BOOK REVIEW: Victoria Schwab “Our Dark Duet”

our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab-book-coverTitle: Our Dark Duet

Author: Victoria Schwab

Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

This book picks up a few months after the events of the first book, This Savage Song, and follows the same two main characters: August and Kate.

I’m having a very hard time reviewing this. On one hand, objectively, this book is amazing. Both books are. Schwab is an amazing author and the world-building in this duology was great. It’s a solid, good quality story.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid it’s not my cup of tea.

For one, the books are slow. I feel like a story about monsters and mayhem should have more going on, but I feel like very little happens in either of these books. In fact, even at the end of Our Dark Duet, conflict has still not been resolved. Really, I feel like the characters accomplished nothing.

The characters are likable enough, but it was hard for me to stay engaged to the story. I know the ending was intended to hit me in the feels, but it didn’t affect me much.

I still stand by my 4 star rating for the first book, even if I did think it was slow. A lot more actually happened in This Savage Song and I felt that upon closing the book, the story was promising. I guess Our Dark Duet just didn’t deliver for me.

It’s hard for me to say much more for fear of revealing spoilers, but I know that many, many people have enjoyed this duology. Don’t take my opinion of it as any sort of indication as to how you might enjoy the book. You’ll probably love it based on the average reviews I’ve seen flying around on Goodreads!

I feel the need to again mention the beautiful writing and my deep admiration for Schwab and her abilities. A Darker Shade of Magic is on my immediate TBR list and I’m still quite excited to jump in. I haven’t given up on her yet!

 

Victoria Schwab: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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BOOK REVIEW: Kara Thomas “Little Monsters”

32320750Title: Little Monsters

Author: Kara Thomas

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

To Kacey, life with her father and his family in Broken Falls is a far cry from her life with her mother, with her string of terrible, temperamental boyfriends and her own crazy breakdowns. Now she has a welcoming new stepmother, stepbrother, half sister, and an accepting small group of friends in a quaint little town where everyone knows everyone.

One night, Kacey’s two friends, Bailey and Jade, sneak her out to an old barn that’s just down the street from where she lives. They go there to perform a séance because it’s said that there’s a ghost who haunts the place known as the Red Woman. The outing is creepy and leaves them all feeling a bit unbalanced, but no one gets hurt and they all go home.

The next day, Kacey feels suddenly distant from her two friends who normally bombard her with texts. Now they send nothing, and what’s more, they don’t invite her to go to a party with them that night. What’s more, Bailey never comes home that night.

My thoughts: 

When I picked this book up at the library, it was because I wanted a book that would surprise me. I was tired of reading mysteries that I could predict the endings to and I wanted to read something that would really shake things up for me.

Little Monsters did exactly what I wanted it to do.

I was so pleased with this reading experience, and so relieved. I’ve needed something to satisfy my craving for a good mystery for a long time now, and I finally feel quenched.

My review probably won’t be helpful to those who want to hear about the characters or any other aspects of the story because I wasn’t really paying attention to that. I didn’t love or even care for any of the characters because that wasn’t my main concern. My focus was on the story and the mystery and my hoping it was going to deliver a good ending, which it did. That’s all I wanted, so this book fulfilled its purpose.

Great mystery, great reveal, great surprises. It kept me guessing throughout and I was thrilled with the outcome. Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a good mystery.

 

Kara Thomas: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Favorite TV Shows

I’ve always been a person with a variety of obsessions. Yes, I love books and they’re some of my favorite things on the planet. However. I also quite love books and TV. You could say that I’m a lover of all different forms of entertainment, from literature to film to music to even occasionally theater. I’m no expert in any one area, but I’m a passionate appreciator of the arts. Netflix is a form of art, yes?

So here I shall list in no particular order some of my favorite shows, to take a break from post after post after post about books. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with books; but I’m ready to talk about another one of my favorite things.

Doctor Who

For those who don’t know (really though if you don’t, shame on you), Doctor Who is a Britist show about time travel and space and aliens and love and friendship and silliness and awesomeness. Doctor Who has been around for over 50 years and is a widespread favorite sci-fi show. It’s about an alien from Gallifrey named the Doctor who travels through space and time saving the world in a blue police box that he calls a TARDIS. The Doctor seems to have an affinity for the planet Earth and spends much of his time here. He makes friends along the way and sometimes takes them on his adventures, taking them on as one of his “companions” as they’re called. Sometimes their stories end happily, but more often than not, they’re quite tragic and sad and they make you want to tear your heart out. So… you should watch it.

Sherlock

This here is another BBC show with a whopping 13 episodes and a very impatient fan-base. Created by some of the same producers of Doctor Who, Sherlock takes on a darker tone. It’s an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson set in modern day London where they solve crimes and get into a lot of trouble. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock while Martin Freeman plays Watson, and they are both absolutely brilliant in the roles. Their onscreen interactions are perfect and the show is thrilling and surprising and so much fun. Even though the episodes are each an hour and a half in length, 13 episodes is still quite sad and fans of the show often have to wait 2 years or more for a new season. Still, I think it’s worth it for the quality of the writing, cinematography, all of it.

The Walking Dead

Why would I want to watch a show where everyone dies and characters don’t just have to worry about flesh-eating zombies but also horrible, murderous humans? I dunno. I guess I have a death wish. This show took me some time to get into, I won’t lie. I remember watching episodes from the first few seasons over my mom’s shoulder and cringing/running away whenever a zombie came onscreen. Now I’m basically desensitized to all the head-bashing/stabbing/slashing. It’s a show that I have grown invested in over time because I just want all the characters to be happy, dang it. I want to see the end and see them all living lovely lives and not having to fight/run for the lives at every twist and bend. Do I want to throw myself off a bridge every time the show decides to kill off yet another character that I love? Yes. Do I still keep watching? Ugh, yes.

Jane the Virgin

So when I finish an episode of The Walking Dead, I need to watch an entire season of Jane the Virgin to clear my head of all the blood and guts and fill me with warm feelings. This show is literally happiness. I love every single character and I love the story and everything, just everything. It’s such a sweet program, full of laughter and joy and family and friendship and love. I don’t think I’ve ever taken to a show as fast as I did with Jane, in which I was hooked from the first 10 minutes of the first episode. Please never stop being wonderful.

Parks & Recreation

Yet another show I turn on when I need the happy feelings to filter in. This comedy is filled with so many loveable, charming characters that I will never forget. It’s funny, heartwarming, silly, ridiculous, and amazing. I think I’ve watched this show all the way through at least 4-5 times now? I’m not sorry. Andy Dwyer never fails to cheer me up when I am sad.

Gilmore Girls

Maybe this is super basic, but I don’t even care: Gilmore Girls is a classic. Following Lorelei and Rory Gilmore on their journey and seeing the special mother-daughter bond (and banter) that they have is unlike anything ever captured on television. This show and Stars Hollow and the memorable townspeople and hardships that these Gilmores face is so special, and my love for this show will never die. (Unlike my love for Rory, which died the MOMENT SHE GOT INTO BED WITH DEAN.)

That’s all for now, folks. Tune in next time when maybe I talk about some of my favorite movies?

What are your favorite TV shows? … seriously, I need Netflix recommendations…

BOOK REVIEW: Victoria Schwab “This Savage Song”

{A62F21A6-0618-40CF-BDDA-23C38468FA5C}Img400Title: This Savage Song

Author: Victoria Schwab

Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

In the city of Verity, the people live in fear of two things: the monsters, and the man who controls the monsters.

There are three types of monsters: the Corsai, the Malchai, and the Sunai. The first two are terrifying creatures that murder their prey brutally, the first feeding on flesh and bone, the second feasting on blood. That is, unless you’re under the protection of Callum Harker. Then you carry a medallion that will ward off the monsters and ensure your safety.

The Sunai are much more rare. In fact, there are only three known Sunai, and they’re the most mysterious and terrifying of all. They feast on the souls of sinners.

August Flynn is a Sunai, but he doesn’t want to be. He wishes he were human and he hates what he is. Still, his path crosses with that of the daughter of Callum Harker, Kate, and there is born an unlikely friendship between enemies.

