But on the bright (if not sunny) side of the debacle, I’ve got a super-hot new boyfriend. And he just might be the perfect guy.
Well, if the perfect guy ghosts you for a month and then comes back to school with a new look, a pack of friends, and a secret. But we have bigger problems.
The Drainers are back. They’re singing a different song, but have they really changed?
Even worse, werewolves’ hearts are being ripped from their bodies—which is putting the people I love in danger. I need to figure out who is behind the murders before there’s an all-out vampire werewolf war.
No one is going to mess with my friends, even the ones who like to get wild and howl at the moon.
Sometimes, all a girl can do is grab her tiara and start kicking some supernatural ass…
This is the second book in the AFTERLIFE Trilogy and I love it! I was curious what could happen next and I did not see all this coming! We are back with our favorite characters, including Travis who I kind of like more in this book.
There were a lot of twists and turns in this book, but I don’t want to spoil them for people. I liked the development in the characters. The only wish I had was to see more of high school life, but with everything goin on outside of school, it made sense not to delve deep into HS life.
All in all, if you love vampires, I highly recommend this series! We have more types of creatures in this book, which was a lot of fun!
Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day. Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out from working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up . . . again.
So when the three unexpectedly run into each other, they decide to avoid their problems by ditching. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say. . .
. . . until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school—and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse. It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common…like a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.
Could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?
Karen M McManus has become one of my favorite authors in the past year. She can bring her characters to life in ways that makes me very jealous. She does a great job making you think a character is going to be a stereotype and then weaves in secrets and has the characters grow in ways you don’t expect. This is the second book of hers that I have read and I can’t wait to pick up her other books.
This book starts out a lot like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which is always a great call back. It definitely takes a different turn when they witness a fellow classmate’s murder. Realizing they had been spotted, they know they need to clear their names. But what secrets would be revealed as they search for clues?
I don’t want to giveaway any of the secrets, so it’s hard to write what I liked about this book. I did like how Karen addressed some issues that teens face every day and brings them to light in her writing. All in all, I highly recommend this book if you like thrillers, mysteries, and young adult books!
A Jedi must be a fearless warrior, a guardian of justice, and a scholar in the ways of the Force. But perhaps a Jedi’s most essential duty is to pass on what they have learned. Master Yoda trained Dooku; Dooku trained Qui-Gon Jinn; and now Qui-Gon has a Padawan of his own. But while Qui-Gon has faced all manner of threats and danger as a Jedi, nothing has ever scared him like the thought of failing his apprentice.
Obi-Wan Kenobi has deep respect for his Master, but struggles to understand him. Why must Qui-Gon so often disregard the laws that bind the Jedi? Why is Qui-Gon drawn to ancient Jedi prophecies instead of more practical concerns? And why wasn’t Obi-Wan told that Qui-Gon is considering an invitation to join the Jedi Council—knowing it would mean the end of their partnership? The simple answer scares him: Obi-Wan has failed his Master.
When Jedi Rael Averross, another former student of Dooku, requests their assistance with a political dispute, Jinn and Kenobi travel to the royal court of Pijal for what may be their final mission together. What should be a simple assignment quickly becomes clouded by deceit, and by visions of violent disaster that take hold in Qui-Gon’s mind. As Qui-Gon’s faith in prophecy grows, Obi-Wan’s faith in him is tested—just as a threat surfaces that will demand that Master and apprentice come together as never before, or be divided forever.
If you love Star Wars and need more Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon, then you definitely need to read this book. This book gives an insight on their relationship and how both of them were as padawans. There are flashbacks to when Qui-Gon was a padawan to Count Dooku, which was really fascinating. I still need to read the book Dooku.
The book itself was written very well and now Claudia Gray is one of my favorite authors and Star Wars authors. She is probably my favorite of the new canon books. After reading this book, I went and gathered the rest of her Star Wars books, and a couple of non-Star Wars books. I can’t wait to read more books by her.
I enjoyed the rest of the characters in this book. The princess was different than the other princess written about in the Star Wars universe, and I liked what Claudia did with her. I also liked the other Jedi and the backstory he had. Each character had great development.
I also listened to the audiobook for this book and really enjoyed Jonathan Davis’ performance. He did a great job sounding like Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson and it made it feel like I was listening to an actual Star Wars movie. He also did the audiobook for BROTHERHOOD by Mike Chen, which I will be reviewing soon.
All in all, if you love Star Wars, I highly recommend this book!
From New York Times bestselling author Jessica Goodman comes a twisty new thriller about three best friends, one elite summer camp, and the dark secrets that lead to a body in the lake.
