a whirlwind of romance and adventure out on the sea? sign me up please!

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea – Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Fantasy, adventures, mermaids, witches, LGBTQ+, colonialism, young adult, fiction. 

Rating 11/10

To survive Flora has to become a male under the persona, Florian, to aboard the ship called The Cove.  Evelyn is being married off and sent across the sea and hates that she is being sent off. Florian and Evelyn cross paths on the ship that is supposedly a passenger ship but suddenly things take a darker turn when one of the ship crew caught a live mermaid. Both Florian and Evelyn ensure that the mermaid remains alive but the captain of the ship revealed his true intentions. Everyone on board that is a passenger is to become a slave to the Cove. Florian sees the injustice and decides to try to escape with Evelyn and return the mermaid to the ocean. With the help of one of the crew ship members, he offers them an escape and faces punishment. Florian is shot and Evelyn is left to try to row their boat to land. Evelyn finds a woman who claimed to be a witch on this island who promises to save Florian but sent Evelyn to her betrothed who doesn’t believe her story. Intentions are shown and Evelyn must get out. Not only that but Flora needs to rescue Evelyn and escape from the Emperor and the Pirate Supreme. 

Wow. Just wow. I can’t even describe how much I loved this book. There was a sapphic romance, adventure, fantasy, and mythical creatures. This novel grabbed me and did not let go of me at all. I loved the way the writing kept its grip on me in such a way that I couldn’t stop reading. I devoured this book in less than a day. I loved how Flora disguised herself as a male pirate and how Evelyn just later accepts her true identity. That made my heart melt because I was rooting for these two characters to survive and love each other. The plot blew my mind and there were so many twists and turns that I hadn’t expected but they were good. This novel discusses the harsh truths of colonialism and the impacts it has on everyone. I recommend this book for only teenagers and older because topics and subjects a bit are challenging for younger audiences but overall an excellent novel. 

absolutely loved this novel

Aru Shah and The End of Time – Roshani Chokshi 

Children’s literature, fantasy, gods, goddesses, Hinduism, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Aru is willing to spin or tell any tale that may or may not get her to finally fit in but one tale that was spun was found out. She didn’t travel at all and these mean girls were to expose her if she didn’t rub this lamp. Aru told them that it was known to be bad news, that Lamp of Bharata was cursed, but these girls didn’t care. She rubs the lamp and suddenly something comes out at the same time everyone is frozen except for this bird. This bird introduces himself as a sidekick and wonders which Pandava’s brother unleashed the evil that was in the lamp. Aru tells him that it was her and he couldn’t believe that the Pandava had taken up a female incarnation. He tells her that they must find her sister. They find her sister, Mini. After both are told to then find the three keys to go into the Kingdom of Death to find weapons to stop the Sleeper from destroying the world by awakening the God of Destruction. They can’t have help from their Godly parent or previous incarnations. 

I saw one of the sequels of the novel and was intrigued. I didn’t get the sequels because I wanted to read the first book. I regret not getting the entire series because this first book was so well written and I thought it was Rick Riordan but it wasn’t. I loved the characters and the plot along with Hindu lore. This novel swallowed me whole and didn’t let me leave the world and I suffered a book hangover. I didn’t want to read another novel for a very long time because this was just breathtaking. I can’t wait to find the other part of the series to continue to see where Aru is sent and or goes through. 

needed an enemies to lovers trope and this understood the assignment!

The Shadows Between Us – Tricia Levenseller

Fantasy, romance, kingdoms, royalty, enemies to lovers, young adult, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Alessandra has a set list of goals that she began after killing her lover. She wants to enter the Shadow King’s court, woo the Shadow King, and kill him to overthrow the throne. As she is executing her plans of infiltrating the court and trying to get closer to the Shadow King she slowly becomes accustomed to court life and enjoys herself. Soon her past gets caught up with her and tempts her to ruin her plans to become the Queen. She has to focus on the prize and not let her heart ruin her grand plan of hers. 

I had seen this novel on booktok and had held off reading it. I was in the wrong for doing that and wished I could have read this novel much sooner. The plot of a young woman wanting more than being a wife and having children and doing whatever it takes to get a grander lifestyle that she ultimately deserves is powerful. I love this female character who legit in the first chapter killed one of her lovers and buried his body. Some people might see her as a villain and her backstory being the villain origin story however I would disagree. I would have done the same thing if I had been in her shoes. There were a lot of twists and turns with this novel and I simply loved every single page. There are some good one-liners that I wish I had the physical copy of this novel to annotate that resonated with me. Overall the characters and the plot were astonishingly different and unique. I love this novel a lot. I wish that there was a sequel but sadly this was a standalone novel. I would very much have wanted to see more of Alessandra.

the last book?!

Court – Tracy Wolff 

Fantasy, romance, werewolves, dragons, shifters, witches, wolves, fiction.

Rating 11/10

After the battle, everyone is severely injured and they are regrouping to find a new plan. Grace has to find answers to how to gain her Gargoyle army to defeat Cyrus. Grace and her friends have to hunt down not only the God stone but the Tears of Elyos. They are faced with all sorts of trials and tribulations. Grace really reflects on who she was and who she needs to be in order to save not only her friends and family but other supernaturals and get her army. 

I don’t want to give too much away since this as I recall was the final book in the series. I really enjoyed this novel from start to finish. I waited to post because I wanted to publish all the books in the order that they are to be read in and give enough time for folks to go find the final book. 

Besides that, I really was on a rollercoaster of feels when I read this. One thing I do have to point out is that there is a representation of anxiety that the main character and some others face. There was a lot of thought that went into this novel that was beautiful and magnificent. I was finding myself reacting a lot to the point I simply couldn’t believe all the twists that happened. Not only that but Grace is the heroine I wanted and the girl boss she became is exactly how I wanted her to become. Hudson at her side who was just encouraging her was so insane because she didn’t need his help for the most part. I’m happy and content with how this final book went. I definitely recommend reading the series. 

… im a GraceXHudson shipper… dont hate me

Covet – Tracy Wolff

 Fantasy, romance, werewolves, dragons, shifters, witches, wolves, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Grace was given some life-changing information and not enough time to process it all. Now she has been mated to Hudson. She still has some feelings for Jaxon but knows that it won’t work out. Love will have to be put on the back burner because they have to go to this inescapable prison to find the person who made the chains that enslaved the Unkillable Beast. Then they have to free the Unkillable Beast to try to figure out where this Crown is. Along the journey, she comes to terms with loving Hudson as he treats her as his equal. Not some plaything that has to be protected. Time is very limited before there is an all-out Supernatural war. 

This novel made me feel all sorts of emotions. Some that I can’t even describe other than this was a rollercoaster of emotions. Grace isn’t given a moment to process everything and when she can process things, she is experiencing anxiety about it. I love how the authors express that the characters are not okay. In some of the YA science fiction or fantasy novels, I’ve read most of the characters do not acknowledge their mental health. This novel does. The protagonist knows she is weak but she has to remember that she is ultimately strong and that she has been going through a lot the past couple of months that she has come up to Alaska to this school. I loved the part where Hudson got mad at her and was discussing with her that she is stronger than she thinks and that she can’t give up. I do believe that they are a perfect true pairing. I didn’t like Jaxon because he was always not letting Grace reach her FULL potential. Jaxon always wanted her to be protected and safely tucked away. Hudson is all for letting her just bring out her inner badass. He knows her so much and she knows him so much as well that this was so perfect that they were paired together. 

Overall, I enjoyed reading the third installment and can’t wait for the fourth book that is coming out in February. I need my dose of GracexHudson. The storytelling and writing that Wolff gives are very immersive and full of emotion. The way that she made the characters interact and talk felt natural. I felt that I was right there watching all of this through Grace’s eyes. I’m glad that I got into this series and don’t regret it either. 

now im on TEAMHUDSON!!

Crush – Tracy Wolff 

Fantasy, romance, werewolves, dragons, shifters, witches, wolves, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Grace wakes up with no recollection of what happened besides the throwdown between her and Lia. Jaxon tells her that she turned to stone and has been stone for nearly three months. She doesn’t believe it until her cousin and uncle inform her that she was in fact stone. They tell her that she is the first gargoyle born in over a thousand years. She can’t remember anything but goes on with her routine. Even with the new information and Jaxon plus her uncle trying to find anyone who knows about gargoyles. What might be returning to some normalcy, she blacks out and wakes up covered in blood. She nearly freaks out and tries to understand what happened until she and Jaxon realized that Lia’s meddling worked. Hudson was inside Grace and living inside her head. To get him out, they must find these five items to bring him back alive so that he doesn’t rage havoc through her. Hudson doesn’t like the idea much until Jaxon’s parents hear about Grace. They want Grace to be locked away for her protection. However, Grace and Hudson agreed that she won’t become their pawns. Grace has to trust Hudson to help her make it out alive. For both their sakes. 

Okay. This book threw a lot of new curves and many plot twists. I was not expecting Hudson, Jaxon’s brother to be inside Grace. Grace and Jaxon are a mated pair and Hudson being there was hella weird. Not gonna lie I am having some feelings for Hudson. He goes from being an arsehole to caring for Grace. Even going as far as helping her out. That was some serious character development. Grace also goes through a lot of character development as well. She simply understands that she is now part gargoyle and part human. She embraces it and tries to get Jaxon to embrace that she isn’t a damsel in distress. Hudson knows that she’s dangerous and a force not to be reckoned with. 

The novel overall was filled with humor and action with some romance and heartfelt scenes. I loved reading the second book of this Crave series and was hooked. I understand the hype more now and now I find myself turning towards Team Hudson. He is misunderstood okay? Anyways, the characters go through a lot of development and changes. Their interactions are so natural and funny. Chapter titles did have me on the floor wheezing in laughter. I can’t wait to read the next book that’s called Covet. Looking forward to seeing what and where Grace ends up. 

I had to give it another shot…

Revisiting: Crave – Tracy Wolff

Fantasy, romance, werewolves, dragons, shifters, witches, wolves, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Grace is moving to an academy where her cousin and uncle live that is in Alaska called Katmere Academy. She lost both her parents previously and had been needing to find a home. Her uncle Finn was reluctant to allow her to come to the academy. When Grace arrives, she senses a weird sensation about the school especially from one of the guys that noticed her arrival. Her cousin, Macy, tells Grace about the academy and helps her acclimate to the altitude. Her first days were shrouded in mystery around the guy she met and later is told that he is Jason. Another guy warns her about Jason whose name is Flint. As she grows close to Jason he distances himself away from her for a while. 

Flint and Macy just try to help Grace understand that Jason isn’t worth it. However, an earthquake brings Jason and Grace closer to an accident that led to mysterious wounds. She confronts her cousin about what is going on and she reveals to Grace that Jason and the school nurse are vampires. Grace asks more about what other mythological creatures attend the school and is told that there are vampires, witches, werewolves, and dragons. A few more near-death accidents happen that really send Grace into alert that someone is trying to kill her. Lia, who was at first cold with Grace becomes buddies with her by offering tea. Macy tells her that Lia was Hudson’s lover who was murdered by Jason. Jason tells Grace about it. Grace comes face to face with the fact that Lia had been plotting the entire time and her mortality hangs in peril. 

I had to reread this because I was at first read kind of confused about Grace’s love interest Jason. He reminded me of another character but as I was rereading I have to say in my other review of this I didn’t do the review justice. I gave this review a full score because I found myself enjoying this novel. Even more than the first time. I enjoyed the plot and how the author had it slowly unfold. The writing is very concise and phenomenal. The plot was intriguing and the character interactions are sometimes hilarious. I’m a woman who enjoys even the cringest puns. The chapter titles were very clever and at times punny.

 I find myself shipping Jason and Grace together but I feel that Grace and Flint can happen too. I know I have read the other book to know that Flint just befriends Grace and vise versa but he’s a good friend despite their rocky beginnings. Grace’s cousin, Macy, was very supportive and loving to her cousin. I also like her too. These characters feel like real people that I know which is important for me. I know that there is an online community and I will have to say Team Jason Vega for sure. 

a cute little love story ~

The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood 

Romance, fiction. 

Rating 8/10

Olive has to convince her best friend that she is dating and kisses some random person in the lab. Turns out the person she kissed was Adam a young professor with a reputable reputation known by all students. He makes a deal with her that she can’t refuse which benefits both of them. The fake date is just long enough so he can get his grant and she can convince her best friend that she’s moved on. Both come to terms that this fake dating scenario is a recipe for disaster. 

I enjoyed this novel. The plot was interesting as well as the characters. This is just like any other fake dating trope that leads to real dating. Watching the novel unfold was spectacular and enjoyable. I do recommend this novel. 

never trust something that sounds so good with strangers on vacation…

New Friends – Daniel Hurst 

Psychological, thriller, fiction. 

Rating 9/10

Becky and Jamie are on vacation wishing for a grander and more luxurious life. They come across a couple that retired young and promised to help the couple make some good investments. Phil and Mel think that they could convince this couple until Mel began having second thoughts. Mel doesn’t want to do this business and wants to make friends. Phil threatens her to either stick to her role or suffer the consequences. Jamie goes through with the plan despite his wife’s opinions only to realize that they got scammed. Mel comes forward to offer help in taking down Phil. 

I had gotten this book through Kindle Unlimited because of the synopsis that caught my attention and I have to say that if I had seen this book on the shelf I would have gotten it. I loved how mild of a thrill this novel was. Not just that but some plot twists took me by surprise. The plot moved elegantly and at an adequate pace. All the characters that Hurst made were interesting and helped the plot along further. Sometimes people can be too trusting of people and this is an example of that. Overall, loved this novel and will hunt down the physical copy. 

this was amazingly GOOD

The Starless Crown – James Rollins 

Fantasy, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Nyx was born without sight and was found as a baby in the swamps. Her mother died but a person passing by found her and took her as his child. Now Nyx is attending a prestigious school with the help of someone who can see for her. However, an attack of bats caused her to be bitten and give back her eyesight. Unfortunately, she now can foresee the future and alerts them of impending doom. The prince, Kanthe, is set on a mission to go get this young woman who can see the future. When he arrives he’s ambushed by his men and this leads to him on the run. Nyx is also on the run because she can’t be used for her gift. Nyx and Kanthe cross paths and both make a decision that will lead them on an extraordinary journey. 

There was so much going on with different perspectives and narratives. I enjoyed this novel. It helped me get out of a reading slump. There was a lot of world-building and many fantasy aspects. I’ve read James Rollins’s novels before with his good detective mysteries. This was excellent branching out of his usual genre and he did a splendid job. I loved the world and the characters. I’m highly anticipating the sequel and where these unique characters end up. I am so glad that I had picked this novel up at Costco. I had needed some fantasy that could bring me out of my reading slump.