SEPTEMBER YA BOTM

botm ya, Review, Uncategorized

Hi my beautiful bookworms!

I have exciting news for you today!

From now until September 30th you can get your first YA BOTM for only $5. YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT!! FIVE DOLLARS! This is an end-of-month deal and will only be available until the 30th.

If you’ve been waiting to try it out now’s the perfect time!

Use the code YALIT to snag this great deal!

Click here to sign up*

September has some absolutely wonderful picks:

•Frankly in Love by David Yoon (Contemporary Fiction)

• The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young (Fantasy)

• Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Chi (Romance)

• The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus (Contemporary Fiction)

• The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow (Historical Fiction)

Great picks right?! Don’t forget to use the code YALIT to snag the deal!

*note: this is an affiliate link so I will make a small portion of money if you use my link to purchase a box!

Review|Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Review, Uncategorized

Title: Crown of Coral and Pearl

Author: Mara Rutherford

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Release Date: August 27th, 2019

Series: Crown of Coral and Pearl #1


Synopsis: For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen…and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.”


My thoughts

“Nor and Zadie: coral and pearl. Both precious to our people, both beautiful enough to adorn the necks of queens. But whereas a pearl is prized for its luster, its shape, its lack of imperfections, coral is different. It grows twisted. In its natural form, it can hardly be considered beautiful at all.”

In the village of Varenia, girls are raised on the belief that beauty is power. For every so often, a Varenian girl will be chosen to be sent off to marry the Prince of Ilara and become the next Queen, the highest honor to receive in their small village. When Nor and Zadie are born, there is no doubt in anyones mind who will be chosen when the time comes. But a terrible accident leaves Nor with a scar on her cheek when she is young. No longer having a chance to be picked as the most beautiful girl in Varenia, Nor accepts her fate and watches as Zadie is groomed by their mother for the future that undoubtedly awaits her. So it comes as no surprise when the elders pick Zadie to go ashore. But Zadie does not want to go and when she suffers a grievious injury before she is set to sail to Ilara, Nor is sent in her place instead.

And so, Nor heads to Ilara to be wed to a man she has never met and rule a land she has never been to before. What starts out as excitement very quickly turns to dismay as Ilara proves to be nothing like what she expected. Growing up on the ocean, Nor is used to sunshine and openness and when she learns she will be living inside a mountain, she can’t help but long to go home.
“There is no hope for any of us, child. We are all trapped in this mountain like lobsters in a cage, waiting for our turn to die.”

On top of that, she quickly finds out that the man she is to be wed to, is a horrid, cold man with many secrets and a beyond alarming obsession with the pearls her village harvests. Nor soon learns that there is much more going on than what her people have been lead to believe and that they are in danger.


Wow! There was just so much amazing-ness in this!😍 Nor and Zadies relationship was so beautiful! I’d say almost the first half of this book focuses on the relationship between the two and what it was like growing up in a place that values beauty above all else and I absolutely loved reading of their sisterly bond. The world building was excellent. I felt like I was right there with Nor the whole time as she navigated new lands and new people. There’s tension! Twists and turns! Some romance(but not an overpowering romance)! Wonderful growth with our leading lady. A villian whom you want to like but then he goes and does awful things, and no why did he do that I almost thought I liked him! A shocking ending! Literally, I gasped when I read it. This was a beautifully written YA Fantasy and please give me the sequel now!😅

5 out of 5 stars

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

FRANKLY IN LOVE BY DAVID YOON

botm ya, Monthly New Releases, Uncategorized

Frankly in Love_600x900.jpg

Hi guys! Who’s looking for their next read?? Look no further! FRANKLY IN LOVE is one of the biggest YA books of the Fall AND is releasing today! You can get your copy TODAY from BOTM YA (@yasofthemonth) for just $9.99 with code GROW.


Synopsis: High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all


Sound like your kinda book?  Click here to go to the website!  BOTM YA even has add-ons available if you see some other books that might interest you. Happy browsing friends!

City Of Beasts | Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway + Preorder Campaign

blog tour, giveaway, Review

Title: CITY OF BEASTS 

Author: Corrie Wang

Pub. Date: September 17, 2018

Publisher: Freeform

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 384

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle,  B&NiBooksKoboTBD


Synopsis:“If you see a beast, and you have the shot, don’t hesitate. Kill it.”

