Title: Rise to the Sun
Author: Leah Johnson
Pub. Date: July 6, 2021
Pub: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA LGBTQ Contemporary
Three days. Two girls. One life-changing music festival.
Olivia is an expert at falling in love . . . and at being dumped. But after the fallout from her last breakup has left her an outcast at school and at home, she’s determined to turn over a new leaf. A crush-free weekend at Farmland Music and Arts Festival with her best friend is just what she needs to get her mind off the senior year that awaits her.
Toni is one week away from starting college, and it’s the last place she wants to be. Unsure about who she wants to become and still reeling in the wake of the loss of her musician-turned-roadie father, she’s heading back to the music festival that changed his life in hopes that following in his footsteps will help her find her own way forward.
When the two arrive at Farmland, the last thing they expect is to realize that they’ll need to join forces in order to get what they’re searching for out of the weekend. As they work together, the festival becomes so much more complicated than they bargained for, and Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other, and music, more than they ever could have imagined.
Packed with irresistible romance and irrepressible heart, bestselling author Leah Johnson delivers a stunning and cinematic story about grief, love, and the remarkable power of music to heal and connect us all. Continue reading “Book Review: Rise to the Sun” →
Title: A Dance with the Fae Prince
Author: Elise Kova
Pub. Date: August 19, 2021
Pub: Silver Wing Press
Genre: YA/NA Fantasy Romance
Cinderella meets The Cruel Prince in this stand-alone fantasy romance about a human girl and her marriage to the prince of the fae.
She knew her hand in marriage would be sold. She had no idea a fae prince was the buyer.
Katria swore she’d never fall in love. She’s seen what “love” means through the cruelty of her family. So when she’s married off to the mysterious Lord Fenwood for a handsome price, all Katria wants is a better life than the one she’s leaving. Feelings are off the table.
But her new husband makes not falling in love difficult.
As their attraction begins to grow, so too do the oddities within her new life: strange rules, screams in the night, and attacks by fae that Katria never thought were real. When she witnesses a ritual not meant for human eyes, Katria finds herself spirited away to the land of Midscape.
Surviving the fae wilds as a human is hard enough. Katria must survive as a human who accidently pilfered the magic of ancient kings – magic a bloodthirsty king is ready to kill her for in order to keep his stolen throne – and her new husband is the rightful heir in hiding.
The power to save the fae is in her hands. But who will save her from a love she vowed never to feel? Continue reading “Book Review: A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic #2)” →
Author: Lauren Jade Case
Pub. Date: August 17, 2021
Pub: Not Listed
Genre: YA Fantasy
“You’re like starlight itself, Natalia. You burn with all the power and shine of a star.”
Natalia Whitebell wanted her eighteenth birthday to be a simple affair and not for there to be a giant scorpion, a wolf, and a body at her doorstep. But in a blink, it all disappears.
When she finally does get to celebrate with her best friend, there’s gossip from the Island locals about a new family having moved in and of a large dog running wild – but no mention of more.
She thinks she’s going mad. Until she’s attacked in her own home just one day later.
Rescued and taken in by the new family, Natalia discovers the world isn’t so black and white. Stuck in an endless war, there are Monsters and there are Creatures. And she’s one of them.
While she cannot seem to reveal her true form, sealing her deal with trouble, she must accept this life that was always meant to be hers. It’s time she learnt the truth and acquire help from her father, the new family, and one boy in particular.
But there is a darkness lurking, waiting for her to unfurl. Continue reading “Book Review: Starlight (The Starlight Trilogy #1)” →
Title: In the Same Boat
Author: Holly Green
Pub. Date: July 20, 2021
Pub: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
In the Same Boat is the hugely entertaining blend of romance and thrilling adventure that you never knew you needed.
Sadie Scofield is just a few days away from the race of a lifetime. The Texas River Odyssey may be 260 miles and multiple days of arduous canoeing where every turn of the river reveals new dangers-downed trees, alligators, pitch black night-but those dangers pale in comparison to going another year knowing that her father is ashamed of her.
Last year, Sadie caused a disastrous wreck that ended her father’s twenty year streak of finishes, and he’s never looked at her the same. Now, she knows that finishing the race with her brother, Tanner, is her one shot to redeem herself. She’s ready for anything…except Tanner ditching her for another team at the last minute.
Sadie grits her teeth and accepts that she has to team up with Cully, her former best friend turned worst enemy. It’s irritating enough that he grew up to be so attractive, but once they’re on the river it turns out he’s ill-prepared for such a dangerous race. But as the miles pass, the pain of the race builds, they uncover the truth about their feuding families, and Sadie’s feelings for Cully begin to shift. Could this race change her life more than she ever could have imagined?
With an unforgettable heroine and an immersive setting, Holly Green’s captivating debut promises heart-stopping action and a swoony romance that will leave you cheering. Continue reading “Book Review: In the Same Boat” →
Title: Bonded Fate
Author: Beck Michaels
Pub. Date: August 3, 2021
Pub: Pluma Press
Genre: YA Fantasy
The stakes are higher, new questions will surface, and more blood will spill in the thrilling sequel of the Guardians of the Maiden fantasy series.
Reeling from Cassiel’s confession, Dyna struggles to understand what the Blood Bond means for them both, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of a newfound enemy. When reuniting with a familiar sorceress, she realizes the only way to defeat Tarn is to find her Guardians—all of them.
Cassiel never meant to tie himself to a human, especially one that inexplicably draws him. But then the bond develops a startling change, and it puts into question everything he thought he knew.
Zev straddles the line between human and wolf, unsure if his dark thoughts truly belong to the Madness. It’s growing stronger, determined to take over—and he may just let it.
The journey to get the answers they each need will test them all. But what Dyna doesn’t know is that it comes with a price, and it may cost more than she bargained for. Continue reading “Book Review: Bonded Fate (Guardians of the Maiden #2)” →
Well, I made the decision.
I need to take a proper step back and just take a break.
I’m totally stressing about this – which clearly means I need a break.
But I need blogging to become fun again, and stop being a chore. Because that’s what it has become – a chore. And I hate that. I hate that I have to force myself to read books and review them.
This won’t be a full step back because I do have some posts already planned/promised. I have a couple of ARCs I agreed to review in exchange for reviews, so those will be up throughout the month. But for the most part, I’m going to be MIA on here.
It might not look it, but blogging – running Writing the Universe – is a full-time job. And between it and my paying FT job and the insane OT I’m putting in; I’m stressed and tired all of the time. And unfortunately, blogging doesn’t pay me – so it’s got to be pushed to a back burner temporarily. I really hate doing this, and like I said, it’s stressing me out to do so, but I need a break. I need a breather.
So I just wanted to pop on here real quick and let y’all know that I’m going on a mini-semi hiatus. I’m trying to be more active on Instagram and I’m always scrolling Twitter. I’m going to keep reading and occasionally sharing my thoughts on those platforms. But I’m going to take this month and keep writing reviews and doing some other posts so when September rolls around, I’ll have some stuff pre-written and ready to go.
I do have a question – will you still want to see my July Book Haul & Wrap Up posts come September? Let me know in the comments.
With that being said, I’m gonna go curl up on my bead and knock out a little more of my current read before crashing. I might be on vacation, but one does not get to sleep in until all hours when there is a houseful of people LOL.
I’ll see y’all in September!