ARC Review: Burning by Danielle Rollins

BURNINGGoodreads/Amazon/B&N

Release Date: April 5, 2016

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After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she’ll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl’s arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world has forgotten them?

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Bloomsbury USA Childrens

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • If you like Orange Is the New Black.
  • You’re all about the mystery.
  • You’re searching for a genre-bending book.

Burning is an unexpected surprise. The suspense creeps up on you. Nothing is as it seems. 

PROS:

  • The characters are intriguing. They come from diverse backgrounds. Each is unique and the Orange Is the New Black vibe is strong. That combination of crazies, druggies, weirdoes, and violent girls are all there and each paints a raw portrait of juvenile detention. 
  • Angela’s relationship with her brother is heart-warming and poignant. The way she cherishes his letters and relives memories of their times together will make you root for her. 
  • The first few pages are fantastic. I didn’t know what to expect. The secrets her father hides in the drawer, his monster stories, the dark atmosphere of Angela’s memory, it all draws you in and makes you want more. Unfortunately, some of that is lost in the many threads of the story.

CONS:

  • The pacing is slow. The periods between suspense drag on in a monotonous way without much happening. Most of the action took place in the last 25% of the story.
  • The big reveal was bizarre and felt random. It didn’t have the shock factor it should have, though the imagery is powerful. There wasn’t enough build up.
  • That sinister vibe was so spaced out that it lost some of its punch. The initial meeting of Jessica is sufficiently chilling but as the story develops, the terror evaporates and it becomes more of a super villain scenario. 

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

Keep reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: The Serpentine Butterfly by Addison Moore

Title: The Serpentine Butterfly (Celestra Forever After 3)

Author: Addison Moore

Genre: NA Paranormal Romance

Cover Design: Gaffey Media

Release Date: March 31, 2016

I thought he’d be here to love me forever. I thought he’d stand right by my side. He’d never leave me. Never betray me. I thought I could trust him—until death do us part.

Skyla Messenger’s life is changing, alliances are shifting, the Nephilim are regrouping, her family expanding.

When unexpected circumstances are thrown her way, Skyla has to draw on her inner strength for the sake of her people and her family. And when she needs them most her powers prove stronger, far more unstoppable than ever before. Tired of abiding by faction rules, Skyla learns that sometimes to survive you must defy them all.

 

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Enter for your chance to a $30 Amazon giftcard

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Addison Moore is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Previously she worked as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for nearly a decade. She resides on the West Coast with her husband, four wonderful children, and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.

HEY, ADDISON MOORE FANS!

Go join her Fan Group the Addison Moore Reader Corner! You’ll get sneak peeks, early reveals, interact with Addison herself, and have access to exclusive giveaways!

REQUEST TO JOIN HERE: http://bit.ly/AddisonMooreRC

 

~ Feel free to visit her website at:

 

The Celestra Series

YA Paranormal Romance

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16 year-old Skyla Messenger embarks on a journey that spans time and dimensions in her pursuit to navigate old angelic rivalries. 

After the death of her father, her family moves to eerie Paragon Island where no one and nothing is as it seems.

 

Upon discovering she belongs to the most powerful angelic beings, the Celestra faction, Skyla is enthralled with her new powers and her new standing in the order of the universe. Skyla and the two handsome boys that side with her, Logan and Gage, find themselves embroiled in a faction war that tries their character and has them questioning which side of the battle line they should be standing.

 

The Celestra Series is a dizzying carousel that sends you into the fog-laden woods without any hope of ever leaving. Fasten your seatbelt. This is one wicked ride.

Angels and Fems and Sectors, oh my. 

The Countenance Trilogy

*Be sure to check out The Countenance Trilogy, a Celestra spinoff. Both series merge into the Celestra Forever After Series, a New Adult continuation of the popular Young Adult series! 

Release Day Blitz: Dead Girl by Tessa Marie

DGDG FinalGoodreads/Amazon

synIf her mother wasn’t watching, Kylie Presby would punch Queen Bee, Natalie Silvers, in the face -again. But as Kylie wipes her tears away with the layers of toilet paper encasing her car, she knows she can’t retaliate like she did last time. Her dead mother wouldn’t approve. Kylie no longer cares about popularity. Invisible would work just fine.

