17yo Josslyn lost her father, the Prime Minister, to an assassin a year ago during the Queen’s Gala. She’s attending the current Gala to support Celina, her best friend and the first daughter of the present Prime Minister, and to help Celina gain confidence. While at the Gala, Josslyn wanders to the art treasures display and accidentally absorbs magic when an artifact opens during the robbery she walked into. The robber, Jericho, knows the magic will cause swift action and punishment for Josslyn if the Queen finds out because she has completely banned all magic, so the two of them run and end up in the Queens prison after they search for help in removing the unwanted magic and discover they have something in common: the same assassin that killed Josslyn’s father, Lord Banyon, also killed Jericho’s parents. The magic Josslyn absorbed shows her Lord Banyon’s memories from sixteen years ago when he was being tortured and she continues to have these memories in full force, showing her a side of Lord Banyon that isn’t cruel at all. Lazos is the prison overlord and also a warlock who used to be the queen’s magic advisor, so Josslyn and Jericho ask him to get rid of the unwanted magic, but he strikes a deal first; Jericho must kill the beast in the prison before Lazos will help them. When the beast is discovered, many more secrets are revealed and the danger has just begun.
Likes/dislikes: This book is such a fun read! I enjoyed the humor and sarcasm. There’s plenty of action. The story is entertaining almost immediately and I loved the twists. Mature Content: PG-13 for brief, passionate kissing and underage drinking. Language: R for 115 swears and no f-bombs. Violence: PG-13 for bloody kicking, bloody shooting and bloody death. Ethnicity: Josslyn is white, the queen is white, Overlord is olive skinned, and all shapes, sizes and skintones are at the Fight Club.
Once again 17yo Enola becomes inadvertently involved in a mystery when a customer asks for help from the new false identity she’s using, Dr. Ragostin. This new London mystery is a missing man who was bitten by a rabid dog. His sister Caroline and best friend Rudyard Kipling ask for help in finding him. Enola throws herself into the search and comes across strange characters, a strong leader and an odd group with the mark of the mongoose. She’s determined to find the missing man no matter how much danger she puts herself in.
Likes/dislikes: I like how the author ties history into the fictional Enola Holmes’ stories. The author states what’s true history and what’s fictional in the ending notes. I enjoy Enola’s perseverance, bravery, and generosity. Mature content: none Language: PG for 6 swears and no f-bombs. Violence: PG for fighting. Ethnicity: Predominantly white.
17yo Merit is cursed to be a beast until she agrees to marry someone who her mother approves of. She meets 19yo Tevin, a professional conman, and they strike a bargain. Merit’s mother has set her up with three worthy candidates and Tevin is going to help Merit navigate their intentions because she doesn’t trust her instincts after being jilted by her boyfriend Jasper. Jasper left Merit after her mother offered him money to leave. Merit feels trapped by her mother and she doesn’t feel anything for the three candidates. As she confides in Tevin, the two of them become friends and more. As they work together, they unknowingly walk into danger and discover deception and they’re going to have to rely on each other more than they realize.
Likes/dislikes: I enjoyed the wonderful descriptions of the setting. The humor is cute and funny. I grew to love the charming characters. Mature content: PG for brief passionate kissing. Language: PG for 7 swears and no f-bombs. Violence: PG-13 for bloody death of an animal. Ethnicity: Merit is white, other characters are of mixed ethnicity, including fairy.
18 year-old Elwood runs away when he overhears his father talking about sacrificing him for the church he resides over in the Garden of Adam Community, located in the Upper Peninsula. He’s been told throughout his entire life that he’s a burden. He’s been punished and unloved by his parents. 18 year-old Wil is sure that her mother was sacrificed by the church and Elwood’s father. Wil and Elwood help each other hide from danger, investigate the community’s weird happenings, and try to find out what happened to Wil’s mother. Their lives will be thrown into chaos before it’s over.
Likes/dislikes: I enjoyed the creepy aspect of Elwood’s family and his father’s effect on the community. The prose represents beauty and pain, hurt and happiness, perfectly. The story was too quick to achieve well developed characters. Mature content: PG-13 for Underage drinking and smoking, passionate undescribed kissing (PG) Language: R for 79 swears and 6 f-bombs. Violence: PG-13 for Bloody sacrificing of a rabbit, sacrificing son by bleeding him to death, father plunges knife into son’s chest. Ethnicity: falls to white.
For 500 years, King Eidolon has harmed the Royal twins to prevent them from taking his ruling power over the Kingdom of Aryd. Meren, 19, is trying to save her twin sister Tabra who is under some horrific spell of shadow poison. With the help of several others, Meren is collecting amulets to stop the king once and for all. The group faces danger and deception and many challenges. The shadows threaten all.
Likes/dislikes: The concept of the story is interesting but new problems were randomly added which felt like unnecessary filler material. I became bored with the repetitiveness and filler content. I was not invested enough in the characters to make it an enjoyable read. Points of view transitions were confusing and disrupted the flow of the story. The first book of this series is much better.
Language: R for 124 swears and 5 f-bombs.
Mature Content: PG-13 for implied sex, woman with sheer top showing the dusky tips of her breasts. Vaguely detailed sex.
Violence: PG for non bloody death. Bloody injury.
Ethnicity: Ethnicity is predominantly white but there’s mention of a bluish black skinned, white haired character and another person with tawny skin.
Tamsin,17, and her brother Cabell are Hollowers. Their guardian Nash left them behind after taking them on hunting trips for artifacts and now they have to make it on their own. The two of them have been trying to decipher Nash’s journal and break the cipher so they can solve the mystery of what happened to him and rescue him. Tamsin realizes the artifact they’re looking for is the Servant’s ring and believes that they need to travel to Avalon, King Arthur’s resting place, to find the ring and Nash. They find their way to Avalon in the company of prestigious Hollowers who have their own agendas falling headfirst into danger beyond anything they expected and into the unknown that will change everything.
Horror with a touch of twisted humor that reminds me of Stephen King’s writing. When Louise receives the call from her brother Mark that their parents were in a fatal car crash, she flies home to take care of everything. What she walks into is nothing like she expected and a secret, that’s been held quiet for two generations, bursts their reality. Mark and Louise struggle with each other until they finally realize they need each other’s help to deal with the haunting of their family home. Interestingly creepy!
Laurel, 19, lives and works on her family’s tobacco farm in midwestern America. Her friends, Ricky, Garrett and Isaac work alongside her. When they find a mutilated deer carcass in the woods and follow the bloody trail, an ominous feeling surrounds them. Laurel receives a warning from the local psychic that danger is imminent and Laurel understands because she has been having vivid dreams too. When a supernatural creature appears in front of their car, Laurel and Isaac see the danger face-to-face and know they’re in deep trouble.
Likes/dislikes: I appreciate the content warning at the beginning of the book. I like the close friendship between the four main characters. Christine intrigues me and there’s a whole story behind her background that begs to be told. Language: R for 57 swears and 120 f-bombs. Mature Content: PG-13 for mention of smoking pot, underage drinking, brief kiss, implied petting. Violence: PG-13 for mutilated and bloody deer carcass found in the woods. Undescribed child abuse. Monster harming a person, dead rabbit. Dead body. Ethnicity: Laurel and her friends are White.
Kate enjoys her acting job until the series is cancelled due to an inappropriate relationship with the producer and another teen actress on the show. Since Kate is only 17, she takes a competency test letting her continue acting without having to attend school. Her parents make her get a job and pay some bills because she took the test without their knowledge and they want her to see how much responsibility adults have to deal with on a daily basis. While Kate’s working, she witnesses a double murder but no one, not even the police, believe her. She enlists Ty, her best friend’s brother, to help find evidence. The danger multiplies and Kate and Ty do everything they can to stay alive.
Likes/dislikes: Kate’s friend Rowan is self-centered which builds Kate’s independence. The mystery becomes intense and suspenseful. I enjoyed Ty’s upbeat and loyal personality. Mature Content: PG-13 for the mention of sexual assault, underage drinking, relationship between a 17 year old teen actress and her 38 year old boss mentioned. Implied sex, intense quick kiss. Implied kiss. Language: R for 105 swears and 27 f-bombs. Violence: PG-13 for three undescribed fatal shootings, bloody shot wound. Ethnicity: Kate is White and Ty and Rowan are Asian. Mexican American, Latino and Black police officers are also mentioned.
Catrin, 17 years old, finds a woman’s dead body that’s been mutilated by a murderer, so she becomes the main witness in helping Simon solve the case. Simon is the nephew of the Comte in charge of keeping the justice in Londunium but he wants to keep his son Oudin out of suspicion, so he assigns Simon to the case. The murders continue and several suspects come to light. Catrin uses her newly found magic that appears in moonlight to try to stop and prevent any more murders from happening and she receives the last thoughts of the fatally wounded women that will help find the killer. Catrin is adamantly protective of those she loves and does her best to stop the violence and the person behind it.
Likes/dislikes: The intensity of the mystery kept me riveted. The explanation of magic and the world building are written out nicely. I love Catrin, the main character because of her strength, loyalty to those she loves, bravery and intelligence.
Mature Content: PG for drug use mentioned, brief kiss, gentle kisses, urgent nondescript kiss. Language: PG for 8 swears and no f-bombs. Violence: PG-13 for Catrin finding a dead body that’s bloody and broken. The death is described with little detail. Description of a bloody death, implied sexual assault.