Review | We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian

“Team first, always.” 2.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: injuries, cupcakes, hockey sticks, hair dye, text messages, photographs, parties, varsity jerseys, cute bulldogs, sleepovers, practice and championships.

Tomorrow, the Wildcat varsity field hockey squad will play the first game of their new season. But at tonight’s team sleepover, the girls are all about forging the bonds of trust, loyalty, and friendship necessary to win.

Everything hinges on the midnight initiation ceremony—a beloved tradition and the only facet of being a Wildcat that the girls control. Until now.

Coach—a handsome former college player revered and feared in equal measure—changes the plan and spins his team on a new adventure. One where they take a rival team’s mascot for a joyride, crash a party in their pajamas, break into the high school for the perfect picture.

But as the girls slip out of their comfort zone, so do some long-held secrets. And just how far they’re willing to go for their team takes them all—especially Coach—by surprise.

A testament to the strength and resilience of modern teenage girls, We Are the Wildcats will have readers cheering.

I feel like this book could be really good, but I’m honestly a bit disappointed.

For starters, the concept for this book is a bit weird. This story is about a team of teenage hockey players that work together to fight their abusive coach. That sounded so specific, but I honestly didn’t care about that too much when I first picked it up because I love reading books about sports and team spirit.

When I first started reading this, I felt confused (and incredibly bored, but I’ll get to that in a minute). In this book we have six different points of view from six different girls on the team. The thing is, they are all teenage girls who play hockey, so it was really difficult to not mix them all up in the first half of the book. Sure, they all have different stories and backgrounds, but in the beginning you don’t know everyone that well, so that makes reading difficult for the first chapters. I personally think two or three points of view were more than enough – or even no points of view, just narrated in third person would work perfectly fine.

I really liked all the characters in this, especially all the girls in the team. It was really nice to see them supporting each other and their devotion to the team was very inspiring. Can’t complain about the characters, I was very happy with everyone!

A big thing that contributed to me not loving this book was the pacing. It’s so incredibly slow that I considered DNFing this five times. I get that the author was maybe trying to give some context about each girl’s life to the reader, but it was too much. Since there are so many points of view, she wrote a lot about each girl instead of focusing on the story, and unfortunately the first half to two thirds of the book, there is nothing interesting happening.

On a positive note, it does get a bit better. I’m glad I didn’t DNFed this book, because I got into the story after about halfway through the book.

Which brings me to the grand finale. I just started to feel invested in the story, and then you get THAT ending. I was so disappointed with the way the book ends. It just felt incomplete and I wish there was a continuation to the team’s final decision. I wish there were less pages about background story and more of actual story development.Overall I was a bit disappointed with this book. If you want to pick up a Siobhan Vivian book, I would recommend Stay Sweet from the same author. There is also a “team” of girls working together, but in a different setting… I personally liked that one better!


Review | A Cloud Can Weigh a Million Pounds by A.D. Stephenson

“Just three years ago, someone told me that my sport was broken, twisted and perverted by money. Perhaps that was true; true for the oligarchs and the oil sheikhs and the shady businessman death exploit venerated foul purposes. It has been said by many that those less salubrious days were when football experienced its death knell, that those were the days when football died. It’s nae true, though, for me. It’s nae true for the players, nae true for the fans, nor for those people that love the game. For all of us who care so deeply for our sport, football is about competition, togetherness, unity and community.” 3/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: european football, Oktoberfest, drug tests, a strong Scottish accent, goals, haggis, toxins, stadiums and arm wrestling.

A feeling of lethargy during a cup semi final soon develops into something more sinister for Claston Celts star, Paddy McAlpin. A random drug test post match soon reveals more than he could ever have expected and sets him on a dangerous journey to discover the truth.
In this thrilling and humorous tale we follow the arrogant and talented Paddy McAlpin as he searches for the truth behind the attempt on his life, taking him back to his ignored, if not forgotten roots in Claston’s slums, before setting him on a whirlwind voyage of espionage and peril. Using his strength of body and mind to seize what he needs, he draws closer to the truth, putting himself into greater danger each step of the way.
Throughout his journey, he is forced to take an introspective look and comes to the realisation that there is more to his life than himself.

This is not the kind of book I would usually pick up for myself, but I was surprised with the story after reading it. I had no idea what the book was about because the blurb in the back cover doesn’t give out a lot of information, as well as the title – which made me even more curious to know what the story was even about.

I was surprised to discover this book was actually a mystery (the who-did-it kind of mystery) with a mixture of sport (european football to be exact). I thought it was an unusual combination and I had never read anything like it before, but I thought it was creative and overall it worked out well.

The mystery was well made, intriguing and overall surprising – I admit I wasn’t expecting that plot twist near the end. I just don’t know what to think about a football star investigating his own homicide attempt and traveling around Europe to get answers. I think I found that a bit odd because it wasn’t very realistic, but again, this is a work of fiction so take my opinion with a grain of salt!

I really liked Paddy as the main character. I really liked his personality, accent and the unfortunate (but sometimes funny) situations he put himself to. He feels like a real person with real flaws, real characteristics and a true love for football.

I have to say I really liked the writing. It’s very atmospheric and easy to keep up with! The pacing is good, but there are a few chapters where the story slows down to give some backstory and additional information. The football scenes were very detailed and well explained, and I’m sure readers who love football would love the game scenes! One thing I really liked was how Paddy’s Scottish accent was written in his dialogue. I thought that was a nice touch and it gave him more character, even though I had some difficulty trying to understand what he was saying sometimes. I also appreciate that we get some background information on other characters. Does that mean they will be featured again in the second book in this series?

It has sports, action and a good dose of humor. I think this would be an interesting book for fans of European football and mysteries in general.

A big thank you to the author A.D. Stephenson for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Review | Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1) by Abbi Glines

“In life, we often have to make decisions that aren’t easy. But it doesn’t mean they aren’t right.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: grief, friendship, pick-up trucks, annoying cheerleaders, warm families, jocks, being silent, understanding, football, proud dads and bromances.

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

I recently read this book for the second time, and overall my opinion didn’t change too much from the first time I read this 3 years ago! 

Maggie went to live with her aunts and cousin Brady and due to some very recent trauma, she doesn’t talk. To no one. Brady is assigned by his parents to help her go through the daily challenges of high school. 

I think it’s the perfect kind of romance book you read just to take your mind off real life. The romance felt a bit insta-love (which I did not remember to be completely honest), but it’s nothing out of this world so it didn’t bother me. 

I really like how this series revolves around a group of friends. They are all close to each other and it’s fun to see their interactions – especially Brady and West, since they were best friends and always were together.

I will definitely be reading the entire series soon! Like I said, it’s a very easy, fun book to read if you like high school sports romance books. It’s probably not the most amazing story you will ever read, but it’s entertaining and very fun!


Review | Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

“The bond between a mother and daughter is sacred. You know better than anyone that no matter how awful they are, we still find it in our hearts to love them.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: teeth, poison, surgeries, prison, medicine, feeding tubes, big eyes, makeup, cranberry vodka, wheelchairs, camping, newspapers, eyebrows and lies.

For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.

Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

After serving five years in prison, Patty begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes. And Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…

And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.

This was such a pleasant surprise!

I’m almost 100% sure this is based on Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s true story. If you don’t know, it’s this huge case where Gypsy’s mother Dee Dee claimed her daughter had several serious diseases from the time she was born. But in reality Gypsy was healthy. Her mother made these claims, but she used poison to make her sick, she put her daughter on a wheelchair and fed her through feeding tubes to help convince doctors and the community her daughter was seriously ill. I know Dee Dee was actually sick with Munchausen’s (aka Factitious Disorder), so it was just a really difficult, messed up situation. I’m not a great storyteller, so I think you should Google this case to be better informed! Still, I wonder why the author decided to write a book based on this particular real story?

The mother/daughter relationship in this is incredibly intriguing. Their relationship is very toxic, and the way they talk to each other versus their thoughts was one of my favorite parts of this book. Both Patty (the mother) and Rose Gold were very manipulative, and I like how none of them is supposed to be likeable. Rose Gold was obviously very affected by her childhood, and it is completely normal she felt so much anger towards her mother, but it’s also clear she could be very manipulative to her own good.

I admit I wasn’t expecting this to be a thriller! I was expecting a mystery – and you get that, of course – but the thriller aspect was such a surprise to me. It was very creepy and haunting, and I wasn’t expecting that plot twist!

I’m very impressed with this book and I recommend this to everyone! It was really good and it was a very interesting approach to creating fiction through true-crime. Such a good book!


Review | A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.” 4.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: paint, delicious food, the market, fancy cutlery, illusions, walls, masks and arrows.

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

I loved this book so much! Seriously, what took me so long to get into this series?! I know people have a lot of mixed feelings about this book, but I absolutely loved it.
I already read A Court of Mist and Furythe second book on the A Court of Thorns and Roses series – so it’s hard to write a review without thinking about what happened next, but I’ll try my best! The truth is that when I first read this book I loved it with all my heart, and then I read the second book and my feelings for this one were compromised. I know most of the people who read the series and loved it felt the same way.

The best things about this book are the plot itself and the writing. When I first read this book, I fell in love with the romance. Feyre and Tamlin were just meant to be, and I was cheering for them all the way. Not only the romance was great, but the characters were interesting and captivating too. Feyre is an amazing main character. I really love strong main characters and Feyre is exactly that. Even though she’s afraid and she feels weak, she always fights and tries her best in every situation.

Now, the writing… is out of this world. The book is so descriptive and all the scenes made me want to keep reading. I wasn’t bored a single time, but the book was so big I had to read it slowly – because, let’s be honest, it was a normal size book I know I would have read it in one sitting.

Like I said, I already read the first two books, and I’m currently on the third one right now – I really wanted to write the reviews first, but I’m addicted to the story! I think it’s very worth it if you like fantasy books, complex magical stories and a good dose of romance!


Review | Kill Joy (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #0.5) by Holly Jackson

“And then her heart dropped, soured in her gut, and all she could see was the blood.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: creative invitations, Domino’s pizza, clues, dad puns, checkbooks, casinos, evidence, costumes, secrets, phone calls and an entertained group of friends.

Pippa Fitz-Amobi is not in the mood for her friend’s murder mystery party. Especially one that involves 1920’s fancy dress and pretending that their town, Little Kilton, is an island called Joy. But when the game begins, Pip finds herself drawn into the make-believe world of intrigue, deception and murder.

But as Pip plays detective, teasing out the identity of the killer clue-by-clue, the murder of the fictional Reginald Remy isn’t the only case on her mind …

Find out where it all began for Pip in this prequel to the best-selling A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and Good Girl, Bad Blood.

Can this series get any better? 

The concept was so creative! It is such a clever way of creating an entire new story while maintaining the same set of characters from the first book. The characters are the friend group of Pippa Fitz-Amobi, the main character of the series. The concept of a group of friends role playing characters in a murder mystery during the 1920’s was really cool and I liked that they used the rooms in the house for the game. It was really interactive and it made it even more fun to read. I wish I played games like this when I was younger, how cool would it be to play a murder mystery this way?

Another thing I really liked was the small moments of tension outside of the game they were playing. Not only the game is full of mystery and secrets, but there are also creepy moments that will make you think if something else is going to happen.

There was only one moment I thought I wouldn’t give this book five stars, but I quickly changed my mind a few paragraphs later. This was the part when Pippa made her final explanation to the group – I won’t say any more, just that I was very satisfied with the way the book ended!

If you haven’t read The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder or the second book, Good Girl, Bad Blood, have no fear! This story is isolated and it doesn’t spoil anything from the other books, so you can even read this a standalone.

I’m in love with this series, it’s insanely good. The only problem with this book is that it was too short, because I was having so much fun reading it! I might even consider this the best novella I have ever read. Absolutely loved it and I highly recommend it!


Review | Namesake (Fable #2) by Adrienne Young

“There are some things that can’t be carved from a person, no matter how far from home they’ve sailed.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: blue dresses, homicides, teapots, “midnight” gems, lighthouses, docks, maps, dredgers, stuck anchors, merchant’s rings, ship deeds, storms and a lot of secrets. 

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and the rest of the crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when Fable becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination, she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception, she learns that the secrets her mother took to her grave are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them, then she must risk everything—including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

A great conclusion to the series!

Surprisingly, I don’t have a favorite book in this duology. I really think the books are very well balanced and have the same quality. The first book is more of an introduction to the story and we get to know the characters, but this book is more focused on the plot itself. This is not a negative thing, it just shows how well balanced the duology is.

The story is very well written and ties perfectly with the first book. There were some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting – especially regarding loyalty! – and I loved every single moment. The pacing is good, the characters are just as interesting and compelling as in the first book, and the plot is adventurous and action packed!

And this cover is so stunning! I love how the covers from the series form a full image. It’s such a nice touch and the beauty definitely matches the story!If you loved Fable, you really need to read Namesake. It’s just as good and it’s a nice conclusion to the series! I can’t wait to read more from Adrienne Young.


Review | Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace #1) by M.J. Alridge

“There are countless moments in the average life when you have to decide whether to open yourself up or bury yourself deep. In love, at work, among your family, with friends, there are moments when you have to decide whether you are ready to reveal your true self.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: investigations, hair dye, piercings, the media, guns, vans, mobile phones and difficult choices.

The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.

Days later, another desperate escapee is found – and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed.

Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?

Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors – living calling cards – who hold the key to the case.

And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die… 

I’m not the biggest fan of detective books series – Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries are the exception – but this author’s books are popular in Portugal, so I decided to give it a try!

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It was a bit more twisted than I first expected, but it was really good. I flew through the pages in a very short amount of time because the story was captivating and I was curious to know what was going to happen next! The book is also composed of short chapters, so that helped a lot as well!

The concept for the mystery was interesting. I really liked the idea of a killer picking up two people and let them decide who lives between the two. The only thing that didn’t sit very well with me was that it was never mentioned how the killer knew when a choice was made… the survivors never called the killer and I’m assuming he/she didn’t use cameras – or the police would have found them – so… how did he/she know when there was only one survivor left?

One thing I found interesting was the characters. I don’t know why, but the set of characters was really out of the ordinary for me. We have the main detective, Helen Grace, who is also the star of the entire series, and then you have a younger girl and a man as sidekicks. It’s not the usual setup you get in these kinds of books, especially because of their personalities and lifes. Speaking of which, it was so interesting to me how they have their own personal stories told in this book. The girl wants to start a family with her boyfriend, and the man is an alcoholic who can’t get over the fact that her ex-wife left him for another guy and he can’t see his daughter. I really liked that they had their own spotlights in this book.

The other down point to me was the ending. I didn’t love it because of what happened to one of the characters and for how incomplete the ending felt. I wish there was at least one more chapter just to stabilize and wrap up the story.

Overall I was happy with this book, I’m definitely continuing the series!


Review | Horrid by Katrina Leno

“There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad,
She was horrid 3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: murder mystery books, roses, board games, ripped pages, cappuccinos, purple marbles, grief, dust, text messages, takeout food, diaries, rumours and rage.

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?

The cover is so stunning, and I admit I bought this book mainly for it, but now after reading it, I have some mixed feelings – not only for the story but for the characters as well.

For starters, I have some mixed feelings about Jane as a main character. Part of me feels sorry for her because she had so much going on in her life, but I still missed some development from her side. And this does not apply just to her, but to the other characters like her mom and her friends. There was very little character development in general, and it was evident.

There’s also something very curious about this book. Here’s the thing: the book is fast paced, but it still feels like nothing is happening. I kept thinking about this while reading because I was confused, but I think I finally understood what was going on. I think the main cause for this is a mixture of the writing style, the characters and the scenery. The scenes feel so long because the characters don’t develop, the story progresses always in the same spot (the house), and to contribute to this, there are no chapters. I personally like having specific places to stop/continuing reading, but even though the book is divided into parts, it still wasn’t enough for me.

Other than that, I still think the story was entertaining. I wouldn’t consider this too heavy on the horror side, but there are some creepy scenes here and there. The ending gave me chills though, not gonna lie!

I’m also glad the author made the decision not to add romance to this book. There was some potential with the guy from Jane’s work, but I’m glad it didn’t develop because it wouldn’t make sense to add an extra romance to this story. Good choice!

Like I said, I still think it was entertaining and I don’t regret reading it, but frankly there’s nothing too special about this one.


Review | The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme

“Regardless of my attempts at guarding my heart, he’d wormed his way in.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: homemade stew, good wine, myar, blood lockets, black mist, waterfalls, healing powers, grapes, rot, old people, books, voices and poison.

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

What a unique book! It’s not common to find good standalone fantasy books, and it sucks because sometimes there’s just no time or patience to read a four or five book series. With The Stolen Kingdom we are getting a standalone fantasy, which I was very excited about!

One thing I loved from this book was the grapes/vines/wine element. I really liked that theme for this book! It was very unique and it paired very well with the setting.

Overall the story has a good pace, but there are some moments here and there where you can see the story speeding. The story developed very fast and I felt like the characters didn’t keep up regarding character development. I love my fantasy standalones, but this is the reason why there aren’t so many. I think it would have been beneficial if this was a duology or maybe a longer book!

The characters were okay. I really like Maralyth, but I didn’t love Alec – his personality was a little bland in my opinion. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance. I really like a good romance to pair with fantasy books, but something was lacking. I felt like there was zero chemistry between Maralyth and Alec, and to be fair I get that the author was maybe shooting for “complicated”, but it wasn’t very well executed in my opinion. It was a bit weird how he felt such strong hate for her at some point in the book, and then after a few pages the hate evaporates quickly like nothing ever happened. The end feels like he’s okay with her after everything he lost, and that didn’t make sense to me. If you’re wondering what trope this would fit, I would say it’s not a friends-to-lovers romance, nor an enemies-to-lovers relationship. They start out as friends, then become enemies and then become lovers.

Overall I enjoyed this a lot, I just wish the romance was a bit different, because I would have liked this even more!

A big thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.