Book Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

The pining between Ten and Killian was kind of drawn out for a little too long, but other than that I really enjoyed this story.

I picked it up because the cover looked like one I’d done sketches of for a book I wrote. Plus, I love YA so reading about Ten and her fight against her parent’s wishes was right up my alley. Right out of the gate, this book is entertaining as heck!

I think my favorite part was the song Ten’s Aunt Lina sings and how that helps her later in the story. I knew it would come back to do something awesome and I was not disappointed. Ten is totally awesome in this story and I’m really glad Showalter didn’t opt for an Archer/Ten/Killian love triangle because I would’ve DNF’d this book so fast.

Instead of relying heavily on romance, Showalter tells a story worthy of her heroine. It is dark, intricate, full of action, and full of glittery beasts (done right, of course).

This was an excellent read!

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: 👍👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄
Characterization: ☀️☀️☀️
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I’m struggling through the second one right now, so I wish book 2 was a little better, but book one definitely held my attention very well!

Book Review: The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge by Rena Marin

The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge was a great read!

In my opinion, there is so much lead up to the actual plot that felt a bit unnecessary, but I actually really enjoyed this book. The romance between Sadie and Dorian felt really underdeveloped, though. It seemed a little like it was thrown in there as an afterthought, when in reality Sadie’s relationship to her “coven” and her younger sisters was a lot more interesting.

Instead, I got a story where I had to follow a lot of (red herring) threads and an uninspired romantic plot to get to the meat of it. The most interesting things in the book were the betrayal of the coven, Cleo’s plot, and the High Priestess arc which I genuinely enjoyed. 

However, take everything I say with a grain of salt because if romance isn’t a long, pining slow-burn I have an intensely difficult time getting into it. So, if you like quick romances I would recommend this story. 

I rated this 4 stars, though because the actual plot of the story is really gripping. I intensely enjoyed the plot with Cleo and Ebony. Though, I imagined the characters a lot differently in my head. Ebony’s description was a huge surprise for me. 

I also intensely loved the relationship between Victoria, Veronica, and Vivian. Even though for most of the book I confused Veronica and Victoria because the names are very similar and it took me awhile to figure out which of them I needed to be angry at. (Short answer: both)

I hope the second book in the series will focus more on the coven and also better explain the relationship between Sadie and Dorian. Also less whining about how often the younglings were lied to. I get it, it sucks, but I got it the first 3 times you were outraged, Sadie. You don’t need to keep repeating it.

I’m also really interested to see how Sadie will grow as a person and as a leader throughout this series. I was heartbroken at the ending for obvious reasons (You broke my whole heart, Rena Marin, and you know why) and I know Sadie is heartbroken too. I wonder how that will change her in the future. 

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:
Prose: 👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄
Characterization: 🧙‍♀️🧙‍♀️🧙‍♀️
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I look forward to reading more from this world.

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This was very different from the Netflix Film. Which isn’t a bad thing. Netflix painted everyone in a really positive light to tie up things nicely in the end whereas the book had a little more time to make things messy.

I have to say, the Laura Jean in the book is a whole lot less responsible than the Laura Jean in the movie. Something I really liked. She’s a little selfish, a lot mean to her younger sister Kitty and she really struggles with her day-to-day life.

She actually gets into a car accident early on in the film and that’s when she reconnects with Peter. Not when the letters get sent out. Also, Josh is a lot more confused in the book than he was in the film and Laura Jean doesn’t avoid him all the way until Christmas.

Not to mention, neither he nor Margot approve of Peter pretty much ever. And the fight between Laura Jean and Margot was a whole lot more explosive and during a huge party Laura Jean and Margot planned. It was kind of heart-wrenching, but the Song girls pull through.

The relationship between the three sisters is probably one of my favorite things about the book. Of course, I also love romance, but there is something about a positive sibling relationship that always gives me the feels. This one is no exception.

The one thing I thought the movie did a little better was it made Peter seem like a better guy. In the book he seems kind of ew. Plus, there was a video to accompany Laura Jean’s psuedo-sexual encounter and they wrap that whole mess up really quickly with Margot taking the lead and accusing Gen of being a giant twat.

In the book, that was really open-ended and very upsetting. Like, Laura Jean’s reputation is ruined. And Margot, instead of being on her side, believes the rumor with no evidence whatsoever. It hurt me and shook me to my core that Margot could think that of her sister. Everything works out in the end for them, of course, but that part was really touch-and-go there for awhile.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series!

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: 👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄😄
Characterization: 💌💌💌💌
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of this series. I hear Netflix is doing another movie and I would 1000% watch that.

Get your copy of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Amazon!