Then the new kid, Braydon, mysterious, good looking and too clever for his own good, shows up and sacrifices his social status, becoming Kylie’s shield from the front line assault. After enough chocolate ice cream and movies it’s as if they’re best friends. Crazy, since Kylie knows so little about him.

As Natalie continues her relentless attacks on Kylie another person deals with his own line of bullies. Jack Stine was popular until his deepest secret was revealed and his friends abandoned him. Kylie and Jack bond over their tormentors and form an unbreakable friendship.

Three lost souls each with a story that binds them together, but will it be enough when the bullying goes too far and secrets are revealed?

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Tessa Marie aka Theresa Paolo lives on Long Island, NY with her fiancé and their fish. She is the author of NA and YA contemporary romances. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and the companion novel (ONCE) AGAIN released Summer 2014. Both her books HOME IS WHERE YOU ARE and PROVE ME WRONG are Amazon bestsellers. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestselling Beds Series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s in her early thirties (very early), and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, watching Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Keep reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: The Halfling by H.D. Gordon

halflingGoodreads/Amazon

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Being seventeen and an outcast is hard. Being seventeen and only half human is harder.

When Aria Fae gets cast out of the Peace Brokers, a secret supernatural organization that’s trained her since infancy, and is left to fend for herself in the human world, she finds herself in Grant City, intent on attempting a normal human life.

As a Halfling, Aria has abilities that are a little underused in the flower shop she lands a job at. And when her new friend Samantha Shy enlists Aria to help investigate her mother’s death, the two girls decide to become vigilantes.

A new drug called Black Magic is running rampant in the streets of Grant City, turning people into supercharged maniacs. With Sam’s mad computer skills, and Aria’s Faevian abilities, they may be just the heroes Grant City is in need of.

Or they may find out they’re in way over their heads, and their mutual crush on the same guy is the least of their worries.

review3/5 Stars

***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author 

The Halfling is an interesting twist on half-fae, much in the vein of Melissa Marr’s latest Seven Black Diamonds. X-Men meets paranormal magic, The Halfling is a thrilling, action-packed read that leaves you rallying for justice. 

PROS:

  • The story has a lot going on. Half-fae, sorceresses, a secret paranormal agency, human trafficking, hackers, and a horrifying new drug that makes users want to feed on flesh. 
  • Secondary characters are intriguing and make you want to know more about them. I loved that there were nerdy, tech obsessed BFFs that used their genius to make the coolest inventions and turn Aria into a fantastic super heroine. Samantha is awesome. Bullied but not defeated. She uses her mind and though she has some insecurity, it’s endearing. She can’t talk to guys to save her life and it’s hilarious. 
  • Aria is independent, courageous, fierce, and basically a crime fighting superhero. She takes risks and puts her life on the line to save the victims of human trafficking and other crimes throughout the city but at the same time, despite her fae powers, she’s just a teenage girl looking to belong. She doesn’t know how to deal with boys, she gets embarrassed, she abruptly leaves weird situations, and the tension is high but it’s very relatable. 
  • The chemistry. It’s all over the place. That neighbor. I’m not sure how to feel about it because he’s much older and sometimes seems like a fatherly figure/knight in shining armor, but oh man is he sexy. Former military, gorgeous, mysterious, and always comes to the rescue, what’s not to swoon over? There is some triangular action going on with the hot prep school boy whose father owns half the town but he’s flirty, playful, and has a big heart. You’ll feel for Aria because they’re both pretty perfect. 

CONS:

  • This felt more like the continuation of a series than the first book. So many key facts about Aria’s past were alluded to but never expanded on. Like the situation with her mother, a clearer picture of why she was banished, and who exactly her enemies were are all lacking in explanation. 
  • Focus gets lost somewhere between the superhero antics, Aria’s past, and the romantic tension. I’m not sure where the story was trying to go. Sometimes it felt like a pure romance, other times para, and others superhero adventure. The connection was loose. 
  • Some parts were predictable.

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

Keep reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Brink of Dawn by Jeff Altabef & Erynn Altabef

brink of dawnAmazon/Goodreads

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Follow-up to the multiple award-winning Wind Catcher

They walk among us as if they are gods.
Only the Chosen know what they are.
Only the Chosen know to fear them.
And only the Chosen can defeat them.

