Review for Drown by Esther Dalseno!

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“Sometimes what we are searching for does not exist. We may sacrifice for it, even bleed for it, but it was never meant to be ours.”
Holy. Canoly.
Ever since I saw the words “twisted take” on the cover, I knew my heart was going to love this book. And I wasn’t wrong!!! This haunting story is sure to stick with me until the end of time.
Esther’s writing is magnificent. I don’t know how to describe it any better. I already told her this, but this book was far from what I expect a debut novel to be like. It was so much more and it left me speechless. There was a recurring dark and melodic undertone to this story and I loved every minute of it. But as dark as it was, it also had its hilarious moments that I cherished with all I had. Esther managed to make me forget I was human for the extent of the story. This hadn’t happened before. She actually made me feel like an outsider to the human world; exactly how the little mermaid felt.
The characters in this story were far from what I expected. I didn’t expect to grow so attached to them and their happiness . The prince, the uncle, the mermaid… those three were the most perfectly flawed characters in this story and I wanted so much more of them. Not because Esther barely mentioned them, but because she did but I am greedy with characters I love. I found myself relating to more than one character and I always hurt whenever they hurt. I’ve been thinking of these characters and their struggles constantly already and it’s been a few days since I finished this. I’ve grown obsessed with them.
This was a tragic story about love and free will that made me tear up so much by the end. I was a mess and I didn’t want to acknowledge that ending. It was devastating but nothing short of eye-opening. My sorrow was up for Esther’s taking and boy did she take… Once things were brought together and started to make sense, I felt them like a blow to the gut. The clues were right in front of me but I was so lost in my own world that I completely missed them.
If there is one thing you should take out of this review is that I wish this were the original story. I love this retelling infinitely times better than the original and I NEED to see it on the big screen. Even if that ending was far from what I wanted for these beautifully broken characters.

4.5/5 stars!

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Review for A Heart on Hold by Sara Barnard

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first book by Sara, and I loved her character-building. This is a historical romance that takes place during the 1860’s and it focuses mainly on Charlotte and her beau, Sanderson.
I was smitten with Sanderson from the very beginning. That man said the most perfect things that I was jealous of Charlotte for a little bit. They were the most adorable of couples and I never wanted anything to get in between them. It was difficult to follow their story since he was a soldier in the war and the consequences are terrifying. Sara managed to capture the heart-break and sadness of being in love with a soldier so well that I found myself tearing up at their goodbyes as if I were the one saying them. We also get to look into some of the letters that they wrote to each other while being separated; it was a special treat.
I also enjoyed the look into another couple. I won’t tell you who because of spoilers but I can saw that I was a fan of learning about a new culture. I always have a soft spot for gypsies but I wasn’t as invested in this romance as I was with Sanderson and Charlotte.
There was a cameo from a famous person that lived back in the day and it was a nice addition. This story wasn’t pretty due to the sicknesses running around this time and it gave a more realistic touch to it.
The reason I didn’t give this more than 3.5 stars was because there were a few things that I wasn’t really sure what to think of. Since this was told in the third person, it lacked the suspense we would’ve had if it were told in the first person. We knew exactly where all the characters were and whenever the plot line was meant to be heart-racing, I didn’t think much of it due to the fact that I knew the character was fine. Some of the dialogue was a little… off, but I refused to dwell on them. Also, was page 198 supposed to be incomplete? Because mine was and I didn’t know if it was on purpose or not.
That ending was the best! It was bittersweet but sweet nonetheless and I was all smiles a while after reading it.

3.5/5 stars