Monday, July 9, 2018

ARC Review: Baby Teeth

About The Book:

  Title:  Baby Teeth 
  Author: Zoje Stage 
  Pub. Date: July 17th, 2018
  Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
  Pages: 320 
  Genre: Adult, Thriller, Mystery 
  Rate: 2/5 stars 

Synopsis :

Sweetness can be deceptive. 

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.


Baby Teeth is being marketed as a thriller involving Hanna, a (selective) mute girl, who hates her mother so much that she wants her gone so that she can spend all her time with her dad. Meanwhile, her father refuses to believe that Hanna has any ill intentions toward her mother. While this novel is being marketed as a thriller, I didn't find anything thrilling about it.

The synopsis of this book is literally the entire story. It never progressed past that, and went in circles of 1. Hanna planning to hurt/kill her mom, 2. Her mom reacting to the situation, and 3. Hanna realizing it didn't work and goes back to the drawing board. Obviously, I got very bored after awhile. But I stuck with it because I thought something exciting was going to happen.

I will say that Hanna was a creepy, albeit believable little girl. Her lack of empathy turned her into a pretty scary character. Suzette, her mom, was at the end of her rope and extremely confused why her daughter hates her so much and is so defiant towards her but doesn't act this way towards her dad. I do wonder why she wouldn't just put video cameras around to catch her daughter's behavior if it was so concerning to her that her husband wouldn't believe her? The dad, Alex, is just so clueless that there is nothing interesting about him.

While I liked the characters and writing of this book, I was disappointed that there really wasn't any type of resolution or fulfillment to the plot. I felt like we were just reading a big short story with no climactic aspects. This book is being marketed as shocking and disturbing. I guess at times Hanna could be disturbing but it wasn't shocking at all. Because I liked the writing, I would definitely try something else Ms. Stage writes, but, unfortunately, Baby Teeth was not a hit with me.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing this book
in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn

Thursday, July 5, 2018

ARC Review: Nine

About The Book:

  Title:  Nine
  Author: Zach Hines 
  Pub. Date: August 7th, 2018
  Publisher: HarperTeen 
  Pages: 320 
  Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction 
  Rate: 2.5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

In an alternate world startlingly close to our own, humans have nine lives—and they can’t wait to burn straight through them.

As you shed lives, you shed your awkward phases: one death is equal to one physical and mental upgrade. Julian’s friends are obsessed with the idea of burning lives, but Julian is determined to stay on his first for as long as he can. His mother, the ultimate cautionary tale, burned through her first eight in just a few years, and Julian has no intention of succumbing to the debilitating rebirth sickness that she inflicted on herself.

But the regime has death incentives aimed at controlling overpopulation, and Julian realizes that he’s going to have to burn at some point—especially when he becomes a target for Nicholas, the manipulative leader of the Burners, the school’s suicide club. And when Julian eventually succumbs, he uncovers suspicious gaps in the rebirth system that may explain exactly why his mother went so far down the rabbit hole years ago. Along with a group of student dissenters, Julian sets out to find answers and is soon on the verge of exposing the greatest conspiracy ever unleashed on the world.

He has just eight more lives to uncover the brutal truth.


Nine is what I'm assuming is the start of a new YA series. The real genre to this is still unclear to me. If I had to pick one - I'd have to say Dystopian (which I love). But it takes place in a "parallel world" - which makes me think science fiction, and there's some weird stuff that happens that makes me think fantasy? I really am not sure what it is supposed to be.

Anyway, Nine takes place in a parallel world where people have nine lives, and the higher life you are on - the more benefits you get from the government. With a higher life, you get more food rations, entrance to a better college, a better job, and a nicer house. So basically, they are encouraging you to burn through your lives. This is being done to control the population. This honestly sounded like such a good dystopian to me and the premise is amazing, which is why I'm do disappointed the novel as a whole fell short for me. Our main character, Julian, refuses to burn his lives, which I don't get why? It's well known that it's important to burn lives to earn money for your family and get a good job. The burners club at school hosts parties to burn lives - and Julian attends them like a mega creeper, trying to dampen everyone's fun, and is also super judgmental while he's there. Mr. Hines tries to peg the burners as the bad guys - but I liked them. They had a semblance of a personality, unlike our wet mop, Julian. Also, I supposed Julian is just innately SO SPECIAL he already knows burning is not natural. It started getting really weird when he can talk to these gross cicadas popping up everywhere and random cats (nine lives, hehe). Save me the special snowflake trope.

