Every Moment After by Joseph Moldover

BLURB~

“Best friends Matt and Cole grapple with their changing relationships during the summer after high school in this impactful, evocative story about growing up and moving on from a traumatic past. 

Surviving was just the beginning. 

Eleven years after a shooting rocked the small town of East Ridge, New Jersey and left eighteen first graders in their classroom dead, survivors and recent high school graduates Matt Simpson and Cole Hewitt are still navigating their guilt and trying to move beyond the shadow of their town’s grief. Will Cole and Matt ever be able to truly leave the ghosts of East Ridge behind? Do they even want to? 

As they grapple with changing relationships, falling in love, and growing apart, these two friends must face the question of how to move on—and truly begin living.”

REVIEW~

Every Moment After is such a fitting title for this book. While it mentions and discusses a bit about the shooting, it doesn’t focus on it. Told in the alternating voices of Matt and Cole, the story is about the two, who have recently graduated, and are survivors of a school shooting that happened in first grade. Though it was many years ago, the young men still deal with PTSD and survivor’s guilt. They are very close friends and this story explores the bond that males share as friends. I loved that aspect. They depend on each other so much, as they suffered the same trauma together. They are growing up, so to speak, and going forward with their lives, and perhaps depending on each other less and less. They still struggle with their feelings even though it has been years ago. The past haunts them both.

The writing was impactful and sensitive, considering the subject matter. Moldover did an amazing job at telling the story and expressing the trauma through the boys’ eyes. The author didn’t rely on the atrocity that occurred, but rather, he really touched on the relationships that boys and men form and how they can sometimes grow apart though they still feel that they need each other for support. It is a magnificent work and well worth the read.

The characters were relatable and likeable. You could easily sympathize with them from the start. Their growth from boyhood to manhood is so very touching. Their dependency and need for one another’s support was so heartfelt. The plot was ingenious, IMHO. The way Moldover handled the delicate base topic was so impressive.

This was an easy and enjoyable read for me, though it was emotional and made me sad and tear up at times. It was very moving. You don’t want to miss this one! It will tug at you heart strings and give you pause to think of the aftermath that leaves its mark long after such a tragedy occurs. 5/5.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

 

And We Call It Love by Amanda Vink

BLURB~

“Clare and Zari are best friends. They write music together, go everywhere together, and they know everything about the other. At least they did before Zari started dating Dion. The more Zari falls for Dion, the less she has time for anything else. At first, Clare chalks it up to a new and exciting relationship, and she tries to be happy for her friend despite her loneliness. When Zari starts to show up to school with half-hidden bruises, Clare knows there’s something darker about this relationship that has to be stopped.”

REVIEW~

This is a different kind for read for me. I me, I read poetry, but not in story form. I thought it was unique way to convey the message of dating abuse that is so prevalent in our society today. Especially the topic of teen dating abuse. I loved the way Clare is portrayed. A sensitive and creative girl, who is both keen and strong enough to help her friend Zari. I love the title. It is so fitting for the subject matter.

Told in poetry and prose for both the MCs POVs, it switches back and forth between the two. I became invested in the characters. They were so realistic. This story-telling style was a perfect way to impart the subject matter and you saw a genuine connection between the two girls and how much they cared for each other. It brought forth feelings and I sometime cried while reading it. The author certainly has a flair for telling a tale in a new and inimitable way and I loved it. Her writing is perfection and spot on. One can’t help but wonder if she has not created this, or if she has lived it.

The characters were all dynamic and meaningful to the account as a whole. The parents of the different individuals, Zari and Claire, Dion, and others in the cast that brought the entire thing together. It was such an interesting method to introduce problems and cycle of abuse: manipulation, alienation, control and then abuse. You came to know the depth of fear Zari had for Clare, and her attempts to intervene. There was such a perfect dynamic between them.

The plot moved at a steady pace and as you read, you are drawn in slowly, almost unwittingly into the narrative. It was a quick, albeit difficult (in terms of topic) book. It tackles issues of abuse certainly, but also, of others’ unwillingness to see what is happening to the victim. I thought it was shrewdly presented by Vink.

This is a book I will give to my daughters to read. I think it is a significant examination of a very preeminent issue. I thought it was flawless. 5/5.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess

BLURB~

“Victoria Parker knew her dad’s behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights. Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden. But some secrets won’t stay buried especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can’t stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won’t leave you alone?”

