arc review: black bird of the gallows

to read a synopsis about this book on Goodreads, click here

I was generously provided this ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you Entangled Teen publishing! 

expected publication: september 5


Where can I find more paranormal YA like this? Seriously, this was so good! I’m going to be honest and say that I don’t care much for reading about the paranormal. I’m more content watching it because I get more scared that way or something. I don’t know why I torture myself with paranormal stuff. But this book has changed my mind. By instilling a little bit of Supernatural-esque lore like harbingers of death and the Beekeepers, this kept my attention from start to finish.

What I really loved about this book was the MC, Angie. She was a girl that was into DJing. Like how cool is that? I have yet to read a book where a MC girl is interested in something like that. Secret time: I used to want to be a DJ. I thought that controlling music like that was so cool. Perhaps I’ll get back into that. 😉 But moving on, Angie was a real solid MC. She didn’t make dumb decisions and even when there were girls being nasty to her, she was still incredibly strong. Given what her past was, I’m amazed she didn’t break down.

I liked Reese as well. Yeah, he tried to be the whole  I’m not going to tell you stuff because I’m macho and need to save you thing but that quickly dropped, which I am thankful for. He trusted Angie and what she was doing and that was refreshing. He let her make decisions, even if he didn’t agree with him. Even at the end, he was still letting her make decisions and accepting them, regardless if he liked them or not. I don’t know about you guys but that is a winner in my book.

A couple of other things that I really like was the dad/daughter relationship between Angie and her dad. He cared about her so much and let her be who she wanted to be. Their relationship was so open and refreshing. The friendships Angie had with Deno and Lacey (!!! I squealed excitedly when I saw my name (misspelled) in this book) were awesome too. Shout out to Meg Kassel for proving that guys and girls can be friends with no romantic overtures.

Overall, I am thoroughly pleased with this book. I took a chance on a genre I never read and it paid off in spades. I was just sucked in by that beautiful cover. I’m going to have to buy the physical copy when this book is released so I can stare at it all day. You all should do it too.

 

xxlacy

we all looked up

to read a synopsis about this book on Goodreads, click here.


Well, this was a great book besides that ending, which I shall mention later. It got a lot more deep then I thought it was going to be, considering it’s about four teenagers. These teenagers get crazily philosophical with long paragraphs about the meaning of life and death. But I suppose that is bound to happen considering the end of the world is happening for them. I just wish those long paragraphs had gotten broken up into more manageable paragraphs.

What I really liked about this book is that there are four POVs and they all overlap in someway. I liked that because when one event happened that involved two of them, you got to hear from both sides of the story. Not a lot of books can pull that off and this one did it well. It didn’t seem repetitive to me, which is good because otherwise that would have ruined the whole book.

As much as I liked the characters, I found that I couldn’t bond with them all per se. I think each of them was very unique but at the same time, very cliche. We have Peter, who is the jock who is trying to be more than that. There is Eliza, a photographer and the slut of the school. Andy is the burnout going nowhere but he has a heart of gold. Lastly, there is Anita, whose parents demand she succeed and get into Ivy League schools but all she wants to do is sing. Each brought something to the table in terms of the plot but they felt very cliched at times.

I think that is what stopped me from giving this book a full five stars. I liked the characters but couldn’t connect with them. I was also really incredibly disappointed with the ending. But I think this book brings out a good point, which is to live each day as if it was your last. You legit never know when the end is coming so tell that human you love them and pet your dog extra because by tomorrow, you could be gone. Simple as that.

 

xxlacy

far from you

to read a blurb about this book from Goodreads, click here


If I could give this book all the stars, I so would. Because this book deserves it! It deserves so much more recognition then it gets. I didn’t even know this book existed until I got the Overdrive app. But in a way, I’m glad I didn’t read it until now. I wouldn’t have appreciated everything this book offered. Young Lacy wasn’t into character driven stories like the current Lacy is.

