Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Release Date: January 31, 2017

Holy Hell in a hand-basket.

Stephanie Garber has created a world that I don’t want to leave, and characters I want to follow throughout their life stories.

I started this book on 9PM on a Sunday night, after I’d been sick for a week and sleeping as much as possible to get over it.  Once I started, I couldn’t put it down.  I found myself saying, “One more chapter,” okay, “Now, one more chapter,” over and over again until it was 1AM and I closed the book with a sigh. This doesn’t include the extra 30 minutes I sat there considering the ending and the complications that came along with it. I think in reality I maybe got 5 hours of sleep this night, but what is important is that I LOVED this book.

This world was created in such an organic way that nothing in the plot seemed like it was out of place or sudden.  Not only was Caraval such a richly developed story but the description of the characters and the locales within the novel were exquisite. I wish I could have seen the canopy bed in Scarlett’s room, had a sip of that crisp cider that enhances vision, or even run my hands over the gowns in the store where she sells two days of her life.

While I was totally proved wrong about who I assumed Julian was from the beginning (*shakes fist* tricky Garber, tricky!) he was a great example of a male character who comes off as such a…how to I put it…douchebag that really turns out to be a character with so many more layers than initially shown.  In fact, he was the saving grace for Scarlett (and the narrative) in many spots.

Probably an unpopular opinion: Dante? *fans self* A body covered in tattoos and a beautiful face to boot? *swoons*

Now, as someone who has had a struggle with her relationship with her sister (we are doing so much better as we’ve aged, by the way *Love you, Ginger!*), I think that for me what really made this story so impactful was the demonstration of absolute love and devotion between the two siblings.  Obviously it seems very one sided at the beginning as it is third person limited point of view, but the reader discovers it is a very equal love and something that both sisters suffered for.

All I can think of as I remember my mind blowing and wonderful late night read is that this is a story that I will come back to and re-read many times. Plus, who wouldn’t want to lose themselves in a fantasy world with Scarlett, Julian, and Tella?

**Trigger warning for parental physical abuse**

Pre-order a copy of Caraval now, I promise you won’t regret it.

4.5 Bards

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day

Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted– he’s admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There’s only one obstacle in Ash’s path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?

All Eden’s ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college — and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream — one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?

I’m on the fence about what to give this book.  Let’s just get this review started and then I’ll see how I feel by the end.

So there are definitely things that I really enjoyed in this novel.  Julia Day is, like me, a North Carolina native, so it was very easy for me to picture the setting (a small beach town outside of Wilmington) and I can appreciate the frequent name drops for common North Carolina things like the Carolina Panthers and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (although I am an ECU Pirate all the way, baby).

Not only was I able to relate to this aspect of the story, but I was also an over achiever kid in high school who took all honors and advanced placement courses so I understood the stress that can cause.  I was definitely not a valedictorian or a salutatorian though, so kudos to Ash and Eden.  Like Eden, I also worked a part time job while in high school, and had to learn to manage my personal life with work and school.

The synopsis kind of implies that there might be a bit of shared narration, but there isn’t  The whole book is told from Eden’s perspective.  She is seriously jaded by her life growing up in the shadow of her mother who skipped town and her father who can’t hold a job.  Most of the novel is really just Eden dealing with class issues, being the poor trailer park girl with a great GPA competing with rich kids who want a scholarship just for status.  All of her classmates pretty much leave her alone because she gives off some kind of “leave me the F alone” vibes, and she has two people who talk to her–Ash, her academic rival and love interest, and Mundy, the new kid who has zero tolerance for Eden’s isolating lifestyle.

I can appreciate what Day did with the slow development of the relationship between Ash and Eden, but only to the point where they realize their feelings for each other.  The reader is then told, more than shown, that they had some happy days and a wonderful few weeks of a secret relationship.  I really wish that the narrative would have given us more insight into how they feel.  Ash and Eden seem to have very little dialogue with one another for the most part, and some how their relationship just started to move so ridiculously fast that it didn’t feel as organic.

I love, love, love, love the diversity in this novel with an Indian love interest and an autistic character that helps the main character decide what she wants to do in life.  I loved it.  Given the climate in the United States and North Carolina based on Race, I still think this novel could have done a lot more to drive home the inherent racism in the south.  It scratches the surface, but I think that if Day had dived in completely then it would have made for a more powerful conclusion.  Overall, I found the issues of class to be more of a focus in this novel than the race factor, mostly due to the fact that Ash is extremely wealthy and Eden has to let her own parents borrow money from her.

I still think Mundy was the most interesting character of the whole book.  If only because there was just a hint of a possible inappropriate relationship between her and her young stepfather.  I’d read that book, too.

The book was compelling, and I finished it, but I think it left some things unsaid that I wish had been touched upon.  That being said, Day’s writing was clear and concise and minus the parts where she tells instead of shows, the narrative flowed extremely well.

I’d definitely read her next book.

3 Bards.

threebards

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: In Real Life by Jessica Love

Welcome to Midsummer’s stop on the In Real Life blog tour! Below you will find an excerpt from the novel AND the spotify playlist provided by the author.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the book:

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah’s surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Release Date: March 1, 2016 **Hot off the press**

Check out a short excerpt!

CREDIT: In Real Life by Jessica Love; Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books

 

Did you love the excerpt? Well, be sure to listen to the author’s spotify playlist that was created especially for you.

(My personal favorites from the playlist: Edge of Desire by John Mayer, Ghost Under Rocks by Ra Ra Riot, You and I by Ingrid Michaelson)

 

 

My copy is already on the way, get yours now!

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

 

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

Book Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process.

I’m torn on this novel.  There are a lot of things that I liked but there were also a lot of things that I didn’t care for.

I’ll start with the positive.

Flynn has done an amazing job at establishing a character with a sharp and unique voice, while still making sure that she comes off as vulnerable in regards to her past and family life.  I really appreciate what Flynn is trying to do with this novel.  She has created a character that is (somewhat) open about her sexual life and her urges, someone that seemingly has complete control over her emotions, and also manages to come off as wise beyond her years.

I also really enjoyed the dichotomy between Mercy and her best friend, Angela.  With Mercy, and also Faye, representing those sexually active teens that haven’t made a promise to themselves or to religion to wait for marriage.  Angela, on the other hand, represents all of those things.  I loved that Flynn showed how even those who choose to wait still have sex pushed on them in the media, through their significant others, and even through their friends.  It was a very brave move to include things like this and to show each of their journeys.

The issue that I have with the novel comes from being cheated on in a relationship before.  I find it so hard to understand how a character could justify sleeping with other people’s boyfriends even if they say they are really just trying to make it better for their girlfriends.  It’s just not something that I find sympathetic.

I do understand that Mercy had some awful things happen in her past that led to this behavior, but it’s still hard to sympathize with her.  Sure, everything comes crashing down around her and it’s kind of like “just desserts,” but no one deserves what happened to Mercy in the end. However, I do wish there was some kind of explanation for how Faye accomplished what she did at the end, as the novel wrapped up pretty quickly, but I like that Mercy came full circle as a character.

Overall, I found it an enjoying read even with my reservations about some of the character’s actions.

3.5 Bards

3.5bards

Book Review: The Wild One by Gemma Burgess

Sweet, innocent Coco has always been the good one. But when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she decides it’s time to break bad.

Coco swiftly goes from spending all her time baking and reading to working nights in (and dancing on) a bar, falling in and out of love (and lust), stealing education – and along the way discovers that she is stronger than she ever knew… In a time when her best friends are suddenly plunged into break ups, break-downs, big breaks, and on the verging of quitting New York City altogether, it’s up to Coco to keep them together and find herself along the way.

Gemma Burgess’ The Wild One: A Brooklyn Girls Novel is the inspiring story about the turmoil, uncertainty, and heartache that every twenty something faces and survives – with the help of her friends. 

Release Date: November 10, 2015

FINALLY, the third book in the Brooklyn Girls series has arrived!  Don’t go too much further without checking out my reviews of the first two novels (click on the titles to see), Brooklyn Girls and Love and Chaos.

Not going to lie, Coco wasn’t exactly my favorite character in this series up until this novel.  She kind of fades into the background of Pia and Angie’s respective stories with the exception of one or two important details about Coco’s past.  She was basically glazed over as the young, pretty, baking enthusiast roommate that is shy and keeps kind of to herself.

This novel, however, really shows a different side to Coco and breaks down her walls and gives her much more depth than in the previous books.  So shit hits the fan pretty hard for Coco right at the beginning of the novel when she finds her boyfriend cheating on her in a crowded bar.  Not one to confront problems head on, Coco just ignores him and doesn’t bother telling her friends how she has been hurt.  Eventually, of course, she does and some pretty epic embarassment happens for her cheating ex which really was his “just desserts.”

Coco basically reboots her life at 21.  It takes a lot of courage to change paths completely at such a vulnerable time and she definitely has no idea what she is doing, but she does that spectacularly.  In an attempt to reinvent herself, she takes on a casual sex partner, starts to work at a unsuccessful dive bar, and “steals education” by attending classes without being enrolled.  Can I do that?  Where do I sign up for free college?

Burgess’ writing continues to be filled with humor, sexual innuendos, and a realistic view of what life is like in your early twenties while you are trying to find your place in life and while you are making mistake after mistake.  I think that’s why I relate to this series so much, as I am in my twenties and I’ve made some of the mistakes these characters have.

Anyway, I was so pleased by Coco’s story and I really hope she doesn’t fade into the background with any of the other installments (please let there be more!).

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much to St. Martin’s for the opportunity to read and review this great book!

Hello, I Love You Blog Tour: Excerpt/Review/GIVEAWAY

helloiloveyouGrace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

 

katiestoutAbout the Author

Katie M. Stout is from Atlanta, Georgia, and works for an international charity that sends her to fun places like Spain and Singapore. When she’s not writing, you can find her drinking an unhealthy amount of chai tea and listening to Girls’ Generation, Teen Top, and all her other favorite K-pop tunes.

Connect to Katie on Social Media:

Goodreadsǀ Twitter ǀ Tumblr ǀ Website ǀ Pinterest

 

Excerpt

We finish our study session around eight and head out of the library together. He unlocks a bike from the rack as I make to head back to the dorms.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” I say. “Wait, are you walking back?”

“Well, I’m not sleeping at the library tonight.” He doesn’t take the bait. “I’ll give you a ride.”

I imagine what it would feel like to sit behind him on the bike, my arms wrapped around his waist. That now-familiar heat radiates through my body again. How is it that Jason has turned me into the blushing type of girl?

“Don’t worry about me.” I wave my hand in dismissal. “I’ll be fine.”

He straddles the bike’s frame. “I don’t mind. Get on.”

I hesitate a moment, but when I see that he isn’t budging, I step up to the bike. “Uhh . . . how am I supposed to ride this thing?”

He pats the metal rack on the back of the bike, made for hauling inanimate objects.

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

“I’m not going to kill you. Just trust me.”

Trust. Such a small word. Which implies so much. I lost my trust in boys when Isaac cheated on me, then lied to my face about it.

Jason’s gaze softens just a hair. “Come on, you’ll be fine.” Biting my lip, I straddle the bike, stomping down any fear

that threatens to grow in my chest.

Jason turns around to look at me. “Sit sideways, like riding a horse sidesaddle. More comfortable.”

I follow his instructions, not sure how I’m going to balance myself. When I rode with Sophie, I was more afraid of falling and cracking my head open on the pavement, but with Jason, my fear lies more in my body’s response to being so close to him.

Blowing out a slow breath to ease my nerves, I settle onto the metal rack behind his seat and pull up my feet. I knot trembling fingers in the fabric of his T-shirt, which hangs away from his body. But when he pushes the bike into motion, on instinct, I grab onto something more substantial. My eyes snap closed, and it takes me a good thirty seconds to realize my fingers are digging into his sides.

Though the wind that blows against us chills my skin, I’m so hot I feel I might spontaneously combust. Every time I attempt to let go of him, the bike teeters to the side.

“Hold on tighter,” he says over his shoulder.

I spend the entire ride in my own personal Hades, torn be- tween fear of falling and fear of Jason.

When he pulls up to my dorm, I jump off the bike so fast I stumble. He grabs my arm to steady me, and it takes an excruciating amount of effort not to rip myself away from his grasp. Memories of us dancing, of him leaning against me in the limo, flash through my brain, and a fresh stab of longing cuts through my chest. Seeing him sitting there, it seems like Saturday night wasn’t even real.

“Grace?”

My heart sprints. “Yeah?”

He picks at one of the bike’s handlebars in one of those rare instances of discomfort. “Do you want to go with us to the music video shoot next Friday?”

“What?”

“I’m sure Sophie would have asked you, anyway,” he adds. “But I just thought you should go. So we can work on the song some more.”

“The song. Right. Umm . . . sure.” I wait for the fog to clear from inside my head, but it lingers. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow in class. For the test.”

“If my legs can get me home. You were heavy to carry here.” I gape at him until I realize that was his idea of a joke. Jason

just told a joke.

He gives an awkward wave. “Good night, Grace.”

“Wait a second.”

He pauses with his foot ready to peddle. “What?” “Does this mean we’re . . . friends now?” “Friends?”

“Yeah. You tutoring me, and me helping with the song. Going to the shoot next week. Are we friends?”

Why does my breath hitch at the thought?

The scowl I’ve come to associate with him reappears on his face, and arrogance drips from his voice when he says, “I’ll think about it.”

But even in the dark, I can see his scowl has transformed into a smile.

 

Review

There is a such a huge push for diversity in young adult literature that I feel like Hello, I Love You will attract a fair amount of readers.  The entirety of the novel takes place in South Korea, most of it at a isolated private school, but some of the narrative involves the characters visiting the capital city of Seoul.

I’m going to go ahead and address something that I’ve noticed is being brought up in most of the reviews I’ve read so far for this novel: racial and culture insensitivity.  I understand that there are those readers who feel that Hello, I Love You is just a basic example of a snobby American going to a foreign country and looking down upon their customs, food, traditions, etc.  I want to challenge this because they are not taking into account the metaphysical journey that Grace goes through over the course of the narrative.  At the beginning Grace really is just a basic spoiled American teenager, and yes she does “turn her nose up” at the seven types of formality in Korean language, eating pigs feet, and KPOP, but she also learns to understand and accept these things.  I feel that this is exemplified well during the chapters where Grace’s mother comes to visit and she is forced to realize how inappropriate her behavior was when she first arrived.  Grace’s story  is one of growth and I think that her adaptation to life in South Korea and her increasing knowledge of the culture over the course of the novel is an excellent example of how to show readers how to NOT react in a new environment.  It’s a form of adaptive teaching in a narrative. Anyway, that is my peace on that. Back to the rest of the novel.

Grace has suffered a lot.  Sure, we don’t exactly know what she has been through or what the exact details are concerning the reasons she decided to leave her cushy life in Nashville behind, but she is a very convincing narrator and stubborn to boot.  I think one of the other strengths that readers will find in this novel is how strong Stout’s characterization is of the cast of characters as a whole.  Even the secondary characters, like the members of Jason’s band, have distinct personalities and backgrounds, which is something I adore in a good novel because it really helps round out the storyline.

I think another really good aspect of Hello, I Love You is the use of music as a whole.  Not only does Stout use American classic rock and a shout out to our favorite country turned pop star, Taylor Swift, but she goes into a few different genres of Korean music as well.  I honestly had not listened to any KPOP or Korean rock music prior to this, but I went on YouTube after finishing the novel to get a taste of the music!  I found the love story to be somewhat predictable in this book, but it didn’t make it much less enjoyable.

Overall I think that this was an excellent debut novel and I look forward to seeing what else Stout has to offer.

4 Bards.

fourbards

 

 

 

 

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Blog Tour: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

I’m lucky enough to be included as a stop on the blog tour for Courtney Summer’s new novel, All the Rage!  Thanks for stopping by!  You’ll find a brief interview with the wickedly talented author below AND a giveaway!  This novel really tackles some hard hitting topics, and it couldn’t have come at a better time in the midst of rape-culture debates and protests.  Thank you to Courtney Summers for this novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK

alltherageThe sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact.

Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything-friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time-and they certainly won’t now-but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Courtney Summers lives and writes in Canada, where she divides most of her time between a camera, a piano and a word processing program. She is also the author of What Goes Around, This is Not a Test, Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, Cracked Up to Be, and Please Remain Calm.

Visit Courtney’s Social Media:
Website|Tumblr|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram

INTERVIEW

1. What made you want to write a novel with such heavy subject matter? 

All of my books explore heavier subjects and All the Rage is no exception, but I think it’s my heaviest novel yet. I wrote it as a response to rape culture, victim-blaming and the way we fail victims and survivors of sexual violence. I wanted it to be part of that larger discussion about rape culture, because if we don’t talk about these things, they don’t change.

2. Was this story inspired by any specific news story?

No, it wasn’t inspired by a specific news story.

3. What would be your advice to girls struggling with deciding whether or not to speak up? 

I think it’s always important to realize speaking up can be complicated and that the circumstances surrounding the girls struggling with this decision will be unique to them—not everyone has access to the same resources. That’s why foundations like RAINN, https://www.rainn.org, are so important. They offer confidential crisis support for survivors who need to talk and need help figuring out what their next steps are. I would encourage them to visit the site or call 1-800-656-HOPE. RAINN also offers a list of International resources for survivors outside the United States: https://www.rainn.org/gethelp/sexual-assault-and-rape-international-resources

Thanks for having me on your blog!

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon| Books-a-Million| B&N|Indiebound|iTunes|

GIVEAWAY

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Book Review: The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

Lilith is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes the title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her charming fiancé and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt. 

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves. 

To tell him will risk everything.

Let’s face it: Historical Fiction is going to always be my first love. But if an author puts magical/paranormal elements in a Historical setting, AND one of my favorite historical settings…then the book has already earned itself at least 2 Bards.

This book was filled with charm, romance, and a fair amount of suspense.  I really think I love Lilith as a character (although is anyone else still a little confused about why the name of one of Hell’s most famous demons would be the name of a good witch?) more than Morgana (another infamous evil witch name. I’m sensing a trend). Lilith was easier for me to relate to, and I think that the struggle she had with her obligations as a witch and her desire to have a normal life was so realistic and understandable.

Also, Lazarus as the name of the necromancer coven?  I definitely see what you did there Brackston! Some of the plot line was a little disjointed, but I still think it is a highly enjoyable read for anyone who has previously read any of Brackston’s other novels, or any stories that revolve around witches and covens. This novel is good for older young adult readers and those who are fans of new adult stories as well.

3.5 Bards

3.5bards

 

This novel was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Follow Paula Brackston on Facebook!

 

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