Dangerous Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Dangerous Spirits
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Spirits #2
Number of pages: 184 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Henry and Vincent and really sweet together.
Bad things about this book: I hate miscommunication and this book have it.
Do I recommend it? If you love Hawk’s books then you don’t want to miss this series!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I love ghost stories and this one was great. Little drama and lot of sweetness. The vengeful spirit was scary as hell and I didn’t want the characters to be hurt by it. But there was so much more to the story than the one on the surface, and I love how many details were put into just a few pages.

New characters were introduced and I knew they were going to bring chaos to the romantic relationship of our main characters. One character in particular I hated from the start. Speaking poisonous words of my Henry, he who is only at fault of having low self-esteem.

I don’t like miscommunication. No, I hate it. There are so many things that could be avoided if people just told the truth instead of concealing it. You don’t things aren’t going to end well if someone is hiding something. It’s a situation doomed from the start.

Besides the dreaded miscommunication, the story was full of the things that made me like this series: ghosts, nice characters, twists, and new questions to be answered in the third and last book. I can’t wait to find out more!

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Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance by Eric Bell

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5stars

“You know what a good friend said to me once?”
“What?”
“He said, I’d rather have a hard time being myself than an easy time being somebody else.”
“Whoah.”
“Yeah. You’re being yourself, and that’s what matters.”

Title: Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance
Author: Eric Bell
Series: Alan Cole #2
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Fantastic, important, emotional.
Bad things about this book: I want more books now but I’m happy how this ended.
Do I recommend it? Of course. You need to meet Alan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Alan made me cry. He did it again with his innocence and good nature and his courage to be himself without having to endure bullism. Standing for himself and for all the people that don’t have the strength to do it. Defeating evil with kindness, with his art, one step at a time. To see the difference you want to see in the world, you have to start somewhere, right? If you don’t do anything, nothing will change, and that’s exactly what Alan thinks and why I love him so much. I adored this little book so much. I couldn’t put it down, finished it in one afternoon.

Alan is the sweetest of boys and Odin was a great addition to the narration. Odin and Alan were the cutest together; from “rivals” to art buddies. Smiles and laughter they didn’t share with anybody else, a past and present not so easy. Innocent and sweet. My heart couldn’t take all the adorableness. Alan’s friends, his family, things aren’t always great; they fight, because for things to get better, a little confrontation is necessary.

Having more queer books out in the world is the most amazing thing in the world and having more and more queer books for middle graders is even greater; this is the kind of book kids nowadays need, a book that normalizes their feelings because they aren’t wrong, they aren’t disgusting, their love is as much true as the ones of other people. They should never feel ashamed of who they are and books like this one give me so much hope they will have a safer world to live and be themselves.

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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5stars

“Never Flinch.’ A cold whisper in her ear. ‘Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle, #1
Number of pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Written greatly, never boring, never predictable.
Bad things about this book: You never know what to expect and you’re in edge, but it’s a bad thing only if you’re extremely anxious like me.
Do I recommend it? A 100% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There are books you more or less know what’s going to happen; you can see where the story it’s headed and what to expect. Well, this book certainly didn’t go where I thought it was going. It was one twist after the other. Nobody safe. I forgot to be on guard; I knew how sneaky Jay Kristoff could be, I’ve seen hearts broken because of him, so I should’ve been ready, right? I was not ready at all!! Help!

It took me a long time to finish the book because, as weird as it may seem, I was busy. I didn’t have time to read much. This gave me the rare opportunity to really get into the story and to have those moments you have with non-streaming tv shows, during which you can imagine where the story is taking you. My mind didn’t take where the book actually led. I was surprised, in a good and in a bad way.

“You’ve got the look of a girl who’s no stranger to the page. I can tell. You’ve got words in your soul.”

This is not a spoilery review, the summary says it all. The book is about a girl, Mia Corvere, whose family was murdered, so she makes it her sole goal to become a deadly assassin and avenge them. She enrolls into the Red Church, an assassins’ group where she can study and train to be deadly and fearless. Killers aren’t teddy bears, things aren’t all rainbows and snuggles. How could it be when you are there to murder people?

The book is written in a very interesting way, with lots of little annotations explaining things beyond the book’s narration. I loved them. They gave me more insight of how this weird world with three suns actually worked.

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.”

And the award for the most surprising sidekick goes to Mr. Kindly. What a cute little dark entity. The non-cat was an amazing companion to Mia; he (?) is a shadow creature, lives in Mia’s shadows and eats her fears, her nightmares so Mia is more fearless and can keep at bay everything that scares her and drags her down.

This book was highly recommended and it’s a sentiment I certainly share. The sequel will have to wait a bit but I’m not waiting years like I did for this book!

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Black Wings Beating by Alex London

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4stars

Title: Black Wings Beating
Author: Alex London
Series: Skybound #1
Number of pages: 432 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The world building is promising and I love all the birds.
Bad things about this book: The characters don’t always use logic and reason and are immature.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course, it has plenty of potential.
Rate: 4-/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It was going to be a solid 3-star read but then Jowyn came along and it became 4. It felt a bit underwhelming, but by the end the potential started showing. Next book will be better, I just know it!!!

While there were some parts that left me dumbfounded, there were others that had a lot of potential and let me see how this story will continue. Brysen is a teenager boy who thinks he’s in love and that makes him dumb. He is kind of annoying, but you just love him and want him to succeed in whatever he decides to do. The “boyfriend” was everything but sweet to him; I didn’t like him from the start, there was no chemistry and I felt something was off!

On the other hand, Kylee is just plain annoying in my eyes. She knows how her brother feels, what he sustained during his whole childhood, yet she persists into making him feel like he can’t do anything by himself. Maybe it’s true and he needs help, but there are so many ways to show him you’re there for him, and Kylee’s way is just not the right way. I hope her character grows; I want to like her.

The world building is amazing, and I liked a lot the writing. I have more Alex London books that sound great and super interesting and I’ll be reading them as soon as possible. He is an author I want to keep my eye on!

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Hunter of Demons by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Hunter of Demons
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: SPECTR #1, Series #1
Number of pages: 153 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It has great elements and a lot of potential.
Bad things about this book: It was kind of insta-lust but in this case it was okay.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
Paranormal boy possessed by a vampire falls in love with an exorcist with a butt made in heaven, and they solve demon crimes together. That’s it, that’s the story and it was just the kind of story I usually love with a mix of different elements that I definitely didn’t hate. The story was short, so I didn’t have a chance to get to know the characters but there’s so many more books. There’s time to see if I like them or not.

CHARACTERS —
Caleb was difficult to picture at first but then I imagine him as a long-haired hottie, like one of the many male models I follow on Instagram and I was involved. John on the other hand, was like a buff male model, a bit like I picture Jacob from the Psycop books that I adore. Yes, I need to have a clear picture of the characters in my head to fully enjoy a book. Now that I have a clear picture and that I’ve really liked this first book, I’m curious about what’s going to happen right now that Caleb is in that dire situation.

THOUGHTS —
The story is quite simple but really nice. I got a sort of Venom feeling; a human (well, not entirely) possessed by another entity, in this case the spirit of a vampire, and they communicate through thoughts. And if completely possessed he turned into said entity. I loved it. I can already see the polyamorous love between them and John. I can’t wait.

CONCLUSION —
This was exactly the kind of book I like!!! Demons, spirits, possessions, vampires, exorcists!!! And love…more lust right now, but they’re soft and sweet and I expect great things from this series! I bought the whole set in ebook!

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

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5stars

Your beauty is not a tax you are required to pay to take up space in this world.

Title: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Series: Montague Siblings #2
Number of pages: 450 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Very funny and clever with wonderful characters.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It’s a queer thing, to have a vacant space inside you and not know what it is that carved out the absence.

PLOT —
A treasure hunt! I was looking for the perfect description for this book and that’s what came to mind, and it fits perfectly. Felicity sets off for a very peculiar adventure from Edinburgh and ends up somewhere mysterious. Felicity has a mission: she will get to medical school and become a doctor. But the men keep denying her that possibility even if she may be even more capable than most of them put together if given the chance. Men are absurd thinking she couldn’t do the same things they did just because they thought women were weaker. Weak where? Don’t make me laugh!

It is not a failure to readjust my sails to fit the waters I find myself in. It’s a new heading. A fresh start.

CHARACTERS —
Felicity is a sweet and ferocious girl and I love her with all my heart! She surrounds herself with a couple of very interesting girls. One from her past and one from her present, each of them with secrets and goals in mind that’ll somehow bring Felicity on this dangerous journey of discovery. I love those girls so much!! All of them are so special!! I was so happy to see Monty and Percy again even if it wasn’t for many pages. They are so ridiculously and adorably in love, it gave me goose bumps and I smiled a lot.

“Prickly?” I say. “I’m not prickly.”
“Felicity Montague, you are a cactus.”
“Debatable.”

