Make Your Myth-Taker TBR 2020

Hi lovely readers! Today I’m writing my TBR for the Make Your Myth-Taker Readathon. I had absolutely no plans to join this readathon or any idea what it was about until I saw a post about it on Geeky Galaxy and it grabbed my attention. I saw it and just couldn’t resist finding out if I could join AND read the Throne of Glass books too. It’s a little ambitious for me but I’m going to give it a shot!

The readathon is aimed around mythical creatures, and has prompts to follow in order to ‘become’ that creature. The announcement video below tells you much more about it!

The Character

I went for Goddess! This was mainly due to the prompts that fit what I want to read in June, but it’s also partly due to being drawn to the Sorceror characters in general, they are all so beautiful.

The Prompts

It’s time to introduce you guys to the books I chose for the readathon!

Featuring Fae


Goodreads | Waterstones

As soon as I saw this prompt I knew I could include at least one Throne of Glass book in here which will help me out as I am already buddy reading the series with Alex! Although I’m not sure where exactly Fae come up in the series, I know they are in the world in general so I think that counts.

A book with a foiled cover

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife. When Lo-Melkhiin – a formidable king – arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice – leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king …if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

It was really hard to find a book with a foil cover I actually think I will be able to squeeze in! I eventually chose this as my cover has a foiled feather on it.

Highest Rated

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

I did cheat a little and went for the standalone with the highest rating as a lot were not the start of a series! However, I’m really excited for this one.

Randomise your TBR

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Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.
But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.
As her college decision looms, Rosa collides – literally – with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

I was lucky the randomised one came out with a standalone too, and a fairly short read I think I should be able to fit in to my busy reading month!

I’m so excited for this readathon especially now I have chosen my books! Are you going to join in and if so, which character are you pursuing?


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Review: Throne of Glass (#1) by Sarah J Maas


Goodreads | Waterstones

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted? 

It’s been a while since I read A Court of Thorns and Roses and absolutely adored it! I’ve been looking forward to reading Throne of Glass ever since but also daunted by the size of the, and the worry I wouldn’t enjoy them quite as much as the other series. I’ve heard so many people say either one Sarah J Maas series or the other is your series, but I think they just offer different things.

I realised quite early on in this book how different it is to A Court of Thorns and Roses. It just feels different in so many ways, and one of those was definitely the writing. I could tell this was Maas’ debut in the writing style, and it didn’t quite live up to the level of writing I became used to in the ACOTAR series. However, I actually found it made the book easier to get used to and become involved in.

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. 

It was lovely to feel an early easiness with this book, and I found it helped me with not feeling daunted for the rest of this long series. I kind of needed the writing to be slightly less complex for me to easily slide into this series and get used to the world.

Although I felt a slight lack of richness to the description of the surroundings and world, I could still picture the castle and tests well and really enjoyed reading about them. I also think there is a slight lack of development in the characters, but I think the foundations have been laid for me to get to know them better in future books. I already have a soft spot for Celena which is the main thing and I know I’m going to enjoy reading about her as a protagonist!

“You could do anything, if only you dared.”

Overall, this was a really positive start to a series I’ve been daunted by for a while. I’m so excited to carry on and see what Sarah J Maas has to throw at me throughout Throne of Glass! Shoutout to Alex for buddy reading these with me, I’m loving reading them together.

4 out of 5 stars


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Review: The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

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A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.
Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.
At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

I was very unsure going into this book – I don’t usually read short stories like this and most of the time just didn’t know what to think. Although this book was beautiful and whimsical, I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. I was very confused throughout about who the characters actually were, and found I had to completely put it out of my head to enjoy the story.

And I have to say, the writing was lovely. I loved the idea of having fairytales sprinkled throughout the story, and I became very engrossed in those. I also loved the Asian and feminist rep!

“Angry mothers raise daughters fierce enough to fight wolves.”

I can see the good in this story and in parts I really loved it. But unfortunately most of the time I was left feeling confused and overwhelmed with little idea of what was happening. I enjoyed it once I let myself get lost in the story, but it just simply wasn’t long enough to allow the read to sympathise with the characters.

I really enjoyed some aspects of this book and it was beautiful, but it left me feeling like a lot was missing, and the premise was just better than how I ended up feeling about the story.

