The Cheesy Goodness Tag


The Rules:

  1. Pingback the original creator (Sydney at Fire and Rain books) so she can see all your cheesy goodness answers.
  2. Pingback the person who tagged you (Melanie at mel to the any)
  3. Have fun!




The Great Gatsby was a high school English class assignment for me. I had to analyze the entire thing into a 16-page paper. You’d think that would make me hate it, but it did quite the opposite. It made me appreciate hidden symbolism and made me realize just how sad your life can be, even when you thought you had it all…



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A story about a real estate agent who gets abducted during an open house, and is forced to live with her captor in a cabin in the mountains. I listened to this on audio. I was shook. I went from scared, to angry, to sad — I found myself gasping at certain parts. This is a great suspense/thriller if you’re in need of one!



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I hate to even mention this one because it has such a huge fan base. Let me preface this by saying I loved the sequel, One Dark Throne. However, Three Dark Crowns disappointed me. I am a huge fan of Kendare Blake. I have been ever since she wrote the Anna Dressed in Blood duology. I felt like her writing was so disjointed in Three Dark Crowns, and I couldn’t care less about the side characters. I will admit that the world building was great, and I liked each of the three sisters’ powers. Everything else felt blah to me.



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I will read anything Rainbow Rowell writes. She’s such a master at contemporary YA and character driven books. Also she’s such a sweetheart. Several years ago, before she gained popularity from Eleanor & Park, she saw my post on Facebook about how my book club was enjoying Attachments so much. She sent me a message and offered to mail us signed bookplates. How cool is that!?



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I immediately fell in love with Jenny Colgan’s writing because they always take place in a cozy, rural European town. The Bookshop on the Corner takes place in rural Scotland, and it made me want to visit soooo badly.



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This was supposed to be a coming of age story, but all I got was a bad plot and a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.




Simon and Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. O MY HEART! (Gorgeous art by @Susanne_draws)



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Fun fact: I learned how to read Thai before English. So when I moved back to the United States when I was in the third grade, my English reading skills were rather poor. I read The Boxcar Children mysteries with my English tutor each day after school. Not only did it immensely improve my English, but it encouraged me to read other chapter books. I like to think these books helped spawn my love for mysteries/crime novels.



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I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I received this book in my Owlcrate subscription box. The cover confused me and the synopsis was a bit strange. But I’m so glad I listened to other people when they said to give it a chance. It ended up becoming one of my favorite books in 2017. It’s a historical fiction novel, with a twist. It’s filled with hilarious, witty characters, and a touch of magic…



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Queen Levana  from The Lunar Chronicles suckssss. Do I think there are worse villains out there? Yes. Do I think Queen Levana is terrible, has no redeeming qualities, and doesn’t deserve to eat cheese ever again? You bet.

I tag:

Orláith @ Night Resplendent

Nicole @ A Myriad of Books

Nikki @ Shnikki_Reads

I also tag anyone else who is interested in this tag!

Thanks for reading! I do love all kinds of cheese (even blue!), so I hope you’ll join this tag, too!




The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Non Spoiler Review


twostarsBook: The Hazel Wood

Series: The Hazel Wood, #1

Author: Melissa Albert

Pages: 368

Genre: YA Fantasy

My rating: ★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

This will be an unpopular opinion review. I understand this book has very mixed reviews. Please remember these are my opinions. If you loved this book — great!

I buddy read The Hazel Wood with a lovely group of Bookstagrammers, and I know that some of us enjoyed this book very much. Right off the bat we knew that the reviews were very polarizing, so we had low expectations going into it.

I believe one of the biggest problems with this book is the way it was marketed. In 2017, when The Hazel Wood ARCs were making its rounds through booktube, we were led to believe this would be a high fantasy featuring twisted fairy tales similar to Alice in Wonderland. But once honest reviews began to publish, the major consensus was: The Hazel Wood is not really a fantasy story. It leans toward urban fantasy with mystery/paranormal/contemporary elements.

