Thursday, April 04, 2019

Atmospheric With Well-Written Characters: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

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Atmospheric With Well-Written Characters: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
The Devouring Gray
Christine Lynn Herman
Series: The Devouring Gray #2
Genre: Paranormal, Suspense, YA
Publication date: April 2nd, 2019
by Disney Hyperion

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Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.


After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn't: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne's bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family's powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can't let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn't yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families' abilities—before the Gray devours them all. 
-A copy was provided by Disney-Hyperion for review-

The Devouring Gray is a book that requires patience. There is no getting around it. It’s slow, and for the first quarter of the book I could not tell you what the fuck was going on except that the kids were sad, felt betrayed, maybe were trying to take each other down, it was a mess. I stuck with it though because my friends loved it and it turned out to be absolutely worth it.

Violet is new in town, Justin and Harper used to be bffs but Justin betrayed Harper, Issac is a soft boy with a world of hurt inside him. Together, the four of them make up the new generation of the founding families of the Four Paths and are sworn to protect the town from the beast that lives in the gray. As with any stories involving creepy towns, there are secrets to be uncovered and hidden truths to be revealed.

I love how atmospheric this book is. Its gothic-y, creepy, horror-y with a shade of paranormal thrown in for good measure. It’s bizarre and terrifying at times but also WEIRD. But, while the atmosphere is great, the world building is a bit lacking and if you aren’t able to easily suspend your disbelief, the book unravels very quickly.

Like.. if there is a beast that’s been terrorizing the town for over a century, why don’t people leave? What about the town makes them choose to stay? What makes it so that some people ‘fail’ their tests and don’t get powers? Especially if powers are inherited?

We are offered some history about the town and its founders but again, not a whole lot. To really get invested in the book, I think you just need to let go for a bit and enjoy the plot and the atmosphere and the weird people in town whose motives you don’t truly know.

The biggest selling point of this book are the characters. They are SO PRECIOUS and so complicated and I just love them all. I love that Issac is not necessarily a happy kid but he isn’t ever mean (unless someone is goads him.) I love that while Justin is super friendly and loveable, his social position definitely goes to his head and he is capable of hurting people he also cares about deeply. I love that Harper, even though she wants revenge and needs to use Violet to get it, she also becomes Violet’s friend because she cares about Violet. AND I LOVE VIOLET. Who is angry and sad and confused but still finds ways to be a person.

They are all just well-written, well-rounded characters. I love the relationships that already exist (Issac and Justin BEST FRIENDS FOREVER AND EVER) but I also loved watching new friendships form and blossom. The interaction between the adults and the children was not really one-dimensional either which was great.

I am just upset that I have to wait a whole goddamn year for the sequel especially because there is still SO MUCH my children need to work through. If anyone wants to plan a heist and steal the manuscript for the sequel from Disney Headquarters HMU. In the meantime, I will wait to be reunited with my children. If you love atmospheric books with well rounded characters, The Devouring Gray is for you.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Fresh Batch (March 31st – April 6th)

Fresh Batch (March 31st – April 6th)

Posted by on 03/30/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Wicked Saints Emily A. Duncan Series: Something Dark and Holy #1 Publication date: Wednesday Booksby April 2nd 2019

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“Prepare for a snow-frosted, blood-drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare.” – Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their…

The Beginning of An Exciting Family Saga: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

The Beginning of An Exciting Family Saga: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

Posted by on 03/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I absolutely adored My So-Called Bollywood Life when I read it last year so when I found out that Nisha Sharma was writing another book, specifically an adult romance, I was all aboard. When I found out the series would follow a wealthy Sikh Punjabi-American family, I WAS EVEN MORE EXCITED (which I didn’t know was possible but whatever.)

The Takeover Effect is a quick read. The pages just sort of fly by. That said, it did take me more than half the book to actually be invested in the characters and the plot. I don’t know if I can even point out a specific reason why this was but I didn’t really click with the book until shit hit the fan.

And when shit hit the fan, IT HIT…

Fresh Batch (March 24th – 30th)

Fresh Batch (March 24th – 30th)

Posted by on 03/23/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Sky Without Stars Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell Series: System Divine #1 Publication date: March 26th 2019by Simon Pulse

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A thief. An officer. A guardian. 

Three strangers, one shared destiny . . .

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. A new life for a wealthy French family and their descendants. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.

Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges…

An Emotional Rollercoaster: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

An Emotional Rollercoaster: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Posted by on 03/22/2019 • 0 Comments

Rick Riordan Presents is probably the only imprint I can say I want to read EVERY SINGLE BOOK FROM. I saw the synopsis mentioned a raw chicken inside a locker and was immediately sold. I WANTED IT and I READ IT and YEAH. I am not really sure if Sal and Gabi Break the Universe has mythology vibes??? But what I can say is that it is truly a work of art.

There is a good chance I’ve said that about another book or two before but I don’t know how else to describe how truly well written this book is. Carlos Hernandez knows how to pace a book, he knows how to pull at your emotions and he knows just how to crack and build tension. There were so many…

Matriarchal Society Gone Corrupt: Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Matriarchal Society Gone Corrupt: Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Posted by on 03/20/2019 • 1 Comment

I honestly didn’t know that Lilliam Rivera had a new book coming out until earlier this year which just shows you where publishing’s priorities are in terms of marketing. In my eagerness to read anything Rivera writes, I actually forgot to read the summary and it wasn’t until a while later that I realized Dealing in Dreams was a proper dystopian novel. If you read my review for We Set the Dark on Fire, you will know I don’t do dystopia anymore but given that I’ve technically now read two dystopian novels for the first time in literal years, I THINK IT’S SAFE TO SAY I am doing dystopia again. BUT, to be clear, I am only doing dystopia written by POC.

Dealing in Dreams starts off super slow….

Three Pride & Prejudice Retellings You Cannot Miss in 2019

Three Pride & Prejudice Retellings You Cannot Miss in 2019

Posted by on 03/18/2019 • 6 Comments

1. Unmarriageable by Sonia Kamal

Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan.

2. Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Gender-flipped P&P retelling that follows an Indian-American family descended from royalty. Set in San Francisco. 

3. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

P&P set in Toronto! Follows the adventures of a large, boisterous Muslim family.

Bonus Emma Retelling: Polite Society by Mahesh Rao

Emma, with a touch of Crazy Rich Asians, set in Delhi. 

Fresh Batch (March 17th – 23rd)

Fresh Batch (March 17th – 23rd)

Posted by on 03/16/2019 • 1 Comment

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Sherwood Meagan Spooner Publication date: March 19th 2019by HarperTeen

Goodreads Purchase

Robin of Locksley is dead.

Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley andMarian’s fiancé.

Who is there to stop them?

Marian never meant to tread in Robin’s footsteps—never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian…