Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Review: Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Dear Child
by Romy Hausmann 

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare.

She says her name is Lena. Lena, who disappeared without a trace 14 years prior. She fits the profile. She has the distinctive scar. But her family swears that she isn’t their Lena.

The little girl who escaped the woods with her knows things she isn’t sharing, and Lena’s devastated father is trying to piece together details that don’t quite fit. Lena is desperate to begin again, but something tells her that her tormentor still wants to get back what belongs to him…and that she may not be able to truly escape until the whole truth about what happened in the woods finally emerges.


Kritters Thoughts:  A woman and two kids in captivity, finally break free, but that is where the mystery begins.  Who held them captive?  What are their true identities?  Will they ever heal from the abuse?  

Told through three main points of view, a woman who calls herself Lena who was hit by a car while running away, a child named Hannah who came from the captive home and Matthias Beck, who is the father of the woman who disappeared 13 years ago as he tries to put all the puzzle pieces together and never gave up the hope of finding his daughter.  

I always judge a mystery by the final culprit.  Of course, I will not divulge where this book landed, but I will say that after reading this book and processing it for awhile, I am still unsure as to how I feel about who dun it!  They didn't come out of left field completely, but I wish they had been a little more involved throughout the book.  I liked how the story came together in the end, it was interesting to see it conclude, but wish the middle had a bit more.  

With hints of the book Room by Emma Donaghue, I would urge readers to know going in that there is a lot of disturbing scenes and if you are faint of heart when it comes to child abuse, then this may not be the book for you.  Seeing the story through a child's eye gave the story so much depth, but with that came extra heartache.    


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 98 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Flatiron Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Review: Two Reasons to Run by Colleen Coble

Two Reasons to Run
by Colleen Coble 

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A lie changed her world.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol. 

A crisis looms. 

When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged. 

A killer targets her son. 

Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good. 

She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays? 


Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a series where you should definitely start with book one as there are large character developments that happen from book to book.  The mystery is self contained in this book, but I am so thankful that I started with book one and am reading these books in order.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is back in this small town and is still dealing with the drama that happened to her in book one.  When a young man who works on an oil platform off the coast of Louisiana goes missing and a weird email from him surfaces, a larger mystery may be simmering under the surface and the police chief and maybe even the FBI need to get to the bottom of it and fast.  

For me this book wasn't my favorite from this author.  I like this main character and am glad to follow her from book one to book two and will be waiting on book three to arrive, but my reason for not loving this book was the mystery at the heart of it.  I always hate to spoil especially with mysteries, but to say it as best as possible, I didn't love the "bad people's" reason for doing all the bad things they did.  It felt far fetched and thrown together in the end.  I almost wish they had other motives to do the things they did that would have felt a little more legit for all the stuff they did.  

Thankfully I liked Police Chief Jane Hardy, so I wanted to finish this book to read about her and where she was going and she is the big push that I have to complete the series with book three. 


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Partner in Crime Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

With a very quiet weekend and some rainy days, I had some great reading time curled up with some good books.  

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger
Duty of Care by Dominic Pimenta (audiobook)
The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B Moore
Autumn Skies by Denise Hunter
Christmas at Fireside Cabins by Jenny Hale

Currently Reading:
Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Next on the TBR pile:
Home at Summer's End by Alys Murray

Friday, September 25, 2020

Review: Warrior Won by Meryl Davids Landau

Warrior Won
by Meryl Davids Landau

Publisher: Alignment Publishing
Pages: 271
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Everything is going great in Lorna Crawford’s life. She is married to a fantastic guy, is mom to an adorable two-year-old with another child on the way, has a posse of girlfriends, and recently landed a new job. The spiritual practices she has made a centerpiece of her life—yoga, mindfulness, meditation—are becoming second nature. But four months into her pregnancy, Lorna learns there may be something wrong with her unborn baby, a prospect that throws her life and her inner peace into turmoil. Over the next few months as a diagnosis awaits, Lorna is helped along by breathwork, family yoga, appreciation exercises, crystal-bowl relaxation, Ayurveda, chanting, spiritual reading, and more. Will all this be enough to get Lorna through the months of not-knowing—and possibly a devastating diagnosis?


