REVIEW: Call It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer (ARC)

40653162Title: Call It What You Want
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley. 

Call It What You Want was a heartfelt story with an emotional depth that took me by surprise.

The premise was not anything new for a YA contemporary: two teenagers isolate by their peers find solace in each other. However, this book handled the trope in such a fantastic way. Rob and Maegan are each dealing with their own family issues, and after being forced to work together on a Calculus project, a friendship begins to form between them. I loved Rob so much! ❤️ He was so perfect! And it was really fun and satisfying watching his friendship to Maegan evolve from acquaintances to friends to something more. There were also a couple other great character relationships that develop as well with the side characters. In particular, I really enjoyed Rob and Owen’s friendship and Maegan’s relationship with her sister, Samantha. They were really important to the story and I was absorbed by their dynamics.

There were a lot of heavy topics brought up throughout the book, and Brigid Kemmerer wrote about them in a very compelling and realistic way. Some parts were so well written they made me feel a little emotional thinking about what some of these characters were going through. I absolutely love the fact that Brigid Kemmerer allowed the boys in the story to have emotions! You really don’t see enough of this in books, especially in the YA genre. Boys are allowed have emotions; to cry and to be upset and break down and not be any less masculine because of it. And when it did happen in the book, it wasn’t a huge focus and felt very natural and real. I honestly think it was one of my favorite aspects of the story.

Brigid Kemmerer really impressed me with this lovely book. I was not expecting the emotional depth and heavy topics brought up, but I thought they were brilliant and created such a wonderful story. Call It What You Want is a heartwarming, captivating book with some powerful messages.

REVIEW: DEV1AT3 – Jay Kristoff (ARC)

40177770Title: DEV1AT3 (Lifelike #2)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Jay Kristoff has delivered another thrilling book. Like it’s predecessor, DEV1AT3 was action-packed, features a cast of amazing characters, and is full of plot twists and reveals that will keep the reader begging for more.

First of all, the book begins with a recap. Bless you Jay. As silly as it may seem, I really wish more authors would do this with their series! It’s so incredibly helpful and saves me from either searching the internet for a recap or spending the first few chapters trying to remember everything that happened in the last book.

DEV1AT3 focuses a lot more on Lemon Fresh and her story. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this, but once I started it was a total non-issue. I really enjoyed her character in the first book and I loved following her journey in this one. She makes some important discoveries for herself and finally starts to develop of sense of self-identity. There were some X-Men vibes and I was totally digging it! We’re also introduced to some new fun characters; in particular, I was really enjoying reading about Grimm and Abraham and hope to learn more about them.

Besides Lemon Fresh, the story also features chapters from Cricket’s and Ezekiel’s POVs, but only few from Eve’s. Eve’s presence wasn’t as prominent in DEV1AT3, which I think is what led me to holding back a star, but I understand the decision to withhold her perspective. Eve is going through an identity crisis and therefore is make some really terrible choices. I really feel for her and I think by the end of the book she was beginning to realize that perhaps the path she has chosen is not what she really wants or believes in. I have total faith in her for the next book.

Jay absolutely killed it with the end. And by that, I mean he pulls another jaw-dropping cliffhanger that has me itching for the third book. DEV1AT3 was full of non-stop action and a fast-moving plot that pulled me in from the prologue. I absolutely love these characters and this world that Jay has written and I cannot wait for the conclusion!

#ARCstravaganza: The Toll – Neal Shusterman

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post. You guys. I’m in complete shock. I won this in Simon Teen’s sweepstake and I cannot believe it!!!


THE TOLL – NEAL SHUSTERMAN

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ABOUT THE BOOK

37632682Title: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Release: November 5, 2019

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

REVIEW: The Beholder – Anna Bright

36558159Title: The Beholder (The Beholder #1)
Author: Anna Bright
Rating: ★★½

I struggled with a rating, because while there were parts of the story I enjoyed, for the most part I felt pretty meh about the book. But before I get into my review, let’s talk about that cover because wow is it gorgeous. And I’m blessed to have the FairyLoot edition which has pastel pink sprayed edges and rose gold foil lettering – two colors that I absolutely love. It’s such a pretty book!

I’m not sure why The Beholder has been described as The Odyssey meets The Bachelorette, because the only thing resembling The Odyssey is a member of Selah’s crew named Homer. So if you’re going into this expecting a retelling of that particular tale, you are going to be disappointed.

My biggest issue is the world building. I’ve seen other reviewers mention their concerns and I totally agree that the setting felt extremely disorganized, confusing, and anachronistic. There are so many contrasting aspects present and it pulled me out of the story multiple times. The book begins like it’s planning to be an alternative historical fiction set not too long after Potomac’s separation from England, however, later in the book there’s the presence of radios; and yet no other mention of technology exists, such as electricity. Different parts of the book read like they took place in different time periods, and the dialogues featured a lot of present day words and phrases. There was just way too much going on to make any sense of anything.

And now the romances. Here’s where I need to give Anna Bright a lot kudos for getting me to successful root for multiple love interests in the same book. We meet one of suitors early on, and I grew to really enjoy his character and the blossoming romance between him and Selah as the pages went on. Upon meeting the next suitor, I was very surprised to find myself also loving this particular love interest and becoming totally invested in Selah’s relationship with him to the point that I literally forgot about the previous suitor.

While I didn’t mind the multiple love interests (it’s obviously a huge part of the plot and unsurprising to the reader because of the synopsis), I took issue with the way the romances were written. Developing attraction, affection, and feelings in a short period of time is understandable and relatable. Falling completely in love in a two week period (with back to back guys) is not love: it’s infatuation. There’s also a third hinted love interest (and the direction I’m pretty sure the author is ultimately going to take it…unfortunately), as well as another potential suitor we’re destined to meet in the sequel, who I’m actually really interested in learning more about. If I decided to read the next book, it’ll be because I’m really excited about him!

It wasn’t my intention to rant, because honestly I did not hate the book and I truly don’t believe it’s a bad story. The Beholder has a very intriguing and unique premise, and I think with some extra polishing and structure it could have been a great story. In the end, I felt too confused by all the different elements of the plot and world-building to enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

#ARCstravaganza: Wicked As You Wish – Rin Chupeco

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post.


WICKED AS YOU WISH – RIN CHUPECO

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ABOUT THE BOOK

45184250Title: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release: March 3, 2020

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends. 

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….