Review: The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones!

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*ARC provided by Novl in exchange for an honest review*
“A Demon was knitting outside the hospital.”
A little backstory: I’m currently sporting super puffy eyes since I just finished reading this about an hour ago and I haven’t stopped crying… I’m only here typing this because I wanted my feelings to be fresh or else I would still be curled up in a corner of my room, ignoring the world as I mourn the loss of my heart. Emily has blown away every expectation I had for her and I won’t be able to heal from it all for a while yet.
This was a super highly anticipated read for me since it seemed right up my alley. The cover pulled me in but that premise made me stay. It was deliciously dark, intriguing, and unique. Even though I was basically in love with it already, I kept putting it off because I was so scared that all of my own hype over it would be my downfall. I soon found out, after reading the first chapter, that I shouldn’t have been worried. Another reason I forced myself to (wo)man up was because the book was already released and my scaredy-pants hadn’t even opened it yet. As soon as I cracked this baby open, I was dead to the world. I gladly lost track of time and I only mention this because it’s been TOO long since a book has managed to do that to me.
This book takes place in a world where humanity knows that Demons exist. They trade wishes in exchange for human parts and we follow Dee as she gives up her own heart to one. She makes the deal in order to escape her home life and aside from both of us being Latinas, (she’s technically half but whatever) I related to Dee in that aspect. I would absolutely sell my heart to escape my own home life as well which hit close to home. This fact by itself already had me feeling protective over her and the rest of the book only intensified those feelings.
I started this story as a hesitant reader and ended it as a protective mother to a few characters. I grew unbelievably attached to all of the heartless and one who still had her heart. There’s James, the adorable artist. Gremma, the beast (not in an unflattering way) with cool weapons. Cal, the genius. Cora, the fierce leader, and, Riley, the bomb enthusiast. And, of course, I can’t forget about the Daemon himself who made deals with them. I grew attached to him as well and I’m not sorry about it. I have so much love and respect for these characters that I just wanted to reach into the pages and take them out so we can all live under one roof.
The plot line was not what I expected but I still loved it beyond belief. I completely REFUSE to acknowledge the utter despair and heartbreak that the last few chapters were drowned in. You can say I’m in denial but then I’ll say that I don’t know what you’re talking about. Those last few chapters never happened so your point is not valid. I need to forget them or else I will be crying myself to sleep every night for years to come.
Emily, you have become a Goddess in my eyes and I am forever grateful for your creative mind. You created a world that will never leave my side. Thank you so much for creating a novel that I will treasure with my life. This was about 400 pages of grief, laughter, tears, joy, and everything in between.
Now, I leave you with a question: What would YOU trade your heart for?
My answer? Read this book and then I can tell you </3
Leave your hearts at the door before Emily wrenches it out herself in the most painful way imaginable.
“Their fingers tangled, wrists pressed together.
No pulse between them.”
6/5. Heartless. Stars.

 

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Review: What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy!

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*ARC provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review*
“For everything that went up, something had to come down. Eddie just didn’t know why the thing that went down was always him.”
This was the first book I’ve read by Katie Kennedy and I’m glad to say that I consumed it like there was no tomorrow. I even debated whether sleep and work were important enough to make myself stop reading. I admit, I was extremely nervous before diving into this book. For one, I am not one that is interested in anything related to space and these characters already sounded super smart which left me intimidated.
We follow Rosa and Eddie as they apply to a secret NASA program named Interworlds Agency in the middle of Iowa. This is a world where humanity has been able to confirm intelligent life in other worlds and are looking for a way to communicate with them; Rosa and Eddie are trained to be among the teams that help that procedure along.
This book is told in the third person but the chapters rotate between Rosa and Eddie’s POV. They never ceased to amaze me with how unbelievably smart they were.
My heart went out to Eddie, time and time again. His backstory was one of the most tragic in this story and it sparked a massive feeling of over protectiveness in me. I wanted to chase all of his pain away so only happiness remained in his eyes. I was deeply invested in this character development the most.
Like I said, I never cared for space but these characters made me WANT to be into it just because they were. I cared about them so much that I was basically interested in whatever they were interested in. They felt incredibly real to me and I couldn’t help but experience their emotions as my own.
The only reason why this isn’t a full 5 star review, was because I felt like the stakes weren’t as high as I’d expect for a novel that dealt with other worlds. I get that there’s so much you can do with YA but I still would’ve loved to have seen the characters go through worse situations. On the other hand, my expectations didn’t impact my reading experience whatsoever and for that, it almost gets the 5 stars.
This story was the perfect blend of humor, heartbreak, and adventure. I cried with joy and I cried with sorrow and then pride. The ending was even more emotional and it left me a crying and blubbering mess. It was interesting right from the start and I loved that the pace picked up right away. I can’t wait to read more by Katie and hopefully revisit these spectacular characters in the future.

4.5/5 stars!