If This Gets Out // Book Review

Author: Cale Dietrich and Sophie Gonzales
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
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Synopsis
Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartthrobs in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, the pressure to stay in the closet has Ruben confiding in Zach. On a whirlwind tour through Europe with an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, the two come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben realize they will never truly have the support they need. How can they hold tight to each other when their whole world is coming apart?


If you are looking for a cute, gay YA romance, then look no further. Once I read the synopsis, I was hooked. This is more than a story about first love, but finding your person, and yourself. The whole idea of a boy band and a romance that forms between two of it’s members, Zach and Ruben, sounds like a messy good time. And it definitely was.

The book was cute and heartwarming from the start. I was literally getting butterflies along with Zach and Ruben. Their relationship from friends to lovers did seem a little out of the blue, but as the story progressed, you could see that the feelings were there all along.

This book wasn’t steamy, but when you mix first love and teenage hormones, there is bound to be some spice in the relationship. There was a lot of focus on discovering yourself, and your sexuality. Also, the pressure to put a label on one’s self. Sometimes, all that’s needed are mutual feelings for each other, and the labels naturally become an afterthought. Often, they aren’t necessary at all.

It was interesting to see how the authors described being in the spotlight. Not every celebrity has a choice of how they appear to in the public eye. A lot of times you have to put on façade and play a part. Each of the band members were hiding who they were from their fans. Their management team made them feel as though if they were to truly be themselves they could lose everything. I don’t know if celebrities really have to deal with something like this, but if they do, fame must be pretty lonely at times.

I enjoyed getting to know all the bandmates, Zach, Ruben, Jon, and Angel. They were each every different, but when it came down to it, they were still brothers. The authors made a point to show the influence of drugs and drinking at a young age. Also, how celebrities can fall into unhealthy addictions because of bad influences and easy access to those things. I think most people know that celebrities, like all of us, aren’t a immune to addiction.

“The freedom to be ourselves, and express whatever truest version of ourselves we know of to the world as we see fit, is the most important freedom we have.”

There was the message of never letting fear stand in the way of trying something new. Things might take an unexpected turn, but every so often we find exactly what was missing from our lives. Ruben and Zach worked well as a couple, and they were truly there for each other. Ruben was more confident in his sexuality, and also someone the other band members could lean on.

That being said, Zach was my favorite of the two. I find that he had a lot of character development throughout the book. At the start, he was optimistic, and only wanted to make others happy (despite his wants and desires). It wasn’t until push came to shove that he fought for what he wanted, and broke out of his shell. I found, too, that Jon’s personality was one that I got attached to. I maybe had a mild crush on him. Don’t tell my husband.

In my opinion, Angel was definitely the funniest, but he struggled the most with having to be a fake version of himself. Still, his funny comments helped lighten the mood throughout the book. I appreciated the addition of humor, while still focusing on Ruben and Zach’s budding romance.

I do want to mention, one last time, that this book deals with more than just romance. Drug use, bi-phobia, underage drinking and even emotional abuse are present in this book. But I wouldn’t say that this is a heavy or traumatic read at all. Actually, I believe that the book is pretty underrated. Please leave me your thoughts on the book in the comments below. If you’d like to read more of my book reviews, then follow my blog to get notifications on new posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Friday Reads #7

Hi Friends,
Welcome to another ‘Friday Reads’ post! If you haven’t seen one of these posts before than let me give you the rundown. In this post, I will be sharing with you all the books that I hope to read throughout the weekend. So, let’s get started!



“#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.”



“From the New York Times bestselling author of Five Total Strangers and “master of suspense” (BCCB), Natalie D. Richards, comes a pulse-pounding YA thriller about a girl who goes on a mysterious scavenger hunt, only to discover that someone knows her worst secret…and is out for blood.”



“This is the story of two teenage cancer survivors on the quest to define life, because if they don’t, they might as well fail their class project entirely.”


I have other books that I would like to start, but I am trying not to be too ambitious. I hope you have a fun reading weekend. Besides reading, my plans include trying to calm my anxiety about upcoming severe weather and possibly watching ‘The Princess Switch’ on Netflix. For more posts like this follow the blog.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Ivies // Book Review

Author: Alexa Donne
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Murder Mystery
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Synopsis
Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.


