Review: Before She Ignites by Jodie Meadows

Title: Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 12th 2017 

Before. Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland. But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station. After. Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect. No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

First off the cover of this book is gorgeous. It has dragons in it. The narrator has horrible anxiety. I honestly don't now how I didn't pick this book up sooner. I want to say how badly I loved this book and that it was everything I was expecting. But that would be a lie. It fell short on a lot of things, and a book that was told to have lots of dragons had only very few dragons. 

The one thing I loved about this book was Mira and her journey with anxiety. Anxiety and panic attacks are some of the most scariest experiences you would ever feel, and as someone who has the very same condition as Mira it was easy to relate with her and her struggles. I saw so much of myself in Mira, how she thinks and how she acts and how she copes with her anxieties. Mira obsessively counts to help deal with her anxieties, it had become something that was a comfort to her. This is a behavior that is so normalized with anxiety but something that Mira takes a large amount of shame in. I loved the flashbacks when Mira would talk about dragons, it is her happy place that helps her. I really appreciated Mira's character and the way that Meadows betrayed her. 


I expected a lot of dragons but Mira spends a majority of the book in a dark prison where there are no dragons. I feel like there wasn't much plot, it was more of they day by day life of Mira's imprisonment and her desire to make friends with her silent neighbor rather then a novel about a girl who was imprisoned because of illegal Dragon trafficking. I felt like I knew nothing about the other characters other then Mira and to be completely honest I skimmed the last 150 pages of this book. 

As much as I love Meadows's writing in the past, Before She Ignites wasn't one that I can have a lot of love for and  I sadly don't plan on continuing the series. 

Review: Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Title: Finding Yvonne
Author: Brandy Colbert
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 288 Pages
Published August 2018

Summary: Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school. Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

My review for this book was originally posted on

Ever since I read Brandy Colbert's Little & Lion, I knew I was going to continue to be a fan of her work. So when I found out about Finding Yvonne, I immediately added this book to my TBR. And now I'm so glad that I got the chance to read it, because this book took me on an emotional rollercoaster that I couldn't tear myself away from!

As the summary explains, Yvonne isn't totally sure what she wants to do with her life. She thought she had it all figured out with music, but then she loses interest in it. She thinks she's marginally good at baking, but not good enough to make a career out of it. Basically, it's senior year, and she has no idea what she wants to do with herself once she leaves high school, and she finds herself caught in the middle. Not only that, but she's also caught between two boys, Warren and Omar, and some shocking news that can tear her entire life apart. All while mourning the loss of her absentee mother while also subconsciously praying that she'll eventually decide running away was a mistake and come back.

I really liked the way that this book tackled uncertainty in its many forms. Yvonne wasn't sure about a lot of things in her life --- just a few being her friendships, her relationships and her potential careers. It felt really raw and honest to see her struggling with those things, and I feel like that's something that a lot of teenagers can definitely relate to.

Also, I know the summary explains it already, but I hadn't read the book summary for quite some time before picking up the book (an oversight on my part, I know), so when I found out that Yvonne was pregnant, I was completely shocked. I even had to stop and text my friends about it because it was such shocking news that I really wanted to tell someone! And then seeing how Yvonne chose to go forward from there and how she came to her decision about everything made it all the more important of a story.

There were two things about this book that I wasn't 100% sold on. One was definitely the insta-love between Omar and Yvonne. The fact that they'd only met once before and then they were suddenly going on dates and hooking up and getting really intimate with each other kind of threw me for a loop. Not because that doesn't happen with some relationships in real life (because it definitely does), but because it seemed like the romance between them may have been forced just for the sake of the plot, which made me a little bit sad. And speaking of plot, the other thing that I was a little disappointed with was the way that the book seemed to rush toward the end, with all of the (seemingly) most important aspects of the story being crammed into the last few chapters. I wanted more of what happened after Yvonne found out and how things were handled, but instead, it felt crammed into just a few pages and sort of brushed aside, even though it was arguably one of the most important plot points in the entire story. (However, just because I didn't enjoy those particular things didn't mean this was a bad book --- it was still an excellent story that I couldn't put down and wanted to know more about!)

