Review: The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole

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Expected publication: May 16th 202

Even teenage assassins have dreams.

Eli isn’t just a teenage girl — she’s a made-thing the witches created to hunt down ghosts in the human world. Trained to kill with her seven magical blades, Eli is a flawless machine, a deadly assassin. But when an assignment goes wrong, Eli starts to question everything she was taught about both worlds, the Coven, and her tyrannical witch-mother.

Worried that she’ll be unmade for her mistake, Eli gets caught up with a group of human and witch renegades, and is given the most difficult and dangerous task in the worlds: capture the Heart of the Coven. With the help of two humans, one motorcycle, and a girl who smells like the sea, Eli is going to get answers — and earn her freedom.

I was so excited for this book, I wanted to like it, I gave it so many chances. But this book, in my opinion, is not even close to be ready to be published. This reads like a first draft. I like the overall concept, which is why I gave it two stars, but everything else needs work. The plot is confusing, not completely thought out, lacks any kind of direction. Even after finishing this book, I don’t know what actually happened. I couldn’t explain the storyline at all.
I really appreciated the non-binary characters (overall good LBGTQ+ representation), but none of the characters seemed complete. I couldn’t connect or relate to any of them and they lacked character building. No one seemed to have their own personality.
Overall, I didn’t like this one at all. I feel like this book is far from being ready to publish, regardless that I read this as an ARC. With some editing, I think this book could be good.

Review: A Strangely Wrapped Gift by Emily Byrnes & Lizzy Duga

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Published October 21st 2017

In these pages, you will find journeys from childhood to today, from mental illness to recovery, from heartbreak to heart growth, from hopelessness to empowerment, and from the ocean to the stars.

It’s so difficult for me to review poetry, it’s so personal to the author, and even if I don’t connect with it, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. I loved the themes of this collection. Love, loss, mental health, recovery, and LGBTQ+.

The style was unique and even though it wasn’t a style I prefer, I liked that it was unique. I also liked the consistency through out the book, there’s wasn’t any noticeable filler poems. Because of the style, I couldn’t really connect deeply with the entire book but I could relate to the themes and I appreciated the consistency.

Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

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Expected publication : August 4th, 2020

In this new thriller from the author of The Escape Room, a podcast host covering a controversial trial in a small town becomes obsessed with a brutal crime that took place there years before.

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny? 

Even though I liked this book, it didn’t live up to the expectations I had from the extreme positive reviews I’ve seen. I was expecting to love this book so much but it didn’t steal my heart like I thought it would.

I really liked the plot, it was well written in my opinion. Especially since it focuses on such a serious crime, I personally felt like it was handled well by the author. Obviously, if you’re triggered by the subject of rape, this isn’t the book for you. It is a difficult subject to read about, I had to take some time away from it at times, but it was sensitively handled by the author.

I liked the characters, I just wasn’t extremely invested in them. I didn’t feel super connected. I also wasn’t super connected to the story. I couldn’t get invested and I felt like because the chapters jumped from different perspectives, I never had time to settle into the story.

Overall, The Night Swim was a good read but not my favorite. I would’ve liked it more if there was only one perspective but I know that’s just a personal preference. If you like thrillers and mysteries, you might really enjoy this book.

Review: The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert


Expected publication: July 7th 2020

Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?

Duke Crenshaw is do done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight.

Only problem? Duke can’t vote.
When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.

Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can’t sit around waiting for the world to change? But some things are just meant to be.

This book is everything I want from a Young Adult contemporary book and more. It’s absolutely fantastic in every single way.

I’ve been having a hard time really loving YA books the past few years, struggling to find many YA books as enjoyable as I once did. I’ve been starting each YA book with high hopes but often finishing the book disappointed. That was not the case with The Voting Booth. It caught my attention right away and I read the whole book in just a day. It was surprisingly a quick read and I never wanted it to end. From the characters to the plot, this book was wonderful.

Both of the main characters were so well written and very likable. I loved the diversity so much and the unique plot really made this book such a one of a kind read. I’ve loved seeing so much added diversity in YA the past couple of years and The Voting Booth brings so much to the YA genre.

I honestly can’t think of anything negative about this book. I enjoyed it so much and this is definitely one of my favorite books of 2020.

Review: Dear Girl by Aija Mayrock


Expected publication: April 7th 2020

From a celebrated activist and spoken-word performer comes a debut poetry collection that takes readers on an empowering, lyrical journey through being a woman in today’s society, exploring issues like suicide, sexual assault, self-image, and healing.

Aija Mayrock published her first book, The Survival Guide to Bullying, at just sixteen. A fierce advocate for women, girls, and all youth, Mayrock performs spoken word poetry as part of her activism work and has performed live to an estimated four million people. Dear Girl, her powerful debut poetry collection, includes some of her viral spoken word poems like “Dear Girl,” “Dear Sisters,” and “The Truth About Being a Girl,” as well as many never-before-published pieces. Aija’s poetry—fierce, conversational, inspirational—speaks to the pain and the beauty of being a woman in our society today. Dear Girl is a love letter to all women, amplifying Aija’s message of understanding, empowerment, and support.

Dear Girl is one of the best poetry collections I’ve read in a long time. I’ve picked up quite a few poetry books the past month or so and Dear Girl really stands out from the rest. The poems are all very well written, super powerful. I feel like a good deal of poetry books have filler poems, but I didn’t come upon any poems in Dear Girl that seemed like fillers or noticeable lesser quality. The whole book was very consistent in quality and I loved that.

Review: This Boy by Lauren Myracle

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Expected publication: April 14th 2020

Paul Walden is not an alpha lobster, the king lobster who intimidates the other male lobsters, gets all the lady lobsters, and wins at life. At least not according to anyone in his freshman seminar. But Paul has found a funny, faithful friend in Roby Smalls and, just maybe, caught the interest of smart, beautiful Natalia Guitierrez. Life as a sharply dressed beta lobster seems just fine, but in the tricky currents of high school, its pretty easy to get pulled too deep.

With perfect frankness, Lauren Myracle explores the point of view of a middle-class white kid as he navigates friendship, love, loss, addiction, and recovery. It’s life at its most ordinary and most unforgettable.

I’m super appreciative that that publisher sent me a copy of this book. It wasn’t a book I normally would have picked up but I’m always game to read something new.
Shortly after starting This Boy, I realized this book is not meant for me. I’m 100% not the demographic that I think this book is best aimed at. The synopsis says “with perfect frankness, Lauren Myracle explores the point of view of a middle-class white kid” and honestly, that’s very telling about what to expect from this book. I’m not a teenage white boy so I couldn’t relate at all and I didn’t find this character’s perspective to be of any interest to me at all. I don’t read Young Adult very often these days but when I do, I realize now that I usually grab a YA book with some diversity in it, something with a new perspective, something I can learn perspective from. This book isn’t any of that.
Outside of the complete lack of interesting perspective, I felt like this book was incredibly slow and boring.
Overall, to be completely blunt, this book brings nothing new or exciting to the YA genre and even though I think some male teen readers might enjoy this book, I think there’s many more YA books that provide a more interesting perspective and better plots. I’ve been reading YA for a decade now and I know there’s so many books out there with this same perspective with better plots. I wish I could have enjoyed this book but the basic privileged, middle class, straight, white boy narrative isn’t interesting even to compensate the extremely slow, boring plot.

Review: The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Expected publication: June 23rd 2020 

Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again, in this propulsive page-turner from suspense master Megan Miranda.

I was really excited to pick up The Girl from Widow Hills. The plot sounded great and I’d seen several reviews that had high praise.
Unfortunately, it was way too slow for me tom really become invest in it. Nothing really happened until 19% into the book and the real action didn’t happen until the book was almost over. There was several plot twists and one was pretty decent but the other seemed to come way out of left field and it didn’t make a lot of sense to me.
I did really like the overall plot and the writing was really good. I liked the main character and even the side characters added value to the book.
Overall, for most of the book, it wasn’t really holding my attention and I wasn’t extremely driven to finish the book. If you don’t mind slower reads, you might really enjoy The Girl from Widow Hills.

Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls

Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls
Published : February 11, 2020

A film-obsessed romantic rewrites the script to understand why his “picture-perfect” love story crashed and burned in this wonderfully clever debut.

Ellie had the quizzical eyebrows of Broadcast News-era Holly Hunter and the neon-red hair of Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. At least, that’s what caught Nick’s attention when he met her on the night of 2008’s historic election. A cinema devotee and lover of great love stories, Nick always fancied himself the Tom Hanks of his own romantic comedy, and when sparks flew with Ellie that night, he swiftly cast her as the Meg Ryan of his story. For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job as a film projectionist: wholly, earnestly, cinematically.

But now Ellie has moved out, convinced “the fire’s gone,” and Nick is forced to sift through his memories to figure out where it all went wrong. The fallout from Ellie’s declaration that she “doesn’t love Nick the way she used to” throws him back into recollections of their first night together. Their shared jokes, her wry smile, the “hope” that filled the night air–his memories are as rose-colored as the Hollywood love stories he idealizes.

That night was a perfect meet-cute, yes, but was their romance as destined for a “happily ever after” as he’d thought? Is he really the rom-com hero he believes he’s been? Or did this Harry let his Sally down? Peppered with references to beloved movies, Love, Unscripted explores how even a hopeless romantic can learn that in real life, love isn’t, and shouldn’t be, like what we see in the movies.

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

So, I really wanted to love this book. It sounded like the perfect little romance, something sweet and great to read, I mean hell even look at the cover. How do you NOT buy this book?! But this book just didn’t do it for me. And to be honest, there’s three timelines going here, and I’ve read plenty of stories that follow through multiple timelines but this just didn’t to it very well. It jumped around so much I couldn’t really keep everything in the right spot in my mind.

This book also felt a bit slow at times to me. So I had some trouble trudging through it and to be quite honest I didn’t really connect to either of the characters which makes reading a book really difficult for me. Although I got through it, it was just kind of meh. Nothing stood out to me and I feel bad because I really wanted to enjoy this book.

2/5 Stars

Top Six Books I Want To Reread in 2020

I’m bound and determined to get back on track with my reading this year and I feel like I’m already doing a really great job. It’s the first week of February and I’ve already read 13 books and have reviewed almost all of them. Way better than last year. So to continue my endeavor of reading like a boss in 2020, I’ve realized there’s so many books I want to reread. It’s been ages since I’ve read most of these books and I know how much I loved them when I first read them, I’m ready to revisit that love and excitement. So, in no particular order, here are the top six books I want to reread this year.

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I know it hasn’t been THAT long since I read this book, I read it in March of 2019, but I loved it so much and it might even have been my favorite book I read in 2019. I read Where the Crawdads Sing cover to cover during a flight and as soon as I finished, I wanted to start reading it again. I had seen some hype around this book but I didn’t think it would actually live up to the hype but it totally did. The plot, writing, and characters are stunning. I’m amazed by the writing especially. This is one of the best written books I’ve read in years and I recommend it to everyone.


According to GoodReads, I read The Winner’s Curse in early 2014. I don’t remember a lot about it but I do know I loved it so much and even though I never got around to reading the sequels, I still pre-ordered them and kept the whole series in my massive unhaul of over 1,000 books in 2018. I’m really looking forward to revisit this story and rediscover the characters.


Y’all know there had to be at least one CoHo book on this list. I’ve actually already read Ugly Love twice, once in 2015 and once in 2016. That being said, I honesty don’t remember a lot of details about this book. I obviously loved it and I still stay it’s one of my top favorite CoHo books but I 100% need to reread Ugly Love asap and refresh my memory.

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I read Verity in 2018 and it was honestly a highlight of my year. I wasn’t reading much that year, I was having a hard time in life, but I preordered this book, as I do all CoHo books, and halfheartedly started it, not really feeling like reading. I loved it right away and is to this day, the one book I’ve binge read and stayed up all night to read in the last two or three years. This book pulled me out of my funk for a night and it was such a fantastic feeling. I’m sure it won’t be the exact same experience the second time around, knowing how the plot goes, but I look forward to picking this book up again and hopefully feeling as excited about it as I did the first time.


I read this book a long time ago, in 2014, but it remains one of my all time favorites and I still recommend it to people. It’s a well loved and familiar favorite among the Young Adult book crowd but Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is so beautiful, it transcends genres. I loved it so much when I read it but I have a feeling it’ll mean even more to me now than it did back in 2014.


I know there’s so many CoHo books on this short list but I can’t help it, she’s my favorite author! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve read Too Late. I read it in 2016 and it was insane, wild, and an incredible ride while reading. It’s without a doubt one of my favorite books and I’m surprised I haven’t reread it yet. I’m expecting to see more of the problematic side of this characters, fully realize how complex this story is, than I did when I first read it but I’m ready to write a whole new review for this book and get back on the wild ride that is Too Late.

Review: Sara and the Search for Normal by Wesley King

Expected publication: May 5th 2020

In this prequel to the Edgar Award–winning OCDaniel, fan-favorite Sara quests for “normal” and finds something even better along the way.

Sara’s Rules to be Normal

1. Stop taking your pills
19. Make a friend
137. Don’t put mayonnaise on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Sara wants one thing: to be normal. What she has instead are multiple diagnoses from Dr. Ring. Sara’s constant battle with False Alarm—what she calls panic attacks—and other episodes cause her to isolate herself. She rarely speaks, especially not at school, and so she doesn’t have any friends. But when she starts group therapy she meets someone new. Talkative and outgoing Erin doesn’t believe in “normal,” and Sara finds herself in unfamiliar territory: at the movies, at a birthday party, and with someone to tell about her crush—in short, with a friend. But there’s more to Erin than her cheerful exterior, and Sara begins to wonder if helping Erin will mean sacrificing their friendship.

Even though this is a prequel, I haven’t yet OCDaniel. But after reading Sara and the Search for Normal, I’m picking it up right away.
This book was so well written, had fantastic characters, and wonderful mental health representation. I could tell that the author wrote this book with care and thoughtfulness. I appreciated, what I felt as, accurate mental health representation and I was able to relate to the main character a lot.
I really don’t have much to say critically about this book because I enjoyed it so much and even read it in two sittings.