What They Don’t Know Review

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • ISBN-10: 1492672653

 

Three secrets. One decision. A friendship that will change everything.

Mellie has always been the reliable friend, the good student, the doting daughter. But when an unspeakable act leads her to withdraw from everyone she loves, she is faced with a life-altering choice―a choice she must face alone.

Lise stands up―and speaks out―for what she believes in. And when she notices Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her…all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.

Told through Mellie and Lise’s journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie’s struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the two girls on their journey.

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Tawney’s Review: This was a very emotional book that drew me in immediately.

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I will warn readers that this book does discuss rape and if you have a hard time with the subject it might not be for you. In the first chapter you find out that Mellie was raped and is pregnant. She is considering her options but belonging to a large family with a father running for mayor and part of a very strict Christian church who is pro-life she might not have many. She has always followed her family beliefs but after the rape her eyes are opened to a whole different world.

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Lise is fierce with her beliefs and standing up for people. She used to be friends with Mellie until they were driven apart due to Mellie and her church’s belief. Now Lise wants to help Mellie. Told in alternating views of each girl the reader follows a journey of two very different girls that are brought together under tragic circumstances.

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This book was very realistic on a horrid subject and the struggle teenage girls go through each day. I deeply connected with both girls. Lise and Mellie both had to deal with different problems but in the end they came together to help one another. The author does a wonderful job at making the characters real and playing with the reader’s heart.

Should you read it? Yes! A beautifully tragic book every teenager should read regarding some tough subjects with a dramatic story of friendship and how we are not alone in the world.

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FYI: I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. All opinions are my own

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A Sorrow Fierce and Falling Review

  • Series: Kingdom on Fire (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0553535986

It’s time for war.

After suffering terrible losses, Henrietta and Lord Blackwood have led their warriors to Sorrow-Fell, a vast estate where only those invited by a Blackwood may enter–and the ideal place to plan a final assault against the Ancients.

It’s time for a wedding.

Henrietta nervously awaits her marriage to Blackwood, but when the ritual to become his bride reveals a dark secret, she realizes that Sorrow-Fell is not a safe haven; it’s a trap. Convincing the sorcerers of this, however, is not easy. So with Maria, the true chosen one, and Magnus, the young man who once stole her heart, at her side, Henrietta plots a dangerous journey straight into the enemy’s lair. Some will live. Some will die. All will be tested.

In this stunning conclusion to the Kingdom on Fire series, Henrietta must choose between the love from her past, the love from her present, and a love that could define her future. While battles rage, the fate of the kingdom rests on her decision: Will she fall or rise up to become the woman who saves the realm?

It’s time for Henrietta to make her stand.

 

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Tawney’s Review:  It’s so good to be back in Henrietta’s world!

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Jessica Cluess wraps up a wonderful trilogy nicely but not without adding stress and emotions to the reader. We pickup right after the second book ended where Henrietta and Lord Blackwood fled to Sorrow-Fell. Henrietta and Lord Blackwood’s relationship is also tested, even though they are planning their wedding, as they both have different views defeating the Ancients. It’s heartbreaking to see but adds a depth of realism as some people might not fit together after all.

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Filled with adventure, deceit, and love this fantasy will keep the reader turning every page until the end. The pace is quick as things need to be concluded and once you read the first chapter you are sucked in until the very last page. Jessica does a wonderful job at drawing the reader in with vivid description.  A whirlwind of emotions from rage to grief to happiness will be played. The conclusion of the series ended perfectly and I have no complaints, only just a few disappointments, but everything was wrapped up nicely.

 

Should you read it? Yes! A wonderful fantasy with a great conclusion to an epic trilogy.

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The Storm Runner Review

A contemporary adventure based on Maya mythology from Rick Riordan Presents!
Zane Obispo spends every day exploring the sleeping volcano in his backyard. “The Beast,” as he calls it, is the one place where he can escape other kids, who make fun of him because he has a limp and walks with a cane.
After a twin-engine plane crashes into The Beast, a mysterious girl named Brooks shows up at Zane’s doorstep, insisting that they meet at the volcano, where she will reveal a terrible secret. Zane agrees, mostly because beautiful girls like her don’t usually talk to him. Brooks tells him that the volcano is actually a centuries-old prison for the Maya god of death, whose destiny is directly tied to Zane’s. No way, Zane thinks. He’s just a thirteen-year old nobody, and destiny or no destiny, he wants nothing to do with any of it, especially some god of death.
But Brooks opens his eyes to the truth: magic, monsters, and gods are real, and Zane is at the center of an ancient prophecy that could mean the destruction of the world. Suddenly finding himself entangled in a web of dangerous secrets, Zane embarks on a quest that will take him far from home and test him to the very core.
Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.

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Tawney’s Review: I’m a big fan of mythology and thanks to Rick Riordan Present’s we get to see more than just the Greek and Roman mythology.
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Zane Obispo lives in the desert and is home schooled due to being bullied but on the plus side he has a volcano in his backyard! He also is disabled with a constant limp due to having mismatched legs, which he uses a cane for. Zane doesn’t know that he is the son of a Mayan God and might fulfill an apocalyptic prophecy until a demon crashes in his volcano.
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The Mayan mythology was so refreshing to read and Zane was a fun character to follow. He’s a great role model for young readers because he never gives up and doesn’t let his disability keep him down. The secondary characters are just as fantastic from a shape shifter named Brooks to Zane’s Uncle Hondo. Together they go on an adventure of epic battles to save the world. This book is full of humorous and lovable characters, action and a fast pace plot that keeps you reading until the very end.
Should you read this? Yes! With a Hispanic disabled MC and Mayan Mythology this book screams read me!
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Blog Tour: Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage Review

Today I am excited to share with you a wonderful book that really left a mark on me. A diverse set of stories that anyone can find inspiring with powerful messages with each turn of the page!

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  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 4, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524771961

A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, actress Alia Shawkat, actor Maulik Pancholy, poet Azure Antoinette, teen activist Gavin Grimm, and many, many more, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race, gender, or sexual identity–but persisted.

 

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Tawney’s Review: This book couldn’t come at better time. Our world is somewhat in chaos from politics to racism so reading this book gave me hope and many of the stories had an affect on me. What an encouraging way to see these authors tell their story of persistence, to never give up.

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A wide diverse collection of stories from holocaust survivors to athletes, to the disabled, to realizing you’re gay, to how mass shooting effects the families and so much more. These are people from all walks of life overcoming obstacles and still perusing their dream.

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The stories are short and the pace swift. The voices are very different from each other and you can relate and feel for the authors emotionally. You connect to their pain and persistent to never give up. I loved the diverseness of each author and the variety of subjects spoken about in the book. The stories were uplifting and each had a very powerful messages. I highly recommend reading this book to encourage those feeling a little lost in this world to never give up. Peruse your dream.

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Should you read it? Yes! An enjoyable read full of diverse emotional stories of persistent hope of never giving up that will leave readers gratified.

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My Top 5 Thrillers

I AM A SUCKER FOR THRILLERS.

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I have read many books this year but these 5 books either surprised me, I read them in one sitting or had me at the edge of my seat. Some are murder mysteries, some are psychological thrillers and one is an adventure thriller. Let’s take a look at my 5 favorite Thrillers!


  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250130921

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

Review: The twists in this book had me going…

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Nellie is marrying Richard, the man of her dreams. She won’t have to worry about money and will be well taken care of for life. Vanessa Is Richard’s first wife and has trouble accepting he left her for a younger woman. So what does she do? Stalk Nellie.

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This book kept me guessing until the end and what an ending! It was a page turner with many plot twists. From the very first chapter you knew that the authors had plenty in store for the reader. The chapters alternate from Vanessa and Nellie and it was intriguing to see their separate point of views in regards to each other and Richard.  Fast paced with well developed characters this thriller is the perfect read for someone looking to be shocked!

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  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition
  • ISBN-10: 0062667572

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent.

Review: This book by far has my favorite ending.

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Amber is a deceptive woman with a plan to snag a rich man, doesn’t matter if he is married. Daphne has the perfect life with rich husband Jackson and wealth beyond imagination. So what does Amber do? Make friends with Daphne to get to Jackson!

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The story is told in first person for Daphne and third for Amber. You really connect with Daphne and feel for her as she struggles with this new intruder in her life. You really loathe Amber and dislike her to the bitter end. The descriptions were vivid showing the luxurious lives of the rich from the outfits the women would wear down to the expensive shoes and jewelry. The pace quickens when secrets are revealed and the twist and turns leave you breathless. The ending is so satisfying I had to read it again.

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  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525557628

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.

Review: This book reminded me of clue with vast characters and surprises.

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A group of guests are checking into a small boutique hotel isolated in the woods for a weekend of bliss. But one by one they soon start to die and there is nothing they can do because they are trapped inside with each other due to a blizzard. And one of them is the murderer. This is a classic murder tale with various characters from the wealthy, to friends, to lovebirds and little clues to who the killer is.

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I loved how the author made the reader feel like you were there in the cold setting of the hotel and you could feel the characters fear as they each began to die off one by one. The author did a wonderful job at navigating all the characters and I never once got confused. Each character had a secret revealed but still adds to the mystery of who the killer is. The ending wrapped up everything nicely with a bit of a surprise.

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  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1538761858

Not all secrets are meant to be found.

If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore — a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the “real” experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists.

Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways.

Nolan’s story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever?

Review:  Ok this is not a murder or psychological thriller. It is an adventure thriller and it had me at X-files meets Indiana Jones.

Told from the point of view of our protagonist Nolan, we follow him on an expedition to the Grand Canyon for his documentary series, The Anomaly Files, in search of a lost cavern that holds ancient secrets. With a variety of characters to help him on this journey Nolan finds the lost cave but soon they are trapped inside and it becomes clear that they are not alone.

