Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

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”

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”

Review: The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Title: The Call
Author:
Peadar Ó Guilín
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror
Release date: 30th August, 2016

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Description:

Thousands of years ago, humans banished the Sidhe fairy race to another dimension. The beautiful, terrible Sidhe have stewed in a land of horrors ever since, plotting their revenge . . . and now their day has come.

Fourteen-year-old Nessa lives in a world where every teen will be “Called.” It could come in the middle of the day, it could come deep in the night. But one instant she will be here, and the next she will wake up naked and alone in the Sidhe land. She will be spotted, hunted down, and brutally murdered. And she will be sent back in pieces by the Sidhe to the human world . . . unless she joins the rare few who survive for twenty-four hours and escape unscathed.

Nessa trains with her friends at an academy designed to maximize her chances at survival. But as the days tick by and her classmates go one by one, the threat of her Call lurks ever closer . . . and with it the threat of an even more insidious danger closer to home.


The Call is a pretty grim novel with a unique, twisted and nerve-racking concept that hooked me from page one. It introduces Nessa, a kick-ass main character that can’t walk quite well as the result of contracting polio as a child. Having a disabled character in an action-packed story such as this one is something we hardly see and I really enjoyed how the author did it.

I thought the concept had a lot of potential, but, by being so fast-paced and having so many points of view, there was hardly any time to explore all the themes or characters I would have wanted. Still, it was a very entertaining read that I’ve seen people describing as gruesome and not for the faint of heart, although I didn’t find it that graphic or gory (that might be my seemingly heart of stone talking).

Continue reading “Review: The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín”

Review: The Key by Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandberg

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Title: The Key (The Engelsfors Trilogy #3)
Authors: Sara Bergmark Elfgren & Mats Strandberg
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: November, 2013

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Description:

The final installment of the Engelsfors Trilogy—an international sensation with rights sold in 29 countries—The Key combines thrilling action and dark magic with all the passion and drama of teen life. The result is nothing less than explosive.

By the end of the second book, Fire, the remaining Chosen Ones know they are the last defense against the mysterious, demonic forces that have been plaguing Engelsfors.

The Chosen Ones are still coming to terms with their loss when evil strikes again, barely a month after the showdown in the school gym. They have no chance to recover, and no choice but to rally together to try to prevent the apocalypse—even while their personal dramas threaten to tear them apart.

Time is running out for the Chosen Ones to fulfil the prophecy and save the world, but whether they succeed or not, one thing is certain: Everything will change.


– REVIEW FOR THE CIRCLE (#1) AND FIRE (#2) –

A fantastic ending for a great trilogy. The writing, the plot, and the characters all got stronger with each book, resulting in a story that I never wanted to end. Was this book perfect? No, not really. It started of slow, it was probably longer than necessary, and there were unecessary moments here and there, but I was so involved in the plot and the girls’s lives that I didn’t mind. So I’m giving it all 5 stars and know that I’ll carry the characters with me for a long time.

Continue reading “Review: The Key by Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandberg”

Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

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Title: Poison Study (Study #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release date: October 1st, 2005

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Description:

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…


This book was. So. Much. Fun. The perfect start for a fantasy series. It’s fast-paced, with great characters, and with an interesting world that the author brings to life little by little throughout the novel. I can see it becoming one of those comfort books I turn to when others have disappointed me.

Continue reading “Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder”

Review: Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

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

Title: Unicorn Tracks
Author: Julia Ember
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Release date: April 21st, 2016

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Description:

After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.


Unicorn Tracks was a very enjoyable read that left me wanting for more. I found the concept of a 19th century safari with real and fantastical creatures very unique and I loved the representation that this book offered. Not only does this feature a positive lesbian relationship, but the couple is also interracial, which is not something we get to see in romance very often. When I finished this short novel, I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars because I thought there was a lot of potential still left to be explored, but I ultimately decided to go with 4 because it was a positive, fun, and creative read that made me smile.

Continue reading “Review: Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember”

Review: Fire by Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandberg

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Title: Fire (The Engelsfors Trilogy #2)
Authors: Sara Bergmark Elfgren & Mats Strandberg
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: January 1st, 2012

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Description:

The Circle, the first book in the internationally bestselling Engelsfors Trilogy, introduced a group of high school girls with special powers who became the Chosen Ones. As book two, Fire, begins, Minoo, Vanessa, Linnéa, Anna-Karin and Ida have been struggling with their own demons all summer long. Now school is back in session, and whether they like it or not, the five Chosen Ones must stick together stronger than ever before.

Evil is back in Engelsfors and it threatens to engulf everyone and everything—and only if the five girls accept their strengths and trust each other unconditionally will they have any chance of defeating it.

