Category Archives: Series

Six of Crows

Finished Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”

I don’t read very many paranormal books anymore, and this book was almost an impulse grab at BEA. (I had a linejump pass and two of my friends were obsessed with getting this book and one mentioned that it was compared to Ocean’s 11, and I was like, REALLY?!)

I mention that to make sure you know that I came very close to not reading this book at all.  That would’ve been a huge mistake on my part.

I love everything about this book (except for the fact that the sequel won’t be out until NEXT FALL.)  The world that Leigh Bardugo created is amazing.  (I didn’t read her earlier Grisha trilogy, but you don’t need to do that to love this book.  I do plan to go back and read them eventually, though, because if they’re anything like this, I am going to love them beyond all reason.)

There is so much tension in this book.  Part of it is romantic (I ship two different couples here and I have to believe they will each get it together) and most of it is just the question of whether these six people will be able to do what is essentially impossible.

Highly recommended.

Sinful Longing

Finished Sinful Longing by Lauren Blakely.  I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

He’s the inked brother. The one you’re wondering about. The bad boy of the family.
Colin Sloan has a past. He’s done things he’s not proud of, but he’s living differently now. Making changes in his life. Working hard, working out harder, and trying to win over one woman. He’s utterly crazy about Elle Mariano, and though the sex is epic, their friends-with-benefits arrangement just isn’t cutting it anymore. He wants all of her, and is determined to prove he’s what she needs in her life.

Elle is fiery, loyal, and in major lust with Colin Sloan. He’s everything she craves in a man — smart, sexy, kind — and a rock star between the sheets. But his past hits too close to home for her, and the people she has to protect. There isn’t room in her life for a relationship with Colin. Especially when she’s forced to keep a secret that could tear his family apart…

SINFUL LONGING is the third book in the steamy, sexy, suspenseful New York Times Bestselling Sinful Nights series from Lauren Blakely, author of the wildly popular Seductive Nights series…This high-heat, high-stakes romance series follows the Sloan family as each sibling falls madly in love against the backdrop of sin, money, greed, passion, mystery and suspense...”

I haven’t read the first two books in this series, but it’s easy to follow anyway.  (I think it would’ve been better if I had, though, just because of the subplot with Colin’s father’s murder. I’m guessing I’d have a more complete picture if I had read the first two books.)  But the main plot with Colin and Elle? Yeah, that’s easy to love even with no background.

(I think these are more connected books than an actual series, though; it seems like each book focuses on a different member of Colin’s family.)

And I definitely do want to bingeread the first two books (maybe before the last one comes out?) but I’m not sure when that can happen.  I have to say, though, I am going to miss Colin and Elle.  (Colin probably makes a cameo but Elle probably doesn’t.)

Which reminds me, probably my favorite thing about Lauren Blakely’s books is the way that she writes these flawed characters who still fit together so perfectly.  Her books are just amazing, and if you haven’t read them by now, you really should.

This is basically everything I’ve come to expect from Lauren Blakely: hot sex, sweet scenes and now insane amounts of suspense (well, okay, that last one is new).

Highly recommended.


Finished Traffick by Ellen Hopkins.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Five teens victimized by sex trafficking try to find their way to a new life in this riveting companion to the New York Times bestselling Tricks from Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank.

In her bestselling novel, Tricks, Ellen Hopkins introduced us to five memorable characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead.

And now, in Traffick, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out? How these five teenagers face the aftermath of their decisions and experiences is the soul of this story that exposes the dark, ferocious underbelly of the child trafficking trade. Heartwrenching and hopeful, Traffick takes us on five separate but intertwined journeys through the painful challenges of recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal to forgiveness and love. All the way home.”

I’ve been a huge fan of Ellen Hopkins for years and her books pretty much always break my heart.  This one is no exception.  It’s a sequel to her book Tricks and it’s not a spoiler to say that just because the teens have escaped from prostitution, it doesn’t mean that their lives are any easier.

Between them, their difficulties range from medical problems, drug withdrawal and self-esteem issues, but there are a lot more difficulties below the surface.  It’s a lot to overcome—especially for a few of the teens, who don’t even really have support systems.

Still, they are determined to survive.  Their resilience and drive is actually inspiring (and I know that word tends to inspire eyerolls, but seriously, these are amazing teens).  As with all her books, this is a must-read.

Highly recommended.

