The Boyfriend Project

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon

Author: Farrah Rochon

Series: The Boyfriend Project, #1

Publishes: June 9, 2020 (Book of the Month early release)

ISBN: 1538716623

Synopsis from Goodreads:

USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon launches a new series about three young women who become friends when the live Tweeting of a disastrous date leads them to discover they’ve all been duped by the same man.

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

My Mini Review:

I think the world would be a better place if more people reached out to help others.”

I really wanted to love this book. I thought the whole boyfriend project idea was a nice concept and I was excited that there would be more books about the other women involved in the story. It gave me a lot of Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test vibes, and I loved those books. But by the middle of the book, the story became annoying and repetitive. The characters still couldn’t make up their minds about whether they should date or not, and by the time they did the relationship and feelings felt rushed and unrealistic.

With that said, I did enjoy the developing friendship between the three women, and the fact that they were supportive of each other’s decisions and accomplishments. I liked that they were not catty and did not bring each other down; despite having met under such unusual circumstances such as being cheated on by the same man. Rochon also successfully tackled hard issues such as racism, sexism, and discrimination in schools and in the work place. I also enjoyed the criminal aspects of the story, as well as learning about coding and app development. Overall, this was an okay read and I would recommend it if you are looking for a light romantic escape, but don’t go in expecting anything new or life changing.

This was my first Book of the Month pick. If you want to try out Book of the Month for $10 including shipping, consider using my affiliate link. I get a free book credit every time someone signs up with my code 😊

https://www.mybotm.com/a2308v5zzsm?show_box=true

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the ballad of songbirds and snakes by suzanne collins

Author: Suzanne Collins

Series: Hunger Games, #0

Published: May 19, 2020

Pages: 540

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

My Review:

Snow lands on top”

❄️

I am a big Hunger Games fan, so when they announced that this book was being released I decided I would read it no matter what, even if it was about President Snow. I honestly don’t know where to even start with this one, so I am doing something a bit different and separating my review into likes and dislikes.

Dislikes:

We all know Coriolanus Snow turns out to be an evil bastard, but what I wanted to know was how? What was the turning point in his life? What made him into HIM? Unfortunately, for approximately ninety percent of the book all I got was a story about a regular, albeit ambitious guy who had to make hard choices when he was put into tough situations. Then, in the last ten percent of the book I was not even remotely prepared for the changes in his character, and I had whiplash by the time I was done. I feel like these changes should have been more gradual.

I also cannot go into detail when it comes to Coriolanus’s relationship with Lucy Gray without giving away any spoilers, but I did not like the way it was handled at all. Just like his character arch, their relationship would have benefitted from a more gradual development, and then a steady decline. This is not what I got. Instead, at the end of their story I felt like I had been slapped with this random unsatisfying ending and left with a LOT of unanswered questions.

Likes:

Okay, now that I got all that off my chest. I did enjoy the non-stop action in this book, and it was very emotional being back in the Hunger Games and experiencing the very beginning when the games were not as elaborate and immersive as they later became. I really liked finding the little Easter eggs along the way, which were in the form of familiar characters, animals, items, and songs from the original Hunger Games. It was nice finding out how certain aspects of the later Hunger Games came to be.

I liked that the mentors had their own side game going on as well, and that they were being put through almost as much as the tributes were. My favorite character, and in my opinion the only one with any redeeming qualities, was Tigris. I admired her resourcefulness and loyalty to her family, especially to Coriolanus. I enjoyed learning about many of the behind the scenes workings of the Hunger Games, from the way tests were performed on people and animals at the lab, to how the Peace Keepers were trained.

My whole initial rant aside, if you are a Hunger Games fan you won’t want to skip this one. Like I told someone on Instagram recently, just keep telling yourself “He’s the villain, he’s the villain,” and you shouldn’t have as much of a shock as I did. I highly recommend this book to all Fantasy/YA fans, and Hunger Games fanatics should definitely read it.

The House in the Cerulean Sea

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the house in the cerulean sea by tj klune

Author: T.J. Klune

Published: March 17, 2020

Pages: 393

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

My review:

It’s the little things. Little treasures we find without knowing their origin. And they come when we least expect them.”

