New Releases: July 2017

We are very quickly approaching the end of June (how did that even happen? seriously, this year is flying by!) and I figured it’s about time I share with you guys some July releases that I think you should all check out! As I put this list together I quickly realized that there is a bit of a theme going on here – can you guys guess it?


Release Date: 11th July


ash and quillAsh And Quill by Rachel Caine

Up first on my list we have the third book in Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series but since I’m not caught up with this series (or have started, for that matter) and don’t want to spoil myself (or anyone else who hasn’t read/caught up with this series), I am going to give you guys a quick idea of what the first book Ink And Bone is all about, alright?

This series is set in a world where The Great Library of Alexandria survived the test of time and now delivers knowledge to the people of major cities instantly – but the ownership of books is forbidden. Our main character, Jess, is part of a family who is involved in the black market for books while also training to become part of the Great Library as a spy for his family. One day, his friend creates a device that could potentially change the world which creates all kinds of problems for everyone involved.

Honestly, this sounds like such a fun concept and after reading The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White, I hope that I’ll enjoy this series too. It’s not the same story, but the historic elements definitely make me very curious!


Release Date: 13th July


Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

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We were just talking about books for the previous release and guess what this one is about! Books! Or more precisely, Words In Deep Blue is about a second-hand bookshop that has a Letter Library where people can leave letters for people they love, want to love or for strangers. 

Our main character Rachel left a love letter to her best friend Henry in his favorite book before she left town and waited for him to write her back – which he never does. After her brother drowns, Rachel returns to her old town and starts working at the bookshop with Henry even though she would rather not see him again.

Words In Deep Blue sounds like a really interesting story and I did enjoy a different book I read by Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon) so I’m definitely excited to read more of her work! And as I was checking Goodreads, there are two different release dates for this book as well as two different synopsis, which is rather weird. I’ll have the second one linked in the title of this paragraph!


Release Date: 18th July


the library of fatesThe Library Of Fates by Aditi Khorana

I honestly have no idea how to summarize what The Library Of Fates is about even though the synopsis seems easy enough? Does that ever happen to you guys? Some books you can sum up easily and things still make sense but other books you just can’t? This is a case of the latter. But let me try and if I confuse, please click the link for the Goodreads page!

The Emperor shows up in our main character Princess Amrita’s hometown even though he’s never shown interest before. To keep things civil, Amrita offers to become the Emperor’s bride and ends up as living as a fugitive and alone except for an oracle named Thala who managed to escape the palace when it was under siege. Together they try to find the Library Of Fates to reverse their own fates and go back to a time before the Emperor ever entered their lives.

I think that’s the gist of it – though I might have read things wrong or not understood them entirely, we’ll see once I get around to this book. But it definitely sounds interesting and I’m intrigued to see if the main characters actually go through with changing their fates if/when they find this Libary or if things turn out differently!


The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwellthe last magician

The Last Magician already has me excited because it’s set in New York – how often have I mentioned that setting being a selling point by now? Or you sick of hearing me say it yet? But anyways, this version of New York has barely any magic left and the few people who still have magic are in hiding. A magic barrier called the Brink traps people in Manhatten and trying to flee results in a loss of one’s magic – or life.

Esta, a talented thief with the ability to manipulate time, sets out on journeys through time stealing magical objects before the Magician knows that she’s stealing them. All of Esta’s traveling and training leads her to her biggest mission: steal a book that contains the secrets of the Order and the Brink before the Magician can destroy it and doom every person with magic.

I’ve actually been looking forward to this book since I saw it on NetGalley a couple of months ago, but unfortunately, my request got declined so I’ll have to wait until the official release to be able to read this book! It definitely sounds really exciting and I can’t wait to read about time travel and the adventures Esta is going to get herself into!


Release Date: 25th July


daughter of the burning city2Daughter Of The Burning City by Amanda Foody

Daughter Of The Burning City first came to my attention once people started sharing their BEA/BookCon hauls and a few of them included this book in their hauls. I probably wouldn’t have clicked on this book if I had just seen this particular cover (the UK paperback, on the other hand, is stunning), but after hearing people talk about this, I definitely had to add it to my TBR! 

