Debut Review: The Quiet You Carry – Nikki Barthelmess

Debut Review: The Quiet You Carry – Nikki BarthelmessThe Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess
Published by Flux
Published: March 5, 2019
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four-stars

Victoria Parker knew her dad's behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine—until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights.

Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden.

But some secrets won't stay buried—especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can't stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won't leave you alone?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sometime you read a description for a book and you know going in your heart will be broken. You can just tell the main characters life is going to crush you. The Quiet You Carry was one of those books. The blurb alone almost had me in tears and from the get-go I knew I was in for an emotional roller coaster.

The Quiet You Carry is about Victoria, a 17 year old girl that finds herself kicked out of her house at 3am when her father’s weird behavior hits a head. Having nowhere to go she is placed in a foster home causing her life to plans to crumble around her. Suddenly she is in a new school, living with new people, and has rules she doesn’t understand all while trying to hide a secret she knows will change everything.

My heart truly ached for Victoria and her story. At 17 she lost everything. She lost the father that was supposed to protect her, the home that she had always known, her friends and school, and her plans for the future. I can’t imagine going through that at any age never mind 17. And not only dealing with all of that she also had to deal with the trust her father broke and the secret she was holding for him. Truly she broke my heart and I shed quite a few tears. What I loved most about The Quiet You Carry was seeing Victoria learn to trust again which wasn’t easy for her after what she had been through. Slowly seeing her let people in was the highlight for me.

Nikki Barthlemess reached all of my expectations with her debut book. She hit all the marks I expected from the blurb and I walked away from it feeling hopeful for Victoria and the life she wanted to live. I highly recommend you checking this gem out. Just make sure you have a few tissues handy…you know, just in case.

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Debut Review: The Fever King – Victoria Lee

Debut Review: The Fever King – Victoria LeeThe Fever King by Victoria Lee
Published by Skyscape
Published: March 1, 2019
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four-stars

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What do you get when you mix politics, immigration, magic, and a fantastic M/M romance? You get the greatness that is The Fever King, is what you get.

Honestly I had no idea what I was in for when I first heard about The Fever King. I mean once upon a time I stayed away from all books having to do with fantasy and magic and here I was wanting to read this debut that was not only a fantasy including magic, but also was a politically driven story. I truly wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. But I had nothing to be worried about. The Fever King ended up being a fantastic journey with a lot of unexpected twists and turns (and a last 20% of the book leaving you breathless), and the perfect way to kick off a new series.

The Fever King is a book about Noam, the son on undocumented immigrants, who is orphaned after viral magic takes his father and leaves Noam with the ability to control technology. Now Noam has the interest of the minister of defense and his life is not his own anymore.  As Noam gets further and further into this new life and closer to Calix Lehrer he is soon learning things about himself and his government that he can’t unknow and meeting people {DARA!!!!} that will forever change his life.

It’s hard for me to pinpoint what I enjoyed so much about The Fever King. I guess when I think about it it was all of the components as a whole that made it such a great reading experience. The story flowed easily and the characters had a naturalness to them that I appreciated. I also really loved that the plot felt so now and current and it felt like something I hadn’t read before. Noam, Dara and Calix are people I found myself wanting to know more about and I can’t wait to get book 2 so I can.

I’m trying to think of what to tell you to make this a book you will want to read. Will telling you it is a fantasy that is heavily based in technology do the trick? What about if I say it is a LGBT book with two adorable boys? What about if I tell you about how politics and immigration plays a huge role in the story? So much awesomeness and not enough words to describe it. Instead I will just tell you, READ THE BOOK and be done with it.

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Debut Review: Just for Click – Kara McDowell

Debut Review: Just for Click – Kara McDowellJust For Clicks by Kara McDowell
Published by Amberjack
Published: February 19, 2019
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five-stars

Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they're expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as "just Claire"? And what should Claire do about Mom's old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don't sound like Mom's perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

There is no denying we live in an internet famous world. We have YouTube and Instagram and Snap Chat. We have blogs and Facebook and Twitter. People want to make their mark and they try to become internet famous overnight. So when I read the description for Just for Clicks I immediately wanted to pick it up because we never think of the people that are brought into internet fame just because their parents are internet famous. I was intrigued by the idea and I can say happily that Kara McDowell did not let me down. This book is fantastic guys! Like, blow you away, fantastic!

Just for Clicks is the story of Poppy and Claire, twins that become internet famous thanks to their mom’s blog going viral when they were babies. Now teenagers, they must continue to build their brand at all times. But as one twin starts to hate all the notoriety more and more she must figure if she should continue doing with makes her mom and sister happy or if she should finally do what makes her happy. And what to do about her mom’s handwritten journals that contain stuff that wasn’t on the blog.

The thing I loved most about this book is that it made me think a lot about social media. I follow a couple of Instagram accounts that have been using their children to do ads for different brands and it got me thinking about what their lives will be like when they are older. Currently the choice is being taken away from them because they are basically too little to decide. But what will happen when they are Poppy and Claire’s age? When they want to have a life of their own outside of the public eye? When it becomes a job and not fun? Those where the things that jumped out to me most when I was reading Poppy and Claire’s story and Claire’s struggle with it all.

The other thing I loved about this book is the unexpected turns it took. As I was reading it I would read a part and be shocked that what I read happened because I never expected the story to go that way or for something like that to be unveiled. It was all done so naturally it took my completely off guard and I loved it. It made the reading experience all the more enjoyable.

Just for Clicks is not at all what I was expecting. When I picked it up I thought I was going to get a story about twin girls and their ‘whoa is me’ attitude. Instead I got a deeper story about being put on a path you didn’t choose and what that means when it is your choice and who it affects. This book is A+, top notch and I 100% recommend you snag a copy and read it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised that it is more than you expect going in. Read it!

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Debut Review: When the Truth Unravels – RuthAnne Snow

Debut Review: When the Truth Unravels – RuthAnne SnowWhen the Truth Unravels by RuthAnne Snow
Published by Sky Pony
Published: January 8, 2019
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four-half-stars

Last month, Elin tried to kill herself.

She knows she's lucky that her parents found her in time. Lucky to be going to prom with her three best friends, like any other teen. Like it never happened. And if she has anything to say about it, no one but her best friends will ever know it did.

Jenna, Rosie, and Ket will do anything to keep Elin's secret--and to make sure it never happens again. That's why they're determined to make prom the perfect night. The night that convinces Elin that life is worth living.

Except, at prom, Elin goes missing.

Now it's up to her friends to find her. But each of the girls has her own demons to face. Ket is being blackmailed by an ex. Rosie is falling in love for the first time. And Jenna . . .

Jenna is falling apart.

And no one, not even her best friends, knows why.

Heart-wrenching and utterly impossible to put down, When the Truth Unravels follows four friends as they confront their greatest hopes and darkest secrets during one life-changing night.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m a sucker for books that involve strong female friendships. I often feel like a lot of authors prefer the frienemy over the BFF, so I was really excited about RuthAnne Snow’s debut, When the Truth Unravels, a story about 4 best friends hiding a secret about Elin’s suicide attempt and secrets about themselves. But the thing about secrets is they catch up to you and almost always come out. And that is what happens to Elin, Rosie, Ket and Jenna in this fantastic story.

When the Truth Unravels is the story of 4 girls trying to find the fact that one of them tried to commit suicide a month ago. Rosie. Ket and Jenna will do anything to help protect their friend, Elin, including pretending that everything is okay and trying to have the perfect prom night. But the fact is, everything isn’t okay. Each girl is dealing with their own secrets and trying to keep it all together. And then Elin goes missing and everything falls apart.

The friendship was hands-down the best part of this. These 4 girls were so different from each other yet they all worked as a unit. They played their differences off one another and it made them a strong group. But they also held a lot back from one another which caused more friction. Almost losing Elin put strain on each of them and they dealt with it differently, but in the end they were there for one another. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Rosie and Ket’s stories more than Jenna and Elin’s, but I loved how they all worked combined.

And speaking of Elin, Snow took on a huge task with Elin’s story line and her attempted suicide. It was heavy and dark, but it was handle so incredibly well. The way the Elin’s story was told managed to keep the darkness to a minimum, but not make it insignificant. The balance was well done and as a reader you were able to understand Elin’s pain and how she got to the place she was at, but you were also able to see her hope.

All in all this book was amazingly written. The story was perfectly crafted to show flawed friendships with a deep love. You will laugh and cry and find yourself wanting more; more from these characters and more from this new writer. Make sure you add this to your TBR!

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Debut Review: Match Me If You Can – Tiana Smith

Debut Review: Match Me If You Can – Tiana SmithMatch Me If You Can by Tiana Smith
Published by Swoon Reads
Published: January 8, 2019
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four-stars

Mia's best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn's matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn't count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince - the guy she knows is right for her - and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn't find out that Mia's been matchmaking behind her back.

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

For years I have been a fan of a rom-com book. Books by Kasie West and Miranda Kenneally are always high on my list. There is something so fun about a story that has humor to it and both Kasie and Miranda do it amazingly. When Match Me If You Can was brought into my orbit I admit I didn’t think it would fit with these two favorite authors of mine, and man was I wrong. Tiana Smith took her debut and slide right in next to Kasie and Miranda and I’m so pleased to have read it.

Match Me If You Can is the story of Mia, a girl that has a plan and is desperate to stick by it. There is no room for error or change. It just isn’t acceptable for her. So when she gets the idea to have her best friend Robyn, a top notch matchmaker at their high school, set her up with the guy of her dreams nothing will stop her. Not even Robyn telling her no. When Mia goes behind Robyn’s back and set herself up she sets off a series of events she never could have planned for and a guy she never could have imagined falling for. In the end Mia has to decide is the perfect plan better than the perfect match?

I truly got very strong Kasie West vibes from this one. It has that same feeling I got when I read P.S. I Like You. As the reader I could see Mia and Logan were perfect for each other but I had so much fun watching Mia figure that out. She would do everything in her power not to feel that spark because she thought she was on a different path, but it was there and there was no denying it. She made a complete mess of everything by fighting this spark and it is so fun watching her do it. And can we talk about Logan? Man was he so cute. There was something about his “bad boy” attitude that reminded me of one of my favorite book boys, Corey Livingston from What Happens Next. They both had that same swagger and same heart of pure gold.

In the end, Match Me If You Can is a really fun debut book that will have you laughing and cringing and laughing some more. Tiana Smith does a fantastic job of adding some of the heavier parts of high school in with the fun stuff and I highly recommend adding her book to your TBR. This is a “you don’t want to miss” type of read. Also I want to know if anyone else thought the principle sounded as hot as I did. 😛 Pick this one up!

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