I hadn’t heard or seen anyone talk about this book, but the cover intrigued me so I picked it up. The book started off with a bang, with the first chapter captivating my attention. I wanted to see how the story play out. The book was set up as a murder mystery that shows the lengths people will go to ensure they get into a good college.

Although, the beginning was gripping, I found myself getting bored as the story progressed. The mystery element was there and the plot wasn’t bad, but for some reason the story was weak. It might have something to do with the fact that I have never felt the need to go to an Ivy League school. (Well, there was the small desire to follow in Rory Gilmore’s footsteps and attend Yale.) I don’t really think an Ivy League college is the only way to have a good future.

Olivia, our main character, felt like a typical YA protagonist. In my opinion, books that feature an expensive boarding school usually follow the rich and/or elite kids that attend it. However, there is always the one person that doesn’t feel like they belong. Olivia was that girl in this book. She doesn’t feel like she fits in amongst the wealthy.

Olivia’s friend group includes Avery, Emma, Sierra, and Margot, better known as ‘The Ivies’. You could tell that the girls weren’t genuine friends, as they secretly undercut each other at every turn. They didn’t have each other’s backs, and could be just as ruthless to each other as they were to everyone else. I guess there is some truth to the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

I did find myself getting annoyed with Olivia at times, because her and her friends did awful things to people. However, Olivia kept making excuses for their actions. She might have not known about all the things her friends had done, but her hands were far from clean. She was naive, sure, but that’s hardly an excuse. I never really felt like she owned up to any of her wrong doings. And, somehow still turned out to be the victim.

Avery was clearly made out to be a Regina George type character. She carefully picked her friends; going so far as to select their Ivy League colleges for them. However, she wasn’t this mean girl that was obsessed with getting into Harvard. Well, she wasn’t only that girl. There was a softer side to her as well.

“We improve our own odds by slightly decreasing the fortunes of others.”

As for the rest of the group, they weren’t very fleshed out. We only got to know a little bit about each of them. Emma was probably the one we learned the most about, since she was murdered. We got a small glimpse at who Sierra was. As for Margot, the author didn’t really give any information on her. All we learned was that she didn’t care for Olivia. She didn’t think she fit in with their friend group, and was outright a bad friend to her.

Also, there was a side romance plot that, I guess, was cute. But, I didn’t care for it. I felt like there really didn’t need to be a romance in the story. Maybe I would have felt differently if Olivia was already in a relationship, but I’m not sure. I do, however, think that the outcome of relationship was surprising, and was the best twist in the book.

As for the murder aspect, the killer’s motive was somewhat weak, yet still relatable. I could actually see somebody killing for this reason. The story showed that having a high social status and money, doesn’t make you entitled to anything. Money can’t by dignity, or make you a decent person. The amount of energy these kids put into getting into college seemed exhausting. In the end, the teenagers in the book made getting into a fancy college seem like a ‘kill or be killed’ situation.

I had a lot of theories on how the book would play out, and some of my guesses were right. However, most of the time, I was dead wrong. This book had the potential to be on the level of Karen M. McManus’ books, but it lacked her amazing writing style and thrilling plot. The author has talent, but just didn’t hit this book out of the park.

A small thing that bugged me, but probably isn’t a big deal to most people, was the focus on Harvard. The book mentioned a few other big name schools, but getting in to Harvard played a major role in the story. Why does it always have to be Harvard? Is it too much to ask that we have a little more outside the box thinking? Okay, rant over.

I do want to mention that Alexa Donne happens to be an authortuber. This wasn’t something that I was aware of until after I read the book, but she has some great author content on her channel. If you want to get to know the author behind this book, then I recommend you check out her channel.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this book. It was an interesting read, yet not a book I would pick up again. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on this book. If you like bookish content, then follow the blog before you go.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Convenient Interruptions // Available Now



Hi Friends,
Happy release day! My first ever poetry book, Convenient Interruptions, is officially released. As of now, it is available for purchase exclusively on Amazon, in both e-book and paperback. I have worked long and hard on this boo, and any support you can give me would fill my heart with joy! The book community is absolutely amazing, and I am so lucky to be a part of it. If you happen to buy the book, please let me know in the comments. I want to hear all of your thoughts on the book, because I think everyone can relate to it in one way or another. The book is also available to read on Kindle Unlimited, so if you have a subscription, please go and read it!

