Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch

Tarnished

Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch 

Published: December 1st 2015 by Entangled Teen

Freedom comes at a cost…

Ella was genetically engineered to be the perfect pet—graceful, demure…and kept. In a daring move, she escaped her captivity and took refuge in Canada. But while she can think and act as she pleases, the life of a liberated pet is just as confining as the Congressman’s gilded cage. Her escape triggered a backlash, and now no one’s safe, least
of all the other pets. But she’s trapped, unable to get back
to Penn—the boy she loves—or help the girls who need her.

Back in the United States, pets are turning up dead. With help from a very unexpected source, Ella slips deep into the dangerous black market, posing as a tarnished pet available to buy or sell. If she’s lucky, she’ll be able to rescue Penn and expose the truth about the breeding program. If she fails, Ella will pay not only with her life, but the lives
of everyone she’s tried to save…

I loved the first book in this series. I thought it was unique and well written and I was looking forward to seeing what the author was going to do with this world she had created and how she was going to develop it. However, this book fell completely and utterly flat for me. I was left feeling so disappointed and wanted to punch the characters.

One of my biggest issues with this book was the plot – in a lot of ways, it felt too convenient and predictable. From Missy being right there when Ella wanted to escape the safe house in Canada (with no explanation as to how she got there and why she was there), to the easy way these characters just strolled through the story and the way that Ella’s plan to get Penn just fell into place without any issues whatsoever. The plot really suffered in this book, and I struggled to pick the book up throughout.

I loved the unique idea of people (namely women) being owned as Pets. Having said that, I was expecting this to be more developed in book 2. We had gotten a pretty good look at the life of Pets and what they’re expected to do, but we have no idea how America got to the point of allowing this kind of legislation through. The world needed to be developed more to make it plausible. The America that was presented to us was very much like a modern day America…they had just allowed people to becomePets (slaves). What happened to the constitution, the people who uphold the law, the supreme courts and everything else that would stop this kind of bill from being passed? Especially genetically engineering people to be pets – where are the ethics? Scientific ethics etc. Nothing about this was written in a plausible way.

Another major issue I had with this book was Ella. She was naive to the point of being a 10 year old child and a lot of her actions were extremely stupid. I physically couldn’t get on board with her actions because they all felt extremely stupid and I didn’t agree with her reasoning. The love between Penn and Ella is really too insta lovey for me, so using love as the reason to return and get him (even after everything he sacrificed to make sure she got OUT of America) just… I wanted to bang my head against the wall, ok? I struggled. Her naivety about EVERYTHING else throughout the whole book, despite everything she had been through in book one and the things she had seen, also left me struggling to pick up the book if I had put it down.

Missy was another aspect of this book that I struggled with, but I did sort of like her. She was constantly sacrificing herself for Ella and protecting her. She was definitely a strong character – but her actions made no sense to me. She openly admitted to not liking Ella in the first book. She suffered and went through a lot to get to Canada and then she just decides to help out Ella (eve after miraculously being there with no explanation). Nothing she did was explained and I honestly don’t know why she did what she did throughout the book.

All in all, this book suffered severely with second book syndrome. The plot was underdeveloped and all too convenient, the world building itself was completely lacking anything that would make it plausible and the characters were naive to the point of me wanting to bang my head off the wall. I gave this book 1.5/5 stars (half star for Missy).

 

Everless by Sara Holland

Everless

Everless by Sara Holland

Published: January 2nd 2018 by HarperTeen

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

I was extremely excited when I got my hands on this book. I loved the premise of this book and I was excited to see that other people had loved it as well. However, this book just didn’t live up to the hype for me. I was expecting something more than what I was given and I was left feeling relatively disappointed.

This book was extremely slow. I felt like it plodded along at a glacial pace and nothing seemed to be happening at all. Various things that were revealed as the book continued didn’t all come together until the last sort of 100 pages and I felt like things could have happened before this point to really help kick start this book. I had already guessed what was going to happen and who Jules was, so the ending wasn’t all that shocking for me either. There was one aspect of the ending that I wasn’t expecting and it didn’t really affect me in the way that it was probably supposed to because I had never felt a connection to that particular story plot (Don’t want to give away too many spoilers).

The whole thing felt extremely repetitive. Jules was doing things that a normal castle worker/person in her job would be doing and she was constantly getting angry at things that she was making no attempts to change. I felt like it was on a bit of a loop and it started getting old relatively quickly. I struggled to connect with her because I found her to be whiny and annoying – so I didn’t really care about what was going to happen to her.

