Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Exciting and magical and characters you can’t help but root for.

What a wild ride!! I decided to listen to this instead of reading it and I wish I read it first, then listened to it. While loved the narrator and how she made the voices come alive, I wasn’t able to highlight all my quotes, like I usually do. So flipping back and forth, if I got tripped up in all the excitement, wasn’t possible. But I will say that this book was very exciting and kept my attention. I wanted to sit in my room and do nothing but listen. The story had me on the edge of my seat.

Time travel and magic…I never knew how much I would love it. It was so fascinated with all the characters. They all had their secrets and personal missions. I had no idea who to trust!

Esta and Harte were super fun to get to know. The banter between these two, was super fun. Esta reminded me of my daughter, with all her sassiness. I really want her to succeed in her mission. And I look forward to what happens to her in the next book.

I had my teen son read this book when I finished. He’s a very reluctant reader, so I was hoping he would enjoy it. Well, I gave it to him one evening and two days later he handed it back and sorta teased that he can’t handle the stress of endings like that. And then he immediately asked for the next one. That’s a sign of a good book right there.

I had no idea this book was a duology, so by the end, my nerves were shot. I was on the edge of my seat hoping and praying for an ending that didn’t have me crying. What a wild last chapter!! I had to shush my kids as they talked around me. Epic. I may even tensed up for a moment. I need the next book!!


Buy The Last Magician
Add The Devil’s Thief to your GR shelf


Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

While I am very happy with the way Shadowsong ended, it took a lot to get there. A lot of stress and heartache, and more pacing. After we were left with our hearts on the floor, by the ending of Wintersong, I needed this book to put me back together. While Wintersong was about love, Shadowsong was about healing. Healing of families. Healing of hearts and healing of minds.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, when I first started. But soon I realized that this book was going to be nothing like the first. In fact, when I read the author’s note, I knew this was going to be totally different than the first book.

We rarely saw the Goblin King, but I understand why. It wasn’t really about him. It was about Liesl’s and her brother, Josef’s journey. They both are broken and troubled and trying to discover the pieces they need to put themselves back together. My heart was breaking for both of them. In the first book was find out why Josef is struggling. He is different but he doesn’t know it. Liesl needs to help him, while also helping herself.

This book was harder to read than the first. It was making me manic. The twists and turns of Liesl’s world had me reeling right along with her. My heart was breaking. My soul hurt. The world is falling a part and she’s the only one who can stop, but she doesn’t know that. And when she does, she has to make sacrifices that don’t only affect her, but her loved ones as well.

Again, I am happy with the ending, but I feel there could’ve been just a little bit more. There’s a few open ended stories that need to be written. *hint hint*


Buy Wintersong~
Buy Shadowsong~

Quick Review: The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

I’m not one for creepy books but I fell in love with the cover and thought I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did. Silly me didn’t read the synopsis beforehand though, and thought it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Boy, was I wrong. SO WRONG.

I have no idea what to say this book. It was creepy and weird and oddly addicting. I couldn’t put it down and yet I had no idea what I was reading. I did, but I didn’t, ya know? Who wouldn’t like to read about soul eaters and beasts?

Very creeptastic YA that I’m sure all your teens will love. In fact, I described the first few chapters to mine and they both wanted to read it. Goofy kids. They’re excited to be scared and I’m over her hoping I can sleep without hearing any singing.

My daughter just finished reading it this week and absolutely loved it. She’s all about the creep factor. She now wants more books like this. When I told this to Paternelle, she said that she’s working on another dark fairy tale now. Another book!! Much squealing happened when I read that. So now I’m on the hunt to find books that meet up with these creepy standards that TBiaA has set, as I wait for her next book. Wish me luck!


Buy The Beast is an Animal

Review: This is Not the End by Chandler Baker


What if, instead of dead actually being forever, there was a possibility of bringing your loved ones back to life?  Instead of losing those closest to you forever, you had the power to undo their death?  That’s exactly the premise in this chillingly semi-futuristic story.

In one instant, Lake’s world is shattered.  A tragic car accident takes the lives of both her best friend and her boyfriend.  Miraculously she survives.  But she’s left with an unimaginable dilemma.  You see,  technology has given people the ability to be resurrected.  Not just randomly and at will, mind you.  Instead, every person receives one resurrection on their eighteenth birthday to be used on whoever they choose.  That’s one resurrection, though.  And Lake can’t imagine making that choice.

To make matters even more difficult, her resurrection choice has already been promised to her older brother who was tragically paralyzed years earlier.  She’s not even close to her brother anymore, so she surely can’t imagine wasting this precious gift on him. Especially when the love of her life and her best friend have died.

Things aren’t always what they seem, of course.  As Lake struggles to come to terms with the accident, while also recovering from her own injuries, she discoveries that nobody is who they seem to be.  And then, of course, there’s a new guy to complicate matters.

This story is a lot of things.  It’s science fiction, for now at least.  It’s a romance.  It’s a teen drama.  And it’s a mystery with one heck of a twist at the end that I sure didn’t see coming.


Buy It Now:  This is Not the End


Review: Seeker by Veronica Rossi

A very adventurous and exciting story, filled with enough action to make even the most stubborn of readers get engaged. I know the teens are gonna love this.

Because this is the second book in the Riders duology, I don’t want to say anything spoilery. But what I can tell you is that this has to be one of favorite true YA series. My kids and I read the first book, Riders, right when it came out. Then I just did a relisten last week, with them listening every now and then, and all the excitement came back to me. In fact, my non reader son actually found ways to be in the same room as me so he could listen to the book, but not making it obvious that he was listening. The audible was very addicting. I found myself actually doing chores just so I could listen to it more. That, my friends, is a sign of a good book.

And my anti romance daughter was equally intrigued with this story as well. I’m always on the lookout for exciting YA books that aren’t completely centered around romance, and this one fit the bill as well. It enough to keep us both happy, and that’s a rarity.

Well, enough about Riders, now onto Seeker. Seeker takes place about 8 months after Riders end. The characters are trying to work past what happened and try to find a solution. Since they’re younger and less mature, they don’t always make the right decisions. They try and do things on their own, so save others from harm, but what they really need to do is work together. Once they realize this, then things start to fall into place. I’m not saying that nothing bad will happen, but it’s easier to deal with the bad, when you have your friends and family close by.

It’s very bittersweet to have this book end. I will miss these characters and I wish there were more books coming, but alas, there is not. But I am happy to see their trials complete and them still together and moving on as a family. 

This series will be added to my master list of YA books and I have a feeling it will be recommended often.


Grab Riders here:
Grab Seeker here:

Review: Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

01-a The most critical, defining battles we wage in life, we wage alone.

It has taken me almost a week to collect my thoughts on this book. I’m still reeling. Let me start out by saying that this isn’t the final book in the Fever series, but the final one in the Mac/Barrons story line. So savor it and read it slowly. Trust me.

When we left Feverborn, we left screaming. Mac opened herself up to the Sinsar Dubh and we weren’t sure how, or if, she would be able to get out. In Feversong, Mac must take back control and destroy the book, find the Song of Making to also destroy these black holes that seem to be slowly eating up our world, and do all this without getting lost inside herself again. It is an ongoing battle that only she can do. She must forget about her past actions and focus on the future with a clear head.

In the midst of Mac’s issues we have Dani and her quest to find a balance between Jada and Dani. She is there to help destroy the book, of course, but the five year she spent alone in the silvers has changed her, and not for the better. On the outside Dani is hard and uncaring, but if you chip away her layers, you see that she is soft and just wants love. She will fight to the death for it. Watching her grow into herself was beautiful, devastatingly so. I can’t remember watching a character go through so much and come out stronger for it. I am looking forward to see what happens to her. She has had enough heartache to choke on and I know she deserves a happily ever after.

“I love you more eternal than pi.”

As I said this is the final book about Mac and Barrons. Their story comes full circle and it’s crazy when I look back at when they first met. She was so sad and naive, but by the end she knew who she was and was stronger for it. They had their battles but, through it all, their love was the stuff faerie tales. Truly.

“Fire to his ice.
Frost to my flame.

I spent the final 25% of this book with tears in my eyes. Some scenes had them flowing nonstop, while others had me chocking to hold them in. This book was an epic edition to this series. A full range of emotions. You won’t leave untouched. She makes us work for this ending. Grab a comfy blanket, perhaps a box of tissues and leave the world behind as you escape into the world of the fae. You can thank me later.


Buy Feversong HERE

Review: Gregor the Underland Chronicles


As a teacher, I’m often asked for kids’ book recommendations.  And I’m always looking for great books to offer to kids.  One series that always gets top mention is the Gregor Chronicles.

Written by Suzanne Collins of The Hunger Games fame, this is a milder, gentler series for younger readers not quite ready for that world.  With Gregor as our hero, we are taken to a world hidden deep beneath the streets of New York City.  His adventures bring him into contact with giant rats, bats, and roaches among others.  There are legends to be followed, and destinies to be realized.

It’s not without violence, however, as there are deaths along the way.  However, I was able to read and recommend this series to second graders with no hesitation. And older readers have no fear. This is still one of my favorites to read MYSELF.

The boxed set makes an excellent gift and truly should only be bought that way as eager eyes are sure to zip through the first volume and immediately look for the next.  Happy reading!


Buy It Now:  Gregor the Underland Chronicles