Review: Whispers of My Skin by Susana Mohel

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*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
I don’t even know where to start with this novel. I haven’t disliked something so much in a long, long, long, time and it bums me out to have to revisit all those negative feelings for this review.
But I have to since I’ve waited long enough to fulfill my reviewing promise.
As soon as I saw the cover to this novel, I became obsessed with it. I had to have it in my hands as soon as possible and I couldn’t request it fast enough! I was so excited for it but little did I know what tragedy was in store for me.
This was my first novel by Susana and sadly, it will be my last. I didn’t even remember the names of the characters but luckily I wrote them down, so here we go.
This follows Tara as she quite literally gives up everything she has to make a deal with an old flame in order to save her family’s ranch. Right off the bat, I disliked her so much that it was a miracle I even finished the novel. I had a lot of problems with the way she acted and the way that she spoke. She basically spent the entire novel screaming about whatever it was she had a problem with at that particular moment and it wasn’t fun.
I can’t even wrap my head around her love interest, Joel. Yes, he sounded insanely handsome but that’s about the only positive thing I have to say about him. He was super aggressive and his temper was uncontrollable even when the situation didn’t ask for it. I dislike Tara to the moon and back a few times but everyone deserves someone who will support you when you want to get further in life. Was that Joel? Absolutely not. He didn’t get the memo. He instead chewed her head off and threw a tantrum all because she wanted something that didn’t revolve around him…. WHAT?! Characters will always automatically have respect from me for being created but he lost it almost immediately after opening his mouth. Nobody’s entire life should revolve around one person and that was the biggest problem for me in this book. These characters didn’t work together and I couldn’t support their relationship whatsoever.
The conversations in this novel didn’t appear realistic to me and I felt like this novel didn’t bring anything new to the table. Nothing was really happening through most of it and it just seemed to drag. I didn’t notice any character development from these characters, and if there was, it wasn’t believable.
Something we did get a lot of was ARGUING. These characters spent most of the book fighting with each other and revisiting the same old argument over and over again that it grew tedious. They didn’t even fight about important things. It was all nonsense and all of those scenes just ended up feeling like ‘fillers’ to me. Which would’ve been okay had other important plot things been going on but that wasn’t the case. Basically, if the author had cut all the arguments between these two from this book, I probably wouldn’t even have a book to review right now.
My other problem with the writing was that Susana tried hinting about some stuff Tara was dealing with that were just extremely obvious. It would’ve just been better if it wouldn’t have been treated as such a big ‘secret’ but that’s just me.
I honestly couldn’t finish this fast enough. The only reason I’m not giving this a solid 1 star is because the last third seemed to be a little more tolerable than the previous two thirds.
1.5/5 stars.

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Review: Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova!

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*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
“She never asked for this, but she bore the weight of the world in silence, her strength reaching all those souls who didn’t know where to find her.”
OH MY GOD. THE DAY IS FINALLY HERE!!!!! I finally get to share my review with the world! I’ve been holding on to my thoughts for MONTHS! I read this back in February and I have thought about this book at least once a day ever since!
If there was one book in my entire life that I would recommend diving in completely blind, it would be this one. If you can trust yourself enough, DO NOT READ THE SYNOPSIS! The story will BLOW your mind if you don’t read it just like it did mine.
“This is a love story. At least, it was, before my sister sent me to hell.”
This sequel is even darker than the first and I was LIVING for it.
The last book followed Alex but this one follows her sister, Lula. It’s split into 3 parts and we follow Lula as she’s dealing with her PTSD from the events that happened in the last book. I absolutely love the fact that we get the POV’s of all the sisters in each book. I loved being in Lula’s mind even more than Alex’s and that’s saying a lot since I loved Alex too! I feel like this was the only way to go and I am so happy with it. I couldn’t get enough of Lula’s intense feelings of emotions and the way that she dealt with everything.
These sisters have been through so much because of Labyrinth Lost but this book added to their experiences (a lot of them not so great) and I have fallen madly in love with them all. Their dynamic was amazing to witness and their character developments were phenomenal. They were beautiful and even better, believable. I can’t wait to see more of their developments though since there is definitely room for more.
“Follow my voice, my love, my love.
Death cannot tear us apart.
Take my hand, my love, my love.
Follow the light of my heart.”
The passages before each chapter were enchanting and lyrical. Usually I’m the one skipping through chapter headers/titles but I was actually looking forward to them almost as much as the chapter itself. I wanted so badly to kidnap Zoraida (nicely) and have her write my life story as beautifully as she did with those. I also loved how the plot went in a direction that I never saw coming. I never knew what was around the next corner and I loved every second of it.
I found myself bawling my eyes out super early in this novel; right after chapter 2 to be specific. This book was absolutely and unapologetically brutal. It should’ve been called Brutal Born instead with the way it was playing with my emotions. Zoraida kept blowing my mind at every turn and I am officially addicted to her writing.
Also, I really need Sourcebooks to publish the Book of Cantos that kept getting mentioned in this book. I will do anything to see that happen, holy gods. It would be such an amazing collective item, I would just die. Also, I love the map this book has! It really helped to enhance my reading experience.
“Life is a series of inexplicable accidents and we don’t get to choose the good or the bad.”
My heart broke into infinite pieces for Maks. The things this poor guy went through had me sobbing so hard that I was on the brink of becoming ill. The only thing I had a problem with in this book was something that happened to Maks. I felt like it only happened in order to make the plot okay with the way it was going and it wasn’t cool. I don’t know if it makes sense but I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just leave it be.
Other than that, this book has a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to read the next book from the next sister’s POV! Also, as a side note, I’m even more obsessed with Nova! I need more from him and I hope the next book delivers!
“Take from my blood.
Take from my soul.
Take all of me
even if I am no more.”
4.7 stars!

Review: From the Earth to the Shadows by Amanda Hocking

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*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
This has been one of my most anticipated reads ever due to the way that book one ended and it’s taken me a long time to wrap my head around all my feelings in order to write my review.
This novel picked up almost immediately after the last one but it continued at a super slow pace for a while after. I felt like the entire book was paced in a similar way and it took a long time for things to pick up. Once they actually picked up, obstacles seemed to be resolved way too easily.
I think my downfall was falling for a character who had less scenes than other side characters did. I was rapidly devouring the story for the next sighting of said character but it almost never came so it really left a lot to be desired. It would’ve been fine if I had taken a similar liking to any of the other characters but I struggled in that department.
Although, my heart did go out to Malin in a few occasions, it wasn’t enough for her to make a huge impact on me. I really liked seeing her character develop a little bit more than in the first book. It wasn’t a lot but it was noticeable to say the least. Something kept me from fully connecting to her and I think it’s due to the lack of development. I really wanted to see more of her personality but I didn’t get it.
I really loved that we got introduced to even more creatures and I devoured every scene detailing their characteristics. Learning about every one became one of my favorite parts of reading this duology. I also enjoyed meeting new characters and it was nice seeing how all of their lives wove together.
I massively enjoyed the fact that Egyptian mythology was added to the mix. If you didn’t know, I’ve been in love with Egyptian mythology ever since I could remember. I would make any excuse at school to make projects based on Egyptian mythology and it was a plus to revisit those times in this book.
Another thing I wasn’t a fan of were the chapter breaks. It was a weird experience for a chapter to end in the middle of a fast-paced scene only to start in a completely different scene/atmosphere than the last page. Some really important scenes seemed to be skipped over, never to be mentioned again and it had me questioning their role in the story.
A lot of situations were pretty predictable and I was never really blown out of my mind like I felt in the first book. All in all, I am glad I gave this a try and I’m happy for the characters in the end.
3.5/5 stars

Review: Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis!

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*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I didn’t even notice that I never wrote my review for this book!! What?!
It doesn’t help that I made no notes on my reading experience either since I was too busy devouring this novel. Because of that I’m about to attempt to write this review from memory alone.
Given to the Earth picks up a short while after Given to the Sea as Khosa’s life was changed forever. This sequel completely stole my breath (and heart) away. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and it’s definitely one that I’ve been recommending to anyone that will listen. I will keep on doing so forever so don’t be surprised if you hear about this book again from me. Anyway, I can’t even put into words how passionate I am about this world and the characters within even though I was completely ripped apart in the end.
It’s fine. I’m fine.
I refused to acknowledge real life while I was reading this book. I wish we had more books in the series but I think part of the reason why I loved this duet so much was because it was just that.
The first word that pops into my head when I think about this book is: distraught. I spent almost the entire book sobbing in a way that I’ve never sobbed before. I thought I knew what heartbreak was but I didn’t know anything until this book came along. Just looking at the cover is opening some still sore wounds so I need to make this fast before I start crying again. (Actually, too late) Mindy did a huge number on me and I know I’ll never heal from it.
I loved that this book introduced new POV’s from old characters who I was dying to get to know even more. (DONIL!!!!) These characters already owned me but this book drove it home even more. I’m never going to forget the brutal journey they all made me privy to. Every character had different roles to play and it was heartbreaking witnessing them suffer so much without being able to help soothe them.
Donil is the love of my life who has spent his entire life as an outsider along with his sister, Dara. Dara is absolutely savage in her path to seek revenge. Khosa officially became one of my favorite female lead characters of all time. She deserves so much respect for the way she handled everything that was thrown at her. All I ever wanted was for her to be happy and I believe she found it. Even if it wasn’t the way I wanted her to find it. Again, it’s fine. (Not really.) My heart also went out to Witt even though everyone basically hated him for putting his people before everything else. And then there’s Vincent, the reluctant heir to the throne with a heart of gold. The way all of their lives weaved together was an intricate tragedy through and through.
Mindy’s writing is nothing short of magnificent. She made me fall in love with every single character even though they were fighting on different sides of a war. I also loved how the biggest villain wasn’t even a person… but something much bigger.
There was ONE thing I was not okay with but it’s a major spoiler so I’ll just keep it to myself. It still eats away at me every single day but that’s just life now. All I can say is thank you, Mindy, for writing this novel the way that you did since it’s now something that I will never, ever forget.
6/5 stars.

