I love urban fantasy books but it seems like I’ve had a harder time fitting them in as my tastes grow and expand. I am a very eclectic reader and I thI love urban fantasy books but it seems like I’ve had a harder time fitting them in as my tastes grow and expand. I am a very eclectic reader and I think that makes it hard to fit in everything I want to fit in. So I was really happy to have this opportunity to fit in another urban fantasy adult book because it’s been awhile.
In the beginning of Matchbox Girls there’s a lot of mystery because Marley knows nothing about the supernatural stuff. She’s been handed (it’s more than that) these two children that she knows just from the park and is tasked with caring for them because their guardian has disappeared. She really has no idea why suddenly all these strange people are showing up trying to take them and why these strange things keep happening. So we don’t know either. As Marley finds out more and starts to accept things, we learn more. While Marley is in denial initially, before she’s told much and just sees strange things, she actually does accept things pretty well when they are laid out for her. I liked that she wasn’t in denial when it became so clear that these things ARE real. I also liked that Marley grew so much. She starts out having a hard time with anything at all as she has severe anxiety. But when she’s given this serious responsibility she’ll do anything and everything to protect them. And same with her friends. When they are in danger she’ll charge in to save the day, even if it’s not the smartest. So maybe not always the best choices, but I got it. I mean I admired her for the decisions she made most of the time.
This is a unique concept of the angels and nephilim, demon’s and fairies. Very different but done quite well. It takes the whole book to fully grasp it, but it was okay because we were getting it piece by piece. Plus this is just the first in a series, so I’m sure there’s a lot more to come.
This is a pretty easy book to read. The beginning I devoured quickly and then the middle seemed slower, though more actiony, so maybe it was my mood. It was still a pretty easy and quick book to read and has me curious and anxious to read the next one. Also, there’s no romance in this book so it’s truly urban fantasy and not paranormal romance. There’s potential for romance but at this point I have no idea if it’ll really happen.
Leila Sales is an auto-buy (or request) author for me because she writes unforgettable characters with strong and quirky personalities. So when I hadLeila Sales is an auto-buy (or request) author for me because she writes unforgettable characters with strong and quirky personalities. So when I had the chance to review Tonight the Streets Are Ours I didn't hesitate to say yes. I actually read the book before reading reviews so I had no idea what others were saying about the book. But I was just feeling a bit blah about it. I wasn't wow'd by the characters like I usually am. But I kept with it because I was curious about how things would go in the end, besides I thought it might get better. And it did. But I still wasn't wow'd. I liked it but it didn't excite me.
I never fully connected with the main character, Arden. She felt sort of blah to me. Her best friend was a tad more interesting but it seemed like Arden needed her more than she thought and liked to think that she was needed maybe more than she was. This is actually a bit of the plot and it was realistic and it did make me think.
Now I thought the book would take place in NYC a lot more but for the first 3/4's of the book we weren't there. The only bits of NYC we were getting was through the blog that Arden got addicted to. Now this was interesting. This guy Peter that wrote this journal blog was the character with the most life and quirkiness. I just wanted us to get to NYC to meet him sooner. Of course what someone portrays themselves as on a blog is likely different than what they really are in real life, right? Well, yes and no. You'll have to read the book to see what Peter's deal is. What his full story is. But I will tell you that there's something that I think is suppose to be a surprise twist but I saw it coming immediately. I guessed it the moment it even presented itself. But Arden never guessed.
So the NYC night was good. Fun to read about. Nice to actually get some stuff happening since a lot of book was kind of slow. I also liked the issues that were discussed. Her mom and why she left, her best friend and the issues between them, her boyfriend and the issues between them. And then of course Peter, a guy she's built up as this perfect amazing person who is obviously not exactly the way she imagined.
While the book was a bit slow in that not a ton happened, I didn't really feel that way as I read. I read it quickly, in only two sittings and I didn't really consider not finishing it (it's Leila Sales!) but when I look back it just doesn't have a lot of memorable stuff. So I liked it okay while I read, and more so in the last quarter. But now that it's done I feel even more blah about it. So it was a decent read but it didn't blow me away.
Leila Sales is still on my auto-buy list. I know what amazingness she can write and I'm still anxious for more from her.
Striking Out by Scarlet Bennett is a distinctly Australian book. It has all the slang you'd hear if you were in Australia (possibly depending regionalStriking Out by Scarlet Bennett is a distinctly Australian book. It has all the slang you'd hear if you were in Australia (possibly depending regionally) and for me it made it all the more real, making me feel like I was actually transported to Australia and Shazza's life. I love Australian novels as there's just something different about them. Perhaps it's just the Australians themselves. The way they act, the things they say, their awesome personalities. The accent. I'm not sure, but I know I'm a big fan so I was very excited about this book.
I had no issues whatsoever getting into this story. I like Shazza (Sharon) quite a lot. It's obvious she's been through some tough stuff but she's fighting to move forward. At the same time she's learning how to break out of her bad habits that helped put her in a bad place in the past. I appreciated that she was really working to grow. At the same time she's always there for others who are good to her. Standing up for them and even protecting them.
This is a contemporary story about a struggling musician and I loved the music bit. We get to attend quite a few shows through Shazza and it was great fun. Shazza is not only a musician but also a martial arts teacher. She's one tough cookie!
This felt like a sort of meandering story but it really worked. We're there with Shazza as she works to find her way, as she fights to move forward without so many 'fights' and working to take advice to help her career as well. As she starts to open up to new people and making friends.
This was an easy book for me to read and just made me all the more eager to get a chance to go to Australia and experience it myself!
Tom Thorneval: Dream Merchant Extraordinaire is something truly unique and different for the middle grade readers. It's a musical storyworld so you caTom Thorneval: Dream Merchant Extraordinaire is something truly unique and different for the middle grade readers. It's a musical storyworld so you can use your smartphone for the code at particular parts of the book and hear the music. And not only that but it's got some choose your own adventure parts! So this is truly an interactive book and is perfect for those reluctant readers that may need a bit more to capture their attention.
Tom Thorneval is a cute little guy (but he is a grown up), determined to find his way to the festival to sell dreams and find the love of his life. Unfortunately his map was eaten by imps (if I remember correctly that's the creature he first encountered) and the forest is full of less than happy residents who are not so very helpful in helping him find his way. Adventure after adventure we travel through this forest meeting all sorts of fantasy creatures with an assortment of crazy and quirky personalities.
Because there is a bit of silliness in the fart/burp/throw up category it will get kids giggling (and possibly parents rolling their eyes) it brings the age range up just a bit, depending on what you wish to expose your kids to. Obviously this will depend as each child is different. I wouldn't hesitate to give it to my 5th grader. The book works good for boys and girls but I can imagine boys will have a great time with it because of the darker humor that girls would just say GROSS to.
I definitely recommend this and can't wait to hear YOUR thoughts about it!
Hush is the first book in the Lakeview series and is about Blakely who is adopted and isn’t aware that she’s from a Royal family and is the last livinHush is the first book in the Lakeview series and is about Blakely who is adopted and isn’t aware that she’s from a Royal family and is the last living member. That’s not a secret as her birth is the beginning of the book. So while this is sort of a mystery, it’s not really done in the traditional sense. The first quarter of the book is getting to know Blakely and Max and watching as their friendship, and then romance, grows. Then more stuff starts happening and the book really speeds up. At that point it was hard to put it down as I wanted to see how things unfolded. How Blakely finds out, where things go. I liked Blakely but I actually like Max more. I get that he was a little secretive about things but I feel he had a good reason for keeping quiet. I like how protective he was of her even though she was strong on her own she didn’t really realize what she was up against or that she was in any real danger because as far as she knew, she had no reason to be. I connected with his personality a lot as well and how he interacted with people. The concept of this was pretty good. I suppose it’s not real realistic but it’s one I can suspend disbelief over cause it could happen. You never know. ;) Each book in this series does pretty well standing on it’s own and I’m really glad there wasn’t a cliffhanger. It’s nice to get the answers to things and have a good conclusion. I definitely recommend!
The Banished Craft is a story that is completely unique and absolutely beautiful. It’s an epic fantasy that is definitely epic. While it comes from muThe Banished Craft is a story that is completely unique and absolutely beautiful. It’s an epic fantasy that is definitely epic. While it comes from multiple points of view, the characters are bold and stand out on their own. The world building is fantastic and unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s a story that sucked me in and had me anxious to see through to the end.
Like I already mentioned, we get the story in multiple points of view but most of them we return to enough that we get to know them and connect with them. It wasn’t confusing or hard to follow though it took a few chapters to get into the flow of it. I don’t always like this technique but in this book it worked well. There’s a lot of different sides to see and this way we see all the different angles. And the characters were done really well and were fleshed out surprisingly well in the periods of time we had with them. Plus, we get to spend time with DRAGON’S! And these are more like ‘humans’ rather than ‘animals’ as they go about activities like humans.
I don’t even know where to start in explaining this world. That makes it sound complicated but it’s not really. But yet… it is. It’s just so different and you kind of need to experience it to really understand.
I really don’t even know how to explain this book but it brings about a lot of philosophical ideas. Things to think about, even though this is a fantasy, it can apply to our world as well. There’s a lot of emotional bits where we feel those intense feelings like hate, love and even frustration. Books that bring about ‘the feels’ like that are a total win in my book! This is an adult fantasy but it’s pretty clean so mature YA readers may enjoy it.
The book was easy to get into as I met these characters (which many already know if you read the previous books in the series, which I didn’t). But whThe book was easy to get into as I met these characters (which many already know if you read the previous books in the series, which I didn’t). But while we meet all these others it’s definitely focused on Kate and Jack (funny story, the show I’ve been watching has Kate and Jack as the main characters- I was reading this and then quit and started watching that show and was like whoa, that’s weird!). Kate is 23 but she’s the youngest and the only girl. She’s not experienced with boys and has never had a lot of interest in pursuing them. Suddenly she starts finding herself being attracted to Jack. Jack is best friends with her brothers and has been around her whole life. And he can’t believe when he starts having feelings for her. And he’s the opposite of her as he has lots of experience as he was a bit of a playboy. They both think they can deny these feelings, but they really can’t. I love that they came together, spending time together, when planning a charity event. Jack might come off a bit as the ‘bad boy’ but he’s not really. He’s really a stand up guy who wants to help people. But there’s this thing in him where he deny’s that, like he really thinks he’s not a good person. Luckily Kate knows he is a good person but she struggles to accept she could possibly have feelings for him. The interactions between the two is great. While I do get annoyed when characters continue to deny attraction and keep pushing it away, I really did enjoy the banter of these two. And I appreciated that the author made sure to show us in each of their heads so we could understand them a little better. So while romances might not always be my thing I did really enjoy this one a lot. The setting, the romance, the family, it was all fantastic and a lot of fun. I need to go back and start with the first book now!
The Lion’s Pride starts right when The Wolf’s Cry left off. That means we’re thrust right into the action of the story. This is good in the sense therThe Lion’s Pride starts right when The Wolf’s Cry left off. That means we’re thrust right into the action of the story. This is good in the sense there’s no slow bits, but I did find myself struggling to remember everything. I did read an early version and some changes could have been made. But I think a brief recap would have worked well for me. If you haven’t read the series yet then it’s perfect cause you can read them closer together.
I love, love, LOVE the world that Natalie Crown has created. It’s about a girl who stumbles into a fantasy land and so we get the experience through her eyes as she learns about it. But in this book we get more perspectives and it gets a bit deeper and even darker. We get to know more of the other characters even though Kammy is still there we just see much more of the big picture.
I love the creativity of Natalie Crown. The Semei can shift into different animals. Sometimes a few different ones. How cool would that be? Need to get somewhere fast? Just shift into a bird or something and fly there! Of course not all are the same and not everyone can fly. I also like the world itself. How it’s constructed, how it’s so complex without being complicated or hard to understand.
The books are clean! There is war and so people die and there is some dark stuff, but it’s not ever too much. So while the characters are upper YA or even NA in age it’s appropriate for younger readers as well.
Overall I’m really liking this series and am excited for more!