Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Simon and Schuster

Book Review: Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson

Together We Caught Fire

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, SimonTeen, for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Contemporary/Romance

Plot: What happens when the boy you want most becomes the one person you can’t have?

Lane Jamison’s life is turned upside down the week before her senior year when her father introduces her to his new fiancée: mother of Grey McIntyre, Lane’s secret, longtime crush. Now with Grey living in Lane’s house, there’s only a thin wall separating their rooms, making it harder and harder to deny their growing mutual attraction—an attraction made all the more forbidden by Grey’s long-term girlfriend Sadie Hall, who also happens to be Lane’s friend

Torn between her feelings for Grey and her friendship with Sadie—not to mention her desire to keep the peace at home—Lane befriends Sadie’s older brother, Connor, the black sheep of the strict, evangelical Hall family. Connor, a metal working artist who is all sharp edges, challenges Lane in ways no one else ever has. As the two become closer and start to open up about the traumas in their respective pasts, Lane begins to question her conviction that Connor is just a distraction.

Tensions come to a head after a tragic incident at a party, forcing Lane to untangle her feelings for both boys and face the truth of what—and who—she wants, in this gripping and stunningly romantic debut novel.

Opinion:

How many nights would I lie awake, listening through the thin wall of my bedroom for the sleep-jagged edge of his breath? This boy, so long unreachable-the core of everything I’d wanted, mangled and reassembled into a cosmic joke.”

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I have always gravitated towards books that will punch a hole through my gut and make my heart feel like its weeping. A book that forgoes dancing around truths by ripping back the layers that mask humanity from what it really is-a tangle of limbs and whispered promises, lines being washed away and expectations discarded in a wind. Pure emotion and action that is flawed, gritty and raw. A story that could incite the same anger, sadness, regret, shame, sorrow, hope, love, fear and recklessness in me, as it does its characters. If a book can do that to me…well.

There’s just no unfeeling that, is there?

I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotion that hit me like a freight train while reading Together We Caught Fire. I, as I assume so many other readers have and will, expected this to be a fluffy contemporary about forbidden love. About a girl who pines for someone she can’t have, but eventually gets. But to say that this is just a love story between two people who want things they shouldn’t, would be a huge disservice to the lives these characters live. It’s a story of trauma, pain and sorrow. Where these young people are thrown into depths they can barely stay afloat in, frantically thrashing their way towards one another, while simultaneously helping and threatening to drag each other down beneath the surface.

From the very first page you are thrust into these tumultuous and vibrant lives. Lane-the girl who has loved her new step-brother from afar, Grey-the step-brother in love who also sees another, Sadie-a girlfriend deep in her faith and future, and Connor-a lost boy who consumes chaos. I fell in love with these teens so quickly, due to the harshly realistic actions and feelings they possessed. They were wild and reckless, but also levelheaded and compassionate. I felt such a strong connection to Lane in particular, and to that anger and fire that was constantly eating her alive. That sadness that makes her reach towards people shyly, wanting love and respect, but retreats immediately and slams up a wall of brick because she would much rather not feel at all. “A girl who picked sensation over feeling.” She is fierce and calm, angry and sweet, a bubble of light and a pit of sorrow.

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When Lane was at the age of five her mother committed suicide, and Lane was the one to find her. Even several years later, she has horribly vivid and frightening nightmares of her mother almost nightly. Seeing her in various states of pain and horror. Though she has an incredibly supportive and accepting father, Lane was still unable to fully heal from her mother’s death. This book dives incredibly deep into the roller-coaster that Lane finds herself on as she deals with this new family that has entered her life, and a love that she is forced to push down and ignore.

I looked up and lost my way, drawn to him with that familiar sickening swoosh. A pitiful tide, held fast in the grip of the moon.”

Which brings us to Grey. He’s one of the most unique male characters I have comes across in YA. Sure he’s good looking, smart and respectful. But he’s also Pagan! A young fictional male that practices?! I was shocked, but deeply thrilled. At first I really loved Grey and found him to be a desirable character, and I could easily see why our leading lady was head over heels for him. But as the story progresses, my opinion of him quickly changes when it comes to how he begins treating Lane. To put it nicely, he becomes a complete ass. He is in love with his girlfriend while fighting the growing attraction and connection between him and Lane. He is confused, frustrated and unsure of what he wants. But when Lane begins to show interest in something other than him, he completely flips and begins throwing tantrums. Stomping his feet and sneering because he wants the shiny new toy to himself.

But don’t worry, our girl Lane knows how to dish it.

I wanted to puke again. I wanted to scream at him and slap his face, kiss him until the world burned down. Dare him to ever call me cold again, once everything we’d known was ash.”

I wanted to flatten his soul.”

In this story, the reader gets more than just a tale of love. Lane becomes friends with Connor, the brother of the girl that is dating Grey. When Connor was a young teen he was kicked out of his home for being gay, and had spent the next few years living on the streets. Now he lives in a warehouse for artists, spending his days as a metal worker. Not only do Connor and Lane begin to bond over their love for art, as Lane crochets, but they have pasts that are troublesome and hard to bear. Connor pushes Lane outside her comfort zone, helping her to confront her fears and to move past the debilitating triggers caused by her mothers suicide. He’s a rough-edged, snarky, confident and breathtaking character. It was impossible not to love every aspect of him.

The romance is obviously a huge aspect of this story, and it is incredibly beautiful and raw. It put an ache in my chest and a sharp pain behind my eyes. It was a tender, rough, electric connection laid bare. It was shocking and left me slightly unhinged, wondering how I didn’t see it coming. Every time I assumed it would go a specific way, it twisted and went in a completely different direction. This love has no rhyme or reason and was poetically unapologetic. These two souls entwined to fill the holes in one another that had left them gaping since they were children. Being an anchor for the other to release their pain and sadness. But as swoon-worthy and magnetic as it was, it was also a pit of destruction and tears.

How had I thought we could end in anything but ruin?”

This book wholeheartedly swept me away into this world of love and darkness. It was more than just a Contemporary Romance, it’s THE Contemporary Romance. It was starry-eyed and dramatic. Sloppy and poetic. But it wasn’t just a teenage relationship story. It was about a girl who had been dealt some serious life-altering shit on a platter at the age of five, and had been trying desperately to crawl out of the hole that it had thrust her in. Together We Caught Fire is a story of loss and forgiveness. How a girl fights through her hardships just to find a shred of herself that she can love.

It wasn’t about them at all, and never had been.”

If you do anything in 2020, ensure it’s that you read this. The part of you that loves being fulfilled while simultaneously shattered, is begging for it.

5-stars

 

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~* Dream Casting *~

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Lane

Emily Browning is one of my absolute favorite female actors, and I couldn’t imagine anyone better to play Lane. She has the look on innocence and sweetness, but has that uncanny ability to flip a switch and become enraged with emotion.

 

Sadie

Sadie has to have that southern “Girl Next Door”, girly, wholesome, vibrant, bubbly look to her. I think Rita Volk’s look is perfect for the beautiful Sadie.

 

Grey

Raf Miller feels like a shockingly perfect fit for Grey. Not only does Grey need to be gorgeous, which Raf is, but he needs to give a little of that “Homecoming King” vibe with a little edge of mystery.

 

Connor

A no-brainer. Lucky Blue Smith is Connor in a pretty package of devastating gorgeousness and rough-edged allure. He knows he’s stunning, but also possesses that level of assured awkwardness that is Connor.

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews · Simon and Schuster

Book Review: Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Simon and Schuster, for an honest review. 

Genre: YA/Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Mystery

Plot: A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

The sea holds many secrets.

Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.

Opinion:

“A flash of silver under sea, when siren song hath taken me.

Absent of color, absent of light, absent of all that I knew in life.

Bolt the latch and watch the waves, pray sirens do not take me tonight.”