REVIEW~

This was a title request for me. It was stirring. I didn’t even read the blurb or details. I just tapped “REQUEST.” BIG mistake on my part. I erupted into tears almost immediately when I began to read this book. Trigger warnings do not speak to how disturbing this book is. It is heart shattering because it is so GENUINE!

This story impacted me in such a profound way that I am literally crying while writing this review. I was so deeply affected that I stopped reading it. I didn’t think I would finish it. I didn’t think that I COULD finish it. It was nearly deranging. Of course, I did obviously. After I could stop sobbing enough to be able to see the words. This story elicited long past and arcane memories buried deep within me. I am sure you can tell by now, that I identified with Victoria on an intense level because of my own abuse. I will say that Nikki presented this truth-based tale in a superbly astucious and sensitive, though not delicate way. I cannot even begin to relay how extremely piercing and authentic this story is.

“No one can really see the quiet you carry unless you let them.”

This novel is so chillingly authentic. The author is unwaveringly honest and raw. She lets this story tell itself through Victoria’s eyes, so to speak. The pace is a bit slow in the beginning because that is how a victim tells their story- slowly, bit by bit. The writing is impeccable. She penned this book in such a way that you are consumed by it. Even weeks after I have finished reading it, this story invades my mind and haunts me. I believe Barthelmess could write about a cactus growing and make it a compelling tale. She is not only talented, she is gifted. I am truly in awe.

The plot? There isn’t a plot. There is only a story; one of sorrow and redemption. A teenage girl, suffering from the worst tragedies imaginable and she conquers her demons in her own way. At the beginning of the book she is fragile, bewildered, and afraid. Her growth throughout the book is both empowering and inspiring. Not only do you support this character, you are WITH her on the journey. It is very cathartic. Through Victoria, we learn that while we may not ever truly recover from the worst things that have happened to us, we may overcome the pain that was caused. All of the characters were impacting, whether you liked them or not. They were skillfully realized and the relationships and dynamics between all of the characters are so fittingly true to life.

This book addresses some issues that are not easily tackled. It brings to light many flaws in the foster care system; the plight of the social workers, the struggles of the children- the difficult situations people are sometimes thrust into, without being able to cope or manage appropriately. It raises awareness and concern for the foster care “system” as a whole. It poses questions that need to be answered and displays problems that need to be solved. I admire the author for her bravery in taking this subject matter on and bringing it to light.

The Quiet You Carry will destroy the illusions that permeate our advantaged society’s belief system that makes us feel that life is fairly good for most folks. Reality can be a heartbreaking, barbarous, and inhumane world for some people. Everyone needs to read this book. I implore you to read this book!  A most definite 5/5!

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda

BLURB~

“The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.

Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.

It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…”

REVIEW~

“One person’s crazy is another’s brilliance.”

Well, Kaira Rouda is CRAZY BRILLIANT!!! I am stunned. This character Jane…she is the epitome of narcissism. She is the first-person narrator of this story, which reads as if she’s talking to you. She is conniving, self-absorbed, manipulative, and thinks the entire universe revolves around her. And that everyone in it should revolve around her as well. What a B! I utterly despised her character, which is perfect for this story. I don’t wan to give any spoilers, so I’ll have to be careful writing this review because this is such a complex book, you almost HAVE to give some clues to be able to tell how and why you feel the way you do after reading it. (PLEASE someone message me about this novel so I can talk about it!)

I have never read anything by this author before but I will read everything she’s ever done if it is only 10% as phenomena as this book is. She is a freaking GENIUS. The way she wrote this was shockingly authentic. I’ve heard it said that one in every four people is a sociopath. Well, our MC Jane is all 4 of them in one individual. This chic is certifiably insane. Rouda’s portrayal of Jane, especially bringing the reader into Jane’s own mind and thoughts- is so meticulously well done, that I wanted to have her institutionalized. She has written something so provocative and compelling that I can’t even begin to describe how insatiable it is to read. It is most certainly, “If you interrupt me while I’m reading this, I may kill you” book. No…seriously. It is just that amazing.

The blurb gives a basic outline of the plot but you can’t fully understand how ingratiated you’ll get into this novel until you read it for yourself. I hated everyone of the characters at first. Then, as I began to realize what a psycho Jane was and how she used everyone in her life, I started to understand how they could become the person they were. Ummm- I mean characters. They became sympathetic and you just wanted them to get away from Jane and her insanity.  I do have to admit though, at times it was humorous and Jane had me rolling. Thank goodness for a bit of comic relief amid such an intense read. But I still loathed her.

