Book Reviews

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 387
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Published: Jan. 3, 2012
Rating: DNF


Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.

She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


One of the problems with me reading a book like this is that I’m not huge into sci-fi. Every now and then I will dabble in it. Most times I give a three-star rating. I have the rare occasion when I five-star a sci-fi book. I have tried to read this book twice before. The first time I tried to read it, I wasn’t in the mood for it. The second time the first two chapters didn’t captivate me and once again I fell out of the mood to want to read it. This time I told myself to suck it up and get through the book.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. I was going through the motions. I thought I figured out the ending in the first nine chapters. I got 268 pages in when I finally pulled the plug and said, I’m done. I can’t do it. This book just could not reel me in. I can’t tell you half of what went on.

I liked Cinder being a mechanic. It’s awesome to read about women in man-dominated careers. So kudos to the author for that. Also, cool story plot of her being a cyborg. I really don’t have a feel for Kai. The doc, I wasn’t a huge fan of, he gave me creeper vibes. The romance is meh. I didn’t really get the threat of Levana. The reveal of Queen Levana was a bit unclimactic. I just wasn’t fully invested so nothing seemed to be what people said it was going to be.

This book did not live up to the hype for me.

Book Reviews

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

My edition: Library hardback
Pages: 417
Series: The Grisha Trilogy #3 final book
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance
Published: June 17, 2014, by Henry Holt and Company
Rating: 3.5 star


The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.


To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. I didn’t like the “twist”. There was something about this book that was going so good, then the end with the third amplifier and how they face the Darkling that I found was anticlimactic. Quite frankly, I thought more people were going to die in this book. Kind of like the other books.

Also, this one pointed out a fact that I don’t remember it being in the second book. The scar on Alina’s hand. In the first book, it was important. I don’t remember ever reading about it in the second book, which looking back on it, in the second book it should have been brought up more. In my opinion, of course. When it was brought up in this book, I thought was it in the second book? If it was drop a comment.

Now looking at the whole series, I’m not a fan of the Darkling. He wanted to control Alina. He didn’t like that she went against him. Also, the hint of a certain connection between Alina and the Darkling was kind of gross. I understand it for the plot but at the same time I can’t help to think, could that have been written differently.

I liked the pace of this book. I got through it faster than the first two books. But that ending is what brought it down a half-star. I really don’t know what I was expecting but it was not the twist with the third amplifier.

I’m going to start Six of Crows on Saturday. I need a quick break from the Grishaverse.

Book Reviews

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 432
Series: The Grisha Trilogy #2
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance
Published: June 4, 2013, by Henry Holt and Company
Rating: 3 stars


Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.


Spoilers if you haven’t read the first book.

“You know the problem with heroes and saints, Nikolai?… They always end up dead”

Mal is the reason why this has a three-star rating. He was insufferable to me after Nikolai was formally introduced. I wanted to scream at him. He has a strong female in his life and is seriously insecure. I even think someone points it out in this book. I think that someone is Nikolai. Don’t quote me on that.

I like Alina more than I thought I would. I obviously like Nikolai. I loved his introduction. By the way, I really don’t think Alina should be with Mal. Not the whole fact of he’s annoying and insufferable. But based on Alina has the power for light. The Darkling has the power for the dark. I don’t know about you but that sounds almost like fated love.

To be honest, I didn’t like the fact that the Darkling did the betrayal trope. I really was hoping that the Black Heretic was someone else and he had somehow been raised from the dead. Alina and the Darkling have to fight him. They win, and Alina and the Darkling live happily ever after. To me, that would have been an awesome story.

BUT NOOOO!!! We have to have Mal! What is so likable about Mal?

This book suffered also from the second book syndrome.

Book Reviews

In Feast or Famine by Mesu Andrews

My edition: ARC provided by Netgalley
Pages: 448
Series: The Egyptian Chronicles #2
Genre: Retelling, Biblical Fiction, Historical fiction
Published: Expected May 9, 2023
Rating: 5 star


Thrust into an arranged marriage, the daughter of ancient Egypt’s high priest plays a pivotal role in Joseph’s biblical narrative in this powerful novel from the award-winning author of Potiphar’s Wife.

After four-year-old Asenath’s mother is murdered by Egypt’s foreign rulers, the child is raised to be a priestess by her overprotective father–high priest of Egypt’s sun god. For fifteen years, Asenath is sequestered in the upper levels of Ra’s temple, convinced it is her destiny to heal the land by becoming the queen to the next Egyptian pharaoh. But when Egypt’s foreign king instead gives her as a bride to the newly appointed vizier–a Hebrew named Joseph–her entire world is shaken.

Beyond the walls of her tower, Asenath discovers treachery, deceit, and conspiracy that forces her to redefine her destiny and weigh where her true loyalties lie. Can she still trust the gods of Egypt? Or is Elohim, the foreign God of her husband, the one who will heal her nation during the feast and famine to come?


Thank you Netgalley and WaterBrook Multnomah for this ARC.

“Elohim is perfect,” he said with a faraway stare. “His covenant bearers aren’t.”

Joseph is one of my all-time favorites to read about in the OT. Mesu made me fall in love with him even more. Especially, when he told Asenath that no one would take her away from him. He is a book husband.

Mesu’s research always impresses me. The depth she goes into respecting history and telling Elohim’s story is straight beauty. An art many authors don’t have. I love that Asenath has inner battles. It wasn’t just oh my husband believes so must I. No, at first she was like “I am Isis Incarnate” but then she starts to realize she is so much more. She is a beautiful daughter of Elohim who has a bigger plan for her than she realized.

This book was beautiful. I loved the writing. I loved the story. The only thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was alternating persons. Anenath’s POV is in the first person, while the other two POVs are in the third.

I love Joseph telling Asenath stories of his family. At times, I forget that Abraham is Joseph’s great-grandfather. Mesu does a fantastic job of telling Joseph’s story to us. I loved being able to experience Joseph and Asenath falling in love and being true to each other even when the odds were stacked against them. I love Asenath’s journey into believing in Elohim as I stated before.

At times, I did not like Potiphera, but then I was like he was just a father wanting what he believes is best for his daughter. He’s not the classic villain. He is human and we get to realize that he is human and it’s not black and white.

I highly recommend this book.

Book Reviews

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My edition: Owned Paperback
Pages: 374
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance
Published: July 1, 2010, by Scholastic Inc.
Rating: 5 star



In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.


No one will forget me. Not my look, not my name. Katniss. The girl who was on fire.

This book came out the year before my junior year in high school. I didn’t pick it up until 2014. I loved it and gave it five stars. Recently, I have been watching people see all the movies for the first time on youtube. It’s been giving me the motivation to pick it up for a reread.

After reading this I have come to the conclusion that the movie has done all the characters dirty. Especially Peeta. I forgot how much I love Peeta and Katniss’s relationship. I think I love this book more now than I did back when I first read it. I forgot how much I love Collins writing in the series. So much detail and world-building that was sadly left out of the movies.

I can’t wait to get into the second book. That book is my favorite. I can’t wait to get more of Peeta and Katniss. Not a big fan of Gale. I think I somewhat liked him when I first read this book, but now looking at it, he’s okay. I am just glad for Peeta.

MCs: 5 stars
Side Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars

Book Reviews

The Nerd & the Quarterback by M.L. Collins

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 230
Series: Jackson High #1
Genre: YA, Football, Sports, Romance
Published: March 11, 2020, by Nancy’s Daughter Publishing
Rating: 3 stars


I had a plan to survive my senior year.
Too bad Jackson High’s star quarterback BLEW. IT. UP.

Last year, I was the most hated girl at my old school.
This year, my plan was to lay low, keep to myself and graduate.

My plan was working. Until the day I ran into Dax DeLeon.

It’s impossible to stay invisible when the most popular guy at school claims I’m his girlfriend.
Did I mention his ex—the head cheerleader and the most popular girl in school—wants him back?


Now I’ve got a fake boyfriend.
And a target on my back. Again.

But what’s scaring me the most…
If this thing with Dax is fake—why does being with him feel so real?

The Nerd & the Quarterback is a *Standalone*clean YA romantic comedy about a nerdy bowler, a hot quarterback, a possible case of mistaken identity, a bunny-napping, ransom notes, a failed ransom drop, thievery, and mean girls being mean.

But mostly about a boy and a girl learning to trust.

*Warning: this book has a romance so sweet you’ll get an urge to call your dentist.*


I needed a cheesy, teen, Romcom to cleanse for a more serious book. I have been reading historical fiction so much these last few weeks that I need something light and airy to be able to get out of a reading slump.

This book contained several of my pet peeves.

  1. “Quirky” or different from other girls (Though I will give Dax credit when he said different from the girls he hangs out with.)
  2. A person who talks in the third person.
  3. The guy’s POV is not as well written as the girl’s POV (While Ali comes off snarky, Dax comes off as annoying.)
  4. No communication

I liked Ali and if this book was told from Ali’s POV alone I would have liked this more. I will say the one thing I didn’t like about Ali was the positive affirmations. I’m not one for affirmations. I know they work for some people but to me, it’s hogwash, and apparently for Ali as well because normally she is thinking something snarky after having said affirmation. The other thing about Ali was how she faked being okay around her dad.

Ali isn’t that nerdy. Like at all. But I still think the banter between her and Dax was cute in some areas. Also, I want to say thank you to Ms. Collins for writing a parent who doesn’t live vicariously through their child. Thank you!!

The beginning of this book was a mess, but the ending was cute. Not going to continue on with the series because it doesn’t have any couples I look forward to getting to know.

Book Reviews

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 283
Genre: Biblical Fiction, Christian, Romance
Published: July 1, 2014, River North
Rating: 5 star


Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi’s home in Israel. Provisions gone and starvation at the door, Ruth used all that she had left–a strong back and a willing heart–to gather grain in a field, abandoned after the harvest.

Tormented by others, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field watching her. Talking to her. Bringing food to her and Naomi. Boaz tells himself his kindness toward Ruth is repayment for the love she has shown to his cousin Naomi. But his heart knows better.


“If God spared us from the piercing shaft of every sorrow,” she said, “we could never fulfill His best plans for our lives. Sometimes the sweetest things in life rise up out of the worst things in life.”

The book of Ruth is one of my all-time favorite OT books. A true romance with God’s redeeming plans hidden within. Miss Tessa brought this book to life with her characters. While it’s not the Word of God, it is for sure my first five-star of the year.

Boaz is an amazing man. Ruth is so kind. I just love them. I love their story as it grew to the end I knew was coming. Boaz does what is right for Ruth not because he is obligated but because he was very much in love. I have to get myself my own physical copy of this book. I love the start of Boaz’s past. Then the introduction of how a possible version of how Naomi met Ruth, how Ruth married Mahlon, how Mahlon passed… So beautifully written. Also, I have to highly praise a book for making me cry fifteen pages in. FIFTEEN!!! That’s a new record. The characters deal with grief and hardship while learning to lean on God and trust Him even when it all looks bleak.

In the book of Ruth, there isn’t much on the growth of Boaz and Ruth’s love. In this book, we get to read about the growth which just makes the ending that much sweeter.

I will also be getting many more Tessa Afshar books. She was true to the biblical story. She made me love the book of Ruth even more. I wonder if she has a book about David.

Book Reviews

The Selection by Kiera Cass

My edition: KU
Pages: 331
Series: The Selection #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance
Published: April 24, 2012, by HarperTeen
Rating: 2.5 stars


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


When this book came out, I was probably worried about the senior prom and graduation. I avoided this book for a long time. I have seen a lot of hate thrown its way. So why am I picking it up now? That is a very good question. I read a copious amount of books that are a fight to the death to be queen or something along those lines. With such books, they are a hit or miss. I thought I really need to read the book that started off the pageant-like contest to be queen. I stumbled across this on the KU list.

With that being said, on to the review.

I didn’t want to be royalty. And I didn’t want to be a One. I didn’t even want to try.

I have many problems with The Selection’s first book. I do not like her mother. I really don’t like the non-supportive parent trope that is heavy in YA. Also, don’t like the trope that tends to follow it which is the other parent not standing up to the non-supportive parent.

My next problem with this is Aspen. How he entered the book was eh. I did not get a build-up with this character. He and America’s relationship was thrust upon us in the second chapter. I could not buy into their relationship because Cass doesn’t explain any of their relationship until the halfway mark. The little bit of him that was shown was toxic masculinity.

That was my great ambition. Not to be Illéa’s princess. To be Aspen’s

Y’all this was said on page 14 of the book. Now it is said that America has been in love with Aspen for two years. But he is a caste lower than her which is not a good thing. Especially with America’s gold-digging mother.

America… I’m not going to mention my thoughts on the name American Singer. But the character herself, I am not a fan of. It took me twenty-two pages to hate the character. Now did she redeem herself? I would say yes and no. At times she would be funny and other times a whiny teen.

Maxon, I kind of like him. He wasn’t as bad as Aspen. I really liked his relationship with America. America wasn’t as insufferable when she was with him. I was thoroughly enjoying this book until the author brought Aspen back into the scene. Like why? Why do we have to have a love triangle? Can’t we just have a brokenhearted girl finding herself after a break-up and learning to move on in a healthy way?

Is that too much to ask for? I went ahead and spoiled it for myself to see who she ends up with. And since that happened I am done with The Selection.

Book Reviews

Vanished by Irene Hannon

My edition: Library Paperback
Pages: 314
Series: Private Justice #1
Genre: Christian, Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Published: Jan 1, 2013, by Revell
Rating: 3 stars


Reporter Moira Harrisons is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a confusing detour places her on a rural, wooded road, she’s startled by the sudden appearance of a lone figure caught in the beam of her headlights. Though Moira jams on her brakes, the car careens across the wet pavement–and the solid thump against the side of the vehicle tells her she hit the person before she crashes into a tree on the far side of the road.
A dazed Moira is relieved when a man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then everything fades to black. When she comes to an hour later, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person lying on the side of the road. But she can’t forget the look of terror she saw on the person’s face in the instant before her headlights swung away.

The person she hit had been in trouble. She’s sure of it. But she can’t get anyone to believe her story–except a handsome former police detective, now a private eye, who agrees to take on the case.

From the very first page, readers will be hooked into this fast-paced story full of shocking secrets from fan-favorite Irene Hannon. Vanished is the exciting first book in the Private Justice series: Three justice seekers who got burned playing by the rules now have a second chance to make things right.


Irene Hannon is an author that I was recommended and I had seen her books on my recommendation lists. This is the first book I have read by her. While the writing was good, I figured out a lot of the plot before it really happened. I’m not going to judge that her books are normally like this but for this one, I figured it out.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is a disappointment, I would say that it fell a little short in the beginning. The problems I had with the book are solely on me. I am particular with mysteries due to if I figure it out fast, I lose all interest in the book. I also don’t like when the villain is given away early on in the book. I do like getting their POV but I don’t like knowing who it actually is.

In this book, the “good Samaritan” is revealed early. I get that the mystery is why and what happened to the woman that vanished. This just wasn’t my full cup of tea. I did like some of it. I wasn’t a fan of the romance though. I didn’t feel the connection between the two MCs. But other than that, about the halfway point is when the story started to pick up. The “good Samaritan” reminded me in a way of a Criminal Minds episode. Especially, the ending, that really gave me that kind of vibe the BAU would investigate.

Book Reviews

Double Trouble by Susan May Warren

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 335
Series: PJ Sugar #2
Genre: Mystery, Christian, Romance
Published: Feb. 10, 2010
Rating: 2.5 stars


With one solved case under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least a PI’s “assistant” until she can prove herself to Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ’s seeing crime everywhere. But is it just in her head, or can she trust her instincts? When she takes on her first official case—house-sitting for a witness in protective custody—Jeremy assures her there’s no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is someone after the witness . . . and now they’re after PJ, too.


I didn’t mind the love triangle in the first book because it wasn’t a focal point and she wasn’t dating either hero. Now in this second book, I am not a fan.

The plot… Not a fan of that either. It was unrealistic at best. In the synopsis, as well as when the job is being described to PJ, it sounds like she is house-sitting for a woman in witness protection. But no, she has to impersonate this woman in which she has a like three-page interaction with her. This woman also has tattoos, which if you think about it would not work. Even though someone painted it on, people who really know tattoos can see the fake. She has a different style than PJ and different hair. She looks and acts nothing like PJ so it just isn’t the best to have PJ impersonate her.

I don’t know how I feel about Jeremy in this book. Boone in the first book didn’t feel fully flushed out which I didn’t mind because that gives the character growth in the next books. But in this book, I really didn’t like his character. I really didn’t like that PJ was in a relationship with Boone but still thought about Jeremy in certain ways at times. It felt slimy to read. It’s obvious from the first book that Jeremy will be the long-term love interest. Why have PJ date Boone? Why have Boone be serious enough to propose? It seemed like unnecessary drama that really didn’t do much for the plot.

I normally love the characters Susan creates but this book series doesn’t add up to her others. To be honest, if I read this series before the others, I wouldn’t give Susan another chance.

Though I will say the scene with Gabby in the rain hit me in the feels. That was a bit hard to read. I am going to read the third book because I do want to know what goes down with her and Jeremy. I just don’t think I am going to read it right away.