The Crossing

Finished The Crossing by Michael Connelly.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Six months ago, Harry Bosch left the LAPD before they could fire him, and then hired maverick Defense Attorney Mickey Haller to sue the department for forcing him out. Although it wasn’t the way he wanted to go, Harry has to admit that being out of the game has its benefits. Until Mickey asks him to help on one of his cases, and suddenly Harry is back where he belongs, right in the centre of a particularly puzzling murder mystery. The difference is, this time Harry is working for the defense, aiming to prevent the accused, Leland Foster, from being convicted. And not only does the prosecution seem to have a cast-iron case, but having crossed over to ‘the dark side’ as his former colleagues would put it, Harry is in danger of betraying the very principles he’s lived by his whole career.

This is my new favorite Michael Connelly book.  Okay, yes, I will fully admit that his Bosch novels are my favorites (I love his Mickey Haller ones, too, but nowhere near as much as the Bosch ones) so I was already essentially guaranteed to love it.

But The Crossing is different than the others.  Obviously, since Harry’s now retired, it’s not going to be a police procedural like the others.  But arguably an even bigger change is that he’s helping Mickey (his half-brother) on a case…which is a huge shock.  (It’s not even something he swore he’d never do because it never occurred to him that he’d ever even consider working for a defense attorney.)  But when Mickey swore that his client was innocent, that the real killer is still out there…well, that gets Harry Bosch interested.

Even so—and even when he agrees that DaQuan didn’t do it—Harry almost hates himself for helping the defense.

That alone makes this a must-read…except that it’s not just that; this has everything you’d expect from a Michael Connelly novel going for it.  The story is fantastic and good luck putting it down.

Highly recommended.

The New Girl

Finished The New Girl by RL Stine.

Summary (from Goodreads):

The new girl is as pale as a ghost, blond, and eerily beautiful — and she seems to need him as much as he wants her. Cory Brooks hungers for Anna Corwin’s kisses, drowns in her light blue eyes. He can’t get her out of his mind. He has been loosing sleep, ditching his friends…and everyone has noticed.

Then as suddenly as she came to Shadyside High, Anna disappears. To find a cure for his obsession, Cory must go to Anna’s house on Fear Street — no matter what the consequences.

Anna may be the love of his life … but finding out her secret might mean his death.”

I was a huge fan of the Fear Street books as a kid, but I’m pretty sure I missed this one.

This is actually the first ever Fear Street novel, and we spend most of the book thinking that it’s a ghost story.  (Spoiler: it is not.)

I really wanted to love this book but honestly, it was a struggle to even like it.  Yes, it’s the first Fear Street novel, but honestly, his books got so much better and so much spookier.  (That would not be hard to do.)

There is no logical reason why Cory likes Anna so much, and the quirks in this story make no sense whatsoever.  (Why does Anna wear weird, old-fashioned clothes? What’s the deal with the weird old neighbor?)

For completists only.

Lair of Dreams

Finished Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.”

I am so in love with this series, and I’m so excited that there are two more books.  (This is also great because these books are crazy long.  Lair of Dreams was almost 700 pages, but it didn’t feel like it was super long and there were no boring, draggy parts.)

I think The Diviners was scarier, but this one is also incredibly creepy.  If scary books aren’t your thing, you may want to give this one a pass.

My only complaint is that we didn’t get as much Evie time in Lair of Dreams but I loved the time we spent with Henry and Ling.  (I hope we get more Ling in the currently untitled third book.)

Highly recommended.

Truly Madly Famously

Finished Truly Madly Famously by Rebecca Serle. I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this romantic sequel to Famous in Love, new Hollywood “It Girl” Paige must navigate love with her co-stars, both on and off screen and all in the public eye.

Lights, camera, love!

After being plucked from obscurity, Hollywood’s newest starlet, Paige Townsen, has a hit film to her name and Rainer Devon on her arm. But being half of the world’s most famous couple comes with a price, and soon Paige finds herself dodging photographers; hiding her feelings for her other costar, Jordan Wilder; and navigating tabloid scandals that threaten to tear her and Rainer apart-and end her career as quickly as it began.

Rebecca Serle’s sequel to Famous in Love is filled with the kind of celebrity drama and swoon-worthy romance fit for the silver screen.”

Famous in Love was one of my favorite books from last year and I knew that if I only got one book from BEA this year, it was going to be this one (and that it would be my first read of the books I got at BEA).  There are rumors that the planned trilogy will only be a duology now and, if that’s true, I am content with the ending we got.  (Although I hope to see Paige, Rainer, Jordan and Alexis again—and please, Rebecca Serle, give Alexis a spinoff novel!)

In this novel, Paige is a lot more comfortable with her Hollywood life and fame than she was in Famous in Love, and she is happy with her choice to stay with Rainer.  But of course that would make for a boring book so the drama comes back for her pretty quickly. :)

These books are just absolutely fun reads.  I can’t wait to see what Rebecca Serle does next, even if it has nothing to do with Paige.

Highly recommended.


Behind the Scenes

Finished Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.  (Note: I work for this company, but this is not one of my books.)

Summary (from Goodreads):

“High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.”

I read the companion novel first, so the ending here was spoiled for me.  Even so, this was a really fun and sweet read.  But it’s also pretty deep.  There are a lot of things going on here for Ally.  Her best friend is going from being on the edge of fame to being one of the more well-known celebrities which means that their face-to-face time is limited.

The bigger problem, though, is that her dad has stage 4 melanoma and things aren’t looking good.  That (understandably) has the family in major upheaval and it’s a horrible time for Ally to not have her best friend Vanessa around.  (To make matters even harder, it looks like Ally’s college fund is now going to go to her dad’s medical bills.)  Long story short, she ends up working as Vanessa’s assistant…which lands her right in the middle of a hypothetical love triangle (Vanessa and Liam are fake-dating; Ally and Liam are real-dating and turns out it’s really hard to watch your boyfriend kiss your best friend, even if you know it’s fake.)

I love these books and I’m excited to read whatever Dahlia Adler writes next.

Highly recommended.

Monsters on the Run

Finished Monsters on the Run by Kevin Sherry.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Blizz Richards and his band of wacky cryptids are back for another illustrated adventure!

Everyone thinks the Loch Ness monster is one-of-a-kind. But that just means Nessie’s lonely. And only yeti Blizz Richards and his team of cryptozoologists can help her find a friend just like her. With a little help from a time-traveling leprechaun, the gang travels back 65 million years to the age of dinosaurs to begin the search.

But they aren’t ready for the dangers that wait for them: monstrously mean dinos. Giants with razor-sharp teeth. Terrifyingly cute little kitties. Can Blizz keep his team safe, or will they have to sacrifice everything to help Nessie find a friend?”

This book randomly showed up in my house one day, and seemed like a perfect early chapters read (I’m sure there’s a term for this, the books that are probably one step below middlegrade?) for me, the kind of book I would’ve loved when I was little.

Blizz and his friends seem to help out mythical creatures (I haven’t read the first book, but now I want to) and their new project is to help Vanessa (the Loch Ness Monster) find her family.  (ADORABLE RIGHT?)  They find a way to go back in time, because they believe that she must be a dinosaur or dinosaur descendent that didn’t die off when everyone else did.

So now they’re back with the dinosaurs and—as anyone who has ever seen Jurassic Park can tell you—it’s not fun like you’d think.  Nessie gets to find relatives and they’re nice but a lot of the other dinosaurs are mean. Also, hungry.

The best part of the book, though? A shoutout to Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay version of the Loch Ness Monster!

Recommended for new readers.

Of Dreams and Rust

Finished Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

War erupts in this bittersweet sequel to “Of Metal and Wishes”, inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and called “relentlessly engrossing” by The Romantic Times.

In the year since the collapse of the slaughterhouse where Wen worked as her father’s medical assistant, she’s held all her secrets close. She works in the clinic at the weapons factory and sneaks away to nurse Bo, once the Ghost, now a boy determined to transform himself into a living machine. Their strange, fragile friendship soothes some of the ache of missing Melik, the strong-willed Noor who walked away from Wen all those months ago—but it can’t quell her fears for him.

The Noor are waging a rebellion in the west. When she overhears plans to crush Melik’s people with the powerful war machines created at the factory, Wen makes the painful decision to leave behind all she has known—including Bo—to warn them. But the farther she journeys into the warzone, the more confusing things become. A year of brutality seems to have changed Melik, and Wen has a decision to make about him and his people: How much is she willing to sacrifice to save them from complete annihilation?”

I was so obsessed with the first book in this series (Of Metal and Wishes) and I was beyond delighted when this came in my mailbox.

This is a reimagining of the Phantom of the Opera story and with Phantom, I am totally Team Phantom but with this, I love the Raoul character (or Melik, as he’s known here).  But I also love Bo (the Phantom).

And I love Wen, who is a total badass and is willing to put herself at risk to save the people she loves.

Like Of Metal and Wishes, this is amazing. And it made me cry a little bit.