I probably liked Julian the least. Right up there with Cody, his partner in crime. None of the characters really resonated with me. There were some semi-interesting characters, but we don't get to see enough of them for it to really make an impact. I liked Molly (who you initially think will be an important character), Nicholas, Constance, and Franklin. But like I mentioned, they had such small roles in the novel, that I still wasn't truly invested in them. Truthfully, I probably wouldn't have cared about the outcome of any of them.

So, if I could compare this book to already published books - I'd have to say it's similar to books like The Maze Runner, Scythe, The Unwind Series, etc. Which, is actually quite strange, considering I love all of those books but am not really a fan of this one. I'm not sure if I'll read a follow up to this one. It left a lot of unanswered questions, but I'm not sure if I care enough about any of it to find out. I've been hurting for a new dystopian since YA is now saturated with the same kind of fantasy, but unfortunately, this is not what I've been looking for.
Thank you to Harper Collins for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn

Monday, July 2, 2018

ARC Review: Heretics Anonymous

About The Book:

  Title:  Heretics Anonymous 
  Author: Katie Henry
  Pub. Date: August 7th, 2018
  Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  Pages: 336
  Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 
  Rate: 4.5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.


"How can you change a church that doesn't listen to you?" 

Heretics Anonymous is a cute, stand-along contemporary from debut author, Katie Henry. This book explores important issues like learning to be accepting of other cultures, and it involves diverse characters and witty banter. You are sure to love it!

While this book has a ragtag group of friends, it mostly centers on Michael, who just moved in to St. Clare school because his dad received yet another promotion. Since Michael is an atheist, he is adamant that this school is going to be absolutely terrible. But on the first day at St. Clare's, he meets Lucy, who is arguing with on of their teachers. Michael finally feels there are others like him at St. Clare's. And pretty soon, he is welcomed into Lucy's friend group, for people who don't necessarily fully accept the catholic way (i.e. are of a different religion, sexuality, or have different beliefs). They all start to expose the hypocrisies within the school/church, and start to realize that maybe everyone in the school can disagree with some accept of the church they belong to. We also see that home environments aren't necessarily conducive to healthy relationships - highlights of absentee parenting, family dysfunction, and just a non-accepting attitude (to name a few). There really wasn't anything I didn't like in this novel - it was funny, fast-paced, and romantic - honestly everything you could want in a YA contemporary.

For fans of Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda, Heretics Anonymous is a feel good contemporary that deals with controversial topics like religion, sexuality, and family dynamics in a way that teenagers can relate to. This book is definitely for young adults and adults alike. Ms. Henry definitely rocked her debut novel, and I can't wait to read what she writes next!

Also - a huge thanks to my friend, Heather, for sending me this (and a bunch of other awesome books) to read!!
Thank you to Harper Collins for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn

Monday, June 11, 2018

ARC Review: Notes from my Captivity

About The Book:

  Title:  Notes from my Captivity 
  Author: Kathy Parks 
  Pub. Date: July 10th, 2018 
  Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books 
  Pages: 352
  Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 
  Rate: 3/5 stars 

Synopsis :

Girl meets boy… and the family holding her hostage.

Adrienne Cahill cares about three things: getting into a great college; becoming a revered journalist like her idol, Sydney Declay; and making her late father proud of her.

So when Adrienne is offered the chance to write an article that will get her into her dream school and debunk her foolishly optimistic stepfather Dan’s claim—no, belief—that a legendary family of hermits is living in the Siberian wilderness, there’s no question that she’s going to fly across the world.

After all, it is the trip of a lifetime.

But the Russian terrain is even less forgiving than Adrienne. And when disaster strikes, nothing—not the flirtatious guide or her stepdad’s obsessively detailed preparations—can protect Adrienne from the sheer force of nature. Now, Adrienne’s being held captive by the family she was convinced didn’t exist, and her best hope for escape is to act like she cares about befriending them, even if it means wooing the youngest son.


Notes from my Captivity is a new YA novel about a girl who gets kidnapped by a hermit family living off the grid in Siberia. Most people think this family is a myth, which is what brings Adrienne to the Siberian wilderness in the first place. Her stepfather is in search for this family - The Osinovs, to prove to the world they exist. However, insanity ensues, and Adrienne ends up captured by them. And she believes they just might be trying to kill her.

I did like the characters in this novel. Adrienne was strong and funny. She was very sarcastic and I looove sarcastic narrators. The Osinov's were my favorite part of this, though. They were definitely super creepy, but intriguing at the same time. I loved the different dimensions of their character and motivation, it's what kept me interested in this novel. While the plot was different than your typical YA, there were definitely times that I anticipated what was going to happen. That would have been my least favorite part of the novel. it the situations were more surprising, I'd definitely have given this novel 4 or maybe even 5 stars. 