I appreciate every one of you, and this wouldn’t have been possible without my fellow book lovers. Amazon and blog reviews are always welcomed, and they really help spread the word about the book. Leave a comment letting me know if you have published, or are going to be publishing, a book. Let’s support each other!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

How Not To Fall In Love // Book Review

Author: Jacqueline Firkins
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
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Synopsis
Harper thinks romance is a marketing tool. Nothing more. Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily-ever-afters. He also plays the accordion, makes chain mail for Ren Festers, hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house, cries over rocm-coms, and takes his word-of-the-day calendar very seriously. When Theo’s shocked to find himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. She’s also checking out her window to see if Theo’s home from his latest date yet. She’s even watching rom-coms. If she confesses her feelings, she’ll undermine everything she’s taught him. Or was he the one teaching her?


After reading the synopsis, I could tell that I was going to love this book! I might not be the biggest fan of friends-to-lovers stories, but I do love a cute, well written young adult contemporary. The main character, Harper, is both cynical and practical. She had a negative outlook on love because her first relationship ended in heartbreak. Harper’s reaction to getting her heart broken was pretty realistic, since a lot of young people are scared to put themselves back out there after a breakup.

Harper’s best friend, Theo, represented the other side of the romance spectrum. He is a hopeless romantic who is looking for his ride-or-die, so to speak. I liked that the other showed two different types of people, and how they feel about falling in love. I related more to Theo, since I would risk getting my hear tbroken a million times over, if it got me closer to finding the one.

The great thing about this book was how it showcased that opposites really do attract. And, unless you are open to the possibility of love, you tend to ignore your feelings for someone. You also sometimes dismiss all the signs that someone is clearly into you. Harper was not clueless, but she was so guarded that she couldn’t see Theo’s feelings for her.

“I want to love boldly and bravely or not at all.”

The characters were trying to figure out what being in love meant, while being afraid to go all-in with someone. The story focused on how complex teenage love and relationships can be, at times. Although, the plot was fully friends-to-lover there was the underlining message that love is unavoidable. No matter how hard you try to fight an attraction, hormones always win in the end.

I think that, like Harper and Theo, we can all can probably attest to that love – especially young love. It can be hard, scary, and a roller-coaster. But at the end of the day, it really is all worth it. There were a few mature scenes, but they weren’t super steamy. This is a young adult book, after-all. However, I felt obligated to mention it to my readers.

Honestly, this book made me want to read more friends-to-lovers books, which is surprising, I was a fan of the author’s writing style, and as I already mentioned, that plot captured my heart. I managed to read it in just one day, and that’s rare for me. Let me know in the comments if you have read this book! I think it is pretty underrated, which, in my opinion, is a shame. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more bookish content.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

You’d Be Mine // Book Review

Author: Erin Hahn
Published: 2019
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
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Synopsis
Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen. Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.


If you are a fan of the  television series ‘Nashville’, or the movie ‘Country Strong’, then I have a feeling you will like this book. I, for one, am a huge country music fan. for the most part. Also, I enjoyed the series Nashville. But there was something about this book that just didn’t work for me.

Honestly, I found the plot rather boring. I became uninterested in the story somewhere around the halfway mark. The book covered a lot of different topics, starting with how one deals with the pressures of fame. The female lead, Annie, was carrying the burden of being the daughter of two big time superstars. She felt a huge weight on her shoulders to be as talented and amazing as her late parents were.

Clay, on the other hand, was the typically rebellious celebrity that kept all his emotions bottled up. Honestly, I have never cared for the brooding bad boy type, i.e. Jess from Gilmore Girls.

“If I had to choose my favorite, you’d be mine.”

As for Annie and Clay’s relationship, some might classify it as enemies-to-lovers, but it was more like first love and a growing bond between ‘co-workers’. I’d guess you could say they had chemistry, but the romance wasn’t a huge element of the story.

The main message was about finding yourself and facing your demons. It was about letting go of your grief, and feeling all the emotions that come with being human. Even the hard ones. Struggles with addiction play a role within the story, and the author tried to shows two different sides of addicts. The ones that let their addictions consume them, and those that realize they’ve gone too far, and come out on the other side.