Camp Alpine Lake is the only place where Goldie Easton feels safe.
She’s always had a special connection to the place, even before she was old enough to attend. The camp is the lifeline of Roxwood, the small town she lives in. Alpine Lake provides jobs, money and prestige to the region. Few Roxwood locals, though, get to reap the rewards of living so close to the glam summer that camp, with its five-figure tuition and rich kids who have been dumped there for eight weeks by their powerful parents. Goldie’s one of them.
Even with her “townie” background, Goldie has never felt more at home at camp and now she’s back as a counselor, desperate for summer to start and her best friends, Ava and Imogen, to arrive. Because Goldie has a terrible dark secret she’s been keeping and she is more in need of the comfort than ever.
But Goldie’s not the only person at camp who has been lying. When a teen turns up dead in the lake late one night, she knows that the death couldn’t have been an accident. She also knows that Ava was at the lake that same night.
What did Ava see and what does she know? Why hasn’t she said anything to Goldie about the death? Worse—what did Ava do?
But asking questions offers no answers, only broken bonds of lifelong friendship, with hidden danger and betrayals deeper than Goldie ever imagined.
YA Thriller/Dark Academia and sci-fi westerns are definitely my favorite genres, so I had to pick up this book! It was a great book to read to bring the summer to a close. It was full of emotions, mystery, and friendship.
Although I enjoyed the book a lot, I had a couple of issues. One, it was said no one knew about the accident, but there was something Goldie had to sign written up by either a lawyer or the father of her ex, but later it was mentioned that the father didn’t know the truth of the accident. Then what did the paper say? And I feel the ex would have told his father to help him get all the legal stuff straight. I also felt the book was a bit predictable on who the killer was. There was also some things that weren’t sorted out, but I don’t want to spoil the ending. Goldie was a very relatable character that was in love and made the wrong choices. I feel we all can relate to that.
All in all though, it was a great book and I enjoyed it and recommend it to people who love thrillers or mysteries. It had a great summer camp feel and it left you wanting to read more.
I didn’t even want to go to the party. I just wanted to stay home with my librarian-witch grandmother and her mystical book club. But my best friend Skyler begged me. So I went.
Not only was it the worst party of my life, it was the last party of my life.
I should have known there was something really strange about the band―especially when the lead singer bit me afterwards and then took off with my best friend.
Now I’m chasing down a band of dangerous vamps with my best guy friend, Vaughn. Who also happens to be the boy I’ve been secretly crushing on forever. And out on the road, anything can happen.
All I ever wanted was for things to change with Vaughn. For him to finally see the real me. But this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.
So be it.
Let the afterlife begin.
As a fan of anything vampires, I had to read this book! I ended up picking up the audiobook and really enjoyed Samara Naeymi’s performance for the book. Samara does a great job with all the voices throughout the book and I was able to tell who was talking even if there wasn’t any tags.
The book itself was really superb. The vampire antagonist feels a lot like THE LOST BOYS and that made it all the more enjoyable! I really enjoyed the main character Tansy. She is a strong character who is trying to save her friend from a band of vampires. Her love interest Vaughn is also a great supportive character and I really enjoyed the semi-slow burn romance they had.
The combination of vampires, witches, and other creatures later on the series makes this series stand out. It didn’t feel like any other vampire series I have read. If you enjoy vampire books, I highly recommend!
Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.
Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.
That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…
This books was so cute and charming! Tal is sailing around the kingdom as his coming-of-age tour and saves a young man by the name of Athlen. Athlen jumped off the boat and Tal believes he is dead. Heartbroken, he tries to distract himself—until he runs into him on land.
Tal is a kind character who wants to help. He wants to listen to his people and do whatever he can to ease their suffering. There is one catch, however, and it is that Tal can use magic. Magic is very frowned upon in this world since Tal’s grandfather destroyed many other kingdoms with magic and killed a lot of different creatures. This puts a large target on Tal’s back—so much so that he is kidnapped.
Athlen is a complex and fun character as well and the two are so adorable together. This felt very much like a Little Mermaid retelling and I loved it for that. It was a quick read, which is also nice for me since I get distracted easily with all the stuff I juggle… If you love YA gay romances with princes and fantasy, then definitely check this story out!
Delta of Dead River has always been told to hide her back, where a map is branded on her skin to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. In a wasteland plagued by dust squalls, geomagnetic storms, and solar flares, many would kill for it—even if no one can read it. So when raiders sent by a man known as the General attack her village, Delta suspects he is searching for her.
