ARC Book Review: All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

Book: All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

Expected Publication Is November 12, 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux|Expected Number Of Pages Is 256

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating cute, popular, and sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock…and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret, exactly. It’s just that her parents don’t practice and raised her to keep her Islamic heritage to herself. But as Allie witnesses ever-growing Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she begins to embrace her faith—studying it, practicing it, and facing hatred and misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl? What does it mean to be a “Good Muslim?” And can a Muslim girl in America ever truly fit in?

ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place.

I really liked All-American Muslim Girl!  I loved Allie and she’s a great character.

Allie struggles a lot with faith and I love that we get to see her explore her faith.  Having to hide my faith and heritage because of how other people see it is something I will never have to experience.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where people are treated differently because of what they look like or what they believe, and Allie has to deal with that as well.  She recognizes she has a lot of privilege, and it was interesting to see her as she started to stand up to the Islamophobia she sees around her.

I loved Allie’s integrity and determination.  She was open to exploring while wanting to do the right thing.  I felt like we saw her change over the course of the book, and she went from hiding who she was to standing up for herself and others.  We see her figure out what she wants, even when things get a little bit different with both her dad and the people around her.

I loved the friendships Allie forms, and her family was great too.  I wish we saw more of her extended family because they seemed pretty awesome when we did see them.  I especially liked her parents, and I get why her dad is concerned.  Things were rough between them for a while, but hopefully, they’ll be able to work it out.  I really think they will, because they have a pretty good relationship.

Accepting who you are and finding your own path were really strong and great messages in the book.  And even within different groups, you see a wide range of beliefs, which was nice.  I liked that her study group had different takes and relationships with Islam, and the author does a great job at showing how different a group of people can be.  I know it may be simple and maybe even a little bit obvious.  But she really does do a wonderful job at showing how different the girls are.

This book is a great read and I definitely recommend it!

My Rating: 4 stars.  I really liked All-American Muslim Girl and it’s worth reading!  It has great characters and a great story.

ARC Book Review: Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

Book: Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

Expected Publication Is November 5, 2019 by Entangled Teen|Expected Number Of Pages: 400 pages

Where I Got It: I received an advanced reader copy from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: Bring Me Their Hearts #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

I really liked Find Me Their Bones!  I’ve been looking forward to reading this book, especially with how the first book ended.  I really wanted to know what happened.

We learn a lot more about Veria, and I’m glad we did.  She had a really interesting story, and it was nice to learn so much more about this character we’ve only heard about.  Getting her backstory was a really good thing for this book, because I felt like things started to fall into place.

Find Me Their Bones picks up right where Bring Me Their Hearts left off.  There is no gap in time between the ending of the first book and the beginning of this one, and that made me happy because I was pretty desperate to know what happened.  Things definitely changed for Zera and Lucien but there’s a lot going on for all the characters.

Zera is still her snarky self, though I loved the moments with Yorl and with the valkerax.  I loved the concept of true names.  Granted, the idea of true names isn’t unique to this book, but I loved how it was used.  Names really do have power, and it makes me wonder if it was something specific to this book or if we’ll see it again in the next book.

The mythology gets an added dimension in this book, and I loved what it added to Zera’s world.  There is so much more to this world than I ever thought possible, and I’m glad we saw more of it in this book.  I hope the world gets a little bit bigger in the next book, but if the next one is the last one, then I don’t know how much more we’ll see since things need to get resolved.  Still, I feel like what we learn in this book moves the story forward, and I’m definitely interested to see how everything gets wrapped up.

There’s a lot of twists and turns and I’m having a hard time talking about this book without giving anything away.  I am glad I read it and it was interesting, from start to finish.

4 stars.  I really liked Find Me Their Bones, and I can’t wait to read the next book!

ARC Book Review: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Book: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Expected Publication is November 5, 2019 by Simon Pulse|Expected Number Of Pages: 320

Where I Got It: I received an advanced reader copy from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance set deep in the magical snow-covered forest, where the appearance of a mysterious boy unearths secrets that awakens the enchanted, but angry, woods.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

I really enjoyed The Wicked Deep when I read it around a year ago, and I’ve been looking forward to read Winterwood for quite a while.  I liked it but not as much as I thought I would.

I really liked the atmosphere.  There’s something quiet, creepy and isolating about the woods and the houses that are nearby.  With the snowstorm, and not being able to leave, it felt suffocating.  Gothic comes to mind, and there were times when I forgot that this book wasn’t set decades ago, but was set in our present.  Something about the woods and lake felt so old.

The setting is as much as a character as the actual people we see.  I’m amazed Ernshaw was able to do it, and do it well but this book was the perfect book to read this time of year.

I knew something was going on with Oliver but I wasn’t sure what it was.  You think you know what happened, but you really don’t.  Unless you’re better at guessing and figuring things out than I am, which is possible.  In all honesty, I’m not sure how I feel about him.

I don’t have strong feelings either way, and I honestly couldn’t tell you much about him.  Even though he does narrate part of the book, not a lot stands out.  You do see him struggle with telling Nora about what happened the night that led him to being in the woods, and seeing the mystery unravel was interesting but I wasn’t super-interested in that part of the book.

Don’t get me wrong, I was interested in unraveling the mystery of Oliver but it wasn’t what kept me reading.

What kept me reading was the magic and the forest.  Nora’s family had quite the history, and I loved seeing the sections of the book that described someone in her family.  I was wondering if Nora had anything magical, and it turned out she did, but it’s not something we see until the end of the book.  I was surprised by her abilities, and it makes me wonder why we didn’t see it before.  But maybe there wasn’t a need for her ability to make an appearance until the events of this book.

Some things were repetitive- like how weird people thought her family was, and how her mom didn’t acknowledge they were witches.  It didn’t detract from the book, but it did get tiring to hear it throughout the book.

3 stars.  Winterwood is definitely slow-paced, and not a lot happens in terms of plot, but the atmosphere and the setting were amazing.

ARC Book Review: The Library Of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

Book: The Library Of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

Expected Publication Is October 8, 2019 by Inkyard Press|Expected Number Of Pages: 384 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.

Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.

I liked The Library Of Lost Things!  I wanted to like it more, which seems to be happening a lot lately, but I still liked it.

I loved that Darcy worked at a bookstore.  I really wanted the Yellow Feather to be a real bookstore that I could visit, but it seems to be just a fictional place.  Still, it felt like a living, breathing place that I could actually visit, and it very much felt like a character itself.  I could totally see it sharing a space with a wig shop, which was a character in and of itself, even though we don’t spend as much time there.  I definitely wanted to visit Mysterious Galaxy after reading this book.

I also liked how important books were to Darcy, and all of the books that were mentioned.  As a reader, I really liked that, and it made it fun to see what would be referenced or mentioned.

I really liked Darcy, who had to deal with a lot.  There’s a lot going on with her family, and with some of the family secrets that come out, I really felt for Darcy.  I can’t imagine trying to deal with a mom who hoards, or dealing with she learned about both her mom and her dad.  She had to be a lot more responsible than she needed or should have been, and I really hope she has a lot of carefree moments in her future.

I can see why she’s so closed off, and how hard it is for her to let people in.  I feel like I’d act the same way if I were her, but we do see that change over the course of the book.  It seems like things start to change with her mom and her grandma, and hopefully, they’re all able to work through everything.  It will take time, of course, but hopefully, they’re able to get to a better place someday.

3 stars.  I liked The Library Of Lost Things, but I didn’t love it.  I really liked the Yellow Feather and all of the book references.

ARC Book Review: The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams

Book: The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams

Expected Publication Is September 17, 2019 by Delacorte Press|Expected Number Of Pages: 368

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: The Babysitter’s Coven #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria cooking. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

I liked The Babysitter’s Coven but like a lot of the books I’ve read this year…I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.

For some reason, the book felt like it should have been middle grade and not YA  I kept forgetting that the characters were around 17, and it would be interesting to see this book as a middle grade series.

I can’t speak to the comparisons to Buffy or Adventures In Babysitting, since I haven’t seen Buffy or Adventures In Babysitting.  I kept thinking about the Babysitter’s Club, though, if they were witches and trying to defend against demons and whatnot.

