Warriors Into the Wild

Into the Wild (Warriors, #1) by Erin Hunter

My rating: five stars

Genre: middle grade

Edition: paperback

Goodreads Summary: For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger, and the sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying– and some deaths are more mysterious than others. In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary house cat named Rusty . . . who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

This book series is my childhood. I have been reading this series since I was little and stopped when I went to college and had no time to read. Now that I am out, I would love to re-read and get caught up on the entire series because I am dreadfully behind. I believe I have read somewhere up to the Power of Three series, but I know there are lot of new books since then and will hopefully get caught up in the next few years (there are over 50 books in the series so there is no way that I am going to get caught up soon).

Likes: This story brings so much nostalgia back to me. Re-reading this was like going back to my childhood and reliving reading it for the first time. That in itself made me love the reading experience. Then, the fact that it is a book about cat clans is just so fascinating to me. I love stories that have non-human characters, and the fact that all the characters in this series are non-human is just wonderful! I honestly wish they made more series like this for young adults or adults. As for the story though, I love the whole world and background of the story. The fact that there are these four clans who try and live in peace with each other while surviving the harsh environments is so cool. The “laws” and “government” that they have created is interesting and I love seeing how they have adapted to living together. I love that there are a few plots going on at the same time. Rusty is thrown into this new world which is a whole storyline, but at the same time there is a threat to ThunderClan that they must try and solve. It is just more complex than I would have thought from reading the synopsis. I love the characters, they seem distinct and realistic. Each character has a different personality and I love this uniqueness with them.

Dislikes: I understand why a lot of people in the clan were mean to Rusty – he was an outsider and they didn’t think he should be there. However, I don’t think that it seems realistic that other characters of authority wouldn’t say something. High up characters just let him get bullied and don’t say anything about it. I know that Bluestar isn’t his mother, but not only are they disrespecting Rusty, but they are also disrespecting her decision. It just seems out of character and like something that she would not put up with.

Overall, I loved this book when I was younger, and I still love it now. I gave it five stars because I truly do think it is a high-quality middle grade book and it brings so much joy to me when I read it.


Wildcard (Warcross, #2) by Marie Lu

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, dystopian

Edition: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

I really liked Warcross and so chose Wildcard as my next month’s audiobook. I usually prefer physical books of stories that I love, however, the audiobook for the first one was incredible that I decided to listen to the second one!

Likes: I still love the technology and game in this book. It focuses less on the game I think in this story, but I do still love the new things that are shown about it. We also get more into the potential positives and negatives that could come about because of the advanced technology and I enjoyed reading about those. It reminded me of Black Mirror in that it shows how technology can be beautiful but also destructive. The relationship between Emika and Hideo is an enigma to me. I love it and hate it and don’t know what to feel because of that. I want them to be together, and I don’t think that he is the worst person in the world (he is a great example of a bad guy with good intentions), but he is still a bad guy. I love how they bonded in the last story, and I still saw hope for them. A writer that can make me so conflicted is a powerful one. I also liked how we learned more about certain characters and their backstories. This helped make them seem more “real” and showed the motivations behind their actions. However, this is one of my negatives because while I learned more about most of the “good” characters, I did not learn much about the villain.

Dislikes: I did not care for the ending to this book or for one of the bad guy’s incentives. They just seemed so shallow and were not given a lot of depth or backstory that would allow me to understand them more. Also, how certain characters just believed the bad guy and let them do whatever they wanted was insane. It is hard to believe that they would get away with it. This is personally why I did not like the ending, it just seemed like the reasoning behind a lot of why what was happening, was happening, just didn’t make sense. I didn’t mind the very end, I am talking about leading up to it, there are certain spoiler events and revelations that I did not care for.

Overall, I did still really like this book and the series as a whole. The characters were fun, the world and the technology were innovative and enticing, and I did not mind the plot for the most part. I prefer more flushed out villains which I didn’t feel like I got in this story though. Therefore, I am deducting a star. I just didn’t get the satisfaction from the villain that I would have liked. I still am so glad that I read this series and look forward to reading more by Marie, she is truly a wonderful writer!

Glass Sword

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) by Victoria Aveyard

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

Edition: Hardback

Goodreads Summary: If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

After reading the bookclub book of October, I knew I just had to continue the Red Queen series. I loved the first one and had high hopes for the second. I was not disappointed (though it was a little slower than the first one)!

Likes: I like all the new powers that are discovered in this book. On her tour to find more New Bloods, Mare discovers so many interesting and unique-to-their-world abilities. Watching each person learn more about their abilities and what they can do with them was a great time! How Mare is dealing with the responsibility she feels over the New Blood’s and the whole war in general is heart wrenching. She wants to save people while at the same time she doesn’t know how to do that without turning into somehow who she doesn’t want to be. This made me really sympathize with her and want to help her, Victoria described this conflict in such a realistic way. THAT. ENDING. No spoilers, of course, but man that ending left me speechless. SO good. I really liked the character progression throughout the book. We meet new characters and get to see them grow and change (for good and bad) throughout the book and that was exciting to read about. I love the new technology and cities that we get to see. The first book mainly took place in the palace, so it is nice to be able to see more of the world of the Red Queen series.  

Dislikes: I honestly didn’t really dislike anything in this book. It tore at my heart in places but that just made it better. There was a character that wasn’t my favorite in the fact that they seemed to be rude and hateful to Mare, when I don’t think they should have been. It seemed a little on the unrealistic side, but I guess I could see where they were coming from.  

Overall, I loved this book. I love the plot, the characters, the abilities, and the writing style. This story is becoming one of my absolute favorites, and I really hope that King’s Cage is as good as the first two.  

Serpent & Dove

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

Edition: Hardback

Goodreads Summary: Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

This book was the October Barnes and Noble book club pick and I was honestly so excited to read it simply because the cover is GORGEOUS. I haven’t read too many books about witches, but I do like the ones that I have read, and I enjoy how each story describes magic systems differently. I was interested in how this book described the magic and I was not disappointed.

Likes: First off, I really like how they use their magic. It is basically a game of whit and trying to figure out how to get something out your magic, while not giving a lot, and somehow making it up in your mind that the two are equivalent. One reason I like fae stories is because of the intelligence required to lie without actually telling a lie, and this was similar. A lot of people had problems with this, but I liked the romance in this book. I think people’s main problem was how religious and strict he was. Growing up going to a Christian school from pre-school to senior year of high school, I understood it. It was realistic to me, and because of that I was able to see the little ways he was getting out of his comfort zone to try and do stuff for her. I was able to look past his strictness and see how he was coming to like/love her.

Dislikes: The way that the author describes certain people (people of color, bigger body types, etc.) was way different than how she describes others (white, skinny people). I will be honest and say that I did not notice at first… I am a person that is very unobservant, even when reading. After the book came out, I noticed that some of my favorite bookstagrammers and booktubers were talking about how they felt misrepresented and discriminated against. I went back and looked through it again and was surprised that I missed it! That is probably the only thing I disliked about it, but it is honestly such a big issue because it hurts people and sends a wrong message.

Overall, I really loved this story! I loved the characters, the magic system, and the plot. The only issue I had was with the discriminative writing. I honestly do not believe the author knowingly did this. However, that doesn’t excuse what has been done. I am docking a star for that and I really hope that the author listens to everyone and does better in the next book.

Red Queen

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

Edition: Hardback

Goodreads Summary: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

A few years ago, I read this book and the second one (Glass Sword), but I honestly didn’t remember much except that I loved it (my memory is so terrible…). Since it had been so long, I decided to reread this entire series, because I really want to finish it. Reading this book was like reading it for the first time, and I enjoyed it so much!

Likes: The class system and powers in this book are so interesting. The fact that people have different colored blood, and silver-blooded people have abilities and red-blooded people don’t is a system that is relatively unique. The powers are so cool too! The fact that abilities are based on bloodline, and each house a certain ability strain is awesome! Everyone in each house has a similar type of ability but they are also different. I like how Victoria describes how Mare learns how to use her abilities and what exactly her abilities allow her to do. It was fun to read about the training and the different tests that they had to grow in their abilities. This book not only had a unique and fun world, the storyline and characters were brilliant. There were twists and turns that I did not expect. I saw parts of it coming, but the ending still floored me! In the series Mare works with the Red Guard and reading about how they worked was fascinating. How they kept in contact and how they travelled around was neat to see.

Dislikes: Mare is forced to leave her family and pretend to be a princess. Though this seems like a bad plan, I honestly didn’t mind it because of how she was forced into this. What I do mind is how her friend/family acts. She goes back to visit them and her friend treats her like the enemy. The lie that she tells her family is that she is working there. I just feel like the writing was a little unrealistic here. I understand that they don’t really care for the Silvers, but she supposedly has a great job that makes great money for the family. The fact that her friend would treat her so badly seems unlikely to me.

Overall, this book blew my mind. The powers, the class system, the character dynamic, the plot twists, and the writing style floored me. This book is hyped up for a reason and I can’t wait to read the next one!


Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, sci-fi

Edition: Audiobook

Goodreads summary: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

I have been wanting to read Marie Lu’s writing for a long time. All three of her series seem incredibly interesting, but since I love gaming, I figured I should read Warcross first. I listened to the audiobook and it was great, I will probably listen to the rest of her books since I liked it so much.

Likes: As stated above, I love the narrators and listening to her book. Some books either have narrators I don’t care for, or the books themselves don’t translate to audiobook well. However, this one worked great in this form! As with the story itself, I love how Marie Lu describes the game. Creating and describing a video game sounds difficult, but she does it so well that I can picture the game as if I have played it before. The game sounds like so much fun, I wish that I could play it! The romance was cute, and though it seemed unrealistic, I didn’t mind it. I enjoyed most of the characters and how they learned to like each other and work together. Being able to learn about each character, and see their growth throughout the story, made me connect more to the story and come to love it.

Dislikes: Unfortunately, it was predictable to me. I won’t say exactly what since this is spoiler free, but there was a certain part of this that I saw coming since the beginning of the book. This book also seemed a little unrealistic to me. It is hard to imagine that someone so important, with so many resources, picked Emika to help him fix the security problem. I understand that she is incredible at what she does, but he is literally one of the richest, most famous men in the world. I just felt like there should have been another way that she was picked because it just seemed far-fetched.

Overall, this book was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the video game, the characters, and the way that they had to learn how to use team work to get past problems. The overarching story line wasn’t as interesting to me as the game was, but I still enjoyed it. I felt for the characters and wanted to learn more about them. The writing style was so good! It made me able to picture what was going on and made me invested in the characters which is what I look for in stories. This was a great book – five stars from me!

Permanent Record

Permanent Record by Mary Choi

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, contemporary, romance

Edition: ARC

Goodreads summary: After a year of college, Pablo is working at his local twenty-four-hour deli, selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies. He’s dodging calls from the student loan office and he has no idea what his next move is.

Leanna Smart’s life so far has been nothing but success. Age eight: Disney Mouseketeer; Age fifteen: first #1 single on the US pop chart; Age seventeen, *tenth* #1 single; and now, at Age nineteen…life is a queasy blur of private planes, weird hotel rooms, and strangers asking for selfies on the street.

When Leanna and Pab randomly meet at 4:00 a.m. in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn, they both know they can’t be together forever. So, they keep things on the down-low and off Instagram for as long as they can. But it takes about three seconds before the world finds out…

I had honestly never heard of this book, but then I received an ARC at BookCon. Once I read the synopsis I was immediately hooked. I don’t know why, but I love stories where one of the love interests is famous. I began seeing reviews of it online and a lot of people were rating it lower because they said the story wasn’t really a love story. They said that the book was focused more on Pablo’s financial situation than their relationship. This made me hesitate to read it, but I finally decided to pick it up and I am pleasantly surprised!

Likes: I like how Mary was able to show the struggles of two socio-economically different people. Not only did it bring to life the struggles of a young adult living on his own, trying to pay off student debt, while also paying for a New York priced apartment; it also showed the struggles of fame, and always being in the spotlight. I think that so many people want to be famous and get rich, without realizing that it is not all it is cracked up to be. I don’t personally have these struggles, but it is obvious how hard it must be for them, and because of books like this we can step in their shoes to see that it is not as easy and glamorous as people think. I believe Mary did a great job of describing each of their lives and the struggles that go along with them. These characters were so realistic. Sometimes in books, how the characters act doesn’t seem like something a real person would do. However, in this story, their actions were believable, and their thoughts, emotions, insecurities were so real it was heartbreaking. Also, I know a lot of people were saying that this story focuses more on Pab’s financial situation than their actual relationship, but I disagree. Sure, him struggling to come up with money is talked about a lot. However, that is the cause of some of his insecurities and family drama. It is a main part of why he acts and does the things that he does. I believe their relationship was a huge part of the book, the money was just a factor that led to certain events happening.

Dislikes: The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the ending. Sure, it was kind of a cliff hanger so anything can happen, but I just don’t see why certain things ended up the way they did.

Overall, this story was a fun and enjoyable read! I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other, I loved how it showed perspectives that we don’t get to see often in stories, and I love the growth that the characters exhibited towards the end. The only reason that I didn’t give this a five-star rating was that I didn’t feel like it was one of my favorite books. The main difference between a four and a five-star rating for me is a feeling that I get. A five-star rating is only for books that have me wanting to gush about it to other people, that has me thinking about it for a long time afterwards, and that has me thinking of it as one of my favorite reads. This book was amazing, and I didn’t have many problems with it, but I just didn’t get that spark of love towards it that I reserve for five-star ratings.

Our Dark Duet

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2) by Victoria Schwab

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, fantasy, dystopian

Edition: paperback


KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.



Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

I can’t believe it took this long to read this book after the first one, but I finally did! I wish I had read this duology a long time ago, because it is now one of my favorites! I honestly wish that it was a full long series instead of a duology. However, I am happy how it turned out.

Likes: The change in personalities Kate and August have gone through since the first book was so realistic and is something that most books are missing. So many tragic events happened in the first book, it makes complete sense that they would be different people. They were stronger in some ways, but in others they were haunted by their past. They were forced to be people they didn’t want to be in an effort to help humanity. It was a painful but beautiful thing to read about. I liked how we got to learn more about other characters in this story – mainly August’s family. We also got to learn more about how their army works and how the city is functioning now that Kate’s father is gone. The new monster in this story is awesome. Of course, it is bad, but how it works is interesting. This book was so complex and deep – even more so than the first one – that I would love to read it over and over just to see if I missed anything.

Dislikes: I am wracking my brain trying to think of something that I did not like, and I honestly can’t think of anything. The ending broke me, but in a good way, so I can’t really say that’s a dislike. Sorry, I don’t have one, I guess.

Overall, this book was incredibly intricate, on a level I haven’t seen in many books. It had me laughing, gasping, and sobbing. Victoria has a way of writing that brings emotions straight to the surface. I was so invested in this story, I would recommend this book to everyone and it is towards the top, if not at the top, of my favorite books of all time. Though I wish the series was longer, it wrapped up well and in a way that I think a continuation would ruin the beauty of the story.

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, fiction

Edition: Hardcover

Goodreads summary: Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

This was the September book club pick for the Barnes and Nobles YA Book Club. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have read this book if not for that, simply because contemporary is not my favorite genre and books that take place over a short time span aren’t my favorite. HOWEVER, I am so glad that I did read this!!

Likes: Having two authors writing the book from each of their own perspectives – as a black American and a white American – was interesting and I thought it made it sound more realistic. Sometimes you can tell when the author has not experienced something with how they write out scenes, but I think having two authors who grew up with different lives added an element of realism to the book. I loved how this book made me think. It made me ask hard questions and evaluate life around me and even my own life. It got me thinking and looking at life differently. I always enjoy books that make me look at the world in a new way and help me sympathize with the characters. This story did that and in that way, it was a perfect book for the book club because it really got us talking with each other for a long time trying to dissect this book. The way that the two girls find friendship is great. They were different in so many ways, and didn’t care for each other at the beginning, but they worked around their differences and learned to like each other for them. They found ways in which they were similar and learned from how they were different. It was beautiful to read about.

Dislikes: The main thing that I did not like was that Lena spends almost the entire book trying to get to her boyfriend, when he treats her like absolute garbage and does not care about anything other than impressing his friends. They could have avoided so many dangerous scenarios if they hadn’t spent so long trying to get to him. They literally continued walking through the riot trying to get to a tattoo shop that he was supposed to be at! The fact that he didn’t care that she was in so much danger and how poorly he treated her and her friend got on my last nerve. I also still do not enjoy books that take place in one day as much as others. The ending just seems like a cliff hanger. So much happened to the two main characters in such a short amount of time, I am extremely interested in how this affected them, which was never shown. It was just annoying that I didn’t get to see if there was any long-lasting character growth.

Overall, I thought this book was a fast read that had a lot of good, eye-opening content. I would have preferred it to be longer to see how all the new information and experiences affected the characters, but I still liked it. I think this book would broaden people’s view of the world and it did a good job in showing two completely different view-points. I think no matter who reads this, there is something to learn and get out of it.

Silent Kingdom

Silent Kingdom (Silent Kingdom, #1) by Rachel L. Schade

My rating: three stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

Edition: Kindle

Goodreads summary: Chosen by truth. Marked for death. Halia must choose to save her kingdom, or let it fall.

Misroth’s king has died, and the entire kingdom is in mourning—or so it seems. After her father is crowned regent in his brother’s stead, Princess Halia discovers a terrible truth that could end her life. But when she flees to live in hiding, she discovers that the Royal Guard are not all she has to fear. Dark creatures stalk her, reports of oppression and war reach her ears, and her burden to protect her kingdom—at any cost—will not be silenced.

I am the type of reader that likes to read several stories at once and who likes to read all the time. So that means that I usually have a physical book (or several), an audiobook, and an eBook going on. I honestly picked this book because it was free on Kindle and sounded interesting.

Likes: The storyline itself was pretty cool, the idea of only being able to speak the truth was something I don’t often see in fae-less books. The friends that she meets on her journey are fun and I really enjoyed their interactions. To be completely honest, this book had so much potential, I think the writing itself just wasn’t that great.

Dislikes: The writing. Throughout the book there were so many repetitions. She almost fell or did fall down like a million times in one chapter. This is the main one that I noticed, but there were so many other instances of repetitions – like her choking on her words. Along with that, the pacing was slow in the middle of the book which made it difficult to read. It seemed like the very beginning and the very end of the book was fast paced but this whole big chunk in the middle was slow. Overall, I thought this book had so much promise. The story line seemed interesting and I did enjoy the characters. However, the overly repetitive writing alongside the slow pace just didn’t do it for me. I ended up giving it three stars, though I am interested in what the rest of the books are like and if the writing gets any better.