ARC Review: This Raging Light-Estelle Laure

ThisRagingLight_hresGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synCan the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother.

With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

review2.5/5 Stars

***I recieved this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & HMH Books for Young Readers

PROS:

  • The bond between Lucille and Wren is beautiful and honest. You feel how much they care for each other and it’s infinite. Their love is everything. 
  • Wren is ADORABLE. She’s quirky and a bit of a mess but smart and perceptive. She’s the perfect kid sister, full of curiosity and truth. Plus those yo momma jokes. Light and laughter. 
  • The portrayal of what it takes to hide the truth when parents run out on their children is harrowing and heartbreaking. Lucille’s torn feelings about her parents, the anger, the resentment, the confusion, all powerful and deep. True. Lucille knows how the system works and she’s terrified. She wants nothing more than to keep what’s left of her family together and will do whatever it takes to make the bad situation okay. 

CONS:

  • I couldn’t connect with Lucille. It was as if she was in this bubble where she hid her true emotions even from herself and so the reader has guess or go by her next emotional breakdown. Lucille pulls away from everyone, even her best friend. Lucille’s disconnect from everyone and everything, probably to help her cope and get through her terrible situation, only drew me away from her and towards other, more emotionally present characters, like her sister. 
  • The romance is predictable and despite everything that happens, one-sided. Lucille’s obsession with Digby feels wrong, almost like a betrayal. She knows the situation, she can totally help herself and avoid the drama but she doesn’t and blames it on her emotional turmoil. PLUS why? What makes Digby attractive? There’s about 1 swoon moment and that’s it. You don’t feel anything…the connection is like a brother and sister. 
  • Pacing is SLOW. The routine is exhausting and while it helps to appreciate the stress and pressure Lucille is under, it’s hard to push past, especially when it goes on for so long. 
  • Some scenes were cliché or far-fetched, both. The jealous girlfriend, the mystery helpers, Eden. All of it. It took away from the contemporary drama and made it more romanticized. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

sisterThe-Year-I-Became-Isabella-AndersSaint-Anything_024406241

 

 

 

 

 

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Advertisements

ARC Review: Thicker Than Water-Brigid Kemmerer

thicker thanGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synOn his own, Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Kensington Books.

PROS:

  • Thomas is sensitive, yet elusive. He evades and keeps to himself but when he opens up, it’s packed with honest, raw emotion that will have you falling for him just as hard as Charlotte. His sadness is poignant and his confusion will make you second guess everything. Thomas’ emotions propel the story forward and add to the mystery. They’ll make you keep reading, you’ll have to know whether or not he did it.
  • Charlotte and Thomas have killer chemistry 😉 the wide-eyed innocence meets full-frontal flirting will leave you laughing and charmed. They’re adorable together. The sweet blushes, indecent thoughts, and the fact that they keep coming back to each other, no matter the risk, the heat is undeniable. Some parts are mature for the younger YA audience. Alternating POVs let you get every second of tension and dirty thoughts as their relationship evolves. 
  • Secondary characters were all engaging, unique, and memorable. They had flaws and lots of personality that made you want more of each of their stories. Charlotte’s BFF Nicole is ballsy, hilarious, and a lot pervy. She’s great for one liners and creative, inappropriate musings. Ritz crackers. That is all. 

CONS:

  • The twist was shocking, yes, satisfying, no. It’s one of those moments where you ask yourself was that necessary and wonder why the author took that turn when the original path was already incredibly engrossing. Because of this “twist”, the story reads like two separate books that don’t quite fit together. While it does slip into the plotline, it’s far from seamless and a little messy.
  • Some sections are slow. There’s a lot of internal dialogue that rambles a bit, though it increases the emotional connection to characters. 
  • It’s hard to believe. Not only the twist but the detective work in general. That there would be an arrest so quickly without evidence and so many leaps and bounds in the investigation, all assumptions took away from the authenticity of a true crime story. Had there been more detail on the murder itself, what was missing, what evidence they did have, maybe more information from the many, many cops involved and mentioned, it would have added a layer of believability. Instead, it feels like the investigation is hanging on by a thread and kind of a joke, despite the severity of the murder. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

188062402246559781eFjabvDxL22571275

 

 

 

 

 

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan