Review: The Phantom Tree

Alison Bannister has spent the past ten years looking for her son, and in the middle of a Wiltshire antiques shop, she comes across a portrait that could be the key to finding him. The portrait is of a woman known as Mary Seymour. Alison knows this because they grew up together.

32618152The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick is a unique tale of time-travel and historical fiction. Alison has lost her son and in the process has found a way into the future. The only problem is, she can’t get back. So now she must rely on her frenemy Mary to leave clues for her to find her lost child.

I’m a sucker for historical fiction and The Phantom Tree is right up my alley. I loved the mixture of past and present so elegantly presented. However, I did get the sense that the two women’s stories were a bit disjointed, only overlapping in convenient areas. I thoroughly enjoyed the time period as it’s one of my favorites. The story is well-told and intriguing but I wish there had been more about Mary’s story as she’s such an important character. The ending also fell a bit flat for me. I felt as if Cornick just wanted the book to be over and gave readers an ending that might satisfy them.

All in all, it’s a wonderful story and one I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re looking for a historical fiction with a touch of the present, I definitely recommend picking up The Phantom Tree.

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: Songlines

It’s hard enough being a teenage girl trying to make it through high school. But when you find out that you’re a Guardian of the Garden of Eden…well, things get much harder.

Songlines-Full-Res-Bookcover-whiteLainie Gracewood has lived her whole life in Nalong and has dreamed of leaving the farmland she knows for big adventures in the city. But when she suddenly starts getting visions, things get complicated. Harry, a farmhand, breaks the news to Lainie that she is in fact a Cherubim that has been appointed to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden. However, with the threat of miners looming on the horizon, Lainie doesn’t have the easiest job.

Songlines is a unique tale told from an Australian standpoint, not something you see these days. Carolyn Denman does a fantastic job of blending religion with fantasy in this inspiring novel of family, friendship, and responsibility. With flair for the dramatic, Denman produces a story that you won’t want to stop reading. While I felt that the beginning was a little dull (and we were suddenly thrown into the meat of the story), I couldn’t make myself put this one down. You can bet I’m eagerly awaiting the second installment of this fabulous story!

**I received a copy of this book from BookSirens for an honest review.**

Review: The Book Jumper

Imagine being able to jump into your favorite novel, being able to interact with the characters you love, and basically live the story! For Amy Lennox, that’s reality…or at least it becomes her reality.

ABEC5B42-1117-4ACA-B5BE-181C6F964474For as long as Amy can remember, it’s always been her and Alexis, her mom. Life hasn’t always been easy but it sure has been an adventure for the two of them. Until one summer. School had been hard on Amy. The friends she thought she had weren’t actually her friends and her mom was dealing with a hard breakup. So the two of them decide to spend a few weeks at Alexis’s childhood home, a little island called Stormsay.

While there, Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead insists that Amy read while she resides at Lennox House. Which isn’t much of a problem for Amy since she loves to read anyway. But Amy soon learns that her family holds a special power as book jumpers, able to interact with a story and protect the plots to keep the literary world in check. It seems like a wonderful ability, until someone starts stealing ideas from the classics. Dorothy’s cyclone disappears, the white rabbit can no longer lead Alice to Wonderland, and it’s suddenly snowing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But who is destroying the stories and why?

I was super excited to read this one. But it was a little slow going in the beginning. It wasn’t until I was about seven chapters in that the story started to pick up. While an easy read and an intriguing story, I felt that bits of it were thrown together haphazardly. However, part of that could just be the translation. Nevertheless, Mechthild Glaser has created a unique tale for all bookworms. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed about being able to talk with their favorite heroines or watch the classic stories being lived right in front of them?

There’s a lot going on in the book and it can get a bit confusing. I felt like there were too many underlying stories to the main one that at times it distracted from the awesomeness of the main storyline. Still, The Book Jumper was a good read with a surprise ending and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

Review: Ever Alice

When Alice fell through the rabbit hole, she discovered a world filled with mystery and quite a bit of nonsense. She battled jabberwockies, talked with animals, and met a queen. But what happened when she came back?

Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 8.29.43 AMEver Alice picks up where Lewis Carroll left off. Alice has talked about Wonderland non-stop since her return and her parents are concerned. They’ve taken her to doctor after doctor until they have no choice but to commit her to an asylum. But Alice knows she’s not crazy. Every bit of Wonderland was as real as the padded walls around her. And when the White Rabbit shows up once again to lead her to Wonderland, she is convinced even more that what she’s seen is real. But the Rabbit hasn’t come back to invite her to tea or to walk through the gardens. This time, he’s back with a mission, one only Alice can do. He wants her to kill the Queen of Hearts.

H.J. Ramsay doesn’t skip a beat in this beautiful, nonsensical retelling of a classic. While keeping the integrity of Carroll’s characters intact, she makes it her own as well. It’s easy to get lost in the wonders of Wonderland and I’m reminded of my childhood and discovering Wonderland with Alice for the first time. Ramsay delivers more than just a new chapter in Alice’s story. She reminds us that sometimes reality isn’t all it seems and it’s ok to go back to Wonderland.

**I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

Ghosts. Gods. And plot out the wazoo.

39679076._UY844_SS844_Annaleigh has just buried another one of her sisters. It seems as if her family had been in mourning for as long as she could remember. The islands they made their home believed there was a curse on their family. And when Annaleigh begins seeing the ghosts of her dead sisters, she wonders if they may be right. But that’s not the only strange thing going on.

I want more of this book! House of Salt and Sorrows is one-in-a-million. While being incredibly interesting, it also holds quite a bit of a spook factor. There were times where I didn’t want to read it alone because it gave me the heebie-jeebies in the best way possible. Mixed with fantasy and romance, the characters are incredibly easy to fall in love with. And there was just plot twist after plot twist! It was constantly throwing me off track on what I thought would happen. I seriously can not wait for this to come out in hardback because I will be snatching it up!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: Hazel and Holly

IMG_0944Hazel and Holly is the perfect novel for those who love witchcraft and magic. Living in a little place called the Grove, Hazel and Holly are sisters trying to find their way in a world without their parents. Their mother, Willow, passed away but has been trapped in a geas by their necromancer father. And now, Hazel has made it her mission to track down their father and make him release their mother’s soul so she may finally be at peace.

Filled with quirky characters and a compelling storyline, Hazel and Holly is the best of the magical worlds. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however, I did get a bit frustrated with the sisters here and there. Through making bad decisions and generally being annoying, they eventually became some of my favorite witches to read about.

There were a few moments where it felt as if the story dragged a bit but it quickly picked up again. I was expecting a epic ending to their journey but found it a bit anticlimactic for me. However, I do believe Snider left it open for more adventures from these two witchy sisters. Something I hope she delivers soon. Look for Hazel and Holly to hit shelves May of this year!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**

Review: Shatter Me

264 days. That’s how long Juliette has been in isolation. No one knows what to do with her or even what she is capable of. After accidentally killing a little boy, just by trying to help him to his feet, she’s been locked away until someone can figure out what to do with her. That is, until the day she wakes up to find Adam Kent in her cell with her. Then things begin to get interesting.

IMG_0901In Shatter Me, society has fallen. What’s left of civilization has been broken up into sectors. Food is scarce and families are broken apart. A young man named Warner has taken a special interest in Juliette and her power. She is taken to his home and introduced to the world that she’s been away from for so long. It’s nothing like what she remembered. And it’s made even worse by the fact that Warner now wants to use her as a weapon for his own personal gain.

Shatter Me was a pleasure to read! I loved every minute of it. I’ve been on a dystopian/post-apocalyptic kick lately and this fit right in with my mood. Mafi creates characters that make you want to read and her prose is beautiful. I can’t tell you how many times I had to pause in my reading just to admire the wordsmithing. Beautiful! Uniquely written and kept on the edge of my seat, this book was a page-turner that I couldn’t put down. While I felt that the romantic relationship seemed to move a little quickly in Shatter Me, I still appreciated the connections made between characters.

