ARC Review // Coral by Sara Ella

Author: Sara Ella
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Review

Coral is the youngest sister in the royal family. She is going to join her sisters in the mermaid ballad as soon as she will be sixteen. As much as she is concern about this event, she worries about her sister that suffers from a Disease. She tries to support and help her somehow, but before she gets closer to her the Red Tide takes her right out of her hands. She cannot resign herself to live without her. Because of her disobedience to her father during her birthday party, he orders her to leave the castle. Her grandma is on Coral’s side and helps her during this hard time. The best way to do so is to take her away to the world of humans.

Merrick’s life isn’t as easy as it seems. His family has everything: money, class, prestige life but things like love and closeness are lacking. His father is very strict with the rules that include him and his younger sister. The hate he feels toward his father deepens when his sister tried to commit suicide. At the same time as he arrives at the hospital to see his little sister, his mom decides to leave them all for good. He can’t understand how she could do it at the time they need her the most. He decides to get his sister and run away far from the father and try to find their mother.

Brooke is in a bad place for a long time now. She is sent to the recovery place where people are supposed to help with her loss. She feels worthless and alone. Instead of trying to let people in she pushes them away. She doesn’t want to heal. She just wants to disappear in the blue sea weaves far from the pain and loneliness. One accident helps her to look differently in her life and shows her a new way how to live again.

The story brings all of them together and helps to understand the importance of family, friends, and life. Not everything looks like we see it. They need to let people in to understand they are not alone.

My thoughts:

The first time when I started to read this book, I was sure I am holding a fantasy book in my hands. However, with the time I found out how wrong I was. Instead of a beautiful fairytale about mermaids, this book was based on the mental health issues and teenage suicides. Don’t let it push you away because the story is worth reading even if it’s not fully about mermaids we love.

The book shows the effects of mental illness on the people and that it’s not always how we think how it works. To be honest, I also had no idea that about a few things that were brought in the book. It’s a complicated and hard subject but it should be the knowledge all of us should have. 

Going back to the story and its characters, it’s hard to say if you like any of them or not. It’s not kind of characters that all of us can empathize with. They reach a point in their life from which it’s hard to decide what to do next and how to live after what happened to them. Thanks to the people around them as hard as it is, they choose to recover.

I think it’s the first book I read about people that go through the mourning of close people that took their own lives. I know there is a lot of them but this one focuses on this issue and isn’t just a back story. I was surprised how the story went on because I was sure it will be a retelling of Little Mermaid. It was kind of in the beginning, but it didn’t have much connected the story we all love. However, it was a very original idea to tell a story.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I would like to thank NetGalley, Thomas Nelson and Sara Ella for providing me this book. It was a challenge to go through this book without crying but I enjoyed reading it as much as I expected.

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Ultimate Blog Tour // Venators by Dervi Walls

Author: Devri Walls
Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group

Book Review

Rune is tired of her life. The only things her life is moving around is keeping her grades high and her twin brother who does everything their mother disaprove. Beside all her worries she feels different in a way she can’t even explain. She is concerned how supernatural world draws her in more and more everyday. She tries to talk about it with one person that shows similar interests. She knew Grey for a long time but never was close to him because of her brother’s behavior. He was a victim of Ryker for a long time and it didn’t change even now when they are in college.

Grey was fascinated by supernatural world for a long time. His interests started when he discovered his abbility to run faster than any mortal. He tried to hide his abilities and interests from other people but people still kept talking. It changed at the time he was attacked. He survived only thank to blue skined warrior who appeared to come to this world with purpose of finding two Venators, humans with supernatural abbilities. He was one of them and soon as they got atacked one more time he revealed that the second chosen was Rune.

They were followed by servants of evil Zio, who sent her gobblins to kill chosen Venators. As soon as they crossed the portal there was no coming back. They lives were going to change and they were not prepared for it. The time of trial just started.

My thoughts:

Amazing story of bravery and kindness. Rune and Grey weren’t brought to Eon in good purpose. The council needs them to their own needs so they won’t use their pedestal. However, they expected to receive heartless venators and that’s not what Rune and Grey are. Grey has a soft heart and he can’t stand hurting anyone. He would like to save the world even if the price would be his own life. However, Rune is new in this world and until now she didn’t even know about her abilities. I need to admit, she is kind of childish and annoying but I can forgive her as I would go crazy if that would happen to me. Even if she acts like a victim from the beginning, she finds her bravery and shows what she is capable of.