This book made my heart happy. It was so full of magic, love, and adorable characters that will stay with me for a long time after. For years I had been searching for a story that would give me all the same feelings that I had while reading Harry Potter, and I have finally found it. This story was all about family, and the fact that family can sometimes mean the people we surround ourselves with and love unconditionally, and not exactly the ones we are born into. It was also about overcoming our preconceived notions and prejudices, and learning to love others for who they truly are.

A person is more than where they come from.” “Than the sum of their parts.”

The character development was simply amazing. Each person stood apart from the others, with their own quirks and eccentricities. I had a really hard time picking a favorite character. From the adults I would have to say it was Linus, because how could I not? The story is told from his point of view, and we see him slowly come out of this fog he has been living in all his life and step into the light. From the kids I would have to go with Theodore, because I have a really soft spot for Wyverns. I should also mention that I found Linus’s next door neighbor simply hilarious, and I also loved his cat Calliope who always went after the neighbor’s yard squirrels.

“Sometimes,” Mr. Parnassus said, “our prejudices color our thoughts when we least expect them to. If we can recognize that, and learn from it, we can become better people.”

The plot was entrancing, and it kept me reading way into the early hours of the morning. There was a mysterious air to it that kept me wanting to learn more about this magical world and its inhabitants, about DICOMY and its function, and about the way the humans and the magical creatures could coexist. They barely did. If you have ever wondered what would have happened in Harry Potter if the magical world was no longer hidden from the muggles (or non-magical people), then this book is your answer. I recommend this book to all Fantasy fans, and all those wishing to read a wonderful heartwarming story.

We get trapped in our own little bubbles, and even though the world is a wide and mysterious place, our bubbles keep us safe from that. To our detriment.” She sighed. “But it’s so easy because there’s something soothing about routine. Day in and day out, it’s always the same. When we’re shaken from that, when that bubble bursts, it can be hard to understand all that we’ve missed. We might even fear it. Some of us even fight to try and get it back.”

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

Scythe

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

scythe by neil shusterman

Author: Neil Shusterman

Series: Arc of a Scythe, #1

Published: November 22, 2016

ISBN: 1442472421

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

My Review:

Hope in the shadow of fear is the world’s most powerful motivator”

I can’t believe I waited so long to start reading this series. This was such a great book with a very unique story. I enjoyed how the author went into great detail describing this new world where there is no famine, war, or disease, and everything is controlled by an entity called “The Thunderhead,” which for some reason really reminded me of “The Cloud” I-phones use to store information. Shusterman did a great job explaining all the new terminology, and I did not feel overwhelmed or lost at any point.

There was a lot of character development as Citra and Rowan navigate through the moral and psychological ramifications of taking human lives. Usually I go for the strong female characters, but I couldn’t decide whom I liked best out of these two. Rowan definitely went through the most changes throughout the story, and Citra was so smart and cunning. There was a small romantic aspect here, but it did not take center stage.

Without the threat of suffering, we can’t experience true joy.”

The story was fast paced and action packed, but it also allowed some lulls in between the action for explanations. I especially enjoyed the diary entries from the different Scythes, which gave us a glimpse into their inner thoughts and fears. If you are a fan of YA/Fantasy and you have been putting off reading this story, I highly recommend you read it! You will not regret it. I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

Deviate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Jay Kristoff

Series: Lifelike (#2)

Published: June 25, 2019

Synopsis from Goodreads: **skip this part and go straight to the review if you haven’t read Lifelike, the first book in the series**

Lemon Fresh has seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.

My Mini Review:

Once again I’m in awe of Mr. Kristoff’s writing. How does he do it? Kristoff has created such real and relatable characters in this series, so much so that I’ve even become attached to some of the villains. How does he make up such catchy slang words? True cert, and at the risk of sounding like a total lunatic, I find myself wanting to use these words in real life all the time.

Kristoff also makes you ponder moral, environmental, and life questions as you read, while also inserting lots of humor. He shows you the issues from both sides, and in different characters’ perspectives. I personally love reading post apocalyptic books like these, because I enjoy seeing the different ways humanity would react and adapt to the end of the world as we know it.

I highly recommend this series to all Sci-Fi/ Fantasy fans. The third book in the series, Truelife, will be released June 30, 2020, and I can’t wait!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

House of Salt and Sorrows

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Erin A. Craig

Published: August 6, 2019

ISBN: 1984831925

Pages: 403

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

My Mini Review:

It took me a while to get into this twisted tale of the twelve dancing sisters. I love fairy tale retellings, but this one was so slow. Thankfully, the action finally picks up after the sixtieth percentile or so. What kept me reading you say?

The descriptions of the scenery and various settings were hypnotic to say the least. I love the ocean, and just like the main character Annaleigh, I grew up in an island. I found the whole ocean setting to be magical, and it awoke so many fond childhood memories.

I’ve never wanted to leave the sea. It’s my home.”

Annaleigh

I know this was supposed to be a creepy story, but as I’ve said before, ghosts just don’t do it for me. I’ve made a mental note to do some research before I read a book to see if it has anything to do with ghosts so that I save myself the trouble, or at least I’m mentally prepared to not be scared.

I found it hard to keep track of all the sisters for a while, it took me half the book to get the hang of all their names and ages. The romance aspect of the story was nice and sweet. I also admit I didn’t expect the final plot twist. If you love ghost stories and don’t mind a slow start to a book, I recommend this one. If not, then I would say you’re better off skipping it.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

Twice in a Blue Moon

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

twice in a blue moon by christina lauren

Author: Christina Lauren

Published: October 22, 2019

ISBN: 1982135700

Pages: 358

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

My Mini Review:

This book wasn’t as full of humor as I’ve come to expect from Christina Lauren, it had a more serious tone. Maybe that’s why a lot of her fans didn’t enjoy it? On the other hand, I enjoyed it tremendously. I fell in love with Tate and Sam as a young couple, and then as they grew into themselves and tried to find their paths in life. Lauren is especially good at capturing all the awkward scenes, and I could sometimes feel myself blushing along with the characters.

I was very intrigued by the whole acting industry. I’m not familiar with what goes on behind the scenes of a movie, and I learned a lot from this book. Lauren goes into detail about the film industry, the media, and the situations actors are exposed to. There was also the more serious racism theme, as the book dealt with the story of a biracial couple back in a time where this kind of relationship was not accepted.

My favorite side characters were Marcus and Charlie. Marcus was always there for Tate when she needed him to ground her and help her, and Charlie was the free spirit. I always have a soft spot for the wild ones. I enjoyed how different this book was from any others I’ve read before, and I was surprised I even enjoyed the celebrity point of view. I recommend this book to all Romance fans, and to all those interested in the film industry.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂

The Queen of Nothing

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the queen of nothing by holly black
Buy it on Amazon

Author: Holly Black

Series: The Folk of the Air, #3

Published: November 19, 2019

ISBN: 0316310409

**If you would like to purchase this book please consider helping me as a blogger by using my link above or at the bottom of the post, at no additional cost to you**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity

My Mini Review:

“That’s what mortal means…Think of us like shooting stars, brief but bright.” ~Jude

What a satisfying ending to a magical series. Holly Black has woven a tale full of intrigue, court scheming, and assassins, with just the right amount of romance sprinkled in. I found myself constantly torn between wanting to savor every page, and wanting to know what happened next. In the end the latter won, and I finished the book in two days.

“Maybe it isn’t the worst thing to want to be loved, even if you’re not. Even if it hurts. Maybe being human isn’t always being weak.” ~Jude

This story was really about Jude, a girl who became one of my all time favorite female characters. In the beginning of this series, Jude was just a girl who wished to be a knight, but we saw her evolve into something much greater than that. Through her we learned what it means to be human in a world full of immortals. Jude constantly toed the line between doing what’s right and doing what’s necessary, and she was able to remain level-headed and strong throughout. I greatly admired her ambition, and her willingness to give up everything to attain her dreams.

“How do people like us take off our armor? One piece at a time.” ~Jude

Cardan was the Cruel Prince, and then he was the Wicked King, but through his story Black taught us that family sometimes means more than sharing the same blood. He taught us that being a leader is sometimes more than wearing a crown on your head.

Some of my favorite side characters included Madoc, Jude’s father who passed on his ambission, and Oak, Jude’s little brother who never wished to become king. As always, I really enjoyed the small graphics and drawings throughout the book, as well as the covers for the whole trilogy. I recommend this series to all Fantasy fans, and fans of this trilogy need to read it NOW.

Let me know in the comments what you thought about The Queen of Nothing!

Serpent and Dove

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

serpent and dove by shelby mahurin
Serpent and Dove

Author: Shelby Mahurin

Published: September 3, 2019

Publisher: HarperTeen

Series: Serpent and Dove, #1

**Please consider using my link if you are going to buy this book and support a fellow blogger**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

My review:

In her deeply captivating debut novel, Mahurin explores themes such as parental abandonment, survival, and religious zealotry. Having failed to read the synopsis or any information about this book before I began listening to a sample of the audio, I received two happy surprises right away. The first one was that one of my favorite narrators, Holter Graham, is the voice of Reid. The second was that this story includes the “enemies to lovers” trove, one of my favorites, and in this one the characters are actually forced to marry each other.

I started listening to a sample of the audio book and it was over way too soon. Naturally, I ended up spending one of my audible credits on the full book right away. Therein ensued a battle between having to live my life and absolutely having to listen to the book at all times. The plot was fast paced and engrossing. The magic system was fascinating, and I enjoyed the clash between the witches and the Church. The romance aspect of the story was not rushed, and the slow build-up filled me with anticipation.

Lou quickly moved up to the top of the list of my favorite heroines. I found her to be a strong and compelling main character. Reid’s efforts to keep Lou contained were very endearing. He soon figured out that there is not “handling” or “controlling” Lou, she was an unstoppable force of nature. He lovingly called her a “heathen” in his head. I did admire his stubbornness which sometimes bordered on pigheadedness, and his knack for being loyal to a fault. Coco and Ansel were my favorite side characters. Both of them fierce and loyal companions to our main characters.

Serpent and Dove is a 2019 Goodreads choice nominee. The next book in the series, Blood and Honey, is set to be published August 31, 2020. I honestly cannot wait to see how Mahurin ties the loose ends she left at the end of Serpent and Dove, and I also wish for more background and scenes including Ansel and Coco. I recommend this book to all YA/ Fantasy fans who love a good mix of magic and romance.

Ivory

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Ivory by Lola Dodge
Ivory by Lola Dodge

Author: Lola Dodge

Series: Manhattan Ten, #1

Published: October 22, 2019

**If you want to buy this book, please consider using my link and supporting a fellow blogger**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If Ivory’s fellow flight attendants whisper that she has ice in her veins, they’d be right. She’s spent years ruthlessly suppressing her dangerous ice powers, pretending she didn’t grow up wild on the tundra.

Her legendary coolness has held solid—until a crazed attacker snaps her composure, unleashing her ice beast and blowing her cover. And she’s not sure if the man who defuses the situation is any less dangerous.


When Panther’s trans-Atlantic catnap is interrupted by Ivory’s ice spear through his mark’s gut, he doesn’t hesitate to claim her as one of the Manhattan Ten. It’s the only way to shield her from prosecution. It doesn’t hurt that the Nordic beauty puts his inner cat on the prowl.

Panther tempts Ivory in every smoldering way, but to let him melt her resistance is a risk she can’t afford. But when her past rises up to claim her, Pan is caught in the crossfire…and the only way to save him is to let the beast claim her, body and soul.

Disclaimer: I was given a free review copy of this book via Netgalley and INscribe Digital, the Publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

My Mini Review:

This story was fast paced and to the point like a novella should be, but without leaving any major plot holes. I enjoyed the introduction to this group of “Supers” who have familiar super powers such as mind reading, shifting, and ice, but yet their story is told in a new and futuristic setting. I loved the modern take on Super heroes, as well as the adult romantic aspect of it. I enjoyed the chemistry and slow building romance between Ivory and Jag. Even in a novella, the romantic aspect did not feel rushed which is always a plus.

The book was short enough to read in one sitting, and there was enough action and suspense to keep me hooked throughout. There was a serial killer involved, which offered a very interesting and unique twist on the super hero trove. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series, and finding out more about the other Supers and what their stories are. Mostly, I want to figure out who the killer is. I would recommend this novella to all Adult Fantasy readers who enjoy a quick, fast paced, action packed read.

Warning: This book includes explicit sexual content.