Delta sets out to rescue her family but quickly learns that in the Wastes no one can be trusted—perhaps not even her childhood friend, Asher, who has been missing for nearly a decade. If Delta can trust Asher, she just might decode the map and trade evidence of the Verdant to the General for her family. What Delta doesn’t count on is what waits at the Verdant: a long-forgotten secret that will shake the foundation of her entire world.
My two favorite genres are dark academia and sci-fi western/dystopian, so I knew the moment I picked this up, I would be very happy! And I was! Delta was a great character who simply wanted to survive—and wanted her pack to survive. Although I felt some of her choices were selfish, with the setting, atmosphere, and world, it made sense and was not out of character.
From the gecko, we are thrown into a harsh, desert world where water is running out, supplies are dwindling, and it takes everything just to survive. At first the world felt a bit confusing and I was trying to map it in my mind (BTW it comes with a map!) but later in the book, everything was revealed and I did not see it coming! There are a lot of twists and turns in this book and I was surprised for each and every one of them!
I really liked Asher as well. He has gone through a lot but was still a sweetheart. All the characters were interesting, had a driving force, and made sense. I cannot wait to read more by Erin Bowman! If you love dystopian books, I recommend checking this one out!
In a YA thriller that is Crazy Rich Asians meets One of Us is Lying, students at an elite prep school are forced to confront their secrets when their ex-best friend turns up dead.
Nancy Luo is shocked when her former best friend, Jamie Ruan, top-ranked junior at Sinclair Prep, goes missing, and then is found dead. Nancy is even more shocked when word starts to spread that she and her friends–Krystal, Akil, and Alexander–are the prime suspects, thanks to “the Proctor,” someone anonymously incriminating them via the school’s social media app.
They all used to be Jamie’s closest friends, and she knew each of their deepest, darkest secrets. Now, somehow the Proctor knows them, too. The four must uncover the true killer before The Proctor exposes more than they can bear and costs them more than they can afford, like Nancy’s full scholarship. Soon, Nancy suspects that her friends may be keeping secrets from her, too.
Katie Zhao’s YA debut is an edge-of-your-seat drama set in the pressure-cooker world of academics and image at Sinclair Prep, where the past threatens the future these teens have carefully crafted for themselves. How We Fall Apart is the irresistible, addicting, Asian-American recast of Gossip Girl that we’ve all been waiting for.
I am a big fan of dark academia, so Katie Zhao’s HOW WE FALL APART was a wonderful addition to my collection! I loved getting to learn more about the main character and her secrets as time passed in the book instead of it all being dumped on at once. It was suspenseful and such a great read.
Some people say they thought it was a lot like ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen McManus, but I didn’t feel that was the case. Although some stuff is similar, like the fact it’s at a high school and is a mystery, the twists and turns weren’t predictable at all. It was very well written and different compared to other dark academia due to the fact it deals with issues that some, if not many, Asian Americans face. I love that more diverse books are getting published and will always keep supporting those books.
All in all, if you love dark academia, be sure to check out this book! Katie Zhao has another book coming this year and I cannot wait to devour it like I did this one!
She and her friends have made some creepily awesome films together throughout high school, so with only a few months left before they go their separate ways for college, they’re determined to make the best one yet: an epic short film that reimagines the story of Dracula, filmed on location at a remote castle in Romania.
But when they get there, it’s not quite the majestic setting they planned for. Menacing weapons line the walls, the twisted halls are easy to get lost in, and with no connection to the outside world, the group is unexpectedly off the grid. After just a few hours spent under its roof, Alex and her friends have no trouble imagining how this dark, terrifying castle inspired one of the most enduring horror novels of all time.
Only soon they no longer have to use their imaginations to understand the location’s terrifying history—just as they get the film’s first shot rolling, one of Alex’s friends disappears, and she’s nearly certain she saw a cloaked stranger lurking in the shadows. As more members of the group begin to meet an untimely demise, Alex is desperate to stop the bloodshed, even if it means facing a monster she never thought would be let loose.
GO HUNT ME by Kelly DeVos was one of those books that I read almost all in one sitting (and then couldn’t sleep after). It is eerie, scary, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I loved the setting, which was partially in Phoenix (where I live) and Vlad Dracul’s castle in Romania. The stormy weather was also a great aspect, as I could feel the stress of the characters wanting to run by couldn’t.
The story is told by the main character as she is telling it to the police. The story is about a group of students who get to shoot their movie in a Romanian castle. As they get there, they notice something is off as a storm shuts off the power and there is something lurking in the shadows. I loved how it was all in one POV and you get to feel the storyteller’s reactions, along with the police officer after she tells a bit of each section of the story.
This story wasn’t exactly what I expected, as I was expecting more paranormal, but that is okay! I loved a lot and Kelly is a great storyteller. If you haven’t be sure to check out her books!
Christmas is coming! I am happy to be a part of the 12 Bookish Days of Christmas blog tour! Below are the links and dates of all the posts! Also, don’t forget to check out the end of the post for an amazing giveaway!
To start off, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER by Kara McDowell is the perfect YA Christmas read! If you have ever been unable to make a decision and spiral into what-if’s, you will related to Paige. She must make a difficult decision and in a crazy accident, she can see what happens in two of the decisions. This story is cute story that is great to read as a teen or even as an adult! I think it pairs well with a nice herbal tea by Traditional Medicinals. The ginger and chamomile is calming and warming and great this time of year.
BLURB: Sliding Doors meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in a sweet, smart holiday romance about a girl who decides to stop letting her anxiety stand in the way of true love.
The average person makes 35,000 decisions every single day. That’s about 34,999 too many for Paige Collins, who lives in debilitating fear of making the wrong choice. The simple act of picking an art elective is enough to send her into a spiral of what-ifs. What if she’s destined to be a famous ceramicist but wastes her talent in drama club? What if there’s a carbon monoxide leak in the ceramics studio and everyone drops dead? (Grim, but possible!)
That’s why when Paige is presented with two last-minute options for Christmas vacation, she’s paralyzed by indecision. Should she go with her best friend (and longtime crush) Fitz to his family’s romantic mountain cabin? Or should she accompany her mom to New York, a city Paige has spent her whole life dreaming about?
Just when it seems like Paige will crack from the pressure of choosing, fate steps in — in the form of a slippery grocery store floor — and Paige’s life splits into two very different parallel paths. One path leads to New York where Paige falls for the city . . . and the charms of her unexpected tour guide. The other leads to the mountains where Paige might finally get her chance with Fitz . . . until her anxiety threatens to ruin everything.
However, before Paige gets her happy ending in either destiny, she’ll have to face the truth about her struggle with anxiety — and learn that you don’t have to be “perfect” to deserve true love.
A CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS by Kerstin Gier is a great German novel about an intern that is stuck working at a hotel that is failing. It takes place in the Swiss Mountains, making the read feel like a fun vacation. It is full of mystery, a fun cast, and a great cat that isn’t supposed to live in hotel. I think a great tea pairing is 500 Mile Chai by The Tao of Tea as it is warming, spicy, with the deepness of black tea. It is one of my favorites!
BLURB: Witty and charming, New York Times-bestselling author Kerstin Gier’s contemporary young adult novel A Castle in the Clouds follows a girl as she navigates secrets, romance, and danger in an aging grand hotel.
Way up in the Swiss mountains, there’s an old grand hotel steeped in tradition and faded splendor. Once a year, when the famous New Year’s Eve Ball takes place and guests from all over the world arrive, excitement returns to the vast hallways.
Sophie, who works at the hotel as an intern, is busy making sure that everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself right in the middle of a perilous adventure—and at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.
THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE by Cynthia Hand is a great books about learning from mistakes, even after the fact. Holly Chase didn’t listen to the ghosts that warned her and she dies. So she has to work for the Ghost of Christmas Past. It is a great, exciting read that you don’t want to miss! I feel it pairs well with Fox Craft Apothecary’s Krampus tea (which is actually my own company!). It is minty with chocolate, making it both warming but also chilling like ghosts. It is available on my Etsy!
Before I Fall meets “bah, humbug” in this contemporary YA reimagining of A Christmas Carol from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.
On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t. And then she died.
Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge—as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable. But this year’s Scrooge is different. This year’s Scrooge might change everything…
The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a witty, poignant, and insightful novel about life, love, and seizing second (or third) chances, perfect for readers who loved Before I Fall or Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares.
Discover imaginative indie reads, meet dedicated bookish friends, and win this incredible $750+ bundle for book lovers!
The Facebook group YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy Addicts is here to brighten your winter by giving away a bundle of bookish merch worth more than $750. With one grand prize winner and two runners-up, there’s 3x more chances to win this season!
19 paperbacks (some of them are signed by the author!)
Two Runners-Up will also each receive:
Indie book swag like bookplates, a signed postcard, bookmarks, and stickers
Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to discover, connect, and win!
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