Beside the main characters, the book has a lot of great side characters like Tate, Verida, Beltran and Tashara. Without them this book wouldn’t be the same. I think without Beltran in the first book I wouldn’t like this book as much. He gives it a character and even if he acts like a cocky shapeshifter who cares only about having fun and games to play he definitely has more in his character than it’s shown at first. He doesn’t show it but he is kind and caring. He sacrificed a lot just to help the venators than anyone else in this book.

My second favorite character is Tashara. She is a seductive demon that feeds on people through sexual intercourse. She is a dangerous as also smart. We don’t see her a lot in the first book but she already makes me feel like she’s more than demon. She is also one of the people in the castle that helps young venators, more precisely Grey. I can’t wait to see more of her in the second book.

The world they are dragged in is very dangerous, especially that they already have there many enemies. There is no coming back and I feel that they also wouldn’t go back even if they could as they finally can be themselves.

I would like to recommend this book to all fans of Cassandra Clare’s books about shadowhunters. You will definitely like this one! After I finished reading first book I couldn’t stop on this one so I started reading second one right away. I’m more than happy that I could be a part of this blog tour and be able to read this book.

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author

Devri Walls is a US and international bestselling author. Having released five novels to date, she specializes in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best known for her uncanny world building skills and her intricate story lines, and her ability to present this all in an easy-to-digest voice. Now gearing up for her first national release, Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organizes for her readers. Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge watching whatever show catches her fancy.

Ultimate Blog Tour

I would like to thank TheWriteReads and Devri Walls for including me in this tour and providing me a copy of this amazing book! Check out also the other reviews of this book from the other book bloggers included in the tour under #ultimateblogtour on twitter. They are all amazing!

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ARC Review // Permanent Record by Mary H. K. Choi

Author: Mary H. K. Choi
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK

Book Review

Pablo Neruda Rind’s life isn’t easy. He quit college with a huge debt that he is not able to pay back. He avoids the calls from the bank, his parents and any responsibilities. He moves in with his friend’s house and finds a job in the shop with healthy food products.

On his birthday he waits for something to happen so the day won’t be the same as all other days. As hard as it is to believe he got what he wanted. At night the girl came to the store during his shift. At first, he didn’t recognize her but before she left, he saw something familiar in her. She was Leanna Smart; a popular singer and actress people were obsessed with. He didn’t show any signs of recognition as he didn’t want to ruin their conversation that went very well.

After this day, she was the only thing he could think about. He saw her everywhere and wished to have her number so they could meet again. He didn’t believe to meet her again, but he wasn’t the only one who was charmed by this night. One day Leanna came back to the shop and this is the moment when their story starts.

Their worlds are different from each other as the day from the night. They both have problems in their lives they want to run away from. They are each other’s escape. As much as they try, they cannot leave their lives behind for a long time. They need to face reality.

My thoughts: 

Well, this book gave me mixed emotions. It started as a perfect love story but didn’t finish this way. As weird as it sounds, it’s the part I liked the most. I feel like their relationship was like an escape from their lives. They went so deep into it that they didn’t want to go back to reality but when they finally got to the moment when it wasn’t possible anymore. They had to face reality and make changes in their lives. It makes us think about thinks we are running from. Sometimes it’s better to face them and work on the future instead of running from the past.

Pablo is an interesting character. His personality changes so often and quickly that you cannot keep up with him. Once he is super optimistic and feels like he can do everything but in a second, he becomes this pessimistic and depressed part of himself, who isn’t possible to reach anything in his life.

I think that his adventure with Lee woke him up. He finally started to do something with his life instead of thinking low about himself or reaching too high. He stopped waiting until someone will help him to change his life and he did it himself. Lee, however, had to let him go because she was the one who kept standing on his way.

The story didn’t end as I thought it will, but I think it’s good it wasn’t too predictable. The love story started as fast as it ended. I feel like everything was going so fast that I couldn’t keep up with them. I think it was also a point of it to show how fast the emotions were growing between them. They didn’t spend much time with each other, but he felt deeply for each other and when it ended it was heartbreaking for them both (and for me).

It wasn’t a long story, but it is perfect for all young adults who struggle with similar problems with becoming an adult and facing the reality of being responsible for all decisions. It shows that even if we are lost there is always a way to change it.

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I would like to thank NetGalley, Little, Brown Book Group UK and Mary H. K. Choi for providing me this book. I really enjoyed reading it.

