ARC Review: ‘The Queen’s Rising’

The Queen’s Rising is Rebecca Ross’s debut novel and if this is anything to go by – sign me up for everything she writes in the future! I absolutely loved this world, the characters, the writing style, everything about The Queen’s Rising! I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy of this at New York Comic Con back in October. This can easily be read as a standalone, but at the time of this review, Rebecca has tweeted that she is working on a second book!

Title: The Queen’s Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Release Date: February 6th, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars

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ARC Review: ‘Nice Try, Jane Sinner’

This book is a laugh out loud funny contemporary that is super relatable and modern. The story is told from Jane’s perspective through her journal entries and conversations she’s recorded in her journal. Oh yeah, and she dropped out of high school and goes to community college to finish her degree and decides to go on a student run reality TV show called “House of Orange” to win scholarship money and a brand new used car!

Title: Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Author: Lianne Oelke
Release Date: January 9th, 2018
Rating: 5/5 stars

Continue reading ARC Review: ‘Nice Try, Jane Sinner’

Review: ‘Retribution Rails’

Erin Bowman does it again with another western novel, set in Arizona in 1887! Now you may be thinking, “I don’t like westerns” but TRUST ME for a minute and give this story a try! You might be pleasantly surprised to find you love this world, just as I did! I’m not typical a fan of “westerns” either, and I can’t say I can name more western YA books, but this is a solid, fast paced, fun gun slinging horse riding railroad chasing read!

Title: Retribution Rails
Author: Erin Bowman
Series: Vengeance Road companion
Rating: 4/5 stars

Retribution Rails takes place ten years after its companion novel, Vengeance Road. (If you want to read our review of Vengeance Road, head right on over here!) While it is not necessary to have read Vengeance Road to read and enjoy Retribution Rails, I would recommend reading that first and it definitely helps as we see some of our favorites (and not so favorites…) from Vengeance Road return.

This story was action packed right from the get go, as one would expect from a western! It follows Reece Murphy and Charlotte Vaughn and is told in dual perspectives. Reece is forcibly dragged into an infamous gang. Charlotte wants to be a journalist and is seeking freedom from her conniving uncle. Their paths cross and our story is off!

Reece was just a kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he isn’t a bad guy. Charlotte wants to become a journalist who tells the truth – because the entire truth is important to her. Both of these characters grew on me and grew as people as the story progressed and that’s what I love to see in a story – character development.

Reece and Charlotte quickly cross pass with our favorites from Vengeance Road and I will admit, I squealed. A lot. It’s nice to see some familiar faces in a new story. It feels like coming home after a long journey. If you loved Vengeance Road, you will, without a doubt, love Retribution Rails!

I should mention that I listened to the majority of this story via audiobook and I would highly recommend the audio! There are two narrators, one for Reece and one for Charlotte, and for me, hearing someone speak in the western accent really helps set the mood of the novel. It is written as western speaking accents and while my New Yorker self cannot easily speak like that, I found listening to the audio quite enjoyable! (I also listened on 1.75x or 2x speed, since, like I said, my New Yorker self naturally speaks at 2x speed HA!)

As noted in the authors notes, a lot of what is said in this story is historically accurate, including when and where the railroads were build in Arizona. As with any story, it is mentioned some pieces were fabricated, but its great knowing there is historical accuracy to much of this story as well!

The ending left me wanting more, I need more answers!!! It was a fitting ending though, and I am satisfied with it.

After reading these two novels by Erin Bowman, I am very much looking forward to what she writes next and will have to go and read some of what she has written before Vengeance Road! She has proven herself as a strong writer and can’t wait to see what she puts out next!

Charlotte and Reece, I hope we meet again someday!


ARC Review: ‘Dear Martin’

Wow. Just wow. What a powerful and eye opening read! Add this to your TBR and read this book when it is released. Trust me.

Author: Nic Stone
Rating: 4/5 stars
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Dear Martin is set in Atlanta and follows 17-year-old Justyce McAllister, top of his class at a private boarding school and set for an Ivy League college following his graduation. Even when he wasn’t doing anything wrong, a (white) police officer assumed he was doing something criminal and arrested him. And that’s just the beginning.

Justyce has a journal he keeps throughout this book, a personal project he decided to start which involves writing letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – hence the title, Dear Martin. In these journal entries we hear Justyce’s point of view and how he feels.

This is a fast-paced 200-odd paged book that I finished in about 2 hours. (I’m usually a slow reader.) This isn’t normally something I would pick up, being a fan of fantasy most of all. But I am glad I received a copy of this book at Book Con 2017. I picked it up on a whim. And you know what? This was the first book from my pile that I read.

Justice is not served in America. You can watch the news or read a newspaper and see that. Things are by no means equal for whites and POC, no matter what anyone says. There is an eye opening argument/debate in this book where a white male character says it is unfair that he was not accepted into an Ivy League university meanwhile our protagonist Justyce was, only because schools have quotas they need to meet for African Americans and races besides Caucasian. This is literally what he argues. It has nothing to do with Justyce having the top grades to justify this acceptance, its goes straight to race.

Another point brought up is that if a white male and a black male committed the same crime, the black male would undoubtedly be tried harsher then the white male. Let’s just take a look at the evening news on any given day of the week and that is what we will see.

This book made me mad. It made me angry in that it is all 100% true. Justyce feels this too, that things aren’t fair and how he has to fight harder then his white counterparts. Despite receiving the same education, he will always be seen as less and need to work harder. In real life, as a white female, I don’t have these same struggles. While yes, women do have their own struggles in a world of men, I will admit simply being white affords me more opportunities and less judgment then a person of color would receive. So please please please seek out and read other reviews besides this one. Don’t take my word for it – but do read this book.

It was a short read and it could have gone into more depth, but I think this is a great conversation starter and a powerful read I would very much recommend to anyone who thinks justice is not justice at all. Or simply if you’re looking for a new perspective. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up when it’s released on October 17th, 2017.