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! 🙂

1st Quarter Anticipated Releases | 2020

Hi everyone!

 I am doing this post a little bit different than I did in 2019. There are so many titles that I’m interested in this year and there is no way I can pick just a few. So I am going to break this down and do an anticipated releases post every quarter. 

These books will be released from January-March!

As always, if you want to know more about any of these, their Goodreads pages will be linked.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Release date: January 7

I have actually already read this, but I am SO excited to have the book in my hands. This is the second book in the Cursebreaker series. 

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

Release date: January 7

This is the fifth book in the Wayward Children series. I am so excited to see what these characters are up to.

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

Release date: January 14

I swear Emma Mills always has the most beautiful covers. Lucky Caller involves radio broadcasting and fandoms so that is right up my alley. I am expecting this to be a fluffy contemporary with an adorable romance and amazing friendships.

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

Release date: January 14

This story follows two time periods where women fall ill to a sickness that makes them dance in the streets until their death. I have never read anything by this author and honestly their backlist titles don’t interest me very much, but Dark and Deepest Red sounds so good! The cover is gorgeous as well.

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

Release Date: February 4

I literally have no idea what this book is about but it is partially written by Becky Albertalli and that is enough for me to be excited about.

Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller

Release date: February 4

This is another one that I have already read! I really loved this and I want everyone to read it!! My review will be up very soon.

The King of Crows by LIbba Bray

Release date: February 4

The fourth and final book in The Diviners series. I have to admit, I am not caught up to it yet, but I absolutely loved the first book and I can’t wait to read more.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Release date: March 3

Okay so before I get real excited for this book…can anyone tell me if this has anything to do with her other series?? I have only read Throne of Glass and I really don’t have an interest in continuing on. Help me out here!

Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Release date: March 10

I am literally obsessed with this cover.

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

Release date: March 31

I am not caught up with this trilogy either, but I am still looking forward to the final book! I actually haven’t seen the cover until now, and oh my gosh I love it.

I am sure there will be others along the way that will interest me, but for now, these are the ten that I am so ready to read!

What are some of your most anticipated release from January to March?

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Favorite Books of 2019

Hi everyone!

It’s time to share my favorite reads of 2019!! They way I do this is…if I read it last year, it can make it onto this list. It does not have to be a 2019 release!

Let’s talk about some good books!

TEN: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

If you have been around my blog for any time at all, you will know that Leigh Bardugo is my favorite author. Not only do I enjoy her writing, but I just really adore her as a person. I’ll admit though, I was pretty nervous to pick up Ninth House. I very rarely read adult fantasy because it intimidates me so much. Thankfully, I got through this book just fine. Ninth House was ark, gritty and definitely graphic. The characters were complex and fascinating. The ending was so exciting and I am DYING to read the sequel. 

NINE: The Wicked King by Holly Black

This is the second book in the Folk of the Air series. I literally got a book hangover from reading this. It took me almost a week to pick something else up. The Wicked King was absolutely wild. The politics were intriguing, Jude & Cardan were everything and Holly Black’s writing was beautiful. Read my full review here!

EIGHT: Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

I picked this book up on a whim and I am very happy that I did! Stay Sweet was so much fun & just what I needed at the time. It is the perfect read for the summer months. Honestly, I am forever wishing I had a place like Meade Creamery in my hometown! Read my full review here!

SEVEN: Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller

This book follows a girl who goes on a road trip with friends to get an abortion. I can’t even begin to explain how eye opening and important this book is. To read what the characters had to go through was infuriating. It is heartbreaking to know that women all over the United States have stories just like Camille’s. These characters and their story will definitely stick with me for a long time.

SIX: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This is probably the most unique book on the list. Every Heart a Doorway is the first book in the Wayward Children series. It follows characters who have come back from worlds that they opened doors to. This was kind of a murder mystery which I was definitely not expecting, but I loved reading about. I flew through this story. Not because it is short, but because I just couldn’t put it down. I am now all caught up on the series and I am impatiently waiting for the fifth book’s release!