I’m going to be honest. I didn’t expect much out of this book. I didn’t expect this book to rip up my heart, stomp on it and throw it back at me. I was intrigued by the pretty cover and the synopsis seemed okay. I figured I would end up dealing with a whiny woe is me MC who refuses to accept her mistakes. I have read enough drug related YA books to know what I was getting into it.

I was wrong. 

This book wasn’t just about Sophie, the MC, getting and staying clean. It was about her understanding her past and coming to terms with herself and finally maybeunderstanding the person she loved. It was about getting answers and clearing the guilt and blame from herself. It was about mending old wounds and beginning the process of healing the new ones.

I was a mess of emotions during this book. There was heartbreak and that was a major theme during the course of this book. Nothing but pure heartbreak. It radiated off the book in spades. I almost couldn’t go through with reading it because the heartbreak was almost too much. Sophie is completely lost without her other half. It’s a pain that nobody ever wants to experience. Hell, I wouldn’t wish it upon my most terrible enemy.

I mean, I was crying reading the last few chapters. Tears were streaming down my face and I didn’t know until one of them hit my Kindle. No book has made do that since I read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I usually cry in bursts during books. A tear there, a tear here. Not this full on, almost sobbing because this book was just so damn sad.

Seriously, you all need to read this book. But be warned. It’s not an easy book to get through. It’s very character driven and the chapters bounce back and forth from the past to the present. But it works. All of it works and it creates such a beautiful story that will make your heart heart so much. But it will be all worth it you learn a valuable lesson. That lesson is that you find all your friends and family, you tell them that you love them and you hug them until they can’t breathe. Because none of us really truly know when it’s going to be our last day.

 

I’m going to go find the happiest book I can and read that because my heart hurts. Or maybe some Tumblr posts. Anything. 

 

xxlacy

arc review: the third kiss

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Expected publication: August 7


You would think that a love curse and the friends to lovers trope would be over played in the YA world, right? Well you are wrong when it comes to this book. And for the record, the friends to lovers trope is my favorite. Because the two characters obviously have something that made them friends in the first place. Being lovers is an added bonus and eliminates that awkward getting to know you stage. You all know what I’m talking about. It’s just soooo awkward. 

Moving on. I really liked this book. For a while there it was touch and go for me. I generally liked Jonas and Cora as MCs but I wanted to smack their heads together for pretty obvious reasons (once you read the book). Both were solid in their own way and I’ll talk about that later in the review. By the way they bickered and snapped at each other, you would think that they didn’t really like each other. But then again, I can be a nasty woman to my friends sometimes.

Jonas was a solid MC. I really like the word solid today, don’t I? I liked his point of view a lot. He was very smart and willing to admit when he messed up. He let us into his true feelings and you really felt the brokenness he hid so well. He was clearly affected by things in his past and my heart went out to him. But sometimes, he was a bit pig headed and really wanted to smack the crap out of him a few times.

Cora was the same way for me at times. It was awesome to see a girl interested in science and fighting but she was still girly. Yay for fellow nerd girl recognition! But she was also very stubborn to the point where I wanted to hit her as well. It was her personality, though. That was just how she was. She, too, was affected by her past, not as drastically as Jonas, but still. Trauma is trauma.

The concept of the love curse was very well done. I’ve never heard of the one that was used in this book but I’m sure there is some basis of truth. I might do some more research about it, just to satisfy my curiosity. To add more props to this book and author, the secondary characters were well done. They weren’t there for the sake of being there. They were a part of Jonas and Cora’s life in a very important way. I mean, overall, I couldn’t ask for a better start to what I’m sure will be an awesome series!

 

xxlacy

see me

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here


And just like that, Nicholas Sparks reels me back in. I was almost done with him after the failed book, Two by Two and with the beginning of this book. I was starting to think that I had outgrown Sparks and his romances.

That all changed very quickly.

Maria was a great character! At first, she was irritating. She seemed so weak to me and I really just don’t like weak MCs, especially weak females. I was starting to get mad because she just let people walk all over her like at her job or with her family. I didn’t like her thought process most of the time. It was just too much worry, not enough do. Then, she meets Collin and explains more about herself to him. And then I realized just how strong she actually was. Her weakness was just an anxiety to be the best person she could be. She didn’t want to disappoint her parents, who were immigrants and gave so much for her and her sister. I get that and it made me like her immensely more after that.

Collin was one of the most interesting male MCs I’ve ever read. He had a very troubled past and turned his life around after one too many times of getting in trouble. He since then adapted an honesty policy. He is ALWAYS honest, no matter what. It was refreshing. He simply told Maria and everybody else exactly how it was. No matter if it hurt someone’s feelings or not. I enjoyed his POV the most because of how logical he was and the reason I mentioned above.

If it’s one thing that Nicholas Sparks can do, it’s write secondary characters well. Each and every secondary character was fleshed out very well. We didn’t get their entire past, not that I would expect it because they are secondary characters after all but each had their own personality and were easy to remember. I loved that! It really brought the book to life.

Overall, this book has restored my faith in Nicholas Sparks. I will now eagerly hunt out more books by him in the hopes that they will live up to what this book was. If anything, Nicholas Sparks has gotten better has he has gotten older. His books now seem to have more girth to them. More substance. He’s almost writing like Jodi Picoult and I’m perfectly okay with that.

 

xxlacy

lock and key

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here.

 

When I started this book, I was worried that I had finally outgrown Sarah Dessen. I used to read her books constantly when I was younger. They spoke to me because they were about problems that teenagers dealt with. I felt like I could relate to them. And in a way, I did. Even if the teenagers were whiny and cried a lot. I was a whiny teenager that cried a lot so I felt like I had a lot in common.

But I wondered, would I be able to relate to Sarah Dessen now that I am 24 years old?

In some ways, yes, I have outgrown Sarah Dessen. But in other ways, no. This book didn’t really help me decide but I enjoyed it anyway. But I wasn’t super wowed by it. I’ll explain further.

What I really liked about this book is the character growth. That is what really sucked me in. Every single character, whether it was a side character or a main one, had some sort of growth. And I love that. I hate it when characters are stagnant in a book. How can they accomplish anything if they don’t grow?

Ruby, I think, had the most amount of growth. She had been sent to live with her sister after her landlords found out that she was living alone, underage. Her flaky mother took off and left Ruby to fend for herself. Ruby had a bit of bad relationship with Cora, her sister, at first. She accused Cora of leaving her in the mess and abandoning her and her mom. But the truth slowly comes out and suddenly Ruby’s world isn’t the same. She had to learn what it meant to have a family.

The growth that Ruby had was incredible. She started out as a teenager so angry and sad for being left and completely set on being independent. Ruby’s mother instilled a lot of really bad thoughts in Ruby and it took her a long time to get over that. She viewed help as a sign of weakness and vowed to never left anybody help her. Slowly, through the help of Jamie (her brother in law), Cora, Nate, and others, she learned that help isn’t so bad and that family can mean more than one thing.

Nate was a good side character and a good love interest. I wasn’t totally wowed by him but he had charm and was good for Ruby. He made Ruby question a lot of her decisions in life and that was good for her. Nate essentially forced Ruby to rethink what it means to have friends and people that care about you. In turn, Ruby taught Nate that help is okay and it’s okay to talk about what is going on in your life.

Overall, this was a good book. I was surprised to find that I liked it as much as I did. I think the reason I didn’t love it was because I wasn’t super emotionally involved with the plot. It took me way longer than it should have to finish this book and I think it was just because I didn’t connect with the plot very well. In all honesty, there really wasn’t a plot and the plot I did find, kind of plodded along slowly. Maybe it would have helped if I didn’t read Harry Potter during this book but probably not. Overall, not a bad piece of work by Sarah Dessen.

xxlacy