I did like this book. The beginning was definitely slow, but the second half was very hard to put down. I will say that this one honestly is like a YA I've never read before. I think the book could be for fantasy and contemporary fans alike, as there are big components of both. Have you read Ms. Park's previous novel, The Lifeboat Clique? I am hesitant about picking it up because it doesn't seem like something I'd like based off of the description, but this book was up my alley, so I'm thinking about giving it a try. Have you heard about Notes from my Captivity? Are you interested in giving it a try?

Thank you to Harper Collins for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

ARC Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

About The Book:

  Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe 
  Author: Lauren James 
  Pub. Date: July 3rd, 2018 
  Publisher: HarperTeen 
  Pages: 320 
  Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction 
  Rate: 5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents’ tragic deaths left her alone on theInfinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.

Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can’t help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, the Eternity, will be joining the Infinity.

Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the captain of the Eternity, and their friendship breathes new life into her world. But as the Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there’s more to J’s mission than she could have imagined. And suddenly, there are worse things than being alone….


Ok - I'm being completely serious when I say this book is one of the best science fiction books that I've ever read. So basically, NASA located a planet that was indeed, inhabitable by humans. At an attempt to colonize the planet, NASA sends a ship armed with astronauts, seeds, and genetic banks into space. The only problem, it would take years upon years to get there. So, two astronauts would man the ship while the others remained in torpor sleep. NASA didn't account for one of the astronauts getting pregnant on the first leg of the trip. So, instead of going into torpor sleep, the first two astronauts had a baby and raised this baby on the Infinity. At the start of our novel, there is nobody on the ship except for Romy. A huge mishap caused everyone else to die, except her. She is running the ship all by herself. 

"Love takes so much energy, and it just leads to pain." 

Romy is an extremely emotionally strong girl to be given this role in space and be the only one on the ship. However, she suffers from debilitating anxiety, which makes her question herself and her decisions. One day, NASA tells her that a second fleet will be joining up with the Infinity. The commander of this fleet - 'J' is on constant contact with Romy from then on. However, some things just don't add up. And we begin to question just who J is and what his motives are. It is honestly SO CHILLING. This book is also fiercely feminist, and I just love it so much. It's hard to put my words into coherent sentences so please enjoy this neat-o list of things I liked:

Things I Liked:
1. The mental health aspect.
2. The slow-burn of learning the ship's back story.
3. How relatable Romy is.
4. The mystery surrounding J.
5. The writing - it is CRAZY addicting

Things I didn't like:

"If a life of fear isn't worth living, then why should I carry on?" 

Science fiction and thriller all rolled in one - this book is so fast-paced you can definitely finish it in one sitting. I am 110% pre-ordering this gym as it is one of my favorite books of 2018! If you haven't read this book yet (because I think it's been published before), you need to PRE-ORDER it so we can discuss the amazingness that is The Loneliest Girl in the Universe.
Thank you to Harper Collins for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn

Monday, June 4, 2018

Book Blitz: Spectacle

About the Book:
Title: Spectacle
Author: S.J. Pierce
Publication date: June 4th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Avatar meets Gladiator in this spellbinding Young Adult, Science-Fiction seriesby bestselling author S.J. Pierce.
Two hundred years after the Great Disaster, the day earthquakes ravaged Earth’s landscapes, humanity has finally regrouped and is working toward a better future. But in New America – one of three remaining landmasses – overpopulation makes a better future seem bleaker by the year.
Mira (Mirabella) Foster and her parents are citizens of New America, and with the threat of starvation and disease looming on the horizon, a discovery threatens to push everyone to the brink of chaos:blue markings develop on people’s skin. Markings that allow them to camouflage,but also make them feared, and eventually, targets of violence.
Mira’s dad is one of them.
Spectacle, Part One is the beginning of a three-part series. Suitable for ages fourteen and up.

On sale for 99¢ for a limited time!
Spectacle has made it to my TOP TEN LIST OF DYSTOPIAN BOOKS to read. ★★★★★
This book is totally ADDICTIVE, FAST-PACED and SUSPENSEFUL, with great lead characters and complex world building. ★★★★★

HUNGER GAMES meets AVATAR in this spellbinding Young Adult, Science-Fiction series by bestselling author S.J. Pierce.