We follow our main character, Sorina, an illusionist (and the first to be born in hundreds of years) inside the Gomorrah Festival. Sorina has the ability to create live-like illusions who all come with their own personalities and can felt and touched by others – by they aren’t alive. Or at least that’s what Sorina always thought. Until one day one of her illusions get killed and Sorina sets off on a mission to find out who is out to kill her illusions.

I feel like ever since I read Caraval by Stephanie Garber I am more intrigued by stories set in a circus-like environment and that aspect is definitely another factor as to why I added this to my TBR! How do you guys feel about stories set in circuses? 


There we have it, five releases I am excited about for the month of July! Are any of them on you guys’ radar? Or were you able to read any of them early and can share your thoughts? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


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The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag


If you guys would be so nice as to stop by this post we shared a few days ago and leave us some questions for a Q&A we plan on doing for our 6-month bloggiversary we’d really appreciate it! Thank you in advance! 🙂


I was just looking through my reader for new posts to read and I saw Jackie over at Too Much Of A Book Nerd do The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag and as I got to the end of her post I was 100% convinced that I needed to do it myself too! I feel like this is going to be a fun post to look back on once we hit the end of 2017 and just see how/if things have changed in the months after!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

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I won’t talk too much about the book I pick for this question as I have a post going up in two weeks all about my favorite books of the first half of 2017, but I will tell you two of my favorites for this year: A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.


Best sequel of 2017 so far?

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I have read some ridiculously good sequels this year – in fact, all but one were freaking fantastic and I can’t believe I’ve been so lucky with my books this year! Let’s go with A Conjuring Of Light by VE Schwab for this one. This book. I went through so many emotions while reading this book and often within a short time span too. But it was all worth it in the end.


New release you haven’t read yet but want to?

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Oh boy! Which new release have I read? If you’ve been reading our blog for a couple of months now, you probably know that I share monthly releases and out of all of them, I have read maybe 25% so far? It’s a bit ridiculous for sure and I hope to do better in the future but I just want to read too many books or re-read favorites. But for the sake of actually giving you guys an answer, I’ll go with History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera which was released in January. Yep.


Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017?

wonder woman

Definitely and without a doubt Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer! I have recently seen so many great trailers and featurettes for the movie that I am so excited to see Leigh take on this character and her story! But also, All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (I need to know if The Raven Cycle was a one-time thing or if I really like Maggie’s writing) and Warcross by Marie Lu – I haven’t read any of her books since Champion and I really need to get on that!


Biggest disappointment?

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Without a doubt: Words On Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton. I was so excited about this book and the potential I thought it had but I was let down so hard. I talked all about my feelings in my review earlier this week!


Biggest surprise?

now i rise

Also a really easy one: The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White! I was approved for an eARC of Now I Rise and so I finally got around to this series and I absolutely loved it. This is probably best described as YA Historical Fiction and I loved Kiersten version of the story so much that I actually read and watched more about Vlad The Impaler (which is what these books are based on, Lada is a gender swept Vlad!) once I was done with Now I Rise.


Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

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Victoria/VE Schwab and Kiersten White! I wish I had read more new authors this year (or more accurately: more books by more new-to-me authors) but I’ve mostly stuck to authors I already loved. But I do plan on reading more authors this year – there might even be a post about that coming up soon!


Newest fictional crush?

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I think this one has to go to Cassian from Sarah J. Maas’ A Court Of Thorns And Roses trilogy! He isn’t technically a new-to-me character and I’ve loved him since last year when I first read the second book, but the final book in the trilogy made me fall in love with Cassian so much more, so this goes to him!


 

Newest favorite character?

So many great characters this year! But a lot of them are from books I’ve read previously and the only new characters I really have to add are Lada from The Conqueror’s Saga and Rhy and Alucard from the Shades Of Magic trilogy.


A Book that made you cry?

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Actually, way more than I thought considering we’re only six months into the year! Let’s see: A List Of Cages, The Hate U Give, A Conjuring Of Light (this was a sob fest) and Lord Of Shadows.


A Book that made you happy?

city of ashes

To avoid naming the same books over and over again, I am going with City Of Ashes for this one!


Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

I haven’t watched a single movie this year that isn’t Cars – my nephews went through a phase where they only wanted to watch that movie… it was rough.


A favorite review you’ve written this year?

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I have to give this to my review for A Conjuring Of Light. It was a really long one and I think one of the first ones where I just wrote and wrote and couldn’t stop because there was so much to talk about and I really loved the book so it was also a really easy review to write!


The most beautiful book you bought or received this year?

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This one goes to Caraval by Stephanie Garber! The cover is so pretty and I kept staring it for days on end whenever I walked past my bookshelves!


What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

this savage song

I’m going to only look at books that have been released already for this question! I definitely want to continue more of Victoria Schwab’s books and since I already own This Savage Song I’m going to put that one on my list of books I really hope to have read by the end of the year and the sequel (and conclusion) too!


This really was so much fun to do and I hope you guys enjoyed reading my answers too! What are some of your favorite books you’ve read during the first half of 2017? Did you read any books that disappointed you? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


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Down the TBR hole #14

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The last post is a few weeks old and I apologize for the lack of these because I know you guys love these posts and I enjoy making them but I had to focus on passing these exams because that was extremely important to me. However, I’m back now and we can dive back into things!


Every week I go through my TBR and decide which books to take off or keep. This meme is hosted by Lia over at imaginaryplacesonpaper. You should check out her blog!

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

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  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber has intrigued me ever since I heard about it and Swetlana read and enjoyed it so that motivated me, even more, to pick it up. I actually started it already but I haven’t finished reading it yet.
  • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge has a very cool concept of bringing the story of Romeo and Juliet but kinda of giving it, it’s on twist. I’m definitely keen on this!

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  • The trials of Apollo (The Hidden Oracle) by Rick Riordan has been talked about a lot on booktube and his writing/books have been recommended to me by several people so I really want to check his books out.
  • The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon is a story about a girl named Natasha who meets a Guy and falls in love but her family is about to be deported and it’s about how they both work through that. I’m definitely on board with this!

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  • The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles has a very interesting premise that has me willing to give it a chance! If any of you read this, let me know your thoughts.
  • A list of Cages by Robin Roe has to stay without question. This book sounds very sad but also like it’s a lot about family and brotherhood and I love that. I’m expecting to go through quite the emotional journey with this one.

That’s all for my first week back on this meme! I hope you guys had a good week and see you next time!


 

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5 Series I Started – But Haven’t Finished Yet

I’m sure a lot of you guys have a ton of series you might want to read and a good deal of them were shared in this week’s Top 10 Tuesday as the topic was all about book series people wanted to read. While my immediate reaction was ‘I want to talk about mine too!’, I also quickly realized that I actually still have some series that I should probably either finish or give up on before I jump into new series.

That’s pretty much where this post is coming from! I am going to take a look at the series I have started in the past but never continued with and talk a little bit about why! Hopefully talking about these series with you guys will give me the motivation to either finish them off or let them go!


Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

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Huh. I honestly always thought I had rated Shatter Me either 2 or maybe 3 stars (at most), but apparently, I enjoyed it more than I thought because I rated it 4 stars! Am I confusing this series with another one I didn’t enjoy? I’m honestly quite confused right now. I also did continue and read the first novella Destroy Me but never continued after – did the novella turn me away from the rest of the series? I know so many people love the Shatter Me series and now I’m almost tempted to go back to it and start this series from the beginning? 

Have any of you guys read this series? If so, what did you think? Is it worth it to go back and start reading from the beginning? Please let me know!


Penryn & The End Of Days Trilogy by Susan Ee

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Up next on my list is Penryn & The End Of Days Trilogy and I definitely remember really, really enjoying the first book Angelfall (I rated it 4 stars too!) and I have no idea why I stopped reading this trilogy? When I first read this, I had just finished the Unearthly trilogy and really liked the idea of reading about angels and Angelfall put a really interesting spin on it (if I remember correctly)! And then Jackie recently reviewed Angelfall on her blog and had me really excited about continuing this trilogy hopefully soon. And don’t you just love when that happens?


Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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I was actually always really on top of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy and would read the new book as it came out, but for some reason, I never got around to Frost Like Night? I think it might’ve been because I didn’t want to pay the money for the hardcover when it first came out and instead wanted to wait until it got a bit cheaper but then I never picked it up either. But I do really want to finish this trilogy off as I definitely enjoyed it! The first two books both got a 4-star rating from me when I read them!


Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray

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What originally drew me to the Firebird trilogy was hands down the cover for A Thousand Pieces Of You! It was so pretty and I had to have it on my shelves. Luckily, I did end up enjoying the story too and read the next book. My plan had been to read the final installment in the trilogy right after but that never happened and now I barely remember what happened in the second book and I’m really angry with myself. I definitely plan on finishing this trilogy this year though, along with Snow Like Ashes. I hate having two series unfinished when it’s just one book each to finish them!


Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard

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Since we’ve already kind of established a trend when it comes to myself and series, let’s just continue down that road for the Red Queen series too. According to my rating on Goodreads, both Red Queen and Glass Sword got 4 stars from me so I really don’t understand why I never picked up King’s Cage when it was released earlier this year. I mean, you’d think I would want to continue with a series I seem to have enjoyed in the past, right? Nope. But unlike the rest of the series on this list, King’s Cage has only been released for four months so I can find some excuses as to why I haven’t read it yet (a reading slump early in the year, new releases I was more excited about and re-reads to prepare for said new releases)! and continue on.


How about you guys? Do you have a long list of series you started but never finished? Or do you like to marathon series before moving on to a new one? Or do you have no unfinished series because you prefer standalones? Let’s discuss in the comments!


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6 Ways To Get Me To Follow Your Blog

I am 100% sure we’ve all read a good amount of posts by various bloggers that tell us what someone is looking for in a blog they might want to follow and I thought I would add to those posts by sharing six ways that make me want to follow another book lover’s blog! 


You Have A Blog Design That Appeals To Me


Obviously, what someone is going to interpret as appealing will vary for all of us as we all have different tastes in themes and the formatting of our posts and what we are looking for in other blogs. But this is probably one of the biggest factors for me when it comes to following a new blog and I know that it’s probably not the best thing to ‘judge’ a blog on, but it is the first thing I see when I visit someone’s blog. And if my immediate reaction is a negative one, I am less likely to stay and look around.

Usually what I look for in a blog design are a limited use of colors and preferably bright themes. I love a white background with a gray font and another accent color that is used throughout the entire blog. That’s my thing. Simplicity. But please make sure you are using easy to read colors when you’re picking them! Make it as easy as possible for people to read your posts – that’s what your goal is after all!

Another thing I’ve recently come to really love are divider images! So many people use them these days and I love the way they break up big chunks of texts and give your eyes a quick break before you go back to reading. I’m still trying to find the perfect one to use on our blog because I feel like I, especially, might need something to break up posts sometimes as I can get rather rambly (case in point.)!


You Update Your Blog Regularly


This is probably the second thing I will look at once I’m on your blog: how often you post to it! I love blogs who post often and more importantly regularly! I like knowing what I’m getting myself into once I start following someone! Obviously, we all have different responsibilities outside of blogging that demand our time so we can’t all post five times a week and that’s not what anyone demands from a fellow blogger. Just make sure that you post regularly – be it twice a week, just on the weekends or five times a week.


You Offer A Variety Of Posts


Whenever I visit someone else’s blog I always take a look around and see what kind of posts they share as I love reading a variety of posts from people to get a better idea of who they are and what they think and I feel like that’s best done by posting different kinds of posts.