Evolved Publishing presents the second book in the multiple award-winning Chosen series of young adult mystery thrillers, which feature an American Indian fantasy and supernatural theme, from the same author who brought you the award-winning thriller Shatter Point, and his daughter.

Juliet Wildfire Stone and her best friend, Troy Buckhorn, barely escaped their sleepy Arizona town alive. Now they’re speeding to New York City to find the three other Chosen. The Chosen must band together to face an ancient foe that threatens all humanity.

Yet Juliet doesn’t know whom to trust, and strange things are happening in the City.

The Chosen will be tested, their resolve questioned, and their flaws exposed. Each must decide whether he or she will fulfill their destiny—or run. To defeat the enemy, they must stop battling among themselves and overcome their own struggles.

Only one can lead them. Will Juliet embrace her powers in time?

Brink of Dawn picks up where the multiple-award-winning first book in the Chosen series, Wind Catcher, left off, but it can also be read as a stand-alone novel. Continue the adventure! And be sure to watch for the third and final installment in this exciting series, Scorched Souls, to launch in late 2016.

review

3/5 Stars

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

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • If you’re looking for a twist on the typical alien story with Native American undertones. 
  • You hunger for diversity.
  • You’re NOT about the romance.

PROS:

  • Different POVs and diversity. Each of the new Chosen are from a different culture that brings something unique to the plot. Not only ethnically but economically as well. There’s a wide variety in the Chosen and they each have very distinct personalities. 
  • There’s a lot of social commentary. Mainly about the prejudice against Native Americans, pressures from parents to be perfect, the homeless youth in big cities and how easy it is for them to disappear and how no one cares. These are important issues and although the inclusion detracted from the plot arch, nevertheless, they make you think and open up your eyes to what’s really going on in the world around you. 
  • The Deltites are TERRIFYING. Creepy, sadistic, horrible people who have no regard for human life. It’s really disquieting. You’ll definitely be creeped out by some of the POVs from Gagarin’s mind. That creature, the things he’s done. Skin-crawling, stories that will star in your nightmares. I don’t think I’ll ever get some of those images out of my head. 
  • Akari is a feisty, violent thing and might be my new favorite character. She’s a skilled fighter, vicious, smart, sarcastic, and prone to going in swinging. Her fire ability, YES. 
  • The scavenger hunt. If you like riddles and anxiety, you’ll love this. 

CONS:

  • There was so much going on, so many new characters introduced, and the pace so abrupt that the story felt confused, like it didn’t know what it was trying to be. There’s a little scavenger hunt, a little flirting, a little spiritual communication, a lot of evil plotting, and randomness. 
  • The pacing is hard to explain. The story timeline is FAST but the story itself seems to drag. Despite the POV changes and introduction of characters, and the overall urgency, I found the story going by slowly. 
  • Juliet was mildly annoying. She kept going on and on about how different she is and why that makes her life impossible. I kept waiting for her to embrace the situation but she fought and clung to this complaining. The other characters also had their lives uprooted and threatened and yet, they didn’t harp on it nearly as much. Juliet’s infatuation with Connor felt random and included just more drama. It wasn’t developed. Many of the relationships were not built on. Even Juliet and Troy. The magic of their friendship from the first book was lost. Sure, Juliet has always depended on Troy but the connection was severed as she pushed him away and didn’t quite come back. 
  • The ending was abrupt and a bit of a let down. Though filled with adrenaline and chaotic, it felt too easily resolved and the diabolical plan started by the Delities just fell to the wayside. 

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

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Excerpt Blitz: The Something More Boxed Set by Danielle Pearl

12802755_1757485517818067_3249192848912659730_n1544421_1752313128335306_6566959681867940611_nPre Order for only 99¢!!

(900+ page ‪#‎BoxedSet for ONLY 99 PENNIES plus a sneak peek of In Ruins at the end!)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

eBook-Normal-by-Danielle-Pearl

synIt’s the kind of situation most people would dread. Starting at a new high school, in the middle of my senior year, in a new town, in a new state. I know no one. No one knows me. That’s what I’m counting on.

A year ago, Aurora “Rory” Pine was just a normal teenage girl – just as sweet and naive as the fairy tale princess she was named after.

But this isn’t a year ago.

Rory is broken, and suffering from a new debilitating anxiety disorder, wrought with precarious triggers, she moves across the country to escape the source of her troubles. Her plan is anonymity, but that’s easier said than achieved for the new girl having a panic episode outside of calculus. The worst part? There’s a witness – and a gorgeous one at that.

Sam is a walking trigger for Rory. Incredibly handsome, built like the star athlete he obviously is, and undoubtedly popular, Sam outwardly represents everything Rory despises about high school. But as the fates keep throwing them together, a connection sparks that neither ever expected, and certainly can’t ignore.

But Sam has issues too, and Rory’s past won’t just stay in the damned past. When friendship evolves into something deeper, can a girl utterly destroyed by the worst kind of betrayal and a boy battling demons of his own ever have a normal relationship? Is that even what they want? Find out in NORMAL, a gritty story of trust and abuse, heartbreak and salvation, and if they’re lucky – love. This is not a flowery romance – not for the faint of heart.Recap-eBook-2

synRory and Sam fell in love in NORMAL, and we all fell in love right along with them. Now see it all unfold through Sam’s eyes, and learn just how the new girl with anxiety issues stole the heart of the gorgeous heartthrob, and turned his world upside down.

You already heard the story. The one of how Rory and I fell in love, supposedly, even if she couldn’t handle it in the end. You know how it all went.

Or you think you do.

You only know her side. But I have my own point of view, and even Rory couldn’t know my thoughts in those few months it took for her to go from being a stranger to my whole entire world.

Every moment is permanently ingrained in my memory. In my goddamned soul. From the moment I stumbled upon the girl panicking outside of calculus – the one with the tight little body, the angelic face, and the fierce attitude – to the night she abandoned me in Miami. It was the sum of those moments that changed me irrevocably.

Our story isn’t over. I won’t let it be. But this, this is what happened so far, the way I saw it.

I’m Cap. Or Sam, to Rory. And this is my story.

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synAfter the horrors she’s survived over the past year, Rory never expected to find the one thing she certainly wasn’t looking for – love. But after the painful realization that her past has left her a dangerous liability to the person she cares for the most, she finally understands that for her and Sam, love means letting go.

Can two people hopelessly in love ever revert back to just friends? Neither Rory nor Sam knows for sure. But the one thing they do know – it’s the only choice they have.

As Rory recovers from a devastating assault, Sam will do anything to make sure it never happens again. But how far will he go to keep her safe? Their choices will change everything, and they will either bring them back together, or destroy them irrevocably.

Excerpt

Excerpt from Normal (Book 1)

I climb into the passenger seat of Carl’s Audi. She tells me that Tina is already at the party and we’ll meet her there. I look at the clock on her dashboard and estimate that I’ll need to kill about three hours before Mom goes to bed and I can sneak back home.

When we arrive, Tucker hands us both red plastic cups and points us to the keg, but I set mine down on the first flat surface I can find. I haven’t taken a pill today, but I still don’t really like to drink. Tina and Andrew are laughing and talking with a group of people and Carl goes off to join them while I hang back a few feet from the crowd. I watch as a minute later Tuck jogs over, slings his arm around Carl and plants an exaggerated wet kiss on her cheek. She playfully pushes him away, but it’s clear she doesn’t mean it. Everyone looks so happy and carefree… normal.

I don’t belong here.

“Having fun?”

I startle but catch myself quickly. Somehow I recognize Sam’s voice instantly, and his tone tells me he can tell just how much fun I’m having.

“Didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”

I shrug. “Tons,” I murmur, unenthused. “You?”

“A blast.” He matches my level of excitement. “Can I get you a drink?” he offers.

“I don’t really drink.”

“How about some water?”

“I- uh-“

He hands me his unopened bottle of Poland Spring, and my lips part to thank him, but for some reason I stay silent.

“You don’t seem to want to be here,” he observes.

I frown. He’s right, I don’t, but it’s rude of him to point it out, isn’t it?

“Neither do you,” I counter. Sam smiles, and it’s an unexpectedly wistful smile. I’m surprised by it. I’d expect something more cocky from such a gorgeous, confident guy.

“Touché… I have a lot on my mind.”

If he expects me to ask him about it, he’s going to be disappointed. Even though I find that I am interested to know what’s plaguing the mind of this beautiful boy, I worry that if I ask about his problems, then he’ll have the right to ask about mine. But he doesn’t give me a chance to ask, and I think maybe he didn’t want me to after all – maybe he didn’t even mean to say it.