FIVE: The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I love everything about this book. The cover is gorgeous, the writing is addicting and the characters were so determined. The Bone Houses was creepy, sad and unique. Read my full review here!

FOUR:  Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Declan and Juliet’s story completely broke my heart, but in all honesty I loved every second of it. Letters to the Lost was such a difficult and realistic read. It deals guilt, anger and loss. Brigid Kemmerer did an incredible job bringing light to such heavy subject matters. Read my full review here!

THREE: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. I say that but it’s still so hard for me to explain why I love Evelyn Hugo so much. This book is about being who you want to be regardless of who you are expected to be. It’s about finding your own definition of family. It’s about loving whoever you want to love. The author does an incredible job making you think that all the characters in this book are real people. It’s crazy. If you haven’t picked up Evelyn Hugo yet, I beg you to give it a try!

TWO: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

In all honestly, I could put the entire Illuminae Files on this list. I absolutely loved these books and I am so mad at myself for not picking them up sooner. Gemina is the second book in the series and my favorite! I loved the new characters we met in this one. Hanna is such a gem and will totally surprise you. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I never knew what was going to happen. The authors made you believe one thing and then a twist would happen and you would be left in shock. I am really looking forward to a reread very soon. Read my full review here!

ONE: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

When I read this back in May of last year, I really didn’t have any expectations for it. I knew people were really liking it, but I had NO idea that I was about to read my favorite book of 2019! I completely fell in love with the characters and I think about them all the time. In particular, Grey is now one one my all time favorites. He is hardworking, protective and so loyal. I really adore him. Read my full review of Curse here! I have already read it’s sequel, A Heart So Fierce and Broken and WOW! I am so excited to see where this story goes next. 

What were your favorite books of 2019?

If you have done this post, leave your link in the comments! I’d love to check it out. 😀

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Colorful Covers | Blue

Hi everyone!

Today we are on to the next color in the Colorful Covers series! If you are new here, this is a series where I recommend you books completely based on the colors of their covers! I originally saw the Owlcrate team do this on their YouTube channel and thought it was a fun idea!

This month’s color is BLUE! 💙

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Fall in love, break the curse. Break the curse, save the kingdom.

This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but with a twist. I absolutely loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely. The world, characters, representation and writing were perfection. I read this almost a year ago and I STILL find myself thinking about it all the time! Read my full review here!

Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Okay so this is actually the second book in a series. I included the first book, Illuminae, in the Colorful Covers: Orange post. Gemina is my favorite book in the Illuminae Files. I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you are looking for a fast paced, action packed and thrilling science fiction…pick this entire series up! You will not regret it!

Reverie by Ryan La Sala

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different…

This book came out at the end of last year and I truly believe that people are sleeping on it. Reveries are people’s dreams made into a reality. How cool does that sound? We follow Kane as he is trying to regain his memories and save his home state of Connecticut. Reverie is twisty, fun and so creative. Highly recommend picking this one up.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

I have read this twice now and my heart is just so happy when I finish it. Stella and Michael are the cutest and oh my gosh the chemistry between them is literal fire! The Kiss Quotient was a heartwarming, sweet and super steamy debut. Read it. Read it. Read it!

Other blue books you should DEFINITELY check out:

-Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
-Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
-The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
-The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston
-The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
-Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

What are some of your favorite books with blue covers? Have you read any of these?

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Authors I’d Love to Meet

Hi everyone!

As readers, I’m sure we all have certain authors that we would love to meet one day! I thought it’d be fun to share with you all a few that make my very long list. Here we go!

Leigh Bardugo

I feel that by now you all should probably know that Leigh (I say her first name as if I know her personally…hahaha) is my favorite author. I love her books with every fiber of my being. It would be a dream come true to meet the queen…the legend! I know she is going on tour for Ninth House in October and I am REALLY hoping that she comes to a city near me. I’m crossing all my fingers and toes!

Jay Kristoff

I’m obsessed with The Illuminae Files! That series is a a roller coaster of emotions and I enjoyed every second of it. Of course I would love to get my books signed by him, but honestly I would be happy just to be in his presence. I think he is such a cool person. I love his dry sense of humor and how blunt he is. I live for his Twitter feed and IG stories. 

Courtney Summers

Not going to lie, my number one reason for wanting to meet her is because she watches Supernatural. Not to be dramatic or anything, but that show means everything to me. Courtney Summers and I could have a giant discussion about Dean Winchester and my life would be made. Also, yes we could talk about her AMAZING books. That would be cool too!

Casey McQuiston

Red, White and Royal Blue has taken the book community by storm this year. Everyone has read it and everyone pretty much loves it…including me. I would love to meet Casey & tell them how much Alex’s story truly means to me!

Brigid Kemmerer

I’m cheating a little bit here. I have actually met Brigid before BUT I had not read any of her books then. Now that I have read Letters to the Lost and A Curse So Dark and Lonely, it would be pretty awesome to get to chat with her about her writing. I’d also try my hardest to get any scoop on A Heart So Fierce and Broken because I am literally dying to know what is going to happen in that book!

What authors would you love to meet? Who have you met already?

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Auto Buy Authors

We all have an auto buy author list, right??

Today I am sharing some of the authors that make up my list! For one reason or another, I will purchase ANYTHING they write!

Leigh Bardugo

The legend. The queen. She could write a restaurant menu and I would buy ten copies. I have loved everything I have ever read by her. Six of Crows is one of my favorite books of all time. The Grishaverse is so fascinating, but I am DYING to read her new adult fantasy, Ninth House later this year. I’ve had it pre ordered for months!

Stephanie Garber

The Caraval trilogy is one of my all time favorites. Stephanie Garber has such a magical way of telling a story. I am looking forward to what she will do next!

Shea Ernshaw

I read The Wicked Deep almost a year ago, but I still find myself thinking about it. I loved how atmospheric & eerie it was. I am not so patiently waiting for Shea Ernshaw’s sophomore novel, Winterwood! It is without a doubt my most anticipated release for the rest of the year!

Becky Albertalli

Okay so Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is incredible! We can all agree on that?! I have read it three times now & each reread I fall in love with it a little more. Becky Albertalli writes such fun, adorable, diverse and relatable characters. I will forever read all of her work!

Brigid Kemmerer

The newest author to be added to my list. I recently read Letters to the Lost & A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and both were 5 star reads! I love her writing so much. It is very easy to get lost between the pages.

Who are some of your auto buy authors? Leave a comment & let me know!

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Review | Letters to the Lost

Title: Letters to the Lost

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 388

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Review:

Okay I am just going to say this right off the bat…this book was INCREDIBLE! I don’t know if I am going to be able to put into words how much I loved it, but I am going to try!

In Letters to the Lost we follow Juliet who recently lost her mother in a car accident. Writing letters to each other was something special they did. Even though her mom has passed, she still writes to her frequently and leaves the letters on the gravestone. While doing community service at the cemetery, Declan finds one of the letters and decides to respond to it…  

Letters to the Lost heavily deals with grief, guilt and anger. I can’t even begin to explain how difficult this was to read at times. The characters pain felt unbelievably realistic. It was heartbreaking. There were definitely a couple times when I had to put the book down because I needed a breather. It gets pretty dark not going to lie.

This book has an anonymous friendship going on, which is something I really enjoy. Juliet and Declan were able to be really honest with each other through the letters and emails. There were no preconceived notions so the two could be vulnerable in a way they have never been before. 

I loved that the characters had a hobby that they were really good at. Juliet had photography and Declan had cars. Though both of these things had a sad history behind them, I think they could still use them to get away from their troubles for a bit.