The inhabitants of Twillengyle island know the dangers that lurk below the surface of the waters. They are taught as children to be fearful of the harbor, to wear iron at all times, and to never go into the ocean. But the fascination of sirens brings yearly tourists to the island, which always ends in a death or three. But this year, an islander is found dead on the shore. A young boy with his throat slit clean. The police deem the cause to be an attack from the sirens, but Moira Alexander disagrees. Moira has always been enraptured by the sirens, just like her father, and believes the death of this boy is due to foul play. She enlists the help of the light keeper, Jude Osric to help track down the true killer. But Moira has no leads, and is finding it difficult to trust anyone. But she must act quickly, before the bodies start piling up.

Allow me to introduce to you, my newest eerie fantasy of 2019.

Move over The Wicked Deep!

There’s a new creepy island in town with deadly beings in the water, and a meddlesome female lead to make you swoon!

 

“Playing for the sirens fills a dark and hollow yearning, a cavernous desire I’ve no other way to appease.”

The setting for this enchanting read is an island called Twillengyle, and my oh my, am I obsessed with it! It is oddly alluring island masked in fog and mystery, beckoning outsiders forward with a chilled bony finger. It whispers secrets on the wind, rains fear on its sandy beaches and coaxes sailors to the docks and out into the blue.

It gives me Sleepy Hollow tingles and caresses of Sparrow curses, but these waters aren’t filled with ghostly spirits enacting revenge. In this tale, songs flutter through the waves from the dark depths of the unknown, luring the souls foolish enough to walk unprotected. The sirens keep an alertness about the island and apprehension in the air, but it is the islanders who keep the darkest secrets.

“Twillengyle is a place to be embraced with one arm, with a dagger ready in the other hand. To be charmed by its magic is not the same as becoming its fool, Moira. Remember that.”

As soon as I began reading Songs from the Deep, I was hooked. I devoured this beauty in five hours, and all I can think is I need more. The writing was beautiful and eerie, and the historical fiction of the tale brought the creep factor up a notch. Each character was introduced in a manor where you can’t tell if they are good or evil, sincere or manipulative, like something straight out of a Stephen King novel. Who to trust, who to fear? Honestly, I’m not even sure I could tell you! The old-fashioned dialogue brings about an air of propriety and polite interactions, but mix that with a couple slit throats and you’ve got blood coating the sandy shores.

“Now I’ll have his blood on the soles of my boots.”

If you, like me, love a meddlesome girl, then you will surely adore our Moira Alexander. She is strength in a petticoat, authority in stockings, and a fiercely skillful young lady. Moira is a character who knows exactly who she is and what she believes in, and wouldn’t think twice about apologizing for either. She has strong morals and opinions, which she has no shame in voicing, but she does so in a regal and sophisticated way. As a child, Moira followed in her father’s footsteps of having a keen interest and love for the sirens. So much so, that she spends her days sitting on the cliffs playing songs on her violin to the creatures below.

 “When she disappears beneath the waves, I feel pinned to the moment. I replay it like a song, over and over, until it’s familiar as a heartbeat.”

But like all the islanders of Twillengyle, Moira has secrets of her own, and this one involves her former best friend and the love-interest of this haunting story: Jude Osric.

“On one dark bough, I curse my efforts to drain our friendship bloodless, when neither of us desired the ax.”

Jude is the epitome of good-natured and sweetness! So many times in YA Fantasy we have a bad boy character with secrets, regrets, a mournful past of death and dark hair with gray eyes. Well…the secrets and mournful past of death is still there, but you see where I’m going with this. Jude is kind and honest. He has an innocence etched into his bones that even the loneliness of his lighthouse can’t extinguish. He is an upstanding gent, an endearing friend and he’s just… pure goodness. This is one male love interest I could jump into the ocean for.

But obviously, the real treat of this story is the plot.

This siren story is one you need to buy now and devour. I know so many of you have been in an endless hangover from The Wicked Deep, and this is the cure! Not only is it a fantastic mystery full of twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end, but it ends on a note that makes you feel eerily complete. If a book was ever written for my soul, it would be this. This world, these characters, and the mysteries of the waters speak to my very being. If I could crawl into these pages, my heart would have finally reached bliss.

“Disquiet makes a home inside my heart.”

5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Release Blitz

Release Day Blitz: Aetherstorm (Songs of Sarin, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

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Book Title: Aetherstorm
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Series: Songs of Sarin (Book 1)
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Author: Alexander Ferrick
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Genre: Fantasy
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Book Synopsis

What is the Aetherstorm?

They said it was a tournament to discover the mightiest warrior in the land, but it is far more…

To the Demons, it is a chance to reclaim their former glory…

To a Prince, it is a chance to prove himself worthy of the crown…

To a Rebel, it is a chance at freedom…

To an Orphan, it is a chance at justice… or vengeance…

…What is the Aetherstorm?

The Aetherstorm is a trap.

When demons disguised as elves begin inviting the citizens of Sarin to a fighting tournament, Prince Maronir takes it upon himself to go there in secret and discover what the demons are up to.

Along the way, a botched assassination attempt forces Maronir to join Luca and Garron, two human orphans who are also going to the tournament to find the man who killed their adoptive father and mentor.

As the prince and his new friends journey across Sarin, he finds himself confronted by the harsh reality of his kingdom, and learns that the greatest tests of kingship happen far from the battlefield.

Will those lessons matter after the demons true plans are revealed? Time will tell

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~Click here to purchase your copy!~
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Excerpt

“Son of a bitch,” Garron shouted, “it’s a bloody gravity mage.”

“What’s a gravity mage?” Thorisg’Ad murmured.

“It is the worst nightmare of a smith like you,” Garron answered, “The magic uses Luca’s armor against him. The more crap he’s got to carry, the less he can move, and the heavier the mage’s rod becomes. Luca will die in there if the fight isn’t stopped right away.”

Garron watched in horror as the cloud of dust from the last blow cleared, and Luca stood up out of it, with his left arm hanging useless and out of joint at his side, complete with the mangled hump of metal that had been his shield. The limb was broken in at least three places.

“Stop the fight you damned fool!” Garron shouted at Shane, leaping over the partition into the arena, “Can’t you see his arm’s broken?” An outstretched hand from Shane stopped Garron’s approach, and Luca smiled up at the two of them.

“Just a scratch, brother,” Luca grimaced, “I’ve had hangnails worse than this.”

Luca had always had a rather interesting relationship with pain. He liked it. The more something hurt, the stronger Luca knew he would be at the other end of it. Nothing had ever hurt like the sensation in his arm at the moment, and Luca relished it.

“That’s a neat trick,” he called to the mage who stood opposite him. The elf was visibly stunned that Luca was even standing after the blow he had just received. Luca dropped his blade to the ground, and used his one good hand to un-strap all of his armor, allowing the beautiful metal to sink with a heavy thud into the sand.

“Would you care to see how we fight in the human villages?” Luca called, playing off of the elf’s fear. He remembered what Maronir had said about how humans were viewed, and he decided that if he was already cast as a nightmare in this man’s mind, then he had better live up to the part.

Without his armor weighing him down, Luca was almost able to walk normally in spite of the gravity mage’s spell, and he allowed his mutilated arm to hang in front of him as a visual threat to the elf. Micah had taught him years earlier that most creatures could not survive a broken bone. They would pass out immediately from the pain and shock. Even the infamously hearty dwarves occasionally died on the spot form a wound like this. The only creatures in all of Sarin that could survive such an injury were humans, and that was part of what made them so frightful to the others.

The elf trembled in fear as Luca closed the gap, and he swung out wildly with his scepter, but his eyes were half-closed. Luca ducked under it and reached out with his good hand to seize its shaft, pulling it away from the elf, while kneeing the man in the gut for his trouble. Once he had wrested the weapon free from its owner, he kicked the elf to the ground, and stood with the scepter over his shoulder, and his foot planted on the elf’s chest. Luca looked over at Shane, expecting the match to be ended in his favor immediately, but instead he saw the smirking elf shake his head.

“Continue, human,” the referee ordered, and Luca looked down at the terrified elf, and felt sympathy. He threw the scepter away, so that it was well out of reach, and he began to kick the elf in the ribs, aiming for the strongest parts of the wooden armor, so that his adversary would not be too gravely injured. Shane looked on in frustrated silence while this went on for several minutes, and unfortunately, Luca did feel at least one rib break in spite of his efforts at mercy.

