ARC Review: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

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ARC Review: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

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No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

review

**** Big thank you to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review****

I could tell this was going to be a YA mystery/thriller that I would love and I definitely was not wrong! From the first page I was hooked and every time I had to set this down I could not wait to pick it back up again because I needed answers! “This Is Our Story” is a fantastic, compelling book but I did have some minor issues with it which is why it didn’t receive a 5 star rating.

PLOT

I won’t talk about the details of the plot too much because I definitely do not want to spoil anything for you all since there are more than a few twists you won’t see coming!

My attention was immediately grabbed right at the beginning of the story I was instantly drawn into the mystery of what happened to Grant (the boy that was shot) and who did it. This story is extremely fast-paced and trust me when I say you’ll be turning pages until you reach the conclusion!

I also loved that I didn’t figure out who did it until it was revealed at the end because the plot gives you just enough information without actually giving anything away. The story is told from two perspectives one from Kate who works as an intern in the DA’s office and the other from the shooter but we also get perspective through the use of interrogation videos and old text messages. All of these things added so much atmosphere and suspense to the book.

One of my gripes about the plot were that I thought SOME parts were a little predictable and that’s just a personal opinion, it’s frustrating for me to guess something and have it take the main character forever to come to the same conclusion. However, these were just some minor things and not any of the major plot twists I definitely didn’t see the big ones coming.

The other problem I had was the ending was that, while it was satisfying and made sense and the shooter’s identity was a still a surprise, was that I thought it was just sort of anti-climatic. There wasn’t some completely crazy, mind-blowing ending to the story like I kind of thought there would be. Like I said though that’s just my opinion and it could be completely different for you if you read it!

characters

The characters were very well done and I liked them and hated them by which I mean the good kind of hate of course. I also thought they were very well developed, complex, and realistic.

I really liked Kate I thought she was a very smart and determined heroine and I thought her narrative was very fun to read through.

The friendship between Kate and her best friend Reagan was very well portrayed as well and even though it wasn’t a big focus in the story I appreciated seeing a strong, loyal girl friendship.

The River Point boys were also very well depicted and I liked how flawed they were all shown as being. I won’t elaborate too much on them since that’s part of the joy of reading this book!

romance

Meh, the romance was okay and I liked that it wasn’t too big of a factor in the story too.

One thing that actually bothered me a lot about these two (I won’t say who the other is because spoilers) was that I felt at times Kate put her romantic feelings over doing what was right for the case she was helping on. That irritated the living hell out of me! Like hellooooooo I think the confidential information for the case your working on is a little more important than your crush!

This was another reason I didn’t give a full 5 star rating, stupid decisions, while I respect that our heroine is flawed I thought the complete lack of common sense at times was a little too idiotic.

in conclusion

I enjoyed “This Is Our Story” very, very much despite having just a few minor issues with it. I thought it was a great fast-paced, suspenseful, and thrilling book!

What I Liked:

  • Great plot twists
  • Unpredictable ending
  • Interesting narrative style
  • Fast pacing
  • Complex characters

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Some predictable minor twists
  • The ending was kind of anti-climatic
  • Romance had some irritating points

RECOMMEND

Absolutely! I think this book would actually be enjoyable for pretty much anyone who likes YA there’s nothing about it that I think wouldn’t appeal to everyone. I would say if you like very original, fast paced YA mystery/thrillers then you’ll definitely love “This Is Our Story”.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

ARC Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

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Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

review

**** Big thank you to Random House Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review****

I was actually quite pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book but I just couldn’t bring myself to give it a full 4 star review. However, don’t let the 3.5 stars fool you! This is not only a very good book but also one that is extremely unique.

Also I’d like to just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous that cover is, am I right?

PLOT

I don’t even know where to start with this story, it is so unique and wonderfully strange that it was almost a bit confusing at times because of its strangeness. There were a lot of different things going on all at once and it was also pretty fast-paced so there was rarely a boring moment with all of the betrayals, secrets, and blackmail. I have to say I am a sucker for these kinds of stories where there’s a lot of lies and manipulation.

Dani is essentially living a nightmare when the story starts out she is living in a court she cares nothing for, with a conniving mother, and engaged to a sadistic king. So one can only imagine how desperately she wants to get away and escape, unfortunately, she doesn’t have the money or resources to. This results ultimately in Dani selling the drug Glitter in order to raise the money she needs to escape. You can also imagine all the things that can go wrong with this as well, right? That sets the stage for a very dramatic plot and that’s exactly what we get.

I also loved the clash of genres we have here it was like a mix of historical fiction, dystopia, and fantasy. Everyone in the palace acts and dresses as if they actually do live in 18th century France but in reality they live in the not so distant future with many different technologies. Basically it had a bit of everything and it worked, the setting was just so interesting and unique. There was also no info-dumping I really liked how Aprilynne Pike gave information about the world at just the right pace to keep me satisfied without feeling overwhelmed.

The the writing was very simple and easy to follow but also highly addictive, once I got into the story it was hard to put down. I thought it used just the right amount of description throughout the story and really let you get a feel for the atmosphere Pyke created.

However, the ending is quite the cliffhanger which I don’t really mind so much because it made me want more and had me yelling: “WHAT?! THAT’S IT?!”. Fortunately there is going to be a sequel to help put my questioning mind at ease.

characters

The characters were probably the most disappointing part for me with the exception of Danica, the main character. I wish they all would have been a little more fleshed out and developed because it would have made more of the betrayals and lies a bit more interesting if we knew the characters a bit better and fully understood their motives.

However, I thought Dani was a bit of a grey character because she knows what she’s doing is wrong but does it anyways for her own benefit in other words she’s very selfish and that shows a lot throughout the book. While selfish characters can get annoying I thought Dani had good reasons to act and think the way she does and I thought she made a very good flawed heroine.

romance

As usual I wasn’t too impressed with this romance, however, it was far from cringe-worthy it was just….okay. There was an instant attraction but no insta-love (Thank God!) and I liked that the romance was a bit of a slow burn. I just didn’t really like the two of them together all that much and the chemistry just wasn’t really there. I think we could have gone without the romance in this story at all though.

in conclusion

Overall I did really like this book but it wasn’t something I felt deserved a 4-5 star rating from me.

What I Liked:

  • The unique premise and world-building
  • The setting
  • Danica, the main character
  • Fast pacing
  • Rarely a dull moment

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Lack of other character development
  • Non-exciting romance

RECOMMEND

Yes, I do recommend giving “Glitter” a try especially if you like books that are fast-paced and maybe a little on the ridiculous side! It’s definitely a very unique, fun book.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

New Releases I Need To Get My Hands On

love of lists

So I JUST realized that six of my anticipated 2016 releases have already been released! SIX! And I forgot! Now my head is spinning from the knowledge that I can buy them now! But I already have TONS of other books I need to finish first and I have a serious lack of self control or should I say….shelf control?

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Anyways I thought I would share some new YA releases with you guys, I know these are some I really want to read. I definitely DON’T need to buy anymore books but these might just have to be some exceptions….

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The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1)

This was released on January 26th, 2016

I’ve heard lots of good things about Alison Goodman and I did read part of “Eon”, before deciding to come back to it at a later time, and it was VERY good. This is a historical fiction book with fantasy and the paranormal all mixed in, what’s not to like? Throw in the pretty great reviews for it and I’ve got myself a book I want ASAP.

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers

Assassin's Heart (Assassin's Heart, #1)

This was released on February 2nd, 2016

I love YA Fantasy, so of course I’ve been interested in reading this book. There’s families of assassins, so the mafia is what I’m picturing especially since this is being compared to The Godfather. Sounds awesome. It’s basically marketed as a revenge and romance story. Revenge? Yes. Romance? That depends. This book hasn’t been getting many great reviews but it’s still something I want to check out.

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Revenge and the Wild

This was released on February 2nd, 2016

Out of all the books on this list, this is the one I want the most. Look at how gorgeous the cover is first of all! Plus it sounds like it’s kind of odd and unique, I’m all over that. Cannibals, supernatural creatures, and some steampunk-esque gadgets? Hell yes! That sounds awesome, plus I want to add that pretty cover to my bookshelf.

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked

This was released on February 2nd, 2016

It’s a Peter Pan retelling, need I say more? There’s flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. Sounds pretty exciting. Not to mention there’s a potential love triangle between Captain Hook and Peter Pan. I’m just speculating at this point but wouldn’t THAT be awesome? Sorry, I just REALLY love Peter Pan……

Front Lines by Michael Grant

Front Lines (Soldier Girl, #1)

This was released on January 26th, 2016

I really loved Grant’s “Gone” series so I’m thinking it’s safe to say I’ll love his WWII re-imagining as well. Basically this is an alternate history of WWII where women/girls can be drafted and fight. It sounds VERY interesting, can’t wait to read this one.

Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Sword and Verse (Sword and Verse, #1)

This was released on January 19th, 2016

Once again we have a very attractive cover. The description is long so I won’t bore you with details but it’s a YA Fantasy so I’m hoping I’ll find it to be somewhat entertaining. Although by now my excitement for this book has worn off due to a couple bad reviews, I think I’ll wait for my library to get it in instead of buying it now…..

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