This story really gets into your head and you feel as if you are ALL IN.

There were lots of twists, one of them being so shocking that I literally just gawked at the page for a few seconds, thinking WTH?!?! The concept of this novel is penetrating and evocative. I was dumbfounded. It really explores the way sociopaths view their world. Rouda has an acumen for this type of character that I have never read before. Makes me wonder HOW she has so much insight…

I could go on and on- I think I have- but this book, oh my gosh- this story! I can’t say I recommend it. I must tell you it is a GO GET IT NOW AND READ IT novel. I mean it. It is a mystery/family drama/suspense/thriller mind blowing story and you will LOVE it. This is one that I have to read again, it is so magnificent. 5/5 stars from this bewildered and utterly delighted reader.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

What We Buried by Kate A Boorman

BLURB~

“Told from the split viewpoints of Liv and Jory, Kate A. Boorman’s What We Buried is a psychological thrill ride that deftly explores how memories can lie, how time can bend, and how reconciling the truth can be a matter of life or death.

“Do you ever just want to be believed?”

Siblings Liv and Jory Brewer have grown up resenting each another. Liv—former pageant queen and reality TV star—was groomed for a life in the spotlight, while her older brother, Jory, born with a partial facial paralysis, was left in the shadows. The only thing they have in common is contempt for their parents.

Now Liv is suing her mom and dad for emancipation, and Jory views the whole thing as yet another attention-getting spectacle. But on the day of the hearing, their parents mysteriously vanish, and the siblings are forced to work together. Liv feels certain she knows where they are and suspects that Jory knows more than he’s telling…which is true.

What starts as a simple overnight road trip soon takes a turn for the dangerous and surreal. And as the duo speeds through the deserts of Nevada, brother and sister will unearth deep family secrets that force them to relive their pasts as they try to retain a grip on the present.”

 

REVIEW~

I take notes when I am reviewing a book. At the top of the page of the notes on this one, I have written, “WTH? Mind Blown!”

 

This novel is a serious….I don’t even know what to say. It just is insane. The blurb tells you the basic premise, so I won’t go into that. I just wish everyone had read it already and we could talk about it and all share our ideas and thoughts. I will say that Boorman did a FANTASTIC job at keeping you reeled in and hooked. This story is unlike any I’ve ever read before. It isn’t action packed, but very emotionally charged.

 

The writing is sublime. The way the author shifts POVs and times, giving alternating perspectives of the same situations of the past… It is so real that it is unreal. It just illustrates so well that reality is merely perception. I didn’t like these characters at first, but as you learned their stories and what they’d been through at the hands of these God-awful parents- you begin to understand the reasons they are the way they are, which is SO messed up.

 

I can’t say I ever figured out the plot. It is character driven. They become more relatable to the reader and each other throughout the story. They experienced a lot of growth. This book was like reading a family therapy session to me. And it was just spectacular and mind boggling at the same time.

 

It was an enjoyable read, although I have to say it was FULL of tension. I couldn’t read fast enough. This book had me in a state, let me tell you. And I have read other books since I am writing this review but this one stands out. TBH, it has me wondering about my own life and things that’ve happened to me and I wonder how other people saw the same situations unfold in my own past.

 

This is one of those books, that if you were standing next to me, I’d shove it into your hands and tell you, “you have GOT to read this!.” …and just…wow. PLEASE tell me your thoughts after you read it. I MUST talk about this book with someone. It is seriously THAT charging! Have I used enough all caps? Sorry, but I will definitely be getting a physical copy of this book, it is so surreal. 5/5

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

 

 

 

The Poisoned by Elizabeth Fremantle

BLURB~

“A spellbinding thriller set in the Jacobean Court of 1615 surrounding a famed couple imprisoned on suspicion of murder—but was it Lord Robert or Lady Frances who committed the crime?

A marriage. A murder. One of them did it. Which of them will die for it?

In the autumn of 1615, scandal rocks the Jacobean court, when a celebrated couple, Robert and Frances Carr, are imprisoned on suspicion of murder. Frances is young, captivating, and from a notorious family. She has been rescued from an abusive marriage by Robert, and is determined to make a new life for herself. Whatever the price.

Robert is one of the richest and most famous men in the kingdom. He has risen from nothing to become one of the country’s most powerful men. But to get to the top, you cannot help making enemies.

