The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty| REVIEW

reviewsThe Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty (Traitor’s Trilogy #1)
Published by Imprint on May 9th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
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The Traitor's KissAn obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

🌟🌟🌟

3 Stars

** Received an ARC from Raincoast Books for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion at all. Thank you!! **

First Line:

Uncle William returned over an hour ago, yet he hadn’t summoned her.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟      WORLD 🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟     ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟


The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty is a historical (maybe fantasy) young adult novel about a girl who apprentices with a match maker to escape the life under her uncle’s care. Along the way she is brought in by the army as a spy to gather information about a political uprising happening right in the kingdom’s inner circle!

My Likes

Strong Female Character

The Traitor’s Kiss hosts a plethora of characters. But the one that stood out to me the most was Sage, the main protagonist. She is strong, intelligent, driven, and cunning. To work with the match maker she has to disguise herself as a young bride to be. She was even more cunning as she flew under the radar while collecting important information everywhere she went.

She used her intelligence to come up with ideas and plans for both her employer and the army. I liked how he never backed down from a challenge or her duties to both the match maker and the army. Beaty did a great job creating an empowering female lead.

To the Point Writing

Everything was to the point with Beaty’s writing. There was never any boring  info dumping. Her descriptions of the world were beautiful and the scenery was brought to life. When it came to the characters interactions with each other, it was all very distinct. Every character had their own voice and drive. Even when it was difficult to keep up with who was pretending to be who.

My own complaint here would be that the story flowed rather slowly. I feel like there should have been a bit more action or tribulations somewhere in the beginning to middle sections.

Sweet Romance

The romance between Sage and Ash was very sweet. Although I don’t want to give anything away, I felt that their chemistry was right and it never seemed too overwhelming to the story line. I felt like Beaty did a great job with making it seem real and built it up slowly over the course of the story.

My Dislikes

Racial Descriptions

I was a bit thrown off by some of the character descriptions. Sure this book hosts some PoC characters, but I felt like Beaty could have chosen better words to describe them. At one point in the ARC I remember reading a character’s skin being compared to the darkness of the shadows. To me that was quite off putting and there are better ways to describe character’s skin colors.

I hope stuff like that were changed or omitted in the final copy of the book.


I highly recommend this one if you like cunning and intriguing characters, political drama, and a sweet romance. Let me know what you guys thought of The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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Erin BeatyErin Beaty was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which means she can’t drive a tractor, but she won’t eat veggies that come from a can. She graduated from the US Naval Academy with a degree in rocket science and somehow always ended up writing her study group’s lab reports. After serving in the fleet as a weapons officer and a leadership instructor, she resigned to pursue her side hobby of populating the Church of Rome. It still amazes her when other people want to hear the stories that come out of her head.

She and her husband have five children, two cats, and a vegetable garden and live wherever the navy tells them to go.

Born and raised in Orange County, California, she’s lived in both Mykonos and Manhattan and is now settled back in Southern California, where she’s working on her next book.

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The Party by Robyn Harding | REVIEW

Married-to-Books-Reviews
The Party by Robyn Harding
Published by Gallery/Scout Press on June 6th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Drama
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
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The PartyIn this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

 🌟🌟

2 Stars

** Received an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion at all. Thank you!! **

Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟            MYSTERY 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟     SUSPENSE 🌟🌟🌟🌟


The novel, The Party, is about the outcome of a sweet sixteen party gone wrong. The story revolves around Hannah, who had some friends over for a sleepover, on her sixteenth birthday. Her and her friends sneak in alcohol, against her mother’s rules, and one of Hannah’s friends Ronni, get seriously injured.

I enjoyed the way in which the author set each chapter on a different character’s perspective. There’s Kim, Hannah’s mom, her dad Jeff, Lisa which is Ronni’s mom and of course Hannah. The author goes back-and-forth between perspective. However, it is written in third person. I think that if it were written in first person I could have related more to the character or connected with them better.