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Finding Yvonne. It was such an easy book to breeze through, and I definitely enjoyed all of the ups and downs that came with the story. I finished this entire book in 12 hours and immediately had to stop to write down my review and get my thoughts about it out, because this is the type of story that hooks me and I really want to share it with people. So if you were on the fence about reading this book and weren't sure if you should pick it up, I definitely encourage you to, because it's a quick, easy read, and you certainly won't be sorry!

Waiting on Wednesday: Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanna Rendell

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!
Title: Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1)
Author: Jessica Brody & Joanna Rendell
Genre: Science Fiction 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: April 2nd 2019

A thief. An officer. A guardian. Three strangers, one shared destiny . . . When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. A new life for a wealthy French family and their descendants. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing. Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes… Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spy on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet. Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a renowned traitor. In training to take command of the military, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when his father dies and leaves behind a cryptic message that only one person can read: a girl named Alouette. Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos. All three have a role to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.

I love Jessica Brody so I was super excited when I heard the news that she was publishing another science fiction book! I loved Unremembered so I am really excited to see what Sky Without Stars is gonna hold.

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back! 

Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Hi everyone! We have something a little extra special for you on the blog today. In addition to a review of Sadie by Courtney Summers, we're part of the blog tour, which means we'll be posting an exclusive excerpt as well! So without further ado, let's get into it!

Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 320 Pages
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018

Summary: A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she's left behind. Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

I received an advanced copy of Sadie at BookExpo this year, and then I was lucky enough to get asked to participate in the blog tour, so it was definitely a win-win for me. And let me tell you, this is a book that you definitely need to put on your TBR if it isn't already on it. I know that's something I say a lot, but this time, I really mean it. You haven't lived until you've read this book. I've already started pushing it onto everybody that I know!

As the summary explains, Sadie's little sister, Mattie, turns up dead in a nearby orchard one day, and Sadie is so distraught that she knows she has to do something. Which is why she takes off in search of the murderer, ready to take his life at her own hands and make him feel the same pain Mattie felt. It's vengeance with a passion, and it's incredibly chilling. And while this is all happening, a nearby radio celebrity overhears the story and sets out to make a podcast explaining how the entire thing goes down.

This book was so thrilling, and it really took me on a ride. I'm not a fan of gory stories, so if that's what you're worried about, I can assure you that you don't have much to worry about in this book -- it's definitely more of a psychological thriller. But it really grips you and has you unable to resist flipping to the next page. I wanted to know what was going to come next in Sadie's journey and if she would succeed in finding her sister's killer and getting the revenge she'd been looking for.

I really admired Sadie's character throughout the story. She loved her sister so much that she was willing to go to nearly impossible lengths for her, no matter what the consequences were or what the stakes could be. That sisterly bond added a warm, almost loving element to such a dark and chilling story, which fleshed it out a lot more and made it feel all-encompassing in a way that I really appreciated as a reader.

Another thing that I really liked about this book was its format. Half of the book is told in Sadie's point of view, and the other half is told in a dialogue form as if you're reading the transcripts of the podcast about her disappearance. It was really fascinating to read both perspectives, because there was a lot of speculation in the podcast and a lot of stuff that Sadie knew and experienced that they didn't know about or understand completely. So I really got to see how heresay works and how stories can spiral out of control, while also witnessing the actual events firsthand through Sadie's eyes.

(Major spoilers ahead, so please skip to the next paragraph if you don't want this book ruined for you!) The ending of this book absolutely gutted me. While I want to be optimistic and say that Sadie got away, I don't think that she did, and I feel like that was a really bold move on Courtney Summers's part, and that it worked out very well. I sort of suspected that Sadie wasn't going to make it once I realized that the last few chapters were entirely in podcast form and not in Sadie's point of view, and even though I was really distraught about her potential death (lots of tears were involved, trust me), I was also satisfied with the fact that she got what she came for, and that Keith/Jack/Christopher/Darren paid the price for his horrible crimes.

Overall, I absolutely loved Sadie. I'm so glad that I found out about this book at BookExpo this year, and that I got to meet Courtney (who was super sweet), and also that I got to participate in the blog tour for this spectacular story! It gripped me from the very beginning and didn't let me go. It was also filled with tons of ups and downs, thrills and horrors. There are seriously so many important things tackled in this book, and Sadie's story is definitely one that needs to be told.

Hats off to Courtney Summers, because this book absolutely blew me away! And thank you to the awesome team at Wednesday Books for allowing us to be a part of this blog tour. :)

And now, it's time for an exclusive excerpt!



Welcome to Cold Creek, Colorado. Population: eight hun- dred.

Do a Google Image search and you’ll see its main street, the barely beating heart of that tiny world, and find every other building vacant or boarded up. Cold Creek’s luckiest—the gainfully employed—work at the local grocery store, the gas station and a few other staple businesses along the strip. The rest have to look a town or two over for opportunity for them- selves and for their children; the closest schools are in Park- dale, forty minutes away. They take in students from three other towns.

Beyond its main street, Cold Creek arteries out into worn and chipped Monopoly houses that no longer have a place upon the board. From there lies a rural sort of wilderness. The highway out is interrupted by veins of dirt roads leading to nowhere as often as they lead to pockets of dilapidated houses or trailer parks in even worse shape. In the summer- time, a food bus comes with free lunches for the kids until the school year resumes, guaranteeing at least two subsidized meals a day.

There’s a quiet to it that’s startling if you’ve lived your whole life in the city, like I have. Cold Creek is surrounded by a beau- tiful, uninterrupted expanse of land and sky that seem to go on forever. Its sunsets are spectacular; electric golds and oranges, pinks and purples, natural beauty unspoiled by the insult of skyscrapers. The sheer amount of space is humbling, almost divine. It’s hard to imagine feeling trapped here.

But most people here do.

You live in Cold Creek because you were born here and if you’re born here, you’re probably never getting out.

That’s not entirely true. There have been some success sto- ries, college graduates who moved on and found well-paying jobs in distant cities, but they tend to be the exception and not the rule. Cold Creek is home to a quality of life we’re raised to aspire beyond, if we’re born privileged enough to have the choice.

Here, everyone’s working so hard to care for their families and keep their heads above water that, if they wasted time on the petty dramas, scandals and personal grudges that seem to define small towns in our nation’s imagination, they would not survive. That’s not to say there’s no drama, scandal, or grudge—just that those things are usually more than residents of Cold Creek can afford to care about.

Until it happened.

The husk of an abandoned, turn-of-the-century one-room schoolhouse sits three miles outside of town, taken by fire. The roof is caved in and what’s left of the walls are charred. It sits next to an apple orchard that’s slowly being reclaimed by the nature that surrounds it: young overgrowth, new trees, wild- flowers.

There’s almost something romantic about it, something that feels like respite from the rest of the world. It’s the perfect place to be alone with your thoughts. At least it was, before.

May Beth Foster—who you’ll come to know as this series goes on—took me there herself. I asked to see it. She’s a plump, white, sixty-eight-year-old woman with salt-and-pepper hair. She has a grandmotherly way about her, right down to a voice that’s so invitingly familiar it warms you from the inside out. May Beth is manager of Sparkling River Estates trailer park, a lifelong resident of Cold Creek, and when she talks, people listen. More often than not, they accept whatever she says as the truth.

Just about . . . here.

This is where they found the body.

911 dispatch. What’s your emergency?

I'd like to thank the awesome team over at Wednesday Books for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour and letting me share this special excerpt and my review with all of you guys. If Sadie isn't on your TBR already, it definitely should be, because this is a gripping thriller that you definitely don't want to miss!