THOUGHTS —
It was infuriating reading about how women were treated not long ago. It’s so actual, maybe not the same, but this superiority complex of men has to stop. It has expired, and it shouldn’t exist anymore. I’m truly sick of it: sick of all the mansplaining, the condescending smiles, the little derision laughs, the way men make us feel. I loved how Felicity challenged this injustice and made everything she could to change the unjust situation.

I have spent so long building up my fortress and learning to tend it alone, because if I didn’t feel I needed anyone, then I wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there.

CONCLUSION —
Loved the story, loved the characters, and love the ending. I was ready to kick some butt and was glad to see it done by the amazing ladies in this book. If Mackenzie wants to give us one more book with the Montague siblings I’ll accept it with open arms, open heart, and with lots of fangirling.

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Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

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5stars

Maybe we are broken. But we put ourselves back together. We survived. That’s what makes us so powerful. And as for family—well, blood is always family, but family doesn’t always have to be blood.

Title: Vengeful
Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: Villains #2
Number of pages: 575 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s just perfect.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, always yes to a Schwab book.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
I have to admit that I didn’t remember in detail everything that happened in Vicious because I didn’t manage to read the book again before Vengeful came out. The first couple of chapters were a bit confusing but then everything fell in place and I remembered everything! The plot of this book, with its back and forward chapters in different points of views built perfectly what was going to be the climax, the chapter that was in development from page one. And I loved every page of it!

You do what you can. You fight, and you win, until you don’t.

CHARACTERS —
Victor Vale is my boy, all in black, emo af, hard outside but a little soft on the inside, and all kinds of brooding. As much as I didn’t like seeing him suffering, I loved seeing him being almost my age: I’m also a 30 something person with questionable life choices. I relate. Eli’s point of view chapters came later in the book and they were fire! Backstory and a sane dose of bromance (more like brohate), exactly what I expected from our Eli boy! Sydney was a little bit annoying for me in this book, too whiney, didn’t see reasons behind choices that were made. I get it, teenager years on the run are not nice but, come on, see the bigger picture, make good decisions! Our big boy Mitch never disappoints, I don’t have anything more to add.
New characters were introduced, and I have to say that, besides a few annoying traits, they were both fantastic additions to the already fantastic crew. Won’t tell anything about them, I went in ignorant and enjoyed the experience more than ever imagined!

Perhaps she was glass. But glass is only brittle until it breaks. Then it’s sharp.

THOUGHTS —
I’m usually in a love or hate relationship with narrations that are told during a very long period of time, but not in this case. While I had to adjust my perception of how I saw the characters, at least the ones that actually grew old, I loved how the story of the book happened during 5 years. The characters not only grew old in aspect, the ones that could, but they were also very different persons inside. Five years on the run, five years imprisoned, can do that to a person, and the way Victoria told the story really conveyed all the aspects of the time passing.

Men look at anyone with power and see only a threat, an obstacle in their path. They never have the sense to see power for what it really is. Potential.

CONCLUSION —
Another perfect book from a perfect and gorgeous woman. That’s why she is an instabuy author for me, she can’t do no wrong in my opinion. Different books, for different audiences, and all of them hit the mark. Amazing job! If there’s going to be a third book, I’m going to be both ready and not ready at all, but I’m going to be there to read it!

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

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5stars

From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.

Title: Record of a Spaceborn Few
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #3
Number of pages: 358 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s just beautiful, perfect, I loved it.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
The story is simple, but at the same time very complex, because humans are complicated creatures. We have met different kind of aliens in the last two books, and we’ve met the humans living and working on alien planets; but this time we are seeing humans, focusing on a few, living in an all human community on the Fleet. The Exodus Fleet, the ship the humans built when they knew the Earth didn’t have much longer left to live, is a world unto itself with a very particular way of living that set them apart from the rest of the communities. It was very interesting seeing how they share resources, worked different jobs to maintain the balance in society and economy, all without using money.

CHARACTERS —
There are five main characters, each with a story to tell, each with chapters in their point of view: Tessa, Kip, Sawyer, Eyas, and Isabel. I liked all of them with their different lives and dreams. Loved the diversity, so natural. I won’t explain each character because I think it’ll spoil the story a little bit. They were all so authentic, with their everyday lives; some with a future still to be chosen, some thinking something is missing from their lives, others with a live well lived and with so much history to tell, and some willing to take a leap of faith to change their present to have a better future.

Perhaps none of us can truly explain death. Perhaps none of us should.

THOUGHTS —
As it was always described, these books are a spaceopera. A tale of lives lived in different environments, surrounded by different people, facing different challenges. Each one of these books has given me a sense of tranquility, without taking away a sense of surprise and awe when something didn’t go as planned. This story, with the sole alien character seeing things from her perspective, is meant to show you human beings evolved to an almost perfect and uncorrupted society. But things can’t be perfect all time, it’s just not possible. I loved how things were portrayed, I loved how easy I found myself cheering for the characters!

CONCLUSION —
Simply fantastic. There’s nothing more to add. Superb writing and storytelling. These books have been worth every second I spent reading them and thinking about them when they were over. I will carry them in my heart for eternity.

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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5stars

I have one foot in winter and one in spring.
One foot with the living, and one with the dead.

Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Cassidy Blake #1

Number of pages: 285 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The way the city is beautifully described.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Well, now I must go to Edinburgh. I must! Last year I was contemplating going, but the only month I could maybe go was also the most expensive of it all. After reading this book, though, I just know that I need to find a way because that city sounds both magical and spooky. I want to see with my own two eyes these haunted places. The graveyard sounds promising for some ghostwatching.

I always enjoy books meant for younger readers because we don’t get the usual, often forced, love storyline. You get to enjoy the story and its characters and that’s it. It’s refreshing to stop worrying about who loves who, so my focus was all on the ghosts and on the very sweet main character, Cassidy.

Cassidy has a best friend who is a ghost! Can you believe that? Sometimes I think stories in my head that stay there, and one of them was about a medium woman who has a sort of sidekick best friend who was a ghost. Loved the coincidence, loved the story.

Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.

Victoria Schwab writes in a way that keeps you glued to the pages. I wanted to read and read and read until I reached the last page, satisfied and extremely curious about what was to come next. That beautiful woman hasn’t disappointed me yet, and I doubt she ever will. A woman like that will have my attention and my love for years to come.

With the details that went into describing Edinburgh, I’ll be surprised if the readers didn’t want to go visit. This book will boost tourism, and it certainly will contribute to the growth of young readers. The description of every single place, and people, had me daydreaming of me one day walking around those same streets with a hot beverage in hand and my eyes sparkling with curiosity and delight.

This book is an easy read, but don’t let that fool you. The story is deep, emotional, magical, a bit scary but not much, and no matter your age, you’ll be glad you gave it a chance.

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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4stars

“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Good things about this book: Superpowers!!
Bad things about this book: Unnecessary solutions to easy problems, in my opinion.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It took me some time to get into the story and start really caring about the characters. It took me most than half of the book to see the light. But then I read the last chapters and was “wth did just happen?”. I also read the synopsis of the sequel and WHAAAT!! What is going on? I don’t understand. I feel that there is so much that was left untold but needed to be told. I expected more but I’m still giving it 4 stars instead of 3 because I admired the potential.

Ruby is a likeable character, not as clueless as I thought she would be about the outside life since she’s been living in a camp since she was 10. I remember being 10; I wouldn’t have recalled the name of songs, singers, movies, etc, 6 years since I last heard them. Surely not if I’ve been tortured at exploited in a camp. That left me puzzled, but my experiences aren’t universal so, what do I really know about what a 10-year-old might know and remember about the world? I’m giving Ruby the benefit of the doubt about that.

The details of this dystopian world (more like only the US, more likely) are enough to give us a panorama of what the hell went down when kids started dying and the ones not dying started developing superpowers. It was only too obvious that, instead of helping them understand and maybe use their powers for the better, the grownups were instantly drawn to the most violent solution: death or/and internment camps. I can’t say I was surprised. So obvious I just rolled my eyes and kept reading.

The other kids Ruby travels with have all deep history and detailed background. I loved how they weren’t just left there to assist the main character. They were part of the story as much as Ruby was. Liam, the heartthrob with a heart of gold, blue eyes and a smile that melts you. A rebel with a sense of guilt as big as a mansion. Chubs and his bad attitude and rudeness that were only the protective shield he “activated” because he cares about his friends. And little and sweet Zu; a tiny human being that has already being through things a kid should never endure in all their lives. Because nobody explained her about her powers and teach her how to control them. Things could’ve been so much easier, otherwise. I blame the adults, as usual.

As much as I read it almost without pausing because I was curious about how things were going to work out in the end, I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would have. But I definitely liked it and, after that hell of a rollercoaster of a last chapter, I need to know what it’s going to happen next. But the second book will have to wait. I have so many other books to read!

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