Title: The Cost of Love
Author: Nicole Zoltack
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Thank you so much Nicole Zoltack for sending me a copy of your novel for review!
This is a spoiler free review J
Gabrielle meets Jacques, by chance, when sneaking into a celebration for the King and Queen. They immediately form a bond however something scares Gabrielle away. This small encounter leads to a beautiful relationship to form and sets off a chain of reactions that has major effects on the kingdom.
This is a short prequel to Of Cinder and Madness, a twisted retelling of Cinderella, and gives readers a glimpse into the history behind the beloved and mysterious characters. It tells the story of Eleanor’s parents falling in love and gives background of the story of how Eleanor ended up the way she is and has the powers she has. I loved the parallel between the well-known version of Cinderella and the love story of Gabrielle and Jacques. I appreciated the insight that this story gave into Gabrielle’s life and how she fell in love. It was an adorable story that was easy to read and answered questions I had in my mind while reading the original story. I can’t wait to read more of the Darkened Nights: History Books and learn more about this group of characters.
This series is great to pick up if you want an easy and fun read this summer to escape the heat!
Title: Can’t Buy Forever
Author: Susan Laffoon
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Thank you so much Susan Laffoon for sending me a copy of your novel for review!
This is a spoiler free review : )
Odessa Drake, a.k.a. Dessa, is a young woman living in the 1950’s at a boarding home full of an eclectic group of people. Dessa takes interest in one resident in particular, Nicholas, who has been a mystery to her for the past four years. Suddenly, there lives are entangled together and they form a bond stronger than Dessa understands. This bond takes her on a journey where she learns a lot about herself, Nicholas, and forgiveness.
This novel took some time to get into the rhythm of. The reader is not given explanation to the weird happenings around Nicholas and Dessa. It creates a vague tone around them that is interesting and enjoyable for lovers of mystery. It was purposeful and effective in creating the desired tone, however created confusion for me as a reader. I did enjoy how the author inserted clues about the truth behind Nicholas. It isn’t until the end when the reader discovers what these clues add up to and it is fun to go back through the story and understand what they all meant. I do recommend reading to the end if you are confused because it all eventually ties together.
Throughout the story, a lot of characters are introduced with little explanation. I would have loved to dive deeper into these characters and understand them and their connections. I was sometimes confused as to why characters were in the story and how they were connected to Nicholas and Dessa. Aside from the main characters, I appreciated the arc that Roark took because it was thoughtfully developed.
I did begin to appreciate the relationship that was formed between Dessa and Nicholas. It is so strong and pure. Throughout the four years it took for them to realize their feelings, their connection was continuing to grow into something uncommon and special. I do wish Dessa had more of a say in the happenings of the relationship because I couldn’t get into how some of the things went down (That is super vague because I don’t want to spoil lol). The plot twist at the end was also a bit difficult to get behind because it was so different from the norm. I commend the author for being original in the plot throughout the entire novel as it was very different from what I have previously read.
Title: The Fountain
Author: Suzy Vadori
Rating: 4/5 (I loved it)
I was sent a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.
This is a spoiler free review : )
This novel was shortlisted for an Aurora Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2016
When Ava Marshall went to a new school, St. Augustus, her junior year, she was nervous. She was in a new town with new people. One day, while traveling through the woods to visit her Gran, she stumbled across a white-stoned fountain sitting in the middle of an opening in the forest. Following her late mother’s advice, she made a wish. The next day, she found that her wish had come true and everything she had known was different. She and a classmate then set out to repair the damage that might have been caused by her wish, while forging a deep and unbreakable bond.
I have always loved a good boarding school story. When I was younger I had a huge desire to attend a boarding school. Maybe it was the prospect of little supervision or maybe I wanted to be Harry Potter, but it always appealed to me. This novel definitely fulfilled this desire. It incudes all the necessary components, a crazy/mysterious teacher, a little rule-breaking, and a protagonist who will do anything to achieve her goals, which I think is an incredible message for young readers. Although I would have loved a deeper look into Ava’s schooling life and aspects about the school, the readers are given a look into the history of the school, which I found interesting and original.
Let’s talk about Ethan. I will say this right now. Yes, there is a love triangle. I am usually against love triangles because I feel like they are overplayed in young adult literature however I wasn’t mad at this one. The author described it in such an elegant way that the reader doesn’t get that bitter taste in their mouth. It happened organically and naturally like it would in the real world. I adore the result of this love triangle and I think there was no question as to which choice Ava would go with.
Overall, the book was a fast and easy read. It helped pull me out of a very long reading slump, which I will be eternally thankful! I had no problems with any of the characters. I especially loved Ethan (forever in my heart). It was a subtle fantasy that is fast paced and enjoyable. A great read for middle-grade and young adult readers!
This is Suzy Vadori’s debut novel for young adults. She works as an Operations Executive and as an author.