Bite-Sized Reviews of Love, Life, and the List, The Young Queens, Seriously Wicked and The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series

January 8, 2018 Reviews 38

I’ve got four bite-sized reviews of YA books today. Three books and a series! I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction!


Bite-Sized Reviews of Love, Life, and the List, The Young Queens, Seriously Wicked and The Wolves of Mercy Falls SeriesLove, Life, and the List by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on December 26th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
4 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

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This book is SO Kasie West (which is a very good thing, trust me). First off, I pretty much always love stories that involve best friends becoming more—I’m a complete sucker for that trope. But this book is a lot more than the romance. Abby is a pretty typical seventeen-year-old—she thinks she has her life pretty much figured out in a lot of ways but then something happens that shakes her belief in herself and her insecurities come rushing in. I’m sure that a lot of YA readers will be able to relate to this. Family ties are incredibly important in the story. Abby’s relationship with her mom (who struggles with agoraphobia) and her dad (who is stationed overseas, but we still get to see him via email and Skype) are central to the story. And her grandfather is also a huge part of her life (and he’s utterly lovable!). My only issue with the book was that I was a bit unsure of where it was all going and how things were going to end with the romance—this was one of those cases where I truly wasn’t sure the main characters were going to get together—or if they should. I felt like Cooper was possibly leading Abby on a bit sometimes and I wasn’t sure if she was going to end up with him or Elliott in the end. Of course, West did her magic and everything turned out in a way that was both satisfying and emotional, so it was all good. Speaking of emotional—I shed more than a few tears for Abby!

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


Bite-Sized Reviews of Love, Life, and the List, The Young Queens, Seriously Wicked and The Wolves of Mercy Falls SeriesThe Young Queens by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #0.5
Also in this series: Three Dark Crowns
Published by HarperTeen on December 26th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 112
Source: Purchased
My content rating: YA
My rating:
4.5 Stars

Three black witches, born to a descending queen. One would rise to become queen in her place. Perhaps the strongest of the three. Perhaps the cleverest. Or perhaps it would be the girl born under the best shield of luck.

Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella - three young queens born to fulfil their destiny - to fight to the death to win the crown. But before they were poisoner, elemental and naturalist, they were children, sisters and friends . . .

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The minute this novella came out, I had to read it immediately, and it did not disappoint. This little gem lets us experience some of those past events that the main books refer to—the birth of the queens, the switch of Katharine and Arsinoe, the separation of the girls when they were six, bits and pieces of their experiences growing up, Jules’s mother returning home, and Jules meeting Camden for the first time. We also got some unique perspectives: How did Natalia feel about Katharine when she was young? How did Caragh feel when Madrigal came traipsing back home? Why did Luca decide to support Mirabella? There are some answers given in this little novella (for instance, we know Katharine’s gift without a doubt now), but there are still plenty of mysteries to be solved in future books!


Bite-Sized Reviews of Love, Life, and the List, The Young Queens, Seriously Wicked and The Wolves of Mercy Falls SeriesSeriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
Series: Seriously Wicked #1
Published by Tor Teen on May 5th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 208
Source: BEA
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
4 Stars

The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one.

Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch.

Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose—and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.

Now Cam’s suddenly got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.

To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch...will that mean she’s wicked too?

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This book is just plain cute. It’s one of those books that’s perfect for the younger YA set (I don’t think there are enough of those) but has enough appeal for older YA readers as well. The magic in this book is pure fun—it never takes itself too seriously—and it makes me glad I don’t have to go grocery shopping for potion supplies. If you’re looking for a lighter YA read with a paranormal twist, this is a great series for you!

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via BEA16 in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


Bite-Sized Reviews of Love, Life, and the List, The Young Queens, Seriously Wicked and The Wolves of Mercy Falls SeriesThe Wolves of Mercy Falls Series by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Published by Scholastic Press Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Narrator: Jenna Lamia, Pierce Cravens, Dan Bittner, Emma Galvin, Maggie Stiefvater
Length: 43 hrs. 6 min total
Source: Library
My content rating: YA (Characters have sex)
My rating:
4.5 Stars

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

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Once again, I’m writing a review of the whole Wolves of Mercy Falls Series in one fell swoop since I’m very late to the game. I listened to this series after adoring The Raven Cycle Series, and I have to say that I fell in love with Stiefvater even more. There is something about her writing that enthralls me: Her characters are so intricately (and believably) drawn, her dialogue is snappy and realistic, her descriptions are just so incredibly unique. No one else writes the way she does.

This story is a bit younger-feeling than The Raven Cycle, even though the characters are roughly the same age. The first book introduces us to the mystery of the wolves. I immediately fell in love with both Grace and Sam, and I loved how well they balance each other out. Grace is all logic and order, while Sam is soulful and, quite frankly, adorable. Stiefvater did an excellent job of upping the stakes continuously throughout the book and giving us a shocking ending! I DEVOURED IT!

The second book focused on trying to find a permanent cure for their little “problem” and introduced Cole, a former teen rock star who just wants to escape the world. He’s a bit abrasive, but his and Isabella’s POVs worked well with Sam and Grace’s since the latter two are much “softer” and more likable. The chemistry between Cole and Isabelle is immediately palpable, and I was rooting for them to end up together! Once again, this book ended in a way I didn’t expect. This one FED MY ADDICTION.