Some believe she is innocent; others think her wicked or insane. He claims no knowledge of the murder. The king suspects them both, though it is his secret at stake. Now a man is dead. And someone must pay with their life.

Who is telling the truth? Who has the most to lose? And who is willing to commit murder?”

 

REVIEW~

I love historical fiction. I mean LOVE it. (Phillipa Gregory is one of my favorite authors.) So now I believe Elizabeth Fremantle will be as well. This is a scintillating work of speculative fiction based on true events that occurred during the Jacobean period in King James I court. It has bits of everything: intrigue, murder, sexuality, mystery… shall I go on?  

Fremantle is a proficient writer and she has authored this tale in a most delicious and inveigling manner. The reader is instantly captivated and you can’t stop reading from the first page to the last. This is one I wish I could’ve read in one sitting because it is truly that consuming. This is a stay up all night, dread going into work the next day, but thrilled to have been able to escape into the story kind of book. Literally- no pun intended. If it had not been for children and husband and other interruptions, I would have done just that. Stayed up all night reading I mean.

The plot is authored so adeptly that you get a real sense of what life was like in King James’ court. The scheming and plotting. Deceiving and conspiracies. This book transports you back in time. I found myself engulfed in this period. Just brilliant!

The characters. Oh, my word, the characters! Told in alternating POVs, “him” and “her”, I felt as if I knew them personally. Fremantle did such an excellent job in her portrayal. I love the way she wrote their story, from the beginning when they met, up until the time they were imprisoned. I felt that the flow was impeccable because of this style of storytelling.

Obviously, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and found it to be an easy read. I also had to go and read about the true events afterward. I was delighted and impressed at the accuracy with which the tale was written- though some artistic license was taken, to be sure. Actually, I’d say this is a historical fiction thriller.

Fremantle has outdone herself and I look forward to collecting all her works. 5/5

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

 

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

BLURB~

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she

finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.
To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?”

 

REVIEW~

This story reminded me a bit of a Sleeping Beauty meets Rumpelstiltskin meets The Hazelwood meets Pan’s Labyrinth. Completely mesmerizing, the writing is literally emotive. I was transfixed throughout the entirety of the book. This was a most unusual story for me. The narrative is exquisite and moving. Wees’ prose was nothing short of wondrous, transporting the reader to a world that is highly unique, magical, and descriptive in its detail. So descriptive in fact, that you are spellbound by it.

The plot is beguiling. Told in alternating POV, Rhea’s and the witch’s -it’s hard to describe without giving away any spoilers, but it is just so entrancing that you keep turning page after page, addicted to the story. Utterly fascinating and bewildering at the same time. I suppose you can tell that this one is a MUST READ, IMHO. You won’t be able to fully understand how captivating this dark, fantasy novel is, until you have it in hand, and are reading it for yourself.

The pacing seems slow, but is actually perfect for the story, introducing characters and merging them with perfect timing on the author’s part. The characters are diverse and richly drawn and their humanity makes them relatable. I love the exploration of anxiety the characters feel in this book.

All in all, this is a magnificent tale that is written poignantly and beautifully. I will definitely be reading more from this gifted author. 5/stars.

I was given this eBook by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross

 BLURB~

“A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France–and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . .”

 

REVIEW~

 

This is NOT a Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. In fact, it’s rather dark, IMHO. It is told from the Beasts POV and there is no Belle, in this version, we have Isabaeu. The premise of this book was very intriguing. Especially since Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales.

 

The author’s writing was skillful, with careful attention to detail. The pacing, however, was a bit off for me. It was kind of slow. I did enjoy the book and characters. I like the fact that even Isabaeu had flaws as well as the Beast. I was pleased to read a version of what the Beast might’ve been thinking in this story. I have to say, however, that I was a bit put off with this retelling. It didn’t have antagonist as far as I could guess. Though I found it character driven and written well, I felt it was lacking in some way.

 

Overall, it was enjoyable read, despite the pacing. The author did a wonderful job at giving insight into the possible inner most thoughts of the Beast. I do believe it is worth reading. 3/5 stars.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

Second Star (A Neverland Transmissions Novel Book 1) by J.M. Sullivan

BLURB~

“Wendy Darling worked her entire life to rise through the ranks of the prestigious Londonierre Brigade. Now as a Captain, she has everything she’s always wanted, including a ship and crew of her own. But when the Brigade receives a strange transmission from the legendary James Hooke, lost a hundred years earlier in uncharted space and presumed dead, Wendy is willing to risk it all to rescue her hero. She races to the planet known only as Neverland; her mission to find the long-lost crew and bring them home.

