Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: Cutie and the Beast by E.J. Russell


Cutie and the Beast
(Fae Out of Water #1)
E.J. Russell
Release: July 24, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.
Review:
I'd been looking for m/m romance book with Beauty and the Beast elements for a long time when I saw All Things Urban Fantasy post a review of Cutie and the Beast. I was sold and I immediately went to see if it was still on Netgalley. Thank heavens it was! I probably gave my mouse whiplash because I requested it fast after that. And I'm happy to say that it did not disappoint my high expectations! I loved it! It was fun and cute and just plain lovely.

David Evans is a mess. He seems to be a bit unlucky. Wherever he goes, chaos follows. Like riot and drunken fist fight chaos. It gotten to the point where he's been banned from actually working in an office by the temp service he works for even though he's more than qualified to do so. Thanks to an awful flu virus is going around, he gets an assignment he was never meant to have... being the office manager for a psychologist. And not just any psychologist. He's going to go work for Dr. Alun Kendrick, the doctor he's had a crush on since hearing his voice at a medical transcription job.

The thing is Dr. Kendrick is not your normal psychologist. He's a fae lord who treats members of the supernatural community and the occasional supernaturally traumatized human. Alun Kendrick has been dealing with a 200 year curse that has transformed his once perfect face into that of a beast's. Despite being barred from the Seelie Court because of his ugliness, his deformed face works well for him as a therapist. His paranormal patients get to see that everything in his world hasn't been perfect.


I felt for Alun during the whole book. He's one of those characters whose guilty conscience has convinced him that he's not worth being loved. Then in walks David Evans into his life and he turns everything in Alun's life upside down with his caring ways. Poor Alun has no idea what to make of him. David is awkward and he knows it. He has long since accepted it and embraced it. Despite said awkwardness, he is kind and sweet and only wants to help people. He figures as long as he isn't hurting anyone, then it's more than okay to be awkward. It seems to work because he seems to have a natural affinity for making all sorts of supernatural creatures comfortable despite being human.

The book was fun and incredibly creative. It takes place in our world where no humans know that the supernaturals exist. I loved how diverse the supes were in this book! There's the fae both Seelie and Unseelie, vampires, druids, and shifters of all kinds. I also loved the mythology that surrounded this series's version of Faerie and I can't wait to learn more about it.

This book is one I've added to my kindle collection since I've read it and I'm excited to reread it in the future! I loved the heck out of it and I can't wait to get my hands on the next two books that feature Alun's brothers, Mal and Gareth! I need more of the Kendrick brothers in my life!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

    1/2
  4.5 / 5 Stars!


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by K.J. Charles


The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
K. J. Charles
Release: March 25, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell
September 1914

Review:
In this last Monday's Read This F@!%ing Book post, I mentioned a novella in the Whyborne & Griffin series that crosses over with K. J. Charles's Simon Feximal stories. I loved that novella and it made me want to read more about Simon Feximal and Robert Caldwell's adventures with the occult. The novella is an older one and had listed a few short stories the author had written and posted to Smashwords. Much to my delight, I discovered that Charles had compiled those short stories and others into one volume earlier this year and was available as a Kindle book.

Spoiler alert: I bought it and I loved the hell out of it!

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
is really a collection of short stories chronicling how Simon and Robert's first meet and different key cases that they worked on in the early years of their acquaintance. Funny enough, their relationship starts out with Robert Caldwell having a ghost he can't ignore anymore when the walls start bleeding. He finds help in the form of one Simon Feximal, noted occultist with steel-colored hair. Robert finds himself almost instantly drawn to this serious man who smiles so rarely.

This fascinating book is presented as the posthumous journal of a well-known popular writer in the Watson/Holmes dime novel mold. It starts as what appears to be two stand-alone short stories but then the storylines quickly become intertwined, much as do the lives of Robert and Simon. These tales are the stories that Robert could never tell in his writing of his Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter novels because they chronicle the love story between him and Simon.

If you've read K. J. Charles's A Charm of Magpies books, you know that she has a knack for writing a plausible image of queer life in Victorian London that's filled with the paranormal and the occult. Her characters have to deal with the dangers of a hostile social world that condemns two men for having a romantic relationship. She weaves that feeling of having to hide in with the fact that ghosts and the occult are accepted as normal parts of life in her novels. Simon and Robert have to deal with much of the same. What I loved is that even though them having to hide their relationship is part of the story, it's not the focus of the story. Simon and Robert’s world is full of fearsome things and the events of the stories are fascinating and intriguing at the same time but their developing love for each other and hope for a life together is what gets the spotlight.

I loved this strange little collection of vignettes so much! I can't really go into detail about why I loved the ones I did the most because they are short stories and any talk of specifics would be spoilery. The romance is a lot sweeter than I thought it would be when we're first introduced to one Simon Feximal. Both Robert and Simon are complex characters who don't always act as we first predict. Because of that, these two sneakily found themselves a spot on my favorite OTPs list before I even realized that I shipped them together. Just go read this book and come join me in happily shipping Simon and Robert together.

Random Note: Charles introduces historical figures in the story who were celebrated in the world of the occult in the 1890s which reminds us that there has always been a human fascination with the world below.

    1/2
  4.5 / 5 Stars



Recommended for fans of:
The Magpie Lord by K. J. Charles
Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters Whose Fitness Routines We Want

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.


This week's topic is:
Characters' Fitness Routines You Want
When we started brainstorming for this topic, we realized these "fitness plans" all fell into a few broad categories so we've ranked our favorite categories and given a few examples for each one.

5. The "I'm so ripped because I have wings" workout.
Followed by Raphael and the Angels in the Guild Hunter series. Not only do they have great abs, they get to fly! We're totally jealous.

4. The "all liquid diet that grants super powers and immortality."
Followed by Eric Northman, Cat and Bones, the Salvatores.
So gross, but highly effective. Like kale.

3. The "practice martial arts with hot, half naked shifters" workout.
Followed by Mercy Thompson.
This is the only plan our list that actually requires getting sweaty, but it's probably worth it for the eye candy.

2. The "skip physical therapy by spending the day in animal form" program.
Followed by Jane Yellowrock and Adam Hauptman.
Ribs sticking out? Arm ripped off? No problem, just shift! I sprained my ankle two months ago and it still hurts when I step on a crack in the sidewalk.

1. The "Dean Winchester eat like a fifteen year old boy and never gain weight" diet plan.
Followed by Tallulah Correntine, Gin Blanco and like every werewolf ever. Yeah, we kinda hate them too.

 and

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

July Whimsify Unboxing


I've been loving my Whimsify boxes so far, as you know if you've been following these posts. But I think the July Something Wicked This Way Comes box might be the best one yet. They did a great job creating a cohesive theme, not just with the items but visually. Look how gorgeous it is! (The only way it could be better is if the book cover were red and black, but I like the purple cover so I'm not going to complain too much.)


Here's what's inside the box:

Whimsify includes a candle in every box. (Yay!) This month's is from Muggle Library Candles and was custom made for this box. It's called Gamorrah, which is the name of the festival in the book and smells like licorice and cherries. I'm not a fan of licorice but I love that this is a scent taken directly from the book.

The gorgeous tote with a quote from Caraval was designed by Miss Phi. It says, "Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything."

This box has included some great bookmarks. This month's is designed by Dreamy and Co. and features a quote from Menagerie by Rachel Vincent, which I think is an odd choice only because it is very much not a YA book. It is perfect for this theme though. The quote is "In the end it wouldn't matter. I had no intention of being broken."

This is the first time there have been edible goodies in the box and there are two: chocolate and strawberry tea from Riddle's Tea Shoppe and Curiosities inspired by Night Circus and caramel corn from Kettle Encore Popcorn. I had to fight my kid to get the picture taken before she ate the popcorn. It was a big hit! I've also heard great things about Riddle's Tea Shoppe and I like fruity tea so I'm excited to try this one.

There are lots of quotes in this month's box! The final one is an art print featuring the line from Macbeth from which the box's theme is taken. It was designed by Dorothy Reads.

The book is Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. This was one of 2017 Most Anticipated so I was really excited to see it included in the box. There's also a signed book plate and a poster.

I'm trying to include a book review in my unboxing posts, in part to make sure I read the books, but with school about to start I didn't quite make it this time. Watch for my review later this month.

30237061Daughter of the Burning City
Amanda Foody
Release: July 25, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear. 




Monday, August 14, 2017

Read This F@!%ing Book (60)

Welcome to a feature we're going to post called:


Read This F@!%ing Book!

This is a feature for us to push our favorite reads that just aren't getting enough attention!

We're also opening it up to anyone who would like to guest post. Do you have a book that you just LURVED but feel like its not getting the play it deserves? We'd be THRILLED to have you post about it here! Especially if it's something we haven't reviewed yet - that's even better (but not necessary)! If you're interested, email us at goldiloxandthethreeweres@gmail.com.

Read This F@!%ing Book Post 60: The Whyborne & Griffin Series by Jordan L. Hawk
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35080593-widdershins https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32467177-threshold https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32723564-stormhaven
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32881273-necropolis https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35232496-bloodline https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33099507-hoarfrost
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35513115-maelstrom https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30962644-fallow https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33506227-draakenwood
(Click book cover to go to Goodreads page)

For Pride Month, I decided that I was going to read as many of my LGBTQ+ books as I could and it was glorious! I read SO many amazing books that I just kept going. My Pride Month reading extended well into August.

Who am I kidding? It's still going.

A few years ago, my friend, Meghan, read this self-published book and immediately started pushing it and the rest of the series on all of our friends online and in real life. I trust Meghan's recommendations a lot because we read and love a lot of the same things. But with this series, I was immediately sold when she told me it was "kind of like Sherlock Holmes meets The Mummy (with Brendan Fraser) if Sherlock was an introverted museum philologist with an ex-Pinkerton Watson who fall in love with each other and encounter secret societies and eldritch-type horrors". I bought Widdershins that day while it was still on sale along with the next two books. Sadly, they just sat on my kindle with my other unread books until last month.

Guys. I freaking loved these books! I binge read all nine books, the two novellas, and the three short stories in less than a week. And I wanted to immediately reread them as soon as I finished. It's magical when a series invokes that kind of reaction.

Why should you read this series? Let me give you some reasons.

The Romance
I was pretty much an insta-shipper of Whyborne and Griffin the moment Griffin was nice to Whyborne in their first meeting. They just work well as a couple and they NEED each other in so many ways. I loved them together by the end of the first book. By the end of the series, they had catapulted through the ranks and landed a spot on my Top 5 OTPs list. Griffin's humor and extroversion balances out Whyborne's seriousness and introversion. They struggle and fight and grow together and I'm just here for that kind of romantic growth.

Christine Makes This Great Series 100% More Awesome
Whyborne's best friend and museum colleague totally gets her own bullet point. I love Whyborne and Griffin but Christine made the series for me! She's a spunky, independent woman who is not going to let society push her into the box they think women should be in. She's an Egyptologist who has made one of the biggest archeological finds in decades. She needs no man to be who she wants to be and I loved that about her!

Her friendship with Whyborne is an A+ platonic relationship that should be the rest of us's friendship goals. She's always ready to back Whyborne up whether it's in a staff meeting at the museum or battling monsters and secret societies. They're each others' found family and their relationship gives me life! Also, I loved that she accepts Whyborne's sexuality without blinking an eye in a time when it meant serious trouble if people found out. And I love that the only outrage she showed about it at all was that Whyborne thought she'd dump him for it. I probably could write a whole post about why I love Christine but I'll stop there for now.

Not Your Normal Town and Not Your Normal Monsters
The worldbuilding in this series is amazing! Widdershins has the totally weird and abnormal town aesthetic down and its history adds so much to the narrative. I want to visit there so badly! One of the most used phrases in this series is that "Widdershins knows its own" and I loved how the author integrated that into the story. I won't tell you how though because spoilers, sweetie.

The magic system is intriguing as is how Whyborne stumbled upon sorcery but what I loved the most was the monsters. They're not your normal paranormal fare. There are vampires and werewolves that show up. Kind of. They aren't your garden variety supes. They've been given an eldritch upgrade and have very few characteristics with the vamps and werewolves that immediately come to mind. Plus, this series boasts some original creatures and it was refreshing to read! I kind of loved them even though one of them kind of scared the pants off me at first. This series would be worth reading for the worldbuilding alone.

The Adventure! Oh! The Adventure!
Whyborne is the reluctant adventurer I never knew I needed in my life. He doesn't like to travel and if he never had to leave Widdershins that would be just fine with him. I love that he lets himself get dragged to far off places almost against his will. He may consent to go and help but he will not be happy about it and I love that about him. The gang have adventures in so many awesome and weird places! They go to places like Egypt and the Yukon and a small town in Kansas. Kansas may not seem very exciting but it really was an interesting and kind of exciting setting. I need more homebodies having reluctant adventures ala Whyborne and Bilbo Baggins in my books and in my life.

Those are just a few of the examples I can think of off the top of my head on why you should read these books. If you're looking for a fun m/m romance series with a lot of adventure, look no further. The Whyborne and Griffin series is just what the doctor ordered! 

Random Aside: If you're a fan of K.J. Charles's m/m romance books, there's a fun crossover novella with the leads from her The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal book and it's utterly delightful! I highly recommend that one as well! Look for my review of it later this week!

Have you read this series?
Let us know in the comments below!
Did we persuade you to add these books to your TBR mountain?