Knowing all of this before starting, I decided to go in with an open mind. I actually found the first half of the book quite entertaining (except for the main character, Alice, which I will get to in a bit.) There were snippets of creepy fairy tales told by one of the main characters, Finch, and there was a mysterious element featuring a stalker/kidnapper. Since I am a fan of mysteries/thrillers, I was like, “Okay, okay, this is kind of fun. Lets see where this goes.” I prefer adult mysteries because I’ve found most YA mysteries to be generally weak, but I was curious where this story would take me.

Unfortunately, the story quickly derailed once you pass the half way point. Things got downright weird, and I don’t mean in a good way. The writing became nonsense, Alice became more unbearable, and I was not impressed with the “fantasy” aspects. By that point I got bored. I did not get Alice in Wonderland vibes from this book at all (which was another marketing ploy I kept hearing.)

So now it’s time to get into the good and the bad:

The Good:

  • Althea’s fairy tales. The stories were downright creepy and I really wanted more. They were reminiscent of the spooky stories found in the graphic novel, Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (highly recommend, btw!) I could read an entire book on just these fairy tales.
  • In my opinion, Finch is the only saving grace in this book. He’s smart, he knows his fairy tales, and he’s willing to travel to the ends of the Earth to help Alice.

The Bad:

  • Alice is not a good person. You will find out she has her reasons, but by that point I just didn’t care. She throws tantrums and dismisses Finch (the only black character) when he tries to explain racial profiling. She makes excuses, is hypocritical, and she is dangerous.
  • Where were Althea’s fairy tales? I think there were two total. They were the most fun parts to read, but sadly they were only a few pages long.
  • I wanted more Althea, period. She’s not a fleshed out character (well, none of them are). We don’t even get to ‘see’ much of the Hazel Wood estate either.
  • Once you finally get to the fairy tale ‘land’, things got extremely boring for me. Albert tried too hard to make that world trippy and nonsensical (like Alice in Wonderland, I guess), but it fell flat to me. By this point I just wanted it all to be over.

I feel misled despite all the warning I received before starting this book. What started as a mysterious/paranormal tale turned into a big disappointment. Also I learned today that there will be two more books in this series? Yikes. Sadly, due to these reasons, I gave The Hazel Wood 2 stars.








Furyborn by Claire Legrand – Non Spoiler Review


ARC provided by Sourcebooks via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


Book: Furyborn

Series: Empirium, #1

Author: Claire Legrand

Pages: 512

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

My rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book simply because the timeline of events from the synopsis had me wondering just how exactly our two female protagonists were going to be connected.

Furyborn is told in dual alternating POV’s: Rielle’s in the past, and Eliana’s 1000 years later. Right off the bat I knew we were in for a wild ride. The prologue was beautiful chaos. From the beginning I was in awe and left with so many questions.


“Two Queens will rise.

One of blood. One of light.”


Rielle is fighting for her life as she must face seven trials in order to determine if she is the true Sun Queen. Not only does she have to save the world from angels, but she’s also faced with personal issues between her family, friends, and the person she’s in love with.

One thousand years later, we follow Eliana, who is an assassin trying to protect her family. She faces “trials” of her own when her mother, and other women, are kidnapped. Then she meets a stranger and her world suddenly becomes so much more complicated.

Now lets dive into the good and the bad:

The Good:

  • Legrand did such a fantastic job weaving the two POV’s together. You will pick up so many parallels between Rielle and Eliana’s chapters. It was like searching for Easter eggs — I loved it.
  • Sexual positivity, racial diversity, and bi-rep. There was consent. There was birth control. Yes! We need more of this in books!
  • A complex magical system. Don’t forget to check the chart in the back of the book!
  • Remy (Eliana’s brother) was such a breath of fresh air. He’s so smart and sweet. I loved how much he fiercely loves his sister.
  • Ludivine (Rielle’s friend) is the ultimate bff/wing woman/bae for life.
  • The seven trials portrayed in the book gave me Goblet of Fire/Hunger Games vibes. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all. They were epic scenes that had my heart racing!
  • Strong females characters! Lets just embrace the fact that all the females are badass. Some may have found Eliana’s “badassery” a bit too annoying, but I applaud her for being human. She is so morally conflicted. That to me makes for a great character arc.