But there is more to Neverland than meets the eye, and more to Hooke than what was written in history books. When Wendy crash lands on the ominous planet, she quickly discovers Neverland’s dark secret; a malevolent being known as The Shadow that’s looking for a host body to escape its eternal prison. To fulfill her mission, Wendy must decide whether to trust the dashing Hooke or the mysterious Fleet mechanic who goes by the name of Pan–and she has to decide quickly…

Before the darkness consumes them all.”

REVIEW~

This novel is an absolutely brilliant take on a beloved childhood classic fairytale. I loved this retelling of Peter Pan. The author’s unique adaptation of carrying the story into the future and into space is sheer genius. I mean, how original is the concept behind this account? Who would have even thought of this??? It’s ridiculous how inventive this version of the tale is. I am rambling. Gushing even. Did I mention that I LOVE this book? I digress.

The author’s creativity is obvious but the writing and word building is wonderful as well. Perfectly paced, the characters and this amazing, adventurous realm were fashioned in such a way that you are completely drawn in. Wendy and Peter have an immediate and intense chemistry that feels tangible. The author wrote them beautifully, with witty banter and a passionate connection. The two bring such energy to the novel. In fact, ALL of the characters were so so so inventively conceived. I want to tell you but I also don’t because I hope for you to be as amusingly surprised as I was at how the familiar characters are reimagined. I will admit that there were a few minor editing errors that were noticed but those didn’t detract from the story at all.

This was such an amazing read. If I say again how much I thoroughly enjoyed it, you may shoot me, but –WOW!  I really did.  This is such a great book y’all. I mean, seriously. You have GOT to read this if you love Peter Pan. Or fairytale retellings. Or space. Or strong & fierce female MCs. And if you don’t love those things. Read it anyway. It’s quick, fun, and delightful. 5/5 stars from this entranced reader.

I was given this eBook by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

BLURB~

“Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin is not destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.”

 

REVIEW~

 

Told from multiple POV, this author uses a unique and different style of writing that, TBH, I found a bit confusing at times. I found myself flipping back to previous pages to try and understand what the heck was going on. That being said, I was completely mesmerized by this story! It is an epic fantasy that I could definitely see being made into a movie, or better yet, a Netflix series or something like that. It is supposed to be the first in a series of five books, I believe. So, there is great potential for propelling the story forward. I can see why it has been compared to Game of Thrones, because of the complexity of the plotline and the many characters. There are so many elements to this tale.

 

The author is a brilliant at description and detail. The writing was striking and powerful. Lyons even includes footnotes and a glossary. The word building was nothing short of magnificent. Lyons’ storytelling style in this book is innovative and distinctive. The quality of writing is absolutely astounding. Jenn Lyons is an extraordinarily gifted and talented author.

 

The flow was hard to follow, and as I mentioned- it was confusing at times. There so many voices and characters that sometimes switch bodies and I was wondering who was actually who sometimes. I caught on easily though. The characters were richly drawn and dynamic. There were humorous exchanges between supporting cast and characters that gave comic relief to the intensity of the novel. The world of the book was immense and vivid. Wondrous even. It was a fascinating storyline that kept me riveted despite the convoluted elements. Definitely interesting enough to be anxious for the next installment. (Oh Jenn, please don’t be a George!)

 

Trigger warning- I don’t’ think this would be a book for younger readers as it has slavery, torture, human sacrifice, rape, and incest. Id go so far as to say this should be considered more adult fiction than YA.

 

This must have been quite the challenge to write, which speaks to the author’s skill IMHO. A quick and enjoyable read, this one packs a punch. There’s a lot story in this relatively short book. It was entertaining with loose endings that keep you begging for answers. I am conflicted about the rating because it was such an amazing read but it WAS very confusing, though I did enjoy getting lost in it. I highly recommend, if you have time to put the pieces together. It is a brilliant and captivating book. 4/5 stars.

I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This review, or portions thereof, will be posted (when able) on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Kobo, IG, FB, Pinterest, Litsy, and my own blog.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide links to all sites as I am using my phone.

On various sites I am:

Pinterest~ Pinterest.com/katskraps

Barnes & Noble~ Karyl-Ahn-white_7

Litsy~ Karylahn or Karyl White