My thoughts:

I love how unique this story is; there really isn’t anything quite like it. Each monster is born from some sinful act, whether it be theft or lies or murder. Unlike the Corsai and the Malchai, August, a Sunai, can only feed on the souls of sinners. AKA, people who have killed mass amounts of people in this case. These monsters appeared after the Phenomenon, or the Phenomenon occurred because the monsters were born, I’m not sure. Honestly, the Phenomenon is still a mystery to me, and I think that’s the idea. This aspect of the story is very intriguing and I’m excited to learn more in the second and final book, Our Dark Duet.

The characters were interesting and well-done, particularly the two main characters. I enjoyed Kate and August’s interactions and banter, and I loved the friendship that develops between them. When Kate finds out what August really is, I love that she gives him the benefit of the doubt, and she takes into account what she knows of his character. She doesn’t immediately write him off and grows to trust him despite his true identity.

Unfortunately, while I was still very interested in the story within the first half, it was also slow. I understand that Schwab was taking her time building the world and unfolding each character to us, but it took me forever to read it and seemed to drag. Still, it picked up later on and I loved where it went.

Other than that, I don’t have too much to say about the book. What else is there to mention? I look forward to reading Our Dark Duet soon so that I can finish this up and see how August and Kate’s story ends. I have high hopes!

Victoria Schwab: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: “Slasher Girls & Monster Boys”

9780147514080Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Author(s): Stefan Bachmann, Kendare Blake, Jay Kristoff, Jonathan Maberry, Carrie Ryan, Nova Ren Suma, April Genevieve Tucholke, Leigh Bardugo, A.G. Howard, Marie Lu, Danielle Paige, Megan Shepherd, McCormick Templeman, Cat Winters

Genre: Horror/Thriller

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys is a compilation of 14 stories by some of the most well-known young adult authors in the business. This particular collection is full of creepy, scary, bone-chilling, spine-tingling stories, some of which might keep you up late into the night, scared to check under your bed or inside your closet. Each one is inspired by either TV, movies or books, some horror and some not, and gives it a twist. You’re intended to read each story and attempt to guess what they’re reminiscent of, and then you can find out at the end.

1.) The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma

The very first story in this collection was a really good way to set the tone for the entries to follow. It was appropriately creepy and told in just the right way; a story about a perverted old neighbor who takes pictures of young girls and shoots birds in his backyard.

2.) In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan

This story was by far the scariest. It’s quite obvious from the very first pages that the other drew her inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, but it took a very, very dark turn. It was disturbing and twisted and terrifying, and I will be thinking about this short story for a long, long time.

3.) Emmeline by Cat Winters

While some of these stories are intended to scary and induce nightmares, this particular story was sad: a lonely ghost girl who seduces men and likes the cinema. This one wasn’t a favorite of mine, but at least it didn’t make me want to cry like the previous one. Short, sweet, and to the point.

4.) Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo

I was excited to read this one because it was written by the lovely Leigh Bardugo, a favorite YA author of mine. This one was creepy but much more subtle. It was written well, but it was a little underwhelming to me.

5.) Hide-and-Seek by Megan Shepherd

This was a very enjoyable read for me. It was a unique and interesting concept and I feel like it could have possibly served well as a full-length story as well. The main character is murdered by her step-father in the beginning of the story, but she’s given a chance to live if she can win a game of hide-and-seek with death. The ending was very satisfying and justice was served in the end, a very uncommon trait for most horror stories.

6.) The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige

Unfortunately, this was one of my least favorites in this collection. It was kind of creepy, but it felt mostly silly. I wasn’t impressed by this story about the son of Hades.

7.) The Flicker, the Finger, the Beat, the Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke

Another one of my least favorites. It seemed sort of pointless and anti-climactic. It wasn’t scary, there were no explanations, and the characters were all very annoying and problematic. Bleh.

8.) Fat Girl With a Knife by Jonathan Maberry

This was definitely my favorite story in this book; I absolutely loved it. It was the only one of the stories that included humor, and it had zombies, which I also love. Quite honestly, I’m thinking about trying to contact Maberry and asking him to write an entire book- heck, an entire series about Dahlia and her zombie-killing awesomeness. So very enjoyable.

9.) Sleepless by Jay Kristoff

I’ve never read anything by Kristoff before, even though I’ve been seeing him all over Instagram. This wasn’t my favorite story, but it has made me want to read more of his work for sure. It was one of the more unpredictable works in this compilation and I was surprised by the outcome. It’s obvious the direction the story was going in based on the first few pages: boy meets girl online, they talk and develop a crush on each other, and one of them is probably a predator. Somehow, I got it all wrong though, and I really liked how it ended.