The second installment of the Engelsfors Trilogy—an international sensation with rights sold in 26 countries—Firesees the past woven together with the present, the living with the dead, our human world with demonic forces. This spellbinding novel takes the reader on a wild journey in a world where the stakes are higher than life-and-death.


– REVIEW FOR THE CIRCLE (#1) –

All the issues I had with the first installment were fixed and improved in this one and I couldn’t be happier! There was plenty of magic, the friendships grew beautifully along with the characters, and the plot was very engaging. The first part did drag a little and I felt it was longer than it needed to be, but besides that, I enjoyed it immensely and I can’t wait to read the last book!

Continue reading “Review: Fire by Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandberg”

Mini Review: Alien Love Story by A.K. Dawson (DNF)

– SPOILER FREE MINI REVIEW –

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

Title: Alien Love Story
Author: A.K. Dawson
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release date: June 21st, 2016

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Description:

Love at first sighting.

Life is a headache for 15-year-old Dan. This isn’t some kind of metaphor. Dan suffers from migraines that make just about everything he does unbearable. Added to that he’s lost almost everyone he cares about. So he feels lonelier than the last puppy in a pet shop.  But one day he sees a mysterious girl digging in the rubbish bins behind his house. Just by being near her, he finds that all his pain goes away. So he wants to see her again, of course. And get to know her. But she’s a bit strange. And her big eyes make her look, well, like an alien.  Does she really exist? Or is she just a figment of an overactive, under-loved imagination?

Close encounters of the romantic kind.

From Northern England to outer space, and from Dan’s bedroom to the sandwich shop over the road, ALIEN LOVE STORY is about a close encounter of the romantic variety. But there’s more to it than that.  This book is about discovering parts of yourself you never knew existed. It’s about coping with grief and somehow moving on. And it’s about how Dan breaks into a mad scientist’s lab to perform a daring rescue – but that bit comes much later.

For now it’s enough to know there will be excitement, adventure and kissing. Lots of kissing. We did say it was a love story, didn’t we? So fasten your safety belt, put on some background music and enjoy the book.


Sadly, I couldn’t finish this book and left it at 32%. Up until that point it was easy to read, silly and filled with humor, a quirky read. My issues with this novel came from all the tropes that were thrown at me instantly and the characters themselves. Maybe at another point in my life I would have read it, but right now there are some of the tropes I avoid at all costs.  Continue reading “Mini Review: Alien Love Story by A.K. Dawson (DNF)”

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: LGBTQIA+, Romance, Young Adult
Release date: April 7th, 2015

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Description:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


This book should come with a warning: Do not pick this book up if you have things to do, you will not be able to put it down. I had heard how great it was and everyone on my Goodreads feed has given it no less than 4 stars, but I was still wary. That wariness dissipated as soon as I started because the writing is so charming! It’s a cute fluffy read that made me smile, perfect for the summer or if you are looking for a contemporary YA to get you out of a reading slump.

Continue reading “Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli”

Review: The Circle by Sara Bergmark Elfgren & Mats Strandberg

-SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Title: The Circle (The Engelsfors Trilogy #1)
Author: Sara Bergmark Elfgren & Mats Strandberg
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: April 11th, 2011

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Description:

On a night after the apparent suicide of high school student Elias Malmgren, a blood-red moon fills the night sky. Minoo wakes up outside her house, still in her pajamas, and is drawn by an invisible force to an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of town. Soon five of her classmates–Vanessa, Linnea, Anna-Karin, Rebecka and Ida–arrive, compelled the same force. A mystical being takes over Ida’s body and tells them they are fated to fight an ancient evil that is hunting them. The park is a safe haven; the school, a place of danger. The six are wildly different and definitely not friends…but they are the Chosen Ones.

As the weeks pass, each girl discovers she has a unique magical ability. They begin exploring their powers, but they are not all firmly committed to their mission–to discover the truth about Elias’s death. Then a horrible tragedy strikes within the circle. Newly determined to fight the evil forces, they begin to learn magic from The Book of Patterns, an ancient work with a will of its own that reveals different things to different witches.

In this gripping first installment of the Engelsfors Trilogy, a parallel world emerges in which teenage dreams, insanely annoying parents, bullying, revenge, and love collide with flirtation, dangerous forces, and ancient magic. An international sensation with rights sold in 24 countries, The Circle is razor-sharp and remarkable from start to finish.


– REVIEW FOR FIRE (#2) AND KEY (#3)

The Circle is an enjoyable easy read with a group of distinct main characters that happen to be Swedish teenage witches! Sadly, there isn’t much action or magic, but the little there is, I really liked. We spend a lot of time getting to know the lives of the girls and their growing relationship, which was very well done. I want to continue with the trilogy because I think there’s a lot of potential and the characters ended up captivating me.

Continue reading “Review: The Circle by Sara Bergmark Elfgren & Mats Strandberg”