Blog Tour: The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick (+ Giveaway!)

Today I am super excited to be spotlighting The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick on the blog. Market as "Hidalgo meets An Ember in the Ashes in this Middle Eastern-inspired YA fantasy debut." There is no doubt that The Demon Race is going to be loved by all YA readers a like. Rich in imagery and world building Warwick brings a beautiful and dark concept to life. 

About The Demon Race:

Title: The Demon Race 
Author: Alexandria Warwick
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Wolf Publishing
Publication Date: September 18th 2018
A race across the desert. An unimaginable prize. It occurs once every thousand years: the Demon Race. A test of will and strength, it is a race across the Saraj, a fight for the prize of a lifetime. And it is the key to Namali Hafshar’s freedom. When shy, seventeen-year-old Namali learns of her arranged marriage, she flees home and enters the Demon Race for the chance to change her fate. But to compete, she must cross the Saraj on a daeva, a shadow demon that desires its own reward: to infect her soul with darkness. Namali soon learns the desert holds more dangers than meets the eye. The only person she can trust is Sameen, a kind competitor seeking his own destiny. As her affection for him grows, however, so too does the darkness in her heart. In this race of men and demons, only one can win. But the price of winning might be more than Namali is willing to pay.
Pre-Order on Amazon!

About Alexandria:

Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Demon Race is her first novel. Find her on: Website | Instagram


Thank you so much Alexandria for reaching out for us to be a apart of the blog tour for The Demon Races

Guest Review: The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

Title: The Valiant (The Valiant, #1)
Author: Lesley Livingston
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: Razorbill
Hardcover, 372 Pages
Published February 2017

Summary: Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar. When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle. Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance. Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival. Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

Today on the blog we have a guest review from Rheanne over at Rhea Reads! They were kind enough to stop by and review The Valiant and share their thoughts on it, and we couldn't be more excited to have them here as our guest reviewer for today! So without further ado, let's get into it!

I’ve honestly been scared to read this until now. I was afraid that I wouldn’t like it very much and it would turn out to be yet another boring, historically-based YA novel. BUT WOW. NO. This was fantastic. I loved it so much and though I could have loved MORE-NESS, I loved this anyway.

My Thoughts

Fallon’s character hasn’t developed much in my opinion, but I still very much like her personality.

As I will mention later, Fallon didn’t really develop as much as I would’ve expected, or as I’ve seen other characters develop in other novels I’ve read, but I’m hoping to see Fallon be a more deep and complex character in the next installment of this series. While I didn’t get to see much of Fallon’s character develop, I did get to know some of her personality, and I really liked it. She was noble, honorable, chivalrous, and selfless. She was a good person, even in morally challenging situations, and I never had a moment where I thought she was a bad person. She had her flaws, she was not perfect, but she was a really good person despite all that so I definitely loved Fallon’s character.

It was so fun to read about the Gladiator events in Rome.

At first I was scared that I would hate reading about this and that I would find it a boring subject, but wow, I was entertained and intrigued by the whole story. I wish I could’ve read more about the Gladiator events, but they apparently were not a huge part of the story. While that was disappointing, I was still so intrigued by this story and finished it rather quickly.

None of the characters really seemed to be three-dimensional, other than Fallon who was barely three-dimensional herself.

We as readers spend the whole novel inside Fallon’s head and we get to know her personality, values, and thoughts quite well. But I still felt like I didn’t get to know her as well as a reader should get to know the main character in a novel. And even if I did get to know Fallon a bit, I didn’t get to know any other characters at all. I don’t know if it was a job poorly done by the author that made the readers unable to fully get to know anyone, or if it was just because Fallon wasn’t the sort of person to go around creating deep and tight bonds with others. All I know is that all the characters seemed dull, and flat, and without a diverse personality.

There was not much bonding between characters, or fleshing out of relationships.