There was one aspect of the book that didn’t make sense wen it tied into the ending. A good portion of the book is spent with Jules fawning over someone she can’t have but has been attracted to since they were children – basically written in a way that she was in love with him. So when the ending went down in the way that it did, I was extremely confused because it went against everything else that happened within the book and the other character relationships etc. It felt a bit whimsical and fickle in a sense.

I was drawn to Liam, more than his brother, from the beginning of the book. I have a thing for dark, broody characters (apparently there is something wrong with me?) and I didn’t really care for his more light hearted brother – who I felt that we were supposed like. I had guessed what Liam had done relatively early on, so when it was revealed at the end, it also didn’t surprise me as it probably should have done.

All in all, I found this book to be a bit predictable and slow – I was expecting better based off of the hype. I loved the premise and the idea behind blood being tied to time, but I really wish that something more had happened. I gave this book 2.5/5stars

 

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to link back here and feel free to add your links in the comments so that others can see what you picked.

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend – I’m still waiting for the weather to actually decide what its wanting to do…hopefully get warmer!

This weeks pick for me is a book that I have been extremely excited about since it was announced. I loved the originally trilogy and I am so glad that the author decided to carry one with the series.

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Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Published: March 6th 2018 by Harper Collins

Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she’s still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she’s got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?

Goodreads Monday and Cover Reveal

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend! It is beyond freezing over here and I am just waiting for the weather to get warmer.

Anyway, I have something a little extra to add to this weeks Goodreads Monday. This weeks pick for me is a book that has yet to be released, but it looks like it could be a quick cheesy read and I am looking forward to its release! I am also glad to say that I am taking part in the cover and synopsis reveal!

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Spies, Lies and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts

Expected Publication: May 1st 2018 by Entangled Teen

Summers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I’ve got a job at my dad’s company, which is sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I’m supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for.
There’s a crazy guy running the competition like it’s an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting –– in a good way. But I can’t even think about him that way because Crazy Guy says any fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.
As if that’s not enough, an anonymous weirdo with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad’s company on social media…and I’m afraid it’s working.
Much as I’d love to quit, I can’t. Kristoffs Never Quit is our family motto. I just hope there’s more than one survivor by the end of this summer.

Pre Order: 

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo Entangled Publishing

About the Author:

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Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off her eyebrows and penciling them in for an entire school year. This and other painful memories inspire her to write books in which girls big on wit and heart earn happy endings with swoony guys…eventually. Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

Find Me Here:

Instagram/Twitter/Goodreads

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back here and feel free ti add your links to the comments so that others can see what you picked.

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a good weekend! I forgot to click post this morning, which is why this is coming a little later in the day – sorry about that! Without further ado:

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Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

Published: February 1st 2018 by Faber and Faber

Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir.

The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself.

Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero…

In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan’s armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?

Find me Here:

Instagram/Twitter/Goodreads

Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk

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Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk

Published: January 16th 2018 by Tor Teen

FORGED IN BATTLE…
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA…
A LEGEND WILL RISE

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

NOTE: I received an ARC copy of this from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion.

I am going to be honest and say that I don’t really know a lot about the Spartacus legend, except the fact that he was a gladiator and the whole I AM SPARTACUS shenanigans. I liked the fact that I went into this not really knowing much about the original because it meant that I could see the story with a fresh pair of eyes, rather than constantly comparing it. I really really enjoyed this story, even though it had a bit of a slow beginning.

As mentioned, the beginning was a little slow. Whilst there was a lot of action in the first couple of pages, the pacing of the book dipped a little after that and it needed some time before the pacing was really fitting with the book. There were times at the beginning that were slow and where I had to push through a little bit, but it was definitely worth it. When the pacing and the events of the story begins to pick up, it was impossible to put the book down! I had to know what was going to happen next and I was not let down.

This story is also told from the perspective of two characters – Xanthus and Attia. I loved seeing this story from both their PoVs because they were both a huge part of the story. Both characters were unique and had their own voices, so it was easy to keep track of which PoV I was reading at any given time. I probably would have preferred to have had some sort of header (Xanthus, Attia) when the PoV changes because it changed at random moments and from paragraph to paragraph depending on what was going on at the time and it was sometimes a bit confusing to be reading from the PoV of one character, to then switch to the next with no real warning.

I LOVED the world building! I honestly felt like I could have been in Rome/Pompeii (depending on where they were) at this particular point in history. I could easily imagine the rich families and their slaves, the gladiator fights etc. No matter how often I put the book down, I was always sucked right back into it when I picked it up again and it was easy to get lost in it. I also liked the fact that the author kept things in keeping with the history of the Roman times, as opposed to changing things up to make it more appropriate to the YA genre.

