Well Matched Review

Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell. Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire — a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favour too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher

April as a character isn’t very likeable to be honest, she is standoffish and pushes people away unnecessarily. For someone who had no intentions of staying in this town after her daughter goes to college she is very much worried about what they would be saying about her. I don’t understand why there is anything wrong with being open and public about her relationship with Mitch and it was quite rude of her to just negate their obvious feeling for each other and try to keep him a secret.

I like that Mitch called her out after she downplayed their relationship and he established boundaries with her. I kind of wish this would of been a dual perspective so we could of got to know Mitch more when he was at home and how he navigated his family before he brought April to meet them. I liked that we got that background about him and his family and how they have put his profession down over the years and don’t take him seriously, it gave the book and Mitch as a character much needed depth.

Usually I like fake relationships as a trope but I feel like in this case April didn’t get into it enough for me to fully believe in it. Mitch 100% did, I really enjoyed him as a character and it honestly made sense why he would be into April but she didn’t reciprocate it enough, it’s more like she felt obligated at the time otherwise their ruse would of been exposed. She obviously didn’t want to get judged for dating a ‘himbo’ at her age and it showed throughout the book through her actions.

It was overall not bad, I could overlook April’s flaws and get on board with the storyline. It was well paced and kept me invested throughout though it was kind of predictable. Jen DeLuca kind of has a formula with these books and you can easily see where things were headed and the outcome at the end. Nothing wrong with that though, I didn’t go into this book expecting anything more so I was still entertained!

⭐️3/5 stars Honestly forgettable but enjoyed at the time!

Girls of Fate and Fury Review

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

There’s one thing Lei knows – she can never return to the Hidden Palace. The trauma and tragedy she suffered behind those opulent walls will plague her forever. She cannot be trapped there with the sadistic king again, especially without Wren. The last time Lei saw the girl she loved, Wren was fighting an army of soldiers in a furious battle to the death.

Lei has evolved into a character that I don’t really enjoy. I know she has suffered and endured traumatic events at the hands of the King over the course of her time at the Hidden Palace but it’s the fact that she chose to stay there and not escape and yet had to rely on others to concoct the plans and execute everything. Even though she wants to kill the king (which she reiterates every time she is near him) she doesn’t actively do anything except memorise her way through the palace. I honestly would of been more impressed if she did end up sacrificing herself for Wren and she didn’t get a happy ending, really make this a tragic story and set this series apart.

I’ve been quite ambivalent towards Wren throughout the course of the series and that honestly didn’t change in this book. I get that she loves Lei and being apart isn’t ideal but the way she agonises over it every second got boring. I would of loved if we got more insight into the Hanno’s and the actual war. I just found her storyline to be a bit lacking and uneventful honestly.

Overall I just feel like the stakes weren’t there. I just knew that Lei and Wren were going to make it out alive and the fact that there wasn’t any shocking or surprising twists made me a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong there were definitely twists but nothing that evoked any kind emotion from me. Also the pacing of the book was just way off, the first 3/4 was super slow and then the last quarter was rushed and chaotic.

I wasn’t that big a fan of the way Natasha Ngan wrote the fighting and war scenes. It made it hard to visualise what was happening and where the characters were. I had to go back and reread some passages a few times because I couldn’t figure out where certain characters were or how they moved to this other location. It brought me out of the story and didn’t really make for a good reading experience.

⭐️2/5 stars Kind of wish Girls of Paper and Fire was a stand-a-lone…

All Her Little Secrets Review

*BEWARE OF SPOILERS BELOW*

Ellice Littlejohn seemingly has it all: an Ivy League law degree, a well-paying job as a corporate attorney in midtown Atlanta, great friends, and a “for fun” relationship with a rich, charming executive—her white boss, Michael. But everything changes one cold January morning when Ellice goes to meet Michael… and finds him dead with a gunshot to his head.

Ellice was definitely an interesting character. I honestly didn’t think she had much to hide per se but as the story progresses and we find out more of her secrets I felt sad for her. She had a traumatic upbringing and even though she managed to escape her circumstances she was left feeling immense guilt for leaving her little brother there. Which is obviously why she kept bailing him out and loaning him money. I liked to see her kind of devolve as she delves further into the mystery behind Michael’s death and who she thought was behind it.

I think it would of been more interesting if this was a dual perspective from Sam’s point of view as well. He is so wrapped up in this whole conspiracy and he eventually pays for it with his life. I still feel like he could of gave us more insight into what they had to deal with in childhood and it could of been a fascinating to see how contrasting their lives are now.