Novellas and Short Stories in this Series:
(A couple of these stories are offered for free and the links will direct you to where you can read them. The rest of the links are to that book's respective Goodreads pages.) 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Release Week Blitz: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee Excerpt and Giveaway


I just started reading The Epic Crush of Genie Lo and I'm loving it. I'm excited to have the blurb and an excerpt to share today. Normally I would wait to tell you about a book until I finished it, but there's an awesome giveaway that ends the 15th. Check it out at the bottom of the page! And watch for my review on the blog next week.

THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO
F.C. Yee
Release: August 8, 2017
Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks
TBD Goodreads
The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo's every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…


Excerpt

“GREETINGS,” HE SAID, HIS ACCENT THICK BUT HIS VOICE LOUD and clear. “I have arrived.”
Now, I’d done my best to describe this guy to the police. They pressed me hard for details, as apparently this wasn’t the first group mugging in recent weeks.
But I’d let Officers Davis and Rodriguez down. Nice eyes and a winning smile weren’t much to go by. I was too frazzled to notice anything before, which meant this was my first decent look at the boy without the influence of adrenaline.
So a couple of things.
One: He was short. Like, really short for a guy. I felt bad that my brain went there first, but he wasn’t even as tall as Mrs. Nanda.
Two: He was totally okay, physically. I didn’t see how anyone could be up and about after that beating, but here he was, unbruised and unblemished. I felt relieved and disturbed at the same time to see there wasn’t a scratch on him.
And his mint condition just made Point Three even more obvious.
He was . . . yeesh.
Nothing good could come of our new classmate being that handsome. It was destructive. Twisted. Weaponized. He had the cheekbones and sharp jawline of a pop star, but his thick eyebrows and wild, unkempt hair lent him an air of natural ruggedness that some pampered singer could never achieve in a million years of makeup.
“Argh, my ovaries,” Yunie mumbled. She wasn’t alone, judging by the soft intakes of breath coming from around the room.
“Arrived from where?” said Mrs. Nanda.
Quentin looked at her in amusement. “China?”
“Yes, but where in, though?” said Mrs. Nanda, trying her best to convey that she was sensitive to the regional differences. Fujianese, Taishanese, Beijingren—she’d taught them all.
He just shrugged. “The stones,” he said.
“You mean the mountains, sweetie?” said Rachel Li, batting her eyelashes at him from the front row.
“No! I don’t misspeak.”
The class giggled at his English. But none of it was incorrect, technically speaking.
“Tell us a little about yourself,” Mrs. Nanda said.
Quentin puffed out his chest. The white button-down shirt and black pants of our school’s uniform for boys made most of them look like limo drivers. But on him, the cheap stitching just made it clearer that he was extremely well-muscled underneath.
“I am the greatest of my kind,” he said. “In this world I have no equal. I am known to thousands in faraway lands, and everyone I meet can’t help but declare me king!”
There was a moment of silence and sputtering before guffaws broke out.
“Well . . . um . . . we are all high achievers here at SF Prep,” said
Mrs. Nanda as politely as she could. “I’m sure you’ll fit right in?”
Quentin surveyed the cramped beige classroom with a cool squint. To him, the other twenty-two laughing students were merely peons on whom his important message had been lost.
“Enough wasting of time,” he snapped. “I came to these petty halls only to reclaim what is mine.”
Before anyone could stop him, he hopped onto Rachel’s desk and stepped over her to the next one, like she wasn’t even there.
“Hey! Quentin!” Mrs. Nanda said, frantically waving her hands. “Get down now!”
The new student ignored her, stalking down the column of desks. Toward mine.
Everyone in his way leaned to the side to avoid getting kicked. They were all too flabbergasted to do anything but serve as his counterweights.
He stopped on my desk and crouched down, looking me in the eye. His gaze pinned me to my seat.
I couldn’t turn away. He was so close our noses were almost touching. He smelled like wine and peaches.
“You!” he said.
“What?” I squeaked.
Quentin gave me a grin that was utterly feral. He tilted his head as if to whisper, but spoke loud enough for everyone to hear.
“You belong to me”


About F.C. Yee

F. C. Yee grew up in New Jersey and went to school in New England, but has called the San Francisco Bay Area home ever since he beat a friend at a board game and shouted “That’s how we do it in NorCal, baby!” Outside of writing, he practices capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts, and has a day job mostly involving spreadsheets.



5 winners will receive Genie Lo prize packs—complete with a finished copy of the book and a special Genie Lo horoscope (that doubles as a bookmark!)
US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim


Timekeeper
(Timekeeper #1)
Tara Sim
Release: November 8, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Review:
Have you ever read a book that you loved so much that you can't articulate why you love it when asked? Tara Sim's debut book, Timekeeper, was one of those books for me. I adore it so much! But I haven't been able to write a review for it since I first read it in November of last year no matter how hard I've tried. I've even reread it via the audiobook and I still can't coherently explain my love for it. But I can give you five reasons why you should pick it up.

1. The Mythology
I adored this world ruled by clocks and clock towers! I found the mythology that hinted at the origin of the clock towers fascinating! The story of the old gods was perfectly intertwined with the "present day" narrative of the characters. Not all of my questions were answered in this book and I need the next ones in my hands. I can't wait to learn more about the towers and the clock spirits.

2. The Romance
I'm not going to say much about the romance between Danny and Colton other than it was absolutely adorable! I was totally shipping them by their third meeting with each other. I would recommend this book for the romance alone.

3. The Representation of Grief, Loss, Trauma and PTSD
The characters in this book have not had easy times and some of them have been through multiple traumas.

"I was in an accident. I got out. I'm safe now."

From the first time Danny said his
mantra to keep himself from breaking down, I actually gasped. I knew this was something important because I *knew* what was happening here. I knew what had to have happened to him.

Sometimes you don't get out. Sometimes you do and that's only the beginning. It's going to be hard. Even years later, you might not feel safe.
Sometimes trauma means you live with the scars. Sometimes you deal with them in ways that damage yourself or others. But reading books like this, that show such trauma and healing (even slow, disjointed, and derailed) with rawness and honesty... it helps. Danny, his mother, Matthias, and his best friend, Cassie, have all been through horrible things and they all responded in different and exceedingly realistic ways. People respond to trauma differently and all of those responses are valid. It was so nice to see these topics handled so well.

4. Danny and Cassie's Friendship
One of my favorite things about this book was Danny and Cassie's friendship. Their friendship was everything! They cared for each other and you can tell that they will have each other's backs no matter what. I loved their interactions so much! It was also refreshing to see a friendship between a guy and a girl that was free from romantic pining. I seriously want to see more of these kinds of friendships in YA.

5. The Family Interactions
Danny's family isn't perfect. In fact, they are about as far from from perfect as you can get. They're drowning in grief and stressed out about finances and that colors their interactions. But I loved that so much of this book was focused on Danny's interactions with his mom, his worry about his dad, and the comfort he drew from his godfather. There was also themes of found family throughout the book and it was glorious. I love this recent trend in YA where the main character's family is actually present and accounted for in their life even if they don't know how to interact with each other like Danny and his mother.

This book blew my mind! It was a breath of fresh air in the world of YA books and I can't help but sing its praises. I loved this world of clock mechanics and clock spirits and I ship the romance so hard! Also, the audiobook narrator was absolutely fantastic if audiobooks are your thing. I seriously can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the books in this series. Tara Sim has earned herself a permanent spot on my autobuy list.

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

    
  5 / 5 Stars!

Recommended for fans of:
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Second Book is Best

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.


Second Book is Best
We recently posted our top 5 series that got better
This topic is about which series were best in the middle.


5. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
I'll be honest now. I adored the whole Queen's Thief series but there is something about The Queen of Attolia that makes it so much better than the rest. Maybe it's the shocking event that happens in the first ten pages or Eugenides struggles, but it was an astonishingly amazing book in a fantastic series. -Rose Red


4. The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan
I enjoyed the whole Game On series but Gray and Ivy's book was the best one I've read so far. I loved their interactions and their romance so much more than the other couples. I will put a disclaimer here that I haven't read the lastest book yet but, as of the time of this post, this is my favorite. -Rose Red


3. The Warrior Vampire by Kate Baxter
 I have a love/hate relationship with this series. I enjoyed the first book. Loved the second one. Disliked the third one. And have had no motivation to read the latest two. For me the series peaked at book two. Naya and Ronan's book was just fun, sexy, and just plain great. If all the books in the series had been like this one, I would still be reading it. -Rose Red
(For a slightly different take on this series, see our Series That Got Better post. Link at the top of the page. -Gretl)

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2. Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
This second book of the trilogy starts to reveal some of the town's secrets and turns up the paranormal elements. It also introduces a character I loved from the Sookie series. Book three, by comparison, was a slow starter and even though there were things I loved about it, I didn't love it as much.  -Gretl

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1. Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
I'm not saying that either of the other books in the Black Blade trilogy are bad, just that this one is my favorite. This is the one with the Tournament of Blades which is just the best thing ever. Book three wraps up all of the plot threads but doesn't achieve the same level of awesome. -Gretl
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