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Spotlight and Q&A // The Order of Time by Scott P. Southall

Author: Scott P. Southall
Publisher: Seaview Press Holdings

Synopsis:

MIDDLE-GRADE READERS GO ON A BREATHTAKING ADVENTURE TO ANCIENT EGYPT WITH LOTS OF LAUGHS ALONG THE WAY

Identical twins who are different in almost every other way, Anastasia and Edward Upston are best friends tackling the ups and downs of 6th grade together. Whether they’re fending off bullies at their elite Washington D.C. school or examining rare antiquities at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, life is always an adventure!

But nothing prepared them for the complicated twists and turns when they find out their mentor at the museum, Dr. Gregorian, is part of The Order of Time [Seaview Press Holdings, January 2020]. It unwittingly falls to the twins to travel back through time to ancient Egypt where they must overcome deadly assassins, evil high priests and vengeful gods in order to prevent disaster. Author Scott P. Southall’s fast-paced adventure introduces the fascinating topic of time travel to a new generation as Anastasia and Edward discover neither time nor history behave the way in which we were taught they do.

“I hope for readers to get taken on a breathtaking adventure, to giggle uncontrollably at times, and to learn a little about Ancient Egypt,” Southall says. “I also hope to encourage young people to read. In a world crowded with visual content I believe that reading has the ability to expand a young person’s imagination and worldview like nothing else.”

Fans of Rick Riordan and The Last Time Keepers won’t be able to put down The Order of Time.

Q&A with Scott P. Southall

You come from a banking background – what made you want to write a middle grade novel? And one about Egypt at that?

I love what I do as a banker, but I have always been passionate about inventing stories. It’s also a nice counterbalance to the numerate work that I do every day. The concept of a twin brother and sister travelling through time with the assistance of the museum curator was something I developed in telling bedtime stories to my children. It was a sneaky way to try to teach them something at the same time that they were being entertained.
When my wife and I travelled to Egypt in 2017 on a holiday I was instantly inspired to write the book. The inspiration may have come from the sense of stepping back in time when we visited amazing sites like Luxor Temple, the Valley of the Kings, or the Temple of Isis. It may have also come from the simple fact that it was our first holiday without children. Regardless, I started writing the book on the plane ride back to Sydney.

Why did you want to incorporate The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History into your story?

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History was an almost annual field trip that began in elementary school. I was fascinated by everything from the African elephant in the rotunda, to the dinosaur fossils, to the ancient artefacts. Those trips to the Smithsonian were part of the reason that I took an archaeology elective at University and part of the reason why I still have a hunger to travel and see the world. In that sense it was only natural for the Smithsonian to play an integral part in this story.

How is your story different than others in the genre?

Most fantasy novels either take place in the contemporary world or in fictional worlds. This story takes place in both. The current setting is modern day Washington D.C. with real places like the Smithsonian and Georgetown. However, by utilizing time travel, The Order of Time is able to incorporate actual historical figures like Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Thutmose and historical places such as the city of Akhetaten within the weave of the story.

What do you hope readers remember about The Order of Time?

It’s a story about the bond between brothers and sisters, it’s a story about courage, and it’s a story that goes against gender stereotypes. Working together we are all capable of more than we think.

Is this book part of a series?

Yes. I have already begun the second book in the series and intend to write somewhere between 3-6 books with Anastasia and Edward as the protagonists.

About the Author

Scott Southall is an American author and banking executive. The Order of Time is his debut novel. He grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. playing sports, exploring the woods behind his house, and stretching his imagination by reading any book he could get his hands on. He attended Georgetown University where he earned a bachelors degree in business.
Scott and his Australian wife Kylie live in the paradise which is also known as Sydney Australia.

Connect with Southall at ScottPSouthall.com, Facebook.com/ScottSouthallAuthor and Instagram.com/ScottSouthallAuthor

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Spotlight and Q&A // Why Liv? by Jon Sebastian Shifrin

Author: Jon Sebastian Shifrin
Publisher: Bublish, Inc.

Book description

Personal identity is tied to the jobs that we hold—but what happens when our jobs feel pointless? That’s what Livingstone Modicai Ackerman—Liv, to his friends—is wondering. Millennial dissatisfaction runs rampant in an age where even the jobs that are the most coveted have no social value (and those that are truly important do not pay as though they are). How do we find meaning when work feels meaningless? Why Liv? by Jon Shifrin explores the big and small questions that complicate modern professional life for Liv and his cohorts.

