September and August. I’ve also accomplished my goal of being more active and posting more posts non-related to reviews. Hopefully I can continue this trend for November as well! 


28691932THE FORGETTING: This book was super intriguing and different from other dystopian YA novels, which I appreciated. The plot was gripping, the characters were interesting, and I found myself pulled along from chapter to chapter, wanting to know what would happen next. ★


 Tessa Dare is one of my favorite authors, and she knocks it out of the park with this one, once again. It was light-hearted, witty, sexy, and seriously funny. Piers and Charlotte were great characters to read about and the plot was super enjoyable as well. I still can’t get over the eggplant reference. [review]


 For one of my most anticipated releases of the year, this was also one of my biggest disappointments. I was expecting a story full of violence, betrayals, tangled politics, and bloodshed. Instead of a dark and gritty book about triplet queen who must kill one another to ascend the throne, I read a slow-moving and boring story in which romance was the main focus. [review]


23203252A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING: I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t exactly like it either. The problem with the book is that it’s unoriginal. The entire time I was reading it, I just kept thinking about how similar they were to other YA books I’ve read, especially when compared to Harry Potter and The Infernal Devices. 


 I was blown away by this book. It was a nasty and vicious  and didn’t sugar coat anything. I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t put it down and the ending was a sucker punch right in the feels. Of all the books I was really anticipating this year, this is one that really stuck out for me. ★½


 Alternative/parallel universes always intrigue me, but sadly I didn’t like this story too much. The characters were not that interesting, the romance was definitely insta-love, and the plot was lacking. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be continuing the series. ARC received through NetGalley. ½ [review]


27414469WITCH’S PYRE:
I loved the first book in the series, but I suffered from second book syndrome with Firewalker. Thankfully, this one was much better and reminded why I love the series so much. The plot was fast-paced, the world-building continued to be fantastic, and the growth of Lily was wonderful. My only issue was the lack of romance. There was a ton of angst between Lily and Rowan but it never got resolved until the last few pages and then that was it. As a total romantic, I needed more! A great end to a great series that I’m sad is over. ★½

29519517TWISTED PALACE:  These books are totally my guilty pleasures. They’re not the best books and there’s totally some problematic issues, but I love them anyway. I was disappointed by Broken Prince, but I’m glad things picked up again in this one. Twisted Palace was a great conclusion to the series. 


 I though I was over reading these kind of book, but I’m glad I listened to all the rave reviews because I loved it! The books and romance moved a little fast for my liking, but I was blown away by Kami Garcia’s writing and the characters were all incredible. [review]


 I was really disappointed by this. I really liked Magonia, however there were a lot of things in Aerie that made it unenjoyable for me. The angst was overwhelming, I continued to find Jason whiny and boring, the romance was bland, and there wasn’t enough Dai. The world building and imaginative plot continued to impress me though. [review]


 Everyone seems to be disappointed by this book, so I guess I’m in the minority by saying I really enjoyed it. The writing was great, the plot was interesting, and I found myself liking all the characters. I wasn’t bored once and was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. [review]


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