A Flicker in the Clarity by Amy McNamara

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Title: A Flicker in the Clarity
Author: Amy McNamara
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release date: June 12th, 2018

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Description:

For as long as Evie can remember, she and Emma have been best friends. They’ve gone through everything together—only Evie understood what it was like for Emma to lose her older brother in a car accident. And though they couldn’t be more different—Emma is the life of the party while Evie is shy—the dynamic has always worked for them.

But then Evie makes a careless mistake that ends up having serious consequences for Emma. They’ve had their squabbles before, but this is different. When Evie tries to apologize, Emma ignores her texts, gets a new best friend, and completely freezes her out. Evie didn’t mean to betray Emma in the way that she did, and she’s desperate to get back in Emma’s good graces. Who is Evie without Emma?

Then Evie meets Theo, a kindred spirit unlike any boy she’s ever encountered. With him, she can at least pretend like her life is normal. But just as she’s about to let go and fully fall into whatever is happening with him, Emma resurfaces, miraculously letting Evie back in—though it’s not without consequence. Erratic behavior, drunken incidents, and panicked late-night calls are only some of the hoops Emma makes Evie jump through. All Evie has wanted is to get her best friend back—but Emma seems hell-bent on self-destruction. Evie is used to swooping in to pull Emma out of her troubles, but how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?


A Flicker in the Clarity aims towards representing reality with all its imperfections: unresolved issues, toxic relationships, unexpected events, and the pain of heartbreak. For this, the novel gets its stars. However, I wish the novel had gone deeper. I was left wanting to know a lot more than what I got.

Continue reading “A Flicker in the Clarity by Amy McNamara”

Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

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Title: Cherry
Author: Lindsey Rosin
Genre: YA, Romance
Release date: August 16th, 2016

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Description:

In this honest, frank, and funny debut novel, four best friends make a pact during their senior year of high school to lose their virginities—and end up finding friendship, love, and self-discovery along the way.

To be honest, the sex pact wasn’t always part of the plan.

Layla started it. She announced it super casually to the rest of the girls between bites of frozen yogurt, as if it was just simply another addition to her massive, ever-evolving To Do List. She is determined to have sex for the first time before the end of high school. Initially, the rest of the crew is scandalized, but, once they all admit to wanting to lose their v-cards too, they embark on a quest to do the deed together… separately.

Layla’s got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking for months. Alex has already done it. Or so she says. Emma doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, but sure, she’ll give it a shot. And Zoe, well, Zoe can’t even say the o word without bursting into giggles.

Will everything go according to plan? Probably not. But at least the girls have each other every hilarious, heart-warming, cringe-inducing step of the way.


When I was a teenager, I never encountered a YA book that dealt with sex as openly as Cherry does. In fact, some of the ones I read might have included very subtle sexual references, but never actually gave a true look into what cis girls around those ages might be thinking, experiencing, or even feeling about this topic. Cherry does this without fears and with other important themes as backdrop, like graduation and what it means for high school friendships, relationships, moving on, forgiving, and, most importantly, finding themselves. Continue reading “Cherry by Lindsey Rosin”

Burning September by Melissa Simonson

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from the author for an honest review.

Title: Burning September
Author: Melissa Simonson
Genre: New Adult
Release date: September 8th, 2016

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Description:

Kat’s life is going exactly the way her sister has planned it, until a detective shows up at their front door early one morning and arrests Caroline for murder.
Suddenly and utterly alone, Kat doesn’t know how to navigate a world without Caroline, the woman who raised her. During the aftermath of the crime, Kat tries to figure out who she is without her sister, but unlocking those doors only leads to more troubling questions.
Kat realizes the one person she thought would never lie to her had, and quite frequently. Sorting through the skeletons and lies might be more than she can handle, but it’s a necessary evil if she ever wants to see her sister acquitted.


Continue reading “Burning September by Melissa Simonson”

Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Kingdom of Oceana
Author: Mitchell Charles
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release date: November 27th, 2015

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Description:

SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.


