REVIEW: Bad Romance – Heather Demetrios

29102896Title: Bad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios
Rating: ★★★★

I wish all teenage and young adult women would read this book (and some YA authors as well). This was immaculately written and I hope it becomes super popular because it is so important.

  • Manipulating the other person is not fucking romantic. It is abusive.
  • Possessive, controlling behavior is not fucking romantic. It is abusive.
  • Love does not involve disregarding the other person’s wishes/feelings, forcing them into doing things they are clearly uncomfortable with, or humiliating them.
  • Emotional abuse is still abuse.

This is tough book to read. If you’re like me, you will feel super uncomfortable at times, because you’ll pick up on the red flags while the main character, Grace, ignores them or brushes them off as cute and signs that he loves her. The narration is written in past tense, second person as Grace addresses Gavin after she has already experienced everything and is looking back in retrospect. I usually am not a fan of a second person narrator, but Heather Demetrios makes it work so well for this book. As I said earlier, I highly recommend this book and it’s message is super important, especially with all the crap we see in YA books (one particular author/fandom is particular but I digress) these days being portrayed as romantic.

REVIEW: Rosemarked – Livia Blackburne

29346927Title: Rosemarked
Author: Livia Blackburne
Rating: ★★★½

ARC received through NetGalley.

Rosemarked is a the first in a promising new YA fantasy series! The book was very well-written, and the plot was unique, interesting and fast-paced. It kept my attention the entire time and I didn’t want to stop reading. Dineas and Zivah made wonderful characters and I was invested in both of their stories. The synopsis is absolutely correct about a slow-burning romance: the relationship between those two is complicated and I can’t wait for more! I had so much fun following the adventure of Dineas and Zivah and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series! 

REVIEW: The Ninth Circle – C. A. Harland

34861977Title: The Ninth Circle, Book 1: Fire (The Ninth Circle #1)
Author: C. A. Harland
Rating: ★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

DNF @ 26%

The Ninth Circle is an interestingly enough concept. Two demon-hunting sisters searching for a third missing sister set in Ireland. The synopsis totally hooked me in. Irish mythology? Demon-hunting? Magic? Unfortunately, I couldn’t get through the format of the novel or the execution. 

The writing simply did not work for me. Each chapter is written like an episode, each having it’s own subplot and struggle/resolution with a larger plot stringing them all together. Because of this, the chapters felt rushed and jammed pack with way too much information and action. The characters seemed to make rash, half-informed decisions that made me roll my eyes. I think if the story had stuck with a traditional format and storyline, it could have been a lot better. 

REVIEW: The Alice Network – Kate Quinn

32051912Title: The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Rating: ★★★★★

My favorite author writing a book set during one of my favorite time periods to read about? I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t nervous that The Alice Network wouldn’t live up to my anticipation and expectations. Silly, of course, as this is Kate Quinn we’re talking about and her writing is simply phenomenal. 

Quinn continues to do a tremendous job weaving fiction with historical facts to create a vivid, magnificent novel. Her incredible writing really brings the story and characters to life. The chapters alternate between POVs of the two main characters: Eve’s story during World War I in 1915 and Charlie’s post-World War II setting of 1947. I loved seeing the contrast between of Eve’s character in the two different time periods. As the chapters go by, we slowly learn what happened to her and how she became the angry, swearing, liquor-loving older woman we see in Charlie’s chapters. I also enjoyed the development of Charlie’s character throughout the novel as she blossomed into a strong, independent young woman capable of making decisions for herself. The third character of note, Finn-a burly Scottish ex-convict and ex-soldier-was the perfection addition to the strange little trio of characters. I loved the interactions between him and Charlie and the feelings that eventually developed.

Once I started, I had a hard time setting this down. The Alice Network is full of humor, suspense, romance, heartbreak and everything I could ask for in a historical fiction. Kate Quinn definitely did not disappoint and did a great job delivering another fantastic novel that I would absolutely recommend reading. 

REVIEW: The Goblins of Bellwater – Molly Ringle

33973968Title: The Goblins of Bellwater
Author: Molly Ringle
Rating: ★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

I didn’t end up loving this as much as I was hoping, but Ringle weaves an interesting story and her writing was good. The atmosphere of the books is gloomy and dark, matching the mood of the original poem. It feels haunting, like I would expect a book about goblins to feel. A large portion of the book is focused on romance, which did not bother me, but if others are looking for a more fantasy heavy book they may be disappointed. My only problem was that the ending dragged. I think the last few chapters could have definitely been condensed into less, or even one epilogue.