It's always so hard to say goodbye to a series because it's like saying goodbye to group of friends you have gotten to know over the course of the boo It's always so hard to say goodbye to a series because it's like saying goodbye to group of friends you have gotten to know over the course of the books. It's especially bittersweet to say adieu to the Hemlock trilogy because it's one that I started very early during my blogging years. While I may be upset, I firmly believe that Kathleen Peacock gave readers an ending that was hopeful and memorable with Willowgrove.
Like I said, I have grown very emotionally attached to these characters. I've watched them go through one obstacle after the other, but I am so proud of them for everything they have accomplished. Mac, as a main character, has especially grown throughout this series. In Willowgrove, you could tell that she was no longer that sad and grieving young girl that she was in Hemlock. She had found a positive outlet for her grief over her best friend's murder. I truly admired her for her resilience and her positive attitude through every hurdle she had to jump over. Kyle, her love interest, continued to flourish as a character as well. I loved he too had become tough and had accepted who he was at the core. We saw him struggle considerably with his identity over the past two books, but in Willowgrove, he was a different person, tenacious and secure with what he was. Kyle has always been a sweet guy and he never wavered from that personality trait. You can't help but fall in love for this beautiful boy and his kind heart. The secondary characters too really shined in Willowgrove. I was especially impressed by the development of Serena's character. She had gone through hell in the second book and she was still fragile from the events, but with the help of Jason she slowly started to get on her feet. Speaking of Jason, he was one character I struggled with a few times during the series, but he too has grown to become a much more decent person and I was proud of who he had become.
The plot in Willowgrove took some time to gain its momentum, but once it did, it was fast-paced, gory and terrifying. Kathleen Peacock really did not hold back with the deaths and bloodshed. My heart was racing so fast throughout Willowgrove, worried about what would happen to these characters I had grown to cherish so much. The author did manage to punch me in the heart multiple times and it left me teary eyed. We also learn a lot more about the lupine disease that struck the town and there were some horrifying moments. Never have I hated the villains so much as I did with this series and I wanted nothing more than to watch their downfall. The romance between Kyle and Mac was super sweet as well. It was one that grew slowly in the first book and while it's had a few down moments, Mac and Kyle have been supportive of each other and they have worked together to jump through many of their problems. There were times during this series where I worried that a love triangle would pop up, but Peacock makes sure to eliminate every doubt in the first book itself. Kathleen Peacock is a really talented author and she has the ability to write some very compelling stories that grab your attention from the very start. I also really liked how she was able to put real life themes into this book, primarily discrimination, and she tackled them very aptly.
A werewolves story that is compelling and gripping in multiple ways, the Hemlock series is not one to be missed out on. As a trilogy ending, Willowgrove was satisfying in every way. I can't wait for more by Kathleen Peacock....more
Discovering new books is one of my favorite perks that comes with book blogging. The Book of Ivy wasn't a book that was on my radar until blogger frie Discovering new books is one of my favorite perks that comes with book blogging. The Book of Ivy wasn't a book that was on my radar until blogger friends started to sing high praises for it. Moments like those make me grateful to be part of this community. I've been over dystopian novels for the past few days, so I was bit hesitant to start The Book of Ivy, but boy did this book blow me away with how addictive it was!
From the very first page, I sympathized with our main character, Ivy. She had huge responsibilities to shoulder along with having to marry the son of her family's enemy. From the very start, she was determined to do everything possible to avenge her family's situation and to make her father and sister proud. But as Ivy slowly got to know her husband, her personality really started to shine through and I couldn't help but feel for her and the position she was in. For someone as young as her, the dilemma her family put her through was excruciating. I liked that Ivy wasn't entirely blinded by the stories her family told her. She was the kind of girl who got to the core of every statement and made her own judgements. That made her brave and all kinds of smart, according to me. All in all, Ivy was a heroine I admired from start to finish. Bishop, her husband, and supposed enemy was not like anything I expected. He was sweet, down-to-earth and entirely too nice. I loved how even though Amy Engel could have made him into a bad boy, she didn't. He was so gentle with Ivy and I loved how he slowly opened up to her and propelled her to open up to him.
The romance between Ivy and Bishop was so sweet. It was one that developed very slowly given their circumstance. I loved how they slowly got to know each other and grew fond of each other. It was such a delightful romance that had my heart fluttering. It definitely had one of my favorite YA romances. The Book of Ivy wasn't your typical action-packed dystopian book, but my heart was beating non-stop throughout the story with the revelations and the suspense. By the time the cliffhanger ending came, I wanted to cry my eyes out and scream out my frustrating at how unfair the world was. The world building was also interesting and I'm looking forward to learning more about these two families and their war. Amy Engel is definitely a talented author who knew how to play with her readers emotions very tactfully. She's an author to look out for!
The Book of Ivy was an emotional addictive and compelling read with solid characterizations and a slow-burn romance that will leave you breathless. The wait for the final book in this duology will be excruciating! ...more
When I saw that Nereyda at Mostly YA Book Obsessed loved Under Different Stars when it was self-published (it's now being re-published by Amazon), I i When I saw that Nereyda at Mostly YA Book Obsessed loved Under Different Stars when it was self-published (it's now being re-published by Amazon), I immediately added the book to my TBR list. So when a copy dropped on my doorsteps a few weeks ago, I was thrilled and dove into the story right away.
I really enjoyed the character of Kricket, the protagonist, and I was able to instantly connect with her. She had a really rough life in her childhood what with running away from her foster homes and trying to dodge social services. Even when she was kidnapped by Trey and co., she did not bow down and continued to fight and try to escape, unfortunately in vain. Still though, I admired her resilience and was rooting for her to find out about who she really was. Then there was Trey, her love interest, who I felt very negatively towards at the beginning of the book. Slowly though, as Trey's character opened up to the readers, the ice around my heart started to melt. By the end of the book, I was head over heels in love with him. Although he came across as a little rough at first with his handling of Kricket, he was a genuinely sweet guy who tended to be protective and just really kind to everyone around him. It was hard not to fall for him because he gave me the butterflies. Honestly, where can I find myself a cute alien like Trey? The secondary characters were also really great. I enjoyed getting to know the fun bunch and I would howl out in laughter multiple times throughout the book with how confused they were with "Earth terms".
In addition to some great characters, Under Different Stars also had a fantastic romance. It was very much a slow-burn romance that gave me many feels. I love relationships that start off with the two parties involved being wary of each other, but then eventually warm up to each other. Seeing Kricket and Trey go from that slight animosity phase to the romance phase was very entertaining for him. They definitely had a really swoony romance. I was very much involved in their relationship. The world building was also great. I loved getting to know the planet that Trey came from, Ethar. Amy Bartol did a splendid job at making her world vivid and easy to portray. It was really fascinating because it was unique. I will admit that the plot was a little slow, especially in the middle. At one point, I really did feel like the plot kind of dragged and I wanted it to move forward. It did pick up towards the end though and the slow pace of the plot didn't really affect my enjoyment of the book.
Under Different Stars was an intriguing story with some great characters and a lovely romance. If you're into YA sci-fi books that are heavy on the romance, you might enjoy Under Different Stars. I, for one, was impressed and I'm looking forward to the next installment already. ...more