The Real by Kate Stewart
“You never really know someone unless they want you to.”
One of my favorite things about being a fan of an author is seeing them grow as a writer as the years go by. My first ever book by Kate Stewart was Loving the White Liar, then Room 212 and with those I knew this was an author I enjoyed. Then The Fall released and the fangirl in me was activated. Since then, Kate has only continued to deliver wonderful and beautiful stories. None of them are the same, everything she writes is unique and original. And I always find myself wanting more of her words.
The Real is further proof that Kate only gets better, her intricate plot and the alluring characters reminds me of why I love her stories. At its heart, this book is about believing in love even when you’ve given up on it.
This is a book I truly believe you need to GO IN BLIND. Did you read that? GO IN BLIND! Seriously, just stop reading this review, buy the book, read it, then read reviews. I knew a little something going in and while it didn’t in any way affect my feelings on the book, I wish I hadn’t known. Again, this doesn’t affect my feelings or my rating, that is on the overall of the book, but I think the book has more punch if you don’t know anything.
So without revealing any spoilers, I loved the characters, I loved the beautiful words and I enjoyed the story. If I could, I would give Kate a giant hug for this book and all the books she wrote before it. Someday hopefully I can be weird and hug her in person. She just needs to get her butt closer to the west coast again haha.
“You and me, we are absolute.”
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
“Honor above life.”
Sky in the Deep is about Eelyn, a young Aska girl who while in battle sees her dead brother. Taking off after him, she discovers he’s been alive all this time and has joined the Riki people, her enemy. For her protection, she’s taken by her brother and hidden as a slave so no one will suspect they are related. But new danger is near and the two tribes need to see if they can work together to face the oncoming threat.
“The moon rose up over my broken home and I broke with it.”
I think this is a really amazing debut novel from Young, it’s very compelling and I didn’t want to put it down. I found the romance to be a bit weak, which was disappointing because it could have been really great. I liked the story a lot, seeing Eelyn’s struggles which who she is and what she’s always known. Being thrown into a new environment isn’t easy and she had a lot to deal with.
I think lots of readers will love this book and with a debut like this, I am excited to see what this author will bring to us in the future!
“I was the same but I was different.”
ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product.
Still by Kennedy Ryan
If Grip was angsty and intense, Still is emotional and heartbreaking.
I should have known going into this book based on the person who recommended it to me *ahem* CHRISTY *ahem* how utterly tender and heartbreaking this book would be. Christy is the Queen of the ugly cry books and I don’t know why I didn’t remember that.
Anyways, this book was beautiful. I thought Bristol and Grip’s story had wrapped up pretty well in the book before, but this one was a look into the happily ever after and them working on keeping their love intact. If Grip was about getting to the love, this book was about what you do with love once you’ve found it.
Kennedy Ryan has such beautiful words! Nothing is half done in this book, you can tell the author poured her heart and soul into this story and these characters. Ryan has found a forever fan in me, and she doesn’t even realized the level of fangirl she has activated in me.
Top recommendation and this series is one of my favorite I’ve read this year. I’m going to be pushing Bristol and Grip’s story onto anyone and everyone who will listen!
Grip by Kennedy Ryan
“I fell for her before the beat dropped.”
First things first, before you read Grip you need to read the book Flow, which is FREE. So go and download that first. I’ll wait……….. You’re done now? Okay keep reading then.
This is the story of Bristol and Grip, two people who met and fell for each other years ago. Now Grip is one of the top rising musicians in the world and Bristol is his manager, but they aren’t together. Grip wants to be with Bristol, and she wants to be with him, but she still holds back for reasons she keeps to herself. But Grip may be done waiting, and Bristol needs to figure herself out.
“He’s dictating my heartbeat, governing my pulse, holding my next breath cupped in his hands.”
I loved this story! Kennedy Ryan is a new favorite author of mine and I cannot wait to read the next book Still. Grip is an angsty and emotional rollercoaster ride (or should I say ferris wheel ride?) with ups and downs, twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I loved both of the characters equally, Grip with his determination and Bristol with her inner struggle. I loved that both characters knew themselves well, that they are driven and kind people.
I cannot say enough good things about this book! This needs to be put on your tbr, or bumped up ASAP! You don’t want to miss out on this beautiful story.
“If I break your heart, I break mine.”
Flow by Kennedy Ryan
“I like the color of smart, the shade of funny, and sexy is my favorite hue.”
Kennedy Ryan is a new to me author who has been recommended countless times by many friends, so I finally got my shit together and read one of her books. Flow is a prequel to the book Grip, and it has a very promising start.
Bristol is traveling to LA to visit her estranged brother during her spring break. When he’s unable to pick her up from the airport, he sends his friend and colleague Grip. There’s an attraction between Bristol and Grip right away, but she’s the sister of the best friend and he’s the player. But the connection between them is more than just romantic, from the beginning they just GET each other.
“She’s something rare—smart, classy, gorgeous, funny, opinionated, and under it all, where she tries to hide it, kind. And burrowed beneath all of that, vulnerable. She isn’t the kind of girl you mess over.
This book was one I was able to dive into from the first page. I loved reading from both Grip and Bristol’s perspectives and seeing how they felt about one another. As an interracial potential couple, I liked that Ryan addressed a lot of the social issues and prejudices that come between two people of a different culture and economic background.
Another thing is reading this book made me excited to read the next one, because it seems I’m in for my favorite treat…… ANGST! Oh how I love it, and I am looking forward to seeing how things play out between these two in the future.
“We both gave each other space to be misunderstood, because we really wanted to understand.”
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
This book gets 5 stars because it made me LAUGH! Not just chuckle laugh while reading, I mean tears down my face I was dying kind of laugh. Tiffany Haddish is someone I only found out about because one of my Facebook friends shared a video of her. I haven’t seen Girls Trip yet (despite one of my good friends loaning it to me on DVD. I’m sorry! I’ll watch it asap!). You bet your ass I am going to be looking up her backlist and watching everything this woman is in!
First off, this book isn’t super PC and I am convinced Tiffany is all kinds of crazy. But you can feel her genuine self in this book, her struggles and her comedy. This woman has lived quite the life and I am sure she’s going to keep living on even better throughout the years.
This book is a memoir/series of essays, some about funny points in her life and others, much less funny parts. But everything in this book shows how Tiffany came to be herself and what an amazing woman she is. I have so much respect for her and I admire her hard work.
If you want a book that will make you laugh your ass off and pull at your heart at the same time, you need to read this book. Plus people have told me the audio is amazing, so you can also listen to it!
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
It’s been about two weeks since I finished reading this book and I am still having trouble wrapping my mind about how I feel about it. First off I wanted to address the genre label it’s been given of “women’s fiction”. No. Just no. This was a romance through and through. Maybe those in charge want to market CL to a new audience and that’s fine, but I’ve had friends who’ve told me they love these authors but don’t want to read this book because it’s women’s fiction. Ladies, you have nothing to fear! Ignore the label and read on!
From the moment I opened up this book, I was in love with it. This was a stay up until 4 am (yes, you read that right. FOUR FRIGGIN AM) and sob your guts out kind of book. It’s so beyond compelling, I couldn’t put the damn kindle down! Second chance romance is my trope, I’ll read anything with that label. Christina Lauren did a wonderful job with it, I fell in love with Macy and Elliott and felt the ups and downs of their relationship, from the past when they fell in love as teens to the present day when they reconnect.
This was a 5 star read for me…… up until the very end. I cannot say exactly what happened as it gives away spoilers, and I do not give away spoilers. I will just say something happened that felt so completely out of character for one of the characters, and it really didn’t settle right. So much so that two weeks later I still have massive issues with it, even though it didn’t bother other people (and I would know, I have been PMing friends who read this like crazy). That being said, my issue with what happened did take away my overall enjoyment of the story and almost kind of marred what I had already read and loved and somewhat ruined it for me. But since this was a 4am-er and made me cry, I am settling with a four star rating. I do think many readers will not have the same issues I had with the book and will love it, so I encourage you if you’re curious to go ahead and read it.
This is the angsty, emotional book from Christina Lauren that will break your heart into a million pieces. If that intrigues you even a little bit, I recommend you read this book.
ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller
It’s been so difficult lately for me to find enjoyable reads, so I put off reading this book until I was out of my book funk because I didn’t want to read it in a bad mood. So after a few good reads, this pretty thing was calling to me from my bedside table…. And I got the guts to pick it up.
Daughter of the Siren Queen picks up quickly after the end of the last book. I had no trouble falling back into this world even though it’s been a little less than a year since reading it. Levenseller is a very compelling and talented writer, I fall effortlessly into her words and her world. I also really love Alosa as a main character. I know a lot of people find her annoying, but I enjoy her confidence and cunning. It’s refreshing to see a strong female character in literature since so many heroines tend to be doormats.
I also really liked the pirate and siren aspect of the story. I’m not a huge fan of the movie franchise this is often compared to, in fact I think these books stand on their own as a pirate story. I’ve always loved siren lore, so it was fascinating for me to see Alosa explore the siren side of herself and her powers. That and I love Riden. *sigh* What an amazing love interest for Alosa. Not perfect, maybe not even perfect for her at first, but the two of them work on themselves to be ready for each other.
A very fun, exciting and adventurous duet, I highly recommend for all my YA reading friends out there.
What He Always Knew by Kandi Steiner
Oh Kandi. My hat is off to you. Girl, you had me ugly crying by the end of this book. Granted I was happy because MY GUY WON! But the end still killed me and broke my heart. This is everything I look for in a book!
In this book we got what I had wanted to see in the first one, the other side of the story. I don’t want to give anything away, but the other side is just as heartbreaking as the one we saw in the first book. Like I said, I had my guy I was rooting for already. What’s funny is, I didn’t mind the other guy in the first book, but in this book I thought he was scum. Like, he made me ragey with his entitlement and he was a jerkface. I was literally skimming some of his chapters in this because I really didn’t like him.
I loved this book because it broke me and put me back together again. Kandi has a wonderful way with words and she delivers some of the best angst around. This is the book that you message your friends because you are dying to chat about it, and it’s the one you throw at your friends to make them read because they need to suffer right along with you.
Kandi Steiner is an author who three times in a row has not failed me, and I need to get my butt in gear and read her backlist asap.
This duet was amazing and I highly recommend it! This book is going in my top reads of the year!