Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small amount of money if you click through and make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas took the world by storm after its debut. You can hardly scroll through Bookstagram for two seconds without stumbling upon a flatlay featuring the YA fantasy novel.

I was really skeptical about this one. I’m always a little suspicious about books that get so much hype. How could it possibly live up to the incredibly high expectations?

But I was so wrong. It was everything I thought it would be and more. I don’t even have the words to explain how much I loved this book.

After reading ACOTAR, I went ahead and bought the full series. It was enchanting, romantic and action-packedโ€ฆ basically, everything a book should be. There were so many twists and turns that I never saw coming. And seemingly insignificant details weaved together so beautifully in the end.

The quality of the storytelling was absolutely brilliant. Sarah J. Maas is officially my new favorite author!

Book Review: Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas

Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas was a fun and lighthearted twist on the familiar DC comics villain.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small amount of money if you click through and make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

This was my first time reading a book from a villain’s perspective, and I suppose the old adage is true that even villains are the heroes of their own stories. It made for an entertaining read, as while Selina Kyle was committing crimes, she had a compelling reason driving her actions.

Selina was an interesting character and the ending weaved so many elements that appeared throughout the book together seamlessly.

Catwoman makes for a light and easy read. If you’re looking for a fun little escape and don’t mind her backstory taking an entirely different direction, then it’s worth checking out.

Book Review: The Purple Haze by Andrew Einspruch

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase โ€“ at no additional cost to you!

The Purple Haze is a fantastic, family-friendly fantasy adventure.

It’s appropriate for both upper Middle Grade and YA readers and is just good ol‘ clean fun.

The worldbuilding is impressive. And I realize this sounds like an odd thing to say, but one of my favorite parts of the book was the names of the various villages. You’ll see what I mean once you read it. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can tell Einspruch put a lot of love and care into writing this adventure, and you’ll fall in love with Princess Eloise, Jerome and her other companions. The action really ramped up in the last quarter of the book, and while there is a cliffhanger, it’s a good one.

Click here to grab your copy today.

Note: I was provided with a copy ofย The Purple Haze by the author, but I am voluntarily writing this review and the opinions expressed are my own.

You can get a free copy of the prequel, The Wombanditos, by joining the author’s newsletter. Just CLICK HERE.

Missed my review of The Wombanditos? You can read the original post here.

2018: A Year in Fiction Book Reviews

Here's a look back at some of the best books I read in 2018 (mostly YA fantasy and YA paranormal romance), plus one that I simply couldn't finish. Click to check out the full list of books and my reviews of them.

As much as I love to read, I’m actually a pretty slow reader. So I went into the year with the goal of reading one book a month.

Luckily, I discovered so many wonderful books that I read far more than that.

(And if I count the children’s books I’ve read to my kids, I could probably add 100+ to this list!)

So, without further ado, here is the round-up of the fiction books I read in 2018.

(These reviews first appeared on BookBub – be sure to follow me there for my latest recommendations and reviews!).

Plus, keep reading for the one book I just couldn’t bring myself to finish.

Books Worth Reading

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase โ€“ at no additional cost to you!

Elementals by Michelle Madow

This was a really enjoyable read. I thought the concept of the elemental powers was clever and intertwining that with mythology made for an interesting storyline. I’m planning to read the whole series. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Blood of the Hydra by Michelle Madow

I loved the second book in this series. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction to the characters and elemental powers in the first book, now that the characters are well established the reader is immediately pulled in to a wild adventure. I love Madows‘ writing style. Her books are fast-paced and easy to read — the perfect little escape from reality!

The Head of Medusa by Michelle Madow

This book was action-packed, easy to read and thoroughly entertaining.

The Portal to Kerberos by Michelle Madow

The Portal to Kerberos continues Madow’s style of great world-building and is a real page-turner.

The Hands of Time by Michelle Madow

The conclusion of this series was action-packed, original and thoroughly entertaining.

Gods and Demons by BR Kingsolver

This book was very well written, it just didn’t capture my interest as much as I would have hoped. I don’t fault the author for that, though, as I knew I was trying a new genre. The main characters were original and believable (although I did have a hard time remembering who the more minor characters were). The storyline was unique and very creative. I think readers who enjoy UF books about elves and shifters will find this to be a fun read.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Why did I wait so long to read this?!?! It’s like The Bachelor meets dystopian YA fiction, but in the absolute best way possible. There’s jealousy, competition and friendship among the girls vying for Prince Maxon’s heart. And the blossoming relationship between America and Maxon feels so genuine and sweet. I liked this book WAY more than I thought I would. This is a series I definitely plan on finishing.

The Vampire Wish by Michelle Madow

I never got into the whole Twilight thing as a teen. But I’m on a The Vampire Diaries kick right now, so I wanted to read a book about vampires. I loved Madow’s Elementals series, so I knew this series would probably be good, too. And it is! The book is written from multiple points of view, and the chapters are relatively short and keep you wanting more (in a good way). It was a really fun read and not too graphic. I think this is a book both teens and adults will enjoy.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I don’t know why I waited so long to read the second book in The Lunar Chronicles. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed Cinder, and Scarlet did not disappoint. Scarlet is definitely a strong female lead and will do anything to save her beloved grandmother, even if that means putting herself in grave danger. Marissa Meyer’s beautiful descriptions and thoughtful character development make this book one you can lose yourself in. I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

The Elite by Kiera Cass

I have mixed feelings about the second book in the series. I didn’t love it as much as the first. But every time I thought I might be about to lose interest, a new twist pulled me back in. I’m still enjoying the relationship blossoming between America and Maxon and hope America can use her position for good. I’m still liking this series enough to read the next book. ๐Ÿ™‚

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I’m (seemingly) one of the few people in the world who didn’t read the Twilight series when it first came out. I think I would have absolutely loved it as a teen. As an adult, I can see the argument for Edward coming across as a bit creepy and controlling. But if I turn off the logical part of my brain and just enjoy this story for what it is, it’s hard to deny that it’s a fascinating premise and keeps your attention. It’s easy to see how this book started a phenomenon.

The Vampire Prince by Michelle Madow

This book was romantic, had great world-building and is filled with wonderful characters.

The Vampire Trick by Michelle Madow

The third book in this series was easy to read, entertaining and totally original.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

While A Study in Charlotte is a little outside of the realm of what I normally read, I decided to give it a shot. And I’m so glad that I did. I thought this was an insanely clever idea. The descendents of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson ending up at the same boarding school and teaming up to solve a mystery that they’re being framed for? Um, yes please! I wavered between giving this 4 or 5 stars. The biggest negative aspect of the book, in my opinion, is how casually Holmes’ drug use is treated. I mean, the girl has a SERIOUS drug problem, but it’s treated as if that is perfectly normal and just what teens do. That really rubbed me the wrong way. But the story was entertaining enough that I could look past it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am glad I decided to branch out and try something new.

The Wombanditos by Andrew Einspruch

The Wombanditos is unlike anything I’ve read – in the best way possible. In a novelette, author Andrew Einspruch has managed to create a whimsical yet believeable world inhabited by an OCD princess and her talking chipmunk companion Jerome (who was my favorite character!). Together, they set off on an adventure – and run into trouble along the way. Princess Eloise is kidnapped, and it’s up to her and Jerome to outsmart her captors – the Wombanditos. I actually found myself smiling as I read this story. There have been plenty of books lately that have made me teary-eyed, but I can’t remember the last time I SMILED while reading. It’s one of those books that’s a great little escape. Though this story can stand alone, it is the perfect teaser for the series. While it’s technically a YA book, it can certainly be enjoyed by a younger audience as there is no violence or graphic language. As a parent, it’s always nice to come across a fun story that can be enjoyed by all ages. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

The One by Kiera Cass

The third book in The Selection series did not disappoint. If you enjoyed The Selection and The Elite, you’ll find The One to be a great conclusion to America and Maxon’s story. While I expected the dystopian element to play a larger part in things, this series is definitely more of a romance than anything else. I thought I had the ending figured out, but while there is an HEA, the way it played out was shocking. The action really ramped up, which made for a page-turning ending. This series is a great little mindless read. It’s fun and entertaining and a fun escape.

A Game of Vampires by Caroline Peckham

I think I just found a new favorite vampire series. I can’t wait to read the rest! The quality of writing was superb and the descriptions were so vivid without being over the top. For a relatively short story, it was full of action and romance. I loved everything about this book! I highly recommend it.

The Vampire Fate by Michelle Madow

If you enjoyed the rest of The Vampire Wish series, Book 4 will not disappoint! Can’t wait to see what happens next. ๐Ÿ™‚

V Games by Caroline Peckham

I absolutely LOVED this book. Like most readers, when I see something being compared to The Hunger Games, I’m a bit skeptical. But y’all… after reading it, I’m telling you it’s a totally fair comparison. It’s like The Hunger Games on steroids… with vampires. But in it’s own totally unique way. The whole premise was fascinating, the characters were well developed, the quality of writing is phenomenal. I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re into reading books about vampires, you do NOT want to miss this one.

The Book I Just Couldn’t Finish

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I realize that I’m in the vast minority hear, but I did not enjoy this book. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I really don’t get the hype. The idea was interesting enough, but I think there was just SO much description that, for me, it got in the way of the story. Before reading it, I remember seeing reviewers complaining about the excessive descriptions of dresses and thinking that was an odd complaint. But seriously. There are so many long-winded descriptions of dresses and colors that it started grating on my nerves. It’s not a terrible book by any means, but I was nearly finished with it when I realized I wasn’t enjoying it at all.

New Release Roundup: YA Fantasy

In this week’s YA Fantasy book roundup, we have two fascinating tales – one featuring pirates and the other featuring thieves. If you’re looking for a captivating escape, check out Through Fathoms Dark and Deep and Blade of Memories!

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase โ€“ at no additional cost to you!

And if you’re still on the hunt for an addicting fantasy book, you might enjoy Fate Abandoned by yours truly.

New Release Roundup: YA Fantasy

There are a couple of exciting new releases in YA fantasy this week.

Both of these are the latest books in their respective series.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase โ€“ at no additional cost to you!

And while youโ€™re looking for your next fantasy read, take a look at my series Fate Abandoned.

The Ultimate Teen Reading Wish-List This Christmas

YA BOOKS | GIFTS FOR TEENS | CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR TEENS | BEST BOOKS FOR TEENAGERS

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase โ€“ at no additional cost to you!

1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Paperback Collection by Jenny Han

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the buzz about the hit Netflix rom-com To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.  And if you’re looking for just the right gift, you can’t go wrong this New York Times bestseller. (P.S. – If you haven’t watched the movie yet, I *highly* recommend it. It’s an instant classic!)

2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I have been seeing this book EVERYWHERE. Fellow authors are recommending it to me constantly and it is all over Instagram! As of writing this post, this instant New York Times bestseller has more than 1200 5-star reviews on Amazon alone. And you’d better believe it’s on my TBR list!

3. A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Another favorite on Instagram, Reaper at the Gates is the third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series. This third installment just came out this summer, so if you’re shopping for someone who’s a bit behind on their TBR list, this would make an epic Christmas gift.


4. Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

After much anticipation, this book finally released in August. Sarah J. Maas knows how to write one heck of a story, and the latest book in the DC Icons series (which can be read in any order) is no exception.

5. Legendary: A Caraval Novel by Stephanie Garber

I really debated whether to include this book on the list because I seem to be the only person on the planet who isn’t in love with this series. But honestly, the Caraval series is such a sensation that I felt it would be wrong not to include it. Fans of the first novel are raving about the latest installment in the series, and it’s a must-read before the finale (rightly titled Finale) releases in the Spring.

And that, my friends, rounds out the list of the ultimate gifts for teen readers. I hope you’ve found it helpful.

If you’re still searching for more gifts, you might be interested in my YA fantasy series Fate AbandonedAll of my stories are fast-paced and filled with memorable characters. And, most importantly, they’re all teen-friendly (though adults love them, too!).

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
YA Book Gift Guide for the (Kick-Butt) Princess in Your Life

  

New Release Roundup: YA Fantasy

Sorcery, magical amulets, beasts and wizards… This week’s featured new releases in YA fantasy have it all!

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase โ€“ at no additional cost to you!

And while you’re looking for your next fantasy read, take a look at my YA fantasy Fate Abandoned.