Like Holden Caulfield before him, Liv craves authenticity in a phony age. His job is tedious and soul-gutting, his girlfriend is a vacuous, image-conscious snob, and, meanwhile, his pathologically narcissistic parents are constant irritants. Add to this the febrile political climate dominated by a reactionary group and their mendacious leader, a radio personality with outlandish hair and a catchy slogan to restore American greatness, and existential dilemma seem a constant way of life.

Liv is searching for meaning in a sea of cynicism—and he finds it in the most unlikely of places. This two-part novel opens with “Dusk,” which takes place in the elite circles of New York society. It’s thought to be a glamorous milieu, but for Liv it’s gloomier. The second part, “Dawn,” is set in the majestic city of Barcelona. The language spoken in this new setting is challenging to understand and the local culture, while attractive, is alien to Liv. Yet, it is sunny, alluring and redemptive.

Q&A with Jon Sebastian Shifrin

What made you want to write this book?

            Growing up as the son of two artists—a painter and sculptor—burdened me with high expectations. Like a faith or creed, art has the ability to connect those who create it to an ancient artistic tradition, as well as endow a form of immortality via an artistic legacy. But, most significantly, art gives its most ardent devotees a sense of purpose. I wanted the same from my chosen profession. However, this was not to be.

The jobs I held over the years, while impressive on paper, provided no meaning whatsoever. In fact, they seemed utterly pointless; nobody, I suspected, would care or even notice if they disappeared. Naturally, I fell into a deep funk. Only by discovering my own creative outlet, writing, did I climb out of the morass and begin to experience the sort of spiritual satisfaction I long sought.

The theme of finding meaning is central to Why Liv?—hence the title. Like me, Livingston, the protagonist, has achieved success by societal standards. He has gone to the right schools and holds down a prestigious job. Yet, he feels empty inside. I believe that his angst, like my own, is commonplace and therefore speaks to many struggling to find meaning in their lives, professional and otherwise.

Why did you choose to have your main character struggle with how his profession affected his personal identity?

Personal identities are closely tied to our chosen professions, since we spend a significant portion of our waking hours at work. This is why one of the first questions we ask new acquaintances is what they do for a living. The response to it reveals critical information about a person’s essence in ways that few, if any, other questions can. While the centrality of work to personal identity varies to some degree by culture, an underlying truism holds regardless: we are what we do.

Livingston, Why Liv?’sprotagonist, identifies with his job, but also knows that it is meaningless; thus, he feels meaningless himself. At first, he feels guilty for being miserable, since he knows that, as a corporate high-flyer, he has got it better than most. A close friend ridicules him for having “white man’s problems.” But he cannot shake the sense that something is dramatically wrong in his life.

Liv’s struggles are universal. Occupational angst is endemic. One recent national survey found that almost a third of Americans view their jobs simply as a means to “get by,” while fully 40 percent of respondents to another study in the Netherlands said their jobs had no reason to exist whatsoever. Many of us, regrettably, are on the same sinking boat. The key is to find a way off.

Your book deals mostly with an affluent society – why did you choose that setting and are the themes relatable beyond that sphere?

Why Liv? takes places in a new Gilded Age—contemporary America. The main characters hail from the glittering class whose members seamlessly glide at day’s end from their high-pressure/highly compensated corporate jobs to exclusive places in a capital of capitalism, New York City. They are society’s winners, the “meritocracy’s” most meritorious. They are the people many of us seek to be. And yet they are overworked and unhappy, lost. The most self-aware among them, including the protagonist, knows that the rat race is folly, and he wants out. There has to be better way, he thinks, and he is right.

The promise of affluence undergirds our society. Most millennials, in fact, believe they will be millionaires someday. The zealous pursuit of riches is a goal that, even if achieved, likely will yield a miserable life featuring endless hours at a soulless job that has no intrinsic value. Such is the paradox of our modern consumer-driven existence. The cheese at the end of the maze is moldy. Thus, Why Liv?, though focused at the outset on an exclusive niche—the one-percenters—is broadly applicable, as the novel indicts a system to which 100 percent of us are subject.      

What is your writing process like?

Dorothy Parker, the eminent critic and satirist, once said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” I think most writers, myself included, identify with such sentiments, as the process of putting words on a blank page is tough, even excruciating at times. I require regular breaks while writing, like a football player dashing off to the sidelines for “breathers.” The constant stoppages do not always work; oftentimes, I spend hours gazing in vain at my computer screen, having conjured only a line or two. Here a certain faith in one’s artistic ability is necessary to persevere, which itself is the key to success in any endeavor worth pursuing, creative or otherwise.