The Bad (but not really):

  • I wish we got more background info on a few other main characters. There’s still mystery surrounding them, which I hope will be addressed in the next book.
  • Without spoiling anything, I found a few minor flaws with the progression of the story, and a few things were predictable. This ultimately made it a 4-star read for me.

Guys, overall this was such a fun book. War, magic, lore, lust, love, and lots of twists. That’s what you’ll get out of Furyborn. I hope you pick up a copy on May 22, 2018!


Pre-order incentive: If you pre-order Furyborn, you could get some awesome swag. Go here to fill out the form! Hint: You can get a signed and personalized copy by pre-ordering from Books of Wonder! (I may or may not have accidentally pre-ordered this book twice. Oops.)

A very special thank you and shout out to my girl, Melanie, for inviting me to join a massive buddy read (which we dubbed ourselves the Furybros.) I can honestly say it was so much fun discussing this book with everyone! I am looking forward to so many more. ♥



Quotes taken from ARCs are subject to change upon final publication

March TBR 2018

I think I’m being a bit overly ambitious this month. These are the 8 books I really want to read soon. The good news is I am doing three buddy reads this month, which I know will help keep me in check. I was worried I’d feel too pressured, but so far having a reading schedule has helped me stay on track immensely.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo:

ARC provided by Macmillan via NetGalley

I already finished this book at the beginning of the month. I posted my review where I swooned about how much I loved it. There are mermaids, sirens, princes, pirates, and evil sea queens. Release date is March 6, 2018. I hope you love it as much as I did!

Furyborn (Empirium, #1) by Claire Legrand:

ARC provided by Sourcebooks via NetGalley

I started buddy reading Furyborn with an amazing group of people! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect other than a queen and an assassin, living 1000 years apart, are somehow linked to each other. I already preordered the finished copy! Furyborn releases May 20, 2018. Thank you so much to Melanie for inviting me to your buddy read group!

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha, #1) by Tomi Adeyemi:

This is another debut I don’t know a lot about, other than it is a West African inspired fantasy. I’ve already heard so many amazing things and I’ve already preordered it. I will be doing another buddy read with this. Children of Blood and Bone releases March 6, 2018.

The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1) by Melissa Albert:

I am the most nervous about reading this one. There have been SO many mixed reviews. I’ve received 3 copies of this book, so dammit, I AM GOING TO READ IT. This will be another buddy read, which makes me so happy because we are all nervous about the polarizing reviews. The Hazel Wood is about a girl who must rescue her grandmother from a land known as the Hazel Wood. While this sounds like a fairy tale/fantasy, I’ve been told it leans more contemporary. We shall see…

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser:

I received a copy of this early from my Book of the Month subscription box. When I found out it takes place in Yellow Springs, OH I knew I had to get it. My husband grew up in that area, and we love visiting that small town. This is a mystery/thriller about a woman who disappears. It releases March 27, 2018.

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs:

Another Book of the Month pick! This one intrigues me the most and I’ve been told it’s a bit Dan Brown-esque, where there are clues and puzzles involved. A mathematician dies, leaving one last puzzle for his step daughter to solve. However, she’s not the only one who is trying to solve the puzzle, too. Ohhhh man. Yes, give me this book right now. Release date is March 6, 2018.

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd:

ARC provided by NetGalley

Fairy tales, enchanted beasts, Paris. Literally this is all I know but I was immediately intrigued by that gorgeous cover! Grim Lovelies releases October 2, 2018.

Bad Man by Dathan Auerbach:

ARC provided by NetGalley

I first read Auerbach’s Penpal series on Reddit. Several years ago, he posted his story in installments on the No Sleep subreddit (which he later compiled into a self published novel). If you aren’t familiar, the No Sleep subreddit is a forum where people can post “true” scary stories. (No, they’re not actually true stories, but you have to pretend like they are for the sake of the subreddit). Auerbach’s Penpal was addicting and terrifying. I was so excited when I saw he published another novel about a missing person. Bad Man releases August 7, 2018.

I hope you all have an amazing reading month!



Note that the link provided to Book of the Month is my personal referral link. If you choose to subscribe using my link, I receive a free book credit. 🙂

Scythe by Neal Shusterman – Spoiler Free Review

IMG_8311FourHalfBook: Scythe

Series: Arc of a Scythe #1

Author: Neal Shusterman

Pages: 435

Genre: YA Fantasy, Sci Fi, Dystopia

Publication Date: November 22, 2016

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

This book, guys. This book is ruthless. This book is jaw dropping. This book is vicious. This book is beautiful.

As the blurb says, Scythe takes place in a future world where there is no longer disease or war. A computer-like entity called The Thunderhead (think if IBM’s Watson and Amazon’s Alexa had baby) controls everything to make living as pleasant as possible. The Thunderhead has the technology to make you younger, eradicate depression, control the weather, help raise your children, drive your car, etc. The world is perfect.

In order to control the population, Scythes are needed to keep it in check. Being a Scythe calls for the highest moral discipline, along with mental and physical strength. That brings us to the two newest Scythe apprentices: Citra and Rowan. They do not want to become Scythes, which is basically the first requirement to becoming a Scythe: You have to not want to kill someone.

Scythe follows the journey of Citra and Rowan through their apprenticeship. We not only get to see the brutality behind the “art” of killing, but also the humanity. Would you be willing to kill someone in order to help keep the world perfect? 

As usual, let’s talk about the good and the bad:

The Good:

  • The world building. I thought Shusterman did such an incredible job creating this “perfect” world. The politics behind the separation of Scythe and state go deep, and you will learn so much behind the closed doors of the Scythedom.
  • The characters. I fell in love with a few of the Scythes, which sounds rather morbid since they, you know, kill people. They are so well developed and they each have their own methods for “gleaning” (that’s Scythe speak for “killing”.)
  • The moral ambiguity. You know I love me some morally grey characters. If that’s your jam, then oh man, this book is for you. One minute I found myself gasping, “What!? This is horrible!” And then the next minute I’m nodding my head saying, “Hmm, well, okay. That does make sense…” Seriously, what is wrong with me!?
  • So. Many. Twists. Just when you think things couldn’t get any crazier, they do.
  • Each chapter starts with a journal entry that belongs to a Scythe. They were my favorite parts of the book. I loved reading the thoughts behind a “pro” Scythe and seeing the world behind their eyes.

The Bad:

  • Citra’s character development fell a bit flat to me. She starts off very one dimensional, and she didn’t really gain much traction until the very end. I wanted more from her.
  • Ok, so let me preface this by saying I thought the pacing of the story was very good. I felt it was fast paced. With that being said, I heard a lot of complaints that the story starts “slow”. I don’t know what these people are talking about because I FLEW through this book. I couldn’t put it down! So, I don’t really know why I’m including this in the ‘bad’ section of my review, but I wanted to throw it out there in case you read this book and you’re like, “Wow, Amy, why didn’t you warn me this book starts out slow?” Well, my answer is: it didn’t feel slow to me!
  • Do not expect romance. In fact, what little romance there was felt lack-luster and forced, and foreshadows it may pick up more in the sequel.

I highly, highly recommend you pick up this book. I buddy-read Scythe with a lovely group of ladies from Bookstagram, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I already finished the sequel, Thunderhead, and I loved it just the same!


Happy reading!


The Broken Girls by Simone St. James – Spoiler Free Review


fourstarsBook: The Broken Girls

Author: Simone St. James

Pages: 336

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

The Broken Girls was one of the choices for February’s Book of the Month, with the added bonus of it being an exclusive early release for BOTM subscribers. I always appreciate it when subscription boxes include a book before it’s released to the general public, and I was really excited after I read the description for The Broken Girls. I immediately added it to my cart and read it right away when it arrived!

First, I would like to point out that this book is not heavily paranormal. Yes, there are paranormal elements, but it is not the main focus. It is spooky and atmospheric, but you will still find it weighs more on the investigative side of a murder case.

The Broken Girls is told in parallel timelines; jumping between the past (1950) and the present (2014). In the past, the chapters alternate between the four teen roommates at Idlewild Hall boarding school: Katie, Cece, Roberta, and Sonia. These girls are the best of friends, and they are considered “troublemakers” or “cast offs”. Then, one of them disappears.

Flash forward to 2014, and our main protagonist, journalist Fiona Sheridan, investigates the reconstruction of Idlewild Hall. Fiona tries to find the link between her own sister’s murder that happened near Idlewild 20 years ago, to the disappearance of the Idlewild student in 1950.

With that being said, lets talk about the good and the bad:

The Good:

  • I liked that we got a glimpse into each of the four roommates at Idlewild. Each girl took on a “role”, and we learn that the reasons they ended up at the boarding school range from family drama to things much more evil.
  • The legend of Mary Hand brought a fun, creepy element to the story. I was worried it would make things cheesy, but it was done very well.
  • There are so many mysteries within mysteries within mysteries in this book. The author leaves lots of bread crumbs and clues for you to follow, whether it be in the past or present.
  • Fiona is pretty badass. I love that she didn’t fall into the “unreliable narrator” trope, even though in the beginning she acts a little off.
  • Actually, all the women are pretty badass!

The Bad (but not really that bad, tbh):

  • Fiona’s sister’s murder plot line felt a bit weak and overshadowed by the other mysteries throughout the book. Also, the outcome of that was rather predictable.
  • Fiona’s boyfriend is a cop, and I had to roll my eyes a few times at his behavior. He wasn’t a very well written character, and fell into many “cop tropes.” (He did have some redeeming qualities, so not all hope is lost.)
  • There was a lack of chemistry between Fiona and her boyfriend. I think the story would have been great if he wasn’t even in the picture, but I understand why it was needed.

This was such a fun page turner that I recommend you read right before bed to get all the spooky feels. I gave it 4 stars because I was totally hooked from beginning to end.

fourstarsHappy reading!


Note that the link provided to Book of the Month is my personal referral link. If you choose to subscribe using my link, I receive a free book credit. 🙂





To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – Spoiler Free Review

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ARC provided by Macmillan via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

fivestarsBook: To Kill a Kingdom

Author: Alexandra Christo

Pages: 384

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow!

I forced myself to stay awake until 1 AM, bleary eyed, fighting off sleep, all while my heart was pounding so hard because I just HAD to know how this book ends.

You guys, I am shook.

This book has everything I love: Mythology, sirens/mermaids, royalty, kingdoms, pirates, hate-love romance, sarcastic, witty banter, adventures, epic battle scenes, POC representation, and strong females.

I didn’t know much about To Kill a Kingdom other than hearing it was a “Little Mermaid retelling but instead of saving the prince, the mermaid has to kill him.” Well, replace mermaid with siren, and that’s pretty much what we have, except it is so much more.

Lira is a siren, dubbed the Princes’ Bane. She takes the hearts of royal humans on her birth month, with hopes that someday she will rule the kingdom of Diavolos. However, her mother, the Sea Queen, is an absolute tyrant who would rather kill her own kind (and daughter) before giving up her throne. The Sea Queen gives Lira the ultimate punishment for accidentally killing a mermaid: Lira is turned into a human, and she must bring back Prince Elian’s heart.

On the flip side, there’s Prince Elian of Midas, captain of The Saad, and siren hunter. He would rather spend his life traveling by sea, hunting sirens, than be forced to take the throne and spend the rest of his life, literally, grounded. Elian is presented with an opportunity to find treasure that could perhaps end all sirens. But first, he comes across a drowning woman in the middle of the ocean…

Naturally, this is where Lira and Elian’s stories converge. Told in dual narrative, we are pulled into an epic journey that’s filled with witty banter and an angsty hate-love romance that kept me wanting more. I am floored this is a standalone, because I kept thinking, “how is this story going to wrap up within 384 pages!?” BUT, I can honestly say I am so thankful this book is no more than a standalone. It is perfection the way it is. Christo’s writing is so gorgeously woven, and she wrapped up everything beautifully. I found myself getting emotional over Lira’s inner moral battle, her rising humanity, and her defiance toward her mother. I related so much to these characters, albeit they were so morally grey. I appreciated so much how this wasn’t a typical damsel-in-distress fairy tale.

Guys, I have nothing bad to say about this book. Usually I like to format my reviews by splitting up “The Good” and “The Bad” into bullet points, but I can’t do it with To Kill a Kingdom. It is amazing the way it is.

This is my favorite book of 2018 so far, and I have a feeling it will be in my top five of the year. I hope you pick up this book and enjoy it as much as I did. To Kill a Kingdom releases March 6, 2018.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Waterstones






February Wrap Up – 2018


I read some great books this month! So far it looks like I am averaging 6 books per month, which is a nice pace for me. My goal for 2018 is to read 50 books. Last year I read 75, and I didn’t want to stress myself out trying to reach a high goal this year. I am currently 4 books ahead of schedule. You may view my 2018 books read so far on Goodreads.

This was also my first time doing a buddy-read with a lovely group of ladies from Bookstagram. We read Scythe (and some of us moved on to Thunderhead), and it was so much fun. For March some of us will be reading Children of Blood and Bone together. Yay!

Here’s the wrap up for February 2018 (my reviews are linked below):

  1. The Final Empire (Book 1 in the Mistborn Trilogy) by Brandon Sanderson: 5 stars
  2. Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell: 3 stars
  3. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James: 4 stars
  4. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: 3 stars
  5. Scythe (Book 1 in the Arc of a Scythe series) by Neal Shusterman: 4.5 stars
  6. Thunderhead (Book 2 in the Arc of a Scythe series) by Neal Shusterman: 4.5 stars

Needless to say, I am a bit behind on my reviews! Between having a death in the family and working on my health recovery, it’s been a hard month to stay on track. My goal for March will be to finish a few ARCs I received from NetGalley, and to post all my reviews here and on Goodreads and Amazon.

I hope you all had a great reading month, too!




Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell – Spoiler Free Review


Book: Silent Victim

Author: Caroline Mitchell

Pages: 325

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Domestic Thriller

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis

Below is a spoiler free review.

I received a free ebook copy as part of Amazon’s First Picks for the month of February.

In a nut shell: Emma and Alex are selling their home, but Emma has a secret. Several years ago, she buried a body on their property, and now she wants to get rid of the evidence before the house is sold. The problem? When Emma goes back to the grave site, the body is gone.

*pterodactyl screech* Whaaaat? Um, yea, you can bet I downloaded that immediately.

First of all, I want to mention two main trigger warnings: eating disorders and child abuse (after all, the main plot point is that a teacher seduced Emma when she was a teen). Since I do not have personal experience with eating disorders and I am not a medical professional, I will not be addressing the eating disorder any further. It is not my place to express my opinion, other than the fact that it is a very serious and heartbreaking issue. Tread with caution. (I also want to note that Caroline Mitchell is a retired police detective, with her specialty dealing with domestic abuse victims.)

Silent Victim alternates between three POV’s: Emma, Alex (her husband), and Luke (the teacher from her past). The POV’s also switch between the past and present. In my opinion, this was extremely easy to follow and did not disrupt the flow of the story. In fact, I felt that it made the story fast paced and it kept me on my toes. The chapters are very short which made this an amazing page turner.

Reviewing thrillers is tricky because I don’t want to spoil any of the twists. So, let’s just get into the good and the bad:

The Good:

  • From very early on (and this is mentioned in the synopsis, so not a spoiler!), Alex learns Emma’s secret about the missing body. I thought this was a great move on the author’s part. It’s very common in domestic thrillers for the “unreliable wife” to be struggling alone or hiding something from the spouse. I appreciate that the husband had his own POV and was involved in the drama.
  • I am so glad this wasn’t another “drunk unreliable narrator” situation. While I am in no way saying Emma having other mental health issues is a good thing, I have grown tired of the alcoholic trope that’s been common in thrillers-turned-movies (I’m looking at you, The Girl on the Train.)
  • The short chapters made for an amazing fast paced page turner. While the writing isn’t necessarily the most brilliant, I appreciated how every chapter kept me wanting more.

The Bad:

  • Luke made my skin crawl! Reading about his sociopathic thoughts as he groomed Emma as a teen made me want to puke. I almost considered not reading the book after I got to his first chapter. He certainly makes a “good” villain, but again, if this is a trigger for you, I would recommend not picking up this book.
  • You’re not going to get much character development, especially from the “supporting cast” (ie: Emma’s sister, her father, Josh the coworker). In fact, even their child, Jaime, felt like an afterthought in the beginning.
  • There are some… ridiculous… twists. Maybe not necessarily bad, but I did eye roll a few times. The ending wrapped up a bit too fast for my liking. This is why I gave the book 3 stars. I was ready to give it 3.5 stars but had to knock it down a bit because there were some issues I had with the ending.

I’m going to stop here because I don’t want to give away any more details. If you want a quick thriller that might make you jumpy in the middle of the night, pick up Silent Victim.

Happy reading!






The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Spoiler Free Review


Book: The Cruel Prince

Series: The Folk of the Air, #1

Author: Holly Black

Pages: 384

Genre: Young  Adult, Fantasy

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Oh my. How will I possibly give this book review any justice without spoilers? I will try my best!

The Cruel Prince was the first book I started reading in 2018 and it was a 5 star read for me. It was fast paced, fun, brutal, dark, and it kept me wanting more.

Here are the basics: Jude and her two sisters witness the murder of their parents as children, and they are taken to the Fae world where they are raised by a Fae general. Jude’s twin, Taryn, and their older sister Vivi live with their parents’ murderer (who is Vivi’s biological father). While Vivi is rebellious and defiant, Jude and Taryn want to assimilate with the Fae.

Aside from this strange family dynamic, there is an entire world of brutal politics. The Fae King wants to appoint a new successor, and his choices are his own children. Who will take the crown?

Guys, I really don’t want to go into great detail because, duh, spoilers. So let’s just get into the good and the bad:

The Good:

  • I love how Jude is such a complex and morally grey character. She wants nothing more than to fit in in the Fae world. She actually loves her new father (yes, the man who murdered her parents). She wants to become a knight for the royal Fae family. She can fight like a badass and hold her own. She has a huge heart, but she’s not afraid to kill.
  • Prince Cardan. I think some may argue with me here. You see, Cardan is an asshole. He bullies Jude. His friends torment her. But, you will learn more about his character as you read on. I don’t want to say anymore. I love how complex his character is as well.
  • Ok, so pretty much everyone is a bit of an asshole. If that’s not your cup of tea, then you may not enjoy this book. Personally I love how everyone has their flaws. It makes this YA book unique.
  • The politics. Think Game of Thrones.
  • Bisexual representation! Yay!

The Bad (but not really?):

  • The writing. Since this is YA, I’m going to not be too hard on the writing. But I will warn you: it does read like a typical YA book. That is not a bad thing, but for all the hype this book gets, some of the writing does come off a bit juvenile. This is why I am not a fan of Holly Black’s other books (unfortunately).
  • Lack of romance. Actually, I didn’t mind the lack of romance. However, if you’re a romance fan, this book won’t give you all the romantic feels. There is some lust, mind you.
  • Trigger warning for bullying. The Fae are some cruel, cruel people. Cardan and his friends bully Jude at school. A lot.

Guys? Overall I loved this book so much. I am planning to listen to it on audio as my “re-read”. I am bursting with excitement for the next installment. If you’re into darker tales with political intrigue and morally grey characters, I highly recommend you pick up The Cruel Prince.

Happy reading!