10.) M by Stefan Backmann

I was a little disappointed by this one. It wasn’t a bad story and it had a really interesting, lovely setting, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea, I suppose.

11.) The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu

Another beloved author contribution, Marie Lu. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read from her so far, so I was expecting to love this. Unfortunately, it was also meh. I guess I’m not impressed with paranormal-type stories about vengeful spirits. It’s such a common trope in ghost stories and I didn’t think this one was good enough to stand out.

12.) A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman

This one could have been really good. It had a unique setting, but it was almost like it was a completely different world. While it was different, it’s hard to create a whole new world and catch your reader’s attention when your story is barely 20 pages long. It’s hard to understand what’s happening when the author has so little time to explain it. If this had been longer and had more content, it would have shown promise.

13.) Stitches by A.G. Howard

Stitches was a weird story. I’m still not completely sure what happened. I want to say I liked it, but I don’t even know that. I don’t have much else to say.

14.) On the I-5 by Kendare Blake

This one was interesting, and I thought it was a good story to end on. It was beautiful in an odd, creepy kind of way.

All in all, this collection of stories had a pretty even mix of good and bad for me. Half of them I liked, half of them I didn’t.

Many of them reminded me of the stories my grandpa used to tell me. For some reason, I was able to handle scary stories better as a young child than I can now, and he used to set me up on his lap and tell some of the best ones. It’s one of my favorite memories of him and reading this brought those memories to mind. Reading this took me back to that time, and I appreciate that.

24-Hour Read-A-Thon and Certain Death

Hello, book people! I feel terribly because for a few weeks, I was posting so regularly and then I hit a dry spell. My excuse is that my husband and I started a keto diet, which is high fat, low carb. Incidentally, less than 48 hours into it, the carb withdrawals began, and boy, my body was not happy. I had major headaches, stomach aches, and several not-so-fun trips to the restroom. To say that I wasn’t in the mood to read or blog is an understatement.

However, I started feeling better Thursday, and it just so happened that my husband, a soldier in the Army, had a 24-hour duty scheduled. He basically has to go and stand watch at one of the singles barracks and tell people to settle down if they’re being too rowdy, but mostly the job consists of sitting in a chair and trying not to fall asleep from 9 o’clock one morning until 9 o’clock the next.

So I thought, “Hey, my husband’s going to be up all night, and I feel absolutely horrible when he comes home exhausted the morning after a duty.” So I decided to stay up for 24 hours also, and use that time to catch up on the week of reading that I missed. In addition, Alex (the husband) told me I was welcome to come to the barracks he was watching and sit in with him.

That night, I packed a bunch of books, some snacks, and I did just that. We settled in for the night around 7 p.m. By then, I had already finished my first book of the day, Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, and I was ready to knock out at least two more books. I even packed a book for my husband, The Lightning Thief, the first book from the Percy Jackson series, although he didn’t read it for long. He’s not much of a reader.

The next book I read was This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab, which I finished around midnight. I’m estimating here because the night was a total blur. I documented my all-nighter on my Instagram story, but that has long since disappeared unfortunately, so I can’t refer to it for times. However, I do know that I very much enjoyed the book. It was unique and interesting and dark; but I feel like it took me forever to get through it! Maybe it was because the first half was so slow, or maybe it was because fatigue was starting to set in. (What can I say? I’m a grandma. I’m in bed by 10.)

Even though I had the second book in the duology with me, Our Dark Duet, I wanted a break from that world and decided to read Little Monsters by Kara Thomas next.

That book was a ride. I had picked it up at the library a few days before and I was so excited. I had heard it was good, and I was so freaking ready to read a mystery/thriller that I hadn’t guessed the ending to. Maybe that sounds braggy, but it feels like lately, all the mysteries I’ve been reading have been predictable for me, and so I was never surprised and ended up being pretty unimpressed.

Little Monsters ended up surprising me, which is all I could have asked for, so I was very, very pleased. The book kept me guessing the entire time, and while I did try to predict the ending throughout, all of my theories ended up being wrong. Which made me happy?

By this time, it was 3 a.m. and I was beat. I wanted to keep reading, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to retain any of it. So I just sat there for the rest of the night, or at least until 7 when I gave up and went to the car to sleep. I slept until 9, when my husband got to the car, and then I crashed when we got home and slept until noon.

Suffice it to say, I am not good at all-nighters, and I didn’t do as well during my read-a-thon as I had hope. I had wanted to read at least two more books but I am a wimp. Still, the books I read were all pretty good-sized books. I’ll definitely be doing more read-a-thons in the future, but preferably one where I’m lounging on a couch instead of sitting in uncomfortable chairs outside where there are frat boy-like soldiers acting stupid and a chilly wind.

BOOK REVIEW: Marie Lu “Warcross”

29385546Title: Warcross

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

In this technology-driven world, Warcross is a game that everyone, young, old, rich, poor, plays. It’s a virtual reality-type game where you can log on to be strategic and competitive, or just to escape your world and life to be somewhere else for a while.

Still, you can get into a lot of trouble on Warcross with illegal gambling and such, and Emika Chen is the one who catches these guys when the police don’t have time to. She’s a bounty hunter, and even though she has the skills to do so much more, her criminal record keeps this from happening. So she scrapes by on the little bit of money she gets from the guys she catches and finds solace like so many others in the world of Warcross.

That is, until one day when Chen unintentionally glitches herself into one of the most important games of the Warcross Championship, and she’s sure that she’s going to be arrested again.

Except she isn’t. She becomes an overnight sensation and is drafted into the Championship. Still, there’s more than just the games to worry about. Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross, has a special interest in Emika and her hacking abilities, and she has a special interest in him. It becomes clear that someone is trying to sabotage the games, or planning something worse than any of them have imagined, and it’s Emika’s job to stop them.

My thoughts:

I absolutely loved this.

This is the book I’ve been waiting for. The dialogue was believable and the characters were interesting, well-rounded and complex. The action was engaging and the story was unlike any other virtual-reality, video game-related story I’d ever seen or read. Don’t even get me started on the romance. It was electrifying, and I could feel it before they ever even touched each other (which wasn’t until, like, after page 200?). Marie Lu took her time building up the romance and the tension, and I absolutely loved it. I loved Emika and Hideo. I loved everything.

It was just such a fun read that I didn’t want it to end. I actually found myself trying to slow down and take more time on it, and I was so sad to read the last page. Not that we aren’t getting at least one sequel, and since Marie Lu seems to have a thing for trilogies, I’m going to guess there will be two. Still, how long am I going to have to wait to find out what happens next?

I liked that I didn’t predict who the culprit was. Yes, I love to guess and yes, I love to be right. But lately, my accurate predictions have really been ruining the experience for me, and while the end wasn’t exactly out-of-this-world shocking, I was surprised.

One thing I’ll say is that the book seemed short. I suppose I’m not complaining because I like it when it doesn’t take me two weeks to read a book, but I do wish there had been at least 50 more pages of content? However, that’s just me. I was still so pleased with this that I don’t care too much.

Ever since I read Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, I’ve admired her world-building. I noticed it there, I noticed it in her Young Elites trilogy, and I see it here. Her ability to shape and describe the world that her characters are living in is mind-blowing and I so enjoyed it here in Warcross.

I loved this book so very much and I’m going to recommend it for all of my days. Starting with my blog readers. Hey. Read this book.

 

Marie Lu: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Nicola Yoon “The Sun Is Also a Star”

9780552574242Title: The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Contemporary

My Rating: 1.5/5 stars

 

Natasha and her family are Jamaican immigrants that are about to be deported, but not if she can help it. On her last day in America, she’s determined to do everything she can to stay. Natasha snags an appointment with the top immigration lawyer in the city, but not before she meets Daniel.

Daniel was born in America to Korean parents who want only the best for him. They want him to go to Yale, become a doctor, marry a nice Korean girl and live the American dream. Unfortunately, that’s not what Daniel wants.

When Natasha walks into his life, he’s convinced it’s love at first sight, but she doesn’t believe in love. It’s all a series of chemicals and imbalances and such she assures him, but Daniel isn’t convinced. He believes she’s a sign, a miracle; so he’s determined to convince her, with science, that love is real.

My thoughts: 

This book reminded me of When Dimple Met Rishi in some ways; for instance the sense of familial obligation, cultural backgrounds, the charming male character and the mean, cold female MC. Why is it so hard to find good, likeable female characters in YA? And why does it seem that all the horrible ones are written by women? Why? Natasha was annoying, pretentious and mean, and I didn’t like anything about her.

The story takes place in the span of one day. This means that Natasha and Daniel meet and “fall in love” in less than 15 hours.

I’m the last person to tell you someone is moving too fast in a relationship. I started dating my husband in November of 2015 and we were engaged before our one-year anniversary. We knew that we wanted to get married like 3 months after we started dating; we were hopelessly in love and desperate to begin our lives together.

But I’m sorry, if you’re trying to tell me that two people fell in love (the real, sacrificial, all-consuming love that these teenagers claimed to have) in less than a day, I wouldn’t believe you.

Don’t even get me started on the way Daniel reacted when Natasha admitted she was getting deported. He had postponed an interview with a Yale alumni to hang out with Natasha more, and when he finds out that she’s leaving, he gets butt-hurt. He blames her for the cancellation and accuses her of leading him on. I’m sorry, you’ve known her for exactly 5-6 hours at this point, what right do you have? You’re not her boyfriend, you’re not her friend. Heck, he’s hardly an acquaintance, but he’s already acting possessive and honestly, the whole scene was ridiculous.

So no, I didn’t like their relationship. I don’t think it was love. Attraction, yes. Did they have feelings for each other? Sure. But they did not love each other.

If the entire book hadn’t focused on their relationship being “love at first sight” or “meant to be”, I might have gotten on board with their meet-cute, their romance. It would have been sweet, but Daniel blows the whole thing out of proportion.

I liked other things about the book. The book mainly follows Natasha and Daniel and their POVs, but occasionally it would show us what was going on in the head of someone close by, like a waitress or a bus driver. I thought this was a really interesting and special touch. The whole story is based on the idea that every little thing that happens and every decision you make can alter the future. So if one thing happens then something else will, and something else won’t. If Natasha hadn’t met Daniel in a record store then she would have gotten hit by a car and either been killed or mortally wounded, but of course ultimately, she wouldn’t have met Daniel. That kind of thing. I thought this was a really nice aspect to the story and saved this from being a 0 star read.

It’s disappointing, really, because I enjoyed Everything, Everything by this author and I had expectations for this. The Sun is Also a Star just didn’t live up.

Nicola Yoon: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Emily Lloyd-Jones “The Hearts We Sold”

34538054Title: The Hearts We Sold

Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

Dee Moreno lives a normal life, surrounded by normal people in a relatively normal world, except for one thing: the existence of demons.

Apparently, the demons have always existed and lived among humans, but in recent years, demons have come forward and revealed themselves to humanity.

Demons assure them that they don’t harm humans, but they are here to make deals and trades with them. They don’t barter with typical, material things however: they deal with wishes in exchange for body parts.

Dee doesn’t think she would ever want anything from a demon until her scholarship to the boarding school she attends is revoked. She can’t imagine going home to her two drunk parents and her previous, smothered life, so she seeks out a demon. However, this demon doesn’t want a finger or a toe; he wants her heart.

My thoughts:

I received this book in an OwlCrate box a few months ago and was very intrigued by the concept. I read some glowing reviews about it, some noting the sad nature of the ending. So I thought I was prepared for it. I really did. I went into this like, “Alright, I can handle this. I can keep myself together for this read and I’m ready for anything this book throws my way.”

I was not.

This book absolutely tore my heart out, pun intended. And not just the story and what happened, but the actual writing and the way it was written. Emily Lloyd-Jones does an amazing job of conveying emotion accurately and graphically in a way I’ve never seen. I was drawn in from the very first page and was entranced by the story and by Dee’s life.

The characters were very alive. I could imagine seeing any of them standing before me right now, having a conversation with each other. They were complex and breathing and interesting. Dee was broken, timid, and small in the beginning, but throughout the story learned to trust and love. James was a tortured artist, aimless and without a care in the world until he met Dee. Gremma, the roommate, was loyal, funny, unique and spirited. She was a really wonderful addition to the story, which I didn’t expect. I didn’t think she would add much but in the end, I’m glad she was there. The Daemon was mysterious, sometimes likable, sometimes creepy, sometimes scary. He was unpredictable and he kept the reading experience interesting.

The relationship between Dee and James was believable as opposed to many YA romances that seem forced and flat. I adored their interactions and the sweetness of their love.

I really enjoyed the demon aspect of the story. I’ve never seen “demons” portrayed like this in either literature or film, and I thought this was fresh and new. The air of mystery surrounding demons and the voids and the origins of both was a nice touch, keeping me intrigued throughout.

My only complaint was that any of the action scenes seemed very rushed and lacking… action. I don’t mind it too much because I tend to skim through action anyway. I don’t mean to, I just hate the suspense and the anxiety I get during fight scenes and stuff so it’s just easier for me.

It was almost as if Jones was compensating for the lack of a heart in our main character by causing the reader’s heart to bleed. I did so much feeling throughout this reading experience and I love that. I love when a book can make me feel and cry and laugh and gasp. This book was wonderful in that way.

Like I said, it also made me cry like a baby, but many might see this as a good thing. After all, this book caused me to feel and become invested. If I hadn’t cared, I wouldn’t have cried. So this made me care very, very much. Read at your own risk.

 

Emily Lloyd-Jones: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

25 Facts About Me

Seeing as I have some new followers, I thought now would be a really good time to tell you guys a little bit about me, aside from the obvious. You know like, “I like books,” and “I have a blog.” So here are a few more personal tid-bits and things to know about me.

1.) My favorite TV shows are Doctor Who, Sherlock, Parks & Recreation, The Walking Dead, and Jane the Virgin.

2.) I love candles.

3.) I currently live in Hawaii and love it.

4.) I’m a newlywed Army wife.

5.) I have two cats, Rowena and Ruby, and a guinea pig named Dwight.

6.) My favorite snacks are Chester’s Flamin’ Hot Fries and edamame.

7.) I was born in South Carolina, but I consider Texas my home.

8.) I didn’t date anyone before my husband; he was my first date, boyfriend, kiss, everything.

9.) Some of my favorite movies are Treasure Planet, Atlantis, Pitch Perfect, How to Train Your Dragon, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

10.) My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

11.) I’ve taken the Pottermore House test twice and got two different results: Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. So I’m a Ravenpuff.

12.) I’m a coffee person. I wish I liked tea but I don’t. I guess it’s an acquired taste.

13.) I have one sibling, a younger brother named Sawyer.

14.) Fuzzy blankets and other comfy things are my favorite.

15.) My favorite soda is Dr. Pepper.

16.) I don’t celebrate Halloween; my family has had a tradition for years of blocking off all the doors and windows and hiding in the very back of the house with a movie and some junk food so that trick-or-treaters won’t know we’re home. Surprisingly, this is probably the only tradition that my family has, and it’s for a holiday we don’t even celebrate. My husband and I intend to carry it on this year.

17.) ^ Actually, we have one other tradition: we open presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning. We’ve done this ever since I can remember and it used to make all our friends jealous.

18.) I used to have an imaginary friend; he was a mouse named Mousey, and he lived in the car vent.

19.) Some of my favorite artists/groups are Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots, Taylor Swift, Owl City, and Imagine Dragons.

20.) I let someone borrow my copy of The Princess Bride a long time ago and I’m still bitter that they haven’t returned it.

21.) My perfect day is rainy, curled up in bed under warm blankets, cuddling with my husband, reading a good book or watching a good movie, eating pasta and ice cream.

22.) I don’t hate Twilight.

23.) When I was little, I was obsessed with Anastasia Romanov and I watched the movie all the time. I used to think that I was related to her and Anastasia was my great grandmother or something. As I got older, I did tons of research on her and did papers and reports about her, her life, and theories about her death. To this day I still think that the topic of Anastasia and conspiracy theories about her are incredibly interesting.

24.) I like to bake, but only during the fall and winter seasons, when it’s cold outside.

25.) I’m a pretty fun, outgoing person, but I’m also awkward and it might take me a while to warm up to you. If people give me the chance though, they typically find that I’m entertaining and they keep me around.

And there you have it! I’m a typical fangirl/geek and I like books. And I have a blog. The end.