Eventually, I clumsily cobble together a first draft of a book’s chapter or short story full of narrative flights of fancy and inconsistencies. But the hardest part is behind me. I then revise and revise, applying one layer on top of another, ironing out wrinkles and adding richness and depth—the sort of ornamentation that gives a story added punch. A relatively polished draft takes shape. Further revisions follow once I receive editorial feedback and, eventually, the particular piece is “done,” or completed to the point where returns on effort have sufficiently diminished that my efforts turn elsewhere. Then and only then, do I truly love having written.    

What books and authors influenced your writing?

W. Somerset Maugham and Franz Kafka, among my favorite writers, have influenced my writing greatly. Maugham, for one, is a master storyteller. His lurid descriptions of places and personalities are totally transporting. Much the same can be said of Kafka, though his style, of course, is very different. The commonality that links the two—and a feature that, I think, unites all great writing—is strong moral conviction. That is, both Maugham and Kafka have something to say.

Maugham’s stories typically feature flawed characters that redeem or do not redeem themselves, such as a supremely gifted artist in a Moon and Sixpence who is also an unprincipled brute, while Kafka’s characters almost always are victimized by some absurd circumstance. But both share insights into the way we live and act, and the societal forces that shape our behavior. Attention must be paid.

I also aspire to challenge the reader in similar ways by casting into relief some of the issues that, I believe, confront my generation: demanding yet meaningless jobs, rising political intolerance, and so on. I want the reader, once finished with Why Liv?,to question some very basic precepts about the times in which we live and to feel uncomfortable yet also moved as one does when putting down a work by Maugham or Kafka. That is my goal. It is for the reader to decide whether I achieve it.      

About the author

JON SEBASTIAN SHIFRIN is a writer whose political commentary and short stories have appeared in various newspapers and literary journals. He also is the founder of The Daily Dissident (www.dailydissident.com), a popular current events web magazine. Jon lives in Washington, DC.

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ARC Review // Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Author: Hannah Capin
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication date: 18 Feb 2020

Book Review

The story of Elle Jade Khanjara based on the tragedy Macbeth but also movie Mean Girls. After a terrible event at the party where Elle went with her coven on her 16th birthday, she dedicates her life to revenge. She changes her look and name to Jade and transfers to the St. Andrew School to be closer to the golden boys that hurt her.

She has a perfect plan that works perfectly from the beginning. She knows exactly how to manipulate them like marionettes and get into their close circle. She makes one of them fall in love with her, girls her friends and boys attracted to her. No one suspects that they are a part of her game. She makes them their targets the same as they did a target of her at the party. She wants to end their legacy so no girl will be hurt by them.

She wasn’t alone in this. She has her closest friends; Mads, Summer, and Jenny. They were calling themselves a coven. They are strong, well-trained and unbreakable together. They helped her to implement the plan to life. All power was theirs and no one could stop them until everyone will pay for their sins.

My thoughts:

It’s the craziest and most twisted story I ever read. The story about the revenge and power of the hurt woman. In the beginning, I was so confused about what is happening; if it’s a fantasy or not because there were used words like coven, wings, and powers but all of it was just metaphors to give a story a bit of magic. It’s full of pain, confidence, and desperation. It’s hard to shortly summarize all my emotions about this book as it touches so many hard subjects like sexual harassment, rape, and murder. The way boys from St. Andrew treated any girl then met on their way is disgusting. First, they can’t even properly call a girl by her name. Every time they behaved like all of them are their properties or they can do with them whatever they want it made my blood boil. The worst thing is that’s how it looks nowadays. The men with power and money think they own the world and they can do whatever pleases them.

The main character is a smart and beautiful girl. He came up with a flawless plan on how to pay back the people that hurt her. They chose the wrong girl. She decided to end this so no one will be hurt by them again. I was so impressed by her manipulation abilities. She manipulated all of them in a way they didn’t even expect it. They thought she is powerless, but she showed them how wrong they were from the beginning.

It’s hard to write about this book without any spoilers. The action starts already in the beginning so you will never get bored. One of the very interesting things in this book is that all the events happen within one or two weeks, but it feels like so much longer especially how much happens within these days.