3 out of 5 stars


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Review: Gumiho: Wicked Fox (#1) by Kat Cho

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.
But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.
Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.
With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

I had such mixed feelings about this book, and when I started it I really didn’t think it was for me at all. I had come into a world I felt like would only make sense if I really, really worked for it, and you know what, I just couldn’t be arsed. For a start, this book has an entire glossary, and it isn’t a small one. I could see myself flicking between the glossary constantly and the mere idea of it annoyed me.

But I stuck with it, mainly because this was the only book I had that was under 800 pages that fit into my OWLs TBR for the transfiguration prompts. And I was determined to finish my OWLs. But you know what, I was shocked. After around 50 pages, this book hooked me a little. I really started to enjoy it.

“Maybe it’s wrong for us to hold any one person as our whole world. Maybe…” Jihoon trailed off with an odd expression.

Not going to lie, it wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t a favourite. But I quickly started to see a lot of good in this book – it came up in scenes and moments that I really enjoyed. I would easily read 100 pages at a time and they flew by, the chapters short and easy to get through. I liked the characters, even if I didn’t feel a great connection to them. And the Korean representation was great too, and not something I’ve seen enough of in YA.

But unfortunately, Wicked Fox still just…lacked for me. I felt little connection to the characters, which meant I didn’t feel enough when the most devastating things happened to them. Because of the disconnect, I rarely focused enough on what was happening in the book, instead skimming the pages and reading the occasional really good scene.

“Maybe it’s wrong of us to owe all of our happiness or sadness to one person.”

So overall, this book was….good. But it just wasn’t enough. Which was such a shame, but I think maybe it just wasn’t for me.

3 out of 5 stars


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Review: Infinity Son (#1) by Adam Silvera

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Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.
Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.
Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

I love a lot of Adam Silvera’s work – They Both Die at the End and History is All You Left Me being my favourites. His emotion and magical realism is unlike most contemporary YA, and I love something with a twist! When I heard about his new fantasy project, I think I was among many excited readers. I missed out on grabbing an ARC of this when I wanted to at YALC last year, but managed to get one through my work as a bookseller a month or so ago. I was so excited to delve into a new fantasy world, but I sit here today sorry that I have been disappointed at the very least.

Unfortunately, Silvera included little to no world-building in Infinity Son. I could picture the world only because it seemed to be set in our own – but I could not picture much else. The character building was few and far between too, and I struggled the most with the magic system. I felt like I was clueless when it came to the different people and species. I couldn’t picture the phoenixes and had little to no understanding of their history, which left me utterly disappointed.

I’m going to a brief interval to focus on the good parts, as I hate to be so negative about an author I have mostly loved.

  • I love the family aspects of the book, and the brother relationship was great to read about.
  • I noticed the diversity and that Emil seemed to be vegan, which naturally I couldn’t help but love.
  • The plot was, if nothing else, entertaining. It was full of action scenes which I sped through and found very fun.

But is fun enough? Not in my book. Infinity Son has been one of my most hyped books for at least 6 months, and I was so happy to finally read it. The sheer disappointment I feel in this book falling so flat is what I disliked the most. I will definitely read Silvera’s future novels, but I don’t think I will be reading more in the Infinity Cycle.

2 out of 5 stars


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Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (#1) by Brigid Kemmerer


Goodreads | Amazon

Fall in love, break the curse.
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

As always, I can’t believe it took me so long to get round to reading this book. It may have taken me a while to read it, but as a friend put it, I savoured this book rather than rushed through it. And it was still worth it in the end.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it had just the right balance for me of being a retelling and being original. The fairytale aspect was only a small part of the story, which left room for so much more.

‘We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals.’

This world felt so real and beautiful to me, and I pictured it as Hyrule in Breath of the Wild funnily enough. The characters were all great for their own reasons, especially Harper. We don’t have enough strong female protagonists, and having a disabled main character with Cerebral Palsy is so rare, especially in fantasy. Having not got a disability myself, I can’t talk about the accuracy of the writing from her point of view, but I really admired her all the same.

Rhen wasn’t my favourite character, but I grew to know and love him all the same. Reading about him was fascinating, as he turned out to be a different person as the book progressed, but his progression felt entirely natural.

Even though it took me a while to get through, when I did manage to sit down and read, the pages seemed to fly by. So it definitely wasn’t a problem with the pacing, but instead with my situation in the past month!

‘The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.’

Unfortunately I’m not giving this book a full 5 stars, purely because I didn’t feel quite as drawn in as I’d have liked to. Although my pacing was partly to do with my own situation, I also feel like I could have been more drawn into the story and made to want to pick it up.

4 out of 5 stars


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Blog Tour & Review: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Hello readers! I was lucky enough to be selected by Source Books Fire through Midas Public Relations to take part in this blog tour. It was such an exciting tour to be a part of and I’m really grateful for the ARC copy they sent me in exchange for this honest review. Thank you again, Source Books Fire!

I’m finishing up this tour alongside DMCI Reads and The Library Looter. Go check them out!


Goodreads | Amazon

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.
That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.
But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

I fell in love with this book the moment I saw it. I mean, the beautiful cover is a pretty good start, right? As soon as I started reading, I felt somehow comforted, in the sense I just knew I was going to enjoy this one.

It felt so lovely to read a good fantasy. I recently read The Last Namsara, and even though I liked it, The Storm Crow just seemed to add the things I missed in that one. For a start, the world was beautiful and so well described – I felt enveloped in the rich, lush description of the lands and kingdoms. The writing was poetic and lovely.

One of my favourite parts of this book was the first chapter. It was full of action and intrigue, and kept me intrigued for the lulls and slower parts. And unfortunately, the only downside for me was that this book did lull. Although the writing was great, the pacing unfortunately wasn’t. The action was very sporadic and I felt left for the majority of the book without any. Part of me understands due to Thia’s mental health, and the slow plot did make me sympathise with her personal struggles.

But that’s where my complaints end – I adored everything else about The Storm Crow. Thia resonated deeply with me in a way characters in fantasy don’t usually. I find with fantasy there can be some disconnect if the characters seem unattainable or unrealistic. With Thia, things are different. She struggles openly with grief and depression, and the way this was discussed felt so important. She was still a badass, passionate and heroic woman, but she was also struggling and surviving day by day. It made her so much more real.

My love for the characters doesn’t end there. This book had a great cast of side characters too, and I loved them all for their own roles. Thia’s relationship with her sister felt well written, and so did her friendship with Kiva, who I loved. Her friendship with Caylus and difficult friendship with her husband-to-be also offered interesting, dynamic relationships I became quickly invested in. And I can’t write this review without giving a shoutout to a villain I absolutely loved to hate, Razal.

The whole crow element to this book is something I’ve not really seen before in YA, and I loved it. Having such a strong connection to the magic and animals gave the story a whole different dynamic and focus, rather than just the politics. Instead, the story flickered between politics and magic and Thia’s passionate love for the crows, which kept me on my toes and interested.

Overall, this book encompassed me in such a love for a rich world, diverse (in all ways), lovable characters, magic and passionate writing. All in all, the only reason this didn’t quite get 5 full stars from me is unfortunately the pacing – everything else was there and I loved it.

5 out of 5 stars


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Review: The Last Namsara (#1) by Kristen Ciccarelli


Goodreads | Amazon

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer. 
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her. 

I saw that this author is going to be at YALC 2019 and decided to give it a go! Unfortunately, it was a super slow burner for me and I’m left with very mixed feelings. I always find reading fantasy for me can go two ways – either I love it straight away or it takes me a long time to completely understand the story and eventually might enjoy it. This was the latter!

For a start, I couldn’t, even at the end, picture the characters very well at all. It just seemed to lack basic imagery, and I would have loved more detail about the characters appearances and the land itself. I find that some authors, especially for debuts, will be able to picture a world in their head so well that they struggle to include the smallest details on paper, because for them, they aren’t needed. But for us as readers, we need even the smallest detail to build up a picture of the world.

‘Then may Death send his worst. Cold to freeze the love in my heart. Fire to burn my memories to ash.’

Unfortunately because of this, it took me almost a week to finally finish this book. I just wasn’t drawn to it for the majority, and I didn’t particularly mind what happened to the characters. However I pushed through and got to the last 150 pages, where I felt the book really picked up!

For a start, I loved Asha as a main character. She was strong, brave, and a brilliant woman. After reading the acknowledgements at the back of the book, I found an even deeper respect for Asha as a female main character. I love the strength she had and I love that she challenged what is expected from her as a woman. We definitely need more girls like her in literature!

‘Wind to force me through the gates. Time to wear my loyalty away. I’ll wait for you at Death’s gate.’

I could definitely see the writing improve greatly by the end of the book, and had a clearer picture of the world in my mind. I was more invested in the characters and loved Safire (Asha’s cousin), Dax (Asha’s brother) and Torwin.

Even though this wasn’t my favourite, it slowly grew on me and I’ve decided to continue with the series eventually! Considering this was a debut, I saw the improvement throughout the first book and I’m sure the writing improves with the others.

4 out of 5 stars


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Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan


Goodreads | Amazon

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.
But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

It’s been a while since I’v read a good fantasy, and this one was just a delight to dive into. I admired this book so much, it was such an immersive experience with beautiful writing, and I’m so glad I picked it up.

Girls of Paper and Fire follows a world with 3 castes, Paper (fully human) being the lowest, followed by Steel (partly demon) and Moon (fully demon, with animal like qualities). The premise is somewhat like The Selection series, with 8 Paper girls being chosen each year to please the King, who is of the highest caste. This story follows Lei, who was unexpectedly chosen and taken away from her family to become a Paper girl, and seeks revenge for an attack on her village that killed her mother.

‘But time has a way of folding itself, like a map, distances and journeys and hours and minutes tucked neatly away to leave just the realness of the before and the now,’

I say this book is like The Selection, but the likeliness stops there. This book, this world, holds so much more. More depth, more emotion, more intrigue and fight and hardship. It’s no secret that this book tackles some difficult topics, such as sexual abuse, and even though I was prepared, I was left with tears in my eyes in parts. Despite, or maybe because of these difficult subjects, this book is just so powerful.

The politics were interesting to read about and I loved hearing the side of the story from the people who wanted revenge against the Palace. It balanced out perfectly with the gentle friendships the girls found in each other, a unique bond with intriguing characters I could easily read more about.

‘as close as hands pressed on the either side of a rice-paper door.’

The romance that blossoms within this story is beautiful, powerful and healthy. I found myself being reminded of my own relationship and seeing reflections of how myself and my partner support each other, and it was so lovely to read about. I won’t say too much to avoid spoilers, but it felt so wholesome and made me love the characters even more.

The only small problem I had with this book was the pacing at the beginning. Unfortunately, it took me a good few days to get through the first 100 pages, but after that I couldn’t put it down! I was soon whirled away with the lovingly written landscapes, friendships, romances, action and much more. In fact, I want to end by saying the writing was just incredible. I saw a Goodreads review describing it as sensuous, and that is just spot on. Ngan has such a way with words, that resonated with me and has stolen my heart.

5 out of 5 stars


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The Dead Girls Dance (Morganville #2) – Rachel Caine


Goodreads | Amazon

Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls’ Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

I really enjoyed this book, and I flew through it. But unfortunately, I remember it in a fonder light. I remember my first read of this being gripping, on the edge of your seat and so emotional. I’m not going to lie, it was emotional, but I feel like Caine missed some opportunities for some really good scenes.

It’s like instead of remembering what actually happened in this book, I was taking the best parts and remembering a different, better version. Maybe that’s a problem with re-reading books later in life when you have a lot more maturity and reading experience!

‘Claire: “So we do nothing?”‘

That being said, I did still love reading this book. It’s still gripping (to a degree), and I was definitely kept entertained. I read this in less than 2 days once again and couldn’t put it down, the pages really fly by in this series. I also love the variety of scenes all over the town, with such a big cast of characters, that added so much to the atmospheric feel of this book/series.

This book is definitely more of an introduction to Morganville. We’ve met the main characters, we know who we’re rooting for and who we’re against, and now it’s time to learn about this creepy town. The description of the town is definitely one of my favourite things about this series. Caine knows how to build up atmosphere.

‘Michael: “We do the best nothing you’ve ever seen.”‘

I still adore the characters, even Claire, although I understand why most readers seem to find her annoying. She does make some stupid decisions, but mostly she’s just a real, scared, courageous, 16 year old girl who is completely out of her depth. Her loyalty is outstanding, and I love her for it.

There is still no doubt this series is pure entertainment. But I can’t help but love it anyway.

3.5 out of 5 stars


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