With that being said, I had a hard time connecting to this novel over all. The author hides information and slowly reveals information, trying to keep you on your toes. I kept reading and going chapter to chapter waiting for that big reveal, that big wow moment, however that moment never came. I believe the moment that was supposed to be the big reveal or the big shocker, was when the author finally revealed that at Hannah’s birthday party, boys showed up. Prior to that moment there’s a scene where Hannah is at school with a friend and the two boys show up and they emphasize to make sure that nobody knows about the party. It was pretty obvious prior to that point, that her boyfriend would show up at the party. As a former 16-year-old girl that’s not a shocker to have boys come to a party. We’ve all seen the teen movies where girls have a sleepover party and boys get snuck in. So to me this just wasn’t shocking.

Overall, I had such a hard time with this novel. For one, I struggled with deciding whether this book was a Young Adult genre or not. The way that the story emphasizes so much perspective on Hannah and her friends at school, what happened at the party, and the aftermath of the party, really led me to believe that this novel should have been categorized as Young Adult. The story ends with Hannah still wanting to be a part of the cool crowd and still wanting to be Miss Popular at school. As a 30-year-old woman, I don’t necessarily care what Hannah does at school. I don’t care if she gets picked on at school. I don’t care that she still wants to be apart of the cool crowd. I care about how broken her parents are now that they’ve settled a 3 million Dollar lawsuit.

I wish the author had written this novel in parts, instead of chapters; Part 1: what happened at the party from Hannah’s perceptive. Part 2: The parents point of view. Part 3: How they come together and complete the lawsuit.


Overall, I did not enjoy this story. It focused too much on Hannah and her friend’s lives for me to really connect to it.

Until next time,

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Robyn HardingI am the author of the domestic drama, The Party published in June 2017, by Scout Press/Simon & Schuster. I have also written four novels of contemporary women’s fiction (AKA chick-lit), a young adult novel, and a comedic memoir with an environmental focus. My books have been translated into seven languages. I am also the screenwriter and executive producer of the independent film, The Steps which premiered at TIFF and was the closing gala film at the Miami International Film Festival. I live in Vancouver, BC with my husband, two kids, and a seven pound dog with no teeth.

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau | REVIEW

reviewsDividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau (Dividing Eden #1)
Published by HarperTeen on June 6th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
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Dividing EdenTwins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

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 4 Stars

** Received an ARC from HCC Frenzy for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion at all. Thank you!! **

First Line:

Freedom was a myth.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟         PLOT 🌟🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟         WORLD 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟     ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟


Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau is a new young adult fantasy about twins Carys and Andreus who now must compete to claim the throne neither of them wanted. Not only is there drama, but there is also great characterization, cool magic, betrayals around every corner and a lot of bloodshed!

My Likes

My New Favorite Heroine

Is Carys a hero, or is she an anti-hero? That’s the big question. But what’s common about both those two things is the word hero. So therefore, Carys, is my new favorite heroine.

She is strong, she stubborn, she is smart, but most importantly, she is human. I don’t mean that by her race or species. Carys is human because she makes mistakes, she hurts, she has addictions, and she loves.

Charbonneau does a fantastic job making Carys feel as real as possible. She made her relatable and enjoyable to read.

More Betrayals Than I Can Count

You cannot trust anyone in Dividing Eden, absolutely no one. The royals and nobles are unreliable, the council of elders is unreliable, even the servants and civilians are unreliable. So who can you trust? You can trust me, when I say how exciting this book was!

It felt like the whole kingdom was out to get Carys and Andreus. At one point I was sure no one really knew what to do because of all the backstabbing and betrayals going on. When it comes to my fantasy reads, the more betrayals and conflicts the better!

Fantastic Writing

Dividing Eden wouldn’t have to come together so well if it wasn’t for the fantastic writing. Charbonneau does a splendid job with bring this story to life. She doesn’t bore you with endless explanations or world building schematics and her dialogues/character interactions are interesting and witty.

My Dislikes

Certain Aspects of the World

Ok, so nothing is perfect. Overall Dividing Eden hit all my fantasy requirements. But there were some things I thought to be a bit odd and took some getting used to. One being the windmills and the way the kingdom supplies electricity. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to fantasy novels having electricity at all or it just didn’t click with my imagination, either way it didn’t work for me.

Another aspect of Dividing Eden I thought a bit out there was the Xhelozi (I think that’s what they’re called). At first I wasn’t even sure of what they were. The characters were quite vague with describing them. Are they an enemy kingdom? Are they a magical creature? Well by the end of the story you find out and as pivotal to the ending that they were, they also didn’t work for me.


I highly recommend this one if you like throne battles, political intrigue, and so much back stabbing! Let me know what you guys thought of Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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Joelle CharbonneauJoelle has performed in opera and musical theater productions across Chicagoland. She now teaches private voice lessons and is the author of the New York Times best selling The Testing trilogy (The Testing, Independent Study, and Graduation Day) as well as two mystery series: The Rebecca Robbins mysteries and the Glee Club mysteries. Her YA books have appeared on the Indie Next List, on the YALSA Top 10 books for 2014 as well as the YALSA Quick Picks for reluctant readers.

The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson | REVIEW

reviewsThe Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson
Published by Sky Pony Press on May 9th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retelling
Pages: 352
Format: ARC

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The Duke of Bannerman PrepWords are weapons. Facts can be manipulated. And nothing is absolute—especially right and wrong.

Tanner McKay is at Bannerman Prep for only one reason: the elite school recruited him after he brought his public school’s debate team to victory last year. Bannerman wants a championship win. Debate is Tanner’s life—his ticket out of his poor-as-dirt life and family drama, straight to a scholarship to Stanford and the start of a new, better future.

But when he’s paired with the Duke, his plans for an easy ride seem as if they’ve hit the rails. The Duke is the quintessential playboy, beloved by everyone for his laissez-faire attitude, crazy parties, and seemingly effortless favors.

And a total no-show when it comes to putting in the work to win.

But as Tanner gets sucked into the Duke’s flashy world, the thrill of the high life and the adrenaline of existing on the edge becomes addictive. A small favor here and there seems like nothing in exchange for getting everything he ever dreamed of.

But the Duke’s castle is built on shady, shaky secrets, and the walls are about to topple down.

🌟🌟🌟

3 Stars

** Received an ARC from Thomas Allen & Son for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion at all. Thank you!! **

First Line:

We’d been at the barbecue for less than two minutes, but several things were clear:

  1. I was underdressed.
  2. I had no idea how to pronounce several of the items on the menu.
  3. I had completely underestimated the length of time a group of moderately intelligent, narcissistic rich kids could hold a grudge.

Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟      FEELS 🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟     ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟


The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson is a retelling of the classic The Great Gatsby. I don’t consider myself a Gatsby expert, but I have read it more than the average person; more than 6 times over the course of my educational career. So when I say that this one definitely pulls it off I am telling the truth!

My Likes

Captures Gatsby Essence Perfectly

Like I said above, I’ve read The Great Gatsby many times in the past. So when I heard about this one, I was super excited. Let me start by saying The Duke of Bannerman Prep captures the essence that was the Gatsby himself.

The Duke was mysterious, rich, and threw lavish parties that were attended by everyone. Tanner was fascinated by the new world he has been thrust into as he is on scholarship at this private school. Together they were the epitome of Gatsby and Nick!

From the main plot points, to the relationships and hardships, everything fit so nicely together.

Good Cast of Characters

The Duke of Bannerman Prep hosts a wide cast of fun characters. From The Duke to Tanner, Kelsey, Abby, even Blake the hot headed jealous boyfriend. There was never a dull moment when it came to character interactions and I thought the dialogues were quite witty.

Nelson does a great job bringing these character’s to life and relating them to some of the characters from the original Gatsby tale.

Sweet Romance

Although is a slow burn, the romance between Tanner and Kelsey was very sweet indeed. I liked they worked their way up to relationship status through hanging out, studying together, helping each other out etc. It’s not often in the YA genre that we get a romance that isn’t almost instant.

Nelson took her time fleshing out the quirks and kinks of the relationship. Even through tough times the pair manage to pull ahead and work things out!

My Dislikes

Lack of Interest in Debate 

The Duke of Bannerman Prep is heavily filled with debate. Tanner is on full scholarship to Bannerman for debate. All the other characters featured in the story are also on the debate team. So when I say that debate is a huge influence in the story, believe me.

It was my least favorite part of the whole story. I couldn’t relate to the topic, and I found most of those sections to be extremely dull.


I highly recommend this one if you enjoyed The Great Gatsby, like retellings, and fun casts of characters. Let me know what you guys thought of The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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Katie NelsonKatie Nelson has always loved words and stories. Formerly a high school English and Debate teacher, she now lives in Northern California with her husband, four children, and hyperactive dog.

What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan | REVIEW

reviewsWhat She Knew by Gilly MacMillan
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on December 1st 2015
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 512
Format: Paperback
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What She KnewIn a heartbeat, everything changes…

Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It’s an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry—until Ben vanishes.

Police are called, search parties go out, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. As hours and then days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knew him is called into question, from Rachel’s newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister. Inevitably, media attention focuses on Rachel too, and the public’s attitude toward her begins to shift from sympathy to suspicion.

As she desperately pieces together the threadbare clues, Rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. And the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent’s nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts the most.

Where is Ben? The clock is ticking…

🌟🌟🌟

3 Stars

First Line:

In the eyes of others, we’re often not who we imagine ourselves to be.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟      MYSTERY 🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟     SUSPENSE 🌟🌟🌟


What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan is a mystery/thriller about a woman whose son vanishes on a seemingly normal Sunday walk at their local forest trail. What ensues is a day by day take on the life she lives and what she’s going through with her son still missing. With new suspects appearing in every chapter, there was never a dull moment!

My Likes

The Writing

For a debut, What She Knew read like a seasoned novel. The writing was very well done. Never revealing more than necessary, MacMillan knew exactly what she was doing. She was able to bring the characters and the story to life. What the character’s were feeling whether sadness, anger, frustration, we too as readers felt it.

MacMillan was able to cast believable doubt against all the characters we get introduced to. True testament to her writing abilities!

The Formatting

Each chapter of What She Knew was a single day in the life of Rachel our main protagonist after her son disappeared. With each passing day she begins to lose it more and more. The stakes begin to rise and she fears she will never see her son alive again. I just loved that things went in sequence with a mixture of back story that not only is helpful to the overall story, but it never slows it down just to fill word count!

I also liked that as each chapter went by MacMillan did some research into child abductions and explains what usually happens during each day a real child goes missing. It’s a bit tough to explain but I thought it was a great addition that added a bit of reality to the mystery!

The Build-Up of Suspense

A great mystery writer knows when and how to reveal key points of the mystery to reader to not only build excitement, but to build the suspense for the big finale. That is exactly what MacMillan does in What She Knew.

I never felt overloaded with information or felt too ill informed. Each chapter adds a little layer of suspense to the story which I highly enjoyed!

My Dislikes

The Big Reveal

I will say that What She Knew had me guessing for the majority of the story. I kept changing my mind about who would have kidnapped this boy. Was it her husband? His new wife? WAS IT HERSELF? There was just so many possibilities.

But in the end the big baddie gets revealed and I’m left extremely underwhelmed. I really wished it was more of an exciting character to be honest. But oh well. We get what we get.


I highly recommend this one if you like the mystery/thriller genre and like sitting at the edge of seat waiting and guessing. Let me know what you guys thought of What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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Gilly MacMillanGilly Macmillan is the internationally bestselling author of WHAT SHE KNEW (previously published as BURNT PAPER SKY in some territories), THE PERFECT GIRL and ODD CHILD OUT, which will be available October 2017.

Gilly is Edgar Award nominated and an ITW award finalist. Her books have been translated into over 20 languages.

Blacklist by Alyson Noel | REVIEW

reviewsBlacklist by Alyson Noel (Beautiful Idols #2)
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on April 4th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
Pages: 448
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

BlacklistLayla Harrison has finally found herself in the middle of a celebrity story worth reporting. Aster Amirpour’s name is in every tabloid—even if it isn’t the good kind of publicity she hoped for. Tommy Phillips is inches away from getting the girl of his dreams, which may be harder than scoring a VIP ticket to an Unrivaled nightclub.

But Layla, Aster and Tommy never imagined it would be because they’re entangled in the disappearance of Madison Brooks—a story that’s blinded the world like a starlet blinded by the flash of a paparazzi camera.

Now, Layla is receiving mysterious messages from an anonymous source, Aster’s looming murder trial is so huge even her parents’ lawyer can’t save her, Tommy is retracing his steps as the last person Madison saw alive, and Layla’s ex Mateo finds himself lured into the fold.

You can dig up dirt about celebrities that the tabloids miss if you search long enough. But when Layla, Aster, and Tommy team up with an unsuspecting insider to unearth the truth, they’ll find that some secrets are best kept in the grave.

🌟🌟🌟

3 Stars

*** CHECK OUT THE REVIEW FOR BOOK ONE: UNRIVALED ***

** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: READ AT OWN RISK!!!**

** Received an ARC from Indigo Books and Music Inc. for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion at all. Thank you!! **

First Line:

Madison Brooks grudgingly surrendered the fading remnants of her dream and blinked into the blackness before her.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟      MYSTERY 🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟     ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟🌟


Blacklist by Alyson Noel is the sequel to last year’s YA Hollywood mystery, Unrivaled. Taking place not long after the first one, we find Aster in jail for the murder of Madison, Layla trying her best to clear Aster’s name, and Tommy trying to steer clear of all the drama as his music career is finally starting to take off.

My Likes

And the Plot Thickens

As readers we all know that Madison is not really dead as we get her POV from the story. But things are starting to come together about who has taken her and why they are trying so hard to frame Aster for her murder. As the Scooby Gang continue to dive into this mystery of who, what, when, where and why, Madison is dire trouble. She is fighting to get out and find help. But how far is she going to have to push?

Noel does a good job adding little tidbits here and there that add thickness to the plot without fully giving away too many answers. If it was any other regular mystery, I think it would fall pretty flat though. But with the added backdrop of Hollywood, the rumors, and the paparazzi, Blacklist is one exciting read!

Tons of Drama

Where there is Hollywood, actors, and models, you better believe there is drama right around the corner. Not only are the reporters and paparazzi hounding Aster, but the cops are right on their trail. With rumors flying around it’s hard to not getting a little stir crazy.

Innocence only lasts until you’re caught.

Character Developments

Aster is in a pretty shitty situation at the moment, but we can see her growing up in a way that was different from Unrivaled. Not only is she not acting like a spoiled daddy’s girl anymore, but she is also starting to think of more than just herself. Meanwhile, things are starting to heat up between Layla and Tommy, and I am there for that. YES!

Noel is going a great job making theses characters feel real in some way. It’s a hard thing to do when the backdrop is a murder mystery! So kudos to her.

My Dislikes

Not Very Mysterious?

I’m a little underwhelmed with the “mystery” surrounding Madison’s disappearance and possible murder, because as a reader we know she’s not dead. I’m kind of anticipating a rather dull reveal when it comes down to it to be honest. I feel like it’s not going to live up to the hype that it hopes it’s building toward.

I’m more into the character’s lives and the TV show feels that I get from Blacklist. I’m crossing my finger for some good stuff to come in the finale!


I recommend this one if you like the mysterious lives of Hollywood stars, drama piled on to more drama, and a highly addictive cast of characters. Let me know what you guys thought of Blacklist by Alyson Noel! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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Alyson NoelAlyson Noel is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty=three novels, including the Immportals, Riley Bloom, and Soul Seekers series. With millions of copies in print, her books have been translated into thirty-six languages and have made numerous international bestseller lists.

Born and raised in Orange County, California, she’s lived in both Mykonos and Manhattan and is now settled back in Southern California, where she’s working on her next book.

Bang by Barry Lyga | REVIEW

reviewsBang by Barry Lyga
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on April 18th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

BangA chunk of old memory, adrift in a pool of blood.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one–not even Sebastian himself–can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father’s gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend–Aneesa–to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past.

It took a gun to get him into this.

Now he needs a gun to get out.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

** Received an ARC from Hachette Book Group Canada for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion at all. Thank you!! **

First Line:

My sister is in the memory hole.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟      ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     FEELS 🌟🌟🌟🌟


Bang by Barry Lyga is a contemporary YA about a boy who shot and killed his baby sister by accident when he was just 4 years old. Now as a teenager, he still carries around the guilt of it all every time he looks at his broken parents, his friends and teachers, and even the new girl who moves into his neighborhood.

My Likes

Amazing Character Growth

Sebastian is a damaged young man throughout Bang. His whole life is plagued by the mistake he made when he was just a little boy. He can’t seem to shake the eyes and looks he gets from his classmates, parents, and other adults. He is at the lowest point in his life and his only friend is going away for the summer.

Then comes along Aneesa, the new girl in the neighborhood. She shows him a different side of friendship; a regular one. She doesn’t know who he is and what he did all those years ago. She shows him the bright side of life and gives him reasons to smile everyday when he wakes up.

Lyga took his time showing the different sides of Sebastian and as a reader I really appreciated it. We get to see some amazing character growth from him which was enjoyable.

Beautiful Writing

There were many scenes that hit the feels in Bang. A lot of them occur near the end of the novel when he confronts his parents. They were remarkably passionate and emotionally weighty. These types of conversations could only happen with beautiful writing, and that’s exactly what we get from Lyga.

Lyga was able to evoke the right amount of angst, emotion, and passion through his writing. If this is how he usually writes, then I look forward to reading more from him in the future!

Fun Plot Fillers

Aside from the main plot line about Sebastian dealing with the horrible act that took his baby sister’s life when he was just 4 years old, there are also some fun plot fillers in the book designed to lighten the mood and show him a reason to live. When he meets the new girl that moves into his neighborhood, they decided to start a YouTube channel where Sebastian makes pizza from scratch and Aneesa makes the commentary!

They get pretty into it and also reveals a lot of things that I didn’t know about the schematics of YouTube that I never knew before. It was one of my favorite aspects of the story. Lyga must have done some extensive research into the topic!

My Dislikes

No Character Connection

Besides Sebastian, there was no other character that I was able to connect with or care for. I guess it’s good that he was the main protagonist, but I just wish I got as much emotion as I got from Sebastian with other characters in Bang.


I highly recommend this one if you like stories with emotion, heartbreak, and living through a tragedy. Let me know what you guys thought of Bang by Barry Lyga! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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Barry LygaBarry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek. According to Kirkus, he’s also a “YA rebel-author.” Somehow, the two just don’t seem to go together to him.

When he was a kid, everyone told him that comic books were garbage and would rot his brain, but he had the last laugh. Raised on a steady diet of comics, he worked in the comic book industry for ten years, but now writes full-time because, well, wouldn’t you?

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl is his first novel. Unsoul’d is his latest. There are a whole bunch in between, featuring everything from the aftermath of child abuse to pre-teens with superpowers to serial killers. He clearly does not know how to stick to one subject