“Enough,” Shane said at last, and then after he had loaded the elf into his cage, he leaned into Luca and whispered, “you will not defy me like that again, human.” Luca watched him with gritted teeth in silence, and once the referee was a safe distance away, Luca fell to the ground and passed out. Garron followed close while his friend was carried to an infirmary under the coliseum, and was pleased by the care the attendants gave him. He stood watch over Luca’s sleeping form until his own name was called that afternoon…

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Social Media Tags:
Amazon: Alexander Ferrick
Facebook:  Alexander Ferrick
Website: https://alexferrick.wordpress.com

 

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Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Release Blitz · The Parliament House Press

Release Day Blitz: The Jolly Dodger by Alice J. Black

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Publisher: The Parliament House
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Book Title: The Jolly Dodger
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Series: Soul Seekers, Book #8
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Author: Alice J. Black
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~*~ Release Day Blitz ~*~

It’s another RELEASE DAY!!!!

Today I bring you the release of The Jolly Dodger, book 8 in the Soul Seekers series by Alice J. Black. Soul Seekers is a Paranormal Fantasy series that follows Payton, a young woman who can speak to the dead. The series takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride of hunting demons and spirits, with a little romance entwined.

~Click here to purchase a copy!~

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Book Synopsis for The Jolly Dodger, Book 8

A double-date on a short weekend away… What could go wrong?

Peyton cajoles her best friend, Olivia, to join her and their dates on a mini pirate cruise. Peyton is loving life until it becomes clear that the ship is more than just a sentiment to the old pirate life and it’s a matter of time to figure out the mystery before she and her friends are tossed overboard for good…

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Social Media Tags:
Instagram: @alicejblack , @theparliamentpress
Twitter: @Parliamentbooks
Facebook: Alice J. Black , The Parliament House

 

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Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Release Blitz · The Parliament House Press

Release Day Blitz: The Reflections of Us (The Halves of Us, Book 2) by Sydney Paige Richardson

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Publisher: The Parliament House
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Book Title: The Reflections of Us
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Series: The Halves of Us, Book #2
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Author: Sydney Paige Richardson
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~*~ Release Day ~*~

Happy Tuesday and Happy Release Day for The Reflections of Us! This is book #2 in The Halves of Us Trilogy, described as an intense and exciting YA Fantasy Romance!

The Halves of Us Trilogy follows twin sisters Adie and Aura into their destined roles, Adie as the Ruler of Thindoral, and Aura as the destroyer of their world. As Adie begins to have disturbing premonitions of her twin bringing their planet to it’s demise, Aura must make a choice: to fall into the path the universe has paved for her, or to sacrifice herself in order to save those she loves?

~Click here to purchase on Amazon!~

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Book Synopsis for Book #2, The Reflections of Us

There will not be one, but two. The eldest will bring destruction upon her first breath. For by the sixteenth year she grew, the only salvation for Thindoral is death.

Sixteen years have passed since the fateful night the portal was opened. Adie has grown up on Earth, plagued with nightmares and knowing nothing of her home planet, Thindoral. That changes when she is confronted by a stranger called Auralee, who claims to be her twin sister. Her revelation thrusts Adie into a world overtaken by unimaginable evil, as she’s flooded with memories of a lifetime she never lived.

Aura has taken over Thindoral and controls the shapeshifting Sights, forcing those who survived into hiding. Darkness clouds Aura’s mind and fuels her thirst for vengeance. She has raised her younger self, Auralee, as her own. But Auralee has her own agenda, and if that means defying Aura, then so be it.

After making a deal with the enemy of her enemy, Adie faces off in a battle with Aura and realizes accepting her fate may be the only way to rebalance the worlds’ colliding timelines and save everything she holds dear. Yet Aura’s vow to make them all suffer a fate as wicked as her own now teeters as she discovers another force at play, one that she didn’t see coming. Even her own darkness cannot be trusted…

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Social Media Tags:
Instagram: @sydneypaigedecides , @theparliamentpress
Website: http://www.sydneypaigerichardson.com/
Twitter: @sydsayingthings , @Parliamentbooks
Facebook: Sydney Paige Richardson – Author The Parliament House

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews · Simon and Schuster

Book Review: Girls with Sharp Sticks (Book #1) by SuzanneYoung

Girls with Sharp Sticks
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Simon and Schuster: Simon Pulse, for an honest review.
Genre: YA/Fiction

Plot: The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

Opinion:

Girls with Sharp Sticks is a YA Fiction with a message that is most certainly, non-fiction.

You’re not leaving here without a few stab wounds to your heart and soul, so get those bandages ready.

Innovations Academy breeds obedient, beautiful girls. They are taught to set a table in Modern Manners, how to speak and act formally in Social Graces Etiquette, to keep their figures in Running Course, and to never accuse a man of inappropriate behavior in Modesty and Decorum – for that would be worse than any crime! As graduation nears for the girls at Innovations Academy, they are primped and put on display for their parents and sponsors in order to find the “perfect opportunity through success”. The girls need only listen to the men and Professors at the academy, for they have their best interests at heart, and they know best.

“Too much thinking is bad for your looks”.

But when the sudden departure of one of the girls becomes know to the students of Innovations Academy, Philomena and her closest friends can’t let it go. As they search for answers to why their dear friend left, Mena starts to notice strange things from the men she so easily trusts and respects. Strange glances, lingering hands, comments and commands laced with possessive entitlement. It isn’t until the girls band together that they finally open their eyes and see, that their lives may not be exactly what they think.

“They’ve trained you not to believe what you’re told by others. You have to come to it on your own. I can’t wake you, Philomena.”

“Wake up.”

Girls with Sharp Sticks is everything your feminist heart has been looking for in a YA series.

It guides you into a building of structure and poise with a gentle tug on your arm, sits you at a table of love and respect with the smiles of every girl you see…

…all the while shredding your heart and leaving you feeling dirty, violated and used.

If you start to feel nauseous while reading, it’s because you can relate to some part of this.

The first thing that needs to be mentioned about this book, is the girls of Innovations Academy. They are pure innocence, inner beauty and kindness. They possess an amount of compassion so big your heart will seize, and you will care for them so deeply that you’ll feel as if a part of YOU has been endangered or hurt.

Because these girls are all of us.

They are light and happiness, delicate and resilient. They are unfiltered contagious smiles, and the sisters you always needed.

These girls are everything.

Therefore, it pains me to express how horrible these wonderful girls are treated. They are belittled by their teachers, taken advantage of by their guardians, thrown around like ragdolls, and told that what is best for them is to stay quiet and obedient. They are trained to be the perfect girls. Intelligent, modest, pure, compliant, and above all, beautiful and always put together. They are put on display at Open Houses where the girls can mingle with their parents, investors or sponsors in the hopes that they will be “purchased” for their exceptional looks and demeanor after graduation. For these girls, being pleasant and following the rules is of the utmost importance. Their worst fear is disappointing their parents or the staff at Innovations Academy.

This story has been created so intricately and worded so perfectly throughout, that it makes it SO hard to express the magnificence of it without giving away key details. I am incredibly impressed with how flawlessly Suzanne Young has woven this story into one with countless twists and dangers. The writing is breathtaking. It gives Mena and the girls HUGE voices and personalities that make them impossible to forget. There is an intricate balance of purity and grit throughout the story. It makes you want to latch on to every good fleeting moment, and wish that you could take a pill to forget the horrors.

An author having the ability to make me feel so sick after reading a book, is…an amazing gift to possess.

It’s almost impossible for me to focus while typing this, because I feel as if I was right next to these girls as they learned what their purpose really is. Where their friend really went. And it’s…devastating. The author has pulled out the inner child deep inside me and has both comforted and hurt her. She’s cut a hole in my stomach and sealed it back up with dirt and scotch tape. I am ravaged. I am stripped raw and laid bare.

I wish I could say more, because I feel like I need someone…ANYONE…to pour my heart out to about the tragic beauty that this book is. The story kept me hooked and addicted the entire time, pushing me to find the answers and to know what was happening at this elusive academy. The teachers were terrifying and sadistic, the investors even worse. But even though there was an overwhelming theme of possessive males forcibly overpowering what they thought was THEIRS, there is a bigger theme of strength and resilience. The message to RISE UP and fight for yourself and others is such an incredibly profound message that NEEDS to be screamed.

I can’t thank Suzanne Young enough for that.

With that said, I really cannot say anything more. I know this is vague by way of plot, but you would hate it if I told you more than this. All I can say, is YOU MUST READ THIS. It is The Handmaid’s Tale for the young adult and for every female who has felt frightened or overpowered. Your heart will thank you later for giving it this. I promise.

5-stars

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Release Day Blitz: Dark Days – Semester Two by Liz Meldon

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Title: Dark Days: Semester 2

Author: Liz Meldon

Series: Dark Days Duet

Genre: Enemies-to-Lovers Paranormal Romance

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blurb

A vampire desperate for a brighter future. A wolf shifter eager to forget the past.

A killer closing in.

Still reeling from the events of December 31st, wolf shifter Emma Kingsley stumbles into the new year knowing that nothing will ever be the same. Her sanctuary—her territory—is falling to pieces around her. Danger in the forest. Danger in the village. Danger at her door.

This time of year, wolf’s in season.

The cruel promises of two rogue vampires cling to her like a second skin, but so does the possibility for something more with the vampire who saved her life. Despite her growing feelings, she knows in her heart that Calder is a part of this madness.

And when the truth comes to light, will she ever be able to trust him again?

Forced to unite for the sake of their beloved boarding school, two former enemies are torn between doing what is necessary…

And following their hearts.

The fresh start that vampire Calder so desperately craved is shot straight to Hell when the past comes back to bite him. Had circumstances been different, he would have fallen back on old habits—and run.

But now that Emma is involved, he knows the game has changed. A price must be paid, and if it keeps her alive, Calder Holloway will pay it a thousand times over.

Even if that means forgetting his feelings for the beautiful shifter. Every. Last. One.

Because those messy, messy feelings are what got him into trouble in the first place.

In the dark days of winter, an ancient evil emerges from the shadows. Blood will be spilled. Lines will be drawn. Lives will be lost.

Only one thing is certain: no one is safe.

Not even creatures of the night.

Dark Days is a standalone enemies-to-lovers paranormal romance duet. While Book 1 has a cliffhanger, all will be resolved with a supernatural happily-ever-after in Book 2.

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DD 2 Teaser 2

excerpt

As soon as my hand settled over the nape of her neck, Emma bolted upright, shrugging me off. “You don’t have to… Just go, Calder, I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not.”

“Well,” she wiped at her cheeks, “that’s not on you to fix.”

“I’m not trying to.”

“Calder—”

Oh, fuck it. I wrapped an arm around her shoulders, dragging her out from under Sampson and straight to me. Emma fought back, just as I knew she would, but not as hard as she could have—and less still when the tears started up again.

“Calder, just stop…”

I maneuvered her easily, lifting the shifter onto my lap, her back to my chest, both arms snapped tight around her in an embrace she couldn’t break even if she tried. And she tried. Emma pushed at my arms, drove her elbows into my ribs—weeping. She fought until she broke, until she went limp against me, body wracked with sobs, her nails sinking into my forearms like a steel bear trap. Pain flickered at the indents. I ignored it, all of it, and just held her, my face buried in her hair, drowning in lavender.

Our hearts beating as one.

DD 2 Teaser 3

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Dark Days Semester 1 Cover

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author-bio

Liz is a Canadian author who grew up in the Middle East. She has a degree in Bioarchaeology from Western University, and when she isn’t writing about her own snarky characters, she is reading about other people’s snarky characters, babying her herb garden, loitering on social media, or taking care of her furbabies.

Liz dabbles in both paranormal and contemporary erotic romance. Her paranormals are usually dark and angsty, and her contemporaries are stress-free smutfests, but you’ll find both full of feels. Most of all, she loves writing realistic characters in fantastical settings.

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