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The book is very powerful and dedicated to all women that were in a position like Jade. It’s a bloody story but it shows exactly how the girl feels after some jerk takes whatever he wants from her. They are not okay and probably never will be, especially that most of them are walking out of it without any consequences.
I’m so happy that I won this ARC copy last year and I finally read it. Thank you so much Hannah Capin for this journey. I love this book and I can’t wait to read The Dead Queens Club!

Favorite Quotes

Killing someone hurts worse if somebody you love is holding the knife.

Hannah Capin

“In the mirror I’m something from a 2AM movie about Catholic Schoolgirl vampires. Revenge-black hair, short and sharp; a face that says she’ll pull you to the dark side and you’ll love every second of it.”

Hannah Capin

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Book Review // The Existence Of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

Author: Lana Grace Riva
Date: 02 Aug 2019

Book Review

Amy seems like a normal woman. She has a good job, loyal friends and a nice home. As you probably think, it’s everything that wants to achieve in life. However, the real life of Amy looks completely different. She lives how her brain allows her to and it’s making everything harder. She can’t fight it, even if she wants. It controls her life, relationships and moods. It’s hard for her to leave her apartments because it’s her safe place and outside waits for her a lot of hazards.

She’s good in hiding it from the world. Everyone thinks she’s kind of weird, but no one knows that there is something more than that. Her depression and OCD grow stronger. Thankfully, when it comes to the work trip to Australia, she’s able to fight it.

The book doesn’t include any adventures or extraordinary romances but it’s much more than that. It’s about the fight for life and happiness. It’s about a strong and unique friendship in the time it’s needed the most. It’s the story you’ve never heard before.

My thoughts

Reading this book was at some point very hard. The book was written in first person, so we have a complete view of her all thoughts. It’s so hard to imagine how people get through life with the mental illness. The easiest things we do on the daily basis are a real struggle for the people like this.

Amy is very weak, and she doesn’t even try to ask for help. She thinks that that’s how her life is, and it can’t be changed. She tries, because she wants it to be different, but her mental illness is so strong that it’s hard to push it away.

In the book is a lot of great characters that I would like to talk about. My favorite one is Natan, who develops a lot throughout the book. He doesn’t play a big part at the beginning but he’s one that at the end that stays with her and makes her life easier. Another one is Ed who’s her best friend. His character has two sides. He’s very caring but sometimes a little bit selfish and annoying. He wants the best for Amy but it’s hard for him to understand some aspects of her life.

The story is very original and deep. It’s one of the hardest books I read but surprisingly I read it in one day, because if you start you can’t put the book down. It’s worth reading just to understand the meaning of the effects obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression have.

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Why ruin today thinking about a future that might never happen.

– Lana Grace Riva

I received the book from the author to honestly review the book. I had a few attempts to read this book but finally few days ago I sat down and read it at once. I am so glad that Lana Grace Riva contacted me and provided me one of the copies. It’s an amazing book that everyone should know about.

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ARC Review // Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry

Author: Katie McGarry
Date: 14 Jan 2020
Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/Forge

Book Review

Veronica is an extraordinary girl, who has nothing to lose. She expresses herself in a way people don’t understand. That’s why she’s known as a weird and scary girl. However, no one knows the secret she’s hiding from everyone. She has a small tumor in her head. Beside it, she tries to live her life, the best she can.

This school year will be much worse for her than the last one, as all her friends already graduated. Moreover, the most popular boy in the school, move in downstairs in her house. They never talked but he and his friends made fun of her more than once.

She didn’t like him, but he was the only guy in her class who will be easy to work with, as he lives close to her and has a car. She wants to work on the project to prove that the ghosts exist as she believes that her house is haunted. Moreover, she’s the only person in her household that actually sees and hears the ghosts.

Sawyer’s life isn’t so easy as everyone thinks. After his parents got divorced, he needs to take care of his mom and little sister. He’s passionate about swimming but because of his bad English grades, he couldn’t join his friends in the swimming practices at school. He needs to work harder, this year but he doesn’t want his friends to do all his work on the group English project. That’s why he decides to agree to Veronica’s proposition of being project partners.

My thoughts:

Echoes Between Us was the first book I read this year and I couldn’t choose any better one as a starter. This book is literally perfect. There is nothing I can hate in this it because all the aspects of the story created a beautiful whole. Veronica is a fascinating character, which has so many sides that I couldn’t keep up with her. She is funny, smart, brave and the most important she cares about people she loves and won’t let anything hurt them. She doesn’t want to show any of her weaknesses and sadness. She wants everyone to think, she’s just fine even if she’s more and more scared every day.

On the other side, Sawyer as much as he’s brave, he’s also tired. He wants to have a normal life, where he can focus on school, swimming and having fun like every teenager. His mother as much as she’s helping, most of the time she wants him to take care of everything. She makes him feel guilty and obliged to be a man of the house.

It pushes him to an addiction that isn’t normal and as much as he loves it, he’s also scared that it will take his life. He knows he needs to stop, but it’s hard when so many things push him to it. Veronica brings something important to his life: happiness and adventure. They changed their minds about each other very quickly as they get to know each other better and spent more time together.

I love how the characters develop during in this book. They grow and changes through out the book and create a perfect ending they deserve. As I thought this book might be the same as all in this genre, but I was nicely surprised when it turned up to be so different, deep and emotional.

The story surprised me so many times, made me laugh and cry. It’s the first book I read from the NetGalley and decided right away that I need to buy this book as soon as possible and read it again. It’s definitely worth reading by anyone who likes books. The book brings up subjects like addictions, dangerous illnesses and how they influence the lives of young people and their families.

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love this story from the bottom of my heart, and I am sure you all will also love it. I would like to thank NetGalley and Macmillan-Tom Doherty Associates for providing me this amazing book. I fell in love with the story and its characters. I can’t wait to read more of Katie McGarry’s amazing books. I hope they will be as good as this one.

I didn’t post any reviews in a while because of the exams but I hope you will like this one. I feel like it’s not as good as it should be but I even if I tried to improve it, it still wasn’t good enough. Well, I hope you enjoyed it!

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ARC Review // A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price

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Author: Shannon Price
Date: 05 Nov 2019
Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/Forge

Book review

San Francisco isn’t the safest place to live since the time the first gang called Herons appeared on its streets. The richest people of the town were leading the town, and no one was able to stop them until the new group Boars were formed just to stop them. It was their main purpose in the end but with the time they lost it and became even more dangerous to the city. They started the dangerous game Wars.

With the years the new gang came to the city. No one knew who they are exactly and on which side they are. Some say they are the most dangerous ones, but no one knew the truth. They are called the Stags.

On the day of the 18th birthday of the people living in the city. The gangs could recruit them to take part in the Wars for a year. If you are in, you cannot leave, that’s the main rule. The Wars are dangerous, and everyone knows the cost of taking part in it. It also gives you a house and the money that a lot of recruits need.

Valerie for the last years planned to join Herons because of what happened to her brother. She was looking for revenge, but the police couldn’t identify the person who killed her little brother. The only way to find the guilty person was joining the Wars. When she turned eighteen one of the gangs found and recruited her. The only problem was that it wasn’t the group that she wanted to join. She wasn’t sure if she should do it but when the leader of the group promised her to reveal who murdered her brother, she didn’t hesitate any longer. She became one of the Stags.

My thoughts:

I cannot find words to describe how much I enjoyed this book. It was brilliant. The story, characters and their history together made the book perfect. I honestly couldn’t put it down. I wanted the story to go on and never end. I wish the author will write a continuation of the story because a lot of things were not explained, and I want to know what happens to everyone in the future.

Besides being a great read, the book was also heartbreaking. I look back to it and most of the characters were broke inside and there is nothing that can fix what happened to them. Valerie is one who will never be the same girl as she was before she lost her brother and the Wars. It’s not possible to recover after it. For some reason, she annoyed me in this book but it’s only because she was scared to lose more than she already did. She was very determined. Even if she was scared, felt alone and out of place, she still stayed and fought to reach her goal.

Jay is a very complicated character in the book. He makes you love him and hate him at the same time. He went through a lot and I feel like a lot of people disappointed him. That’s why he wants to do everything his way so it will never happen again. He trusts only his close friends/gang members and maybe his mother, but I think it’s more complicated between them.

I think Micah is my favorite of all. He is a friend/boyfriend everyone wishes to have. He is caring, kind and down-to-earth. He didn’t let the Wars change him. He was the one who wanted to leave it the most. He didn’t want to leave his friends and that was the reason why he wanted the Wart to finally end. I wish he could play a bigger part in this story. He deserved better than he had.

I don’t know if you also were fans of fan fictions when you were younger, but I loved them more than books when I was 13-14. My favorite ones were the ones about gangs and dangerous love. When I read this book, it takes me back to this time. It’s very similar but ten times better and much better written.