The book contains many triggering topics, such as tragic loss, suicide, overdose, drugs, alcoholism and more. In all my reviews with books that have major triggers, I recommend the site ‘Book Trigger Warnings. Assuming, of course, that they have the book on the site.

If you like bookish content, then follow the blog for more posts, and do give this review a like. Share and comment too!

Until The Next Chapter,

Bunny

Caraval // Book Review

Author: Stephanie Garber
Published: 2016
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
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Synopsis
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.


This book was interesting from the get go, and the plot never slowed down. The whole idea behind a magical carnival was awesome, since I find books that revolve around carnivals to be fascinating. Although, I haven’t read any other carnival books, so my opinion might change in the future.

The main character, Scarlett, was always second guessing herself, and was afraid to break rules. This was understandable, given her horrible home life. However, I found Scarlett likable, and didn’t mind her more annoying traits. I could, however, see how some people wouldn’t be a fan of her. Her sister, Tella, on the other hand, was a bit reckless and immature. Still I understood her desire to want a better life for herself and her sister. I think she was a lot stronger and smarter than the book actually showed.

The book kept you guessing at every turn, and you never knew who to trust. At one point, I thought I had everything figured out. But then something happens, and now I have know idea what to expect next. I am generally more inclined to like books when the plot isn’t so predictable, which I feel is true of most readers.

The world building was outstanding. The author made Caraval come to live, and made me feel like I was playing the game along with the characters. The author didn’t spend a lot of time describing this magic carnival, but the little details told about the world were enough to make me wish it was real.

I found the book to have an underlying sisterhood/relationship theme, but it was more of a background element. The book was dark and whimsical, and I think the touch of whimsy made the book not feel so long. The story also strives to prove that everyone has an agenda, and that everything comes with a price.

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether.”

Control, and being controlled, were a big part of the book. It seemed most people were out to control Scarlett – even Tella. I didn’t like how Tella tried to get Scarlett to do things she was against, because she wanted to protect her sister. Sure, Tella was doing it out of love. Still, it felt underhanded. By the end, I felt pretty bad for Scarlett. And speaking of the ending, there was a minor cliffhanger that has me intrigued. I’m curious to see what comes next!

Despite all the good things I had to say about the story, it didn’t quite make it to 5 stars. I will say that Julian, the love interest, was a highlight of the book, because he was very swoon-worthy.

There are a few trigger warning for the book, but I wouldn’t worry too much about them. First and foremost, this is a fantasy book so it doesn’t really focus on heavy topics. However, you can visit the books page on Book Trigger Warnings if you would like. Don’t forget to give my blog a follow, because it makes me smile.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

You’ve Reached Sam // Book Review

Authort: Dustin Thao
Published: 2020
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Magical Realism
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Synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes. Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail. And Sam picks up the phone.


I don’t want this review to be completely negative, but I always want to give you my true unfiltered opinion. And, truthfully, the story could have been executed better. The plot had so much promise, and I was hoping for a tear-jerking story. But, it didn’t live up to my expectations. The book started off a week after the male love interest, Sam’s, death. This was interesting, since most books don’t follow someone during the grieving process. This is exactly what the plot of the book was – watching someone, in this case Julie, struggle with their grief.

As the synopsis shows, there is a magical realism component in the story, which is that Julie and Sam can talk via phone to one another. The author’s take on this plot point was interesting, but different than how I imagined. I don’t know what I was hoping for – just that I wasn’t sold on the way this element was developed.

Julie as a character was just okay. But, it was annoying that she was clearly oblivious to the fact that she had Sam wrapped around her finger. She was willing to let him change all his plans for her, and forget about some of his friends in order to spend time with her. Their lives literally revolved around one another. Their relationship was frustrating to read about to say the least. Still, I guess that is how first love is for people.

“We are two parts of a song. He is the music. I am the words.”

Sam got on my nerves a lot. He was apparently such a devoted and kind boyfriend while alive, but in death he was kind of rude. At times he would snapped at Julie, even though she was doing things to make him happy. She might have occasionally overstepped, but he didn’t have to be so salty towards her. He always ‘unintentionally’ made her feel guilty about him dying. He claimed to want her to move on, but every time she tried to, he would make her feel bad about it.

All in all, I assume the moral of the story is that we shouldn’t live in the loss, and to not let grief consume us. You can’t hold on to the hope that the person you lost will come back. The only thing one can do is keep them in our hearts, and try to live on for them. The good thing about the book was that it was a quick read, which was nice for me.

