Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


I’m a big fan of the fae. I will read anything that has to do with them. So this book made me a very happy girl. There was intrigue, secrets, romance and adventure. The perfect combination honestly.

Jude was taken into the faerie world when she was young. She’s hated every moment but tried to make the most of it by learning to fight. SInce she can’t be like them, and live forever, perhaps she could be in the army and at least do something beyond living til she dies, which is what mortals do. When she finds herself in the midst of a civil war, she decides to jump in, even if it costs her everything.

I liked her. She was quick on her feet and had tons of spunk. She takes what Prince Cardan, and his minions, dish out at her, and even gives some back. I’ll admit, it was hard to see what she had to take at their hands. He was just plain cruel. Hence, the title name.

She may not have known what was going to happen, but she rolled with the punches and made decisions that would benefit everyone, not just her. Even if it hurt to do that. I am super anxious to see what happens to Jude in the next book. I have some theories…

This is my first Holly Black book and I liked it. All through the story I knew what was going to happen, but it was still very enjoyable. When I say all through, I mean almost all through. I saw everything except the end, when she basically slapped me across the face with a big “HAH!! You thought you were so smart. You never saw THAT coming, did ya?”

So now I sit here waiting for my kids to read this and join in my suffering, as we all wait for book two.

~Melpomene

Buy The Cruel Prince http://amzn.to/2D08krP

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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!

~Melpomene

Buy The Beast is an Animal http://amzn.to/2CwXJ7t

Melpomene’s Top 17 of 2017

I’ve read so many series this year, that many of the books blend into one, but there’s a few books that have stood out against all that. What are some of your favs? Do we have any duplicates? These are in no particular order.


Hunted is probably my top read of the year. This was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but with a twist. I loved it so much, I read it and listened to the audible. Hunted is the epitome of what the perfect YA fantasy book should be. Engaging from the very beginning, exciting and emotional throughout, and a very climactic ending that leaves you breathless and in tears.
My review is HERE


What can I say about Renegades? Epic, exciting and engaging!! Oh my gosh!

Superheroes are all the rage now. But what if the lines between villains and heroes were blurred? Well, then you’d get Renegades. I was rooting for Nova, and then I wasn’t. And then I was, and then… I’m gonna need the next book ASAP.
Buy Renegades http://amzn.to/2zOo7aJ


If you read Tiffany’s The Bourbon Thief, then you’ll recognize a few names and places in this one, but it’s not connected. This story is in a whole other world. The Night Mark has a bit of an Diana Gabaldon feel with a Tiffany twist. And twist is definitely what this does to my heart and soul.

This book is about love. This book is about pain. This book is about letting the light in and praying that it heals the soul. If you’re in the mood for an epic romance that will have you twisting in your seat as you read, then I think this book will make you happy. Go in with an open mind and an open heart. And don’t read any spoilers.
My review is HERE


Devil In Spring The Wallflowers was my first introduction to Lisa Kleypas, then I went on to The Ravenels. Without saying any spoilers, I will say that I highly recommend you reading those before you take a dive into this book. You’ll feel such a stronger connection once you realize who the story is about. Very exciting. She’s a fairly new to me author, so I haven’t had to wait long for this book, but I was no less excited for this story.

The main thing I like about this book was how different Pandora was. She’s not the usual swooning maiden who’s perfect in all things. She wanted to continue to be who she is and not have it all taken away if she got married. She wanted to maintain her identity and not have it stripped from her. Plus without sounding mean, she was less than “perfect” physically. She there were parts of her that just made her more human in my eyes. Again, there is no perfect person, I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.
My review is HERE


This book was everything, Everything, EVERYTHING I was hoping it would be!! My heart is overflowing. Exciting, emotional and so very romantic. Ms. Byrne has a way with these flawed and imperfect characters. You can’t help but fall in love with all of them.
My review is HERE


This series is nothing short of fabulous. Romantic and so very swoony. We’ve been waiting so long to get Mary’s story. I love that we get her’s at last. She deserves all the love and family, even if it comes with a fair amount of heartache.
Buy Once Upon a Maiden Lane here: http://amzn.to/2DAv8yi


Oh, how I adore a Kristen Ashley book! The Time In Between was the perfect ending to a fabulous trilogy. Lots of emotion, heartache and love. This book made me swoon and smile, and made my heart race with anticipation. I wanted so many good things for Cady and Coert and I’m so happy that they finally found their happily ever after.
My review is HERE


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! I decided to listen to this instead of reading it, so I wasn’t able to highlight any cool quotes, but that didn’t hinder me from fully enjoying it.
Grab a copy here: http://amzn.to/2BUuGKL


Without Merit isn’t a romance story really. It’s a life story. At first I thought Merit wasn’t the “usual” character, but then I got to thinking, “What is the usual character?” She stressed over and struggled with daily life. She feels her family is a bunch of crazies. She wishes for peace in her world but doesn’t know a healthy way of finding it. I don’t know about you, but she sounds pretty “usual” to me.
My review is HERE


My heart has been twisted all around in this book. Kristen is the master of that. I love everything about this story. The romance, the swooning, the family, the friends, and the unexpected cameos from other KA books. Perfect. Just perfect.
Grab a copy here: http://amzn.to/2EiARKk


Jessica’s books have a way of stringing you along, then tearing your heart out and forcing you to take a deep breath before continuing. Angst must be her middle name. If you loved Flat Out Celeste and Left Drowning/Restless Waters, then this book is right up your alley. This story made me take a good long look at my own life and others around me. You never know who might need a little extra patience and love.
My review is HERE.


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.
My review is HERE.


I read this series but never read these novellas. I don’t like looking back, especially when I know the end result. But I got guilted into it by my daughter, so I finally picked this up, and let me tell you, I was DEVASTATED by the end. Just as I knew I would be. But it does give a little more knowledge into the series and it’s characters. I do recommend you read this…with tissues.
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2DxUb5e (At time of posting, it’s currently on sale for 99 cents!)


This is a book about love, determination, friendship and family. The Bright Side family is the best family out there. In fact, I wish I was a part of this family. I want people in my life like this. They know when to joke, when to give advice and when to just be there. Gah! This story was filled with the full range of emotions. Plus, I loved seeing Gus and how he’s doing. I love him.
My review is HERE


“Make a fuss.”

The last time I felt this way, after reading a Mia book, was when I read Kyland. This story is about love, forgiveness and honor. It will make you think and make you cry. You will be gutted. But most of all, this book brings attention to a very real issues that many people face in this country. In fact, it brought to my attention another serious issue that many women deal with, but often no one talks about it. I realize that many people read books differently and some won’t even think about this. This story has so many things going on, many real life issues, that this may get glanced over. But to me, it broke my heart. Like the quote up top, make a fuss. Don’t settle. You’re worth fighting for.
My full review is HERE


If you’ve read the Rock Chicks books, you know all about Daisy. The sweet tinkling bell laugh, the Dolly Parton physique and her love of all things sparkly, are the first things you think of. You know some of her past and know that her husband, Marcus, loves her more than life itself, but that’s just the tip of what makes her her.
My review is HERE


I’ve been reading K.A.Tucker’s books for years now. And the past few books have been more of the suspense. So when I read this, it was like coming home. I adore her romance writing and this book was perfect. I hope you give it a shot.
Buy Until it Fades here: http://amzn.to/2CsjENO

I can’t wait to see what next year brings me!

~Melpomene

Review and Giveaway: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

“So many people dream of living in a house with a white picket fence. Little do they know, there’s no such thing as a perfect family, no matter how white the picket fence is.”

I am always so excited when I get to read a new Colleen Hoover book. I’m so anxious to see what she’s going to do to my heart. From the very first sentence I knew I was going to like Merit. From the second one, I knew this family was going to be different. So I orderd pizza for the kids and I settled in to spend the evening reading. Best night of my year.

Without Merit is a story about a girl who keeps all the many secrets of her family. She hates it but she does it. But everyone has their breaking point, and when Merit reaches hers, the Voss family won’t know what hit them.

After the emotional book, It Ends With Us, Colleen switched gears and went back to her Slammed roots and gave us this fabulous story. This is a book that I recommend you read along with your teens. It deals with some tough and very poignant issues that many of them, and us, face today. I personally, will be having my kids read this. In fact, this will be their first CoHo book and I’m rather excited over this fact. While they may not have to deal with many of the issues being faced in this book, they may find that Merit is just like them.

This story is a mass bundle of quirkiness and emotion. I was drawn in by the over the top idiosyncrasies of each member under the Dollar Voss roof. I wish I knew this family. They’re as unique as their names. I don’t wanna say anymore, because you need to just dive in and immerse yourself in this world.

Without Merit isn’t a romance story really. It’s a life story. At first I thought Merit wasn’t the “usual” character, but then I got to thinking, “What is the usual character?” She stressed over and struggled with daily life. She feels her family is a bunch of crazies. She wishes for peace in her world but doesn’t know a healthy way of finding it. I don’t know about you, but she sounds pretty “usual” to me.

“It used to feel like I was on top of the world. Then one day, I noticed that it felt like I was no longer on top. I was just floating around inside of it. And then eventually, it felt like the world was on top of me.”

Colleen, thank you for writing a story that hit me right where I needed to be hit. Thank you for giving me lots to think about in my children’s and my own life. You bury me.

~Melpomene
Enter to win a signed hardcover of Without Merit HERE

Buy Without Merit http://amzn.to/2yB3kqU

Review: Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel

Adults can usually see the big picture, but all Caleb sees are the obstacles of Cystic Fibrosis and the shadow of his older brother. Kit’s big picture life is dysfunctional and challenging, and in order to survive it she creates a smaller, magical world … and invites Caleb in. 

Every Beth Vrabel book I review includes the caveat that I’m not really a YA/middle grades fiction fan. Well call me a convert. I just can’t say it anymore, because I truly love Vrabel’s tales of kids living with a disability, finding their place, figuring out who their true friends are, and growing into independence and self-advocacy. 

Vrabel uses humor to explain Caleb’s CF troubles, in a way that any middle-grader will find entertaining (i.e. there’s mention of poop). She also creates a family that loves Caleb so much it’s stifling — a feeling most tweenagers know well. Reading Caleb and Kit, I was totally schooled on how much effort it takes to get through a day when you have a medical condition – or, in Kit’s situation, a dysfunctional home life. And Vrabel writes it all very casually and brightly… no gloominess allowed when describing the facts of someone’s daily existence. 

When Caleb and Kit find each other, they create a special kind of friendship that isn’t based on dependence, but on believing in each other so they might believe in themselves and grow to be independent. As Vrabel explains scientifically, just look at the trees and you’ll see! 

You’ll have to read the book to find out where their friendship ends up, but know this: Over the course of the chapters, my heart grew tender for Caleb and Kit, and yours will too. 

-calliope

Buy CALEB AND KIT

Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh


“Never doubt. Never fear. Never overthink.”

I will admit, I wanted to read this book based only on the cover alone. It’s gorgeous! Plus I read Renee’s, Wrath and the Dawn duology, and loved those, so I assumed I would like this as well. Flame in the Mist had a very Mulan feel to it, but with a twist. It felt real. I thought I was living the story, instead of merely reading it. Pure magic.

She was not a half. She was wholly her own.

Mariko’s life isn’t headed in the direction she wishes it would go. After falling into the hands of the Black Clan, she must conceal her identity and slowly find the answers to why her life was threatened. But as she grows closer to the Black Clan, she realizes that some things aren’t what she originally perceived. There’s more to these men than she’s been told.

“To me, you are magic.”

As she learns to fight with these men, she grows closer to one in particular. And when he learns her secret, her entire world gets turned upside.

“My heart knows your heart. A heart doesn’t care about good or bad, right or wrong. A heart is always true.”

All trace of amusement vanished from his expression. “I may lie every day of my life, Hattori Mariko. But my heart will always be true.”

I do enjoy escaping to a foreign land, and Renee’s books let me do just that. They’re filled with the perfect combination of adventure, fantasy and romance all set in the beautiful locations. My heart was racing, and stopping, at quite a few spots. I am rather anxious to read the next one!!

~Melpomene
Buy Flame in the Mist here: http://amzn.to/2oYGCYv

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.

~Melpomene

Grab Riders here: http://amzn.to/2pkiUHD
Grab Seeker here: http://amzn.to/2pkwP0c