Another thing the author did well was to create a slow burn romance, as opposed to the insta love trope. A lot of YA Fantasy novels fall into the insta love trope and it often ruins that part of the story because it just doesn’t fit. Wyk did a great job of building up the trust between the two characters and watching things slowly unfurl. Both characters were naive when it came to love and it was cute to watch both of them try and tread the waters around it, whilst not trying to scare off the other one.

As mentioned above, I don’t really know a lot about Spartacus and the original legend. I do, however, know that in the original legend, Spartacus was male. I enjoyed the fact that Wyk has taken the legend and turned it around by gender reversing Spartacus. I loved the way she used the history of Rome and the way in which they saw women, and used that against some of the characters in the way in which they viewed/thought who Spartacus was, because they never suspected anything. It was a great representation of gender reversal and I am looking forward to seeing where Wyk is going to take it in book 2.

I also just want to quickly mention the ending. I don’t to give any spoilers away, so this may seem really really vague, but for those of you who have read it, will understand. I feel that the way in which the book ended was a little pointless? I don’t feel that things needed to go down the way it did with certain characters, and I feel that it was more used as a plot device to spur another character on, rather than something that probably should have been emotional for the reader. I am hoping that a huge twist is going to come some time in book 2 (which is actually what I believe is going to happen in book 2), because, if it doesn’t happen, I feel that what could have been a really emotional ending was pretty much ruined.

All in all I absolutely loved this story! The world building was rich and magical and I am so excited for book 2 (why do I have to wait so long?). I am so excited to see where the characters will end up going and what is going to happen next. I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Find Me Here:

Instagram/Twitter/Goodreads

Cover Reveal: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

Hey guys! I hope you are all doing well. I have a cover reveal today! Elise Kova has teamed up with Lynn Larsh to create a New Adult, Fantasy – Which sounds amazing! There is also a giveaway at the bottom, so be sure to enter that!

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Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

Expected Publication: January 29th 2018 by Silver Wing Press

Amazon Pre order: Society of Wishes (Wish Quartet Book 1) (English Edition)

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.

With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.

Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new “life” alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society’s lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing—freedom.

Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of her existence itself.

Doesn’t this sound amazing! This will also be available on Kindle unlimited. There will also be a paperback version, which will be out a little later.

About the Authors:

Elise Kova: 

EK

Website: http://www.elisekova.com

Elise Kova is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens series, Loom Saga, and Wish Quartet.

In her past lives, she has graduated from an MBA program, lived in Japan for a bit, and worked for a Fortune 500 technology company. However, she finds herself much happier in her current reincarnation as full-time author. When not writing, she can usually be found playing video games, drawing, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She’s happy to call Saint Petersburg, Florida, her home, but is always looking forward to her next trip.

Lynn Larsh:

LL

Website: https://www.lynnlarsh.com/

Lynn Larsh considers herself to be a serial hobby-dabbler. She got a bachelors degree in music (which she used for all of four months), studied aerial acrobatics and classical piano for many years, worked briefly as a stunt woman in a Wild West stunt show (it’s a long story), and eventually settled down into the bar tending business in St. Petersberg, FL. When she’s not acting as a purveyor of fine libations, you can find her diving head first into her newest venture as a New Adult author, or simply writing Voltron fan fiction on Archive of Our Own.

GIVEAWAY:

As promised, there is a giveaway going on! This is for a signed paperback of Society of Wishes! You can find the giveaway here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/39698f6c24/?

Find Me Here: 

Instagram/Twitter/Goodreads/Litsy @ Lauren’s Page Turners

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back here and feel free to add your links to the comments so that others can see what you picked! 

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend! It has gotten pretty cold over here and it has been raining and hailing something fierce! Which is perfect reading weather, but not so great if you want or need to go out!

Anyway, this weeks pick for me is a book that I very recently added to my TBR, bit one that has absolutely amazing reviews. I haven’t picked it up and I was wary about adding it to my TBR mostly because the cover kept putting me off! I decided to just ignore the cover and hope that I love it anyway!

TRB

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Published: September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Press

Amazon: Raven Cycle 1. The Raven Boys

Book Depository

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Find me Here:

Instagram/Twitter/Goodreads/Litsy @ Lauren’s Page Turners

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Published: September 27th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Amazon: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (The Mara Dyer Trilogy, Band 1)

Book Depository

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

I first read this book a few years ago and I absolutely loved it. I also read book 2 and enjoyed it just as much, but for some reason, I never actually picked up book 3! So, I thought I would have a re read of the first two books, so that I could finally pick up number three and then pick up the new instalment in this world – The Becoming of Noah Shaw! I loved this book just as much as the first time I read it and I cannot wait to move on to book 2!