“You wanna go for a walk?” he asks, nodding in the direction of the open grassy area that leads to what appears to be a pond.

Is he seriously hitting on me?

He doesn’t even know me, and the one thing he does know is that I obviously have issues. He probably thinks the crazy ones are easy. My eyes narrow. I straighten my shoulders indignantly and square my stance. False confidence all the way.

“No. I don’t want to go for a fucking walk. I’m not gonna fuck you, or hook up with you in any way. Or anyone else for that matter. Spread the fucking word,” I growl. My throat is suddenly desert-dry, so I take a swig from his water bottle to soothe it, praying it doesn’t betray my anxiety.

Sam stares at me like I’ve just grown another head, so I turn and stomp away from the hordes of people, toward the pond, marching in the exact direction I just insisted I did not want to go. My heart pounds mercilessly, but this isn’t panic, this is anger.

Ugh! Guys! They’re all the fucking same.

“Hey!” Sam calls after me.

Can’t he just take no for an answer?

He catches up to me and his unexpected grip scorches the skin of my arm like wildfire.

I don’t think. I wrench out of his hold, turn, and smack him across his face. “Don’t touch me!” I hiss. “Don’t ever touch me!” We’re now far enough away from the crowd that no one notices us, but if I scream, they’ll hear me.

Sam’s fingers caress his cheek where my palm made contact, eyes wide and round.

“What the fuck is your problem, Rory?! I wasn’t fucking hitting on you!” He rubs his reddened cheek again. “Damn it!”

He wasn’t hitting on me?

My boiling blood starts to simmer and shame floods my veins. All of a sudden I can’t for the life of me remember what made me so certain his invitation for a walk was code for a hook-up – what made me think he’d want me that way at all. God, if he didn’t already think I was crazy…

Damn it, Rory, don’t panic.

Sam is glaring at me, but something in my mortified expression must warrant pity, because he sucks in a deep breath and I can sense his anger begin to dissipate.

“I was… you just didn’t seem like you were up for a party. I thought you’d want to get away from all those people.” He gestures to the crowds, now off some distance, and shoves his hand through his messy chocolate locks in frustration. “I wasn’t trying to fuck you. I realize that we don’t know each other very well, but what about me that you know so far, exactly, makes you think I’m the kind of guy who would lure you down to a lake, lay you down on the dirty ground, and have sex with you with a hundred of our friends not fifty yards away?”

I swallow anxiously. I’ve offended him. Moisture pricks the back of my eyes and I will it to stay put. It’s beyond reason how much I’ve humiliated myself in front of this guy in just one week.

“I-” I choke back what threatens to be a sob, close my eyes, and silently count back from ten in double time. When I open them again, I’m greeted by his expectant midnight blue gaze. “I’m so sorry,” I breathe.

Sam exhales sharply, his fingers raking that familiar path through his hair . “Look, I shouldn’t have grabbed your arm like that. I wasn’t thinking,” he murmurs. Now he’s apologizing and I’m more than certain he has nothing to be sorry for.

“Not just for slapping you.” Oh God, I freaking hit him!God, but I am so sorry for that. But I’m sorry for assuming- I wasn’t thinking. I…” I pause and look away. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” It’s a lie. I know exactly what’s wrong with me.

Sam’s expression warms, and it’s not full of pity either – it’s… compassion. Empathy.

He sighs. “There’s nothing wrong with you, Rory.”

I look away again, anywhere but at the deep blue oceans that unnerve me so. They seem to know more about me than they should. “Sure there isn’t,” I mutter bitterly under my breath.

Sam takes an abrupt step so he’s directly in front of me, silently demanding eye contact. His arm twitches, like he wants to touch me but thinks better of it.

“There’s. Nothing. Wrong. With. You.” He glares at me like he can convince me of this with just a look.

Everything in my gut screams that he’s a good guy. Like Cam. But if there’s anyone whose instincts can’t be trusted when it comes to guys, it’s me. I was even wrong about Cam. I thought I knew everything about him. But he was keeping his secrets, too.

But Sam saw me freak out. He knows I have issues, but no one else here does. Which means he’s kept my secret. Otherwise it would have been all over the school in a heartbeat. That’s got to count for something.

