Blog Tour + Review: A Golden Fury

Hi friends! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe! I want to give a huge thank you to Wednesday Books for inviting me to be on the tour and for providing me with an eARC! I am so grateful for the opportunity!

Title: A Golden Fury

Author: Samantha Cohoe

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release date: October 13, 2020

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists. 

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Review:

I absolutely loved A Golden Fury! It was one of those books that you devour in no time because you are so invested in the plot & characters. I was completely blown away by Samantha Cohoe’s writing. As her debut, this story draws you in and will not let you go until the very last word! I cannot wait to see what this author publishes in the future!

Our main character Thea was wonderful! She was strong and so talented. I fell in love with her from the very first page. Thea goes through so much in this book and she never once gave up. Her love for alchemy and her friends & family gave her the strength to keep going even in the darkest times. Thea was so relatable and without a doubt a new favorite character of mine!

The side characters were fantastic as well. Each had something special about them that made me root for them, even when I really shouldn’t have. In particular, I couldn’t get enough of Dominic, Valentin and the Stone. I loved each for very different reasons. Dominic was such a great friend and he literally had a heart of gold. Valentin though, he was rough around the edges, but you could tell that he still had empathy for others. The Stone was a character all on its own and wow, I thought it was very clever. I don’t want to spoil what I mean by this, but I absolutely loved this part of the book. 

Alchemy was at the forefront of this story & to me, it was super intriguing.  I loved that we were able to see the behind the scenes of how the Philosopher’s Stone was made. Cohoe’s descriptive writing made me feel as though I was right alongside Thea in the lab. It made for a great reading experience.

If you haven’t heard of the Philosopher’s Stone before, it is basically an object that can turn any metal to gold, heal all illnesses and give immortally. It’s a super magical topic and I loved Cohoe’s take on it. The deadly curse that was put on those who tried to create the Stone was brutal. The author did a wonderful job showing the toll the curse took on the mental state of the characters. 

The ending was fantastic & satisfying! I really had no idea how things were going to conclude so you can bet that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. While this is a standalone, I really hope that Cohoe writes more in this world. There are a few characters who I would love to learn more about!

Overall. A Golden Fury was a delight to read! If you are looking for a historical fantasy that is full of science, magic and the the unknown, I highly recommend adding this book to your TBR pile! Release date is October 13th!

★★★★★

About the Author:

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.

Links:

Buy A Golden Fury
Samantha’a Instagram
Samantha’s Twitter
Wednesday Books Instagram
Wednesday Books Twitter

ARC Review | In a Holidaze

Title: In a Holidaze

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books

Release date: October 6, 2020

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

Review:

Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

In a Holidaze was an absolute delight to read! I have never felt the need for Christmas so much in my life. This story was full of holiday spirit & heartwarming moments. I couldn’t get enough of it.

The wintery, snowy cabin setting was so atmospheric. I promise you, you will want to snuggle up with a warm blanket & a mug of coffee while reading this book. It was August/September & 80 degrees while I read this story, but you can bet that I acted like it was full on winter. In a Holidaze is basically the perfect cozy read. 

I related so much to the main character Mae. She is the type of person who wants to much out of her life, but she is kind of scared to take the leap for whatever reason. When Mae makes a wish, the universe responds by sending her back in time. I’ll admit, I’ve never seen the movie Groundhog Day, but I love the idea and it really worked for me in this book. Getting to see Mae relive days was interesting. It was a super weird and confusing time for her, but it made her grow as a person and find what makes her happy.

Okay, so all I’m saying is that if I ever get married and we don’t spend the holidays with our friends and family in a snowy cabin…then I don’t want it. With fun traditions, food and togetherness the group in In a Holidaze made this story fun & festive. Found family plays a huge role in this book and I have to say, it was probably my favorite part. I loved all of the characters so much. Each of them were so supportive and loving of one another. I specifically adored Benny. He was the cool uncle of the group and I am so happy that Mae could confide in him. Their relationship was so special. 