The Kingdom of Oceana is an adventure teeming with Hawaiian culture about two brothers’ rivalry and the fight between good and evil. It stands as a light, entertaining read reminiscent of Percy Jackson, though some aspects left me wanting for more depth.

Continue reading “Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles”

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Release date: July 26th, 2016

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Description:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.


I know I’m really late to the party, but I’m finally reviewing this one!

Dark Matter is a page-turner that offers a new perspective on the multiverse hypothesis. Through an action-packed plot and a strong main character, it highlights how each choice we make matters and all that a man is willing to risk to find his family and continue his path in life. It’s one of those books you don’t want to put down and that makes you wonder what you’d do if you found yourself in the same situation. Continue reading “Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch”

Review: Making Tracks by Ian Harding

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Making Tracks
Author: Ian Harding
Genre: Poetry
Release date: August 16th, 2016

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Description:

Ian Harding’s second collection of poems is a celebration of learning through observation. Life’s journey leaves an indelible print carved from the beauty of love and nature with many laughs, questions and twists with each stride. There are poems that offer readers simple observations where others delve deeply searching truths.


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Review: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams by Jeff Russell

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams
Author: Jeff Russell
Genre: Thriller
Release date: September 30th, 2015

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Description:

What if a person could live in their dreams? What if the power of imagination could erase the inequities of life? The staff at Eden Perpetual Life Care makes that possible and Katrina Hammond turns to them when nothing else can ease the pain of her mother’s progressive illness. The residents of Eden live in a medically-induced dream state, a fantasy world based on their secret desires. They are freed from the torments of their physical existence but at a terrible price, for where her mother goes Kat cannot follow. When Eden offers Kat the position of in-house neurologist, letting her pursue her vocation while watching over her mother’s dreams, she reluctantly agrees. And when investigative reporter Morgan Brewer shows Kat what it means to be young and alive her own dreams start coming true.

But dreams are not always what they seem. An anomaly in the brainwave patterns of some residents suggests subconscious distress, and when Kat defies management’s order not to probe deeper she discovers something sinister taking place behind the pristine walls of Eden. Unsure of what to believe or who to trust she must now find a way to rescue her mother and the other residents before she herself becomes trapped in their perpetual nightmare.


The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams holds an interesting premise: What if we can live on in our dreams? An idea that reminded me a bit of Black Mirror’s San Junipero. Though I loved that concept and appreciated how realistic the author made it sound, the novel failed to develop all the other aspects I was interested in.

Continue reading “Review: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams by Jeff Russell”

Review: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Ugly Teapot (Book One: Hannah)
Author: Fred Holmes
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Release date: March 30th, 2016

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Description:

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.  She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.


The Ugly Teapot is a cute novel filled with action and both a heartwarming and heartbreaking message about family and loss. The best part? We’ve got Hannah as our main character – a realistic 14-year-old girl experiencing grief after her father’s death and trying to cope with it. Though in the end I found the story a bit clichéd, I thought it was an interesting way to deal with the theme of grief and moving on. Continue reading “Review: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes”

ARC Review: Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Bitter Sweet Love
Author: Michael Faudet
Genre: Poetry
Release date: October 25th, 2016

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Description:

Michael Faudet’s whimsical and often erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world. He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships, and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes, and little short stories.


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ARC Review: Fallen to Grace by A.J. Flowers

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from the author for an honest review.

Title: Fallen to Grace (Celestial Downfall #1)
Author: A.J. Flowers
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Release date: December 2nd, 2016

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Description:

Azrael’s a wingless angel, and if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s the only one with a functioning conscience. Her bi-color eyes mark her as a moral hybrid, and when she breaks her enslavement to Manor Saffron by making a deal with a demon, she doesn’t expect to become Queen. She’ll have to survive her new royal magic, convince a legion of angels she’s worth fighting for, and find the breach in her Faustian deal, or risk a new master with horns.


Continue reading “ARC Review: Fallen to Grace by A.J. Flowers”