Overall, an excellent read and I can’t wait to pick up the second book in the series!

Foreverafter: An Odd Adventure

Every now and then, you just need a light read. Something quick but still interesting. Ebooks have definitely turned into that for me. On average, it takes me about two days to finish them (because I usually only read them in the afternoons).

Foreverafter: An Odd Adventure has been sitting on my Kindle for over a year now. I finally decided to read it and was pleasantly surprised by how quick of a read it was. All in all, it took me about 2 hours to finish. Perfect for any middle-schooler to enjoy!

img-0842Audrey, otherwise known as Odd, is tired of being bored. Living with her mother in a town where nothing happens, the only adventure she finds in her life is whenever her friend Kite visits. Kite ran away from the circus and every little bit makes his way to Odd’s town to tell her of his stories and perform a few tricks for the locals. But one day, his small performance is overshadowed (literally) by a floating island that has suddenly appeared.

Seeing her opportunity for adventure, Odd drags Kite to board the island and see what’s in store. But suddenly, they find themselves in a totally different world and must make their way home in a strange and sometimes weird land.

Do you ever read those books that after you’re finished you just sit back and think “what”? That’s basically what it was like reading Foreverafter. While it definitely kept my interest and the characters were unique, I found myself feeling like my brain had been scrambled by it all simply because of the strangeness. There is a podcast my husband enjoys listening to called Welcome to Nightvale. This book reminded me of a mixture of that podcast and a bit of Alice’s Wonderland.

K.J. Quint has definitely got me hooked as I would love to see how Odd and Kite find their way out of this strangeness and if they even make it back home.

The Defiant Heir

Ok, you guys, I am obsessed with this trilogy. And it kills me that there are only three books to this amazing story! Why?!?!?

img-0812The Defiant Heir is the second book of the Swords and Fire trilogy. Amalia Cornaro has made her way to Callamorne with Zaira, the fire warlock, and Marcello by her side. Their mission: attempt to find out what Prince Ruven is planning and, hopefully, stop the impending war. But when a Witch Lord offers to court Amalia, what’s a girl to do?

I could not get enough of this book! I literally did not want to put it down and, if I didn’t have to sleep, I probably would have finished it in a day. Melissa Caruso is killing me you guys! She has such a good creative mind and it blows me away that she has created such an amazing world. I want to stay in Eruvia forever! Honestly, I don’t have any complaints about this book. Except for maybe the fact that I finished it. I’d love to go back and read it again with the same fascination I had the first time.

If you’re looking for a good fantasy trilogy, I highly recommend picking up The Defiant Heir (after you’ve read The Tethered Mage of course). The final book in this trilogy is set to be released April of this year and you can bet it’s at the top of my most anticipated books for 2019. I can’t wait to see how she wraps up Amalia’s adventures!

Kingdom Cold

43203291._uy2400_ss2400_Kingdom Cold takes place in the realm of Besmium. Princess Charlotte is betrothed to a man she has never met in a political move for her father’s kingdom. But just as she’s getting to know her intended, a war breaks out with a neighboring kingdom. Will the kingdom of Besmium survive? And will Charlotte see her wedding day come?

I have to admit, I couldn’t put down Kingdom Cold. In fact, I finished it in one day (which may not be saying much as I’m a bookaholic). I enjoyed the fact that the story was told from multiple characters’ views. The plot twists almost gave me whiplash, but I loved it! I couldn’t tell where the story would end or how which kept me very intrigued.

However, I don’t feel like the characters were well developed and it felt as if the ending was a bit lackluster, albeit unexpected. Brittni Chenelle does a wonderful job of drawing the reader in and keeping them on their toes. I just felt that this book could have been fleshed out more and perhaps even made into two books. There was very little detail and I found myself without a connection to the character, but still very invested in the storyline. It was a strange position to be in.

**I received a copy of this book for an honest review.**