BOOK REVIEW: From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

52831200._SY475_Title: From Blood and Ash (From Blood and Ash #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: ★★★★

This book literally came out of nowhere. One day, I popped onto Goodreads and boom–there it was, all over my feed. My first thought: extreme excitement that one of my favorite authors is releasing a new adult fantasy series. My second thought: despair that I wasn’t invited to this super secret ARC reading and was just finding out about this book now. But I digress.

What is this book about? Honestly, the synopsis is very vague and I had no clue what I the plot of the book was even about going into it. All I knew was this it was a) new adult fantasy and b) JLA so I was likely not going to be disappointed.

Basically, From Blood and Ash follows our protagonist, Poppy, who is the Chosen Maiden for what is essentially the world’s religion. When she reaches her nineteenth birthday, she will Ascend and be given over to the gods–a ceremony cloaked in some mystery as the heroine is unaware of the finer details. However, there are enemy forces that are unhappy with the ruling class and the way things have been run for the past hundreds of years, and that is where the conflict of the story comes into play.

I feel like I should also mention: this book is high fantasy meets supernatural. There are vampires and werewolves and a manner of other supernatural creatures. Like I said, the synopsis is pretty vague so I was surprised when I kept seeing other reviews mentioning vampires. But more on that in a bit.

What did I like? First of all, vampires are making their comeback and I, for one, am here for it. I was surprised to find a fantasy book featuring paranormal elements but JLA does an incredible job weaving together two different genres to create a unique story and honestly, it works. Once this element of the story was introduced, I was super intrigued and eager to learn more! She sets up the ending of the story perfectly and I cannot wait to dive into the sequel.

The romance was hot. I’ve been reading JLA for a very long time, including her adult romance series, and she does such an amazing job building the tension between two characters and then turning on the fireworks during the more intimate scenes. As this is considered new adult, it blends the accessibility of YA fantasy with the maturity of adult novels and I cannot stress enough how much I wish there were more NA fantasy books.

What didn’t I like? From Blood and Ash almost reads like two different books. There’s the first 2/3 of the story, which was enjoyable but never really captured my attention and really didn’t thrill me all that much, and there’s the last third of the book in which I literally could not stop reading. In typical JLA fashion, the last part of the story was action-packed, completely turning around my original opinion (and rating) of this book. My issue with the first 2/3 is that he pacing was extremely slow and nothing really happened.

Another problem I had was the worldbuilding. I had trouble comprehending some of the more important parts of the story. A majority of the worldbuilding is provided in long info dumps, which made it harder for me to understand. There’s a part of the book in one of the later chapters when ~things~ are revealed and explained, and even though I read the passage three times, I still have trouble grasping what is what and how things work. I’m really hoping for some clarification with the next book, but I’m really intrigued by the world–just confused as heck.

Overall thoughts: From Blood and Ash is the new adult fantasy series I had been praying for. New adult is such a small niche in the publishing world which is really a shame, because I think it could be a really big genre. Jennifer L. Armentrout’s newest series is sure to please fans of her other works, as well as those looking for a fun fantasy series full of vampires.

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REVIEW: The Fountains of Silence – Ruta Sepetys

43220998._SY475_Title: The Fountains of Silence
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Rating: ★★★★

The Fountains of Silence is a beautiful story about a period of history that I was wholly unfamiliar with prior to reading this. This is my first book by Ruta Sepetys and I can see where all of her high praise comes from. The Fountains of Silence blew me away with it’s gorgeous writing, compelling characters, and thought-provoking story.

The Fountains of Silence is set in Spain 1957 following the end of the Spanish Civil War. This was not a portion of history that I had been familiar with and so it was very eye-opening. Ruta Sepetys did a fantastic job weaving elements of a fictional story with real aspects of history. I was very easily captivated by all of the different plot lines and history lessons.

One of the things about this book I liked the most was the varying points of views. It was especially poignant comparing Daniel’s views as an American tourist to those that were experiencing the effects of Franco’s fascism, such as Ana and Rafa. I think this difference really made point of how things really were in Spain during that time period and how easily the hardships were concealed to the rest of the world.

The Fountains of Silence is a story perfect for fans of historical fiction of any age. The writing was beautiful, the characters were easy to fall in love with, and the story was very moving. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a lovely book to fall into.

Contemporary Romances That Had Me Swooning This Summer

Hello everyone! I haven’t been as active the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with classes and clinicals and work that I haven’t felt up to reading or blogging lately. One of my favorite genres to read in the summer is contemporary romance, and now that summer is officially over, I thought it’d be the perfect time to wrap up my favorites!


42201431No one writes contemporary romances quite like the amazing duo of Christina Lauren. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this. Two enemies pretending to be in love while on vacation? Heck yes. The Unhoneymooners checked all of my favorite things: a quirky, relatable heroine, witty banter, scenes that make me laugh out loud, and a swoon-worthy love interest. This was super lighthearted and fun and made for the perfect summer read!


42785825The Friend Zone was a bit of a rocky start, but I’m glad I stuck with it because I ended up really enjoying it! While it definitely fits the fluffy, flirty contemporary romance mold for a summer book, it also contains an unexpected emotional complexity that really gave the story added character. I’m not a fan of the male lead in this one, however, I liked the protagonist, Kristen. Her story is very moving and it’s hard not to feel for her throughout the book.


39854434This book was not only lighthearted and funny, but also hot as hell. Fix Her Up is another contemporary romance featuring the tried-and-true trope of fake dating. The way the relationship unfolds from genuine friendship to something more between Georgie and Travis was amazing. Don’t let the charming cover be deceiving: some of the scenes in here were extremely steamy! This book is perfect for sexy, lighthearted summer read!


42587433For anyone who enjoys a slow-burn romance, childhood friends-to-lovers, and a healthy dose of angst, then I highly recommend On the Corner of Hate and Love. This book delivered everything I wanted in a summer book. It was fun, witty, and charmingly romantic. The first kiss between Emma and Cooper gave me butterflies, and the major scene between them later in the book had me honest-to-God swooning.


41887423This book is absolutely perfect for those out there (including myself) sick and tired modern dating in a digital age. Honestly, How to Hack a Heartbreak was so relatable. Melanie was such an intelligent, charming character and it’s impossible not to root for her to find love and a great guy in a world full of swiping left or right. The book sheds light on the ups and downs of dating apps in a funny, cheerful story perfect for summer.


43386668No Judgements was the perfect mixture of charming, romantic, and light-heartedness for a summer read. The romance between Bree and Drew was excellently written. The obvious chemistry and tension was really fun to read, and the slow-build between them was very believable. The story was really heart-warming and romantic and the perfect contemporary romance for summertime!

REVIEW: No Judgements – Meg Cabot (ARC)

43386668Title: No Judgements
Author: Meg Cabot
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

Meg Cabot is a staple of my reading experience growing up. The Mediator series continues to be one of my favorite sets of books ever, and so I was really excited to see she was writing a new series of contemporary romances! No Judgements was the perfect mixture of charming, romantic, and light-heartedness for a summer beach read.

The thing that reeled me in the most about No Judgements was how relatable I found both the story and Bree! We share the same nickname so that was a unique aspect that I haven’t read before and definitely added to my liking. And as someone born in Florida–and who spends a good deal of vacation time down there these days–I also really loved the Key West setting!

The romance between Bree and Drew was really well written. The obvious chemistry and slow-build tension was fun to read, and the way their relationship was built was very believable. Bree and Drew are both animal lovers and it was great to see them work together to help the pets left behind by their owners during the hurricane.

No Judgements was a heart-warming, romantic story perfect for a summer read! I had a lot of fun reading this and I look forward to more stories from Meg Cabot in this series.

REVIEW: How to Hack a Heartbreak – Kristin Rockaway

41887423Title: How to Hack a Heartbreak
Author: Kristin Rockaway
Rating: ★★★½

“And the way things were going, I’d likely be single and debt-ridden for the rest of my life.”

There’s nothing more enjoyable than reading a fun rom-com in the summer! How to Hack a Heartbreak is the perfect book for those everyone out there (including myself) that is sick and tired of the trials of modern dating in a digital world.

When I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. Similar to myself, our protagonist, Melanie, is completely fed-up with dating apps. After her latest fiasco, she decides to secretly develop her own app to weed out the men taking advantage of online dating. She not only has to balance the unexpected popularity of her new app, but as the only female employee at her tech job, she also has to deal with incompetent jerks that continually belittle her knowledge. 

Everything about Mel and her story was so relatable! It’s hard to not find enjoyment in her growth as a character, and it’s impossible not to root for her in her journey to find love in a world full of swiping left or right. How to Hack a Heartbreak sheds light on the trials and tribulations of modern dating in a funny, light-hearted way that made this the perfect book for summer.