Mara Dyer is a completely unreliable narrator. She suffers from PTSD after an accident that happened, so she hallucinates a lot and struggles to figure out what is real and what isn’t. As a reader, this makes it difficult to determine what is real and what isn’t and as soon as you think you have it figured out, something else happens to bring it all back into question. This left me completely on my toes, even though I read the book already.

I forgot just how great a character Noah is. He tries to help Mara, even though he knows he doesn’t have to and he sticks by her no matter how crazy she gets. I do wonder from where he knows her, because that was a detail that I completely forgot about and picked back up after my re read, so I am looking forward to seeing how these two are connected – where one character remembers and the other one doesn’t.

I wish we saw more of Jamie. I loved his character and the way he tried to help Mara based on his own experiences, even if they were slightly jaded or misplaced. He was an honest character and someone who really was a friend to Mara from the very beginning of the book and it was sad that we didn’t get to see much of him because of what happened – I am hoping that he will turn up some time later in the story again.

I loved the fact that Mara had an actual family at home who worried about her. A lot of books, whether contemporary or fantasy, often have missing family members or none because of certain circumstances etc. So it was a nice change to see a set of parents, together who, whilst they may have argued, cared about Mara and what happened to her and were willing to protect her – even if Mara thought they were being too overprotective. Daniel is a great support system for Mara, as well as being the annoying brother sometimes, which balanced out his actions some.

The plot kept me on my toes, largely because we didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t and the fact that certain things started happening without any idea as to why etc. I loved the way that everyday news helped make the plot what it was and it was done a subtle way that crept up the on the reader, rather than just being there in your face.

All in all, I loved this book as much as I loved it the first time! I am absolutely looking forward to re reading book two and I cannot wait for my copy to get here so that I can! I gave this book 5/5 stars.

Find me Here:

Instagram/Twitter/Goodreads/Litsy @ Lauren’s Page Turners

Other Reviews:

The Reader’s Bay

Ana @ The Book Smugglers

Chasing Faerytales

Hoax by C. L. Stone

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Hoax by C. L. Stone

Published: October 16th 2016 by Arcato Publishing

Someone tried to kill Kayli Winchester. That someone is going to pay.

After going overboard and nearly drowning, Kayli regroups and joins Axel, Corey, Brandon, Marc, and Raven back on board the Lucienda. This time, she’s brought reinforcements. Liam and Henry join the team in an all-out hunt for a killer. It can’t be too hard; there’s only so many places to hide on a cruise ship. But the number of suspects is climbing.

Tensions are high, and everyone is on alert, but along the way, there’s way too many distractions–very hot distractions. Kayli’s done hiding her feelings. She’s showing her hand, come what may. She’s never held back before she met this team–why start now?

But when one of their team members disappears, all clues point to mutiny. Is the team going to fracture because of her? Did someone throw her overboard because of jealousy?

Kayli refuses to believe it, but she’ll have to provide proof before the murderer finds out she’s still alive and comes back to complete the job.

C. L. Stone is easily one of my absolute favourite authors out there. I could easily jump into any one of her books and know that I am going to love it! It has been a while since I read the previous book in this series and I didn’t feel like I was missing any information or that I needed to go back and remind myself as to what happened.

This book starts exactly where the previous one left off. There is no time lapse in between the ending of the previous book and the start of this book, which I quite like because there was no explanation needed as to what had happened in between. I don’t want to go into too much because of spoilers, but it was easy to remember what had happened within the previous books.

I absolutely LOVE Kayli as a character. She completely slays everything she does, but at the same time she has her character flaws, which keeps her relatable to the readers. I enjoyed reading her interactions with all of the boys and the way in which the relationships grew and changed as the circumstances began to change – the relationship dynamic has become something completely different and I cannot wait to see how it continues to grow throughout the next book!

The plot of this book was fast paced and kept me on my toes throughout. There was always new information coming out and the twists and turns that revealed themselves throughout kept me hooked. This was a really quick read for me purely because I was loving every second of it – both plot wise and character wise.

Please excuse me whilst I go for a cold shower! The scenes between Kayli and the various boys (don’t judge it before you read it) was absolutely amazing and, as mentioned, I needed a cold shower! There was such a connection between her and each one of the boys and the dynamic between each of them helped keep each relationship fresh and interesting. I also liked the way that the author represented a gay couple – they were absolutely adorable and I cannot wait to see their relationship (finally) develop and grow, along with the relationship dynamic with Kayli.

All in all, I LOVED this book and this author is most definitely one of my favourites. I cannot even wait for the next book in this series and I am so looking forward to the way things play out – especially after the ending with Raven. I gave this book 5/5 stars.