The last book in the original trilogy is probably my favorite. The danger level is this book is kicked way up and Grace, Sam, Cole and Isabelle find themselves racing against time to save the wolves (AKA, themselves, in some cases). I liked seeing Grace and Sam happy for a little while before things got crazy again, and I was very satisfied with the ending, even though it was a bit open-ended. (Unlike the original readers of the series, I knew there was still one more book coming). I DEVOURED IT!

The fourth book was definitely my least favorite, but I still enjoyed it. Even though I loved Isabelle and Cole in the original trilogy, as I had feared, they were a little bit easier for me to take in small doses. A whole book from just their two somewhat cynical and messed-up POVs was harder to swallow. This companion to the original series felt more like a New Adult novel to me, both in tone and subject matter and since I listened to it directly after the others, it was hard not to compare. Still, I did love the concept of Cole’s wolfishness being sort of like an addiction for him. And I also felt for him when no one seemed to want to forget his past and give him a chance at a future. This one FED MY ADDICTION.

Overall I give the series an I DEVOURED IT rating because I just loved the listening experience so much!


That’s it for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think?

 

38 Responses to “Bite-Sized Reviews of Love, Life, and the List, The Young Queens, Seriously Wicked and The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series”

  1. Jen

    I’m so happy to hear how much you enjoyed Love, Life, and the List! Chels just read it and she was texting me while reading it and said she was crying and didn’t know how it was going to end either. I don’t think I’ve ever cried with a Kasie West book or not known how it was going to end, so I’m thinking this may be the next Kasie West book I pick up. Oh and I’m a sucker for that trope too, I love best friends to lovers!

  2. Daniela Ark

    O
    M
    G
    I just want to sob and wail and sob again
    EVERYONE loves Maggie Stiefvater!!! WHYYYY WHYYYY WHYYY Can’t I read it??? Is there something wrong with me??? Do I need to evolve even more???
    THAT IS IT!
    I have to draft my Top ten for next week “bookish resolutions” and the TOP TOP TOP one will be
    TO READ STIEFVATER! for god sake!
    I AM SO REQUESTING the audio book now! Maybe that’s what I need to listen instead of reading her!
    Great reviews as usual Nicole

  3. Greg

    Love, Life and the List sounds really cute. and yay for The Young Queens- I just read it and loved it! This series is killing me. I need the next book like NOW lol. Just enough hints about Fennbirn and certain plot points to get me all speculating again. 🙂

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    I read Shiver and Linger years ago – the first books by Maggie I’d read before The Raven Cycle and I really liked them, but I guess I had to wait for Forever to come out or something? At any rate, I never got to that one! I’m so glad you enjoyed the whole series though.

    -Lauren

  5. Bookworm Brandee

    I like this review format, Nicole. 🙂 I’ll have to check out Blake’s series and West as well since I’ve read neither of them. I’m *thrilled* you loved Wolves of Mercy Falls. I fell for Stiefvater in Lament and Ballad then immediately read this series. You’re right about her writing. Her prose is lyrical and her characters are incredible. *sigh* So good. I’ve yet to read Sinner but since it’s been quite awhile since I read the series, I’m hoping it’ll “hit the spot”. 😉

  6. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    I really need to read The Young Queens, obviously. But I pre-ordered the paperback with both short stories (this one and one that comes out in the spring) from the UK, because it matches. And I like that. (I have been collecting the UK editions because I find them prettier.) So now, I wait hah. But I am SO glad to hear it was good! I have Shiver, but I don’t know, I keep thinking it won’t be a “me” book, but if you liked it, I am having second thoughts! And actually, same with the other two books. Goodness Nicole, my TBR didn’t need to be any longer! Great reviews 😀

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Why Did I Not Read These 2017 Books?
  7. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I’ve heard mixed things about Kasie West’s newest book (I feel like her books keep getting mixed reviews). The main thing I’m hearing is mixed things about the love interest in it so I’m not totally certain I want to read but I’m glad you enjoyed it as friends to more is always a cute concept. I’ve only read the first book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and I never continued. The first book was good but it didn’t draw me in enough to finish the series. I have heard such good things that I feel like maybe I should continue but I am invested in so many series I have to accept that I can’t finish them all.

    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: Sunday Summary // 14.01.2018
  8. Olivia Roach

    I need to read a book by Kasie West already! I have the first book in the Kendare Blake series and I haven’t read it yet… something I hope to do soon. I have to admit I read Shiver and absolutely loathed the book 🙁 I felt like nothing happened for the majority of it, and then there was a serious case of parental-absence which was unjustified and irresponsible. I just wasn’t sold on any of it but I also own the sequel and maybe it gets better?

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      The parental absence thing doesn’t get better at all in the books—well, unless you consider them doing a complete 180 and trying to suddenly be “strict” parents better? I found that element disturbing as well. Here’s the thing with Stiefvater’s books—I actually think that I love her writing style so much that I’m willing to ignore the fact that the plots don’t move all that fast. I wonder if I’d be so forgiving if I wasn’t listening to them, though—I tend to be much more okay with slower books in audiobook form.

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