However, I wasn’t emotionally invested in the storytelling. I mean, I didn’t even cry. I would recommend the book to fans of ‘If I Stay’ by Gale Forman. I have never read that book, but I did see the movie. For some reason, I find these two stories to be somewhat similar. Also, in ‘If I Stay’, there was the whole in between element, and I think that Sam was definitely caught in the in between.

Please give me your thoughts on this book, since I am probably going to get a lot of flak for this review. However, one thing is for sure – the book cover is stunning! Don’t forget to give my blog a follow.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

All This Time // Book Review

Author: Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott
Published: 2020
Genre: Young Adult/Romance/Mental Health
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Synopsis
Kyle and Kimberly have been the perfect couple all through high school, but when Kimberly breaks up with him on the night of their graduation party, Kyle’s entire world upends – literally. Their car crashes and when he awakes, he has a brain injury. Kimberly is dead. And no one in his life could possibly understand. Until Marley. Marley is suffering from her own loss, a loss she thinks was her fault. As Kyle and Marley work to heal each other’s wounds, their feelings for each other grow stronger. But Kyle can’t shake the sense that he’s headed for another crashing moment that will blow up his life as soon as he’s started to put it back together. And he’s right.


I was very excited to read this book, since I was a huge fan of ‘Five Feet Apart’ by this author duo. The only thing I knew about this story was that it was going to be a hard-hitting contemporary. Or so I thought. The story has a very interesting concept, with a few twist and turns.

The plot is less about death and grief, more about life and healing. One of the most interesting factors was that for the first half of the book, you think you are reading one story, but the second half is a completely different story.

The twists were somewhat shocking, but I figured out one of them pretty early. For me, that isn’t necessarily a con, but I know some people would prefer more of a surprise.

“That’s the first thing you said to me, remember? Once upon a time.”

I thought that I was going to bawl my eyes out, as I did with ‘Five Feet Apart’, but that wasn’t the case. I’m not going to say that the book wasn’t touching. Still, I didn’t find it too hard-hitting. In my opinion, if you aren’t into heartbreaking books, then you should be safe reading this one.

The ending was nice, and wrapped up the story well. We should always remember the ones we love, and how they made us feel. Keep their memory alive in our hearts. But there does come a point when the grieving should end. We shouldn’t let loss consume us.

The writing was great. I find the authors to be great storytellers, and I will for sure be picking up more of their books. Let me know in the comments if you have read, or are planning on reading, this book. You can always follow the blog, which really helps it to grow!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Kingdom Of The Wicked // Book Review

Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Published: 2020
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Witchies
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Synopsis
From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series. Two sisters. One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself. And an intoxicating romance.


I am a fan of Kerri Maniscalco’s ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ series. Although, it’s worth mentioning that I have only read the first book in that series. However, I am very conflicted on my thoughts of this book. On the one hand I find the premise interesting, but I wasn’t thrilled with the characters, or the overall plot.

The book didn’t enchant me as much as I’d hoped it would. At first, I found the plot to be fast paced and engaging. But as the book went on, I cared less and less about the story. And don’t even get me started with the love plot. I get that this isn’t supposed to be a romance heavy book, which is a good thing. But the growing relationship between the two main characters, Emilia and Wrath, didn’t do it for me.

“Your heart will conquer darkness. Trust in that.”

The shocking twist wasn’t a shocking twist at all, and one could guess the villain, as well as the cliffhanger ending. However, it did at least leaves you wanting more, and anticipating the next book. As the reader, you do want to see what happens next. Are the more twist to come? What is in store for Emilia and Wrath?

Keep in mind that this isn’t a one session read, yet I do know some fantasy lovers can read a heavy fantasy in one sitting, so this could just be a me thing. I found the story to require a lot of focus and attention, which most fantasy worlds do. One of my biggest cons was the slow pacing, because it made the book seem longer than it is actually.

The writing was beautiful, since Maniscalco has a singsong way of telling a story, which makes it hard for me not to pick up the next book. In all honestly, I don’t think this book was my type of book, but I can see a YA fantasy fan really enjoying it. In the comments, let me know if you are a fantasy reader. Please hit the follow button, and share and like this post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny