Reviews

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

*Spoiler free*

Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since. Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World… whatever that means. Phase one: new framework for her business (a website from this decade, perhaps?) Phase two: a gut-reno on her wardrobe (fyi, leggings are pants.) Phase three: updates to her exterior (do people still wax?) Phase four: put herself on the market (and stop crushing on Travis Ford!) Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite? Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her…

I’ve read a few romance books and I’ve really, really enjoyed the majority of them. But, I never really knew where to start on where to find more. Romance isn’t a genre I actively seek out! It’s more one I stumble upon a couple I want to try out haha. I’d seen so many people talking about Fix Her Up and it sounded like something I would really enjoy, so I wanted to give it a shot!

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Reviews

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls. Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored. One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

I’ve been delving into creepier books and books that can be classified as horror and thriller. I guess I enjoy freaking myself out haha. This book seemed like it would be a really great, really creepy ghost story. The secluded mansion, with dark secrets, made it a book I knew I wanted to try. Trigger warnings: pedophilia, self-harm, grief, gore, mentions of suicide

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Reviews

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

*Spoiler free*

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When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane. Instead, she got Em. Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . . As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head. But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed?

I really enjoy cave/underground horror stories. I usually watch movies like that, but I was willing to give a book a shot. It sounded really good and I’d heard good things about it! Plus, it sounded like it would have a queer romance, so that was even more incentive for me start it. Trigger warnings: parental death, death, parental abandonment, gore, claustrophobia

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Reviews

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

*Spoiler free*

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse. For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

I enjoyed Sky In The Deep, though I didn’t love it. I found myself craving another book by Adrienne Young. She’s a fantastic writer and I was curious to see what she would do with this story. It intriuged me, that this would follow one of the minor characters of Sky and take place ten years later. And the new main character, Tova, sounded really awesome.

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Reviews

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much Avon for the e-ARC!

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items? Enjoy a drunken night out. Ride a motorcycle. Go camping. Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex. Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage. And… do something bad. But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job. Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit. But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

This is such a special book to me. Thank you so much to Avon for giving me the e-ARC, I’m so happy to have read it! I knew I wanted to read this book. I share a name with the main character, which is cool in of itself, but the Chloe is also plus sized, has chronic pain, and she gets cat. I’ve dealt with chronic pain, I’m plus sized, and I adore cats. It was so cool to see a main character that was like me in so many ways. Trigger warnings: aftermath of an abusive relationship, mentions of an abusive relationship (there is a warning in the beginning of the ARC I read and I assume it’s going to be in the final copy as well, which I appreciate so much)

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Reviews

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you Netgalley for the e-ARC!

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame. When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her. But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence. Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

This book sounded haunting and brutal and maybe a little terrifying. It’s about girls who given the “honor” of being buried alive with their ruler and a palace with secrets lurking around every corner. Kammani, the main character is a healer and wants to save her sister from a death sentence, while her sister wants the honor. I really enjoy sister stories and I was looking forward to seeing how this one would unfold! Trigger warnings: gore, violence, mention of rape, sexual assault (groping), grief

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Reviews

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

*Spoiler free*

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders. Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet. But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city. With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

I will probably always want to try any book with dragons in it. And this book was no exception. From the title, the cover, and the synopsis, this sounded like it would be a proud dragon book with family, dragonriders, and a really interesting world.

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