I did however really enjoyed the flashbacks to Ellice’s past. I like that there was more to her than what we originally perceived. Vera I adore and I liked the fact that she is still a major factor in both Ellice and Sam’s life and they continue to visit and show their love for her. It added a lot of depth to the storyline and showed us why Ellice acts the way she does and her reasonings behind her decisions she’s made in her life, like keeping her little secrets.

In terms of the actual mystery surrounding Michael’s death and who was behind it, I was underwhelmed. I just feel like there wasn’t enough high stakes moments that could of upped my entertainment factor. I want to be shocked and even though there were some twists throughout the plot I didn’t foresee it was all that interesting to find out. Talks about shipments and deliveries and gun orders to find out about a secret deal that leads to a conspiracy was boring.

⭐️2/5 stars I was just a little bored at times..

The Atlas Six Review

The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation. When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. 

I can’t say I overly enjoyed any of our main characters but I appreciated that we got to read from each of their perspectives and get a gauge on what kind of person each of them are. Libby was probably my favourite of the bunch because she adds so much to the story. Her and Nico are actually actively using the library and exploring how far they can go with their abilities. They are coming up with theories using their research and garnering results.

Callum and Parisa I didn’t really like at all. I can appreciate how integral both of them are to the storyline and they both seem to have ulterior motives they are also working towards. However, they are both too overt and discreet with their powers. They are both unlikeable and even though we learn quite a bit about them through their perspectives I feel like I didn’t connect enough with them to care at all about their plans.

Tristan was an interesting character for sure. Not having a full grasp on what he is able to do was compelling and seeing how he learns more about the scope of his powers was entertaining. But he is always so unsure of himself and questioning everyone’s motives all the time it was a little exhausting. Atlas was an enigma that I wanted to learn more about and eventually we do but I would of liked to see in real time as opposed to memories.

Not enough was explained about the actual society and the library. I understand that this is going to be a series and we are only in the initiation stage but we are kind of just thrown in and each character begins their studies and things get kind of repetitive and boring. How do they get the books? The library is described as being sentient but how is everything stored and how do they request things? I thought this was going to be a lot more fantastical as opposed to academic and I think it the fact that we are mostly in the same setting the whole time that made this a bit tedious to read.

⭐️3/5 stars Didn’t quite live up to the hype for me…

Cytonic Review

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Spensa’s life as a Defiant Defense Force pilot has been far from ordinary. She proved herself one of the best starfighters in the human enclave of Detritus and she saved her people from extermination at the hands of the Krell—the enigmatic alien species that has been holding them captive for decades. What’s more, she traveled light-years from home as an undercover spy to infiltrate the Superiority, where she learned of the galaxy beyond her small, desolate planet home. She faced down a Delver and saw something eerily familiar about it. And maybe, if she’s able to figure out what she is, she could be more than just another pilot in this unfolding war. She could save the galaxy.

I liked that again we have a new setting that we get to explore throughout the course of the book. I found myself a little disoriented for the first 100 pages or so simply because I had a hard time understanding how the Nowhere worked and the concept of the different fragments. Once I got my head around it and was settled into the story it was easier to comprehend what was happening.

I don’t think that Spensa has evolved all that much in this book. Sure she gets a better grasp on her cytonic abilities but she’s pretty much the same character that we’ve seen in the rest of the series. At the end she does have a little bit of an epiphany when she has to choose what path she is going to take next but other than that she didn’t really do anything that overly captivated me.

All of the other characters carried the plot in this book in my opinion. I was definitely more fascinated by Chet and who he actually was and his background being in the Nowhere for so long apparently. The manner in which he is introduced was entertaining and I liked learning about how his abilities differ to Spensa and how he helps her navigate through the Nowhere. M Bot we learn is much more integral to the plot than what I was anticipating. A super entertaining character however the constant talk about emotions and feels and asking Spensa to explain things annoyed me a bit, it was just too repetitive.

Repetitive overall is the word for this book. I had hoped it would be more action packed and adventurous than what it was. I was disappointed to be honest with the story overall. I was expecting crazy hijinks, twists upon twists and revelations to come out at every turn but this just felt like a filler book. Sure we are given a few little twists and new characters and a new setting but overall I didn’t really feel like I needed to know this story before Spensa comes back to the somewhere and reunites with her crew back on Detritus.

⭐️3/5 stars entertaining yet disappointing