Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2.5) by Laini Taylor & Jim Di Bartolo (Illustrator)

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5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Night of Cake & Puppets
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2.5
Format: Hard Copy purchased from Book Outlet

Synopsis:
In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.

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Review

Is it weird that this might be my favorite book in this whole series?

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Muse by Alexa Riley & Fiona Davenport

2-stars
Overall Rating: 2 Stars
Title: Muse
Author: Alexa Riley & Fiona Davenport
Format: Hard copy purchased from Shameless Book Con

Synopsis:
Shelby Walsh is struggling to make ends meet. She spends her days doing singing telegrams for extra cash, but she never expected to be sent out to perform for the world’s most famous composer. And definitely not in a skimpy Greek goddess outfit. How is she supposed to keep it together when every part of her is screaming for him to take her?

Theo Hayes is a recluse. He just wants to be left alone to work on his next big movie score. He’s even grumpier than usual because he’s in a bit of a rut. But when his brother sends him a singing telegram for inspiration, he finds his muse and plans to never let her go. Keeping her for his very own is the only option.

Warning: We’ve teamed up with Fiona Davenport to give you an epic symphony for your lady business. What’s better than two authors working you over? How about four? If you want insta-love with all the safety and security of a happily ever after, then jump in bed with us. There’s room for more!

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Review

In an attempt to actually reach my Goodreads goal (it’s not looking good LOL), I’ve pooled together all of the shortest books on my bookshelf.

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Maybe Now (Maybe #2) by Colleen Hoover

5-stars
Overall Rating: # Stars
Title: Maybe Now
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Maybe #2
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
What is more important? Friendship, loyalty or love?
Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson collaborate once again to bring fans of Maybe Someday back into the musical world of Ridge and Sydney.
And Maggie.
And Warren and Bridgette.

This is a follow-up to the NYT bestselling novel, Maybe Someday. It should be read after Maybe Someday and the novella spinoff, Maybe Not in the series.

Completed.

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Review

This book is such a prime example of a book that has proven one of my bookish pet peeves wrong.

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer {Review by Kayla}

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Cursebreakers #1

Synopsis:
Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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Review

WHen I finished this book, it felt like I just came out of battle it was so intense.

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Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Luna and the Lie
Author: Mariana Zapata
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
The problem with secrets is that they’re too easy to keep collecting.

Luna Allen has done some things she would rather no one ever know about. She also knows that, if she could go back in time, she wouldn’t change a single thing.

With three sisters she loves, a job she (mostly) adores, and a family built up of friends she’s made over the years, Luna figures everything has worked out the way it was supposed to.

But when one of those secrets involves the man who signs her paycheck, she can’t find it in her to regret it. Despite the fact that he’s not the friendliest man in the world. Or the most patient.

Sometimes there are things you’re better off keeping to yourself.

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Review

It felt like it’d been YEARS since I read a Mariana Zapata book when I finally read this one.

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Mini-Reviews: The Cruel Prince, Red Queen, Sythe, Shatter Me, & Time’s Convert

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The Cruel Prince
(The Folk of the Air #1)
by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: Going into this book, I fully expected that it would be a 5-star read, and when I wasn’t completely blown away, I was pretty disappointed. Not necessarily in the story, but in the fact that this book didn’t immediately scream FIVE STARS to me. To be fair, when I read it, I don’t think I was particularly in the mood for a YA Fantasy. At some point I’d like to do a re-read of this entire series and just binge it. On the other hand, the bullying aspect in this book kind of put me off. I tend to hate that particular plot device in contemporary novels and it does nothing for me either even when translated into fantasy.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Red Queen
(Red Queen #1)
by Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect when reading this novel. I don’t think my expectations were particularly high, I’d just seen this book absolutely everywhere when it first came out. Perhaps that is why I liked this book as much as I did. There were a lot of things about this book that I feel could’ve been done better, but overall I really enjoyed the reading experience overall. I, of course, wish the romance was a little more prominent, however, the ending leads me to believe that the rest of the series may have a bit more of the romance in the forefront.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Scythe
(Arc of a Scythe #1)
by Neal Shusterman

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Rating:★★★★★

Mini-Review: I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Given the synopsis, it’s not something I would excitedly reach for, however, the story absolutely sucked me in. Again, I wish there was more of a romance, but it didn’t even matter that there wasn’t. I was also surprised by how emotional this book made me in several areas. I adored the overarching question of morality and ethics and how this book made you question everything.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Shatter Me
(Shatter Me #1)
by Tahereh Mafi

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: I feel like I should have loved this book. The writing is unique and flowery and I typically really gravitate toward it, however, it felt a little excessive. I’m not sure if it was because it was a little too distracting or if it made the story drag a bit. I almost lost the storyline because of how the book was written. Surprisingly, this book was pretty forgettable for me. I don’t see myself reading on in the series.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Time’s Convert
(All Souls Universe #1)
by Deborah Harkness

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches–now a hit TV series airing Sundays on AMC and BBC America, and streaming on Sundance Now and Shudder–comes a novel about what it takes to become a vampire.

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor–the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for–is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Rating:★★★

Mini-Review: I so wanted to like this book. I LOVE Marcus. I loved him ever since he was introduced in the original series and I was so excited about his romance storyline, however, this book was unfortunately pretty boring. Marcus’s past dragged on quite a bit for me. However, seeing the characters I fell in love with in the Discovery of Witches series made my heart flutter with excitement and nostalgia.

Rule #4: You Can’t Misinterpret a Mistletoe Kiss (The Rules of Love #4) by Anne-Marie Meyer {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Rule #4: You Can’t Misinterpret a Mistletoe Kiss
Author: Anne-Marie Meyer
Series: The Rules of Love #4

Synopsis:
A mistletoe kiss is just a simple kiss, right? Wrong.

All I want to do during this Christmas break is survive. A week at the cabin with our family’s friends/rivals, the Stephensons, every yuletide activity is turned into a competition where my family must win. Every. One.

Yep. Lots of Christmas spirit around here.

But, I’ve survived past holidays, there’s no reason why I can’t survive this one.

Until Mom informs me that Jacob Stephenson, my brother’s ex-best friend and resident bad boy, is back from his grandmothers after having been gone for the semester. I guess, after you find out your son robbed a gas station, you banish him to the most southern state.

Now my ridiculous crush is back in full force and I’m trying really hard to stay away from him. My brother is frustrated that Jacob is home and I’m supposed to put my family above boys. Right?

Maybe…

I was attempting to be loyal until Jacob and I kiss. Sure, it was a forced one brought on by mistletoe tradition, but there was something in the way he held me and pressed his lips to mine that told me, he just might be feeling something more.

But when he keeps pulling away and acting like the bad boy I’m pretty sure is fake, I begin to realize that there’s more at stake here then just my heart. A truth that is eating away at him. I just hope I can unearth it before Christmas is over and any chance that I have at discovering the real Jacob disappears.

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Review

Another cute and quick story!

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Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Meet Cute
Author: Helena Hunting
Format: eBook purchased from Amazon

Synopsis:
Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran – quite literally – into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

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Review

This was a classic case of perfect timing.

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Savaged by Mia Sheridan

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Savaged
Author: Mia Sheridan
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
When wilderness guide, Harper Ward, is summoned to the small town sheriff’s office in Helena Springs, Montana, to provide assistance on a case, she is shocked to find that their only suspect in the double murder investigation is a man described as a savage.

But the longer she watches the man known only as Lucas, on the station surveillance camera, the more intrigued she becomes. He certainly looks primitive with his unkempt appearance and animal skin attire, but she also sees intelligence in his eyes, sensitivity in his expression. Who is he? And how is it possible that he’s lived alone in the forest since he was a small child?

As secrets begin to emerge, Harper is thrust into something bigger and more diabolical than she ever could have imagined. And standing right at the center of it all, is Lucas. But is he truly the wild man he appears to be? A cold blooded killer? An innocent victim? Or a perplexing mix of all three?

Harper must find out the answers to these questions because the more time she spends with him, the more she risks losing her heart.

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Review

Oh boy. This book was much more intense than I expected it to be.

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