Fallon made a friend in Elka and also was able to meet other friends and had the chance to strengthen familial ties, but it never really happened. Fallon never really bonded with other characters, and so readers will never get to really know the characters. Fallon and Cai, whose romantic relationship is promised and advertised in the synopsis for the book, have little to no romantic chemistry. Actually, scratch that — they have no chemistry at all, romantic or not. It just didn’t happen. The so-called romance between the two came out of nowhere and didn’t really excite me as a reader at all. Hopefully this changes in the second novel.

I don’t really know how much of the plot actually happened.

So I was obviously, no doubt at all, entertained by this story. I flew through it and had little to no complaints. But as I settle down in the aftermath and take time to really think about the story and what happened and all that jazz, I’ve noticed that while it was so entertaining and different to read, the plot was really slow and nothing drastic or very consequential even happened. I think I’m okay with that? Because I was still entertained and satisfied with the story?? Buuuuuttt, I’m really hoping for some loose ends to be tied up in the next installment of this series, and I’m also hoping for the plot to pick up and for something other than waiting and fighting in arenas to happen.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this! There were some problems, and I’ve noticed that now that I’ve calmed down from the excitement and elation I felt after finishing. I can’t really let that affect my rating, though it probably should’ve. I think despite some plot problems, lack of romantic chemistry, poorly formed and/or portrayed friendships / familial bonds, and flat characters everywhere I looked, I would still recommend this because if you just read it fast and don’t stop to contemplate and criticize every single page, I think that anyone could really enjoy this novel and its bloody arena battles!

We'd like to once again thank Rheanne for stopping by The Book Bratz today to post this guest review. You can read the original review over on their blog by clicking HERE!

** Psst! Interested in guest reviewing on The Book Bratz? Shoot us an email at or DM us on Twitter (@thebookbratz) and we'd love to have you!

Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Title: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: August 30th 2016
Publication Date: Razorbill 

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire. Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom. But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.


I highly debated leaving this GIF as the whole review because I still don't know how to put anything that I am feeling into words right now. Though A Torch Against the Night didn't leave me heart broken at the end the events of this book just killed my heart. All the betrayal and death and love and action. 

My only issue with this book was the plot. I feel like it went around in circles. Elias is on the run. Laia wants her brother back. Helene needs to catch Elias. But they all come in grasp of this things to loose them again. It was enjoyable to read because I love the characters and the world but it was slower paced then the first novel. I think I feel this way because I went into this book with different expectations. Sabaa added Helene's POV into this book though, so it is interesting getting to see her side of the situation and how she is dealing witth becoming Blood Shrike. I thought she would talk more about her feelings for Elias, since it took up a main part of the first book but I guess I can hope for that in the following books. 

I talked about how I was really shipping Keenan and Laia in my An Ember in the Ashes review so I was super excited as they gotten closer in this book. Obviously I knew something sketchy was up with him and things weren't adding up but I never expecting that kind of betrayal. Sitting back and thinking about things now I does make a lot more sense, but it still hurt. I was rooting for them so hard when they were in the cave and they had sex, I thought it was so sweet and it was going to lead to good things. I was wrong. I should have just shipped her with Elias, it would have hurt just as much but at least he isn't the villain in the story. 

I liked where A Torch Against the Night ended, it isn't the happiest of endings but he didn't leave me in pain with how An Ember in the Ashes did. Everyone is content and doing what they are meant to do for now. I think I am going to wait before I start A Reaper at the Gates for the obvious reasons, but regardless of the plot issue with this book I still love these characters and this series so much. I am super excited to see where Sabaa is going to take this crew next!

ARC Review: Wildcard by Marie Lu (Jessica's Review)

Title: Wildcard (Warcross #2)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Publication Date: September 18th, 2018

Summary: Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo's new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she's always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.
Determined to put a stop to Hideo's grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone's put a bounty on Emika's head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn't all that he seems--and his protection comes at a price. Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Amber and I received an advanced copy of Wildcard at BookExpo this year, and we were practically screaming with joy when we did, because we both loved Warcross so much, and we couldn't wait to see how the duology wrapped up -- especially after how it left off in the first book! (If you're interested in reading my review of Warcross, you can click HERE.) So, needless to say, I was super eager to pick this book up and I read it as soon as Amber finished and passed it on to me. So without further ado, let's get into this review!

I like how this book seems to jump right into the action that it left you off with during Warcross. I'm not really going to go into detail about that because then I risk spoiling some of the biggest plot twists from the first book, but basically, Hideo and his NeuroLink have taken an...interesting turn. And a lot of moral complications are involved. So Emika has to decide if she wants to fight for the man she loves or against him, in order to save everyone else, while also working with Zero, the hacker that had been making her life hell before this. So there are a lot of complicated emotions swirling around at the start of the book, but it's interesting to see how Emika develops her voice and decides what to do, and all of the thrilling chases, fights, and schemes that come along with that. (Also, the book opens up with a *swoon-worthy* scene involving Hideo, who is my favorite character in the entire story, so I really appreciated that!) 

Something else I really appreciated was the fact that even though I haven't read Warcross since October of last year, things were rehashed in a way that refreshed me on the storyline without recapping everything in a boring, lecturing sort of way. I was able to quickly jump back into the world of Warcross and I soon found myself unable to turn away from the incredible story that was unfolding before me.

Even though I know things are a bit complicated in this book, I really loved the (albeit struggling) relationship of Emika and Hideo. Throughout all of the complications in their lives, and the different feelings they've each experienced, it's clear that there's a bond there, a type of love, and that it's something permanent and absolutely more than a fling. And it made me swoon a whole lot, and I texted Amber about it a lot as well, because I just shipped them so much and I have been rooting for them since the very beginning. So those really intimate scenes we get made me swoon, and I also really enjoyed reading them!

This book had me hooked and had so many amazing plot twists that I wasn't expecting! I texted Amber several times throughout reading this book because I just needed to vent about those shocking turns that I hadn't seen coming. Normally I'm pretty good at piecing together the way a story will end, but the information I found out in this book completely set my mind reeling. I had absolutely no idea how anything would turn out, and I can safely say that the end result of this book was not anything I could've ever expected. (Want to know what it is? Then read the book to find out!!!!)

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Wildcard. While I'm not usually a big sci-fi fan, Marie Lu has a way of creating a story that sucks me in and refuses to let me go, and that's why this is one of the best sci-fi series I've ever read, up there with the Zodiac series by Romina Russell! If you're looking for a gripping duology with awesome tech, romance, plot twists, and even tons of thrills, then this series is for you. And if you only read Warcross and were unsure of if you should continue onto Wildcard, I encourage you to, because trust me, you have no idea what you're missing!

Waiting On Wednesday: The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!
Title: The Art of Losing
Author: Lizzy Mason
Genre: YA COntemporary
Publisher: SoHo Teen 
Publication Date: February 19th, 2019

Summary: On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her younger sister, Audrey, hooking up with her boyfriend, Mike—and she abandons them both in a rage. When Mike drunkenly attempts to drive Audrey home, he crashes and Audrey ends up in a coma. Now Harley is left with guilt, grief, pain and the undeniable truth that her ex-boyfriend (who is relatively unscathed) has a drinking problem. So it’s a surprise that she finds herself reconnecting with Raf, a neighbor and childhood friend who’s recently out of rehab and still wrestling with his own demons. At first Harley doesn’t want to get too close to him. But as Audrey awakens and slowly recovers, Raf starts to show Harley a path forward that she never would have believed possible—one guided by honesty, forgiveness, and redemption.

 In my opinion, this is a classic YA novel about strength and finding yourself. I love a book with a good message and this book has it. Harley is faced with making choices and facing events she never believed she would ever have to face. After meeting Lizzy Mason at BookCon, I'm more than excited to dive right into this book and experience all the amazing it has to offer. Be sure to check out Jessica's ARC Review and be on the lookout for mine in within the next month!

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