Declan & Juliet’s best friends were the absolute best! I love seeing a good healthy friendship in a YA book! Rowan understood that Juliet was going through a rough time. She was supportive & helped give Juliet the little push she needed to get things back on track. Then there was Declan’s best friend Rev…oh my gosh what an angel! He was ALWAYS there for Declan, no matter what. They have such a special friendship. I’m excited to learn more about Rev in the companion to this book!

I really loved the relationship that the main characters had with their teachers. Declan’s English teacher & Juliet’s photography teacher knew what their students were capable of & they gave them the support they needed to reach their full potential. It was wonderful.

There are so many lessons to learn from this book. To me, the biggest one is not to judge someone based off what you hear. Declan was constantly being misjudged. People had heard stories about his past and they assumed he was just a criminal. No one tries to get to know the real Declan. In real life this is something that happens every single day. No one deserves to be treated the way that Declan was.

All in all, I loved this book. It was heartbreakingly beautiful. Brigid Kemmerer has quickly become one of my auto-read authors. I’m looking forward to picking up her other books!

July TBR

Hi everyone!

I have a smaller than usual TBR for this month. One reason is because there is a book that will probably take me ages to get through. The other reason is because I am planning to participate in The Reading Rush. I haven’t picked out my TBR for it just yet, so definitely look out for that post in a couple weeks.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

This book is at the top of my list for the month! I cannot wait to pick it up. I recently read A Curse So Dark and Lonely by this author & LOVED it. I’m looking forward to seeing how she writes a young adult contemporary.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Over on my Instagram I asked people to help me decide what books to add to my to July TBR & this one was the winner. I am going to be honest with you, this book intimidates me so much. I’m nervous to read it, but it’s going to happen.

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

This was actually on my June TBR, but I didn’t get this chance to pick it up. This is the sequel to Shadow of the Fox which was one of my favorite books of last year. Can’t wait to see what these characters are up to!

I hope you all have a fantastic reading month! Let me know what’s on you July TBR.

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Review | A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pages: 484

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Review:

I finished reading A Curse So Dark and Lonely a few weeks ago & I have not been able to get this book out of my head since! I’ve read quite a few retellings but this is 100% my favorite. Brigid Kemmerer takes the classic Beauty & the Beast and puts a unique and dark spin on it. 

This story is told through dual perspective…

Harper: She has a rough home life. Her father left, her brother is trying to pick up her father’s slack and her mom has cancer. Needless to say she is not too happy when she is taken from Washington DC to magical Emberfall. I adore Harper. She is such a badass character. She is willing to risk so much to help others in need. Harper also has cerebral palsy. Never once does she let it stop her. She is determined to do anything & everything she wants. 

Rhen: He is the Prince of Emberfall who is under a cruel curse. Every *season* he must try to find a girl to fall in love with him. When that doesn’t happen, he turns into a monster that kills everything in its path. Rhen broke my heart so many times. The curse has taken so much from him & that really shows through his chapters.

Then there is Grey! My sweet angel. He is BY FAR the best thing about this book. He is the Commander of the Royal Guard & the only one left at the castle with Rhen. Grey is fiercely loyal & brave. I love him with my entire heart and soul!

From the very beginning Harper is dead set on not falling in love. Rhen has no hope in breaking the curse so he has basically given up. Seeing their relationship grow throughout the story was definitely interesting. They definitely have lots of chemistry. While I do really like these two together, I can’t help but notice a tiny hint of a love triangle. I’m not sure if that will fully come to be, but if it does ummm I am HERE FOR IT!

This book is long, like almost 500 pages long, but it flies by! It’s so easy to get lost in Brigid Kemmerer’s writing. You can blink and you’ve already read 100 pages. It’s so addictive. I haven’t read anything else by her yet, but I am so excited to pick up her YA contemporary soon.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but that ending was EVERYTHING!

Overall, I loved A Curse So and Lonely! I am DYING to read the next book! I’m really nervous for what could happen, but I am so ready at the same time. I need January to get here ASAP!

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