The last thing I would like to talk about is the short love plot. That’s the part I was a little bit disappointed. I wished it would develop more and we will get more stories about it but as fast it came the same way it was gone. I need more of them. As much as I like the ending, I want to change it. I don’t even need a change I just need a happy end for them.

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I would like to thank NetGalley, Shannon Price and Tor Books for providing me a digital copy of this book. I was more than happy to read it and review it.

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Review // Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date: 5 Sep 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Book Review

Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq travel together to the southern land of Antica. The purpose of this long trip is to find the mythical healers of Torre that may have the power to heal Chaol injury but also to convince the royalty of the land to join their side in the war against Erawan. They knew it will be hard but with the time they arrived, it happened to be almost not possible to start a talk about the war as the royal family was going through mourning of their past daughter.

The myth of the talented healers was true. One of the best healers was sent to them to access if she will take up Chaol’s case. Her name is Yrene Towers, a gifted healer from southern Fenharrow. She lost everything that was important for her because of the former king of Adarlan. She promised to help everyone who will need her gift to heal but after what Adarlan’s soldiers did to her family, she hesitated.

Besides the attempts to get the khagan on their side and healing. They came across their biggest enemy. The darkness of Erawan broke in into this land and took the life of the innocent young healer. As no one in this land knew about Erawan, Chaol and Nersyn are the only ones who can stop the darkness before it will hurt anyone else.

My thoughts:

You have no idea how surprised I was when I started to read this book. I was thinking before about skipping reading this one because I wanted to know straight what will happen next after the ending of the Empire of Storms. I also wasn’t a big fan of Chaol so I couldn’t imagine this good being something I want to read. A month after I finished the Empire of Storms, I finally bought the Tower of Dawn. I started reading and after 30 pages I couldn’t put it down because it was so good. Surprisingly, the book turns out to be one of the best books from the whole series.

I think Sarah J. Maas listened to the fans of the series and put more focus on developing Chaol’s character. Moreover, she finally showed us the real face of Nesryn, what I was missing in the last book. Both were not a reason why I enjoyed this book as much. They were a part of it but without the two new characters, it wouldn’t work. Yrene and Sartaq were the characters that made the whole story more interesting and lovable. However, for me, Yrene won as being the best character of the book.

Yrene Towers is everything that was lacking in the previous books. A powerful woman who does not answer to anyone but only herself. She showed that with hard work and purpose you can achieve everything you dream about. She fought for herself her whole life. She didn’t let anyone stop her in the name of love or fear. She had a goal and she did everything to reach it. The second part I loved was her relationship with Chaol. She didn’t let him push her around and set the rules.

Chaol finally recovered from being a jerk and showed he can be likable. I didn’t know it’s possible, but I started to like him again. He learned that sometimes he needs to let other people take care of him and to help him. He changed his point of view of what happened to him and his friends and that he will never run away from the past, the only thing he can do is accepting it and learn from it.

Nesryn Faliq was invisible in the last book. We didn’t know anything about her besides her relationship with Chaol, which by the way wasn’t as clear as well. I saw her before as a cold and strong woman, so I was surprised to see her soft side. I like this version of her much more. I think that she also discovered a few things about herself during the time she was in Antica. I don’t want to give you spoilers, but she will surprise you more than once in this book.

The last thing I need to talk about is the ending of the book. It literally killed me. I thought this book will be the first one that I will finish without crying a river. Wrong, I did cry. I cried a lot during this last 50 pages of the book. I don’t know why but Sarah J. Maas loves to play on my emotions. My boyfriend already knows which book I am reading when I start to swear endlessly while I read a book. This book was like a roller coaster so if you’re going to read it hold on tight. It will break your heart.

Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Favorite Quotes

I will cherish it always.
No matter what may befall the world.
No matter the oceans, or mountains, or forests in the way.

A gift.
A gift from a queen who had seen another woman in hell and thought to reach back a hand. With no thought of it ever being returned. A moment of kindness, a tug on a thread.

We don’t look back. It helps no one and nothing to look back.

Gods help him when Hasar and Aedion met.

No lady, beautiful or plain, young or old, deserved to be gawked at.

Don’t you waste one heartbeat being afraid of a coward who hunts women in the darkness.

It was agony and despair and fear. It was joy and laughter and rest. It was life, all of it…

You would be surprised by how closely the healing of physical wounds is tied to the healing of emotional ones.

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