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

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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

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ARC Review: Wink Poppy Midnight-April Genevieve Tucholke

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Release Date: March 22, 2016

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Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

review

5/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Penguin FirstToRead

Within the first TEN pages, I knew, that Wink Poppy Midnight would become one of my new favorites. From the first line, it is whimsical, bewitching, mesmerizing, and transports you with its fairytale-like quality and that perfect bit of darkness. 

Everyone has a little bit of hero and villain within them and plenty of secrets shared between the sweetest of friends and the bitterest of enemies, but this contemporary reads like folklore. 

Beautifully twisted and enchanting, you’ll question the nature of humans and our capacity to write your own story, no matter the players. 

PROS:

  • Told from three alternating POVs, each character is distinct and owns their personality. The way these narratives swirl and intertwine with each other is surprising and yet, feels like destiny. 
  • The mystery. That plot twist. Normally, I figure things out steps ahead of the protagonist, this time, I was stumped, and I can’t tell you enough how wonderful that felt. 
  • Secondary characters are just as intriguing as the main ones. 
  • Stories within stories. Not only are their secrets told in whispers between primary and secondary characters that shape and change them but there are magical, didactic tales of witches and fae, of heroes and enchantresses, of heart and revenge much in the epic style of Gilgamesh or Beowulf, but less boring. 🙂
  • Wink is of another world. Wrapped lovingly in story and fantasy, she’s like a little pixie child who weaves magic into reality. Compassionate, bright, bold, Wink brings light and profound understanding. The tarot cards, séances, the way she is with her siblings, she puts her all in everything and your heart will feels so full of what you could be if you didn’t let anything bother you and just embraced your inner freedoms. She’s like the fae that take your hand and lead you into the forest, you know something is weird but you can’t help yourself.
  • I was simultaneously appalled and entranced by Poppy. She’s wicked. A bully of the highest order. Evil. The way she talks about others as if they’re worthless. She owns her shallowness and her vile nature. She accepts is as who she is and refuses to live a lie. You can’t help but hate her and begrudgingly give her utmost respect. She’s tragic, much in the way of Daisy Buchanan and Holly Golightly. At the same time, you can’t forget the blood on her hands. 
  • The reader, the brooding, loving, openhearted romantic. Swoon. Sigh. Fall. Midnight is trying to figure out who he is and what love truly means. He’s been under the delusion of love and wrapped around Poppy’s spell, but Wink, Wink shows him another world. Midnight is on the road to discovery-to self. The way he looks at the world is haunting and bittersweet. Almost like Keats. Made for another time. 
  • The way Midnight views Wink. Breathless and completely taken with her. She fascinates and puzzles him. She breathes life into his dark world. LOVE LOVE LOVE. 

CONS:

  • The ending. That it ended at all. But it also didn’t sit right with me. Something was missing, that finality. Maybe, that was the point. That the story continues, even without the reader. 

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

NOTE: I’m using this as my book without people on the cover for the 2016 YA Reading Challenge

Magical reading, 

Jordan

Release Blitz & Giveaway: The Chosen Knights by Mary Ting

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When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar.

However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.

There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.

The Angel Knights Ebook Cover

Prequel to The Chosen Knights

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International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

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Keep reading, 

Jordan