YA Book Gift Guide for the (Kick-Butt) Princess in Your Life

YA BOOKS | GIFTS FOR TEENS | CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR TEENS | BEST BOOKS FOR TEENAGERS

Shopping for loved ones is HARD.ย 

You want to get them something unique. Something fun. Something exciting. Something they’ll actually use.

If you’ve been scratching your head trying to find the perfect gift for a special someone in your life – and if that special someone happens to love reading – then I’ve got you covered.

I’ve put together a list of books featuring royalty – perfect for the princess in your life!

But these heroines are anything but delicate.

They’re rebellious and fierce.

And they’ll have you’re loved one HOOKED.

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase โ€“ at no additional cost to you!

1. The Selection Series by Keira Cass

This series makes for a spectacular gift for teens and fans of YA books. It’s like The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games in the best way possible. They’re romantic, but there’s definitely a dystopian vibe going on, too.

At the time of publishing this list, you can grab the first four books in the series for just $25.81 – not bad for HOURS of entertainment.

2. The Vampire Wish Series by Michelle Madow

If you’re shopping for someone who is a fan of Twilight or The Vampire Diaries, then look no further. The Vampire Wish Series is my latest obsession.

It’s fast-paced, fun and totally YA-friendly.

Best of all? Right now you can grab the complete set in paperback for only $21.79!

3. Red Queen 4-Book Series by Victoria Aveyard

This #1 NYT bestselling series would make a perfect gift for fans of Game of Thrones. And the hardback editions would make for some epic #bookstagram photos. (And we all know how vital it is to snap the perfect Instagram pic!)

Right now, you can grab the hardback editions of all four books for $48.16.

3.ย The Aermian Feuds Series by Frost Kay


Frost Kay’s debut series The Aermian Feuds is written in the vein of Sarah J. Mass and George R. R. Martin. This book has 175+ 5-star reviews

As the blurb says: Rebellion never looked so seductive…

And right now you can grab the paperback version for $12.99.

4. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

The final book in this epic series released this month, and fans have been going crazy over it! You can now buy the complete set, which would make an amazing gift. The hardcover collection is a bit of an investment ($151.92ย  at the time of assembling this list) – but have you SEEN these books? They’re HUGE! And the set even comes with an exclusive poster.

5. Empire of Talents Series by Jordan Rivet


This fresh new fantasy series features frivolous royals and shapeshifters. And that cover? Don’t even get me started.

Do I need to say more?

YA readers are sure to fall in love with this addicting series where nothing is as it seems.

That rounds out the list of top YA books featuring royals! If you enjoyed this list and are looking for another book featuring a kick-butt princess, you might also want to check out my book, Fate Abandoned.

She’s a sword-wielding princess.
He’s the outlaw who kidnapped her.
They should be enemies, but he might be the key to finding her brother – and herself.

Princess Daphne is sick of being treated as the king’s pawn.ย So even though she’s supposed to be hanging back at the castle and choosing a suitor, she doesn’t hesitate to follow her brother on a treacherous quest. Especially after learning there’s a prophecy predicting his death.

She devises a plan and sets out with her maidservant to rescue him – which seems like a great idea until they’re kidnapped by outlaws.

But Daphne’s not one to give up so easily. Realizing that aligning with their captors might just guarantee their success, she cuts a deal with the dangerously charming Gregory.

Forced to work together against impossible odds, she and Gregory learn that they need each other more than they knew. And as they race to save the prince, Daphne must decide if she’s willing to give up everything she’s ever known for a love she never expected…

Fate Abandoned features a fierce heroine and characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading. Grab your copy today to get swept away in this fast-paced fantasy adventure.

Fall into Paranormal Romance Giveaway

Halloween is just around the corner, which has me in the mood for books about vampires, shifters and supernatural creatures.

Which is why I’m THRILLED to share this paranormal romance giveaway with you.

(Please note that not all of these books are suitable for young adult readers.)

For a limited time, you can discover your new favorite PNR reads by snatching up these FREE books. Just CLICK HERE.

And guess what? While you’re there, you can grab the origin story to my upcoming vampire series. Blood Heirs is a YA-friendly bite-sized treat that is perfect for fans of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and The Selection.

Grab your copy today!