The book starts off slow but the action picks up once they reach the cavern. With little resources they are fighting for their life once stuck inside, and nobody knows where they are!  The author does a wonderful job having historical facts blending with sci-fi elements. It was a compelling read with suspense at every turn of the page. I hope there is another book that follows Nolan and The Anomaly Files because this one was a fun read!

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  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0062678418

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Review: This book is in reminisce of the old classic by Alfred Hitchcock- Rear Window.

Anna has agoraphobic, so she doesn’t leave her house and lives through her camera spying on her neighbors. She talks everyday to her husband and daughter, who live elsewhere. The influence of Hitchcock is here but the story takes a turn of it’s own on a path of suspense.

The setting is dark and mostly takes place in Anna’s house. She relies on wine and drugs to stay sane but throughout the book you see her character grow and start to become healthy, even through the turmoil of what she thinks she saw. There are some twist and turns and reveals you didn’t see coming. It is s slow suspenseful story but worth the read.

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What are your favorite thrillers?

#MurderTrending Review

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Freeform (August 7, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 1368010024

WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

 

When seventeen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?

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Tawney’s Review:  I like murder.  I like the whole mystery of who did it and the twist and turns the stories can take you. It’s like following a twisted path on a yellow brick road paved with blood.

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Murder Trending was a fast pace, edge of your seat book. McNeil never disappoints in her thrillers. Dee Guerrera was convicted of murdering her stepsister…which she didn’t but with too much evidence against her she is sent to Alcatraz 2.0. This book is like the Hunger Games for murderers!

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Alcatraz 2.0 is a reality show that is televised of convicted murders living and surviving on an island. There are also serial killers on the island killing the murderers, which reminds me almost like Battle Royal. The book starts off quick with Dee facing the serial killer Slycer in his maze. With cunning survival she makes it out and is introduced to the Alcatraz world and to Nyles, who supposedly killed his parents.

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But something is off about this world, everyone seems to be Dee’s age or younger. McNeil does a wonderful job at keeping the reader’s attention and also letting the reader know what the outside world thinks of Alcatraz 2.0 with tweets throughout the book. It’s a realistic concept in such a social world we live in. McNeil brought humor and mayhem to this creative world with vivid description and a connection to the characters. It was a page turner that I couldn’t put down. The ending was a wonderful horrific surprise and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Should you read it? Yes, a fast pace thriller that will leave you horrifically satisfied.

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The Cruel Prince Audio Review

I love books about fairy, whether they are adult books like Laurel K Hamilton Meredith Gentry series or Sarah J Maas A Court of Thorn and Roses series (this is an adult book, not YA due to all the sex. It should never have been labeled YA in my opinion) or YA books like Holly Black other fairy series Modern Faerie Tale series and Julie Kagwa The Iron Fey series.

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I decided to do something different in regards to my review for this book…I actually listened to it on audio! I never listen to audio books because I find them rather boring and I read so much faster than the narrators…but I was completely drawn into Holly Black’s world because of the narrator Caitlin Kelly. Her voice changed for every character and she brought emotion and action to the story that kept me waiting for more.

Let’s take a look at The Cruel Prince Audio.


Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him – and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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Tawney’s Review:   The moment narrator Caitlin Kelly spoke Jude’s words I was entranced. Her voice was smooth and full of emotion that brought Jude to life.

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Jude is a mortal living in Faerie with her twin sister Taryn and half-faerie sister Vivi after their parents were murdered by Madoc, Vivi’s real father and now their guardian. Growing up in Faerie isn’t easy, especially for a mortal child.

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Jude wants to be part of the faerie court, especially as a knight. So when Prince Dain, heir to the throne, ask for  her to be his spy, humans are good at lying, she accepts. But there are obstacles in her way, such as Prince Cardan and his gang who love to torture Jude.

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I was spellbound by the story that Black weaved from court intrigued, to murder to a suspenseful ending. It was vivid with description and I loved that she made the faerie court ruthless. Unlike some other books I’ve read that romanticizes faerie this book kept the cruelty of it alive. To be human in such a court isn’t safe but Jude manages to use her mortality as an advantage and inches her way to her goal as being part of the court.

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The narrator Caitlin did a wonderful job at bringing Jude and all the characters to life. I felt a part of Jude’s story while listening exercising and on my commute to and from work. I had no problem distinguishing all the characters as Caitlin changes her voice for each one, much in reminiscence of The Harry Potter audio books narrator Jim Dale. Every detail described to ball gowns and weapons down to food could be imagined. Every emotion felt by Jude was felt by Caitlin. I felt anger, hate, despair, hope and deception.

The only thing I felt lacking was the twin relationship between Jude and Taryn. Being a twin myself, 3 minutes younger, I found some of what happened between the sisters disappointing. Twins are really close so I found myself not believing some of the outcomes in the book between Taryn and Jude. Twins most definitely would not let a boy get between them…our bond is much greater. If they weren’t twins it could be realistic but the relationship between Jude and her twin disappointed me. This is why I couldn’t give it 5 stars.

Should you read this? Yes, give the audio book a chance because you will find that Caitlin brings Jude’s voice to life with much emotion and realism sweeping the reader on an epic fantasy within a cruel faerie court.

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