A Shadow Bright And Burning by Jessica Cluess {SST Review + Giveaway}

Title: A Shadow Bright And Burning (Kingdom On Fire #1)
Author : Jessica Cluess
Genre : Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date : September 20th, 2016
Publisher :  Random House Children’s
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I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she’s brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

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Georgia Peaches And Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown {Review}

Title : Georgia Peaches And Other Forbidden Fruit
Author : Jaye Robin Brown
Genre : Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date : August 30th, 2016
Publisher :  HarperTeen
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Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right? Continue reading

Mini Reviews #7

 Title: Change Places With Me
Author : Lois Metzger
Genre : Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Publication Date : June 14th, 2016
Publisher :  Balzer + Bray
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Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood with her stepmother and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was just a little different than it was before. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. Her hair and her clothes all feel brand-new. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There is no more sadness in her life; she is bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because, until very recently, Rose was an entirely different person—a person who is still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.



Change Places With Me was one hell of a ride, I’ll give it that.  The book gives off vibes of weird and creepy right from the first line and it just gets weirder and creepier until the end.  Change Places With Me is the story of Rose, and how one day she wakes up feeling different.  Her friends notice how she’s completely a different person from who she used to be and they are puzzled, because this new Rose is the stark opposite of her former self…almost as if she is two different people.

I’m not a huge fan of Science Fiction but I, too, found myself intrigued by the book.  The feeling of “something is not quite right” is in the back of the reader’s mind constantly, only made more relevant by the fact that the characters in the book themselves find something amiss.  I think that the entire point of the book is to find out what exactly is wrong about Rose and why, and in that process, I found myself not really connected to her.  I did care for her journey, and I was indifferent to the secondary characters, but there was definitely a kind of detachment that in any other book, would have annoyed me greatly.

One of the most stand out things about this book is the way it is written—in three parts—and how it manages to pack thrills and mystery and also family in its 200 something pages is quite beyond me.  Given what a mystery Rose really is, I was quite amazed at the author’s ability to show without telling.  Everything came together like little pieces of a bigger puzzle, and I was quite satisfied by the ending, if not hoping for a slightly longer book.

Whether I would recommend this book or not is the big question.  I really did like the book, but as you can tell by the very vague review, I can’t point out exactly why I liked it.  There are many smaller parts of the book that come together to give you a larger, more clear view type of book this is, making it quite an impressive read, albeit not long enough to really help connect with everyone in it.  If you enjoy Science Fiction that is packed with Mystery, then try this book out because you might find yourself really surprised.  However, if you are the type of person who likes to feel a real connection with the MC, then I suggest that you move over this one.



Title: Wicked Heart (Starcrossed #3)
Author : Leisa Rayven
Genre : New Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date : May 17th, 2016
Publisher :  St. Martin’s Press
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The one guy she can’t have is the one she can’t forget.

Liam Quinn is one of the biggest movie stars in the world…and the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.

After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred. Now one moment of weakness is about to create a scandal that will echo around the world.

Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic knows, love doesn’t always follow the script.



So there’s fiction and then there’s fiction.  You know the one that we like to read because it provides us with an escape from the monotony of our lives, and the other which borders on psychotic.  Based on my rating, guess which category Wicked Heart falls into, I dare ya.

At the risk of a very unprofessional way of starting a book review, I’m going to give you, dear reader, a word of advice.  Don’t read this book.  Really, don’t.  There’s a lot of better romance fiction out there, and hey, I can give you some recs myself!  But do not read this book.  It’s absolute trash, and will mind-fuck the hell out of you.

In a quick recap let me tell you how the book goes—our heroine Elissa Holt (you may remember her as being Ethan Holt’s sister from Bad Romeo & Broken Juliet), is some sort of a stage manager prodigy.  She’s merely 25 and managing one of the biggest pieces of work on Broadway—complete with ultra famous Hollywood stars (including Liam Quinn, the hero) trying to foray into theatre.  Now, I say that Elissa is a stage manager extraordinaire only because it’s been told to me.  She did nothing in the book remotely relating to “stage management” and so I can’t judge for myself.  But she’s our heroine, and she’s good at her job, because she has to be, right?

Onwards!  Now Elissa has to manage being in Liam’s close proximity, not to mention his fiancée who is also a part of the same play.  Elissa and Liam had some sort of explosive history (where have I read that same plot before?) and six years later, they’re trying to cope with their attraction (seriously, where have I read that before?), all the while trying to put on a good show for the rest of the world.

A couple of things I’d like to address:  The chemistry between Elissa and Liam felt forced and only carnally motivated.  Love?  Pheesh.  Who has the time for that?  The plot with Liam and his fiancée?  Horrible.  Horrible and clichéd and predictable and unbelievable.   Liam is apparently the hottest thing since Ethan Holt, and Elissa’s love for cheese was the great big punchline to every alternate joke in the book.  The writing was generic and not at all like the one in the previous two instalments.  Basically?  Swipe left on this one, people.



Shiny Broken Pieces by Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra

Title : Shiny Broken Pieces (Tiny Pretty Things #2)
Author : Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra
Genre : Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date : July 12th, 2016
Publisher :  HarperTeen
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June, Bette, and Gigi have given their all to dance at Manhattan’s most elite ballet school. Now they are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice.

June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. However, getting what she wants might cost her everything—including the only boy she’s ever loved. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. Even if she returns, though, will she ever regain the spotlight she craves? And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. But as revenge consumes her, Gigi may be the one who pays the price.

After years of grueling auditions, torn ribbons, and broken hearts, it all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever? blackdots


I am so sad to see this duology end, but here’s the thing.  This book, like its prequel, has diversity at the forefront.  Not only that, it has diverse authors.  The way Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces have been written make me feel like these are authors who know what they’re talking about, know what issues they’ve addressed, maybe even personally gone through some of these problems.  This isn’t research in these books—it’s their own life and their own hearts.  And that, reader, is exactly why I’ve been pushing people to read these books.

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