“Sam, you… thank you. I mean it, but you know that’s not true. And I know you didn’t tell anyone what happened my first day. When I…” I trail off and shake my head. He doesn’t need a recap, he was there. “Thank you for that. You’ve been nothin’ but nice to me. There’s nothin’ about you that would make me think anything bad about you,” I say meaningfully, answering his original question. “Except that you’re a guy,” I add quietly.

Sam looks sad for a moment, but offers me a weak smile anyway. “I was just hoping we could be friends. Just friends.” He covers his mouth and whispers conspiratorially, “no public fucking on the grass outside of parties. I promise Not even if you beg.”

I smile, but it’s a wistful smile, because I could never be Sam’s friend, even if something in my bones really wishes otherwise. But I no longer believe that guys and girls can really be just friends, and I’m too attracted to him to even try. I could never fully trust him, not really, and I could never trust myself with him.

“Why would you even want to be my friend?” I ask. Because really, if I were him I’d have fled screaming in the opposite direction.

He considers me a moment. “I don’t know, Ror, you just seem… real.” He shrugs. Something about the way he says “Ror” reminds me of Cam, and the memory of our friendship cuts me so deeply I wince.

“I wish I could be your friend, Sam,” I murmur.

His eyes are full of some unfathomable emotion, and I wonder how this conversation has grown so intimate. We barely know each other. When Sam speaks again his voice is so low it’s practically a whisper. “Who hurt you, Rory?”

I tell him the truth, matching his tone – barely audible. “Everyone.”

authDanielle Pearl

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Danielle Pearl is the Amazon and iBooks best selling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her husband three delicious chidren. She is a life long book enthusiast who has been writing ever since she could hold a pencil.

Danielle went to Boston University and worked in marketing before self-publishing her debut, Normal, in August of 2014. She writes mature young adult and new adult contemporary romance. She is represented by Erica Silverman of Trident Media Group.

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PSA: This is one of the best contemporary series I’ve ever read BUT it does contain serious triggers. For my reviews on Normal and Okay –> NORMAL review + OKAY review

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

this is where the world endsGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synJanie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss & Greenwillow Books 

+++Contains what may be triggers for some: rape

PROS:

  • I feel like writing an open love letter to Amy Zhang’s writing style. Absolutely stunning. That perfect blend of simple, spot on description, and poetry made the writer in me sigh in contentment. There are so many quotable sections ❤
  • Janie’s diary entries are thought provoking, magical, bittersweet glimpses into her mind that pull you in and make you love her. She’s impulsive and fun, romantic, quotes Virginia Woolf, and finds the beauty in simple things. Her entries are classic, once upon a time reimaginings of her life that say so much more than her POV sections do. They’re heartbreaking and brutal. Watching Janie lose herself, her hope, is agony. 
  • Micah’s selective amnesia is scattered and fleeting, it hits with a punch. The memories are bright places in his dark pain. How he sees Janie is like a revelation. How Janie explains her connection is Micah is beyond anything, everything. Think Philip Pullman The Amber Spyglass sort of infinite, universe-defying love. Micah is confused and hurting. His mind has locked away the truth and it’s one he doesn’t want to face. He can’t bear to face.
  • When “it” happens, it’s relatable, easy to understand how things can be taken too far. How trapped and hurt. All the emotions are there in bursting torture and memory. The guilt, the nagging that she should have fought harder, that she let herself down, that no one would listen, that her voice doesn’t count. All of this is so relevant and so important to talk about. I adored that Amy Zhang made Janie’s diary entries turn dark, almost Grimm, when this horrible incident happened. The shift made the emotions all the more powerful. 

CONS:

  • Micah flows through life on the outskirts. He doesn’t really have a purpose or a function other than orbiting around Janie’s sunburst personality. He’s a kind of take it or leave it character. Other than his gentle, laid back kindness and way he worships Janie, it’s hard to ship him. 
  • When Micah finally does know the truth, the processing is absent. Like nonexistent. He breaks briefly and THE END. I expected more. Arguably, his amnesia is the coping process but there was just something that didn’t sit right. It seemed too easy to go on. Fleeting.

***NOTE: I am using this to fulfill when the main character has the same first initial on the 2016 YA Reading Challenge 

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

Happy reading, 

Jordan