The romance was perfection to me! I’m a sucker for friends to lovers, and this one was the best! There was also a hint of a love triangle which added a little tension & entertainment. Mae & the love interest (no spoilers!) were so precious together, but I also loved them as individuals. The love interest (😊) was calm, thoughtful and oh so charming. Their relationship happened rather quick, but it was very realistic. The chemistry between the two was SO obvious and I was living for it!

My one take away from this story would be…do what makes you happy! If that means taking chances, take them. You can’t live your life stuck wondering what would happen if. Step out of your comfort zone and find your happiness!

Basically I loved this book! If you are looking for a fun & cozy holiday read with a steamy romance, I highly recommend picking up In a Holidaze! I can totally see myself rereading this around Christmas time!

★★★★★

ARC Review | The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Author: V.E.Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Release date: October 6, 2020

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Review:

Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a honest review!

What. A. Book. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was a masterpiece. An actual work of art. I have zero idea how I can explain to you how much I loved this book. I’ve tried several times to write this review but I keep stepping away from it. Apparently it’s really hard for me to put my feeling into words & sentences that will make sense. Who knew!

I finished Addie LaRue back in July and I swear, I have not stopped thinking about it since. VE. Schwab created such a stunning story and one that I definitely took my time reading. In no way, shape, or form did I want the book to end. I was SO deeply invested. It has been a while since I have fell completely head over heels in love with a book. So much so that I literally preordered three copies to have on my shelves. Don’t judge me too much. Addie LaRue is without a doubt the best book I have read all year! 

I loved learning all about Addie and I related to her so much. The only thing she desired was to live her life the way she wanted. She didn’t want to be tied down to a life and family that she didn’t ask for. She wanted to travel. To see the world & experience all that it had to offer. So when she saw the opportunity to hopefully change things, she took it. I admire her so much for that. 

Addie Has been alive for 300 years and has so many stories built up inside. She lived through countless historical events and getting to see her experience some of that was so interesting. It really brought out the nerd in me.

 Since Addie has been alive for so long, she as met hundreds of people along the way. I enjoyed getting to know a handful of those people. It was amazing to see how Addie inspired certain aspects of their lives. It goes to show that you can meet somebody once but you could still make a long lasting impression or impact.

The curse that Addie is under is very unique and so heartbreaking. Addie isn’t able to leave any type of mark on the world. She can’t say her name, draw, write, paint or even take a photo. It gets worse though, no one remembers her. Addie could spend an entire day with someone but if they leave her for even a second, they will forgot who she is. She was truly meant to not belong to anyone. The curse is very harsh and lonely, but Addie is so strong, stubborn and very resilient. 

When we meet Henry Strauss, I automatically knew that there was going to be something special about him. Then he remembered Addie and all I could think about was HOW!? Eventually you do find out how and why that is, but in the meantime you will fall stupidly in love with Henry & Addie’s relationship. They were able to give each other what the other one needed most. It was beautiful but also so painful at times. 

Okay, let’s talk about the god (devil?) who gave Addie the curse. His name is Luc and ohhh do I have thoughts about him. He was charming and mysterious, but very toxic. I loved the way Schwab decided to write their relationship. It’s constantly changing into something more. There is a serious power imbalance and it plays a HUGE role. Addie tries her hardest to outsmart him and to gain a little bit of control, but Luc is always one step ahead. Their relationship is a train wreck. 

I feel like there are several lessons to learn from this story. For me though, the biggest take away was that life my seem long and stormy, but it can go by in a blink of an eye. You have to live every moment to the fullest no matter what.

The ending was intense and I do not think it will work for everyone. For me though, I was on the edge of my seat and bitting my nails. I was not expecting what happened at all. It really wasn’t even an option in my head. So of course I did a little screaming at the book! **Editing Sadie here** For some reason I thought this was going to be a duology, but I was wrong. It is just a stand alone. Which I see now, but one could totally see the ending as a beginning for a second book. Either way, I still love Addie LaRue!

Overall, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was everything I could have hoped for plus MORE! I cant wait for everyone to experience Addie’s story. I’m going to go ahead and predict that this book will be on so many favorites lists come the end of the year. And you know what? It definitely deserves to be there!

★★★★★

ARC Review | These Vengeful Hearts

Title: These Vengeful Hearts

Author: Katherine Laurin

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Release date: September 8, 2020

My rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Anyone can ask the Red Court for a favor…but every request comes at a cost. And once the deed is done, you’re forever in their debt.

Whenever something scandalous happens at Heller High, the Red Court is the name on everyone’s lips. Its members–the most elite female students in the school–deal out social ruin and favors in equal measure, their true identities a secret known only to their ruthless leader: the Queen of Hearts.

Sixteen-year-old Ember Williams has seen firsthand the damage the Red Court can do. Two years ago, they caused the accident that left her older sister paralyzed. Now, Ember is determined to hold them accountable…by taking the Red Court down from the inside.

But crossing enemy lines will mean crossing moral boundaries, too–ones Ember may never be able to come back from. She always knew taking on the Red Court would come at a price, but will the cost of revenge be more than she’s willing to sacrifice?

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a honest review!

These Vengeful Hearts is a YA thriller that follows Ember as she tries to take down the Red Court, a super secret society that basically controls the entire school. Ember has been planning the dismantling of the group since the Red Court caused the accident that left her sister paralyzed.

I thoroughly enjoyed These Vengeful Hearts! I was deeply invested in the story and I never wanted to stop reading. This book was definitely a page turner.

The Red Court intrigued me from page one! The all girl secret society accepts favors from classmates. This could be anything from breaking up couples, rigging elections or even takedowns. The group is notorious for ruining lives. I loved being right alongside Ember as she learned the ins and outs of the group while also trying to figure out the best way to get revenge for her sister.

I loved the main character Ember. She was determined and so relatable. Being part of the Red Court really took a huge toll on her. She entered the group with a clear mission and decided she would do anything to achieve it. Along the way though, she really struggled with the line between good and bad & right and wrong. I appreciated that Ember took note of her mistakes and learned from them.

The only real issue I had with this story was the ending. I found it to be rushed. The entire book was building up to what I thought would be a very dramatic conclusion, but that wasn’t the case. The actual ending wasn’t really unsatisfying per se, but it did seem way too simple and almost unrealistic. With that said, I am interested to see if there will be a sequel? If so, I will for sure read it!

All in all, this was a super intriguing, fast paced thriller. If you enjoy books about secret societies and revenge, I would definitely recommend giving These Vengeful Hearts a read!

ARC Review | Fable

Title: Fable

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release date: September 1, 2020

My rating: ★★★★.5

Synopsis via Goodreads:

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men

Review:

Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved Fable! It was such a fun & quick read. I’ll admit though, it took me a bit to actually get into the story. Once I did though, I could not stop! I was swept away by Adrienne Young’s stunning writing.

Our main character Fable was spectacular. In her short life she has gone through so many tragic events. Because of those, she had to learn how to survive on her own. Fable is by far one of my new favorite characters. She is strong and oh so brave. Although we do not get to meet her mother in this book, I loved the connection Fable had with her. It’s obvious that she thinks the world of her mom and I thought that was such a sweet part of the story.

I am a sucker for books with a found family and Fable definitely had that. I absolutely loved the crew of the Marigold. Each of them were so unique and a delight to read about. I particularly loved Willa. She is so protective and unapologetically fierce. She wasn’t afraid to ruffle some feathers, especially if you messed with any one of her crew! 

The romance was quite interesting. It was kind of a mix between enemies to lovers & slow burn. The tension between the couple was so well written and I was 100% here for it. I can’t wait to see their relationship grow…hopefully.

The setting was the best part of Fable! I adore a book that is set at sea. With beautiful and vivid descriptions, the author made you feel like you were onboard the Marigold. It was such a cool experience. 

The ending literally had me yelling! I was so worried the entire book something like that was going to happen and when it did, I couldn’t contain my emotions. I am so happy that we do not have to wait a long time for the sequel. I am eager to see how the characters will react and what their plan will be.

Overall, Fable was incredible. It started out a little rough for me, but oh my gosh I am so happy I stuck with it. Highly recommend this book if you’re looking for an at sea, action packed, fast paced and gritty story!

ARC Review | Bookish and the Beast

Title: Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con #3)

Author: Ashley Poston

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release date: August 4, 2020

My rating: ★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a finished copy!

I absolutely loved Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl! They are two of my favorite books. Needless to say, I thought Bookish and the Beast was going to be another love of mine, but unfortunelty, it was just an okay read for me. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t quite live up to the hopes that I had for it. 

First off, Bookish and the Beast is the third book in the Once Upon a Con series! These books are companions so no, you do not have to read Geekerella or The Princess and the Fangirl to read this book. It can stand on its own just fine. However, I personally feel like you will have a better experience with this story if you read the other books first. There are several references to prior events and characters so you may get a little confused if you don’t. Also, this series is a lot of fun so I highly recommend Geekerella & Princess any way! 

As you can probably tell, this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling! Ashley Poston did a wonderful job taking the classic tale that we all know & love and she put a bookish and geeky spin to it! 

Rosie is our Belle! When Rosie chases after a dog, she ends up in an abandoned house….so she thinks. There she finds a huge library full of the Starfield books. After being caught in the house and damaging an expensive book, she must organize the library to pay off her debt. I really loved Rosie. She is a total book nerd. She loves the look of books, the smell of them and getting lost in th pages. My favorite type of character! Rosie recently lost her mother, the person who helped her to fall in love with books and Starfield. She is trying to navigate life without one of her parents while also trying not to be the “girl with a dead mom.” 

Vance is our Beast. He is Hollywood royalty and oh, he plays the villain, General Sond in the Starfield movies. After many slip ups with paparazzi, Vance’s parents send him away so he can try to see the error of his ways. Vance can be pretty annoying and almost unlikeable at times. He is has that *I can do anything I want because I’m rich* thing going on and it drove me crazy. Of course, I still wanted the best for him though. He struggles with trust. He thinks that everyone is out to get him. He also feels like he isn’t good enough. It was interesting to see his character changes & learns. By the end of the book, he isn’t the same person we see in the beginning.

What I loved most about Geekerella & The Princess and the Fangirl is that they were very fandom centric. Being the nerd that I am, I really enjoyed the convention settings, cosplays and all the other geeky things that those books had. I was hoping for something very similar with the third book, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Bookish and the Beast went in a different direction and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. We still get to see the wonderful word of Starfield, but it’s through books. Obviously being a bookworm, I loved that, but I always found myself missing the fun of the ExcelciCon! Compared to the first two books, there wasn’t enough fandom related things for me to nerd out to.

As far as the romance goes, it wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t hate it by any means, but I didn’t find myself rooting for it either. The chemistry between the two seemed to fluctuate. At times I could definitely see the sparks between the characters and then others times I was almost cringing at the awkwardness.

My favorite part of Bookish and the Beast was the adults that surround Rosie and Vance! They were incredible. Vance’s guardian, Elias is a total gem. He was always there to support Vance, especially when his parents weren’t. Yes, Vance has his troubles, but Elias saw the best in him. He believed in him when Vance needed it the most! Rosies dad was the coolest! I’m not even kidding, I loved him. He is a 90’s rock band loving, ear gauge wearing, queer librarian. Total perfection! His relationship with his daughter as very special. It’s just him & Rosie. They take care of each other no matter what. He is so supportive and gives amazing advice! Space dad is the best!

This may not have been my favorite book in the series, but it was still a fun & quick read. The Once Upon a Con series will forever have my fandom loving heart! 

★★★

thelibrarylane

ARC Review | One to Watch

Title: One to Watch

Author: Kate Stayman London

Publisher: Dial Press

Release date: July 7, 2020

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing my with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I absolutely loved this! It was everything I wanted and more. As a plus size woman, I connected with tis story on such a deep level. I often get nervous about reading books with plus size main characters. I don’t always feel like they are portrayed in the best light, but thankfully that was not an issue with One to Watch. 

Bea Schumacher is a very successful plus size blogger. She has it all…a loving family, tons of loyal followers, and amazing friends. But when her heart is broken by her best friend she has been in love with for years, her world falls apart. Fast forward to when she is asked to be the next Main Squeeze (the equivalent to The Bachelorette). Bea accepts, but she has no idea what she is signing up for. Will she find love on a reality dating show?  

Bea is such an incredible character. She goes on a powerful inner journey and it made my heart explode. She learns that she deserves love just as much as anyone else. Stayman-London did a beautiful job showing the reality of being a plus size woman in today’s society. Just like Bea, people all over the country deal with fatphobic comments. Whether it’s being told that crop tops aren’t for people with big stomachs or that plus size people will never find anyone to love them..fat shaming happens way too often.

The dating show/romance side of One to Watch was super unique. Instead of having one love interest, there were 25! Of course the list dwindled down and we were left with a few constituents that we got to know. I loved al of the dramatic twists along the way. They sure did keep the story interesting. I honestly had no idea who or even if Bea was going to end up with someone. I did have a fun time trying to guess though. There were two men in particular (no spillers!) that were the sweetest and I would love a spin off book(s) about them!

One to Watch was written in a multimedia format. Told through emails, podcasts, blog posts, texts, interviews and TV episodes, it was definitely a clever and fun way to tell Bea’s story. 

Overall, this book was fabulous. One to Watch was fun and heartwarming. I highly recommend adding this to your TBR shelves! I will definitely be on the look out for Kate Stayman-London’s work in the future!

ARC Review | Burn Our Bodies Down

Title: Burn Our Bodies Down

Author: Rory Power

Publisher: Delecorte Press

Release date: July 7, 2020

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape. 

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Burn Our Bodies Down follows a teen named Margot. For her entire life it’s only been her and her mother…no one else. Anytime Margot has questions about her relatives, she never gets any answers. All she wants is to know her family and their history. So when she finds a photograph from her mother’s past she decides to take advantage of it. She ends up going to the town where her mom was raised, but she has no idea what secrets she is about to uncover.

This may be weird to say, but I love Rory Power’s brain! She comes up with the most bizarre ideas and somehow just makes then work. I honestly have no idea how she does it, but I can say with certainty that I will read anything and everything she writes. 

Burn Our Bodies Down was so dark and very twisted. It definitely has an eerie vibe to it. The story went in a direction I was not expecting whatsoever. I tried to guess what was going to happen but oh my, I failed miserably. The author throws in these little clues along the way and you think you may know what they mean, but nope you would be wrong! 

With fascinating twists and turns, I devoured this book. It had me on the edge of my seat. I felt like I was right there with Margot as she discovered the shocking secrets of her family. I honestly couldn’t get enough of this story.

I loved our main character Margot. She hasn’t had the easiest life. Her and her mother Jo do not have the healthiest relationship. Jo is actually pretty toxic and she literally had no business raising a kid. Through the book, it’s easy to tell just how much Margot’s upbringing negatively impacted her. I was rooting for her so much though. I wanted her to find the answers that she needed. Margot goes through A LOT in this story and I love how determined and strong she is.

Overall, I loved everything about Burn Our Bodies Down. It was strange but in the best way possible. I highly encourage you to add this to your TBR shelves. You won’t regret it!

ARC Review | Something to Talk About

Title: Something to Talk About

Author: Meryl Wilsner

Publisher: Berkley Books

Publication date: May 26, 2020

My rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time–threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.

With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Something to Talk About was such an enjoyable story and a fantastic debut! This F/F romance was sweet, lighthearted and an all around fun time.

Jo Jones is a writer and showrunner for a hit show. Emma Kaplan is her assistant.  When Jo invites Emma to an award show, things do not go as planned. Rumors start flying that the two are a couple. While trying to navigate through the paparazzi and headlines, Jo and Emma start to wonder if maybe the rumors aren’t wrong…

I really loved both of the main characters. We spend a good portion of this book just getting to know them as individuals. Jo is very focused and serious. She is super passionate about her career and her family. She has such a big heart and will do everything in her power to help someone out. Emma is thoughtful and hardworking. She loves her job and she goes above and beyond to make sure things are perfect. I could definitely read another 300 pages about their separate lives!

If you love slow burn romances, then this book is perfect for you. As the reader, it was crazy obvious that the two had feelings for each other, but for Jo & Emma it took a while to realize and come to terms with that. I do think that it was a little bit too slow burn for my tastes, but it was absolutely worth it in the end. The chemistry between Jo & Emma was literal fire and the respect they had for each other made me so happy. They were perfect for each other, you can’t even deny it. I do wish we could have had a little more time with them once their relationship was established though. With Jo being Emma’s boss, there is a power imbalance, but the author does a fantastic job addressing it! 

I loved the Hollywood setting! I am a nerd for all things TV and with this story we really got to see behind the scenes of how shows are made. Something to Talk About takes on a huge issue that the entertainment industry (and the world in general) faces…sexual harassment. When I read the scene I was not expecting it at al, but I appreciate that the author chose to write about it. Sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, is something that happens way too often and there always needs to be a conversation to spread awareness .The way the situation was handled was fantastic. It made a huge impact on Jo and I love that she decides to take action and create a safe space to help those who need it. 

Overall, Something to Talk About was a dream read! I was completely lost in the pages and with everything going on in the world, that is exactly what I needed! I highly recommend picking this title up as soon as it releases on May 26. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Review | More Than We Can Tell

Title: More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2)

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Bloomsbury

My rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

Review:

I’m not surprised that I loved this book as much as I did. I have learned that I throughly enjoy Brigid Kemmerer’s writing. It’s so easy to get into and very hard to put down. I know I can always count on her to bring me a story that leave me wanting more!

More Than We Can Tell is a companion novel to Letters to the Lost, which I absolutely loved!  Personally, I don’t feel like you have to read the first book in order to understand this one. It can definitely stand on its own. I will say that you may get more out of Rev’s chapters if you already knew him from Letters. There are also some major spoilers about side characters so just be aware of that if you plan to read this book before Letters to the Lost.

I was so happy that Rev got his own book! He was such a great character in Letters to the Lost and I was excited to learn more about him! He has gone through so much in his life and honestly he deserves the entire world. Rev’s backstory is one that will break your heart and make you furious. As a child, he was abused by his biological father. The man who was supposed to love and take care of him used religion as an excuse to hurt Rev. After years with zero communication, Rev gets a letter in mail from his bio father. In a split second, he whole demeanor changes. It’s like he’s right back where he was as a 7 year old kid…absolutely terrified. His story really shows the long lasting effects of child abuse. It hurt me so much to see Rev struggling. He is the biggest sweetheart and I just wanted him to be happy and safe.

We get introduced to a new character named Emma. She  is really into coding and gaming. She even made her own video game that other people play!  How cool is that?? I did enjoy her chapters, but it was hard to like Emma at times. She’s not a great friend, she pretty immature and she so rude to her mom. She’s is a teenager though, so I mean weren’t we all that way at one point?

The relationship between Rev and Emma was sweet, but not my favorite thing about the book. I loved that they were able to open up to each other without feeling any judgement. Both characters had a lot in their minds and they needed someone to talk to. Other than that, I didn’t feel like they had any chemistry at all. I’m kind of bummed about it honestly.

More Than We Can Tell discusses the negative sides of the online community.  Emma is constantly harassed by a random person oh her video game. It starts at them saying she can’t play because she is a girl and it leads to so much worse. Emma goes about the situation in the best way possible, but even then the person finds a way back. Emma also learns the hard way that sometimes people on the internet aren’t always who they say they are or who they seem to be. The internet can be a wonderful place but there are definitely some scary things about it. Brigid Kemmerer did a fantastic job making Emma’s story so realistic.

My absolute favorite part of this book was getting to see more of Rev and Declan’s friendship! We met Declan in Letters to the Lost and ugh I adore him. It was good to catch up with him and see how things are going. He actually takes a really huge step in this book and it was so heartwarming to see Rev right there by his side. Their friendship is one of my all time favorites. They are always there to support each other no matter what.

So basically, More Than We Can Tell was wonderful and I highly suggest you read it. Go ahead and read Letters to the Lost while you’re at it! 🙂