For seventeen years, fees have lived separate from beasts. The division of the sexes has kept their world peaceful. Glori Rhodes is like most other fees her age. She adores her neighborhood’s abandoned Costco, can bench her body weight, and she knew twenty-seven beast counter attack moves by the time she was seven. She has never questioned the separation of the sexes or the rules that keep her post-nuclear hometown safe. But when her mother secretly gives birth to a baby beast, Glori grows to love the child and can’t help wondering: What really is the difference between us and them?

When her brother, at the age of five, is snatched in a vicious raid, Glori and her best friend, Su, do the unthinkable – covertly infiltrate the City of Beasts to get him back. What’s meant to be a smash-and-grab job quickly becomes the adventure of a lifetime as the fees team up with a fast-talking, T-shirt cannon wielding beast named Sway, and Glori starts to see that there’s more to males, and her own history, than she’s been taught. Glori, Sway, and a motley cohort of friends will go to the ends of the earth to find her little brother. And maybe save their divided world while they’re at it

My thoughts

What a fantastic dystopian novel! City of Beasts is about a not so far away post apocalyptic Earth. Taking place in Buffalo, NY the city has divided itself- men(beasts) on one side of the river, and women(fees) on the other side. Growing up this has been all that Glori has known. Until her mother gives birth to a Fee and she begins to wonder what’s so wrong with them after all. When her brother is taken in a raid from the beasts, Glori and her bff, Su decide to go to the where the Beasts live and bring him back home.

I love a good dystopian novel that really makes you think, what if??? Wang did an excellent job of creating an apocolyptic world that captivated me from the very first page. I loved all the kick-ass characters! We not only have a complex main character, but the side characters are wonderfully developed so you can’t help but get attached.

City of Beasts was full of humor, a tiny dash of romance(oh lala), some crazy topics that really make you think, action, and thrills! I was so sad when I finished it!

4 out of 5 stars

 
CorrieWangfull

About Corrie: 

Corrie Wang is passionate about libraries, recycling, and eating all the food, everywhere. Corrie grew up in Buffalo but spent her formative years in Brooklyn, where one of her last paying gigs was managing a three-story nightclub on the Lower East Side. 

Writing to fix things that make her angry and explore things that frighten her, Corrie’s novels are about girls unapologetically conquering scenarios they should have little control over. Tired of seeing women and girls lose in this culture – spoiler – they never do in her stories. 

Her debut novel, The Takedown was chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by the New York Public Library and a 2018 YALSA selection for Best Fiction for Young Adults. City of Beasts is her second novel.

Seeing, as Corrie wrote an entire novel about the freakiness and perils of socializing too much on the internets her existence there is haphazard at best. Now, more than ever, she feels it is time for everyone to look up. (Also stand up, step up, and eat up. 

Woot!) That being said, you may follow her poor photography skillz on INSTAGRAM. 

AND P.S. Wang rhymes with ‘song’ y’all.


CITY OF BEASTS PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN

Please submit proof of purchase to CORRIEWANGBOOKS [at] GMAIL [dot] COM. All formats apply (physical & e-book). Open to the United States only. Last day to submit is MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 at 11:59 PM.

PRE-ORDERS FROM BLUE BICYCLE BOOKS

http://bluebicyclebooks.bigcartel.com/product/corrie-wang-city-of-beasts

Each signed pre-order copy of City of Beats will come with:

  • 1 set of 5 Battle Cards featuring different mercenaries 
  • A special paperclip necklace made by Mouse which makes you a part of the City of Beast family
  • Entry to win 1 of 3 raffle prizes
    • 1st prize is a Jackrabbit Filly t-shirt/patch/ $10 gift card
    • 2nd prize $10 gift card to Jackrabbit Filly and t-shirt
    • 3rd prize $10 gift card to Jackrabbit Filly

ANY PREORDERS FROM AN INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE

Pre-order City of Beasts at your local indie and you will receive:

  • A signed bookplate
  • A set of 5 Battle Cards featuring different mercenaries
  • A special paperclip necklace made by Mouse, making you part of the City of Beast family

PRE-ORDERS FROM ANYWHERE BOOKS ARE SOLD!