When Luxxe and I make it into the crowd, they part for us, their cheers and attentions trained on him – the camp’s hunting trainer and star of our monthly hunting expeditions. In other words, their well-respected (and sometimes feared) hero. I’ve seen him hunt enough to know why too. He’s precise and brutal. No holds barred. It’s safe to say he’s the best one here, and I have to admit, though anything violent makes my stomach turn (even for the purpose of food), to see him in his element is like witnessing the athleticism of an Olympian god. This is what he was made for – to kill.His arm slips from my shoulder as he turns to hug his best friend and training assistant, Cole – another mountain of a teenage boy. He wears his dreads shorter, and his eyes are the color of liquid metal. His markings have harsh angles like bolts of lightning and cover his arms and half his torso. They’ve multiplied since I last saw him.The cheers around us ebb as they wait for Luxxe to finish his greetings and lead us into the forest; this is the part where I have to fend for myself. Then we’ll part ways into smaller groups and kill whatever we can carry. Our group is usually me, Luxxe, Taylor, and Cole.While I stand with my hands clasped and looking at the ground, the lonely snowflake in a frenzied bed of coal, I feel some of their eyes on me but pretend not to notice. I know they wonder about me – the blonde, pale girl with no markings who hardly ever comes around; the girl Luxxe is close with even though he has a very committed girlfriend, not that it’s any of their business; the daughter of the former head liaison who met with the President all those years ago. Though most believe my dad is innocent, I think some blame him for starting the war that placed us here, though they don’t say it. At least not to me. I’ve overheard rumblings in the market a time or two about how he went ‘mad’ or ‘rogue’ and secretly planned to take the President out but was taken out instead. And it might be my imagination, but I feel their resentment when they look at me, still fresh after all this time. Like I was somehow in on whatever they assume he did.Oh, well. Screw them. He was innocent.

Author Bio:
Multiple Award Nominated and Bestselling Author Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Paranormal, Sci-fi, and Contemporary Romance novels.
Please visit and sign up for her mailing list or subscribe to her blog if you'd like to hear when new books come out!




Friday, June 1, 2018

ARC Review: The Brink of Darkness (The Edge of Everything, #2)

About The Book:

  Title: The Brink of Darkness (The Edge of Everything, #2) 
  Author: Jeff Giles 
  Pub. Date: July 3rd, 2018 
  Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens 
  Pages: 400  
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal  
  Rate: 4/5 stars 

Synopsis :

Things have changed for seventeen-year-old Zoe ever since the otherworldly events that brought her together with the mysterious bounty hunter she calls X. In order to save Zoe and her family, X has done the unthinkable - he's given up his freedom and returned to captivity in the Lowlands.

X is determined to break the lords' hold on him once and for all, but being stripped of his power pushes him toward a darkness he's never experienced and a past he's never known. The secrets that surface could be the key to reuniting X and Zoe... or they could mean the destruction of everything they have been fighting for.


The Brink of Darkness is the follow up to Jeff Giles' Edge of Everything. I really liked The Edge of Everything so I was very excited to read the sequel. I think I initially read The Edge of Everything after I got it at BEA in 2016 so the wait has been real. 

"You don't believe you're going to get out of here."
"I want it far too much to believe it." 

The Brink of Darkness picks up with Ripper making a mockery of the Bounty Hunters in the Lowlands by evading them. She is seeking out the graves of her children and nothing will stop her, except X, who is the only bounty hunter she'll return with. Zoe is still recovering from the harsh truth that instead of her dad dying a hero, he was a coward who left their family. However, this sequel mostly focuses on X and all the questions that were left unanswered regarding his past. The Brink of Darkness has more of a setting in the Lowlands, which I love! That underworld that Mr. Giles created has such lush and rich world-building. I'd read 100 more book taking place there. The Lowlands is never boring and neither are the characters there, which makes The Brink of Darkness difficult to put down! 

I adored the characters in The Brink of Darkness. We see our favorites (um, Ripper, obviously) as well as a few new faces (Plum, Maudlin). The characters all had interesting backstories that came in to play and were all thoroughly developed. It was obviously great seeing X again and equally as great that he had ample page time. Zoe was just as she was in the fist book (kind of a pain in the ass), but the fact that I loved the other characters so much made up for it. When I first started this book, I was unaware as to how many books were going to be in this series. So when I started getting closer to the end, I was thinking 'wait is this the last book'? And indeed it is only a duology. I was disappointed because just as I felt like I was becoming to REALLY love the characters, they were being taken away from me. However, I will say, this book does an amazing job tying up loose ends and providing a good conclusion. 

The Brink of Darkness is the emotional and satisfying conclusion to The Edge of Everything Series. And I have to say, this follow up was better than The Edge of Everything. If you've read the first book and you aren't sure you want to read the sequel, I'd HIGHLY encourage you to do so - especially if you love X. And while I'm quite disappointed that this series is over, I'm excited to see what Jeff Giles writes next. It would be great if he wrote a series of short stories from the Lowlands! I'd 1000% read that! 

Thank you to Bloomsbury USA Children's for
providing this book in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn