Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood: ARC Book Review

Within These Wicked Walls tells the story of Andromeda, a young woman who goes by Andi. When the story begins, she is hoping that exorcising the Evil Eye for her wealthy and eccentric client, Magnus Rochester, will get her the recognition she requires to continue her work as a proper debtera; since her mentor threw her out before she could earn her license.

But cleansing the Evil Eye is a much bigger undertaking than Andi first anticipated. (So much so that many debtera have tried – and failed – before her.) And her growing feelings for the young heir complicate matters further. It will take all of Andi’s training – and maybe a little help from others – to accomplish this life-threatening task.

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Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin: Blog Tour & Book Review

Arlee Gold is spending the summer before her Junior year at Camp Rockaway – the prestige college prep camp that boasts of being the place rich, influential families send their teenagers in the summer. Arlee herself is a legacy – and a pretty notorious one if the other campers’ reactions to her are anything to go by – her mother attended when she was a teen herself. The same mother who is certain that this is the exact thing Arlee needs to put her past finally behind her and start anew. And, despite the fact Arlee is seriously terrified of bugs, she can’t help but hope so too. Especially after meeting her bunkmate, Winnie.

But then Arlee gets invited to join a secret society of women at the camp that goes back generations. A little vary, Arlee nevertheless agrees, hoping that this is the key to building lasting relationships with her campmates. Too bad the society’s initiation process involves a little bit more than what Arlee thought she was signing up for…

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Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: ARC Book Review

I’ve had The Nest sitting on my bookshelf for – and I’m not exaggerating – literal YEARS. My best friend (who I implicitly trust for immaculate book recommendation) gave me her copy after having read it back when it came out. And I still haven’t gotten around to it… 😅

But! Because of this little anecdote, my eyes were immediately drawn to Good Company – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s sophomore novel. So I was very excited when I was able to get my hands on an ARC. Finally, I would have read something by her to tell my friend about!

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Bruised by Tanya Boteju: ARC Book Review

Bruised tells the story of Daya, a Canadian teen of Sri-Lankan descent, who is traumatized by the car accident that took her parents’ lives. Living with her kooky aunt and uncle, with whom she’s never had a close bond, and suffering from survivor’s guilt, she turns to self-harm as a means to manage her internal pain. So when her friend takes her to a roller derby event, she immediately feels a connection to the sport. Most notably because of the opportunity it offers her to hurt herself more frequently.

The title of this novel itself actually comes from this revelation. As Daya’s acts of self-harm take the form of accumulating a collection of bruises across her body. But there’s much more to roller derby than getting roughed up, and a lot more going on internally that Daya needs to work through. Feelings of grief that won’t go just away, no matter how many bruises she collects.

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Love Somebody by Rachel Roasek: Blog Tour & Book Review

Love Somebody by Rachel Roasek is a great example of how a love triangle should be written. The three leads – Sam, Ros, and Christian – are all well-rounded and fully realized characters. The narration does a good job of focusing equally on all three, each one with their own internal battles they have to overcome. The story allows them to all shine on their own as much – if not more! – than when they were together.

I really enjoyed all three of their storylines and personal character arcs, and was pleasantly surprised by their development throughout this novel. When I first began Love Somebody, I actually didn’t find any of them likable and was worried this would affect my overall enjoyment of the book. But the writing did a very good job of changing my opinions about them, and by the end of the novel I definitely felt for each and every one. 💗

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