Kritters Thoughts:  If ever there was a character that is the most unlike me, it could be Lorna Crawford.  A mother who is pregnant with her second and has recently found a lifestyle that really incorporates a mindfulness with meditation and yoga in order to go through life with an abundance of confidence and positivity.  

Although this character was far from my experience, I appreciated moving through her life through her eyes.  As a woman who isn't a mother, I was glad that Lorna had stressors in her life that were both personal and professional and as a mother and wife, I could relate to her moments in the office as she tried to keep her mindful spirit while also working a corporate job.  I can see myself adopting some of her techniques to get through a stressful moment or see the positivity in a person when I am having a hard time doing so!  

The ending!  Without spoiling anything, I was so frustrated with the ending.  I wanted more story when it ended.  I needed a conclusion and less unknown.  I felt as though the author left too much up to interpretation or is a sequel coming?


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row



Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Review: She Gets That From Me by Robin Wells

She Gets That From Me
by Robin Wells 

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 367
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Quinn never expected that her best friend’s courageous decision to be a single mother by choice would end up transforming her own life in this poignant novel from USA Today bestselling author Robin Wells.

When Quinn Langston’s best friend unexpectedly passes away, Quinn embraces Brooke’s three-year-old daughter Lily and elderly grandmother Margaret as the family she’s always wanted. She’ll do whatever it takes to help them heal, but she didn’t anticipate Lily’s biological father would be part of the plan. Margaret is old-fashioned, though, and she has no compunction about finding a way to reach Lily’s dad, a sperm donor. After all, he's a blood relative, and she believes family should raise family.

Zack Bradley doesn't know what to expect when he finds out he has a child. Sperm donors don't usually get to meet their...well, he's not sure what to call Lily yet, but he’s certain he wants to get to know her. There’s just one of problem: he’s about to move to Seattle with his wife, Jessica, who’s undergone multiple infertility treatments, desperately wants a family of her own and can’t stand the idea of Zack playing daddy to another woman’s child.

Together, they’ll all learn that the human heart is infinitely expandable and there are many different roads to family.


Kritters Thoughts:  What an amazing story!  It challenges the definition of custody of parental rights and of the definition of family and how families are created.  

Quinn Langston may not be Brooke's biological sister but she has always seen herself as an aunt to her child that she had via a sperm donor and has always promised to look after her if something happened to Brooke and when something does she must uphold that promise.  What she doesn't expect is the sperm donor to walk through the door and possibly interrupt the plans she had for Lily and herself.  

Although motherhood isn't in the plans for me, I can appreciate a story where a woman finds motherhood the way she wants to and decides to define family the way she cares to.  Even though I hated how the sperm donor was brought into the book, I loved the journey that Zack and Quinn have and all the ups and downs they had to figure out what would eventually work for them and for Lily.

If you like true women's fiction with great plot and relatable characters then this is just the right book for you.    


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 97 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Review: Eli's Promise by Ronald Balson

Eli's Promise
by Ronald Balson 

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  1939: Eli Rosen lives with his wife Esther and their young son in the Polish town of Lublin, where his family owns a construction company. As a consequence of the Nazi occupation, Eli’s company is Aryanized, appropriated and transferred to Maximilian Poleski—an unprincipled profiteer who peddles favors to Lublin’s subjugated residents, and who knows nothing at all of construction. An uneasy alliance is formed; Poleski will keep the Rosen family safe if Eli will manage the business. Will Poleski honor his promise or will their relationship end in betrayal and tragedy?

1946: Eli resides with his son in a displaced persons camp in Allied occupied Germany hoping for a visa to America. His wife has been missing since the war. One man may know what has happened to her. Is he the same man who is now sneaking around the camps selling illegal visas?

1965: Eli Rosen rents a room in Albany Park, Chicago. He is on a mission. With patience, cunning, and relentless focus, Eli navigates Chicago's unfamiliar streets and dangerous political backrooms, searching for the truth. Powerful and emotional, Eli’s Promise is a rich, rewarding novel of World War II and a husband’s quest for justice.


Kritters Thoughts:  Before diving into this book, I was already a Ronald Balson fan.  I was intrigued to read a book that was not a part of his series and for it to stand alone.  I was excited to see him tackle a different character's story and see what he would do.  