Juliana over at Blots Of Ink And Words just recently shared a post about why a variety of posts is important to have and I couldn’t agree more with her, so I’m referring you guys to her post instead of repeating everything she’s already said!


You Interact With Your Readers And The Community In General


Some bloggers might offer the greatest kind of content but if they just simply don’t interact with their readers in any kind of way, it’s definitely a factor that will make me not want to follow them. I love seeing bloggers interact with their readers and the community in general! Often, I will check out a blogger because I keep seeing them pop up in various comment sections of other bloggers and I want to see what their blog is all about!


You Love Talking About Books


Before you start telling me how obvious this point is, give me a second! Yes, obviously I want to follow people who talk about books and love doing it as that’s why I am here too. But. What I want even more is people talking in detail about why they love a book or why they are adding something to their weekly meme posts. I’ve come across so many Top Ten Tuesdays that have just been covers or titles of books and nothing else and that’s just not something I am looking for and I’ll usually just exit out of a blog once I get to the end of the post.

How am I going to interact with you if all you’re giving me is a list of books and not a single word on why you chose said books? If you’re sharing a list of books you want to read, talk about what interests you about them! If you’re sharing a list of books you love, talk about what you loved about them! Get me invested (to a degree) in why you chose the books you did!


You And I Share Similar Interests In Books


At the end of the day, you may be doing all of the things I just mentioned but you’re blogging about mystery or thriller books and those are genres I’m not interested in. That happens and someone else is going to absolutely love your blog and hit that Follow button immediately!

I almost feel like this should be further up on my list as it’s the one thing I most definitely want but it’s also the thing that will take me the longest to discover and while I’m looking at your blog for the first time all of the things above are going to be what I see and process before I get to this point.


What About You?


What are some of the things you guys are looking for when you are thinking about following a new blogger? Do you pay more attention to design or content? Or is it a mixture of both? Do you have bloggers that pop into your mind that you think everyone should be following right this second? Let’s discuss in the comments below and please feel free to share links to your favorite blogs too!


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Why I Didn’t Like ‘Words On Bathroom Walls’ by Julia Walton

This is the second review you’ll read from me where I don’t know how to write it, but unlike my previous one (where I loved the book) the reasons for me not knowing how to write this are entirely different. I got approved for this eARC via NetGalley and finally read it. Words On Bathroom Walls was a book I didn’t enjoy from pretty much the get-go. I even considered DNFing it multiple times but finished reading it in the end. 


The usage of the word ‘crazy’

I was really uncomfortable with the way the main character Adam (who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is taking part in a trial for a new drug) constantly referred to himself and others suffering from schizophrenia as ‘crazy’ or ‘crazies’. I can’t tell you if this is a me thing or something that would be considered offensive by someone who actually lives with a mental health illness like schizophrenia. All I can say is that I didn’t like reading a character referring to himself and others as ‘crazy’ for a mental health illness. It felt offending. But I want someone to talk in more detail about this who has experience with this!

Once I finished the book I actually went back and put a bookmark on every scene I found uncomfortable or possibly offensive because of the usage of the word ‘crazy’ and I actually ended up with 34 different instances and I feel like that is too much. And the character never really seems to learn how his words might hurt someone else. He is never actively shown talking to people the entire book. The entire story is narrated through diary entries Adam makes and sends to his therapist after each session as Adam doesn’t want to actually speak in his sessions.

The main reason why I requested this book was to get a perspective into what life might be like for people with schizophrenia but all I got was a 16-year-old boy who talks negatively about mental health problems and doesn’t undergo any kind of character development over the course of the entire story which takes place over almost an entire year.


The girlfriend is referred to as the ‘cure’

When we first meet Adam we also meet Ian who is pretty much the stereotypical high school bully and Maya who later one becomes Adam’s girlfriend. One of the things that really bothered me was how Adam refers to Maya as his ‘cure’. The only thing that keeps him sane, etc. It’s is so often criticised in books when love or a relationship is seen as the ‘cure’ for a mental illness and then we have this kid who refers to his girlfriend as exactly that and since all we’re getting is his perspective no one is going to talk about how that might not be the best thing.

Had we actually gotten to see Adam in therapy and conversation with his therapist, I think this book could’ve been so much better and the messages it sent would’ve been more positive.

Adam’s views on someone else’s relationship with sex


As we follow Adam throughout almost a year of his life, we also get a look into what Valentine’s Day is like and how it’s dealt with at the Catholic school Adam is attending. Adam talks about how there are religious parents who have convinced their kids that sex is bad, etc and then he ends his musings by saying that those people are weirdos and everyone knows it. And I just wanted to yell at him. You do not get to tell other people what they can and can’t think about sex or how they approach sex. It’s up to an individual to decide on how they want to act. Or not to act, for that matter.


Honestly, I feel like this concept of a story could have been a really great book but it was just executed so poorly in my opinion. This ended up being a 1-star book for me and even then just barely.


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Review: The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic (not spoiler free)

Here we are at the Review of the last book of “The Foxhole Court” Trilogy! It’s been one hell of a ride for these characters and I’m so happy to say that in the end, they got the triumph that they deserved from the start. I’ll miss them a lot but re-reading is always an option, right? PSA: I’m warning you: This will contain spoilers.

Plot:

23594461Neil Josten is out of time. He knew when he came to PSU he wouldn’t survive the year, but with his death right around the corner, he’s got more reasons than ever to live.

Befriending the Foxes was inadvisable. Kissing one is unthinkable. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. If they both say it doesn’t mean anything, maybe Neil won’t regret losing it, but the one person Neil can’t lie to is himself.

Neil’s journey – from beginning to end.

This final installment started out right after the ending of Book 2 so no time was wasted getting right back into things. I feel like Neil’s journey is a lot about re-defining his will to survive from self-preservation to actually having formed these friendships with his teammates and his relationship with Andrew gave him more than one reason to want to continue living at all. When I think back to how Neil started out in book 1, he became more emotionally available and more understanding of others, whereas before he only knew one thing: looking out for himself. 

Wymack was kind of that person for Neil that was there to help him after he came back from Evermore – a kind of father figure – which was a really great Element that made me appreciate Wymack as a character even more, than even if he can be harsh – he really cares about these kids. I think Neil saw that and sometimes he needed that.

What Neil went through in his childhood, having to run for so long, has taken such a toll on his mental health, as well, I think. Which is why he connects so well with the foxes because they went through similiar tough situations themselves and came out stronger than before. In regards, to how things ended with his father, I was pretty satisfied with that.

His relationship with Andrew progressed even further throughout this book and you could see how much they trusted in each other even though I’m sure Andrew would never admit it. But when he gave Neil his car keys a second time, it was more than obvious to me that Andrew speaks through actions more than his words. Neil had to work to earn his trust and be persistent but I loved seeing how it progressed. I found myself literally marking almost all of their scenes with my text marker. My book looks almost like Swetlana’s copy of ACOMAF.  Something else I really love about these two is that they don’t pity each other for what they’ve been through – they see the other as the person – not their history.

Kevin was a crucial part of Neil’s journey and character growth. He and Kevin had a lot of issues to work through and I doubt that they will ever be done with that but I think that Kevin appreciates Neil more than he lets on. Kevin is quietly reserved in that way due to how he was raised by the Ravens, with their cruel methods.

He had to overcome a lot of his inner demons to let people in his life in but he quickly realized that in the end, everything he had to do get to where he was at the end, it was worth it. His teammates were worth it.

How I feel about the ending – satisfactory or not?

Definitely satisfying. Everything that happened in between the first and last book was wrapped up so nicely I was loving it. I finished like the last 200+ in 1 day because I couldn’t put it down.

A few people who did horrible things to Neil and the Foxes finally got what they deserved. Which really made me happy because they could finally let go of the past and move on into a brighter future for the team.