Esme wasn’t always my favorite character, and Cassandra wasn’t either, but maybe they’ll grow me, should I pick up the sequel.  I’m not sure if I will but we’ll see when the next one comes out.  I did like Janis, though.  And I did like the backstory for Esme’s mom.  It wasn’t what I was expecting but I did like it.  Pig was great too, and it’s so hard not to love.

I was expecting expecting babysitting to have more of a connection to the weird goings-on.  It would make a great cover but it didn’t go that way at all.  Still, it was fun to see what adventures they got themselves into, and I liked seeing them try to figure things out with pretty much no information.

I do wish they struggled a little more than they did, because things were pretty easy for both Esme and Cassandra.  They did figure things out pretty fast, and they seemed to do things really well after practicing a handful of times.  I think it would have made their achievements a lot more fun and it would have been a little easier to root for them.  But maybe that’s just me.

There was this 90’s teen movie vibe to it, which was fun.  Now that I think about it, I can totally see this book being a Disney channel series/original movie.  It would be pretty fun to watch, and it’s certainly light and fluffy enough to work well as a movie or tv show.

The outfits sounded pretty cool too, and that, more than anything, made me think of the outfits that Stacy and Claudia would wear in the BSC.  Which I now feel like reading, by the way.  A movie would bring the outfits to life, and it would be pretty cool to actually see the outfits.

3 stars.  I liked The Babysitter’s Coven, but I honestly thought it sounded younger than I expected.  It was a fun read but I had my issues with it too.

ARC Book Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Book: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Expected Publication Is September 3, 2019 by Random House Books For Young Readers|Expected Number Of Pages: 448

Where I Got It: I received American Royals as an E-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: American Royals #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

What if America had a royal family? If you can’t get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha.

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. 
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart. 
This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.

At first, I wasn’t sure about American Royals, but I ended up really liking it!

It was a little hard to get into at first, and I think it’s because we’re getting to know 4 very different girls.  I’m always hesitant about multiple narrators, especially when it’s 3 or more, and this book had 4.  I was worried we wouldn’t get to know each girl and while we don’t know them really, really well, we still get a really good idea of who each girl is.

Beatrice and Samantha are very different girls, and I liked both of them.  I did have a pretty good understanding of who they were, and, in Samantha’s case, why she acted the way she did.  One thing that came to mind in some of their chapters was that the grass really is greener on the other side.

I don’t envy either girl but I really don’t envy Beatrice.  She’s under a lot of pressure, considering she’s going to be the first queen one day.  Samantha does have some more freedom than her sister, but it also means she doesn’t get the attention her sister does.

We also see Daphne, the prince’s ex, and Nina, who is Sam’s best friend.  I liked Nina and Daphne was ambitious but also horrible.  Daphne was definitely my least favorite character, but she really is willing to do anything to get Jefferson back.  She was interesting, I’ll give her that.  I don’t have as much to say about them but it will be interesting to see where their stories go in the next book.

The story is pretty predictable in a lot of ways, but I honestly didn’t care because the book is a pretty interesting What If.  It really makes you wonder how different America would be if we were a monarchy.  We get a little bit of history, and it seems to be a little bit different in the book.  Like, Russia still has a tsar.  That’s the biggest thing that’s different.  At least from what I can remember.  It seems like there’s a lot more monarchies in this world than there actually is in real life.

It makes me wonder how different history is, especially American history.  I had trouble keeping track of some of the kings and queens mentioned, and I hope there’s a family tree included in the final version.  There wasn’t in this book, and that’s just what I’m hoping for, so by no means is it actually going to be included.

Still, a little more background would be interesting to see.  I mean, how much would having a monarchy change America’s history.  Like, did we still have a Civil War?  Did slavery still exist, and at what point did it get abolished if it did?  I have so many questions, but I know it’s not going to get answered.  Still, we might get little bits of history, and I’m okay with that.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I didn’t love it, but I still really enjoyed it.  It was hard not to cry and I was definitely crying by the end of the book.

ARC Book Review: Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez

Book: Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez

Expected Publication Is August 27 2019 by Imprint|Expected Number Of Pages: 384 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: Sweet Black Waves #2

Genre: YA

Inspired by the legend of Tristan and Iseult, Wild Savage Stars is the spellbinding sequel to Sweet Black Waves.

Branwen has a secret powerful enough to destroy two kingdoms.

Her ancient magic led to a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen. Adrift in a rival court, Branwen must hide the truth from the enemy king by protecting the lovers who broke her heart―and finds herself considering a darker path.

Not everyone wants the alliance with Branwen’s kingdom to succeed―peace is balanced on a knife’s edge, and her only chance may be to embrace the darkness within…

I really liked Wild Savage Stars!  It’s a great follow-up to Sweet Black Waves, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

This book picks up where the first book left off, and in this book, we see Essy and Branwen in Kernyv.  We spend quite a bit of time with Tristan’s family- especially Marc and Ruan.  Branwen’s relationship with Marc was particularly interesting, and I hope they’re able to move past everything.

I will say, though, that a lot of the characters have messy and complicated relationships with each other.  Branwen and Essy’s relationship has changed a lot as well, and there is one moment in particular that I’m really curious about.  I won’t give it away here, but it is a moment that really changes things between them.  There are a few things that change their relationship over the course of the book, and they all stand out, but this one really stands out, and I’m not sure why.

With those moments between Branwen and Essy, I did find myself wanting to see things from Essy’s point of view.  I would love to get inside her head, even for a chapter or two, just to see what’s going on in her head.

I really love the world, and I really felt immersed in it.  I don’t know what it is about this world but I really like it, and I can picture everything so clearly.  There’s just something about the world and the magic and the characters that keep me reading.  I would love to see this as a movie or tv show, especially if it focused on Branwen.

Something else I really like about this book is that it does focus on Branwen, and how she sees the story of Tristan and Isolde unfold.  It is great to see their story from someone else’s perspective, and I’m getting more interested to see how everything is going to end.  I’m assuming this series is going to be a trilogy, because the story is far from over, and I honestly can’t see how it’s going to be more than three books.

With the first book, I was a little concerned how the story would work over the course of a series, but I was worried about nothing.  Perez has broken up the story in books really, really well, and so far, the two books have ended in a pretty good place.  I want to keep reading, and even though they don’t end on cliffhangers, the endings are still really great endings that make me interested to see what will happen next.

4 stars.  I really liked Wild Savage Stars, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

ARC Book Review: Vow Of Thieves by Mary Pearson

Book: Vow Of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Expected Publication Is August 6, 2019 by Henry Holt & Co|Expected Number Of Pages: 480 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: Dances Of Thieves #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor’s Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

I really liked Vow Of Thieves!  I was really excited to get an ARC of it, and I liked it just as much as I thought I would.

I thought the story was great in this book.  I liked seeing what was going on with Kazi and Jase, and things were not easy for them in this book.  I wanted them to be okay, and there were times, especially at the beginning, where I thought things wouldn’t be okay.  Things turned out just fine, of course, and I’m glad it did.  They really deserve it after everything they’ve been through.

I really liked Kazi in this book and she’s such an amazing character.  She had some tough decisions to make, and I thought she handled things the best way she could.

As for Jase…I did like him a little bit more in this book than I did in the previous book.  He’s really trying to keep his family together and to protect his people.  I wanted him to be okay, but with everything that happens, it wasn’t easy for him.  Still, he was able to make his way back to his home and family, and with Kazi, they were able to do what they needed to do in order to get Tor’s Watch back to what it was before the attack.

I thought things were wrapped up really well.  I was wondering where the story was going to go, and we definitely found out in this book.  I’m sad it’s only a duology, because I really wanted more of this story and this world.  Even though things are wrapped up and this particular story is over, there’s room for a lot more story in this world.  With how the book ended, it makes me wonder what else is on the horizon.

Things may have been resolved in this book, but there’s a lot more that can happen.  I hope it doesn’t, but you never know.  I know I’ll be waiting to see if we’ll be getting more books in this world, and who it might focus on.  It is a great end to the series, and it was definitely a page-turner.

Like the previous book, it took a little bit to get into the book, but once I did, it was hard to stop reading.  This series, and the Remnant Chronicles, are worth reading.

4 stars.  I really liked Vow Of Thieves, and it’s a great end to a great series.

ARC Book Review: House Of Salt And Sorrows by Erin A Craig

Book: House Of Salt And Sorrows by Erin A Craig

Expected Publication is August 6, 2019 by Delacorte|Expected Number Of Pages: 416

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

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

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

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

I liked House Of Salt And Sorrows!  Not as much as I thought I would but I still liked it.

It very much reminded me of the tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses.  I don’t know if it’s a re-telling of that story, because I couldn’t find actual confirmation that this is the case.  Either way, I liked that they were cursed, and the reason behind what was happening to Annaleigh’s sisters was interesting.

I don’t know how I feel about Annaleigh.  She seems to be the only one who knows what’s going on, which doesn’t surprise me.  Considering how things go, and what’s really going on, it’s not surprising.  I hope things work out for Annaleigh and her sisters, and it seems like things end in a pretty good place for them.  Hopefully, nothing horrible happens to them, and they can all live happily ever after.

I wish we got more with her sisters, but with so many of them, it’s not a surprise.  You get a pretty good sense of the world they’re living in, and how suffocating it is to be in mourning all the time.  You see what people think of them, and how hard it is for them to move past it and move on with their lives.

The setting is pretty haunting and very gothic.  I mentioned how suffocating it was for them.  You definitely feel all of that throughout the book, and how hard it was for Annaleigh when her father decided days after another funeral that they were no longer going to be in mourning.

I’m not sure what else to say about House Of Salt And Sorrows.  I liked the world and the setting but I wasn’t in love with the characters.

3 stars.  I liked House Of Salt And Sorrows but I didn’t love it.

ARC Book Review: Glow: Book 1, Potency by Aubrey Hadley

Book: Glow, Book 1, Potency by Aubrey Hadley

Expected Publication is February 13, 2019 by Ruby & Topaz Publishing|Expected # Of Pages: 699

Where I Got It: I got Glow as an e-arc from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Series: None

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

The Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it’s popped up in New York, and it’s wiped out an entire homeless shelter.The same night of the outbreak, Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, stumbles across a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood. As her suburb goes on lockdown, Harper finds herself isolated from her friends and family, and soon begins to suspect that the events — though thousands of miles apart — may have something in common. Harper must find her bravery and embark on a plot-twisting adventure that will have her looking for answers in unexpected places… and worlds.

I was looking through the books on netgalley one day, and came across this book.  It looked interesting, and the idea is pretty cool.  For the most part, I didn’t like Glow.

It started off really good, and I think that’s why I ended up being so disappointed in it.  Harper has this really protective mother who homeschool’s Harper and her sister.  Harper’s barely allowed to the leave the house, and her mom has one of the neighbors watching the house in case Harper leaves.  You’re not really sure why her mom’s like this, especially since it seems like things were like this before the Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome.

At first, I was definitely intrigued, and it seemed like we had a mystery on our hands.  We eventually learn what’s going on, but that’s when the book started to lose me.  Once her neighborhood goes on lockdown, and she gets whisked away on this…adventure, I started to lose interest.  It was hard to keep track of what was going on, and it had the potential to be really interesting.  Instead, I was really bored, and it was page after page about why one group was better than another, and Harper trying to figure out this new world.

It’s sci-fi and it felt like I was reading about the end of the world.  I expected a lot more action and excitement and danger, and I didn’t get any of it.  It felt really slow, and we’re told things as opposed to seeing them.  It was a lot longer than it needed to be, and too much time was spent explaining things.  It looks like this book is the first book in a series, even though I couldn’t find any information about a book two.  I expect to see the world and story get set up but we got more than what we needed.

I’m not interested enough to pick up any other books in this series (if there are any) and I’m not completely sure where things are headed in any future books.  With the how the book ended, it seemed like there was going to be a lot of waiting until the next thing happens, and I don’t particularly want to read through pages and pages of Harper waiting until the next big thing happens.  I could be wrong, but I just don’t particularly want to find out.  Especially if it’s anything like this book.  Hopefully not though.

My Rating: 1 star.  I like the idea, and it started off really good!  It just got bogged down in the details, and I really did expect a sci-fi story involving aliens with an apocalyptic feel to be more exciting and action-packed.