Told through one mans eyes in basically three time frames - The first, Eli Rosen was a Jewish businessman in Poland when Hitler and his cohorts were invading Europe and he was in a lucky spot with a Nazi sympathizer finding favor in him.  Maximillian Poleski was able to him stay safe much longer than most Jewish people could as Hitler and his followers started exterminating an entire race.  The second is Eli after he has been rescued from a concentration camp and has become a leader in a DP camp and someone from his past may make another appearance.  The final glimpse into Eli's life is in 1965, and he is in Chicago and in pursuit of some real bad guys and he is hoping to finally make sure that those get what they deserve.  

What a book!  Between the three timelines, I enjoyed reading the times he was in the DP camp and in Chicago much more than 1946 as Europe is falling into Nazi hands and not because of the obvious, but goodness gracious, I wanted to hit Eli up the head for his repeated actions!  I don't want to give too much away, but in those pages he was a character that greatly frustrated me and I wanted so much more for him and his family.  

The stories at the DP camp had a glimmer of hope which I appreciated in a story that could seem very dismal and negative.  I loved that the plot in Chicago wasn't present day and still felt historical and perfectly placed in its time.  

I wouldn't not read this book because I didn't love one of the three plots because those pages laid the groundwork for the other two, but I possibly wouldn't have edited them down and would have given the Chicago storyline a few more pages.

If you haven't Ronald Balson this would be a great introduction and if you have read his Liam and Catherine series, then pick this one up and enjoy!      


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 99 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

A busy week and weekend, with fall weather coming in, there will be more curl up with books kind of days!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Eli's Promise by Ronald Balson
Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais

Currently Reading:
Duty of Care by Dominic Pimenta (audiobook)
Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Next on the TBR pile:
Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Friday, September 18, 2020

Review: Before the Crown by Flora Harding

Before the Crown
by Flora Harding

Publisher: One More Chapter
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Before the crown there was a love story…

Windsor Castle, 1943

As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before.

One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure.

But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court.

He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…


Kritters Thoughts:  Before I proceed, I was pretty sure before I even started this book that I would like it since I am an American who is obsessed with the British royal family and this did not disappoint!

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip had quite the interesting courtship story and I have seen tv shows and movies and seen all the things, but a fictional story that gets really behind the scenes felt like something completely new.  From their introduction to the wait after being engaged, this story hit all the high points and my hope is that some of the details are possibly spot on and closer to fact than fiction!

It is awkward to talk about the characters or plot in this book as they are true people and the events are based in fact.  I can say the author wrote a story that was addicting and hard to put down and I couldn't wait to see where she would go next and where she would place the ending.  I was completely satisfied with where she chose to conclude the book.

If you are already a royal fan, this is a great book to add to your collection.  And with my recent read of The Royal Governess by Wendy Holden it was interesting to see Crawfie show up in this book and to know her role in Elizabeth's life.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 95 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Review: Remember Me by Mario Escobar

Remember Me
by Mario Escobar 

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Historians refer to the Spanish Civil War as one of the bloodiest wars of the twentieth century. In 1937, at Mexico’s request and offer, nearly 500 children from Spain—remembered as Los NiƱos de Morelia—were relocated via ship to Mexico to escape the war’s violence. These children traveled across the sea without their families and were expected to return at the war’s end. No one could have foreseen another world war was on the way—or that that Franco’s regime would prevent the children from coming home. These enduring conflicts trapped the children in a country far from their homeland, and many never made it back.


Kritters Thoughts: My second encounter with Mario Escobar and this one was just as good as the first!  Focusing on the Spanish Civil War and the many communities that the fighting affected through three children as they have to flee their home country in order to find safety while their parents remind behind to fight the war.  A combination of a "road trip" story as the children are moving from one place to another and a historical fiction with a real focus on time and place and the feelings that time has on its survivors.  

I love a book about war that is focusing on children as not all books can take that viewpoint.  Marco Alcalade is a young boy that was given a large responsibility to take care of his two younger sisters as they flee Spain to Mexico in hopes of a safe place to escape their hometown in the middle of war.  I often while reading had to remind myself of Marco's age and his sister's ages as there were times where he was maybe presented a little bit older than he really was.  I know that Marco had to man up for this adventure, but there were just a few times where I wish the young adult in him could have come out more.    

For me, one of the things I really loved was reading a book set partly in Spain and listening to places that I visited be described.  I could really visualize some parts of this book and for me that makes the book come even more alive.  

There is one more book by Mario Escobar that I haven't read that has been translated and after reading this one, I may have to read it soon to say I am all caught up on his English work.  I love his plot, characters, time and place.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row



Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Review: Containment by Nick Thacker

Containment
by Nick Thacker

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 306
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When there’s nothing left to lose, there’s no limit to what you’ll risk.

Jake Parker’s world collapsed with the violent death of his wife during a police-led raid. In the awful aftermath, he hung up his detective’s badge for good. Now ex-military, ex-police, he has embraced a simple civilian life. But when a deadly new disease begins to threaten American lives, Jake is dragged out of his self-imposed retirement.

When a young family at a remote detention center die from a mysterious illness, Jake is contacted by a government official to launch a covert investigation. An unknown disease has entered the system, causing agonizing death and visible signs of blood pooling beneath the skin, and it seems to be spreading. If Jake can’t get on the ground quickly to eliminate the threat before it becomes an epidemic, countless more innocent lives could be at risk.

With the help of medical professor Eliza Mendoza, Jake heads to the border, but what they uncover there is evidence that this devastating disease is man-made, and part of a calculated plot aimed right at the heart of government. With powerful forces ranged against him, Jake must use all his ingenuity to bring down the ruthless organization behind the attack. Failure is not an option.


Kritters Thoughts:  If you are not as emotionally affected by the pandemic as you were back in March and April or if this is years later and the pandemic is a thing of the past, then this book is an interesting read to see a different kind of pandemic.  In this book, a disease that isn't easily transferrable, but is extremely deadly was captivating because it was so different from the current pandemic that we are in in 2020. 

The start of a series with a main character of Jacob Parker who left the police department after a military career in the midst of a drama and tragedy.  He is pulled into a case as a private detective for the Director of ICE as something seems to be inflicted on detainees in ICE centers as they are entering America and Parker is instructed to assemble a team and get to the bottom of it.  

Parker was a great character to follow through this story.  I loved his methodical approach, moving from one piece of evidence to the other.  I liked that he had Eliza by his side and that she had her own expertise and that she was able to shine when she was more educated on a topic more than Parker.  

With this mystery, I don't want to say too much because the ins and outs were just so interesting and a combination of mystery/thriller with some politicking were just spot on in this book.  I wouldn't want to spoil anything if this book is up your alley.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Ebook 2020 Challenge: 93 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Review: The Librarian of Boone's Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

The Librarian of Boone's Hollow
by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback and rediscovers her passions in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.

During the Great Depression, Addie Cowherd dreams of being a novelist and offering readers the escape that books gave her during her tragic childhood. When her adoptive father loses his job, she is forced to leave college and take the only employment she can find--delivering books on horseback to poor coal mining families in the hills of Kentucky.

The small community of Boone's Hollow is suspicious of outsiders and steeped in superstitions that leave Addie feeling rejected and indignant. Although she finds an unexpected friend in an elderly outcast, the other horseback librarians scorn her determination to befriend Nanny Fay.

Emmett Tharp grew up in the tiny mountain hamlet where most men either work in the coal mine or run moonshine. He's the first in the community to earn a college degree, and he has big dreams, but witnesses the Depression robbing many young men of their future.

Then someone sets out to sabotage the library program, going so far as to destroy Addie's novel in progress. Will the saboteur chase Addie and the other librarians away, or will knowledge emerge victorious over prejudice? Is Emmett the local ally that Addie needs--and might their friendship lead to something more?


Kritters Thoughts:  The third book I have read this year that focuses on the packhorse librarians and their impact to their communities.  This book is told through Addie Cowherd who is not from the community in Kentucky where she ends up working as a librarian and the outside feeling is a huge theme in this book.  

I think the only big similarities in the books is their laser focus on the packhorse librarian concept.  I don't mind when historical fiction books end up looking at the same moment in time - how many World War II books come out each month?!  The other thing that felt similar was the inclusion of a character who is abusive and I can imagine that people living in this moment in time with limited resources and the inability to take care of themselves could resort to violence to try to "solve" their problems.  

The outsider feeling for me was the standout theme of the book and I appreciated how the author made me the reader feel even more of an outsider as I saw these communities through the eyes of Addie.  She was shunned so much and I wanted to shake the people that she was there for honest reasons.  

This book didn't highlight the people receiving the books as much as the other two packhorse books did and I think I missed that.  We learned more about the librarians themselves, but I would have enjoyed learning more about those who were getting the books and what that meant to them.  

If you have read the other two packhorse librarian books, I would still suggest you read this one to complete the circle.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Ebook 2020 Challenge: 90 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from WaterBrook & Multnomah.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Review: Exploring the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

Exploring the White House
by Kate Andersen Brower

Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Pages: 240
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Have you ever wondered what exactly goes on inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Sure, the president of the United States works and resides there, but do you know who helps keep this historic house running?

It’s no simple task, especially when there are important state events and foreign dignitaries—in addition to presidential pups, mischievous children, and even a couple of ghosts. And its Residence workers and first ladies make sure everything is in check and running smoothly.



Kritters Thoughts:  Before reading this book, I was already a fan of Kate Andersen Brower.  She has written some great behind the scenes books of Washington DC and its famous inhabitants.  I was excited before even opening this book that Brower had put together this more young adult level book about the many jobs and people who keep the White House running - most excited to read it and purchase it for my niece who has an obsession about past Presidents!

Going from duty to duty, Kate Andersen Brower described the different types of jobs that keep this great house running from President to President and through all sorts of points in history.  The moments that I loved reading about where the personal moments that these people have while doing their jobs with people who are trying to balance a very hard job, the Presidency, while also trying to maintain their personal and family lives.  

The transition from President to President is laid out in this book and what a coordinated effort it must be.  I was so intrigued about the months of preparation it takes for this to go smoothly.  While a candidate is campaigning, they are also answering what if questions about a possible move into the White House.  I can't imagine preparing for a move that may never happen.  

I loved this book and anticipate purchasing a few copies for other President and history buffs like me!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 89 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

I didn't get as many done this week with a special guest spending the weekend at our house!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Rejected Writers Take the Stage by Suzanne Kelman
The Rejected Writers' Christmas Wedding by Suzanne Kelman
She Gets That From Me by Robin Wells
Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Currently Reading:
Eli's Promise by Ronald Balson

Next on the TBR pile:
Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Friday, September 11, 2020

Review: These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin

These Vengeful Hearts
by Katherine Laurin 

Publisher: Inkyard Press
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Anyone can ask the Red Court for a favor...but every request comes at a cost. And once the deed is done, you're forever in their debt.

Whenever something scandalous happens at Heller High, the Red Court is the name on everyone's lips. Its members--the most elite female students in the school--deal out social ruin and favors in equal measure, their true identities a secret known only to their ruthless leader: the Queen of Hearts.

Sixteen-year-old Ember Williams has seen firsthand the damage the Red Court can do. Two years ago, they caused the accident that left her older sister paralyzed. Now, Ember is determined to hold them accountable...by taking the Red Court down from the inside.

But crossing enemy lines will mean crossing moral boundaries, too--ones Ember may never be able to come back from. She always knew taking on the Red Court would come at a price, but will the cost of revenge be more than she's willing to sacrifice?


Kritters Thoughts:  A clear YA novel that takes place in a high school that has a not so secret, secret society that rules the school.  Ember Williams has been working hard to create a resume that would be appealing for her to be asked to join the Red Court in her high school.  With a vendetta to take them down due to a life altering injury that happened to her sister, Ember is thankful when she is asked to join and is ready to take them down in anyway.  

I can appreciate a good YA book, even though they aren't my typical read anymore.  I love that this book had a great plot with great characters that I liked following through the ups and downs.  I was glad that the teenage drama was kept to a minimum, so I wasn't rolling my eyes at unnecessary drama.  

Ember was great.  She wasn't a goodie two shoes, but definitely not the mean girl.  I liked that she was a middle of the road girl, but had a moral code where she could see the faults of some of the things she was surrounded by.  I appreciated that she had some learning moments and made some faults, but definitely grew from the beginning to the end of the book.  

All in all, I would recommend this book, especially to readers who are a fan of the young adult genre.  


Rating: great YA read


Ebook 2020 Challenge: 92 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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