Review: Furyborn by Claire Legrand!

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*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
“When I can, I take the blows meant for you.”
*cue never-ending scream-sobbing*
WHERE… do I even start with this book? I finished this two days ago and I am still speechless, starstruck, savagely ripped apart plus many more lovely S words. Claire has become my absolute favorite person in the entire world because of this. How can someone think up such a perfect and unique world? I mean, I know how. I’m just in shock that she blessed my eyes with such a world. My mind is still struggling to keep up with real life after this. Can I have the next two books in the trilogy now please?!?! This has (obviously) become one of my favorite books of all time and I can’t even contain my love for it. This story has invaded every single one of my thoughts and it’s welcome to do so forever.
I’m lowkey scared to rave about how much I loved this book in case someone’s expectations are ridiculously heightened and it turns out to be their downfall but I have to get it all out. Basically, all I ask is that you read this review, but don’t have high expectations because of it. I went into this with NO expectations whatsoever and it turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me.
Claire successfully manipulated every fiber of my being and I can’t wait for her to do it again in the next books!
Can we please talk about the steam in this book really quick!??!??! Oh my god, I couldn’t handle the steamy scenes even though I was basically begging for them every time I finished a sentence. The chemistry between some of these characters had me sweating and panting like a lunatic. I didn’t expect Claire to give me more than I was asking for and I can’t be any more grateful about it.
This book follows Rielle and Eliana who are as badass as they come. That sounds normal and all but here’s the kicker, their POV’s are over 1,000 years apart! I mean… WHAT?! I’ve never read a book like this before. I went in completely blind and I’m so glad that I did. These two ladies had me at their mercy from the very second that I met them, especially Eliana. My heart mostly belongs to her and I miss her terribly.
Anyway, the very first chapter was so epic and intense that it had my mouth almost bouncing off the floor. I felt personally attacked by all the brutality I was thrust into but I loved every second of it. I was enchanted from the very first line and the grip these characters had on me only strengthened with every page. I loved that all of these characters managed to steal my hearts in their own way. We were able to see some character developments but I know we have more to witness and I am so ready! I loved them all in different ways but I detest Corien now. Yes, I was in love with him before I met him due to his drop dead gorgeous character card BUT… I’m over it. He is a vile person and now all I want to witness is his demise.
Speaking of the first few pages, I only have one negative thing to say about this novel and I’m going to try and word it in a way that it makes sense without giving away spoilers: One thing that I didn’t really enjoy was the fact that the very first chapter immediately told us where some characters would end up later on in the story. I mean, I completely understand that the way these POV’s were set up meant that these spoilers needed to be told the way that they were… But it doesn’t mean that I enjoyed it. I absolutely loved that we were thrust into the brutality but I just wish it would’ve been executed with vagueness. Now because of it, I know where some of my most favorite characters are going to end up and it makes me feel awful to keep on reading while I know what I know. All, I’m trying to say is that I would’ve loved to have had my heart ripped away from my chest later on in the book than in the beginning when I haven’t even gotten the chance to meet the characters yet. I hope that makes sense to someone. Anyway, it was a minor-ish inconvenience so luckily it didn’t prevent me from falling in love with the characters.
But to leave off in a good note, I want to thank Claire for bringing me out of my book slump, even if it ended up being temporary haha. I was so enraptured with this world that I refused to breathe, blink, or sleep until I had devoured it whole. It got me out my never-ending slump only to put me back inside of it when I was done. Now all I want to do is read Claire’s writing, and only hers. It’s safe to say I’m a Legrand Addict and I don’t need help… just more books.
6 bajillion/5 stars!


Actual cover:

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Review: Hexen’s Cross by J. Kowallis!

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
I’ve been super excited for this novel ever since I heard it was in the works! I love Jernae’s writing so much and I was anxiously awaiting more from her after her Dreamland series ended.
This novel follows Taran as she dives deeper into her family history of witches, hexens, and finds out that she’s tied to a prophecy. She must face it head on, with help from a fellow hexen, Coll, before her race is wiped out for good.
I loved the fact that we learned a lot about Taran’s world along with her instead of trying to keep up with a character that knew everything we didn’t. Unfortunately, I was only able to relate to her through some of her emotions but other than that, I had trouble building a deeper connection to her and it really impacted my reading.
One particular thing that happened the moment Coll and Taran met had me constantly resenting a part of him so I couldn’t sympathize with him when the plot asked for it. I also couldn’t fall in love with him as much as I wanted to. I enjoyed him as a character but I couldn’t say I would shed a tear for him, at least not yet. I would need to see if the next book changes my mind about him. Although, I really wish we would’ve gotten his POV as well as Taran’s. I think that if I would’ve been able to witness his world first hand, I would’ve been more sympathetic towards some things in his life, in the past and the present.
One thing that I couldn’t get enough of was the humor in this novel. I busted out laughing too many times to count and it kept the book intriguing enough during slow moments. I was at the verge of tears and I couldn’t have asked for more in that department.
I also looooooved the frequent mentions of Norse Mythology. Jernae may have used words I’m familiar with but she wove it all into a world of her own. I want to see so much more of the magic system mentioned in this novel because it all sounds amazing! I felt like I just got a little taste of the world and I can’t wait to see more.
I’m sad to say that I have yet to connect to most of these characters. There were some scenes that would’ve impacted me a whole lot more had this not been the case but since it was, they just went over my head.
I also don’t know why but I couldn’t keep up with the information I gained of Taran’s family history and everyone else’s. I have a vague idea of it but the details kept evading me and wouldn’t stick to my brain. I blame it all on my horrible, never-ending book slump though, it had nothing to do with Jernae and her new world. I may need to reread this whenever I am in a better mind set for this genre so I can appreciate it more!
I want to say that this novel is a slow burn. Both in the romance department, and in every other one. To be honest, this felt like a prequel to me so I am excited for the next book to show me more about Taran and her character development. I may not have built connections but I am definitely intrigued. Also, that ending was definitely a big cliffhanger and I need to know what’s going to happen next!

3.9/5 stars!

Review: Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer

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*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
“There is such a thing as wanting something too much- waiting so long and so fiercely for it that when it finally arrives, it cannot satisfy the hole its absence created.”
This was my second novel by Lexa and it starts off right where Spindle Fire ended. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it do be the conclusion to this. I didn’t even find out the truth until after I finished reading it. Nothing specified it to be a duology so I was more than ready to finish this book with a feeling of wanting more.
Lexa’s writing is so imaginative and poetic, it blew me away how beautifully she wove each word to the next. Sadly, this sort of backfired on me since I never really got used to her storytelling. Something prevented me from being fully immersed in it. I felt like I couldn’t follow it most of the time so I am still confused about many things yet I can’t pinpoint them.
I was extremely excited to delve deeper into these characters in the beginning. Unfortunately, I took a long break to read other books and it turned out to be a huge mistake. The break made me forget all the excitement I had for the plot and once I went back, I was just going through the motions without really connecting to anything anymore.
This wasn’t Lexa’s fault of course but I still really enjoyed all of the character developments. It’s the reason why this was a 3.5 star read for me instead of just a 3 star. All the character developments, even those other than Aurora and Isbe, were amazing to witness. Especially Aurora’s. Holy moly. I never saw that one coming. It has easily become one of my favorite character developments ever. It was brutal and it left me awestruck beyond words.
I am pretty disappointed that I didn’t get more POV’s about a certain character that goes by the name of Vulture though. It was one of the things I most excited about after reading Spindle Fire and the little morsel I received left a lot to be desired.
“Truth is like that, she thought. A trim and effective dagger- it fit, well hidden, inside even the daintiest palm.”
One of the things I really regret is supporting some relationships a little too much. This book wove and unraveled a lot of relationships and I felt like the characters changed love interests was too quickly. This made my reading experience a little tedious. I didn’t feel like it was very realistic in the relationship department, and not just the romantic ones. The only constant was the affection between the two sisters and it was beautiful but I still would’ve loved to have at least one other constant in the novel. Yes, I loved the diversity but I wish it would’ve started there to begin with instead of introducing it out of nowhere. Hopefully I make sense because I don’t know which other way to put it. The fact that a lot sounded unrealistic made me shrug everything away and just read for the sake of finishing the novel.
I don’t even know how to feel about this book as a whole. The story went NOWHERE I wanted it to go. Usually this is a good thing, the best thing because of angst, but it didn’t work out quite that way on this one. I also thought that the ‘resolution’ came too easily. I was expecting something a lot more epic and mind blowing but again, it left A LOT to be desired.
“There is no art more blessed than to form what is both beautiful and fragile… what could be undone at a whim by the same hands that made it.”
Leaving this on a more positive note, I may need some getting used to Lexa’s writing but I can’t deny the fact that she made this fairytale her own. It was one of the most unique novels I’ve ever read and it makes me pretty excited to read more retellings of Sleeping Beauty.
3.5/5 stars.