ANY PREORDERS FROM AN INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE

Pre-order City of Beasts anywhere else books are sold you will receive:

  • A signed bookplate
  • 1 of 5 Battle Cards at random

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive finished copies of CITY OF BEASTS, US Only. 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 


CITY OF BEASTS

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

9/2/2019- Country Road Reviews– Excerpt

9/3/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

9/4/2019- Character Madness and Musings– Excerpt

9/5/2019- Shelf-Rated– Review

9/6/2019- BookHounds YA– Review

 

Week Two:

9/9/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review

9/10/2019- Daily Waffle – Excerpt

9/11/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

9/12/2019- Life of a Simple Reader– Excerpt

9/13/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

Week Three:

9/16/2019- Jena Brown Writes– Review

9/17/2019- Kati’s Bookaholic Rambling Reviews– Excerpt

9/18/2019- Wishful Endings– Excerpt

9/19/2019- Book-Keeping– Review

9/20/2019- Jade Writes Books– Review

 

Week Four:

9/23/2019- Eli to the nth– Review

9/24/2019- two points of interest– Review

9/25/2019- The Layaway Dragon– Review

9/26/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

9/27/2019- PopTheButterfly Reads– Review

 

Week Five:

9/30/2019- lori’s house of reviews– Review

Review | Dark Shores by Danielle Jensen

Review, Uncategorized

Title: Dark Shores

Author: Danielle Jensen

Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy

Series: Dark Shores #1


Synopsis: “In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.


My thoughts (1)Dark Shores follows the point of view of the two main characters, Teriana and Marcus. Teriana is the fierce Maarin pirate whose people hold an ancient secret of Gods and the whereabouts of the obscure lands known as the Dark Shores. The Maarin travel between the two worlds, the Celendor Empire and the Dark Shores, and guard the secret of each land with their life for if East meets West, war will be inevitable. But all that changes when Teriana spills the beans to her trusted friend. Word gets out to the senator of the Empire and the Maarin people soon finds themselves prisoners.  In order to save her people, Teriana comes to an agreement to help the Empire with the conquest of the Dark Shores.

In comes Marcus, the clever commander of the Thirty-Seventh legion and man of many secrets himself. When the secrets of his own are threatened to be revealed by the senator of Celendor, Marcus finds himself leading the journey to the Dark Shores with Teriana as his prisoner/informant.

‘”Its time for you to let go of the lies Mother Empire has whispered in your ears and start seeing the world for what it really is.”
“And what is that?”
“Inexplicable. Limitless.” Her gaze went back to the ocean. “Divine.”‘

Dark Shores was a fun, fast read that I found myself quickly engrossed in. The two worlds we get to explore were so different and yet the same in many respects. I enjoyed the spicy, slow-burn romance between our two main characters and getting to watch each of their character developments. My only complaint was the story gets quite a bit rushed as it comes to the end and I felt that it should’ve been, like, a hundred pages longer to work its way through the events that were happening. However, I am looking forward to book two and seeing where Teriana and Marcus’s journey leads AND hopefully getting to see some more cool Gods action.

4 out of 5 stars

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

The Bone Charmer: Blog Tour + Review+GIVEAWAY

blog tour, giveaway, Review

Title: THE BONE CHARMER

Author: Breeana Shields

Pub. Date: May 21, 2019

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 400

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD


Synopsis:I was absolutely swept away by the world of The Bone Charmer.” – Kendare Blake, #1 NYT Bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns

In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.
On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.
Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

The Bone Charmer was a fascinating read! This was an intricately woven novel full of wonderful twists and turns. One event acted out in anger, splits Saskias reality into two. The Bone Charmer bounces back and forth from each of the timelines that Saskia is living, one as a tutor. And one as a bone charmer. Even though it’s back and forth I found it fairly easy to follow what was going on and found myself quickly engrossed in the world of blood and bone magic. The characters were well written and I liked watching Saskias relationships develop over time/timelines, especially the one with her mother. And Bram😍I’m ready for book 2 right now!About Breeana:

Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including The Bone Charmer, Poison’s Kiss, and Poison’s Cage. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English.

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of THE BONE CHARMER, US Only.

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2937/?

Week One:

5/21/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt

5/21/2019- RhythmicbooktrovertReview

5/22/2019- Smada’s Book SmackReview

5/22/2019- JheartlovesbooksReview

5/23/2019- The Pages In-BetweenReview

5/23/2019- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt

5/24/2019- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt

5/24/2019- Shelf-ratedReview Week Two:

5/27/2019- Character Madness and MusingsSpotlight

5/27/2019- Lifestyle of MeReview

5/28/2019- Some Books & RamblingsReview

5/28/2019- Starlight-ReadsReview

5/29/2019- Eli to the nthReview

5/29/2019- Book-KeepingReview

5/30/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview

5/30/2019- The Suburban LifestyleReview

5/31/2019- AURELIA LEOExcerpt

5/31/2019- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt

 

Week Three:

6/3/2019- Two Points of InterestReview

6/3/2019- Savings in SecondsReview

Review: To Best The Boys by Mary Webber

Review

Title: To Best The Boys

Author: Mary Webber

Genre: Fantasy/YA


Synopsis:Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.”

My thoughts (1)

What a beautiful, uplifting novel!

The book starts off with our main character Rhen, in a morgue dissecting a dead body! If that doesn’t set the mood of this book my dudes. Rhen is 16 and the daughter of a scientist father and upper-class mom turned lower-class when she married. Women in this sea-side town are meant for one thing and that is to be a wife and do wifely duties. But that is not the life Rhen wants. When her mother contracts a deadly virus that is sweeping through her town, Rhen and her father are furiously searching to find a cure before it takes their beloved wife and mother. But with time creeping up on them and no cure in sight, Rhen decides to enter into The Competition- an all-male scholarship competition in hopes of winning and furthering her education and finding a cure for the horrid disease.

“Society’s more likely to embrace cross-stitch as a sport than toss out its long-standing history of gender roles.”

Rhen and Seleni, Rhen’s cousin, decide to put on disguises to make them appear as boys and enter into the famed but deadly competition. Put on by the elusive Mr. Holms, the game tests a person’s strengths and weaknesses and the girls find themselves fighting for their right to be there at every twist and turn the labyrinth throws at them.

” ‘Any young men you specifically hope will win, Rhen?’ the old cat biddies ask. ‘No.’ Because Seleni and I aren’t men.”

To Best the Boys was an amazing girl power novel! I inhaled this story in pretty much a sitting and was so invested in Rhens story I was a bit disoriented when I was finished with it. Not only do we have girl power, but there’s also a fantastic romance( OMG LUTE I LOVE YOU) and plenty of fantasy elements-ghouls, sirens, and BASILISKS oh my! Also, villians! and magic!

“Whoever said the female is the weaker of a species never tested that theory against the draw of a woman’s love.”

This was a beautiful journey of finding your place in a world that keeps pushing you down and developing the courage needed to stand up for your rights. I give it 5 stars.

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: Heart of The Fae by Emma Hamm

Review

Title: Heart Of The Fae

Author: Emma Hamm

Genre: Fantasy/YA

Series: The Otherworld #1


Synopsis: Once upon a time… 

A plague sweeps across the emerald hills of Uí Néill, leaving a young midwife’s father with months to live. To save her people, Sorcha makes a deal with a dangerous Fae. She must travel across the sea, through merrow and kelpie lands, to find a forgotten king on a crumbling throne. 

Born king of the Seelie Fae, Eamonn fought battles unnumbered to uphold honor, duty, and freedom… until his twin brother sank a blade between his shoulders. Crystals grew from the wound, splitting open skin and bone. His people banished him to a cursed isle for his disfigurement, now king of criminals and fools. 

With the help of brownies, pixies, and will-o’-the-wisps, Sorcha battles to break through his crystalline shell and persuade him to take back his stolen throne.

This determined beauty could come dangerously close to stealing his beastly heart.

My thoughts (1)

“The first-born son of the Seelie King faded into myth, then legend. Then nothing at all”

When a deadly plague has infected her beloved, Sorcha will do whatever it takes to save them. Making a deal with a dangerous Fae, Sorcha sets out on a journey to the mythical island Hy-Brasil in hope of accomplishing a most impossible task: return with the banished prince. Determined to finish what she set out for, Sorcha soon realizes this task is nearly impossible but will not return home without the exiled prince.

“I am not a woman, but sword and shield. I will carve my own path, or I will force others to create it for me.”

This was an incredible retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I absolutely adored this story and Sorcha. She is fierce, brave, and imperfect. And a force to be reckoned with. 

“In that moment, she gutted him. No one had looked at him like a person in such a long time, without pity or fear. She just opened her eyes and smiled at him. As if he was finally where he belonged.”

Eamonn( the “beast”) has such a tragic backstory. Betrayed by the ones closest to him he is exiled to an island for the rest of his life. With a hard exterior(ha) we get to see all his layers, from angry to sweet. Eamonn and Sorcha had sizzling chemistry and although it was a bit cheesy here and there, I still absolutely loved it and couldn’t get enough. 

This was a Beauty and the Beast retelling in a way I’ve never read before! It was full of Irish mythology, characters you root for, and beautiful lands and so unique. I’m a sucker for a good retelling. I can’t wait to read book 2! Emma Hamm is an incredible author and I’m so glad to have discovered her. What are you waiting for?! Go read this beautiful tale now!

5 out of 5 stars

Review: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Review

Title: Fire & Heist

Author: Sarah Beth Durst

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Synopsis: “In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon.

Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.

With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.”

My thoughts (1)

Sky Hawkins: popular, rich, and were-dragon.

Then her mom disappears while doing a heist. And failing a heist is the ultimate dishonor for a Wyvern. Suddenly becoming a public pariah, Sky loses her friends, popularity, and gets publicly dumped by her boyfriend. When she hatches a scheme to reclaim their honor and get back their status and her mother, she is quickly shot down by her dad and brothers at the risk of being exiled from the Wyvern community.

“I understood that they said no- and that I was saying yes. I was stealing that jewel, reclaiming our family honor, and finding mom. And I was doing it without them.”

Not taking no for an answer, Sky sets forth with her heist, handpicking a crew to help her including new human friend Gabriella.

“Really hadn’t expected this reaction to asking a friend to engage in illegal activities, even if magic was involved.”

Ready to accomplish her first heist, Sky instead uncovers a secret that will change the world as she knows it.

This book was so fun! Dragons, magic, HEISTS. Focusing on family, friendships, and self-empowerment, Fire & Heist was a delightful read that I devoured quickly. I loved the authors voice and found myself laughing out loud multiple times. This novel was action packed with plenty of humor and family drama as well as a small side of romance. I enjoyed this standalone novel- just wish it could’ve been a bit longer and further explored the were-dragon realm.

4 out of 5 stars

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: The Black Witch By Laurie Forest

Review

Title: The Black Witch

Author: Laurie Forest

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Book in Series: #1 in The Black Witch Chronicles


Synopsis:A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.”

“Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.”

My thoughts (1)

The Black Witch follows Elloren Gardner attending a university to fulfill a dream she never thought possible rather than being married off to an unknown suitor as is the custom of the Gardnerians. Starting out, Elloren has firm beliefs on what is righteous and what is evil based on all the stories she has been taught growing up, but as the story ventures on and Elloren finds herself rooming with some of the supposed evil, she soon learns that everyone has their own side of the story and everything that has been drilled into her mind is very much biased as it is the side of the Gardnerians she has only heard.

.

Like many typical fantasy worlds, you have the usual characters( wolf shifters, witches, dragons) but we are also introduced to other characters(yikes, snake faerie sounds crazy!). Set in an intricately built world, most of the story takes place at the University Elloran is attending with all sorts of characters and sub-plots introduced. I am eager to read the next in the series in hopes of wrapping up some of these said sub-plots. Elloran starts out as a naive sheltered young woman but as the story progresses her arc really takes off with her realizing how naive and sheltered she is (albeit, a biiiiit slooooowly) and attempting to fix the wrongs she committed. This is a dark fantasy with plenty of action, magic, a grand prophecy, and a bit of a slow-burning romance as well.

Okay you guys listen I’ve heard/read a bunch of opinions that people have regarding this book and so with that I just want to say that I enjoyed reading this(well, as much as one can enjoy reading about prejudice and the narrow-mindedness of people) and I am looking forward to reading The Iron Flower. It is no easy feat to write a novel revolving around so much hatred and injustice, but I felt Laurie Forest delivered it well. If you took this writing as the author promoting racism, then, um did we read the same book?

“People see what they expect to see,” he says sharply. “Through a filter of their own hatred and prejudice.”

I’ve rated this 4 out of 5 stars because as much I enjoyed this, I felt it was a bit longer than it needed to be(600 pages) however, when I was reading it I was unaware it was 600 until I finished. So it was a very long book that felt long but I don’t think it felt like 600  pages long if that makes sense.

4 out of 5 stars

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*